Today, my baby-dog Magic celebrates his 9th birthday! I can’t believe the puppy I fell in love with now has a gray muzzle, and am so very grateful he remains the funny, energetic, loving bundle of furry delight. He doesn’t act like an aging dog at all.
We had been without a dog for about 8 years before we got him. After I lost my heart-dog, another wonderful GSD who inspired me to become a pet writer, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to adopt again. Part of that was my travel schedule at the time, and then Seren-Kitty came along. There came a point that the hole in our lives could only be filled with another GSD.
We were incredibly fortunate to find a fantastic breeder (Fernheim Kennels) in our neck of the woods, so close that we got to visit the Mom-Dog before Magic was even a gleam in Greta’s eyes. After being on the waiting list for two years, the “M” litter was born. We got unprecedented visiting and photo ops during his early weeks of life. Here’s little “orange collar” at 17 days old, our boy who became Magical-Dawg.
These days, I get to help Gillian with temperament tests when she has a new litter (her “Z” litter just went to new homes). I was told Magic temperament test indicated off the charts for Schutzhund potential.
Magic was night-and-day different than our first silver and black GSD in so many ways. Our first boy had hip dysplasia and such bad skin/allergy disease (atopy) we couldn’t have afforded to keep up with vet bills if I hadn’t then been working as a vet tech with a discount on services. Our first shepherd also was fearful of strangers, and a “soft” doggy eager to please and easy to train.
Magic’s breeder does all the tests, and then some, on the doggy parents. He came to us already knowing a “potty command” and crate trained.
He was never shy or “soft” by any means. He’s smart, but hard headed. A smart aleck. A challenge. Driven. Healthy, thank doG, with sound elbows, hips, eyes and skin. A canine athlete willing to throw himself into every game, to such an extent that torn dewclaws and sliced paws and other such accidents “dogged” his early years. Easy to train–he did “puppy pushups” (sit-down-sit-down) on TV at age 9 weeks–and went to HARVEY (play) rehearsals and hung out with the cast at about 5 months of age. We were grateful when he outgrew the 9-month-old delinquent phase. The fact he adored us–BOTH of us–and still does, made it possible to put up with his few challenges.
My husband didn’t grow up with pets, and our first shepherd wasn’t close to my husband at all. So I think he was surprised to fall so hard for Magic. It was a treat to watch the relationship develop between them. Today they’re still best friends.
Seren-Kitty was not amused. During our long dog absence, she’d come into our lives and been an “only” cat for seven years. I planned the introduction and set up gates and schedules and relocated litter boxes and food 6 months in advance, and then more step-by-step intros once Magic arrived. He weighed 11 pounds when he arrived–and Seren never tipped the scales at more than 7 pounds. So from the very beginning, Magic was taught that “Seren is the BOSS…don’t care if she started it, she is the BOSS!” I wrote a case study published in the IAABC Journal about the introduction process that also won writing awards. Even then, Magic inspired my work. And nine years later, he still knows to bow to Seren’s rule.
My first shepherd’s health issues inspired me to write about pet care and health issues. Magic’s joy and delight in everything inspired me to return to fiction-ing.
Magic has never met a ball or toy or Frisbee he didn’t love. He is all about the PLAY!
Does your dog find ways to make you laugh? Magic does, constantly!
Magic also has patiently helped me with photos and product reviews. Here he is in the Thundershirt which he’ll be the first to tell you, he does not need. He loves loud noises! (Maybe it’s the puppy-party and treats he gets with each thunder-boom that helps, hmnnnn).
Magic had to wait 7 years before he got to sniff cat butt up close and personal! I think Karma-Kat was the best gift he’s ever gotten and the pair of them are inseparable.
If you’ve read my fiction, you’ll recognize the character Shadow patterned after Magic as a youngster. I wrote the first book LOST AND FOUND using the name “Magic” and then changed it once the book was finished. Here’s Magic and Seren celebrating the arrival of my debut thriller (the old cover featured one of Magic’s doggy relatives…)
My boy does love his “treats” and especially people food. He’s cleaning up the last of the yogurt.
Writing fiction is addictive. When it includes pets, it’s joyful. Magic again inspired some of the scenes in our play STRAYS, THE MUSICAL–and helped us promote it by serving as a model. GOOD dog!
I took this picture (below) about an hour ago. There’s more white in his muzzle now, and he’s a wee bit calmer. But Magic will still play Frisbee-Fetch forever, if you let him, still loves games of hose-tag, adores his BFF Karma-Kat, can’t wait to play and hang out with me and my husband–
He’s the perfect dog. And I am so grateful, and hope that he has many more healthy years ahead. Today, we’re spending lots of playtime together, and (shhhh! lotsa treats!). We’uns got lots more stuff to do together!
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!