My first puppy
There is nothing more heart warming than to see a beautiful litter of adorable puppies running around the yard. It truly is a gift to be able to breed these wonderful dogs, and see the results bouncing up and down, playing happily, as their mom watches over them.
When I graduated High School, having one of these puppies was a top priority, and so it began the search to find the right one to take home. When I went to look at a few litters, I asked my dad to be part of the process, as he had grown up with shepherds and always had one around when I was a child. I knew he could help guide me in the right direction. Driving up to the home and seeing all the cuteness running around, I never thought I would be able to choose just one. With a little guidance on what to watch for, we sat and watched the puppies interact with one another, and finally decided on my boy.
My excitement was boiling over as we paid the family their fee, got his registration paperwork and put him in the car. I hugged that poor little dog all the way home, thrilled to have accomplished finding the right pup for me. At the time, I was still living with my parents and couldn't wait to introduce him to my mom and brothers. I decided on a name and spent the rest of the day enjoying his company. When night fell and it was time to go to bed, the quiet and stillness of the night was interrupted every 2 hours of trips to the glass door to let the little tike out to pee. It's too bad it doesn't happen over night, so the next few weeks were spent, dragging myself out to the deck to ensure he would be potty trained properly. I knew I had a smart dog, as it didn't take him long to learn where the appropriate place to go was. He was so lonely without his litter mates that first night, there was little sleeping done by both myself and Charlie.
Charlie was an extraordinary dog, large boned, confident, and high drive. We had always had shepherds as family pets, but never went past that. I only wish I would have known about the sport of schutzhund back then, as he would had been an excellent candidate for it. We signed up for an obedience class with my husband, (boyfriend, at the time) because he had gone out and bought a dog for himself. I would love to tell you that we did well in the class, but Charlie drug me around that class like I wasn't even there! If you ever saw the movie, "Marlee and Me", that was totally us during the 6 week class. The dog definitely weighed as much as I did at the time, so it took little effort on his part to pull me where he felt we needed to go. Looking back, I now know what a good trainer is, and the importance of finding one that will really help to make sure you have a good foundation. It truly does set the stage for many happy years of owning these amazing animals.
Over the course of the first year, I lost many items to the carnage of things left behind from this puppies teeth, but I will never forget the companionship of this amazing animal who brought me to a lifetime of amazing dogs by my side.