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I have had two dogs most of my adult life. My oldest passed away in March of this year from cancer. It was the most devastating experience I have ever had. My other dog is 12 years old and I agonize over her death also- yes, I try to live in the present but it is hard.

My dog who passed away had come to my house as a stray, which I believe a higher power sent her to me to care for her. I had her for 12 years. The dog I have now was from a shelter. I couldn't decide which dog to adopt in the shelter and decided I would come back in a week and if she was still there, I would adopt her. Well, no one came for her so I adopted her and she's been with me ever since.

For the past few months I have been looking for another dog and cannot find the "right" one. I haven't adopted a dog since 1998 (my current dog) and I don't know if I am being too picky or if the right one hasn't come along yet.

I looked at a GSD on Friday and she was a nice dog. She's already spayed and current on shots. She knows a few commands and appears to get along with both dogs and cats. The lady who has her currently got her from an elderly couple and said that she'd help place the dog. For the past two months the dog has been living outside and running around on her 27 acres. Anyway, I took over an hour playing with her and spending time with her and still couldn't determine if she was for me.

My question is- how do you know when it is the "right" dog for you? Do you know immediately? Does it happen by chance? With so many dogs needing a good home, how do you know which one is for you?
 

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I think sometimes you just "know" instantly and other times they worm their way into your heart. I've had it work both ways. Can you take this girl on a trial to see if she's a good fit?
 

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Originally Posted By: brtI think sometimes you just "know" instantly and other times they worm their way into your heart. I've had it work both ways. Can you take this girl on a trial to see if she's a good fit?
I'm not sure. I'd have to call her and ask. I hate to say this, but I think she's just ready to see the dog go to a new home as she listed her for free on craigslist.
The original owners supposedly paid $800 for her and I doubt they bothered to call the breeder. (The dog is said to be 2 years old.)
 

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Sounds like she needs to be rescued .......from the add before she ends up in the pound. Free kinda doesn't work out .....
 

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Never hurts to ask. I've taken in dogs that I've met, spent time with and liked them but not fallen instantly in love with, but when they walked through the door it was like they belonged here.

ETA She does sound like she needs a home badly. I'd take her and if she didn't work for me take the time to find her a responsible forever home. But that's just me.
 

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In general, males speak to me right away, females take a little longer.

Picking dogs from the pound --
Once I looked for about four weeks. I was pretty sure, then at the tail end of week four, that I had found her but I had told another organization I would like to come look at their dogs. I did look at them but went back to the pup.
The adult male - his time was up. I couldn't leave him there.

Purchased pups --
Barker the Elder - I knew she was the right dog before I met her.
Barker the Younger & Barker the Newest - were selected by the breeder.
 

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I also have had my "perfect" dog a couple of different ways.......My first GSD showed up on my door step and adopted ME! My second I went to look at puppies and was horrified at the conditions they were living in, no way I would have bought a puppy from these people......They said they couldnt breed the mother anymore and were giving her away......She looked at me, I looked at her and it was an instant bond. I took her in a heartbeat (resuced her more like) I called animal control on those people (shudder) No animal should have to endure those conditions. Ava we got as a puppy, it's funny, at first I wasnt so sure I had made the right choice.........but she is my baby now........and she is soooo good. I think the previous responses were right on, sometimes a GSD is a bit slow to warm up to a new home situation and people.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, this dog didn't "speak" to me, so I don't know if that's a sign or not. I guess that's what I am looking for, some sort of sign, which I know sounds stupid.

I wonder if I'd be taking her because I didn't want her living "there." The lady told me that she has taught her how to ride in the back of a pickup truck. I guess that was supposed to impress me.
She asked me where I'd keep the dog when I was at work and I replied that she would be kept inside and the lady kind of frowned. She said none of her dogs are kept inside. (She has 18 dogs, most of which are hunting dogs.)
 

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i think it can happen immediately, by chance and i think
you can make almost any dog right for you. you also
have to make yourself right for the dog.

Originally Posted By: Ilovealldogs

My question is- how do you know when it is the "right" dog for you? Do you know immediately? Does it happen by chance? With so many dogs needing a good home, how do you know which one is for you?
 

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Originally Posted By: Ilovealldogs I wonder if I'd be taking her because I didn't want her living "there."
That's probably the reason I'd be taking her! To get her out of that situation and prevent her from being placed in a worse one. Maybe she hasn't had a ton of human interaction at her current home. She could blossom if brought into a home where she'll get lots of love and attention.
 

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You know what you want in a dog so you should be best able to judge for yourself if the dog is right for you.

I love all dogs but feel like humans none of them are perfect.

Perhaps you should keep the dog you're looking at in mind and surf the net or look at the local animal shelters and rescues to see if there is anything that is more appealing to you.

As others have suggested you might want to see if you could get the dog for a trial for a weekend or a week.

Another possible solution is you already seem to be interested in the dog; perhaps you should just go ahead and get it; if for some reason it's not compatible with you than you can consider it fostering the dog and look for another owner.

I fostered several dogs; and I found the longer that I keep them the more that I find I like them and the harder it is to depart with them.

A dogs behavior and attitude changes after you get to know it, and it gets to know you and as it ages.

Some of the foster dogs were real pains when I first got them; however after they learned my routine and rules and they get over the trauma and anxiety there was a vast improvement.

Sometimes you know immediately and sometimes you don't know until later.
 

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That is a great question. With Tanner, my 3 year old male, I kept waiting for the bells and banjos to signify that we were meant for each other. When that didn't happen I tried to force it and that didn't work either. He was an 11 week old puppy when I got him and he went every where with me.

I continued to work with him, and we spent a lot of time together. But I figured that maybe there was too much baggage on my end to bond with him (you know, I felt guilty about having spent that much money on a breeder that was less than stellar ).

Then one day I was out playing fetch with him and he came racing back with the ball and his eyes were shining and it felt so good to be there with him that I had to giggle and that made him prance around. I looked at him and he looked at me and it hit me that without trying, we had bonded just fine.

With my Pug it was instantaneous. He was about 2 years old and had just been surrendered for adoption the day before. He was in a loud kennel and his little tail was all uncurled. He looked at me and it was like I could read his mind. Anyone could have read that look, though!

So I think it is different with each dog and each person. Maybe you are basing your responses to these possible dogs on how you respond to the dog you have and the dog you lost? It would be natural, I would think, to do that after such a long time. You know, asking yourself if the relationship you might have with the dog you are meeting would match up with the relationship you have had with these long term dogs?

Good luck with your search. It sure sounds like any dog you bring home will be lucky.
Sheilah
 

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I think Sheilah is exactly right in that you may possibly (without knowing it) comparing this dog to the one you recently lost (I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, by the way!! That's awful.)

After my two pups died (they weren't pups when they died, they were old and gray, but they'll always be my babies) I only wanted them back. Every dog I saw, I unknowingly compared to them. I knew I had to wait until it wasn't THEM that I wanted back, I had to wait until I could open my heart to love another dog, knowing the deep pain of losing them.

I prayed for Buddy for about a year (or probably more.) We ended up adopting him 2.5 years after our Ben died. I couldn't even think of getting another dog before then (our two dogs died w/in 1.5 years of each other, I was devastated.)

As far as knowing which dog is yours ~ I just kind of knew immediately with Ben. I looked at him and knew he was ours. Then we adopted Sunny to keep Ben company. The local shelter had pups at a pet store and we got suckered in. lol Sunny was so sick and needed so much care, but one look into those eyes and I was hooked. I guess I knew right away with her, too.

Now, with our current boy, Buddy, it was my husband who picked him out of the litter. I had researched everything to look for when going to pick out your pup, but was totally overwhelmed with four adorable gs pups licking my face and wanting loving from me and my kids. All of them melted my heart. So I was useless. But I looked over at my husband, he pointed at Buddy, and from that point on, I knew he was ours. He's such a joy!!! A handful of work, but just a total love.

Good luck in your decision! Again, I'm so sorry on the loss of your pup!!!!
 

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It's hard to say. Sometimes if you've lost a dog recently you might not get that feeling of the "right dog" if you are still mourning...
That happened to me, I lost my two dogs in a few months. First my terrier mix passed away at 14 in August and then my heart dog Ginger passed away in October.
I fostered a few dogs but they just felt like they were not the right one to me and I did not end up adopting them. I was looking for a connection of some kind, but even when I fostered them for several weeks I just didn't feel it... I think it partly may have been because it was so soon after losing my two and partly because my previous dogs were strays who "found" me and I was not used to LOOKING for a dog this way.
I ended up adopting Bianca a few months later but even then I did not feel that connection right away. I adopted her because she sounded like the perfect dog for my situation and because I couldn't stand being 'dogless' rather than because she felt "right" to me.
It took a while for me to bond with her, I think that was because it was really too soon for me to get another dog. I still don't have the kind of bond I had with Ginger (who I had a fast connection with) but Ginger was a very special dog and I don't know if that kind of connection will even happen with another dog or not.
 

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I lost my 14.8 yr old November '08.
Clover helped to raise my kids, and left a huge hole in my heart when she passed.
I decided that I would foster for awhile.
Before Clover passed, on Petfinder, I found a gorgeous black male GSD/Kelpie x and chose to foster him. I was already volunteering at the local SPCA and he was one of theirs.
He was brought in as a stray, so I didn't know his past history. I fell in love w/ his pic and in person, he was just awesome. After a couple of weeks we formed a really strong bond. I had him for 9 weeks. Unfortunately he absolutely hated my husband and 16 yr old son, so I couldn't adopt him.
We tried to change his attitude towards them, but it just got worse. He was resource guarding me and bit my husband in the back, breaking skin.
It truely broke my heart to let him go to another foster until he got adopted a couple weeks later. I never had closure, as I didn't talk w/ the new family that adopted him, to tell them all the wonderful things about him and how he would excel in Agility, what his quirks, and loves were.

What is weird is his petfinder link is still up, listing him as adopted, so I can still see the pics that captured my heart; The description was written by me,too.

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=12336723
I think fostering was a great way to ease the pain of losing Clover even though it didn't end the way I would have wished. I don't regret it.
I hope Hawkeye is a happy loved boy in his new home.
 

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Right now the dog is a bit lost, worries about her old timers that left her, surrounded by other dogs, new people. The fact she played with you says volumes to me.

GSD's do not well without their family. She is confused too. And do not wait for one to show up on your doorstep. That is a once in a lifetime act of God. God only sends one dog each doorstep.
 

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My first shepherd was about 16 wks old when she was brought into the shelter where I worked. She took one look at me, turned around, sat on my feet, tipped her head back and looked up at me as if to say "THIS is the one I want to live with!" Things clicked instantaneously.

My second shepherd, I chose and I agonized for MONTHS that she wasn't the dog for me. But, I stuck with her and she has taught me more than any other animal in my life so far.

Sorry I have no advice...if it's meant to be, it will happen.
 

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Originally Posted By: CKRight now the dog is a bit lost, worries about her old timers that left her, surrounded by other dogs, new people. The fact she played with you says volumes to me.

GSD's do not well without their family. She is confused too. And do not wait for one to show up on your doorstep. That is a once in a lifetime act of God. God only sends one dog each doorstep.
So true! And I think the OP went to the dog's door step to get the dog.


Each of my dogs were different. My rescue, Max, and I bonded the instant I saw him in the shelter. He has been my boy ever since. We will lose him in the next year or so and it makes my heart sick.


Kayos was picked by the breeder. She got off the plane and I opened her crate and she flew into my arms, instant bond. She is my heart dog.


Havoc was picked by the breeder (same breeder as sit,stay's less than stellar over priced breeder). For some reason it took a long time for me to bond with him but he latcehd on to me immediately. He had so many issues I think I was afraid to love in the event we lost him. He is terrific and I love him to pieces.
rudolph


I would say most people that say they bond instantly with a puppy are right, but they are also in the mindset that this little creature needs nurturing and their emotions on that deeper level are very aroused. I think that is why God made puppies and kittens so cute.

Adult dogs are a little harder I think. Sometimes it happens like Max and I but I think more often you grow to love this animal as unconditionally as they love you.

She played with you, she choose you. Go get her.
 
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