As of Monday last, we have a new addition to the family. I got some feedback by email, too, and nearly all the votes went to Diamond, the German Shepherd. A shout out to my friend Cathy, whose GSD Josie is a great advert for the breed. Lovely dog.
My son and I went to check out Trista at her temporary digs up in Florence, Texas, where she is being trained for optimum adoptability. That’s one thing I really like about ADR- their cooperative agreement with Southern Star allows rescue animals to be brought up to speed socially. While we were checking out Trista (who is as exhuberant as she looks in the video- a very happy dog!) I asked about Diamond the black and tan shepherd. Here’s her story:
Diamond was spotted by a dog lover on the streets in Dallas where she had given birth to a litter of 13 puppies in May, 2009. She was so traumatized and afraid of people that the only way she could be caught was by using her puppies to lure her to the van. She was kept with her puppies until they were weaned in August, then sent to the kind folks at Southern Star. SS is a boarding/training facility whose bedrock business is to train narcotics dogs. Because of her extreme fear of people, especially men, she was given to Ronnie, the senior trainer (normally, the rescue dogs are given to student trainers.) Most dogs are only there for a four week “course” but Diamond was there for four months. I asked Sharon about Diamond and it was clear from her manner that she thought Trista was the more adoptable dog. Diamond was unpredictable in new situations (read: probably not good for visits with Mom); no, “playful” isn’t a word you would apply to her. We got home and I received a call from the foster “dad” who told me that he was told to remind us (my husband and I) that German Shepherds are by nature aloof, that Diamond may take a while to warm up, like a week… OK, consider my expectations managed. My husband, who was not sold on the idea of a 3rd dog anyway and who is still disturbed by our Corgi’s “quirks” was going to be introduced to an aloof basket case. Got it.
So we went to Ryan’s house. He opened the door and I could see Diamond in her crate- the door was open but she stayed there until invited to come and greet us. She came out, tail wagging and snuffled Ryan, then my husband’s extended hand, then mine. The rest of the visit could be charcterized as “friendly curiosity” with particular interest in my husband- she invited him to play several times and alerted every time he spoke. Clearly, she’s over the whole “man fear” thing.
So- we adopted her.
In four days, she recalls to my whistle better than the “trained” dogs (Stripe the Wonder Herder is completely deaf, so she can be excused.) Sits on command. Has been saintly with respect to the bossy herding of the elderly Aussie. Has learned to stay out of the kitchen while I’m cooking. Is too enthusiastic about going through doorways, but we’re correcting that. Is so enthusiastic about car rides that when I opened the trunk to my sedan, she jumped in and sat there, looking at me. She is playful. Gentle. Really, really smart. Wants to be with her people. Content in her crate. In short, a most excellent dog. Did I mention she’s beautiful?
There is, as usual, the bickering about the name. I’m calling her “Deeds,” because I read somewhere that dogs are more attuned to “d” and “t” consonant sounds. Plus, when I praise her I can call her “Good Deeds.” and when she’s naughty, “Bad Deeds.” If I’m being polite, “Miss Deeds.” And of course, after all this rain, she is “Dirty Deeds.” She likes the wordplay, even if everyone else groans. I’m open to suggestion. Other names I like:
- Nola, in honor of the Saints Superbowl win on the same day we met her.
- Blackie (my daughter thinks this it too politically incorrect, but she needs to get over that. I named my pony “Brownie,” and our Aussie is named “Stripe.”)
- Bo (bwahahahhaha!)
Vote for the doggie name of your choice!
I’ll upload pics as I get them- I have one of her in the trunk.
And by the way: we have only ever had purebred dogs- Australian Shepherds and Corgis. While Diamond is obviously a purebred, who knows what her provenance is. Probably the product of some amateur breeding program, and someone probably paid good money for her originally. But they didn’t spay her and keep her safe. So, for a grand total of tax deductible $165, I have a wonderful dog, thanks to the wonderful folks at Southern Star and ADR. I’l never buy from a breeder again. Too many fine animals, purebred and mixes, need homes.