Louie the sheep is a bit of a celebrity around Newcastle.
“We take him on walks all over the place,” Louie’s ‘mum’ Rachel King said.
You might see him on the foreshore, Nobbys breakwall, Newcastle beach or up the hill to the Obelisk.
If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of him at cafes around Islington and Hamilton or Dudley and Stockton beaches.
“Sometimes we walk Louie with his cousin Clover the goat,” Rachel said.
When Louie walks by, people can’t help but notice.
“Everywhere we go, everyone stops us and pats him and asks about 5 billion questions.”
Rachel said the people who ask about Louie are “all very friendly and happy to meet him”.
“But after about 20 minutes, I start getting sick of answering the same questions,” she said with a laugh.
So she decided to write a zine, titled Louie the Sheep FAQ. A zine is a kind of magazine. It’s basically a fanzine. The zine about Louie is for his fans and anyone else who’s curious.
Rachel and her partner Jamie Oorschot have been looking after Louie since he was an orphan lamb.
Jamie is a hang-glider pilot.
“One of his hang-glider mates is a farmer. He was visiting us. We were having a few beers on the back deck. He said ‘you guys are good with animals, I should give you a pet lamb’.
“We were a bit drunk and thought it sounded like a great idea. So the next time Jamie comes back from flying at the farm, he brought back an orphan lamb that was just a few days old.
“We’ve raised him. He’s like our son. He’s a hilarious pet, really. He’s just got a really funny personality. He’s quite moody sometimes. But always pretty cheerful.”
He Mostly Likes Pats
Rachel said Louie was “quite happy to meet people”.
“Everyone comes and pats him. He assumes he’s some sort of celebrity. Sometimes he gets a little bit sick of people if too many are patting him,” she said.
“But if we go out and there aren’t many people around, he’ll deliberately head towards people and go ‘I’m here’.”
Louie expects a certain amount of attention. “If he doesn’t get it, he thinks it’s a bit weird,” she said.
Louie usually lives in a backyard at Kahibah with Clover the goat.
“He gets on well with the goat. But even though she’s half his size, she’s a bit of a bully. They’ll have a play fight. Louie will think that’s fun. Then she’ll go round the side and use her horns to try to stab him. Then it’s not that fun anymore,” Rachel said.
The zine has questions like: Why does he have a tail? Is he nervous around dogs? Is he smart? There’s also a story about what happened when Louie spent some real time with other sheep on a farm. The zine can be bought for $8 at Kahibah Post Office and Tiny Boat at Softies in Maitland Road, Islington.