What a Trooper

December 20th, 2023What a Trooper

They’re a lively and character-packed lot, the dogs of Trentham, and not least among them is Trooper the kelpie.
Above, Trentham’s Cynthia Goudie with Trooper the kelpie, who features on the front cover of the new Dogs of Trentham Calendar 2024, with photographer James Walshe.

They’re a lively and character-packed lot, the dogs of Trentham, and not least among them is Trooper the kelpie.

Owned by a resident, Trooper is famous – or infamous some might say – as quite the lad about town and, most recently, also as the front cover pin-up boy on the new calendar produced by Dogs of Trentham.

DOT is the enthusiastic group of local dog lovers and owners who have been working with Hepburn Shire Council to establish a permanent off-leash dog park.

In December 2022 group members were delighted that the council upgraded the reserve in Trentham’s Market Street, erecting fencing and gates to provide the community with two trial off-leash dog areas.

The trial has proven very successful with increasing numbers of locals and visitorsusing the facility, and last year DOT supported its efforts by releasing a fundraising Dogs of Trentham calendar.

Following hot on the success of last year, they’ve now released a new calendar for 2024 featuring a whole new line-up of photographic pooches.

Trentham photographer James Walshe is a DOT committee member and dedicated dog owner who has taken the photographic images that feature in the new calendar.

Trooper was an obvious choice for the front as he is such a local identity, due to his frequent solo sojourns about town, DOT committee members say.

Among them, Trentham’s Cynthia Goudie has attached an air tag to Trooper’s collar so that he can be tracked down using a phone-based app, and safely collected when out and about on one of his community strolls.

“He’s a bit like Red Dog. He’s a real Houdini,” says Cynthia who’s even created a social media narrative featuring Trooper and his frequently humorous tales and adventures. Suffice to say these have gained a significant fan following.

“The whole community knows him and he’s become a community dog,” Cynthia says.

“He’s a bit of an icon in town and he tends to take himself into town for a wander,” James says.

Proceeds from sales of the new calendars will help DOT continue its work toward realising the dream of a larger, permanent space for dogs, and also go to further enhancing the current Market Street dog park.

James and Cynthia say proceeds will also be directed to other good dog-related deeds like training up a “reading dog” to help local school students who may need an extra hand to get ahead with their studies.

“The dog park is about much more than just a space to toss a ball around for the dogs,” says James. “It’s also very much about a space for humans to interact and has certain mental health benefits as well.”

The $20 calendar may be obtained via DOT’s Facebook page or by picking up a copy at the Trentham Post Office or the Community Bank Trentham & Districts.

Words & images: Eve Lamb

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