Australian Shepherds, sofas and singing!

I was actually looking for a serious description of and Australian shepherd to post on this site – in honour of our “Blue”. Who is not 7 months old. Instead I found this story by Pet Illustrator Connie Bowen of her two Aussie shepherds and they sound just like Blue. Especially the part about the gradually dismantled sofa and the furry cheer leader team! (Our other dog, Ollie, plays the part two but his singing voice isn’t as tuneful!) :)

Dog Behavior – Our Two Australian Shepherd Puppies And The White Couch

I had heard about a Sunday evening spiritual gathering in my neighborhood and was curious to go and make some new friends. My husband and son decided to stay home so I went along looking forward to a quiet evening with like-minded folks. I arrived right on time and was greeted by my gracious hostess. As I entered the lovely living room, I actually screamed when I saw it! A pristine, white couch! The couple’s Persian rugs still had all the fringe and the rungs on their wooden chairs were without bite marks. Their woodwork had no scratches or mud spatters and their screen door was still in tact! Right then and there I made the decision; these people could not survive one minute in my house.

That’s because the day our two Australian Shepherd puppies, Jesse and Harley, came into our lives was the day “that lived-in look” took on new meaning. Old towels now cover our kitchen wall and floor beside the newly installed “doggie door.” Our spring flowers lost their blooms to curious taste buds long ago and the grass in our large backyard has all but turned to mud.

Trying to keep Jesse and Harley off the couch is like learning to fly by jumping off a cliff. We tried our round of obedience classes and agility training. We devoured the stack of dog books written by experts who ran the gamut in their advice from throwing a rolled up magazine at the dogs to ignoring them completely. As I stare at the once matching wicker tables and couch that have been dismantled piece by piece, I literally drool with anticipation remembering that day at the dog park when I heard one lady’s hopeful story who told us her 3 year old Aussie is a couch potato and loves to sleep and take it easy! Under threat of attack to our remaining furniture, we now schedule the dogs’ daily exercise time into our day timer right beside our other appointments.

All in all, would I turn back the clock if I had it to do all over again? Would I drive right by that open gate and leave that purebred Aussie trail behind?

What would my life be like without the smile on my young son’s face as he wakes up every morning to his own furry cheerleading team? And when he stands in the living room with a handful of treats authoritatively spouting, “Sit! Now down! Come and sit! Hey, Mom, did you see that? They did it!” How could I even think of such a thing? Would I miss that sign my doorbell wears, “Don’t ring. It makes the dogs go crazy”?

As I contemplate my life this past year, I look out the French doors to what’s left of our backyard and I experience that rare moment when our puppies are lying side by side in a one-in-a-million pose with the sun gleaming on their fur and their noses tipped up to catch the cool morning breeze, and I remind myself, who needs a white couch, anyway?

Pet Portrait Artist and Professional Illustrator Connie Bowen creates stunning pet portrait paintings on canvas from photos. Specializing in capturing the spiritual nature of dogs, cats, horses and other animals in a realistic fashion with impressionistic backgrounds as seen on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s TV show, Art Beat. Over 200 pet portraits completed and counting! Visit http://www.conniebowen.com to view exquisite samples.


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