They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for this greedy camel he can’t get enough of his morning feed, as he gate crashes his owners’ mealtime.
But that doesn’t mean that he will be invited back for dinner and he certainly won’t be joining them for DES-SERT.
Joe, a 6 -year -old Bactrian camel pops over for breakfast with the Anderson-Dixon family without invite, munching his way through carrots and bananas much to their amusement.
While Nathan, 34 and wife Charlotte, 31, who live on a farm in Stow, Staffordshire attempt to have a nice civilised breakfast with their two sons, Reuben, 3 and Beau, 2 the family barely have the chance to sit down before cheeky Joe pokes his head through the window and helps himself to something to eat.
Joe, who stands at 5.83 feet is not particularly picky and will happily chow down on bread, cereal and fruit, but does turn his nose up at cheese.
JOE’S TABLE MANNERS LEAVE A LOT TO BE DESIRED.
Although Joe lives with three other female camels, he is the only one lucky enough to share breakfast with his owners. The others have to eat hay, barley, straw and corn mix in their stable.
“The first time Joe joined us for breakfast he was uninvited,” said Nathan Anderson-Dixon.
“He leaned in and rudely helped himself to the fruit bowl. But I wasn’t surprised because he’s very good at persuading all the other animals to give him their food too.”
“Now he comes over whenever he feels like it and hovers around in anticipation.
“He is eating us out of house and home, but we can’t get angry at him. He is like a big soft giant teddy bear and has become part of the family,” Nathan said.
Although the family have gotten used to Joe’s freeloading, Nathan and Charlotte were frustrated at first with his lack of table manners, but have gotten over that HUMP.
“Despite his regular visits, Joe hasn’t mastered a knife and fork yet,” Nathan said.
“He is a messy eater, and the mess he leaves takes ages to clean up. He has no table manners,” he said.
Nathan and wife Charlotte run The Animal Company, a family run business that supplies animals to big events, commercials, film and TV shows.
Joe is their star worker and has appeared in camel races, commercials and events around the country. He has even starred in a desert scene for a famous hair brand.
JOE HAS BECOME A BELOVED MEMBER OF THE FAMILY.
Nathan admits Joe is his favourite and has even bought Joe his own lorry so he can be transported in style.
But their relationship hasn’t always been a good one.
At first, when Nathan bought Joe back from Russia as a calf, training him to follow commands was a tough job.
It took 12 months to teach Joe how to follow instructions and Nathan had to quickly learn to dive out of the way when a ball of spit was aiming for his face.
“Joe needed to get used to having a head collar on him, we used food to train him and this worked well. The hardest part was to teach him how to cush (kneel down),” Nathan explained.
“He spat at me most of the time showering we with camel dribble and regurgitated food. It wasn’t the most pleasant of things, but I don’t blame him for doing it. If camels are stressed or agitated then they will spit at you,” he said.
Luckily for Nathan, Joe doesn’t spit anymore and is the best behaved animal on the farm.
“His favourite food is carrots and he loves to eat losern, a coarse hay which we give him as a treat when he behaves on an event.”
Joe is free to roam around the farm and one day he managed to escape when a contractor left the front gate open and he bolted out onto the main road.
“Joe likes his own space, so will wonder through to the garden whenever he likes. Like the other animals they are not confined to the stables. But he is cheeky and likes to explore, so when he saw the open gate he made a run for it. Luckily I managed to lure him back inside by bribing them with food. Thankfully we have not had an incident since,” Nathan said.
The family share their home with 74 animals including reindeers, camels, tortoises and giant snails.
For more information about The Animal Company please visit: www.animalco.co.uk
DESPITE REGULAR VISITS JOE IS YET TO MASTER A KNIFE AND FORK.
THE FAMILY HAVE 74 ANIMALS BUT ADMIT JOE IS THEIR FAVOURITE.
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