All along Australia’s east coast, from the mid north coast of New South Wales up to Mackay and Rockhampton in Queensland, many of our macadamia growers have a trusty pooch offsider. And we’ve learnt the best way to melt a farmer’s heart is to talk to them about their beloved dog!
It must be noted, we do not recommend that you let your dogs consume macadamia nuts. If you think your dog may have eaten macadamias, immediately visit the vet to be on the safe side. Both raw and roasted nuts can produce muscle weakness and collapse and swollen, sore joints in dogs. This is generally not life threatening, and usually lasts around 24 hours after which dogs will usually make a full recovery.
Nevertheless, many of our macadamia farmers have a doggy best buddy that’s just too fun and adorable to ignore. We’d love to introduce you to some of our Australian macadamia farmers and their dogs.
Red, Lindendale NSW
Redman (or Red for short) is an almost 7 year old Kelpie belonging to macadamia grower Ross Arnett who got him as a puppy at about 10 weeks old. “I was looking for a Kelpie (or working dog for my cattle) and we heard about a litter literally a few km along our road” said Ross.
Red makes himself the centre of attention with visitors, and is always keen to interact with new and returning callers. If you throw anything that he drops at your feet, you have a friend for life, says Ross. “He is my constant companion in the orchard. When we are in the orchard he spends his time sniffing around looking for rats or even the odd stray ball. When we are together out in the orchard – it just feels special. It is a connection that is hard to explain.”
“When we are together out in the orchard – it just feels special. It is a connection that is hard to explain.”Ross Arnett
One of the cleverest things Red has learnt is the command ‘last one’ when throwing a ball for him. Once you get sick of throwing the ball and tell him ‘last one’ he will not return and go rest with his ball.
“Red loves to ride in the Gator (quad bike)” says Ross. “When someone gets in (or even mentions the word Gator), he joins in a flash. He sits on the floor on the passenger side and knows where to place his bum so that he does not interfere with the pedals. Once the Gator gets going he smiles, gets the wind through his ears and rests his head on my leg for a head scratch. However, be warned if you are sitting in the passenger seat when the vehicle stops – you need to move fast or you may get bowled out of the vehicle – as he is always the first out.”
“It’s also endearing that he is so protective. He acts all tough when a new car arrives, but is so friendly as soon as someone gets out. He won’t come into the house despite invitations. There are two cats in the house that terrify him. He would rather be out in his kennel and face a storm than face the cats.”
“Red generally doesn’t eat macadamia nuts but I suspect he has a couple of times. He gets the wobbles which last for a few hours and then he’s right again.”
Ted, Nashua NSW
Meet Ted, an 8 year old small chocolate labradoodle living in the Northern Rivers NSW on Wendy and Rob’s macadamia farm – @yandillamacadamiafarm. Ted is the just the friendliest and most loving dog and he brings so much joy to the farm, says owner Wendy.
“He thinks he is a real farm dog – he rides with us on the quad bike, he thinks he is a good rat catcher – but really, we just laugh at his antics as he has only caught one or two field mice in his life!”
According to Wendy, Ted doesn’t have a naughty bone in his body but is known for licking any tradies or contractors who come to the farm. He really isn’t the cleverest farm dog either, he just loves sitting on the front or back verandah – legs spread out, just surveying the farm and his ‘place’. “We have recently added little Ruby to our family, she is a Jack Russell pup and Ted is teaching her to be a gentle, well natured pup – but we think that one day soon Ruby will teach him all about rat catching!”
Ted’s most endearing trait is that of pure loyalty and love. He is really intelligent, just not very farm smart. “He will come down to the dehusking shed while we are working and sleep down there even through all the machinery noise. We tried to put earmuffs on him once (pictured) but they only lasted long enough for a photo to be taken!
Nalu and Luna, Alstonville NSW
Nalu is a 6 year old male Border Collie cross Aussie Shepherd. He is a blue merle and has 3 legs. Luna is a black and white 4 year old female Kelpie Cross Border Collie.
“I have had Nalu since he was a puppy and he was with me all through uni. He’s moved around many places with me, as I worked in different agriculture industries, and is now loving life on the macadamia farm,” says macadamia farmer Eleanor Revell.
“We got Luna over a year ago from a family member who lived in town as her energy levels were not suited to the confined lifestyle. Now she loves running around all day on the farm.”
Eleanor shares that the dogs are a great help on the farm not just for emotional support and to keep up everyone’s morale but also because they are clever rat hunters. “Nalu can find rats very easily and he and Luna work as a great team. He shows her where they are hiding and she can dig them out or climb right up into the trees and chase them down.”
Nalu is a daredevil, riding on any surfboard, jetski or motorbike if Eleanor is on it too.”Nula always wants to be doing whatever I am doing, says Eleanor, “if I jump off a waterfall he will follow me.”
“They are great alarms when people come to visit and good guard dogs when we aren’t home. They like to ride on the tractors with us and keep us awake when we are busy working into the night.”
“The naughtiest thing they do is steal the neighbours avocados and Luna has a bad habit of eating cakes I have spent hours decorating! They are always our best friends, especially at lunch time and smoko, drooling on our legs whenever food is around.”
“Nula is a beautiful dog, so loving and gentle. Luna is such a cuddly dog, she would choose being with you and getting a scratch or a cuddle over anything, even food. She is the fastest, highest jumping, most energetic dog I have ever met. They are both very clever. Having them around makes us all much happier. I love having a job where I can spend all day with them.”
“Having them around makes us all much happier. I love having a job where I can spend all day with them.”Eleanor Revell