Duke – The Best GSD Ever

DSC_0089I cannot reconcile myself of how to write this without sounding maudlin. Duke was the best German Shepherd Dog, and also the best dog period, um, ever.

Today is his birthday. And as much as that is so very important to me, it makes me sad because, even now, I still miss him so much. I want another German Shepherd Dog, but I go back and forth on the idea. There will never be another Duke, but the breed is so amazingly great. I guess, at some point in the future, I am just going to have to do it and promise the new GSD that I will not constantly compare him (always a him) to Duke. And do my best to keep that promise. Unfortunately, every dog we have had has always been compared to the Big Dog. I guess you just can not help it when you find your forever dog.

Yep, maudlin. Can not seem to help myself.

That said, here are some great stories about Duke and his totally goofy self.

We got Duke from a breeder in, of all places, Houma, Louisiana*. The breeder was a young guy that still lived with his mom and worked at the NOLA airport. Now, if you do not know the area, living in Houma and working at NOLA airport was better than living in NOLA and working at NOLA airport.  Houma was just closer. Either way, Jeff loved German Shepherd Dogs and we got a recommendation for him from here in town. He was just lovely and you could tell he cared about the dogs.

The litter was born on December 14, 2003 and we had to wait eight long weeks. We knew several dogs would be sold for confirmation, but there would be three males that would be available to be family dogs and that is what we wanted – a family dog. When we got there, after a very fun night in Houma … (see: Boudreau & Thibodeaus’s. A place we never would have gone without going to Houma. If you ever find yourself in Houma, just go, no really, just do it. There are many other little places in Louisiana we can suggest, but that is another post entirely.)

… [back to Duke] – we went on Saturday to see the pups. He wasn’t timid, but it took time for Duke to warm up. He was a black/tan which is what the MotH wanted and he was just so lovely. His mom, not so much. When she stood on her back legs, she was almost as tall as me. And she sure did not like having the Boy around. I thought about feeling bad for her, losing the pups and all, but then thought we might be doing Duke a favor. Rationalization, I know.

So we got him on a Saturday and drove home. The MotH held him, in a towel, all the way home from Houma. I was driving – through NOLA proper on I-10, not my best moments, especially since it was the MotH’s Jeep and I was not used to it.

There was this big bridge in NOLA on I-10 and I was not having a “happy” time driving on it, when I heard it: the little dog was puking on the towel. Poor thing. Poor MotH. Now, it’s funny, at the time, not so much. I also think we stopped at every rest stop on the way home, but he was only 8 weeks old.

*We heard this week that with the freaky winter weather that we had last week that Houma, Houma! of all places, got snow. Go figure.

More Duke stories to follow – and there are plenty of them.

My Big Dog’s Birthday

The best Dog in the world would have been 13 today – my Duke. I miss him every single day. No matter what other dogs I have they will not replace him – ever.DSCN0133

Is that wrong? I do not think so. There is only the one Dog you love more than all the others. You just cannot help it. I am not sure I will ever get over it. But, that being said, I do want another GSD. He will never be Duke, but I think he will make me happier than I am now.

National Puppy Day

I had no idea that this was National Puppy Day. But I think that is a great idea, because I don’t think anything can make you feel better than a dog – no matter what the MotH says. I’ve loved all my pups (or puppers which how I usually refer to them.)

So today, I remember all my pupper friends. Two how I miss beyond words, and my little idiot (I’m the only one who can call him that) that I am so grateful for. Hate ending a sentence that way.


Bering – My Siberian Husky – Duke the best GSD ever

Hoodie Boy

Hood – my Border Collie / Labrador Mix – My little idiot

Hood has … FOMO

Hoodie Boy

My sweet idiot – my Hoddie Boy.

I have finally figured out what is up with Hood. He has FOMO – fear of missing out. This explains so many things. If he thinks you are doing something interesting, he’ll join you. If you decide to walk down the hall, he will go too. And lord help you if you go to the bathroom. He will sit right outside. He doesn’t want to miss anything. He is always in the way in the kitchen because he thinks he might get something. He is handsome though, which is why I fell in love with the idiot.

What I cannot understand is why he has no real nose, but maybe (likely) I am comparing him to the best GSD ever.  I guess that Border Collies (and he is WAY more Border Collie than Labrador) are sight dogs – it does make some sense.  Herding sheep and what not. But …

We just got Hood back from his first time at the kennel that our vet runs and he had had a bath and was so happy to see me Steve and so soft from his bath. I always wonder if the dogs think that we have abandoned them. But I do think they are like young children and their short term memories do not last that long, but that when they see you again  – they are happy. Hood certainly was and that makes me feel so good,  because I did not realize how much I missed him until he was so excited to get home.  I guess I am always pleased to get home after a trip – so I understand that he is too. Home is very important to me. Hood just set down in front of his television (read: our bay window) and let out a big sigh. Yes, my friend, I agree.

Yes, he may be an idiot, but he is my idiot. And I love him dearly.



Duke & Bering

Bering & Duke


I know people think you have a forever dog. I think I have had two (so far). Bering (yes, named for the Bering Sea – great idea from the Boy), our Siberian Husky – wow – he pretty much didn’t do anything you ever told him to do, but that’s kind of, well, him. It’s a Husky thing. He was so beautiful. Perfect – not too light or too dark and with the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. It is one of those things you have to get used to, a dog with blue eyes.  The best part – he didn’t like kids. He was a rescue, so we don’t know the whole story, but he was not your “Snow Dog.” I do miss him. I would have loved to have had more time with him and so often I think of him. The husky chortle (woo woo woo) when I came home from work was one of the best things ever and the occasional howl – just like a wild dog – in the backyard – slightly unnerving. Now one thing I never understood: why people, when they saw him, would ask “Is that a wolf?” Really? Who has a wolf as a pet – um, no one. He was a barrel of a dog and so missed by me, esp. that chortle. A Husky is a talker, that’s for sure. Oh, and he had a snow nose – look it up.

Duke is the best dog in the world. He was my first dog in every sense of the word. The Boy was so young, but he had a dog at 10 – the type of dog he wanted – a German Shepherd Dog. Probably a good age if you think about it and Duke thinks he and the Boy are brothers – it’s so cool. But there is just no denying that the GSD was linked, beyond belief, to the Man of the House. Duke puked on him on the way back from Homa, LA. It was funny, but I would never say that. The breeder was a lovely man, but Duke’s mom didn’t like kids or people really and when she was on her hind legs, she was as tall as me – just like Duke is – though he can’t do that anymore. And thankfully he has always had the best temperament.  I remember so many times having him out and about and little kids petting him and a couple of toddlers pinching his nose and practically sitting on him. So laid back  – he puts up with just about anything  – the best tempered dog ever. We will never be so lucky again.