About & Contact

Welcome!


My name is Jiana and I am a first time Mini Aussie owner. We got our first mini aussie, Indie, in 2012. We absolutely fell in love with our little guy and this breed. So much so that this year, 2015, we got a second aussie: a Toy Aussie girl who we named Tulsi. They are just incredible dogs! I am not an expert on this breed or even an expert on raising dogs, I'm just an average person with a job and I started this blog to document my experience raising this wonderful, yet challenging breed. Join me on my journey as I make mistakes and have successes and discover what it means to be a Mini Aussie owner.

Don't hesitate to drop me line anytime! I will always do my best to answer questions and if I can't, well, we can at least commiserate together since I've probably been through the same thing :)

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Our Aussies


Indie
Born: Oct 22, 2012
Height: 15"
Weight: 22 lbs
FULL GROWN





Indie is a male, blue merle Miniature Australian Shepherd with outstanding copper. As far as male mini's go, he's on the small side. He is almost toy size! He packs a lot of energy and stamina into his compact size as he is able to hike, run, and swim for hours without tiring. He is a tremendous athlete with amazing speed, agility, and intellect. This is a dog who was born to work all day, everyday, in true Aussie fashion. He has a natural alarm clock that goes off at 6am sharp (more like 5:000am when he was a puppy!). He is awake and ready to herd sheep at the crack of dawn (or more accurately have me stand outside in any weather and throw a tennis ball for him). He is goofy, loving, loyal, and also stubborn, pushy, and wicked smart. When he wants something, he will continue to try and get it! He is our constant companion and adventure loving dog.





Tulsi
Born: Jan 12, 2015
Height: 13"
Weight: 18 lbs
6 months old








Tulsi is a female, black tri Toy Australian Shepherd. Just like her brother from another mother, she has outstanding copper that I just love. Tulsi is my laid back girl. Unlike her brother, Tulsi is happy to hang out on the porch, sniff the flowers, and just observe the world. She is gentle, sweet, and spunky. She is reserved, a little shy at first, and protective of her people. She doesn't have the same drive as her brother Indie, she is more of a family dog than a working dog. One thing is for sure, she loves her big brother! Anything he is doing, she wants to do. Anywhere he goes, she wants to follow. Her favorite things in this world are: giving kisses, hunting bugs, getting treats, and biting and pestering her big brother. Her nickname around here is "Little Wiggler" or Wiggy for short, because she is all wiggles when she comes to greet us. We just love her so much!







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I hope this blog helps to answer your questions about this wonderful breed...if there's anything you want to know about that is not mentioned, please feel free to drop me a line at the email address below.  I would love to hear from you!






Thank you for stopping by!


Contact: Jiana at miniature.indie@gmail.com



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27 comments:

  1. We have a mini aussie about 4 months old. I am in love :) I have seen aussie breeding sites that also recommend feeding aussie puppies adult dog food, because even vets are coming to the same conclusion, that they should grow more slowly during the first year. I am thinking of easing her into adult food. She eats 2 cups puppy food per day. The dog food I am wanting to feed her (Taste of the Wild--highly recommended on dogfoodadvisor.com) says up to 1 1/2 cups per day. What do you think? That is less than her puppy food and she is active and hungry. Opinion?

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  2. The conclusion that I've come to about the amounts recommended on the packages is that they vary SO much for individual dogs. Puppies have their biggest growth spurt at 4 months so if she's hungry give her more!! Another thing to consider is that some dog foods pack more calories in per kibble so you need to look at the kcal/cup, maybe that's why it's less? I lost sleep worrying about what to feed my puppy and whether or not he was getting the right amounts of things. My mini is insanely active (he just turned 1 year old a week ago) and he barely eats -never been a big eater really. He just wants to play play play. I struggle to keep weight on him! He is really good at regulating his food intake and only eats what he needs and stops when he's full so I know that I pretty much can't over feed him right now (this might change once we neuter him, from what I've heard). Some days he eats less, sometimes more depending on growth spurts and activity level. If he finishes what he's eaten and still looks hungry I give him more, especially if he's been running around a lot. So long as your puppy is not getting fat or is not an over eater. I say just feed as much as she wants. And thanks for stopping by!! Good luck and holler if you have any more questions! -Jiana

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  3. Thanks :) nice to connect with someone who has been there. I think what I'll do is order a bag of the adult food I want and gradually change her over. She has a vet visit in a couple weeks so I can bring it up with him. My husband and I laughed when I read him parts of your games and toys page. Haha my Maggie Mae is so similar to Indie in personality. She's so funny. I love her intelligence. One minute it is "What a good dog!" And we turn around and it's "Maggie NO!" Haha She is a joy. You have a nice blog and Indie is beautiful. Maggie is a red tri-color. Maybe I'll send you a pic :) Thanks again

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  4. Oh Monica, I just thought of something else...I've been feeding Indie Blue Buffalo's "Small Breed" mix. Something I had never considered previously. Indie is about 19 lbs so he definitely qualifies in that category. Not sure how much Maggie is predicted to be full grown, but you might want to check that out as an option. Definitely switching food "low and slow" is the best method. Also, I learned not to trust everything on DogFoodAdvisor. They only analyze based on what the package says nutritionally. Before getting a food, I suggest googling it and look at dog forum boards and see what issues people had with a certain food, or even looking in the comments on DFA below the food you're reading about. I was feeding Indie Evangers brand (which got 5 stars or something on DFA) and it turned out they were getting sued by the FDA etc and their food had given ppl dogs seizures.

    Anyhoo, Maggie sounds like a real personality! They all are it seems. Indie's favorite bad thing to do is get kleenex's out of the waste basket in the bathroom and rip them up! That's when we're like "noooooo!!!!". Pls send me a pic I would love that. I want a red tri next! I would have got one except Indie's litter was 100% blue merles so I didn't really have a choice.

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  5. I have 6 month old mini aussie named Roogie. This blog has really helped. Roogie just started getting kleenex out of the waste basket and ripping them up too. At this stage, she thinks her name is no, leave it or off. The one thing I'm having problems with is while we are walking she continues to bite my ankles and thinks it's a big game. I've tried yerking her chain, water sprays or will stop walking until she stops nipping. Any advice? Indie looks adorable.

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    1. Hi Laurie! Thank you so much, it always makes me glad to know this has helped someone. I want you to know that you are doing everything right, even though it probably feels like you're not getting through to Roogie. Believe me I know. We struggled with this issue for the longest time and it went on forever despite yelling at him, rolling him, squirting him; you name it, we tried it.

      Eventually as they grow older they do stop (so long as you stick with the negative reinforcement!). The main thing to try to pick one method and just stick with it. I know it's hard because you feel like none of them are working, so how to pick one? Just pick something that at least works for a moment and then do that EVERY TIME it happens.

      Sounds like you need to bring out the BIG GUNS in this battle. I have other less harsh methods below, but I have two suggestions for you that will work and they'll work QUICK:

      1) PetCorrector Spray. It's a miracle. It's a can of air spray and it scares the shit of dogs. Buy a small can and bring it with you on your next walk. As soon as she starts biting, hold it behind you back where she can't see and spray it just once. She'll be scared. If she seems WAY too sensitive to it, try my second suggestion below. It sounds like she's stubborn so she's ready for this method. See my post here for more details: http://raisingamini.blogspot.com/2013/02/do-not-use-pet-corrector-spray.html

      2. This will be totally annoying, but This method is another GUARANTEE she will not be able to bite you: put dish soap or Bitter Apple spray (available at any pet store) all over your pant cuffs RIGHT before you head out. She'll get one taste and will not be able to continue it'll be so gross. I did this to Indie to get him to stop biting the leash and it was awful watching him gag, but it made him hesitate before trying to bite it again. He learned QUICK let me tell you. It would work for a few days, then he'd try and bite at it again.

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    2. Other methods:
      I'm not sure what else you are doing with her, but you might need to diversify your walking/exercise routine. Aussies get bored quick and are more prone to acting out when they're bored (tearing up tissues is Aussie code for: You're not paying attention to me and I want to play!). They make up their own rules and games when they are not kept entertained otherwise. Also, they are stubborn as hell and they are not easily deterred by things that would work on other dogs in short order which is why we need to keep reprimanding them over and over until it sinks in!

      1. Is it possible to exercise Roogie in a leash free environment? Say the beach or a grassy park? Where you can throw toys and what not? Walks on a leash tend to be boring for Aussies and Roogie is old enough to go to more interesting places now. So long as you have established a good recall with her and you know she won't run away. I think once I started taking Indie to the beach and what not, I never noticed him biting my legs because there were more interesting things to see/smell and also he wasn't right next to me where he'd see my legs moving since he was off leash.

      2. Try carrying a toy with you on walks. When she starts biting your legs, stick the toy in her mouth or distract her with it instead. That could help show her what's appropriate to put her mouth on and what's not. We used this little trick to make sure Indie learned what was okay to chew on and what was not. To this day I can leave him in the house with computers out and shoes everywhere and he never chews on anything.

      3. Scream a really shrill "YIPES" as soon as she bites you (or anytime she puts her mouth on you period). This is how dogs tell each other "Ouch, what you're doing is too much." You will look like a crazy person in public, so maybe practice in your house first! Depends on how prone to embarrassment you are...hey, anything for our furbabies right?

      Hope this helps! Rest assured knowing that if you stick with your guns she'll get over this, I promise. I know it seems like nothing will change, but they do grow up and one day you'll miss the puppy days! Let me know if you find something that works so I can share it here on the blog for others to know!

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    3. Thanks so much for your suggestions. Yes, Roogie does great on a leash free enviroment when we hike. I will, however try the corrector spray and carrying a toy with her while on leash so she doesn't bite my ankles. Also, I never thought of putting dish soap on my pant cuffs. Good idea. She was pulling at the leash too but I solved that problem by soaking her leash in bitter apple (as you mentioned) and tobasco sauce. The leash was smelly but she didn't bite it anymore. Glad to hear these sweet aussies will grow out of it. I had a border collie for 15 yrs so I'm used to smart dogs, but these stinkers are stubborn. Challenging and fun to stay one step ahead of these pups. Thanks again.

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  6. Hello!! You are sooo lucky you have a mini. We have a 10lb toy because my mom loves smaller dogs but I desperately wanted a mini because I'm so active and want a consistent buddy to join me to the beach, hikes and runs. Our little guy Milo is 6 months and is so shy. He doesn't really act like a puppy much and I'm not sure how to train him because he'll run if we get to rowdy (going "Good Boy!") he also hates treats, even human food so it makes training difficult. He's standstill on a leash and takes off like a crazy bat when he's let loose (almost lost him once). We have a HUGE yard and he'll zip around it for a bit but wants to be in the house a few minutes later. It shocked me, because I researched this breed also and he just defies all facts about them lol. How did you go about training your pup? Was he shy at all when you got him? I love the breed and won't hold a shy personality dog over all Aussies. I'm definitely going to get a Mini when I get settled in my own place because I really want to LOVE an Aussie!

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    1. Hi Shatina! If you're really active and have the time and energy to work on training everyday, then an aussie is definitely a good dog for you. To answer your questions/offer advice:

      1) No, my dog is NOT shy at all. He is very confident and was very much a puppy too. Let me ask you a question, did you meet all the puppies in the litter before picking out Milo? I ask because every dog is different. When we went to pick out our dog there was one puppy in his litter who was very shy. So Milo just might be a shy Aussie.

      2) What have you done to socialize him? Do you go to puppy class? Is he ever left along for long periods of time?

      3) Training: First, let me just say that 8 week old puppies are more interested in exploring their new environments than they are in treats. For the week or two, don't worry too much about training and focus more on socializing and bonding. Anyways, my dog was picky about treats as well. Try the following:
      1) Cheese
      2) Cut up hot dog
      3) Zukes mini naturals
      4) Natural Balance logs
      5) Peanut butter on your finger

      Training my dog was easy because I watched a lot of youtube videos and read books and Indie is a very quick and eager study. Training is all about giving the treat at the RIGHT time so they know which behavior it was connected to. Check out my video tab and go to my youtube channel. There is a video of me training Indie when he's puppy there.

      Walking on a leash: If he won't walk on a leash then you need to attach a leash to him in the house or out in the yard. Let him walk around dragging the leash and get used to it that way. Try running around the yard and see if he'll chase you, or maybe a toy, while he's wearing his leash.

      4) It sounds like you have a shy dog. You need to spend some time focusing on being gentle and gaining trust. Instead of trying to be rowdy or playing, sit quietly in a room and just let Milo explore and come to you when he's ready. Have a toy on hand and also some treats (if you can find some he likes from the list above). Let him warm up to YOU, do not force it. As you build trust in this way, he won't run from you. It's CRUCIAL that you find a treat or a toy he likes. Work on training him to COME inside the house first. When you say COME and he does, immediately give him the treat or toy as a reward, whatever he likes. Work on this over and over and over. Coming is the most important command to master.

      5) Lastly, you have to be careful with Toy Aussies and make sure you have a GOOD breeder. Depending on whether or not you vetted the breeder, it's possible you don't have an aussie, but a chihuahua that's been mixed with an aussie therefore stripping all the aussie traits away. Toy breeds tend to be the biggest gamble and have the more forgery of any breed and this is especially true with mini aussies. My breeder does toys as well (and my dog has a parent who is toy sized and he is almost toy sized himself), but my breeder has the credentials and the reputation to back it up. I emailed with a lot of people and did my research before going with her. Just something to keep in mind.

      Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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  7. Hi! Thanks so much for the advice.

    Honestly no, we didn't get a chance to see him beforehand just pictures, and he was the last guy of the litter so I'm starting to understand why. Being new aussie owners we probably just didn't know the right questions to ask or to ask for video.

    Seeing as he's shy we weren't sure if a group setting training would be best for him and if he would get the most out of it but he's greatly attached to my stuck up 8yr Pomeranian so maybe other dogs would encourage him to do the same. Monkey see monkey do. Right now we have a 20 year experienced trainer coming to the house and for two hours he did absolutely not a single thing. She's coming again next week so we can try again because housebreaking is still a problem.

    I'm sorry if it seems like I'm asking you to diagnose or make my dog like yours, we're just looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Currently my mom has him while I'm in college, he's more her dog anyways since he was picked around her preferences, and she's not the best dog trainer even if you spell things out for her lol. We probably rushed the whole processed once we knew what kind of breed we wanted. Maybe getting a toy was kind of sketch. We're looking at this breeder now in NC who sells minis and keeps their tails, which we find so amazing and we live 30 mins away so we can see them! That's worse case scenario however meaning if Milo isn't a good fit she's thinking of trying with a new dog and selling him. We'll keep trying! Hopefully he'll warm up! I'll definitely check out your youtube and keep searching your blog =))

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    1. Hi Shatina!

      No problem, bug me all you want :) Yes, there is a light at the end of this tunnel but I'm not gonna lie, it'll be a lot of work. I love getting compliments about my Indie, but I always have to tell people how many thousands of hours I've spent to achieve this! Seriously, a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and dollars have gone into this dog: obedience classes, agility classes, herding classes, books, hours spent on youtube watching training videos, and trips to trails and parks on a daily basis. It's never ending, but if you want an Aussie you have to do this everyday or else they will become a nightmare.

      Yes, Milo can and should go to puppy class ESPECIALLY since he is shy. The class instructor will know what to do! Don't worry at all, it will be a great experience for you and your mom. Check out youtube, starting with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOjIFYvItAY&feature=em-subs_digest There is so much free info there on housebreaking and training. I have used this resource extensively to train my dog :)

      Hey, have you found a treat he likes yet? I know you and your mom can get him to turn around and blossom, Shatina, I know you can! :) The more info you give me, the more I can help you. My previous dog was a rescue from an abusive situation and he was very skiddish so I actually have a lot of experience with that type of dog. Please feel free to ask me. I know you can do this! :)

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    2. Omg! lol ok. He likes cheese and recently discovered my Oreo cookie cupcake!! lol. So to explain his personality, he's curious, he follows us around, he may walk up to us but immediately runs back after he licks our leg or something, he's energetic and likes to run around the yard, I know he loves my pom so much he howls when they're apart. But literally the second you direct any of your frontal body towards him he takes off, in fact leaving your hand out and not looking doesn't work. It's like the second he knows you're aware of him hes gone! Currently I ignore him when he's being shy and only give him attention when he's social. But training is impossible playing is impossible, even with the toys you see he's found interest in. If you want to give him a treat you have to place it on the couch where he'll jump up and get it once you've left. I try to show off my older dogs tricks with him watching and he'll just stare but I think it's made him a little more comfortable with us.

      So there's milo in a nutshell I think. How did you work with your skittish dog?

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  8. Ugh...I just typed a giant paragraph and it vanished. Anyway, Jiana, thank you SO much for sharing Indie with us and your life with a mini-A. My girlfriend and I have a mini named Frankie. He is our life!!! He is the smartest creature I have ever encountered! He is going to be neutered today and I did a quick Google search about this before I hit the hay. We would love to have more pups in the future with Frankie's personality, however, we are doing this for his own health and safety. He loves to mark his territory, roam, and has been a bit aggressive lately. He is very protective over his territory and his loved ones (us)! I will be back here later today to read more on your site. Again, thank you SO much for sharing Indie with all of us. The photos of Indie as a pup reminds me so much of Frankie-doodle. Looking forward to sharing more in the future.

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    1. Hi Andy! I hate when that happens....believe me I understand, I've even lost entire blog posts, grrr!! Anyways, Thanks for the note! Yes, we feel the same way...this dog is our LIFE! I hope Frankie's neuter went well and he recovered. Feel free to check back in here anytime and if you have suggestions for posts, let me know. I'd like to also compile any info about this breed from other people's experiences so we can all learn from each other. Thanks again!!

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  9. Hi!

    My sister and I aquired litter mates back in May, 2014. I just want to thank you for this blog. I found it just before we brought the bundles of joy home and have found it to be the most informative place for info on the breed. All the other articles were so general and factual which was good but when you are trying to get information to find out if the breed will really work for you it just doesn't give enough. I seriously think I would have been far less tolerant and would have given up if I had not read what to expect from your blog.

    I just read your post about size and I want to say you rock to point this out. Our minis are now 8 months old give or take a week and they are as different as night and day....same litter I would like to point out again. When we brought them home, although their noses were slightly different shapes, Loki's being a little rounder and shorter - Puck's being sharper and a little longer, they were the same size fluff balls. Now being how they are almost totally done growing they are often surprising people that they are the same litter. Loki, my dog, is 20 pounds and stocky and Puck, my sisters dog, is 12 pounds and slim. They are the same height but drastically different in stature. Amazing. They are both smart as the breed implies but the way they go about things are totoally different. Loki is more mellow and tends to try to do things in a way that would cost the least amount of energy. Puck is what I would call high strung and he is all out. Loki is more confident - Puck is a little shier when it comes to other dogs but they both LOVE people. They both love to do the breed norms too. Herding. Other dogs, people, the cat or eachother. Doesn't matter it moves they herd. Most of all they are a classic example of what you were talking about; same litter - same environment growing up - same tenacity and smarts - wildly different looks and size.

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    1. How interesting!! I wish I could see my dogs' litter mates to see who they all compare!

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  12. Hi! I think indie is gorgeous and Was wondering if I could have the name of your breeder? I'm just starting my search and want to find the best! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Luci! Thank you, we feel that Indie is perfect in every way. I got him from Karen Keller of Timeless Aussies in Buelton, CA. She is a very experienced breeder.

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  13. Hi guys great page . I love reading it. I feel like my lil guy is creaky. Like in his knees they seem to Crack often. Is this a breed trait or ... over worring

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    1. Hmmmm, I'm not sure. I feel I can hear my dogs knees kinda making cracking sounds every now and then. Your vet can check out their joints and let you know. Basically, don't push them too hard, but if you're worried go check with your vet :)

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  14. i am new to reading your blog but am currently looking for a dog breed to share in my active lifestyle. I am an avid runner and horseback rider. I would love to have an off leash companion for runs and rides on my farm. Sounds like a mini aussie might be the right breed for me. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as well as any breeder recommendations.

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    1. Sounds like you would definitely enjoy and Aussie! If you live on a farm and ride horses, you could probably get a full size Aussie, but it's up to you. Mini's are great for around the house as they take up less space and eat less. Aussies are usually not the best running partners unless you run in a place where they can be off leash, but that's just my personal opinion. In terms of breeders there are lots of good ones in the US and my suggestin is you try and find one who is close to where you live. Here's how I did it, I googled "mini aussie breeders california" for example and just looked at every one in my state and proceeded from there to find people I trusted. A good breeder will respond quickly, will be forthcoming with information, and will let you visit them without making a purchase.

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  15. Hi!
    My pup Joey is 11W and just came home to us last week. She is a beautiful blue merle with brown eyes (her right eye actually has a tiny dot of blue in it) and copper markings. We chose a mini Aussie because we wanted a house dog who would also be able to be a part of an active lifestyle. I am a first time dog owner so prior to (and since) getting her I have researched the breed a lot. Still, since she has come home I am AMAZED at how intelligent she is. She already knows her name, she is on the way to being housebroken and she knows how to sit (most of the time). She was the smallest of her litter so I was a little worried about her coming out of her shell but she has bonded to us completely and I think she is going to be an amazing companion.

    Sorry, I'm obviously a little infatuated with her. :)

    I especially appreciate your information on feeding. She really dislikes the food that she was eating with the breeder and will barely touch it, so mealtime has been challenging. I think she may also have a sensitive stomach. Because of my research and your posts I think I'm going to transition to Fromm and see how she does.

    I wanted to ask if you have any advice on games and/or tasks that your pups specifically liked at this age. She loves games and I think she will really enjoy whatever we put her to, i'm just not sure what is age appropriate right now. She is very active and loves to chase and trying to herd us. :) She loves to chase her ball around when I roll it on the ground and will sometimes bring it back to me.

    I was also wondering if you groom/bathe your dogs yourself and if so what kind of doggie shampoo do you use?

    Thank you so much for your posts! Indie and Tulsi are beautiful.

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  16. Thanks so much for keeping this blog. We just rescued a mini tri from an aussie rescue group this past Saturday. Molly has marbled eyes, is 3 yrs old and right now, very shy and timid. She was previously with a couple who bought her and her brother from a breeder in FL. We are in Houston. I've just started reading your blog and looking at your photos. Are you in the Santa Barbara area? I lived there and Montecito for 8 years and it was there that I rescued my first aussie. She was rambunctious and so smart. I loved my Maxie. She had all the instincts of an aussie - herder, loyal, loving, and somewhat hyper. She loved the beach and rolling on the grounds of the Biltmore. LOL. I'm looking forward to learning more as I read your adventures with India and Tulsi.

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