She’s got black shaggy curls and the cutest floppy ears.

She’s quite smart, has what seems like an unlimited supply of energy, and can get kind of feisty when you don’t give her what she wants (like her ball).

The best is when she’s tired. You hug her like a koala and she just rests her little head on your shoulder.

Besotted is an understatement to describe how we are with Georgie, our toy Cavoodle, who is 7 months now. She has brought so much additional life and love into our world.

Both Kevin and I grew up with dogs, but it had been at over 5 years since they died. We really missed having an animal in our lives.

Animals can teach us so much about life, don’t you think?

They can teach us about communication without words, being completely immersed in the present moment, and always seeing the bright side of life.

About adaptability, resilience, and patience.

About unconditional love, holding space, being content with what you’ve got.

And so much more!

My (Nikki) family dog influenced me to become a vegetarian. I one day realised I couldn’t imagine ever eating her and found myself distinguishing between her and the animals on my plate less and less until I couldn’t bring myself to pick up that fork of schnitzel anymore.

It was while we were in India that Kevin had a similar revelation with the street cows. He was walking down the street one morning with a packet of popcorn, and this cow was following closely behind sniffing it out. The cow then head butted Kevin straight in the backside which made him drop his packet of popcorn on the ground for the cow to happily enjoy (check out our Instagram page for the video – and follow us while you are at it!). There was so much intelligence and endearment in that interaction, he just couldn’t bring himself to eat them anymore.

Our jaws dropped…

as we watched the “The dark side of the horse racing industry” on the 7:30pm report a few weeks ago.

We were disgusted to discover that despite it being a policy of Racing NSW that retired horses be re-homed, not sent to abattoirs, and treated humanely, undercover investigations found that 4000-5000 Australian registered thoroughbred racehorses are killed at one particular abattoir alone (and exported for human consumption to Europe and Japan) each year.

Sunny Fame, Only Money, Rapid Feet, Take a Chance – you might recall their names from your office sweepstakes over the years.

What’s more, the investigation captured footage of horrific treatment of these very horses – beatings, whipping and electrocution to name a few.

We couldn’t believe to hear that these prized horses are also ending up in our dog bowls.

A Sydney knackery saw the end for the likes of Tahitian Black, Explore the World, and Next of Kin. Each worth hundreds of thousands in prize money in the billion-dollar horse racing Industry.

And yet, the thoroughbred racing industry tells us that only 0.4 per cent of horses leaving the racing industry are ending up in a knackery or an abattoir, which is around 34 horses per year. Something’s clearly amiss.

With Melbourne Cup being today,

one of the world’s most famous horse races, it’s shattering to think that our innocent office sweepstakes are fuelling this Industry.

As Paul McGreevy, Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science at the University of Sydney says, “When we bet on horses, we are interacting with this industry, and we deserve better, the horses deserve better, and people who love the industry deserve better. So the industry has let a lot of people down and a lot of horses down by the looks of things”.

By no means should you feel guilty or judged for taking part in today’s office celebrations.

For most, its not even about the race itself and heck, Kevin was at a Melbourne Cup lunch only last year!

The point is, we’ve been deceived and let down.

Just as we’d never want anything bad to happen to our beloved pets, this cruel treatment shouldn’t be happening to our beloved racehorses either.

So now that we know, we have a choice as to how we can respond.

One such response could be to donate your office sweepstakes to a charity which is committed to stamping out these inhumane practices, such as the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses. Or another response could be to raise this topic with your colleagues or share this newsletter around to help raise awareness about what’s happening.

We apologise for being the bearer of bad news, we just couldn’t let this Melbourne Cup go by without being transparent and authentic with how we feel.

This one’s for our Georgie Girl.