Aussie – Just the Best Dog

Aussie – Just the Best Dog


Aussie — 1993 to 2004

March, 2004 — Dogs have gotten along with humans for thousands of years; the biggest “success story” of domestication in the history of mankind — or dog kind. They deserve to be celebrated, not mourned. So herewith, a brief story of Aussie, our recently deceased pet of more than a decade. Think of it as an Irish wake for an Australian dog.

How’d you come across such an interesting pet? He came to us standing on the bow of a canoe, out for a stroll down the “Little South” branch of the Pere Marquette river. Its a long story; we won’t bore you with it. He was small enough to fit in one hand, cute enough to coerce us into making arrangements to fly him home on a holiday weekend. This was not a straightforward process.

Aussie? He came with the name; an Australian Cattle dog aka “Queensland Blue Heeler”, blue because they often have blue-ish fur; heeler because they’re bred to round up cattle by nipping at their heels. He excelled at herding children; we never actually saw him in action with cattle. Australian Cattle dogs are in the “top 10” for intelligence, Aussie was no exception, clearly plotting against us when we had the audacity to leave him by himself. Planning his next diabolical move. Pretty damn clever dog.

Around age two we became certain that Aussie was, indeed, possessed by demons; turns out that actually, he just had epilepsy, and as we later learned, it isn’t that uncommon in dogs. A variety of expensive vet bills followed; his strange little brain got kind of warped from some of the medications — but he remained entertaining.

The middle years were great fun; ultimately he started to slow down as we all do. He didn’t have quite the style in his stride, his housebreaking was sometimes… broken. But he ever faithful and ever loving. As time progressed he became less active, and at some point in time he damaged a rear leg. He compensated for this as did we, walking him less often and less vigorously.

After a lengthy time apart, we recently reclaimed our aged dog from friends (whom he worshipped). He seemed older than we remember — we always recall the best of those we love. He was quite lame, and after our re-acquaintance and a couple of days, he managed to damage his 2nd rear leg. He couldn’t walk and couldn’t stand. The end was nye.

Aussie was born around May 10, 1993 and died April 1, 2004.

“Just the best dog”

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