In Memory of the Beloved Dogs We Have Lost

Badgerland's Guinevere CD HCT CGC

Gwen's death left a hole in my heart. She really was a one of a kind dog and a soul mate to me. I still miss her doing donuts and growl/howling with joy whenever I came home. She was uncannily smart and understanding, very quick to learn and eager to please me. Her mission in life was to keep everyone else organized and well behaved; as with many Aussies she was quite bossy.  

Some of my favorite Gwen memories:

When we picked her up from the breeder we brought a crate with full intention to have her ride there in the back of the car. Well, she was so adorable that she rode the whole way home in my lap and Dane drove. Starting that day she had me wrapped around her paw!

Her first time at a dog park, as a 12 week old pup, she decided that a very large adult Great Dane (Holstein colored) needed some bossing around and Gwen chased her all over the park nipping her heels and grabbing her tail.

She had very strong opinions on the danger of horses. The dogs weren't allowed in the barn when the horses at my parents' house were in the aisle way, so she would wait outside the barn and when we were done she would bark reprovingly at us about how we had risked certain death by handling the horses without her "help".

One time, just for fun, I gave all my dogs the Stanley Coren "IQ Test". One of the tests required you to teach the dog a new behavior and record how many trials it took for the dog to make some attempt at the new behavior. Well, I got set up with my treats and Gwen and gave the command- all ready to lure her into position, but she was already there! I tried it several more times with just the command and no lure- she did every time. Gwen was a brilliant and very eager learner, and was probably reading my intention of where I wanted her by my body language.

Gwen loved to go bike riding with us, and with a harness and springer she would pull me around the neighborhood trying to keep up with my husband so I had to do very little pedaling.

In the winter we hooked her and some of my friends' dogs to a dog sled, and Gwen was our lead dog. She could pull like anything and never gave up until the sled moved. The only catch was she needed a human to follow. Not being a husky, she didn't want to run out ahead just for the sake of running. If I tried to ride in the sled basket she would circle the team around and sit in my lap

Summer Sunshine of Hedgerow CD
8/24/82- 11/8/98

Sunny was my first Aussie and my best friend. She was a wonderful dog, devoted and friendly, yet protective if needed. She was a great introduction to the breed and convinced me that no other breed is finer. She seemed to understand everything I said to her. When she was trapped on the other side of a fence from me I could wave at her and say "Go around by the gate" and she would.
     Sire: Comstock’s Russian Tea of Hedgerow CD
     Dam: Briarbrook’s Bonanza of Hedgerow

Some favorite Sunny memories:

Sunny always slept on my bed curled up at the foot. She had allergies but always dutifully obeyed the command “stop scratching” so I could get some sleep. She would rather lie there itching than get down off the bed to scratch.

Sunny always helped me put our ducks away for the night. I had no idea of how to train her, but the ducks knew enough to hide from her in their coop. If I went out without Sunny I had to chase them all over, but if I took her with me they ran into the coop at the first sight of her.

After watching me chase the cats away from my pet mice a couple of times, Sunny took over the job of chief mouse protector and wouldn’t let the cats anywhere near them.

Sunny did not tolerate fighting of any sort and would always gently interpose herself between any kids who were getting too rowdy.

Birch Hollow’s Red Baron HCT
5/27/95- 9/22/98
WTCH. Rossy’s Louis Armstrong RTDsc
x Badgerland’s Guinevere CD, HCT

We lost Baron to lymphoma when he was only 3. He was an outstanding working dog, with high drive and tough enough for any job. He was my buddy and he will be greatly missed.

Some of my favorite Baron memories:

The long woods walks we used to take him on, especially in the fall when he was just the color of the leaves.

Working him out at Shannon Wolfe’s on sheep.

Our trip to Yellowstone with him, Teak and Gwen.

His first trial in started sheep where I thought he did great in keeping the sheep with me around the course. Unfortunately the judges thought I blocked him with my stick too much and did not qualify him.

As a puppy he used to jump into the bathtub to steal the soap. He also let us know our kitchen needed redecorating by tearing down the ugly wallpaper one night.

Birch Hollow’s Black Jack CD
4/7/88- 6/18/02

Jack was our foundation; the sire of Jazz, grandsire of Teak, great grandsire of Becky and great great grandsire of Cinder. In his youth he was a hard headed tough guy of a dog. He was willing to stand up to rams or threatening strangers with equal attitude. As he hit about 3 years old he became the doggy welcome committee of our household, never allowing visitors to be without a furry head to pat and a back to scratch.
Some favorite Jack memories:

The first time he tried to go swimming (at 3 months) he paddled in circles, slowly sinking, until I dove into the creek to rescue him.

The time he ran across a busy street after another dog and hit the side of a car. He was fine- the car had a $300 dent in it.

One of the first times Jack saw sheep a ram challenged him and Jack bit him hard on the head. I was a neophyte to herding and was mortified that my dog had bitten a sheep. My mom assured me the ram deserved what he got.

Birch Hollow's Harley Dude

  Farley was our son David's best buddy. We loved Farley's boisterous silly personality. He had a certain way of moaning in happiness when we scratched his back that we called "the moaning spot".
  Farley was a great dog to take places, including marching in the Stevens Point 4th of July parade, and the week before he died David got him all brushed and told me "Now Farley can be in a parade". We all miss our "Bufflehead".