Working Dogs

Dogs are farm’s ‘odd couple’

By Rodney Woods

How did they get their names?

Bear’s ears and face look like a bear and he has a woolly coat. I had a bloke come over and I asked, ‘‘what do you think that dog’s name is?’’ and he said, ‘‘it would have to be Bear’’. Tony — the kids called him that when they were younger.

How would you describe Bear’s personality?

Bear is the most amiable dog I have seen in 50 or 60 years. He loves the kids and he loves being patted.

What is Bear’s working ability like?

He trots around the cows. He won’t rush them and he won’t bark. That’s where Tony takes over. He (Bear) backs out if cows come towards him. It’s Paul’s best dog he will ever have, I think.

Has either dog got into any trouble?

Bear is known as ‘‘that dog’’ lately. Sarah says ‘‘that dog’’. He chews up the kids’ helmets or cardboard boxes or anything around the house. I was at the shops with Joss the other day and she said ‘‘that dog chewed up my doll’’. So I got sucked into buying her another one.

Have they suffered any injuries?

Tony had a broken back leg and a hip displacement.

How do they get on with other animals?

Bear can’t stand ibises in the paddock. Doesn’t matter whether there’s one or 500 but he will chase them. Occasionally they will chase hares. They get on really well (with each other). They bark if the cows are on the driveway. They are good watchdogs. Tony’s the best at that. Tony’s the boss.

Words and pictures:

Rodney Woods