Working Dogs

Trio makes farm life easier

By Country News

Tell me about your three dogs.

Emily: Dodge is a border collie kelpie cross who belonged to my dad. We inherited him after my dad passed away eight years ago. He is a really nice dog who likes to work, except he is starting to get a bit of arthritis now. He is still a great help in the dairy and out in the paddock though, because he just loves to work.

Rusty is a purebred border collie who is still a good worker but he doesn’t have as much push as Dodge. He is less assertive but still good.

Meg is a kelpie cross short-haired pointer that came free to a good home and ended up being Stephen’s birthday present. She helps a little bit with the cows but she doesn’t have as many brains as the other two. She is inseparable from Steve and loves to come inside and sleep on the couch at night.

So does Meg’s heart belong to Steve, then?

It sure does. She follows him around all the time and often runs alongside the motorbike. She is really fast and is a good pet and great companion. She also loves chasing birds and would have made a really good duck dog.

Why is that?

She has had a soft toy pet duck since she was a puppy. We say to her, ‘where is Chucky?’ and she runs off and finds it and carries it around in her mouth. We don’t know how she has managed to keep it intact all this time but she just loves carrying it around.

You said Rusty had a bit of an accident two years ago?

Yes, he was hit by a trailer out the front of the farm and we are lucky to still have him — he should be dead really, it’s a miraculous story of survival ... He broke a bone in his forehead and spent 10 days at the Numurkah vet clinic. He is nearly back to normal but his eyesight is not the best anymore.

Do all the dogs get along well together?

Yes, they do. Dodge and Rusty have got a real bromance going on and Meg is like their little sister. Dodge is definitely the boss dog. I have always had a dog on the farm and they make life heaps easier when you are working with cattle. I also think it is much safer to send a dog around the cows rather than roaring around the paddock on a motorbike.

Word and pictures:

Sophie Baldwin