Thursday, July 27, 2017


I've had a hard time coming up with a post for this week, so I figured that I'd tackle something head on. Last Monday, our 11 year old German Shepherd, Athena, died in her sleep. I had just had her at the vet the previous Friday for some heath issues which I thought were due to her back or back legs. Now I believe that they were due to her heart starting to fail her.

Puppy Thor - At 4 months bigger than most adult dogs
This is the first time in over 12 years that we haven't had a dog in the house. Our first dog was Thor, who grew to be a 125 lb gentle giant. He came from a pet store and was super marked down because he was already 35 lbs at 4 months old.

He was quite the goofball, but the most loyal dog you'd ever want. He had some behavior issues, but went through 3 training classes successfully. He was where I learned how to be the Alpha, to the point that when he accidentally bit me once, the look on his face was of someone who slapped a god in the face and just realized what they did. Unfortunately, he only lived to be 7, due to cancer, but I'm sure they were 7 happy years.

Athena being affectionate, Thor being annoyed
While we still had Thor, and when we thought we weren't going to be able to have kids, we rescued Athena. She came to us from the Garden State German Shepherd Rescue at a year old. She soon learned how to be the "annoying little sister" to Thor. She always, and I mean always, wanted to play. Luckily, Thor was laid back enough to be able to handle that. Mostly.

There were times where Athena didn't take a hint. One such time, they were in the hallway and she was pestering Thor. He eventually got so sick of her that she grabbed her by the throat (without injuring her) and slammed her to the floor hard enough to shake the house. He held her there for a moment, as if to say "That's enough, kid." When he let go ... she bit his foot.

Arby never sat still long enough to get a decent picture
After Thor was gone for about a year, my coworker had told me of a friend of hers who bread GSD's and had to get rid of her son's. He was already 6 years old, and a long hair (which I had never seen). We agreed to take him, which is how we got Arby. You could tell that he was always the Omega Dog in the house, which gave Athena a promotion.

Since Athena was now getting older, Arby took over the "energetic younger sibling" role. Athena wasn't as crotchety as Thor was at times, but you could tell that she couldn't keep up with him. He was always the healthy dog, but deferred to her where food was concerned, so he tended to be under-weight. The beginning of this year, though, he started to be REALLY under-weight. The vet couldn't figure out what was happening and, since he eventually lost bladder control, we decided to put him down in May.

So now the house is a lot cleaner, but also a lot emptier. It'll be this way for awhile, as we're going to enjoy being free of pet obligations. Hopefully all three of them are having a ball playing together. (As long as there aren't tennis balls involved, as Thor tended to hoard them.)

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