We had a female German Shepherd named Kayla probably 20 years ago that we rescued from an animal shelter. Kayla and Riley have something in common. It’s very obvious that whoever had them before us did train them the basic obedience commands. Combine that with their wonderful personalities and it just makes no sense how anyone could have let these two dogs wind up in any kind of rescue care. I would like to take a few moments to remember Kayla and share her with you.

Kayla was small as GSD’s go, probably only about 45-50 lbs. This was a good thing because the three of us traveled around in an 18 wheeler and we all shared the same 3/4 size bunk. Our truck was not built to house two adults and a dog, but we made do. Kayla was a very pretty, dainty little girl. Her eyes were so pretty, it looked like she wore mascara and eye liner.

Kayla was not only a very pretty dog, she was funny and in a way very annoying. Now that I have learned what I have so far about GSD’s and dogs in general, Kayla’s behavior has become more understandable to me. I can now see that she was annoying only because I let her be annoying! Because I’m one to humanize my fur babies, I have just recently come to understand that Kayla was just being what she was supposed to be … a dog!

Far as Kayla was Concerned I DIDN’T BELONG

Kayla decided early in our relationship that she belonged to my husband and she just tolerated me. Now, if you’re a dog owner and particularly a German Shepherd owner you know that first statement is a bit off. It should read “Kayla decided early in our relationship that my husband belonged to her.”  I think that little girl would have walked on fire for him if he asked her to. She was never ever mean or vicious to me, and I can’t say that she was naughty or misbehaved with me – but I knew almost immediately that I was definitely second fiddle in her world.

If my husband and I wanted to sit next to one another on the couch (and heaven forbid grab a smooch!) Kayla would immediately jump up and park herself between us. No growling or any other nasty behavior, she was just suddenly and immediately there. She didn’t like it when he paid attention to me.

When we were home, Kayla always slept on the floor on my husband’s side of the bed. When she decided it was time to get up, she would quietly (like stealth mode) jump up on the bed, wedge herself between the two of us with her feet on my back and her back against my husband. Then she would stretch and push me out of the bed!

Of course these actions of hers never should have been tolerated, but 20 years ago, we didn’t know any better. If you can visualize it, it really was pretty cute!

One day Kayla really surprised the heck out of me. My husband took a run on his own one week and Kayla and I stayed home. She wasn’t to happy about this but we managed. I guess she figured I was “ok enough” since my husband wasn’t there for her to hang out with. :)


During that week, Kayla and I found our own little bond with one another. A male friend that we’d not seen for a very long time happened to drop by and surprise us. I of course, was very happy to see him and so as he came into the house we reached out to hug one another. Imagine my surprise when Kayla growled at him! She apparently didn’t like another man hugging me! This was probably my most favorite moment with Kayla. Considering that she didn’t seem to really like me at all, to learn that she would protect me if need be was surprising. More than that, it was a very special and heart-warming moment for me.

Kayla, if you were here with us today, I would apologize to you for not understanding you the way you deserved to be understood and I’d be a better Mom to you. Even though Dad was your favorite, I love you, too. Be happy at Rainbows Bridge. We miss you more than you’ll ever know.


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