Monday, March 14, 2011

The Lord is My (German) Shepherd

I'm ashamed to admit that I made a poor judgement on a breed of dogs. Me, who lives by the tagline "love me, love my dog," got into a squabble with my young neighbor/friend, Rose, when she excitedly told me her family was getting a puppy. I shared in her joy right up until she told me that the breed her parents had decided upon was a German Shepherd.
"No, no, you can't get that one," I told her, feeling very queasy as I had an instant memory of that horrible day in October of '09.
"Why not?" she asked.
"We finally got rid of that jerk from the apartment at the top of the street with his killer Shepherd and now you're going to bring a new one on the street?" It's true, never had I felt such victory when a year after my dogs Lucy and Molly were almost mauled to death by that dog, the owner was evicted from his building. It had been a HUGE relief, as everyone in that building and on our street rejoiced that we no longer would be afraid to walk on the street.
I then received a mouthful from Rose, telling me that I have no right to judge her dog before even meeting him. Also that it had been the owner's fault that the dog attacked us and not the dog, who had been left in the park alone that  night to find his way back home....and hey why don't I at least meet her dog before I start passing judgment on him. I knew she was right. I'm the one always preaching that "there are no bad dogs only bad owners..." etc. etc. I knew she was absolutely right. Since that night a year and a half ago, every time I saw a German Shepherd I cringed and cursed it to myself. "The Germans will always hate us, even their dogs," I had found myself saying many a time. I realized right then and there that the best way for me to get over my fear of this breed was to meet Rose's new puppy, Ace. Puppies are my favorite thing in the world, and if I didn't like him maybe I should examine my issues a little further. Rose and I made amends easily, since a 30 something year old and a teenager can not stay in a fight for too long. Rose agreed that it was the perfect plan for me to meet Ace. (That's her and Ace in the picture on the right.)
"I promise you will love him when you meet him," she said. She was right! Not only have I fallen in love with this puppy, but Molly and Lucy play with him whenever we see him. Clearly they are over their fear too. He's the sweetest, most passive dog, who loves to pounce and play. I feel like it's been the perfect closure to such a horrid moment in my life and as usual I have a kid to thank for that. I've also learned a lesson that  negative moments in your life do not need to define you....and that a new puppy, or if you want to go deeper, new life can really put things into perspective. So I dedicate this story to Rose Diker, who has helped me in more ways than she probably realizes and for that I will always be grateful.