Falling Back and Moving Forward with a New Australian Shepherd

Riley and Pumpkin

Riley and Pumpkin

I don’t handle it well. That horrible time change we face twice a year. “Fall back and spring forward.” Nice little ditty for messing with our sleep schedules.

I faced my fall back with zero energy. We’ve all still been in a bit of a funk since we lost our Border Aussie Jack this summer. Sophie does her best to cheer us up, but she’s also been dealing with her own puppy depression. She’s two years old and has almost never been on her own. We spend as much time with her as we can, and I always feel guilty when we run errands..

As hard and inconceivable as it seems, we started looking for another dog to join our family. I’m not really ready. I still have random bouts of tears when I see a picture of my boy or when I think about something uniquely Jack, but I’m also tired of feeling sad, so when we found out about some Aussie puppies in Southern Virginia, we took the trip, half hoping we wouldn’t find one to bring home.

Well, that didn’t work. Dad says not to visit a pound unless you are ready to bring home a puppy. Dad knows best!

Our 3.5 hour drive back was in the presence of a 8-pound 10-week-old Australian Shepherd we named Riley. Riley came to us with green eyes (that will darken to some shade of brown), red-tri-colored fur, and humongous feet. He was one of a litter of multi-colored Aussies. Some were pretty blue merles and some were black-and-white like Border Collies. Two were brown, tan, and white, and one stole our heart.

So we are potty training…again…and come-sit-stay training…again… and teaching one of the smartest breeds of of dog how to be a good boy.  He has energy to spare and little piranha teeth, but he has brought back the old Sophie, and they chase each other around with wild abandon.

Little Riley doesn’t realize he has big “shoes” to fill, but he makes us laugh, and that’s a nice change of pace.

Riley

Riley

Riley Running

Riley Running

Riley Nose

Riley Nose

Smith Family

Smith Family

*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**

4 comments to Falling Back and Moving Forward with a New Australian Shepherd

  • Athanasia

    Oh, so cute. He looks incredibly soft and fluffy. How big will he get? What kind of dog is Sophie…I guess spaniel, but I am usually wrong. Our dog is actually 1/2 German Shephed and 1/2 weimeraner but everyone things she is black lab as is black and has the floppy ears. But she has all the shepherd markings and legs like a horse and huge feet and the thinness of a weimeraner. We never had a dog until 3 years ago when we just happened on to her…someone adopted her, then could not keep her and my daughter had been dog sitting for her so she just kind of transferred to us. Now I wonder how did we go without having a dog for all those years??

    • Thanks — he really is adorable and super fluffy! His mom was about 40 pounds and Dad was about 60-70. He should be in that range. I’m guessing on the bigger end based on those big feet! Sophie is a hound mix. Our vet thinks plott/blue tick/beagle – quite a combination. She is a small hound, so Riley will probably be bigger than she is. Your pup sounds adorable! We also went a long time without a dog, and then we found a starving stray Walker Treeing Coonhound, Holly, who led to our Border Aussie mix, Jack, and now our Sophie and Riley. They make the world a little more pleasant, don’t they? Thank you for stopping by!

  • Lori

    we have an Australian Shepherd as well – she’s red with the blonde above her eyes. Daisy is 12 years old and has slowed down quite a bit in the last few years. That is tough to watch. We just lost our Golden Lab, Shyla on Friday night – she was 14 – had a stroke and passed within about 2 hours – that was awful! I miss her terribly – she was part of our household for so many years. I so understand your feelings about Jack – I have them for my sweet little Shyla girl too. I wish you all the best with your new pup.

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