Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bucket List Item #24 . . . Zeus!

You guys . . . I may have overloaded my emotional self recently.  Hold on, I'll explain . . . but I need give you too many details (as Getzy would say) and set the scene.

My beloved Petey went to heaven on April 27th at 16 years and 1 month.  This was one of the reasons I took a blog break . . . his care was exhausting, and it just about broke my heart when I had to make the decision to put him down.  The date I made the decision was April 25th (this date becomes important later so keep reading.)  I plan to write about my Petey in the future, so that's enough for now.
Even just going back to find a few pictures of Petey inspired a major crying fit . . . it's still so hard on me.  
In early April when I was out of town with my mother, Getzy had Amanda create a contract whereby she was the one who got to choose and name the next family dog.  Say what?  Please review the terms of the contract.
Apparently he was very impressed by her care with an ailing Petey . . . and she also agreed to never ask for a hamster again.  If I'd have known that begging incessantly for a hamster was all it would take to get new dog privileges, I'd have tried that a long time ago.  But seriously, Amanda loved her Petey.
This was his last day . . . I would bring him in every morning to say hello to her and they would snuggle.
Funny side note:  Her pajamas say "Get Cozy," but the seams make it seem like they say "Getzy!"  Cracks me up.
Notice the bottom of her shirt . . . she loves Petey inspired clothing.  Aww.
As you can imagine, dog talks have been abundant around here.  I originally thought I wanted another Boston Terrier so I Jedi mind tricked Amanda into wanting one and naming her Rosie. The boys wanted a bigger dog, like a Husky, but I put the hammer down on that.  

Getzy has always wanted a German Shepherd so they boys jumped on that bandwagon.  Amanda wanted a little dog she could carry around, as any 10 year old girl would.  I kind of agreed with her until I realized I wasn't getting any younger so if I was going for the big dog, better to do it now than when I'm older.  

I also thought that it would be better for Amanda if we got the big dog now, and then she could get a little dog when she moves out on her own.  So, I worked my Jedi mind tricks AGAIN and convinced her that she wanted a German Shepherd.  

We did go back and forth a bit but after exhaustive Internet searches for both breeds, we finally found a German Shepherd breeder that we liked.  And who seemed knowledgeable. And responded in a timely manner.  And who had the coloring of the dog I wanted.  And available dogs.  You guys, I don't approve of buying your pets from pet stores, but I can understand why some folks resort to that because it's a hard process to find the right dog from the right breeder for the right price online.

So in the midst of a chaotic weekend with Getzy leaving for Singapore Saturday, the boys leaving for camp on Sunday and Amanda leaving for Florida on Monday, I decide it's a great idea to drive to Alabama to check out a puppy.  I may have overestimated my super powers . . . that's a lot of emotions to harness in a short period of time and with very little sleep.  But I'm here and have pulled it all together!

So Getzy leaves for the airport Saturday, I pick Ryan up from a sleepover and 10 minutes later we are on the road to Alabama.  

I originally went for a specific litter of puppies that were 9 weeks old.  I knew she had two litters, but I was focused on the younger ones.  Well, when I get there and saw their mother, I realized I wasn't as drawn to her "angles" as I thought.  What the heck do I mean?  You're about to get way too much German Shepherd (GSD) information.  

American line GSDs have a different look to their hind quarters than German line GSDs.  This is a typical AKC champion . . . see how gorgeous he looks standing there with his back legs bent in the typical GSD pose?  
Well, when they walk, it actually looks similar.  Some folks think this is gorgeous, I thought it to be awkward.  So since the mother of the puppies was 100% American line, I could see those angles in the puppies and decided against them.  

The mother of the other litter was 100% German line, so she didn't have the excessive tilt to her back end.  The father was roughly 2/3 American line and 1/3 German line so these puppies were more the look I preferred.  

Remember this is a family dog and sorta kind of, but not really, Amanda's dog so she picked the shyest male puppy of the litter.  And the boys agreed.  Gah.  Most folks don't recommend getting the shy puppy, but again, I'm convinced I have super dog training powers and my kids were in love, so this is the one we chose.  He wasn't shaking and fearful, just shy.  

He was tense when we held him, but the breeder told Amanda to sit down.  If he relaxed on her lap, then he would be fine.  Of course he smushed down on her, and she melted like butter.  None of the puppies off these parents have ever had a poor temperament . . . and she said we could return him if he didn't warm up . . . the breeder really wanted us to be happy.  

So allow me to introduce you to the newest member of Getz family . . . he's here to stay . . . ZEUS!
That picture just kills me . . . it was when we first got him home, and he was like, WTH?  He also did not enjoy the two hour road trip home . . . Ryan took good care of him though.  
Then he started getting used to us, and the ears began making the ascent . . . I think I may have determined his lineage.
But he has since realized living in the Getz house is not so bad.  He is coming out of his shell and has become my little shadow.  Can you even stand the cuteness?!?  I can not.

Since I mentioned he does have a fancy pedigree, I thought you might like to see his parents.  I met his mom on site, and she was big and lovely . . . her name was Holly and she weighs about 85 pounds.  Pretty lady.
Terrible picture quality, but she was a beautiful girl and very gentle with my kids even when they were holding her baby.  
His dad was not on site, but here's a picture of him . . . his name is Zeek, and he is a big boy at 105 pounds.  
Isn't he so handsome?  Not the best picture quality but you get the point!
I'm almost embarrassed to tell you his formal name . . . it's ridiculous.  But listen, I own the crazy so here goes . . .

Terays Zeus Hektor Von Getz

Can you even stand it?  Claps hands in delight!  That's a big name for this guy . . . and yes, I can laugh at my own foolishness.
We call that blue toy a "Bo Bo" . . . Petey always loved to play with those!
Amanda chose Zeus . . . please review the aforementioned contract for her naming rights.  I told her that while it was her choice, it had to be a big name for a big dog.  I think she did a fabulous job!  

Why the name?  Terays is required from the breeder because he comes from Teray German Shepherds.  Zeus is what we will call him.  Hektor is after the first dog recognized as a GSD and also in memory of the GSD my dad had before I was born.  I've heard about this dog my whole life, and he was part of the reason why I wanted a GSD too!  Von is because he's fancy.  It really means "from" and was used by German nobility to indicate the father's lineage.  And voila!  Over the top name.  I can't wait for his certificate!

Y'all, I asked my mom to bring me some childhood photo albums on her last visit and look what I found!  Pictures of my Dad's GSD Hektor with my two older brothers in 1972.  This makes me so happy.  
GSDs need lots of socialization so we took him to meet folks when we we were dropping the boys off for their camp bus ride . . . this is where he spent most of that time as people came by to say hello.  I'm sure he's thinking, "Gah, why are so many people messing with me?!"  Amanda was so proud to show off her new puppy!
And speaking of my boys leaving me, this is Ryan's 4th year and Kyle's 3rd year so we have this camp thing down to a science.  Both boys love to go and even packed their own trunks this year . . . I did get last approval rights and went through their checklists with them.  My boys and my honorary kid, Trenton!  These three . . . they are so fun and adventurous!  
For the record, Ryan did have a hat on earlier, thus that crazy hair!  
After waving goodbye to the boys, Amanda and I took Zeus to get some chew toys.  I was the freak in the store that was like, yeah, don't touch my puppy unless you've washed your hands.  I only brought him because there was no one at home, and I didn't want to leave him yet.  But would you just look at this little guy?
Amanda had fun picking out toys . . . here are her selections, with a little advisement from me.
We went to the fancy dog food store for the food, treats and chew sticks . . . I am not a fan of rawhide or low quality dog food.  Pretty sure my dogs eat better than my kids.  

So after getting the boys off and the puppy shopping done, I was exhausted.  I hadn't gotten much sleep and the puppy was tired so I asked Amanda to watch him while I rested.  I woke up and found this . . . my heart went pitter patter.  
And no, he should not be on the couch but "just this once mom" was the excuse.  My current motto is, "Will it be cute when he's 100 pounds?"  Generally the answer is no.  

He went to the vet at 8 a.m. on Monday morning . . . I made the appointment in the car when I left the breeder.  Neurotic?  Why yes, thank you very much.  He got an excellent bill of health which made me super happy.  And he didn't seem to mind the car ride down there this time.  Which is a good thing because I like to take the dogs in the car with me when I can!
How did my Abby react to him?  Like a rock star.  She's had a lot of prep work with some foster puppies in the past so she's used to me bringing home random puppies.  My guess is she thought he wasn't actually going to stay, but I keep reminding her he's here for good!  She does alright . . . she even got a new bed and some chew toys!
Who wouldn't want to chew on a buffalo horn?
To take on raising a GSD, you need to be prepared for a lot of work.  I know this won't be easy, but this is what brings me joy.  I'm already tired from lack of sleep.  He's going to need lots of training to make sure he is the right mix of confident and protective.  But I've seen amazing changes in him over just the last few days, and I know it will be worth it.  He's an amazing dog . . . he has not had an accident in the house yet, knock on wood.  
That is my Petey's old collar . . . I think he would approve of Zeus wearing it until he needs a bigger one!
I know without a doubt Zeus was meant for us, his mere mortals.  Remember above when I said I made the decision to put Petey down on April 25th?  Well, that's the day Zeus was born . . . so as one life that was so important to our family was ending, another life that would become important was beginning.  I don't believe in coincidences . . . everything happens for a reason.  


  1. I am so so sorry about Petey. I know how hard that is with making the same decision with Gracie recently. But oh ZEUS!!!! He is such a cutie and I know you guys are going to be very happy together!!!! I cant even handle those ears. I need to squirsh them!

  2. Cute puppy! Happy you got a new 'baby' in the house to love and play with! Getting to your email, promise! ;)

  3. Love the story, all the details too. Welcome Zeus! I know you'll be so happy.

  4. And I just got goosebumps! LOVE this story. My heart aches for you dear friend!! I know the loss and people who don't have animals just don't get the priceless connection with have with our pets. I believe in coincidences and that they are meant to be's...ZEUS is home, he is King and he is loved beyond measure and oh so so handsome!!

  5. omg with the emotions!! my mum had german shepherds growing up so they've always been a huge part of her life, and we had one when i was a kid and it just broke my mum's heart when he died so she didn't want another. i love his full name! i never took too much stock in what 'they' say about which puppy or cat to get.. i think if a puppy is like peeing everywhere or destroying things or attacking people, different story.. but the shy thing? eh. we got our golden retriever (from a pet store actually, because you can't go directly to breeders at home, or at least you couldn't 10+ years ago) and my mum had picked out this bouncing bundling ball of joy and i sat down and this teeny little thing in the corner just stared at me, and eventually came and sat on my feet. true love that. sweetest dog in the world. ahh now i'm getting emotional! stop it.