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All fur the love of pets

Jamie Furness    January 31, 2023    3 min read   

By Jamie Furness

Imagine spending all week playing and snuggling up with the cutest and fluffiest members of the community – and getting paid for it.

60-year-old Forest Lake local Tracey Buchs is living that dream. 

Known as the “Forest Lake Fur Nanny,” Tracey stopped working full-time hours running her cleaning business ten years ago to pursue her one true passion: caring for animals.

“I started off just doing it for friends … then I thought ‘I may as well do this for a business’, because that’s all I eventually wanted to do.

“I love, love, love animals – that is my absolute passion.”

Tracey considers herself one of the biggest pet lovers there is. With animals always at the forefront of her mind, she is a member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Guide Dogs Australia, she shops cruelty-free, and often donates to the RSPCA op shop to support their work.

It’s often said that you attract the energy you put out. For Tracey this means lost dogs regularly show up at her doorstep seeking help, to which she gladly obliges.

“It’s really weird – I just find all of these dogs,” she said.

Tracey has looked after close to 400 pets since starting her job as a “fur nanny”.

Many find comfort in her presence, including one particular Staffy she often visits to sit with during storms while his owners are at work.

“That’s how much I care about them – it’s not just a job, they’re like part of my family,” she said.

She considers herself a friend to all species, with her list of clients ranging from dogs and cats through to snakes and chickens.

One particular chicken, however, did not take to Tracey and decided to give her the sprint of her life during one of her visits.

“She decided to give me a chase around the swingset – so I’m running around and around the swingset with this crazy chicken chasing after me,” Tracey said.

“The owners have cameras – they must have had such a laugh looking at it.”

A typical day for Tracey involves going from house to house in Forest Lake and surrounds, offering companionship to pets, giving them meals and treats, administering oral medication and injections, training animals and watering any plants.

“So many [pet] parents, especially first time parents, who go away from their dog or their cat fret so much,” she said.

“I come in, and I make that animal feel loved and safe, treating them with kindness and respect. I love being that surrogate when that mum or dad has gone.

“I just love animals, so this is my dream job – to actually be paid to go and cuddle and care for animals.”

Raised with animals since she was a baby, Tracey has never lived without a pet. She and her husband own two dogs of their own, with others regularly joining their family for doggy day care during the week.

“I love what I do … it’s what makes me happy,” she said.

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Jamie Furness