Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted June 12, 2015
About 10 years ago, a stray dog came ambling into my front yard. My mother, always overprotective, warned me to stay away from it, as it might have carried diseases. I, the animal-lover, stayed to pet the dog anyway. After much convincing, I was finally able to keep the dog (granted, I had to pay for the vet bill myself, but who needs money when you're 8 years old). Esther was extremely hyper and always wanted someone outside to play with her. I, the outdoorsy type, did not hesitate to spend time with her. However, I quickly learned that she was not...the "sharpest tool in the shed," so to speak. Even if you made eye contact with her and called her name very loudly, she would run off in another direction entirely and wander aimlessly. If she came to you, she was given attention; if not, she ran around and barked for hours on end, uncaring of the world around her. My mother told me that when German Shepherds are mixed with another breed, the offspring suffer from mental disabilities due to the fact that German Shepherds have a narrower skull than most dogs and thus exert too much pressure on the brain. I have not done extensive research on this topic, but I'd have to say that from my experience, Esther fits the bill. She never really learned much; she was mostly oblivious and did what she pleased. Her health deteriorated quickly, but the vet could do nothing to save her. She passed away quietly one day in my backyard. At the time, I was surprised that her lifespan was so short. If this is common among breeds of this type, I highly advise you to not get one if you are the kind to get very attached. I would not want someone to have to go through the same heartbreak I did.