Thursday, February 23, 2012

Puppy Ponderings

For the past three or four months I've been pondering the possibility of adopting a German Shepherd pup. Both my husband and I miss our beloved German Shepherd, Xena, who passed in 2008 at the age of twelve. She was one of those dogs who was simply a gem. She left paw prints that can never be replaced. But, it feels like the time to search for another gem. We've always admired German Shepherds who are well trained and have a love of their family pack. That's how Xena was, that's what we want to try to do with another one.

 Last photo of Xena, summer 2008

We've both been discussing my puppy project. We have two dogs who were both rescued from abandonment. We love them, but have also been mulling the idea of putting our energies into raising a pup.We haven't had a pup around since 1996 when Xena was abruptly dropped on our doorstep by a grandmother (Hubby's mom) who thought two boys (our sons ages thirteen and eleven at the time) needed a pup, who so happened to need a home. Xena's story, as told by my mother-in-law, was that the people who had Xena's parents had been trying to breed for white German Shepherds but the pups came out black and they didn't want them. Sad. Mother-in-law knew two boys who'd love to have a puppy. Unfortunately, she didn't OK it with us first, especially me. I was not happy. I don't like surprises like that because I take pet ownership very seriously and want to have supplies and living space prepared, which we didn't, not for a puppy. But, that aside, over the years, Xena turned out to be a fine example of what a German Shepherd should be, loving, loyal, playful, courageous, intelligent, all the traits I hadn't seen in some of the GS dogs I'd grown to resent in my adult years. I didn't have a good view of GS because the one my father-in-law had, bit me, and everyone else in the family, plus a few who ventured on to their property, but that's another story. I've since learned a great deal about dog behavior and realized that particular GS had issues my father-in-law refused to deal with until the day the dog died.

 So, I've been puppy pondering. In my pondering I've looked up a variety of information about puppy training and bringing a new pup into the household. It's been a long time since we've had the patter of little paws, with the exception of our live in/out cat, Buddy. I've been considering all the time and extra effort a pup will take and it will be me who'll be the main caretaker/trainer this time around. When Xena came into our family, I was working shift work and honestly don't remember much of her puppyhood. My sons and husband were the ones who bonded with her early on but this time, it will be me. Over the years we've had more than our fair share of rescued dogs and cats so I don't feel a need to go to a shelter this time around, but will keep the option open. Basically, my husband and I have decided we need a big dog on our property again, and we'd prefer a German Shepherd.

Saturday I made a giant leap and emailed a GS breeder in my state. I'd been looking over their website for a while, looking at the parents and puppies from past litters.I've been following them on Facebook as well. I felt they were breeding and raising the kind of GS dogs we were looking for, the old fashioned, large, straight back kind. However, I have yet to hear back from the contact person. It's been six days. This is one of my pet peeves in this tech messaging world and I don't understand why people can't just let someone know one way or another.I had taken the time to write a nice email, explaining about Xena, adding a picture of Xena, and what we were looking for with a few lines about our time with Xena. In my opinion, it's rude not to at least send back an email acknowledging my interest, whether they have any of the current litter pups available or not. I went to the their Facebook page and discovered that, evidently, they will only know after this weekend whether they have any pups left from the litter I was inquiring about in my email. I thought-How nice  (sarcasm),they can confirm a Facebook post by someone on their page but not acknowledge my personal inquiry. Yes, it ticks me off! There were twelve pups in the litter, six males and six females. I was opting for a female. The pictures have been posted on Facebook weekly. The pups are now three weeks old. While they are all adorable, my thoughts on dealing with this particular breeder are waning at this point.

I've decided if one of these pups is meant to be ours, it will be. If not, well, there are always other litters, other breeders, and there's always our local shelter with, undoubtedly, some abandoned big pups of questionable breeding who need a home. I'm not that upset if one of the adorable pups I viewed isn't exactly meant for us, what will be will be. I'm not going to fret over it. I do have a less than respectful attitude toward the breeder at this point, so maybe this just wasn't our time with this particular bunch of pups.

In the mean time, my puppy ponderings continue, but with just a little less enthusiasm than a week ago.

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