COLORADO SPRINGS — For the past couple of years, Billie-Sue Mitchell and her pet emu Dennis have made a habit of going on walks around Colorado Springs and the surrounding area; this means meeting new people and posing for photos has become a delightful part of their regular life.
According to Billie-Sue, she originally obtained Dennis from a breeder in order to protect her family's ducks and chickens; in fairly short order, the presence of the male emu had the desired affect and scared off any/all predators (hawks, foxes, raccoons).
Formally named Dennisaurus Rex, this Springs local emu is about two-and-a-half years old, stands six feet in height, weighs 100 pounds, and is fully grown.
On the topic of going on walks, apparently Dennis started to show an interest at an early age.
"When I started walking him it was because I was walking my dog Blue everywhere, and so he would follow me," commented Billie-Sue, "I put a little harness [and leash] on him, then I started taking him and my dog for walks."
Those walks, initially around her own property, eventually spread out to include places like Garden of the Gods, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Downtown Colorado Springs.
Since she and Dennis made their walking/hiking debut in 2021, they've been inundated with requests for photos/selfies as well as being asked question after question all about this peculiar pet.
"I've met so many people from all over the world who want to get their picture taken with him," she commented.
Billie-Sue says she's picked up a wealth of emu facts that she gets to share frequently and she loves to see the smiles and double-takes from everyone she and Dennis pass on their walks.
If you're wondering how long Dennis the emu will continue to go on walks, Billie-Sue says that only he can answer that question.
I didn't think he would let me walk him around past six months. That's when most owners stop leading their emu around, but Dennis is different and stands quietly while I harness him, jumps in and out of the truck and gets excited when we arrive somewhere. So only Dennis can tell when he wants to stop walking around. Until that day I will fulfill his wishes.
If you're hoping to see more of Dennis the Emu, you can follow him on Instagram.
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