I grew up with dogs. Throughout my childhood we had three family dogs, each coming and passing as nature intended, each teaching the family lessons in patience and love. Since living on my own, I have wanted a dog but it took a while to get to a place where it was appropriate for me to bring one into my home (I am already a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady). Seven months ago, I met and fell in love with a white German shepherd named Thor.
At first, I wasn't sure about him. While I had a total crush on the big white puppy, I wasn't sure about the disturbance he would bring to my previously feline dominated home. I was worried about about what I would do with him when I go out of town, the daily walks, and certain furniture and shoe destruction. In fact, for 24 hours after I first met him, I had decided against the adoption. But, my heart won over my head in my desire for a canine running buddy and a guard dog for my home.
Months later, I'm quietly typing this blog while Thor rests on the rug in front of the door (one of his "spots"). We had a nice paced jog after work, and while it has taken months for him to adapt to my pacing, we now run nearly one-handed. If we don't run, we walk, in fact he gets me outdoors nearly every day, regardless of wind, snow, sleet, or rain. Only once has he barked meanly at a stranger, and boy, that stranger was not comfortable and moved right along. Neighbors on all sides of the fence are comfortable petting him, and in my opinion he has become the king of the block.
At the same time, having him around called for serious alterations to my lifestyle. My desire to care for him changed my weeknight schedule and when I leave town it's one more thing to plan around (luckily I have a friend who enjoys having him around for a couple days). But it all pays off when I get the puppy dog eyes, success at tricks and a nice calm Thor Bear after a nice long run. The rewards in nurturing are definitly worth it.