Working Dogs

Oscar is busy making work for himself

By Jamie Salter

Oscar the chow chow/husky cross lives on a dairy farm in Undera and works hard at the many jobs he's given himself. He's a part-time lifesaver when his owner Ben De Cicco is in the pool, a part-time archaeologist as he discovers old treats he's buried and a part-time pillow tester while he rips them to shreds.

How did he get his name?

I think I just wanted to go with more of a human-ish kind of name, for example, Buddy is our other dog's name. His breed is more common in the city.

How long have you had him?

We've had him for at least three years. We got him from a breeder in Sydney, he was just a fluffy ball when we got him. We had always had working dogs so we chose more of a stylish type of dog.

What's his personality like?

He's very loving, friendly and chill. Nothing really fazes him, he's happy to relax or go for a walk. He sleeps in the shade most of the day, he struggles with the heat so we try to keep him inside where it's cooler on hot days.

Does he have any funny habits?

If anyone is in the pool he tries to rescue you. If you stick your fingers out he'll grip them with his mouth and try to pull you out.

He's taken Mum's pillows from outside chairs and ripped them up but Mum has a soft spot for him and has a lot of patience.

Compared to other dogs he loves to dig holes and bury a lot of stuff like a treat or a bone. Most times he goes back for the treats but forgets his toys.

Do you spend a lot of time together?

We spend most of the time together on most days. In the morning at 5 am when we go to the dairy he's still sleeping but I'll still give him a pat. When we come back after breakfast he'll come with me on jobs and then in the afternoon we play with tug ropes and other toys. I would be devastated if something happened to him and it would take a long time to get over him.