The Story of Gunslinger Mini and Toy Aussies
How We Got Started
Hello! We are Melinda (Poole) O’Banion and Brian O’Banion from the small town of Louisburg, Kansas; we run a small farm of quarter horses (Reining Horses) and “little” Aussies. Our dogs possess the same wonderful qualities of the standard size Australian Shepherd, but only in a small package. Our dogs have excellent conformation, health and temperament in a 10-15-20 pound frame. They are raised in our home (we are not an outdoor kennel), genetically tested, ASDR registered, and shown in the show ring to boot! We are known for our excellent socialization and loving, medium drive dogs.
How did we find and come to love these magnificent little dogs??? Let me tell you our story. I am Melinda! I am a native of Mississippi and a horse veterinarian by advanced residency training; however, I have a strong interest in dogs and reproduction (of course!). Brian is my husband and is a native of Kentucky. He works in commercial/farm and ranch real estate, and development. We met in Indiana and moved to Kansas! I (Melinda) grew up on a large beef cattle ranch (2000+ mama cows) and 50 horses in central Mississippi. Standard size Australian Shepherds and Border Collies with the occasional Catahoula Cur were the dogs we used to work cattle. I have always had a love of smart, working dogs and have raised dogs and horses for over 30 years. I specialty trained in equine internal medicine and practiced at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for 7-8 years. In 2004, I left equine practice (full time) and entered the pharmaceutical industry to develop novel drugs for unmet medical needs in dogs, cats and horses. Additionally, I maintain all my veterinary licenses and currently practice on dogs and horses on a part-time basis as Poole Veterinary Services.
Brian grew up on a tobacco/hay/cattle farm in central Kentucky and graduated from Western Kentucky University in marketing and finance. He is also a lover of dogs and horses, and even more so since he met me. ;) Both Brian and I are firearm enthusiasts and have taught concealed carry and gun safety classes in the past; hence the origin of “Gunslinger”. One amazing day in 2010, as we were working a horse show in Kansas City, low and behold, we came across a pen full of Toy Aussie puppies for sale. My exact words were, “is that a small version of an Aussie???” That was it. It was all over. The love affair had begun and we were hooked. One turned into two, two turned into three…..you get the idea……..
All our dogs are registered ASDR – American Stock Dog Registry; we have a few dogs that are dual registered with AKC – American Kennel Club. All of our dogs are genetically tested for relevant diseases that affect Australian Shepherds. Yes, all our dogs live in our home and no we do not have any outside kennels. We built an addition on to our house called the “dog room”. Most of the dogs live in this “dog room” that is set up like a living room with a couch, chair, tv and tons of toys and opens to a HUGE back yard playland. About 8-12 dogs live on the house side and sleep in the bed with us. Our dogs receive yearly vaccinations and monthly heartworm, flea and tick prevention. Our dogs are all house and crate trained and are friendly and well mannered. We have a groomer that comes to our home once to twice a month so that everyone looks bright and shiny! We have full time help in the form of pet sitters, so the dogs are never alone and are loved by many. We have a general manager that helps keep everything running like a well-oiled machine!
We show our dogs in conformation (at ASDR dog shows) and many have earned their Championships. We are extremely proud of our dogs and love them dearly. We are known for our excellent socialization of puppies and take great pride in delivering you not just a dog, but a family member for life. We set the bar high! We health guarantee all our pups, we guarantee a well-socialized pup, and no questions asked we will always take a pup/dog back under any circumstance at any time of that dog’s life. That is just who we are. Good people, raising good dogs. We cherish our repeat customers and referrals as that is the sign of a happy customer.