Maud was born on Memorial Day, 2017. We lost our dog Rosie to poison a couple months earlier in the year and felt the only way to fill the hole in our hearts was with a new puppy. I read a notice in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup last July advertising “purebred Australian Shepherd pups” and could not put the idea out of mind. We hemmed and hawed for a few days and decided we needed to see a photograph of the puppies before we could decide. The breeder, a rancher in Columbus, Montana was most helpful and friendly, but decidedly not into email or texting. Could we wait until his daughter could help him out?
Finally, after what seemed like an interminably long period of time, I received a photograph of a wooly-looking puppy with a freckled face. It was love at first sight. We called the breeder and said we would take her and would send a deposit right away. She had been spoken for previously but the potential buyer did not follow up with the deposit. We were thrilled that she was available.
We drove to Montana, a trip of 259 miles to Columbus, and another 20 miles out in the hills to the ranch where Maud was born. There were still four pups left, including Maud but we definitely liked her color the best. She was hiding under a dog house in the center of a large fenced kennel and had to be pried out so we could have a look at her. I held her while we visited with the breeder, then put her in a crate in the back seat of our pickup. It was a very long ride home, as she became car sick and was so dehydrated. We stopped to buy a couple bath towels to wrap her in and I held her in my lap the rest of the way, which calmed her and she settled down.
Maud became a good traveler and began accompanying us to our cabin in Colorado, resulting in huge messes on a regular basis. What are puppies for? She could not resist a bowl of pine cones and anything else available that she could chew on, including her puppy pad. Aussies are notorious for needing something to do at all times, and Maud is no exception. I believe she can set the standard for busy.
Maud has earned several new nicknames for her mischievous behavior–“Maudzilla,” “Maud the Marauder,” “Maudly,” to name a few. She loves to chase chickens, dig holes, maul the cats, growl at Feed Lot, and harass the herd of deer that lurk around outside the fence. She has learned to behave a little better around Tilly the filly. She has to be kept on leash when we leave the confines of the yard, for now.
Her friend Gus loves to play ball or run for the furbee. He lives in the neighborhood and stops in to play and see if there are any treats. He always seems to outsmart Maud and get there ahead of her for the furbee. She hasn’t figured out how to outmaneuver him, even though she is bigger and equally as fast on her feet. The look she gives him in this photo makes it clear the contest isn’t over. Isn’t that just like a female?