observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life


He came into our lives as a tawny bundle full of p___ and vinegar. He left our lives peacefully, without a whimper.

Austin ©Diane M Schuller

Austin was always like the pesky little brother, who had his nose where no one wanted it and had a propensity for using that nose to push his way through doors, flipping hands and arms when he expected you to get up and feed him, or simply putting it in your face to ask you to let him outside in the middle of the night. This garnered him the nickname “push-and-go”.


He allowed the ‘girls’ to boss him around and always seemed happy to take that position in the pack. So it’s no surprise he always felt safest when someone else was ‘in charge’.  He was never as adept a hunter as Maggie, our Springer Spaniel, or Pearl, our other Australian Shepherd. But he did learn to watch their body language and to often jump in when the prey (usually an innocent vole, mouse, or nasty squirrel) would be flushed out by the girls and be the first to snatch it up.


He was a born clown and had the cutest way of twisting himself into the most unusual contortions to get attention. His claim to fame was his almost obsessive desire for food of any sort, even if only crumbs. He’d do anything for food and would often try turning himself inside out in the hopes he’d receive a reward for his antics. He was the best vacuum I’ve ever had.

A very handsome lad he was. He even made it into a picture book in 2010 for Paws for Charity. And he was on the local news September 18, 2012.

In his final weeks he was desperate not to be out of my sight, quite literally. I knew the reason for that.

Of course there was so much more to him than that, but I’m trying to keep it together to share with you what a delight he was in our lives for the past eleven years.

Rest in Peace dear Austin July 18, 2004 – August 27, 2015.


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andrea - August 28, 2015 - 12:18 pm

11 is too young. I am so sorry, Diane. It’s a hard loss and he was a beauty. (I still crave a red merle.)

Susan - August 28, 2015 - 2:46 pm

oh no..another great loss 🙁 I’m so sorry, Diane. This is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet boy. Sending love and hugs. xo

Susan - August 28, 2015 - 2:47 pm

I haven’t been keeping up with other blogs this summer but something made me look at yours today. Beautiful memorial to your beloved dog. I am always grateful for the gifts dogs give us. No wonder we miss them so much.

Gabriele - August 28, 2015 - 3:18 pm

You have my deepest condolences. It must have been hard to write this memorial but thank-you for sharing.

Lisa Gordon - August 28, 2015 - 4:18 pm

I am so very sorry, Diane. I know how much this hurts. They become such an important part of our families.

Fly high, sweet Austin. xo.

Anita - August 28, 2015 - 5:26 pm

Oh, Diane. I am so sorry. Pearl, and now, Austin. Both beautiful friends. They do leave a big empty spot when they go. I will be thinking of you.

Sue Halloran - August 29, 2015 - 3:58 am

Diane, your gallery tribute to Austin is beautiful. Your words and pictures brings tears to my eyes. You have honored him well. I am so sorry for this profound loss and the big hole in your heart. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Sue Halloran

Connie Hull - August 29, 2015 - 5:37 am

Diane, I am so sorry for your loss. But he is STILL with you…and knows how much you loved him… God bless !

kathy - August 29, 2015 - 10:12 am

So sorry for your loss. A beautiful tribute to a beloved family member.

Candace - August 29, 2015 - 3:21 pm

Diane, I’m so sorry. I was dreading to see this post. So soon after Pearl, take care of yourself. He was very handsome.

Aaron & Mark - August 29, 2015 - 8:04 pm

Diane and John,
We are so sad to hear that Austin has also made his way over the rainbow bridge. You have written a touching tribute to a beautiful dog. We have no doubt that he will greatly missed. Please know that you are welcome to walk Tim anytime you like. Sending you much love, Aaron and Mark

Annie - August 31, 2015 - 12:58 pm

I’m so sorry to read this … Kipling was right, they tear our hearts when they go xxx

Nancy - September 1, 2015 - 3:39 pm

Oh Diane, this is a most loving tribute to such a beautiful boy. I understand your sorrow & have shared a love likes yours! How blessed we were to have had such amazing creatures to care for & enjoy for their beginning & in their end, Prayers for Austin & loads of live for you! ???

Bridie - September 2, 2015 - 2:03 pm

Oh, Diane. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet friend. Austin was clearly well loved; your tribute to him here is a testament to that. What a hard loss.

Lionel Daneault - September 18, 2015 - 6:15 am

I shall miss seeing Austin and John on my morning walks. He was such a handsome dog.

Sherry - September 19, 2015 - 12:24 pm

Oh, Diane, I did not see this until just now. My heart aches for you. What a beautiful and happy boy he was and how much joy he brought — and companionship and love. Why do their lives have to be so short? Big hugs to you…xo

Eden - September 27, 2015 - 9:12 am

Diane, I am so sorry for your loss.

Deborah Carr - October 14, 2015 - 2:17 pm

Oh Diane…I am so sorry to hear about Austin. I always loved the ways in which you captured his character in your photos…and those beautiful blue eyes. How well I know the pain of goodbyes. And knowing that the time is coming…it’s like a tidal wave that you are helpless to stop, isn’t it? My dog heart to yours.

Murmuration » observed by Diane - January 6, 2016 - 4:28 pm

[…] family and acquaintances for your kind thoughts after I shared about the recent death of our dear Austin, so soon after Pearl’s death as well (but to us they were family members too). It’s […]