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Pike
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I got Pike after the sudden, unexpected death of my trail companion Burr. He came from backyard breeder so my expectations were not too high. But I got him started on his primary duties at a very young age. He had to learn to drink from a canteen cup:

Plant Dog Carnivore Tree Dog breed


He grew up fast that first summer.

Plant Carnivore Fawn Grass Groundcover


Dog breed Carnivore Fawn Terrestrial animal Grass


I gave him much affection and attention, always encouraging him telling him he was my best dog ever.

He did very well that first Winter on snowshoe treks and filled out.

Dog Snow German shepherd dog Carnivore Dog breed


His second summer we had to get into shape for a big test.

Plant Dog Carnivore Tree Dog breed


A hard hike into the Eagle Caps Wilderness, and he shined brightly.

Dog Plant Carnivore Dog breed Natural landscape


His second winter was even better as he remembered the fun in the snow.

Dog Snow Dog breed Fox Carnivore


He is not a big dog, (very average wt./ht.). His pedigree is unknown. American pet lines?

But his loyalty, determination and devotion do make him stand out as, what I always told him he would be, The Best Dog.

Happy Birthday Pike!!

Dog Plant Carnivore Dog breed Grass
 

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That's a heartwarming story! Happy Birthday Pike!

My first dog was a shelter find at 8 months. He looked mostly GSD, but was slightly shorter and stouter than a typical shepherd, and had white tips on his front feet and tail; otherwise he was all black.

Anyway, he was my heart dog first, and accompanied me everywhere for 12+ yrs. Best dog ever, questionable breeding and all...he excelled at everything I ever asked of him.
 
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