Many of you were followers when we got McIver back so you know his story. If you don't know his story, here is a quick summary. McIver came to us through Dogs for Autism. We were his puppy raisers which meant we were to raise and train him for about 18 months. Then he would go to a family with a child of autism. Our service dogs act as extra eyes and ears for parents. Our dogs are trained to protect children with autism, not in a bite-a-stranger way, but in a way that highlights their herding skills so that our dogs can guide the children to not bolt or fixate on a "stimming" behavior. Long story short, McIver only had eyes for about 5 people in this world and really has no use for anyone else. He is not aggressive until someone tries to engage him. He prefers to be ignored by anyone except the chosen 5. Oh yeah and little people are VERY strange to him. So our precious little McIver flunked service dog academy and was placed in home with an experienced GSD owner. After about eight months, this "owner" decided he couldn't handle McIver. Again this "owner" wasn't in McIver's top 5. In those eight months, one of DFA's breeder dogs was placed in our home- Nikki. The only reason they took McIver is because they wanted to keep us in the dog-handling pot of volunteers.
Anyway, so at this point our director basically begs us to take McIver back. A local police department had evaluated him for potential K9 police work but found him "too serious". He doesn't really have the necessary play drive for that line of work.
So despite the overwhelming panic of having 4 BIG dogs in a relatively small home with two adults and two cats, we decided that we would take him back. After all, we had fallen in love with the sweet boy the moment they brought him into our home! We cried when we had to take him back.
And when I say cried, I truly mean sobbed like 2 adults should not sob over... well... anything.
I mean check out these pictures, wouldn't you have fallen in love?
|McIver around 3 months at work with me. January 2009|
|Again at work|
|Playtime with Calhoun and service dogs in training are not to be on furniture but I couldn't NOT get the pic.|
|TREATS! with Lucy|
|If only I were a bit taller... McIver in the food bin.|
|Can one get a tan in February at Hilton Head Island?|
|Don't eat the sand!|
|WHY is this water moving?|
|McIver was here 2009|
|sunset walk with Daddy|
|sleeping in my crate at the hotel|
|but for a brief- really cute moment- I had to get Mamma comfy on the bed.|
|I really don't get the whole tanning thing...|
|The day we had to take him back to DFA- NOT a good day and McIver knew it because he hid under the kitchen table.|
We take our guardianship of McIver very seriously. He is a large GSD weighing in at about 100 lbs. He could do some serious damage if the situation presented. But oddly, our job is to protect him at all costs. We don’t put him in situations that he would make him uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean that he is confined to our home. We take him on many outings but we exercise extreme caution. When I run with him through the neighborhood, I rarely stop to chat with a neighbor. After a recent storm, I did stop to chat but opened the conversation by asking them to ignore McIver and not even look at him much less touch him. He laid by my feet for about 25 minutes while I discussed the storm damage with neighbors. We don’t allow him to be around children at all. I frankly don’t care if I hurt people’s feelings by doing any of this. I absolutely trust him to listen to my commands. He has never failed me in that regard. His obedience skills are probably the best in our pack. His loyalty and devotion is immeasurable.
|McIver- February 2011|
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this boy!!