The Story of My German Shepherd Capitan
by Jose Garcia
Growing up I had a friend named Capitan. He was a German Shepherd Dog that came from registered parents. Most of his brothers and sisters went to work for the US customs service as police dogs. He was gifted to us at 8 weeks, a loud little pup whose first food was a Mickey D's cheeseburger patty. I had no experience with dogs. I put him in a shoe box next to a 2 littler bottle of coca cola filled with warm water.
Capitan grew in no time to full size, a gorgeous dog obedient and loyal with no training what so ever. He was always an outside dog in our fenced yard, which he climbed at will. He always waited for me on the front porch of the house when I arrived from school. He also defended me from a neighbor's dog that used to chase me all the time.
Capitan had a big dog house that sat under a roofed structure. He also had two girlfriends that he would give the house to in cold winter days while he stood watch outside of it. As a kid I used to run the bitches off. When I got older, I realized they made him happy, and I just put more food on his plate.
One day, while we were all outside sitting around, my 2 year-old cousin crawled off the edge of the table head first, directly onto the pavement. Lucky for him, Capitan was laying under. He landed on the dog's ribs, but Capitan didn't even move. He had a great temperament and infinite patience with kids.
At around age 4, Capitan began having seizures. Several vets said we could only medicate him but not eliminate the problem. So we got him some pills, but the seizure got worse over time.
Time went by. I grew from 6 to 14, Capitan from 0 to 8 years. One cold December morning, Christmas as a matter of fact, I walked outside to feed him and found him dead at the end of the back yard. It broke my heart. I dug a deep hole next to his favorite tree and buried him.
He was my first dog, and he endeared me to the GSD breed. Many years later, now a father and husband, one day I felt the urge to go to the SPCA. There awaited me a rambunctious 2 yr.-old female GSD. She knew I was her new owner immediately. I was the only one she let inspect her ears and teeth as we checked her out of the SPCA. That was 5 years ago. Her name is Candy, but that's a story for a different time.