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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Shadow came from a crappy breeder. A puppy farm of the worst kind where dead dogs were the norm and an annoyance to be shoveled to the side.
Dead pups went in the burn barrel apparently.
Health issues with this girl are a constant and I suspect in most homes would have resulted in a last drive at a young age.
When I brought her home the immediate concerns were that she was dehydrated, malnourished, had a bacterial skin infection and a crazy parasite load. She was cold and weak. She had damage to her tongue, ears and toes, and was covered in deep bruising.
These were followed shortly by heart and breathing issues, apparent vision problems, some clear digestive problems and some notable behavior issues. Food allergies appeared at a few months.
As she gained strength and mobility it became apparent that she was anxious and suffered from separation anxiety. She was also deathly opposed to being crated. She did not recover well from being startled at all. And screamed the bloody building down when removed from my vicinity.
However, she was smart, bold, eager and inquisitive. And would follow a scent to the ends of the earth. She tunneled into Buds dog run and made a daily game of harassing him and then escaping to taunt him from outside the gate. She routinely pestered various fosters and then ran to hide behind Sabi.
The fearful behavior reared it's ugly head at around 16 weeks and coincided with the(unauthorized) rabies vaccine and a smack upside the head from a vet. Alberta had not had a rabies case in decades, there was no reason to be rushing to vaccinate a pup. She would spook at shadows(ironic), lights, reflections, garbage cans, drain grates, vehicles, other animals, plastic bags, lawn signs, people....basically anything outside our yard. Worth noting that the first two dog attacks on her had already happened, one in the yard and one in the car. She bite her first person around this time as well.
This baby had crappy luck!
Maturity and exposure worked against us, not for us. Daily walks increased her anxiety to the point that she was hiding in her crate for hours when we got home. She was frequently so frightened that I was forced to pick her up and carry her somewhere quiet to recover. It was not unusual for me to have to clean urine off of both of us when we got home. Attempts to have someone else walk her were met with harmful levels of resistance and attempted bites. She had zero issues putting her teeth on people and was not a fan of strangers trying to touch her. We also went through an annoying phase of redirected aggression where she would get upset or worked up and bite me. It was short lived thankfully.
But... she only ever chewed one thing, the cord for my spider lamp, she was housetrained by six weeks, she seldom engaged in nuisance barking, she proved to not be at all a garbage hound, her biting phase was short lived and more then manageable and she was wickedly smart and agile. Pretty as **** to boot!
So although most homes would probably not have been a good fit, and I suspect she would not have been a long term resident, she has done okay with me. A skilled trainer could have done a lot with her. I taught her to help with laundry, and gardening, she loves weave poles and tunnels and is a master hiking partner. She travels like a champ and is a dream to camp with.

She's really not that bad.
German shepherd dog Dog Dog breed Fence Carnivore
 

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Nadja- AKA the BooRoo
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I never thought I could love an animal I鈥檝e never met and only ever see online until o joined this forum. Shadow is one of the dogs I鈥檓 always excited to hear about. The day she goes (hopefully won鈥檛 be for a while) will be a rough day, I鈥檒l very likely cry. I鈥檓 so glad you found her and gave her a chance she never would鈥檝e got otherwise. Such a beautiful girl she is!
 

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Charlie (DOB 11/24/20)
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Like Naddog said, i never thought I could be so attached to a dog ive never met, but heck, i just love Shadow! im always so excited to hear about what she's gotten up to, i think the way you write about her definitely contributes, you have such a way with words, giving us a glimpse into the life of such a cool dog.
you're both very lucky to have each other! 馃挅
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Puppy farm was shut down. All dogs removed. And about a year later the guy that owned the place was killed in a car accident.
One of the reasons Shadows vet bills are so well documented is because she was evidence.
Sadly, the seizure came to lat to save her siblings, and that haunted me. It still bothers me.
I would say she was there when I needed her. She was rescued when Sabi was just starting to show symptoms of DM. And nothing I have done comes close to how hard she has fought.
 

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Rocky
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Shadow and you have a very special relationship. What an amazing story and life you have given this dog. Seeing the positives in everything definitely helps us to keep going when things get tough. It is so awful to hear about these puppy mill dogs. I don鈥檛 know Rocky鈥檚 full history as I got him from his second owner who didn鈥檛 know much about his first owner but I suspect puppy mill and bad breeding. Keep posting about Shadow. I鈥檓 going to go through past posts as I want to read more!!!
 
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