Wednesday, March 18, 2009


7 weeks old
first time we went camping with her

When Gary and I first met, Gary mentioned he'd always wanted a breed of dog called a Queensland Heeler (Blue Heeler, Australian Cattle). Whenever Gary talked about Queensland Heeler's, I said I wasn't sure about getting this breed of dog since I was unfamiliar with them. In my family I'd grown up with Boxers and that's the only breed of dog I'd ever really known. After we'd been married for only two months, I saw an ad in the local paper for Queensland Heeler puppies. I debated about whether to tell Gary about the ad for the puppies. As the weekend drew near I mentioned the ad about the puppies to Gary.

Blue Textured Vase
10" tall x 5" wide

That very weekend we went to look at the litter of Queensland Heeler puppies. I remember it clearly, even though it was over 23 years ago. There were 13 puppies in the litter. The owner said the vet had told him it was very unusual for this breed of dog to have so many puppies, especially in the first litter.

Blue Leaves
3.5" approx. each

When we arrived there, the puppies were racing around chasing each other all over the yard. It was like a whirlwind of puppies every where. We stayed there for a while just watching the puppies running every which way. After a while, Gary looked at me and said, "Can we get one?" and I said, "Which one do you think we should get?" We picked out a female puppy and named her Blue because she was a blue Queensland Heeler.

Blue Woven Crosses
9" x 7" and 7" x 5"

As newly weds, Gary and I took Blue wherever we went. We took her camping, jeeping, and vacations. We even took Blue to the Baja for a couple of weeks. Once, when Blue was just a pup, we went camping and stayed up late around the camp fire. Blue had never been camping before and, as the evening wore on, we heard her whine. We turned on the flashlight and saw her standing in front of our tent to get in. She was telling us it was time to turn in and she instinctively knew the tent was the place to go to sleep when camping.

one year old
with our cat's kitten
she acted like the kitten was her own offspring

Later in the year we had our first snow fall in our yard, we took Blue outside to see what she would think of the snow. It was one of those snow falls where the flakes are huge and fall ever so slowly like feathers floating from the sky. A snowflake would hit Blue in the eye and she would shake it off, then it would hit her in the ears and she would shade it off. A short time later we saw that Blue had figured out the snowflakes were coming from above her, she tilted her head up to the sky and started barking with an annoying type of bark as if to say, stop snowing on me. We were always amazed at how smart Blue was. Sadly, thirteen years ago Blue died from a tick-born disease called (ehrlichiosis).

Blue Vinca Flower
2" x 2"

The photos of Blue are digital photos I took today of 35 mm photographs from our albums. Back then I didn't have a digital camera. Now you know why my blog is called Blue Starr Gallery. All of the ceramic pieces posted today are from the last Cone 10 firing. Here's a blue flower for today from a variegated vinca vine. Probably more of a lavender color, but the closest thing to blue in my garden.


  1. That's so sweet. Thanks for sharing your Blue story. Cute photos! And really nice blue glaze.

  2. Thanks Jeanette, we really enjoyed our dog Blue. That blue glaze is one of my favorites.

  3. Blue was beautiful -- what smart dogs. My husband & had an Australian cattle dog early in our marriage. Annie -- she was wonderful. We now have a border collie - same kind of personality. Great companions.

    I love how Blue is still with you. . . . .

  4. you might have seen photos before on my blog of our dog Tyler. His mom was a border collie blue heeler mix and his dad was an Australian shepard named Blue. Tyler was one of ten and has really beautiful blue eyes. He is eight now, has survived being hit by a car twice and survived Lyme disease. Great camping dog and so easy to be around. He's not the smartest dog I have ever owned but by far the sweetest. What a cute puppy your Blue was!

  5. Hi Judy, yes still with us in our hearts.

    Hi Meredith, you know if you go to look at a litter of puppies you are coming home with one.

    Hi Tracey, maybe those dogs have big litters, I'll have to go and check your blog again. Our next dog survived heartworm treatment but boy was that traumatic - they give them arsenic just enough to al most kill them to kill the heart worm. Blue was definitely special.

  6. Blue looked like a sweetheart of a dog. That blue textured vase is definitely a sweetheart of a pot. Looks great!

  7. Thanks Jerry, the texture was made with a etched caster which I rolled on the surface after construction. I put some small gloss black dots on the front which ran a little more than I wanted, but I'm glad I added them, the blue on this vase is so vibrant. Looking now I could have gone with a black interior as a contrast, I need to practice more glazing techniques and think of other combinations and what they will look like after firing.

  8. My son has Dixie the cattle dog and I love her; thanks for story and pictures. Joan T

  9. Hi Joan, seems as though folks either love them or don't; I guess that's true with a lot of breeds of dogs; we've been having fun going through all of our old photo albums.

  10. What a beautiful dog Blue was. My husband also loves Aussie Cattle dogs, but I think loves Boxers more :o) Right now, it's hard for us to think of any other dog than our current spoiled pet, "Tauzer (the Giant) Schnauzer!" Being a dog family they become such an important part of your life.

    Your leaves are BEAUTIFUL. All of the hues of Blue in your blog are lovely!

  11. Oh how we love our pets! Blue was a gorgeous dog, what a nice tribute you've written....

  12. Hi Cindy, yes dogs do become an important part of the family, I remember your Giant Schnauz. All our pets are spoiled too, they have us trained. Right now we don't have a dog. When we move, we plan on getting another one. I started posting these pieces and thought of Blue so I thought it would be fun. Thanks about the leaves, I put holes in them to make a wind chime, but it might have to be an indoor mobile because our wind here is so strong sometimes I'm afraid they'll break.

    Hi Cynthia, thanks, it seems all my pets have a story to tell. I plan on telling about them from time to time, so stay tuned for more pet stories.

  13. Now I know why it's 'blue'. Thanks! What a wonderful post.


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