I have a most faithful companion. And the older he gets the more clingy, I mean faithful, he becomes. Hercules was born July 19, 2011, in a town southwest of Atlanta. My now ex-husband, our oldest daughter, Denae, and I made the trek down to Georgia to his cousin’s place as she had the litter of German shepherd pups.
When we arrived she led us into a pen and there we were happily mauled by several little tail wagging, yippy bundles of joy.
I quickly found the pup I wanted. Actually, he chose me. He plopped down right in front of me and stayed there. Cutest thing ever. I named him Hercules. Another male that I fell in love with was solid black and played behind my legs. I named him Zeus. He was quite excitable unlike his brother who was more passive and quite content just to sit at my feet and look up. More like my personality, I suppose. It was hard not to bring them both home!
My daughter unexpectedly was assigned a pup too as Jasmine chose her. She was solid black and quite spirited, as is my daughter. It’s interesting to watch how puppies choose you.
We drove the many hours back home, with Herc being calm and his sister not so much. She must have been a momma’s girl as she was crying for her. Just like Denae, a momma’s girl. The pup didn’t settle down until we played jazz on the radio. Hence, her name, Jasmine. Jazz, for short.
We’ve had wonderful times with these pups through the years. Jazz moved to the Chicago area when Denae moved there. She’s excited to see us whenever we get together. (They both are.)
Herc has started to plump up since I started taking care of his feeding. I need to be more mindful of that. But still he is an incredibly beautiful dog. He’s calm except when one of us isn’t home. He prefers that the three of us are home…and in the same room. That’s when he’s most content. He’s rather protective of my youngest, as German shepherds are known to be, so he gets quite antsy when the boyfriend comes by and takes her away for the evening.
Hercules follows me everywhere when I am home. If I go to my room, he follows and lays on his bed. Even if I run in there quickly just to grab something, he follows. I can hardly turn around without stepping on him. Herc is not allowed in the kitchen. If he thinks I’m leaving the kitchen too quickly and that he might get left behind, he takes the shortcut, which is on my heels, through the kitchen. Once I was leaving for work and went into the garage. I immediately came back into the house to retrieve something I needed and what did I find? Herc in the middle of the kitchen standing like a statue in mid-step. I think he thought I wouldn’t notice him if he stood still. It was hard not to laugh.
Herc has this morning ritual of sneezing on my bare legs no matter how much I dance around the room to get away. And the worst way to wake up is to the sound of a German shepherd puking next to your bed. That’s happened twice. That’s two times too many. He and I both hate daylight savings as it messes with our morning potty time.
When Herc hears me come home he whines until I get into the house. A very annoying feminine whine. I think it’s most annoying because he’s a strong masculine dog and his whine just doesn’t match his appearance. Maybe because he lives in a house full of women. I don’t know. All I know is I’m embarrassed for the neighbors to hear him when I pull into the garage.
One night 2-3 years ago, the girls and I were watching NFL football and talking about different players. All of a sudden, Herc went nuts and started barking. We calmed him down and went back to our conversation. He started barking again and jumped halfway onto the couch which he knows he’s not allowed to do. We calmed him down and after the third time we started to put two and two together. So we mentioned a certain player’s name and away he went, even more excited than the previous times, jumping on each of us and barking. We calmed him down and repeated other names once more. Nothing. He was fine. Weird. And still to this day, if we mention that certain player’s name, he barks and jumps around and gets all goofy. The player’s name? Tom Brady! It’s just too funny. We have no idea how this all came about but we sure have fun with it.
Herc is a wonderful companion. I’ve had many shepherds over the years and none have lived to old age. Herc is now my oldest shepherd as he will turn nine in about a month. I’m blessed to be his owner. He’s forgiving, grateful, and oh, so loving.
Thanks for joining me for coffee so I could introduce you to my Hercules.
Photos: 1-2, me and Herc/ Denae and Jazz on the day we picked them up; 3-5, baby Herc; 6, Herc anxious as he thinks my youngest is drowning in the pool below; 7, enjoying the sun; 8, sad eyes; 9, by my side, always; 10, keeping a watchful eye; 11, my beautiful boy; 12, Herc and me, 2018