How did the kelpies get their names?
Chris: Dusty is named after Slim Dusty, Banjo after Banjo Paterson and Bess after the Clydesdale in the movie The Man from Snowy River.
What are their personalities like?
Sarah: Dusty is the top dog and keeps them in working order. Banjo has a daggy personality. He does some pet therapy at Nagambie Health Care.
Chris: Ruby would love to be a sheep dog. It’s not going to happen ...
Sarah: She’s the wrong breed.
Chris: Everyone loves Jed because he’s little.
Have they done anything bad?
Chris: It was Sarah’s birthday and there were some lollies in her room. We went outside and I came back in and walked past Sarah’s room, and lollies and Favourite wrappers were everywhere. We had to take Dusty to the vet to make her bring it all up.
What is Bess’ and Dusty’s working ability like?
Chris: Bess is coming along beautiful. Bess and Dusty love to work. Any mention of the word bike and they’re ready to go. Dusty is a better paddock dog and Bess an all-rounder. They are very good at catching an individual sheep if it is fly struck or needs to be caught. That is a real huge help. They are not the be-all or end-all of working dogs but we love them. What we require, they are perfect for.
What are some of the tricks Banjo can do?
Sarah: Banjo can high five, shake hands, sit, drop, roll over and give you a cuddle.
How do they get on with the cat?
Sarah: They get on very well. Dusty and the cat have a love/hate relationship.
What would you do without them?
Chris: They are family, no doubt about it. It would be like losing a member of the family. You would never replace the personalities.
Words and pictures: Rodney Woods