If you’ve read the “About Us” page, you’ve probably heard some of this already. But when I first dipped my toes into the world of dog ownership, I was about seventeen years old. Now, mind you, we had a couple of family dogs growing up. But when I hit those late teens I became the owner of “my” first dog.
She was an Aussie mix, with a very timid personality. And having never trained or raised a puppy before, I’m sure I did things incorrectly in her socialization period which didn’t help that type of personality. She ended up being a fear biter.
I was dating a guy at the time that was raised in a serious dog family; they raised and showed Belgian Sheepdogs. He suggested an obedience class might help my poor socially inept dog. So off we went!
And he was right. It took a very long time, with consistent exposure and training, but she actually got where she was excited to go to class, made friends with people and allowed them to touch her. It was a major accomplishment.
All this lead me to an interest in showing dogs. So I began contemplating different purebreds. (At that time to show in obedience classes at shows, the dog had to be a purebred). My Aussie had a merled eye (partially blue) which I absolutely loved. I’ve always been partial to animals that look different.
During my time at class (this became a weekly, year-round event. In fact, years later after I’d gotten married and had kids, I would go to class once a week telling my husband it was my “therapy”) I became good friends with several people. One friend had a beautiful Shetland Sheepdog. I fell in love! And then I learned that Shelties (as they are called) sometimes have blue eyes. That was it! I was getting a Sheltie. (Don’t worry, I didn’t decide on the breed “only” because they can have blue eyes.) 😉
So to make a long story shorter; I did get my first Sheltie and went on to have many more; showing, raising and working in rescue for several years. I got out of the showing aspect as my kids grew and required more of my time and attention. And after the last Sheltie passed away I started thinking about a similar sized dog, but with less hair to maintain, which leads me to our first Cavalier.
During my “show” years I also had a couple of Belgian Sheepdogs. And when we moved to the country we had different farm dogs (an Australian Cattle Dog, and several German Shepherds). All of these breeds have a common thread; they are all what are classified as herding dogs; working dogs, highly trainable, motivated, devoted to “do” whatever you ask.
Which brings me to this little thing; Oakley. Or Oakley Dokely as she is affectionately called. She’s a crazy bundle of energy, loves being outside, curious, affectionate, and always willing to “help” me do chores. Oh, and she comes racing when I call her (unlike a Cavalier…hehe).
(Notice her raised foot…ready to run! “Let’s go, mom!”)
Don’t get me wrong, I love the love sponges (Cavaliers) and the active clowns (Poodles) and adore raising the Cavapoos. ❤️ But there will probably always be at least one herding dog on the place too.
My “token” herding dog. ❤️