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Tazzy from Sarasota

by Logan Nicholson

Ron Brown

Teenage Tasmania….
A story of two men and their dog

Come May 2009 the Aussie canine known as “The Taz” will make her first trip as a semi-adult to the north Georgia mountains… They are old mountains, I hope they are up to this new challenge. Tazzy came to us on Christmas Eve and our pace of life definitely picked up with her arrival.

 

She will be 7 months old when she travels out of the flatlands as she calls them and away from all her friends and the comfort of doggie doors, traveling up specifically to re-learn the bell-ringing procedures which she mastered as a mere puppy to get someone to open a door for her. Also graduating to a longer leash in order to chase the local wildlife (its hard to combat a black bear or to go hand-to-hand (so to speak) with a coyote, when ones “itsy-bitsy collar” is too tight!” and you have only 10 feet of run-room.

The six months old Tazzy has fallen far down the red color scale for Terriers – and has reached new highs as a sandy (or dirty blond) although her roots remain dark and often stain the living room carpet. She is, in fact an Australian Terrier, waffling between red & sandy, she is on track to become the worlds first BEIGE Aussie…Once in a while she pulls herself up into a classical Aussie pose as tho to say ”I could have been a contender”… most of the time she seems content to simply disrupt the lives of her two man servants, and she is less than patient in teaching them new tricks. These days, Tazzy has a large following around the ‘hood and she doesn’t discriminate, thinking, I guess, that one kneecap is much like the other from her twelve inch height perspective…

  Improving the appearance…

On a recent morning, the teenager in her came out, upon discovering an abandoned tube of Mabelline eyeliner in a neighbors yard…she immediately sensed its value and, tucking it away in her carrying case (mouth to the uninformed) she brought it home for experimentation…as everyone knows the Taz already has beautiful eyes and naturally occurring dark rings around them…so she used the tube to enhance an area less talked about…her lips…Tazzy’s lips are small, dark and almost non existent…probably to enhance the wonderfully large white and straight teeth (she once tried on and then ate a tooth retainer, in THAT effort!) the new lips did glow…they glistened and were moist and inviting as advertised…it is really scary to have you pet looking like that, not to mention the cleanup…

  Maybelline smile

 

Tazzy has lived up to the breed expectation of “not being a fussy or picky eater”, she will in fact, eat anything that moves and much that doesn’t…she is peculiar in that she hates an empty bowl…complaining bitterly and whining insistently until we put something – anything- in to fill that terrible void. She will often then give us that “I wouldn’t eat that unless you fed it intravenously” look…but she does suffer the empty bowl syndrome almost daily.

True to her tribe, she boasts a rather prominent neck…is, in fact, wearing her third collar, the first two being stored high on a chest of drawers where she tries daily to jump up and destroy. In her sleeping hours, one couldn’t ask for a kinder, gentler companion…when she sleeps and our sleeps coincide…its pure heaven….when things run cross-ways Tazzy, well, she IS originally from Tasmania!

Falling Down Laughing

She is very much like a child, and we both have children, although probably not as “with it” as the Taz…they eventually did become mostly productive citizens and that is our daily hope for this small fuzzy one as well. Everything is play now and she produces sounds which we call “falling down laughter” much like a child.

Finders Keepers

“Go fetch” is a game the Taz has not yet mastered…she will retrieve whatever you toss, religiously, but believes strongly that, since you threw it away, you couldn’t possibly mean that you want it back…and since she found it…it belongs to her.

Our Taz keeps physically fit with daily walks, runs in the back yard with her rabbit friends and strenuous work outs with a bungee cord…the latter requires our assistance as she wants her “bungee” to be interactive…we both stay moderately in shape just being the base-end for a three foot bungee cord…

As she steps gingerly (watch those nails!) into her teen years, Tasmania, as she is sometimes called, has discarded her cage and opts to sleep in a real bedroom! If her bed is not where she thinks it should be, she will attempt to put it there…then spend up to half an hour just “fluffing up” her pillow. She still cannot face a mirror in the morning without going spastic…we have removed one such troublesome trinket to simplify her early morning toilet training…she would look, see this sleep crazed animal in the glass, and immediately squat to mark a 25¢ sized territory! Thank goodness for nylon carpet and scotch-guard…

 Snuggle Time

About seven o’clock each morning, our Taz wakes up enough to stagger from her bed, (being careful not to look in the mirror’s direction) and heads for the tv room to climb up on the couch with her snuggle-mate of the morning. True to the terrier mode, she will accept whoever volunteers to lie on their back and give her a warm stomach to curl upon for an hour or so. Second choice is to curl (you, not she) into a fetal curl and have her (Taz, not you) snuggle in the curve of the body…Staying warm and not waking up until all the bad things that go bump in the night are vanquished by the morning sun is the aim and goal here…its one of the activities that remain from early puppy days when she had almost no coat…and the cold, wet dark was the thing she most feared.

 No rabbit stew…

The Taz has developed a working relationship with the colony of rabbits who inhabit the backyard, she chases—can’t help that— it’s what she is called to do in this world…however, she evidently, has signed a pack with Peter, Paul and Mary not to catch or harm…they must run (its one of the things they do best) and she must chase but they can never touch, in return they never disturb the shiny things and the smelly things which she buries under bushes and in out of the way places…It’s the rules of the game.

Speaking of touch, Tazzy just handed me a small container of “Total Moisture” from Vaseline, I assume it’s to keep her pads soft and moist, possibly a remedy for chapped lips? She has not forgiven me for tossing her Maybelline lip gloss. And she has that look in her eyes that say…”toss this and you are toast” The teen years are hard on everyone.

That look of love

That only an owner

would recognize.

I need what I want

When I want it…

 Life with Tazzy

The teen years are often spent learning the difference between what one wants and what one actually needs. With Tazzy, the words are interchangeable…unable to tell the difference between want and need, they smell the same, she simply demands both. She expects that we can always deliver. Living her life without hands puts a strain on the muzzle for sure. Getting inside her disturbed little head is going to be the job of Trainers at Obedience Schools in the coming months, no easy job…I’ve been there and there is hardly room for her in that head… One thing is for certain, life with the Taz is never dull; tiresome, interesting, physically draining and sometimes downright disgusting…but never dull.

ending…

 

 

Gary Reichel
31477 Moniteau St.
McGirk, MO 65055
573-796-2511
JRDonkeytail49@aol.com

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