Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted July 17, 2015
I remember the day we bought simba, I sat in the back of the old Rover saloon we had and my mom asked me what I wanted to call him. I was a 7 year old obsessed with the Lion King at the time, so naturally, the only name for him was Simba. If you ask my sister his full name was Simba Mufasa Rafiki Pumba Stevens French O'Brien.
We lived in a pub, so he was meant to be a guard dog for it. Only, we showered him with so much love and football, he never really became a guard dog. If anything when the alarms in the pub were going off, Simba was the last one through the door to have a look to see what was happening, my mom would call him 'a big puff.' Don't get me wrong though, he would go for anyone who dared come near me, my mom or sister with the wrong attitude.
He was a big dog, and he was a very excitable dog, he would go nuts when you came home. Jumping all over you and licking your face, so you had to be ready for him. And you needed some decent upper body strength or you were on the floor with a crash. So if your German Shepherd that happens to be as mad as ours was, get down the gym, now!
As a puppy we had to carry him down the stairs, he was too scared to go down, there were no problems going up. He soon grew out of it. Thankfully, he was a big puppy. And he was prone to the odd peeing indoors incidents. My mom swiftly showed him that, that was wrong and he should wait by the door if he wants to pee. Or jump all me while I’m asleep, either or.
My mom trained him a few tricks, sitting, giving paw and saying please whenever it was dinner time. He would do that for anyone. But the one person who had true control over him was the head of the household. My mother. He would do anything she told him to do and he never did anything I wanted him to do. Apart from when playing football, he formed a great defensive wall and would even go into the position I told him to go into.
Luckily we had a massive garden so he would frolic around in between his walks. So if you are currently considering getting a German shepherd, I would consider the size of your garden, because during the summer especially, you cannot keep them trapped in doors. So a big garden is great for them. They are big dogs and need to run. Just make sure the gate is locked and your fence has no gaps, believe me, he squeezed through an almost impossible gap once or twice. The postman was not too happy being chased up the street.
He was a funny dog too, brought us much joy, such as the day he tried to get into the bin. He was an opportunist (so never leave food out!) and put his head in the bin. We found him later on with the bin lid around his neck. There are so many stories about him I could tell you. He really did give us some proper laughs.
Simba though, was never fond of the cat we had when he came along. Be wary. He was savvy enough to shove the little cat's head in a water bowl. Normally she could outrun him and get to places he couldn’t. But always be vigilant. He reacted well later in his life to a new kitten we got, a kitten that loved him and was looking a little lost when he died.
And I still remember the weeks leading up to that visit to the vets. Simba had an enlarged heart and liquid on the stomach. There was nothing we could do. Every time I looked at him I would tear up because I knew that was it. The dog I had grown up with, would not make it. And I did not want him to suffer. Money with the vet’s bills never bothered me. I was willing to give up my college allowance
to help him through.
Overall, if you are willing to put the time in, take him or her on plenty of walks and keep them healthy, I say go for it. Because they will bring you endless joy and memories to look back on when they go. But it takes commitment. You must have someone to look after them when you go on holidays and must be ready for the strength these dogs can have.
I will never forget that dog. And I’ll never have another one like him.