hello from 10 acres of paradise on the mid north coast of nsw. i grew up with dogs....those backyard bitzas that were always available back in the 70's. when i got married, hubby and i shared our home with a pure-bred german shepherd who needed a new home when he was 18 months old. he was absolutely amazing with our kiddies when they were born and growing up. as he grew older we brought another shepherd puppy home, no pure breed this time, but that sort of thing doesn't really matter to us, as all our dogs have been members of our family, not for showing or breeding.
as the years went by we've continued 'over-lapping' puppies with old dogs. the old dogs have helped train the new pup, making our job a lot easier in the puppy stage, and the new pup has been able to take over the job of guarding the home as the old dog has gradually 'retired'.
up until this week, all our puppies have been shepherds, some pure-bred, some not. all have had their distinct personalities and there own place in our hearts and family....we raised our dogs the same way we raised our children - lots of love and consistent discipline, which seems to have worked well for both the dogs and the children!
as of this week we added a red/blue cattle dog cross, though so far our little fellow is all red. the reason for our decision to change breeds??? our latest shepherd is the best natured dog we've had so far and we didn't think we could better him, so thought a change might be a good thing. add to that, our property is just full of things that stick in long coats and i'm a bit too tired these days to be spending the time required to pull all the burrs, farmers' friends (or sticky beaks, depending on the area you live in) etc; a shorter coat seemed like a good way to go. it'll also make finding those jolly ticks and leeches a lot easier!
i have to admit, i'm feeling very tired this week - haven't had a baby in the house for many years - the kiddies are all grown up, the old dog is nearly 8 years old and the cat is nearly 4 years old. babies are definately exhausting work and i'm used to sleeping through the night, no matter how late i go to bed! but i wouldn't swap the past 3 days for anything!! the animals are all starting to settle in with one another, so the little pup isn't quite as disruptive to our rather mellow and tranquil life as he was at the beginning. WE knew what to expect, but no matter how many times i told the dog and cat that things would get better, they kept looking at me with reproach, making ME feel guilty, amused and irritated...all at the same time.....all the while dealing with house-training a new puppy! oh the joys of babies - at least i slept a bit more last night....thankfully!