January 23rd, 2003 our hearts were broken when we said our good-byes to
our GSD Heidi as she crossed over the bridge. On March 22nd our family
was complete once more when we adopted our Tara, GSRNE #139. One only
has to look into Tara's eyes and see her smile to feel her gift of love.
One of Tara's favorite things to do is to play with her toys. Her
favorite toy is her large bone/pillow that her FPIC gave her while she
was in foster care. After a hard bout of playing toys she loves to use
it as a pillow. She loves to grab one of the many toys she has and will
toss them up in the air over and over again. Its not unusual to see her
prance in from the back yard, grab a toy in the living room, and return
back outside to play or just to lie down on the back porch with it.
Tara is always ready to go for a ride in the car. She loves to sit on
the back seat and intently watch everything and everyone that passes
by. Its almost like she's thinking that her days of roaming the streets
are over and that she's found her forever home.
Tara greets everyone at the front door with a smile, a wag of the tail
and kisses if allowed. Her favorite person to greet is her Dad, Greg,
when he returns home from work. He adores his little "TaTa", as he
calls her. She'll run back and forth through the house until he sits
down and she can give him kisses. Tara's special trick is to sneak up
on Greg while he's lying on the bed and smother him with kisses and
hugs. This is their special time together.
One of the best parts of adopting Tara is also gaining an extended GSRNE
family. Her foster Moms and Dads, Chris & Tomas and Karen & Ted; her Foster Partner in Care, Kathy;
people involved in her transport; Victoria and Karen for helping us find
each other; her many aunts, uncles and Godmothers, including Donna,
who always happens to have her camera with her. Greg and I can't thank
everyone enough for our perfect dog, with the perfect name, purple
collar, and her gift of love.
Heidi lived her first 10 years with her former mom,
who adored her. But she became ill and kept Heidi kenneled outside for the
last couple of years. That evidently included some time out in the bitter
cold - her ear tips looked like they were recovering from some frostbite
when we first saw her.
Heidi was the only dog we interviewed through GSRNE
and it was clear to us at our first visit that she was an exact fit for
us. We sought a dog with a calm, sensitive personality that we could make
a deep connection to. After just a short time at home with us, we knew
thatís what we had.
Heidi has big, honest eyes that communicate exactly
what sheís feeling. She has a shiny, silky coat with coloring that draws
praise from a passers-by. Despite her years, she is spry and fit with only
some gray on her muzzle to betray her age.
Early on, we took her to obedience class. She was the
oldest student there. She was clueless at first, quite rusty with most
obedience concepts. But her memory was quickly refreshed and by the final
session, was the star pupil.
Heidiís favorite thing is food. She has a keen
appetite and scarfs down her meals as fast as we put the kibble in her
bowl. She obeys any sequence of commands to get a treat, too.
Her second favorite thing is going for a walk. We
walk a couple of miles together every morning and evening. She eagerly
waits at the door waiting for us to get ready. On cold, icy nights, there
is a lot of gear involved. We install booties on her feet and clip on her
leash. Then we don our winter wear plus flashlight, reflective vest,
radio headset and a poop bag stuffed in a pocket. Once we finally step
out, Heidi holds her tail high and her snout low, leading the way from one
olfactory interest to the next.
Among Heidiís least favorite things is a car ride.
She hasnít the stomach for it. A ride on a full stomach is a sure way to
empty it. With this in mind, she is reluctant to climb into the back seat
for a trip. But with an adjusted meal schedule and some Dramamine, she has
accompanied us on a number of adventures. She has set paw at sea level on
the beach and far above at the top of Mt. Washington.
Heidi sleeps next to our bed on her cushion. If we
stay up too late, sheíll be the first to bed. If we donít come to join her
soon, she comes back out to remind us that itís time to sleep. She sleeps
soundly all night and usually wakes up at first light to go outside. If we
go back to snooze after she comes in, she waits patiently for a short
time, then she begins to prod us to get up for breakfast. She starts out
with some soft whines and, if we donít rise, she builds to a delightful
series of yodels.
She enjoys playing with her toys. She keeps them all
in a basket. When the mood strikes, she goes to the basket and rummages
around for the right one. She loves to entertain herself with her squeaky
plush toy, tossing it into the air and across the room. Her tennis ball is
also one of her favorites, which she likes to bounce on the floor or bring
over for a toss - or trade for a nice belly or butt rub.
Heidi has a tender, sweet soul. We are deeply in love
with her. Check out Heidi's page for a collection of photos along with
Tess (was Angel)
Just a quick note about Angel (GSRNE #154), who we adopted in
mid-November. She's great! She's growing into those enormous
ears -- 70 pounds already, and she's so long & leggy that she'll be a big girl when
she fills out. We renamed her Tess -- she's a sweetheart, but
angel is pushing it a bit. She's getting along fine with Toby, her
older Lab brother, who's starting to enjoy her despite her ignorance of
a proper nap schedule :) . They have a fine time gnawing on each
other's heads and debating the ownership of the sticks they find on
their walks. She's been hiking, snowshoeing and skiing, has started
obedience classes, and was a gracious hostess and a polite guest during
the holidays. We are still working on a few issues, but overall
she's just being a big, curious, affectionate, goofy adolescent, and
we're enjoying her immensely.
Big thanks go to her foster family, the Snyders, who did a
magnificent job with her, and Janice, who's answered more emails than
any sane person would. And thanks to all of you who helped bring her
into our lives.
UPDATE: Tess graduated from puppy class and is headed for
intermediate obedience classes, to learn focus, and catch so she can
learn to play fly ball. She is also learning how to skijor. Please check
out her page at: