When I was a kid my mom and dad had a brood of fuzzy tail-less dogs running around our farm. Its true, I who love the convenience of city life was raised on a small horse farm in Close to Nowhere, KY. My mom and dad started with horses and dogs and then moved on to kids – but their first kids were two gorgeous Australian Shepherd dogs named Lucas and Patches.
My dad was given Lucas in exchange for training a beautiful Arabian horse, Lucas was my dad’s best friend – he was smart, obedient, and loving. When my dad met my mom Lucas immediately bonded with my mom and they too became best friends. My mom jokes she only married Dad for Lucas. After Mom and Dad got married they took one of my dad’s horses up to compete in Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. There they were met with kennels and kennels full of herding dog puppies. From Collies to Australian Cattle Dogs, to Corgis to a small kennel full of Australian Shepherds.
Mom had never seen them as puppies so she naturally fell in love and they went home with a little girl named Patches (for her merle coloring)
Patches and Lucas had two litters of puppies. Some of them stayed close – dad gave one to his brother but the dog adopted my grandmother and some of them went far away. They were beautiful, smart, obedient dogs and they were great family companions. When the last of the puppies passed away Mom and Dad swore they’d never get another Aussie.
When I moved to Lexington I decided I wanted a dog, we live in the most pet friendly apartment complex in the world so I figured that would work out well. I searched Petfinder for a dog and we almost ended up with two sister boxer puppies – who would have torn our house to pieces…I started looking at rescue organizations and there I found ROSAS, an organization called Rescue Our Shelter Animals and Strays based out of Cincinnati. We found a dog – who happened to be an Aussie that we loved but we couldn’t take him because we didn’t have a yard. When we got back from Michigan last week I put in an application with another organization called New Spirit for Aussies Rescue. Almost immediately I was contacted by a volunteer who set up a home visit, called Jose and Jenn (our references) and answered all my questions. She said they didn’t have many dogs around here but they had a lot up in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois – would we be willing to drive?
I thought about it for a while and decided that if this was what we were supposed to do the plans would fall in to place.
And she called me about an hour later saying there was a dog in Lexington for us. He was a male tri-color (black, brown, and white,) and his name was Coal. Brian called the lady who had him while I was on an interview (more on that later) and we arranged to meet at 3:00 at Jacobson Park here in Lexington.
We were pacing around the house like nervous parents – what if he doesn’t like us? What if he bites the fire out of us when he sees us? What if a million things go wrong…
So we headed to the park and a few minutes after we arrived a lady in a white car pulled up and brought him out. I’m not going to be all cheesy and say it was love at first sight — but it kind of was. We walked around with him for a while and put him in the car with us and we went home together (actually we went to petsmart first and dropped a ton of money on him…but we’re first time parents)
The lady we got him from said Coal was rescued from a puppy mill. She said she ended up going to the mill and taking out as many Aussie puppies as she could carry. Coal is registered as a Mini Australian Shepherd (which he still comes up to my knees – I guess I’m just short) and Mini’s can cost up to $1500.00 for a puppy. She took him to live with a lady here in town who kept him for three years (and never took him to the vet, never had his shots, never had him neutered…ahem!) and last week sometime (probably about the time Brian and I put in the application with New Spirit) she decided her daughter was allergic to him and gave him back to the lady who rescued him. She couldn’t keep him so she told the lady I met with about adopting and lo and behold…we have a dog!
He’s such a cute guy, he’s out on his patio (which used to be mine…) right now watching and waiting. Brian is out at the moment and he doesn’t seem to like that very much. He likes to snuggle with us, and when our friends came over last night to watch The Walking Dead he walked around the house content like “these are Coal’s friends!”
Yep, we’ve got a cute one.
Coal will probably be fodder for blog posts for years to come – so get used to looking at him!