Maribeth Wilder Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

Gratitude Month – Day 24 – They Call Me the Rolfster

on November 26, 2010

Rolf Augustus von Doerr

My husband and I are both dog lovers. For several years, we had the Homeward Bound crew with the old wise dog, the sassy cat, and the young whippersnapper dog.  In August 2009, we lost the last member of the crew, and we were petless for the first time in 19 years.  We had big plans for this time but none of them materialized, and we came to realize we’re meant to have animals around us; it’s a part of who we are.

I “put in an order” with our German shepherd who died 8 years ago, and asked her to send us a sweet shepherd who wasn’t high energy and who would be perfect for us.  Four months later, after being without a dog for eight months, Rolf came into our lives on May 2, 2010.  He was nearly 15 weeks, and while we had wanted a female, Steffi sent us a male sable colored GSD.  As most shepherd puppies are, he has been quite the handful.  Chaos has reigned and now at 10 months—with a bit of teenage angst going on—I can say the whole family has settled in.

In looking back over the last nearly seven months, I can see the positive changes Rolf has brought to us.  We brought him home on May 2 so we had a beautiful Spring and Summer in which to work on housebreaking.  This meant I spent a lot of time outside with him.  I had truly forgotten how much I enjoy being in nature.  I was able to breathe in the fresh air and get some exercise throwing balls around the backyard and running through the sprinkler with Rolf.  What a gift he gave me, even though it took a few months to realize it.

My work schedule was seriously interrupted.  I had the morning duty with Rolf and my husband had the afternoon.  This meant I had to really crank during my afternoon work time in order to get everything done.  Most of the time, I didn’t get it all done because I was too tired from my morning duty with Rolf.  However, I learned how much time I waste in mundane tasks.  I discovered things that were just busy work and weren’t really contributing to my business—and cut them out!  I’ve become more efficient in the time I have available for work.  YES!

I also feel safe again when no one is home with me.  Being somewhat hearing impaired, I often don’t hear the doorbell or even the door opening.  No one is going to get into my house without Rolf’s knowledge which means I’ll definitely know!

However, the biggest reason I’m grateful for this puppy (and he is a PITA quite often!) is that my husband has fallen head over heels for this boy.   Greg has been without a contract for three months, trying to put some things together and the stress is awful for him.  Having Rolf has made him happier than he’s been in a year.  He gets up early to walk him, and he’s worked hard on obedience training.  They’ve forged a wonderful relationship, and it’s great to see them romping around, forgetting about everything but being in the moment.

Thank you Rolf (aka the Rolfster) for bringing light and love (and yes, chaos) into our lives.


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