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Greetings Dog Lovers :)

We are happy to join you, learn and share. We found a Blue Heeler about one month ago, 7 months old with some training. His previous owners were buying a farm, but the deal fell through and he was cooped up in a trailer, so we got "Buddy", to the Vet for required shots, neutering,ID chip and check up. He is healthy and happy at 32 pounds.

We are not new to Blue Heelers as our neighbors had one we "shared" for 14 years. We do not have our yards separated, so their and our doggies share the open space and entertain each other. After a major health challenge, their Blue, "Buster" adopted me as his cattle, to protect, guard and tend. We developed a great friendship, but at age 14 he passed - a Very Sad day for me. That was 3 years ago and we wanted another Blue and finally found "Buddy".

From my Forum name, "Bayou Blue", we live by Bayou Chico in NW Florida, have large lawns and love dogs. At age 78, I cannot remember how many dogs I have had. Growing up on my Grandpa's farm in NE Mississippi, we had "Queeny" a good, old German Shepard, later I had Beagles, then after my service in the Marine Corps living in Southern California, as a Firefighter, naturally a Dalmatian. After retirement in 1988, we lived on our sailboat and roamed around the western hemisphere for 14 years, finally settling near Pensacola, FL.

My wife and I are looking for help dealing with our hyperactive Blue. He plays well with our neighbors 2 year old Yellow Lab, "Lizzy". They get along just fine, Buddy herds her until she has had enough then she lays down on him for a while. Then they are at it again, running, chasing, herding and swimming in the bayou. Lizzy has taught Buddy to love the water, so he is now a "water dog", going in for a swim or to cool off several times each day. Of course, the air temp is in the 90's and the bayou water is the high 80's.

Question #1: Our bayou is not polluted as we often have Dolphins off the end of our dock, teaching their babies how to fish. We also have many fish, crabs and oysters, so the water is healthy.
Whenever "Buddy" is wet and wants in the house, we always towel him dry and he seems to enjoy it. Any harm in a Bayou Blue swimming?

Question #2: My wife and I are "Senior Citizens" with our share of health/aging challenges, but love our Buddy, however, I am beginning to question the wisdom of keeping him happy?

Question #3: We do not travel much anymore, but do have some short trips planned. Our neighbors are older than us, have the Lab and a Poodle so are too busy to care for another dog. Other friends and neighbors, have their own dogs or concern about dealing with a high energy pup. So, when we can't take Buddy with us, what to do? I am looking for a care giver, kennel, or _ __ _ _ ?

Please share your experience, opinions and good words.
Tom & Bobbie
 
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