Ruby is an Australian Red Kelpie living her best life out on the farm near Tamworth NSW. Quickly rising to superdog status, we sat down and chewed the fat with her about all things life.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Ruby. I’m a Red Kelpie. I live in Timbumburi near Tamworth, NSW. We have a small cattle farm, with irrigation (when there is water). Lack of water is causing humans to be potty-mouthed. We have cattle which are red. I can blame them for any crimes, as they are the same colour as me. I tell mum to go to Spec Savers, as it’s them – not me – causing the havoc. Highlights of the farm are stinky springs and Dead Thing Gully.
You currently have 7,500 followers on Instagram. How do you feel about being an up and coming star?
I feel that being a star is something I was born to be. It’s about time free-thinking, strong-willed, female redheads got a say in the world. I’m seen as an inspiration for the unfairly accused, as I am blamed for many mysterious unsolved crimes. Personally, I blame the cat – he’s the ringleader, but he is currently under witness protection on the humans’ bed, and can’t be interrogated.
How do you like to prepare for your photoshoots?
My preparation includes: a swim in a slimy green cattle trough or stinky springs, then layering on various dead things’ scents, finished off with a sprinkling of the selected manure of the day.
What’s your favourite job on the farm?
Favourite job is showing the red steers who is boss, border security; seeing off foxes, roos and visiting politicians. Following Mum on her horse called Mojo; he should be called SlowMo – he needs a Redbull to get going.
What feeling comes over you when you see a young red steer not staying in line?
I see RED. They think they can muscle in on the leadership of the farm – stupid move on their part. Only room for one red leader.
How do you like to stay warm in winter?
Running amok is top of how to get warm, but we have wood shavings and straw in our kennels, and some very fashionable coats, which are now as stinky as us.
August is a big month for you. You turn four! How will you and the fam be celebrating?
Personally, I think a full-on celebration is in order, and I’m sure some extra roo meat will come my way. Hopefully, the fun police (Mum) will ignore the little working dog party we will hold in Dead Thing Gully. I’m banned from posting to social media about a party – something about it could go viral and turn into a wild party. I can’t see a problem with that.
Imagine you’ve been told off for doing something wrong. We’ve all heard revenge is a dish best served cold — how do you execute your plans?
Well, I turn on my best painted-on ears, sneak off down the paddock and find a dead thing to strategically place on the verandah, as a silent but artistic expression of the unjustly accused. If that doesn’t work, an exploding dog bed on the lawn is a good protest statement.
You keep fit and healthy to keep up with demanding farm life. What’s your go-to cheat day meal?
I have been known to just find laying unattended yogurt, homemade dips, the scraps for the chooks, and a tray of sausages for a BBQ. These all give me a boost. I might add, a bonus is sneaking the cat food, but he guards it with lethal ninja moves.
Do you have any siblings and if so, who’s top dog?
Siblings are Abby (she is the clown), Lucy (who is the fall guy) and old Indy (who dobs us into Mum). Better add Elliot, the cat, but he’s more of an adversary. We are convinced he’s planning world domination. Top dog — well, of course, it’s me (just don’t tell Indy).
After a big day, how do you like to relax?
Relax? Hang on, just Googling the meaning of that…
What rules do you live by?
Deny deny deny is rule one. Blame the cat – rule two. Most importantly, live each day, take time to smell the roses or something dead.
Kelpies are very clever and capable. How long did it take you to become a Jedi Master work-dog?
I was born for it. I just had to learn to ignore Mum’s directions. Developing painted-on
Your area is in severe drought. What’s changed on your farm over the past 18 months?
Drought has been bad. The humans did sell the cattle but have bought a few now. It was sad and too quiet. Us dogs have been there beside our family through it all. My IG manager started posting drought pics on my account, and suddenly the worldwide support was amazing. We even had followers from around the world donate to buy a bale, rural aid etc. A family in Wales donated each fortnight to an Aussie drought appeal, and also people started following from UK, US, Canada, Europe, Russia and Asia. They also donated to Australian drought appeals. This was all from seeing the drought pics of our farm and Tamworth.
One amazing Instagram follower did a secret fundraiser behind our backs, and we were able to buy a load of export hay for the remaining horses. We never met these people, but a dog never forgets.
How can the public get behind everyone doing it tough out here?
Anyone who wants to help, please donate to “Doing it for the farmers”, “Rural aid”, “Drought Angels”, and “Buy a bale”. If you are in trouble – Lifeline, or one of our favourites – follow @the.naked.farmer – they’re good links, and it supports rural mental health.
Follow Ruby’s Insta: @ruby_reddog