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I'm new here, and thought I'd visually introduce my dogs!
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Rusty never leaves my side. He's rather anxious, but very good at reading human emotions. He's the only non-rescue, non-stray dog I've ever had, but he's not from a breeder either: he's an odd story. I was 11 years old, almost twelve, and the dog my parents had from before I was born had just passed away, and we were visiting some family in rural New Mexico- a little town called Las Cruces of orchards and farms along the Rio Grande. The dogs there had always been odd to my young self- hardy skinny dogs kept on chains or if they were young, running wild, except for one tan mutt who protectively guarded my aunt Josie's house without a chain that never strayed far. Rusty, then with a different name, and his brother were seven months and romping around, and I just loved Rusty. Sometimes that's just how it is- there's just a connection. My uncle noticed, and said I could take him- and no one in my family knew if he was joking until he hoisted him in the backseat of the minivan, and we 6 hours back to Phoenix on impulse with two other dogs at home- bad decision making skills, but it worked out fine! Here he is posing in a Christmas bow.
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I was told he's a GSD/lab mix, but I have my doubts. He definitely looks and acts like a GSD, but is quite a bit smaller than both breeds (in good shape 55lbs.) and is liver, which is a recessive gene and uncommon in GSDs. Anyway, most of the dogs there aren't conformation bred, so breed is tricky.
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His brother was also liver, with pricked ears and the same mask/saddle pattern but on a very light tan, nearly white base. Above is him at seven months in front of my Uncle's house before bringing him home.
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The little one is Romeo. He's currently around 14 years old was adopted before Rusty, some eight-ish years ago, when my younger sister wanted a tiny lap dog (not really my type of dog, but I love him!). My best guess is that he's a Chihuahua/dachshund, or "chiweenie". Before Romeo, we'd found a toy poodle in our garage and rehomed him quickly- he had protective aggression issues and myself and siblings were small children, but my family didn't give up on the little dogs and headed to the shelter.
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We asked the volunteers for the cuddliest little dog there rather than the cutest and fluffiest, and got Romeo, the favorite of the volunteer that was helping us. He'd been to the shelter, adopted, then ended up in the county high kill shelter, whose tags lead him back to that no-kill who was able to take him in. He's not the brightest, or very playful, but man does he love to be held and hugged and pet. He's very mellow in his old age and I'd like to try training him more, as he knows very little compared to my others.
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The newest addition to my family of coincidentally all brown dogs is Bonnie, 7 year old maybe staffy, maybe ABPT, maybe boxer mix. You can guess! My Mom and I both volunteer at our more local animal control, and had been thinking of another dog- both of my siblings wanted a dog to be more theirs than mine, due to Rusty's one-personness, and we thought Rusty could use a companion that would play and roughhouse with him. Showing my Dad my favorite dogs at the shelter I volunteered at only made him scowl, so we started looking into the larger shelter that had more options (My dad didn't want a pit bull or pit bull-ish looking dog, at first...of course, until he met Bonnie.) Again, we did the best thing by asking the volunteers for recommendations, and all said the same dog: Bonnie!
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She was their dog they used for testing new dogs for dog aggression, because she is patient and has great social skills. Because Rusty is picky about what dogs he likes, she'd be one of the few that would match his personality. She'd been there for five months, and was deteriorating in her kennel but very friendly outside of it. I'm not sure why she was surrendered, but she was definitely well loved and well trained, so what a tragedy it must have been for someone to have to give her up, or to pass away and leave her behind.
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Bonnie is happy-go-lucky, loves to play ball, and the best-behaved dog I've ever had. I can take her anywhere and she'll remain focused on me, but loves to say hello to new people if allowed. She's strong and athletic for her age and I'm thinking of doing dog sports with her.
 
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