Last year I wrote a piece about my first fur-baby, Sophia. She was an “only child” for the first 6 years of her life. Then, last July, I brought her little brother home. Beau was born June 1, 2017. He came home with me on July 18th of the same year.
I’ve found it pretty cool that both my dogs’ names have a meaning that really fits them. That is purely on accident or rather I should say that I had no part in it. I’m not that person that looks up name meanings and does all that research to find the perfect name. Sophia was given her name simply because I liked the name and it seemed to fit her, based on a feeling rather than facts. Beau was the same way. I gave him that name simply because his father’s name was Rambo, but I always called him Bo. My Beau looks just like his daddy, so when I first saw him with his siblings and mommy shortly after he was born, I just naturally called him little Bo. After bringing him home with me, I decided that I liked the “Beau” spelling more than the “Bo” spelling. I just thought it looked fancier. It turns out, the name Beau is a French name that means “Handsome”…. And boy is my Beau a fine looking shepherd. ;)
I don’t “pick” my dogs out by breed, age, or background. In fact, I wasn’t actively looking for a dog either time. For those who don’t already know how my Sophia came into my life, you can read “Sophia: The Dog That Rescued Me”. By the time Beau came along, I was 6 years into having and loving Sophia, perfectly content with my one dog status. I wasn’t looking for another one. But when I was over at my aunt’s house and walked down to where he and his siblings were and looked in the pen…….. I was hooked. I saw his little face and immediately knew that he was meant to be mine. He was the only tri-color (black, brown, & white) in the litter, the rest were blue and red merles. I’ve had people ask me why I didn’t get a merle because they were “prettier”. My answer is that I fell in love with HIM and not a merle. Plus, I think he’s a fine looking shepherd, the finest in all the land. ;)
I spent the next several weeks visiting him and letting him get use to me, then on July 18th, I got the call that he could go home with me! I brought him home to meet his big sister, Sophia, for the first time, and…. Well…. She was less than thrilled. She wasn’t mean to him, she just simply refused to acknowledge his existence. If he came into a room, she’d get up and leave. If he went outside, she’d come inside. She was just not having any of it. I have to give Beau credit, he kept trying to engage her and get her to play with him, and then eventually, when he realized that she just wasn’t going to give in, he just started trying to be in the same room with her. He’d go over lay near her, sit as close to her as she’d allow….
Now, before I go on, I just want to clarify a few things: I knew that Sophia would eventually come around. Introducing Sophia to anything new takes time and patience. She is very slow to warm up to new things, people, and places. BUT I also knew that she would never be aggressive to anyone or any dog. She’s not mean or territorial. She’s a spoiled princess who likes her environment to stay the same and she enjoys being the center of attention. If I thought for one minute that she would be mean or wouldn’t eventually warm up to the puppy, I wouldn’t have brought him home. I know my dog.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. I kept at it, giving them both time to adjust. Beau slowly wore her down. You could tell that all he wanted in the world was to get close to the “big shepherd” aka his new sister. I made sure that Sophia knew that the arrival of the new puppy didn’t mean that she would be left out and not get attention. After about a month, Sophia all of a sudden started playing with Beau. Since then, they have gotten along splendidly and she has taught him so much.
Beau has taught me a great deal too. He and Sophia are quite different from each other and their “puppy” stages were very different experiences. Beau not only taught me more about patience, he also taught me a lot about grace. We both needed a lot of grace during his first few months. Where Sophia is quiet and cautious, Beau is adventurous and crazy. He’s fun loving and always up for a challenge. He’s outgoing and sure of himself, but he’s also super loving and clingy to his mommy (me). I have to say, a lot of people warned me about Aussies, saying they are hard to train and handle, can get mean and possessive, etc. But I believe it’s all in how you handle and treat them when they’re young. Beau is nothing but an absolute sweetheart. The only thing that tends to be an issue with people is the fact that he has no concept of personal space whatsoever! He has to be right next to you or on you.
Beau is pure Aussie all the way. Evidently there’s a saying about Australian Shepherds: “If they can’t go through it, they’ll go over, under, or around it. There’s no such thing as a barrier to them.” Boy is that true! More than anything, Beau has taught me about perseverance, determination, and not being afraid of going after what you want…… even if it’s just a leaf on the other side of the fence. ;) Beau is all about getting the most out of life and enjoying every minute of it. I’m thankful to have him in my life and in my heart……. And in my bed hogging the pillow. ;)
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Liz is a freelance writer. She has written for websites, blogs, and magazines for the last 10 years. She also acts as a proofreader and beta reader for several authors, all the while working on her first book.