Sheep farmer Max Cameron, from Mundoona (west of Wunghnu), had to go through a lengthy process to become the owner of Kelpie, now known as Sally. Sally, who is about six years old, originally turned up on Mr Cameron's property as a stray. But now she is more than just a working dog because she spends as much time as the home-stead as she does at the farm. And while she is considered the family pet, she has one bad habit, in particular, that might see her spend more time outside the house than in it.
How did the name Sally come about?
It rhymed with Ally. We had an Ally (who passed away) so we went with Sally.
And did you name her?
Yes. As my wife says, ‘why would you call a dog Sally when you already had an Ally?’.
How did you become Sally’s owner?
She turned up a ‘strayie’, all skin and bones. I rang up locals and then the Moira Shire and (after all the procedures) common sense prevailed after a while and a few dollars. She’s been here for three years.
What’s Sally’s personality like?
She’s friendly, affectionate, sociable. She obeys commands and comes when she’s called. She doesn’t get in the way when you are doing work.
How is her working ability?
This place is rather small and I can get the sheep in without the dog but when the dog is here the sheep know. She’s a handy dog.
What’s the best thing about Sally?
It’s just the companionship. Sometimes it’s better than going to the football. After a hard day’s work and you come home hoarse, you think you have been at the football.
Has she got any bad habits?
At times she has a foul bowel. In a closed cabin in the ute that’s no good. Her and the other dog (Ally) ate the same things but Ally didn’t pass wind like this. She normally sleeps in the garage at home. She has a bed in there. Even though it’s a double garage, it stinks of gas when you open it up.
Does she have any other bad habits?
A bad trait is she chases kangaroos, foxes, rabbits and hares. She might be gone for a while but she always comes back.
Is there anything she likes to do when she isn’t working?
One thing she does like is, when you’re irrigating, she loves running through the irrigated patches.
And what would you do without Sally?
I’d get another dog or dogs!