Too much heavy in the world so I’m going to continue with my Dog Life Blog.
Animals really do teach you so much about life. And no one animal taught me more about tenacity than Andy.
I only had known one dog up until I was 16/17 years old. That was our Black and Tan Australian Shepherd named Coalie. Coalie was sweet and quiet. He was also all work horse and never allowed inside. One time we did try to coax him from the Frozen Tundra and he got as far as the mud room and decided that was too much. I can’t reach into my memory bank and tell you much about him because he was always just with our dad. Coalie also loved porcupines and I think he was sprayed by a skunk more than once.
Coalie passed away and got a puppy. The first puppy for my sister and I. This little red, shy and so scared puppy came into our lives. My sister and I were thrilled. we also mandated she stay in the house. I don’t know how she became Andy, but Andy she was.
Andy was a red Australian Shepherd. Aussies by nature are family only and cranky with strangers. They love a good job and are high energy. She was all of that and more. I don’t think this blip will do her justice. It’s hard to find words to explain such a fierce little fire cracker, and if you have been owned by an Aussie; you get it.
Puppyhood was an adventure. Andy turned from the shy puppy who was hiding behind a chair into a force of nature. It was like she was just waiting for a family to unwrap her super power.
She discovered things like bounding around the house at lightening speed and using a sofa as a launch pad. Somewhere we have hours of her on video tape; one where she eats an orange peel is favorite.
Andy was all red with a white stripe down her nose and her ears never matched; one was up and was always down. Her nose was light brown so we always had to put sunscreen on it or she would burn. Her love of fierce play was always front and center.
My mom had a long purple winter coat she would wear and at some point Andy had taken this coat as the trigger for play time. It seemed it didn’t matter who wore the coat; Andy would attack. Sneak attacks were popular with her as well the full speed launch off you like a rocket attack. Even after the purple coat died a natural death; we would go for walks and Andy would be a few yards ahead when she would turn and look at you. We always stopped and said “no Andy no!” She didn’t give a shit. She would take off and jump off of you and all you could do is brace for impact.
Now as I said Andy was an Australian Shepherd. They are happiest having a job. Cattle are their number one job and no dog loved that job more than Andy. She was stubborn and competitive. And once she knew what her job was, like trailing steers down a trail and letting more in as we dropped down, she would stay on that task. Of course there were times she didn’t listen. She was a dog and she was Andy. I can’t recall, though, her giving one single flying fuck about being scolded. I could be wrong. I have this really fond memory of her.
There was nothing more Andy loved than a cow not paying attention and going along with status quo. I think she bit a cow(s) on the nose more than once and that annoying little bite they do on the back of hoof. Oh she got kicked, she was rolled more than once by a cow or Bull that bested her when she was too cocky or a little slow. I can tell you this though; that dog never went down without a fight. She might yelp at the surprise or it hurt; but she got up mad. Like straight up pissed.
Andy was also fast and could spin on a dime. I know because I raced her on a four wheeler more than once. More than once I was thankful I was wearing boots because she would get right up next to me and get those little teeth right at my heel.
Man she was a bitch. She was a lover too. She was scared of thunderstorms and would hide in the deepest closet she could find.
Swimming was a favorite past time and she never passed a water hole without a swim. After all trailing cows all day is hard work.
I loved that dog. I miss her almost daily. We miss her especially when we are horse back and the cows hide in the trees. I miss her smiling at us and her ability to lay her head on a pillow and wait for someone to cover her up.
Andy was as soft as she was tough. She loved us all fiercely. Some day I hope we add another feisty puppy to the mix. Just so they can herd kids and growl at anyone who isn’t family; but most importantly get into the trees so I’m not off my horse yelling into trees looking for cows.