Astro, the Ugly Duckling Aussie
by Alexis Southward
Astro in the Outer Banks, NC
My husband and I moved out to Colorado with our 6 month old Lab mix Luna. Well, something just wasn't right. Luna had a ton of energy for a pup, even though she would spend all day on the lake with us, or at my doggy daycare job with me, she would still come home wanting to play. Luna clearly needed a buddy... and this was my perfect excuse to get an Aussie.
After making this decision one day, my husband came home to find me looking at as many pup rescue sites and ads as I could find. I finally found a face I could not live without. A bright pink nose, fluffy white fur, and brilliant blue eyes. I had to have him.
As soon as I saw his picture I was in love. Honestly, he was probably the ugliest Aussie pup I could find, but I think that was part of his charm... he was my ugly little duckling.
Apparently, his breeder didn't think so... he had been born and bred in South Dakota, but because of his double merle coat, she was unable to get rid of him so she shipped him off to live in Denver with a woman she met at a dog show. His litter mates went for top dollar, while he was shoved to the side. The woman in Denver was unable to find a home for him, because he had been un-socialized and he was of questionable breeding. He was shipped back to South Dakota... which is where I had to track him down.
We drove all the way to Wyoming to get him, this now 6 month old unwanted Aussie they called "Piggy". The breeder, who I shall not name, promised us he was not deaf and then she scolded him because he was not supposed to be "this color". She is referring to what is known as double merle... or lethal white. Essentially she was blaming poor Astro for her own ignorance in breeding. He could not help his genetics or that he could not bring her the large sum of money that his litter mates did.
From first sight I could tell she had no attachment to the pup. He was visibly scared and lunged and tried to bite my husband when he tried to pet him. When I looked at Mike, I could see he had doubts in his eyes, but I knew that this dog had had enough, that he was coming home with us.
That was in October of 2007, and Astro today is a completely different dog. He is the most loving, sweet and loyal dog I could ever imagine having. He and our Lab mix Luna are completely inseparable and make the best playmates. Astro goes everywhere with me and he is always complemented for his beauty. All he needed was the love and patience to become one of the greatest & most handsome dogs I have ever known.