Working Dogs

Four-legged family is two steps ahead

By Country News

What are all their names?

We’ve got Annabelle who is four, Spud who is 14 years old, Bob who is six, Rowdy, he’s nine, and Kip who is 15.

How did you get them?

I inherited them from my husband Cabe, who passed away, and I’m just extremely lucky to have them. They get me out of bed in the morning and they were a massive part of his life. They were his best mates and you’ve got to love them accordingly.

How are they at working on the farm?

Annabelle is pretty wired, she doesn’t settle down and is always watching something. Bob is just a fantastic yard dog but he can go way too hard, just hammer and tongs in the paddock.

Rowdy is a fantastic paddock dog. If we’re having a bit of trouble we can use them together and they’re just a fantastic team, you don’t even argue with them.

You sound very happy to have them on the team?

They’re fantastic. I’m very blessed. Every time I work them I learn something different.

Sometimes you’ll see something and think it’s a problem, but actually they’re so far ahead of you and they’ve fixed two others before they’ve even happened. They’re so clever. Very clever dogs.

Do they take much encouragement?

I don’t have to say very much, they’re just keen to get to work. Rowdy gets them home, he is just a superstar. I’m ridiculously proud of them. Rowdy knows how to run his own show.

They sound very well behaved!

They were taught from a young age not to chase things and to pay attention, so I’m very spoilt.

Any favourite foods?

We feed them a dry mix of three different brands.

They love sardines in oil, the Black and Gold ones, so I’ll go to the supermarket and stock up on those. I always have to tell the person on the checkout ‘oh no, they’re for the dogs!’.

Do you bring them into town with you?

They go everywhere with us. The day revolves around them, you’ve got them going to work and letting them have a big run.

What would you do without them?

I’d have to find a lot of money for new dogs!

Words and pictures:

Alana Christensen