Well, she was three years old when I nabbed her from the dog pound. I got her in June of 2008. So that makes her, God help us, about 12 years old!
Anna the GerShep was 12 — just — when she shuffled off this mortal coil. On the other hand, everything that could go wrong with a German shepherd went wrong with Anna. Cassie, on the other other hand, has been bizarrely healthy. Literally, between the time I got her and the recent dental abscess surgery, she almost never saw a vet. Not for any ailment whatsoever, that’s for sure.
She still marches right along on a doggy walk — a full mile is no problem, as long as the weather is cool. (She wilts, and always has wilted, in the heat.)
Still. Twelve years old. In doggy years, this critter is as old as I am. And, subjectively speaking, that is damn old!
She probably won’t live more than another two or three years.
Ruby, on the other hand, is only three years old, in the prime of her doggy life.
So…when, not if, Cassie shuffles off this mortal coil…then what?
At that doleful time, I think, there will be two choices:
- Do nothing and let Ruby become the queen of the roost
- Get another dog
Why would I get another dog? Because I don’t think these little corgis are much protection. All they can do for you, really, is make noise when someone comes around. And both of them make one hell of a lot of noise.
I’ve had dogs all my adult life. Most of them have been protection dogs — sometimes for good reason.
And despite the endless stream of vet bills…damn, I miss that German shepherd!
Plus the “good reason” is back. Imagine if Anna had been here when Matthew the Garage Invader had jumped over the back wall into the backyard! If he’d survived (highly questionable), he would have been mightily glad to be delivered into the hands of the cops who beat the bedoodles out of him. An angry cop is as nothing compared to an angry German shepherd. I’ve now seen both and will take the German shepherd, thank you, to hold vigil over my junkyard.
Thanks to the city’s misguided light-rail project, our neighborhood has become infested with drug-addicted transients. And thanks to an efflorescence of roof rats, the hood is also overrun with coyotes. Whereas a German shepherd or the late great greyhound could hold its own against a coyote (a creature that can ghost over a 6-foot wall with nooo problem), a 22-pound corgi hasn’t a chance.
Whatever occupies that backyard next needs to be something that can stand its ground against a coyote as well as a prowler. Both of which we have a-plenty these days.
The next dog who comes to live with me, if another one does, presumably will be inherited by my son.
He is not thrilled by small dogs. He was willing to take the corgis when I was feeling in extremis, but he made it clear these were not to be room-mates for anyone’s life: mine, his, or theirs. He prefers large dogs. And of the larger varieties of dog, he prefers retrievers.
My experience of retrievers has been, pretty much uniformly, that they are exceptionally stupid. Not as stupid as some domestic canids, but not so bright that they do well at interpreting human behavior. And because so many humans admire retrievers, all but the most obscure varieties have been ruined by overbreeding.
Charley the Golden Retriever is really sweet, but he sure doesn’t have the sharp edge that a German shepherd has. And the car phobia: what to make of that? Really, there’s nothing you can make of it other than that he suffers from a neurosis induced by irresponsible breeding practices.
Much like, say the German shepherd.