Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Major Mitchell: my German shepherd turns 4

Today my German shepherd turns four years of age and I've told him that this milestone means that he's reached maturity and no longer needs the occasional outburst of delinquent behaviour.

Actually, I have very little to complain about. Most of the time he's consistently well mannered and behaved, a pleasure to live with, and a loyal companion. Add to that a keen intelligence and what more could you ask?

Health-wise, Major is a strong, well-built and very sound German shepherd. His only health problem is an allergic reaction to kikuya grass, and since the grass at both our Mitchell and Phillip Island homes is kikuya, this is a problem. The solution is a combination of medication and avoidance. The avoidance aspect is hard for Major as he loves to lie out on the grass and doesn't, of course, understand the link between grass and his itchy chest and feet.

Named after the Australian explorer Major Mitchell (and because he was born and bred in Mitchell, outback Queensland), Major is well named. He leads me along bush tracks and over rivers – and he loves to retrieve and carry huge pieces of timber.

Major's birthday party was shared with our neighbour Jade and her new puppy, Roxy.  It was a happy affair, with each of the dogs enjoying a piece of bun and Major getting quite excited when we lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday and cheered him!

I've always loved all of my dogs, and I've been privileged to have had many; however, Major is one of the very best!

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