She’s an Australian, Mate!

Sydney our Red Tri-colored Australian Shepherd

Sydney is already anxious to start herding for the day as she eyeballs the chickens in their pen.
Sydney is already anxious to start herding for the day as she eyeballs the chickens in their pen. | Source

A Dog’s Tale

When I saw that soft brown flaxen hair with just a smitten of red trailing through the tips, long slender legs, trim bum and golden eyes that literally pierced my soul with a magnetic draw, I was in love. Sydney had to be mine.

It’s the eyes, you know. I’m an eyes kind of person. They speak volumes with a simple glance. If the eyes capture and mesmerize me then I’m hooked. There are sultry brown eyes a person can drown in, sky blue eyes that lead to faraway places, green eyes full of mystery and intrigue. But I’m always a sucker for golden yellow eyes, like Sydney’s, and the minute I made the mistake of a direct stare I was all hers.

Sydney became mine one fortuitous day when a friend sent me an email that she had a female purebred Australian Shepherd in need of a home. I had been seeking an Australian Shepherd since I lost a male blue merle many years ago to juvenile cancer, a common disease among Aussies. I was told that Sydney, temporarily named Socks by the owner due to white patches on her front legs up to her chest, was a rare red tri-colored version. When we met I was stunned by her fascinating color scheme.

Aussie’s are natural herding dogs. They instinctively herd everything; cattle, horses, sheep, chickens…even people. They are also very active animals that seldom stop for a second. You might call them the ADHD breed of dogs. They are constantly on the go. Sydney was not an exception to the rule.

Of course she is now a member of my family which entails a vast array of farm animals. Ironically, my other dogs are Labradors which have the opposite behavior of an Aussie. They slog around like old folks while Sydney runs in circles and goads them into chasing her. Not easily discouraged she will continue this ongoing banter all day long, seldom tiring from her efforts. Once she becomes bored with the other dogs who rarely indulge her whims she will race off to pester the horses or nudge the steer into kicking up his heels for some fun.

Sydney is a social animal who immerses herself into whatever any of the other farm animals are doing. When it’s time to feed, Sydney is right there eating alfalfa with the horses, grain with the steer, or pellets with the hogs. If she were allowed into the chicken pen I’m sure she’d gorge herself on their feed as well, perhaps along with an omelet or two. Ironically all of the animals are content in her company as if she is their adoptive care giver looking out for their well-being.

Aussies are very dedicated to their owners, which is evident whenever any of the labs attempt to get close to me and Sydney runs them off. She’s not about to share her adopted parent. Though extremely active, she is intelligent, observant, and alert. Clearly Sydney is the fastest dog I own and takes great pleasure in capturing unwary quail or dove.

Far from a lady, Sydney wallows in every possible mud hole or excrement available. More than once I’ve sent her away due to horse manure breath or gnawing on a steer flop. She loves variety in her diet, that’s for sure.

I am going to enjoy many long years with my active and entertaining little lass. Her youth will inevitably remind me that though I’m getting older, she’s right there beside me every step of the way. Thanks, Syd!

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