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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

The Best Present Ever

by Wilda



It was love at first sight. I went to visit friends, whose daughter had been in an accident. We brought her flowers, and then, the bedroom door opened, and out ran 8 of the cutest puppies I had ever seen. I layed on the floor, while they all sat on me, sniffed me, and licked me. What are they, I asked? Australian Sheperds, I was told. I was in puppy heaven. I had to have one, but which one, they were all so cute.

Well, one little guy, snuggled up to me, and layed down on me. I knew, he was the one. I begged my husband and he first said no, but later, he went back and payed the guy, took a picture of my "little guy" and gave it to me for Christmas. I had to wait til my birthday though, because he wasn't ready to come home just yet. I screamed with joy.

When he finally came home, he was bundle of joy and laughter. We all grew to love him so much. Everywhere I went, he followed. Always tripping and bumping into things, but it made him that much cuter. When my boy, who we named Luke, turned two, he had his first seizure. I had never seen one, I was afraid. But it quickly passed, and he didn't have another for a few months.

When he did begin to get them more often, I took him to my vet who ran blood work, and gave me medicine. It would help, but not eliminate. Being a naturalist, I found a holistic vet, who began to treat him also. We had hope, and for months at a time he would be fine, then he get them again, but they seemed to be farther apart, and shorter. I was hopeful.

The last time, though, we weren't so fortunate, he had a cluster of 15, followed by spasm, and twitches, then cries, and he was gone. the whole horrible ordeal lasted 5 hours. I called every emergency vet I could find, no one would make house calls. Finally,we called a friend to help us take him to an emergency clinic, but there was nothing left to do. I loved him so much. We all did. It was 9/11/10. We will never forget him. Our little Luke myster.

Comments for The Best Present Ever

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Sep 22, 2010
by: b626

They come into our lives for a reason! I WISH they NEVER had to leave!!

Sep 22, 2010
Your Luke
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry about your Luke! I can relate as we lost our first black tri mini Aussie, Carly, one week before her first birthday. That was 9/16/09. She died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Totally unexpected, no warning whatsoever. From the time we discovered her to the moment we had to make that awful decision was just three hours.

I hope that you will do what we did. A few months later, I began to search for a breeder in our area. I found one who was so sweet, so understanding and allowed us to come see her puppies even if we decided not to get a puppy from her. Over several weeks, I communicated with her via email. I wanted to get a black tri female mini Aussie, just like our Carly. I was going to name her Carly. I knew that was not the right thing to do, but it is what I wanted. So I can understand your pain completely.

I did go see her puppies and I did decide on one. At first I wasn't sure it was a head over heels in love type of decision. I looked at her picture over and over in the next few days. We decided on a name. It had to be a special name. She was a female blue eyed, blue merle mini Aussie. By the time we picked her up three weeks later, I was totally "gaga" over her. I could hardly wait to get her home. We named her Bailee Joy. She turned one year old on August 26, 2010. She looks at me the same way Carly did - only with Bailee's blue eyes. I love her totally and I feel Carly would have had a blast with Bailee.

Our breeder went so far as to offer to keep Bailee while we went out of town to visit our grandkids who are afraid of bigger dogs. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went to pick up Bailee. While there, we fell in love with her half-sister - a female black tri toy Aussie. They are exactly two weeks apart. We named her Maggie Mae. Maggie was born one week before our Carly died, on September 9, 2010.

I will be thinking of you over these next months and hoping you will lose your heart to yet another Aussie ... or maybe two.


Sep 23, 2010
Re: Luke
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss and I know nothing can heal pain,and heartache but time. I was told once before "Don't cry because it's over,smile because it happened" Treasure the time you had with him and remember how precious he was. I am sure you gave him the best time of his life! My thoughts are with wishes in this difficult time.

Sep 23, 2010
Heart breaking
by: Vivian

I am so sorry for your loss, what a touching story. That must have been so difficult for you. God bless you!

Sep 24, 2010
thank you
by: Wilda

thank you everyone for your kindness to me, over my loss of Luke. Your kind words has brought tears to my eyes once again, but that's ok. I am looking for another aussie. At first I thougth one just like my Luke, but recently, I came across a reddish/brown girl, her name is Mylee at a shelter. I've been thinking about her, and uncertain at first, she's only 9 months, and I'm afraid the same could happen, but she does need a home, and me and my other 2 dogs (13 years old retriever mix) and a 2 year old Chi need a happy, bouncing aussie that fills our lives, and days with joy and excitement. My 2 dogs haven't been the same since Luke was taken from us. The house seems void, empty, quiet. You would think that we would welcome that, but no...
My husband and friends think I should wait, I'll (we) adjust with time, but I find myself longing for that which I once knew, and had. Maybe its crazy, but I just feel like we need him/ or her to make us complete.I share this here, among fellow Aussie lovers, because others just don't understand. I love all animals, I have 2 other dogs, and 2 cats, but there's something about an Aussie.

Sep 25, 2010
There is something about an Aussie
by: Anonymous

You are so right! I love dogs. In my 60 years I have had various kinds of dogs - mostly small dogs, poodles, yorkies, cockers, spitz, etc ... but then I went to the Highland Games and Celtic Festival. They had Aussie Rescue groups and Collie rescue groups, etc. I absolutely fell in love with the mini Aussies!!!

No one can tell you when it is right for you to get another dog - follow your heart. You know how big the hole is and you know what you need and when. No dog will ever take the place of Luke but your heart has room for another dog. You will know the timing.

Good Luck!

Sep 27, 2010
Re: Mylee
by: Anonymous

You are the only one that knows when the time is right to get another pet. Sometimes it helps us to move on and not dwell (which we know slows the healing time)The time will vary as we are all individuals.
When I lost my last aussie, I didn't want another one right away, I was sooo devistated. She was the last offspring of my breeding days. I just knew it would be forever before I got another. My heart was broken.
BUT, working in a veterinarian hospital,three weeks later a litter of aussies came in and lo and behold a new family member in my household! Some people told me it was too soon, but it was perfect timing!
You,and only you, will know when the time is right. And your right, no household is complete without an aussie!!! Good luck to you!

Sep 29, 2010
2nd heartbreak
by: Wilda

I did go back and brought home Mylee, the 9 month old aussie/collie mix from the shelter but it did not go well because of my 2 year old Chi. We tried for days and it was getting worst. I feared for the Chi's health, and mental state; so I tearfully took Mylee back. I have had 3 dogs and 3 cats living together for years.(now I have two of each, because one cat and one dog passed away), so I don't understand why bringing in another dog was such apoblem for him(the chi); meanwhile, its obvious that he could use a playmate(since my old girl isn't up to it anymore, and Luke is gone). can some one please she some light on this? I really would like to get another Aussie, I'm willing it get a toy one if the problem s size for the chi, but any help would be much appreciated.
To be honest, I feel like such a failure. I can't believe I had to take her back. I never dreamed, I would ever do such a thikng. I called everyone I knew to see if someone would adopt her,so I wouldn't have to take her back(even though it's one of the best shelters ) but no one would. Oddly, enough, she seemed happy when I took her back, and they all knew her, and loved her,but that only helps me alittle.

Oct 07, 2010
3 Chis and and one big Aussie
by: Dave

Got my guy when he was a little past 4 months old, he was a rescue. I had always wanted an Aussie, and Sampson had been found playing in a highway passing lane with his blind/deaf sister (double merle). I think it's what gives him his calm and attentive personality. Anyways, we already had three long-haired Chihuahuas. The oldest was just past 10 when we brought Sam home. None of the Chis were crazy about the new furball of fun in the house, but they tolerate him...for the most part. I understand your fear, as on a few occassions two of the Chis go after him. Chis don't give up, and Aussies only move forward, as a result we have had to break up fights on a few occassions, but it's been about a year since the last major blow up which resulted in our now 12 year old Chi having to get stitches when he went after Sam's bone. The only thing I can tell you is what we have done to try and alleviate problems. We don't allow bones in the house anymore, or other things that dogs can fight over. Sam knows his size, but the Chis believe they can take him. He tolerates the little one going after him with a glance as if to say, "really? Can't you see I'm 20 times your size?" The oldest hangs out in a spare bedroom most of time doing what old dogs do. Our youngest Chi, not the smallest feeds off Sam, and will run around the backyard with him playing guard dog, but I don't know if I'd call them friends. Your problem is the Chis are true pack dogs, clannish to their breed. If they come into a house with an established dog then they will fit into their place, but if you bring a dog in that is alpha dominant by nature like an Aussie, then expect the Aussie to rub the others wrong. Sorry this is the case. I feel bad for Sampson who just wants to play with them, but he has dog friends in the neighborhood, and the little kids in the neighborhood love him to death. He's a big Aussie, about 63lbs, blue merle, with a full fluffy tail that he doesn't know how to use (I say it's been bred out of the breed).

Hope you can make it work. I had a scare with Sam last year over bloat from a rawhide he got a hold of. Stayed up with him all night long, to keep it from going full blown. I call him the big furry, and he'll turn two in November. Can't imagine life without the big clown.

Oct 08, 2010
by: Wilda

wow Dave, you guys are a life saver to that dog. and I wish I coould have said the same. I look at her picture(Mylee's) and still hurt overgving her up. I keep pryaing some one will adopt daughter tells m to stop torting myself by checking the website to see i she's still there..nyway, my family felt that it was too much to take, so we did what we had to do. We are in the process of geting an 8 week old toy pup, which I pray will be alot better, since its so little, and submissive. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I really appreciate it. I keep telling myelf, if someone doesn't adopt Mylee soon, I may just go back and...but that's not a reality here, I don't think anyo f us would benefit, not eve Mylee

Oct 19, 2010
by: Wilda

Mylee was adopted by another family! so happy for her, and them.
We got our little pup a few days ago, we named him Cooper-Kody. Yep, we gave him 2 names because we couldn't decide. He's so much like our Luke, and yet he's his own little person. He's a bundle of energry, and he and our Chihuahua are getting along pretty well. chasing, playing, and napping. We are very happy with the outome, and we thank God.
He is very bright. he learned to leash walk in a day, and to go outside, as well as use the pads on the floor in 2 days. When we finally decided on his name, he answered to it right away, and looked at us as if to say"I knew my name all along, what took YOU so long?!" We all laughed, and said" Why didn't you tell us your name from the beginning?" That's an Aussie for you: Bright, comical, fun and loving.

Dec 19, 2010
shared loss
by: Wendy (Tansy's Mom)

We are all going through a huge loss in are lives. By reading about the love and loss we share for our Aussies makes me cry. When we got Tansy, I joked that Aussies are like potato chips (one is not enough.) I have to admit that I didn't know the breed very well. I was a German Shepherd lover and after the loss of my 9 year old girl (11 years ago) to degenerative Myelopathy, I started researching other herding breeds. It's hard to let go and it's harder to watch them suffer. After reading about your Luke and what you went through with seizures is scary. Was it caused by in-breeding? I think I picked a great breeder, she is an RN and shows and loves her dog's. We go to the same Vet and I have been to obedience classes where I have run into her. I never cared much for getting a puppy. Most of our dogs were 7 months to 11 years old when I got them. After having our first Aussie puppy, I found how easy they are to train. I have never had a dog live more than 13 years and Aussies had a long life span of 14 to 16 years. Mid Oct. our male turned 10 and reached a mile stone. I never had a biopsy done on his tumors (fear of knowing). I thought I had a healthy, happy 6.5 year old that would be with me a good long time. I feared we would lose our male young, I never thought my girl would go first. I didn't go through the kind of up and down suffering you did with Luke. It came on sudden and with-in two weeks. I had to make the decision to put her down. I wanted to fight this cancer and make her healthy. I made her food and she wouldn't eat it. I was force feeding baby food and pills she couldn't keep down. After her first chemo injection, I could see I wasn't going to win. There is no cure or remission, her white blood cells had taken over her body. I watched my German Shepherd slowly loose the ability to walk so, I do understand. I also know I wouldn't be here writing this if you didn't love your Luke as much as I love Tansy. I am sorry for your loss too!

May 11, 2011
for Wendy
by: Anonymous

Wow, Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss too. No loss is easy, regarless of their age, or weather you try to be "ready". loss of a beloved pet, is loss. I once had a German shepherd also. She was given to us, and it turned out she was sick. We grew to love her quickly, she was so sweet, smart and we only had her for about 6 months.
When I was a teen, I had a shorthaired Chichuahua, and she died after only 7 years. She was my first dog, but I was naive and didn't know about the holistic world. It never gets easy, you never get used to it.
I think my Luke was inbred, but of course I really have no way of knowing for sure, but here again, I was naive, I didn't know the breeder well, or anything about how they did things. They were aquaintances, and nice people, but I don't thnk they knew what they were doing either.
I wish I could say things were going smoothly with Cooper and our Chi, but its not really. Cooper just wants to play and now at 8 months, he's trying to be the dominant one, but the Chi won't hear of it, and they are constantly squappling. Still, I am hopeful, all in good time.
I sincerely hope you the best.

Apr 28, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi, its been awhile. Cooper is now almost 4 years old. he and the Chi are alot better. and I have grown to love Cooper so much. more than I thought i would or could. he lays on the floor beside me at night, and won't lay down til I stroke him and wish him a good night, sweet dreams. he's a happy boy, still loves to run and play. he turned out bigger than I had expected (38 pounds.) we go out for long walks and take pictures of various sunsets, landscapes and wildlife. he's my buddy my pal.

Mar 03, 2016
time flies...
by: Wilda

Wow, its been over a year since I was last on here. Cooper, and Keito are best friends. (Cooper being the kinder, more understanding and patient of the two; not surprising.) Cooper is my shadow, he's learned so much, and now is able to go outside in our backyard unleashed and run and play. he doesn't even chase our visiting Muscovy duck, Elvis, nor any of the birds. he's such a good boy. he listens, and obeys very well. he's very sensitive, and if he even thinks I'm sad, because I let out a sigh, or upset, if I raise my voice, excited, he reacts by either coming to me, and nudging me, or looking at me from afar, and and watches me. I'm happy to say, he's gotten better with my 3 year old grandson.( he tends to be a bit possesive of me.) He now runs out side with him, and plays catch the bubbles. I taught my grandson to give him treats, and his hand from under(never over.) I can't get over how much good he has done for me, and been such an answer to prayer. he helps me when I'm down, and makes me happier, when I'm happy. I thank God for him. I would add a photo but can't seem to find the option to do so.

Jun 05, 2019
Update (With 4 you get crazies. LOL)
by: Wilda

Wow, it's been over three years since I last posted here. Time does have a way of getting away from us, doesn't it? I'm happy to say my Cooper is turning 9 next month. He has been a great comfort and joy. Sadly, he's had a lot of skin allergy issues, which we have combatted time and time again. So far, thank God, this year he is doing better with the help of a holistic vet.

We did get another Aussie two and half years ago, because I wanted a playmate for Cooper since our Chi (yes, he's still with us, turning 11) was getting older and crankier. LOL

We got a girl, her name is Gabby. We got her from a horse farm. Turns out she is what they call a mismark. She too is a black tri; unfortunately, my Gabby seems to have some issues. She's afraid of practically everything.

I hoped with time and socialization she would get better, but she hasn't really. She has moments, but it takes her a long time.

I love her dearly. She is very sweet and loving and adores our grandson, now age 6, but she's very difficult to take out to places because she trembles with fear, wants to run and hide, and barks at every person and dog, it breaks my heart. She loves Cooper, and Cooper is good with her, but lately, he seems to be getting edgy too (I think it's the arthritis. I am giving him a joint supplement which helps, but not enough I guess).

Two months ago we adopted another little girl, a mini Doxie mix, that was found abandoned under a house with her mama and siblings. She was actually given to us. I wasn't sure I wanted another dog, but of course, when I saw her, I couldn't say no. LOL

The people who found her no longer wanted her because they decided they wanted big dogs. Yep, just like that. She had fleas and was unkept. She's been with us 2 months now. She's been good for Gabby to play with. Gabby seems to think she's her mommy or something.

Cooper and the Chi keep their distance when the two are running around the house like crazy.

Who would have thought that after my Luke, we'd wind up with two more Aussies, 4 dogs altogether? I know I didn't. I still miss my Luke, believe it or not, but am so grateful for my angel boy Cooper.

Gabby has been a challenge and a sweetheart.

I wonder what my Luke would think and say? "Mom you went a little overboard there." LOL

I can't believe it's been 9 years, seems like only yesterday.

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