When dogs fly

By Jamieson Salter

Owners of Air Charter Today and Secure Air Flight Training, Susan Carroll and Nathan Muller from Murchison, spend their days at the Shepparton Airport with their co-pilot Bonnie. Bonnie is a seven-year-old border collie who always wants to be involved, whether it is on the tarmac, or at Mr Muller's family vineyard. Susan sat down with Country News to share the story of Bonnie's life.

How did she get her name?

The border collie is a Scottish/English breed, so the name Bonnie is in keeping with her breed. She's crossed with a working dog and she was the runt of the litter.

Can you describe her personality?

She has a strong desire to please and a very helping nature. She can walk off a leash and can drop, roll, play dead. She's from a farming background, so she's used to obedience principles. She plays endlessly with my three grandchildren.

Does she travel with you?

She follows us around the vineyard and jumps up in the Toro — she lives an idyllic life. She comes to work with me every day, and has a bed and water under my desk in my office.

Has she ever been in an accident?

When she was five months old we visited a friend for dinner and she was a bit intimidated being in the backyard with two strange dogs. She tried to jump out and hooked her collar on the fence. Nathan and I found her limp, and I thought she'd died. We were able to lift her off, massage her chest area and she came back to life.

What does she eat?

I give her a fresh meat diet because the supermarket dog food has high sugar which causes her problems.

What would you do without her?

I'm very vulnerable for mega-grief. My children are grown so she's my fur-baby. I think I would need a couple of days off work.