The old man in the house turns 13 today...
My first Aussie, the most independent of them all, my little fuzzball.
I met him at 8 weeks old, when he was brought into the pet store where I worked, stinking from the urine and feces from the pups caged above him in the semi truck. I was immediately smitten with the little red and white fluff. I watched him grow up in a cage...we had an open crate policy...so people could pet all of the pups. But this little Aussie would climb out of the crates and escape to run around the store...so his lid stayed on. If you opened the door, he'd rush out and run around. He was a handful.
The pet store went out of business...there were three pups left, ones that no one wanted...a giant Irish setter pup (6 month old), Ripley (4 months old) and a wiemaraner with bowed front legs.
The other pups were given away...and I snatched Rip up also...without even thinking about the consequences. Long story short, he became my puppy.
And what an AWFUL puppy he was! He got into EVERYTHING! Books, plants, homework...he chewed and destroyed everything he could get his teeth on. He once dragged a potted plant through the apartment...leaving a black soil trail all over the white carpets. He found a way to escape out of the back patio...and I'll look out of the kitchen window to see him gallavanting through the apartment complex. He had diarrhea endlessly...and the only thing that seemed to help was Pedigree dry food. He was terrified of men...and would go crazy on leash when he saw other dogs...
He was rotten...but I loved him.
He grew up, and tried everything I threw at him...he did flyball (of course), agility, disc dog, carting, sheep-herding, swimming, service dog work, therapy dog work, lure-coursing...though he was never to excell at anything, he always enjoyed himself and we had a great time.
Now he's been retired from everything for the past few years, as he slows down with arthritis, and fights the demons that take hold due to his thyroid issues. He's survived a cancer surgery this year...and just keeps chugging along. He moves to the beat of his own drummer, my Rip does.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo
"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw