Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chloe & Asher: A Tale of 2 Shepherds

Chloe agrees that there's no place like home

Chloe & Ashlyn having fun in the backyard

I love German Shepherd Dogs. I might have mentioned that once or twice before. I had a GSD as a young child and I think that's where my love of the breed emerged. They have such power and grace all at the same time. I could gush for an hour, but I digress.

When Jake & I purchased our first home in 1999, we immediately fenced in the backyard and added 2 puppies to our home. Meeko, was our GSD and Val, was our Boxer. When the furkids grew to be about 2 yrs old, I came across another GSD named Dakota that was in desperate need of a good home. After many tears, I convinced hubby that she just had to move in with us...and so she did. Both of our GSD's suffered from severe hip dysplasia (which is very common in the breed unfortunately) and they each developed a condition called degenerative myelopathy (also common in the breed). We lost Meeko in January of 2007 and then Dakota in August of 2007. It was a very hard year and heartbreaking to lose both of my GSD's that close together. Our Boxer then very unexpectedly passed away in February of this year, which left our house very quiet. There's nothing like the "tic tic tic" of doggie nails walking along the wood floors in the middle of the night.

Before Val passed away, we had made plans to purchase a GSD puppy from a local breeder in June. Due to mother nature's hand in the matter, the puppy was never conceived and we were left wondering how we were going to fill in the empty hole that this family had. And then the miracle of the internet appeared.

Craigslist has got to be one of the coolest sites ever! You can buy/sell/trade/giveaway/locate anything that you can imagine on that site. One evening, while feeling especially low, I found an ad asking for help to find a home for a pair of GSDs. Hallelujah!! I emailed the person and was soon on the phone with a guy who gave me quite a sob story about the plight of this brother/sister pair. After a very long weekend, we made our way to the local Humane Society and met these 2 adorable creatures.

They both had the exact coloring of my Meeko that had passed, which immediately made me want to pack them up and take them home. Their dispositions were so docile and they desperately needed to get out of the shelter situation. So, we decided to adopt them immediately and take them home! Ashlyn & I headed for the pet store to purchase all the necessities, while hubby took the new furkids home. The first 24 hours were pretty shaky as we soon discovered that the female was not particularly happy with sharing her new home with her brother. After a couple of days of this aggressive behavior, we knew that the situation was not going to work out and that someone was bound for a new home. Little did we know that we were now going to be put into a position that we never wanted to be in...rehoming an animal.

We were now in full swing to get these dogs fully vetted (they got a lovely case of kennel cough from the humane society) and make the decision on who would stay and who would go. By this time, we had given our new houseguests names that we thought fit them quite well. The female would be called Chloe and the male would be Asher. Chloe was a sweetheart who loves people. She's not fond of other animals and she has a leg injury to a front leg, courtesy of a tangle up with a cow at her previous home. Asher was a gentle giant. Weighing in at close to 100 lbs, he was content to lay on his bed or sidle up next to me for all the rubs and hugs he could stand. This was an excruciating decision, but we finally settled on finding Asher a new home, since he would be the easier of the 2 to place.

We distributed flyers, made lots of calls and utilized the internet to the best of our ability. Thankfully, after a week, the right family came along! They had lost their male GSD (Asher's lookalike twin) just recently and really wanted another GSD in their house. It was meant to be. With a lot of tears and a broken heart, we said goodbye to Asher and focused all of our energy on making sure Chloe fit into our house just right.

It's been 10 days since we said goodbye to Asher and Chloe has really become a wonderful dog! She's more at ease and playful. She's finally eating with consistency and almost over her horrible kennel cough. She's getting used to having 2 little girls who just want to love her. And she finally has her silver charm on her collar that proudly displays her name, address and phone number. Chloe is finally home for good!


Connordog said...

Chloe is beautiful and very lucky to have you!

Angie said...

Thanks so much!! We feel equally lucky to have her too!


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