Sally, daughter of the infamous Lena (a talented dog that could almost speak, and one that could be sent to get the milkers in solo each day, including any new calves) and Buddy, a determined kelpie collie cross that was equally happy about heading or heeling, came to live at our house in around October 2005. A black wriggly bundle of fur, as I went looking for photos evidencing her part in our family, I discovered there was very few.
That’s a little sad, for as part of our family for so long, she greeted numerous visitors at the front gate, saw many other dogs and cats and chooks and ducks come and go, but had been the one constant. One black loopy, from time to time tartish, happy dog that had no talent at rounding up bovines but was never happier when rounding up a cat or two. (and on one occasion, and only ever the once with one particular horse, worked that horse until it chased her, then repeat).
The reason for the walk down pictorial lane… our loyal old mate is no more. We knew her time was limited when, after a few (always unplanned) litters of puppies, in recent times she started to develop lumps in her udder. Her mother Lena also went the same way, with canine breast cancer. But for the longest time she remained happy and shiny and healthy, seemingly unaffected, but clearly starting to feel her age (needing a boost up into the back of the ute). Always a skinny sort of dog, she became a little more portly in her advanced years but maintained a super shiny glossy black coat.
Sally loved nothing better than a ute or car or bike ride with anyone, but preferably the family. She used to bark at Trevor when he came home from work – would hear the truck or ute coming from around 500 metres up the road and would lie in wait to escort/chase him into the shed. She barked at any visitors (occasionally at an intrusive tourist who parked too close to my front gate). Became a little deaf in the past 18 months or so; having a run in with a big shiny truck one day when she just didn’t hear it. (we thought she’d used up all of her lives on that occasion but she recovered). \
She never chased the chooks (that I can remember, although I may have applied early lessons as a pup) or poddies. She was extremely trainable (even though my dog training skills are somewhat lacking) and would sit but had great difficulty with the stay command especially if it was more than two or three metres away from me. She liked to be CLOSE, touching close. Georgie taught her to shake hands, which Sally thought was awesome as it meant MORE TOUCHING>MORE ATTENTION!
We knew the time had come one Monday of the school holidays when she was let go out of the dog run and just wasn’t herself. She’d had a little episode a few months earlier but had come good, but I knew this time that our time was nearly at an end. Kate went and sat in a warm spot with her for awhile, just patting her.
We made her some new sleeping quarters in an old pallet crate, with a windblock wall and comfortable bedding, so she could stay warm and stretch out. She got special extra just because rides in the buggy. She rallied. Still not quite herself but brighter. No one wanted to do the job, to take her on that last little walk down the paddock.
We had to go to Mareeba for the 90th celebrations so we shipped her off to my mums place whilst we were away. Mum rang on the Sunday morning. Sally regressed again on the Saturday, my dad was willing to take that walk with her and planned to do it the next day. She beat him to it, they found she’d passed away during the night.
She was a good dog, Sally. May you be rounding up cats and riding in the back of utes withe the wind in your face forever more old girl.