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A best friend who will always be there
I Love My Pet
Bleau
Shaylin Lach and her dog, Bleau. - photo by Scott Bryant

Bleau is a 2-year-old Border Aussie (Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix) who loves Cheeze-Its, going for car rides and all the belly rubs.

But he loves his human mom, Shaylin Lach, even more. And the feeling is certainly mutual.

Lach adopted Bleau as soon as he was old enough to leave his mother. She was taken in by his cute and fluffy appearance, and his different-colored eyes — one is blue and one is brown. He was part of a friend’s accidental litter, Lach said. 

“At the time, I did not want a dog. I didn’t want to spend the time taking care of an animal, and I knew it would probably be too much responsibility,” she said. “Somehow I got suckered in the first picture I saw of the cute little fluffballs.”

Lach did a lot of research on the breeds, and found that they are incredibly smart and active. She is an avid runner, so she decided that she’d like a running buddy that could keep her motivated.

“The first time I saw Bleau in person, I melted. I didn’t want to leave without him. He was so little, so soft, and had the best puppy breath,” she said. 

Lach brought Bleau home to a grumpy cat named Kitty, who lives outside and loves to catch birds, squirrels and mice. 

When Bleau first came home, he wasn’t housebroken, since he was so young. Lach says it was a struggle in the beginning.

“He peed and pooped everywhere, all the time,” she said. “Finally, at a certain age, he started realizing why he was getting spanked every time he used the bathroom in the house. That was probably the biggest struggle I faced.”

Despite the potty training struggle, Lach said Bleau was a good puppy, and he never chewed on things or caused any issues. She spent hours and hours working with him, and says they still watch dog training videos all the time.

“Bleau is very well behaved in public and has learned very quickly what he can and cannot do. Many people have probably seen Bleau out on our daily walks,” she said. 

But Bleau is a whiner when he’s bored or wants to do something. He also has a habit of begging because Lach says she gives him random snacks. And she says you should never jingle your car keys, because he’ll run for the door, thinking it’s time for a ride.

Bleau is a constant source of entertainment for Lach as well. He sleeps on a pillow, just like a human, and she says he even drools in his sleep.

“The funniest thing he does is when we are going for a ride in the car, he sits on the seat like a human,” she said. “When he’s in the back seat, he will put his back legs on the seat and hold himself up with his front legs and rest his head on the center console,” she said. 

Bleau also loves to hop up and place his front legs around her waist, and dance with his human mama. 

“He’s a snuggler,” she said. “He loves to cuddle.”

Since he came to his forever home, Bleau has learned a thing or two. He has many skills, and has learned commands like sit, stay, come, beg, go play, lie down and roll over. He’s also learned to fetch his toys, and which paw is which — he knows the right one from the left one. He knows the command to “find the kitty,” and Lach says it’s fun to watch him run around in the yard and play with her cat. 

“Bleau has learned how to spot a squirrel when we go squirrel hunting,” she said. “He knows how to put himself in hunting mode and stop and go as we walk through the trails. Bleau loves to ride in the kayak when we go. He also loves boat rides and even sits on the tub. Bleau is an excellent swimmer and tries to dive down and catch the fish at the lake. He is also very good about staying next to me when we go bike riding on the beach at Jekyll Island.”

Lach enjoys spending a lot of time with her dog, and she says she enjoys walking, running, hiking, going to the beach and road trips with her buddy. But Bleau definitely loves the car rides, and loves to stick his head out the window.

“He just loves doing anything. He’s always up for an adventure. His favorite game to play is hide-and-seek. If I have someone over, I tell Bleau to sit and stay. I tell my friend to go hide, and in a good spot. I will tell Bleau to go find them, and sure enough, within seconds, he sniffs them out,” she said. 

Lach makes sure to socialize Bleau with other animals, and he enjoys running and playing with other dogs, chasing and fetching a ball. 

“It’s the easiest way to get all of his energy out,” she said.

Bleau doesn’t sleep in a kennel. When he was a puppy, Lach said he used to sleep next to her. But now, he takes up all the space at the foot of the bed.

Because he is so big and fluffy, it’s hard to find clothes for him, but Lach says he does have a few outfits.

 “He has a Santa outfit, Easter outfit, Halloween costume, rain vest, doggy socks and a regular sweater. He doesn’t enjoy dressing up, but I sure do get a good laugh out of it,” she said. 

Bleau is a big part of the family, and Lach says anytime she is with her family, he’s there too. He was even in the family’s Christmas photo, sporting his Santa suit.

Because he’s family, he gets to celebrate his birthday in special ways. On his first birthday, Lach took him to Savannah, and they went to a dog park, to the pet store to pick out some treats, and then got some ice cream.

“He had the best doggy birthday,” she said. 

Lach says she does talk to Bleau, and she’s fairly sure he understands, because of the “crazy looks he gives.”

“Sometimes when someone is talking to him, he tilts his head and it’s the cutest thing,” she said. 

Lach says what makes Bleau so special to her is that no matter what kind of day she’s having, she can always look forward to coming home to him.

“The facial expressions he shows melt my heart and always puts me in a good mood. He is always so happy and loving that it is just so nice to come home to,” she said. “He also encourages me to get out more and do things I wouldn’t normally do. No matter what we do he is always down to go. He never acts out and he listens so well that it makes going on trips with him so easy. He takes the stress out of a stressful day. Having a bond with your pet is like having a best friend who will always be there to give you a hug and just be there.”