After a long and muddy winter, the sun has finally appeared! With many of the dogs being in their senior years, I have been making a real effort to take the camera out with us in the paddock after the farm work is done, and capture some more laid back portraits for myself. Sometimes it’s not until they get older that we understand just how short their lives are, and these images of them are among some of the most important possessions that I have.
My team of dogs are probably some of the most spoilt working and retired working dogs you’ve ever met, but they get the job done & enjoy plenty of adventures once work is over. Since moving to the hill farm, we’ve been especially enjoying getting off the farm and finding new places to explore together which is one of my favourite things to do each weekend!
Meet the team:
Brooke – 4 year old Beardie X Huntaway, my work-in-progress farm dog! She is very clever, but does struggle a lot with focus and some fear issues (men, bikes, loud noises and more), so we do lots of sit, stay, follow and other calming work with her. It’s really neat to see her progress since I’ve had her with me for the past year, and I’m learning a lot from working with her.
Flick – 6 year old Border Collie, 3 months post op from a cruciate surgery so we are taking it easy with her at the moment. Trouble with a capital T (too smart for her own good sometimes!), she is a lot of fun and has been really enjoying extra attention and games while she’s been on crate rest.
Teddy – 6 year old Beardie X Huntaway, a sometimes very clever working farm dog. He is such a character with some interesting quirks which can make life interesting! He will move entire mobs of bulls, but the first time he went to the vets he was so concerned by the lino that we had to wheel him in on a trolley. We are past that stage now and he is coming along in leaps and bounds.
Flight – 9 year old Heading Dog. The princess of the family. My most reliable working dog who sleeps on the bed every night, and comes out on every adventure with a smile on her face. Despite her dislike of mud, rain and anything wet or cold, she is an extremely tough working dog and out on the farm she will get right in there and move even the toughest of bulls.
Patch – 9 year old Heading Dog. A fun loving dude with a naughty streak. Playing fetch, swimming in the creek, digging holes and riding on the motorbike – he’s our action boy!
Dash – 12 year old Kelpie X. Such a gorgeous old girl. Originally from a dog rescue, and missing a lot of her teeth she is retired now, but will still climb on the motorbike or side by side and demand to come for a ride down the farm to check the stock. If she thinks she is being ignored, she will poke her nose in under your arm to make sure she gets the attention, and will follow you like a shadow all day long.
Flirt – 12 year old Heading Dog. The most intelligent dog I think we’ve ever had. She is still happy to come help out on the farm from time to time and show the younger dogs how it’s done. She especially loves coming out on adventures off the farm with the other dogs, and is an absolute angel to have around.
Meg – 12 year old Beardie X Huntaway. A real special old lady – she rules the show around here with her big Huntaway bark. She is really struggling with her arthritis these days and we are making the most of each day we get to spend with her. She would still be moving cattle if she had it her way, but she also appreciates her PJ’s, comfy bed and the heat pump – especially during winter.
And a special guest appearance from the newest addition to the family, Enzo the cat! Enzo was found wandering in town by some family friends. Just a tiny kitten around 6 weeks old, I took him on to care for him while he did his stray time – no one came forward to claim him so he became the newest member of the household much to my older cat, Lexi’s, disgust. He loves being out on the farm, and has taken to coming out in the paddock with the dogs and stalking them through the grass. He especially loves Flick and will hang out with her for hours.
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting my dogs (and Enzo)!