Red Rock RuShallatu
Australian Cattle Dog
4/23/95 – 12/31/11
Red Rock RuShallatu, call name of Shalla, aka Buppitt, Boo, Psycho Cow Poodle, Nutcase, Peanut, Dingbat, Punkin, Reddog and Ol’ Lady went for her last ride in our truck Saturday, 12/31/11. She was 16 years, 8 months and 8 days old.
Australian Cattle Dogs are known for their fierce devotion to duty and Shalla was no exception. Once she learned that it was her “job” to search, she never quit. (And if I was moving too slowly for her likes, she would encourage me to hurry by nipping my heels to get me moving faster!!)
She went on her first search when she was 2 ½ and her last when she was 14½. There were many searches in between. She had numerous finds of both live and deceased subjects and many assists during her career. We trained mainly in Trailing, but certified in Air Scent. Shalla was always willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. Her first search was for an adult male diabetic, low on insulin, who disappeared from his house. Shalla found him within 15 minutes, about ¼ mile from his house, down in a hole in an underground culvert. He had been stumbling along, found the hole and climbed in to take a nap and cool off. He probably wouldn’t have emerged on his own. That man was my brother-in-law, the father of my nieces. He’s the one that gave her the nickname of Psycho Cow Poodle. I said then that if we never had another find, all the training would have been worth it – but we did have more finds.
Shalla and I hiked more than 10,000 miles together – not including search training. We put more than 80,000 miles on vehicles driving to trainings. I followed her down at least 1500 training trails. On top of all that, she was the best companion dog a person could dream of. Her registered name, RuShallatu, means “may it be so”. I gave her that name in part because I knew exactly what I wanted in a dog. I got everything I wanted and much, much, much more.
Nancy May, Handler
Grand County SAR