Golden retriever cross border collie Ruby and blue kelpie cross border collie Darcy live an idyllic life on a Congupna sheep farm. Mother-of-six Margie Mackelmann shared what it has been like having the dogs as members of the family.
How did they get their names?
Ruby is 10 years old now. We got Ruby as a puppy, we were originally supposed to get one of the male pups but when she was given to us she was a girl. She looked like a Ruby and she always has the red accessories to match.
Darcy is four years old now and his name just fit him, we can him Mr Darcy. We were seeing if he could be a sheep dog but it didn't really work out, he's more of a pet.
What are their favourite things?
Both of them hunt hares and things. They love swimming in the dam, that's their favourite. Even when they're not meant to be going on walks they'll come back wet, so they've obviously been off swimming.
What are their personalities like?
Ruby is very gentle, placid and affectionate, she loves being around everyone. She gets along with other dogs and people easily, we never had a problem with her biting or chewing.
Darcy is very energetic and caring. He drools a lot, he loves to chase balls — most of the time we have to take it off him. Even when we hid it in the rafters of the car port, he figured it out and kept looking at it and barking.
Do they have any strange habits?
Sometimes Ruby turns up at neighbours’ places because she's getting a bit senile, so we've had to go collect her a couple times.
Darcy and our horse Dylan race each other back and forth along with fence line. He also finds dead things and brings them back. He crosses his paws when he sits down and if he's been running around and it's hot, he dips his head in a bucket of water.
Do they get along?
They bounce off each other. Darcy learnt a lot of Ruby's mannerisms because she's a lot more calm, which made it easier when we were training him, because Ruby was demonstrating it already.
Do you spend a lot of time together?
They're with us every day and are part of everything we do.