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I've been fortunate enough to own a shepherd for most of my life. Notice that I used a small "s" for shepherd because I had a fair number of GSDs throughout my 65 years.

My love of GSDs began in 1957 when we moved near a man who had Ping. I recall that my father cautioned me about going anywhere near Ping. However his words fell on deaf ears. Soon Ping was a frequent visitor at the house. Ping quickly realized that he was getting favored treatment on every visit. I originally thought that Ping showed up to visit us, but it was really because he got a variety of cold cuts on every visit.

Subsequently I convinced my father that we should have our own shepherd. Enter Rex, son of Ping and Heidi. Rex was with me through middle school, high school, and several years of college. Having Rex spoiled me to no end.

After Rex, I got Prince, a junkyard German shepherd originally owned by my commercial landlord. Soon thereafter we got Pasha, who had been hit and left by the side of the road in Baltimore. Prince discovered that Pasha had not been fixed, providing me with my first litter.

After Prince and Pasha, I was adopted by King and Shalimar. Notice that I said "adopted" because I found out early on that I don't own these dogs that crossed my path. I am merely their temporary provider of food, exercise, a decent house, and medical care.

Looking back over the years, I can't believe how much I learned by having a GSD or two, or more around the house. And not all of these lessons have been what I'd call "fun".

I'm still getting over Sarek's loss last year. He was my buddy through the death of my younger sister and my illness in 2007. I wouldn't have made it through '07 had it not been for Sarek. Now all that I have to do is to make through Sarek's loss. Easier said than done.

My wife, Jenn, and I are working on a book so that the knowledge that we have accumulated over the years can be passed on to other.

We now have Berin, a GSD with a number of "quirks" for lack of a better term. And we are fostering Wiley for a local rescue.

So little time...so much to learn. In spite of the inevitable heartbreak that goes with being owned by a German shepherd, that's the only breed I'll ever share my life with.
 

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Great story! I agree I would not want to be owned by any other breed. :)
 

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Welcome! Glad to meet someone with all your experience. Enjoy the forum.
 
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