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Meet Our Newest Pet

In July of this year (2021) we got a new member of our household. She’s an Australian Shepherd Mix. The ‘mix’ is part miniature Aussie. And she’s about 7 1/2 months old. I briefly mentioned her before, however not in any detail. So, without further ado, I want you to meet our newest pet: Sophie!

Not that we didn’t have enough animals to keep us busy. But there was still a hole to be filled for my husband and middle daughter, because our last dog passed away around the beginning of last year (2020).

Shetland Sheepdog by someone's legs

For the longest time the only kind of animal we had was a dog. And it was usually the same kind of dog for the past 20 years. But obviously not the same dog. And since our Sheltie, Moses, died last year, Paul and Hannah have wanted another one. Even though we have enough animals to go around.

At first Hannah looked through ads or Googled similar animals to Moses. However that soon proved to be cost prohibitive. Think thousands of dollars.

Two Shetland Sheepdogs with my a toddler in a backyard

When Paul and I first married, he already had a Sheltie. So we got another one, which was the runt of the litter. But she only cost us ~$350. Then when both of them passed away, (due to old age and an accident), we got Moses. Again he was the last of the litter. And we got him for the swinging deal of $200. That was in 2006.

Fast forward to present day, and we realized quickly that the cost of dogs is definitely not the same. It seemed like every dog we were interested in or called about had AKC papers. Although we could care less about such things. Because we would’ve been interested in another runt without papers. What do breeders do with those dogs?

We toyed with the idea of getting one from a shelter. However we weren’t certain we’d be able to find a dog that would match our home: We have chickens, ducks, 3 cats, and an 11 year old. And we also had a bunny at the time.

scam alert letting text on black background
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

Several months and a scam later, one of our neighbor’s connected us to an older couple. They had Sophie originally and very likely realized they couldn’t take care of her or meet her energy requirements. So they asked our neighbor, their friend, if they knew anyone who wanted a dog.

Man holding an Australian Shepherd

And that’s how we acquired Sophie. The only stipulation her previous owners charged us with was that we kept her name the same. Thus we left her name untouched.

Being an Aussie, she has boundless energy, from 5 am till 9 pm or later. She’s definitely rarin’ to go before the sun rises. And she can outrun any of us. Additionally she’s an exceptional acrobat.

Calico kitten and Australian Shepherd share a couch

Also, she likes to scare the birds, including my chickens and ducks. But her best friend, other than Hannah, is my kitty, Itty Bitty. They play with each other. And often times they can be seen napping near one another.

Sophie is easily trained when food is at stake. So far she has learned to beg and dance for her dinner. No, just kidding. But seriously, she can walk across the room on 2 paws. All for food. And she’s also house broken.

Australian Shepherd on a blanket outside in a backyard

Though there are other things she picks up on. For example, when my kids play with her: They’ll end up playing hide and seek after they throw her ball or toy. And after a couple of throws, Sophie realizes the kids are disappearing. Which makes her hesitate to run after her toy. Or she tries to keep an eye on them.

She’s certainly a lot of fun to watch. But she has way more energy than I do. Since she’s supposed to be a work animal, I’ve joked that Paul should put her to work. Then she’d be worn out by bedtime. And he said he was going to make a comic out of that. One where she’s mowing the lawn.

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I breed pure Black Ameraucana chickens and Easter Eggers that are Black Ameraucana mixed with either Cuckoo Maran or Barred Rock. And I donate eggs to people or organizations in need.

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