By An­drew Chap­man and Me­lanie Faith Dove, $ 39.95

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS -

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.

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