How did they get their names?
Wendy: Tilly was already named when we got her. When we got Marlee she was named Lucy but we already had a pony named Lucy. My husband named her Marlee because when we got her she had dreadlocks.
What are Tilly and Marlee’s personalities like?
Wendy: They are both gentle. Tilly’s the bossier one and loves water. Tilly is an extremely jealous dog and likes to push Marlee away. She arrived three weeks before Marlee and she continually lets Marlee know that. Marlee’s loyal and shy and very welcoming. She’s Zane’s dog and will wait each night for him to come home from his shift work.
How is their working ability?
Wendy: Tilly can move stock well. She’s very focused. Marlee is also good with the cattle. She’s better when my husband is on horseback as she gets overexcited with the quad bike. Tilly won’t come in at night until she has put the ducks, chooks and horses in and she never forgets either. Tilly is a real thinker. If we are doing work she will wait to work out how she can get there quicker — she’s always in front. Marlee will just come with you.
How do they get on with the other animals?
Wendy: Tilly is more protective and will push dogs outside the yard. Marlee is happy to play with them. My brother Kevin and sister-in-law Buffy McFarlane’s dog Tess Mae was a huge part of the family. Sadly Tess has just passed away and she is missed terribly, therefore she had to be part of our story. She could work stock but her main job was to keep the cockies (cockatoos) off the property. Our dogs got on very well with her.
Zane: She (Tess Mae) always jumped on the back of the ute.
What would you do without them?
I’d be devastated but I would go out and rescue another dog as our lives would not be whole without our loyal companions. The Shepparton Animal Shelter do a wonderful job of rehousing animals.
Words and pictures: Rodney Woods
■Do you have a dog or dogs you’d like to nominate for Man’s Best Friend? Phone Rodney the Dog Man on 5820 3259 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org