Sunday, January 29, 2012


I usually post about birds and the local environment and I seldom post about my dog. However, she is an important part of all of the walking and bird watching that I do around here so I thought it was about time to again give her a blog post of her own.
Misty is a Stumpy Tail Blue Cattle Dog - sometimes called a Smithfield - which is an Australian breed of dog. Although these dogs were originally bred for droving cattle they are also great companion dogs. She is especially good in the bush and warns me of any snakes (which are my pet hate!) she smells long before I know any are around. Then the hair on her neck stands up and she stays between me and the snake and pushes me away. However, it is with birds that she has become especially clever.
When she was very young I always made her come back to me and go on the lead and stand behind my legs when I saw any birds that I wanted to photograph. She has added her own little 'twist' to this behavior. Her senses are much better and quicker than mine. She hears and sees things before I do. When she sees a bird she comes back to me and stands in behind my legs and waits for me to get the photographs I want. If I am not quick enough to see the bird or to get my camera up to photograph it then she gives me little nudges on my leg with her nose. Only when I am finished photographing and give her an OK will she back off away from the bird just like I do.
She loves splashing through the water but wants her legs on the bottom all the time so swimming is just not something she wants to do. Because of this I did not teach her to go out on the kayak with me.
She always knows when I am getting ready to go out. If it is somewhere that I am going to take her then she is at the door and literally dancing until either we get into the car or I put her on the lead and we set off for a walk. If it is somewhere that she is not going she knows this and puts herself back into her kennel and gives me a "look"!

The other morning I wanted a photo of her ahead of me but looking back. This was the best I managed. She is looking at me but her ears are turned to listen to people who were just out of sight around the corner and who I had not yet heard or seen.

For other cute critters visit the Camera Critters Meme.


  1. what a wonderful, smart and loyal companion you have!!! loved the birding / photography push she gives you!

  2. You got a smart and loyal dog there. the picture with misty looking at you was wonderful. it looks like the dog was tired from his adventures

  3. That is one smart dog, I could do with some help "seeing" the birds sometimes too! Thanks, I enjoyed hearing about Misty.

  4. He is handsome!

    Love is in the air with Champ and Ruby, come and see.

  5. A well trained companion for your walks. I get that look when Bobby knows I am going out without him.

  6. Misty is one smart dog and pretty too. I wish I could teach my Goldie Girl to bird for me. Great pic's and story. I especially love the last shot with Misty's ears perked up.

  7. Love that pooch! When i was a kid I was allowed all kinds of pets but not a dog. Of all crazy things, my mother got a dog after I left the household! I know she loved me, but she sure loved that puppy!

  8. Misty is as good a birder as you are Mick! "The Look" is a priceless photo -- we know exactly how she's feeling! This post made me happy! Thanks.

  9. Lovley.

    My CC pic is up too.

  10. What a lovely pooch! Dogs are so good at the 'look', esp. cattle dogs.

  11. Lovely photos of smart and sweet Misty.

    Regards and best wishes

  12. Congratulations, Mick, for the post and for training the dog so well.
    Birding and dogs seldom go together.
    I know friends who have a Red Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog. Unfortunately it has a genetic problem akin to Epilepsy. But the condition seems manageable.
    It has the sweetest nature.
    Not as well trained as Misty.

  13. She looks so sweet and I love the 'look'...those eyes...