Cattle beast and farm dog are best friends forever
A steer and a kelpieDIANE BISHOP
They both share the same star sign. But, that's where the similarities end for Scotty, a jersey cross steer, and a purebred kelpie named Bo - yet the pair have formed a special and unbreakable bond.
Under normal circumstances, a steer and a farm dog wouldn't usually get along, but when these two meet up, it's play time.
Their owner Jan MacKenzie said Bo, who still acts very much like a puppy, singled Scotty out as a playmate on her Ranfurly farm about three months ago.
"Bo is a one-off entertainment centre - he is quite funny," MacKenzie said.
MacKenzie said she often took Bo with her when shifting the breaks for the nurse cows and calves and he was always encouraging them to play. "He is clever, but he soon learnt who was not keen on playing with a dog."
However, Scotty, saved from a fate worse than the bobby truck and reared on a nurse cow, was extremely passive and just accepted everything Bo did to him, such as ear and nose licking, dancing and jumping at him, MacKenzie said.
The pair spend about 10 minutes at a time playing together, but Bo would quickly drop the playful hat and start working when required.
"He will always get stuck into them [the cattle] and get the cows moving when asked. But, then he wants to go back to playing with them when the work is done."
MacKenzie said she got Bo, who is now 15 months old, late last year after she swapped her border collie for him. "A friend had Bo for her young daughter and he was too bouncy to be a pet. I had adopted a border collie as a cow dog but it turned out she was petrified of cows so we swapped dogs - I think we both got the best deal."
However, a recent mishap almost ended Bo and Scotty's friendship.
MacKenzie said Bo was trying to play with Scotty and he backed into an electric fence and they both got zapped. "I think they were blaming each other for the pain."
The friendship cooled for about two weeks but the pair have since reunited and were back to their playful selves, she said. MacKenzie was unsure why Bo and Scotty had formed such an unbreakable bond.
"They're both Sagittarius - maybe that's the connection."
- The Southland Times
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