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Being owned by a German Shepherd is a wonderful thing!

Updated on November 7, 2011

Such a handsome gentleman

My best friend, Ace
My best friend, Ace | Source

Amazing dogs

“These dogs are smarter than most people you’ll meet.” I say that often. And every time I say it I am speaking of my German Shepherd Dogs.

I have been blessed to have had six German Shepherds in my life to date. Each dog spectacular in their own right; and each one with their own special talent. What I find most fascinating, it in each case, the dog has figured out on its own, without training or guidance, what was needed.

The guy pictured above is one of my current Shepherds. His name is Ace. He is six years old and came to us almost three years ago when the owner who had him from puppyhood was sending him to the shelter. His new girlfriend didn’t like the dog. Now, for me, that would have been the end of the relationship rather than the dog, but different strokes for different folks.

I was reluctant to bring Ace into our home. Not because I didn’t want him or because of anything he had done. But at the time, the German Shepherd who had been my best friend for twelve and half years was rapidly declining. This guy had helped me raise my children when I was a single parent. He had watched over us and loved us his entire life. I felt somehow that I was “cheating” on him by bringing a new guy into the mix. Unfortunately, Ace didn’t have time and it was either take him or have him go to the shelter.

Dogs have a way of working things out among themselves. I will never know how exactly it happened, but it worked out between them beautifully. Ace respected the other dog’s position and was careful to stay off his turf.

It was in the final days of my old dog’s life that I began to watch Ace study me. He seemed to always be on the perimeter; watching me care for my family and watching me interact with my other animals. He allowed himself to be bossed around by the cats. He was shamelessly bullied by the Chihuahua. He didn’t mind. I could tell he was as happy to have us as we were to have him.

It wasn’t long before Ace had attached himself to me. I don’t know if it was because he had watched me grieve the loss of my very best friend, or simply that he is just that observant, but it wasn’t long until he could read my every emotion. If I am happy and playful, so is Ace. If I am crabby and seek solitude, Ace is in the room, but lying quietly off to the side. If I am filled with anxiety, Ace senses and immediately comes to put his head in my lap to comfort and calm me. If I am in a flurry of activity I am followed step for step by Ace.

Every morning, when it is time to get my son up and ready for school, Ace is my right-hand man. My son is grown, but he has autism. His disability is such that he requires 24 hour care, and help with even basic care. Every morning, as I start to run the bath water, Ace sits and watches me until I say “Go get Bubby up.” He then jumps up and runs down the hall barking. He goes into my son’s room and barks until he gets up. Then he “herds” him down the hall to the bathroom and lies beside the tub the entire time. Should my son start to get out of the tub before I can get back with his clothes for the day, Ace will bark and keep him there until I am back in the room. I didn’t train him to do any of this; the whole routine is something Ace figured out on his own. And it is incredibly helpful to me.

When I work from home, in fact, whenever I am at home, Ace and I are never far apart. He is always right there, beside me. When I am at my desk, when I am working in the kitchen, when I am in bed asleep, I know all I need to do is reach out and he is there. He lets me know I can count on him.

German Shepherds are wonderful family dogs. Like many things in life, they are not for everyone. Please take some time and do your homework to decide if a German Shepherd is a good match for your home. The magic in having a great relationship with a dog is in finding the breed that best suits you, your family, and your lifestyle. Please remember to check your local shelters and breed rescues.


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    • vmott profile image

      vmott 6 years ago from Ozark Mountains

      @Rich, Congratulations on your pup. German Shepherds are wonderful, loving, loyal companions. Here's to many happy, healthy years for both of you.

    • profile image

      Rich 6 years ago

      This is a great story. Very warm and makes me happy I chose a German shepard. She's only 8 months but it's hard to image life before her..

    • vmott profile image

      vmott 6 years ago from Ozark Mountains

      Thank you so much Sannel! I am happy to learn of your Max. We are very blessed.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      What a wonderful Story!!

      It always make me so happy when I read about people that love their animals so much like yourself.

      I am also "owned" by my great friend, Max. He is never far away from me and always making sure nothing bad happens to me. He is the best friend anyone could ask for, just like your beautiful and clever Ace!

      Thank you for sharing this inspirational story!

      Take care,