Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I love me some Australian Shepherds, let me tell you.  I've written about them a few times on here, largely because our two most recent dogs have been Aussie mixes, who frequently wind up as rescues since people buy them because they are "cute," not realizing they are also a handful. Today we have a gorgeous blue merle Aussie named Luna.

Regular readers of the blog know that I caution against getting a pet through Craigslist or the newspaper.  A lot of people blanche at paying a rescue group’s or shelter’s price but when you buy a dog from them usually (if it’s a legitimate place) you’re paying for its shots, its vetting, and its spaying or neutering. 

Some rescue groups actually watch the papers for “free” puppies, especially if they’re pit bulls, and go get the dogs. Often these puppies are from litters born to dog-fighters, and these are the cast-offs who won’t be good fighters.  If you need another good reason not to get your dog through Craigslist, read the story of Hercules righthere.  You’ll be amazed at how unethical his sale was. 

Anyway, Luna’s story is a different example of  the shady people you might do business with via the classifieds.  Sammie’s family had two dogs, one mastiff, named Saber, and a lab, named Ranger. Sammie had been begging her family for another pet, but she always got shot down. When Samantha was 20, in July of 2012, her dad went out of town for a bit, and she convinced her mom to give in.   

She made lots of phone calls, looking for a medium-sized dog, and eventually made plans to meet a woman from another town. When she got there, the woman opened a crate full of pee and poop and pulled out a little shivering dog. 

Sammie was never more certain of anything than she was at that moment: that dog was not going home with that woman. 

At the meeting the woman claimed the Australian Shepherd was a full-bred with papers. She gave Sammie documentation and also gave her Vet papers with a list of shots the puppy had had.  Sammie paid $450 for the dog and took her home.

Sammie and her mom gave Luna a bath that night and they realized she was so covered with sores they didn’t know how to help her. They took her to their vet the next day. An examination showed she had worms, fleas, ear mites, 11 ticks, and a vaginal infection. 

So how does a pedigreed, vetted dog with papers wind up in that bad of shape?  Simply put, it was a scam. The veterinarian informed Samantha he didn’t think any of the paperwork was real, and to prove it he called the number on the veterinary paperwork.  It went to a loud recording saying “Unknown Number.”

Samantha’s heart sank. She had unwittingly contributed to a puppy mill breeder, the vet said. She was relieved beyond belief to have Luna safe with her, and determined to make the best of the situation now. As Luna got well, Sammie signed her up for obedience class. 


Together over the past year they have become an inseparable pair.   


Luna helped her family (including Ranger) get through the loss of Saber, who at 12 years old crossed the rainbow bridge. 

 If Sammie is crying, especially after watching Pit Bulls and Parolees, Luna comes to her and gives her paw until Sammie high fives her back. 

 Luna has inspired Samantha to do everything she can to make the world a better place for animals, and thus she has changed her major from nursing to pre-veterinary science. 

Sammie can tackle the tough workload she has ahead of her with Luna by her side, reminding her why she wants to do what she wants to do. Thanks so much Sammie for sharing Luna's story.

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