If anyone is going home with a bruise, it's Verdae.
He truly is a special, one-of-a-kind dog. I'm not that biased. Others see it, too. There is something oddly human in his thought processes and facial expressions. Kind of creepy sometimes, actually. Like, he knows things that a dog shouldn't. He is not easily fooled and has no problem calling you out on a lie.
He really is the weirdest dog I have ever met. When people ask what he is I usually reply, "German Shepherd and something annoying."
He has a totally pure soul. Wears his heart on his sleeve. No ability to lie whatsoever. He is a very in-the-moment dog. He has a desperate need to not be "wrong" and does best when he knows, 100%, what is expected of him. I have spent the last 3 months convincing him that the sky is not falling. I think he is starting to believe me.
He loves to learn. Loves it. Figuring things out is a passion of his. Doesn't matter what it is or who it's for. He will quite willingly work for anyone. He just wants to do right. I remember the first day he offered me a behavior like it was yesterday. A little wave. One little paw thrust up in the air, with no prompting. He was so proud of himself for trying. So was I.
All that thinking also lends itself to feelings self-importance and independence. It's sometimes hard to convince him that he's not right. Verdae firmly believes that his hiking trail is the way back to the car, that his internal clock is right and, damn it, dinner should be at 2:30.
Verdae is a good barometer for me. If you are unsure of your mood or motives, look at Verdae. You'll know. I think he was sent here to teach me patience. I don't know how successful he has been, but we keep working on it. He makes me think in-the-moment, too. It's just about right now and having the most fun with what you have. He keeps my priorities straight.
He has taught me a great deal. I am grateful for his lessons and his company. Love you, Verdae!