Red dog is a true friend

By Jamie Salter

The ever-energetic, hole-digging kelpie named Red and her owner Jamie Dempster are the epitome of Australian farm life. Jamie has lived on the St Germains beef farm for the past seven years, and ever since Red was born, the two have been inseparable.

How did you get Red?

I've had Red for six years now, she was bred out of one of Dad's dogs — she was a good working dog, so Dad wanted to get a litter out of her.

How did she get her name?

It was her colour — when I picked her out, I said "Red" and she looked up. There was eight in the litter, and she was the one that came up and sort of said "I'm here for you".

What's her personality like?

I don't think there's a better dog, really. I've seen other kelpies, and this one by far has the most pleasant attitude towards other people. If I'm not here, Mum or Dad can take her and she'll listen to them and even with people she's not used to, after a while she'll just do whatever you say.

What's the best thing she's done?

It's good to have her around in the summer when there's snakes around, she spots them out and pricks her ears up.

Every time I go out, I let her out so people go "oh, the dog's down near the shed, so he's down there", so they don't stop at the front of the house. If there's a car coming down the driveway, she'll start barking and alert you that someone is there.

What does she eat?

She'll eat anything. I used to have guinea pigs and I'd put lettuce on the table and turn around and it would be gone — she'd eaten it. Occasionally she'll eat apples and it cleans her teeth, too.

Does she have any funny habits?

Sometimes she's sitting on the back of the ute and I'll get out to do something and come back, and she's sitting in the front and not in the tray. One time she jumped in through the window. She just wants to be with you all the time.