You and Your Pet: Kelpie brothers need new home

Kelpie brothers Smokie and Bandit are searching for a new fur-ever home. photograph hayley mills

Kelpie brothers Smokie and Bandit are searching for a new fur-ever home. photograph hayley mills

Nicole Bibby is preparing for an exciting new chapter and will soon uproot her life in the Latrobe Valley and move to Turkey with partner Mark.

The Jeeralang resident is all set for the big move but there is one piece of the puzzle she needs to complete - and it's the most heartbreaking one.

Her beloved nine-year-old kelpies, brothers Smokie and Bandit won't be making the journey to Europe and are in desperate need of a new forever home.

"It breaks my heart but I just don't think they'd survive the trip over," Nicole said.

The pups weren't even fully weaned when they came into Nicole's life out of the Black Saturday fires of 2009.

"This lady had them and she had no time to do anything except save the dogs," she said.

"She lost absolutely everything in the fire and needed the money so we bought them home."

Red kelpie Bandit was aptly named because of his penchant for escapism as a pup while black and tan brother Smokie was named for his colourings and as a nod to his birthplace in the heart of the Black Saturday fires.

Contrary to popular belief the pair were not named after the protagonists in the 7'0s action comedy.

"I didn't even realise the connection between Smokey and the Bandit at first," Nicole said.

"And then someone said to me weeks later 'Smokey and the Bandit?' and I just went 'oh my god, it is too'.

Smokie and Bandit are as thick as thieves.

They love nothing more than having free run of Nicole's 4.5 hectacre property and sleep side-by-side at night.

"They're just absolutely beautifully natured and they can eat out of your mouth they're that gentle," Nicole said.

Nicole will move to Turkey on June 22 and is quickly running out of time to re-home Smokie and Bandit.

She said the new owners wouldn't necessarily need a big yard but would have lots of love to give.

"They need to stay together," she said.

"They need a new home and it's breaking my heart. Just love them and treat them right and you'll get all the love and respect in the world in return."

Anyone interested in welcoming Smokie and Bandit into their lives can phone Nicole on 0408 717 603.

The Express is looking for passionate Latrobe Valley pet owners who would like to tell the story behind their pets and why they matter in their lives.

If you would like your pet to feature in a future edition of this weekly column, email with 'You and Your Pet' in the subject line.

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