Jasper's first birthday

My little guy turned 1 on 3rd August! He is so adorable, an Australian Cattle Dog in the UK, aww.

ACDs are my all time favourite dogs, although I love all breeds. But cattle dogs (and kelpies and dingoes) suit me perfectly. These days, my hubby takes Jasper on a long bike ride twice a day, because I'm not really able to ride a bike because of warfarin and my asthma's still playing up (hopefully much better soon). But I took care of my first cattle dog Maggie for 17 years and we've travelled the world together.

Maggie passed away last year, and the next day, a neighbour's cat Beckham (Becksy now) moved in. He was in a really sorry state, desperate for love, attention, steroid cream and flea treatment, food etc, but Maggie hated cats, so he hang around for years. He was 12 when he came, and is a different cat now. Beautiful, biggest, shiniest ginger tom in the neighbourhood.

But I still couldn't manage without seeing the 'smiley face' every day. I was devastated, inconsolable. So we decided to get a cattle dog puppy and to us came Jasper!

Needless to say, he was a little freak :D

But let's rewind a little, the baby-baby photos (courtesy of his breeder)

I also never paid much for my cattle dogs. Maggie was a rescue from Australian RSPCA, cost me $5, whilst Jasper, because of a tiny upper jaw overbite, was discounted from £700 to £300. The breeder is the best in the UK and she breeds show and agility dogs, and the fact Jasper wasn't to standard and wouldn't have been bred from, made him less desirable. But to us, he was the most perfect little guy ever. And he is actually very handsome, it's just that the overbite tends to exaggerate with generations so it shouldn't be passed on. So we'll have him neutered, but I still don't know when. I'm a bit torn, because even though he has some negatives (gets too excited and nippy sometimes, has a lot of extra energy) as long as he gets exercise, discipline and affection, and a stable environment, he is still the best dog in the park. So I might wait a bit longer.

Jaspy is incredibly good natured. He is a strong Bing Fire day master (Chinese horoscope) which makes him a bringer of happiness to many. And he is the most adored puppy everywhere he goes, a bit of a local celebrity, actually, even beat cops swoon over him :)

He has proven to be really photogenic, and he loves having his picture taken. Maggie would be disgusted, but Jasper cares not, he loves the limelight!

Like all Fire, he loves chewing on wood and is absolutely obsessed with water. This lead to several victims in the back garden, fuchsia which never stood a chance, and japanese maple, although he moved from devastating to just pruning the plants, so the garden looks really good now :D

In winter, the full snow and ice back garden went on his teething. He literally ate it all. In summer, I bought him one of those hard plastic paddling pools and it's his favourite thing to splash about in and hang around. He also loves sitting on the garden table, so he can oversee everything. Aw.

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