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Mink’s a goddess working the farm

By Country News

Gillieston's Reece Chessells works on a Lancaster farm and takes his 2-and-a-half year old Kelpie Mink along with him. Mink is a keen worker and loves to travel wherever Reece goes. She also recently had a litter of nine pups, made up of five males and four females. 

How did she get her name?

I searched Indian goddess names and found one with one syllable. I want dogs with one syllable names because it is easier in the paddock.

What is Mink’s personality like?

She’s a quiet dog. She’d never hurt anyone, just lick them to death.

What’s her working ability like?

She’s a very keen working dog. She’s brilliant and just as good in the paddock as she is in the yards. She prefers sheep over other stock but will work anything I put her on. When she’s not in the paddock she chases the chook.

How long have you had her?

I got her when she was eight months old off a broadacre farmer from Kyabram.

So you trained her yourself?

Yeah, I trained her myself. Basically she was all natural, pretty much. I’d never trained a working dog before. In a sense we trained each other.

Has Mink ever had any bad habits?

She’s always digging holes in the backyard. When she was a pup she used to chew my shoes up.

Has she ever run away?

One morning I woke up to go to work and the next-door neighbour rang me up while he was milking and told me Mink was over there helping push the cows up with his dog.

What does Mink get to eat?

All the good stuff out of the house — leftovers. With the pups on her she’s having three big cans of Pedigree wet food and a couple of cups of dry food.

Has she ever had any accidents?

When she was a pup before I got her the owners went away for a while and she climbed the cage she was in and got caught in the mesh, dislocating her hip. It doesn’t worry her now and she doesn’t have a problem with working.

Does she like to travel?

She travels with me in the ute or, when I don’t have the ute, in the passenger seat of the car. She’ll sit in the tractor when I’m doing tractor work and she’ll go on the motorbike. I spend most of my time outside with her. Wherever I go, she comes with me.

Words and pictures:

Rodney Woods