A farm dog small in stature but big on work ethic is proving her worth on a family property where she does more than just round up sheep.
Lexie the Jack Russell has also learned to drive the tracks of her 200-hectare home near Hamilton in south-west Victoria.
Why? You may ask. Why not, says Cam Zschech, who is Lexie’s best mate.
Mr Zschech, 21, grew up on his dad’s farm.
He works all week in the timber industry then at the farm on weekends.
Armed with a sense of humor dry as stubble, the young man grabs moments of fun in between the long hours of hard work, which is how Lexie got an opportunity in the driver’s seat.
“The other day we were driving along moving some sheep down the laneway, we were just idling along and that was how I learned how to drive,” Mr Zschech said.
He says he put in a bit more effort once he realized Lexie wanted to have a crack.
“She’s had a fair few goes since then,” Mr Zschech said.
To enable Lexie to drive, Mr Zschech puts the ute in first gear and lets it idle along at walking pace, and grabs the wheel or the handbrake when needed if Lexie gets distracted.
“Sometimes she’ll lean forward and has even honked the horn sometimes, she’s a good sheepdog,” Mr Zschech said.
Mr Zschech has previously sent pictures of his rural surroundings to the ABC Local Radio station in south-west Victoria.
He says he sent pictures and videos of Lexie to share the laughs and show off the skills of his pint-sized dog, who pulls her weight despite her lack of height.
“She puts in an effort and that’s all we care about really,” Mr Zschech said.
He says there’s plenty of work to do where they grow canola and wheat, with 1,900 cross-bred wees to tend to.
Every family member is expected to pitch in whichever way they can, no matter their size.