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October 30th, 2009 . by maria

“At the moment”, we have two cats and three dogs. (I have to add that caveat, because we have had the occasional foster pet.)

Left is Tattoo, our tuxedo cat. (Every cat family MUST have a tuxedo cat…something about the genetics makes them such characters!) And right is Princess Deja.

Tattoo Princess Deja cat

April Mae is an Australian Cattle Dog (Red Heeler)/Border Collie mix. (ACD/BC)

AprilMae AprilAgility
April is shelter rescue, but we can’t imagine why anyone would give her up- at only 6 months old. She learned her basic obedience tricks in her first few days with us, and can do them with either voice OR hand signals. She loves to please, and to swim, and to play fetch or frisbee for hours. She competes with a local agility venue, and loves it. As a young dog she had no regard for her own safety, though, and tore her ACL (knee) so badly it needed surgery. It is strange to think about spending a couple thousand dollars on a vet bill, but stranger to even contemplate giving up on such an talented, hardworking, young dog. So, while she recovered from surgery we trained as a therapy dog. (Thank you, for all you do!) She was still a little energetic to be ideal for therapy work, so I was thrilled when she healed so well that the vet cleared her to return to agility! Since then she has also competed in SSA Rally Obedience, Watersports, and CPE Agility. We couldn’t get enough of working with the folks at Rocky Creek Dog Agility in Ephrata, and competing with! April earned her agility SSA Championship, and when we moved back to Florida she retired from agility and began using her therapy pet training. People love to see her do tricks, and even the staff jokes about ‘hearing her coming’ on her hyper days.

When our second dog, Emily (see Legacy Pets page) passed away, the household felt incomplete, and we still had all the doggy equipment to take care of a second dog. We felt a great way to honor her was to rescue another dog. Alex joked that it would be funny to find another cattle dog with one blue and one brown eye, only opposite of April’s. Then he went on Facebook to an ACD rescue group…and found our next dog…who we renamed Matilda Roo (Tilde):

Tilde is hard of hearing (she can hear April’s really loud barks, but not much else.) But since we’d already taught April all her commands with hand signals, we felt we had the tools to help Tilde. She was initially nervous, alert dog. Her previous owners didn’t know she was deaf, so she was often startled, and treated like she was being naughty even though she didn’t know why. But we knew how to make her comfortable, and she quickly fit right in. She has learned to use April as a “helper dog”, following her lead and sticking to her side. She still has a few quirks – like a sheltered resting spot, and NEVER letting anyone HOLD her paws…which is a problem when she needs a nail trim. But we’re getting there.

Then in early October 2018, we had a health scare with April. We realized that if we lost her, Tilde would be “in the dark” once again. It takes a while to train a dog, and extra long to make a good companion dog. But first we had to find a dog with a certain disposition – a dog Tilde could relate to, who loved to learn and please, and who had a balanced disposition. So, Alex hit the internet looking for a good cattle dog needing a home, and found one at our local shelter, Halifax Humane Society.  She turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. With April and Tilde’s approval, we brought home this beauty, who we named Luna Blu:




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