I just wanted to introduce the newest member of my family - Ripley! (We named her after the character from the Alien movie series...Yeah, we're nerds
). My husband and I adopted her from the Santa Fe Humane Society a little over two months ago and I've already forgotten what life was like without her.
About two years ago my childhood dog, Comet, crossed the bridge. She was a mutt that lived to be about 17 years old and was, I thought, the most perfect dog ever to wag a tail. I used to tell my boyfriend (now husband) that if the two of them were ever hanging off of a cliff and I could only save one I would choose the dog, hands down (And he still stuck around!). It took a long time but about 6 months ago I felt ready to get another dog. My husband wasn't so sure. He didn't want the responsibility or the hassle, and even though he was raised with two dogs, he didn't have the same bond with them as I did with Comet. I knew once he met a puppy his opinion would change so I did a TON of research. I was also raised taking care of my Uncle's GSD/Husky mix so I wasn't a complete stranger to the breed. I knew I wanted a large dog, a smart breed, a high energy pet (I'm a runner), and one that would look intimidating when I was out alone with it. The only choice was, of course, a GSD.
After a disappointing experience trying to adopt a GSD from a Service Animals group (the owner decided at the last minute to keep him), I began stalking shelter websites like crazy. When a little GSP pup that they called Rita Bonita popped up I called and put a hold on her immediately. The next day my husband and I took off work to go meet her and it was love at first pee (yes, she did the "happy pee". She's grown out of it already, and my carpet is much happier). My husband didn't want to put her down. She was so alert and you could tell she was smart from the get go. Her original owner apparently was sent to prison and they found this beautiful girl with a wound on her face (at less than 2 months old, the poor thing). She was just a couple weeks over 2 months when we picked her up for only $125 (yaaay shelters!).
This dog has amazed me with her intelligence. The very first night she learned the "sit" command in, no joke, 2 minutes! We've used clicker training with Ripley and she is flourishing. She loves chasing after balls, and although she has a tendency to play bite too much with us (I'm guessing she didn't have much, or any, time with her mom and littermates), she's getting better every day - and for some reason she has never tried to play bite children, but she DOES like to smother their faces with kisses. She's around 4.5 months old now and is a strong, playful girl. I can't stress enough what an amazing dog she is, and if anyone out there is looking for a GSD please, please, please try your local shelters!
P.S. - Yes, my husband knows that I would also choose to save Ripley if the two of them were ever hanging off a cliff...but I'm pretty sure he would too if the roles were reversed!
The pictures are Ripley the first week we had her, and another from just a week and a half ago.