Jack Simpson


I can only describe it as a sad state of affairs. No more pet German shepherds for me. Of course I could probably handle one of those small, yippy-yap kind of dogs, but I have had a large, working-type pet most of my life.

The trouble seems to be advancing age, worn out knees, hips and a bad back. Yes, I finally have to admit that an active German shepherd would demand more training and care than an old codger can provide. It would not be fair for a healthy, active dog to have to put up with the limitations I would have to impose.

I have to face facts. I am no longer a spring chicken and dogs need exercise, walking, playing with and the freedom to romp, provided they are being supervised. Most places have ordinances requiring pet dogs to be on a leash and a leash is what caused me to have to give a former shepherd away because I could no longer care for him.

I had my favorite 150-pound shepherd, Wolfy, on a leash in the yard when my son arrived for a visit. Wolfy got all excited to see him, jerked on the leash and pulled me over into a concrete driveway. My shoulder broke in three places and an ambulance crew carried me to the hospital. After surgery and rehab, I could no longer walk my favorite dog or play with him as usual. I had to give him to a friend and have been sad about it since then. I mourned his loss and know I could not now repeat this happening should I acquire a new pet shepherd. My dog was more than a pet. He was a member of the family.

Wolfy was an intelligent, high-spirited, people-friendly pet and was missed by all. It had been a joy and a pleasure to raise him from a puppy into a beautiful, majestic animal.

Yes, it is sad. I realize it is “no more pet German shepherds” for me. I’ll just have to rely on my fond memories of good, old Wolfy and the fun times we shared.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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