The early days with a dog

Host: Killili Working Kelpies
Written by: Courtney Robinson – Owner, Killili Working Kelpies.

On the station I had Meg, Jet and Dan but couldn’t, and didn’t really use them.  If an opportunity arose when I could use a dog I would take Meg. She is very much an all-rounder and is the least likely to embarrass me in front of a crowd.

3At Doorawarrah, with my trusty quad bike and Jet, Meg, and Dan.

I did end up doing a few jobs over at Meeragoolia Station. It’s a sheep property not far from Doorawarrah. For some reason I thrive off using dogs and doing good jobs with them so I loved being able to use Meg for what she was bred for, even if it wasn’t as often as I would have liked. Dan was only a small pup at the time and Jet was happy to just cruise, in other words, fairly useless.

3.1Meg helping out when Doorawarrah still had sheep.

I couldn’t use Meg fully on Doorawarrah for several different reasons.

  • For cattle work you really need to use more than one dog to have a positive, or any effect on the mob and I only had Meg.
  • I’m the only dog crazy one in my family, and you really need to have everyone on the same page to be successful with dogs.
  • The station cattle are not dog educated, (being chased by dingoes doesn’t count) and if you are attempting to educate them with only one dog, unless its ‘superdog’, it’s most likely impossible.
  • It’s bloody hot most of the time.
  • Distance between watering points is to big, and carrying enough water to keep your dog cool and hydrated is difficult.
  • The country is so rough (buffel grass stumps are the worst!!!) and when I cart the dog/s around on the quad with me I drive even slower than my Nana . . . slow, very, very slow. Unless I needed to go flat out to chase something, and then I jam the dog onto my lap and pin it to my legs with my elbows so it doesn’t fly off the quad. This makes riding a quad difficult. I can honestly admit I reckon I’m pretty bloody handy on the quad these days, because I’ve spent a lot of time on one in various positions. Does that sound dodgy?!?! I mean pinning dogs to my legs, sitting on sheep, or calves etc. I’m still not a fan of going up or down vertical drops along the Gascoyne river banks or gullies. Scary!!!

3.2There’s that quad again, carting hay and my little sister this time.

3.3Mum took this of cattle crossing the Gascoyne River.

Anyway, I’m just waffling a bit there now. There were a few other reasons why I couldn’t really use dogs on the station, but they are the main ones.

So when The Boss (the current boss) called me last April, and offered us a job managing a farm and said we could use dogs it seemed perfect. We hadn’t really been looking for a job elsewhere, but everything has worked out swimmingly and we couldn’t be more satisfied with where we are.

Tallyho!!! Court