2 minute read

An Affair to Remember

Puppies may be adorable and hard to resist, but adopting an older large breed dog will give you a whole other level of satisfaction. And you could save a life that has been given up on.

I must admit I have had three affairs already and am on my fourth one…with a German Shepherd. I am an advocate of adoption and giving dogs a forever loving home, especially big elderly dogs. Why? Because larger and older dogs are harder to place, often overlooked as people seek out puppies.

My family has always had a special love for German Shepherds/mixes. I have been blessed to have three German Shepherd mixes adopted from the Humane Society in the past, all whom are now in heaven. Mei Ling and Daisy were adopted as puppies, but Angel as an adult.

Over a year ago I got Bella, a purebred German Shepherd from Geneva’s Phoenix Rescue Shelter in Waianae.* Why go into an affair with a larger older dog? Because it is worth it! Even though they might have baggage, what you get in return is unconditional love.

Bella is a perfect example of this. She was eight years old when we got her and was abused the first five years of her life and had gone through two foster families before coming to us.

Bella, nine year old German Sheperd

When she first arrived she was so quiet. It took us awhile to bond emotionally because I was still grieving for Angel, who passed away a month before. A year into my affair with Bella we have grown as a family.

Even at nine, she still has a puppy spirit— playing with the water hose, going on hikes, long walks, car rides, and planting kisses daily. Knowing that she is in her forever home, she can now relax anywhere and romp in our large yard. Having her is a blessing from above!

Another good thing about an older dog is that you skip the puppy stages of chewing and housebreaking, etc., and get a dog that is already trained and ready to be loved! She also makes a great pillow or foot rest, body warmer, and friend who doesn’t ever answer back.

German Shepherds do need good hygiene and vet care, since their skin can be sensitive, but they are quick learners, good watch dogs, and loyal companions.

I hope that you can give a furry friend another chance of life. It took Bella three tries before she found hers. The rewards of adopting a larger elderly dog are priceless and you will soon learn it is actually an affair you will always remember.