I think you can tell that this beautiful dog is actually profoundly sad.
I know some people think it is unwarranted anthropomorphism to believe that animals like dogs feel emotions, but they obviously haven’t lived with and loved a dog. If our emotions have evolved to help us survive, why then wouldn’t emotions be part of a dog’s adaptive survival mechanism too?
His name is Romeo and in early August, two weeks before these photos were taken, his mother, Filly, was accidentally killed in front of his eyes.
Their owner is a fencing contractor who at the time of the accident was deeply affected by the sad death of a friend’s child in a quad bike roll-over. The friend was riding the quad with his son when it happened. Romeo’s owner’s lack of sleep and distressing thoughts lead to another tragedy when Filly came out from under the ute just as he was throwing fence posts off the tray. Usually he is so careful, always aware of where his dogs are and often putting them safely in the cabin while he is unloading. But this time he was distracted and Filly was killed. A terrible thing. Both he and Romeo are grieving for her.
He and his wife had had Filly since she was just five weeks old, a tiny caramel and white puppy. She was an Australian Koolie, an Australian breed of herding dog also known by the misnomer, German Koolie. Koolies are known for their agility, intelligence, devotion and hard work. The breed dates from the 19th century but is less well known than other Australian working dogs such as the Kelpie.
Filly’s chain is still next to Romeo’s on the back of the ute. It’s a very lonely place to be now.