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Hello, I am a little awkward at introductions I suppose, but here I am. I found this site when seeking some tips and found a very wise community that I would love to be a part of. I technically do not 'own' the wonderful German Shepherd in my life, but he and I spend nearly every single day together.

I teach him things, play with him, make sure he is fed and always has access to clean water, gets his pills when he needs them, goes to the vets when necessary, I recently got him a flea and tick collar since I pulled two ticks off of him (dog ticks). I try to keep him out of trouble, and basically everything but take him for walks (his owner never leash trained him or if she did he has long forgotten and he pulls like nothing else, imagine my 129 lbs attempting to get him into and out of a vets office because it took all my strength and barely avoided him breaking my fingers that got wrapped in the leash) .

It's a little complicated so I need to explain. Joey's owner is currently struggling health wise. She lost one of her sons in a car crash recently and is recovering mentally (PTSD) she saw things no mother ever should. She was a nurse but now the sight of blood puts her into panic attacks. She got another dog to help her with anxiety which is a very small dog who is allowed in the house and somewhere in my heart I feel a pang of sadness, I feel like Joey was replaced..he used to sleep with her, he used to be her baby..and to her I think she still says he is.

So I dog-sit Joey while she is dealing with all of that. She is a kind person with a fiery temper, who has not been dealt the best cards in life.

I never imagined I would have a German Shepherd in my life, if you want to know how it all started, feel free to read on.

My family moved when my dad who I was very close to passed away, he died while hiking with a friend. We moved to be closer with my aunt's family. From Utah to Virginia. I had a dog previous, a very elderly chow mix who passed from cancer not long after the move, I did not have much part in raising her as I was just a child when she was young.

So my first encounter with Joey, was a hard silent stare through the fence. His now loving soft expressive brown eyes were cold back then. It was like watching the face of a soldier with the thousand yard stare. I never knew what he was thinking. (And he was always outdoors.) It was scary but something in me was very determined to befriend him.

Fireworks during the fourth of July caused him to jump his fence one night and I was sitting on the porch swing. Out of the darkness I saw this tan shape slowly loping toward me with head down. Honestly was pretty scary. I didn't move and he came up and sniffed me. Then sat down a small distance away. This would be the first of many visits. And many occasions of me returning him to his fence, and as soon as I started to walk away he would immediately follow and took to sleeping on our porch or by our front door. He would leap the fence and greet me on my side of the car as soon as I got home. He spends time in his yard sometimes, and he does care for his owner. But he spends most of his time with me.

Gradually I got to know his owner and we became friendly.

Then over the last 8 years he has become a regular part of my family. In the winters, hot summers and storms I bring him into the foyer. In nice weather he is out in the yard with us. I feared for him out in the elements all year round being a middle aged big dog.

He is an intact male but hopefully he will be fixed soon. He has had three altercations with other male dogs, one I did not know the circumstance, the second he protected me from an off leash pitbull (he put himself between me and the dog) and the third he was attacked by the same pit in his own yard as the owner of the other dog did not stop her dog. She walked her tiny dog on leash but left the pit free to roam. I cannot say he does well with male dogs (socialization or being intact or both?) but he has been fine with females.

I have felt a deep connection with him of the likes I have never felt. He follows me nearly where ever I go, not super close as to be smothering but beside me. (off leash.) Or somewhere near me. When I talk to him it's like he's listening, he makes relaxed eye contact whenever I talk to him and likes to sleep at my feet or somewhere around where I am within view.

His vices include chewing on two bi fours, sticks, branches, apples and chasing bees. And the immediate need to greet every dog he sees (He approaches in a way that body posture is intimidating-'big'). He loves belly rubs with a passion and whenever I tell him to wait or hold on he allows me to access whatever he is eating or playing with.

I love him dearly and I used to be leery of big dogs. I am forever changed. And I hope that I can find support in this lovely community. I really want to teach him to behave better on leash.

It's nice to meet you all and I look forward to chatting about the most amazing animal that is the German Shepherd! <3
 

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:welcome: and thank you for caring for him, it sounds like you have a wonderful bond :)
 

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This is so cute. You sound like great friends
He's my buddy :) and I am still getting used to the whole "German Shedder" side of him haha! When he blows his coat and goes all chunky I tackle him with a brush while he chews on something, or he simply goes to sleep. Only recently he now has been smooth. Of all of his body sections I have found his thighs and butt fluff and tail shed the most. Which surprised me. His tail is a whole other animal. He still has loose hair but nothing like before. If he's my company I don't mind a little fluff on me. If it was between a spotless wardrobe and no dog, or a semi fluffy wardrobe and a dog it's obvious which I choose. Hair is just another part of life xD. If you're not wearing it you're just not living. (Fur rollers are the only contenders, frequent vacuuming and brushing outside. Birds love his hair, they make nests with it lol.)
 

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Hi Romay and WELCOME!!!

How wonderful that circumstances brought your two hearts together, fulfilling a deep meaningful friendship and the needed care that Joey SO longed for!

Awesome story!
Moms:)
 

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What a lovely story, brought tears to my eyes
I salute you for your love and care for this lovely boy. Wish you both well.x
 

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I absolutely love your story. I think you found each other at the right time. I love when you described his eyes. My GSD looks right at me and I just wish I knew for sure what he was thinking. They are great dogs. Thanks for sharing! :smile2:
 

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Beautiful story Romay. It's so awesome of you to take care of him and be his friend. Don't forget to share some pictures of him at some point :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here are some pictures :D
 

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Awe, he's got such a sweet face. He's living the good life now and he knows it :) Thanks for sharing your pictures :)
His cute lil face is slowly dipping down as he is currently falling asleep, in highschool we called the head bob of sleepiness 'basketballing' because you go down and then up and then down again haha. Annnd he's down for the count. Nose touched carpet. xD
 

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Welcome!

Just want to say I am really impressed with your ability to find kind words for your neighbor in her time of trouble despite her treatment of her dog. I also want to take a moment to say I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father.

Thank you for being so kind to Joey and taking him in. He will be a good friend to you.

May I ask why you are considering neutering an 8 year old dog?

Great pics, what a good looking boy, and very sorry to hear about the Pit Bull attacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Welcome!

Just want to say I am really impressed with your ability to find kind words for your neighbor in her time of trouble despite her treatment of her dog. I also want to take a moment to say I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father.

Thank you for being so kind to Joey and taking him in. He will be a good friend to you.

May I ask why you are considering neutering an 8 year old dog?

Great pics, what a good looking boy, and very sorry to hear about the Pit Bull attacks.
The vet said he had an enlarged prostate due to being intact, (which was causing him to strain terribly hard to have a bowel movement and almost nothing would come out. After a week I was very scared he may have had a blockage or something but he did not). She said that because he was an older dog who was intact he was a higher risk for a hernia, which could be problematic as vets are not allowed to do the surgery he would have to go to a specialist. I personally don't want him to have to have surgery but he was really having a rough time going to the bathroom and he would try and try multiple times a day and night (he would wake me up) feeling like he had to go but to no avail. He would cry and hump up and then would lay down immediately after he came in the house. I normally don't agree with the idea of neutering an older dog, it's just he was having so many issues having a simple bowel movement. And he was not constipated because what little that came out was a tiny liquid drizzle. He was miserable and I was so scared for him.
 

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The vet said he had an enlarged prostate due to being intact, (which was causing him to strain terribly hard to have a bowel movement and almost nothing would come out. After a week I was very scared he may have had a blockage or something but he did not). She said that because he was an older dog who was intact he was a higher risk for a hernia, which could be problematic as vets are not allowed to do the surgery he would have to go to a specialist. I personally don't want him to have to have surgery but he was really having a rough time going to the bathroom and he would try and try multiple times a day and night (he would wake me up) feeling like he had to go but to no avail. He would cry and hump up and then would lay down immediately after he came in the house. I normally don't agree with the idea of neutering an older dog, it's just he was having so many issues having a simple bowel movement. And he was not constipated because what little that came out was a tiny liquid drizzle. He was miserable and I was so scared for him.
Good for you! It sounds like you are making a well informed decision for the benefit of the dog. When do you plan on having the surgery done?
 

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He is taking some medication right now to help with his diarrhea and it is working, he feels so much better. For the first time in ages I actually saw he had a mostly normal bowel movement. Only issue is the vet believes if he does not get fixed it will become a re-occurring problem. Have you ever had this sort of issue?
 

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He is taking some medication right now to help with his diarrhea and it is working, he feels so much better. For the first time in ages I actually saw he had a mostly normal bowel movement. Only issue is the vet believes if he does not get fixed it will become a re-occurring problem. Have you ever had this sort of issue?
Not with bowel movements but with recurrent urinary tract infections. We did neuter and it helped for a while, but two years later he developed related cancers. :(
 

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Good for you! It sounds like you are making a well informed decision for the benefit of the dog. When do you plan on having the surgery done?
As of right now, there is not a date set because with surgery I have to consult with his owner who previously was against neutering him because she had wanted to breed him (I know contain thy anger) and then she was worried he was too old.

I talked to the vet about that and she said that they monitor their heart rate and keep a close eye to keep things going okay, and he has had previous surgery where he ate a metal piece of fence post. Don't ask me how. So I assume he is okay with anesthesia. And by the way his stitches stayed in waaay too long (for the stomach surgery where he ate the fence post). She said they were supposed to dissolve but they never did. I remember being on the porch and having my mom help me take his stitches out, they had been left in for maybe a couple months or longer I really can't remember. He was itching them something terrible. He was very trusting to let me remove them.
 
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