Dozer (was Blitz)
Adopted on March 7, 2009
We adopted our first dog, a female German Shepherd, in the spring of 2006. We found her on the website of a local animal shelter. She was a beautiful sable GSD, despite being far too thin. The shelter told us she was “very shy but warmed up quickly.” The best they could tell us about her former home life was that she was tied up outside all alone for most of the time. We filled out the adoption application for her even though we were told there were already two applications in for her. Then, just as we were saying goodbye, she rolled on her back and let me scratch her belly. Clearly she chose us, and an hour later we got a call saying that she was ours. We changed her name from “Princess” to Pixie and soon discovered that she was more than just a little shy. She was terrified of almost all new situations and had never been properly socialized with humans or other dogs. We started her off with a private dog training class so she wouldn’t be too overwhelmed with other dogs. Though it was difficult at first, she eventually did well and from there we moved on to a Level 2 group training class where we worked very hard with her on doggie socialization.
During that first year with Pixie as we were learning about GSDs, we came across the GSRNE’s website. We loved checking the website and seeing the dogs available for adoption and reading their stories. We decided to get involved in the foster program because we wanted to be able to help dogs who were in a similar situation to Pixie’s before we got her. We knew firsthand the effects that improper care had on her. Also, we thought it would be a good experience for Pixie to learn from and socialize with other dogs. Our first foster dog, Max, was wonderful and was just the calm, confident dog Pixie needed to be around. We went back and forth on whether or not to adopt him, but finally decided to let him go so that we could continue fostering. It was a hard decision, but we’ve since learned it was the right one. Our second foster dog, Xago, was a bit more challenging. Given his high energy level we had to introduce him to Pixie very slowly, but eventually they did very well together.
Finally we fostered Dozer (formerly Blitz). Dozer came to GSRNE as an owner surrender along with Cyrus and Dadamine. The owner was ill and couldn’t consistently care for the dogs. As a result they spent most of their time in the owner’s backyard. Dozer respected Pixie’s boundaries and had no interest at all in challenging her as the dominant dog. He just wanted to be part
of a family, and he has been officially part of our family since we adopted him in March of this year.
Dozer is friendly and playful and absolutely LOVES meeting humans and dogs alike. He is happy to have a home where he is involved in all the activities. We have taken him on trips to visit family where he is happy to greet everyone, especially children. My young niece and nephew (ages 6 and 8) loved playing fetch with him. He could not have been happier to get that kind of attention! Dozer’s favorite activity by far is going on walks and hikes. The second we get the leash out, he is bouncing around the house hardly able tocontain his excitement. He is a great walker on leash and proudly trots around the park as if he is showing off his new family. What we are most happy about is Dozer’s interaction with Pixie. He is such a nice boy that Pixie accepted him almost immediately. They are very playful with each other and sometimes even rowdy as they run around the house chasing each other at full speed. Often Dozer has a toy in his mouth, and as he’s running and bouncing around the house, the toy flies out of his mouth onto out-of-reach places. We have found toys on top of counters, bookshelves and even the refrigerator.
He LOVES his toys.
After a good play session Dozer and Pixie settle down for a nap together, often on the same doggie bed even though they each have their own.
Dozer also seems to look up to his older sister and has learned many of his obedience commands from her. He has already completed his Level 1 obedience and thoroughly impressed the instructor with what a quick learner he is. Lately he has been going to drop-in training classes along with Pixie as he gets ready for Level 2! What’s really great about Dozer is his balance between playfulness and calmness. Around the house he loves taking naps on one of the several dog beds we have for him and Pixie. Usually he will gather up three or four toys, take them to his bed and lie down. He’ll alternate between chewing each toy before he falls asleep, using one as a pillow. He has such great personality.
Though we were sad we could not foster anymore, we know we made the right decision and that Dozer was meant to be part of our family. Pixie strongly agrees! We have noticed changes in her since Dozer has been around. She used to bark nonstop and get upset when new people came into the house, but now that she sees Dozer greet new people and be friendly, she is much calmer. We are all happy to have Dozer in our life and grateful that he is part of our family.
Jonathan Scamman and Kelly Best