Hi all, Interesting posts above. I have an almost-12 year old GSD, she is nearing the end but still had good moments, she doesn't seem to have pain but isn't as active as before. She used to take the steps up to my bedroom only to take the elevator down with me to the main floor. Now she sleeps on her cushion more and more, is incontinent of stool regularly in the house. For the last 27 years, I have had/loved three GSD's, they are my absolute favorite dog, by far.
My cousin is pushing me to look into giving my name for a SD, here in Quebec there is this non-profit organisation (MIRA) who buy, train and give away these dogs to the blind and disabled. Here is their link: www.mira.ca/en/ . Yes I did say give away. I believe they have a very good system in place for their 'boot camp' or 'team training'. I have a few reasons for not really wanting to go for a SD. -- I don't believe that I need a SD all the time, would rather a companion dog that I could show specific things to help out -- I don't want to be perceived as being 'handicapped', even though being a paraplegic, I know full well that I am handicapped. -- I don't want to have to necessarily bring him/her everywhere I go. -- I am very independent so still want to prove that I can 'do' it -- It would embarrass me to have to justify why a SD could help me at work as I work with and meet lots of people -- MIRA don't train/give away GSD's anymore. They train and give away the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Labrador and the Labernese.
Admitting that I need help: -- not ideal now to train a puppy (I can't get up and out of bed fast to let them out) -- not easy to pick up after them when they pee on the floor -- not easy to potty-train/clean up outside -- in the past we haven't had good experience with shelter dogs, that's why we have preferred getting pups to train exactly they way we want.
Great post sherry! German Shepherds are definitely great dogs. I know it'd be hard to part with them but a service dog might not be a bad idea! They'll be great companions too and they'll make your life easier. I don't really need a service dog but I think I might get one when I go to university. I've still not decided what I want to do yet but I'll probably wait a little longer until I decide.