BLUE MOUNTAIN’S THE ONE ’N’ ONLY DNA-VP ”JOSIE”
Sometimes, it seems as though there is a small alien in Josie’s head who is secretly studying us. She is highly intelligent and is constantly watching us, even when it appears that she is snoozing in a corner.
She wants to be part of everything and stick her nose in it for a second. If we hold something in our hand that she deems to be of interest to her, a dog snout will come up in slow motion to sniff the object from a respectful distance. Josie will stand perfectly balanced on her two hind legs – reason enough to let this behavior ”pass.”
Josie is very empathetic. Whenever one of her people friends is sad, you can be sure that she will come running to see what is the matter. She licks your face to cheer you up or secretly climbs onto the sofa to be with us – something that is, of course, not really allowed. She then puts her ears back and tries to make herself as small as possible. This behavior of hers never fails to make us laugh.
Our blue merle darling loves to cuddle, and please beware: your lap will definitely not be safe if you decide to sit on the floor! Cuddle sessions on the living room floor are likewise never turned down. Even if one of us sleeps on the sofa, a rare occurrence, she will curl up in your arm and spend the night with you under the covers.
Josie loves to sit down at our feet, look at us with those big, sweet eyes of hers, and ask to be petted. It his hard to resist her look. During these maneuvers, she sometimes likes to lean into our legs, and, should we dare to move, will end up toppling over onto the floor. Her next move then is to roll over on her back so that we can at least rub her belly. If we somehow manage to resist rubbing her belly, she raises her head after a few seconds to give us a few, questioning glances. Josie will hold this position for a little while longer in order to convince us to pet her.
In the evenings, Josie likes to sit near us in front of, or leaning into the sofa, snooze in one of her baskets, or retire to her crate.
Josie loves to perform tricks and to learn new ones. She clearly wants to execute everything correctly, and (sometimes, unfortunately) really fast. Josie exhibits a strong eagerness to please, which is what one expects in an Australian Shepherd.
Riding in the car is one of her passions. Going shopping without her presence in the trunk is not what she had in mind! She gives us long looks from head to toe with her big, sweet eyes and pushes us ever closer to the front door. Nonetheless, it is not a problem to leave her at home while we take off for a shopping spree to London …
Playing in the yard and running off leash during walks are some of Josie’s favorite hobbies. She acts like a little child in the snow, and expertly catches snowballs and falling snowflakes. In deep, fluffy, new snow, she hops like a bunny to keep her head above the snow line.
Another one of Josie’s passions is retrieving her favorite toy. She is up for any game or activity. At home, she enjoys laying in front of the door to the yard to watch squirrels jump from tree to tree. She also watches birds, pheasants, and anything else that moves in the yard. This entails running from window to window in a state of high alert to keep an eye on whatever has peaked her interest.
Josie is open to the company of other 4‑legged animals, whether dogs or cats, and enjoys playing with them. In a group environment, Josie is generally a calming influence on account of her even temperament. When necessary, she can impose her will, but this never occurs in a mean way, or (from a human perspective) unfairly. Our pack of dogs is led by Josie in a very quiet manner, and animals that come to visit also adapt quickly to her direction.
Our house cat, Mickey, receives a friendly greeting from Jose every morning, and other cats that we come across along the way are treated the same way. Josie often discovers cats underneath parked cars: with her rear end up in the air, tail wagging vigorously, she dives underneath the car to say hello. This is always a very amusing scene to watch. Bunnies and rabbits are also of interest to Josie, particularly the rabbit cage located in the neighbor’s yard. She can circle the cage for hours watching the rabbits. She is so intent on the little creatures, that she sometimes forgets to put down one of her paws,and then tries to somehow regain her balance. Josie is friendly towards other animals and does not exhibit a great hunting instinct. Should it ever be necessary for her to rely on her hunting skills to survive, it is our guess that she would probably starve.
Josie does not bark much, and if she does, it is out of pure excitement – never frustration. She is a very even-tempered dog that can lay down quietly somewhere in the house without having to be kept active. Of course, all of that changes when visitors arrive! Visitors are always greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm, and are thoroughly inspected with her nose. Every now and then, she can get a bit out of hand. Josie finds children particularly interesting and clearly wants to play with them.
Josie does not care for stairs, particularly exposed stairs that allow one to see through to the floor. We are working with her to overcome her discomfort. Josie enjoys being combed, brushed, and bathed – probably because she has figured out that she will be rewarded with a treat afterwards.
Josie has many facial expressions that amuse us. When we talk to her, she seems to answer in her own language. On extremely rare occasion, she can be a bit spiteful. She then plops down somewhere on the floor in a huff and pretends we do not exist for about 10 seconds. But then – as soon as we move just the slightest bit closer – her tail resumes its happy wagging. It is actually much more than just a tail wag – there is a reason why she is nicknamed ”rug beater.”
When Maisy joined the family, Josie did not make a fuss when Maisy ate from her food bowl and overlooked other misdeeds committed by the newcomer, something other dogs surely would not have tolerated. We are convinced that Josie already knew that there would be an addition to the pack. Every time we came back from the breeder, we underwent a thorough sniffing examination by her. Josie would then run down the hallway, looking to see as to where the other dog might be. Maisy and Josie quickly became best friends and even curl up together in the same basket. In any event, whenever there is food on the horizon, they are both sitting pretty in front of us. Naturally, they roughhouse and play together on a daily basis.
To us, Josie is more than a member of the family. She is the type of friend who is there for us unconditionally and never leaves our side. In Josie, we have found a very special companion. We are so happy that we decided to get her and that she has become such a wonderful dog.