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How a German Shepherd Helps Beat Empty Nest Syndrome

by on March 14, 2011

I’d like to make this very clear. I’ve had several dogs in the past. They have been well loved, well cared for and mourned when they passed. But nothing will rock your world more than marriage and a bushel of kids. While the kids pleaded for a dog I knew I would end up skulking the hallways at midnight with a hatchet. To whose room I entered I could not tell. Just one? All of them?

dog 300x225 How a German Shepherd Helps Beat Empty Nest SyndromeFast forward. The kids are grown – ( though its remarkable how I have retained my youthful glow).

We visit a family member up north for 5 days. He has a German Shepherd. My first thought was he had a lot of damn hair and shed like crazy. He also wasn’t the most social of dogs. Perfect. I hated him.

For some unknown reason my husband fell in love with this animal. Maybe it was the shedding that bonded them. The dog wasn’t being cared for very well and we all felt bad for the relatives and the dog. After a few weeks of deliberation we offered to take the dog. That was 3 years ago. Any vestige of maternal feelings I had left retched up. And I am now officially a ‘dog person’. How did this happen? Is it as simple as “Empty Nest Syndrome?” Or did I secretly desire tumbleweeds of hair in my house? I don’t know, but I have fallen insanely in love with the most loving, loyal, intelligent animal I have ever had.

This blog was intended to describe my introduction to the world of dog parks – especially those in Malibu and Santa Monica. Wow, Talk about a learning curve! Talk about freaks!

Till next time.

Photo courtesy of Summer of ’69′s Flickr

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Nancy Hathorn is the wife of a tireless Realtor, a mother of three wonderful sons, a voracious reader, a world traveler and part-time blogger. You can reach her via email at


Comments   |   Add Yours »

  1. Richard Stearns says:

    I challenge you to master my stubborn 4 yr old Jack Russell. Dropped on her head one too many times as a young pup. runt of the litter. Insane, no short term memory. But we love her all the same! And yes, she sheds!

  2. Felecia Wesley says:

    There is nothing comparable to the unconditional love and affection that dogs share. I adopted Evie (Yorkshire Terrier) two and a half years ago and I’m grateful for her being in my life everyday, even when she does not cooperate.

  3. TRACY B SMITH says:

    We are on the hunt for a dog to fill the space left by the number 1 son going off to NYC for college. Lab or Boxer, NOT a puppy. Let me know if you have any leads but not from crazy dog park people.

  4. Nick Segal says:

    With the opportunity to step any of our 3 large German Shepherd, all of which have no desire to be disturbed from their slumber as I approach, makes me wonder who is the master of our domain. I sure do love them though. Clearly the bark is much bigger than their bite.

  5. John Hathorn says:

    Should I be mad that she accuses me of shedding?

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