Today is our sweet baby girl's FIRST BIRTHDAY (click HERE to see the breeders pictures of that fateful day!). I cannot believe that she is an entire year old. Actually, yes I can. It has been one hell of tough year with this dog, but it has all been worth it (but do NOT tell anybody I said that).
Let us start at the beginning, when we first decided to get a German Shepherd puppy. I don't know what we were thinking but we knew we wanted to get a big dog and we wanted one that was smart. One of my favorite dog growing up was Dakota, a German Shepherd/Lab mix and I had always wanted to get a German Shepherd when I was older. Dan just wanted a big dog that he was not embarrassed to walk alongside Toby.
We deposited last and thus got last pick of the litter, but we didn't mind. All the puppies were so cute and I don't know how we would have picked anyways. What we didn't realize was while we got last pick of the litter, our little girl already had her eye on us? See that pup with the red color gazing up at Dan on our fist visit? Yep, that's our little girl.
I should have known she was going to be a little terror when I took these pictures of her rough housing with her sisters...she still tries to get everyone to do what she wants them to by biting them.
Dan was beyond excited to pick Kadira up, and begged and pleaded for us to go get her right after the honeymoon. Literally. We got off the plane, picked up some supplies, and drove to pick up our new puppy. Even though she was only ten weeks, she was already pretty big, at least bigger then I expected. We decided to name her Kadira (Ka-deer-A), an African name meaning "powerful." Upon telling one of my friends this name she burst out in laughter proclaiming "Oh GOD! You are like the couple that names their children Apple or Sparrow! Dorks!"
Don't worry, she can totally pull off.
Then it was time for Kadira to meet the spoiled, much smaller, older brother.
At first, the two got along rather well. This did not last long.
Soon they were fighting over toys...
....and rough housing in a manner that would quickly get out of hand considering how one of the dogs is breakable. I thought I was going to lose my mind trying to study for the bar and constantly breaking up dogs fights.
When we first got her I thought this was big. I mean in fairness, I was used to a five pound yorkie so a 25 pound 10 week old puppy was a bit of an adjustment. Now she is over 90 pounds and this looks so small.
And lets not forgot those ears! Those floppy little ears that were so big and awkward..
Until literally one day they just popped up and never went back down.
She always makes us laugh, from her love of ice cubes....
...to her fear of the other dogs at the dog park...
...to her absolute refusal to believe that she no longer fits in Toby's bed....
She is utterly obsessed with Dan and follows him everywhere. She knows exactly when he comes home everyday and stares out the window in anxious anticipation of his arrival.
And despite the fact that I have spent the majority of this year complaining about my unwanted role as the dog's 24 hour babysitter, I must admit it is nice having some company on those long days where I get lonely and board. Plus she lets me take lots of pictures of her.
She goes on more walks and hikes then she knows what to do with, and I credit her for keeping us active.
Additionally, she is one hell of a Frisbee player and fast as a jackrabbit. Okay, maybe not quite as fast a jackrabbit as she has yet to catch any that she chases, but she has got perilously close. Her quick legs also saved her from being attacked by a Pit Bull on a walk where she broke free from the leash and sprinted the half mile home only to be found hiding in the garage.
She is one hell of a pretty German Shepherd if I do say so myself, and over the last couple months has changed so much. Where she used to be too much to handle, constantly jumping and biting to where I broke down in tears of frustration (and pain because I was bleeding) more times then I can count, there is a sudden calmness about her. To her sweet, gentle nature playing with Toby to her rolling on her back every time I walk in the room in hopes I will rub her belly. Finally, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel where I can enjoy her and not worry about what she is going to do next.
Doesn't she look so much like her Mama? She was never supposed to be this dark, her Dad was black and tan but she has just never lightened up.
My pet name for her is "pretty girl."
Happy Birthday Pretty Girl, thank you bringing so much excitement (and love) into our life.
(The title is a play on THIS blog post)
(The title is a play on THIS blog post)