I saw an ad in the
local newspaper for Australian Shepherds. When I saw the ad I
remembered about 15 years ago a friend of mine brought an Aussie
back with him from Colorado. It was such a great dog, I decided to
go and see these pups. The pups were now five and a half
months old, and had *NEVER* been or seen the outside of the horse
stall where they were born. Never been in the sun, walked in the
grass, or watched birds. The only human contact they had was someone
giving them a bucket of feed and water once a day.
A blue merle pup started exploring everything. Jumping up on hay bales, checking out the shelves, checking every inch of that barn. When she became thirsty, she pushed her brothers out of the water bucket because *she* wanted a drink. That was it, the blue merle bitch was the one I wanted. I paid fifty dollars for her. As I looked into those crescent blue eyes, and they looked back, I saw the trust that I would take care of her, and that she and I would be buddies for life. Her name was so obvious from her eyes...it just had to be Cresent. I changed the spelling a bit to keep her unique!
The next day, was her first time outside in the sun and grass. I kept her on a fifteen foot long line for about three weeks. At first she didn't know how to walk in the grass, and kept looking at it with disgust and apprehension. Trees and shrubs were another problem, because she was afraid of them. As soon as she realized that this was a pretty neat place she had a great time exploring. She would sit and watch the birds fly over, sniff all the flowers, and was fascinated by squirrels. She soon became my helper outside. I would collect sticks for kindling and put the in a pile in front of the house. One day I looked up and there was Cresent collecting her own pile of sticks, and they were piled neatly next to mine. Needless to say she was very pleased with herself.
By the tender age of seven and a half months she was lame in one hind leg, and the x-ray showed severe hip dysplasia. At eight months the diseased hip was surgically removed. As soon as the sutures were out, I was swimming her nearly everyday for the next year, and then we starting herding.... At first, she had no idea what the sheep were for, and had no interest in chasing them around. The trainer told me to bring her back and we would try again.
We spent that winter training and in the spring went to our first weekend clinic/trial. Well, Cresent's first trial was a disaster. She had been doing really well at home, but was totally out of control at the clinic. The sheep were not fetching sheep and every time she would try and bring them to me they would run right by. This made her crazy. For about the first 10 minutes of this neither the
instructor or I could catch her. Cres went on that weekend to recieve her Herding Tested title in AKC. I was so proud, her first title!
In the years that followed Cres went on to receive many titles and many High in Trials. The day she finished her WTCH was the most exciting day of my life. She reacted with all the pride in the world. Cres also went on to compete in Border Collie trials, and did quite well always placing in the top six. She received her CD and CDX with multiple High in Trials, has gotten three Most Versatile Aussie awards, is a Honor Dog, as well as qualifying and placing in the 2000 National Stock Dog Finals in Georgia.
I know she still goes for long walks in the woods, swims in the creek, tends to her sheep and ducks, and chases her tennis ball. Cres slept in my bed every night, and was everyone's favorite Aussie. With all of her heart, who knows how far she could have gone with two good hips. To me, and the people that knew her, she was truly one of the great Aussies! I am very thankful to have be owned and loved by this very special dog. She is truly my best friend. Below is my tribute to her: