Always wanted a dog as a child, but was never allowed one. In retrospect, it was a good thing because my mother would not have allowed a dog to live inside the house and I would have been devastated thinking of my pup outside in the cold. In her later years, my Mom became very attached to my sister's Yorkie, so I know she had an affinity for animals, but it never trumped her desire for a pristine house.
My love for the GSD came, I think, from a dog named Colonel, who was owned by my parent's friends. His claim to fame, aside from being just about perfect in every way, was that he rescued a child who fell into a lake and was drowning. This was a dog that was not raised with children. I remember burying my face in his fur and just wanting to stay there forever. Now, I'm blessed to have my wonderful girl with her incredibly soft, silky black coat to bury my face in all these years later.