Working Dogs

Just dotty about companion

By Country News

After picking up Dotti at Shepparton Animal Shelter as a pet for her daughter Juila, Alice Tallis has fallen in love with the four legged friend. Often joining her on the walk to work at Tallis Wines, Dotti has become a much loved addition to the winery, with everyone from guests to employees taking a shine to the nine-year-old who loves nothing more than to roam around the Dookie property. While Dotti listens to some people more that others, Alice said she couldn't imagine life without her. 

How old is Dotti and what type of dog is she?

She’s nine and she’s Dotti normally or Dorothy if I’m cross. We named her Dotti after the dot on her chest. I don’t know what breed she is, a bit of this and a bit of that.

How did you get her?

We got her from the pound. When Julia, my daughter, was 10 she begged for her own dog. We already had a Lab at that stage but she wanted her own dog. So we looked up the Shepp shelter online and saw a pic of Dotti and read her story and we went and picked her up.

What was her story?

She and three of her siblings had been dumped in a bag on the side of the road in 40°C heat. There were two girls and two boys and we chose Dot — but looking back I wish we’d gotten another because she’s just such a beautiful dog.

She sounds obedient.

She’s such a good dog, she’ll walk from home to here (at Tallis Wines) and she’ll follow me around. Even when she’s not allowed to come she’ll sprint after you and you’ll have to go pick her up later because she doesn’t know the way back, only the way there.

So she doesn’t always listen?

She does to me! But not anyone else. She never jumps on me but anyone else she’ll get a bit excited and she can jump all over them. She has been known to be overly friendly and jump up on the seat next to people and say ‘Okay, what’s for me then?’. But she’s so loyal and beautifully natured, we love her. She’ll follow people up the walking track and even when I’m home I’ll be in a room and look out the window and she’s just there, she senses where you are.

Is she often sneaking food from people?

Any opportunity she gets! The cellar door kitchen staff absolutely love her, she’s charmed the pants off them so she’ll get some bits and pieces given to her from there. She’s not fussy about what she eats, she’s certainly brought some unsavoury things home from the paddocks.

Does she spend much time indoors?

She’s an outdoor dog, she’s never actually spent a night in the house — except we will bring her in during thunderstorms because she absolutely hates them. But she has a kennel outside and enjoys that.

What would you do without her?

I would cry, a lot. I don’t even like to think about a time when we won’t have her. She’s just beautiful and I can’t recommend adoption enough.

Words and pictures:

Alana Christensen