This is Willard. He refused to be still for our group picture at the musicians party we had at our house yesterday. When he ran off, our neighbor (who was taking the picture) snapped this one of him.
We are crazy about this dog. We got him in 2012, an election year. He was named after Willard Mitt Romney. :-)
Willard came from a rescue organization in Illinois. He was found on the side of the road with his brother, so we don't know what breed he is, but it is pretty obvious he has a large dose of Australian Shepherd.
(Willard with his brother at his foster home. The dog in the background is not Mom, in spite of the similar coloring.)
Cuddles with the boss his first night in a new home.
Here are a few of the many cool things Willard does.
1. He warns us about things, like mice and tornadoes.
2. When we shake our caipirinhas, he heads for the back door because he knows it's time to sit outside.
3. When we watch TV, he demands a chew stick (or three) by staring at me like the dog in Frasier until I get one for him. I guess he figures if we're going to kick back, he should get to also. However, when we have devotion, sitting in the same chairs as when we watch TV, he goes off to the side and lies down on the rug and waits quietly.
4. He is very respectful of dinnertime. He knows to stay out of the kitchen when we eat (he lies in the doorway to the dining room). After closing prayer, he knows he can then come in for his own supper.
5. He does lots of tricks! He can sit, stand, lie down, shake hands, beg, give you a high five, roll over, fetch, and even get the paper!
6. He talk to us. No, really. He talks.
7. He keeps sick people company.
In addition to the above, he loves everyone and is the gentlest, sweetest-tempered dog we have ever had. He has no territorial issues. You can stick your hand in his food bowl while he's eating--he doesn't care. He was incredibly easy to housebreak. He lets little kids get away with murder around him. He loves people and is not stressed out by them, even when we have 40 in the house as we did last night for our choir party. He comes when we call. We got him shortly after one of the most trying periods of our life, and he was a big part of helping us to heal
If only we could figure out how to turn dogs years into human ones. Or human years into dog ones. You know what I mean.
We love you, Willard!