A New Friend
by Kristina Collier
(Van Buren County, Michigan, USA)
Axle on his first afternoon at the house
Word of mouth is a funny thing. Over three weeks ago, my sister called Jeffery and I to tell us about a dog that was at VanBuren County Animal Control (in Michigan). One of the deputies had told her about him at church. He was telling anyone and everyone about this dog because the deputies wanted him to find a home very badly.
Many of the members of the department wanted him, but their wives declined the idea of another mouth to feed and more responsibility. Once I heard about this dog, I just had to have him... Jeffery felt the exact same way.
Three weeks ago today, I sat at the Animal Control office while the deputy looked over my paperwork and finalized our adoption of a 94 pound, 4 year old German Shepherd. "Let's go get the big goof ball," the deputy said. I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. The minute I saw him, I fell in love. He is absolutely beautiful.
I hooked the leash I had purchased to his collar and was promptly drug across the kennel. After making it across the ice covered parking lot, he jumped right into the back seat of the Jetta just like he had done it a million times. I chuckled to myself as I saw nothing but dog in my rear view mirror going down the road.
Our first stop? The vet. Ann Marie at Dr. Baker's office checked him out for us and attempted to track down the person who purchased the chip in his shoulder. He was micro-chipped; however, no one ever registered their contact information with the micro-chip. The phone calls turned up nothing, though.
So, Jeffery and I are now the owners of Axle. (And please... don't call him Axle Rose.) ;]
This dog has been the major focus for the past few weeks as he has settled in quite nicely with us. We have found that he is trained and very well behaved. After a trip to the pet store and a run in with a German Shepherd breeder we were astounded by even more information. This lady said that he'd been professionally trained (as he followed her hand signals to perform commands) and was easily worth thousands of dollars. Both she and the vet confirmed that he is pure blood German Shepherd.
It's fun having Axle around. He's great at cuddling, always makes me smile, and reminds me not to take things too seriously. He is absolutely crazy about playing fetch. After finding some heavy duty "Axle proof" toys, we play fetch many times throughout the day.
He loves going for rides in the car and I rarely make a trip without him. When he's allowed, he accompanies me into places. He is always drooled over and people are just amazed with his temper, training, and the story behind our adopting him. Our neighbors come over to see him and tell us he's beautiful on a constant basis.
Each day I can see him getting more and more comfortable here. There are a few things that we're working on... sometimes when Jeffery comes in from work, Axle cowers down and pees. We're not sure if he was mistreated or if there is a certain tone in Jeffery's voice, but we're working on it. He's getting better each day.
I think the most frustrating thing about Axle is that there are so many things that we will just never know. We aren't truly sure of his age, his background, or the reason he was wandering around all alone. We are sure, though, that he has found a good home and he won't ever have to be at the pound again. :)