Dogs need and deserve respect

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Carol Whatley
Guest columnist -

In a previous column I mentioned that our organization's insurance will not allow us to accept what are known as "bully" dog breeds including Pit Bulls, Chows, Rottweiler’s, etc.  On that list as well is the German Shepherd, which is one my all-time favorites. 

Seventeen years ago we were without a dog (aack!) and I happened to meet a woman who bred and showed German Shepherds. She had a 1-year-old pup that she had not been able to sell, and offered him to me. When I met him I realized what the problem was:  his head was deformed. He was blind in one eye, one of his ears wouldn't lay down, he drooled, one side of his face was paralyzed and worst of all, he had not been socialized to humans. No wonder -- she didn't want anyone to think this hideous-looking animal had come from her kennel. She tried to tell me that his mother had sat on him when he was newborn, thus his deformity; my opinion was that he was born that way, since I have never in my life heard of a mama dog actually sitting on one of her pups. No matter - I fell in love!  I named him "Bitte", which is German for "please" - and he pleased me tremendously. He was totally committed to me and would follow me step for step everywhere. Not long after he came to live with us, my husband and I were hugging, and he growled and snarled at him. They had to have a meeting about that, and pretty soon it was settled. As far as Bitte was concerned, Mike was third in command, after me and then Bitte.

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