The Not Quite a Puppy Puppy


I have been puppy shopping for several months now. Bacchus is middle age, quickly approaching eight years old, and I wanted to get a new dog while he was still active and energetic enough to tolerate it. I originally thought I would go with a real puppy-puppy, 8-10 weeks and start fresh with training. My partner opts for the other route. She is usually the one who opens our home to the senior canine citizens. She recently did this with Zeus, a ten-year old German Shepherd who moved in with us in August. Despite the many compelling puppies available, we decided to get a slightly older dog and went for adoption instead of through a breeder.

MCCS Petfinder picture

I found ”Elena” at Marion County Canine Services in Salem, Oregon. She was an eight-month old bi-color GSD(later labeled purebred through Wisdom Panel).We drove down just after Thanksgiving to meet her. She was a wild girl, excitable, and energetic. She got along well with Zeus right off the bat and was fine with Emma, despite being ignored as much as possible. 

I liked her immediately and felt she would work in our situation. So, on December 1, she came home with us.

Elena went through a series of name changes and has become Ziggy.

So far, she has done very well. One of the benefits of getting a slightly older dog, is we have skipped the constant teething. (Although as a German Shepherd, she still wants to chew on a lot of stuff.) She is doing very well in her training. She is engaged and focused. Bacchus has been tolerant if a bit standoffish. He is unhappy that he is sharing his time with me with another dog. I keep reminding him that once he was the interloper. He ignores those comments.

The plan right now is for her to become a running partner, move into some nosework, and if I can make the time, she will enter the world of IGP. I will keep everyone posted.

On a similar note:

I mentioned Zeus above. Moose our old GSD passed away in February from complications with hip dysplasia. Mid-summer, my partner spotted an old guy on the Old Dog Haven social media.

He had been living outside most of his life with another German Shepherd who was not very nice to him. A rescue near Kennewick, WA, took him in. They say his coat was in such dire shape the vet had to knock him out to cut all the mats and clean burrs out of his paws. They reached out to ODH to help place him as they were not having any interest in a 10-year-old GSD. Next thing I knew, he had moved in with us. He has turned out to be a great addition, if a  bit bossy. He and Ziggy have been great together. I thought Zeus was ready for a life of long naps and slow walks, but with the new pup coming in, he has become very active. He plays with her every night, biting and thrashing like he’s a puppy himself.


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