Mag­gie’s a bun­dle of en­ergy

Jeremy Smith grew up on a farm in Li­ly­dale but was de­prived of one es­sen­tial el­e­ment of farm life – a work­ing dog. So, 10 months ago, he and part­ner Susie Cre­tan, de­cided to get Mag­gie, a black and tan kelpie

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So talk me through get­ting Mag­gie? Susie:

Jeremy was dead set on get­ting a kelpie but 10 months ago he was work­ing down at Nubeena and was away from home a lot. I live close to univer­sity and have a fair bit of spare time dur­ing the day so I told him I would look af­ter her dur­ing the day. I prob­a­bly got more than I bar­gained for as I al­ready had another dog, a four- year- old Labrador named Sylvie.

Ob­vi­ously be­ing a kelpie she’s en­er­getic so we take plenty of walks up through Lam­bert Re­serve, so I guess it’s been a plus be­cause she’s defi nitely got me a lot fi tter. Another big pos­i­tive is be­cause of their work­ing- dog men­tal­ity, Mag­gie is ex­tremely fo­cused and has been so easy to train. I’ve been tasked with most of the train­ing and ex­er­cise but it’s a lit­tle frus­trat­ing be­cause as soon as Jeremy walks in the door, Mag­gie shows where her true af­fec­tions lie.

So now Mag­gie and Sylvie live to­gether, how did Sylvie han­dle the new kid on the block? Susie:

About 99 per cent of the time they are fi ne but that other 1 per cent ac­counts for some pretty big bust- ups. Ini­tially Sylvie was pretty pa­tient with her as a puppy but now that Mag­gie’s much older and big­ger there’s defi nitely a power strug­gle go­ing on be­tween them. Aside from the two dogs, we’ve also got a cat, Delilah, and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two dogs and Delilah is frosty at best. Up­stairs is cat land and down­stairs is dog world. If we bring Delilah down­stairs, Sylvie will race over to the stairs and guard them so Delilah can’t get back up them. I think a bit of Sylvie has rubbed off on Mag­gie though – Mag­gie’s re­ally gluti­nous and greedy with food, which isn’t a kelpie trait at all. Sylvie is also ab­so­lutely ob­sessed with shad­ows and laser lights and Mag­gie has fol­lowed suit. When Dark Mofo had on the Ar­tic­u­lated In­ter­sect in June, both of them would just run around in cir­cles in the back­yard try­ing to chase the lights in the sky.

Jeremy, you play cricket for Lind­is­farne and there’s a funny story in­volv­ing Mag­gie and cricket isn’t there? Jeremy: When she was a pup, Susie brought her to the ground to watch me play. She was off leash be­cause as a puppy she just stuck to the side of you and never wan­dered. How­ever, if she sees some­thing move in the air, es­pe­cially a fl ock of swal­lows fl ying low she’ll just chase them all day. On this oc­ca­sion Lind­is­farne was fi el­d­ing and this fl ock of swal­lows fl ew over­head and Mag­gie just ran across the fi eld af­ter them.

The um­pires stopped the game while some of the play­ers ran around try­ing to catch her while I was just stand­ing at fi rst slip pre­tend­ing I didn’t know Susie or the dog. It was quite funny, very em­bar­rass­ing and I copped a fairly big fi ne’ from the other boys to put some money into the endof- sea­son kitty.

What’s great about hav­ing Mag­gie?

She gives us a great rea­son to do cool things. It’s just great in summer head­ing to the beach and watch­ing her play for hours.

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