So I have two red-merle Australian Shepherds now, Harvey and Spendy. Harvey is my oldest adult live-in relationship, I have had since since August 2001. I honestly don’t remember my adulthood without Harvey. He is now 13 years old and has what the vet’s believe to be Congestive Heart Failure.
Here is the dichotomy of my opinion on dog’s: I love dogs and I plan on always having one around, but the are dogs not my children. So when the vet told me what was wrong with Harvey they started prescribing treatments and medications. I stopped them as politely as I can (which is actually a pretty abrupt experience when I am irritated) and asked what the normal life span of an Australian Shepherd was, turns out it is 13. He is not in any significant pain so life moves on.
Maybe the hardest issue that Harvey is dealing with in his life is our new dog Spendy. I call her “Spin” because I am not big on the name Spendy. Harvey is a loner by nature, always has been, I did not know there was such thing as an “Aussie Introvert”. We got Spendy now because we wanted to make sure that Harvey could have some influence in her before he is gone and with four kids we wanted to try to make sure that there is a smooth transition time after Harvey goes. Harvey doesn’t care about this, all he knows is that she is trying to steal his turf, and his food.
Here is the funny thing though, Harvey is Spin’s security blanket. The first few days that she was here she would fight with him, chew on him, steal his toys, steal his food. All that stopped when the days started to get shorter because, and this is something that I did not every think I would experience, she is afraid of the dark! What kind of dog is afraid of the dark? She will not leave our back porch without Harvey. What a wuss! So for about two weeks she would “hold it” and then go to the bathroom in our basement if we didn’t pay attention.
Now we are finding that after we let her out and she does go potty outside she wants some privacy, so it is not uncommon for her to run into the woods and then see her looking at you through the ferns while she is pooping. Harvey is neither a scaredy cat nor discrete, but he has his quirks as well.