Suthenskys Australian Kelpies

Kelpie Stories

Suthenskys Sand Fire 'Jack'


This page is dedicated to all those wonderful kelpies out there that have made such a difference to people's lives. They always seem to do this for the better and in the most incredible way. I have heard some of the most amazing kelpie stories. I get the most beautiful emails sent to me from people who have crossed paths with these great dogs and can not believe the change in their lives or the joy a kelpie can bring them. This page was created so I can share some of those stories with you. Do you know of a kelpie that changed your life? Or just plain amazed you? Then please email me your story so we can share it.

I would like to start this page with my beautiful Jessica, who, even after nine years of passing, still reduces me to tears, I miss her that much.

Jessica's Story


Jessica was my introduction to the world of Australian Kelpies. If she was alive today she would have just celebrated her 16th birthday......

But lets start at the beginning. 16 years ago a friend I had just met, had a beautiful red and tan kelpie. She had just had a litter of puppies. I was looking for a dog as I hadn't had one since I was a child. When I went to see these puppies, I couldn't believe how pretty they were. But one in particular took my eye. As you can see by her photo she had the most striking markings. Her father was a Border Collie/Cattle Dog cross, so she had the colouring of her mother with the white markings of a Border Collie and she had unusual speckling on her legs. To top it all of she had this gorgeous big white spot on her rump. I just had to have her.

So began the relationship. I took her everywhere with me except for work. She went to parties, picnics, to the shop for ice cream and even to MacDonalds for her usual Junior Burger :).  Everywhere we went people commented on her. She was very easy to train, but don't get me wrong, she had her very naughty moments too. My mother tells a story of how she found Jessica in my bed one day, while I was at work, under the covers with her head on my pillow!! And of another time, when Mum had a visitor and he wanted to give Jessica leftovers. Mum told him you would have to say the word 'tea' before she would eat it, he didn't believe her. So stood there for 5 minutes trying to urge Jessica to eat the meal in front of her. He finally gave in and said the was gone in seconds :)

I think one of the most amazing things about Jessica was her love for kittens, she was very gentle and would play with them for ages. More entertaining to watch than TV! One day while at a horse show, a friend was giving away kittens. I took one and told them to watch. I bent down to Jessica with the kitten. She went silly, cleaning and fussing over it, then I asked her to lay down and I put the kitten to one of her teats (she had no milk) but happily laid there while the kitten attempted to suckle. Needless to say they were all speechless.

Sadly, this beautiful girl, who brought so much joy into my life, got diabetes when she was only just over 7 years old. I have to admit, that as I am writing this part the tears are flowing freely. It has been 9 years!! And the pain is still there. Some people don't understand how someone can be so closely attached to a dog. But I know there are those of you who will read this story and understand. Anyway, I tried for months to get the diabetes under control, and just when we thought we had it, it went up again. Some of you will say that diabetes is a treatable and manageable disease. It can be. But Jessica was an extremely active dog and her life had been reduced to being chained as she was not allowed exercise. She wasn't even allowed to go for a small walk. It broke my heart to have her not be allowed to run free. Then she started going blind.... That was the final straw. The decision was made. Every day of my life since then I have regretted that decision. But I believe it was made in her best interests, not mine. I could have been selfish and let her suffer so that I could have her around for longer. I couldn't do that to her.

I have carried the guilt with me for years of what I did to her. You see, the reason Jessica got diabetes was that she was not desexed. I kept her entire in the hope that one day I could find a beautiful kelpie male for her. So I live with the thought that I could still have her now, or at least for long enough that she passed on with old age. A hard earned lesson.

Lately, I have been putting all this in perspective, and I have realised that things happen for a reason. I believe I would not be here today, surrounded in my beautiful kelpies and sharing this website with you, if Jessica was still with me. I guess we need to see the positive side of things that seem so devastating.

If you would like to see me pictures of Jessica, then please visit the photo page. Click on her photo above and it will take you there.




Hi I just read your website on Kelpies and enjoyed the stories very much, I also enjoyed your photo album which encourages me to write to you about my dog Jessica May, a 2.5 year old Kelpie I rescued from death.
Jessica May was bought as a pup by an acquaintance of mine who bought many dogs and tired of them quickly, I found this little pup special to the point I visited many times each week wondering when the hammer would fall (manner of speech), well it took 5 to 6 weeks as jessica reached her 10weeks of age came when I visited this day to find my freind walking down the back paddock with jess under her arm and a hammer in her hand, "where you going with the pup" I asked, her answer made me shudder, "I'm taking this little bitch down the back hitting it on the head and then burying it" she replied.
I then told her the RSPCA would be called if she did that, she then told me the pup went to the toilet on her floor so it had to go, well it didnt take take long for me to be convinced this dog was going to get a chance at survival.
Having only small chihuahuas I who are like spitfires and overloaded gunpellets in a house, I wondered where she would sleep! how she would get on with my little dogs! how do I toilet train a large dog? well two and some years later Jessica May is the centre of our family, the chihuahua mum "Kittin" took her on and raised her and did all the training for me, But when it came to her coming into season, well we had her under control the first season she was seperated from our boys and kept inside under close supervision, the second season was a little different we were taken unaware and the vet advised against spaying a dog in season so we thought 'our boys are far too small for her anyway, a chihuahua cross Papillon and a Papillon the sire of the first dog could never mount such a large dog.
Well May 29th 2010 the last laugh was on me, I even took photos of the attempts with a humorous smirk thinking the way Jessica kept pushing the pillows up on the bed and then to press up against them so as pour tiny Riccardo Antonio the Chihuahua x Papillon of 25cm tal and 25cm high could fulfill her wishes, 9 puppies born the last dying after birth 4 looking like kelpies of which 2 are females and 2 males, 4 being white with black markings 2 females 2 males, now they are 3 looking a sort of red to chocolate with tan on faces 1 black and tan, 2 looking very like  blue cattle dogs (females) and two looking more like Papillons, I am feeding them 3 times daily with pedigree puppy food and offering a lactose free milk 4 times daily and they dont seem to be growing very big at all well one we call the buddha looks simialr to jack russell but the others I be;lieve to be miniature looking kelpies and blue heelers.
I do hope those who purchase them will treat them right and care for them as I have for their mum, she will be spayed ASAP now as I will never again lack her intelligence or determination in her will to succeed.
Please see attached mum and dad on the beach in Albany just weeks before the birth of pups, I was not aware of preganancy till 3 weeks prior, then pups at five weeks on grass at local park.

I do wish you well in your endeavours of breeding your Kelpies and sharing with the wider population via the web.

Margaret Ann Corrie.

Linda's girl Bonnie...her little brown baby, squirrel chaser, brown beast devil dog!

I saw Jackie Leigh's story and picture of her Pennie and couldn't help but smile.  Like hers, my border collie / Aussie, Katie, passed away a year ago in February from cancer.  It was devastating. 
Finally in July, I broke down and adopted 9 year old Bonnie from our local shelter.  They told me she was an Australian Shepherd mix. I found out later, after meeting another Kelpie at the dog park, that the shelter had misrepresented her breed. They probably didn't know. Her ears flop, she absolutely loves to swim, and her build is fairly stouter than a purebred Kelpie, so she may be part Lab.  
I had hesitated getting an older dog, but knew it was unlikely she would be adopted.  Her bottom teeth were worn down to stubs, her fur was a matted mess and she was suffering from fleabite dermatitis.  She had large patches of hairless skin on her elbows and her belly was so dirty and lumpy from a badly done spay.
After coming home with me, she would cry and howl whenever I left her, even to go into another room, and if she anticipated something might hurt her, she would yelp in advance.  It was apparent she had been physically abused.
But Bonnie turned out to be as loving and sweet and smart as any dog (and frankly, a lot of people)  I've ever met.  She's extremely well-behaved and gets along well with other dogs and people, though she is hesitant with men.  Being single, I am thrilled that Bonnie is extremely protective of me.  And she laughs...exactly like Pennie in Jackie's picture.  When I return from a trip, she talks to me, scolding me a bit for leaving her but so very happy to have me home.  We have our cuddlefest she just laughs and laughs.
I can't describe the depth of joy Bonnie brings little brown baby, squirrel chaser, brown beast devil dog.  Everyday she wakes up excited and smiling.  How lucky am I that this beautiful, intelligent, loving Kelpie mix has come into my life. She is much healthier now, I'm glad to say, and a very happy dog.  I know I won't have her for a long time, but every day is a blessing. 
The couple who sit her when I travel with my job are completely smitten.  And now that she is comfortable with Tom, she flirts with Tom like a teenage girl on her first date.  Bonnie loves to chase squirrels at the dog park, running off an adventures with such unbridled delight, and barking in a very high pitched tone when she trees one.  Then she comes running back to me to tell me of her conquest and get a treat.
Herding dogs have always been my choice, and now that I've discovered this breed, I'm hooked.
I've attached a rather poor snap of my Bonnie Brown Eyes.
Linda Long
Chico, California




Kelli the Kelpie...

Keith Batchelor... Australia

In1987, when my wife and I moved into our present home, my best friend was a female Australian Kelpie called Kelli.  She was then about one year old.  A few days after moving into our new house I decided to take some rubbish that the previous owners had left behind, to the rubbish tip.  Kelli accompanied me there.  At the tip I found that a large metal bin had been sunk into an even larger hole in the ground so that to dispose of my rubbish I needed to stand on the edge of the hole and throw it into the bin.  To this day I don't know what happened, but suddenly I overbalanced and fell into the hole.  I was very lucky not to strike the bin on the way down.  When I recovered form the fall I became aware of an awful pain in my right knee, and I couldn't move.  I later learned from the doctor that I had torn the medial ligament in that knee.
Kelli had witnessed all of this and was barking frantically and prancing about on the ground above me at the point where I had fallen.  After a few minutes she suddenly disappeared from the lip of the hole but I was in too much pain to do little more than note her absence.  I was in a real predicament as I couldn't move and therefore couldn't help myself.  Suddenly Kelli appeared above me, on the edge of the hole again and this time she had a man with her.  The man turned out to be the rubbish tip attendant and with a lot of advice from Kelli he managed to get me out of the hole.
He told me that she, barking furiously, had run up to him and had refused to leave him alone until he followed her to where I had fallen. 
Kelli died at age 16 1/2 years from lymphatic cancer.  I managed to give her six month's of extra, quality life by getting her chemo-therapy, but I couldn't save her.  I now have another Kelpie whom I love very much, but I still miss Kelli and when I think of her my tears flow (I'm crying now).
For all of her life Kelli was a wonderful dog and would be in anything that my wife and I did.  She even flew with me in my aeroplane.  I hope that you find this story about her worth publishing on your excellent website as a fitting tribute to her from me.
Kelpies are wonderful, loving and intelligent dogs.  

This is an email I received recently from Jim and Diana who live in America, and is the main reason I believe this page needed to be created. I'm sure you will enjoy this beautiful story as much as I did. I dare you not to shed a tear :)

Miss Molly Brown


Hi There!
I had been surfing the net looking at different pictures of Kelpies and came across your site. What a pleasure. I am glad to know there are other people in this world who love their babies as much as my husband and I love ours. Little Miss Molly B came to join our family of 3 dogs already on a very cold late April afternoon in 2001. My office had gone to lunch and we all saw this poor little ragged pup sleeping in a flower box outside of the restaurant. It had been about 15 or 20 degrees during the nights as we were in the mountains of Idaho. She was about 2 weeks away from giving birth, 20lbs or more under weight, walked like she had been hit by a car and scared to death.
I scooped her up and off to the vet we went. She kept crawling on the floor board of my truck, hiding. I pulled over and we had a talk. I told her she was found and I would love her and the babies. I told her I was going to name her the Unsinkable Molly Brown dog and that she would be just perfect. The rest of the trip she laid in my lap and fell asleep. She was found to have 7 puppies crammed inside her tiny body. The vet said due to her neglected state some of the pups would not make it. This was unacceptable to Molly and I. She ate like a horse, including a rib eye steak in which she so graciously left me the fat, and gained 30 plus pounds in less than 2 weeks. On Memorial Day weekend 2001 she gave birth to 7 count 'em 7 happy, healthy black bundles of love!
She is getting up there in age now and she rules the roost with our other pups now. She is our queen and we adore her. We have a 14 month old husky and she lets him know when to knock it off. We figure her to be about 7 or 8 years old now and getting a little snow on her chin. She is still in excellent though and doing great.
I don't know why I felt compelled to share all of this with you. I know you are probably very busy and really don't have the time to spare. But I just had to let you know the story of Miss Molly B, our Australian Kelpie! They definitely capture your heart!
Thank you for putting out such a wonderful site. I fully enjoyed every page. Please keep up the great work! Good luck with all of your future litters. Kisses to all the babies from Auntie Diana in Kansas now. Take Care
Diana Brent and MIss Molly
I have attached a pic to show how hard this poor little girl has to work for her supper....ha ha ha! Enjoy!


Tribute to Innamincka

Andrew & Terese Horne, Australia

Why a Kelpie?  Other than being the best dog for all occasions, they are just wonderful, wonderful companions...I have recently lost my best mate and I miss him dearly.  Below is a tribute I wrote to some friends when he died.  The reactions from them were almost the same as mine, a tragic loss of a 'lovely and wonderful dog'.


It's strange how life takes a turn.  Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Over 8 years ago, Terese and I had been married for almost a year and I decided I wanted a mate, a good buddy....a Kelpie dog.

In order to allow us this, we needed to sell our apartment and buy a house. So we did.

Almost 8 years ago, I found the ideal pup - a 6 week old Kelpie.  We named him Innamincka, after a remote town  bordering the desert in South Australia.

He and I became good pals, we shared some good times and some not so good times.  I learnt the virtue of patience and he learnt the virtue of testing his master's patience.  A friendship.

He's made me so mad at times.  One day I even chased him around the garden, me holding a brick and he running in circles evading my wrath. It was a futile chase and I wore down just as he was warming up.

He learnt to swim in Cooper Creek, the creek that runs through the Innamincka township.

He's run alongside me while I've been riding on the farm bike - at 45km/h and he was pulling away only for him to clip some tall grass and cartwheel for 3 metres before regaining his stride - only to run up to me and say 'what's going on?'...I'd fallen off the bike cos I laughed so hard at his 9.8 in style points attempt at gymnastics.

He's been pulled, prodded and ridden by my nephews and nieces.  He's chased tennis balls thrown for hours by various visitors and tradesmen alike.  He's known as the 'dog with ADD' due to his incessant desire to be right in the middle of the action.

He and I turned age 35 within 2 weeks of each other.

He's helped Terese fold the washing.  He thought it was much more expedient if a sock was taken from the basket and placed down the hall before it's match was found and put away.

He's looked after the hens like they were his own.

He's waited for Terese and I to have our own little baby.

He's helped us choose 25 acres just for him to run around in.  He's moved house with us as we prepare to build our new home.

Yesterday, for no known reason he leapt the 1.5m high garden fence, ran onto a main road and he was killed instantly.  Damn it, he won't see another day.  He won't see our baby.

He will get to watch over us from a prime spot we chose to bury him on the property.

But I won't see him grow old and grumpy.  I won't get to see him running around the acreage bought especially for him.

Damn it, I lost my best buddy and I can't tell him I love him any more.


American Mystery Dog

Jacki Leigh, USA

After my sweet black lab/border collie mix passed away last December, I quickly decided to go to a shelter in West Los Angeles and get another dog.  I wanted another lab mix just like Jenny who was my companion and best friend.  The shelter director brought out the cutest little brown dog with the most gorgeous tan highlights over her eyes, a mask on her face and white stripe down her belly.  I never saw a dog with such markings. She was beautiful and playful and I had to have her.  I was told she was a chocolate lab but she was a handful.  I should reconsider my decision.  But I was determined.  I wanted another lab mix and this dog was coming home with me.  The poor dog was a stray.  She had been roaming the streets of Los Angeles when someone brought her in and I wasn't going to let her stay in the shelter any longer.

I decided to name my new dog Pennie, in honor of Jenny and her coat which looks like the color of an American Penny.  By the time I spent some time with her I realized there wasn't any lab in this dog.  Maybe it was because she was a puppy but she was wild.  She had so much energy!  I took her on long walks and to the dog park twice a day.  She was the diva of the dog park.  The fastest and most social dog around.  When I took Pennie to the vet I asked him what kind of a dog she was.  He said she was just a dog.  Many people told me she was a red dobie mix, a pit bull, a husky and even a Rottweiler.  Everywhere we went people commented on her beautiful and unusual markings.  Everyone had an opinion. 

One day I was at the dog park and I met a woman who had just moved back to the U.S. from Australia.  She started crying and told me she had to leave her dog in Australia and her dog looked exactly like Pennie.  She said that Pennie was a Kelpie.  I had never heard of a Kelpie before.  She told me they're common in Australia and are used for herding sheep.  Well no wonder my dog has so much energy!  The mystery is over.  I have a very special dog.  How an Australian Kelpie wound up wandering the streets of L.A. I'll never know.  But we have found each other and she fills a very special place in my heart.

The picture of Pennie was taken by a photographer at the Westminster Dog Park in Venice, CA.  She was being teased by Greta the great dane for possession of a hole.

Jacki Leigh



Hi there,
I've been on your website and it is wonderful. I promised to send you my story of Bisto and a photo of him so here thing to mention is, it has never been confirmed that he is a Kelpie but my partner and I are convinced he is. Eight years ago we decided to rescue a dog from our local cat and dog home. We came across this little brown, smelly, matted bundle of joy...he did look a tad odd but we instantly liked him, the staff told us he was approximately 9 months old. We discovered he was toilet trained and he also had lovely little pink pads. When we got him home during the first few weeks we discovered he was very nervous and hated going out of the house, this was due to someone mistreating him before we met him. I'm glad to say over the years he is a different dog now, he has a wonderful personality and can't get enough of the outdoors. We adore our Bisto, he is our wee baby and is spoiled rotten. He is such a handsome lad and is told this on a daily basis. Anyone reading this we would love to hear what you he a Kelpie?
Barbara & Iain
Scotland, UK 


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