Part 1 Being sort of new to PA, about a month after I had to put my old friend down, (very large Retriever mix who lived to be 13, most excellent Nationally Certified Therapy Dog, overcome by cancer) BOSSCO...I wanted another personal dog. Everyone I knew, at the time, had gotten their dog (s) from Jacks. So, I took a trip over to see what they had available. The Saturday we were there, was hot, but the place had no odors, all pens containing puppies had full clean water containers, the puppies were lively, and there were large industrial fans set up everywhere to create a good air flow, it was comfortable in the building. All bedding appeared to be clean, and two guys were walking about checking and spot cleaning during the 2 plus hours we were there. Still, I did get a niggling feeling that with the sheer number of diverse breeds being offered, Jacks might be dealing with outside Puppy Mills. In retrospect, I'm sure of it and that makes me sad.
I did end up purchasing, what I was told, was a second generation GSD/Husky crossbred bitch. I call her a Shepsky. Hannah was the last of her litter, which, I was told was out of the second litter produced by the same dog and bitch. When I asked Jack how large he thought she would be, he said about 17 to 18 inches at the shoulder. He nailed that right on the mark. Hannah is 18 inches. When I asked about her parents he said they lived out on a farm and were named “Sally and Duke” which, as he quickly said the names as if pulling them out of a hat, kind of felt like a red flag to me….but…I was already falling in love, and this was the first non-rescued dog I had ever purchased. All of my prior seven dogs were either rescues or from friends who had or knew someone with an accidental breeding.
Hannah did come with a UTI, from being in sawdust bedding, but other than that her health was excellent. Since I switched both of our dogs and all four cats over to a Species Appropriate Raw Diet, about five years ago, her health (and that of our other animals) has improved even more.
As a very intelligent and rather lively dog, I realized pretty fast that Hannah needed a job. Although I had two prior certified therapy dogs, I didn’t see the sometimes mercenary Hannah as excelling to the max at that task. When the opportunity came along to train her for Search and Rescue, I thought THAT might suit her temperament much better. As one of the nosiest dogs I’ve ever known, she took to S&R like a duck to water. Hannah LOVES “playing” FIND IT and has found almost every person who she has been set to track including one trail that was 18 days old, that we ran in the dark. Not being a Bloodhound, Hannah should not be capable of running a trail that is that old. However, no one told HER that, so she simply did what she has been trained and loves to do.