How did they get their names?
I had a story book read to me at state school called Dusty, who was a dingo-kelpie cross. (My) Dusty is a red dog kelpie but I liked the name. Mandy was probably an old girlfriend. I use recycled names like sisters or ex-girlfriends. I use names with a bit of character.
What are their personalities like?
A bit like mine. We have Asperger’s (syndrome) in my family — we are a bit different. They are kind enough in many ways. Dusty will drag me around, we will go down a gully and he will pull me up the other side.
Do they have any unusual habits?
I try and stop them doing stupid habits — if they weren’t locked up (right now) they’d be chasing cars.
Have you got any stories about them?
Mandy put a sheep in a creek one day. I had to go down the steep bank and threw my phone up the top of the bank so it didn’t fall in and drown it. I got the sheep out and it ran up the bank and knocked my phone into the creek.
How do they get on with other animals?
They don’t. Dusty will kill anything. Mandy will chase the rabbits in the canola next door and gives them a good workout.
How good is your bond with the two of them?
Dogs are like mates. A dog to me is an extension of my right arm — if I can’t reach out and grab it the dog will. I used to breed kelpies and you have to rear them. I have brought in some that I’ve wanted but you have to have them when they are pups as they have to bond with you. (After all), you don’t own a dog, a dog owns you.
Words: Rodney Woods
Pictures: Angus Verley,Gannawarra Times
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