Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meet Aries, my Fierce Protector!!

As some of you have surmised by reading a few (ahem, OK, many) of my blogs we live a bit out in the country!!!! >>see>>> Part of our Property!
I LOVE this. (insert hearts and smiley faces)
There is a downside though....
We LIVE a bit OUT in the COUNTRY!!!!
Which means it is further for police and rescue vehicles to respond to calls and come to my rescue should I need it!!!!

Army Man and I began to discuss the possibility of getting a larger (more fierce sounding) dog than our sweet Bella..

Bella is an absolute sweety. She loves her family (us!) and shows it in many ways, but make no mistake she guards her children (that we like to refer to as her "cows") and will growl and charge anything she sees as a threat! Especially those pesky squirrels that keep coming around!! And cats beware because she will hunt you down and take you out before you even realize what is happening especially if you have been in her yard or near her!  
But the Bug Guy that comes, no problem. :-)
The UPS man...a little problem. 
The home inspector that came a few years ago (when we were finalizing our home purchase), BIG problem!!! ;-)  I had NEVER seen (or heard) her react to a person like that! Ever!!
But, alas, Bella is a smallish Australian Shepherd mix best we can tell.. with a very non-threatening bark. It mostly sounds annoying. Especially, I'm sure, to a possible intruder!!! She would bark and I'm sure in her mind it is a terrifying sound to ward off any evil doers, but really, it's a cute little bark that will get annoying very quickly! 

As we discussed what type of dog we would like several breeds came up.
A boxer? 
I LOVE their faces and they do have a great sounding bark, but all that drool!!!! After talking to an owner of 2 boxers we decided that maybe they weren't the breed for us after all! I can't even handle baby drool that well!! 

A Husky??
Husky's hold a very special place in my heart...One of my very favorite dogs of all time was a Husky named Manu. He was my brother's dog and a sweetheart!! We used to "talk" and have lots of fun! But I live in the deep south and short of shaving him to keep him cool (which I would hate to see all that beautiful hair wasted!!!), I cannot in good conscience bring a Husky into this heat!! In my opinion they just do not fit in down here very well!! 

A German Shepherd??
Oh yes!!! I LOVE the sleek lines and the seriousness of their faces. They are super smart! They mean business and do not mind telling you about it either! But WHERE am I going to find one??? The stuff of dreams!! Oh well! 

A Bull Dog???
Sure! Why not?? I would even go for a Pitt Bull. But it was not to be...

You know how things just work out the way they're supposed to?? 
Well, it did!

I came across a friend last spring. I have known this lady for years and years (since I was in high school---years and years and more years ago....HA!)! 
Ros is a Master Bee Keeper. 
We are bee keepers too!  You can see this post about us bee-coming (tee hee)(couldn't resist!) Bee Keepers>>Amazing-Awesome-Incredable-Fantastic Bees
We get to chat with Ros on occasion about keeping bees and folks that we know in common. She a is super sweet lady, a master of gardening, a horse lover, a maker of crafty things, a gifted blogger ( Her Blog ) and is married to a German Shepherd Breeder!!!!! =)  Of course, I did not know or realize this last year. The time was not right, I guess. But her husband Norm has dogs. Lots of dogs. I say me any more than two is "lots"! I think he has five or six (or seven!)!! This is his website>>>~Triple S Shepherds~  
My interactions with Ros have been few and far between over the years. You know how it get busy with life!! Well, we had a lot of contact this summer for a project she had going on and during the course of our conversations I mentioned that we would one day like to have a bigger dog like a German Shepherd.  She just said let me talk to my husband. go right ahead!!! I cannot afford to buy one! I just want one!!!

After discussing with her husband and revealing some of the situation they found themselves in this summer it was concluded that they did have a male that needed to go to a loving home. 

Unfortunately, his situation is probably not unique. I fear this happens to many dogs that are purchased. 
I will try to tell his story as best as I can remember during the conversations we have had. 
Norm and Ros were called about a fear aggressive German Shepherd (Aries) that needed a new home. He was a handful and needed some serious intervention to avoid being put down. Best I can recall he was purchased as a puppy--a gift for a husband-- and put outside on a chain and basically forgotten and neglected. A very SAD and horrible story!!! 
Norm allowed him to come into their home for some socialization (5 or 6 dogs to keep him company!!) and rehab! He was very frightened and hard to handle at first, but Norm has a way about him. His dogs adore him and for good reason! As it sometimes happens between males, the other male Norm had (Koda) and Aries did not get along. as a matter of fact tried to seriously injure each other quite often!! Often enough that Norm had to separate them. Permanently. 

Enter us!!!

We just happened to be going to Ros' house for a completely unrelated thing and got to meet Aries! He was a sweet boy!!! Very happy and a little goofy!!  A completely different dog than he was just months earlier!! It is amazing what love and attention will do for a dog!!!! He got plenty of both from Ros and Norm and blossomed under their care!  They had decided that we could become Aries' foster parents with the adoption being finalized later!!!  This made us so very happy!!! 
 He hopped right into our truck like he had been doing it his whole life!!!! =)

Checking out the front seat on the way home!!!!

Checking out the wind.....

We are thrilled to report that Aries is a wonderful addition to our home and family!!!! I have few more photos of his first days here then I will continue my story....
He is a BIG boy!!! He is still underweight, but that will correct itself with time!!! 

 He does great on the leash!!!! He still has a few issues when off the leash, 
but that also will get better with time!!!

 He LOVES to play with Army Man!!!!! It is the highlight of his day!!!

 He also likes to check on the kids to make sure they are eating their vegetables!!!

 The first time he was able to run around our yard with out the leash!!!!

"Exercising" with Army Man!! ;-)   It was the funniest thing!!!!

More "exercising" with one of the stinkin' funny!!!!!

Bella                                                                                                            Aries

We have had Aries in our home for almost two weeks now!!! He has adjusted quite well to the craziness of our lives and is a great fit for our family!!! 

 Watching the kids play around.....and getting a taste of the chaos that can be our house!!!

Posing for photos....

Fast forward to today...   ~~Bug Guy Day~~
Remember way back at the top of this blog where I said Bella did not mind the Bug Guy??? She actually runs up to him in excitement and greets him with adoration. She is a very sweet dog and he is a very nice man/boy!!!
Aries, however, almost broke through the front door in his determination to protect his people from his perceived threat!!!! He was not at all impressed with the young man that went around our house and sprayed every window and door with his potion of death (for the bugs!)!  He rammed the french door and growled and barked most menacingly!!!! 
GOOD BOY!!! I kept saying!!!! He did beautifully!!!! Just what we want him to do!!!! He sounds authentically mean!!!! =)
But.....the Bug Guy is really a nice guy. He was very understanding about our new dog and his imminent attack!! He has a German Shepherd himself. to work on being a bit more specific about who he can terrify with his ferocious barking and growling!!  ;)

As I have been writing this blog ALL afternoon and into the evening between making supper, taking Aries outside, eating supper, cutting my boys hair and other general household chores....Aries has snotted and slobbered on me, nudged me with his nose, watched me intently, butted me with his head, and to top it all off, coughed up a few pieces of food into my lap while I was eating.....Yep.....never a dull moment around here!!!


(Edit) After a very miserable first experience (17 years ago) with Lab-mix puppies (we're talking destroyed shoes, giant holes in the yard, tables and chairs with chewed up legs, and a wall with a hole in it--I kid you not!!!) Army Man and I decided to NEVER  (EVER) get another puppy!! We would always try to find an older dog that needed a home.  Which is why our story with Aries is such a blessing and answer to prayer!! =)

(2nd Edit!) I received a Facebook message from Aries' first rescuer!!!!!! She gave me permission to copy it here to give a bit more background on our Aries!
"Hi, I saw on Facebook through Roslyn that you now have Aries. My husband and I have known Momma Horton for years now. We are the ones who brought Aries to her. I had a friend who worked as the local (to me) animal control officer. She called me one day begging me to take this dog that this woman was trying to turn over. She said that he was severely emaciated and poorly cared for. The woman got him as a gift and as you know put on a chain and forgotten. It was so bad she actually refused to let the shelter keep his harness. At any rate the shelter couldnt take him in due to her living outside the city limits. The woman explained she was going to dump him off the side of the road somewhere if she didnt take him in. My friend called me and begged me to take him since we already had two german shepherds. We told her we would and would try to find him a home that was worthy of his loving nature. He was so timid and barely knew how to sit let alone any other training. We worked with him for a few months but it was clear we didnt have the right home to keep him forever. He needed much more attention we had time for with our jobs and kids and the other dogs. Daddy Horton had spoken with my husband about him breeding shepherds and his love of them so we asked if they'd be interested in adopting him. They are so good with animals. We brought him down while we were back in Alabama visiting. I wanted you to have a bit more background on him and introduce myself. "

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