It was late 2006. I had been running my Labs in agility for almost 7 years. We had small successes, but no grand awards. But, we always had fun. I had no thought of another dog. I certainly had no desire for an Aussie. After all, I thought they were too hairy with an overactive and aloof personality. Besides, they had NO tail! For 37 years, my only canine companions were Labradors.
Then, in December 2006, I was at an agility show. My Lab and I were set up next to Deb. She had been bringing the Aussie puppies to shows to get them accustomed to new situations. Who doesn’t like to hold a puppy? I scooped up Rex and put him in my lap. He sat with me so quietly. He smelled so good! I whispered in his ear “Do you want to come home with me?” No one else ever got a chance to look at Rex. He picked me. I wasn’t looking for a third dog, but I had one. I think Deb was even more surprised than I was when I told her I wanted to take him home.
Rex began his agility career at about 6 months of age. He liked it well enough, but didn’t seem to show great excitement about lessons. Then one day it was like a light bulb went off in his brain and agility became his passion. He turned into this crazy dog. All I needed to do was harness and focus that energy. Lessons switched from learning obstacles to building our relationship as a team.
At shows, Rex is full of exuberance. I can feel his energy when I hold him. If I was watching Rex as a spectator, and was looking for a companion, I would turn and run! Yet, I know how he is at home. As I write this, he is napping at my feet. When I watch TV at night, he is in my lap, at my feet, or sleeping in his crate in my bedroom. He doesn’t herd children; he is not unruly when I have visitors. Someone once told me, “He has a nice on-off switch.” I guess that is the best way to describe him.
He likes to stick close to me. Rex may be aloof to others, but he is loving and affectionate with me. In some ways, he is a momma’s boy. That’s okay. Now that I have properly learned to groom an Aussie, I think his coat is beautiful. When he is not doing agility and focused on work, he is a perfect companion dog. He is happy hiking in the woods, or watching me read or make dinner.