My loyal friend joined our family in December of 2003, at the approximate age of four.
Her eyes drew my attention as I passed her kennel, a pleading stare that gave me pause; but when I noted her German roots, I continued on…
My mother is a German shepherd aficionado, and there was one by my side through all stages of my development. Along with images of those wonderfully patient, affable dogs, all of my childhood memories include either a vacuum cleaner or a dust mop.
But when I returned down the aisle of cages, Leah’s soulful eyes beckoned me again, and my feet stopped of their own accord.
She wagged her tail, hopeful.
When I finally turned away, I felt those eyes boring into my back.
Please. Don’t leave me.
Haunted by her eyes, I returned to the shelter for her the next day – and have never once regretted the tufts of hair floating across my tiles.
Inhibited by an innate fear of, well, everything, and a tendency to submissive pee if we spoke to her above a whisper, it took the addition of Toby to help Leah blossom, and to go on to earn her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate in 2007.
Today, while she still harbors a healthy fear of fireworks and thunder, most of Leah’s issues have dissolved. After fully recovering from a two-year ordeal with a torn ACL, Leah trained in K9 Nose Works for a year and a half before I retired her in 2012, and she now keeps herself busy by supervising our other dogs at play and keeping our yard free from the feral cat colony that resides next door.