Adopted in 2003
Roman was found wandering in Boston several years ago-he was in poor condition as the result of living on the streets for some time. He was cared for at the Boston Animal Rescue League before being fostered by GSRNE. Since he was discovered to have separation anxiety, he was medicated for that condition. He also disliked being touched or spoken to sharply.
My sister’s family had been looking for a companion for their young GSD, Rhea, who was despondent over my nephew’s leaving for college and so adopted him through GSRNE. Roman and Rhea became best buddies. I got to know Roman and play with him; he and Rhea visited our home and walked in our woods many times.
Roman’s anxiety improved and one day he and Rhea escaped from their yard, and in their exuberance and living up to their shepherding names, decided to try and herd some of the neighbor’s sheep. Fortunately no one was hurt in the process, but a complaint was made which caused the animal control officer to contact them. In the best interest of everyone, it was decided that Roman would have to go. This was very upsetting to all of us, especially because it meant that it would be another transition for Roman. GSRNE was contacted; fortunately for all, we were approved to adopt him about five years ago.
He arrived with a metal crate with bars that I don’t think King Kong could break! He was glued to me at first, but has gotten better. He did like to get into things on the counter and took down the Levolor drapes when he first came, but he began to blend in, submissive as he is, with our two other shepherds. He’s a wonderful marshmallow of a dog-never pulls on leash, does not jump on people, only gives a “woof” to alert. He has cheered elderly people in nursing homes and comforted our elderly shepherd during her acupuncture treatments. He’s a handsome dog and has made many “people friends” on his walks in the neighborhood. He’s been to beginner and rally obedience classes and earned a CGC.
When Roman became an “only dog” here, we came home with another shepherd pup, “Chips”. She dragged him around by the jowls, took all his toys, and basically “took over.” He became her “parent”: whenever he spotted her being “naughty”, he would come over and stand in front of me so that I would go and see what she was up to. Now he considers Chips his girlfriend.
We’ve tried to make up for whatever pain and mistreatment he may have received, but he still is a subdued dog and is uncomfortable when strangers pet him in certain places. Apparently he never learned to play with a ball but does enjoy getting brushed and going for walks. We’re able to leave him alone in the kitchen/family room without problems or medication. He’s getting gray in the muzzle now, but we hope we still will have him with us for some time yet for there is a special love between us now.
By Barbara and Kurt Koppetsch