Most Australian Shepherds are boisterous, joyful, playful, confident, smart and energetic.
Most Australian Shepherds love people and going places and doing fun things.
Most Australian Shepherds are interested in the birds, the wind, the toys, the people, other animals around him.
But one puppy had none of these qualities.
He was the quiet puppy, the shy one.
He had few if any of the attributes normally associated with Aussies.
He was the puppy that didn’t run up to people or play with his litter mates.
He was the puppy who was afraid of everything!
Afraid of other dogs, people, sounds, smells, mops, brooms, fireworks, chairs, dishwashers and even water.
Many families came to meet the puppies but no one wanted the Aussie that was scared of the world.
Even though he was beautiful with one brown eye and one blue, no one thought a shy Aussie would make a good pet.
But one family had other ideas.
They adopted him and started teaching him that the world was a friendly place, not a scary place.
They spent a lot of time with him and discovered he loved to jump high, so they played Frisbee.
They discovered he loved to hike and explore so they went on adventures.
They discovered he was kind and gentle and smart.
And they discovered that he could love – big.
He learned to roll over and shake paws and come back when his people called him, to not hide when he heard noises and to try new things.
All he needed was something to do, something to be good at, something that a quiet dog could excel at.
So he went to school and became a Delta Pet Partner animal assisted therapy dog.
No one could believe such a frightened puppy could grow up to be such a special dog.
He learned to work with other people and animals, to jump only when outside playing, to stay close enough so he could be petted by many people at once, and to show everyone his big heart.
All his fears flew out of his head when he was working. He had something better to do, something far more important.
Once he started thinking about what he would do at the library or hospital or school, he wasn’t afraid anymore.
He even became a Love Dog.
And when you do something you are really really good at, your fears fly away