Aussie shepherd ‘Wild Bill Cody’ makes his own music in Charlotte

After the death of their Australian Shepherd, Jack and Diane Clegg of Charlotte knew they wanted another. They found a tri-color Aussie online that a family had decided against keeping. So Wild Bill Cody came to the Clegg home and is surpassing expectations in more ways than one. He lives with his Wheaten Terrier sister, Calamity Jane. Diane tells his story.

Weighing in: We found out Wild Bill Cody came from a breeder in Oklahoma and was supposed to be a toy version of the breed, meaning he wasn’t supposed to weigh more than 15 pounds. When we got him at nearly 6 months old, he already weighed 17. He’s about 4 and now weighs 32 pounds.

No, thanks: Our previous Aussie, Meggie, had won trick contests, used the agility equipment we had and played ball. But Wild Bill Cody would have none of that. He doesn’t even shake hands for a treat. Wild Bill Cody was destructive at first – part of how he got his name – but also very smart. He loved to arrange toys on the floor in shapes like squares, triangles and circles, with a Frisbee in the middle.

Play on: Wild Bill Cody’s favorite toys are the musical ones. He has a bear that plays “Rock a Bye, Baby” and a reindeer that sings “Rudolph.” He greets us with their music when we come home, proudly wiggling his butt. When Calamity Jane wants attention, she plays his musical toys and he comes running to their rescue.

Model pupil: I teach piano so it’s truly appropriate Wild Bill Cody learned to play. He works his way onto the bench and plays notes with his paws. I’d love to find a keyboard with keys the size of his paws; I think I could teach him simple patterns of notes. He’ll be on YouTube before long. Hilary Trenda


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