Magpie’s First Birthday

Magpie joined our family as an 8 week old pup.

He turned 1 on Friday March 17 2023. He’s a strong, intelligent, confident dog and a great companion.

Magpie’s first 10 months with us have been most rewarding.

Magpie is affectionate, a quick learner and a wonderful addition to the family.

Magpie’s road safety skills are a work in progress.

In addition to sitting before crossing a road, his general obedience training is coming along very nicely.


Magpie enjoys life.

Magpie on Apollo Bay beach on his birthday

The beach visit starts with us retrieving the stick last used from our stick and thongs locker (in the bushes behind the hessian fence), then the lead being taken off and Magpie sitting on command with the stick on the ground. He considers himself released from this pointless imposition and bolts to the water with his stick in his mouth the instant I blink or move in any way. Not exactly what I originally had in mind, but near enough.

Magpie runs around with the stick and at a moment he selects for some reason known only to him, he deposits it on the sand then goes between it and the sea and lies down motionless and fully focussed waiting for me to pick it up and throw it. Sometimes he does this, then as I near the stick he dashes forward and heads off with it again. I believe he thinks this is funny. Walkers and sunbathers certainly do.

As the three photos below show, sometimes the advancing high-water line forces a slight modification to Magpie’s ‘lying in wait’ phase. But the focus and eye contact never waver.

Magpie is increasingly confident in dashing out through breaking waves. Sometimes the stick is not found instantly, or a large wave will force a temporary retreat. But he heads back out until he finds the stick and triumphantly brings it to shore.

A happy dog

It’s a wonder the vigorous post-swim shake hasn’t caused a brain injury or retinal detachment. But he seems unaffected by it. As the high shutter speed images show, it’s very effective in removing water from his coat.


This video shows Magpie (a couple of months ago) requiring a few swims out to locate the stick. His tolerance of green waves rearing has improved since this day. He is very persistent and does not like failing in the task (which occurs sometimes when a poorly chosen waterlogged piece of driftwood sinks without trace as soon as it hits the water).

This is Magpie announcing that he has had enough swimming and stick-retrieving for the time being.

Magpie runs effortlessly over the rocks on the groynes, as sure-footed as any mountain goat. He knows a beach visit can sometimes end at a groyne, and he is waiting on this vantage point watching me to see if today is one of those days.

Magpie is a wonderful companion.

7 thoughts on “Magpie’s First Birthday

  1. Great to be in touch John via Magpie!

    I had a Border Collie too & gave me a lot of joy.

    Hope life has treated you well & family.
    Maybe we can speak sometime?


    1. Lovely to hear from you Wendy, via Magpie! I am not surprised to hear that your Border Collie brought you a lot of joy. Magpie is a cross between a Border Collie and an Australian Koolie (another breed of working dog). Having seen the blog post about him you will know that he is a great addition to the family. Life and family are going well thanks, as I hope they are for you. I will get in touch to arrange a chat.


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