Hi there, everyone. My name is Callie and I used to be a member of these forums a verrrrry long time ago - at this point I believe it's been about 10 years since I frequented these parts. I doubt anyone remembers me. I was a teenager then, and had a black and tan German Shepherd named Bane, who was my best friend in the world.
I've been involved with German Shepherds a huge portion of my life. I grew up running in the woods with my family's pack of Shepherds, I grew up nurturing puppies and training adult dogs, until I was around 14 or 15 and we moved into the city. After losing Bane as a teenager, I have always, always wanted another Shepherd in my life, and I had actually made plans for down the road buying from friend and breeder, Christine of Blackthorne in Virginia. It didn't end up working out like that, though!
I am very heavily involved in rescue work, we fostered and rehomed close to 60 dogs and puppies on our own last year, and we did transports for many more. Our latest transport was to See Spot Rescued in Jersey City, and it was a blast. I have, for the past few months, been following a story from my mother about a man who recently had a stroke, and his two adult German Shepherds had been in limbo, thus the story begins.
My mom works at the local library, and through her coworker, she learned of a man who was a German Shepherd enthusiast, had a stroke and sadly, after a few weeks had passed away. This is where the story gets a bit convoluted...his dogs were taken in by a friend, and kept in a large kennel-run in the backyard. It is my understanding that the dogs were cared for, but due to the chaos with the family and friends at this time, the dogs were kind of put on the back burner. The dogs ended up being kept in the kennel for several months, while the owner's estate was sorted out, during which time, the female dog had evidently come into heat. She and his older male had mated, and when I first heard about the story, she was starting to show signs of being pregnant.
Finally, one of the man's nephew had stepped up and taken both of the dogs in, brought them to the vet, the vet confirmed the pregnancy and basically gave the nephew details on how to go about caring for her, etc etc. The man brought her in, and has been a great guy and very responsible so far. The female has an appointment to be spayed, they have been kept indoors as pets since then and their lives have been greatly improved since he took them in, which is great. It is a tricky situation, and while I am disappointed that an unplanned breeding took place of two dogs with no background history [nobody can find any paperwork on either parents, though they are both microchipped and the original owner had always spoken highly of the breeder, evidently], their new and current owner has stepped up where others did not and now these dogs, despite their rough patch, are doing very well.
Anyhow, the female ended up having a litter of 5 puppies, all of which had been claimed [all the new puppy owners had pitched in some money to get the parents spayed and neutered, by way of adoption "fee"] and they are 9 weeks old today. I and my mother both ended up adopting one. This is her first German Shepherd in almost 15 years and my first in almost 10.
I ended up picking out a small male, who I named Atlas and my mother picked out the bossy female she named Scout.
Unfortunately, puppy pick-up time ended up coming at a tricky situation for myself, as one of my dogs ended up needing emergency surgery last weekend and we ended up paying around $1,000 for that, but as tricky as it was, it ended up going very smoothly and without event. The pups were vaccinated at 6 weeks and again today, and are just wonderful! Scout is very outgoing and speaks her mind and Atlas is very reserved, playful and kind of a momma's boy.
Anyhow, a little about myself, I am 25 years old, I currently live in Charleston, WV with my fiance and we are staying temporarily with my mother while renovations are done on our new home upstate. We are in the process of buying a 22 acre farm in New Haven, WV and will be moving in the next month. We are both very excited about starting out anew on a farm, and we plan on shooting for a life we hope will be relatively self-sustaining. Ideally we would like to grow our own fruit, veggies and meat and raise our own livestock free of cages, hormones and antibiotics. We have plans mapped out for indoor/outdoor kennels for our future foster dogs and also have plans to start working with the local pound in effort to get a rescue plan up and kill-rates down. I am an amateur pet photographer, so expect a lot of photos!
We have big hearts and a lot of our own dogs, occasionally, we have trouble letting one of our fosters go and it shows. Our bed is always very, very full at night. My fiance and I both love to train and we are very active with our "pack", we always try to plan weekly outings to go hiking or swimming with them, so despite our large family, nobody is ever bored or feels left out.
Here are some photos of our furkids:
This is Gage, my cattle dog mix Service dog, on our trip to New York in December.
This is Evee, my pom/jrt mix.
My chihuahua, Paisley.
Liam, my husky-mix and my boy who just had surgery. They removed a piece of plastic that was causing a blockage in his stomach. He is making a full recovery, though and goes to get his stitches out tomorrow!
Jasper, our jrt mix.
Sam, our hound mix girl.
, on Flickr
Gendry, out cattle dog mix who does the best flying nun impression. :P
Jelly, who we believe is a golden retriever/heeler mix. She is completely spoiled and a favorite of my fiance [probably since he rescued her!]
Lando, our shepherd mix, who, bless his heart, is a lifer and unadoptable with his "issues".
Pixel, the corgi mix.
My fiance, Rob, with Paisley on one of our outings.
Gage and I, on our recent NY trip.
We have plans on sticking CGC to the end of many names this year, Liam is ready for his test, just needs to recover from his surgery and we even hope to get Lando his title, despite his issues.
I also have dreams of working Atlas in schutzhund, having just found a club locally, and am very excited. I have been wanting to get involved in this sport for many years and look forward to learning more about it before Atlas and I make the plunge. Our life literally revolves around our dogs, and they are our inspiration to make the move to a farm with enough space for them and they inspire us to want to become more green and fluid with the earth. We love the idea of "growing and raising" our own dog food and knowing where it came from and knowing that it was raised with love and in healthy conditions. We feed about 50% raw and 50% grain-free, but we really want to be able to make the switch to 100% prey-model raw, by summer. We get a lot of criticism from people for having so many dogs, but we do right by our 'pack', and we strive to make sure they get darn near the best of everything, and considering each and every one of them is a rescue dog - they are living the life compared to where they came from.
I know I've darn near chewed y'all's ears off, so I'll just leave you now with a few photos of Atlas and his sister, Scout! I look forward to my time here, and hope to get to know each and every one of you! So, hi!
This is my boy, Atlas.
& my mom's girl, Scout. Scout spends most of the day with me, since my mom is at work.
Here is a picture of Atlas at 6 weeks!