Jack Simpson

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.

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.