April 2014 Interview: Copper the Australian Shepherd

By Lynn Stacy Smith 

The Canine Caviar Newsletter sat down with Copper the Australian Shepherd, our first interviewee from all the way north in Alaska.

Copper 1 - Australian Shepherd

CC Newsletter: Hi Copper, it’s so nice to have some more time to speak to you. I’ve been looking forward to our interview ever since you appeared as one of our Fueled by Canine Caviar dogs. You are one stunningly beautiful boy! Can you tell me more about yourself?

Copper: Awe, thanks! I am a Red Merle Australian Shepherd. My hair is fairly long and I have deep reddish-brown spots. I also have hazel eyes. My mommy says I am incredibly intelligent and sensitive, like she could almost have a conversation with me. She always says the nicest things to me; I am blushing underneath all of this fur!

CC: And how old are you? Do you know where you were born or anything about your parents?

Copper: I will be 6 years old on April 20. My family cannot believe I am getting that old already! I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska to two parents with champion bloodlines.

CC: And how did your human parents find you?Copper 3 - Australian Shepherd

Copper: My Momma wanted to add a dog to the family for Daddy’s birthday. Knowing that he loved Aussies and they were high on his list she started making phone calls to her vet and groomer and one of them know a groomer whose dog had just had a new litter. That was my biological momma’s litter and all of the puppies were spoken for, but there was one person on the fence. They backed out and two weeks later I was picked up after my boy’s baseball game and headed to my forever home and family! 

CC: What’s it like living in Alaska? To someone in the lower 48 states it sounds really cool!

Copper 7 - Australian Shepherd

Copper: Well, the summers are great! Lots of daylight, bike trails right out my door, and oh, I have to tell you this!!! There was a moose eating our neighbor’s juniper bushes in her yard the other day! He couldn’t have been more than a year old! Mommy had to keep me away from the window so I wouldn’t bark.  It was so exciting I wanted to tell the world!!!!

CC: That is amazing!!!! So you stay very active, right?

Copper: I get to go on long walks on the bike trail and meet my dog friends for play dates a lot. Even in the winter if it isn’t too cold. I love going sledding with my kids and I also love to chase snowballs. Um, and the shovel. I like to chase it, too. I get in lots of trouble when I do that, but I can’t resist!! Being an Alaskan dog is great. I have a nice warm home, a thick bed to sleep on, a family that loves me to pieces and lots of access to really fun activities.

Copper 6 - Australian Shepherd

CC: Wow, that sounds great. I love talking to dogs who have such an active lifestyle and a loving home. That’s what life should be like for every dog and their family. Have you ever competed in any events?

Copper: I was in flyball for a while with my girl, but I am too strong and heavy for her and was hurting her arm when I got my budda at the end of the run. So we quit that, but now I get lots of time with the Chuck-it! ball, plus I terrorize Grandpa’s lab a lot!

CC: Oh Copper you are a funny boy! I have Labs at home, how do you terrorize your Lab uncle?

Copper 2 - Australian Shepherd

Copper: Well, Diver is 9 going on 2! Mommy jokes around that Diver was born at -2 years old, he’s so young for his age. He’s very playful and really, really enjoys Chuck-it! time like I do! When I want to play ball I like to take a ball and shove it in Diver’s face until I get his attention…then when he tries to grab it I move my head away! It’s so much fun! And then Diver likes to roll around on his back and make lots of noise, which to me means “Copper, come torture me”. Sometimes I do a fun combo move where I trip him while I shove the ball in his face. He’s a good sport and we have a lot of fun!Copper 5 - Australian Shepherd

CC: How did you find out about Canine Caviar holistic pet food?

Copper:  I was on another high-quality dog food when I came from the breeder, but it was too rich for me. So Mommy asked the salesman at Cold Spot Feeds in Fairbanks what I could be switched to and he suggested if we were going to switch then Canine Caviar would be the only thing to go with. Anything else would be a downgrade. I’ve been on it ever since, and now I get Canine Caviar’s Synergy Vegetable mix too because my pH was really low. I have to give a BOL (Bark Out Loud) and a big thank you to the staff at Canine Caviar for helping us figure that out!

CC: If it was too rich did you have a health issue that caused your mom to look into new foods?

Copper: Well, ahem, it’s kind of embarrassing…but my poop was too soft to scoop. And when you’re a hairy breed that needs to have your back end groomed, well, let’s just say it’s not good. I hate it when Mommy asks if she needs to check my butt.

Copper Fueled by Canine Caviar - Australian Shepherd

CC: Awe, she’s just looking out for her boy, though. I’m glad you got the poop issue sorted out. Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve talked to several dogs who had that issue before switching to Canine Caviar holistic pet food. Do you have a favorite formula?

Copper: I am on the Lamb & Pearl Millet ALS dinner right now. It seems to be one of the best for weight management with my level of activity, since in don’t get out every day for longer walks or extended playtime. But I am losing a little weight now that half my dog food is being subbed with the Synergy mix. That makes mommy happy considering I am pushing middle age. And Diver had sensitive tummy and is now loving life on Canine Caviar Special Needs food, so he’s feeling better too!

CC: How about favorite treats?

Copper: love Canine Caviar’s buffalo toothpicks, and the samples of dried sweet potato treats they sent are great too!

CC: What do you like to do in your downtime?Copper 4 - Australian Shepherd

Copper: Oh, you know, lie on my master’s feet or lean on them. Typical Aussie behavior. I also like to step on mommy’s feet, especially when they’re bare. Mommy doesn’t seem to like it much though. She says I’m heavy.

CC: Your Mom told me that you’re a leaner; can you tell us why you love to lean on your humans?

Copper: I have no idea! Maybe ask my real mom? Or her mom? Maybe it’s a genetic thing?

CC: What’s the story on that adorable lip curl that I’ve heard about?

Copper: I like to get snarky sometimes. My family thinks it’s cute because they know it’s in play. It usually comes when I’m about to roll on my back and beg for a belly rub.

CC: It sounds like you sure have fun with your human family! I know you said you meet new friends on your walks? Do you have any best friends?

Copper: My best friend would be Diver, who lives with us too. He is Grandpa’s black lab. He is almost 10 but acts like he’s 2. But I really like Coco when I see him on the trail. He’s a lot of fun. There are lots of small dogs on the trail and I have a hard time playing with them because I worry I will hurt them.

Copper 8 - Australian Shepherd

CC: What about doggie or kitty siblings?

Copper: I used to have one, a Sheltie named Mickey. He passed a few years ago at 14. (He was on Canine Caviar Special Needs, which was great for his sensitive tummy issues!) I liked to sneak-attack him and then run behind him and pull his tail. My family found it hilarious! They said I had tail-envy!!

CC: Copper, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you have Diver to keep you company. What games do you like to play with your human siblings?

Copper: Chuck-it! would be number one on my list. But my boy trained me to play baseball with him. He would hit the ball and try to run the bases before I could get it and then run back and tag him. I make a great short stop!

CC: Baseball? That sounds like a blast! We will have to tell more fur parents about that! What other advice do you have to pet parents of active herding breeds like yours?

Copper: Aussies can be high maintenance mentally if you allow it. But I am really laid back and am perfectly happy doing whatever it is my family is doing. My family growled at me when I first came home, which established them as alpha dogs. I think that helped a lot. They also taught me time out, which I don’t like, but it taught me to not be a wild child. But tone of voice is everything. Talk to me like you love me and I will be your best friend! I am a lot of maintenance with grooming, the floor has to be swept daily, and I require frequent haircuts.

CC: I would like to thank you for spending some time talking to us for the Canine Caviar Newsletter. Before you go, though, How about words of wisdom to other dogs?

Copper: Listen to your master! They know best! Remind them you need treats every now and then, but make sure they’re good for you. Lots of love will make you the best dog ever.