February 2, 1989 - September 21, 2004

Lokei's Mistletoe
(Thomas' Tex x Merle's Blue Haggard)

Born in 1989, Lokei earned 13 titles in ASCA obedience; UKC conformation, agility and obedience; and was one of the few Aussies titled in Schutzhund. People would snigger at us as we would go out onto the Schutzhund field, but coming off they would ask, "Are you sure that's not a long-haired rottweiler?" He scored high enough to earn a "V" rating on his Schutzhund tracking title. He was the winner of the 1991 ASCA Nationals Open A obedience class. Over the years, he earned “High In Trial Aussie” awards in both ASCA obedience and UKC agility. In 1992, he appeared as the winning contestant on the television program, “That’s My Dog!” In 1994, he sired his first and only litter of six pups; his son, Bravo, followed in his footsteps, having earned 14 titles as well. In 1995, Lokei was recognized by the UKC as a “Total Dog,” having obtained both his CH and UCDX titles. That same year, he was selected by the Alexandria Animal Shelter for their pilot program to provide animal-assisted physical therapy services to local Northern Virginia rehabilitation hospitals. He continued to provide therapy services until he retired in late 1998.

Unfortunately, he never saw stock too many more times than when we trialed and my lack of stock savvy hindered him even more. Although he missed a qualifying score in Started sheep by one point on three separate attempts, he did manage to get the first leg of his AHBA HCT title and passed a pretrial course at an AKC fun match. With his presence and eye, he didn't have to grip stock. He was such a close-working and powerful dog that I once ended up riding a ewe backwards because the only escape route was through my legs.

Lokei was a joy to show and always had a great sense of humor. He was the kind of dog that if you asked him to do something, he would do it no matter what. I often felt that if I asked him to bring me the car, he would honestly try. In one particular Open B obedience class, he was so enthusiastic about the retrieve on the flat that he knocked the dumbbell under the ring gate into an area too small to jump into. At first, he pawed at it, but stopped as he was pushing it farther away. He stood there and thought about it. Finally, he reached his head through the gate, grabbed the dumbbell by the closest end, and gingerly pulled it out. As he returned, he realized he was not holding it correctly by the center bar. So he stopped, placed the dumbbell on the floor, picked it up the right way, trotted the rest of the way back, and proceeded to sit perfectly straight in front – all without any command or direction from me.

When he was younger, he loved to play Frisbee and, being a Schutzhund dog, tug-of-war.  It's amazing to have watched him go from a young badass to a "midwife" as he stood outside the whelping box to attend the births of both his grandpups and his great-grandpups. He was always gentle with young children and babies, the cats and birds we had over the years, as well as the ducks and sheep we herded on occasion. All of my son's baths were personally supervised by him. Lokei was the epitome of Aussie reservedness but he had an edge to him that, combined with the Schutzhund training, made him think that his job was to love and protect his family. He had come to my defense more than once and, in doing so, inspired the title of Christopher's book of erotic poetry and short stories, "Badass Dogs Don't Do Ballet."

I am forever indebted to him for teaching me about dog training and managing to accomplish what he did despite all my mistakes.

SchH Lokei
photo by Alissa

Lokei tracking
photo by Alissa

Old man
photo by SDI Productions