Likes: Fetching a ball or throwing a pine cone in the air and catching it.
Pet-Peeves: over-amped big dogs that jump on her.
Favorite Toy: A squeaky donut
Favorite Food: She has a simple doggie diet and likes it quite well.
Favorite Walk: At the irrigation ditch where she can get in the water (and in the stickers).
Best Tricks: It's not a trick, but she runs an agility course pretty fast and with lots of enthusiasm
Arrival Story: I found out about Mini-aussies in early December 2008 by meeting a puppy a friend of mine had. They are a fairly new breed, small but with great temperaments (if obtained from a reputable breeder). I started researching breeders thinking it would take me months to find the right dog. Within two weeks, I happened across an excellent breeder with pups ready to adopt, only one female which is what I wanted. I brought Rethy home on Dec. 14 as snow began to fall. Have you ever tried to potty train a puppy in the snow? I named her Rethy after my great grandmother, a Choctaw woman who was known for her ability to heal bleeding and other health maladies with herbs. Great Grandma's name was Aretha, but everyone called her Rethy. Little did I know how significant that name would become. Rethy is now my service dog--working to help me go places and do things I haven't done in a long time, or in some cases not at all. I call her my shero
Bio: In October, 2010, the North American Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of the USA (NAMASCUSA) awarded Rethy a second place prize as Goodwill Ambassador representing miniature Australian Shepherds. She won the award for the work she does as my service dog.
Play: Rethy loves to run an agility course (at our trainer's house). She plays fetch and catch with herself. If I forget her ball on a walk, that's okay, she'll pick out a pine cone and that works just fine. She's a master at entertaining herself and aside from a little "landscaping" prefers toys to household items.
Friends: Rethy can be aloof with other dogs, but give her a four-legged close to her size (like Lucille) and she is delighted.
Mom hasn't been helping me with my diary or reading my pals' diaries to me for quite awhile. Now that her haunch is fixed, she is busy doing too many things. We even have a garden now. Mom has been fixing up her van so we can start making trips and visiting our friends again.
Today was agility day. Wahoo! We got there early. Mom ran me through 3 times. She had me get a drink, then whoosh, I was down in the grooming shed and up on the table. Mom is doing all my grooming now. She got done with just one foot when Lovey's mom brought her down to learn how to trim her feet. Lovey is an Aussie, too, only a regular sized one. Mom calls her "Love Bug" because she is.
I got off the table and watched while Mom and Nancy worked on Lovey. Lovey squirmed a lot. I told her if she held still, it wouldn't take as long and she could go run agility some more.
It took Mom an hour and a half or so to get me all trimmed even though I stand still. She cleans up the "raggedy stuff" and leaves me looking "natural". I don't know. I think I'm natural anyway. When she is working on me I can tell she loves me, so I kiss her on the nose.
Mom wanted me extra special pretty for tomorrow. We are doing an obedience demo for a dog event. Next Saturday, we are going to do both obedience AND agility demos. It will be the first time I do agility to entertain others. I bet I can move so fast nobody will even know Mom spent and hour and a half grooming me.
I haven't written in my diary for so long because I have been busy taking care of Mom.
She had to go to the hospital to get one of her haunches replaced. I had to take care of her because the anesthesia and her regular meds made her leave the planet for awhile. Auntie Kim was with us and took me home the first night. That's when Mom got in really bad shape. After that, I spent every night with her to chase the invisible boogie men away. I stayed with her all day except for exercise and food breaks. She brought an antler for me to chew on, so I was happy lying next to her. I helped her sleep.
Some of our friends came to visit: Gracie came for a little while and Jolanda came to spend a whole night. Sophie's and Lina's humans came to visit, too, but Sophie and Lina weren't there.
When we got home, Mom had a four legged gizmo she leaned on and pushed around to help her balance when she walked. Now she is walking with a cane.
Sophie's mom had brought us home. Dakota's mom came a couple of times to do things around the house that mom can't do like vacuum up Belle's and my hair. Gracie came to visit one day. And last, night, Becker visited and brought his baby human.
Mom showed me how to bring my ball up on the retaining wall beside our house so she could throw it for me. She can't lean over although I keep forgetting that. Even though we aren't going any place, I get to chase my ball. And like always, I have kitty patrol.
LOTS of different people have been coming to help Mom--a nurse, a physical therapist and even a lady who gave her the kind of bath Mom gives me (except that Mom did all the soap and stuff).
We have left the house only once. JoAnn came to pick us up so I could go play with Breeze. On the way to Breeze's house, the humans stopped at the post office where JoAnn went in and got Mom's mail. Guess what was in there? A very special award for ME! I am a "Goodwill Ambassador" which means I am a role model for my service to humanity. The mini Aussie club honored me at Nationals last year, but the plaque just arrived on Friday.
Mom said it was good timing because of all the special work I have been doing for her. She said I was such a good example of service dogs because of how I took care of her at the hospital. She said, at first, they weren't going to let me help her, but they learned really fast that I'm supposed to be with Mom all the time. It's the law! Plus, how can I be an ambassador if I'm not allowed in places to spread good will?
Mom has been scattered and anxious all week. Monday, she talked to someone on the phone about having me in the hospital when she goes to get her hip fixed. Talking on the phone, Mom got really upset, shook and cried. She said the hospital was breaking some laws that have to do with me. Mom called a friend who knows all about those laws and she got some other people to help.
In the meantime, I had to go to the vet. Mom had to take some of my poop in, too. I got my blood tested and things stuck here and there. Mom had to pay $125 to get a piece of paper that said I'm healthy. Darn right!
The next day, we went to see that lady Mom talks to. They made some plans for how Mom is going to handle some of the scarier stuff in the hospital. Mom was worried about the times I won't be with ehr. Plus, Mom sometimes freaks out when strangers touch her. In the hospital, they are going to have to do a lot of that.
Then we went to the hospital for a Full Joint Replacement Class. I slept through a lot of it, but I heard that Mom can't do things like bend over--how is she going to throw my ball? I guess I'll have to start dropping it in her lap. They gave her this plastic gismo that she is supposed to take her breath through when she gets out of surgery. It makes a funny clicking noise.
We left the class and went to the office of the lady who had been so mean to Mom on the phone. She seemed okay when we were there, but still she was making Mom give her the paper that said I'm healthy which is evidently against the law. The lady said my SD friends like Gracie can come by, but can't hang out in the room with us unless they get health certificates, too. The lady also said I could be with Mom before her operation, but not after. Mom didn't argue. She just wanted to get out of there and not worry any more.
As it turns out, the friends who said they would help did a lot for Mom. It took a few days and some talks with attorneys, but guess what happened? That mean lady called this morning and told Mom I could be with her right after her operation too. What a relief for Mom and me. I don't want her to have a problem when I can't be there to help her.
Today, Mom has loved me up a lot. She says she is so happy I'm with her. I don't know what getting a hip fixed or being in a hospital is going to be like, but when I work, I'm all there for it. Whatever needs to be done, I'll do it! Plus, it sounds like quite an adventure.
It's a good thing all that is going on, because otherwise, I would be bored. It has been raining and snowing, so no park, no ball chasing and no running with Breeze. Mom promised I'll get to go play soon. Tomorrow? MAYBE? PUHHLLLEEEEEZE?