Sojourner x Hustle litter
DOB: Sept 28, 2012

About Journey by her mom Devan Kun

I've grown up with dogs my entire life, but Journey is my first Aussie, whom I patiently waited many years for. I first discovered the breed when I was about 8 or 9 years old and desperately wanted one, but my parents said no. I wanted a fun, frisbee catching, ball fetching, outdoorsy dog, which my childhood dogs were not. As you can imagine, I was very sad that there would be no Aussie for me at the time. But in hindsight, I am very happy that it worked out that way and that I ended up with a different breed then, because who knows what kind of newspaper special I would have ended up with and then I likely wouldn't have Journey now. The wait was more than worth it, and at only 10 months old, Journey is by far the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and living with. 

I will forever be grateful to my on a whim decision of e-mailing Oracle Aussies, thinking I didn't have a chance of bringing one of the Sojo x Hustle puppies home. I knew the puppies had already been born and that they likely already had homes, but I still hoped that there might be a small chance that one could be mine. The night a few weeks later that I was told that the little black tri girl, then called “Nina”, could be mine, I couldn't believe it.  I was so surprised and so excited all at once. I didn't even care that I always thought my first Aussie would be red and there were lots of reds in this litter. Suddenly that little black tri puppy became the best puppy in the world and she's continued to be every day since. 

Journey is to be my first performance dog and there is no doubt that she will be. As she's still young, we haven't been able to do a ton of training in different sports as I don't want to stress her growing joints and I don't want to overload her with too much at once either, but she has excelled at everything we have done together so far. We've done some Agility foundation stuff, Flyball foundation stuff, we're working on Obedience/Rally with hopes to start trialling next spring/summer, and we've also done two Conformation shows this summer as well and will continue with local shows  while we continue training for other sports. Journey recently had her very first lesson on sheep as well and while I am new to that also, our instructor thinks it is definitely something we should continue and said that she did very well for a young dog who'd never seen sheep before. She has a lot of instinct and while she had a couple of excited moments, she also had a few moments where she thought things through nicely. She loved it too.

More than being my performance dog , Journey is also my constant companion and my “take anywhere, do anything” buddy that I've always wanted. She is the epitome of what it means to be versatile and adaptable and I couldn't be happier with her. She is a very active, busy girl who loves to do stuff, but at the same time, she doesn't care if we don't do anything at all. She's just as happy to romp around a field or learn a new trick as she is to lay at my feet, hang out on a boat fishing or cuddle for hours. As long as she's with her people, she's happy, no matter what the activity is.

Training  Journey has been just as much a pleasure as living with her has been. She is an incredibly quick learner, is very thoughtful and problem solves easily. She is motivated by food, play or praise, which is very handy. She is an extremely biddable puppy and super eager to learn and engage with me. We do a lot of shaping with the clicker and I love watching her figure things out on her own.

Her temperament astounds me. She is a young dog and is definitely not perfect all of the time (just most of the time!), but I've never had such a naturally go with the flow, stable, take life as it comes dog.  She very rarely balks at any strange sights or sounds, is very polite and tolerant of not-very-dog-savvy people, is naturally excellent and patient with children and is just such a genuinely good, all purpose dog.  She's patient, she's kind, she's endlessly happy and full of joy, is full of wiggles, she's intelligent in a usually non-mischievous way, she's great with people and lost the memo that Aussies should be reserved with strangers (everyone is a new friend), she is good with other dogs, she is a naturally calm house dog but able to go all day outside/when warranted, etc.  

If I could, I'd have a whole house full of Journeys. But at the same time, she's also one of those dogs that kind of makes one not want to add another at all while she is around, because she's just that awesome and I don't want anyone to take away from my time with her. She's a truly incredible dog and I am so thankful that she is mine and that Ayella trusted me enough to let me have her. She is definitely one of those once in a lifetime dogs and I look forward to getting to know her even more, becoming a better team in various venues and spending many more years with her. 

© Ayella Grossman 2016