Name: Reggie Age: 1 Breed: Koolie x kelpie
Reggie in three words: Full. Of. Beans.
If you’re a ceramics lover and can’t do without a good pot in your life, you’ve probably already heard of Clay by Tina. A colourful, outgoing potter who’s as passionate about her pup as her recycled clay creations, Tina Thorburn spends her days creating ceramic pieces in her farm-based studio with BFF Reggie by her side.
We spent an afternoon getting to know Tina and Reggie at her Dad’s hobby farm where they live and work alongside Tina’s Dad, Craig, his loveable Golden Retriever Charlie, and their whole farmyard family of cats, chooks, llamas, turkeys and cows.
And if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that sometimes life can turn out pretty sweet for a failed working dog.
Farm Life + The Working Dog That Wasn’t
How did Reggie come into your world?
Reggie was born on a working farm in Hay, NSW. At 8 weeks old they deemed him not fit to be a working dog (they were spot on there!) so he was surrendered.
“He was put up for adoption on Pet Rescue and his profile was divine. His bright eyes and then bat like floppy ears were adorable.”
He had lots of enquiries, but his foster mum, Christine, picked us because we had land and experience with working dogs. I couldn’t sleep the night before I was so excited, and on the drive home he sat in a laundry basket and vomited because he was so scared.
“He is a sook by nature, a temperament I hoped for, and he was putty from day one.”
We decided to get Reggie after my other rescue kelpie sadly died in an accident. I was so broken-hearted when Buckley died, and Reggie helped me move through all that with his puppy ways and gentle nature.
Reggie is a failed working dog, and we know this for sure because his all-time favourite thing to do is snuggle on the couch.
“He has a favourite spot and if you’re sitting there he will literally throw himself into your lap, and look up at you like you’ve solved the world’s problems, just by being there.”
A Water Baby + Space Cadet
What mischief does Reggie get up to on the farm?
Reggie has such a good life. Dad wakes before I do and does the morning’s round of animal chores, which involves feeding the chooks, turkeys, llamas and then the cats and dogs. Reggie assists in all this by running laps around everyone and doing pirouettes.When I’m around in the morning, we also go for a walk up the hill to burn off some of his energy. Sometimes I ride my bike which is great because he is a pocket rocket! The rest of the day consists of him hanging out with either Dad or myself – usually Dad, because he does fun things like digging veggie patches and chopping wood.
“He’s such a charming little fellow I haven’t ever had to spoil him. He is simply indulged by our presence.”
We’ve also learned that Reggie LOVES pipes. Dad is forever building new watering structures for the chickens or a new garden bed, so every now and then he’ll sing into the pipes he’s using. This causes Reggie to lose his tiny mind, so he’ll bark and pirouette like crazy.
That and hoses – he’ll follow a hose from end to end for HOURS. And if you turn it on his pupils dilate and he’ll bite at the water.
“He also really loves getting a reaction out of other animals. Not out of malice but out of excitement. I call it ‘chicken fireworks.’ He doesn’t try and round them up so much as run through them, causing them to explode in all directions in a flurry of feathers and squawks. He looks back at you as if to say ‘wasn’t that impressive?’”
If Reggie was a human, what kind of person do you think he’d be?
He’d definitely be good looking, gentle, athletic, outgoing and one of those smart people that everyone likes. He is the best dog I’ve ever had.
“My friends and I joke that he’s quite the space cadet; a good looking, fun, space cadet – that’s my Reggie.”
To be honest, we joke that it’s good Reggie doesn’t have thumbs because he’s smarter than my Dad and I. We’re pretty sure he’d use his thumbs to open doors and sneak in earlier for snuggles!
Making Life Great Again
What’s one of your most memorable moments with Reggie?
Dad and I are Americans by birth, so when Trump ran for presidency, Dad bought a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap as a joke. It stopped being funny when Trump won though, and I was never going to wear it.
So there it sat one day atop a pile of clothes and knick knacks I planned to take to the op shop. When I was in the shower, Reggie apparently decided the cap was his new toy. But Reggie doesn’t destroy toys, he throws them up in the air and growls at them. Sometimes he takes weeks to even leave teeth marks!
Anyway, Reggie has taken months to destroy the cap, and every time he growls at it, Dad and I just smile at each other and say ‘Yep, we agree with you Reggie!’
How has having Reggie changed your life?
I used to spend ages putting together big long term goals and maps of how I’d get there, I’ve since given that up and my goals are much more in the present.
More than anything Reggie’s shown me patience, you can’t be mad at him for long, and the training he needs is good for my own discipline. He is a softy at heart and people are always surprised that he’s as young as he is because he is very calm.
“Reggie is the best puppy I’ve ever had. He is just a dear and one of the best parts of my life.”
Stay tuned for our very next Dogfolk story featuring Tina’s Dad, Craig, and his beautiful Golden Retriever, Charlie. The bond they share is a story you won’t want to miss!
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