“Shearing the Sheep(Dog)”

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Our Australian Shepherd puts on a very heavy coat during the winter. This morning it was time for the master shearer(aka my husband)to tackle the monumental task of brushing, clipping, untangling and removing the hair she doesn’t need again until winter. He has it down to a science, anchoring our dog Grace between his knees and patiently working away. This morning it took one hour and a grocery bag full of excess hair to give her a sleek summer look.

Grace is our third Australian Shepherd, a very intelligent and attentive dog. She can tell the UPS driver apart from the FedEx driver apart from the mail man. She has a distinctive bark for each one. She believes that each man is a threat to her flock of humans and does her best to drive each away. One terrible afternoon, attempting to get at one,  she put a paw through a pane of our French door, lacerating her foot. Since then my husband covered the bottom panels of the door with thick plexiglass to prevent a repeat. He also put plexiglass over the window sills where she sets her paws as she stands on her rear legs to threaten any passers by. We live on a well traveled street, so there are many people walking by.

She was a wonderful Frisbee catcher, but early on she ruptured her ACL tendon requiring expensive, but successful, surgery to repair it. Since then, she is not allowed to leap high into the air. Still she patrols the yard, chasing off squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and most importantly the neighbor’s cat.

She has indeed lived up to her name, gracing us each day with her ferocious attention to her responsibilities–us.

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