Three and sheep-dog

By Country News on February 16, 2018
  • Three and sheep-dog

    Tok (front) and Jo.

  • Three and sheep-dog

    The ever loyal Jo keeps her eye on Sue and knows where she is every second of the day.

  • Three and sheep-dog

    Gentle and very loyal, Bella is the oldest dog and loves nothing more that a quiet walk each morning with Sue and Min the sheep.

  • Three and sheep-dog

    Min was born prematurely but it certainly hasn't affected her growth, although she thinks she is more of a dog.

  • Three and sheep-dog

    The best working dog ever, Tok was meant to be sent to Dubai but fortunately for the Bentley family she ended up at Bunnaloo.

  • Three and sheep-dog

    Sue Bentley has three dogs and a sheep that thinks its a dog on her Bunnaloo sheep farm. Tok (left) and Jo (right).

How did you end up with a sheep that thinks it is a dog?

Min was very premature when she was born and she was just so tiny. I didn’t think she would even make it through the night when we brought her home. Ants had started to bite her eyelids and she was in quite a poor condition, but I still fed her. I was surprised when she made it through the first night and she just continued to get stronger as the days went by.

So does Min really think she is a dog?

Well, she certainly doesn’t think she is a sheep. She doesn’t associate with them at all. She won’t eat from the same trough and if you put her in a paddock with other sheep she just stands at the gate and cries until I come and get her.

What about her morning walk?

She likes to walk every morning with me and the dogs, although she doesn’t go with anyone else because she thinks I am her mum. She sniffs everything along the way like the other dogs but she stays away from the Kelpies and just hangs around with me and the Border Collie, Bella.

Tell me about the other dogs.

There are two Kelpies — Jo and her aunty Tok, and Bella the Border Collie. Jo is the most loyal dog I have ever seen and she loves me unconditionally. In fact, one day in the shearing shed she actually nipped me when she was trying to protect me. Tok got too close to me and they started to fight and she accidently ended up nipping me. She was very sorry after.

Do Tok and Jo normally fight?

They are normally very good together and they make a great working team. Tok works the outside very well and Jo the inside — they actually work quite harmoniously.

You must be very happy to have such good working dogs.

We certainly are. We are lucky to even have Tok. She was meant to be shipped out to Dubai as a working dog, so we ended up with her by default. She is actually smarter than both of us and she has taught us a lot. Tony is very good with the dogs and they respect him. Jo was my attempt to be a better sheepdog person than Tony but there were two problems with that: I am not a better dog person and my dog’s not (better than Tok) either, but I love her anyway.

Words and pictures: 

Sophie Baldwin

By Country News on February 16, 2018

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