A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, January 14, 2008


There is a German Shepherd Dog at the pound. She is a three year old canine with pleasant habits and manners.The pound shelter she is at is a kill shelter. She is pulling at my heart strings. I can not forget her.

I wonder what kind of impact she will have on the home pack if she joins us. Will the hierarchy be overturned? Will the positions be up for grabs? Will Ilsa feel insecure? Will Ilsa become overly jealous of me? Is it wise to try to integrate this new dog into the pack? Is it better to just consider her a wayward traveler on her way to the German Shepherd Rescue?

I don't have the answers to these questions. I only know I won't forgive myself if I do not try to rescue this dog.

Courage without ferocity
Beauty without vanity.
Strength without insolence.
All the virtues of man, without his vices.
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Roger Caras



Anonymous Bob@thenest said...

You said it yourself, you won't know if you don't try it, and it's not irreversible if things don't work out.

Seems it's either, hey, I'm glad we tried because it's worked out very nicely, or it's I'm glad I tried it but sad it didn't work out. Either way you're glad you tried, right?

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...


You know your situation better than any of us. That said, I have always had pound puppies. And as the alpha, you have the ability to make it happen - to make it fit.

I have always waited until it "felt" right, and it always has been.

I agree with Bob - give it a try.


10:09 PM  
Anonymous Dion said...

I would have a hundred dogs from the shelter if I could afford to feed them. We have alot of space here and the other three seem to like it. There is always some grumbling at first but things settle down after a while.

I would bring her home and work with all of them to set the tone expected of them.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous AndyJ said...

Go for it. We have (inside) 4 dogs and 3 cats, all of them throw aways who ended up here. All of our animals except for one Rot which we purchased have either been rescued or shown up at our door (Living in the country, you get a LOT of drop-offs). I can say, that every animal that we have taken in has fit in with all of the other animals. No fighting or any aggressive behavior, even between the cats and dogs. They all seem to sense that they now have a good home and act accordingly.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Gandalin said...


When we went from 2 to 3, it created many more issues. Mind you, our 3 are all pound puppies and probably had difficult histories that account for some of the personality issues. We had some fighting at first, but that has calmed down as the lines of authority were established. The overall level of doggish energy and pack behavior is much higher, however.

She looks like a sweet dog, however. I hope you can help provide her with a good life.

6:58 AM  
Blogger red said...

From my own experience, GSDs (if they've been socialized well) seem to be very accepting of other dogs. They also seem to prefer other shepherds.

My wife is a vet tech and according to her & the doctors, dogs can recognize similar features from their own breed. Ruby (our GSD) always spots shepherds and gets more excited than when she sees other dogs.

I say if it's what the heart says, go for it!

Would the shelter allow you to bring Ilsa in to meet the GSD?

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow your heart, you've made the right choices before.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous DonWorsham said...

Suggest you let them meet at a neutral location to avoid potential of Ilsa defending her territory.

8:54 AM  
Blogger dropdownstairs said...

I have sympathy for you.
I have brought home a fourth cat.
Was told he was quiet .
SHE is loud and in heat.

Unrelated gun safety
If you holdin' up a joint know
your target.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Who is..... Carteach0? said...

Well, maybe this will help.

I have always had dogs... pretty much nonstop... most of my life.

The best ones... every time... the ones sunk deepest into my heart... came from cages in the pound.

They were always the ones who regarded our family as 'those who will be defended', and did so.

4:54 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

You're a good man.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Mauser*Girl said...

What a difficult decision.

My opinion? Bring her home and see if she works out. At worst, she won't fit into your pack. If that is the case, you can keep her separate from your other dog(s) until you can find her a good new home.

I would not hope that she will find an adopter through the pound. Most Shepherds that enter the shelter are put to sleep, simply because they are large dogs, they can be protective, and many rental places specifically list them on their "restricted breeds" list (as do many home owner's insurance companies). That makes them hard to adopt out.

I would also not hold my breath that a Shepherd Rescue will pick her up. The talk on the rescue forums on the GSD forum lately has been that all the rescues have been swamped since the beginning of January. It seems people are dumping dogs left and right for all sorts of reasons, mostly young dogs between 1.5 and 4 years of age. One look at the urgent and non-urgent forums there and the, literally, hundreds of posts a week there, will tell you that no rescue can keep up. No matter how hard we all try.

If you bring her home, make sure you introduce her to your existing dogs on neutral territory so they can meet and greet. Keep her leashed in the house when she's out for at least the first two weeks so you have control and can correct behaviors. Place her crate in a well-traveled area so she can observe you and the pack and see who is where.

Unfortunately, there are never any guarantees when you have two female dogs in the household. All can go well for many years and then, one day, they may fight. Having more than one female certainly requires a lot more maintenance work but it can be done if it's the right dogs.

9:14 PM  

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