Cathy, my wife, took a training class at Animal Humane of New Mexico to learn how to walk dogs. She probably already knew most of the things required to stay safe and give the dogs some exercise. After the required classes, she officially became a dog-walker.

It is not recommended that volunteers adopt a dog right away. She found a beautiful German Shepherd Dog that was up for adoption after she had worked there about six months. He was thought to be about five-years-old. Cathy and I went to visit the friendly German shepherd. The dog keeper brought the dog out to the meeting area. Cathy knew the dog’s name was Nick. After we were seated, Nick came over to us and rubbed against our knees while wagging his tail. Obviously, he was trying to make a good impression. He wanted a real home.

All three of us passed the visit test. Nick liked us and we liked him. The next day Cathy went back to Animal Humane and picked up our new family member.

The first day we needed to leave Nick alone while we went to visit our daughter. We put him in a fairly large kennel cage while we were gone. We knew very little about Nick so we didn’t want to risk our new dog having a panic attack and tearing up furniture or scratching a hole in the wall.

After he was in his kennel cage we left for a few hours. When we returned home the cage was bent. Nick had bitten the steel cage bars so hard he cracked a tooth.

We let Nick out of his nice cage. He has avoided the cage from that day forward. We had moved the cage back to the garage, but Nick wouldn’t lie on his new bed that Cathy put in the same corner spot in the living room where the cage had been sitting. She moved his bed out of the corner. Now, Nick would lie on the bed. Over the next few weeks, Cathy slowly inched his bed back into the corner where the cage had been. Now, he loves his little bed so much he will fall asleep and snore very loudly while we watch TV.

Later, we found out that Nick was a registered German Shepherd Dog and he was actually eight-years-old. He was fairly well trained and mostly obedient. Nick is a real shepherd. If friends come over he will watch all of us like we are sheep. When my friends stand up and get ready to leave Nick will bark. It’s like his sheep are moving and they should stay in place so that he can watch them. Every time I say goodbye to my visitors it is usually drowned out by loud barking. He likes women much more than men. His previous owner might have been a woman. She may have died. We can’t imagine that anyone would give this dog up after all the training he must have had. I feel certain the owner would not have left him behind.

I have lots of funny and sad stories about dogs I have had throughout my life in my new book. Read it here.