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Re: [RC] OT - Australian Shepherds - rides2far@xxxxxxxx

We have a Border Collie who got kicked by a horse, had 6 upper front teeth 
quickly removed, and hasn't learned a thing about why he shouldn't be 
heeling horses.  Poor old dear. 

I raised Hartnagle line Australian Shepherds from 1979 till...well my last one 
is on the porch, 7 generations later. My first was a wonderful working dog. I 
was envious of other people whose dogs had split tongues and missing teeth 
because they looked like such workers. Trudy was used with horses for 14 years 
and never caught a blow other than one cheap shot from a horse she was just 
trotting by. I finally realized it was because she was *good* at what she did!

She did things like protect the paint on the truck when I had to park it in the 
field, kept the horses out of the feed room all night once when my dad left it 
open, did not allow any horse to paw...just knew all the rules and enforced 
them. If I led a horse up to a gate where it was muddy inside and didn't want 
to go ahead of them she kept them from turning back on me.  Her only bad point 
was unattractive ears (looked like the Flying Nun). I finally crossed her with 
a show line and got nice ears...but lost a ton of "work". The resulting pups 
were much friendlier, fluffier, and easier for the average Joe to own but not 
my type. I crossed back to working lines for my keepers.

I lost my line when I sold my last litter of pups and parted with the female 
I'd planned to keep. A friend who was an endurance rider and a frisbee person 
bought her; then my last female got killed. The endurance rider later contacted 
me and said the dog was "too much for her neighborhood" and would I like her 
back? I said YES!! Then found out she'd already spayed her. I have her back but 
unfortunately she'd already been started on frisbees. She cares about nothing 
else. It's really sad. Her mother, grandmother, gg grandmother...etc. all were 
totally focused on ME with the staring eyes and one paw on my leg. This one 
just stares a the lid to a 5 gallon bucket all day and twitches. Such a loss. 

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