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Every day we see posts and new threads from people who want a puppy NOW!
So I thought I would type this out.
Way, way back before I lost Sabi I started looking for a puppy. Sabi had just been diagnosed with DM, my heart was shattered and my head was spinning.
I found a breeder, planning a litter that seemed perfect and I jumped. Last minute she switched the stud and I was not happy so I backed out. I got on a list for a future breeding and waited, second guessing myself the whole time. I started looking for other breeders. Sabi continued to defy the odds and hang on while I desperately swung between researching ways to hang on to Sabs AND trying to find my next dog.
Good breeders are hard to find. Good breeders testing for DM a decade ago were needles in haystacks.
Then a tiny cataclysm threw my world into an uproar. Her name would be Shadow.
Now I was fighting to save two lives, and still looking for a pup.
Shadow proved to be a huge challenge, my refusal to accept that she was staying helped nothing and Sabi started to slide downhill.
Then Sabi died, Shadow lost her marbles and the litter I was waiting on was born. I wisely declined, the breeder was sympathetic and understanding. We agreed it was not a good time and I was moved to another litter.
That particular bitch never produced another litter.
I refused to consider a pup produced by DM carriers and eventually just moved on.
When Shadow was 6 I was offered a pup from a breeder I really like. I declined, and again it proved fortunate. A few months later I was injured and lost my job.
Now anyone who knows me knows that the dogs come first. At no point are my dogs ever in any danger of needing to be rehomed. I will move heaven and earth for them. That said, I am not an idiot. No puppies while moving across the bloody country, no puppies during global pandemic.
My criteria have never changed. Healthy dog, solid temperament, work ability from a breeder who actually cares.
But for all the impatient people on the planet, I have been looking for over a decade! And as it turns out things worked out for the best. The original pup I was to get was so far from what I really wanted. And given my state of mind, I would have resented it every day of it's life.
I have 3 breeders to speak with, all of whom can and will produce EXACTLY what I want.
I am no longer wracked with guilt and grief over Sabi, Shadow has neared the end of our journey, Bud has gone to be with his Sabs and I am older, wiser and much more honest with myself.
I like one dog at a time, I don't want another rescue. I have learned more in my relentless hunt for a pup then I would ever have thought possible.
Stay tuned.
 

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My story is similar in context, if not content.

I had just returned from a year in Afghanistan with Fama. I had to return her to VLK before I went back to Hawaii. I was getting out of the Army to go work at VLK. My family was back stateside. I was living in a friend's spare bedroom, writing about the dog I so sorely missed.

No less than 5 breeders offered to give me a pup out of an upcoming litter. Their generosity was overwhelming, but it just wasn't the right time. I was headed into the unknown contracting for the DoD.

Things changed, as they always do, and I ended up back in the Army, headed to Korea for a year. My family stayed in Ohio, so I had a lot of free time. I consulted with some trainers I had met online, working through some tough dogs and situations. I made some wonderful friends through emails and phone calls. I was still as involved in dogs as I could be.

I started considering a pup for when I returned stateside after my time in Korea was up. I had talked with a few breeders and found a litter I liked. A friend of mine was also retiring from breeding and was considering placing a young female with me.

2 days later, I got the message that Fama was going into disposition and would be retired before I could get home, and that some brand new handler was trying to adopt her without anyone letting me know that Fama was getting retired.

Everything shifted from finding a puppy to getting my dog back. I had some invaluable help from friends back home and contacts inside the Army and I ended up picking her up at Fort Bragg the day after I got home from Korea.

Last year, we laid Fama to rest June 10. I had a huge hole in my heart. I wanted another dog so bad, but I knew it wasn't the time. My day job and woodworking were both keeping me very busy. No time, and I wasn't emotionally available. I had Captain, a GSD we watch every weekday while his mom is at work. He was 7 months old at the time and was keeping my training itch fulfilled.

Then a year later, Lucian, my service dog, dies unexpectedly. My wonderful wife told me the following day that I needed to find a dog. She was right. I really don't sleep without a dog. The day job is slow and flexible. I finally have time for a puppy. I had been contacted several times about CarmsPack pups and, while that is the breeder I really wanted a dog from, the timing had just never been right. I had already passed on a pup out of this last litter and I knew they were already spoken for. On a hope and a prayer, I shot a message to Gus's mom. Long story short, I ended up with Valor, and I couldn't be happier!
 

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David, your story with Fama had me near hysterical! I was so relieved for both of you when she was finally in your hands. I think I cried for an hour.
It always makes me laugh when people say they think a few months is too long to wait. But its the difference between a dog and the dog.
One of my big issues was that I needed to wait long enough that I wasn't looking for Sabi anymore. Common sense is not related to your heart. As much as I knew I could never replace her I was still trying, and while I still want some of her qualities I can now look at a dog without searching for all those similarities. And being disappointed that they aren't there.
 

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I've put deposits down on pups the day after they were born or at a few weeks. When we got my my girl Bailey I had been looking at breeders for 6 months. I found my boy Coal in a few weeks after my older boy passed away suddenly. I understand the impatience once you've decided you're ready for another pup. Over the years as I've become more knowledgeable, I've become a lot pickier about what I want and I know a handful of breeders that produce what I like. For the first time I've put a deposit on a girl that has not even been conceived yet. It's a long wait and possibly even longer wait if all doesn't go smoothly, but she will be worth the wait when she finally comes home.

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DH and I waited 30 years for a GSD so our timing was perfect. But my boy was a nieve, novice impulse buy. Had it not been for the right timing and ability to put 95 percent of my focus on him it could have gone the way of many threads on here.
 

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I just wanted to post to say that I really appreciate this thread and these stories from y’all. We lost our GSD in March of last year (it was sudden and out of the blue) so it’s been about a year and a half. What Sabis mom wrote really struck a chord - it’s only just about now that I have gotten beyond looking for a dog that would recreate our dog but instead be able to appreciate her as different and unique.

In terms of waiting, I couldn’t imagine getting another dog for a long while even though I knew I couldn’t live without one forever. We’d toyed with the idea of getting one this summer/fall but it didn’t work out. Now we’re looking at spring/summer next year and that timing feels right. It’ll have been two years by then.
 

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I remain in no rush. It will happen as it should.
I started this thread mostly for future readers. You have two choices. You can wait for your puppy or you can get a pup right now.
@David Winners waited and I would bet he is glad he did.
Grief and loss do crazy things to our brains and everyone processes it differently. Sabi was so much more then a dog to me, it took a long time for my heart to catch up with my head. I needed to give myself time. No one can tell another person how long is long enough. Some people need to fill that hole right away. I needed to step back. I also needed to recognize that my entire world was wrapped around a dog. I had nothing else. That's not cool.
So should people wait a decade for a dog, not at all. Unless it's right for them. But asking a breeder to find you a perfect dog in a month? Unrealistic.
So rush to get a pup if you must, but don't blame the breeder or the dog if it turns out wrong.
 

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When Sage died, I was heartbroken. I had Russ and Carly, yes, but Sage was my heart. I couldn’t even think about puppies. I just thought I’d have my other dogs and that would be it.

But a year later, Sage’s litter sister had puppies. And my friend said “I have one for you if you want her. I knew she was yours from the beginning.” I don’t get puppy fever, so I can see a litter and not want to take a puppy home. I sat in the middle of those 4 week old babies, looked around, picked the red girl up, and said “who is this???”. She said “your dog. The one that I told you about”. I hem-hawed around about it for a couple of weeks. I think when that darn puppy came up to my lawn chair and started barking at me, it was a sign. And then there was Scarlet.

When the time is right, it’s right.
 

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I remain in no rush. It will happen as it should.
I started this thread mostly for future readers. You have two choices. You can wait for your puppy or you can get a pup right now.
@David Winners waited and I would bet he is glad he did.
Grief and loss do crazy things to our brains and everyone processes it differently. Sabi was so much more then a dog to me, it took a long time for my heart to catch up with my head. I needed to give myself time. No one can tell another person how long is long enough. Some people need to fill that hole right away. I needed to step back. I also needed to recognize that my entire world was wrapped around a dog. I had nothing else. That's not cool.
So should people wait a decade for a dog, not at all. Unless it's right for them. But asking a breeder to find you a perfect dog in a month? Unrealistic.
So rush to get a pup if you must, but don't blame the breeder or the dog if it turns out wrong.
I'm overjoyed I waited! I probably spend 6 active hours a day with Valor. He's almost always with me but I have time right now to do it right and the right dog to put the time into.
 

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I have wAited for over ten years to have German shepherds again I knew I had the time and was really going back and forth though with the breed. It happened though and could not have been better choice. It was meant to be no doubt.
 
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