Our turn. Joy and pain, like sunshine and rain.



Her name is Chloe’ von Musehaus. She was the best. She was amazing to our household.

Chloe’ – Greek name for a German beauty…”rustic beauty”.  In keeping with tradition and with the breeders request, I had to name her with a name that started with a  “C” since she was from the 3rd litter of the bitch. Her name has changed over the years with nicknames the boys have given her. Right now we call her “Poe” for some reason.

She was born in June of 1998 to a fine bloodline. Her Mom was a certified “tracker” – her Dad was a Schutzhund 3 ranked bad ass. I’ve had her since she was 9 weeks old. I trained her for a couple of years with a local group of enthusiasts in “Schutzhund” which means Protection Dog. In Schutzhund, the dogs are put through stringent obedience, tracking and protection drills. It is the standard training for the German Shepherd Dog. Many go on to be search and rescue, and police dogs.

Chloe did well with obedience and bite work, but she was too soft. She was more of a Labrador love hound than protection dog. That’s ok. She’s been the best dog ever to our family and to my two sons and all of their friends.

She’s been through a lot with us in 12 years. Numerous “Marley & Me” moments like raiding the refrigerator and garbage-then throwing it all up, lots of dog sports, camping in the mountains, lots of swimming, sitting on the sidelines watching the boys play soccer, show & tell safety classes to teach children how not to get bitten, violent scraps with other dogs and a couple cats …even a copperhead. In the last few years she started winding down; bad back, bad hips, bad breath…great love.

She is a part of our family DNA. We adore her. She adores us. Just like it’s supposed to be.

February 11, 2011: 12 years, 7 months of love. Over the past few days Chloe’ suddenly started showing signs of listlessness and loss of appetite. Blood work and radiology showed an enlarged heart and mass on her spleen. Doctor recommended we let her go. As you know, that ain’t easy. But we did. 

Rest in peace my friend, my companion, my furry daughter. You were the best. We loved you with all our hearts.

My Bitchy Old Lady Got Me in Trouble.

Got a letter from CMPD Animal Care & Control.


Chloe (my 12 year old German Shepherd), tends to take issue with the things the rest of us accept. We may not see or hear “it”, but she does. Now, I know there is a cat behind us that likes to taunt her. It’s pretty obvious there’s a pompous lack of respect for the “other” species and for elders there. Chloe’ has even gotten a bit out of sorts over deer walking across the front lawn. Can they not obey the yellow Deer Crossing signs the City has installed? It is why they’re there right? 


At this stage of her life with bad hips and a pinched nerve in her back, my Bitchy Old Lady stays inside 99% of the time finding comfort in the soft leather furniture that used to be off limits (well, it still is but she’s decided to ignore that fact…and so have I). She only goes out when she has to. On most occasions, I catch her just sitting pretty, blending in with the natural area panning her head left and right, taking in a cool breeze, the rays of sun or the still of the night with only the moon or porch light providing her shape. Often though, she sticks her nose in the air and catches a wif of everyone’s gossip and business then cuts loose with a gut wrenching “browl” (bark and growl) of disapproval.


We try to stay on top of her when this happens. We clap our hands, give a little whistle and call her inside immediately. Hell, it takes her a good 5 minutes of waddling and hind leg dragging just to get from the back of the yard to the steps she struggles to climb.


I hear dogs barking constantly in our neighborhood; early morning, midday and late evenings…take a stroll and you’ll hear them working their social network. I accept it. Apparently the vantage point of the neighbor that complained about my Bitchy Old Lady doesn’t include the mouthy, yappy little dogs behind, left and right of me…or my neighbor is like Chloe’ – they just need to take issue with the things the rest of us accept and get their “browl” out.


Oh well. Guilty as charged. Sorry neighbor(s).