The working dog from St Albans

Patch Rounds Up The Yearlings

I was born to do this

Patch runs rings around them - literally.

Just look at his face. When Wayne collected Patch from suburban St Albans this Easter, it was clear he was a working dog breed (or three) but I doubt his rescuers from Homeless Hounds would have envisaged this. Only problem is, he likes it too much.

It took me nearly half an hour to retrieve him from the yearling paddock and when he decided to round up Zoe yesterday, I decided something had to be done, and fast. You must not, cannot let a working dog get out of control, no matter what.

I called Paul Macphail of Beloka Kelpies for help and, 20 minutes later, Zoe, Alex, Patch and I were in training at his school in Welshpool. Paul quickly summed Patch up as a tad “arrogant” and swiftly put him in his place. I have not been a tough enough boss.

A litte while later, Patch, who had never seen a sheep before, was in the pen working a mob and then in the paddock masterfully bringing another (albeit rather tame) mob back to Paul. Just like Babe, really. Pig dog turns hero. “He’s a natural,” says the laconic Paul.

I am so impressed, I will be back at Paul’s with Patch in a week to see if I he will reach his calling as a semi-automatic dairy cow rounding up dog with the speed of a cheetah and the gentleness of a dove.

Meet Patch the pup

Zoe and Patch the pup

Patch and Zoe get to know each other

A new character has joined our farm crew! Patch (the pup formerly known as Buckley) is only five or six months old but he’s a very clever little fellow. In just one day, he’s already managed to scale the eight-step ladder up to Zoe’s cubby, been for a ride in the Bobcat and learnt (or remembered) to heel on a leash.

With Kelpie blood flowing through his veins, Patch loves to run. We expected that. What took us by surprise was this pup’s sense of calm. He nodded off less than five minutes after hopping in our car for the first time and seems completely unfazed by Zoe’s antics.

Zoe and Patch on the tear

Finally, someone who can keep up with me!

It’s a new start for Patch, who was left at a pound just a few weeks old and rescued by the volunteer foster carers from Homeless Hounds.

Surfing the net at can be an emotional experience. There’s Sascha, the reluctantly surrendered tradies’ dog who can bark Happy Birthday, the pair of dogs who minded their owner’s body for three days until he was found and dozens more that I would love to bring home. I really can see how people end up with mobs of rescued dogs.