Pint-sized cat­tle dog is a star

Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND - Words and pic­tures: So­phie Bald­win

When Nu­murkah dairy farmer Steve Dalitz posted footage of his son’s dog Bil­lie get­ting the cows in, he had no idea it would go vi­ral and re­ceive more than two mil­lion hits on the in­ter­net. In fact Bil­lie the dachshund be­came such an overnight sen­sa­tion he was in­ter­viewed on the To­day show and now has his very own Face­book page aptly named ‘Bil­lie the Dachshund’. Bil­lie ap­pears to have taken his rise to fame all in his stride and as long as he can still chase the odd ten­nis ball around and spend his time sur­rounded by the Dalitz fam­ily, he re­mains a happy lit­tle sausage dog.

So Steve, tell us all about Bil­lie.

Bil­lie has no idea that he is lit­tle, and he al­ways has to be around the ac­tion. Even though he is ac­tu­ally Hamish’s dog, he spends most of the day with me out on the farm. He loves to run through the pad­docks and chase hares but when he gets tired, he will jump up on the mo­tor­bike and put his feet on the petrol tank, his front legs on the steer­ing wheel and catch the breeze.

He also loves a ride in the trac­tor, in fact he doesn’t re­ally care where he is or what he is do­ing, as long as he is with, or fol­low­ing, some­one. He has zero fear and is a very funny dog to have around.

He hasn’t al­ways been able to round up the cows though, has he?

When he was a pup, Hamish had some sheep and he would go out to the pad­dock and chase them around and around and we would spend hours chas­ing him, he thought it was great fun.

Now he is older he has the dis­ci­pline to come back and he is ac­tu­ally quite good at get­ting the cows up, although we don’t let him go down to the dairy when it’s wet be­cause he just gets too dirty to come in­side at night.

So how has his life changed since he be­came fa­mous?

Well, when the To­day show in­ter­viewed us they did that from the football ground so Bil­lie got to go to the footy for the day. I have had to take him to De­niliquin for the day as well, so he is start­ing to get out and about.

Many celebri­ties are con­cerned about their diet once they become fa­mous. How is Bil­lie’s?

He doesn’t mind the odd po­tato cake (he was nib­bling on one he had found when I ar­rived) but he se­ri­ously sits up next to me each night and we share a bowl of cutup fruit. You can tell by the look on his face that he doesn’t re­ally en­joy it but he stills eats it be­cause he just doesn’t want to miss out.

Dachshunds can become quite heavy but Bil­lie looks to be in good shape.

He runs ev­ery­where and gets lots of ex­er­cise around the farm. We did go away for a week and left him at home with some­one and when we came back he had put on a no­tice­able amount of weight — so I would say he definitely would have a ten­dency to get fat.

In­sep­a­ra­ble . . . Steve Dalitz may not tech­ni­cally own Bil­lie but the pint-sized cat­tle dog spends most of his day fol­low­ing him around the dairy farm, whether he is running or hitch­ing a ride on the mo­tor­bike or trac­tor.

Face­book su­per­star . . . Bil­lie has achieved world­wide fame af­ter a Face­book post of him get­ting up the cows on a Nu­murkah dairy farm went global.

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