So we got Jimmy the GSD from a rescue organization, German Shepherd Rescue, NSW in March 2015. We think he is 6 years old. We actually are not sure, but, regardless, it doesn’t really matter.
We’ve always taken in dogs and cats from pounds, breeder rehomes, etc over the years. As my husband says – we do tend to bring home strays! That extends to humans as well, but that is another story.
He’s a good dog. On whatever scale you rate these things, he’s a winner.
He is a solid, happy temperament. He started off as quite quiet and not trusting, but soon figured out (like, in 48 hours) that he was here to stay, and he came right out of his shell.
He has a couple of quirky things he gets overexcited about like cars/ doors/ leashes – they all bring out an exuberant, typically GSD whiny noise and prancing or jumping, whatever the situation entails.
Once he learnt to eat food (he would only lick initially, so everything had to be sloppy) he is great with his food, and learnt to sit and wait for his meal super quick.
He is super cool around every single dog and situation I have put him in. Even when the dog is fully provocative ( one jumped on him and bit him) Jimmy is chill. No concerns at all about him over reacting or carrying on.
He is a sweetie with every human he has encountered. Seriously, he is a smoocher.
He walks well on leash, sits, shakes paws, drops, stays.
He barks a bit, but he IS a dog.
He will let me wash him, which is better than Gidget who tries to become a boulder when it is wash time!
Why was he surrendered to the pound then?
We are really not sure, but plenty of dogs like Jimmy are surrendered through no fault of their own. Certainly there are dogs with issues or that are broken that are surrendered, but there are many more like Jimmy, who end up in a rescue because there is a new baby, a marriage, a break up, a move, a divorce, a new puppy, a new lounge suite, or through ill health of their owner.
I recently had an experience with Jimmy at the pet store recently where I take him and the Princess so I can wash them.
The place was packed.
I had multiple people fawning over Jimmy. Lots of kids asking nicely ‘may I pat him?’ Which was great.
I mentioned he was gotten from a rescue organization and people were surprised
‘But he’s well behaved/ so good looking/ not aggressive/ good with kids/ obedient’
The key phrase was ‘oh lovely, he’s a rescue BUT…’
One lady said she had 2 labs at home and said ‘I considered a rescue but I have kids and no time to deal with a broken dog.’
She was a stay at home mum who walked her two every day up in the hills. She would have been a a rescue dogs dream owner. But she was put off by the myth that all dogs/ cats are in rescues because they are broken.
Not all rescues are broken.
Some just needed a home because theirs no longer worked out.
All dogs, regardless whether breeder bought or rescue (let’s not forget the breeder dogs that end up needing another home) have quirks and needs.
I just wonder how many people who may be suitable to rescue a dog (any breed) don’t because of misconceptions
What a shame.
So maybe Jimmy can be an advert for rescue dogs that aren’t tragically broken and needing rehab.
Certainly I recommend getting the dog you want from a rescue organisation, especially if you have particular needs. They are best placed to assess any dogs that they have, support you when you bring your new dog home, maybe already have training etc in place and have carried out lots of the medical stuff like vaccinations, worming and desexing.
Just think about it – now I have to go, change the sheet on Jimmy and Gidgets bed, and then take Jimmy and the Princess for a walk.