Christmas Day was my German Shepherd Dog Cupid's birthday. She made it to 13, which is quite an achievement for a large breed, purebred dog from American show dog lines that are typically quite inbred. Her sire was Grand Victor Ch. Mar Haven's Color Guard, who also had sheepherding titles. Her Ch. dam was a Ken-Delaine Mastercharge daughter.
13 years and two months ago Dana and I packed up Cupid's dam, Viva, and headed off from Tucson AZ to the Sacramento CA area to breed Viva. We'd picked her sire, "Boss" after we'd seen him at dog shows. He was big, nearly solid black, young, and knock-your-socks-off gorgeous. He was an incredible mover and had a wonderful temperament. After 63 days of gestation, Viva started having her 9 puppies late Christmas eve and continued through most of Christmas Day. She got super-tired and we spent most of Christmas at the emergency animal hospital. No C-section - thank goodness - but lots of oxytocin and walking. Since we had nine little Christmas babies, Dana suggested we name them after Santa's reindeer. So, in addition to Cupid, there was a Blitzen, a big longcoated male who was nicknamed Bear. There was a Vixen, who lived up to her name and was a real handful. She ended up living with a state park employee who took her to work with him and provided her with a wonderful life. Yes, there was a Rudolph (no red nose) who was called Rudy. I had hopes that he would be a showdog but he ended up being a monorchid :( And I can't forget to mention Comet who, as an older pup, caught a bird in our backyard. I guess Comet lived up to his name too. He must have had a special talent...none of my other Shepherds have ever caught a bird.
Thank you for the memories, Cupid. And thank you for your undying love over the years. You add so much to my life.