The Seichi Journals: Welcoming a New Family Member

Back in 2014, we adopted a retired seeing eye dog, Tajji, and I began a series of blog posts about our life with her. She departed over the Rainbow Bridge  last December at age 12 ½, rather old for a German Shepherd Dog. We now welcome Seichi (or, as she might be called, Seiji Esmeralda McBoing-Boing for her bouncy energy). Her shelter name was Sage, but for various reasons we added on to it, keeping the S and long A.

Here is her shelter beauty pose:

The way she came into our lives was this. While browsing through the German Shepherd Dog Rescue website, I saw a dog on the private party page that looked really good. Going on the supposition that perhaps the universe was presenting us with our new dog, we called his owner. It turned out (a) someone else was already seriously interested in the dog; (b) he had serious noise phobia issues. Having wrestled with Tajji’s dog reactivity, we had been hoping for a dog that we could take anywhere, but as it turned out, the other person adopted this dog. However, the owner notified us that a friend of hers who worked at an animal shelter said they had a female GSD that sounded lovely. So, although the shelter was 90 minutes away, we drove up to take a look. Sage/Seichi was more than we’d hoped for. Only 4 years old, loving and sweet, bouncy and eager to please. We said yes. They had to keep her another couple of days as she wasn’t spayed yet, but she soon came to her new home.

Here’s Sarah’s video of Seichi loading up to come home:

We’re now in the process of letting her settle and then for her and the cats to get a peek at one another through safe barriers. We’ll get a better sense of her previous training, if any, and what motivates her (so far, love trumps food, but that could change as she calms down). Seichi did beautifully on her first neighborhood walk. Although clearly excited, she stayed close to “her people,” glancing back (“checking in”) from time to time, and she didn’t freak out about anything – dogs, tree trimmers with noisy machinery, etc. So begin her adventures – stay tuned for more!



The Seichi Journals: Welcoming a New Family Member — 9 Comments

  1. That was amazing, her eagerness to get into a car and the box — it was as though these were her happy and safe spaces, and she knew them already. She doesn’t seem from this to be carrying baggage of insecurity and anxieties, as though she’s always been well treated. So how did she end up being a rescue dog?

    Lucky her! She’s back in a happy pack!

    • Our best guess right now is based on her being about 4, unspayed, unmicrochipped, had at least one litter of puppies, obviously purebred, untrained/unhousebroken -> backyard breeder or puppy mill bitch. Whether they dumped her on the street or she got loose and either got picked up by animal services or a person who then took her to the shelter, we don’t know. She wants so badly to please but has never been taught how. Someone may have yelled at her because if we raise our voices she cringes and offers submissive, placatory behaviors.

      • That’s all interesting. Thank you for the further information. I am looking forward to updates. Most of all though, it’s such good news that such a young dog with such a personality and obvious abilities has found the right home in which they can be channeled and developed to her full capacity. This will make her so happy!

    • Not in our house, except when we’re sitting on the floor and invite her to cuddle. So far she shows no signs of wanting to jump on furniture and doesn’t know what a dog bed is. But she is very happy spending the night in her crate (with a baby blanket and a chew stick), which makes potty training and cat/dog management easier.

      Until Tajji, we never let our dogs sleep with us, but Tajji had Other Ideas. Which makes sense, being that close to her blind person, being a seeing eye dog. We won’t encourage Seichi, but will negotiate if it seems important to her emotional health.

      • Emotional health. That’s so important. One of my dogs needs to sleep on the bed with us. It really does seem to be an emotional need. They both like to be touching me on the couch. The one who sleeps with us has to be on top of me in some fashion. On my leg, ankle, foot . . . whatever he can.

  2. She really is beautiful.

    Wishing you all the best in helping her adapt to her new home and people. It probably won’t take her too long to learn the ropes—she looks like a smart and eager student.