Fate landed on Sarah Vaughan’s feet – quite literally – when she began her search in March for a puppy to adopt from Australian Cattle Dog Rescue. She saw Finn on the group’s website and set off to meet him the next day – and when he plonked himself on her feet, the match was made.
“The minute I saw him, he ran straight over to me and wanted a pat,” said Sarah. “He sat on my feet and would wag his tail every time I spoke to his carer. He followed me to the car and jumped on my lap as a way of saying ‘Hey, I’m your dog!’.”
This came as a surprise because not only was Finn the last puppy to be rescued from a litter of kelpie-koolie crosses, he was also the most timid. Despite coming from a champion goose-herding line, he’s always been afraid of people – yet his new role alongside Sarah at Beds for Tails has him excelling in confidence and customer service. As the manager, Sarah has the now 10-month-old alongside her, where he’s thriving in the supportive environment while helping at the kennels by socialising, greeting, and ultimately making friends with the furry guests. He’s even trying his hand at being a personal trainer – as his herding skills kick in, Finn enjoys rounding up his customers and encouraging everyone to join in the daily exercise.
“He barely leaves my side,” said Sarah. “He’s the most loyal dog that I’ve ever known. And you only need to teach him something once and he’ll have it down pat. He’s eager to please and isn’t treat-driven. He just wants to be told that he’s a ‘good boy’ – and he is!”
Beds for Tails co-owners Christopher Bruechert and Rebecca Schwerdfeger appreciate the enthusiasm that Sarah’s sidekick shows, and how Finn joins them in spoiling their guests. It’s at home where Finn’s cheeky side kicks in. As for favourite treats, there isn’t one for Finn – well, not of the food variety. Instead, his go-to snack is mostly his bed and Sarah’s socks – but just the toes, straight off the clothes horse and into his mouth as he works to make them unwearable for Sarah. It’s a habit she’s hoping he’ll grow out of soon. Besides, he’s meant to be on a puppy diet, with raw food and a bone every now and then when the socks are out of season – or reach.
Agility training might be on the cards once he’s fully grown, but for now he’s trying out a career as a lumberjack by spending all of his spare time in the woodshed on Sarah’s acreage despite being told repeatedly to get out. He’s a defiant puppy who loves doing what he’s told not to do, so he pushes the boundary that little bit more and fetches the firewood – not just kindling but large logs too that he proceeds to bring all the way over to the veranda.
When it’s time for some Sarah and Finn quality time, they enjoy a daily 7km noon walk along a dog-friendly beach where splashing in the water with other dogs is a compulsory activity before another walk in the afternoon. Sarah adores Finn’s extra-large ears and hopes he doesn’t grow into them – they make him extra cute.
Sarah confesses: “He’s very spoilt, but I believe that you shouldn’t get a dog if you aren’t going to spoil it.”