Meet The Makers of Sheltie Planet
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We think about Howard every day. He comes up in our conversations 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.
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, meeting our human babies for the first time, and lapping up the attention of strangers who so often were drawn to this devastatingly dashing dog.
Piper has slowly adjusted to life without his brother. In the first few weeks he was heartbreakingly depressed. He wouldn't even run on the beach. But he eventually found himself again, receiving lots of extra attention from his family, and we're slowly adapting to life with one Sheltie.
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.
Now you know why I'm obsessed with Shelties, I suppose I should tell you a bit more about who I am.
My name is Becky Casale (formerly Turner), a 30-something-mumble-mumble writer, science student, and mum. My love of Shetland Sheepdogs has turned into one of the biggest Sheltie websites in the world. Which is weird.
I love writing and am halfway through a BSc in Biology so I can become a full time science writer. You can check out my sandbox over at Science Me where I publish illustrated articles on everything from genes to vaccines to intelligent machines.
My partner, Pete, is a game designer who intuits technology the way a monkey intuits bananas. Pete's a natural born Kiwi who introduced me to the delights of New Zealand. His special features are that he's 6'7" tall, a mixed martial arts fanatic, and plays seven musical instruments.
Pete and I have two kids: Fox and Kea. Of course we named our children after animals, why do you ask?
Fox is obsessed with extinct marine reptiles. Like Pete, he's on the autism spectrum, which for him means his default mode of living is daydreaming. When he's thinking about animals he looks like the most liberated human being I've ever met.
Kea is still new to this planet. She's got huge eyes and shouts an awful lot. She's incredibly bossy which may or may not be endearing depending on whether you're the subject. She has a wicked smile. Seeing Kea and Fox grow up will be the highlight of my life.
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.
You can also stay in touch with Sheltie Planet via our Facebook page where I leave occasional dog droppings for you to enjoy. Thanks for finding out more about us, and may you have the furriest of days.