Kebo finds a happy home in Ho­bart

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in shar­ing their best friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­den@ news. com. au

WINE­MAKER James Broinowski’s kelpie cross Kebo doesn’t just look like Red Dog, he also shares a bit of the same un­known his­tory. James doesn’t know how old Kebo is but guesses he is prob­a­bly fi ve or six. All he knows is that when he came across him, Kebo was a dog des­per­ately in need of an owner – and in James and his sis­ter Lucinda, Kebo got that in spades.

Adopt­ing Kebo wasn’t your run- of- the- mill process, was it?

Not quite. Kebo had been se­verely abused as a puppy. He was forcibly re­moved from his own­ers and taken into care and adopted by a wine­mak­ing stu­dent in Ade­laide who lived with a bunch of other stu­dents.

The house they all lived in had a pre­dis­po­si­tion as a share house for wine­mak­ers, so as I was also study­ing viti­cul­ture, two years into liv­ing in Ade­laide I moved into this house.

By this stage, Kebo’s owner had al­ready packed up and gone but had or­gan­ised for one of the other flat­mates to look af­ter him.

Soon af­ter I moved in, Kebo’s new owner had fi nished her stud­ies and was about to move away and asked whether I wanted to look af­ter him.

Just one look at Kebo – he was such a bro­ken dog at that stage, com­pletely skit­tish, im­pos­si­ble to walk – I knew it would be a lot of hard work but I took him on will­ingly.

I love an­i­mals, es­pe­cially dogs, and even though I wasn’t re­ally in a po­si­tion to look af­ter an an­i­mal at that stage, I re­alised some­one needed to take him and teach him to trust.

In the midst of my stud­ies I defi nitely didn’t have the re­sources or time. Luck­ily, when I bought him to Ho­bart one summer, my sis­ter Lucinda just fell in love with him and she has been the big­gest infl uence in trans­form­ing him.

Can you elab­o­rate on that trans­for­ma­tion?

The way I see it, thanks to Lucinda, Kebo’s gone from be­ing in a pretty hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion of be­ing too scared to even go out the front door, ow­ing to the abuse in his ear­lier years, to now be­ing able to en­joy the whole of Tas­ma­nia as his back­yard.

Lucinda is al­ways try­ing her hands at new things. One of the most re­cent was work­ing on a dairy farm up on the North- West and Kebo went along with her to get a taste of do­ing what he was in­tended for: farm work.

When I fi rst moved into that house in Ade­laide, if some­one knocked on the front door, Kebo would run to the fur­thest cor­ner of the back­yard and cower in the cor­ner – he was just pet­rifi ed of peo­ple. He was al­most im­pos­si­ble to walk on the lead and would al­most choke him­self tug­ging against it.

Lucinda is just amaz­ing with an­i­mals, though, and through time and pa­tience their re­la­tion­ship is one of the best I’ve ever seen be­tween a dog and owner.

He just hap­pily walks off the leash next to her wher­ever she goes and she’s even train­ing him to be a proper sheep dog, to be able to work and also com­pete in shows.

What’s great about hav­ing Kebo?

The word Kebo is a trans­la­tion of “wind” in one of the in­dige­nous di­alects of South Aus­tralia.

Un­til I de­cided to adopt him, he was a lit­tle bit like the wind, drift­ing from place to place. When I see him now and all the time and ef­fort Lucinda has put in with him, I get great sat­is­fac­tion out of know­ing this life is what Kebo de­serves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.