Testimonials  &  Our "Extended Family"
"The Dog you ALWAYS wanted - Desert Willow Aussies"

Desert Willow Aussie's BBB Business Review

Desert Willow Aussies - Travis > Theresa > Julianna

Hello All Potential Desert Willow Aussie Family Members:

I’ve said it 5, 3, 2 years ago to include recently, Get Off the Fence!  You are not going to find a breed or breeder in the WORLD as you will with Desert Willow Aussies (DWA).  All of my “children” are of DWA blood and I will not have it any other way. 

First, you are now going to extend your family by marrying with DWA.  You will have worldwide support , fellowship, and friendship. You will find yourself keeping up with your DWA family through social media (Desert Willow Aussies FB Page) and the Website. Now, Desert Willow Aussies is having Family Reunions that bring us all back together!  It’s addictive …..LOL!  What more could you ask for?….If you join us you’ll see and understand.  

Second, Theresa, Mel, Travis, Julianna, and their family and all the DWA friends will always be your Spiritual support.  Personally, DWA is my mediation of sorts as I keep track of new arriving additions of both puppies and Puppy Parents and bond to others sharing in the same experiences (good and challenging). 

Next, Theresa IS the “A” game! I cannot tell you how impressed my Veterinary Physicians are when my pups arrive home and about their health to even in our current day, and how healthy they all are. My vets are so impressed that I’ve been asked to give life saving DWA blood from my Aussies in order to help another in need; to only see miraculous recoveries.  This has left all in Awe! I have gained extended families by giving life to other pups. This is what blessings are about.  

My Vet Physicians continually look forward to seeing the puppy packets Theresa has put together for every puppy that leaves and are always impressed about continuing and developing knowledge she shares from food sources, safe feeding, shots, vitamins, training, etc.  You’re not going to find anyone with this “A” game…NO ONE! 

And last, not because I want to end but I know I should keep it short (smile), if you are like me you want and deserve nothing but the best. When you want quality, you will pay for quality and I’m not just speaking in monetary terms. You will not find “Quality” in all around services and resources as you will with Desert Willow Aussies. 

Everyone, I’m writing to you today from the heart, and as you can see, DWA is now and will always be forever in my heart and I hope yours. 

From your potential family:
Nicole and Jody Washington
DWA: Snubs, Sebastian (RIP), Beau, and Sonny!

Our Newest Addition 2014

Desert Willow's Sam

Last night my husband John had to put out hay for the cows as we do every night. The cattle are starting to get a little more aggressive due to the fact of calving and hormones. When he entered, John told Sam to just wait at the gate for him because there is a mom with a baby and he was worried she might take a run at him. Our Sam sat and waited like he was told. John made it to the hay feeder with the big round bale and preceded to get it off the skid steer and cut the strings on the bale. Sam sat and waited and as always, he is watchful, focused and engaged at all times when he is working. The cattle started to come in for hay and John became in a bind he yelled at the cattle once to back up, not 2 seconds later he heard barking! Here comes Sam to his John's rescue!  Sam immediately cleared the cattle from the feeder and probably saved John from a lot of hurt. We thank God for Sam. This can't be taught this is pure instinct! 

When we adopted Sam we bought him sight unseen except a few pictures. We took Theresa's word for him and thought her temperament testing she sent us the pup she thought would benefit our needs the most and guess what?  He is an amazing dog not only in this situation but in all situations. He has been a helping us since 4 months of age, and continues to enjoy and grow as a major helper to our world of cattle.  (May I note at the time this was written, Sam was not even a year, on January 1st is his first birthday). 

Thank you Theresa your knowledge, your temperament testing of your dogs may have just saved my husband from a lot of injury or worse. We now have a new addition - Desert Willow's Cowgirl Gracie.  Another focused pick for us here to help with our cattle lives, and to love and care for.  We are excited for what she will be doing for us in the near future too.

The McLean's John, Michelle, Sam & Buddy the Bull

I am always amazed when everything works out exactly as it should.  I had this experience when I met Theresa and she helped my family find the perfect puppy for us.  In the fall of 2013 I went on the hunt for a quality Australian Shepherd.  I looked at a lot of websites and just as many local ads.  I found Desert Willow Aussies and was impressed by the following:

1.   A 5-year health guarantee.

2.   The quality and care provided to the dogs.

3.   The incredible number of people who have purchased Theresa’s dogs throughout the
country and how many of them own more than one. 

4.   The questionnaire.  Theresa truly cares that her dogs end up with the correct family.  I believe this is why so many people have purchased her dogs and why so many people have more than one. I talked to Theresa on the phone and told her about our family and what type of personality I was looking for in a dog.  She explained the different types of personalities she breeds for and she felt a therapy temperament would fit us best. 

5.   If you do not get a match in the first litter you are eligible for your deposit to transfer it to the next litter. 
In the litter our puppy came from we waited about two weeks to find out if there was a match for us.  Theresa waits to temperament test them until their eyes are open.   We trusted her and her experience to help us get a puppy that was perfect for our family.  She is incredibly honest; trust her she knows what she is doing.  She had told us the litter might not have the temperament we are looking for and we might have to wait.  One dog matched what we wanted and was super cute to boot! 
6.   Once you find your puppy Theresa does an amazing job keeping everyone posted
on the puppies’ health, personalities and provides lots of pictures.

7.   You gain Theresa’s help and vast knowledge of the breed and how to care for them. 
She has spent a lot of time researching and gaining insight from professionals.  I really appreciate this. 
I no longer have to see if my dog food has been recalled or when or what shots my dog will need.

8.   When you bring your puppy home you still have Theresa. 
She still is happy to answer my questions and enjoys updates on our puppy

9.   We have gained a new friend and met lots of other DWA owner’s through Facebook.
Our family is incredibly satisfied and in love with our little girl that Theresa helped us pick out.
(To see Litter and all the pictures of the puppies growing and going home CLICK HERE )

Thank you Theresa for all of your hard work, kindness and love of dogs.



Hi Theresa.  Just wanted to drop in and tell you how fortunate that I get to have two DWA puppies from both Rocky & Tucker.  I am so blessed and fortunate!

I will tell you that, quite honestly, there must be some envy out there because You and your kennel are the whole package.  From a business perspective this is why you are one of the best out there:

You have such a QUALITY product (made better with the introduction of new lines and your refusal to in-breed) and you stand behind your brand (5 year guarantee).  This I believe is the most important part of any business model….it starts HERE!  

Your commitment to customer service.  Feeding instructions with the best and most quality brands and instruction, back office reference materials, Julie Samuli Limitless Pawsibilities” your in-house Trainer, indepth teaching on proper vaccinations, etc.  All of these things, by the way, you have researched and tested and found the very best on your OWN!  CONSTANT support!  Look at what you and I went through…I still remember you calling me after I decided to send Faye back to you because of timing issues in my life and not being able to keep her.  I still remember your exact words:  “I want to give you a puppy when the time is right– I want to make this right.  This is the breeder that I am”.  I have to say, my Tucker would probably still be an only dog had you not called me back.

You are such a great saleswoman.  Your website is the best I have seen and I have looked at a lot of them!  I am not sure if it is strategy or if you are so dang proud of what you have built or maybe it’s both, but you can sell it like the best of them because of your heart for what you do!  I also think it is your willingness to share openly and spend time explaining your vision captures those of us who love to learn a better way to raise our dogs.

Marketing/Advertising is top notch!!  This is also where you excel.  Not only with the website, but you have killed it with your advertising.  The very best advertising anyone can have is word-of-mouth, and because of my first 3 points above, you have PLENTY of that!  That is how I found you – through Joan, right?  And that was before I was even on any other networks~! 

This is how my brain works – everything in terms of business!!

So, long story, short – I think you have it over most, maybe because of lack in several of these areas which is frightening to your naysaying competitors.  I wouldn’t want any dog from someone other then you, others have just become a cheap imitation of you (even stealing your verbiage for their website).…

You are always willing to pitch in and help out those who lose their DWA Aussies to an accident or freak of nature, and I hope and pray everyone remembers that, because I have never forgotten.

Oh and my newest DWA Finn?  He is doing GREAT!  We start puppy class this Saturday and it is going to be so fun!  He is going to doggy daycare with my Tucker and having a blast!  Everyone is smitten with his tail...

Take care of yourself,

Christine Keberlein
Royal Oak, Michigan

Ron & Ami's Story: Tia Kennedy
Puppies sayin Good Bye Desert Willow!

Tia Kennedy our Newest DWA'rs...

Their Story....I got a call from a very upset Ron on the other end of the line. I get calls everyday from folks who are grieving the loss of their Aussies...This one was different. He kept saying "I don't know what happened"...Of course concerned I wanted him to just tell me what happened. Through the loyal tears of this man he shared that his "SPUR" was 7 years y...oung. He and his wife Ami drive Truck all across the country. Spur was their travelin' buddy that loved the life and could not wait to LOAD UP and go for the next adventure. His favorite thing to do was spot out the cattle along the way and Ron would drop the window enough for Spur to put his head out and bark at them. If safe, they would allow Spur to round up the herd which he hoped for at every spotting. The day before this call Spur did what he always does and rides shotgun in the Passenger Seat and look out at the gorgeous world passing by him and search for cows. Ron said Spur would spot them and turn around to look at Ron loudly barking and begging for the window to be let down so he could chat with the Cattle, only this time the bark was different and felt panicked. This time Spur turned to look at Ron as he always has, typically with that opened mouth Aussie Smile, but not smiling and barking as hard as he could as his eyes rolled up into his head and he fell down and hit the floor. Ron was driving & yelling for Ami who was on the computer behind him and a "OR Nurse" by trade. She began to do CPR and Mouth to Mouth on Spur and both knew he was gone and not going to come back - but they kept trying. There was no breath or even a faint heart beat. As we unfolded this call, I was crying and when I shared what happened with Mel, he started crying, this story was one I had never heard before. I also discovered that Spur was the product of a "MERLE TO MERLE" breeding. Even if dogs look normal on the outside, they often can be flawed on the inside and I had to explain this to them, this is why it's called a lethal cross, because of Blindness, Deafness and internal unseen issues that can occur. I also found the food they were feeding was not on recall, nor do they believe in over medicating their dogs, so I had to conclude an over-sized heart explosion if I had to guess. Later their Vet told them the same thing and also explained the Merle to Merle mystery and how Breeders will continue this behavior to get more merles or something they think is prettier then the norm. Such a bad way to breed! In the end, these two people were so traumatized that once they got home, they could not get into that truck for almost 2 weeks. I finally had to tell Ron he had to eat food and I told Ami to get into that truck change stuff and get back out there! They did slowly came around after several calls. We found the right temperament in COLE (now Cody) and I shared that I have a puppy for them to view. Tearfully they knew they must not run away from Love again...Then Ami saw Belle (now Summer) and asked about her also. Both are now in the arms of these two people and I hear Laughter from them, in fact Ron shared that it's been weeks since she has laughed and yesterday she giggled and laughed at the puppies all day! Happiness is truly a warm puppy and in this case TWO warm Puppies! So happy for you two!

The BEST Testimonial EVER....


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Call us FIRST when only the BEST will do~!

Hello Theresa,
I just wanted to drop you a little note about our boys Max and Maverick.  Where do I start....I had been looking at your website for about 6 months before I contacted you in April 2012.  You see we had lost Jenna one of our dogs in March of 2011 and I wanted to get another one but the timing was not right.  My husband always said that we would not get another dog that he was more of a cat person.  So a year and 14 days after loosing Jenna our sweet girl Belle passed away on March 30th.  Needless to say I was devastated I was not able to leave the house the only time I did was to pick up her ashes and take her on her last car ride with me.  The night she passed away Steve and I were in the backyard both of us crying missing our girl so much.  Then out of the blue he turns to me and says Belle changed me I miss her silly little face and her energy.  Then another thing happened,  which I was glad I was sitting down he says we need to get another DOG!  I looked at him and said I know exactly where we are going to get our next dog!  So over the next few days I showed him your website and at first he was not sure because your kennel was out of state.  He started looking at other breeders closer to home even though I knew in my heart you were going to be the one we would get our next dog from.  He finally said ok fill out the application and lets see what happens.  Later that day you called you talked to us about food and we were shocked with what you were telling us.  I kept thinking to myself it was my fault my girl did not live longer I will never do this to another animal.  You spent over an hour on the phone with us finding out what type of temperament we were looking for.  By the end of our call you told us we could be one of your puppy parents!  I cannot tell you how happy this made us.  Well April 12th is a day that I won't forget as it was the saddest and happiest day for me.  That day my Vet call and told me Belles ashes were back but it was too late to go pick them up and that night I got an email from you presenting Eben aka Max to us (from Marilyn/Tucker).  When I saw your email I said to Steve come here she has a puppy for us!  We were so excited we did not care what the puppy looked like we were going to take him no matter what!  When we opened the email I knew he was meant to be ours!  I felt like Belle was telling me its ok mommie you now have someone new to watch over you but I will always be with you in your heart!
The day came that we drove to New Mexico to pick up Max.  That day was another hard day for me as the minute I stepped out of the car I was in tears.  In my heart I still missed Belle so much and prayed that Max would love me.  You and your family from the minute we met I knew this was going to be more than just someone I got a dog from.  I am proud to call you my FRIENDS.  Well Max was everything we hoped he would be we could not have picked a better fit for our lives.  After we got Max he healed our hearts many times over.  We had always planned on getting another puppy but we figured we would wait awhile.  So we called and told you we wanted another puppy.  Not just for us but for Max to have someone to play with.  Wouldn't you know again you picked the perfect puppy for us Meekers aka Maverick (from Tuesday/Tucker).  Well if our hearts we not healed with our Max they are now completely healed with Max and Maverick. 
Theresa your commitment to breed exceptional Aussies shows in every litter you have.  Your knowledge of proper nutrition which you so generously pass on to not only people that are lucky enough to have one of your puppies but to anyone is simply commendable.  But to me the most remarkable thing is how no matter how busy you are is that you take the time to talk with any of your puppy parents when they call you for help or advise.  You are far above any other breeder I have ever known.  Most just sell you a puppy and don't want to be bothered with you after that but not you! 
Thank you again for healing our hearts not once but twice with our beautiful boys Max and Maverick we could not be more happier.  Quite honestly we did not think we would every be this happy again!
Love you XOXO
Danyell and Steve Hill
P.S. - Max and Maverick send wiggly butts and kisses too

I can describe Desert Willow Aussies in two words:  Integrity and Conscience.                 

Desert Willow Aussies is not an ordinary dog breeder; they are not an average dog kennel.  They are a stand alone, one of a kind, Breeder of Australian Shepherds with a Plan, a Breeding Program with the intent to produce Exquisite and Exceptional Aussies.  Mel & Theresa Gorduyn and her Family work to produce Aussies with great health, and conformation being paramount. They also strive for and achieve remarkable beauty, and if breeding for temperament can be done, she somehow breeds consistently well tempered animals. 

As a business owner you will not find one who stands behind their product with more conviction than Desert Willow Aussies.  If there were ever a problem and there seldom are Theresa and Mel do what it takes to make it right.  The Desert Willow Family has been known to replace a puppy that was lost though no fault of their own, and restored a family with a beloved pet. Theresa has been heard saying more than one time “It was the right thing to do”.  Breeding exceptional Aussies is not something that happens by chance, Theresa pours her heart and soul into doing it right.  Researching genetics, out crossing with the right animals to achieve only the traits she wants.  “You get the bad with the good but if you pour in more of the good, well… that’s what you get. 

If a person can count friends by the joy they bring into their life, then the Gorduyn’s will have hundreds.  The Aussies they produce bring joy to a family; they truly are Exquisite and Exceptional.

Derrick Ross, Proud owner of Desert Willow’s Hank’s Cutting Edge....

Dear Theresa,

We have worked with you over the years because of our trust in you, your kennel and ethics. We are so pleased with Bono our 1st Aussie (whom you hand picked for me with all my desires in mind), making it an easy decision to adopt Trendy from you and only you when we decided to add another DWA Aussie; "Trendy" to our household. Jodi & I purchased both Bono and Trendy from you due to the fact they both have Desert Willow foundational bloodlines and because of our trust in you and your program.

Our ongoing relationship with Desert Willow Aussies will always continue due to the trust and friendship that has been established over the years. We have only adopted our Aussies from you and will only adopt our future family members from Desert Willow Aussies.

Theresa, we have been doing business with you long enough to know that other kennels have tried to copy the Desert Willow Aussie format, guarantee, nutrition program, puppy parenthood program, health advise, picture program, website format, puppy visits - ALL that you created and worked so hard to establish that makes Desert Willow Aussies second to none!

We also fully understand that a good breeder will out-cross (not inbreed or line-breed) and do all the testing needed to keep their lines as healthy as possible along with the education to "out-run" any mistakes that have been "bred in" by other less caring breeders before your care. With this understanding we will always get our Aussies from you and consider all adoptions from you (DWA'sBono & Trendy) as Desert Willow Aussies only.

We have sent you several pictures of both Trendy & Bono along with their individual Flyball achievements (our DWA Bono is the FASTEST Aussie in the sport of Flyball on the planet-undisputed).

With this being said only Desert Willow Aussies has the right to post and use the pictures and achievements. We grant this permission to Desert Willow Aussies only and Theresa's discretion. No other kennel has permission or consent to use these pictures or stats or photos prior to or after the date of 8/3/12. We have put this in writing because we are in support of Desert Willow Aussies and Theresa only.

Thank you!
Jon & Jodi Sanders
Desert Willow's Bono & Trendy

Our Louise Ducote
Want a new addiction?

Raising Ivy Blog - 1 more makes THREE!
"LENA" come home!
"Still Alive"
Take five Minutes
Zombies Use Side Door


This side of the "Rainbow Bridge" and "SAVING OMAR" and The Sara Overcash story and http://raisingivy.blogspot.com/

Dozens of Desert Willow Australian Shepherd's extended family members from across the nation
came together to help turn a tragedy into triumph

We encourage you to Support The Humane Society "Foster to Adopt" Program


The Chama Valley Humane Society was founded in 1998. Our mission is to provide no-kill solutions to reduce the population of homeless cats and dogs by sponsoring a spay and neuter program for companion pets and feral cats, working with regional shelters and foster homes to rehabilitate and rehome animals, and educating those in the community we serve about responsible pet ownership.
We are an all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization supported entirely through private donations, memberships, fundraising, and grants.

We serve a 600 square mile area of northern Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. We do not have a shelter--all rescued animals are
fostered locally until they can be adopted or transferred to other, preferably no- or low-kill shelters.

Don't forget to Support The Humane Society Foster to Adopt Program

T, I'm honored that you made Revel your profile pic! He's just bursting with pride! (Not really -- he has no idea how beautiful he is; just a boy lookin' for his next belly rub.) Thank you for producing such an excellent creature and trusting me to raise him; he's our pride and joy.


I have two Desert Willow Aussies. One by accident (Nikki a rescue) and one on purpose (Beau). Nikki is such a wonderful girl I can't believe she was in rescue. She is smart as a whip and what a personality. She watches TV (mostly animals), she smiles when she greats you, and is devoted. When I learned that her mom (Halle Barry) was having a litter I decided to pick a puppy.

Along came Beau, age 6 months. He is as smart as Nikki. He smiles when greeting people, he loves to play and chase Nikki and my older Aussie Cory. Right now he is the dominant dog in the house. Theresa assures me that the older guys are being kind because he is still a puppy. I wish they would do a little disciplining!

Desert Willow Aussies are GREAT!!!


No symphony orchestra ever played music like a child laughing with a puppy.

07 / 08 Webshots of our Friends & Family!
(Click here and enjoy!)

Seeing your puppy photos make me itch for another Aussie! Our Xena has been the best thing that has happened to/for us! You better still be in the breeding business for awhile cause in a few years we plan on getting her a playmate :)

I just want to tell you how happy we are with our baby. He is not even 10 weeks old yet and he already knows the following commands: sit, down, stay, come and shake. Has only had a few accidents in the house (those were my fault). He is getting better with his collar and leash (we only walk in the backyard right now) and we are tackling the crate for night sleeping this weekend! Thank you again for helping mend our broken hearts Maximus is just what we needed. Hugs & kisses Danyell


Thank you so much for providing our new family member! He is the best most loving animal ever, plenty of energy and great with my kids. We could not ask for a better pet! Your preparation for us before we had him shipped was amazing, for sure if we ever want a second one we are coming to your Kennel.

Thanks again!
Britt Brown MS, ATC, LAT
Associate Athletic Trainer
Dallas Cowboys


Crozbee is our first Desert Willow Aussie!! She was a year old in March!! I don't have to tell any of you how great she is... If you have an Aussie, you know! Better yet, if you have a DWA Aussie, you really know!! We love our Crozbee like anyone loves their little 4 legged kid. Our middle one is heading off to college in August. This will be freeing up some time normally spent at softball fields and other sporting activities, so we felt the time was right to give our 10 year old and Crozbee a playmate!! After looking around other places locally, my heart was still set on DWA. If we were going to get a 2nd pup, it had to be a DWA puppy. I'm proud to be part of the DWA family and cannot wait to bring home our little Nella in August.

Alyssa - Amarillo, Texas

Enjoy a Fun Smile Box from Desert Willows very own Diane - Diane's Smile Box
Sit back and enjoy the LOVE!

  • Hi T,
    Happy Spring to you! I hope that this note finds you well. I have not checked in with you in some time so, I just wanted to let you know that Nico, Matteo and Gemma are all doing so very well. They have settled into our new home here in New Hampshire as if they were always meant to be here.

  • Nico recently celebrated his 4th birthday. He is as healthy and happy as a dog can be. And boy do we love him. His intelligence expands day by day. When I talk to him he looks at me is if he really and truly knows what I am talking about. He is true companion and is glued to my husbands side most of the time. The two of them have such a tight bond.

  • Matteo is perfect in my eyes. He will be 3 July 17th, and is strong and healthy. He is my sweet, protecting boy. No question in my mind of his loyalty and love for me, and I love him every bit as much as he does me. He loves to run and herd his sister. He loves to play ball. He loves to wrestle. He loves his belly rubs. He just keeps getting more gorgeous. I am not quite sure how it is possible, but it is happening.
    Then of course there is our little pistol, Gemma, who will be 2 July 24th. She is a little goof ball, and finds fun and adventure at every turn. She make us laugh constantly with all her silly little antics, and of course her big toothy smile. She always wants to be play, and when she is not trying to get a game going with one her brothers she is a our little cuddle bug. She has to be touching one of us at all times when she is sleeping.
    To say that our three dogs mean the world to us would not truly describe how much they mean. We promise to continue to give them exceptional care and love. I can only hope that we can begin to match what they have given to us so far.

  • With love and gratitude for my 3 amazing DW Aussies.
    Diane B.
    One very happy DW family member!

March - 2012

Today Penny realized that our seven year old Nicholas was going into an asthma attack...as I moved quickly to give him breathing treatments with a nebulizer, Penny (only 5 months old) moved to him immediately putting a paw on his back and resting her head on his shoulder...she stayed like this until he was breathing well! She knew! And she alerted immediately! Penny has only been here two days now and will be a servi...ce dog and companion, there will never be doubt in why it is Penny that is here with our family...God brought her to us through all different circumstances because Penny was suppose to be here as a gift, a part of your heart and ours, and as our special angel to watch over all of us! Theresa and Mel...she alerted all by herself, without the training that is coming...she knew! Gods planned creation for us....just as He meant it to be! Thank you Lord Jesus for our special Desert willow Aussie...Miss Penny! Thank you Gorduyn family for understanding that God tugged your heart and put our family in it for this wonderful puppy has been gifted in many ways by the Master of all to teach us compassion, appreciation and love that has been bestowed on all of us from above! :)

Soo Mullen, Cincinnati, OH

I was first introduced to Desert Willow Aussies April of 2010 when I met Nikki. Florida Aussie rescue had her and she was only ten months old. She had already had two homes plus the Rescue. When I met her I fell in love with her personality.

Nikki has fit into my home perfectly. She is the boss of Corey who is seven years old.

When I saw that Nikki's mother, Hallee Barry, had her last litter I was very interested in having another Desert Willow Aussie. Beau has joined our family and he is just the best puppy. He is very smart, outgoing, and fits it well with Nikki and Corey.

Thank you Desert Willows for a great breeding program.

Carol Lukes

Hi Theresa! I thought you would get a kick out of this….the doggy daycare that Tucker goes to brought in a professional photographer to take pictures of the dogs a couple of weekends ago. I wasn’t going to do it (I don’t know…professional pics of my dog just isn’t my style), however the daycare girls called me and asked me to bring Tucker in. A couple of months ago, they made Tucker an ‘Ambassador’ at the daycare, and what that means is that Tuck is one of their go-to dogs to play with the new dogs or dogs that maybe are a little shy at first – kind of a welcoming committee to the daycare. Anyway, they called me and asked me to bring Tuck in because they wanted all of the ‘Ambassadors’ to have a professional pic taken for their website. So I brought him in and they took the pics. He was so good (with a treat in his face the whole time, of course), and the photographer kept saying how great the pics looked. She said she wanted to use one of them for her calendar, which she said I would be “compensated for”. I got a letter in the mail about a week or two ago with a check in it…Tuckers pictures were chosen for products on The Dog Lovers Gift Shop website. He earned $50 for his “modeling fee”….hahahaha!!! I couldn't stop laughing when I got the note! I looked at him and said, “Well, it’s about time you started earning your keep!” LOL!!!! Grandpa Rocky would be so proud!

They're just getting started with creating designs for products using Tucker's photos, and thought you'd like to see.
They're at:

Chris Keberlein

Follow the Adventures & Journey home and the raising up of Two Australian Shepherds
Ivy & Revel "Raising Ivy"



Happy Birthday Revel~!
See his life on Smile Box here

Happy Birthday Ivy! - A year travels past us just too fast!

Ivy went to the vet today to get her rabies vaccination and her stitches taken out from being spayed.  When she had her surgery a couple of weeks ago I was irritated—but refrained for once from complaining about it publicly!—that the vet referred to her as "the little spay dog" when speaking to his assistant.  Today he called her "Abby," while holding a sheaf of papers that no doubt had IVY written in more than one place.  Then he called her "he."  Ummmmm. . .never mind.  I am throwing off these chains: Ivy won't have to go back to the vet until January of 2012, one whole glorious year from today.  Yee haw!  If it weren't so abominably cold, I'd be out celebrating.

I had dreams of finding a vet who would be holistic and hip, who would care deeply about Ivy's health and longevity and would provide me with cutting-edge guidance on matters of nutrition and vaccination.  A vet who would be versed enough in Ivy's breed to know that Aussies face some unique issues.  And who would think she is super cute and smart!  My friend Michelle has such a vet in Montrose, Colorado, and I am terribly envious.  Well, I can't have everything I want.  My husband and I have true love, so there are going to be shortcomings in other areas of life.  I'll take it.

The person who has fulfilled all my vet-related dreams turns out to be Theresa Gorduyn, owner of Desert Willow Aussies.  At this point I'm estimating that Theresa has made about twenty-five cents from selling Ivy to me, given how much time she has had to put into guiding me through Ivy's first five months.  But she actually cares a whole lot about Ivy's health and longevity, tirelessly researches Aussie nutrition and medication, remembers Ivy's name and tells me she's beautiful!  It hurts to write those big checks to the vet clinic when they've done so little to earn them, and Theresa has done so much.  I hope I can help some confused new Aussie owner some day, because otherwise I don't know how I'll ever pay back this debt.

Meanwhile, did I mention that it's terribly cold?  No one moves to Texas to be cold!  It hurts to go outside, and I am wearing so many layers inside that I appear to have no figure whatsoever.  However, Ivy is keeping the joy alive by demonstrating, every time she goes out, that cold is energizing and fun!  She bounces around, sniffs the air curiously, stomps on the frozen grass and then finds something nice and chilly to lick.  When I go out to check on our poor miserable chickens, she makes it all easier by having so darned much fun.  Who else could make me laugh out loud during a freezing trip to visit some unhappy poultry?  My vet doesn't know what he's missing.  Thanks, Theresa!  The hardest part is over, and warmer weather is coming soon.

To see more Ivy! - Enjoy...CLICK HERE

Dear Theresa,

I just wanted to let you know how happy my family and I are with Echo and Doc, (our two very own DWA Aussies). They are both wonderful dogs of exceptional health and temperament. I get compliments on how beautiful they are from our vet and from people everyday when we are out walking. They are smart, loving, family oriented Aussies.

I remember as a child my parents going through an extensive search to find a Sheltie breeder. I watched and listened to the discussions and complaints my parents had over finding a breeder who bred for the right reasons and stayed true to the breed, instead of following characteristic trends that were preferred in the “Show Ring” at that time and forgetting about temperament. Too many times, when I was a handler and showing dogs in confirmation, I saw specific breeds get “ruined” because breeders we trying to breed specific features, and consequently the health and temperament of the dogs was compromised.

You are a Breeder true to the Aussie breed, and health and temperament are top priorities to you. Your knowledge of your dogs and puppies in personality is incredible and you have hit the “nail on the head” on both Echo and Doc. What we told you we needed with our first Aussie we got from you in Echo. She has a big heart and her ability to look into our sole with her amazing eyes and touch us emotionally with her smile and enthusiasm has helped mend our hearts and make us whole again after loosing our Aussie, Hailey, two months earlier. My oldest son thought he could never love another dog as much as he did Hailey, and Echo proved him wrong in a matter of minutes. Doc is a perfect fit and a wonderful addition to our family and is proving to be not only a fantastic and loving companion dog, but also a great “demo” dog for my career as an Early Development Dog Trainer and Specialist in the Herding/Working Breeds.

Throughout the many years of training and showing, training my own dogs, working in shelters and training our client’s dogs as a Certified Trainer, I have seen and worked with many puppies and dogs of all breeds, mixed and purebreds, including Aussies. The moment Desert Willows Echo and Doc arrived home with us; they had already gotten a head-start on socialization from you and were very well adjusted as puppies because of your systems & routines. This is because of how you handle and raise your puppies from day one and get them on the right track recognizing the deep need for routine with this intelligent breed.

I now use Doc as my demo puppy for my group puppy classes and he learned his cues in a matter of a couple minutes and could demonstrate in front of the classes without distraction. His confidence and focus on me is stellar (even when he had two Aussie puppies barking at him like crazy, he concentrated on me and didn’t let them faze him). He is very well balanced socially and takes on every new situation with caution, curiosity and confidence.

I also have to mention that the support you provide throughout our journey with our dogs, and the network of wonderful people in the Desert Willow Aussie family is phenomenal. I feel confident with the holistic approach we are taking with our dogs in what they eat and how they are vaccinated so we can maintain the level of health they inherited throughout their lives. The Desert Willow Aussie Mush also improved the health of our 14 year old Border Collie. She was having coughing issues and her lungs were holding a small amount of fluid. Our previous vet (now we have a new one) told me she was old and it can happen as dogs get old. After we changed her to the DWA Mush diet and Vitamins, her breathing/coughing issues just went away.

As a Trainer, when I am contacted by a client about an unwanted behavior their dog is exhibiting, my approach is not just about fixing that particular “bad” behavior because the behavior is just a symptom of a greater underlying problem. If the problem is not addressed and fixed, the symptoms continue to resurface. Most problems are fixed by changing patterns or routines and teaching alternate behaviors for the dog and response tactics for the human. Working against genetics can make things complicated and difficult. Theresa and Desert Willow Aussies strive for the best in temperament and health to avoid these “genetic problems” and get Aussie owners off on the right “paw” to having a well mannered, easily trained, and great natured dog and family companion for life.

Thank you Theresa for all that you do. Nothing but the best, from the best!!

Warmest Regards,
Julee Samuli, ABCDT
Certified Dog Trainer
Limitless Pawsibilities

Hey T!! Thanks again for the BEST dog I could have ever asked for! His temperment is better than I could have ever dreamed of! He goes to work with me often and plays all day with other dogs. He can go in the camp with the tiny toy dogs or the large labs, he doesn't care! He has fun no matter the dog or place! He is the greatest addition to my family and I really want to thank you for him. I will always get my Australian Shepherds from Desert Willow Aussies. Ann Saunders

Hi Theresa, I hope all is well with your family.

I have wanted to get out to you a testimonial for some time now and it has been hard to find the proper words to fit a testimonial especially regarding the unique circumstances surrounding our course of events that led us to where we are today. Whenever I struggle with how to explain something so dear to me in my life my wife tells me to "say it from the heart" and all will be well. So here goes....

When we started out 2 years ago to look to add a puppy to our family I thought it was one of the hardest things we have ever done. Many years earlier we lost our beagle Mollie, she was older and had lived a great life with us. The sadness we felt after losing her was so strong we wondered if we could ever love another again and we simply locked our thoughts of another away. Many years passed and our family grew with the birth of our two boys Zachary (7) and Nicholas (5). It was the boys that started to want a puppy and after Cindy and I gave it a great deal of thought we agreed that they were responsible enough for a new addition to our family.

We searched long and hard for the best fit for our family that had two energetic young boys ready to smother a puppy with love. We found that an Australian Shepherd was the best for us. Unfortunately when we came up empty at every turn we thought about giving up, but then I came across Desert Willow Aussie's website and when Cindy took time and called Theresa "it was a done deal" as they say.

Neela (a Red Tri Female) entered our life and stole our hearts. Wow was she amazing and beautiful, she was simply the most gentle lady you could find and had captivating beauty like no other. As beautiful as she was it was her personality that would draw people to her, our home became a regular stop for people that wanted to play with her or just pet her. She always gave them time to be with her and I’m not sure who liked it more Neela or the neighbors.

Our life as a happy family was on cruise control and it was great, but then we were thrown a curve ball and our life was turned upside down. Neela fell ill and we lost her at the age of two. Needless to say we were lost without her and it was hard to get through a day without thinking of her.

While Cindy and I were trying to understand what we were going through we had to also tend to our two boys who were trying to deal with what just happened. It was during this time that Theresa reached out to us and was there to lean on or just listen to us as we were hurting as a family. It was the compassion, love and understanding that we witnessed from Theresa during this time. I myself remember many calls that both Theresa and I couldn't get through without tears and it was nice to know she was there for me and my family.

The reason I tell you of our journey with Neela and Theresa is because it does have a remarkable twist that without Theresa would have ended a paragraph earlier. Our family again hears the pounding of little paws in the morning on the floor and it feels right. Our new addition to the family is a Black Tri Male and his name is “Meeko” which is taken from Cindy’s Native American heritage and it means Little One with Big Heart” and he definitely has a big heart with a touch of attitude. We don’t mind his attitude since it doesn’t bother anyone but him. It’s like he wants to show that he is not scared of anything. He’s best described as the character of the young lion cub in the movie “The Lion King” wanting to show he is the king in-waiting. We will keep you updated on his rise to the throne.

Theresa you are truly a special person who reached out to my family and helped us through a difficult time and showed us that there are still people in this crazy world that really do care. We thank you for that Theresa and may God Bless.

Cindy, Scot, Zachary & Nicholas

Theresa, first let me say thank you for everything you have done for me.  A puppy is not such a big thing for some people, but he has truly starting the healed process of my heart after the loss of my Roxy (from Desert Willow). 

Over the last 4 years, I was married to a man I loved with all my heart which was lost, and I kept my faith, because I had always been taught that God would never put anything on me I could not bear. It hurt so badly sometimes I thought I would die just from the pain of a broken heart.   With no technical skills or training, I landed a good job as a “Outside Sales Rep” for a building materials company, that I loved and did very well at.  I was at the top in sales and made a very good living. During all this, my Desert Willow Roxy became my best friend and constant companion. 

My house burned down a couple years ago and my only thought was that my family and dog (who is family) were safe and I thanked God for that every day. Then 2 weeks later, I lost my job, due to company lay-offs and I was once again devastated.  But then as always there was Roxy, with her unconditional love and greeting me every day with love and that cute little smile of hers.  I believe I could have totally lost my mind without her!

With my faith still strong, knew that God would see me though this and no matter how rough things got and I was able to hold on with His help.

During that time, my Daughter and her boyfriend were struggling and I wasn’t able to see my grandson (the other light of my life) for what felt like eternity.  For 2 very long years I was only able to see my grandson, when my daughter thought it would be safe for her to "sneak" him over to see me.  During this time 3-4 months at a time would pass without me being able to see him and when I did, it was only for a few minutes at a time.  I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. 

To top it off, finances were horrible, I couldn't find even a minimum wage job, and often went without some basic needs and yet, I did not lose my faith that God would make all things right, He always does.  I still had my beautiful Roxy, with her unconditional love beside me all along the way.  She needed me and my attention so I had to "hold it together" for her sake, because she deserved the best I could give her because of her faithfulness and I just adored her.

Then just when I thought it cannot get any worse, my father fell and broke his back this past summer and I made a decision to move home to stay there to help my Mom care for hum until I knew they were able to live by themselves again.  During this time is when Roxy was killed by a car.....Now with my faith smashed I knew there was a God, but I though He abandoned me.  I felt punished.  I lost all faith in my future, and lost all hope of anything good in life. 

On Christmas Day, I put a smile on my face, for my family, but at night I cried myself to sleep, night after night.  My life had become a black hole.  I felt I had no future and that I had nothing to live for.  Here I was a 48 year old woman, who had put her ex-husband all the way through to his PHD and then, after getting the job for NASA making over $150,000 a year, dumped me a life that looked better elsewhere.  I had no education, no hope and had finally become suicidal because I was looking for a way out of this pain. 

Roxy had kept me going for so long and now she (the best friend a person could have) was gone.  My faith in God's care for me was gone and I felt like I would end up being nothing but a burden to my children.  While sadness and hopelessness overwhelmed me and I had finally given up I talk to you Theresa. You share with me about a puppy named Nero, who had so much potential and yet needed a home who would let him reach his potential, and knowing my situation, your heart wanted to help mine.  Little by little sunlight started showing through the black hole that my live had become. 

The day came soon after that I picked up Brutus (His new name) from the airport, my heart melted.  He gazed at me with those same eyes Roxy melted my heart with.  He snuggled up to my neck and let me know "I need you" My heart instantly started to heal.  Over the past few days, he has been such a joy.  Don't get me wrong, he is also a handful, but he has been wonderful.  I can't tell you how much he means to me and how much it means to me that you wanted me to have him.

I know you have been having rough times too.  I don't know all the details, but I want you to know I'm praying for you and your family and I know God will be there with the same hope He’s given back to me in the way of 4 legs. 

Theresa you may not think what you do (raising & adopting out these puppies) means that much in the great scheme of life.  However, in my life..... It helped save not only me from death, but my faith in God again.  I will never be able to say thank you enough for this wonderful young 4 legged gentleman named Brutus...... Ok, so he isn't always a gentleman, but he is always wonderful :)   

One last thing, if you haven't already guessed I'm a HUGE Ohio State Buckeye fan.  That is the reason why I originally was going to name him Buckeye.  However, somehow Buckeye just didn't fit him.  So, the Ohio State mascot's name is "Brutus the Buckeye" and he is sooooo much more a Brutus than a Buckeye, so that is why I changed his name.  Plus, he wouldn't answer to the name Buckeye, but answered immediately to Brutus. :)



I first wrote a testimonial to Desert Willow Aussies May 22,2009 to let Theresa know how pleased we are with Bono our first Desert Willow Aussie ( red tri male) He is the son of Rocky & Grace Kelly.  Now we have a new member in our family Trendy (a blue merle female) that is from the Boyd Ranch. Her mother is Little Bit from Desert Willow & her father is Spur from Boyd Ranch. 

We are very active in several types of sports with our dogs. (More than average)  Flyball, Frisbee, freestyle and much more. Bono is now 23 months old & has performed at the Texas state fair,  for the Dallas Police department , Denton dog days, Farmers branch bark in the park & several other events. (Too much to list)

 In fly ball racing he ran 51 feet over 4 jumps, then retrieved the ball out of the box then ran back another 51 feet over all 4 jumps again with the ball in 4.02 seconds. (THAT IS VERY FAST!)  In Frisbee Bono is 2nd to none & I am receiving calls all the time asking if we can perform for all types of events. In freestyle he can do just about every trick in the book and some. This dog can do it all & he puts the D in drive.

If you are looking for something more than just a dog then you’re on the right track with Desert Willow.  Just when I thought there was no way to top or equal Bono we were blessed with Trendy.  Now 13 months old she can do flyball, Frisbee & freestyle as well (Amazing!) She has incredible drive & boy is she quick! She extremely loves & I would have to say that I am impressed with her in so many ways. (WHAT A DOG!)

 I have read how male dogs make the best companions but after getting Trendy that is just not the case in my opinion. BOTH of my Desert Willow Aussies are great companions with my wife, me & each other.

I can tell you that if you decide to get you’re Aussie    from Desert Willow or from Boyd Ranch you will be more than pleased. These dogs are very smart & of real quality without a doubt.  

To touch base on the nutrition that is recommended by Theresa (She is spot on) our dogs excel in sports & the nutrition is a large part of that without question.  We have stuck to her program from day one & it works! The top dog trainer in Dallas that we race our dogs with just so happens to feed her dogs the same food. This is a trainer that has been training dogs for over 30 years. She is known even outside of the country and is also in several books.

If you have any questions for me at all ask Theresa for my number & I will be happy to talk with you. That is how strong I feel about Theresa & her kennel. She is top of the line & so her dogs.  The proof is in the pudding.

Now Theresa, thank you so much for our 2 wonderful dogs & all your help throughout the entire process.  As you know I found your website one night & it is so hard to put in to words how happy we are that we found your kennel.

Jon Jodi Bono & Trendy Sanders -

To see Pictures & Video of Bono & Trendy Visit their Shutterfly!

Rita Mitchell Beautiful Mom, beautifull pups. Larry again commented last night that he believes Cosmo is the most loving dog he has ever known. You have succeeded in breeding for temperment and beauty. Cosmo was a slow starter but the BEST dog we could have hoped for.

I am still in shock for both losing Tuesday and her being gone forever and baby Rowena actually being my dog from all of you! Thanks to everyone that has contributed to me for the biggest loss and love of my life! I'm speechless! You are so kind. I pray God will continue to bless all of you and all of our DWA Aussie FAMILY!

Sarah Tillet Overcash

To Read her story - Click here

Hey and Hello to my Desert Willow Family, I hope all is well with you all of you out there and with Mel, Therese and the Kids at Desert Willow Aussie's!

I want you to know that people who have seen Savannah cannot believe how mellow she is!  Savannah is growing and so smart and of course learning more every day!  She is so good about going potty, and I cannot believe how good she is doing!  I think we have had only 2 accidents in the last week inside the house and only because I didn't get her out in time.  She is sooooo much on a schedule which is perfect and yes squats on command as soon as I say "hurry up!"

Savannah is sooooo sweet and cute and I love her to death and can't thank you guys enough for this precious gift! 
Love ya,  

Sarah :) 

Shauna Hutchison Faessler

Shauna Hutchison FaesslerHey T~ Just thought I'd let you know that AdreAnna and Belle won Grand Champion Showman at the fair again this year and we just got back from State Fair and they received Reserve Champion! They are a great team!! Great dog!! Great family member!! We love her LOTS!!

Lyandra SweetHi Theresa, remember when i was looking for a puppy and I told you I wanted that companion to make me feel safe and you recommending "Bud" at the time AKA "Jacoby"? Well last week there was some weird things going on in our neighborhood and someone tried to break into our apartment after seth left in the morning. Thank... God they didn't make it in, but Jacoby heard whoever it was and stayed between me and the door the rest of the day. Now any time he hears someone walking by or coming to the door he runs to my side and just listens. His protectiveness is so touching to me that I am crying as I write this. i love him so much! Thank you!

Dear Theresa,
I just wanted to drop you a note to say a big, "THANK YOU" for giving me the priveledge of having one of your Aussies.  As a previous owner of an Aussie, I had some pretty demanding requests and you made the experience fun and easy.
I am so grateful to have my little Savannah.  I have never seen a dog that is so loving to everyone including other dogs.  All she wants to do when on her walks is play with any dog she comes in contact with.  There is not one aggressive bone in her body.  She has several boyfriends, two of which are Mastifs weighing in at 150 and 175 pounds!!  Her other boyfriend is a pitbull.  Watching her play with her pals is a beautiful thing to watch.  Watching her herd those big boys is comical and they let her do it!  If they put her in a position where she can't get away, she just runs underneath them. 
Everynight when she finally tires out, she is on my lap fast asleep.  I look down at my little pal and just smile.  I love this little girl with all my heart!  I don't mind anymore that she wants to start her day before the sun is up!  She just wants to go outside and play while it's still cool and run her self made agility course in the back yard.  Now that is a beautiful sight to see!  Her natural herding and agility instincts are incredible.  We have made up a game called, "daddy is gonna get you".  When she hears this, she is ready to be chased and runs her agility course.  I am amazed how agile she is.  I hope one day we can come and visit to show you what this little girl can do.
Thank you again for being so supportive as well as a kind and generous individual.  Thank you for bringing Savannah in to my life as I don't know what I would do without her.  
I feel truly blessed having Savannah at my side every minute of the day.

Rande Giberson
Palm Springs, California

Rande Giberson

Rande GibersonHi T! Savanah made it through her Spay procedure. No more cone and no more running up behind daddy and banging him with it! She is growing up so fast! Every day I look at my little girl and am so grateful for her and you for bringing us together. She has the kindest heart I have ever seen in a dog! You should see... her play tug of war with her pit bull boyfriend. If she gets it away from him, she brings it right back so he can play again. Thank you again for the best puppy in the world!

We purchased a puppy from Desert Willow Aussie's and Boyd Ranch Aussie's in March 2010 and have had a rewarding experience working with Theresa and Susan. They have been pleasant and helpful from the first day we met. Their research in the nutrition field is extensive and we trust their feeding protocol implicitly. We have been so pleased with our puppy and have completed puppy class and intend to go on to intermediate and advanced classes. These dogs are so intelligent you have to work hard to stay ahead of them. We feel the training classes are more for the owners than the dogs.

If we were to purchase another Aussie, it would definitely be from these breeders.

           Joan and Chip Farley - Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Member Of The Elite Club of Two Desert Willow Aussies

Hi Theresa!

 I must tell you how happy Manny and I are with Fenway, our second DW Aussie. He is a sheer delight! He just turned four months and is thieving. Boston couldn't be happier with his new brother. Although they are exact opposites, they have blended together beautifully. It is such a joy to watch the two of them play together. Actually, they do everything together! The timing was perfect as well. Boston had just turned nine months when Fenway arrived. Thank you so much for your wonderful choices. The personalities are perfect and fit us to the tee. It is refreshing to know that someone actually listens when you explain what it is you are looking for and low-and-behold it comes to fruition!

Thank you for your wonderful dogs! Their vet and trainer constantly remark what beautiful, healthy dogs they are and I just beam and say, “of course, they're Desert Willow Aussies.”

We are very proud to now be a member of the elite club of two Desert Willow Aussies! Life is good.


 BTW, did I tell you that we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary? The reason I mention this, instead of going away for awhile, we decided to get Fenway instead. We will celebrate with our two wonderful pups!!!

Jennifer Davis ChildressAugust 11 at 4:35am
Our puppy Livy becomes a dog today as she turns one-year old. I cannot begin to thank you enough for allowing us to bring her into our home. She brings us so much joy everyday and always gives us something to laugh about. Not only is she beautiful and super smart, she's just been a great companion for us and we could not be happier with her. Thank you for taking such great care to ensure you provide the healthiest and highest quality dogs available. We can hardly wait to bring in a little sister for her sometime in the next few years. You know I'll be contacting you when we're ready for that.

Diane Campagnone-ButenasJuly 15 at 7:47pm

Diane's Smile Box - Sit back and enjoy the LOVE!

Hi T!

I hope that you and your family are enjoying the summer. It has been a while since I last checked in, and seeing as my baby Matteo will be turning a year old in just a couple of days I thought this would be a perfect time to give you an update on my "boys".
I would also like to take this moment once again to thank each and every one of my extended DW family members who so selflessly, generously and graciously donated to give us the gift of our baby Matteo. There is not a day that goes by that I do not reflect and give thanks to all of you. Every time I look in my baby Tae's face I am so grateful that he is part of my life.
It is so hard to believe that he has been with us for 10 months already. He is an amazing boy! He is spunky, playful, energetic, and at times he is my little menace (like Dennis the menace). His favorite outdoor sport, outside of rough-housing with Nico and his sister Isabelle, is chasing chipmunks and squirrels in the woods. He is not any good at it, but he loves to try to chase. He leaps through the forest like a gazelle, all four paws leaving the ground at once. He gets some serious height with these bounds let me tell you. His favorite indoor sport is to play keep away from his people. He will grab a shirt, a shoe, a sock, whatever he can get a hold of, then run up to whoever owns the article of clothing (he knows who's things are who's). He glares wildly, then takes off running so we will chase him. Though I always stay straight faced, and tell him to drop it, I am howling on the inside, because he is just too funny. He really has a blast playing that game. He loves his people, and is devoted to each of us, as we are to him. Matteo is the only dog that I have ever met who lays down like he is ready to go to sleep, then proceeds to bark at the top of his lungs for a minute or so. I still have not figured out what he is trying to tell us, but he is loud. To say I love this little guy would be an understatement. He has enriched our lives beyond measure, and honestly I could not imagine what life would be like without him. He has been a joy, pure and simple! He is my most handsome blue merle boy. He is a peanut. He is about 19 inches at the shoulder, and weighs 47 pounds. He is as healthy as can be, and is definitely loving his life. He is a happy boy!
My angel Nico is also doing wonderfully. He does not have the same energy level of Matteo, but he does a good job keeping up. When he has had enough running on the trails he heels right at my side, happily plodding along next to his Mama. He loves his little brother (nephew really), and spends a huge amount of time wrestling, and trying to herd Matteo. As you know Nico is also a swimmer. He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the water! Nico is also very devoted to his people. I took my boys for a morning walk a few weeks ago, and 2 two dogs who were wrestling on the trail came up behind me, and knocked me to the ground. My Nico was right there standing over me to protect me. He would not move until I got up on my feet again. He is my protector. He is a total love bug, and loves to have his belly rubbed, he loves to cuddle and give puppy kisses. He is my "Bubba Puppa", and I love him so much it hurts. Nico is maturing into the most wonderful dog I could have hoped for (I know Matteo will also mature into a dream dog). Nico stands about 22 inches at the shoulder and is weighing in at about 48 pounds. I think he has smaller bones than Matteo... Because to see them side by side, Nico is larger with a big head. Matteo is a little peanut; a very handsome little peanut yet there is only a 1 pound difference between them...
People compliment me on their beauty all of the time. And just recently people I meet have been commenting on how well behaved my boys are. I simply smile, thank them enthusiastically and beam with pride. I get my boys out twice a day EVERY day for some good exercise. We also spend time every day working on obedience training. I am feeding them as you suggest, and also adding a bit of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to small amount of the salmon or ground turkey that I add to the food. They have their vitamins and supplements every morning. I just made the boys a batch of homemade treats using all natural organic ingredients. We give them structure, guidance and lots of love! Your grandpups are living large here in Marshfield, MA.
I must thank you once again for choosing the perfect furry companions for my family. Nico and Matteo are both amazing and each in their own way. We love them both to the depths of our souls
Thank you all for the gift of Matteo. On Saturday, Matteo's first birthday, I will be thinking fondly of each and every one of my wonderful DWA family.

Thank you for the gift of Matteo!

With much love,

PS - I have since changed computers, and no longer have the email you sent me that listed everyones email address. I hope that in passing you could let everyone know how grateful we are. (posted on Facebook)..

I've been on this planet for more than half a century and have had a dog by my side for every second of it. If your hesitating, let me tell you that you will never find a more responsible, supportive and caring breeder than Theresa. She is most simply the best and every word she says about her dogs is the truth. I have a black tri female that I ... See Moregot last year from Theresa and can say without hesitation, she is one of the best dogs I have ever come across. Kind, gentle, loving......I could go on and on......She is simply my joy. Don't hesitate. You'll find none better on the planet !! (Posted on Facebook)

Part TWO!

Hi T:
I wanted to get off an email to you to let you know how well Izzieis doing.  She is simply my most precious angel and I have no words to thank you for bringing her into my life.  I am truly blessed to have Diane and you in my life to introduce me to this most spectacular breed. She is simply and profoundly, my joy.
Izzieis doing exceptionally well. The feeding protocol that you have set up is the best. She is bright and energetic and her coat is thick, shiny and lush.  She just glows. For all you new puppy parents out there, do not deviate from Theresa's protocol.  My German Shepherd, Ethan, has severe allergies.  I started Ethan on the feeding regiment before Izzieever came home and the difference is visible. Ethan's weight was low, his coat had no luster and he had no energy. He is also on a lot of medication.  With the diet, I have been able to cut down on the amount of medications he is receiving. He has gained weight, his coat is shiny and he definitely has more energy.  He can keep up with Izzieand that is a feat in itself.  I know that some of you will think that this diet is expensive.  Trust me, its not. Expensive is dealing with the health issues that arise with lesser quality feeds and supplements that are out there.  Remember; quality in, quality out.
Izzieis also truly brilliant.  At her puppy class, she was taught the command "leave it". Leave it means that you can not pick up the item with your mouth.  To test this command. the trainer holds the pup at one end of the room, while the owner calls the pup to them past things like a bowl of food, cookies, etc.  Izzieaced this task.  Then the trainer decided to up the aunty.  She walked around the room with a squeaky ball and enticed every pup in the room.  When I called Izzieto me, I could see the interest peaking and as she approached the ball, I called leave it. Izziequickly glanced at me, then at the ball and without breaking stride hit the ball with her paw so that it bounced right into my hand.  The whole class was in hysterics, including the trainer. The trainer was quick to point out that Izzietechnically passed the task but that this puppy was a true thinker and would be a challenge.  I already knew this and its one of the reasons she is so very special.
I can't express how truly blessed I feel to have this wonderful child by my side.  I can never thank you enough for allowing me to become part of your family.  Someday, I look forward to bringing another one of these most special angels into my home, and I will never look anywhere but Desert Willow.  You are the very best, Theresa and are truly loved.
All of the best to you and your wonderful family.  I'll be in touch again soon.
Love to you,   Rachel and Izzie

Rachel wrote: "Hi T : Just wanted to let you know that Myles is fabulous. 12 weeks old and he is housebroken, he knows sit down and stay and he is exactly the perfect influence on Izzie. Certain sounds can send Izzie into a frenzy ( car alarms, smoke detectors ...). When this happens, Myles gets right in her face and barks at her. It brings her out of her frenzy and she calms down. Diane has even noticed that she seems more relaxed. I am so blessed to have both these beautiful children to share my life, thanks to you. You are the best and we love you lots !!"


Dear Theresa,
I wanted to give you an update on "the boys". Boyd Ranch's Duke and Crates aka "Ranger" went with us hiking yesterday where they were exposed to some free range cattle. The cattle was across a creek bed yet close in distance and the dogs were visible to them. Duke has shown a great capacity for herding and began to bound excitedly towards the water crossing. We watched him as he made eye contact and jumped above the grass so the steers could see him (VERY entertaining) and when the cattle made eye contact they moved...he had a cow moving left to right with the creek between them! He was a very good boy and as soon as I called for him to come he came back to us, but what a fun thing to watch. We have to find that boy some stock to work! I have an e-mail in to a trainer in the CO/WY area by the name of Cappy Pruett in hopes that we can attend a clinic next month.

Now Ranger on the other hand has proven to be quite the opposite of my original interpetation of him. He is just as you had predicted, a mamma's boy, and prefers to cuddle and be by his humans than "working" (yuk...who can blame him!) He is still young and we have watched him grow, he is larger than Duke, but still is very puppyish. Steve is planning on taking him for his CGC, he would be great as a therapy dog...very smart and loving, calm and quiet. Just like our children, so VERY different from one another :-) but loved equally! (depending on the day, right?)
Thank you so much for sharing them with us as they really are such a blessing to our family...they make us smile so often, daily! We really enjoy their company and are a huge part of our lives. They are perfect (minus Dukes affinity for everyone's glasses...our fault for taking them off our face :-) but that's another story!!! LOL! I miss my Fendi sunglasses!
Have a good day :-) 

Lisa McKinley

Hey there Theresa:
I have been meaning to write to you a nice long update on Emmy, as part of our family.  First off you know she was born on the day we put our first Emma to sleep last year on Feb. 3, our first sign she was meant to be ours, second the woman who was supposed to take her gave her up, and a second sign she was meant to be ours, and third and most important she fits into our life like a glove fits on your hand.  I asked you for a VERY SPECIFIC personality and the match up with us was beyond perfect, not sure how you did it!

Emma is a gem; she is an old soul in a puppy’s body.  She spent the first 7 months of her life hanging on the tail or scruff of our adopted Mini Mo at the time and was a very special child, she used the puppy door at three months of age no problem going in and out as she pleased ALL the time, learned to swim in the pool at 3 and 1/2 months of age, and slept in the bed every night from day one in our home.  Kozmo is still holding on and 13 plus years old now.  Emma is so good with him.  I actually had a trainer come by the house in December to just give us some pointers on our puppy raising in our house and she could NOT believe how wonderful our pups are and how peaceful they were in our home for being as young as they were, she said she would take them home with her in two seconds flat.  Kudos she said to us, and really could not find any way to improve on our puppies’ behavior.  Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emma is not only the best mothering hen to Ducey she is patient with him, and grooms him and is the best manipulative teasing older sister a puppy could ever have.  She is just beyond what words can describe as being the MOST PERFECT Australian Shepherd puppy that one could ever hope to share their life with, and simply be blessed with their presence in their life.  She can be a mellow couch potato, if you are watching TV or taking a nap she is happy to rest up with you any time of the day or night, she is always up for a good walk or roller blade around the neighborhood which she gets twice a day, and she can play like a tom boy and get rough and tumble with the best of them.  But then she has this oh so sweet side that comes out that just wants to lay on your chest in bed and give tender licks and groom mom and dad for however long we allow her to do so. 

She loves children, and loves her treats, and loves her master bedroom which of course she feels is her safety blanket if she gets tired and needs alone time.  Emma is now in intermediate behavior classes and LOVES to go to class and show off, well maybe she just loves all the other puppies there, but she learns at her own pace, she is not the star of the class, but certainly she is the PRINCESS of the class and the princess anywhere she goes with us and gets the most amazing compliments and love from everybody she meets, including other puppies.  She is that dog that gets along with every other dog even if they bite at other dogs, Emma just puts her ears down and wags her little tail and bends her but away and smiles a bit at their naughty behavior and they simply just go away or become friends with her because of her easy going personality.  She is that perfect personality everyone wants in a dog.
I really wanted to share some photos with you of her and her brothers.  Especially since she looks just like gussy in the face as an adult accept that she is blue merle and not red merle.  By the way she retained her blue eyes and they are so pretty.  One is bluer than the other, but both are simply gorgeous and change color with whatever light she is under at that time.

As a side note , I just purchased something called a (walky dog) from www.thedogoutdoors.com  and it is simply the best invention for anyone who rides a bike and wants to take their dog with them safely, without having to hold onto a leash while doing this activity please read up on it, Emma simply is addicted to it and we sometimes walk and mostly she trots, but the best thing about it is she is on a harness, and she goes at HER pace not mine and she gets GREAT exercise.  We love it...The Border collie Ducey does fantastic with it as well, so any very hyper active dog who needs lots of exercise this is fantastic for them and the owner.  Because it is working so well I thought I would pass it on to you since you are such an advocate of keeping puppies so healthy.  And no I am not selling this product just passing on this great tool so others can benefit from it as well.

Enjoy the photos of your wonderful Emma.
Sarah and Chaun Drummond
Phoenix, AZ

Happy Puppy Shopping To All:

For those of you who are on the fence about signing with Desert Willow Aussies for a pup, then get off of it and know you are going to be married into a new family.  My venture started with Internet searches and I was going to go with another breeder; but something told me to keep searching.....THAT'S WHEN I SAW DESERT WILLOW AUSSIES.  I picked up the phone and Theresa and I spoke for 4 hours. Yes 4 hours.  I felt like I was talking to my best friend.  Theresa really took the time to get to know me, unlike other breeders I had contacted.  That was in November 2007, and in March 2008, my SNUBS was born.  Theresa knew which pup was for me from just corresponding back and forth with me for months.  Now, I did look at other pups, but Theresa ensured "Snubs was mine" and I'm so glad I listened to her. He's beautiful and everywhere I go people ask me "Where did I get that Aussie?" 

I can't say enough about getting to know Theresa and her family, but letting Theresa get to know you.  Theresa has a great feel for personalities and knows which one of her pups, fit you and your family.  And with that said, its now December 2008 and I'm waiting on my second aussie from Desert Willow Aussie's.  Please again, if you're on the fence, have Theresa give you my number. I have NO problem with talking to anyone who wants to become apart of the Desert Willow Aussie Family.  

Believe me, once you go DWA you won't go back to anything else.  Thanks Theresa, Mel, Julianna and Travis.  I will forever sing your praises, but moreso, love your Aussies the way you do.

Please don't hesitate to call me.....Forever Family......Desert Willow Aussie SNUBS........

Nicole Washington

Ash FriederichMay 23 at 10:54pm Report
Hi Theresa,

We are home safe and sound and Socrates has been getting to know the house. He has slept a lot. He is so bright. We are blessed to have found you and your family as breeders. The love Mel, Travis, Julianna and you give your puppies and the family all come through in the puppy. Thank you.

He slept nearly all the way in the car, a few times getting up when we were eating and whining when he needed to go to the bathroom. I think he is getting a little littermate "sick" as he looks around and whines, but it may also be his puppy teeth bugging him. We have been playing with him every day.

Will fill you in with more details later...


Pet Food Testimonial

My name is Shaila Bernard and a Kitten Parent of Desert Willow Cattery.

As far back as I can remember, 5 years old - - almost thirty two years ago I have loved Persian cats.

In 1995, after landing a job in New Hampshire I found a breeder of Persian cats and she had a shaded silver kitten. And he was such a sweetie! I made him into the most loved and spoiled indoor kitten as all of us know and love our babies! I spared no expense when it came to buying teepee's for him to sleep in - - though he often slept in my bed of course! I even checked with vets and breeders to ensure he had the best foods and treats! In those times it was IAMS.

When he was 12 years old he began to drink water constantly. He would still eat and purr and want to be loved but he was always thirsty. The vets all said he was just thirsty and it was nothing to worry about, so I didn’t worry about it. A few months later he started throwing up. Again worried I took him to my Vet and was reassured that this was only hair balls; after all, he was a long haired cat?  And even though there was no hair in what was coming up, they insisted that it was hairballs.

Eventually, he started to lose weight, and would not eat anything and he couldn't’ even use his litter box any longer.  Again I sought out answers through several vets, all suggesting fluids once a week and he could stay alive - -but now the blood work was showing he had kidney failure and it was only a matter of time.  After a two attempt of trying to give him fluids and understanding how much love he had brought me and how much I treasured our sweet years together, I knew how much pain he was in, it was obvious.  I knew in my heart it was time to let him go. I contacted a vet she agreed it was time. So I had his life terminated along with a big piece of my heart.  I know today without a doubt this could have been prevented if I had known the food I was feeding my cats had been on recall.

In my search for another friend to fill this void, I contacted Theresa at Desert Willow and told her my story. She told me about the fillers now in cat & dog foods and how so much is coming in from outside of the country making it impossible to monitor quality.  She also educated me on how bad corn products were for our animals now.  Cancer growing ingredients now wrapped around pretty packaging is the NUMBER 1 Killer of Dogs and Cats!

Securely, I purchased two kittens from Desert Willow Cattery, a Blue Point and a Seal Point. And they get nothing but Life’s Abundance - - cat food, treats and moist food. They also get a spoonful of yogurt a day in the evening –they LOVE it!  They are healthy kittens, happy, and SLIGHTLY spoiled with love.  They have two toy boxes and three or four gyms to exercise on.  My heart is full of joy once again.

I have another cat Sabrina who was a friend to the one I lost fed the same way with the same food until I recently began feeding Life's Abundance.  ONE month after putting down my other cat, Sabrina started going into excessive thirst and throwing up. She will eat some days and others she does not eat at all. The blood tests showed the same systems with her.  I expect by summer I will have to euthanize her also - - she ate the same food until recently. Eventually she will stop eating or not go to the litter box just as my other did.  The damage is already done and it’s only a matter of time now.  How horrible that PET FOOD COMPANIES do not have our “little 4 legged family members” best interest in their hearts as they make food that is suppose to sustain them.  It's tradgic to learn how little my animals mean to these big pet food companies.  They so eloquently teach us to trust them through their meaningful commercials with flowery words -- that now mean nothing to me!   Watch out because these foods are still on the shelves!

My kittens will stay on Life’s Abundance as I don’t want to see another pet that I love go through pain of kidney failure or see their system shut down due to food I BELIEVED was safe and fed it to them myself!

Theresa-- thank you for taking time to “teach” on proper care & nutrition for our animals from a holistic point of view.  I know you believe a healthy balance of both Modern & Holistic medicine is important, but the eye opening side of saying “NO” to our vets is very helpful for future issues that can arise too.  Also for spending so much time on the education of proper nutrition, vaccinations and so many other issues that we can do safely that will not harm them as too many “DRUGS” do for our beloved pets. 

My heart rests knowing my current Cats will live long happy lives full of contentment and happiness.  I know they should live comfortably into their early 20’s!   And when it’s their time to go because of a long lived healthy life, they will pass on dreaming of chasing birds into eternity.

Shaila Bernard

Rio is a really special guy...so smart and loving..I can’t get over how much I love having a dog that is so affectionate and will sleep right next to me and lay his head on me and spoon with me at night. LOL. You never know how nice that feeling is when you’ve only had dogs that “tolerate” you hugging on them, like my previous ones. I sleep with one arm thrown over him and he doesn’t move all night...it’s so sweet. And warm in the winter :)

He’s a beauty, inside and out. Thank you for him.
Mare - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dear Theresa,

We enjoyed meeting you and your family this past weekend!  We had so much fun seeing the puppies and dogs at your kennel, and we especially enjoyed watching Gus with the kitten.   Your Gus is an amazing dog!

We made it back home yesterday at around 6:15 pm.  Job did great!  His appetite was good and he adapted very well to traveling by car.  We could not have gotten a better puppy to travel with on such a long road trip.   It is 1563 miles from your house in New Mexico to our house in Georgia and Job never got carsick!  He was good at letting us know when he needed to go out during the night, and of course, he drew lots of attention when we stopped at hotels for the night.  One clerk even let him stay free in a non-pet room!

Job’s first visit with our Vet this morning went great!  He weighed in at 14 pounds.  Our Vet was very impressed with him and he gave him a clean bill of health.  We are good to go until his next vet visit in May.

Thanks for picking us to be the parents of this wonderful puppy!  His personality is coming out and he has been an absolute joy to me and my husband since we picked him up this past Saturday.  We love him and we are looking forward to watching this precious puppy grow up.  

Take care,

Debbie and Terry Daniels (Silvio/Job)

Rachel BergmanHi T: I wanted to wish you and your wonderful family all the best the New Year has to offer. I know that 2010 is going to be an exceptional year for my family because of the most precious gift that you have given us. I can't begin to express how much joy and love she has brought into our lives. Izzie will be spayed on... Jan. 6th....I expect a tough week but all uphill from there. I can not begin to thank you enough for this precious girl...I am so glad that you came into our lives and blessed us with this exquisite little girl. Nothing but the best wishes and love to you and your family !! - Posted from Facebook

November 2009    T~ I am writing today to tell you just how wonderful my life has become since a little guy with the kennel name "Luke Star" came to live with us. We have since given him the name Phineas McGuinness but we call him Phin. He has given us so much joy and laughs in the two months we have had him. He was this sweet boy when he arrived from your arms to ours. I just love the way he looks and everyone says how beautiful he is.   I say it's because he was given a great start at Desert Willow Aussie's (DWA). He came to us weighing around 11 pounds and he is now weighing in at 26.3 pounds, such a big boy!  We started "Puppy School" about 3 weeks ago and he is progressing very well. The trainer says he is very smart and very "stubborn", and I hear he gets that from his Mother Jubileena, but for this can be a good thing too for this type of dog!   But I also wanted to say that toys are a fun and entertaining way to amuse even the hardest of hearts, ice cubes are the cheapest and most fun for us to watch him have.   I am also going to be honest about the "mouthing" (or herding) is a huge issue at first those little teeth are sharp!  But we kept holding his nose and saying "no bite" and in a short amount of time it does dwindle off, I promise.   My next confession is that Phin sleeps with us now.  We did the crate training and all and now he sleeps between my husband and I at the bottom of our bed at our feet.   I am so thankful I came across the DWA site and I had the opportunity to have this wonderful creature come into our home and our lives. I don't know how to convince anyone on the edge of getting a puppy or not from T (Theresa) but I know I am so glad I did! I also can say DWA is an extended family, I am friends with and have talked on the phone to some other DWA family members and we all stick together and give and take advice from eachother. If I ever have the privilege to meet T in person it would be such a pleasure.   Finally, I have told my husband that I plan on having an Aussie for the rest of my life, and that includes one of every coat color! So when my 2 human kids are grown and I can devote more time I am definitely getting more puppies from Theresa and Desert Willow Aussie's.                                                                         ~Zina and Chris Martin                                                                           Kayla and Andrew

                                                                            & Phineas

Hi Theresa,
Molly is doing great and is definitely part of the family.  She loves to play, is pouty when she isn't on the move, goes on most hikes with Ken and LOVES the snow.  Some of the hikes have been in the 10+ miles range in the mountains.  Of course, if Ken does 10, Molly does 20 running back and forth checking on him.  She is very attentive, smarter than we are and always wanting to "work".  She could have been a great herding dog if only we had hundreds of acres and lot of animals to look after.  Much thanks for a terrific dog.
Sante Fe, New Mexico

Theresa, Baxter (formerly "Wilkins") is doing great. He weighs 26 lbs now at 3 1/2 months old, and is growing every day. The vet says he looks terrific and he has the greatest personality. Jubileena has lost weight now since moving in with us and really enjoys playing with Baxter.  They have both been very healthy and I attribute that to the great food and supplements (and plenty of activity).  I am grateful to have them both!

(See Jubileena Olin in our RETIRED dogs Link)

WOW!!!! Where do I begin???? My husband and I were looking for the missing link in our family, and knew as soon as we saw Desert Willow Aussies that our search was finally over. Theresa was very helpful and she knew what was best for us before we even did... NO JOKE!!!! My husband was stuck on having a male dog and ALMOST wanted to wait for one even though we already had put a deposit on Sweet "Thelma" now named Karlie.  It was very hard for my husband and I to be 100% sure what puppy would be best for us seeing that we live so far away, but needless to say Theresa was able to help us pick the PERFECT puppy for our family. <3
Karlie is a beautiful, smart, energetic, fun loving, sweet, funny, super fast, amazing, HEALTHY, strong, loyal, perfect puppy. Like Theresa said, "The proof is in the pudding."  I cannot put into words how much we love Karlie. She is always able to put a smile on my face and is always there with a good ol' puppy kiss. I cannot thank Theresa enough for all the love and hard work that she puts into each and EVERY puppy, and the family that is lucky enough to have a Desert Willow Aussie.From the thought that goes into each puppies parents (you know what I mean when you first go through the bloodlines of the puppies parents and their temperaments AMAZING how Theresa can know so much about every one of her Aussies) to the food that nourishes their bodies. Theresa misses nothing in between to make sure that EVERY puppy has everything they need to live a fun, long, healthy holistic life with their forever families. She really goes above and beyond!!
For anyone who is reading this and may still be in the fence.... DON'T BE!!!!!!!!!!!!! You may be like us and not live locally to be there and pick out your puppy but...No Worries!!!! Theresa will ask you what you are looking for in your puppy and she will exceed all your expectations!! Or maybe the contract looks a bit intimidating... but it is NOT at all. Actually once you see how easy it is to do things holistically you will NEVER want to go back.I have found that by feeding Karlie the way we do, saves us money at the vet because she get everything she needs in her Desert Willow Mush. I feel great knowing that she is getting all the nutrients she needs to stay healthy and she still thinks that it is a treat. =)  I know that in this economy a puppy for this price may seem like a lot, but TRUST me your puppy is worth every last penny. From the second we saw Karlie at the airport we could just tell that she was so well taken care of compared to the other dogs coming off the plane. She was in a large crate with comfy cozy bedding that had more than enough room for her to move around, food and water,and a toy to keep her busy (which by the way was the cutest toy I have ever seen)   Pretty much Karlie was riding in FIRST CLASS the whole way. It really made me feel good to know that Theresa made Karlie's trip as comfortable and stress free as possible. Nothing can take away from how I felt the first time I could actually hold her in my arms and get my first puppy kiss. Also, I must add that even the vet I took her to for her first visit was very impressed with her build and beauty.
That first week home she adapted so well to everything, and was sleeping though the night with no accidents. If she had to go potty she would let us know. Karlie is such a fast learner, it was mind boggling at first to see how fast she caught on to whatever we would teach her. She learned how to sit and stay in less than twenty minutes if that!!!! She knows how to shake, lay down, and walk on a leash with ease. She is very friendly and warms every ones heart who see her.
Karlie will be four months in 10 days and I wanted to write this testimony two months ago when we first got home from the airport, but did NOT know how to put into words how wonderful my experience with Desert Willow Aussies truly was... I just wish that anyone reading this could have a "Karlie" of their own to really know how amazing it has been to have the honor of having such a high caliber puppy. I am so happy to be part of the DWA family because I know that we could not have found any other dog like a Desert Willow Aussie. "The Proof is in the Pudding." I know in my heart that anyone who decides to join the family will be so happy they did, too!!!
Much Love,
Bridgette Ornelas- North Carolina

Thank you for healing our family

Hello to all!
I hope this note finds all of you well, and enjoying the weekend. On behalf of my husband Todd, my daughter Shaunna, and my Nico, I would like once again to express our profound gratitude for your compassion, your kindness and your generousity in bringing abounding peace and joy our family by ways of giving us the gift of the newest member of our family Matteo.
Matteo arrived in Boston safely late Thursday night and was immediately scooped up into our loving arms. To say that we are all in awe of this wonderful little fuzz ball would be an understatement. He is quite simply one astonishing little pup! He is sweet, he is handsome, he is our new baby (with Coda being ever present in our hearts and souls). Matteo has fit into the home beautifully just as I knew he would. My Nico has once again assumed the role of big brother, and lays in wait for Matteo to come pounce upon him, and begin chewing on his neck. My Nico grooms his new little brother, and is helping to take great care of this little bundle of joy. Matteo had his first vet visit just yesterday. The vet said he is in tip top shape, and the little guy tipped the scales at a whopping 11.8 pounds.  He is a big boy! He was been with us less than 48 hours, but we all love this pup so very much! We will love him, we will care for him, and we will give him a wonderful home!
 We named him Matteo in honor of all of you. His name means gift of God, and since my family and I consider all of you angels we thought the name was fitting! Coda will always be missed but our hearts are singing, and souls are once again truly at peace; and we have you all to thank for this. You have given us so much more than a wonderful puppy. You have healed our family, and you have healed our hearts.
With love and gratitude,
Diane & Todd Butenas

Shaunna Shiers & Nico

(This puppy "Mateo" is a gift from our Kennel Parents to Todd & Diane for the sudden loss of Coda. We feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends we've made through our Kennel, and it is a true gift to know they are our extended family - Thank you DWA Family! T)

What a gift! And I’m not just talking about my beautiful puppy Boston that I had the good fortune to pick up on 9/4/2009! I was able to spend four glorious days in New Mexico with this very special family and their wonderful dogs and cats. Wow, what an experience. It is hard to describe all that this family accomplishes in any given day and they do it with such grace. This is a fine tuned machine!

After two years of getting to know Theresa via the phone and email, the puppy she ended up picking for me was everything I had hoped for and more. We talked at length about my living and moving situation, timing, and the personality that would best fit. She picked the PERFECT pup for me! He has the best personality and the exact coloring I had hoped for. He is healthy and happy and his new vet has been extremely impressed by his condition, not to mention ALL the information I schlepped in on Boston’s first visit that was supplied by Theresa in the puppy packet which is more like a “User Manual”. Boston’s vet owns an Aussie so she knows what to look for. It was wonderful to take him in and hear that he was/is in PERFECT condition and thriving.

Having a guide to help me through the various stages of this process has been invaluable. Everything you need to know is chronicled on the website. But most importantly, Theresa is available and doesn’t drop you once the transaction is complete. Quit the contrary. She is there for those special questions. She never hesitates to respond to my emails and always has the best advice. Being new to this, it has been a blessing to have someone to guide me.

I am forever grateful and thank you for such a wonderful experience!!!

Jacque, Manny and Boston Pereira
Benicia, California

Boston’s Testimonial to Augustus:

Hey Bro!

I thought I would let you know that I’m pretty happy at my new home. When mom was bringing me on the plane, she gave me all kinds of info regarding my new dad and told me not to worry if he was a little distant. Well, he was, for about an hour… The next thing I know he is having the grass, yes grass, torn up to make sure it is safe for me. He put it back down once he was sure… He does get a little nervous when I bark a lot and nip at his heals. Gotta work on that. But he is great, he hand feeds me my kibble, stuffs kongs for me with organic peanut butter and kibble, and he sings to me. Mom doesn’t like his singin’ though. She says he spoils me. She got really mad at him the other morning when he made her this great breakfast of sardines and eggs. Dad is Portuguese and he has a sardine thing like you and Hermie. Anyhow, I just happen to be checking it out and low and behold, some fell to the floor… All dad said was that mom had too much anyway. He’s great!!!

I started school and had a good time playing. Mom and dad don’t have many friends so it was great to see folks and puppies too. Mom is very protective, so I haven’t even met her dog friends yet. She says it will be soon.

Mom is the one who tells me when I am doing something wrong. Lately, I think that maybe she changed my name. It use to be Boston; now I’ll I hear is NO!!! Dad says it hasn’t been changed and just maybe, mom will lighten up after a few more classes.

Anyhow, I’m doing really good, but miss you. I can’t wait until the day we can play Indy 500 with you and the gang again!

Love you bro! Huggs and kisses to grandma, grandpa and Travis and Jewels!!!

Love Boston

PS: Huggs to the furry things too!

When I began looking into buying one of Desert Willow's beautiful Aussie's, one of the first things I did was talk to Theresa about her beloved dogs.  While speaking about them, Theresa told me all about the food and vitamins she feeds and why.  She also informed me that these companies are smaller outfits that use local  "organic" ingredients, and how she attributed her dogs excellent health to their food and vitamin routine.
I had been aware of the "MASSIVE" Dog Food Recalls and the deaths that had occurred all over the country and I was worried about what to feed and have not known what to do.  Even though I do not yet have my Aussie, I do have a Sheltie that I love very much and am worried about.  She is picky and does not like her food.  Her Teeth were in terrible condition, and she had the worst skin allergies as she is allergic even to grass.  Every time she went outside (which she just loves) she would spend the rest of the day chewing crazily at her feet!  Also Scratching her ears, and pawing her eyes and shed like crazy!  No matter who long you brush or how often, hair kept coming out and you could fill trash cans at a time with what I was brushing out!  Also it looked like the rugs in my home hadn't been vacuumed in a month (even though it had been less then 24 hours since I cleaned them).  Hair was everywhere but I just assumed it was the breed.  And to me, the scariest of all, she was becoming lethargic and didn't want to run and play, she didn't even look up when I tried to play with her favorite toy.  I was very concerned she was depressed!   Even then, I never thought it could be health related or dietary. 
So I decided to (after speaking with Theresa) to order the Flint River Ranch Lamb, Millet and Rice and the NuVet Vitamins right away (I did not want to wait another day to get this to her) and I'm so glad I did!  She loves (and I mean LOVES) her new food and her vitamins are the biggest treat of the day!  After only 10 days of this routine she was running, barking, and playing again and is acting like her old self again!  Even better that her old self actually because her allergy sensitivity went down to minor irritation at best!  Her teeth are getting cleaner everyday (I am also feeding her yogurt everyday as per Theresa's recommendation which she loves!) and amazingly enough, she has almost stopped shedding completely!  Her coat is silky and healthy and the shedding is minimal (normal).
My Sheltie Violet has seen me through a lot of hard times, some of the worst in my life, and like a good friend, she has always known when I needed cheering up by playing silly games, or just lay her head on my lap for hours to comfort me.  In her whole 9 years of life she has been a faithful, loving companion and has never let me down - she's my best friend.  I am so glad Theresa told me about this feeding system because Violet is the best dog that ever lived and she deserves to feel as good and live as healthy of a life for as long as she can!   Now the rest of her years will be better now because of this and it's just the beginning! 
If this feeding routine has made this much difference in this short amount of time in her life, I cannot imagine the benefits I will see for her when she has been on this long term and for my future Desert Willow Aussie!
Thank you Flint River Ranch, Thank you NuVet and Thank you THERESA!
Rebekah Elliott
Tulsa, Ok

Theresa, I have been meaning to write this for some time now but it has always been on my “to do” list.  We have always have had dogs since I was a little kid.  Every thing from mutts to Bouvier’s, English Setters, and Goldens, but I have to tell you we have never had a dog with as much personality and smarts as Ray.  He is truly a member of the family, and I need to mention that my son David did a great job training him and is responsible for most of the human side this.  Ray catches and retrieves a Frisbee with ease, gets on and off our boat from the dock, jumps up on the back of the boat and then down to the swim platform by himself and waits till you tell him its ok to go into the lake (Lake Erie). Swims like a fish and retrieves in the water.  I have to help him back on the boat but that is about it.  Makes friends with every dog he meets including pit bulls and German Shepards.  Is good in the house except for chewing on an occasional shoe. (we are working on that)    He is good around our horses (Katie my daughter who is a 3rd year med student wants to get a “Ray Dog” as soon as she gets out in the real world and has a place of her own along with a another horse or two) and just wants to be everybody’s “best friend”…truly a remarkable breed and a remarkable dog.   

Lee D ImhofPresident
Troy Chemical Industries Inc

   May 22, 2009
I have never written a testimonial before but I feel that I must write this because of how happy we are with the Desert Willow Aussie family.  We lost our Australian shepherd mix after 13 years, 9 months &   9 days (he passed in my arms).  I had a very special relationship - connection with my dog, Buster, which is impossible to explain with just words.  I always believed that you could have 50 or more dogs and never get one like my Aussie, Buster.  I love dogs very much, but after that I did not know if I could have another dog.  I thought to myself   “Can I?”  “Should I?”-  Would we be trying to replace Buster and would it be fair to the new dog?  After some time had passed, I started looking at websites & reading books about Australian Shepherds.  I started to really think about getting another dog but I asked myself –w as I ready? 
One night I found the Desert Willow Aussie website, my belief is by NO accident - and I am so glad that we did! After a few weeks of searching online for Australian Shepherds,  I found myself always going back to the Desert Willow Aussie’s website.  I could tell from the information on the website that this breeder definitely knew what she was doing!  All of the pictures and information provided was second to none in my opinion, and all of the dogs and puppies just looked so much healthier than the dogs on the other sites that I researched.  One day I decided to call & that’s when I meet Theresa.  I could tell that Theresa had put her heart & soul into her family and into her Kennel, and that her main concern was the health and well-being of the dogs.  At first I was nervous about buying a puppy online or even just buying a puppy at all.  But after talking with Theresa I told my wife, Jodi, that I had found the perfect breeder for us to work with.  I then described to Theresa in a perfect world what qualities I would like to have in a dog.  Theresa picked out the puppy for us and she hit the nail right on the head.  He is now 6 months old and I have to say, what a dog!  I guess I am lucky because it did not take 50 dogs to get another great dog; it took just one from Desert Willow Aussie’s and we’ve named him BONO (Arsene was his kennel name) a handsome Red Tri Male,.
I can’t thank Theresa enough for our new family member and for the happiness she has helped bring into our lives.  Bono is smart, athletic, handsome, loving, good-natured, good with children & just one great dog. He is the son of Rock Hudson & Grace Kelly; he was born on November 13th 2008, if you would like to look up his picture.  It is listed under “Available Puppies” on the awesome Desert Willow Aussie website.  I plan on doing agility competitions with Bono and this puppy can do it all. I hired a professional trainer to prepare him & I was amazed how fast he learned from day one. I work with him everyday & I am so glad I decided to get an Aussie again; they are sooo smart!     Best of all, I do have a special connection with Bono that I never thought I would have with another dog again, and for that I am so grateful.  I can tell you if you want a quality dog, you should not hesitate to get a Desert Willow Aussie puppy.  When you decide to get a Desert Willow Aussie, you get it all-a great dog with impeccable breading, wonderful new friends (the Gorduyn family) & the entire Desert Willow Aussie family.  This is a support group that is very special and built from scratch by Theresa.  Desert Willow Aussies is a family business that is hands-on, and I really feel that it is operated with integrity.  I started this journey with grief and ended up with happiness, as well as new wonderful friends, and best of all-a new best friend, Bono.  So if you want more than just a dog, if you want a great dog with personality, then get a Desert Willow Aussie.  You will be glad that you did (I am).  Theresa, you are the best out there and so are your dogs!!
Your friends
    Jon, Jodi, Honey, Arsene Sanders    Dallas Texas

PS We're on the list for our 2nd DWA Aussie in the Fall!

Part two: I first wrote a testimonial to Desert Willow Aussies May 22,2009 to let Theresa know how pleased we are with Bono our first Desert Willow Aussie ( red tri male) He is the son of Rocky & Grace Kelly.  Now we have a new member in our family Trendy (a blue merle female) that is from the Boyd Ranch. Her mother is Little Bit from Desert Willow & her father is Spur from Boyd Ranch. 

We are very active in several types of sports with our dogs. (More than average)  Flyball, Frisbee, freestyle and much more. Bono is now 23 months old & has performed at the Texas state fair,  for the Dallas Police department , Denton dog days, Farmers branch bark in the park & several other events. (Too much to list)

 In fly ball racing he ran 51 feet over 4 jumps, then retrieved the ball out of the box then ran back another 51 feet over all 4 jumps again with the ball in 4.02 seconds. (THAT IS VERY FAST!)  In Frisbee Bono is 2nd to none & I am receiving calls all the time asking if we can perform for all types of events. In freestyle he can do just about every trick in the book and some. This dog can do it all & he puts the D in drive.

If you are looking for something more than just a dog then you’re on the right track with Desert Willow.  Just when I thought there was no way to top or equal Bono we were blessed with Trendy.  Now 13 months old she can do flyball, Frisbee & freestyle as well (Amazing!) She has incredible drive & boy is she quick! She extremely loves & I would have to say that I am impressed with her in so many ways. (WHAT A DOG!)

 I have read how male dogs make the best companions but after getting Trendy that is just not the case in my opinion. BOTH of my Desert Willow Aussies are great companions with my wife, me & each other.

I can tell you that if you decide to get you’re Aussie    from Desert Willow or from Boyd Ranch you will be more than pleased. These dogs are very smart & of real quality without a doubt.  

To touch base on the nutrition that is recommended by Theresa (She is spot on) our dogs excel in sports & the nutrition is a large part of that without question.  We have stuck to her program from day one & it works! The top dog trainer in Dallas that we race our dogs with just so happens to feed her dogs the same food. This is a trainer that has been training dogs for over 30 years. She is known even outside of the country and is also in several books.

If you have any questions for me at all ask Theresa for my number & I will be happy to talk with you. That is how strong I feel about Theresa & her kennel. She is top of the line & so her dogs.  The proof is in the pudding.

Now Theresa, thank you so much for our 2 wonderful dogs & all your help throughout the entire process.  As you know I found your website one night & it is so hard to put in to words how happy we are that we found your kennel.

Jon Jodi Bono & Trendy Sanders

2008 was a very hard year for us. Our baby died of SIDS in the beginning of the year, and then in November, one of our dogs, an Aussie mix, was diagnosed with cancer and we had to let him go just a few weeks before Christmas. In January, when we decided to look for a puppy, it was more than a search for an animal---it was a journey to find a new member of our devastated family.

When we emailed Desert Willow Aussies with our story on a Friday in January 2009, we had already made an appointment with a local breeder to see a four week-old puppy. Having only been a day, we hadn't heard back from Desert Willow, so we went to see what we thought might be our new Aussie puppy. We met a very nice couple and a sweet little male. On arriving home, we thought we'd completed our search. Our phone rang minutes after we got home. It was Theresa Gorduyn, owner of Desert Willow. We put her on speaker and spoke with her for over an hour.

By the end of the conversation, there was no doubt whatsoever that we would find our puppy---the next love of our life---at Desert Willow, and nowhere else. We immediately knew that Theresa was more than just a breeder of dogs; it was clear to us that she cared about one thing more than any in the world: to make sure each puppy was placed with the perfect family.

We drove to New Mexico to pick up our little Elsa because Colorado is fortunately close enough to do so. Had Theresa's puppies been in the southernmost point of Florida or the northernmost point of Maine, we would still have come. Not only did we want to pick up our puppy, we wanted to meet the Gorduyns in person.

Desert Willow Aussies is so much more than a business---it is a family operation. Each member of the family works with the animals, and each of them infuses the environment with love, caring, and an amazing commitment to the effort of finding great homes for their Aussies.

To say Elsa is a welcome member of our family would be to grossly understate the reality, and to say Desert Willow Aussies is a good place to get an Australian Shepherd puppy is to share only a small part of the overall truth: Desert Willows Aussies is a family, and in choosing them, we've become part of that extended family as well! There's nowhere else we'd ever consider looking for another puppy!

Thank you so much Theresa, Mel, Travis, and Jules. We love you guys!!

Rob & Amy Guthrie

A Testimonial to Desert Willow Aussie’s

I am so over due in writing this testimonial and for that Theresa I am sorry!  So that the world knows, I received my beloved Marley January 30, 2008 and I can still remember meeting him at the airport, a lovable bundle of Aussie fur so cute, so little. 

Marley is now almost 1 ½ years old now and the intelligence and breeding of this young man is very apparent in all that I do with him.  For example, it only took 2 weeks to potty train him, one day for him to know the “no bark” rule, one day for sit, paw, and lay.  I am now working on fly ball with him and he will not take off for the ball until I say so, this took only one day for him to master.  Walking on leash, right at my left side but when I ride my son’s bike he takes the lead to release all of his energy and what a ride it is, this young man has speed as well.

Theresa after speaking with you knows which dog would suite you better than if you tried to do this yourself.  Her keen insight is rather unnerving that after one phone call she can tell what type of person you are and what type of Aussie would suite your individual personality, I can attest she hit the nail on the head with my boy!

To anyone looking for an Australian Shepherd, I will whole heartedly support Desert Willow Aussies as the ONLY breeder to obtain a quality companion from and would not look any further.  In my opinion there is only one breeder of Aussies and that IS Dessert Willow any other establishments pale in comparison and I would not endorse anyone else!

Take care and God bless.
Joan Strasz

Dear Theresa,
I wanted you to know that this has not been any easy search for me. I have spent months looking for a good and reputable breeder. I spent months before that getting myself prepared for another Aussie. I want you to know that I come to you looking for a new "daughter". After Possum passed, my first Aussie in 2004 I thought I would never be able to love another dog again. I told you before that she was a gift from my husband who passed away just 6 months before she did. So, as I have healed and moved on with life, I know that it is time to open my heart back up to another Aussie. I have looked high and low. I wish I could tell you how many times I have looked at your website, but I don't think I can count that high. Haha! Something just keeps pulling me back to you and perhaps it may be my Possum and my late husband, Randy. Maybe, it's just God's way of letting me know that I can trust you. I have spoken to many other breeders, but not one of them had the love and compassion you do for your dogs. I am so thrilled to be a part of this new family. After reading every single testimonial, I have complete confidence in you and your decision for my new puppy. I was very hesitant about having someone else pick out a puppy for me, because who would know what I want and I believe He will guide you to know which puppy is right for me regardless of color.  I also want you to know that this puppy will be an addition to a very big extended family. I am the oldest of 7 kids, who are all married with children. We are all very close and live within 10 miles of my parents and grandmother. We all get together at least once a month. They all know how important Possum was to me, and my desire to now open my heart up to another Aussie. They too are all looking forward to the new puppy. I called them all after talking to you today, and they are excited. I did explain the process and that it may be a while before the right puppy even comes along. I think my Dad, who is recently retired, is the most excited. He is already referring to her as his grand puppy. My husband, Harold is very excited as well. We went over everything you shared with me today, and he says that you seem to "know your stuff".  Haha! He's a goofy man. I have even told Mouse, my cat, that she is going to have a new friend soon. I also wanted to tell you that I am really interested in doing agility competitions. I don't remember if I mentioned that to you or not. One more thing, I have an aunt who is a quadriplegic after suffering a brain aneurysm and lives in a nursing facility. I take my Mom to visit her every Sunday. Possum used to go with me on these visits. The facility she is in really encourages pet therapy. I just wanted to give you a little more insight to our lives. This isn't just a dog, this is a member of our family. I know you understand that, and for all the reasons mentioned and more I wanted you to know that we trust you.  I will talk to you again soon. Take Care and God Bless!

Un-Solicited Testimonial: Pre-Puppy Experience: 3/26/09

I believe I now have the distinction of being on DWA’s waiting list for the longest time; it was September 2007 when I first started communicating with Theresa. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for, not only her knowledge of the breed and her expertise of healthcare, but how she guides you through every facet of raising these precious beings. Oh, I must mention her patience with me for consistently changing my mind…

Short story: My husband and I planned on moving to New Mexico in the spring of 2008. I retired in January of 2008 and the plan was to sell our home and get on the road by April. Unfortunately, we got caught in the poor housing market, so we decided to wait it out. Theresa never failed to contact me with news of a puppy she felt would be a good fit. I kept saying no thinking things would surly change in the housing market in the “near” future. Well, think again… not at the moment. My husband and I finally decided to hunker down and ride this out.  After all, if ya gotta be stuck someplace, Northern California is not a bad place to be. That’s when we made the decision not to wait until we got to New Mexico to get our puppy.

Last month I had the pleasure of calling Theresa with news that we are now ready for a puppy, REALLY!!! Without missing a beat, she told me of a planned litter she thought would be good for me. She zero’s in on the personality and temperament, and if that means waiting, so be it. She works for what is best for you.

Last, but certainly not least, the ethics and integrity in this family is unbelievable. Not only do you hear the joys from the Desert Willow family, but the tragedies as well. Nothing is hidden. The truth is always out there, sometimes painfully so. Becoming part of the DWA family has been an amazing experience for me. I can’t wait for the day that I have the opportunity to meet Theresa and her own exceptional family face-to-face.

I’m chomping at the bit and will return with pictures of my new bundle when he arrives.

Thank you Theresa for who you are and what you do! Your kindness and wisdom are constantly being demonstrated. You are truly a blessing!

Jacque Pereira
Benicia, CA

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second Desert Willow Aussie. He will be here in soon!
Prior to getting Nico and now Cimmaron (soon to be Coda) I did a tremendous amount of research on the breed to be able to ensure an Australian Shepherd would fit and meld perfectly with our family (and we've found this with DWA)..  In the course of my knowledge gathering I found that so many Aussie's are handed over to Shelters or Rescues. After we decided to get a second DW Aussie, I realized that I needed to help this amazing breed in some capacity so I applied and was recently accepted as a General Volunteer for the ARPH (Aussie Rescue & Placement Help-line) of New England. I am hoping through this organization that I will be able to help surrendered Aussie's all over the East Coast and Canada find "forever homes". For now my responsibilities would include dog evaluations, home visits, fund raising, events, underground railroad, or whatever else they need me to do.
I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the lovely furry gifts that you have bestowed upon my family!  My Nico and Coda have their forever homes, and will ALWAYS be loved and cared for! I also want to thank you for freely sharing your tremendous knowledge of Australian Shepherd's. Through what I have learned from you I am hoping to be able to make a difference in the lives of surrendered Aussies.
My sincerest gratitude to you.
Diane, Nico & Coda
Marshfield, MA

I could never thank Theresa and her family enough for the gift of my best friend, Tinkerbell! Tinkerbell is all that and a bag of chips! I think I got Marilyn's clone (her mother), as they have the same facial markings and same love for the children in their lives.

From the very first email, to the first phone call, I was in love with the Desert Willow Family. Theresa made my pup happen for me. I got my pup last year on Valentines night, and let me say she is the best Valentines present I have ever  received.

I have an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and they are her best friends, that first week she was home you could find her curled up with one of them napping. The best buds duo of my daughter Taylor and Tinkerbell is the most amazing thing you could ever see, my daughter is afraid to go "potty" by herself, so here comes Tinkerbell to her rescue!! Always sitting and keeping the monsters at bay so Taylor can do potty like a big girl. If the kids are doing something bad guess who comes to tell me, yup Tinkerbell.

The foundation for this great dog is Theresa and her children, socializing, playing and teaching her how to be a great puppy.

I am so lucky that I work for the most amazing Veterinary team in Massachusetts, and a doggie daycare, kennel facility with great training! So she gets to come to work with me, and has the best care ever possible, plus the vets I work with are very open to talking to you and LISTENING about anything and everything!

Where will my next Aussie come from? Desert Willow Aussie's! How could I go anywhere else? I not only got a pup, I got a family! With Desert Willow Aussie's you get such an amazing support group, and always someone to help if I have a question or need help.

Anyone getting a pup who lives in the greater Boston area, you need to give me a call as Tink loves playing with other Aussie's, and you would never regret coming to my work for the most compassionate care you could ever receive with a staff who understands the care an Aussie needs! Plus all the extra love I like to bestow upon those wiggle butts!!

You could not ever ask for a better Aussie, than a Desert Willow Aussie!

For all the Mass owners call me at Kindness Animal Hospital, Waltham MA. 781-891-2800.  Jessica H.

    It has been a few since I have given you any updates on Raymond and I just wanted to let you know he has been as rowdy and stubborn as ever! He is around 70 lbs right now and the copper trim really stands out against his coat. He is beautiful! He has been growing his shaggy, deep, fur coat for the winter and absolutely loves playing in the snow. I am waiting for the next snow storm to come through my home in Cleveland so I can take a nice picture and email it to you to use for your website if you wish. I have been checking the updates as much as possible and the new puppies are gorgeous. My grandmother, sister, and I are constantly trying to convince my mother to get a blue merle female from one the the next few litters but no success as of yet...doesn't mean we won't stop trying. I'm sure we will be be in contact over the summer for another dog. I get comments about Raymond everywhere I go and have forced several people to write down your website and check it out. I still am absolutely oversatisfied with Raymond and the how the process went. More and more I can see the pure love that you have for these animals and the way you run your business. Take care and I hope all is well.

                                       David Imhof

I cannot tell you all how so important it was for me to get such a fine companion as I was able to get from Desert Willow Aussies.  I brought my pup, Dempsey, a GORGEOUS red-tri male, home on Jan. 10.  He made a six hour ride on the front seat of my truck, with NO problem.  Before we got to the northern New Mexico border, this sweet boy was TOTALLY mine.  He is an absolute delight! 

I know there are SO many things that go into breeding beautiful, healthy, happy companion pets.  It certainly cannot be easy.  Theresa and her family are so committed to providing  only the finest Australian Shepherds who are not only beautiful, but physically very healthy, and wonderfully socialized.  Dempsey is a stellar example of the breeding and care that go into every pet coming from Desert Willows. I've started a little ritual with this pup that gives us both so much delight and comfort.  His water bowl is in the kitchen.  Every day, late in the afternoon, before his dinner, I have him outside and run him around a bunch, and he heads straight in and drinks heartily from his water bowl.  I sit cross legged on the floor nearby.  When he's had his fill, he comes over and curls up in my lap and we love on each other for a few minutes.  Then, I get up, show him his prepared "mush" dinner bowl, and he literally runs straight into his kennel for his dinner.  I know this ritual won't last forever, as this sweet boy was the biggest in his litter and will be pretty big when he's full grown. This pup is such a wonder, and he will grow up to be a fine, healthy, majestic grown dog.  He is absolutely more than I ever imagined a companion dog could be. 

If you are looking for a breeder for an Austrialian Shepherd, DON'T look any further.  The Desert Willow family produces beautiful, happy, well-socialized and incredibly healthy companion pets.  But, most important, it is so obvious how MUCH the love and care of the Desert Willows family goes into producing these magnificent pets.  Thank you so much Theresa, Mel, Travis and Julianna!

Nanci F.
Moab, Utah

Hi Theresa and Susan,

This is KOKO's Mom. She is going to be 5 months old. She has the MDR1 Mutant Allgergy (and I'm so grateful to know this ahead of time). It's close to time for her to be fixed and Art (our Vet) has all the MDR1 Information you sent in our packet. I could actually "throw-up" with worry about her and the surgery, but I know that with this information she will ultimately be fine.

Theresa, we ADORE her. She is soooooo cute, fiery, funny, cuddle and Gus (our other Aussie) seems to really enjoy her (even though she straddles his neck, sits on his head and gazes down on him).

I thank the Lord that you are informing all of us! I must tell you that Joe said "Do we really need to do that test - it's expensive?" I replied "we owe it to her and to ourselves, our Vet and our Breeder - yes". As we've learned from you, this problem becomes everyone's problem and heartache.

Joe absolutely adores this dog. He lost his dog 9 years ago and never got over it. KoKo has healed his heart, makes him laugh out loud, and turns him into mush! Our home has so much happiness from her.

Today was a big day for Joe when we read the results of the MDR1 email - he was stunned! I asked him if he was glad that she had the test and his response was a soft "yes". He has a deep love for her and if your emails save one life from MDR1, it's worth it! I cry when I read to Joe the losses from this "preventable" situation, how you describe our "Friends".

Beautiful Theresa, Bless you.


Joe, Janet, Gus & Koko

Dear Theresa and Susan,

   I would like to send this e-mail out to thank you for the amazing dog I acquired from Desert Willow Aussie's. Gus is the best dog I could have ever asked or prayed for.  He is so beautiful that I will have strangers stop me on the street and tell me how amazing he is.  Not only is Gus beautiful but he is also incredibly smart and loving.

    Every morning, like clock work, Gus wakes me up by putting is two front paws on the side of my bed, right near my face.  He then starts to make a whining sound telling me that I cannot sleep in any longer.  He is always very vocal, and will let me know if I forget to do anything, if he wants to go outside or even if he wants a belly rub.  The funny part is I understand exactly what he is trying to tell me!  His vocalness, along with his ongoing list of facial expressions, always lets me know exactly what he wants.

Gus has truly touched the hearts of everyone in my family.  No matter where I am sitting Gus always wants to be right there on my lap, even if it includes jumping right on the books I am studying.  Above all he loves his belly rubbed, and will lie down even in the mud if he can get one.  No matter where I am Gus always wants to come with me, especially when its in the car.  He is still not quite sure about the horses but loves going on trail rides.  He is extremely loyal, and will always stick right next to my side.  I didn't think he had a mean bone in his body, until a few weeks ago when we were walking down my driveway, and the construction man working our house was standing there, Gus immediately stood his ground next to me and let out a series or barks and growls.  I was in shock (but also very proud) by what had just happened.  Gus now will do that for any new body that enters our house, and it is nice to know I have him there protecting my family.

  Along with Gus's great personality, he is incredibly smart.  Whenever I leave our fenced in yard Gus will walk directly next to my leg, like he is on a leash.  Even if a deer or rabbit runs out in front of us (and it has) he never leaves my side.  When our trainer arrived at our house for our first training session Gus could already sit, stay and come on command just from me saying it around the house with our other dogs.  My trainer was also amazed see that no matter where Gus would run off to with our other dogs, when you call his name he comes running towards you with the biggest smile on his face.  We have some woods in our yard so when the dogs run in you can't see them, and our trainer said even with training most dogs will not come back when that far away.  So now my trainer wants to keep him, ha ha.

    Over all Gus is better than any dog we could have hoped for.  He has the best personality and is extremely loving.  I now understand what you meant when you said these dogs will always want to be right beside you.  I am confident I made the right decision when I picked and australian shepherd, and also when I picked Desert Willow Aussies.  You have made this a great experience and I would like to thank you for everything you have done.  Without your months of planning my best friend would not be sitting next to me today.  I greatly appreciate all your hard work, and when I have a ranch of my own someday I know where I will get my future dogs.

Erena L.

I want to let you know that this dog has beat any expectations I had for her!  At 6 months of age she is doing extremely well with the stringent obedience for Novice class competition.  I hope to start taking her to practice shows this Fall.  She s still young so I do not want to push her too fast, but I will start showing her at the same time in conformation as soon as I get an affirmative eye and hip certificate.  Even though he is in the growth stage, she is still an awesome looking dog.  I had worried about her ears but they "mimic" her fathers (James Earl Jones) to a tee!  I take her to work with me everyday and she went on her first cattle round up and stayed right with her horse the whole time (not causing any wrecks).  She has been introduced to cattle and is definitely interested.  She is an "Eye Turner" and every where I go people are amazed at how well behaved she is.  She is also an extremely entertaining dog!  We have 5 barn cats that she has adopted.  She actually herds them to the bard and they sleep with her.

Tombstone, Arizona

We first found Desert Willow Aussies in Jan of 2007.  My wife and I were looking for an Australian Shepherd pup and I remember I kept coming back to the DWA website.  I went ahead and put in an application and Theresa called that evening.  I’ll never forget how excited she was when we talked on the phone.  Her passion, love, and knowledge of both the breed and her dogs were evident. 
Kati and I decided to get on a waiting list for a Kodiak and Omega litter that was due the end of March.  Over the next several months I remember my inbox was flooded with emails from Theresa.  There were pictures from other dog owners and a wealth of information to prepare us for our new pup.  Then the litter finally arrived.  I was hesitant to have someone else pick our pup out for us. How could she know what we wanted better than we would?  Truth is she knows her dogs better than anyone else ever could and she hit the nail on the head when she picked out our Mona Lisa for us.  Mona is a perfect fit for our family.  I told Theresa we needed a dog with a great temperament, a good disposition, and I also wanted a dog that could go and help us move cattle when the time called for it. 
Mona is a beautifully marked Aussie that is super intelligent.  I worked with several trainers during her obedience work and all of them were thoroughly impressed with how fast she learned.  The most experienced trainer, who has trained all breeds of dogs for 30+ years, said Mona is the second best dog she had ever trained.  Mona is currently being trained for stock work.  She shows great potential there as well.  Not only has Mona excelled in those areas, she is also a great family dog.  She is great around our daughter, as well as our new puppy, and even gets along with the cats sometimes.  She is an all around great dog who has flourished under our love and attention, and she also gives us all of the love, attention, and devotion she has! 
We have been so happy with our DWA Mona that we recently added another pup, Annie, from the DWA bloodline from Boyd’s Ranch.  Annie and Mona love to play in the yard and run and swim at our farm. 
I would recommend Desert Willow Aussies to anyone.  Theresa is a fantastic person and a phenomenal breeder.  It is rare to find what we have found in Theresa and Desert Willow Aussies.  Her willingness to prepare her puppy owners, keep them informed, and the way in which she responds to our emails and phone calls whenever we have questions just show what a truly amazing family you join when you buy a dog from DWA.  We never dreamed in a million years that when we bought our first pup from DWA what we were getting into.   We didn’t know it at the time but when you get a dog from DWA you get much more than a great addition to your family, you become part of a family.  You never knew you could be so close to so many people you don’t even know.  But, that is what we have found through DWA and we intend to always be a part of this family for years to come.  Desert Willow Aussies and Theresa are truly the best in show when it comes to finding a great Aussie.    

The Coulters 

Recently the Coulters took Annie (aka Stardust) in for training. Assessment below:

Hello Theresa,

I just finished the training of Matt Coulters dog, Annie.  I attached a copy of my assessments of her training week.  I thought you would be proud to see her accomplishments.  You are breeding incredible dogs.  I believe God is blessing what you are doing there because you bring glory and honor to his name in everything you do.  I would love to meet you one day!  Well, enjoy my write up on Annie.  Kati is coming over this evening to take the class and I will teach Kati everything Annie has learned.  Matt and Kati are moving far away and I will miss them and their dogs ever so very much.  Thanks for all the work you do.  Because of it, I was able to enjoy the most incredible week working with one of your dogs.  I become so attached to the dogs I train, letting go of them at the end is very hard for me.  In fact, I usually cry.  Matt thinks I am silly J.  Take care, and enjoy the write up on Annie.

Hohulin's Happy Hounds

Dog Training/Dog Grooming/Boarding/Day Care Services
113 W. Gail St.
Goodfield, IL 61742
Business Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm Mon-Fri.  Sat. by apt. only.
Phone: 309-282-7933
Email: hohulin@pobox.com

To Read ASSESSMENT (Click Here)

Hi T!   My Nico (formerly known as Chester) is doing wonderfully! He is completely house trained, and it only a couple of weeks to do. He knows sit, down, high five, paw (&other paw), rollover, and is almost solid with the come command.  He stciks to me like glue, I think I am his his #1 in our pack....  We take a 2.5 mile walk every moring, and as long as it is not raining, he loves to be in the woods.  Our days are filled with naps, training, cuddling and well just plain old fun....  We then trek to the beach for our evening exercise; which he just loves too.   He is sleeping through the night and wakes up every morning at 4:45 am... (I am hoping this will change to 6 am, as I am an early riser, but 4:45 is a bit too early for me).  Nico and I are in puppy kindergarten classes, we just finished our second class.  I was so excited to bring him, because I wanted to be able to show off all he had learned, but Nico had other plans.  All he wanted to do was play with the other pups, and as a result, was a little Tasmanian devil.  Our second session went a bit better, as he did not bark uncontrollably for the better part of the session.   Nico's herding instinct has officially kicked in!.  The trainer of the puppy kindergarten class has us shake a can of pennies, along with a stern "no bite" every time he feels he needs to try to "herd" us, by trying to bite our ankles, our legs, etc......  It is working, but the little guy is persistent....  Wanted to know if you have any suggestions that you have found to work better?    Attached is a scanned copy of the MDR1 test results which I received back from Washington University.  He came back normal/ normal..... WOO HOO.      I look forward to hearing back from you!   Take care,


My search began in October of 2007. I really wanted a companion dog and did lots of research on different breeds. This was to be my first dog in over 15 years and I had recently seen a beautiful Aussie on a dog show and pondered the idea of getting one. I faithfully checked the local classifieds and had no luck on finding a pure bred Aussie from a trustworthy breeder, close to home. Having little experience looking for a reputable breeder, I then decided to look on the internet. When I started searching the web, I contacted a couple breeders located in New Mexico and decided to give up because working with them did not feel quite right.
In late February of 2008, I ran across the Dessert Willow website and was captivated by all the beautiful dogs and past puppies. I read through the testimonials, looked at all the fun pictures and decided to contact Theresa. Her website had a wonderful “Family” touch to it, I was SOLD!! When I spoke to Theresa, I did not anticipate going through with the purchase, I was just inquiring at the time.  After speaking with her and feeling so comfortable, I decided to join the family. At that point, I no longer wanted just an Aussie, I wanted a Dessert Willow Aussie!!
In the beginning, I was dead set, I wanted a Blue Merle like the one I saw on the dog show. At that time, Jubileena and Grace Kelly were both expecting and had puppies one week after I spoke with Theresa, talk about timing! Unfortunately, only one Blue Merle Male was born and was already spoken for. I was a little disappointed at first but luckily I fell madly in love with “Earl” who happened to be the father of Grace Kelly’s litter.  If I couldn’t have a Merle, then I wanted an “Earl”!!
In no time at all, Theresa sent me a picture of “Bernie” and personally picked him for us, I was in LOVE. I found myself looking at his picture everyday, set the picture as my wallpaper on my phone and computer. The hardest thing in the world was waiting for him to come home!! The wait was worth while as Theresa sent us updates and pictures periodically as we actually got to see our puppies grow up! Her website is still a favorite of mine and I go in almost everyday to see the new litters and keep up with the pictures.
Now that my “Indy” is home (formally “Bernie”), I could not imagine life without him. He is more than we ever expected (just like a little “Earl”) and thanks to Theresa, he was a perfect match for our lifestyle and has the wonderful temperament she promised. Her knowledge and love of this breed goes far beyond what anyone could expect. The thing I am the most appreciative about is the time Theresa takes to make sure puppy parents are educated about the breed and caring for the dogs.
I have learned so much from this experience and becoming a part of the “Dessert Willow Family” has meant more to me than words can say!!

Janelle N.-Espanola, NM 

Hi Theresa,
Just a quick update on Roxie (aka Dolores)  She is doing VERY well.  She goes with me to work every day.  I'm an outside sales rep. for a building supply company and I spend most of my days on large commercial job sites.  She loves it!!  She is the center of attention!  It has also been a good training tool too.  There is a lot of distractions on the job sites and I'm working with her to pay attention to me not everything else going on around her.  She really does quite well and if I want her attention she sits right beside me.  Everyone comments on how well behaved she is.  I drive a Jeep Wrangler and I have her blanket in the back (I've taken the back seats out)  She lays on her blanket and has learned that she is not allowed in the front of the Jeep.  She has become a wonderful addition to our family. 
Thanks again for providing me with such a wonderful little girl.


First of all......I want to thank you for the wonderful experience with picking up my new little girl...........She is TRUELY!! everything I wanted in an Aussie.  She was absouluetly a doll coming to her new home, Fresno.  The flight went like clock-work.  No delays and she was soooo..........good.  (Grammie) would be very proud of her.  She ate, pee-pee  and did her other little thing all in perfect time-ing before we boarded each flight.  She was also a Little Star in the airport.  People were touched by her.  She makes me so fullfilled.  I am "Blessed" to have this little girl.
When we arrived home in Fresno, my whole family came over to Arlana's house she played like a little quarterback on a football team.  She ran, jumped, put that little butt in the air and just went to town playing.  She chased several little balls and really had a playful time.  Her personality just bloomed out.  We then ordered pizza (Not for Sadie, don't worry!!)  We had a welcome home party for her.
I wanted to let you know how everything went and how she is doing.  She sleeps like a baby with me and still is eating well and drinking water.  Her plumming department is all working well.
Your reputation has scored a 10+ for finding the perfect dog.  I will spread your name with the utmost confidence.  Sadie is sleeping right now. I am getting ready to take her to Petsmart (Pet-Hotel) to show her off, since I promised all my co-worker today.  
Thank-you again............I will be taking pictures and keeping in touch on a regular basic and I know my day is going to be wonderful as well as many years to come. 
Bye for now,

Love............"Sadie and her new mom-------Faye"

The Gummi Bear Puppy - A Story of Hope
By Deb Bunds


Belén, NM—Dozens of members of an extended family from across the nation came together on the eve of Mother’s Day to help turn a young woman’s tragedy into triumph. The weeklong saga ghastly began with a puppy’s senseless slaughter, restoringly intensified with humanity’s kindness and generosity (including forty-two pounds of Gummi bears and over $1000 to purchase and ship a new puppy), and horrifically climaxed with a daughter’s sudden and tragic death.

Kaitlin Connolly of Cass Lake, MN, a nursing home LPN in her early twenties, witnessed the death of Daphne, her Valentine Day’s puppy; and within days received literally boxes (email inbox and a cardboard one) of encouragement and the puppy fund donations from the kennel family (fellow patrons) of Desert Willow Aussies (DWA). This week, she will receive the special delivery, airmailed kennel with Georgiana, her new registered Australian Shepherd puppy. The sender of the Gummi bears and a generous portion of the puppy replacement money, Tom P. of Burr Ridge, IL, had not known it was a favorite of Kaitlin. That same roller-coaster-of-emotions week, his twenty-seven-year-old daughter died suddenly in her sleep. In the midst of all the pain, Theresa Gorduyn, Owner of DWA, had the privilege of facilitating the shared joy of a new pet and the attempt to comfort in death. 

The Desert Willow Aussie’s Kennel Family

In one of those condolence emails to Connolly, Matt and Kati Coulter of Goodfield, IL, puppy parent of DWA Mona, explained the DWA kennel family.  “You obviously know by now that by buying a dog from Theresa, you are not just buying a dog, you are becoming part of a family.  Being a part of this family has shown us many joys and losses of others, and our heart goes out to each and every one of those people; and now our heart goes out to you.  We have learned that a dog lives to please. Remember how much happiness Daphne gave you.  No one can ever take away what she gave to you—that in itself is priceless—and I am sure you will always cherish the memories you made with her.  We will continue to keep you in our prayers.  If there is anything that we could do for you, please let us know.  Just know that we are thinking of you.”

Gorduyn gave her perspective of the DWA kennel family, “The Kaitlin/Georgiana story came as a very unexpected and unforeseen gift to me personally on Mother’s Day.  Together as a family we've built a business that has not only profited our family spiritually, professionally, financially, and built character in us as a whole. This kennel actually changes lives through a community effort.”

She and her husband, Mel, of Belen, NM, chose for her to stay home with their children—Travis and Julianna (now in grades sixth and fourth). In support of that decision, they started a home kennel business five years ago. Oodles of puppies and kitties later, their family has expanded to include hundreds of members of Desert Willow Aussies.

 Daphne’s Death

When DWA Mom Theresa told that extended family about the crisis with an email, they responded powerfully and largely independently of each other by sending money to purchase a new puppy for the grief-stricken Connolly. Gorduyn gave details of the drama, “Kaitlin recently took Daphne home. . . . It had taken her an entire year to pay for this very special pup.  We were proud to share this gift with Kaitlin, because we knew Daphne would be loved. . . . Daphne was in her own yard minding her own business, when a car veered off the road onto the Connolly’s property and hit this gorgeous puppy, never stopping the car to help. This happened in front of Kaitlin, and Daphne walked about ten steps towards Kaitlin, and then dropped down.  She passed away in Kaitlin’s arms.”
“Daphne was hit by a maroon-colored SUV. That’s all I saw,” declared Connolly.

Gummi Bear Puppy’s Life

Connolly continued, “Initially I wanted a dog/wife for my male, Sam, and I ended up with a new best friend in Daphne.  Her loss was terrible. I wanted her to experience herding and agility with me by her side.  She was very smart and not afraid and was very agile.”

Text Box: “I loved Daphne so much. When I went to get her on Valentines Day, I fell in love. . . .  All she wanted to do was play” (Connolly).    “I did a lot of research before finding Desert Willow Aussie’s; and then Mom and I liked Theresa when we first spoke with her, so we decided she was our breeder. Even though there might be less expensive puppies out there, she was honest and researched my pedigree to clear it and make sure that a puppy from her litter would compliment my pedigree in Sam.  A litter did come sooner than Daphne’s, but Theresa felt there would be something better for me to come and encouraged me to wait for the next litter; which was good, because I needed time to earn and send money.  It all worked out, she gave me pick of the litter which was Daphne.”

Georgiana Gift
Cherlyn Pettigrew, Apple Valley, CA, also a DWA puppy parent, wrote Gorduyn about the privilege of giving toward the replacement puppy. “It is important for those like you and me, and probably most of those on your (kennel email) list, to remember just how much we have and how lucky we are. It is important to give to those less fortunate. She deserves one of your best."
“I really feel blessed to have this opportunity again,” Connolly declared. “I thank everyone at DWA for the new puppy and for the letters. I don't have a lot of money, but my animals are my life."

Gorduyn explained the choice of Georgiana and the impact of the kennel’s gift to her. “I decided to try to pick from the litter of the gorgeous Duchess, because it had one red tri-colored female (the same type as Daphne).  This is not my litter Georgiana is really nice, and Kaitlin was very smitten with her. . . . She is very moved by all of you (in DWA).  Everyday gets a bit easier on her as she is on the path of healing.”

The Gummi bear gift of Georgiana, spawned from Daphne's death and the resurrection of Kaitlin's hope have special meaning for Gorduyn, since the week-long saga preceded Mother's Day.  “The benefits of working together as a family make me see that my dream and desires to stay home with our children, to raise them in a home where they have me with them when they come home from school, has given me opportunity to help a young woman know there are some really great people in the world; and they just happen to be Desert Willow Aussie puppy parents!  That just boggles my mind!”

A Caring Community

Wayne Chick of Los Lunas, NM exemplifies the kennel community’s responses, "What a terrible tragedy. I can't even begin to imagine the agony experienced by Kaitlin. I realize there is no way to replace Daphne, but if we can contribute to a fund to assist Kaitlin in getting another puppy, please let us know."

“I was serious about letting me know if you come up short” of puppy replacement funds,” said Jacqueline Pereira of Benicia, CA, who had not yet received her DWA puppy. “I'm not the good- hearted person you are; I would have wanted to find the guy and run him over... So I have to make it up in other ways.”
Gorduyn concurred and responded to Pereira, “I'm with you on those feelings. I have it in me too! 

“However,  I know there will be justice in the end (if not here in this life, then later as we all must stand before God and answer, and this man will answer for killing one of His creations).  No one ever really gets away with anything here, even if they think they do.

“An old proverb says ‘The truth will always find you out,’ and I tend to live by that rule myself.  I've taught my children this line of thinking. They always seem to come tell me the truth, because they know it will be revealed one way or another; and if the truth comes to me any other way than through their mouths, the consequence is always much worse.  I believe God works much the same.  Yes, He loves, but He also gets angry too!  Thank goodness.

God has used this whole situation (not only for Kaitlin), but for me. Even with our flesh wanting to hurt that man (if we found him together, he'd not look very pretty today), getting beyond our anger, we all do need to forgive that man. That’s what I teach Travis and Julianna. Several years ago, someone brutally chopped one of our most precious cats in half, we were both devastated and angry; but I asked my kids, then ages four and six, ‘In Gods eyes, what is more important—Boo boo Kitty or the person who killed him?’

“They said, ‘The person who killed him.’

“’Why?’ I asked.

“’Because that person probably doesn’t know the Lord.’

“that’s right, so now with God we’ve got to work on forgiving this person.”

“I know my Lord is good, and He has taken care of Kaitlin through you and all the puppy parents who don't even know this young woman!  The whole situation has made me realize that we have way more than just a kennel here, we have a family.  ‘Blows my mind!”’

The Desert Willow Bursts into Bloom

Gorduyn elaborated on why she and her husband started DWA, “We sort of fell into this.  My prayer has always been to work from home, so my children could have their mommy at home and learn work ethic from a family-owned and -run business, as I did growing up watching my father build a business from the ground up.  I guess God knew what we needed, because the dogs and cats have pulled us together and closer than I had ever imagined.  We giggle together over the cute babies, care for them, clean up after them and enjoy the new friends we make because of them. 

“As you can see, we've naively created a community through the kennel. That has left us speechless, because it's been so unexpected. . . . We named our business ‘Desert Willow Aussie’s after a pretty flowering plant in our front yard “Desert Willow”.

“My children have experienced the fruit of hard work.  Yes, I work the business, however, I cannot do what I do successfully without the kids (or my husband); so it's been a joint effort as a family.  Many times our children have voiced (while picking up dog poop and cleaning together), ‘I love owning a kennel’.  “’We love them (puppies and kittens) while they’re here with us and beyond, and even as we place them in your arms from ours.’

“I sometimes stop and stare at my kids, because I see them learning the incredible joy in working this dream together.  They are very involved in the socializing of the puppies and kittens, so they are also enjoying the fruit of their roles in the kennel.  I pay them for their work, and they always get extra funds, when they need it on field trips and outings with friends, not because I just give it to them, but because they've earned it.  That makes them really appreciate working hard, because they're paid for it.  They love to hear me say, ‘Good job!’ or ‘Wow! You did that without asking me?’

“A highlight for me is the realization of success from all our hard work:  the puppies and kittens are healthy and loved, and our extended family stays in touch with us.  Our on-going after-delivery care includes much more than such inquiries as seeking help in finding a dog trainer.  I've enjoyed the opportunities of service along the way, which came as another huge surprise; because I had never thought in my wildest dreams, through a kennel full of animals, that I'd care for and nurture those in my community (especially a nation-wide one) to such an extent!  Neat.”

Identifying with the Loss
Text Box: 'Grace changes us, and change is painful' (Flannery O'Connor).  “There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win” (Elie Wiesel).  --from DWA website quotes     Many of the emails to Connolly expressed empathy gained from similar situations. “Though we don’t understand it, we will eventually learn that God has reasons for everything,” said Joanie Kraft, Encino, CA.  “I lost my dog (a ten-year-old) a little over a year ago and was comforted to find a new puppy at Desert Willow.  Newt is now fourteen months old!  What a nice companion he is, too.
“It may be tough to wait for another puppy, but I trust that Theresa will help you chose another one of her puppies as your new companion. I wish you all the best and know that all things work out for good, even though we don’t yet see it.”
In an email to Connolly, Trisha Drake of Arizona, another DWA puppy parent, summed up the thoughts and feelings of many who’ve encountered the Gummi bear puppy story and pre-shadowed the sentiments that were poured out to Tom, when the DWA family heard about his loss. “I read Theresa's email (about the puppy’s death) yesterday and immediately began to cry. I received a puppy from Desert Willow last year, and love him dearly. I can't imagine what you are going through. I can only tell you that we are thinking of you and only wish the best for you and your family. I am sure a new puppy will grace your life soon.”

The Future
Gorduyn summarized the future ramifications of this story, “This is and truly has been a very hard moment in a young woman's life; and, because of all of you in the kennel, I truly believe she is experiencing a special peek into good that can come out of a bad situation.   We will never quite understand the ‘whys’ of something like this, but knowing God like I do, it's an awesome moment of realization and growth, as we see how privileged we are through such a wonderful (extended) family and of course God’s provision through you.  Thank you.
“I know that He has used this (and all of you) to touch Kaitlin's heart in a very deep and loving way.  She feels cared for, heard, and understood by all of you who love your dogs and know the depth of loss we feel when we lose them.”

What does the future hold for Desert Willow Aussie’s? Gorduyn enumerated her family’s ambitions, “We have plans to expand, and we've purchased twenty-two acres of land south of us to build "The Desert Willow" dream further.  We're going to eventually have a bed and breakfast there along with fuzzy chickens, rabbits, ducks and possibly horses for folks to enjoy along with the puppies and kittens.  That has been our dream. I’m not sure what God has in mind; but from what He's done through this current situation, I just cannot wait to see His dream for us and in His timing of course!”

For more information about Aussie’s or Persian kittens, contact, www.DesertWillowAussies.com.

Deb Bunds is entrepreneur with Ti-Él-Sí (TLC—Tutoring, Editing, Singing Services) in Belén, New Mexico and may be reached at TiElSiTLC@aol.com.

First Annual Desert Willow Aussie's Picnic & BBQ!
First and foremost we Mel and I want to thank everyone who made this event what words could not begin to describe.  The fellowship was truly priceless.  The dogs are loved beyond what we could have hoped for - Thank you for making it possible for us to come and see all of you!  We appreciated the "help" in getting us there!  Next year otta be exciting as our Desert Willow Aussie Family is growing every season!  Maybe Big Bear and a Cabin?  The dogs will love it!  Let's PRAY FOR RAIN for next Summer and look at meeting up there?  HA!
We had a wonderful trip in Los Angeles, however I must say I'm worried about the LA area and how dry it is there, I've never seen it this dry.  While growing up and working there for years we never saw trees dying along the freeways and streets like this past week.  Sort of frightening to think about those Santa Ana (dry) winds that are due in September.  That could be a cause for some major PRAYER for California Residents.  Trust me, I'm praying!
We enjoyed our time (the entire time) we were there as this whole ENTIRE visit was beyond what we had hoped for.  Just perfect.  The first day (wed) arriving at 9 am (after leaving our home at 3 am).  We rented a Hybrid car and drove (what seemed like) hundreds of miles and ended up spending 27.00 in gas for 5 days!  Whoo hoo!  We're looking at a Hybrid for us when we sell the house! 
Stayed with my Beautiful Cousin (as close as my own Sister) the first night where they fixed a wonderful meal (prepared by her husband Adam - YUM!) and after a restful night we went to Laguna Beach (Thurs) for the day (Nena, Remi - their daughter, Mel and I).  Just seeing/hearing the Ocean again was so wonderful too!
We drove to Northridge (from Laguna Beach area) 70 miles - 3 hours to get there - uhhhggg (and honestly that was the only down point of the entire trip!   Mel and I stayed with Joan & Dean in their beautiful home for the rest of our stay.  They are the Parents of Joshua Deets (from Jubileena & Earl).  Such wonderful people, we didn't want to leave!  They said we can come back - Hummmm, they will be surprised, as we're coming back!  HA!

Friday (Noon) Mel met a wonderful friend that I've had the honor of knowing for years (Luanne) and her husband Scott and one of three Son's Jake, and shared an awesome lunch at her home (and enjoyed getting caught up on all the happenings in her world). She "is" the reason I became who I am today as a busines woman, she was a very important "MENTOR" in the "Filming Industry" and my work behind the scenes. She is "THAT" person who believed in my abilities before I did. She is loved.

We attended (Fri) a "Family Event" with my Family (as Los Angeles is where I grew up) and saw so many cousins, Aunties, Uncles & 2nd "LITTLE" cousins we had not ever met!  My Auntie Maria (like my own Mom) went to so much work to make it all happen (wonderful food and hugs) and it was so very meaningful to Mel and I.  Fun - Fun! 

We enjoyed the Desert Willow BBQ (Check out the Slide Show) on Saturday!  WOW, such an honor to have 5 puppy families join us, and while we were there and able to see 6 of our puppies - it was UNBELIVABLE how exceedingly gorgeous everyone of them are! (Yup, I'm biased!)  
These families are even more beautiful to us as we were able to see, hear and feel their love for their puppies.  We felt so honored to have these beautiful families in our lives and as apart of our kennel!  We even had David & Josie (and their gorgeous children) drive in from Las Vegas Nevada with Humphrey Bogart (now Max)!  Kate, Her sweet Daughter & Puppy "Elmira" (HOLLY) came up for Newport Beach, Roy, Samantha & Merrin along with Woodrow (Now Hobie) hosted the event at the park across the street from their home, Joan & Dean have Joshua Deets (now Laddie) could not attend, but it was okay as we spent all our nights with them and Laddie!  Also, Gwen and her awesomely COOL Mom joined us with the beautiful Ginger Rogers (now Laika), and Joan and her daughter Marissa (with Puppy Newt) from Encino blessed us with their love, smiles and hugs too! 
After watching puppies, chasing puppies, taking pictures of Puppies & eating a wonderful Steak (in between chasing puppies) we loaded up and went to Runyon Canyon (See the Slide Show!) dog park for a sunset hike with dogs  (you can see the HOLLYWOOD sign on the hills just beyond where we were).  It was so awesome to watch the puppies interact with each-other throughout the day, and their memory of their time spent here with us (and together) did not leave from their memories, as we were moved to tears (I truly was tearful at the sight) that they actually remembered one-another and US, they cried when they saw a sibling from the same litter!
The fun & fellowship was priceless to Mel and I.  Just a wonderful event and humbling beyond words.  We took TONS of pictures and all of us have put them together and I've prepared a page on "webshots" and they're now available to view our website just for the Desert Willow BBQ with pictures and everything for you all to view.  Take a peek and prepare to watch a lot of PUPPY PLAY (along with us all playing with puppies)!
On Sunday as we prepared our way home, we had a down day (sort of).  We were ready to begin preparing to travel home (on a red eye Sunday night).  We enjoyed a leisurely morning with Joan & Dean and a wonderful breakfast (and "Laddie" formerly Joshua - and their other Aussie "Foster" of course) and took our time packing and enjoying our last moments with our wonderful hosts.  I didn't want to leave, we were so comfortable there, truly a blessed visit with them. 
Once we said our final goodbyes and departed from Dean & Joan's, we made a last minute decision to visit Gwen in her beautiful condo in Los Angeles to see where Ginger Rogers (Laika) lives and spend some time with Gwen, her Mom & Pup.  After viewing her gorgeous place and wondering about the premises, we drove 2 blocks over to Roys and said our last goodbyes to he, Merrin & Samantha and ended up attending a block party in his housing district.  It was like non Mel or I have ever seen!   There was food (everywhere), face painting, Live band, pony rides, petting zoo and like so much more I can't even tell you!  We stayed for a short while (not wanting to leave there either) before having to beat the traffic and descend upon LAX to return our car and get through security. 
On the trip home we had a lay-over in Las Vegas, NV and were excited and blessed that Eva (the Mom of Sundance from Jubileena and Kodiak) came by to give us a hug and say hello (in between her studies for the "BAR" that week) and what a wonderful gift and surprise!  She has stayed with us in our home when Sonny was a baby.  Hope you come back soon!
Honestly, God was good to us on this trip.  There was really no "ISSUES" to deal with, and we even got bumped to "First Class" on our trip home (how cool was that!).  It was a great trip, and even though we were tired when we got home (Monday - 3 am) we were ready to see the kids and so grateful we had the opportunity to go on this adventure (thanks to all of you).
It's truly an honor to have all of you as apart of our "EXTENDED" family and the only regret we have is not being able to meet all our puppy & kitten parents out there.  Everyone one of you is so awesome!
Mel & Theresa
PS Be sure to view the Slide show of the events!

It has been a year since my Desert Willow Aussie's Sundance Kid "Sonny" came into this world and as I write this testimonial, I cannot help but feel incredibly happy and proud to boast about Theresa and her family and their amazing Kennel. 

I have experienced everything under the SUN with Theresa, from waiting for my puppy for over 6 months to visiting the Desert Willow Kennel (with Theresa’s family) and ultimately bonding with the entire family (dogs, cats, and kids included) and throughout this time, Theresa has been become more then just my Breeder, because now she is one of my closest and dearest friends. 

My experience with Desert Willow began in June of 06 when I first began my search of an Australian Shepherd.  I fell in love with the breed before then, and I was determined to have one of my own.  After weeks of searching online for reputable breeders, I almost gave up until I came across Theresa’s site for Desert Willow Aussie's.  I remember looking at every tab on her site; being impressed with her candor as to pricing of why investing in a breeder is better then investing in a pet shop animal, online ads with puppies but no website or easy access and/or back yard breeders.  But most importantly I was surprised with her obvious care and passion for representing the Aussie breed in a manor that truly depicts the seriousness of my personal commitment in owning, caring and training this exceptional breed.  Furthermore, Theresa’s screening process was in depth by requiring applications with references, description of prospective living conditions and an involved phone call to pre-screen and to enlighten of the seriousness of owning a dog of this caliber, showed me that she was someone who treated her puppies as loved ones to be cherished rather then commodities to be auctioned off to the highest bidder!

After spending hours reviewing her site with a fine tooth comb, my anxious anticipation got the best of me as I sent her an application during of the “wee hours” of the morning.  Much to my surprise Theresa responded to my application and responded within hours.  Before I knew it we were talking at length about our respected backgrounds and love for the breed, I was sold.

Unfortunately, Theresa had just placed her current litter and explained to me that she would not have another litter available until the fall.  Though I am an impatient person by nature, something told me that this would be worth the wait.  I told Theresa that I would definitely wait for her litter to arrive if I could call her in the interim with any questions with respect to preparing for the puppy and his arrival.  As such, we both kept our word.  Theresa called & emailed with updates as to the status of my soon’ to’ be’ born’ pup, while I continued calling her to ask a myriad of questions on what to expect and how to prepare. 

As a testament to Theresa’s genuine love for her own puppies as well as her clients needs, I recall her showing me an Aussie puppy that a breeder friend of hers just had and her willingness to give me what I initially desired (a drop dead gorgeous Blue Merle Male).  Theresa gave me the option to go with this other breeder because she knew how much I wanted a puppy of this caliber and my anxiousness to have one sooner rather than later.  However, knowing the bond I already established with Theresa and my anticipation for my new Desert Willow Puppy, I knew the best thing was to just wait for the upcoming litter with Theresa.  As I soon discovered, I made the right decision.

When the litter began to arrive that I had been waiting for, Theresa emailed right away with updates, messages, and pictures to all the puppy parents who were also waiting on this litter within hours and days of the birth.  She continued to answer ALL of my questions and concerns without reservation or judgment.

She mentally and emotionally prepared me for Sonny as she and her family continued to provide him with the utmost care, giving him the best food, love and socialization one could hope for. 

As the time for Sonny's arrival drew near, however, I began to feel nervous about my choice.  I had never purchased a “LIVING THING” over the Internet before and knowing that this was a big commitment, I wanted to be 100% confident that my puppy and I could bond.  After discussing my reservations with Theresa, she offered to open up her home so I could come and see him.  I immediately accepted her invitation and flew to New Mexico to see Desert Willow myself within 24 hours of our conversation and she had no reservations with allowing me to come at the drop of a hat, and welcomed me with open arms. 

When I met Theresa and her family, I realized that her Kennel was everything she purported it to be.  It was clean, there was plenty of space for the dogs to run and play, they are all well kept, well fed, and most importantly LOVED (with oodles of personality). 

Taking care of the puppies, including my Sonny, was definitely a family affair that "from what I saw first hand" was a 24 hour commitment.  Theresa’s kids were always willing and able to socialize the pups with each other and the other animals and provided an equal amount of time outside the pen to be with the family.  Her husband, Mel, did more then his part ensured their safety in and out their whelping area in and out of the Kennel and is a huge part in the Desert Willow vision.  And of course, there was Theresa, who was up morning, noon and night to check on, feed and monitor the puppies.  Her commitment was truly second to none.

As for my interaction with Sonny, it was truly a remarkable experience.  As Theresa predicted, he chose me.  The bond he and I had was instant as he was instinctively protective over me when ever the other puppies tired to come close.  Once he realized I was “his”, he was confident enough to continue playing with his siblings instead of fending them off all the the ripe o’l age of 5 weeks!

As I spent the weekend there, I was truly amazed to see how the puppies had developed into their own personalities, which oddly enough were the same that Theresa described just days after they were born.  It was then that I realized she truly had a gift for doing what she’s chosen to do, and I defy anyone they could do it better!

Leaving Desert Willow was hard as I had grown attached to Sonny and I had bonded with Theresa and her family.   I was at peace knowing that I would see both Theresa and Sonny a week and a half later in my home town where she had planned to meet up with several of the puppy parent from this litter so we could all get together and enjoy the puppies and meet for the first time.

Another testament to Theresa’s “matchmaking skills” was her ability to select puppy parents who also got along with one another.  I was fortunate to have my puppy in the same litter with Janice, Ken and Kim people who I still maintain contact with and trade stories and pictures of our puppies, an added bonus that was unexpected.

I could never thank Theresa enough for this magnificent gift, Sonny has exceeded all my expectations and I KNOW it is because he is a product of Theresa’s exceptional breeding abilities.  Sonny has been the glue that has brought healing and kept my relationship with my family together, as they all seem to treat him like he’s my Son!  He has made bonds stronger and made me realize the beauty in humility of caring for something beyond myself.  He is Love in the truest sense as he is loyal, compassionate, playful, understanding, and most importantly his love IS unconditional.

Theresa is my breeder, my friend, and now apart of my family.  I have 100% confidence in her Kennel, and I will never go anywhere else for a dog!  Not only did she stay with me (emotionally) before his birth, but she continues to mentor me even now (more then a year later).  I could not imagine every purchasing my dog from another breeder.  I am certain that I would not have the same memorable experience.

By the way, since my Sonny has arrived, I now have a new addition to our family and his name is “Sam Elliott” which is Sonny’s full litter-mate brother.  Theresa recently contacted me about his situation and the fact that his family could not keep him because of personal circumstances, and their desperation to find him a solid “forever” home, she knew that I loved Sammy from the beginning too (I was wavering between Sonny & Sammy).  So after we spoke I excitedly decided to take Sammy home to our family!  It's so amazing I have both my boys to love and  now I have TWO Desert Willow Aussie's, and had another great weekend with Theresa, Mel, Travis & Julianna and the cast and crew of Desert Willow at their Kennel.  Not only is Sammy being added to my family, I now truly have an extended family in New Mexico (by the way, love the Coffee and Red Chili!).

Las Vegas, NV

     "Hi Theresa,
We finally have compiled some of the many pictures of Ginger and are sending you some of the most recent to update you from the summer.  Giner has grown into a small Aussie (between 35-40 pounds; about 23 inches high) and probably not much taller than when you saw her last.  She is beautiful to us a maturing into a lovely adult dog.
On our road to being a healthy member of our household and in preparation to attempt to certify her as a therapy dog to visit hospitals/nursing homes, etc., Ginger has graduated from puppy school, novice and advanced novice.  We decided to take a break from obedience training (for my sake mostly as to go on is more of a commitment to compete in obedience which I'm not sure I want to do).  WE are in our second week of agility training which will go on for six months.  Then, we will see if we want to complete.  Ginger is also a beginning "herder".  Weather permitting, we go to Edgewood for her to participate in herding training.  Her instincts are good and she is very smart.  I could tell of many stories of her response to people and situations.  Ginger is also a "social butterfly".  Greeting everyone is of utmost importance to her.  She would make you proud (except in her hour or so in the evening when she is holy terror; hopefully this will end with puppyhood)
Best wishes,
Elena, John and, of course, Ginger

     "After doing much research on Australian Shepherds and deciding that this is the breed that I wanted to bring into my home (and my world) I began the great task of finding a breeder on the Internet.   When searching for someone who's reputable it's always frightening because you really do not know if the person is actually a "REAL" breeder along with being reputable!  Desert Willow Aussie's was the first or second breeder site I came across, and I found myself continually wandering back to it every time I researched another breeder!  I was somehow drawn by the detail and care that was being presented to me.
     While researching (and reading the testimonials on this Website, and the forum, etc), I began to realize the feedback this kennel was getting based on their experiences, and found that there are many very happy folks out there with a Desert Willow Aussie! 
     Now as a proud owner of a beautiful Australian Shepherd from Theresa, Mel and her children, I also discovered that I've become apart of their extended family (along with a long list of folks) who care for one another and give support to each other and network between ourselves and actually communicating our issues about our dogs helping me to discover a whole new line of support in raising my puppy.  That was a very unexpected gift of this entire process!
     In working with Theresa, I have not found anyone else who stands behind their dogs like she does!  She truly loves her dogs and cats and is into educating her kennel parents about nutrition, grooming and general health issues!  I believe Theresa is doing what she loves, and it shows in the puppies she produces and she gave me a wonderful health guarantee in writing.
     A good friend of mine has now purchased her second puppy in a year and their first one passed away within four months of being adopted, and their second puppy is now facing surgery at UC Davis, at the young age of only 14 weeks.  The surgery has to do with something genetic, and it's tragic to know the breeder they purchased their puppy from is not someone I would have ever adopted from because of that breeders lack of experience, wisdom and care, and they've now put my friend and her family at risk of serious loss!  This is one of the main reasons why I spent so much time researching breeders to begin with! 
     My search actually began in Mid-Summer, and after finally making contact with Theresa who guided me and listened to my desires of a well bred show quality Aussie, I sent her a deposit that she did not cash until I made my pick from the litter 2 months later!     When the puppies arrived it felt like a celebration as she and worked together to pick exactly what I wanted and needed (with her sending pictures and video to help me bond with my pup) and I finally ended up with Ella in my heart & home in late fall!   This experience taught me that having a good experience (the excitement and anticipation) and a puppy from a good breeder is definitely worth the wait!
     When I began this process I started off wanting a blue merle, and when one did not arrive Theresa was willing to put my deposit and paperwork aside for a future litter, but once I saw Ella's pictures, I realized it's not about the color -- it's about the disposition of the dog and the experience and care that goes into producing these wonderful dogs, I fell in love with her!  My grandmother is an all breed dog show judge, and my aunt used to show dogs also, and they encouraged me to stay open, and also had serious fears because of Inbreeding and Line-breeding and all the genetic issues that come with walking too close to those lines, however, learning Theresa's background, and how she was so closely mentored by someone in this business for over 35 years and that she does not condone this line of thinking, so I fell safe with choice of Ella, and now know I made the right decision as I sit here looking into the eyes of my beautiful , healthy & loving dog today. 
     Another attribute I love about Theresa is that she is open to new ideas, feedback, and input, and passes good information along to those who adopt from her, she holds onto you after your pup arrives safely making sure you'll never be left with a question unanswered.  knowing I can call or email anytime, I've learned to rest that she's there ready to listen and help! 
           One last word, I am in school studying to be a Veterinarian, and I too have learned a lot from Theresa.  She is one of the good ones.  I trust my instincts, and have no regrets, and have made a new friend too!"
      ~Kim in San Jose, CA   Owner of Desert Willow's Ella

     "Theresa, I want to take a moment on Christmas to thank you (and the breeder you lead me to from your circle of friends) for this little blessing in my life.  Roxy continues to amaze everyone around her with her intelligence, beauty, and personality.  I am getting ready to enroll her in "Obedience" class next month, as she passed Puppy Kindergarten with flying colors...of course!!  The trainer (who raises and works with Border Collies) told me the last day, what a great dog she is, I will be working in Obedience with a Trainer who has Aussies so it should be fun.  I can't imagine life without her even at only 4 1/2 months old!!  I get stopped when I walk her constantly by people who want to know more about this breed.  I also attached a few pictures of her and wanted to let you know that she is not just being "taken care of", but being "SUPER SPOILED", my Dad has been working with her and is so happy to know that I have such a great companion. Thank you both for caring so much about the dogs you raise and breed."
Merry Christmas and Best Regards,
      ~ Brandi

     "Well here is my testimonial. About time huh? Hee hee.
I must admit. Me and Mom have been looking to get a pooch for a few years. It never happened though because my father was against it for some reason. I knew once I saw Jack on the Desert Willow site that was the dog for me. Just something about his look. Mom agreed but Dad said he was only cute. It took him about 2 minutes looking at the single picture when he said "We'll go get him on Friday". Me and Mom were so happy.
      Nerves started setting in on the drive down. Me and Theresa had spoke and she put Jack on such a high pedestal and at a great bargain to boot. But I be honest with you. He wasn't even close to what she had said about him. He was much much more! I was scared he'd freak when he saw me and my wheelchair. He darn near dumped me in the dirt when we first met.
      Lively lil pooch! So friendly, smart and listens fairly well. I say fairly well cause he is a pup. He has fit in real well back at the house with our 21 year old cat Cleo. He's kinda motherly when it comes to her. It's exactly like Garfield and Odie. And yes she does get him in trouble often. One thing about Jack is he's overly friendly. He's the type if we ever get robbed he'll be there to meet and greet the robbers. HAHA. Well I say that jokingly.
      So far we have went on many adventures together. I have scars on my arms from tire burn I got during Puppy-Garden and he has learned to watch out for those goat heads when we go to the lake together. We have done so much together.
      I really want to say he is my dog. That's the reason we bought him really. But he's mom ma's dog. That is the truth. But me and Dad are fine with that. Cause we have a darn good pal with Jack. He's more then a pet. He truly is a family member and best friend. And if you have a doggy bone he'll be your best pal too!
      I give Desert Willow and A++ and a + some more! Fantastic Job Theresa and Mel!,
      ~ The Douglass Family (Jimbo, Jan, Jimmy and Jack), Los Alamos, New Mexico

     "I called Theresa in August when my 21-year-old only child was getting ready to start her fourth year at college and was getting her own apartment.  To say that I had a huge, empty void to fill is an understatement. 
     I was quite skeptical at buying a puppy over the Internet, as that is where I had come to learn of Desert Willow Aussie's.  I chose to call Theresa because her website showed not only pictures of precious puppies and gorgeous dogs but her two beautiful children, as well.  I currently have six small nieces and nephews and hopefully many more to come.  So, I wanted a large dog that would be familiar with small children and well socialized.  Theresa immediately put me at ease during our first conversation and I instinctively knew that I had found the right place to buy an Australian Shepherd.  She listened to my needs, wants, and dislikes and assured me that she would place the right puppy with me.  Theresa had no idea that from listening to her honest description of the breed, their habits and needs, I had decided that I not only wanted one puppy but needed two!  Theresa was skeptical at first, but seemed to accept my decision after I explained my personal situation. 
     We stayed in constant communication while we were waiting for the puppies to arrive.    During that time, I learned a lot from her about the breed, their personalities, care, etc.  Theresa knew that I needed a companion by my side and I cannot begin to tell you how much “Chance” is like his father, Kodiak!  When we would E-mail or talk, she would tell me about Kodiak, all I could think of and say to her was, “I want a Kodiak.”  My wish was granted!
     My only remaining issue was transporting the puppies from New Mexico to New Jersey.  Over the course of a few months, we worked it out together and Ken, my husband, and I decided to take a mini vacation in Las Vegas and pick up the puppies there.  We also had an extra bonus and had the pleasure of meeting Eva, another new mom of one of Chance & Kyla’s litter mates, at the cargo area! Theresa helped every step of the way and we got to carry them on with us during our return flight.  I will never forget the moment that I looked into that crate and saw those four beautiful eyes staring at Ken & I.  They were so happy and jumping up and down and licking us through the openings.  They greeted us like they'd known us for all of their eight weeks of life.  It was a wonderful, unforgettable experience.
     I cannot begin to thank Theresa enough for all she has done for our family by introducing these two beautiful, healthy puppies into our lives.  Kyla is just a beauty and Ken, my husband, loves her and Chance to pieces, too.  My daughter, Shannon, adores them and visits almost every day!  Having two puppies is not easy and I wouldn't advise it for everyone but because of our schedules and lifestyles, it couldn't have worked out better.
     A deep, heart-felt Thank you to Theresa, Mel, Travis & Julianna for all you’ve done for a family out in New Jersey!  Theresa, you're a special person with many gifts.
Janice & Ken, Franklin Park, NJ

PS: Late in December, we had our three-month vet visit for Chance & Kyla.  The vet checked their eyes, hips, bone structure, teeth, etc., and said that the puppies appear to be terrific in temperament, health, and socialization areas.  He also so pointedly shared that he expects I will never have any problems with these puppies! He is a seasoned veterinarian and I have to say that I have never heard such positive comments from him.  He even asked, “How and where did you find these puppies?”  I have been going to him for 17 years and have never seen him carry on so.  I plan on passing your name to him since he directly asked!  After the examinations and shots were completed, he gave them each a bone and sat and hung out with us just smiling and watching them with their new treat—while others were in the waiting room.  Kudos to you and Thanks again!

"I cannot begin to tell you how lucky I feel to have found Desert Willow Aussies.  We lost our second Aussie (Maggie) after 14+ years with us, and were at a loss as to where to go for another after we found that our former breeder was no longer breeding Aussie's.  I wanted a larger size Aussie, and was having a very difficult time finding one in our area.  I was nervous about going "online" to find a dog, but started looking around the net anyway. I found Theresa, and she sent me some pictures of two blue merle females that she had.  When I called and spoke to Theresa, and we hit it off immediately.  I found her to be warm and caring, she spoke with a great deal of love in her heart when she talked about her dogs.  She took the time to answer all my questions, and told me how her kids loved to go out and play with the puppies.  After our conversation, I had a very good feeling about getting a dog from her.

Upon picking Chloe up at the airport...  She was everything and more than we expected.  She is extremely well socialized, she loves everyone!  She is great with all the kids in the neighborhood, and adores my two sons.  She is a true Aussie and is quick as a whip on training.  I had her sitting with hand commands within only 5 min's, and she was only 2 months old.  In the short two weeks we have had her, she is already following commands such as "heal, sit, down, stay" and she can even give high fives and shake hand to paw.  She loves to play with other dogs of all sizes, and really wants to be friends with our two cats, (even though they are not as certain about that endeavor themselves).

Everyone that sees her says she is so beautiful! - I think she is one of the prettiest Aussie I have ever seen (spoken like a true mom).  I thought our previous Aussie was going to be a tough act to follow, but Chloe is giving Maggie a strong run for the money already.  This has been a fantastic experience, and I feel that I not only have a great companion in Chloe, but have made a lifelong friend in Theresa.

I would buy another puppy from Desert Willow Aussies in a heartbeat!"
     ~ Mary Abbott Johnston, Washington

"Just wanted to thank Desert Willow Aussies for the greatest little pup. I searched the internet for months for a pup after losing my beloved Aussie of 13 years before I found Desert Willow. I had told Theresa Gorduyn about my Aussie and she knew what I wanted in a pup. She had a new litter and Theresa knew which one was to be mine. I confirmed the match after a drive from California when the puppies were just 3 weeks old. I bonded instantly with him. For the next 5 weeks Theresa kept me informed of his activity and sent me pics on a regular basis. I felt I knew the puppy before I actually had taken possession of him. Julianna and Travis (Theresa's two children) were a key in socializing the pups. I have grandchildren and I know that was important. When it came time for shipment Theresa made sure all arrangements were in place and my new pup would arrive safe and safe he did. "Boomer" is the greatest! He is so social, must meet with everyone and loves kids. He is doing great on his walks, his learning to "let go" of chasing the squirrels, and is now fetching a Frisbee. He jumps to catch it but at the wrong time.
Would love to hear from his siblings (in Forums) because he misses them . No doubt he really misses the children around Desert willow."

     ~ Susan S. (Boomer's MOM)

** After a tough battle brought on by unfortunate circumstances, Boomer passed away at only 15 months of age. Our condolences and thoughts are with Susan during this difficult time. ~ Desert Willow

     "I cannot begin to express my gratitude in helping me through this grieving process. I had Boomer such a short time but the pain goes deep. I just thought Boomer would be with me a long time. I am grateful for the many wonderful memories of Boomer and his escapades in his very short life. I miss him terribly. I know someday another beautiful Aussie will come into my life. I will wait patiently and take it as it comes. when the timing is right it will happen.
     I have received a dozen or more emails from your extended family expressing their sorrow. Some saying how they read my notes on the forum and that helped them make the decision to go with Desert willow Aussie, some remembering Boomer on the your site and others just getiing thier new pup and Jimmy extending his offer. They were all very special to me. As I responded to each of them I know that it is helping me get through this time of grief.
     Many many thanks to you and God bless you for the work you do."
     ~ Susan

     "I lost my dog and friend "Scout" an eleven year old Blue Merle Female in January of 2006. I noticed an ad in the paper and decided to call and inquire about the puppies, however I wasn't sure I was ready just 3 months after the passing of Scout, but knew I wanted a puppy at some point.
     Theresa was very friendly and made me feel comfortable. She told me about her litter and was very informative, also listened to my situation and told me about specific pups I may be interested in. By the time we finished our conversation I was sure I wanted a new friend in my home!
     After receiving email pictures from Theresa I was ready to drive to her home and try to choose a new puppy. So I called Theresa and she made it easy for me to meet with her, even working around my schedule.
     Upon arrival to her home, I was impressed with the set up for the puppy pens, and she even sprayed off my shoes with disinfectant so I would not contaminate the puppy pens focusing on cleanliness and attention to detail to keep the puppies safe and clean.
     Kodiak and Omega (Sire & Dam) were on hand, and Kodiak followed us and stayed close to Theresa, and he was beautiful! Omega was also just as gorgeous, but stayed inside the house as she was in puppy protection mode, however seeing these wonderful parents gave me confidence that I was in the right place!
     Theresa was very patient as I went pen to pen several times. I was not committed to sex or color when I arrived, and there were so many to choose from! Eventually a male, blue merle started to stand out to me (and tugging on me). Theresa called him James Dean for his striking looks, he also seemed a bit of a rebel, I was sold!
     After returning home, Theresa kept me informed on JD's progress and sent pictures along with information to help me get ready for the new arrival. I would have to wait about 4 weeks before my pup would be ready to leave his Mother. When the date was set to pick up my pup, Theresa made it possible to have a friend of mine meet her in Albuquerque for the pick-up. He arrived in Durango healthy, beautiful, clean and with his first shots. Theresa went out of her way to accommodate me in every way from the first phone call to present. Moots (don't ask me why, I just like this name) has exceeded all my expectations. He is beautiful (people can't help themselves to stop and meet him when we're out on walks (which is fine with Moots), I even must adjust or walk schedule to times that we won't be seeing too many people or I'm not sure what time I'll get home! He is full of energy, healthy, and shows all the wonderful characteristics that make Aussie's such a desired breed!

I want to thank Theresa for helping me acquire my new "Best Friend". My experience with her and Desert Willow Aussies has been great, and I could not be happier!"

      ~ Richard L. Durango, Colorado

"Leo is the most amazing little guy I've ever met. I wish he were a person because I just know he would give me great advice on how to better myself. As it is, I've already grown from being with him as a puppy. Leo and I (and sometimes Matt, my boyfriend) go everywhere together. One of my favorite places to take him is downtown Portsmouth, NH where nearly everyone stops to pet him or tell me how cute he is and Leo just soaks it all up. He adores children and goes up to each and every one he sees, wagging his little stump
of a tail. He is gentle with everyone and as mellow as could be. He is just as content to go on a three-mile walk with me (four proved to be too much as he would lie down and refuse to move in every spot of shade we found) as he is to race up and down and around open fields as he is to sleep in every room in the house as long as I am in there with him. When he and I take car rides together I always feel a twinge of guilt because every place we go is half an hour to forty-five minutes away but Leo could care less. If I'm in the passenger seat with him, I'll roll down the window and he'll stick the entire front of his body out of the window and ponder at all the things we pass. This may be cute for some but I have to wrap my arms around him so he won't fall out! He'll hang out of the window for a few minutes and then find a comfortable position on my lap, usually with his head resting on my arm or hand, and snooze the entire ride away. When he first came home with me, he used to whine and wimper nearly every other minute because he missed his family so much but by the end of the first week, that had stopped completely. My brother Tyler is five and has a difficult time understanding that dogs don't understand English. Fortunately, Leo is the most patient little guy and just gazes at Tyler with his I'm-evaluating-every-move-you-make eyes when Tyler tries over and over again to get Leo to "chase after the cats," "watch TV" with him. Tyler even says things like, "Leo, what's your favorite color?" As far as my six year-old sister Kassidi is concerned, Leo delights in licking her face nonstop, presumably because Kassidi cracks up. As soon as we tell him "no" or "leave it" and he goes away from her, Kassidi will call him back with little kiss noises and the process will start all over again. Both he and she love it. Leo bonded with me right from the start. It's as if he knew how much I loved him even though we had just met. He follows me from room to room and acts as if I've been gone for a year even if I was gone for only a minute. He is a perfect gentleman. He's slept in my bed from the first and doesn't even hog it (too much). In puppy class, Leo seems more mature than the other puppies, if that's possible. He will play for a few minutes, calmly and casually assert his dominance by resting his forearms on their backs, then sit on the side and just observe. Of course, that was the day we went to a state park and Leo ran the doggie equivalent of the Boston Marathon so he might have been a bit tired by the time puppy classes rolled around. Still, he is nowhere near as hyper as lab puppies and what a relief after seeing three of my friends and relatives struggle with them for years before they calmed down! Leo isn't hyper in the slightest. It's as if he knows appropriate house manners because he is calm inside and perky and energetic when out. We're working on heel right now and he's nearly got it. Every now and again I have to remind him not to pull on the leash. I do that by stopping completely and letting him walk to the end of the leash. By then he realizes that I'm not with him and will look back as if to say, "Come on, catch up! I can smell something just up ahead!" When I just stay in place he usually knows to walk back to me and then we'll continue on our walk. For a three month-old puppy, that is impressive! When we're in a busier section of town or among a lot of other people, he isn't the best with heal but that is more than expected. I can't believe how much I lucked out in getting this incredible pup. My boyfriend wants to get a female Aussie from Theresa in a year but he's afraid that Leo's spoiled him forever because of his great nature. I'm afraid that Leo's spoiled me forever as well. How many other puppies do you know that are so well-socialized that they can make even the most well-behaved older dog look like a mongrel in how he interacts with children, adults, elderly, and even other cats and dogs?! Theresa herself has spoiled me because I can't imagine any other breeder that would talk to me for hours in order to calm me down when I'm struk with guilt at leaving my puppy in a crate while I'm at work. How many other breeders make sure their pups are a part of their family from the start? How many other breeders know the personality of their puppies so well as to place each pup in the perfect home? Not many, if you ask me. All I can say is thanks and that one word will never adequately express the depth of gratitude I feel towards Theresa for bringing this little human covered in fur into my life!"

     ~ Danielle, NE

     "After losing our Buster in March "06" (German Shepherd Husky Mix) who was 15 yrs old, my husband (John) and I were very mixed about getting another dog as the heartache was much to handle and then in May John lost his Mom and in June I lost my Dad. To keep my mind occupied during this difficult time I often went on puppy sites online just to get a smile. Not even sure of which breed to look at... After looking at several breeds I thought the Australian Shepherds were very unique (not knowing anything about them). Next thing you know, I was only looking for this breed. The search was on! I looked at several and even tried to adopt a few but they were always taken (and now I'm glad they were) when I would finally send them an email. A little discouraged I gave up the search for a little while. Sure enough when the search began again, there she was "My Loni Girl" as soon as I saw her I knew she was the one. A beautiful little black & white puppy that looked like a polar bear. She had to be mine! I sent an e-mail to Theresa at Desert Willow Aussies and I rec'd an e-mail right back... We talked on the phone the next day about her and if she would be a good match for us. After much conversation Theresa and I agreed that she would be perfect. Theresa and I talked several times after that arranging shipment. I was a little leary of shipping her from New Mexico to Buffalo but Theresa assured me everything would be just fine. Sure enough when I picked her up on July 2nd at the Airport she was just fine. Her little face looking at me as to say "Here I am, I will bring you much joy" and that she does :)
     I cannot express my thanks to Theresa and her family enough. She is a very special person who goes out of her way to make someone else happy. She has been there every step of the way with me from advice on feeding to create training. She genuinely cares about her pups as well as the family they are going to. I am so happy I was as fortunate as I was to come across "Desert Willow Aussies". I feel I have also found a new friend in Theresa who I feel like I have known forever." Thank-you Theresa,Your Friend,

      ~ Mary Beth, Niagara Falls, NewYork (This is a 3/4 Aussie 1/4 Heeler Pup)

My Daughter Marissa and I just can't thank you enough for Newt, the wonder puppy!  He is sweet, and likes to cuddle in our laps and play or chew on a toy and yet he boldly runs after and herds up our 7 year old Aussie, Peso, who is very happy to have a new buddy that she can run and play with!

 With Newt, begins a story of faith and of God’s love for us. I lost my first Aussie, the sweetest boy on January 4, 2007 due to a status epilepticus (series of seizures) that took him home to be with the Lord.  A few days prior to his death, Sam was greeting me in the morning and I felt an inner voice telling me that Sam is going to die very soon.  As I looked at his beautiful almond shaped eyes and his sweet markings and the little patch he had on his left eye, I soaked up all the beauty in that face that I had grown to love so much.  That same voice asked me, “What if there were no markings – just a blank canvas?”  I thought, that would not be Sam and the voice prompted me to look deeper and see the heart. Sam died a few days later and as I was with him along with the nurse who lives next door, I saw him take his last stretch as he jumped over the rainbow bridge.  I was surprised when I actually saw little clouds emanating from his head upwards towards heaven!  I knew he was safe with the Lord and it suddenly gave me great comfort. We still missed Sam and my daughter and I knew we would be looking for another male Aussie to keep us company in a few months. 

I looked at many different Aussie's on line but did not see the white face with no markings until one day at the end of March, I was presented with a picture of 2 hands holding a little baby puppy with a white face and 1 black ear (and 1 white ear).  Newt, (named after Newt Dobbs in Lonesome Dove) caught my attention right away as I remembered the words, “a face with no markings at all” last December.

I was very drawn to this little puppy that looked so brand new and like a "noodle" as I was seeing his ONE day old pictures.  The problem was, I had all ready put a deposit on a puppy that was not yet born – due in April.  When I called about the puppy, Theresa assured me that he would be of sound structure and nice features with a wonderful laid back disposition, like his daddy, Earl, and he was just miss-marked (the blank canvas?)

A few weeks passed and I still thought about this puppy, remembering the blank canvas face that I was told about.   I contacted Theresa again concerning this boy with the white face and asked about Newt and “T” showed me new pictures at about 6 weeks.  Newt had grown into a little bigger boy!  I asked if he had a home yet and she said he may be available, she'd check with another person who was interested in him.  I was also very drawn to Theresa as I could hear the love in her voice as she grew excited about the prospect of Newt having a home with someone truly interested in him and his uniqueness.  When I learned he was available, and  I happily decided to take him and later had confirmation from the Lord that “He is the one for you!” from that small inner voice who first prompted me that I should look for a puppy with no markings, one who has a big heart!

I later realized that all of this happened before Newt was even conceived by Earl and Jubileena?  God had a plan before he was even born! Thank you, Theresa!  This has truly been a blessed experience! We have since had so many compliments on this boy and he has adapted well to our lives and enjoys his new home and doggy girl friend very much.  We also have a "new friend" (a fellow Desert Willow Parent) who has taken home Newt’s brother, Laddie who lives near by. The Lord has truly blessed us with this special puppy, (1 in a million) with a big heart (My "Blank Canvas") and I have a new friend!  Laddie (Newt’s brother) and his Mom Joan who is awesome (very close by), not to mention the wonderful new friend we have in “T” (Theresa) who has helped us immensely through this adoption process!


Joan Kraft - Encino, CA

September 26th, 2006 was one of the saddest days of my life.  It was  the day I lost my very best friend Cookie who was almost 9 years old.  We did everything together and she was my shadow, my friend and suddenly she was just gone. 

 Still heartbroken a month or so after her loss,  I began to search for another dog, because I wanted to fill some of that emptiness inside, but searching on the Internet led to more heart ache.  Many of nights after viewing puppy pictures, I ended up with a massive headache or I would just cry with frustration.  So many of the puppies that I was interested in would turn out to be a hoax which hurt even more, further hurting my hope in finding a new puppy to love.  Also, people on the Internet would not give me the information until I paid a monthly sign up fee to view the breeders information which makes it even more disheartening.   I knew we wanted an Australian Shepherd puppy, and I wanted one with a tail!  Our family loves the wagging tail and we love Aussie's, so our desire was to have both again.  So after calling some local breeders and reading Australian Shepherd dog books, I began to realize that there were not very many breeders (if any) who  would be willing to accommodate my desire of a tail on my Aussie.  At this point I was about to give up (and just sick of getting my hopes crushed), when I decided to call Theresa.  I ran across her website on the Internet and something inside told me to try once more.  I'm so glad I did  because I called and left a message and she promptly called back!  I was so excited that I found such a great breeder and person.  And honestly at first I did think it was too good to be true, but when all was said and done (even with a few hiccups in the road) Theresa came through for me and I know it wasn't easy to set me up with an Aussie with a tail, but she did! 

I'd like to share this nightmare story of (one of the many) awful breeders out there and why after speaking with Theresa I went away to a local breeder I happened across because I was just so anxious to have a puppy (dangerous place to be when looking for a puppy), and it turned out to be a heart-breaking mistake;    

When speaking with this man, the first odd thing was his unwillingness to answer my questions concerning the dogs health, along with miscellaneous questions.  Ignoring these warning signs (because of my determination to have a puppy right away) and he was a local breeder with puppies to hold on premises, he then stated the puppies were 800.00 while with him on the phone (and they had tails) oh great just what I'm looking for (I thought).    So I went over to see the litter and he raised the price went up to 1,000.00 because he saw my excitement of the tails (and still I was tempted).   He then confessed that a couple of the pups there had the double "M" gene with way too much white.   I asked to met the parents of this litter and noticed they were both very "WHITE" blue Merles.  The breeder then proceeded to share that a few of the puppies were born as "LEATHEL WHITES" and had to be put down.  Now worried, I called my vet and was told that breeding two Merles together is dangerous (poor puppies) and should never be done!  He was direct in telling us not to deal with this man!  So we walked away worried about those poor puppies and what would become of them. 

So I picked up the phone and called Theresa again (who by the way, kindly took me back never showing any hard feelings for my brief departure).  You know, It ended up that the only reason I tried to go with a local breeder is because Desert Willow Aussie's is across the country from us!  And my desire to have a puppy that moment and the Desert Willow litter was still 3 months from being born, none of which mattered in the end because the puppies arrived and are healthy and beautiful and shipped without one problem! That is why "Hind Sight" is always 20/20!
Today as I sit here, my Desert Willow Puppy "SOPHIE" certainly hasn't replaced "Cookie" or her memory (that would be impossible of course) but she has come into my life and filled the emptiness and my heart is able to love again.  My family and I  have waited on Theresa's Reserve list for a long while and now as a family we can share all this love we have to give to our Sophie.  We adore her. Looking at her and the ease of the journey in getting her, I am so glad we went back to Desert Willow Aussie's!.  Waiting for my Sophie gave me time to heal from my loss of Cookie, and Theresa always answered all of my questions (so I knew I was getting a quality dog). And remember the nightmare breeder I told you about?  He ended up getting all his dogs taken away!  His neighbors filed a lawsuit against him to have them removed because of his abuse.

Again, I thank Mel, Theresa and her family for this gift and all the time spent  explaining things and answering all the questions I've ever had each time I called and getting me ready to bring Sophie home.  I also fell in love with Grace Kelly (Sophie's Mama) and even though I live across the Country, I could still see what a great mother she is to her puppies from all  the pictures Theresa continued to send.  I would have thrown her a puppy shower if I lived closer, but we don't so I sent her Two dog beds instead!  Wasn't sure if it would be big enough, so I sent two to be sure.
I look forward to a fun Summer now because of Desert Willow Aussie's! 

Sharon - Middlebury, CT

Theresa,  just a quick note to thank you for such a wonderful dog!  We call her Reatta and she has matured into a beautiful Aussie (perfect size).  She's also turned out to be a great "COW DOG"!  My husband and I own and operate a 25, 000 acre working cattle and horse ranch, we don't have any employees so we relay on our Australian Shepherd to help us gather and move cattle.  Reatta loves her job!  When it come to herding cattle she has endless energy, is agile quick to learn commands and she's very cowy!  She has never quit on tough brushy cattle and will stay on them until she get's them moving in the right direction.  I can't tell you how many times she helped us gather cattle and move them 10 or more miles!  When we get them back to headquarters she still willing and happy to help with the sorting and branding.   Reatta is also a great family dog, she loves our youngest son and will follow him where ever he goes!  She love to play fetch and is very sweet and loyal, and she has a HUGE doggie smile (like her mama Omega) and crosses her legs (Like her daddy Kodiak) when she lays down. You have a lovely Kennel and all your dogs are so well cared for.  I would not hesitate to refer you to anyone looking for a quality Aussie. Thanks again, and my family and I love REATTA! 

The Boyd's - Mountainair, New Mexico


I just want to THANK the Desert Willow family for our wonderful Belle.  We couldn't be happier!! Belle is definitely the "Belle of the Ball".  She is perfect for our go-go goof ball life-style life.  She fits in perfect. 

I must say I was very skeptical of looking for a dog over the Internet but it was a wonderful journey.  I had spent hours on the Internet searching, reading and looking for the right puppy/situation for us.  I had looked at thousands of puppies, breeders and sites (according to my husband) and kept going back to Desert Willow.   After checking out Theresa's website and looking/reading it several times I kept going back to the "litters"  page.  At the very bottom of the page there's the Breeders with a captial B.  Well, I was sold after reading this.  I thought to myself...she is my kind of person if she believes this and this is the Breeder for me. 

I filled out the application and to my surprise she called me the next morning.  She told me of all her dogs and their personalities.  I could tell she loved them all very much and spends lots of time with them.  I was so excited!! During Gracie's, Jubileena's and Omega's pregnancy we were updated and picturess were sent.  How exciting this was.  Then once the pups were born, she picked out the pup and checked to see if it was a match with us.  This was another thing I was skeptical about....Theresa doesn't know us...how could she pick out a pup that is right for us?  I must say..I couldn't have picked a better pup, Belle is perfect for us.  I don't know how she did it or if all her pups are just this way,  but Belle is just right!!  

From then on we were sent pictures and updated regularly.  We definitely bonded.  Couldn't wait.  The first week that we had Belle I was just in awe.  She was everything and more.  And since our first week she just continues to amaze me.  She is so laid back and is not afraid of anything.  She has rode the 4 wheeler, gone to school, gone to ball games, played at the lake, jumped on the tramp, played peace maker between Cole and AdreAnna and to my surprise...when I was on horseback she tried following me to round up some cattle.  I was totally shocked of her willingness and interest in the cattle. Since then, we have been working with our 4-H sheep and she definitely shows interest and wants to help whenever she can.  Whatda pup!! 

I can not thank Theresa and her family enough.  They have been so wonderful from the very beginning and it is wonderful to be part of their extended Desert Willow family.  

(Thank you for everything..... and I'm so bummed that I won't be able to join the Desert Willow Aussie's picnic.  That is just the COOLEST idea and how FUN!!  I hope there will be another one in the future because I would do my best to be there!!). Love to all your family, 

Shauna and Belle (Loreena) - Bridgeport, NE

To whom this may concern,

After having learned the importance of breeding & genetics in quality dogs in our last two dogs, those were again the essential issues in our investigation of breeders for Australian Shepherds recently. 

Our quest initially revealed that a dog of the breeding & quality we were searching for was apparently not available in our region (or in the sites I visited on the Internet) and the search then lead me to Desert Willow Aussies and a wonderful person named Theresa. 

Despite that I now realize must be a mind-numbing schedule; Theresa answered all my initial emails the same afternoon and started what has become a wonderful cross-country working relationship & friendship from the night of our fist phone call informing us of our impending parenthood, despite living across the country.  Also, through the Website, E-mails, and Pictures we were able to watch our baby girl (formerly Peach Johnson in her wilder days) grow up and receive valuable information to prepare her family (us) for her arrival! 

The pre-transportation communications were fantastic and last minute information further added Abbee's transition.  Due to Theresa's efforts (and the Continental Airlines Pet Safe Staff) Abbee's travel day went extremely well and her arrival was a wonderful “family event” with all of us getting kisses from this lovable puppy who was even more beautiful then the pictures could portray. 

Our dog (from Desert Willow Aussie's) is also even more intelligent than I had hoped for, we have (in a short period of time) been able to train her in the basic commands while house-training her and simultaneously adopting her to a schedule and lifestyle of two full time working individuals, all in a puppy who has the most wonderful disposition, and has quickly developed on individualized, but loving and devoted relationship with each of us.  Now, while I credit breeding and genetics with the fist two issues/successes, Theresa and her family are primarily responsible for the third! 

In preparing for Abbee's arrival, I read extensively and ALL of the books emphasized the critical aspect of the care and socialization of puppies in the weeks prior to their arrival into a permanent home and the indicators of the care a puppy had received before arriving.  Our experience with Abbee has shown Theresa did an OUTSTANDING job of laying the excellent foundation forms to build on and up to the day before Abbee's arrival, Theresa provided information specific to Abbee and her behaviors which further improved her transition into her new home with us. 

In closing, It has been our experience in dealing with Theresa and Desert Willow Aussies that she is dedicated to her dogs and business, by my experience has exceeded all breeder standards in all areas, yet while maintaining a family atmosphere and providing valuable assistance and information before and after the arrival of a "PUPPY", AND she gifted us with a dog exceeding our hopes and prayers!  I could only respond with saying that I can provide my highest recommendations for my experience with Desert Willow Aussies & Theresa.

Ed & Jayne - Duluth, MN

First of all I would like to say to Theresa. Thank you very much, for all your patience with us.  Now that we have been with “Max” for a while  and enjoying him and get to meet him I realize that I am so grateful for  finding  Desert Willow Aussie's (Theresa)   I wanted  to thank you so much for all your  time and dedication on helping us to pick up our  handsome boy.

I haven't  be able to have  the company of man’s   best friend since I left my country 1992, I am a dog lover I just believe they are the best friend a man can have and they are the most pleasing animals I  have ever meet in my life.  For many years my daughter Ambar who is now sixteen keeps  asking me for a puppy to raise and I always found myself either too busy or not with enough money and time to have one.

I believe everybody has a reason why to bring a dog into their life. Mine was to have a playful intelligent and loyal friend and to give my kids what they always wanted to have, a “puppy” to raise because there is always a reward when you get one of these little creatures that some people call “dogs”, I call them “human lifetime companions and best friends”, and I believe this is because the good memories I have with my dogs back in my country. Dogs are our best friends, and no matter how down and miserable we feel, they are always there to please us and make us feel that we are important. “AND WE TRULLY ARE FOR THEM.” doesn't matter if you are poor or rich, they are your best friend. This could be a good idea for a breeder to put on the contracts, no? “For poorer and for richness” LOL. No kidding! They are as loyal as they can be! Not a doubt.

So I start doing what we call “shopping around”  but  then I start thinking  which kind of dog do  I want to get do I want a  dog similar to the one I had back in my country?  So I looked at a lot of pictures and my eyes came across this kind of breed (Australian Shepherd).  I looked up the name and found out that their breed is ‘Australian Shepherd’. not being familiar with names in English, I looked in the dictionary to see what “shepherd” means and I found that in Spanish it means “Pastor” I couldn't believe that the dog  I was raised with it had the same breeder name in Spanish “Pastor” he  was a  German Shepherd (MIX) he looked just like a Australian shepherd. Now that I know this breed, I started navigating through all kinds of breeder websites. I did not see any that I liked or called my attention.  I mean the puppies look beautiful and all, but I just needed something to tell me more than selling me a pup. So I expend about six months doing my research when I finally found this website, sort of a site for placing advertising on all kinds of dogs for sale, including puppies.  I looked at most of the breeders advertising on this place and it took me a while, but almost at the end of my research I saw “Desert Willow Aussies” and I remember I loved the introduction they have posted, so that motivate me to go further and click on their website. When I opened the link, I just fall in love with this website. It was so warm and beautifully created with love. That was my first thought.

There was so much to see and so much to learn. I wanted to read it all right away. The more I read the more I wanted to keep reading and get more information. I was clicking all over the place and I found it so interesting, not even a little spot turned me off.  And the dogs and puppies they just added more enthusiasm to me to keep reading.

I love the story of Theresa on how she start her business which is more her passion for this kind of breed. No wonder you can feel through her website, her love and passion for these intelligent animals.

I have this website marked as one of my “favorite places” and I wanted to keep traveling around in there, because I am not done yet! I don’t think I will be soon!

I am amazed when people turn out such marvelous websites for us to wonder in.  LOVE IT!!!

I filled out an application and I just couldn’t wait, I told my husband that we need to call them I was so nervous and anxious because that was a big step for us specially when you have children and know all the responsibilities on bringing a puppy home.    I was afraid of not getting qualified from them, so I let my husband do the talking and found out everything. I remember telling my husband “please you got to tell them that we “DO” have a backyard”. LOL.  I remember it was the next day after I filled out the application. I just couldn’t wait to talk with Theresa.  When we spoke to her I told my husband how confident I was feeling about getting the puppy from her. She was very nice and professional. I really can see that she really cares about her puppies and for that I knew she will give us a good healthy dog.  So after that day, it has been like a journey. Theresa has always been in touch, letting us know from day one that she will breed Gracie with spirit and then she told us that she decide breed Gracie with Isaac   and that she will take her to Arizona, and assured us if we don’t find what we want in Gracie’s litter, she will move us to the first place on the next litter. ‘Very nice’ of her. She started keeping us informed about everything regarding Gracie’s pregnancy and of course until the puppies where born. Sharing with us what she knows in taking care and getting ready for our beautiful puppy.  She also sent us videos and pictures when our puppy was just days old. She is just an amazing person who likes to amaze people on the way she conducts her business.  “Sometimes I wonder if it is true that when you are in the right pack doing what you're supposed to do like following your heart, the dark side always came and tent you”. After we made the deal and send off the deposit, my husband found a five week old purebred ‘black Labrador’ in the street. So beautiful and full of fur, that we were looking each other thinking, ooppss! Now what? Two dogs? Because there is no way I said to myself I will give up my Australian Shepherd plus Teresa has been sooooo nice to us. My husband and I both agreed that the pup will stay until somebody responds to our flyers that hung on the street saying we found a puppy. After one day or two days, no one had responded, so my husband found for him a nice home with one of his coworkers. So here came the BIG DAY!!  I will always remember the day we all went to get Max in Arizona, the place we were meeting Teresa to give us our precious puppy. That was so exciting for the first time to have my little boy in my arms and have the pleasure of meeting Theresa, and also her friends Debbie and Larry, who is the Master of my puppy’s father. Once again, Theresa has been a great person. She has been with us all this time making us fell so important and loved and continuously giving us surprise after surprise. I believe I have a terrific dog I think the time we spent was worthy, and Theresa made a good judgment when she picked Humphrey Bogart (Max) for us.  Max is a very intelligent dog, easy to train. He is so willing to please, and he loves socialize. And he is so cute!!!  At the vet’s office, people lined up to see him. That day on our way home, we stopped at Home Depot and the same thing happened. People lined up to see him.  Everybody kept saying “what a beautiful puppy” This is wonderful. I am so proud of him. I want to make sure he gets the best training in Las Vegas. In fact we already have the best agility and obedience trainers in Las Vegas. We are just waiting for the right time to start his formal training. He is registered for both classes.

Max is such a good dog, that he spent only one night (his first night), getting up three times.  Now he sleeps all night and when I open his cage in the morning, which is place in my room, and tell him “MAX! Let’s go! HURRY UP”.  He looks at me, and gets out, and goes downstairs running by the time he gets there. I am already with the door open for him. Then he goes to his favorite spot and does his thing. He doesn't get distract, not once. He sleeps through the night, eats well, loves to exercise, waits for me to get up and go outside to play with him, and loves his brother and sisters, and also his new dad (Master David). He does very good agility exercise lessons (soft) to prepare him before he start his formal agility  training. I have setup a small obstacle course in my backyard and he loves climbing and going through the tunnel. Also, I started puppy kindergarten for him before he starts his formal obedience classes.  I wanted him to see me as his trainer and Master so he can obey me and the other person as his instructor which is the reason I am introducing him early to lessons. We have so many plans and goals with Max and I am so confident that some day he will make us all proud of him, but for now we just want to have fun with our puppy!   I have been reading many books since I made this commitment to have a puppy, and I can tell Max comes from a good bloodline, but also he came from a good breeder. You don't need to read many books to know what is so obvious in my daily interaction with him. I feel and notice that he is willing to please and willing to learn and he loves to play games with his Mama trainer which makes it easy to train him and he is a quick learner. I'm just so thankful! As with so much confidence knowing  that we have  his grandma Theresa in New Mexico who supports us and wants to be part of our life, raising this little person full of fur, because that is what Max is for, us just another member of the family.

To Theresa and her family in a way to said thank you…. For your kindness and have us as part of your extended family of Desert Willows.

 Josefina, David & Family - Las Vegas, Nevada

My Tuesday Weld...

I just love her and just knew when I saw the web page of Desert Willow Aussie's I had to have one. I have wanted an Aussie for a long time, but really didn't know that much about the breed. Theresa was wonderful educating me on the breed and I felt like it was a great breed for me since I am so active too. I do have a horse but once I got Tuesday the woman told me where I keep Sammie (my horse) that she couldn't take a risk with another dog being brought out to the barn due to her home insurance restrictions. I was disappointed to say the least. I am hoping to take her out maybe when she gets a little bigger and walk her around on a leash and let her meet her dogs. She said she has one dog that has already killed another dog. oh dear I said so I don't know. I want her around my horse though, so I am not sure what will happen there. we will see.

Tuesday and I  have been in a puppy class now for 4 weeks and she is doing so well except that she pooped the last 2 times in pet smart while we were there. that's ok. she just didn't get enough time before we went in to class. we were running late. she is responding well to the instruction!!! she is sitting, staying, and down also.  We just started on the walking and not pulling this past Saturday so we need to work on that a lot. That's hard to get them to heal . I think she will do well though if I keep at it. I have been told she would be great at agility and then I met a man that said he would handle her for showing .  he has handled Aussie's before and done very well. got Champion on one of the dogs he handled. everyone at Petsmart has a fit over Tuesday. I am so proud of her and I think she kind of likes me too.:)))) I pick her up and just love her probably too much because she is very dominant and wants to be in control so I have to restrain myself from spoiling her too much. she is bossy and likes to talk back but she has already improved a lot with that too. she absolutely loves our springer spaniel bandit !! they get along great!

I try to take her with me everywhere but now its getting too hot and I can't leave her in the car. I took her to eat outside yesterday with my sister and her 12 year old who loves her too and we met the cutest 9 week old pup there and they got along well too. it was fun to watch them play. I need to get a card to begin going to the doggy park next week. She hasn't gotten the rabies yet so the vet told me to wait.  Oh and she has a pool in the back yard she loves and plays in with bandit and her toys. She is so cute and absolutely loves the water.

Thanks again for this wonderful ball of fur and entertainment and joy she has brought me already! I am so lucky to have her and can't wait to get home from work every night to take her for her midnight walk with Bandit , Jasper and Kyla my 2 cats.  She is too funny to watch with the cats too!  She so much wants to play with them but you know how that goes.  She constantly is herding them and they tolerate her so well. my male cat just ignores her and isn't bothered by her at all.

   Sarah - Waxhaw, NC


I bought a small piece of property just south of the Dallas area and got a few cows, tractor etc,. all that was missing was a dog for the ranch to help with the cows, but really be more of a companion when I was working and repairing and building fences.
I thought that I wanted an Australian Cattle dog so I contacted a breeder and was on my way to get my pup (so I thought).  Turned out the breeder made excesses and backed out after it was time to pick up the the puppy and wanted to keep her, I was very disappointed, and God then led me to Theresa and things then got a lot better. After I explained my story to her she was confident that she would find me the right puppy ( and boy did she ever ).
Seems that a good friend of hers is also an Aussie Breeder and that is where Theresa got her foundation lines started, and she had a puppy that came available by way of a reserve that backed out.  So after making contact with her and a couple months I got to pick up Cheyenne from the airport.
I was told how perfect she was and sent pictures so I could see, but I wasn't aware that such a beautiful dog would arrive even though I had seen her in pictures, because pictures don't do her justice, ( and I really do mean that ). 
My life hasn't slowed down ever since the day the plane landed. That is all a good thing, because we have done so much together.   She is now in obedience training and made her first herding trial just to socialize and to check out things and check out all of the sheep, cows, people and other dogs she loved it.
Last week she actually got to go into a round pen with 5 sheep to she how her herding instincts were. They ( the trainers ) said she did GREAT and commented on how perfect she is (conformation wise) and her natural abilities to work :) she loved it.   I was chucklin at her during the trial as she watched and wanted to get in with the sheep, even though she hasn't learned what to do yet you couldn't tell her that, she thought she was a pro.  She was tappin her feet on the ground itching to get in and work!   Just wanted to let you know that we joined 2 clubs, HOTASC ( Heart Of Texas Australian Shepherd Club and SWASA  ( Southwest Working Australian Shepherd Assoc ) there is so much I have learned from them!
I noticed there was also Australian Cattle dogs there and man I sure am glad God lead me to Theresa, and then to Jacque who brought me Cheyenne, because all of the blue heelers were out of control!  But, not the Aussie's!  
I could not ask for a more gorgeous puppy with such and outstanding personality,  she loves everybody and everyone loves her.  Theresa, her contacts thanks again! Pictures are coming soon and we are going to another herding trial this weekend and there is a Professional Photographer that will be there I am planning to get a lot of Pictures taken!
Dallas, Texas

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