Well, for the first time in our marriage we had to have a pet put down. We’d had her for half of our marriage. She was an Australian Cattle Dog, the freaks of the dog world. Seriously. She was definitely Cabinet Man’s dog, but she was rather protective of the entire family. When Sunshine was a baby, Jess would lie in the hallway outside the door while she napped. The the boys and their friends came in the door, she was up, hackles raised and letting them know that they were on Her turf and she was protecting her baby.
ACDs are rather amazing dogs. She didn’t have a tail, which seems to be an American preference. She could jump 6 feet, straight up, from a sitting position for a piece of cheese. She wouldn’t do it for a dog biscuit, MAYBE for a piece of steak, but she’d do it every time for a piece of cheese. Jess also belonged to College Dude. She was his other ‘person of choice’. A good friend of the boys had a lab that was incredibly well trained. So the boys figured if Cowboy could hold a sit/stay with a treat on top of his head, then Jess probably could. So they taught her to hold a piece of cheese on her head until they ‘released’ her and she could toss it up and catch it. Well, they underestimated how smart ACDs are…she figured out pretty quickly that if she ducked her chin, the cheese dropped to the floor and she could eat it with no effort. We’ve often joked that if the breed had opposable thumbs, and could use a hammer, they would run the world. We got a male ACD about 2 years ago as we thought Jess would be gone by summer (she showed us!)
She’d been ill for a while, and on Friday, she didn’t want to eat (even cheese) and the expression on her face was “okay, I’m done”. We can tell that her presence is gone and we miss her. But over 80 years in dog years is a pretty good run. She did well when we took her to the vet, they were very kind to her and us. We’ve got good memories of her and that is what matters.
Here is a link to a site about ACDs and an incredible story that I ran across at the Daily Mail UK website.