Life in a condo is not conducive to owning Australian Shepherds. But once we moved to a house with a big yard in 1996, we started looking for an Aussie pup to take with us riding our horses on the trails. We purchased our first Aussie, Foster, from a "backyard" breeding. Tragically, our Foster had health problems that didn't allow him to live much beyond age one.
Next time out, we looked for an established breeder and were recommended to Moonlight Australian Shepherds by several horse friends who owned Moonlight dogs. Looking for a pet, we chose a cute black tri boy from among 2 litters of pups. The breeder said, "Sorry, that's a show-quality puppy, he needs to be shown" - but it was love at first sight so we said, "he's it!" We weren't going to show him (we weren't dog show people!) but how complicated could it be to let the breeder show him? Little did we know!
Wizard, Moonlight's Must Be Magic, came home with us in June 1997. From the beginning, he proved himself to be a phenomenal dog, bowling us over with his intelligence, sweetness, good looks and soundness. As a result of his accomplishments in the conformation ring, we were introduced to the world of dog shows and breeding. He was an elite-level agility dog as well as a Registered Therapy Dog. But most importantly, Wizard was a beloved member of our family, going (almost) everywhere we went and adding joy to every situation. Through him, we've grown to love and learn about the Australian Shepherd breed and join many others as responsible "shepherds" of its bloodlines.
[Breeder/Judge: Mrs. Wendy Finsterwald]
One thought worth emphasizing to those who are considering an Aussie is that these are extremely active, high-energy, intelligent dogs. They are not the sort you can put in the back yard or kennel and ignore. They flourish with exercise and companionship and will reward it with unconditional love and fun. Take them along!
We have lost our beloved Wizard, Scooter and Elle but our story continues with Solo, with anticipation for puppies and with the many other families who own and love their "Wiz Kids".