Dog Breed Illnesses

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         Before I was born, my parents visited Germany and fell in love with a German Shepherd puppy. When my mother saw his lopsided ears and goofy personality, she couldn’t resist bringing him home. The dog’s name was Duke, and he watched me grow up from the very beginning.

         Duke was the epitome of a gentle giant; loving and innocently curious. He often endured hits and hisses from our two cats without complaint. Duke even witnessed my toddler stages, (as well as my sister’s), and loyally tolerated our tail-pulling.

         There was a time when my father purposely hid his face inside a large jacket to see if Duke would react to protect the family. Duke became instantly protective and began to bark and growl at the ‘intruder’ in the jacket. When my father revealed his face, Duke instantly relaxed and became a loving companion again.

         We had never officially trained Duke, yet, he was the perfect dog for us. Duke passed away when I was eleven.

         The reason why I was so moved by The Science of Dogs is because Duke died due to a breed-related illness. In the German Shepherd breed it is not uncommon for the dog’s stomach to twist in on itself, cutting off blood flow. A dog with this condition could be fine one instant and gone another. This was how Duke left us. It’s truly heartbreaking, and it hurts to know that humans have played a part in this.

         Duke, being a German Shepherd straight from Germany, was a beautiful dog who always received compliments. Although the breeds are beautiful I believe there isn’t enough said about what we’re doing to weaken the dogs themselves. I hope that progress is made to fix some of the problems man has made so no other dogs will die because of their breed.

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5 thoughts on “Dog Breed Illnesses

  1. I also had a dog when I was growing up. Her name was Fluffy, ad my dad rescued her from an abandoned yard when she was just a puppy. Fluffy became the protector of our house, as well as my own personal body guard. Fluffy wouldn’t let anyone she didn’t approve of near me. She was truly one of the best dogs I could ever have. Sadly, due to her old age and a disease that is common in huskies we had to let her go. To this day I wish there could have been some type of medicine that could ease her pain, and to help other dogs like her.

  2. Wow. Your poor dog – that sounds like an awful way to go and you clearly really loved him.

    I remember seeing this one post on tumblr once about the way certain dog breeds have been changing through the ages, and definitely not for the better. I kind of wish people would stop with the eugenics when it causes so much suffering.

  3. Pray for Duke, and all the dogs with this problem…

    I was really in shock too, especially when I realise how human involved and controlled dog’s genetics and caused untreatable illness to them…
    But no matter what, dogs will always remember you like how you remember them.

  4. Everything that has to do with a death of an anime, especially a dog or a cat makes me ‘sad’. And of course, you mentioning Duke passing away was heartbreaking. I, myself, is a huge fan of German Shepard and is craving to get one as a pet, however my mother refuses to have any pets. However it is really depressing how this is a thing ‘humans’ are involved in.

    Many says Dog breeding isn’t a bad thing since they are just trying to get the ‘perfect’ dog or to say to try it out, however it is truly saddening how it causes problems or illness to a dog. I hope we humans don’t make the situation worse by breeding even more.

  5. I also had a dog when I was growing up. Her name was Fluffy, ad my dad rescued her from an abandoned yard when she was just a puppy. Fluffy became the protector of our house, as well as my own personal body guard. Fluffy wouldn’t let anyone she didn’t approve of near me. She was truly one of the best dogs I could ever have. Sadly, due to her old age and a disease that is common in huskies we had to let her go. To this day I wish there could have been some type of medicine that could ease her pain, and to help other dogs like her.

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