Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Five years...


On December 8th, 2010, a small pick-up truck pulled into my driveway and a nice couple from Maryland who foster German Shepherds for a rescue society dropped off this pain in the ass.

He's Here!

While he explored my house, they slipped out the door, and he wailed like a baby when they drove away without him. Then he lay by the window and cried nonstop for the next two days. His whole life thus far had been one of abandonment by one person after another (or the dog pound), and here he'd just been ditched again, at least in his mind.

I've had other rescue shepherds in the past, most notably Lagniappe, who wasn't exactly a bucket of sunshine himself when I first took him home, but this new dog four years ago would have tried the patience of Job and driven Mother Teresa to cuss. He was clingy to the point of being my second shadow, and he'd cry loudly if I so much as left the room and closed a door between us. Outside, if he could get off-leash, he was nearly impossible to recover, an annoying and potentially dangerous habit that he still has to an extent today.
Back then, Murphy also wanted to bite pretty much everyone that he saw. He was pretty angry at the world and this had adversely affected a couple of previous adoptions and resulted in his being returned to the dog foster each time. And on our second night together, he tried me on for size, but I was ready for him and we got through that moment in a way which resulted in his accepting me as Alpha from then on. And he didn't go back. I was determined to work with him no matter what.
Four years on, I'm happy with my choice. He's still annoying in his own ways--he barks in the house too much, he steals off of the counters, and he's stubborn beyond belief when he wants his way. But on the other side of the coin, he's dependable and trustworthy around people that I allow into our house, while at the same time he's "no quarter" guardian of the house when strangers approach, whether I'm home or not. This is his home and he will defend it, and I am his person, and he's loyal and protective, if not exactly entirely obedient or subservient.
So thanks for five pretty good years, Murphy. Truth be told, you're still kind of an asshole sometimes, but I love ya and you'll always be part of this pack.

14 comments:

  1. Well ya know, dogs are frequently like their owners... :)
    You have done a great work with Murphy. I remember when you first got him. He was to say the least, very intimidating. He's a different dog these days and his good home makes all the difference.

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  2. Murph and Miss Belle have adopted a great human! We have a couple of rescue mutts ourselves and, truth be told I like most dogs better than most humans. Good luck with the job.
    Davedog

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  3. Some of my best friends are assholes in their own right. I'm guessing that in your case, true of Murphy as well.

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  4. I still have trouble believing he was a biter. He's such a sweetie, and has such a bright and happy face.

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  5. Murphy and Belle have a great Dad. It shows.

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  6. Congratulations to you all! Give them a scritch for me!

    gfa

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  7. Good boy, Murph. Good boy.

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  8. I can't believe it's been five years. It just seems like yesterday. You've done an incredible job with him, and he's repaid you in return with loyalty and love. You can't ask for much more.

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  9. Good dog, Murph!

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  10. Murphy has become a great dog because you are a great teacher

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  11. I've had quite a string of German Shepherds in my life, and no matter what other folks say, they are the breed for me. We lost our papa dog Luke, another black GSD earlier this year at almost 13 years old, we're now down to 3 of them, all his offspring. They are not for everyone; it takes a real commitment on an owner's part (or sponsor, partner, whatever floats your boat). They have medical issues sometimes, behavioral challenges (both things you know very well). But would I want another breed covering the homefront?? Heck no. It's a lot of fun when my wife answers the door when a roofing salesman comes by. Two black GSD's checking his ID. She has worked with both to the degree that they go with her to lowe's (just one, and he goes inside with her)NOBODY messes with her.
    My hat's off to you; thanks for your steadfast efforts.

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  12. Can't believe it's been five years. You've built a delightful (if sometimes trying) family!

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