Criteria’s RikkiRoo Rarebeastie, out of Fever by Syd, April 23, 2013 litter.
I was looking for an agility prospect and tried to find one in Aussie rescue, but had no luck. Just by chance,
I stumbled upon the Criteria website and saw "Rosie." We go back many years with Terri, as she was active in agility when
we first started in 1999, but we hadn’t seen her at a trial in some time. On the “available” page was "Rosie."
She sounded just right: red, female, precocious and bold. We came to look at her and fell in love. Our only worry was that
our male Aussie, Rave, might be very upset that we’d gotten a puppy. He has an auto-immune disease that can be affected by
stress. This all happened in August. Segue’ to February, six months later, and Rikki (Rosie’s new name) is Rave’s
constant sidekick. They are truly inseparable and she has made his life such a joy with her unceasing, untiring playfulness
and wonderful personality. We know she has contributed to the better health he’s now enjoying as he’s so happy!
Rikki has many outstanding qualities, but the one at the top of the list is her attitude. This girl always has a smile on
her face. She’s a bundle of affection and devotion. Rikki is the ninth Aussie we’ve owned, and the smallest,
but it’s as if several dog's worth of "Aussitude" is packed into this little creature. She has the personality of an
Aussie, times a hundred, inside her compact package. She jumps higher, she runs faster, she turns quicker, she learns faster;
then she turns her beautiful amber eyes on you and you can see this sage-like wisdom swirling around in them. Rikki is a very
old soul, always evaluating a situation and clicking through the possibilities. She’s also SO mischievous! I affectionately
call her a little snake. She will steal food, weasel her way into situations, and play keep-away to the point of exhaustion.
We have done some obedience and agility foundation training with her, and she catches on instantly. What’s exciting
is that she LOVES to learn. As soon as she realizes it’s class time, she wiggles (though in her case it’s a whole
body vibration) with anticipation, trying to figure out as soon as she can, what she needs to do to please you, to get
that much-desired cookie. In the spring, she’ll start more regular training. Right now, we’re letting her grow
up and enjoy her childhood. Would we get another Criteria puppy? You BET! Our hopes are that Rikki takes her lightning speed
(we call her an Inter-Continental Ballistic Aussie) to the agility course and becomes a star. We’ll also be herd testing
her in the near future. She’s aces at herding cats, so sheep should be no problem! We’d love to hear about all
her brothers and sisters in her litter. Surely, they’re all phenomenal, just like Rikki! Thank you, Terri, for allowing
us to make Rikki a part of our family.
A Beautiful Adventure
"I had been looking for a new canine companion for some time - over 20 years!
When I finally realized that it was an Aussie - personality that fit the bill, I was quite blessed to have come across Terri's
website - Criteria Australian Shepherds.
Terri from the get-go, was prompt with emails, answered (thoroughly) my endless questions
and seemed to be as eager to meet me as I was to meet her and her dogs. To get an opportunity to meet the parent-dogs
in person and meet the breeder was a crucial part of deciding which dog would eventually be best for me.
At the Dumont home, I first met "Summer" (dam) who greeted me with the best "Aussie
grin" I've seen yet. She was so friendly and gentle. Then later, when I met "Syd" (sire) he was so bright-eyed
and wiggling with excitement - very sweet and gentle. These were just great dogs! That speaks volumes
for their breeders/owners, Terri Burkart-Swenson and Tamara Dumont for raising "Syd" and "Summer" (respectfully) in such loving
homes. It goes without saying then that the puppies of these two dogs should have at least some of their fine qualities.
Both Tamara and Terri were very open about everything, and allowed frequent, unhurried visitation of puppies. This was
my very first opportunity buying a pet from a breeder and what a great introduction to this aspect of pet ownership.
These Criteria puppies are not raised in kennels, but in a devoted and caring home with all the activity, socialization, noises
and comforts only a family/home environment can provide.
At first I thought I wanted only a blue merle female (!) but after researching
Aussies in general, I realized that it was neither color nor gender that truly matter, but personality. This sentiment
was echoed and encouraged by the knowledge and experience of both Terri and Tamara. Follow your heart, not your mind.
I found my "Caelan", a beautiful red tri male, at day 18 of life - or should I say...he
found me? His calm and gentle personality has been solid since the day I met him. I asked Tamara and two
of her girls to keep an eye on him as I was hoping for a calmer, more laid-back Aussie. They watched diligently over
the following weeks and confirmed that, indeed, he continued to be one of the calmest puppies. I drove up to see
the litter twice before finally taking my "Caelan" home
His first week with me he is definitely a calm gentle boy - but gets busy with activities and
fun just like any puppy, but quickly settles again. Perfect! I couldn't ask for a better companion.
Already, he is quite the traveler, going back and forth from my home near the ocean to the East bay where I work. He
is, and always will be, the light of my life.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank both Terri and Tamara (and all of the Dumont family) whose pure
dedication and love helped raise such a wonderful puppy. I look forward to sending photos and updates of "Caelan's"
adventures. I know when it's time to add another beautiful Aussie into my heart I will certainly go back to Criteria,
where they are very professional and down-to-earth. All in all, it has been a fantastic experience!"
Sincerely, Bede (Elisabeth W. Hodgson, RN) & "Caelan" from Bodega Bay / Berkeley, CA
This is a Syd daughter "Bella" and her human Emily. They are excelling in Rally, obedience and i've
heard that Bella is a natural with the sheep. Keep up the good work girls! Watch for this dynamic duo in the Northwest.
Mick and Mowgli are owned and loved by the Kent family in Pleasant Hills California. Mick is
from out Frankie x Syd litter and Mowgli if from our Lennie x Taos litter.
Thank you Nonie for being such a wonderful mother to these two great boys. I know you'll have
your hands full but will have plenty of love to give along the way as well as a lifetime of enjoyment.
My name is Terry. One day I asked my husband if I could have a dog. With my son
at school and now working, also with my husband at work I felt I wanted a companion. I knew people in the neighborhood
with small dogs, aka Carpet dogs, and my music teacher also had a small mixed dog. So I thought it would be nice to
have one of these Carpet dogs. My husband said no! He told me I needed a real dog. After many hours of doing
research on the internet for medium sized dogs (also owning an Aussie mix several years ago), he decided that's what we should
get. So he came across Terri's website and she had just had a litter of pups. We gave Terri a call and went to
visit her a few days later - JUST to look. John said to me" Don't fall in love with the first puppy you see".
Well, guess who fell in love with the first puppy he saw - John! After meeting Terri and her puppies, there was something
special about them. We went over again the following week and put a deposit on a black tri female. The personalities
and temperments are wonderful on all of Terris dogs, from the adults to the pups. For our first time buying from a breeder,
it was wonderful. We went over every weekend to see Kelli. Even one time we couldn't make it on a weekend and
Terri was very gracieous about having us over after she came home from work. Kelli is now seven months old and we are
the best of friends. I take her almost everwhere with me and am very impressed on how smart she is and her willingness
to learn and please us. John and Kelli will be doing Agiltiy in the near future.
I do want to thank Terri for her friendship and kindness to my family.
Terry, John, Brian and Kelli - Shingle Springs, CA