Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Persistence Pays...

by Cat Fortier
(NW IL)


It is with a heavy heart, that I add my Son "Abel", to this page. He died this week, in my arms at 15.4 yrs old.

Abel was NOT my dream dog. In fact, he was everything in an Aussie I did not want. I went to the breeders to get a black tri female, small and show quality. What I came home with, was the biggest bluest boy, not "ideally marked" for the show ring. The girl I had picked out, wanted nothing to do with me. She wiggled and squirmed and fussed every time I picked her up, several times on several different visits. Abel, however was always in my lap, or following me. I would pick him up and put him back with the others, only to have him crawl right back. By week 7 it was obvious he had chosen me. He would not be denied. I never regretted letting him pick me. Not a single day, from the moment I understood he was serious.

He wasn't show quality. But he was one hell of an agility and obedience dog. So good in fact, our trainer liked taking him through his paces just to feel his speed. He was injured at 4 yrs old when another dog got loose from his handler and attacked him at the top of the A frame, knocking him off and onto his back, injuring his spinal cord, causing him a loss of coordination. We tried all sorts of therapy. He was officially retired from agility a year later.

From there, he was the official foster dog trainer. 13 yrs of helping me raise severely traumatized and neglected foster dogs and puppies. They pushed him hard, but he was never mean back, even a bit too easy. But all "his" puppies, took away his good nature.

Thank you Abel, You made me a better dog owner, and a better person. They say you can judge a person by their dog. But you, trained me. Thank you for going so easy on me.

You will always be "My Son".

Comments for Persistence Pays...

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Feb 27, 2014
They choose you
by: Kathie and Ronj

We just hope your next Aussie will pick you out also - Timmy did that with Ron and he was his life partner forever. We lost him about 4 years ago, and there is still a vacant spot in our hearts. Hopefully one day we will get another "Timmy Shake-A-Butt" - so will you have another to pick you!
A big hug!

Feb 28, 2014
persistance
by: ken and karen

Losing such a great dog is a terrible we had our aussie for 9 years and had her a puppy she was our siesure dog since she was 9 months. Her name was shelby.. I have a story called our shelby shells if you would like to read it. Where in nwest illinois are you, we are located near ohare airport. and we our considering another aussie, because of how smart they are. I trained her everything she knew. I should become a dog trainer...

Mar 12, 2014
No other..
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your kind words. Every time a dog "leaves" there is a hole left behind. I foster dogs, I rescue, I take in old dogs during their last years... I'm used to this! No, I feel like my heart is the grand canyon these days. I'm so happy he left without suffering, I could not have asked for an easier exit for him. I've lingered on the decision on my other dogs, and it's the worse feeling, wondering. Just like Abel to alert me something wasn't right. One panic bark and I knew he was in trouble. I told him over and over to let me know, "just let me know", and he did. I will never have another dog like Abel, and I hope not. Every dog is special in his/her own way, as it should be. I will love again, it's inevitable. Abel, will never be gone, because his grin and snorts will always be here in my heart.

Apr 20, 2014
How did you know?
by: Anonymous

I have an Aussie 15 years and 4 months. It is hard for him to get up and down at times. The last 4 days he has had "episodes" where he falls and I sit with him in my arms for 5-10 minutes then he can walk again. Yesterday he urinated while having an episode and wet his bed this morning. And threw up. He barks and begs for food, still plays with cats, but, he is not the guy he used to be. Because he is so lively at times is making this even harder. Any advice? I am sorry for your loss and am dreading mine...

Jan 29, 2015
best pal
by: Wendy

So sorry for your loss. Aussie's are great dogs.

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