A fantastic farmhand
Twelve- year- old Connor is the latest in a long line of bordie collies for John and Karen Wheeler of Opossum Bay.
John, please tell us about your history with border collies.
Our family has always had border collies as working dogs on our farm at Opossum Bay because of their high level of intelligence.
From memory, Connor must be the ninth border collie we’ve had in the family. They’re just wonderful companions, super- intelligent, friendly, loyal and they never wander.
Is Connor much good on the farm?
When he was much younger he used to help my father herd his ducks when it was feeding time, until one of the drakes didn’t like the look of him and bit him on the bottom.
After that, he hung up his boots and moved into more supervisory roles that could be done from a distance. He’s great company on the farm when I’m out there working and he helps with the odd bit of vermin control.
Nowadays, his main responsibility is fetching the paper from the bottom of the driveway each morning because he knows he gets breakfast afterwards.
The only problem with that is the paper arrives quite early and Connor likes his breakfast, so if we are still sleeping he’ll walk around with the newspaper in his mouth and bang it against our window – and if that fails, he’ll thump it on the front steps until one of us get up to feed him.
We’re blessed with a lot of open space around here, which must be great for Connor. He’s a well- behaved dog and doesn’t wander, so he’s got free rein of the place.
He’ll stay within the fence line of our property as long as we are there, and even when we take him walking we don’t need to have him on a leash because he is so obedient.
When we walk along the road and a car is coming we tell him to sit as it passes. Many local residents say they’re almost bemused, he just sits there patiently until they drive past, then continues walking alongside us.
What’s great about having Connor?
He’s just a great companion to both of us. I work away a bit so he’s fantastic company for Karen. It doesn’t matter what we are doing: as long as we’re doing something with him, he’s happy.