Bandogs at home on hobby farm

Contradiction: Five-year-old Bandog Chase, who’d ‘live in the water if she could’, has appointed herself an ‘inside dog’. Photo by Samantha Beckman

On Samantha Beckman’s property at Patho she’s got dogs who think they’re human and a goat that thinks it’s a dog. At least the 16-hand horse knows it’s a horse. The main culprit of identity-swapping is Chase, a five year old Bandog.

Tell us about Chase.

She’s a bull mastiff cross. We got her through a friend who’d had a litter of puppies. My dad had recently passed away at the time. We called her Chase because she chased everything. She thinks she is charmer, she’s so affection and will just stare at me for ages.

Is she a nuisance on a two hectare property with livestock?

She doesn’t care about the chooks, roosters, goat or horse. She knows she’s not allowed to touch them. Even the two cats inside she doesn’t react to. They all get along. She actually lives inside and thinks she is a human. The dogs all think they are one of the kids because they all grew up together. My actual children are between the ages of 13 and 19.

Family goat: Boots likes to jump on the trampoline and go on walks with his owners. Photo by Samantha Beckman

Who are the other dogs?

We’ve got Chase’s daughter and husband. That’s what we call them. Her daughter is Karma and her husband is Junior who’s nine years old (also a Bandog type). We call her Karma because if you don’t watch out karma will get you.

The ‘husband’ in Chase’s life: Nine-year-old Junior. Photo by Samantha Beckman

Was Chase a good mother?

Terrible! It was her first litter and she had 14 puppies. It overwhelmed her and I had to practically take over. The puppies were all homed but we decided to keep Karma, who thinks she’d got two mothers. If one doesn’t give her what she wants, she goes to the other one.

Close: Junior with his daughter Karma. Photo by Samantha Beckman

What do you do in Patho?

We moved from Melbourne nine years ago. We wanted a block of land to raise the children on. Now I’ve got a 16-hand horse called Jerry and a goat called Boots. The goat thinks he is a dog. If they wander off he’ll come with me looking for them. He jumps on the trampoline and jumps in the boat when we go skiing.

Family fun time: Junior in the boat, which apparently all the kids, dogs and goat love to ride in. Photo by Samantha Beckman

Would locals recognise your dogs?

I worked at the Torrumbarry pub for a while, so people will know about them.

You submitted a lovely video of Chase in a thunderstorm recently. Is she quite good with storms?

We went out to look at the lightning and she followed us out, so I thought ‘while you’re here’ and sat her on a hay bale. She just sat up there because ‘Mum told me to’ and I was panning around her taking a long video. She is a very good girl. My dogs are the sort who’d follow you all over the house.

Chase holds her composure: A snippet of the video as lightning strikes the ground. Photo by Samantha Beckman

Words: Daneka Hill. Pictures: Samantha Beckman