Spirit 4/1/00 - 10/11/15
Spirit is a mixed breed (who knows what really) that I adopted a couple of days after losing my heart dog, Snickers. She came to me at the age of 6 months on October 4, 2000. I imagine her birthday is somewhere around April 1, 2000. She is the "spirit" behind Spirited Shepherds. She is my heart dog and while she now lives with my father I still see her and enjoy her company. Words cannot describe this dog, she is just that amazing. I learned how not to train dogs with her and I have spent the last several years making up for that. I started training her for obedience competition and was taught under the old yank and crank system with a choker collar and not many treats. It was correction-based and very little positive reinforcement. She finally told me that she was not going to compete and that training was not fun for her. I have since changed the way I train dogs and I have her to thank and apologize to for the many mistakes I made. We are bonded tightly and being the wonderful dog that she is, I feel she forgave me my ignorance. She is an amazing spirit!
Kara 9/17/01 - 9/28/15
Kara is a Keeshond born 9/17/01. I adopted her from a rescue group in Sidney, Ohio when she was 6 months old. I adopted her hoping for her to be an agility dog because I was interested in that sport at the time, but it was not to be. She decided that she would rather be a pet with a couch potato lifestyle! So that is what she got. She is very quirky and funny. I have learned that while she does not have quite the intelligence of the other dogs here, she means well. It's a good thing she's a sweetie because she certainly has been quite the behavioral challenge from the start. I learned from her the importance of early socialization. Her original owner bought her to breed to a male Keeshond she already owned (who she later gave up to me and I had him neutered and adopted out), but she kept her locked away in her laundry room and never let her out. Needless to say, Kara did not develop normally and began to have issues which led to her being dropped off at the pound. Luckily she was bailed out by a rescue group. It makes me sad to think how much different she would be today had her owner socialized her and exposed her to different things from the beginning. I know she came from a puppy mill, so she already had a bad start in life - the lack of socialization just made it worse. Because of her, I feel socialization is a must early on and I will make sure that every puppy I raise here is highly socialized and exposed to as many things as possible.
Kaiser 1999?-2011 Long coated GSD (rescued)
I adopted Kaiser December 2003 from an Animal Shelter in New Castle, IN. He was a gentle giant in every sense. He looked imposing, but he was just a big cuddlebug. He was at least 4 yrs old when I adopted him, possibly older so I was lucky to get 7 good years with him, because in his prime he weighed in at a lean 115 pounds. I miss his goofy personality and the way he always talked to me - oh what a talker he was!
Blaze was an older German Shepherd I adopted. He had undiagnosed EPI and he also suffered from DM. Rather than improve with time, he declined to the point that I elected to have him euthanized.
Snickers 2/2/99 - 10/2/00
Snickers was adopted along with his brother, Monty who lives with my parents. He was a Sheltie/Keeshond mix who died at 18 months old after he ate a $.99 vinyl ball that blocked his intestines. One vet said it would pass and to wait and see. I saw no improvement so I rushed him to a different vet who immediately operated, but it was too late and I lost my boy on the table. He died way too early and I was unprepared and overcome with grief. Luckily, Spirit, came along and she helped to ease that pain.
Scruffy was my first dog of my own. I had wanted a Sheltie, but took my mom to the pound in Fairborn, Ohio and we saw our Scruffy sitting in a cage looking so sad. He was 8 months old, and matted. He was labeled a Shih Tzu mix, but he always had bigger feet and he was about 30 pounds. Years later I came across Tibetan Terriers and I swear they resemble Scruffy. He fought ear infections his entire life and despite getting knocked out and having his ears flushed monthly they never got better. In time, he became aggressive due to the constant pain he was in. Not wanting to see him in pain any longer and not being given any real solution to end his ear problems, Scruffy was put to sleep. I know now that I had more options, but the vet I had been using did not offer them to me.
Kuma was adopted from a rescue group to be Bianca's first puppy. He was a mixed breed of who knows what. Our first couple of days with him were fun, but then he got sick. Unfortunately, he had parvo. Despite a week in intensive care and hospitaliztion he took a turn for the worse and I was called by the vet to come down and be with him when they euthanized him. We had barely owned him for 10 days and he was gone. Makes me sad to think about the dog he could have grown up to become. The picture of him was taken just a few days before he died - you can see how horrible parvo is by looking at how sad he looked. He'd had 1 vaccine, but it wasn't enough to protect him.