Where did they get their names from?
Billy: Cookie we got off a bloke called Cookie from Elmore — Carl Cook is a living legend from Elmore. Alie is named after a cousin who lives in Melbourne. Bonnie and Bella we just made up those names, and William (the Ogdens’ oldest son) named Banjo.
How well do they respond to commands and which commands do they respond best to?
They respond very well. They know ‘go back’, ‘get up’, ‘get through’ on crossroads, ‘speak up’ and ‘sit’.
What is the dogs’ working ability like?
Bonnie comes with me to the Bendigo saleyards every Monday. Bonnie is used to loading trucks. Alie and Bella are our paddock dogs and Cookie used to be an all-rounder. Now she’s in retirement but still likes to work, so we give her a little bit.
Where do the dogs sleep?
Bella sleeps with my boots, Alie sleeps on the couch and Bonnie digs a hole and sleeps in Katrina’s garden.
Have they got up to any mischief?
On different occasions we have had roast lunch and Cookie has eaten a leg of pork and a leg of lamb (on different occasions). She left a clean bone. Took us forever to work out which dog it was. We didn’t think it was Cookie — but I caught her in the act.
What do you feed them?
Dog pellets, scraps, usually cooked lamb chops. At Christmas they always get a cook-up and they get a treat at Christmas and Easter.
Words and pictures: Rodney Woods