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I've always wanted a Shepard, Sheperd, Shephard....

The correct name is German Shepherd Dog. Notice the "herd" at the end of Shepherd and what that may implicate. Each time I hear someone say they've always wanted a GSD or read an email stating this fact, I automatically wonder, "Do they know what they are getting themselves into?"

Years ago, I had a well-manicured back and front yard. Perennials lined my garage and my grass was healthy and dense. I used to sit on my back steps and enjoy the peacefulness of my landscaping efforts. I used to spend hours every Saturday afternoon sculpting hedges, edging, and mowing. Fast forward in time to having five GSDs.

The perennials succumbed a long time ago. There are now only the bravest patches of grass. I purchased every border I could but even that was no match for the shepherds. It seemed whatever tactic I created to stop the onslaught, the dogs were smarter. Creed dug a hole that I lost track of how many times I filled. I purchased rocks to fill the hole since he kept digging. Apparently shepherd paws don't mind shoveling rocks of any size. What used to be one hole has developed into a sort of land mine. I call it Creed's performance art. Once I was walking through my yard in the snow. I unexpectedly walked into a dug hole. I had to laugh because I looked ridiculous walking without care and then without warning, being pulled down to the ground by a sink hole.

You know the line near your fence? The line that has become so densely packed by their feet? C'mon you know. Oh, you can plant grass, lay mulch, give UP. Their sport of the chase is too intense for any lawn. In all honesty, I don't mind it too much. It makes trimming near the fence much easier. If you own a male, every corner is going to be marked and then re-marked just in case the pee-mail didn't send the first time.

My shepherds run so fast they have pushed the mulch I bought (several times) up against the fence...repeatedly leaving a bare area. When you own a shepherd, you may have to let go of some proud landscaping. You'll be especially interested in the weather forecast because if it rains, prepare for full on warfare with mud! I've become a bit of a pro at this. Whether it be a sprinkle or a monsoon with gail-force winds, Creed will sit and raise his nose defying the weather Gods. He is now the King of the yard. His noble efforts of protector have demoted me to simple yard mower.

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