Working Dogs

Loyal companion Ellie a ‘mediocre’ worker

By Rodney Woods

Ellie may be 13 years old, but that doesn't stop her from coming to work each morning. The border collie may not be the greatest worker but what she lacks in that department she makes up for in her companionship and loyalty to her owner, Kyabram dairy farmer Andrew Murphy. She isn't much of fan of cars or Andrew's sister's dog, who is holidaying on the farm, but does enjoy swimming in the trough.

What is her personality like?

She's very stubborn. It takes her a while to warm to some people. She's very reliable, very loyal.

What is her working ability like?

She's mediocre. She's okay. She gets in front of the cows. They're used to her and they don't take too much notice of her now.

Does she love water?

She loves the dairy hose, that's why she's wet now. She likes swimming in the water troughs but nothing too deep.

Has she ever gone missing?

No. She stays around the farm; we don't chain her up. She hasn't gone past the ramp in 13 years. The last dog we had got hit by a car so we trained her not to go near the cars.

Does she have any funny habits?

She loves fresh milk. She won't drink milk that's a couple of hours old.

How does she get on with other animals?

Not very well with my sister's dog but she gets on with the cows very well.

Does she like travelling in the car or on the motorbike?

She hates cars and likes running beside the motorbike.

What would you do without her?

I don't know. She'd leave a hole on the farm. If it's a foggy morning and I can't see the cows, she can bring them up.