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Ruca- German Shepherd, 7yo, Female, Black&Tan
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This is my Ruca-bear ❤She is a 7(Almost 8)year old female sheppie, but most importantly she is my emotional therapy companion. I got her a month before my 17th birthday when she was about 9-10weeks old. Two years prior to her coming into my life, I had dealt with an extremely traumatic experience. Because of that, I started ditching school which caused my grades to drop completely, started abusing every substance a person can think of, screaming over nothing towards my family, I was just a mess. Now, I’ve always had dogs in my life. Since the moment my parents had me we’ve always had dogs and litters. But I always wanted a big dog. My parents had Jack Russell Terriers and Fox Terriers who I loved but wasn’t my dream dog. Well FINALLY after a therapist told my parents I need an emotional support companion, I was given the chance to get a German Shepherd. But my dad said “The only way you can get one, is if you get a job and save up atleast $500 to cover half of the dogs price. You do that, I’ll pay the other half and for training.” So that summer I worked at the mall and saved up. June 16, 2013 I went to see the litter wanting a little sable boy. But I see this sweet, docile, little black girl and instantly knew “that’s my girl” and I was so right. I chose the name Ruca because in Chicano slang “Ruca” means your #1 girl and that’s who she’s been.
She’s seen me deal with drug addiction to sobriety. High School dropout to High School graduate. I went to college, but mentally I still wasn’t ready. Once I dropped out, I got so depressed I didn’t leave my house for almost an entire month. I wouldn’t even leave my bedroom. She opened my eyes to how my behavior affected her. When I laid in bed all day, she laid in bed all day looking sad and depressed. I remember thinking “a dog should be happy” and she wasn’t happy because I wasn’t happy. That was the moment I remember taking steps to change my life. I took some of my college fund and moved to Minnesota to get a fresh start. Just a girl and her wolf friend. Got a job for a video game company, than once the game released followed my dream of going to the best hair school. And now, I’m a happy, stable human being.
My point of sharing my story is to show people how drastically ONE DOG can change a persons life. And if you, a family member, or a friend deal with mental health issues please consider getting a GSD as an emotional support companion. I go on road trips all the time with my dog when I start to get in a funk and that instantly cures my funk. Even just a walk with her brings me some sense of clarity. The love I have for her and the love that spills out of her for me is the reason I’m in a good place. Dogs really are a girls best friend.
 

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Thank you. Dogs, really animals in general, help to bring us out of ourselves. They help us move forward. They can show us what is important in life. They can get us out of bed, and they can slow us down. They don't need high tech. They are truly as happy to play with the wrapping as they are to play with the toy -- kind of like we were deep down, buried maybe, but still there.

I am sorry that you experienced trauma that changed your life. I have too, but what is really neat is how we have both found positive change through our dogs. I used to be painfully shy, but dogs have changed that. I found that when the dog is the focus of the conversation, it is easy to talk about them. I can talk to complete strangers when my dogs are with me. And I feel safer with my dogs. In fact, I have surrounded my home, literally, with German Shepherds.

But it is what they do for my mood. They are always happy to see me. Always. I can be having a terrible day and my dogs can wipe that out, by how they greet me when I come home. And seeing what my dogs have done for others is exponentially better. When I hear the stories -- a teenager was very depressed, but she didn't want to leave her dog, a dog I raised for 3 years, and so she managed to bring herself back from what would have been a terrible decision. Another little boy who knows he won't live long, but now he has his dog, that is being trained to alert if he has a breathing emergency, but even if the dog wasn't going to be used in that way, seeing the joy of that child playing in the rain with his brother and the pup, it's amazing. It's hard to explain. Or maybe not. I brought my big black pup to my sister's house today. My little sister who has the younger granddaughters. (My older sister and her daughters now have Kai), my little sister and her daughters do not have a dog. But the younger one, one that had a really rough start in life, she is now 10 and she has some CP, trouble with her one side -- they said she would never draw a circle or ride a bike. She rides a bike. She draws circles. She ran a mile and a half today, and she loves dogs. I took the boy over there, because I haven't seen or heard from my sister in months. I knew the girls would love to see my big black boy. My sister went with me when I first saw the litter. The dog looks like a small pony now at 10 months. And he broke whatever ice there may have been and we had a great conversation and the girls loved him.

Dogs have super powers.

I am glad you found the site, and glad you have a great dog and your dog has helped you overcome things and get where you are.
 

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Our big-boy had the super power of inspiring joy and smiles by simply entering the room. If only our human friends could do that. A good GSD is worth their weight in gold

Thank you for your story. It is wonderful that your dad helped with cost and training and encouraging you to bare some of the responsibility. I pray you and your "team" are together for a long long time.
 

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View attachment 569886 This is my Ruca-bear ❤She is a 7(Almost 8)year old female sheppie, but most importantly she is my emotional therapy companion. I got her a month before my 17th birthday when she was about 9-10weeks old. Two years prior to her coming into my life, I had dealt with an extremely traumatic experience. Because of that, I started ditching school which caused my grades to drop completely, started abusing every substance a person can think of, screaming over nothing towards my family, I was just a mess. Now, I’ve always had dogs in my life. Since the moment my parents had me we’ve always had dogs and litters. But I always wanted a big dog. My parents had Jack Russell Terriers and Fox Terriers who I loved but wasn’t my dream dog. Well FINALLY after a therapist told my parents I need an emotional support companion, I was given the chance to get a German Shepherd. But my dad said “The only way you can get one, is if you get a job and save up atleast $500 to cover half of the dogs price. You do that, I’ll pay the other half and for training.” So that summer I worked at the mall and saved up. June 16, 2013 I went to see the litter wanting a little sable boy. But I see this sweet, docile, little black girl and instantly knew “that’s my girl” and I was so right. I chose the name Ruca because in Chicano slang “Ruca” means your #1 girl and that’s who she’s been.
She’s seen me deal with drug addiction to sobriety. High School dropout to High School graduate. I went to college, but mentally I still wasn’t ready. Once I dropped out, I got so depressed I didn’t leave my house for almost an entire month. I wouldn’t even leave my bedroom. She opened my eyes to how my behavior affected her. When I laid in bed all day, she laid in bed all day looking sad and depressed. I remember thinking “a dog should be happy” and she wasn’t happy because I wasn’t happy. That was the moment I remember taking steps to change my life. I took some of my college fund and moved to Minnesota to get a fresh start. Just a girl and her wolf friend. Got a job for a video game company, than once the game released followed my dream of going to the best hair school. And now, I’m a happy, stable human being.
My point of sharing my story is to show people how drastically ONE DOG can change a persons life. And if you, a family member, or a friend deal with mental health issues please consider getting a GSD as an emotional support companion. I go on road trips all the time with my dog when I start to get in a funk and that instantly cures my funk. Even just a walk with her brings me some sense of clarity. The love I have for her and the love that spills out of her for me is the reason I’m in a good place. Dogs really are a girls best friend.
My Sage has forever changed my life in too numerous ways to count. I can relate in so many many ways. I loved your story. ❤
 
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