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June 10th, 2004, I bought a puppy.

I met his breeder in a gas station parking lot the day before, spoke with her for 20 minutes, and played with four puppies. Two bitches and two dogs.

There was one puppy in that litter that always kept my attention. He was big, burly, and a loud mouth. He demanded I pay attention to him and only him, though one of the sisters was the same and tried to get me to ignore him. He bit my fingers, and sat on my feet. He crawled in my lap and he kissed my nose.

That was my puppy.

On June 10th, 2004, I gave the breeder $250...my high school graduation money, and I took home one black and tan bundle of trouble. He squirmed and cried on the way home, not out of fear, but annoyance. He tried scrambling over the seats, searching for something to do, and he rolled in everybody's laps. He wagged his stubby little tail, and I smiled at him, all of the great things I had planned for the two of us running through my head.

Just an 18 year old girl and an 8 week old puppy on our way to do great things together.

It is now June 4th, 2008....6 days away from when I got that puppy. The puppy is now four years old, has his CD, his RN, and his CGC, and he is working on his BH, NA, NAJ, and CDX.

That puppy is Strauss.

I don't know what possessed me to do so, but after four years, I drove back out to that gas station...finding it was a miracle. I wasn't sure I could remember where it was. I only knew it was a BP out in Kewaunee. But I'll be damned if I didn't find it.

I asked the woman inside if she knew anything of the other puppies that had been sold, as when I had met the breeder four years ago in that lot, she had been dropping off a sister to a worker in the station.

The long and short of it is that the woman that owned her is in prison...and she'll be there for a long time. The store worker has no idea what's become of the sister, but gave me information on the puppies she knew about.

They're dead. Most of them anyway.

One brother was struck by a car and was later put down for health issues caused by his injuries. Two other brothers were put down for temperament issues...biting people. One sister was put down at 6 months for "hip dysplasia" (idiot vet never x-rayed her...she may have just had pano). The other 4 puppies are "Missing" for lack of a better term. I don't hold any hope of finding them.

To the best of my knowledge, Strauss is the last of the 9....and I'm probably the only one who cares.

There's not a **** thing wrong with this dog aside from the fact that he's got a semi floppy ear. He's drivey, and sweet, and has a temperament to die for. He's well trained and just an overall good dog. Sure no couch potato..probably why his siblings ended up with such poor ends. Never socialized and never trained.

What would have happened to my Mouse if he hadn't found me? What would have happened to me if I hadn't found him?

People tell me all that time that pedigrees don't matter, and titling doesn't matter, and if a dog knows how to come and sit, that it's good enough. They tell me that pricing doesn't matter, and that the breeder doesn't matter, they "just want a pet".

Let me tell you something...it DOES matter, DID matter, and WILL matter for all the puppies from litters like Strauss's.

I didn't expect to feel such grief over the knowledge of all their losses...but I swear it was like Strauss died 5 times and she listed each puppy that had passed for one reason or another.

He JUST turned 4 in April. How many of the rest of them even made it that far? Not that one sister for sure...dead at 6 months.

I honestly feel like I've lost family, and can't help but think of how unfair it is that one puppy, ONE blasted puppy ended up in a good home out of pure dumb luck. I can't believe how unfair it is that this ONE wonderful puppy is sound in temperament, and body, and spirit, and the rest met their end far too soon.

I didn't breed these puppies, didn't own these puppies, didn't even meet all of them. I did not sell them or train them.

So why do I feel responsible for them?

Why do I feel so guilty over their loss of life?

Why do I feel such a heavy burden for a problem that somebody else created?

I love my Strauss to death, and I thank whatever omnipotent being that may exist every day that he is mine, and that one puppy out of nine found his way to a good home. But I will always wonder if his siblings felt a quarter of the love I feel for this one puppy.

Rest In Peace brothers and sisters. I hope you've found a place for yourselves.

Go hug your dogs. Thank your breeders, your rescuers, and your foster homes...and say a little prayer for the family that may have been lost.

I will be damned if anybody will tell me that pedigrees and buyer screening doesn't matter.




 

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WOW is all I can think of!!! How sad for the other pups.
But
on all you and Strauss have accomplished!!!
Your story brought tears to my eyes, but I'm very impressed.
Keep up the great work!!

By the way Strauss is one beautiful boy!!!!
 

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Pups

Very sad indeed, we have a similar story, Emma, now almost 11 months, came from a rescue, and all the other pups had died (she was 8 weeks when this happened) all but her and her sister, but sadly 5 minutes before we got to the pups (we were taking both) the sister sadly died of starvation, and Emma was on the brink of dying...All the way from North Carolina to Kentucky, I held this tiny helpless little pup in my lap, never taking my hand off of her chest in fears of her dying on me, feeding her every 10 minutes pup formula to keep her hydrated and trying to get nutrition in her...Finding out nearly 5 months after getting Emma, I learned her mother was euthanized because she got really ill, and her Father, he ran off to never ben found. So Emma is the last of her litter.

I too feel grief and responsible for it, but I finally have realized, it was not in my power, that it wasn't my fault that I didn't know what was happening. In which I had to seek humility, because I couldn't control things, and it was all in Gods hands from that point on. I hope you too can find peace through such a horrible thing happening. No dog whether it be GSD or non-GSD should be treated in such disrespectful, stupid manner. I'm sorry to take so long, I just wanted to share with you my experieces. I'm glad your GSd found a safe and loving place to call home. Do cherish this time! Best wishes.

Emma's first pic at home....8 weeks old


Emma just a week ago...
 

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Oh my - so much pain in your post. I often wonder what happend to the 4 males that were Skye's littermates. I hope they have had had better circumstances that what you found.

Instead of focusing on the loss of Strauss' littermates, celebrate what a wonderful life you have given him - and he to you. He is a beautiful, well trained, very loved dog.

It hurts to think that the others didn't get what they deserved, but we can only save one at a time.

Celebrate the save.
 

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Jackie that post just describes my exact feelings when it comes to responsible breeding.

It DOES matter!!

Thank you for sharing that. It has a very personal meaning to me right now and there couldn't have been a better time for me to read that.


I sent you a PM.
 

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What a wonderful, touching story to share. Thank you. Strauss is one gorgeous boy!!
 

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Thank you, Jackie, for your excellent story; thank you also for giving Strauss such an <u>excellent</u> home where he can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.

Conratulations to you both on your significant accomplishments!
 

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I'm sure that your experience was very hard, but your post has so much truth to it. We, as educated GSD owners, need to try to help others understand what responsible breeders can do for the breed... and how other breeders can negatively impact it as well... Thank you!
 

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Jackie, what happened to his litter mates is a hard thing to know. Your Strauss is so handsome and through your hard work, he's become everything he is today. I can see the love in his eyes in those training pictures.

My Morgan is a rescue. I know NOTHING of her past before the 3 days she spent hovering a guy's yard before he caught her and took her to the shelter. She was 6 months old and a nervous wreck but I could see it in her, she was a good dog at heart.

I knew the ACO, Anne, from training classes and when I said I wanted to find out where Morgan came from, Anne said something to the effect of Don't, it won't end well.

I've always been curious about my dogs beginnings but now I'm double glad I heeded the advice not to try to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You know Jenn, if I hadn't had all these dreams about having a MACH dog, and a champion, and a Schutzhund dog...I too probably wouldn't have cared. But there was a point in time when I wanted to breed Strauss...still toy with the idea every now and then, though I know I won't get my Strauss puppy, and because of that, I started investigating his pedigree.

I had to know not only because I'd had the thought of breeding him, but because his sister died so young. I wanted every piece of health and temperament information I could find...and siblings are included in that.

I am torn between feeling guilty that I couldn't take another puppy, an being glad that they aren't suffering from their poor temperaments anymore. At least now I know. It wasn't what I wanted to hear...but it's what I expected.
 

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It's just heartbreaking and that's why I wouldn't want to know.

Maybe the next one won't be your Strauss puppy but it wouldn't be fair anyway living up to a tall order. I spent about a year comparing my Luther to Rex who came before him. They were so different, they might as well have been opposite sides of a coin. Turned out Luther was very special in his own way - he forced me to learn about aggression and dominance, when he wasn't making me laugh with his nutty antics.
 

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Jackie - like you, my first GSD was a rescue so to speak, although my luck was not as good. Her temperament was sound but her health not so much. I often wondered what happened to her Mother that stayed on the farm as well as her littermates. But, the true GSD temperament shone through in her and because of that I am in love with this breed and also a staunch supporter of stringent breeding standards.

Looks like you have done a great job with Strauss.


That was a very nice post.
 

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Jackie, you always write so beautifully and eloquently, and your post speaks directly to all dog people's soul. Please don't feel guilty, take pride in your accomplishments with Strauss.

You were an 18 year old kid, what did you know about Back-Yard-Breeders and the hordes or irresponsible dog owners? Nada. You could not have foreseen the tragic outcome for all those pups.
I think part of what you are saying in your post, is that each and everyone of those dogs had the potential to grow up to be a dog like Strauss, yet none ever even had a hair of a chance.

That's all every dog needs, is a chance. Strauss is lucky to have you.
 

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Thanks all :)

I do want to say that on a happy note, after working through a few issues, Strauss and I will be entering our first agility trial down in Texas. We will be showing in both Houston and San Antonio, so anybody in that area that feels like a meet up, do tell!

Here's some video from tonight :) Please don't judge him too harshly on the weaves....we've been working hard to learn weaving on the right (he hates it) and the weaves weren't taped down. He likes to drive through them and got annoyed when he had to go so slowly! LOL

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-GHbMpm20Nc
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nyb1EeaCGW8
 

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Very cool videos, Jackie!
You and Strauss are doing super!! What a happy, fulfilled boy he really is under your loving care. You are doing such a great job with him!

I understand your feelings about the other pups. Somehow, they are "family." Truly this underscores how critical screening buyers really is.... maybe also how rare it is to find committed buyers? I don't know. I only know that Strauss is lucky to have you!


PS-- I still just LOVE his birthday picture thread.. I keep remembering it! Too adorable and cute!
 

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Quote:pS-- I still just LOVE his birthday picture thread.. I keep remembering it! Too adorable and cute!
Play with me...
Play with me!!
PLAY WITH ME!!!!!

LOL!

Glad you enjoyed those pictures. I enjoy them and the boy that's in them.
 

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ROFL yes Jackie, exactly!!!
And "Sowwy ickle bug.. da ma ball!!" ROFL!
His face is so sweet.. what a spunky cutiepie he is-- with droolworthy conformation, and a Mom who does the very best by him.
 

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Quote:ROFL yes Jackie, exactly!!! And "Sowwy ickle bug.. da ma ball!!" ROFL!
I love those stupid I Can Has Cheezburger things
I've made a ton of em.

"Mai ball and me...we'z purty"
"Oh, hai!"

LOL!!

http://mine.icanhascheezburger.com/pictures-by-Xeph/lolz

I try to to the best I can with my boy...who is currently snoring/drooling on my carpeting. What a true German he is :eyeroll:
 

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When will you be in San Antonio for compettiton? That is only 2 hours drive for me, and I would love to come watch you and Strauss, if its at all possible! If not, then good luck to you both! And yes, you both were lucky to find each other...but you can't feel responsible for the others that were not so lucky, there was no way for you to know and no way for you to save them all. And lets hope that the tragedy of it all has taught a lesson to not only those involved, but to those who have learned of this story and millions of others just like it.
 

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I'll be in San Antonio July 11th - July 13th and Strauss and I will be running in Jumpers All three days :) I will be showing Strauss all 5 days in Houston in Obedience and Agility July 16th-20th
 
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