'Heart dog' - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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'Heart dog'

What is a heart dog? How is he/she different from any other dog you've cared for?

What has your heart dog taught you?

When did your heart dog enter your life? Was it a low point in your life? Did your heart dog leave you at a high point in your life? Or is your heart dog still with you?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 11:59 AM
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I'm looking forward to reading this thread later. Zoe is my first dog now that I have my own family. I love her like one of my Children but she's also 5 months old and just a huge pain in the butt most days. Lol so right now she's just my "trying to give me a heart attack" dog

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 12:12 PM
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What is a heart dog? To me your heart dog is the dog you think of when someone starts talking about dogs. He is your perfect dog, reads you and you read him. Commands become obsolete and you just intuitively know what each one needs to do.

How is he/she different from any other dog you've cared for?
He just is. He becomes your definition of YOUR dog.

What has your heart dog taught you?
Bishop taught me what companionship really is. What "just a dog" can truly be.
When did your heart dog enter your life?
My father owned a kennel, and passed away, when we were dismantling the kennel (i was 22 and my daughter was about to be born, in no position to care for a Kennel.) there was a litter born two weeks after his death, 2 day from his birthday. I decided to keep one, he never left my side, ever.
Was it a low point in your life?
I had just found out I was having a daughter, as excited as i was, I was also completely panicking, Bishop made it okay, gave me something to focus on.

Did your heart dog leave you at a high point in your life?
He died of a cancerous tumor one day, laid down in his spot while I smoked a cig, just like every day for the 4 years of his life. I felt it though, he exhaled a little heavier than normal and I didn't even look down, I knew he was gone. We didn't even know he was sick. I sat on my porch in my chair, him still laying in his spot, with him for about 6 hours petting him. It was two days before my birthday. Two years ago this month.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 12:46 PM
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HI ZEEVA.......

so a heart = favorite dog ?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 12:58 PM
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I've had a lot of dogs in my life but I can say Kiya is my heart dog. Maybe because when she started having seizures and I almost lost her we made a connection unlike any of my other dogs.
A few years ago we were in the vets parking lot to check a lameness. The tec took her from me and tried to jog away with her. Kiya just kept looking at me and my vet said "she sure is your dog".

Lakota - WGSD 1/13/10
Wolfen - WGSD 12/31/14
Bull -WGSD 2-10-10
Apache - Shiloh Shepherd 12/15/02 - 6/9/15
Kiya - Shiloh Shepherd 5/15/04 -12/19/25
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 01:41 PM
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I wrote this a few years ago, and I would like to share it with you. Perhaps it will answer your question, and maybe you will just think it's sappy.
Sabi has now passed as well, and her ashes rest next to Freeways.

Many years ago I was blessed with Freeway. She was a truly amazing animal with a seemingly endless capacity for forgiveness. I was honored enough to be her keeper for the few short years of her stay on this earth. With the deck stacked against her from day one she wandered through life healing hearts and making lifelong friends. She never met a stranger and no person or animal was ever denied her friendship. Those beautiful eyes melted the coldest heart and soothed the most wounded souls. I lost her to heart failure on September 29, 1999, her ashes still rest near my bed and even as I am typing this tears of pain and loss flow freely. She was not my dog, she belonged to those in need, it was simply my destiny to assist her with her journey. Forever touched by her generous spirit. Forever missing her.

Losing Freeway crippled me. I refused to let another dog near me, I turned away from my family and friends and retreated to a very dark and lonely place. It seemed so unfair that the dog that healed everyone she met, left me to face life alone. And then, on February 28, 2002, one tiny pup that noone wanted, a baby with a soul older then time, a little girl with a huge agenda, dropped in and dragged me from my prison. Saboteur had very different ideas from mine. I wanted nothing to do with her, she wanted nothing to do with anyone but me. With the spirit of a warrior Sabi layed claim to my soul and took me along on her journey. Her courage, determination and loyalty are a credit to the breed even if her health is not. 'There is no quit in that dog' is a phrase we have heard repeatedly. Diagnosed with severe HD at 3 years old, the vet was not optimistic about things. We forgot to tell Sabs she was crippled, and she never found out. She worked until age 9 with no problems. DM is a much more grim prognosis. Our only hope is slow progression, but my fearless lady charges on. Heedless of dire predictions she plunges into the next chapter of our story and demands I come along. I am her world, no other holds her interest, she lives to be with me. We have had some grand adventures her and I. With luck we will have many more.

My heart dog, Freeway. But Sabi, she owns my soul.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 01:44 PM
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A heart dog has a connection to you like no other. It is not about being the perfect dog, desired dog, having a special obtaining story, or even being a healthy dog, it is about a soul to soul connection so deep it is unexplainable except to someone who has had a heart dog too. One may have many dogs in a lifetime but only one or maybe two heart dogs. There are heart dogs and there are other dogs. The other dogs may be far superior to the heart dogs in health, training, aptitude, intelligence, workability, etc. But that is no matter. They are not the One (with the capital O). Heart dogs are sent by the universe because your very soul needs them and they need you.

I have had 5 dogs and will be getting a 6th next month. Three are at the Bridge.

My first heart dog was a blue merle aussie. There was a time in life soon after that when some really bad stuff happened to me and I no longer wanted to live. I lived for that dog just like he lived for me. He taught me to love unconditionally, even myself and the world after bad things happened. I would not be OK today except for his soul carrying me through the darkest time of my life. The next two dogs were dogs that came for a reason. One was my husband's girl and one was a wonderful service dog and my constant companion. Not my heart dog, but my best friend and protector. Six weeks after my Aussie passed came another heart dog, my Shay here in the pic. My shepherd. Both my husband and I love him more than life, for all his flaws and his triumphs. Little Shay, my timid fearful boy, carried me through my Dad's cancer treatment and passing. He bore so much on his young shoulders. My soul depended on his strength and he was glad to give it. My little sheltie girl who came along last summer has taught me and loved me and challenged me. Not my heart dog but my bestie girlfriend, my sista, the 4-legged adult in the room. Soon I am to get another sheltie puppy to do a lot of training and activities with. We have miles to go and places to see, him and me. He is my freedom, my chance to roam the world with a companion and do things I want to do with a dog that I have not been able to do for years and years. Will he be my heart dog? We will see. Can we have two heart dogs living at the same time? Not sure that is possible. We have been lucky with two heart dogs and three great dogs so far.

While all dogs come to you for a reason, heart dogs come along as the universes's gift to your soul.

Cara -- Central CA
+ Shay -- GSD
+Melody Rose & Cubby Shelties

Last edited by Cara Fusinato; 06-06-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 02:33 PM
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I have a great story for this thread!
Growing up we always had GSD's. As us kids grew up, my parents still always had one.
My dad's last dog, Max, passed away at 11 and he didn't get another dog. In Feb of 2009 my brother committed suicide. My parents changed in an instant, and my dad lost his best friend, and his only son. About six months after my brother died, I felt like my dad needed something to fill his void, so I started looking for an older GSD for him. I came across an ad with no pic and called the gal. He was a 6 year old GSD who did not like men, and was quite aggressive, (so she said!). Something just told me that this was the dog for my dad. I contacted my dad and he in turn contacted the gal and made plans to meet at my parent's house. When Lucian jumped out of her vehicle, He ran immediately to my dad and the bond was instant. Lucian did not look back. My dad changed his name to Luke, and it was the best thing that has EVER happened to my dad. It brought the love back into his life, and it brought love into Luke's life. Luke is my dad's best friend. He has a spinal condition, and is not going to be around much longer, and it breaks my heart that my dad will go through the heart ache again...but for the time being, Luke saved my dad, and my dad saved Luke. His heart dog.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 02:57 PM
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What is a heart dog? How is he/she different from any other dog you've cared for?

To me, a heart dog is a soulmate dog. It's the dog you have a heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul, connection with. Eva was my heart dog. I just knew. I didn't even want a dog when we adopted her, and yet within 24 hours I found myself sleeping next to her crate, waking up every hour on the hour to take her out (undiagnosed EPI), etc. It's hard to describe. It's just this deep, abiding connection, ya know?

What has your heart dog taught you?

Oh gosh. Everything. Eva taught me to have more patience with both animals {and their owners} and humans who were troubled by behavioral problems. She taught me the true, full meaning of devotion, respect, and love. She just...changed my world and my outlook. It's hard to put into words!

When did your heart dog enter your life? Was it a low point in your life? Did your heart dog leave you at a high point in your life? Or is your heart dog still with you?

Eva came into my life at an exceptionally low point. I'd just suffered three staggering, sudden losses. She left me at an average point in my life, I guess. Her leaving created a new low, though.

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{Hildy} Evelyn von Sketchy Rescue, aka Eva / Eves / Evoo
- 5 to 6 years old
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RIP my sweetest girl
2/15/13 - 4/30/14
Forever loved
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-07-2014, 10:06 AM
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I added this post over on the sheltie board --there are actually TWO of us over there with GSD's and Shelties. You would be amazed how many times they are talking about the same things as this board at the same time. For a post like this, I cross-posted over. The sheltie folk are now pondering this and really loving telling the tales of their special ones. Thanks OP. This is a really great question and the stories read like a Chicken Soup book.

Cara -- Central CA
+ Shay -- GSD
+Melody Rose & Cubby Shelties
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