January 7, 2000 - May 1, 2008
A Small Dog Indeed!
Kelly, our Irish Wolfhound, departed this world on Sunday, January 16, 2000 at about 8:30 PM. Over her last three years we began to see her age. Due to her untiring devotion to Steve, we knew we couldn't get another dog while she was alive. We did prepare for her passing.
We checked the breed books and stopped by a number of dog shows. It became apparent that the Border Terrier was the dog for us. It would be a fine companion willing to walk in all sorts of weather. A fine camper and traveler, it would wander around the United States with us.
Having contacted a number of breeders, we located a fine litter and requested a female puppy. We had a bit of a wait, though, as the puppies were young. During that wait, some things became apparent.
When we researched our choice we thought a small breed would be best. But without our massive friend we suddenly were left without the security she provided. When at a campground we would be walking late at night without our guardian. This wouldn't work.
We cancelled our request for the Border Terrier.
A German Shepherd
Our activities, desires and interest pointed to one breed: A German Shepherd Dog.
I checked the papers and found nothing but trashy dogs that were of very poor quality. Due to this breed's tendency toward hip problems there was no way a puppy mill would provide our animal. The Western Reserve Kennel Club could offer no leads as to a good breeder. I branched out to other clubs in Ohio and surrounding states. John Ayotte was listed as the President of the Central Ohio German Shepard Dog Club. He also ran Frankenhaus German Shepherds. He emailed me about Campaigner Kennels run by Joan Fox. Joan was a bit east of Cleveland. After a suitable discussion about dogs Joan indicated she had a litter of puppies and a female was available. They were born on January 7, 2000.
On January 22 we visited and met the 2 week-old puppies and Uzi, a well-titled dog who is the granddad of our puppy. We provided a deposit to insure our happiness. The puppy is due home in mid-March.
My First Day Home
Well, S5˘fritz was a bit distraught at leaving her kennel-mates. She cried most of the way home and weeped now and again the first day. She's feeling quite a bit better now, though! Everyone has come over and visited bringing her toys!
How many dogs do you know get a leash and collar and WEAR THEM THE FIRST DAY WITHOUT ANY COMPLAINING??? S5˘fritz did! She doesn't heel but she doesn't mind the leash and collar a bit.
The Progress of the Puppy
Someone said that at about 10 months a German Shepherd is at the peak of their puppy-hood. It is from that point they settle down into adulthood. That's good. S5˘fritz is now about eight months old and it is REALLY time for adulthood.
S5˘fritz isn't bad. She has done virtually no damage (!!!!!!!!!!). She hasn't chewed anything up. She is well potty trained. She comes and walks nicely. But she is so very inquisitive. She MUST know what you are doing and be a part of the process. She is in to everything you are doing and she has taught us a new level of patience.
She was wonderful at seven months when she accompanied us to the Yellowstone National Park. She really enjoyed walking miles and miles in the National Forests.
She also loves the Jeep. Going "Bye-Bye-Jeep" is a biggie. A five minute ride requires her to spend an hour napping. Riding in the Jeep is an INTENSE period for her as, again, she must investigate what everyone and everything is doing. She must analyze it. She must figure it out. That's tiring work!
At this stage in her life, EVERYTHING and EVERYONE are S5˘fritz's business.
A Teenage Fritzie-Christmas 2000
Teenage German Shepherds are very confused about this "protection" thing that's programmed into their genes. Having been to obedience school and socialized to high heaven, they are STILL GSDs and will protect ... when they can figure out what it is they are protecting and how to perform the requisite acts to cause the protection to ensue.
Going to see Santa can be a real trip with such an adolescent. Any Santa that has the fortitude to hold a GSD adolescent and live to tell about it is A-OK in my book!
Enter our Grand-Pug Eleanor
Eleanor is our daughter's first puppy. S5˘fritz is about a year older than Eleanor but when she comes to visit all heck breaks loose. They play and play and play. It is somewhat disconcerting to have Eleanor disappear inside Fritz's mouth every so often but there's never any harm done. These pictures were taken around Christmas, 2001.
Eleanor says she wants to go Jeepin!
Fritz doesn't quite fit in the basket, but she