The theme for Project 52 this week is “A Day in the Life”. Such a fun theme! Here’s a few photos of what Teddy gets up to during the day, and a peek into my world.
As you know from Project 52: Introductions from earlier this year, I live on a bull farm. We have 13 dogs currently, ranging from 1 to 13 years old, with 12 of these being either current or retired working cattle dogs. I find dogs in a variety of places, including other farmers, rescue organisations, the pound, and dog trainers. As well as being working dogs, they also love agility training, long walks down the farm and plenty of belly rubs!
Teddy is one of my newest dogs, and only came to me in early August 2014 when I needed to retire one of my older dogs. Teddy is a three year old Beardie X Huntaway, with buckets of personality and talent. He has been so easy to have around since day one which is a rare find in a working dog. Teddy was neutered recently so has had a few weeks off from farm work while he recovered. This week was his first back from his break, and he was so excited to get out there again and do what he really loves!
We have a truck arriving this morning at 7am to take a load of bulls away, so I’m up at 6.30 to meet the guys and help out. This is the first thing Teddy sees each morning – the view from our kennels at sunrise.
I’m not a morning person, but Teddy loves early starts! Ready to head out with the motorbike.
We get to the yards to meet the guys. One of my Heading Dogs, Flight, has been working with one of our staff members this week so it’s time for cuddles with her before heading into the yards. The dogs stay with the bikes most of the time when we’re at the yards.
The guys have already gotten the bulls in by the time I arrive. Because we lease bulls out to dairy farmers, we need them to be very quiet. Once they get a bit older, they can start getting too heavy for the cows and more difficult to handle so we sell them as two or three year olds. This morning we are sending out some Angus and Herefords.
Once the bulls are gone, Teddy sneaks into the yards to “help” me with the NAIT system.
Time to head off and check on the farm. We encourage our dogs to ride on the back of the motorbike while we are going long distances. This saves their energy and keeps them sound for longer. Teddy wasn’t sure about it to start with, but now he loves to go for a ride! Look at that happy face.
It’s summer here and can get very hot during the day. Luckily for the dogs, there’s plenty of cool water troughs to go for a swim in. On very hot days, some of my dogs will run through the paddocks and jump in every single trough along the way.
I’m also training Teddy for agility, so we take a minute to pop over a couple of gate tapes. Check out those knees! He thinks it’s much more fun than going under them.
Here are a few of our younger bulls. These are Jersey weaner calves born in July/August/September 2014, and a few of our Murray Grey yearlings who will likely be going out to lease next season.
This year we planted maize on the farm for the first time ever, and the dogs love to hide in it. It is huge and still has another few months to grow. Spot the Teddy!
Back to the yards we go to clear the pens. We have lots of bulls coming home from lease at the moment, so there are always bulls needing to be taken out to their paddocks. Teddy is so excited to be allowed to run with them again! This is a mob of Friesian and Hereford bulls.
The other bulls love to say hello to the newbies and come up to the fence to see what is going on. One cheeky Hereford jumps through a gate to challenge a new bull, starting a fight in the race. No worries for Teddy though – he separates them and puts the mischief maker back in their paddock before carrying on with his mob. This is why our working dogs are worth their weight in gold.
Job well done Teddy bear! Time to head home for a well-deserved lunch break while I catch up on my photography emails and editing.
Time for our evening walk down the farm! It’s great bonding time, and a good chance for all of the dogs to stretch their legs before bed time.
Every night we all go and say hello to my retired horse, Opie. He thinks the dogs are fun to talk to. The dogs aren’t so sure!
One last jump before bed time. He absolutely loves it. I’m really looking forward to taking him out to agility classes this year. I haven’t been to a proper class in a few years so it will be fun to get back into it.
With the sun setting and a big yawn from Ted, it’s time for bed for all the dogs.
Project 52 is a global blog circle of professional photographers, creating images to suit a set theme each week. Next up, go check out what Boston pet photographer, Blue Amrich gets up to during the day! Keep clicking your way through the links at the bottom of each post to see the what the other photographers dogs get up to during the day until you get back here.