A humble working dog in Corryong has become a beacon of hope during the bushfire crisis, for her role in rounding up sheep and saving them from fires.
Now dubbed Patsy The Corryong Wonder Dog, the six year old kelpie border collie cross has become a social media sensation.
Her owner, farmer Stephen ‘Benny’ Hill says Patsy played a crucial role in saving his livestock.
“I’m up on a farm up in Corryong and when the fire came across from Cudgewa North, Patsy and I went to get the sheep in. I was on the four wheeler, opening the gates, Patsy pushed them through into a safe place and we worked through the farm,” Stephen said.
“Patsy could see exactly what she was doing, and managed to get 95 percent of the herd in.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. Anyone that’s had anything to do with sheep will know exactly what I’m talking about. You can’t round up just one sheep, they’re a herd animal and it would have been impossible without her. She really saved the day.”
Patsy’s social media fame came as a surprise to Stephen, who can thank his sister Cath Hill, who posted a video and photos on social media.
“I’m not real up on the social media stuff, but my sister put it on Instagram, I think it’s called, and apparently it’s grown, and walked and got legs of its own, had a lot of likes apparently,” Stephen said.
Patsy’s fame has been a welcome distraction from the devastation.
“There’s not many silver linings in the cloud at the moment, so you’ve gotta look for them.”
“I’ve never seen the Upper Murray look the way it does,” Stephen explained.
“It’s almost better when the smoke doesn’t lift so you can’t see what’s gone, it’s pretty catastrophic.
“The number one priority now is having saved the stock, keeping the food and water up to them, and that’s the challenge for everyone in the Upper Murray I think, that day to day stuff.”
Stephen is also keen to pass on his thanks to the wider Albury Wodonga community for their support.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of people,” he said.
“There’s truck-loads of hay and food and water, it’s just amazing. On behalf of everyone in the Upper Murray, thanks to everyone that’s sort of helped out, even the smallest thing has meant a lot to us.”
You can follow Patsy The Corryong Wonder Dog on Instagram @patsythecorryongwonderdog
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