Your" I had no intention of getting a dog".... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

Adoption. Did you ever end up in the right place at the right time, and end with a dog that you didn't know existed 2 hours earlier, or had forgotten?? Please share.

It was a cool cloudy, but rainless day in late September 2001. Fairbanks, along with the rest of the world was still reeling from September 11th, winter was not far off, it was mid-week, and I had the day off from my night job as a pizza delivery driver. I had just dropped Buffy off for her weekly visit with her aging owner at the rest home, and I was out driving around. Maxie, my 2 year old wild child, was hunkered down in the backseat of the Festiva, clinking her tags, as she worked to make a frazzled rag out of yet another leash. We were bored out of our gourds, so we worked our way further and further to the outskirts of Fairbanks, checking out the sights. As we got out to the little roads where there were few people, I turned down a gravel road that was familiar, even though I had been only on it once 6 years prior. It was narrow, too much so for even my little car to turn around, so I inched down to the end, so I could turn around. There was a house at the end, and as I rolled a few feet into the driveway, 2 huge german shepherds came out of nowhere, and sauntered up to the Festiva. One was a tall gangly male, and the other a huge female. Even though she was quite fat, and aged some, I still recognized her quite well. The swayed back, stiff knees, and sagged out stomach spoke of too many breedings, but she was still a pretty dog. And I knew one thing. I was in a private driveway out in the middle of nowhere, and I had to get out of there. But as I put the car into gear to back out, I realized I was too late.

January 1995. I was in my early 20's unemployed, except for a few odd jobs here and there fixing cars. It was also my first year when I was considering a german shepherd after years of sled dogs. A friend of mine had just aquired one from a BYB, and his dog looked really cool to my untrained eye. So, I decided to get one from the same breeder. I got a female, not because I prefered the, but because she was one of the last 2 females. A lovely dog, I named her Molly. I was quite taken by her mother, a oversized GSD named Peggy. A huge dog, with forlegs like my wrist, I hoped Molly would look just like her. But we would never find out. I had left town for a bit to help a friend salvage a damaged plane. My sister took Molly for that time, but not wanting to keep dogs indoors, she left her out on a chain by one of her doghouses. One night, someone, likely her drug addict neighbor, cut Mollies collar, probably stole her to get drugs, and she was never seen again. She was 8 months old.

The 4 boys were as I remembered them, feisty, full of life, and quite friendly. As were the parents. I had to tell them that the dog in the backseat was not Molly, and I told them what happened. We talked for a bit, as I watched Peggy frolick about the yard with the other, younger shepherds. I was a bit uncomfortable, telling them that I was careless, and lost the pup I had gotten from them years before, but as we talked, and I looked for an excuse to bail, I realized the 4 boys had a different concern, because they kept asking if I was looking for another dog. Then as the parents chimed in, I got the real picture. The family was leaving town in the near future, back to Salt Lake City, Utah. And they would not be taking 10 year old Peggy with them, trip would be too hard on her. They knew she had a zero chance of being adopted, so they had scheduled for her to be put to sleep the following week. But kids never give up, and now I realized I was their ray of hope, and the parents agreed if I was interested in taking Peggy, they would cancell the visit to the vet. But, I was still in my" Puppy Only" mode. I looked closer at the big aging old female. Her face was lovely, but could I deal with her health issues? I looked at the 4 pleading faces around my car. I gave the family my phone number, told them I would think about it. I started my car, turned around, and left the way I came, and as I looked in the rearview mirror at the dogs and people staring after me, I realized one thing. I had no intention of returning.

A week went by, 10 days, and I tried to go about my life. But I couldn't get Peggy out of my mind. She is probably dead by now, the family gone on their way, I kept telling myself. It would be better for her, I thought. But I couldn't get her face, her eyes, her poor worn out body out of my mind. Suddenly, on October 8th, in a near panic, I dove into my car, and raced for the outskirts of Fairbanks. A short time later, i was turning down the narrow road to the house on the end. As I neared, I anxiously looked to see if she was still there. As I rolled into the drive, Peggy came sauntering out to the Festiva. Quite suddenly, she had become the most beatiful dog I had ever seen. I got out of the car, and knelt to hug her. Tried to not take too much notice of the creaking bones, but she was all GSD. The family were all out, save for the father, and he grinned when he saw me. Kids will be thrilled when they find out you returned. We talked at length, and then it was time to load Peggy up into my car, and we headed off home.

Peggy was with us for 2 short years, before dying suddenly on Febuary 13 th of 04 of a stroke, while out on one of our walks. She was the most gentle lovely dog. Peggy was the dog that would make me rethink my position on puppies and focus my time and energy on seniors. She was the one who would make me comfortable with taking dogs that had health issues and dealing with them. And lastly, it proved to me, you can love a lifetime in a really short time, be it a few months, a year, 2 years.

Here are some photos my little bear.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:30 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

AWWW Isnt he a cutie!!!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

enjoyed your story, thanks

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:50 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

What a great story. Made me cry.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:57 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

Originally Posted By: BlackPuppyWhat a great story. Made me cry.
me too

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 11:16 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

My previous two dogs were both strays. I wasn't planning to get a dog either time. Well, actually when I found my Golden Retriever I had actually wanted a German Shepherd for years but I had no immediate plans to get a dog. My family's dog had passed away the spring before.

It's a bit of a long story so I am going to copy/paste from Ginger's webpage:

I was walking out of school, and I saw a dog running around in the park outside the school. It looked like maybe a Golden or Irish Setter mix (or both.) She was running in the football field and chasing ducks. I was watching her, but I figured some owner had just let their dog off leash to play... I kept watching as I walked, but didn't see anyone else who seemed to be watching the dog. I decided to try to call her over to me, because I figured if she had an owner they would yell or come see who was holding their dog. I stopped, and a friend of mine saw me and came over to talk. I told him about the dog, and he stood there while I tried calling her.
I started calling "C'mere puppy! Come on!" She came over but wouldn't come closer than about 20 feet away- she seemed scared. I told my friend I'd see him later, and he left. As soon as he left, I squatted down and tried calling her again- she came over, but she was crouching low as if she was scared. Her tail was wagging, though!
I walked her around the park for a while to see if maybe there was an owner nearby, but there was no one who recognized her. She was wearing a very tight choke collar but no tags. I took her to the fieldhouse and gave them my info in case anyone came looking for her and I brought her home. I tried putting an ad in the paper, putting up signs, contacted the local shelters/rescues but no one ever claimed her. Ginger pretty much made herself at home right away. It turned out she was a purebred Golden. I thought she was a Setter mix at first because I had never seen a red Golden before.
I never found her old owners or any sign of them, and with all the neighborhoods we've been in on walks no one ever recognized her.

When I first found Ginger, she was pretty shy and scared of many new people, places, and noises. She sometimes would cower or back away if people wanted to pet her while we were on walks. She would bolt at some loud noises, and was afraid of raised hands or voices. She also did not know any obedience although she did have good house manners. She was about a year and a half to two years old.
I did a LOT of socialization with her, mainly just by taking her as many places as I could and helping her realize that no one and no thing was going to hurt her. She got over all her fears pretty quickly and turned into a typical happy-go-lucky friendly Golden. She was a perfect dog, I could not have gotten a more perfect match for me if I had raised her from a puppy. She breezed through obedience classes, then we went on to therapy dog training and she passed the therapy dog test with ease. Eventually she passed 5 different therapy dog tests (3 local, TDInc, and TDI) and we volunteered regularly with 3 organizations. Ginger was my first dog who was actually MY dog rather than the "family dog" and we did everything together. We trained in flyball, agility, freestyle, carting, and obedience and she enjoyed them all.

My other "stray" was a terrier mix, Pooch. I found him one night when out walking Ginger. He was wearing a harness and a rabies tag and I was able to call the city and get the name of the vet who gave him the shot and from the vet I got the owner's information but all the owner's info was out-of-date and even with the help of a neighbor who was a police officer and did animal rescue I was not able to find a current address. I have a feeling he was dumped. He was 4 1/2 years old when I found him and he did not know any obedience commands. He was a very nice dog though, a typical terrier personality except he got along great with my cats and ignored other small animals completely (he did have a huge "ball/toy drive" though. He was a very active dog and always made me laugh.

Ginger and Pooch

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 12:31 AM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

Those are both great stories!!!!

Peggy's story made me cry.

My Max cam to me as an adoption from the local shelter on his last day. My son had his learner's permit and wanted to drive and I had to get licenses for the other 2 GSD's who are both now gone.

Daniel wanted to drive me so I let him. While I did the paperwork he went to see the dogs and found Max. The ACO told us they had worked on catching Max for over a month but they could never get him, he was so wild. He was finally caught because he was so starved he had no more energy to run. They had held him for 10 days hoping someone would claim him. No one did and he was out of time.

So Max, the wild child, came home with us. I always joked that I went down to buy 3 licenses and one came with a dog attached.

Max was incorrigible and probably about 18 months old. But he was a hapy dog and a lovely long coat GSD. He was pretty reactive and he taught me a lot about patience and made a better trainer adn all round dog owner out of me. We did obedience, agility and tracking together.

Max is still with us, he is old and can be grumpy and stubborn sometimes but he is still pretty happy. I hope he is with us for a few more years yet.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 12:48 AM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

"No intention of getting a dog." Richard, whatever could you mean????
I have long been a savior of strays. Much of it is because of what I do for a living. It is very hard to be a veterinary technician and not bring home the hopless cases. (If you looked closley at my cat population, you would assume they were all war refugees. All of them are missing parts, whether they be eyes, legs or whatnot. )
7 years ago I began to foster Guide dog pups for Fidelco, and this put a screaching halt to my dog rescue.
I realized that I didn't have all the money in the world. It was very importent to me to leave a spot for each of my fosters, should they not make the grade. I raise these pups from 8 weeks, and there hasn't been one that has come through here without changing my life.
Ilan was released to me before she ever went into training. (Bad hips)
Fenna stayed with me because she is perfect! (She is now a breed dog, and currently raising her first litter of three pups.)
When the local aco brought a broken, 2 week old pup into my vet office, I knew there was no hope. The fracture was horrible, and the town had no funds to fix him.
And yet, when I reached out to take him from her, something clicked.
My boss, who was equally enthralled, mentioned to me that she thought she could fuse his shattered hock into something that would be semi-useful. I looked at her and said that I would foster him until he was ready to go.
Done deal.
My boss had just rescued a cat that morning whom she named Hobbit. Because this pup was so scrawny and small, I joined in the name game and called him Frodo.
I bottle fed him for 2 weeks.
Ilan taught him to eat mush, and Fenna taught him to be a dog.
At 12 weeks of age, his potential forever home came to visit him. No fault to them, they decided against taking home a large breed dog with a pretty bad hind end.
I was soooo happy at that moment!
I didn't realize how much I loved Frodo until I was willing to give him away.
And here he still is.

He has to wear a bootie to protect his pad, but he has been the best dog to come through my house. I'm not sure what I would do without him, but I guess God knows when to send in the Angels!

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 01:39 PM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

I could finally see Peggy's picture! She was beautiful, just lovely. So happy you gave her 2 more good years.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:33 AM
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Re: Your" I had no intention of getting a dog"....

All of my "I have no intention of getting another dog" dogs have been strays or rescues of one sort or another. The first was Raven, my rescued Rottweiler. My friend called one day and said that she had a stray Rottweiler in a horse stall in her barn and I needed to come get her because I loved Rottweilers. I told her that the timing could not have been worse for me as I was expecting a litter of puppies (non-GSD) at that time and bringing a stray in to the house was full of risk. She told me to come get her if I did not want her to go to the Gaffney, SC shelter. I did and Raven lived with me for ten years. I always felt that this dog would have given her life for me and we shared many wonderful moments through the ten years that she lived with me.

The second rescue was Scout, a mixed breed dog, and he was found on the interstate exit ramp for my home. More often than not, when I pull over to try to assist a dog on the interstate, they dart away. Not Scout. He came up to me and was covered in ticks, had rolled in cow manure and was quite thin. I put him in the car and brought him home. My intention was to fix him up, vet him, neuter him, etc. and re-home him. In six months of trying to do so, not one person who contacted me was willing to offer him a safe home, so he is still with me 3.5 years later. We are going to try novice obedience now that AKC will permit mixed breeds as he just lives to please me. He is a very thankful rescued dog. We have already done the Canine Good Citizen test succesfully.

Third, was Gunner, the "gift" Golden Retriever. Gunner's owner is a relative of my husband's and she needed a place for Gunner to stay until she got her life turned around. She promised money every month to defray the costs for his food and heartworm meds as well as flea and tick preventative and he came to stay with us. I already had eight dogs in the house and did not "need" another one. However, I could not turn him away as she had no other option for him and Gunner arrived in June 2007. One year later, they asked for him back and said that he would be a backyard dog since no dogs were allowed inside their new home. I told them that it would be a cold day you know where before they got him back. Just one year later September 2009, he became ill and was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I knew to look for lymphoma in Golden Retrievers and he was a puppy mill puppy (pet store chain) initially, but the diagnosis devastated me last month and I just lost this Golden boy way too soon.

The most recent rescue is my Treeing Walker Coonhound, Luke. Luke was initially my "front porch dog" as he belonged to new neighbors. He routinely jumped out of their 4 foot fence and came to visit. When a neighbor's horse kicked him and broke his pelvis in two places last December, I brought him inside and called his owner. They did not have any time or desire to help him right before Christmas, so I now own a coonhound. Never would have thought that I would have a former hunting coonhound, but he is here to stay. I tried to re-home him for the past year and no one wants to adopt a coonhound. Even after all of the vetting, house training and eye surgery for entropion, no one wants to adopt this hound. He is an escape artist like no other and I hate to say that I now understand why some hounds are kept in kennels or on chains. The drive to run is similar to that of other sight and scent hounds and they are noisy. In two weeks, we will finish a basic obedience class and Luke is a star pupil (while on leash). We will complete the CGC test at that time as well and Luke is now here to stay. He is a different dog than I ever imagined owning, however, sometimes life puts a dog in your path that truly needs you and all of my rescues have fit that category even if the timing was not the best in my life for their arrival.

Three weeks ago, my step-son adopted a ten year old German Shepherd named Sable from our local shelter and she has now recovered from pneumonia. If anything happens in my step-son's life, Sable, will come live with my husband and me too. We are her safety net, should the need arise.

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