Today we said goodbye to our oldest boy, Boss. He was 13 years old, we knew it had been coming for a while but it’s never easy saying goodbye to an old friend. I took this photos earlier this year, and am so glad that I did.
Boss was born on the farm in 2002, bred by our old farm manager by his top working dog, Boss, and out of his super Heading Dog bitch, Kelly (which I thought was pretty cool!). I was only 8 years old when he was born so don’t remember much of those early days. I do however remember being dropped off to visit them (probably after hassling my parents for a long time!) in their puppy pen in the round barn, only to be stuck there waiting out a lightning storm. Didn’t mind too much though – no better company than a pen full of puppies.
We brought him home at 8 weeks old, and he had a little yellow kennel which he inherited from my aunts old dog. The front of the kennel had the name “Boss” on it, so that’s what our very creative family decided to name him. My brothers and I had the slide and swing setup so that we could climb up the slide to get into Boss’s play pen, without having to wait for our parents to open the enclosure for us.
He started off as my dad’s first working pup to train himself. He was pretty hopeless to start with, and had no idea which way he was meant to take the cattle or any desire to leave the comforts of the motorbike. But once he turned two it all seemed to click into place, and he soon became the top Heading Dog on the farm – moving stock all day long and saving Dad’s backside on multiple occasions. He was so good that he became the dog to show new staff the working dog ropes, and could often be seen eating sandwhiches with the guys during smoko break. When he was working he loved to do Tarzan impressions – flipping through the air and absolutely loving life.
Eventually he slowed down and started spending more time on the motorbike and letting the younger dogs take care of the cattle work. We retired him and he lived out the rest of his days as a very well fed pet dog, walking in the sunshine and rolling hedgehogs along the race. Right up to the last month he still loved to come out and check on “his” farm though – always tucked right under my arm on the motorbike. He never lost his cheeky nature or his love of food though – on more than one occasion I found him with his nose inside my camera bag, scoffing all of the dog treats!
Left – Me and Boss in 2002 featuring some pretty groovy overalls! Right – Me and Boss in June 2015 checking on his farm for the last time.
Rest in peace Bossy Boots – I’ll miss seeing your cheeky smile every day. X