Soldiers happy to care for farmer's best friends

Soldiers happy to care for farmer's best friends

Flight Lieutenant Melody Earl

Four-legged friends are providing companionship and humour for soldiers and their South Australian police partners manning a border checkpoint.

Based at Kybybolite, near Mount Gambier, the dual force of police and Defence personnel are maintaining border controls with Victoria. 

Recently their duties were extended to temporarily care for two farm dogs while their owner recovers in an Adelaide hospital. 

The pair had wandered away from their farm during their owner’s illness, but fortunately found themselves in the presence of uniformed friends. They have been affectionately nick-named Morale and Biscuits.

Gunner Liam France, of 16 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, said the dogs had been welcomed by all. 

“Both dogs have been great company at the checkpoints,” he said. 

“Even community members have stopped by to deliver food, toys, and extra firewood to keep the dogs warm.”

A Defence member found Morale wondering on the side of the road. After locating her address from a community member in Naracoorte township, the soldier discovered the second dog, Biscuits. 

It was agreed with residents from the neighbouring property that the police and Defence members would care for the dogs while their owner, Barry, was in hospital.

Gunner France described the experience as a major highlight of his service on Operation COVID-19 Assist.

“They are two of the loveliest dogs I’ve ever met, and it’s been great getting to know the wider community,” he said.