Beau, Mandy, and Lexus
ere is a bit about some wonderful dogs who have been a part of my life for short while.
Beau, My First Aussie
Beau was my introduction to Aussies. My family had been without a dog for quite a while and we were trying to decide what to get. We found two business cards from breeders at our local feed store and decided to call. We'd never heard of the breed and couldn't find any info at the local libraries (this was in the early 80's), but since we had a small flock of sheep we decided to give them a try. Beau really impressed me with his intelligence and loyalty. He always wanted to do whatever we were doing. If we went outside, he did too. If I was reading, he was sitting under my feet. He loved to play frisbee, and would chase it just as long as you were willing to throw it (no matter how tired he was). When I left for college, I was afraid that he would forget me before Thanksgiving. When he came out to the car, he was going around to the driver's side (to see my Mother) until I called him. He was a delighted to see me as I was him!
Unfortunately, he was not really the ideal dog for us. We got to meet his father and his grandfather, but not his mother or any of the breeders other dogs (red flag anyone?) He was also the shyest pup in the litter (another flag, although to be fair, this was probably before people gave much thought to these things). He dearly loved all of us, but was very fearful of strangers (and we took him everywhere trying to socialize him). He would "zone out" when afraid, and bite anyone who got too close (he even bit me once by mistake). Although I was heartbroken when he developed epilepsy just before his second birthday and had to be put to sleep, but it was probably for the best. I still miss him.
Mandy was the dog we got after losing Beau. We were coming home one day and saw a sign that said "Free Puppies Aussie/Black Lab" so we stopped. Her mother was an Aussie Mix and her father was a Lab Mix, so she was a real mutt. The other two puppies were black like their dad, but she was a blue self merle (so naturally, we chose her). She was one of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet, but she was about as dumb as a dog could be (didn't inherit any of her mother's brains). She looked like a skinny, shaggy blue merle lab when she grew up. People always wondered if she was a purebred something or other since she looked so different (she'd probably be pegged as Catahoula Mix today). They'd always ask before trying to pet her (which is good), but she was just a big love.
Lexus was (is) an adorable little girl who stayed with us for a while. She's a very tiny little girl (but not a "mini"). She weighs about 37 pounds, and is only about 19 inches tall (at the shoulder). She has an adorable pointy face, a fluffy, curly coat, a little nubbin tail, and great big "flying nun" ears. I just love her ears! They will stand straight up (at times), and if she is looking up, tip backwards! Sometimes, one will go each way. Too cute! She has very pretty dark blue eyes with no apparent "double merle" eye problems (surprising, considering how white she is), and a very speckly nose. She's almost pure white, with small powder blue merle spots on her sides.
She first showed up in a shelter in Texas. She was mentioned on the Aussie-L list, and I cross-posted her story to the DeafDogs list. Jackie (who rescued my Gwen), with Black Dog Ranch, said that she could take her, so she was pulled from the shelter (ironically enough, Lexus eventually did end up with Jackie). But before she could find her way to Montana, a family said they would like to adopt her. So off she went to North Carolina. Unfortunately, someone in the family became very ill, and they decided that they couldn't keep her. So she was looking for a home again. And someone else decided to adopt her. Bad news again, this home didn't work out either. Her foster mom was getting very discouraged, and just didn't know what to do with her (Lexus was showing some odd behaviors too). So I put my hand in the air and volunteered to take her (Sucker!), and she came to Michigan (well-traveled for a 10 month old, don't you think?)
Lexus is a very high energy girl. She is also very bouncy! (My daughter thought we should call her "Tigger.") She likes "fetch" type games. She's almost as ball-crazy as my Gwen girl is. I think she would be awesome at Frisbee, as she can really jump! Flyball and Agility might be other possibilities.
Unfortunately, Lexus has "space" issues, and our little house with 2 other dogs was too much for her. She's great with people, but if another dog gets to close at the "wrong" time, she picks a fight. After being here for 8 months (where she did learn quite a bit - smart little girl!), she was causing too much stress. Jackie still had room for her, so Gwydion stayed with a friend and my mom and I packed up the girls (Gwen came along for a visit) and drove her out to Montana (which was really a lot of fun). Jackie had her for a while, and then found her a wonderful home with a girl of her very own. Still miss the little snot, but I'm glad she finally found a place to stay.