Working Dogs

Little dogs at home with small horses

By Jamie Salter

Lyn and Kim Argaet breed miniature ponies and donkeys at Toolamba Park Miniature Ponies, but there are two furry friends on the property who steal the spotlight for Lyn. Although Bella, the six-month-old French bulldog, and Marley, the pug, aren’t your typical farm dogs, they love their life in the country.

What are their personalities like?

I got Bella from a breeder in Stanhope and Marley from a Nathalia breeder. They've both got lovely natures and they always make you smile. Bella is a very cheeky young pup, full of mischief. Marley is a loving, beautiful dog.

Are they trained?

They haven't gone to puppy school, I just trained them myself. They're pretty easy to train, they're smart. Bella shakes hands but Marley refuses to.

Owners of Toolamba Park Miniature Ponies farm, Lyn (left), with Marley the pug and Kim Argaet holding Bella the French Bulldog.

Do they enjoy the farm?

They like to go on the Gator, they jump up and sit on it and help feed the horses.

What's the worst thing they've done?

Bella weed on the carpet, which was annoying to clean.

Do they have any funny habits?

Marley jumps in puddles and rolls in mud, especially on a really hot day — she loves it.

Bella the French Bulldog is winning the fight.

Where do they sleep?

They both sleep at the back door, on their own separate beds.

What do they eat?

They eat meat and pellets and they get scraps from the house, like leftover sausages and chicken.

Do they get along?

They're best friends, they don't fight, they just play. The donkeys don't like them, but that's just the way they are. The dogs don't mind the donkeys because they don't know any different.

What would you do without them?

I'm in and out with them every day. You'd be pretty upset, wouldn't you? I would get more dogs eventually, but not straight away.