Most people keep dogs or cats as pets. If you go a little more rural, you might uncover stories of especially friendly cows or clingy sheep, but have you ever heard of someone keeping a deer?
Now you have! Meet Buddy, the Fallow deer who lives with his owner, Leila, and Shetland Sheltie friends, in the Adelaide Hills.
Buddy was born on the deer farm that Leila’s parents own. Unfortunately, mama deer neglected Buddy when he was born, most likely because he didn’t make any of the usual fawn noises.
It’s a sad story with a happy ending, because Leila adopted Buddy into her family and he fit right in!
Her Shelties visit her parent’s farm regularly, so they’re used to being around deer, which made integrating Buddy surprisingly easy. Buddy is now one of the pack!
Leila says Quinn the Sheltie mothers Buddy with sloppy kisses and has been very affectionate.
Keeping a deer seems similar to having any other pet, complete with the skidding on the wooden floor and trying to eat the Christmas tree. Leila mentions the toilet training is a bit of a struggle, but if Buddy takes to the training the way he took to the doggy door, we’re sure he’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
Keep up to date with Buddy and his friends on his Facebook page. Until then, take some time to fawn over these gorgeous pics!
UPDATE: Buddy is now 10 months old! Quinn the Sheltie is still his bestie, but he also likes the new dog in the family, Jatz (they like to razz each other up and take turns being above each other in the pecking order!). Buddy thinks he’s a dog! He loves to round up the chickens, and follow them around.
He still loves strawberries, watermelon and blueberries, and has a real sweet tooth! He also really loves weetbix and will stand by the cupboard, nodding at the door until someone gives him some.
He’s still snuggly and affectionate, but enjoys spending more and more time in the garden eating roses!