Posted on : 10-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks
Tags: Australian Shepherds
“They” should warn you about things like this. If an Australian Shepherd ends up in your pack of life, be prepared for more to merge in at a later date. One of our first clues to Aussie dog owners tending to have multiple Aussies was last summer while vacationing at the beach when we met a woman who had three champions playing frisbee with her all up and down the beach!? They all got along so well together and they just seemed to fit together perfectly. You could almost see them, in your mind’s eye, herding flocks of sheep across the rolling green hills of country-islands across the ocean.
So it should come as no surprise to us that after only a week of seriously looking into a new litter-mate for our small pack of an Aussie and a Lab, who would fit in the most seamlessly like he’d always lived with us but “George” who ended up at the shelter as a stray. They figure him to be about 7 months old but I think he may be a little bit younger.
George and Paul (yes, you know any more dogs we get will be named John and Ringo…) acted like they fit together like peas and carrots from their first meeting. I didn’t go with my husband for the “meet and greet” between them because I have a hard time going to any kind of animal shelter since I end up wanting to bring everyone home with me. Soon after the time he made his appointment to take Paul to meet his new possible sidekick, I got the most happy voice mail from my husband telling me that they were getting along famously and riding together in the back seat of his car with no problems at all.
Our Black Labrador, The Grand Dame we call “Reality”, likes him too. And he defers to her better judgment in cases where both he and Paul get a wee bit too rambunctious for the regal black lady of our abode. I’ve had dogs all my life, in fact, I say often that I was raised by a Boxer because “Duke”, my parents’ first dog-child, used to watch me in the front yard when my mom went to talk to neighbors in the hood and not let me wander out of the yards’ parameters. I’ve been around German Shepherds when my mom was into showing and breeding them and raising champions, Great Danes, Wired-haired Dachshunds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Schipperkes, Dobermans, Cairn Terries, Golden Retrievers, an Irish Wolfhound and a Cockapoo but I’ve never had an Australian Shepherd, until now, which seems to be a breed all unto itself.
I’ve made my husband promise me that we will find a trainer (for us more than the dogs) who specializes in Australian Shepherds so that we can make sure that we keep their bright little minds busy and occupied with little chance of circling around in on itself and becoming really neurotic!! After four years of talking and communicating with the Paul-dog, it wasn’t until this evening with the addition of the new George-dog, that Paul acknowledged that my words were reaching him when he came to full alert because the next door neighbors with all their kids were home. This is usually the time that he loves to run to the window and bark as if Attila the Hun himself was outside trying to break in. We’ve tried all kinds of things with him to get him to stop to no avail when, surprisingly, all I had to say to him this evening was “now Paul, think really hard how you want to react to this…you’ve got the little man George watching your every move”.
I’m sure it won’t surprise you at all to know that Paul did not bark once. Well, maybe once but that was only when one of the neighborhood kids actually came up to our door and knocked on it to give us their annual family photo Christmas card. Even still, Paul did not bark as loud or as long as he would of before George (b.g.). All this goes to show that I’m pretty sure everything you say and do with an Aussie goes in their ears and stays there. I’m also beginning to realize that there is probably an exhaustive list of all kinds of things they can do but….ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO DO IT. So, the trick for us is to learn how to gain their respect and attention so they’ll want to do what we say.
I really feel sorry for those humans who don’t enjoy animals as much as we do. I’m sure if you are an animal lover that you have many examples in your own life of how being in a relationship with them has expanded and grown you in your “being” experience. In fact, I would love to hear stories from you about what you’ve learned from your animal friends.
Until then, picture me running around the foothills of the Texas Hill Country with my Aussie dogs and send us all a little prayer would ya?!