Every Dog has its Day: Jim’s best friend

“NOW you’ve worked like a dog, you’ll know where to place one.”
Nanjing Night Net

Trawalla manager Jim Gaylard was taught that lesson soon after he’d left school about 20 years ago.

“I went up north to be a jackarooand I asked to bring my dog up but boss told me I couldn’t,” Mr Gaylard said.

“After six months he finally said, ‘Lad, you can go and get your dog now’, so I had the weekend off and went home to pick up my dog.

“I asked him later on why I wasn’t allowed a dog and he said to me, ‘now you’ve worked like a dog, you’ll know where to place one’.”

He taught me a lifelong lesson in handling stock and handling dogs, and making sure that I was in the right position and making sure my dogs are always in the right position and that’s stuck with me forever.

“I try and instil that same values into the boys that work here not so much they can’t have a dog when they start out, that you need to stand in the right spot and you need to put your dog in the right spot, otherwise stock just don’t work and they don’t flow.”

Mr Gaylard has three working dogs; Joker who’s six, Dot, nine, and Dusty who’s about three-and-a-half.

“Joker is an all-rounder. She has a beautiful cast and cleans up paddocks really well,” he said.

“But I can put her in the yards as well.

“Dot is the one I pull out when all is going wrong. She’s a bit crazy.

“She doesn’t have great stamina, but she’s very forceful. She’s great for loading trucks and she loves getting in and unloading trucks.

“I’ve got Dusty on loan at the moment. He’ll bark and bark and work all day.

“He’s got massive amounts of stamina.”

Mr Gaylard recently lost one of his star performing dogs.

“I just lost a dog, Chance. I bought him as a two-year-old and when he died he was about 12,” he said.

“The guys around here used to call him the general manager as he got older.

“He didn’t do as much work then, but every so often he’d wander up from the house to the yards to see what was happening during the day.

“He’d go into the yards and bark for a bit and push sheep up and then wander home.”

My Gaylard is unable to work with stock and with his dogs like he used to.

“My role as manager is changing. I’ve got to make room for the younger guys to come through,” he said.

“So I’m stepping more out of the paddock and into the office.

“It saddens me to see the dogs often tied up on chains and not in the paddock.

“But I’ve made the decision to start winding down for now.”

Mr Gaylard has learnt many of his ethics working dogs and stock from his time working as a jackaroo.

“You hear people revving their motorbikes and all of that type of thing to move stock,” he said.

“We were working in total silence.”

To Mr Gaylard, dogsaren’t just for working.

“Animals like that are closer than your best friend, they are your best friend really,” he said.

“You know so much about them and they know so much about you.

“There are guys who like working with tractors, there are guys who like working with tools, there are guys who like working with bikes.

“There are guys who like working with stock and it just so happens that is the category that I fall into and it’s (my dogs) that have helped keep that interest alive for me.”

Jim Gaylard with his working dog Joker. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.