Type: German Shepherd Dog
My then current partner heard about a litter of German Shepherd puppies from a rescued mother – in sad shape – that were available. Some of them were white, and she missed her long term companion white shepherd from 9 years previous. We went and saw the puppies when they were two weeks old. I have had dogs around my entire life, but was never a ‘dog person’. There was only one male white puppy, so I took out the checkbook and paid for him right then and there. We visited this little boy every week until we could take him home at 8 weeks, and named him “Oberon” at 4 weeks old – complete with collar, name tag, and ‘ownership’. By the time we got him home I was attached – for the first time – with this sweet, incredibly smart, and wonderful dog. The bond I had with him is amazing and incredible. Then it happened – my partner and I separated in 2007 when Oberon was almost 2 years old. We worked it out for the next 2 1/2 years, sharing ‘custody’ of our boy, each of us having him with us 1 or 2 weeks off and 1 or 2 weeks on. We did everything with our baby, from Flyball training/tournaments, birthday and halloween parties and costumes, run and fetch – nothing was too good for him (or us). In 2009 Oberon needed a Hip Replacement – and I took him in and nursed him through the surgery and the rehabilitation on my own for 3 months. We thought he would be fine then, and started the sharing custody again. Then disaster struck – he was diagnosed with excessive bone growth (that would continue) in three vertabraes in his neck, and had spinal cord damage that was impairing his ability to move around well. The steroids they put him on for the pain would shorten his life to only 16 – 18 months…and he was only 4 1/2! In January 2010 (2 months ago) she took him from me, and told me I could not only never have him with me again, but couldn’t ever see him again either. This beautiful amazing shepherd had grabbed my heart and didn’t let go – and I couldn’t imagine not being able to spend what time he had left with him – so I fought back. I found an attorney and fought for joint custody/ownership – and will be getting my boy back in another month and a half. Every dime it cost me was worth it – just to spend as much time with him as I can while he is still with us. He has taught me so much about life and love – and how the souls of animals can touch your own so deeply – as much as if not more than a human one can. I will miss him so much when he has to move on from this earth, but my life is so much more enriched from having known him. I can’t imagine not having known and learned from him…patience, understanding, bonding, acceptance, and tolerance. He is, and always will be, the light in my heart.