Clever girl gets the job done

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Selective hearing: Bella is a one-man dog and refuses to work for anyone but her owner, Bill Sammon.

Bella was spotted by our roving reporter at the Majella Poll Dorset Stud ram auction, where she quietly sidled up to many blue-jean-clad legs. The nine-year-old (or thereabouts) kelpie is owned by 90-year-old (or thereabouts) farmer Bill Sammon.

Is she full kelpie?

I presume so. A woman from Violet Town gave her to me when I lost a really good dog. She was 18 months old when I got her. She was raised to be a worker.

What’s her working ability like?

She’s a very quiet dog, but with the stud sheep that’s all right. She’s gentle and it does well. For the bigger mobs I’ve got a young pup. She’s good at working them down the road, she’ll thread back and forth constantly.

Friendly: Bella cosies up for a bit of attention.

Much of a listener?

She’s got her own mind. She won’t work for anyone but me. Some dogs are just like that — one-person dogs. She drives my son Tim crazy because she won’t work for him. You’d almost think she was deaf.

Where does the name Bella come from?

She came with it.

Quiet worker: Bella knows her job and goes about it with minimum fuss.

What’s her personality?

Quiet, of course, but she’s got a brain all right. If I’m inside she’ll just sit outside and keep an eye on me. If I dress up in my town clothes she walks away but if I have my work clothes on she runs to the ute.

Words and pictures: Daneka Hill