Formals & More

If dogs cry . . .

Posted on: May 31, 2010

My son, Derek, found Saber, a young German Shepard, roaming around – lost and hungry – at the Panama City airport 2 years ago. He was working there, and living in a very small trailer at the time. Saber was about 8 months old at the time, and he had issues. Derek kept him in the trailer with him for a couple of weeks, until he realized it just wasn’t going to work.  That’s when he somehow (and I am still trying to figure this out) talked me into accepting this undisciplined dog into my home.

Saber was found with a shock collar around his neck, and we soon figured out why. He would bark continuously for hours. Somehow we finally rid him of that bad habit. But others remained. He wasn’t trained; apparently he had never been in a house before. So, I bought a $100 crate to keep him in while we weren’t home with him. It didn’t take long to figure out that this wasn’t going to work with him either. Saber was terrified of being caged. He would hurt himself trying to get out. We tried making it a ‘fun’ place, going into the cage with him, feeding him in it, giving him treats in it, everything we could think of. We finally gave up when, while having him boarded while we went on a trip at Christmas time, he cut himself wide open trying to climb out of a 6 foot high cage at the vet. He had to have 16 stitches.

Over the next months, he slowly adjusted to life with us. I’m sure it helped to have our older, wiser, gentler, more disciplined Shepard, Shaba, to help teach him the error of his ways! And Shaba did do just that. If Saber got out of line, Shaba would (and still does) put him right back in his place.  Now, he comes as soon as he is called, never has house accidents anymore, and has proven to be the sweetest, most loving, most affectionate dog I have ever known. He is terrified of thunderstorms or load noises and will crawl under any table or find any hiding place to try to get away from it. He hates to be disciplined, and will do anything to be loved on.

Derek hated leaving him with us, as he wanted to keep Saber with himself. But he knew how difficult that was, if not impossible. Especially when he went off to school/Army Reserve Training in Wyoming. Sometimes it is months at a time between his visits, and when he is able to see Saber. Yet, even when it has been many months, Saber still remembers him, and greets him much more enthusiastically than anyone else. When Derek is home, Saber sleeps with him, goes for rides with him, plays with him, and basically never leaves his side. Saber still, somehow, remembers that Derek is his master.

So, when Derek started packing a few days ago, to head back to Wyoming, Saber could tell something was up. For 2 days, he was stuck like glue to Derek’s leg. I believe he is beginning to understand that when someone starts packing things, they are leaving. As Derek loaded up his truck, Saber began to get excited – maybe he was going for another ride! Each load, he happily romped outside, then jumped into the truck and back out again, every time Derek came back in for another load. Finally, Derek was ready to say his good-byes. Hugs were given all around, then he said a long good-bye to Shaba, and finally it was Sabers turn. Suddenly, Sabers whole demeanor changed. The tail stopped wagging. The ears went on full alert. The head cocked to one side as if to ask  “what’s going on here?” Derek walked out the door without him, and instead of running to the windows, barking, watching to see him leave (as he always does when someone leaves, and as Shaba was currently doing), Saber just sat and stared out the door. He just sat there for a moment, then looked over at my husband, who was sitting in a chair in front of him, walked over to the chair, and put his great big head in my husbands lap.

Most of the rest of the day, Saber spent upstairs in Derek’s room, laying on the bed.

Do dogs cry? Yes, I believe they do. I believe their hearts rejoice, I believe their hearts remember, and I believe their hearts can break. Just as my heart breaks as I watch him wander around the house and yard looking for his best friend and not finding him, not understanding where he went or why he left. Who would have ever guessed that I would fall in love with this undisciplined, crazy, hyper, untrained, beautiful, sweet, loving, affectionate dog?

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3 Responses to "If dogs cry . . ."

This made me cry! My dog Tinkerbelle didn’t understand when we moved to Mexico for a month. When we finally did come home she’d chase us down the road every time we left our house, running flat out alongside my little truck farther every time til we stopped to pick her up and take her home. It took a month or more before she realized that we would always come home and it still kills me thinking of those days.

I like cats- they’re okay- but for me that true love and devotion is why I have my dogs.

what a sweet dog, candi! but i also think you were describing buck: Who would have ever guessed that I would fall in love with this undisciplined, crazy, hyper, untrained, beautiful, sweet, loving, affectionate (replace dog with guy). 😉

dont forget to update us about the kitties!

Oh Patrice! you are so funny!!! I always get such a good chuckle out of your comments!

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