I only became a dog lover after I married. My husband has always had dogs, mostly German Shepherds, so when we moved into our first home we visited the city's dog rehoming centre and picked a German Shepherd puppy, I fell in love. She was gorgeous and into everything, that first night she decided to "christen" every room in the house. It was Christmas and she decided to try and climb the tree, we had broken baubles, trimmings and pine needles all over the hall carpet. Doesn't she look innocent, sitting there all proud.
She went everywhere with us, on our travels around England, Scotland and Wales; she was a lovely affectionate dog. Shen never went far from us and always wanted what you had. The next picture shows her licking some spilt drink from my chin, and if you had an ice-cream you had to get her one for herself she even ate the biscuit cone it came in.
One time I had to have injections into my elbow joint, very painful, and when I got back home I sat and cried, she came over and put her head in my lap licked my elbow and looked at me with such soulful eyes, you can't stay sad with love like that.
As she got older she started to have fits, the vet said it was epilepsy and she was put on medication. This worked well for some years, then one never-to-be forgotten week-end she had a succesion of 12 fits, one after the other, she didn't know what was happening and was walking into walls and doors, the vet said that it was better if we allowed her to go to sleep. It was heartbreaking, but we couldn't let her carrhy on like that. I stroked her and talked to her as the vet did the necessary. That was over thirty years ago, but just talking about it now I have a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
That was the start of my love affair with German Shepherd dogs, over the years we have had several and the pain of their passing doesn't get any easier. Their stories are to come.