Our 6-year-old Australian Shepherd who was ignoring us for most of the latter part of 2017 and beginning of 2018 has suddenly turned back into her puppy self. Which leads me to wonder if she has been holding on to a grudge for over 6 months.
Before you start thinking I am a crazy dog owner, you have to understand the intelligence and dedication Australian Shepherds have to “their” people. Yes, “their” people, they look after you like a security detail with a bit of an overbearing mother rolled into one. Experts on the breed have said these dogs, in particular, are extremely traumatized if given up or abandoned by their family.
Last August we went on vacation to a beach resort that did not allow dogs. It was hard on all of us to leave her behind. In the 6 years of having this furry toddler in our lives, we have always taken her along. She knows we are getting ready to go somewhere and gets very excited while waiting for her turn to get into the car. It was a sad dog in the window when we left, but we knew our friend, who loves dogs, would be by to not only feed her but give her tons of attention. Unfortunately, she didn’t see it that way.
When we came back, she was not overly excited to see us, no zooming around the house. Not her standard greeting when I have been gone. The months that followed she would not engage in her usual antics, no counter surfing, remote stealing or following me around the house as usual. No longer did she try to sneak out the door to go with us on errands. Where once she would jump into my lap to block the kids from getting there first she now sat with her back to me. Often turning her head over her shoulder to look at me, put her nose in the air then turned her head away. For six months she had no interest in following us upstairs, waking up the kids (her favorite job) or engaging with our youngest. At first, we thought it was her leg giving her trouble again then we thought this must be her finally mellowing out.
Then in late January, she started to come around again. She was suddenly snatching the remote, stealing food out of our hands, beginning to follow me upstairs and hiding socks. Perhaps the most significant change was the Tahoe Trip in February.
She was once again with us on vacation and experiencing snow for the first time. She had a great time frolicking in the snow even tried catching a snowball or two. We also saw our Aussie Dog’s protective side reemerge as she deemed sledding too dangerous and made off with it.
Upon returning we have seen her act like she did as a puppy, while I am happy to have her back to her old self, there are some things I had hoped not to deal with again. Such as her penchant for chewing the Apple charging cords. For now we out of her proverbial “dog house” although I haven’t figured out how to tell her about Hawaii yet!