About Sheltie Planet

My name is Rebecca Casale and I created Sheltie Planet because I can't get enough of these beautiful, agile, hilarious, sensitive, and intelligent fuzzballs.

As you probably know, this site was inspired by two devastatingly handsome Shelties named Howard and Piper. They are incredibly sweet, you have to agree. Why aren't you agreeing with me? Agree at once! Quick, here's a picture to help you agree with me.

Dogs hugging

A real, if completely unnatural, dog hug.

We met Howard Woofington Moon as a puppy when he was 8 weeks old. Despite his timid first appearances, he turned out to be a rather bold, proud, confident grown-up Sheltie.

Somewhat unusually for a Sheltie, Howard loved strangers. He bounded up to everyone on our beach walks to say hello. He didn't mind if you were sunbathing. He'd take the time out of his busy schedule to block your sun and lick your face.

At night, Howard turned his affections to us and became one smoochy devil of a dog. He frequently enjoyed snuggling up with us on the couch and in bed.

Sheltie chewing on a piece of wood on the beach

Howard ravaging a piece of wood.

Piper joined the family when he was 9 months old, having responded to a flatmate wanted ad in the local paper. Although our ad specified a 30-something professional with at least three references, we made do with the fact that he was housetrained.

Piper was an immediate hit; a highly affectionate and eager fellow, who never barked inappropriately. Ok, scratch that last one. He barked even more than Howard once he found his voice. Which means that, all in all, Piper has the more typical personality you'd expect of a Shetland Sheepdog.

A young Piper looking inexplicably nervous in front of a cliff

A young Piper looking inexplicably nervous in front of a cliff.

Piper follows me everywhere he possibly can. And when he can't follow me, he sits politely behind the door until I return for belly rubs. Mutual belly rubs, you understand.

Sweet Piper is exceptionally doting, never hesitating to lick the leg-based wounds of house guests while they try to hold a conversation. Yes, Piper is the sweetest, loveliest, silliest dog in the world and will nibble the toes of anyone who disagrees.

Living in New Zealand, we've had the immense pleasure of taking our Shelties on many outdoor adventures. Beaches, coastal tracks, forests, parks, Mount Doom, you name it. Ok, maybe not Mount Doom. But definitely some very large hills and the occasional escarpment.

Howard about to lick the camera lens

Howard about to lick the camera lens.

Ok, now the sad part. It was in early 2021 that we lost our beautiful Howard to congestive heart failure. It was one of the worst days of my life. I think about Howard every day. He comes up in conversation as the subject of many fond memories. He was my first baby, my bold and enigmatic companion, and my furriest of bed fellows.

I have many wonderful memories of Howard. He was a hilarious and handsome dog, loved by all. He was naughty in the funniest ways. He stole food at every opportunity, and was especially proud of the time he nabbed Mr Pygott's steak off the BBQ. He ate dog poo, sheep poo, baby poo, and one fat, doomed bumble bee.

The Shelties at 11 years old

The Shelties at 11 years old.

When I think of Howard now, I remember him chasing the waves on the beach, playing zoomies around the living room with Piper, being smoochy at night after a long hard day being the boss, having a scruff on the floor, burying treats in the garden, and lapping up the attention of strangers who so often were drawn to this devastatingly handsome dog.

Piper has slowly adjusted to life without his brother. In the first few weeks he was heartbreakingly depressed. He wouldn't even run. But he eventually found himself again, receiving lots of extra attention from his family, and we're slowly adapting to life with one Sheltie.

Our Sheltie, Piper, at 13 years old

Piper still has his sprightly moments at 13 years old.

Perhaps you have a young Sheltie of your own, and such times feel a million miles away. Good. Don't waste precious time worrying about how it will all end. Enjoy every moment with your Sheltie, knowing that the connection you have will imprint on you both forever.

Sheltie Planet is dedicated to our courageous, hilarious, playful, wave-chasing, food-centric, scruff-loving Howard.

The Humans of Sheltie Planet

Now we're all tearing up. Deep breath. So now that you know why I'm obsessed with Shelties, I suppose I should tell you a bit more about who I am.

My name is Rebecca Casale. I'm a 30-something-mumble-mumble science writer and mum. My love of Shetland Sheepdogs has turned into one of the biggest Sheltie websites in the world, which is kinda weird.

Sheltie wearing glasses

Me and my esteemed colli-eague Piper... you get it.

I'm really into genetics and evolution, and am halfway through a BSc in Biology so I can become a full time science writer in this niche. Check out my other blog at Science Me where I publish illustrated articles on everything from genes to vaccines to intelligent machines.

I have two little kids called Fox and Kea. Of course my children are named after animals, why do you ask?

Fox knows everything about extinct marine reptiles and hybrid creatures he made up. He's on the autism spectrum. For him, this means his default mode of living is daydreaming about said creatures, where he's the most liberated human being ever.

Kea is a sassy little maniac. She's got huge eyes and talks constantly. She's also incredibly bossy which may or may not be endearing depending on whether you're the subject. She has a wicked smile. Watching Kea and Fox grow up is proving to be the highlight of my life.

Fox and Kea (and camouflaged Rex the lizard)

Fox and Kea (and camouflaged Rex the lizard).

How to Support Sheltie Planet

If you want to support this site while learning more about Shelties, please consider downloading my ebook, Shelties: The Complete Pet Owner's Guide. It's lavishly illustrated (lavishly!) with photos from readers, and of course Howard and Piper.

Download Shelties: The Complete Pet Owner's Guide

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