Hope everyone has been having a safe and fun month of July! This is the last weekend of the month, so that means we have put together an interview with another member of our Banana Bunch! We were super excited to ask Hamilton a few questions to learn more about him and his parents; I hope you enjoy!
T ell us a bit about how and when you and Hamilton first met!
We were lucky enough to find a breeder that allowed us to meet Hamilton when he was first born. After doing a lot of research on the Border-Aussie breed I hopped on Craigslist (not really knowing where else to look) and there was an ad posted twenty minutes earlier for a liter of Border-Aussie pups. I don't know about you but I believe in Fate so I messaged them right away. They were nice enough to let us come visit the pups but by the time we got there, there was only one left (again, that Fate thing...). I remember holding him at about 2 1/2 weeks old- his eyes weren't even opened yet. I held him near my chest and in the flash of a moment, almost like a movie trailer, I felt like I could see our future together and I could feel immense amount of joy we'd create. Sold. Five weeks later, we came back to collect our little Ham. Best decision we've ever made. If we had to do it again, I'd definitely go to a rescue (for obvious reasons) but I wouldn't trade my best friend for anything, so we're glad to have found him.
If you had one piece of advice for anyone considering adopting a Border-Aussie (or any herding dog), what would that be?
Definitely do your research. All dogs are not created equal (just like humans!) and these breeds are not for everyone. Herding dogs, like Border-Aussies, need a significant amount of mental stimulation that may seem overwhelming at first (and not to mention an insane amount of running/walking). With some research, proper tools and training, they'll be the best pet you've ever had.
What's something you can do or give Hamilton to get him to do anything?
COOKIES! The boy LOVES a good "cookie". When we first got him I picked up a back of dog biscuits from a local, all-natural shop. I started calling them cookies (because, let's be real- that's super cute). Hamilton only receives a cookie when he obeys the following commands, "Get in your pen" or "Go to your bed"... so cookies are a special treat. If I really need him to do something I will offer a cookie and it's done. Also, bacon. Always bacon.
Does Hamilton have any nicknames with backstories you can share?
Well, he is named after Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and all around amazing man. I (Ham's Mom) am a musical theater actress and after fawning over Hamilton the Musical for years, it seemed a good choice for my new best friend. Hamilton has several nick names. Probably too many. Most often I call him Ham or Hammy but his dad is partial to Hamdemonium, Hamburglar and Ham Sammich. One time, when we first got him, his dad accidentally called him "Franklin" (which I found hilarious) so now, sometimes just to tease Hamilton's dad, I'll call Hamilton "Washington" or "Lincoln" ... any political figure will do! ;)
Border Collies are often cited as the most intelligent domestic breed of dog; do you have any moments you can share which show off Hamilton's big, beautiful brain?
Welp. That's easy. Hamilton is hands down the smartest dog I have ever (personally) met. When Hamilton was young he was very scared of walks. I couldn't even get him out of the front yard. A friend suggested that I take him in the car and drive him a few blocks down just to separate him from the yard. This was Hamilton's second time in my car (first was when we brought him home) and I had not yet taught him "car". I walked him a few streets down from where I had parked the car. After about 15 minutes I said out loud (mostly to myself, because let's be honest, I didn't expect him to understand me) "Ham, do you want to go home?" That little guy turned around and ran me back to the car so fast I didn't know what hit me. How did he know that we had to get in the car to go home? How did he know what home was? How did he learn that quickly, that the car was our way "home"?
Hamilton takes about 1 minute to learn new tricks and knows all of his toys by name. We never exactly taught him the names of his toys, he just sort of learned them as we went, I guess!
Lastly, Hamilton's dad recently got a job at the post office! When Dad is home, he puts his post office hat in a specific place on the counter. I didn't realize that Hamilton knew this. One morning, we woke up (dad was already gone) and I noticed Hamilton looking for him...he hopped up on Dad's side of the bed, noticed he wasn't there, then ran straight to where Dad keeps his post office hat on the counter.... when he noticed it wasn't there, he stopped looking for Dad. WHAT THE HECK!?
Is Hamilton an only child/pet? :)
Hamilton is very much an only child and will be for some time ;)
In Hamilton's Instagram bio it mentioned you are a chronic illness warrior. Would you mind telling us about that?
This last year, I (Ham's Momma) was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition as well as Fibromyalgia. Up until that point I had never heard of "chronic illnesses" or "invisible illness". After being diagnosed and experiencing a whirlwind of emotions, I found myself embarrassed and ashamed of my predicament. After all, I look *completely* healthy and the cause for my illnesses is unknown. On top of this, there is little to be done medically. As an actress, I have a very demanding schedule and it worried me to become public about my conditions (actually, this will be the first time I'm admitting it and naming it publicly). Then, what seemed like all of a sudden, women in the press were coming forward about their invisible illnesses. Lady Gaga then announced that she had Fibromyalgia. Well shoot, if Lady Gaga can do it..... I decided that I needed to be an advocate for folks like me who are kicking ass and taking names despite their struggles. Hamilton helps and inspires me daily. He knows when I'm in pain and will often lay on top of the area that's giving me the most grief... or he will clobber me with kisses on the lips (his absolute favorite). He has definitely helped to keep my stress levels down- he is my direct line to pure joy.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and be vulrnurable, and it means so much that you would share that with us! If you wanted to check out Hamilton and follow what he gets up to, I strongly recommend giving him a follow @hamilton_the_border_aussie and support him directly by using "HAMILTON10" during your checkout (plus you save 10% on your order!). Thanks again Hamilton's mom for the interview!
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