Tira and Morgan

“My love of Australian Cattle Dogs began in 1996 when I bought my partner Dave a 13 week old puppy before I went to Goulburn for Six months.
Bear was always Daves dog and I always wanted my own so I could train her myself.  After our flatmate moved on in 2004 and took Jessie who was Bears pup, Dave bought me my own puppy, Matilda.  I had Matilda for 16 months when she died in our arms from an aneurism.  I was distraught as was Dave and Bear.   Eventually Dave couldn’t take it anymore and one day turned up with this little bundle under his coat.   This little bundle was soon named Tira which is part of an aboriginal word for ‘friend’.
It wasnt long after Tira arrived that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Tira proved to be a full on Cattle dog and was so hard to handle when I was going through operations and chemotherapy.  She was with me everyday when I was having a bad one and our bond was starting to build.  Once I was well enough I took her to obedience and after a few months we started agility.  We loved agility and would have wonderful weekends away trailing.  Tira is now ten years old and still doing agility.   We have a beautiful bond and I love her to bits.
In 2010 we lost Bear at the age of 14 and half.  Tira was really starting to fret and her lovely nature was changing.  I told Dave its time to get a new friend for Tira and us of course.  Dave showed me a photo of Morgan who was with Australian cattle Dog Rescue.  He was absolutely gorgeous and I remember admiring him on rescue sites.  Morgan is deaf and I thought to myself how am I going to train a deaf dog.  As it was Daves choice I had no say in the matter.  Two weeks later we were driving  to Armidale to meet Morgan.  Tira and Morgan got on so well he came home with us that day.
I soon learnt that training a deaf dog isn’t that hard.  You just have to be consistent with body language and hand signals and treat them like a normal dog.  Morgan is now also trialling in agility.   Morgan is such a big clown and just wants to run all day everyday but unfortunately we don’t have acres so we go to the park a lot, plus he does Nose works which he is great at and loves doing it.
Tira and Morgan love nothing more then going for a run in the park or a swim in the river.  Tira also loves doing agility and running with my friends as I cant run her any more due to being diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013.  That doesnt stop us from going as I love going to watch her run with them and they love running with her.   Tira just loves to make me happy.  I can run Morgan because he is a beginner but it is getting harder for me.

Cattle dogs were bred in Australia to herd cattle on expensive ranches in the outback.   Their natural instinct is to nip the heels of the cattle to get them moving.  The nipping can be minimised by training at a young age.  Australian cattle dogs or Blue Heelers as they are also known are very active and need lots of exercise or a job to do.  They are very smart and if not given a job they will find their own job which probably wont be something the owner wants him/ her to do.  Cattle dogs are also known to be ‘velcro’  dogs and become very attached to their owners and family and can be very protective.” by Jo


“Charlie aka Charles Brown aka Master Charles will reach double digits this year. Charlie’s unique birthday is 040506 and he has been my baby since he was 10 weeks old . He has always been a bit of a snob and generally prefers human company then other dogs . He also has a unique home situation. Charlie has had two homes most of his life . One with me and one with my ex partners mother ( Colleen ) in Manly . It is strange I admit but it works. Charlie is very much loved at both homes . When Charlie was two, I was looking at purchasing an apartment . Before doing so I discussed the situation with Colleen as I didn’t want him confined to a unit all day by himself and since moving into my unit Charlie has spent half the week with me and half the week with Colleen. He is also a regular at a local doggy day care as I would never leave him home alone all day in my apartment when I’m working . Charlie’s main love in life is the water . He loves the bay run at Drummoyne and takes the first opportunity to dive in the water . He also takes advantage of the dog friendly swimming spots on the northern beaches and is very well known amongst the locals. He looks like a pretty boy but loves nothing better than diving in the water to chase a ball then burying it in the sand. He is also very loyal, as are most of our four legged family members . My father nicked named him shadow years ago as wherever I am , he is of course right behind me . His loyalty, instinct and perhaps jealousy came out when my partner moved in with us early last year . My boyfriend and Charles are now best friends but it was a rocky start . Charles is perfectly house trained and would never relieve himself inside but …. A week or two into my boyfriend living with us Charlie decided to mark his territory by peeing on my boyfriends esky /lunch box ( he is a Tradie) . Shock quickly turned to laughter and a quick trip to Bunnings to buy a new esky. We met Magda at the perfect time for me as it was just a few weeks before I left Oz to spend 12 months in Ireland with my partner and his family. One of the hardest factors about moving away for a year apart from leaving family and friends was of course Charles but I am blessed in knowing he is truely loved at his other home and gets to swim every day. And now after my chance meeting with Magda I have these lovely professional shots of those big brown beautiful eyes ” by Chantelle


Little and Gavin

“I pulled him (LIttle) out of a pound to foster him but I ended up keeping him.

When he learned that if he brought me dead birds or lizards he found at the park I would give him a treat so he would drop it – now he goes out of his way to find them and bring them to me to exchange for a treat…


Gavin is generally a very laid back, lazy creature and for 2 years we had prepared him for a debut in agility, it just so happened to be at the Hawkesbury Festival where there were hundreds of people watching, Gavin came over the first jump and then turned into a complete maniac which was completely unexpected given his usually personality, zooming around the ring, not going over the right jumps…much to the amusement of the crowd – he had fun, I left somewhat red faced…” by Sacha