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BOOK REVIEW – ‘AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOGS – OLD TIMERS’

by CHERYL ANN EDWARDS

‘Proud to be Australian’ was how I felt after perusing ‘AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOGS – OLD TIMERS’ by CHERYL ANN EDWARDS of NSW.  This book was written, printed and published entirely in Australia by this fellow Australian, using references from Australian sources and publications, plus material gathered from our senior breeders.  As its name suggests, the book is about the history and development of the Australian Cattle Dog.  How lucky present and future Cattle Dog enthusiasts are to have such a work!

The book contains some 335 pages printed on quality paper that lends itself admirably to the excellent reproduction of the numerous old and sometimes damaged photographs.  The pages are large, roughly A4 size.  The cover has attractive gold embossed lettering, and the dust cover features a charming 1956 photo of a small girl holding three Cattle Dogs.  This jacket sets the style of the book in which the history of the Cattle Dog is traced.  Australia’s old publications, books and newspapers have been used, as well as personal profiles and photos supplied by individual breeders.  So, the book is also a pictorial development of the breed.  I especially enjoyed reprints of the controversy where the name of the breed was changed from ‘Heeler’ to ‘Cattle Dog’, and the articles about the development of the breed from Dingo blood.  However, it is the wonderful collection of old photographs which give this book its special appeal.

The six years of research, and subsequent collection and collation of the information is clearly evident.  I congratulate Cheryl Ann Edwards on a splendid individual effort.  I hope this book sets a precedent for the Kelpie, Australian Terrier and the Australian Silky Terrier enthusiasts to follow!

JANE HARVEY

Chairperson

VCA Library Committee

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