By Andrew Chapman and Melanie Faith Dove, $ 39.95
MANY farmers will tell you Australia’s working- dog breeds work harder than any man. Stockmen who have strong bonds with their dogs claim they sense the satisfaction their canine companions feel at contributing and being part of a team.
There’s a certain mystique about the life of Australian working dogs – their spirit, loyalty and drive highlighting all that is enduring and tough about this country. Their lives are borne out in a new book, Working Dogs, a photographic documentary by Andrew Chapman and Melanie Faith Dove.
This stunning book introduces us to tireless kelpies, collies, smithfi elds, heelers and koolies, along with the “wannabes” – the farmhouse terriers and pugs who get to sleep inside with the retired working dogs.
The book includes Bouncer, a working collie cross, so named after he fell off the back of a ute when he was just four weeks old.
We also meet Rocky, a blue heeler who took on a kangaroo which tried to drown him in a dam. Rocky’s owner was also injured while trying to save his dog.
This book shows the strong bonds between dogs and farmers in a nononsense way.
The working men and women do it tough, as do the cattle and sheep, who are relentlessly hectored by dogs who are always on hand. But you get the feeling that despite the hardships, these working dogs are living the dream compared with fellow working dogs being kept as pets, confi ned in suburbia.