Late last night, I was looking through all old dog videos and came across the only video we have of my first 2 dogs, Jasper & Samson. This was taken back when Tyler had found his old camcorder from college. To the average watcher, it's a pretty boring video, but I think I had only watched it once or twice before, when Jassy & Sammy were still alive or maybe not too long after they passed away.
Last night was the first time I had seen the footage in years, and I was mesmerized by it. Sammy & Jassy died in Dec 2004 and May 2005, respectively, each due to different forms of cancer. Everything I do on behalf of dogs today is borne out of my love for them. They are my inspiration. I made a lot of mistakes with them, just out of plain good-intentioned ignorance, so in a convoluted way, rescuing dogs is in part also my way of making amends.
I've never really had another close encounter with a german shepherd since Jassy & Sammy died. I've never really had the desire to. In my mind, Jasper and Samson have always been My German Shepherds. I've had many other dogs since then of course, but they remain My German Shepherds.
Watching that video last night, it was coincidence that I received a call from Marta at Any Dog Rescue this afternoon about a dog named Mr. McGoo at the Martinez Shelter whose time was up and was scheduled to be euthanized today if not pulled by a rescue before the shelter closed. Problem was, she couldn't get out there in time and was having trouble finding someone who could. Marta and I have never met personally but were both indirectly involved with Gypsy, the elusive stray australian cattle dog mix that was just captured by some caring individuals. So Marta thought of me and of course how could I refuse?
So after taking Popeye to Oakland to have Dr. Burke, a chiropractor with a heart of gold and a gentle touch, work her magic on both of us, stopping at the Danville Vet to pick up some meds for him, then in Pittsburg to pick up some raw meat for the dogs' diets, and coming home only to have deal with a Fedex mishap regarding the delivery of Popeye's newly adjusted cart (more to come on that in later days), I drove out to Martinez to get Mr. McGoo.
While waiting at the front desk, somebody came by with a litter of kittens. I'd never seen kittens that up close before. I'm not really a cat person, and honestly I'd like to keep it that way. I was by no means a dog person before Jassy & Sammy came into my life, but now that I am, I feel overwhelmed enough with the number of dogs I already cannot help. I'd rather not add cats to the mix.
But my, were these kitties cute.
Then out came Mr. McGoo. Did I mention he's a 95-lb german shepherd? Jasper and Samson were each both over 100 lbs and I always considered them my little babies, but it's been a long time since I've mingled with a dog that huge. I think his paws were the size of my fist.
Mr. McGoo turned out to be a silly, good-natured, and very sweet boy. He was deemed aggressive towards other dogs because he got into a scuffle with his kennel mate and therefore was not available for adoption to the public. He pulled me out of the shelter and happily got into my car where he patiently sat for almost an hour while I fought the traffic home.
We spent about an hour in the backyard, where I discovered he's as tennis ball-obsessed as Jasper was. Jasper spent most of his life trying to figure out how to fit that 4th ball into his mouth. Mr. McGoo was satisfied with just 1. He loved to fetch and would bring the ball back, drop it on my lap, sometimes even right in my hand to throw it again. Also like Jasper, he drank a ton of water and liked to drop the tennis ball into the water bowl. Whereby he'd then pick the ball back up and drop it in my lap. Thanks, Mr. McGoo.
He also wasn't afraid of the hose.
I got the impression that Mr. McGoo had a loving family. Unfortunately his microchip was never registered (probably he was purchased from a breeder then, who implanted the chip but the new owners never registered it). His inner ear also had a tattooed identification # which I had never seen on a dog before. I tried to look it up online but had no luck. He was so good-natured, so fun-loving. He rode well in the car that I feel that's something he's used to (my german shepherds did not often ride in the car and always sat very stiffly). He knew how to fetch a ball and bring it back, so he had someone that would repeatedly throw it for him. He also knew "sit" and "down." I cannot help but wonder if there is somebody out there looking for him. He is a beautiful german shepherd and quite well-mannered. Somebody cared for this dog.
Mr. McGoo was only with us for about 2 hours before he was picked up by another rescue volunteer for the next leg of his transport. But during that short time, memories of all the german shepherd-like qualities that I always associated with Jassy & Sammy came back to me. Mr. McGoo was already bonding to me and I could see that he would be the kind of dog that would follow a person from room to room just like my 2 boys always did (even when I would try to tiptoe quietly so as not to wake them from their sleep). Loyal and just very human-oriented. By the time he was picked up, I was already in love with him.