Hard working kelpies

By Jamie Salter

Hard working Kelpies Sam and Todd can be found herding sheep on a Tungamah mixed farm. Both dogs love to spend time with their owner Des O'Kane and only get along when they aren't being jealous of one another.

Where did you get them?

I bought them both from the Jerilderie dog auctions in NSW; I got Sam in 2014, he's nearly 11, and Todd is nearly 10. I've bought a lot of dogs off Wally Ferguson of Avenel who trains dogs, and he was selling them at the auction. What he can do with dogs is brilliant.

What are their personalities like?

Todd is very hyper-active, he just wants to play or for someone to throw a tennis ball for him. Sometimes he wears himself out before he's actually supposed to do his job. Sam has been working a bit of overtime, he's had a few girlfriends lately. They run around all day.

Do they enjoy farm work?

They're ever-ready to work and please. They're both good, hard workers, but they're gentle and just come up and sit beside you. They're pets as well as workers.

Do they travel with you?

I used to travel all over Victoria dipping, but they travel in the back of the ute a lot and hop on the bike. Last year we ran probably seven or eight thousand lambs and they've got to shift them every day, so they run a lot of kilometres.

Have they ever been in an accident?

I don't know why but Todd jumped off the top of a four-decker truck loaded with sheep. It was about four metres to the ground — he was a bit stiff for a while.

What would you do without them?

They've been very good in lockdown. But they're getting a bit old so that's why we bred some pups; Sam has never had one. These fellas work all the time so we'd have to get another dog if anything happened to them.