Matt and I were searching for many months for just the right breeder and dog combination. Having done German Shepherd rescue in the past and having experienced terrible loss as a result, it had been a long time before we would even consider bringing a new shepherd into our lives. We were finally ready when we got Raven's cytology results back as positive for lymphoma. We sadly accepted that her life would be cut short, even while undergoing chemotherapy with the wonderful vets and nurses at Portland Veterinary Specialists. We could not have asked for a more compassionate medical team.
As the painful realization of losing a pup settled in, it dawned on us that Arwen would be alone. Her solitude is unbearable. She has separation anxiety for being alone. The humans are fine to go, but she can't be alone for long. Without another dog with her, Arwen quickly begins to drool, pant, and make desperate attempts to get our of her crate, even to the point of self-injury. What a testament to the importance of "pack". Our search for another dog intensified.
There's a publication in Maine called the Uncle Henry's. Imagine Craigslist for a sparsely populated, wild state. You never know what you'll find when you look through the Uncle Henry's. I combed the "pets" section, hoping we'd find a puppy that would be a good fit. Matt sought an all black shepherd rather than a black and tan, so the search was not easy. With a small child in the house, Matt worried about the predictability of a shelter dog. I yielded in this argument, as T is his child biologically - Daddy's decision trumped my open-mindedness.
One day, I opened the Uncle Henry's and started my usual search. There, in black and white, was this ad: