Mustering with Sheepdogs in the High Country

In New Zealand’s high country, the economy runs on four paws. Reader’s Digest gets up close with the sheepdogs who patrol the Mackenzie Country’s perilous slopes.

First brought to the Otago area of the South Island by Scottish farmers in the middle of last century, working dogs now number more than 200,000 and muster 60 million sheep across the nation, Margo Pfeiff writes for the Digest.

Without sheepdogs, vast tracts of this barely accessible high country would lie idle.

“Take our dogs away, and we would be broke in 12 months,” agree Mount Whitnow station farmers Grant Calder and his wife, Robyn.

“They are your partners in business, your loyal companions, and they willingly give their life’s service for a meal a day,” Grant tells Pfeiff. “If they aren’t man’s best friends, I don’t know who is.”

Original article by Margo Pfeiff, Reader’s Digest, January 10, 2024.

Tags: Mackenzie Country  mustering  Reader's Digest  sheepdogs  

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