The arrival of Cleo brings us back to eleven dogs.
Way back in 2003 when I became the proud ‘Dad’ of Pharaoh, my German Shepherd dog that you see on the home page of Learning from Dogs, Sandra Tucker who ran the GSD Breeders Jutone, where Pharaoh was born, gave me some advice. Sandra said that when Pharaoh was getting on in life, then bring in a German Shepherd puppy. Apparently, there were two solid reasons why this made sense. The first was that Pharaoh would teach the new puppy many of the skills and disciplines that Pharaoh had learnt as a young dog and, secondly, the puppy would keep Pharaoh active.
Now we know this to be true because years later when Pharaoh had his own mini pack here in Payson, we introduced a new ‘rescue’ puppy called Sweeny. Pharaoh took an instant like to him and became very tolerant to Sweeny’s ‘games’.
But as adorable as Sweeny is, Jean understood the deep reasons why I always wanted a German Shepherd in our lives. So when a chance encounter in Payson Feed Store between Jean and Brendon S. revealed that Brendon had a litter of German Shepherd puppies for sale, just a couple of miles outside Payson, the temptation was irresistible!
Thus a few days ago, Jean and I went round to Brendon’s home and spent a couple of hours mingling with the puppies and their GSD mother. They all looked excellent dogs and a review of their blood lines showed that their genetic background included German stock not too far back. It was difficult to select any one pup as they were all wonderful animals. But one youngster seemed to catch Jean’s eye.
Then the next test was to introduce Pharaoh to the puppies. That took place last Friday and it was wonderful to see how well he coped with the onslaught of puppies!
In the end, we ran out of reasons not to follow Sandra’s advice from all those years ago and we agreed terms on a young female GSD that, inevitably, was christened Cleopatra (Cleo) by Jean!
Then yesterday, Saturday, we went back round to collect young Cleo, meeting Brendan’s wife Ebony in the process. The following photographs record some of the key moments.
So there we are. Back up to eleven dogs, five chickens, six cats, and a fish!
Finally, a big thanks to Sandra of Jutone for her guidance in the last few days.