To most, he’s a busy crop and livestock farmer at Murchison with an impressive record in his hobby of competition target shooting. But to one much-loved dog, David Black is — in his words — ‘‘the purveyor of interesting rides’’. He has had to put the brakes on a couple of those choices because the dog can get stuck between the dashboard and the gear stick in the truck, and the harvester too is off limits.
What’s her name?
Where did you get her?
Well that’s a bit of a story. My wife Karen works at Saddleworld in Shepparton and Lucy was owned by (Saddleworld’s) Stuart and Ingrid Abrahams. We used to babysit Lucy from time to time and when their family was expanding Karen came home one day and said it looks like Lucy’s living arrangements might be changing. That was three years ago; she would be 10 years old now.
What do you know about Lucy’s background?
Ingrid got her as a pup from a farmer in Deniliquin. She’s half-collie and half-blue heeler.
She certainly has the appearance of both. What side did she throw to?
She’s very loyal and very smart. Because the children are at school and Karen’s at work, she spends most of her time with me by default. As we term it, she’s become my bitch.
What do you do together?
She loves riding around. Her favourite is the four-wheel bike, she sits on the back carrier. Then she rides in the ute and all the tractors and loaders. She’s banned from the truck because she gets between the gearstick and the dashboard. Apparently Lucy’s father used to ride around in the harvester.
So it’s hereditary?
Yes. She also goes after rats and mice and absolutely loves chasing hoses and the air compressor.
You have sheep and cattle. How does she go as a working dog?
What she doesn’t know she makes up for in obedience. She’s not much of a paddock dog. She can be a bit of a wool-classer but she’s a very handy dog in the shearing shed.
Has Lucy had any health scares?
She chased a fox one day and opened her back up on a piece of tin. That was a trip to the vet to get stitched. She caught the fox, but.
Is there anything she doesn’t like?
She doesn’t like thunder or loud noises, which is a bit of a problem when you’re a target shooter. We chain her up if I’m practising.
What does Lucy eat?
What’s the best thing about Lucy?
She’s a very well-natured, easy-going dog. She loves to work a crowd.Words:
Cathy WalkerPictures: Holly Curtis