Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

The Wonderful Wiggler

by Dustin
(Minnesota)

My wife and I got Peanut in the summer of 2002. He was a Blue Merle with one blue eye and a whole lot of wiggley happiness. We had just moved in together with a wedding planned for 2003. Peanut was our first child. We took him to puppy class, we took him on walks and runs. He was a perfect puppy. He eventually velcro'd himself to me and I loved him deeply.

We moved to a new house in 2004, this house was a three story house with a lovelerly laundry chute... this resulted in hours of Aussie fun and excitement. I discovered, after a hour or so of main floor catch with the dog, that the chute door was open on that level. After one well placed throw, down the chute it went. Peanut looked at the open door, then at me as if to say "Really?" then off he went to the basement to fetch his toy. I was amazed at his level of thinking... he thought three dimensionally... WOW! This led to all kinds of other games of hide the toys and let him look for it. He was almost impossible to fool.

2004 was also when our first child showed up. Gracey was Peanut's sole fixation for the first year of her life. That rotten dog would come get us if the baby stirred. Or if she was laying on a blanket, he would be within licking distance. He was absolutely determined to make sure no ill will came to the child. He was a very patient animal, like he understood the baby was just another weird looking puppy to be tended to.

In 2006 we moved to our current house out in the hinterlands of Minneapolis. We were promptly hit by an F2 tornado that took the entire house, with us in the basement. The Dog was bouncing around before it hit trying to get us to move downstairs. Once we put a foot on the stairs, he beat us to the bottom as if to say "That's how you need to do it!" We all survived with only a couple of scratches.

In 2007, our second child arrived... Willy, Da Boy. Peanut behaved exactly the same way as the first child. The best watcher and cleaner on the planet. Grace and Peanut were fast friends, now Peanut had another ward to cherish... and he did.

In 2009, Peanut would go out with the kids to the swing set and sand area in our backyards. He took it upon himself to make sure the kids didn't wander off. I could give him one of two commands 1. Keep em on the swing set, and Keep em in the yard. My wife and I would go in the house and watch the hilarity as the dog made sure the kids were watched. If they would wander off, he would herd them back to the swing set using Aussie nudges... he never nipped, which surprised me. As the kids got older and the nudges didn't work, he would run by the escaping child and steal what ever toy they were carrying and he'd take it back to the sandbox, thus making the child go back where he wanted them. We got hours of entertainment from that.

Last March, one morning he didn't want to get up and go on a walk. Concerned, I took him to the vet and found he had two huge masses in his chest. One on his heart and one on his liver. The Doc thought it might be cancer, but wasn't sure. He sent us home with some heart meds and pain killers. 2 days later he refused to go out to go to the bathroom. We took him in and found his cancer on his heart had ruptured. It should have killed him, but it was like he was waiting on me to get there so he could say goodbye. We put him to sleep with him in my arms. Such a beautiful soul in that mound of dog flesh and hair. We were heartbroke. Then my lovely little girl tells me, with tear filled eyes "Dad, God just needed a puppy to play catch with, and Peanut was perfect for that"

Yes Honey, He was. He most certainly was.

Comments for The Wonderful Wiggler

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wonderful!
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my boy, Buchanan, at age 10 to the same thing 5 years ago. It is never easy to lose your best friend, especially when that friend is your Aussie.

beautiful
by: Anonymous

thank you, I have tears in my eyes even as I write to you now He sounded wonderful, loving, and smart. You were blessed to have had him; I'm so sorry that he had to leave you so soon. Yor children sound wonderful as well, God bless them and you. I pray you find another Aussie someday, NOT to take his place, but to fill your home with more love and laughter, that only an Aussie can bring. We too lost our boy at the age of 5 to epilepsy. We did however, get another, only this little guy is a toy Aussie. He is a handful, but never a day goes by that he doesn't make me smile and laugh.

wiggler
by: Anonymous

What a beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing. I?m so sorry for your loss and I think your beautiful daughter is right; God just needed him beside him. What a smart little girl.

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