I’ve been very lucky in my life, as I’ve had a dog since the day I was born – Barney, Buffy, Clarrie, Lizzie, Rosie – sometimes two at once. Dogs to me are an essential part of life, the greatest, most forgiving loyal companions anyone could have. It’s certainly a sad day when one of your champs moves on. I’ve seen the toughest blokes shed a tear.
My theory on training dogs is to be super tough (not cruel of course) in the first year. Watch them like hawks, ride them hard, rouse on them, growl at them and after that you’ll just about end up with a loving, obedient, well-mannered mate. A badly behaved dog who doesn’t listen, won’t stay or wanders off usually gets left at home or run over or given away. Trust me: obedient dogs have a much better life.
Rosie, my red Cattle/Kelpie cross, comes with me all the time because she’s well-mannered. My last dog, Lizzie, a black and tan Kelpie cross, was a beauty, she never missed a day’s work. I loved her so much I couldn’t let her go so I had her stuffed. She’s in my house now, collar and ears up ready to go, and I say ‘G’day’ to her every night when I get home. I know it’s not for everyone but I like it – she was too good to bury. I’ve told my wife that by the time I’m 80 I’m gonna have three or four dogs lined up in the lounge room… perfect.