Know Thy Self. A Message from Ghost’s Dad.

I was inspired to write this while sitting on a friend’s porch this evening whom I’m dog/house sitting for and watching Ghost and the two other pups interact. The other two dogs are miniature pincers who weigh about twelve pounds a piece. Ghost is a muscular sixty lbs.

I had given all three pups a treat and watched as the pincers finished theirs and then investigated Ghost who was laying in the grass with his, slowly enjoying it.. They licked around his mouth, pushed against it maybe trying to get a little piece. All the while Ghost remained calm. He did not nip at the others, growl or even get up. Eventually he finished his treat perhaps losing a few nibbles here and there and got up to play with the other two.

I started thinking about the why. Why does Ghost act this way? He could easily bark loud enough or growl or even become aggressive enough to scare the others away but he doesn’t. I came to the conclusion that his actions are a reflection of how he has been raised.

Now, before you think I am patting myself on the back read on.

The last time I had a dog, I was a teenager. Admittedly I was not a good dog dad at that time. I spent little time with him, although I did love him. My mother doted on him, loved him, gave up vacations as to not leave him alone and made sure she was home to feed him every night no matter what. He was her dog and she was his human. When I decided to bring another dog into my life two things directed the way I wanted my dog to be raised, the way my mother treated Hooch, my childhood dog (A Rhodesian Ridgeback) and the way she raised me.

At his largest, Hooch weighed about one hundred and twenty or so pounds. He could stand on his hind legs and throw his forepaws over my shoulders. He was protective of my mother to the point where if she and I got into an argument, he would bark and snarl at me. Hooch ended quite a few arguments between my mother and I just by his presence. A gentle giant, Hooch was a house dog. He didn’t get out with other dogs much but if you were human and you had permission to be in the house, you were ok by him. My mother never hit Hooch, she rarely raised her voice to him and he never missed a meal. My mother’s care of Hooch taught me both what I did want to do; have a large breed dog who knew his size and respected what he could do with it but never used it in the wrong way; and what I did not want; a dog who was not social with other dogs and who did not get regular exercise. Mom loved Hooch but Hooch didn’t get out of the back yard much. This was going to be the hard part. My schedule is insane and I must be too for thinking about bringing a dog into my life. I worked it out (in about ten seconds after I met Ghost) and decided it could be done with some sacrifice. If you consider putting in less hours at work a sacrifice. πŸ™‚

The second influence I mentioned was how my mother raised me. I was raised in an all female house as my father had passed on when I was very young. We had plenty of issues, plenty of arguments but there was plenty of love and while I didn’t show it often as a teen, much respect for my mother. She taught me many things, and one of them was how to treat other people.

I was an extremely shy kid in school. Yes. Really. I had a core group of friends but outside of them, I said little to anyone and kept my head down. I never went to a dance with a date and I never picked fights. The only advantage I had, which I didn’t really realize, was I was a pretty stout kid. My shoulders were broad and my build strong. I tolerated kids making fun of me, even physically attacking me because it was in my blood to be tolerant. For the most part. One thing I did not tolerate was my friends being picked on when I could do something about it. When the time came, I bowed up my size to run off those who I thought would hurt my friends who at that time were mostly Journalism/Photo/Computer geeks like myself who were not blessed with my build. To quote a terrible cliche; I had learned somewhere down the road to “Be nice until it was time to not be nice.” This is what I hoped for in Ghost.

Back to the present. As I’ve raised Ghost these past six months, I have not consciously said “I want my dog to defend other dogs.” or stated “I want Ghost to be tolerant of other dogs taking things from his mouth.” and so on. I had a few things I wanted him to strive for, being social with both dogs and humans among them. I believe the rest he has gotten by the positive reenforcement he gets at home and the positive and negative social experiences he has had. In essence I believe he has figured out for himself who he wants to be based on his upbringing. A stretch? Perhaps but perhaps not. I’ve witnessed many dogs of whom I know their background display behavior directly associated with how they are raised. Pitbulls are a huge example. I know of a Pit who tolerates and mothers baby cotton tail rabbits who climb all over him and snuggle into him for warmth. I know another Pit who would just as soon eat you and the rabbits. One was raised in a loving home with children and foster pets and the other rescued from a fighting ring and who is currently being rehabilitated. Both exhibit traits of their upbringing.

As I watched Ghost tonight I started realizing that he is growing into a dog who knows his size and will use it when wants to, for example when he plays with Kal-El, another large breed dog. These two can play fight full throttle throwing each other around like rag dolls. By contrast, he carefully minuets around two pound toy breeds like a ballerina. Ghost will defend his friends to his ability and he has even shown respect for the fairer sex as most evidenced by how he interacts with Bella, an adorable Vizsla female. When Ghost plays with Emma, a Corgie who can handle her business, he plays to her level of roughness but he carries and uses his weight differently than with Kal. Dogs can sense other dog’s personalities. If brought up correctly, I believe they will use this to make decisions in a social situation and act accordingly.

I hope Ghost grows into a “good example” large breed dog and I will do everything in my power to make that happen. I want to thank everyone who has allowed Ghost to befriend their own dog kids and everyone who has answered my unending stream of questions (My sister chief among them).

Ghost is throwing toys at me now and mentioned something about using my phone to FaceTime Bella if I don’t hurry up and finish.. Better go!



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Being the metro pup I am, I decided it was time to explore mud baths! It’s supposed to do wonders for your coat… ahem.. umm.. ok who am I kidding? IT WAS JUST FUN! This giant fuzzy dog dug out a mud swimming pool for us and a bunch of us decided to go swim in it.. and roll in it.. and wrestle in it.. Then I thought it would be fun to try and get some on the humans.. They were not amused.. Geeze! It’s just mud! Oh well.

I’ve been going to the dog park less lately because of something dad is worried about me having called “heet-stwoke”? I don’t know what that means. We go often just not for as long and not until the big fire ball in the sky gets closer to the ground.

My friend Kal is getting HUGE. I still manage to steal his sticks (which makes him soooo mad) but he can pin me good now.

I also met a GIRL. Dad says I’m too young but I’m like, whatever. She is sooo cute and her name is Bella. I didn’t meet her at the dog park but she lives in the place dad lives and I see her through the windows sometimes but finally got to actually meet her.. I was sooo shy!

Uh oh, better go, dad is turning on that shower thing I don’t like!


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It’s a Dog Eat Dog World.

Dog Eat Dog… Get it? The picture… HAHAHAHAH.. Well ok, I’m not that funny. I’m sorry to report that Kal has turned into a zombie. BRAAAAAINS. I’m a little hyper, I got a bag of coffee beans off the counter and ate them. They looked like bunny poops now I’m all vibrating and stuffs. Speaking of eating things I’m not supossed to, I also ate tortellini out of that trash thing.. SO GOOD.. For about an hour.. Until I threw them up… In Dad’s Jeep….

Anyway! My weight has leveled off a little. I weigh about 47 lbs now. Vet thinks it’s because I get a lot of exercise. Running from Kal and trying to eat Emma keeps me active! I’ve met a lot of new friends too and I love the water. Dad keeps trying to get me to fetch things in the water.. I think he needs to go fetch them.. Silly human.

Oh! I learned to bark! I like it A LOT. I don’t bark much at home unless humans come to stare at the windows in the place we live, dad calls it a “foto-stoodio” or something, but there are pictures facing oout the windows and sometimes I bark at people. They think I’m cute because well, I AM!

Did I tell you I figured out how to unlatch my kennel? (I really didn’t, dad left it unlateched halfway and I figured out the rest). But it was sure fun. I ran around and played with ALL my toys. I went and visited the bunnies in the foster area and laid on the couch. I didn’t know dad caught me on the security cameras so when he came home I tried to act like i was supposed to be out. Dad wasn’t mad and he was really happy I didn’t eat his furniture!

That’s all for now, my DogPad is almost dead. Night!

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I’m up to 40 Lbs!

Thanks Nicole!Dad weighed me today and I’m exactly 40 lbs. It must be all the bunny poops I keep eating.. Yum! I’m playing a lot. Dad’s Geep broke so we got to ride in the car to the dog park. Someday I hope I’m tall enough to stick my head out the sunroof! Oh.. Who am I kidding. I still hate cars.. I don’t know why.. I don’t get sick anymore but I get nervous and pout the whole way. I’ve been spending most of my play time with Emma, Mackenzie, Fern, Bella and lots of other friends!

I also learned how to fetch, sort of. I am pretty particular about what I will fetch but I like it!

I am also feeling better now. My stomach isn’t as sad as it was and I’m eating normal again. I finished all my medicine, except one pill that went down the… um.. De-Pose-Al? Oh well.

Time to go for a walk. Bye!


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I’m a slacker.

I’ve been a bit of a slacker with my blog lately. Unfortunately since my last post I’ve been a little sick. The Vet says I’ll be fine but I’ve had a very bad cold and haven’t gotten out to the parks as often although I’ve still gone at least three days a week. I also had some “werms” that made me feel icky but they are gone now and I’m so glad. I don’t want anyone eating my food cept me!

I do have good news though! I haven’t gotten sick in the car for the last couple weeks. I still drool all over the place and I don’t like the car, but it takes me fun places. Maybe some day I’ll be able to jump into the back my myself!

I’m still growing and I weighed about 32 pounds. My human makes sure I don’t eat too much but the vet said I should eat a little more to bulk up. I like that vet! πŸ™‚ He also says I look very fit and that being a little under weight is better than a little over-weight! That’s why the doggie (and human) ladies like me! πŸ˜‰

I’m very happy to play in the water now too, it’s so cool and I love getting dirty. I spend a lot of time playing with my friends and I really like Corgi’s. Especially Emma, she’s sooo cute. Goose, Kal, Conney , Bella and many other friends are at the park I go to and we always have a good time. πŸ™‚

Oooh! I also discovered that I like the couch. Dad’s been letting me sleep there since I’ve been sick but I don’t think that is going to last! πŸ™

I better go now, I think I head the bunnies planning to prank me.. Again…


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I discovered water!

So I was at my favorite dog park today and I was standing by the water. I always get close but it’s scary and so I just put my front feet in. Today though I decided to go for it and I had SOOOO much fun! My human took a video and you can see me play! Just click here: Ghost 1st Water

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It’s official! I’m German!

As usual, I don’t really know what that means but my dad human thought it was neat. He is pushing me off the keyboard now to say a few words!

Ghost’s DNA test came back. You can download/view it here (Click Me). I thought it was pretty accurate. One side is German Shepherd going back three generations so his father was a full German Shepherd. I spoke to the lab and asked if that was normal and they said “only when one side is full, normally you’ll see maybe a “full” in the direct parent or above and then a mix if certain traits have been abolished through generations but to have full all the way up means the parent, grand-parent, etc was full”. The other side, Ghost’s mother came back as a German Short-Hair Pointer/Bulldog mix. I see the most traits in the two German areas which I detail below and only one of a Bulldog. Interestingly, as I think about it, Ghost’s mother, whom I’ve met does have a stocky build which I took to be Pitbull but her eyes, like Ghost’s are light and that is a German Short-Hair trait (As you can see in the pics in the DNA results and on any German Short-Hair Pointer.

Ok, so what do I believe makes up Ghost (and his six litter mates, although some of them have more or less of these traits).

German Shepherd: Pretty obvious (most people including me thought he was GS Mix.) I believe his facial structure, muzzle color, the wire hairs in his cheeks, his gait (especially when stalking which was noticed by another at the park just today). His coat also resembles German Shepherd color.

German Short-Hair Pointer: From this side the most obvious trait is his eyes. Light colored and mixed with the German Shepherd markings makes him look like he has eye-brows. Ghost’s face is very unique (Maybe I’m biased?) πŸ™‚ His tail also resembles the Pointer’s. I also believe his skull shape is taken from the Pointer but the jury is still out.

Bulldog: At first I was in denial that he has any Bulldog traits but as I look at him, his ears look similar to the Bulldog right now. However, as he has grown his ears have begun standing up when he is on alert and more resemble the German Shepherd.

So, what do those of you who have met Ghost think?

Some have asked me why I am so interested (obsessed?) with knowing what Ghost is made of. It’s really not an obsession. I’d love him just the same no matter if I could find out or not. One reason is simple interest. My career is discovering things, figuring out what makes up something in particular so it’s natural curiosity. Another reason, and the one I decided to do the test for is health. Mutt’s are by nature more tolerant to disease, sickness, etc than a pure bred dog but knowing his chemistry can help Vet’s diagnose things common to a particular breed and this is why I decided to get it done.

Finally, if you are thinking about doing it, I’d go with a blood-test over swab kit. I researched and asked three Vets I deal with at my own rescue and all said the same, that the results are more accurate with a blood test. I used WisdomPanelPRO. THe “Pro” is a bloodtest and they make it easy to get your results online. is the website.



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What’s happening to my ears!

My ears are starting to stand up on their own! Dad human says it’s because of “zee German” in me. I don’t know what that means but I do know I can hear a lot better! I felt a little sick last week because I had a bug in me (literally). I am starting to feel better.

We went to the dog park several times and to a new one yesterday because my favourite was closed. I got to see Kal again! I recognize him every time now and run straight to him to tackle him! Here is a video of us playing: Ghost & Kal Play. He is a lot of fun. I also met Texas, Molly and a few other new friends.

I’m getting better in the car too. I still get a little sick sometimes but I lay right down when I get in and I don’t try to pull my human’s arm off when we get near the car as much.


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Update and 3am is Fun!

I went to the doggie park again today and didn’t throw up in the Jeep! I figured out that if I lay down all the way and pout a lot I don’t throw up! I don’t know if the laying down or pouting helps more but it works!

I also went yesterday and played with Bella and Titan at the “other park”. I don’t like that one as much but at least my friends were there!

I’m eating different food now. The stuff I was eating was good but my human said that he talked to a few trainers and vets and all recommendedΒ  a new food. I love it! It makes me go to the bathroom more and drink more water but I like both those things (especially at 3am)!

Speaking of 3am. My human lets me sleep in the bed with him sometimes but not all the time. Last night he tried to let me but I was just not ready to sleep yet (even though I played at the park for hours). He said “Ghost, we have to go to sleep!” I wasn’t having any of that and kept playing.. He said “Ok buddy, “in”. Well “in” means I have to go sleep in my kennel which I don’t really mind because I have all my stuff there and it’s my safe place but I thought I’d be funny so I started whining at 3am and when that didn’t work (my human is good at igoring my whining) I started howling. This worked and I’ve never howled before! My human got up and I thought he would be mad (he never really gets mad even when I throw up in the Jeep) but I thought this time he would be. He looked really sleepy and said “Ok, #$%^#@, you win” and laughed at me and we went outside. It was so nice out, even my human agreed. The only thing was, I didn’t really have to go and so I sat down and wagged my tail and looked up at him. That worked too. He sat down, right there in the grass and said “Maybe we will just sleep here until the police pick us up..”

I’m still trying to figure out what #$%^# means and what a Police is.

Oh well! πŸ™‚

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Play Play Play!

I’m having so much fun! I weigh 23 pounds now! I went to the vet thing again yesterday to get a “DEE-EN-AY” test. My human says it will tell him more about me and my medical stuff. I don’t know what any of that means. hehe.

I still don’t like car rides but I don’t get sick as much any more. Here is a picture of me not liking a car ride. My human put my old bed in the back to make me more comfortable. It helped but I don’t really fit in it any more!

Oh! I had so much fun this past weekend! I got to play Saturday at this HUGE dog park! There were big dogs and little dogs (I tend to like dogs the same size or smaller than me but I’m learning!) There was even a pond to swim in! I played with other puppies and some adult doggies. Then on Sunday we went with Blue, that’s my human’s sister’s dog to some big place where there were hundreds of dogs! I found lots of things to investigate! My human says it’s a “foosball stadium”. Then we went to the place where I first met my human, Lee Harvey’s and I played with Mindy, she’s a big Dober-man Peencher and lots of other puppies. I was so tired I slept all night!

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