on Herman Shepherd Mix-ups

We sure do miss old dog.


::  I miss my Frankie  :: (And Emjayandthem (C) Photo)

It’s just not the same around here without a fuzzy-faced greeting from an old pal.

Not the same at all.

I look for him when I come home at night, when there’s no nuzzle meeting me with a soft “Herrow.”

I think of him when I walk through the neighborhood, and my eyes always tear up at places he liked to stop.

I feel him near me when I clean leftovers out of the fridge, I swear I can hear him whispering, “Where are those meatballs going? Surely you wouldn’t toss those out? Wha?”

See, when you’ve enjoyed 13 years with the world’s greatest dog, well, you tend find yourself spoiled for any other.

You cringe at stories of dogs who eat furniture, obsess over the mailman or possess other odd behaviors.

He never did any of those things, he was just always … a gentleman.

And as much as Hubbs has shut down the boys comments about getting another pooch, it took me by surprise when he recently blurted out, “You know, when we get another dog, I think I might like a German Shepherd Mix.”

What was that?

Not if.

Not someday.


The truth is, I’m not ready.  And I know he’s not, either.

But you have to start somewhere.

And so, as we do with all important decisions, we’ll start by just talking about it. Without crying.

Someday … not sure when … I know we’ll have another dog.

Perhaps a Herman Shepherd Mix-Up* 🙂

*”Herman Shepherd Mix-Up” is in homage to our friend’s son, Trevor, who as a small boy referred to the family dog Jake, a Lab/German Shepherd mix, as a “Herman Shepherd Mix-up.”  Ha ha ha! Kids.

If you’ve also lived and loved with the “world’s greatest dog  pet,” how much time went by before you jumped back in?

Categories: Animals, Family, Grief, Growth, Life, Love | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “on Herman Shepherd Mix-ups

  1. I couldn’t stand the loneliness after Bubba the Wonder Dog died and Ozzie and Harry came into our lives within two weeks thereafter. Teddy came along eight years ago, and when O & H passed within a week of each other (they were brothers and I think Ozzie died of a broken heart, despite the tumors), Archie came home within a month. And now we have added Bogey – a trio of all sorts of mischief. I need dogs in my life and my family – and no new arrival has replaced the love I felt for the pups that came before. Each has brought his own unique delight and friendship and love and joy. When you are ready, I know you will feel similarly when you welcome your new pup..

    • That’s the thing, like you, I think when I do it again I might want two. Hubbs would stroke out. For a while anyways.

      The void he left is palpable…

      But I love what you wrote, “when you are ready, I know you will feel similarly when you welcome your new pup…” and yes, yes I will.


  2. Sending an extra hug today xxxxx
    Frankie was a special boy… glad the hubs is warming up to the idea of another fur child in your home 😉

    • Thank you, Sandi, I can feel it from here.
      Frankie is a hard act to follow and I don’t want a pup. There’s something dignified about an older dog. When the time comes, we’ve already decided we’ll go back to the Humane Society and find an older dog who needs a home.


  3. June

    I didn’t think I was ready for another cat after I had to send my Baby over the Rainbow Bridge but gettin another kitten a month later healed my broken heart!! A puppy will do that for you…

    • I hear you, June!

      The thing is, when we got Frankie, I worked at home and the boys were 6 and 14. So talk about lots of attention! That’s a good part of the reason why he was such a good dog – he got everything he wanted so he never had to develop ways to get our attention, he just had it.

      One day .. just not yet 🙂 MJ

  4. Touches my heart as I recall the pets of my youth.

  5. We lost our first dog after he’d been with us 13.5 years (I had grown up with him), and it was really hard on all of us. We finally decided to get another dog just over a year later and it was wonderful to have a furry, cuddly friend in the house again. We had him with us for about 11 years until last year when it was his time to go… I don’t have a dog now, but when my husband and I have a house (not an apartment) we definitely want to get a dog for our family 🙂 It’s tough when they’re no longer around; you keep expecting to see them or hear their paws or feel their cuddles… Sending you extra big hugs today

    • I know you know what this is like, and I’m sorry — but the beautiful times they give us balance the sadness when they leave us. Thanks for the hugs, MJ

  6. With all my saying I wasn’t ready, one always seemed to show up. One time it was sitting at our front gate starving to death and eating a piece of turtle shell. The next time, it showed up as a lost pup, sitting at the horse barn when I arrived one morning. They show up when it’s time… that has been my experience.


  7. Frankie does look like quite the gentleman reigning over the yard in your header. Not another one could substitute for our English cocker Leakey (pronounced La-key), then T-Bob, a Maine Coon cat needed a home and will have been with us 18 years in January outliving L by 5 years. I still choke up for L.

    • Doesn’t he look rather dignified? Think Dick Cavett 🙂

      I’m sorry about your Leakey; and you’re right, no one could ever take Frank’s place, either. Can’t believe T-Bob is going to be 18! MJ

  8. Don’t know about dogs but I do know a lot about cats. When I lost Noah, I decided to “grieve” and wait. I waited 5 months, then adopted 2 cats. I decided I wouldn’t do that again. I love to feel needed (and with cats, occasionally ignored). With multiple pets, when I lose one there is still commotion in the house and another seems comes along. Like someone else said, sometimes you need to make the move to go to the shelter (or wherever you would go) and sometimes they come to you through a friend or a back porch. Never had a bad cat — naughty on occasion maybe, but not destructive!

    • Oh, we will definitely go back to the shelter when it’s time – that’s where we found Mr. Bear. I have very good reason to believe we’ll find another fur-ever friend there. I love your insight, Kate 🙂 MJ

  9. Never. There could never be another Laddie.

  10. What a sweet boy! So glad you will eventually get another dog. This one made me cry!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • He was. The sweetest. The best. I miss him so.

      sorry to have made you cry, but as another animal lover, I know you cry tears of compassion.

      Bests to you in Ecuador,

  11. Heather

    We lost our Bailey the Wonder Dog after 13 great years…well, 11 of the years were great. The first he was a mess of a puppy who chewed up everything! The last year he was in decline and we knew it. After he was gone we waited 4 years before we got our new Bella. The truth of it is that I wasn’t ready…hubs and the kids asked all of the time, but Mama’s heart couldn’t handle it! You will know when the time is right. Hugs!

    • ha ha — “11 of the years were great,” So true.

      I know what you mean, Mama, our hearts have to be ready for it, too. When we got Frankie, I worked at home and the boys were quite little. Now, Hubbs works at home, I’m gone and the boys are out/busy … it’s a different world. We will find one that’s just right for us, I’m sure, but just being able to talk about it without bawling is a good step forward for us. Thanks for your kind words,

  12. I jumped sooner than I would have if it weren’t for my five year old. The boy needed a dog so we adopted Shelby from the local shelter, less than a year I think, after we tragically lost my “once in a lifetime dog”. Still miss that Elsie dog, though it’s not near as painful as it used to be.
    p.s. “Herman Shepherd Mix-Up” is so stinkin cute!

  13. It took us three years to be ready to bring home another dog. And that was really just me. Mark didn’t know he was ready until Lucy came home and he started to fall in love with her, reluctantly at first, but surely in love. I’m so glad to hear you are thinking about it. Your heart is starting to make room. And Frankie would want you to share you hearts with another.

    • You are right, Frankie would want us to share our hearts with another but just writing that/reading your words makes me tear up. I’m such a sap, and miss him so much.

      I can easily see how anyone could love your Lucy-pie! She’s such a silly/lovable pooch 🙂
      Thanks Terri

  14. For me, it was my sweet Beezy kitty. There’ll never be another like her. But we wanted another kitty in the house, so Sundae (from the Humane Society) adopted me. And then sweet little Gypsy happened to show up at the back door of our shop…..
    I don’t think I knew that my sister, June, follows your blog, until I saw her comment about her kitty, Baby.
    Have a good weekend, MJ. You’ll know when the time is right to welcome another dog into your life.

    • I remember when you got Miss Sundae 🙂 and then wee Gypsy picked MM as her fur-ever man … so lucky, those 2 kitties are.

      It’s neat that June is your sister and now follows me – oh what a sweet, sweet world we bloggers have together 🙂


  15. Losing a beloved pet is losing a family member. There is just something so special about out pets and their unconditional love. Right now, my sweet Gretel is stealing our hearts. Hugs.

    • Yes there sure is … just yesterday I rec’d an update from the Humane Society about $$ I donated in Frankie’s name. Watch for a future blog post on that 🙂 Please hug your sweet Gretel for me! I admit to having dog-hug-envy!

  16. We are dog-less now…after our last went, we just couldn’t add another…too much travel and just not practical. But I miss that presence in my life! Maybe one of these days we’ll have that grace again…the love of a good dog.

    My son sent this quote to me recently…have to share it with you: “It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” Anonymous

    You’ll know when you’re ready! ~ Sheila

    • aww … I love that quote, Sheila! And yes, we’ll know when the time’s right. Like you, I’m missing the grace of a good dog. 🙂 MJ

  17. jude

    I’m sorry to hear of Frankie’s passing Marilyn. I had to let go of Gracie recently also. For many reasons, I decided and vocalized that she would be my last dog. The universe heard me, considered my feelings and then sent me a kitten. Lol. Minou has golden eyes, as did Gracie. I’d never have gone out and got myself a cat. Turns out sometimes that’s not how it goes down. She showed up the weekend Gracie passed and has made me smile and laugh every day since.

    • Awww, I knew Gracie-girl was getting up there in years. What a sweetie-pie she was. Isn’t it funny how a little golden-eyed kitty turned up as Gracie made her exit? I think that’s just perfect.

      Frankie is missed every day,

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