Sometimes I think the good Lord gave us dogs just to remind us of what unconditional loyalty and love ought to look like. Stressful day at work... the dogs are happy to see me. Wife annoyed with me... the dogs are happy to see me. Angry at life... the dogs are happy to see me. Come home with terrific news and the gals aren't there... the dogs are happy to see me. Catch yourself laughing at something when no one else is around... the dogs are happy to see me.
This guy here is Ruger, and yes... I named him after one of my favorite gun brands. He's almost two years old. Ruger is a member of the family, just like Sasha our All-American Mutt I'll introduce you to at some other point in time. He's got Czechoslovakian and German blood lines so he's a bit less American made than the Ruger firearms. Coming from a breeder that specializes in breeding assistance dogs and family pets... he has a very even, laid-back temperament and gentleness that makes his long, lean 110 pound solid mass of muscle a bit misleading.
Like most German Shepherd Dogs, he's energetic, loyal, a little territorial, talks and chatters quite a bit, and is very alert. He's just a family pet that also fits into our security plans. He's quickly learned what does and does not belong around the house, barn, and property then alerts us accordingly.
His physical and visual presence gives the unfamiliar pause and concern which is a good thing, but truthfully he's a gentle giant. The only problem we've ever had with this is when the UPS man delivered a package and the front door was open with just the glass storm-door separating him from the dog. Ruger stood up on his hind legs, placed his front paws high on the glass storm-door, looked the UPS man eye-to-eye, and gave out a loud, succinct RRruuFFF! Well, let's just say it's a good thing the UPS uniform pants are also brown.
Ruger loves his "baby", a stuffed toy that he has chosen to be the "one" that doesn't get shredded. We play find the "baby" with him and he's got quite an ability to track it down. He's also been trained to play "find the gals" too.
He's a pretty brave dog, but the funny thing is... he's not scared of gunfire, the tractor, people, or just about anything... except... plastic garbage bags. We have no idea how this happened and we've tried to break him of it, but he is scared to death whenever we get a white, plastic garbage bag out to replace a full one in the kitchen garbage can. He'll run into his kennel or the other room... go figure... the gals and I might just need the dog whisperer if he doesn't grow out of it.
Sometimes, like me, he can be a little blunt in his communication style... like when he's out of food. He'll carry his empty, stainless steel food dish into the living room, drop it at your feet and give you one good staccato bark that loosely translated means, "FEED ME NOW!" I'm even starting to think he has a sense of humor too, as he likes to tease the gals just like I do. Some friends asked me how I can let such a big dog in the house, but what can I say... our dogs are part of the family and get treated as such. Dogs are people too, ya know.