This is the story of a blue heeler, also known as an Australian Cattle Dog. His name is Gunner.
Late last year, I got wind that my cousin Sandy was breeding her ACD, Meg, with a friend’s ACD. We had met Sandy’s awesome little doggy, when we visited them a few years back. She was adorable, and I fell in love. She has much white, with some spots. I looked up the breed and loved what I saw. And with Oreo, our collie…er Mcnab Cattle Dog, being a shepherding dog, I knew I wanted another kind. I truly wanted a breed that was smaller though. The kind of dog I could toss in the truck and he’d sit on the center console for the ride.
When I heard about Sandy breeding Meg, I started paying better attention. Soon I got to see the daddy, and I was impressed! He’s a nice dark ACD, blue heeler. I knew the results would be fantastic!
I got ahold of my cousin and asked about the plans for the litter, etc. She told me that there were 8 pups, and gave me the costs. Right away I started talking with Deanna about it. I just HAD to find a way for us to get one. But there was no way, with my leukemia journey. I told Sandy that it just wouldn’t work. She asked if I wanted to be on the backup list, and without asking Deanna, I said OH YEAH!
Then they were born, 2 days before Christmas. And they were adorable. All white at first. Sandy started posting photos like crazy. All it did was make me insane. I had to have one. As they grew, they started with spots everywhere, then their faces started darkening up. I commented on all the photos, “liked” them all.
Fast forward to February, and the pups have grown a bunch, and are getting ready to be picked up by their prospective new families. And out of the blue, Sandy contacts me and asks, “Hey you still interested in one of Meg’s pups?” Of course I am! But we just can’t right now.
Then she says, “How about a pup from your cousin?” It actually took me a minute to click. Then, I don’t think I was intelligible for a while. Deanna and I talked and we were excited about adding a new pup! She asked what we wanted to call him, so she could start right away. I took the better part of an hour, and decided on Gunner. We set up a plan to head up to Windsor, in NorCal, to pick him up.
Then this happened. The days didn’t line up exactly. Our plans were squashed. We knew we’d get him eventually, but were sad about not being able get him when we planned. The next thing we knew Sandy and her man, Tony, packed Gunner up and drove him down to us! They got here just 3 days before I was readmitted.
Back in UCLA, I was texting my teenagers constantly demanding photos of the new pup. The obliged me constantly, I was building up one more motivation to get better and get home. Once I was paroled, I couldn’t wait to get home to see Gunner.
Since then he’s been a pill. He’s been disobedient. And we love him! He’s starting obedience training next week, and we hope for some good changes. He does nip, as most shepherds will, especially cattle dogs, and even more so heelers. Five of us have figured out how to deal with it. The Joker is having the hardest time. He just gets scared and runs, which makes Gunner pursue his herd-able small child. That’ll get nipped in the bud real soon.
Give Gunner a nice welcome to the Carpenter family!