1. voyager says

    Oh Jazzlet, they’re gorgeous dogs. Jake looks a bit younger than Thorn, but I’m not that familiar with shepherds. Are they both shepherds? Are they good friends? Who is alpha? We lost our 13 year old chocolate lab named Lucy last year and Jack didn’t know what to do for months because Lucy always told him what to do. Your photos remind me how nice it was to have two dogs. I also would like to steal Jake, although Thorn does have a big, beautiful rubber nose.

  2. jazzlet says

    Jake at nearly eight is indeed younger than Thorn at nearly ten and as far as I know they are shepherds, but as both are rescues I don’t have papers.

    Thorn was kept in a shed for the first maybe five months of her life and was frightened of everything even grass when we first got her. I used to take her for walks and people wouldn’t realise I had a dog with me at all as she’d hide in a bush at first sight or sound of another human. She has come a long way though and now has a few friends she insists give her strokes along with a very select few (four including us) who she demands cuddles from. She is very fond of having her nose scritched. She only barks at people she likes!

    If you are thinking of kidnapping Jake you need to know that his previous owners taught him not to growl at all and to hate most people stroking him, so if you try he’ll likely air snap at you! Unlike Thorn Jake does make friends quite quickly as long as you follow his rules, NO touching until he asks and then start under his chin or best of all his chest so he can stop you if he wants to (he doesn’t snap at that point, just moves away), and throw balls or sticks non-stop or play ‘get ball’ with your feet against his mouth and paws. He has learnt to grumble now so people may get a warning to stop doing whatever it is he doesnt like, but I wouldn’t count on it. He doesn’t try to hurt with his air snaps, but as you can imagine sometimes he has caught people’s hands and grazed them.

    They do get on well, as is common with dogs and bitches Thorn is of course in charge. When we first got Jake Thorn had never played with another dog (our old one wasn’t interested in play only food -- spaniel), he would lay on his back and encourage her to ‘attack’ him. He did so well they now ‘box’ with lots of rah-ing and teeth displayed, but no hurting and only until Thorn gets bored. Jake is trying to teach Thorn about ‘swapping’, but so far failed, he gives her a toy to play with, she keeps it, he gives her another one, she keeps that, and so on until she has a small pile of toys and there are none for him, at which point he grumbles at her, but doesn’t dare try to retrieve one.

    Neither of them are used to children and regard them with deep suspicion, though not hostility in either case.

    They are wonderful dogs for us, we don’t have a lot of people in and out, we are quite prepared to control who has access to them to those who follow the rules so the dogs have as stress free lives as possible and in return they reward us with all sorts of fun and affection. Oh and mud, lots of mud, those coats can bring in pounds of the stuff.

    Poor Jack, we got away quite lightly when our spaniel died as she had not interacted much with Thorn in the first place, when she did it was mostly to con her off the sofa so she could pinch Thorn’s place or to shove Thorn aside when cuddles were on offer. From Thorn’ point of view her absence was a bonus.

  3. Nightjar says

    Two beautiful dogs! Thorn looks like she is really enjoying herself in that 1st pic.

  4. rq says

    Such beauties! I do not envy the care of the long coats, but at the same time, it’s probably not hard devoting time, attention and cuddles to these two. Just look at those faces.

  5. says

    I had a big black shepherdoid named Jake, too. Unfortunately, he’s a ghost, now.

    Your dogs are gorgeous. I miss hugging dogs and if you’d be so kind, please give them a hug for me.

  6. jazzlet says

    Nightjar they are good lookers aren’t they? Thorn was very relaxed, we were at a holiday cottage in a very quiet Welsh village slightly elevated so she could see and hear anything coming in plenty of time to assess it for possible danger. When she was young we spent a lot of time just asking her to ‘look at that’ from a safe disance (judged by her reaction) and it has paid off, she feels safe enough to look at most things if she knows that they can’t get close to her. She loves posing on the grass watching the world go by, especially if it doesn’t include any people she doesn’t know.

    rq those coats are not as bad as they look care-wise, Thorn’s rarely needs any care at all. Most of Jake’s coat is pretty good too, but we do have to keep him trimmed between the back legs or he develops dreadlocks, poor boy. The biggest problem is that the coats can look and feel clean, epsecially Jake’s, and still be concealing a truly extraordinary amount of mud. The dust in our house changes colour in winter because all that mud quietly wafts off on to everything, which I only know as I noticed what looked like smoke coming off Jake one day when Mr Jazz was stroking him in a shaft of sunlight. One of their nicknames is mudsmugglers! They aren’t breed standard coats of course, as working dogs they should have coast that don’t need care, but who cares when they let you cuddle them?

    Marcus the short life span is the worst thing about dogs, but they do stay in your heart and your memory, especially your sense memory. Hugs passed on, and received as only her due by Thorn, and rolling on his back with his tongue lolling out by Jake, no dignity that one.

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