What is an Aussie?
My personal experience:
You can totally Google Australian Shepherd and get an answer, including what breed clubs have asserted breed standard is. Those are totally valuable in their own right, here I thought I'd tell you what mine are like. One of the first things I caught on to when starting to purchase dogs is that lines really were different enough to be worth noting, mentioning, talking about. They were all Australian Shepherds, but given that breeders are human, their program becomes a living representation of what they value, in particular. It's a melting pot of all of their values, education, decisions, good fortune, tragedy, mentor involvement, familial support, and resources. Since my primary passion is humans, I make my decisions for temperament first. That doesn't mean I have to sacrifice other aspects, but it does mean I've spent a ton of time finding the right options for me, following my dogs after they go home, even keeping from each cross so far. I want to understand as much as I can what I can expect for you, my people. I look for a more laid back animal, super interested in humans, cheerful, smart, able to focus, as much as bored with littermates (non-reactive/not sensitive), can play for a good stint, agile. Now, not all of these aspects are key to being a good emotional support/service animal, but they are key to what I desire you experience for yourself, with your animal. Additionally, I like them to prefer to be around/with their human, they'll likely learn the sound of your keys or what it means that you're putting your shoes on, and they'll probably want to sleep on your bed, or on the floor next to you. I'm working to understand if and how I can produce dogs that either alert less, or how to teach them 'all done/thank you'. Some of my puppies have rarely barked, while some go on for 30 seconds when the UPS man knocks. It's a work in progress. Let's talk energy, my experience with my dogs is that none of them 'need their energy run out' to avoid attitude/bad behavior. They do have each other and wrestle now and then, but for the most part, they are all pretty chill by nature. We play a brain game or two when I think of it, but definitely not daily. And they have all kinds of chews, I swear they think working on a chew is accomplishing a task/job :). Oh, snuggling, most love a good snuggle. Quite a few get up and approach me a couple of times a day just to look in my eyes and tell me they love me. They get an ear rub and go lay back down, mission accomplished. When we're ready to chill or take a load off at lunch time, they gather round, and find a leg or a foot to lay against. Let's not forget their cheerfulness. Rarely are my dogs in a disagreeable mood. Namely, a girl has got to be in heat for us to have a hiccup. For the most part, they trot from here to there with a smile on their face. It's one of the greatest parts of having them here. They have changed the mood of our home for the better, by far. This is certainly not everything, but hope this tells you if this program is what you're looking for, or that it's not! :)
Q & A
Do you have any unique or interesting aspects to your program?
I started out in the dog world with a desire to be involved in the service dog community. But one of my first passions, as in post High School planning, was children and their mental health, which turned into community/sociology. I went from pursuing child psychology to teaching to raising children. I've been in the child-rearing field for 16 years now, ;) It was actually my experience with my own children, amidst some grievous life circumstances, that brought me to researching what Emotional Support Animal meant. Here's how the Australian Shepherd part happened: I adopted an Australian Cattle Dog that I was no good for, she was more than I could be successful with, when my mom heard I was rehoming her she gave me a 3 lb, 12 week old, Australian Shepherd to try because she was convinced I would love them. I said "please mom, do you even know me? I'm not a 'small dog person'. :)! That dog grew to be 9 lbs and blew my presumptions out of the water. He was just like a 'big' dog in every way. My brain went into FULL THROTTLE and I read and read and read, found local mentors and not so local mentors, I bought dogs, I had litters and I placed them in exactly the situations I had all the high hopes they would excel in. One puppy learned to wake her type 1 diabetic mama from sleep just before her levels got bad enough for her implant to beep. He was 4 months the first time he did it. One baby was purchased to get her teenage BFF through testimony and trauma recovery. They are a great team. One baby went home as well mannered as a 2-year-old to her 84-year-old new papa because he couldn't see living out his final years without a dog, but it couldn't be just any dog because, after all, he's 84 he says! She stayed 10-12 lbs. So far each of my families is thrilled. But here's the thing, I don't really feel proud, I feel so grateful. Grateful to have a place in human community where I can contribute to a need. Grateful that the Lord prepared me up to this point with the skills I need and continues to bless this venture. Grateful that I get to spend my day with animals and undoubtedly get more time with my kids than if I w