Dog's best friend
WHEN you meet Squirt, one of Curtis Island's most recognisable residents, the first thing you notice about him is that he is a duck.
As far as cute pets go, Squirt fits in just as well as any dog or kitten.
But there is always going to be something different about this household pet, because he is, undeniably, a duck.
Squirt loves a good waddle as much as the next duck and that is exactly what his owner, Jenny Bell, allows him to do every day when she takes him for a walk.
Squirt is not alone. We all need friends and Squirt has a best mate - Tess the german shepherd, a big, hairy, 10-year-old, beautifully behaved dog.
When The Observer met Squirt and Tess at the Capricorn Lodge on Curtis Island, they were inseparable.
They play together.
Or, to be more accurate, Squirt plays with Tess, while Tess sits there and takes it in good spirits.
Squirt proves his dedication to Tess by pecking away her fleas - now that is true friendship.
Mrs Bell loves taking the pair for a walk along the South End foreshore every day, along with the newest addition to the family, Abby, a four-month-old german shepherd, who still needs to be "duck-trained".
Squirt's wings have not been clipped, so he is free to fly when and where he chooses.
He has a special pen to keep him safe from foxes and it seems his biggest weakness is jealousy.
If he sees the two dogs getting too much attention from Mrs Bell, he starts to make a fuss.
Mrs Bell says life on Curtis Island is wonderful. Her dad bought a place on the island in 1957 and she now lives there permanently.
"This is home," she said.
"It's the lifestyle I enjoy as there's so much you can do here.
"You can go fishing, crabbing, collecting shells, swimming ... you can do it all."
The billion-dollar LNG projects on the other side of the island have done nothing to dampen her love of life in the township of South End, on Curtis Island.
After all, what an ideal location to go for a stroll with Squirt, Tess and Abby.