Man's faithful companion, Max or Maxi boy - the black dog - as I call him. 
El Ranchero on the other hand has numerous and very colourful adjectives that he uses to call him by, of which I shall not go into here.  I'll leave that up to your imagination. 

Well he came into his working life rather late, in fact he was over five years old and with-out a clue as to what was to unfold before him.  The training of a cattle dog, who was it that said "..... old dogs cannot be taught new tricks" well ... Maxi boy sure did learn some new tricks and most of it in a mad panic.

In the beginning it was rather comical if not - extremely frustrating - he had the skill's and the ability, but there was a language problem, a communication problem - on El Ranchero's behalf I will admit quietly - his numerous colourful adjectives - Maxi did not have a clue as to what was needed of him and things became rather heated to say the least.  

Then ... when Maxi did start to understand - after numerous instances where he would be rolled and occasionally trodden on by the cattle - he did get the hang of nipping the cattle on the hocks, the next problem arose?  It was the one of letting go at an appropriate time - like - "Strait away”!  

So then you'd see Maxi flying through the air - jet propelled landing somewhere in the Mob to be then trodden upon once again.  Maxi is one in a million he has courage and bravery which gave him confidence to try again and again till he got the hang of things.

Then one day, unbeknown to Maxi, this little, tiny, kitten sized, strange looking creature appeared from Clayton, the Wood Cutter.  Well Maxi was not happy at all.  This little thing not only got to stay inside, it was sleeping on his “blanky” too!  

"She" - was supposed to be a Blue Dog? well - Houston we have a problem? – tis her size, what happened to her?! - "are you sure she has not been crossed with a Corgi?"  I asked Clayton one day - he looked at me strangely, but rather sheepishly too.

And that was when Lilly-pilly joined our family - though these days she is known as Lily-Poo or Lily-bum depending on the occasion and uncle Maxi and Lily-Pup are inseparable partners in crime now!  Lily has become Maxi's apprentice of sorts? And their story continues as working Cattle Dogs together.

And now in 2018 as I update Rosellas and Lorikeets Lily-pup is now seven years old and Maxi? Well he has become an ‘Old Boy’ over twelve years old however he still goes to work everyday and is now joined by a new member to the family …

Jackie-Jackie a Red Kelpie pup who actually chose El Ranchero whilst we were out looking at purchasing land in a district five hours away for finishing off the cattle.

This tiny little pup from a litter of eight managed to follow El Ranchero around everywhere and then sitting on his feet whenever we stopped to look at one thing or another, now if that is not a sign what is?

His owner then said upon our departure “well Mate it looks as though you now have a new worker…” and that is how little Jackie-Jackie joined our family, and no we did not end up purchasing that particular parcel of land.

He had a rather hard start to his life with us, first of all unbeknown to us he had a paralysing tick on him four days after we returned home.  We don’t have Paralysing Ticks here in this District, so unfortunately we had brought the horrible thing back with us.

He just scrapped through as the Vet at the time really did not think he would survive the night; after we rushed him 89kms to get there as I could feel the little fellow slipping away. 

Then he got stung by bees once a week for five weeks which set him back as his immune system was down because of the Paralysing Tick.  We had just come out of winter into a beautiful spring and we were inundated with all these wonderful bees who were hard at work doing their business, then to have this little pup chasing after them.  Then due to the Tick he developed a very rare bone growth disease - Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy what a terrible thing to happen to such an active little fellow.

We are treating him with medication until his bones stop growing and see what happens then.  For the degeneration of his muscles in his hindquarters that is happening drastically due to his disease, he is having Hydrotherapy in the Dams each and every day together with the other dogs, now that he too has learnt to swim, and as each and every-day passes we are just happy to see that he is cheerful too although it is a little hard to keep a little chap like Jackie-Jackie quiet when he has the whole world to explore and to play with too.