It was love at first sight for my husband.
We had a rough start getting to know one another but she has been a constant part of the family for ten years and we would not trade her. Well, maybe some days -- you know the barky, digging holes in the flower bed kind of days. But otherwise she is a keeper.
I had cats growing up. The aunt who used to babysit me when I was a kid had a neighbor whose dog was a German Shepherd and from the moment I made friends with it that breed was my favorite. Sure, I love other breeds but German Shepherds hold a special home in my heart.
My husband was the complete opposite, growing up he had always had dogs. He had a family dog when I met him that I loved very much too. And it was very hard for him when he died. We had always talked about owning a dog together and luckily he too had always wanted to have a German Shepherd to call his own.
A few years after we were married we started to do some research into breeders in our area. We finally found one that had five week old pups with two left. One was a runt and I had decided I wanted that one. Jeff agreed. It would be a few more weeks before we could take her home but we were both excited. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be -- a week or so later the breeder called to tell us that the dog had developed a twisted bowel and died. We waited a few more weeks then looked back at our research before contacting another breeder.
One night after work we drove a couple hours with the intention of checking out their facility. Besides showing numerous dogs (and having many champions) they also did extensive training. We were impressed with the facility and the owners. During the exchange we mentioned we were not interested in showing our dog or breeding and they mentioned a female they had that they were selling at a reduced rate because she did not meet the coloring standards -- she had white toes on her hind feet -- but she would still come with all the other guarantees they offered.
When the fuzzy pup was brought out my husband took her in his arms and was immediately attached. I literally could see an invisible leash attach from the doe-eyed puppy to my husband. He looked at me and I knew he had found his dog.
That night as we were driving home I called his parents to let them know there was a new addition to the family who was sound asleep on the seat between us and her name was Shelby.
I Love Animals
I have always loved animals. All kinds from wild to domesticated. I grew up always having a cat in the house and cannot imagine my life without pets.
I have two cats (a short-haired American Tabby and a long haired feral adoptee) and one dog (German Shepherd).
I was lucky enough to marry a man who loves animals as much as I do.
Shelby was born August 10, 2000 in Ingersoll, Ontario. Her birth name was Millenium Manor. We purchased her from Appleridge Kennels on September 27, 2000 -- she was almost 7 weeks old. She is described as having black / red coloring.
Her mom is JAZZ (Appleridge's Mistique OVC CGC) and her dad is JUSTICE (Sieger V-IIko von der Viktoria SchH1 KKL1). The dog's combined history includes excellence in CGC, therapy, protection, and courage.
I had absolutely nothing to do with the name. My husband thought that since I named our last pet he should name the new one. I had opinions and suggestions of course.
Favorite Things To Do With Shelby
The first two years I took Shelby everywhere with me. We went shopping, we went on nature hikes, we spent a lot of time at the dog park. She was a well socialized and well traveled dog. My favorite times are the quiet times we spend walking the nature trails. Winter, spring, summer, or fall Shelby likes them all.
One of Shelby's Favorite Things
When she was teething the Kong was one of our best tools. A little peanut better in the center and she was good to go for an hour of chewing and licking. She still has her original Kong which she will carry around the back yard with her on and off. Usually when she is excited and trying not to bark.
Hot Dog! - Shelby Being Shelby
Another Favorite Toy
At 9 p.m. every night Shelby will get up off the couch and do a perimeter search of the house until she finds her "Crazy Ball". She will then take it to Dad to fill with treats and she will roll it around until she has cleaned it out. Then she will go to bed for the night. A night is not peaceful if the Crazy Ball is in the dishwasher. You can see it in the background in a gallery shot above.
Passing of a Dear Friend - May 1, 2014
This is a letter my husband sent to Shelby's birth "gramma".
It is with heavy hearts that Maureen and I must let you know that on Thursday 01 May 2014 we laid your beloved Shelby (Millennium Manor) to rest after 13+ wonderful years. We both can remember when we first picked her up from you in Ingersoll. She was so small! We called my parents (it was very late at night) on the way back home to let them know there was a new addition to the household... naturally mom thought grand kids. Nana and Grandpa were proud to have such a lovely lady in our lives for such a long time.
We were very lucky that Shelby was healthy and active for almost all her life. She really didn't become a "senior dog" until the last few months and this allowed her and us to enjoy our time together. Over the years we made many trips as a family
We continue to struggle with Shelby's absence. She was such an important part of our lives and has left a huge void that seems to be everywhere we look. There continues to be tears and raw emotion as we work through our loss.
Shelby was a great dog and is very much loved.
Rest well. Until we meet again. We love you "big dog"!
Maureen and Jeff (mom & dad)
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 18, 2014:
@jackypaulson: Thanks Jacky. It has definitely been hard. Pretty much everything we do brings on a memory of her followed by the realization that she is gone. Looking forward to the time when reminiscing isn't painful.
jackypaulson on May 15, 2014:
I am so sorry about the loss of your beautiful German Shepherd Dog. I am the mom of a big boy German Shepherd Dog named Prince Blackstar, and loving him as I do, I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you. She is very beautiful.
aquarian_insight on July 21, 2012:
Shelby is absolutely beautiful. GSDs are my favourite breed and you can meet my GSD boys in a lens I wrote. Thank you for sharing her with us. *blessed*
Gail47 on April 12, 2012:
Shelby is beautiful and the purple star well deserved. Sending angel dust your way.
MokaChocolate on June 10, 2011:
What a gorgeous dog!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 12, 2011:
@PianoGeek LM: I love German Shepherds -- I've always wanted one -- I'd like to have a white one some day.
PianoGeek LM on May 12, 2011:
How wonderful. She is beautiful and reminds me of my GSD, Cynthia, that was my constant companion as a little girl. I now have a GSD who is an almost all black. GSD are strikingly beautiful to look at.
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 11, 2011:
@anonymous: Thanks! Newfie dogs are so great. I had an aunt who had two of them. Friendly dogs -- sooo big!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on May 11, 2011:
@Akitajitsu: I know right! We loved them -- always good for a giggle. We never knew what way they were going to lean from day to day.
anonymous on May 11, 2011:
Boy what a beautiful dog! I'm a huge fan of dogs as well, we always had mutts growing up and they were always part of the family. We plan on getting Newfoundland pup at the end of summer for the boys and I think about it so much that I actually dream of her. But thanks for the toy suggestions, will definitely keep them in mind.
Jen from California on May 10, 2011:
Those wonky puppy ears are precious!