An Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie cross, Willa is 12 years old. She came to our pack when she was seven months old. At the time her original owner was looking for a new home for her and my husband was looking for a playmate for his playful puppy Tasha.
True to the Australian Cattle Dog breed, Willa is aloof with strangers, but extremely loyal to my husband, following him around from room to room. At times Willa would pick up her food bowl and carry it to wherever my husband was sitting. With him in sight she would finally settle down to the task of eating. I think we were married about two years before Willa conceded the fact that I was now part of her life and she came to me to get loved and rubbed for the first time. This hasn’t dispelled the feeling that I am merely Plan B – good to have around when my husband has to go out-of-town. I think because she can be so aloof, I relish the times when she comes to me for attention. I am honored that she has accepted me into her pack.
Willa is a herder; no matter what toy or object one of our other dogs have, she has to have it. Surprisingly no one argues with her, not even Moe who is twice her size. As she approaches the other dogs will drop whatever they have and let her take it. You can find the objects she has retrieved in a pile by our bed or pushed under the bed for safe keeping.
Willa is also a nervous Nellie. From conversations I have had with other Cattle Dog owners, this is also true to the breed. A trip to the vet is stressful for everyone involved. I think Willa almost turns herself inside out trying to get away, and must lose at least 10 lbs from all the shaking.
All of her quirks makes Willa a one of a kind dog in our eyes and has earned her the nickname the Willa Dog.