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Luna and I have had our struggles, we worked hard through extra training, have had many vet visits and bills over two years for various things. Pannus, allergies, pano, you name it!

I was so frustrated for a long time. I had this anxious, mess of a dog I thought, what in the world was I gonna do!! And then I took her to a trainer, took her seriously, I read more about the bonds between dogs and people. I realized I had to put more into her if I wanted more out of her. We started habits together. She joins me to go to Starbucks, I take her with me when I need to run somewhere at night (I have bad anxiety being out alone at night.) I bought specific treats that we play games with. Just small things we share together.

I just realized over time that I didn’t have a mess of a dog, my dog had a mess of a human. When I started bonding with her, she quickly became the happiest shadow and I love that. The things that used to annoy me I now see her quirks and her personality and she makes me smile and laugh every single day. She’s sassy and I like that. When she grabs things she know she isn’t supposed to have, she doesn’t hide them or run away with them. She brings them directly me to me and drops them off lol. She doesn’t struggle and lets me handle her eye drops so easy now, and gets excited for her treat every time. I’m proud of seeing her mature and grow and enjoy herself. She wasn’t an affection pup, it took her a long time. But she loves rubs now, she loves snuggling in bed or when I’m chilling on the couch. She’s an affectionate dog now that I learned to understand her and appreciate her.

I feel comfortable with her being a part of my life! She has definitely become my companion and takes care of me as much as I take care of her. We exercise together, we play, we grow together. It had its frustrations raising a dog from a puppy, but she taught me patience, curbs my loneliness, makes me smile, and makes me proud. She is worth every bit of tough times we might run into. I’d say that makes her the best friend.
 

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I know this will be encouraging to many people! Thank you for sharing!
 
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this is such a nice story to read first thing in the morning.

"I just realized over time that I didn’t have a mess of a dog, my dog had a mess of a human.".

Your girl sounds a bit like my guy in some areas. When I look back, I'm amazed at just how hard he tried and amazed at how forgiving he is.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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Great thread.....if more people understood and practiced what you and Luna are living everyday there'd be a lot less members here posting with issues that are clearly caused by the failure of the dog's human one way or the other...many with very sad endings---many folks get GSDs for all the wrong reasons such as...."they're such cute puppies"....."a GSD just won Westminster-I've got to have one"...."I've got a friend who has one and I love it"... and then 6 months to a couple years later end up with a dog with serious issues simply because it didn't turn into the perfect dog basically all on it's own.....when an owner spends their time worrying about..."is my dog to small??---Is my dog to large??---is my dog a purebred??....or the very popular-are my dogs ears ever going to stand up ??-----these owners miss the part about "bonding" and what it means to have one of these guys for your friend....they really are the best and most loyal friend you'll ever have...a friend that will give up it's life for you.....but that doesn't happen simply because the dog becomes an adult......it happens because the human in the equation has has put in the time and work to make their dog their "Best Friend".....it's one of the most rewarding things on this planet.....to the OP ...THANK YOU for this thread and your post---I really hope a lot of folks read it..:thumbup:
 

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Wow thank you everyone. For anyone who might be feeling overwhelmed or feel like you got in over your head, INVEST IN A GOOD TRAINER! One that will teach you what your dog needs from you. I can’t recommend it enough. Even if you feel you’ve got a handle on it, it’s a great investment. That’s the #1 thing that changed everything around for us, I learned to be a leader she needed and she learned boundaries.

I held her to a HUMAN standard too often and attributed my human feelings to her behaviors which caused us both a lot of heartache, which a trainer helped me learn not to do.

I won’t lie and say it was easy, it wasn’t! It was tough to admit I was doing a lot wrong and get some help and I had to commit time and a lot more money than I expected. I wouldn’t change getting her for the world, I rarely experience frustration with her anymore. I adore my goofy fluff ball of never ending energy.
 

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mess of a dog ...mess of a human.
So goes the history of the two breeds. Thx for the story that is so typical of the dog-human relationship, evolved to the point where some lucky dogs get free health care and are pampered beyond belief. There are some that think that instead of us breeding dogs back in the day (say 8000 years ago or earlier), that dogs breed us by selecting humans most able to survive, and sticking with them instead of a bunch of losers. The theory goes, that over time, those people partnered with dogs became a stronger link in the chain of prehistoric evolution, with the accompanying dog breeds laughing all the way to the food bowl.

History aside, I've currently got a 10-year old GSD mess, plucked from the streets of Kathmandu - where he had been hit by cars, bitten by everything under the sun with teeth, had his teeth filed by a crazy person, and was having terrible epileptic seizures caused by his battered spine. But through modern medical science and love, he is now fine, and we can occasionally be found enjoying GSD puppy videos on YouTube - like every other evolved human-dog coupling does!

 

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Thank you so much for posting this! It gives me hope! The photo of the 2 of you is MY dream! I dream of the day my girl and I can cuddle together or just chill together...And I know that might never happen because she may never be the "cuddle type" and I have to respect that, but I hope as she gets older she becomes more affectionate and more receptive to affection. She truly is my whole world. I don't work now so I can be with her and I spend as much (more?) time on her needs than my kids almost - my kids would say "yes mom you do!" I just posted asking for help with her incessant barking whenever anyone enters/leaves a room and I know almost any behavior she does that I don't like is due in large part to ***my*** behavior and my responsibility to work on. That almost makes it harder because I already blame myself for everything!
Anyway, thank you so much for sharing!!!
 
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