Having had an Australian Shepherd before, I was prepared for the possibility of a very high energy dog that needed to be kept busy every waking moment. Dusty had the Labrador’s laid back temperament, along with the short lab coat, and settled in quickly. He had the Aussie’s sharp mind, and learned the ropes of the new house quickly.
At the time, I owned a dog boutique in the downtown district of Manteo, and Dusty was a great companion. He enjoyed meeting other people and dogs, and absolutely ate up the attention he got for being so handsome.
Downtown has a lot of community cats, ones that may have had homes elsewhere, but panhandled from shop keepers and visitors for tidbits. This was the one thing that brought out the Aussie instincts in Dusty. He was absolutely convinced that the cats needed his organizational abilities! Needless to say, they were a hard sell, LOL!
Once he discovered that the shop door opened out, he would wait until I was busy with a customer to slide out the door. He wasn’t mean, and didn’t try to harm the cats, he was just irresistibly drawn to alphabetize, organize and sort them! When they got tired of him trying to boss them around, they would scratch his nose, and he would sulk back to the store.
I tried everything I could think of to distract him when he wanted to be with the cats, but I think that they would tease him, walking slowly by my door, and rubbing against the glass. Poor Dusty’s eyes would glaze over, as his brain went, “Must...Herd...Cats!”