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Freyja's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-03

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I've been posting on this site for a couple of months now.  I thought it was finally time I introduced the goddess, Freyja, to all on the site.

In the summer of 2008 my wife informed me that we were going to dogsit my son's 4 month old pitbull puppy for a month while he went to Florida. I was beside myself. I didn't know my son had a puppy and I sure didn't want to watch it. I had just lost my job due to the economy and my vision loss had reached the point of legal blindness. Since I was home I knew I was going to get stuck as the dogsitter. I really didn't want  to do this.

Five years earlier our previous dog,  Moon (after Warren Moon of the Oilers), a collie mix pound puppy, had died in a tragic accident after 12 years with us. For months I would leave the house to walk to work and look on the front porch for him but no Moon. The children, now teenagers, had wanted another dog but I wasn't ready for the emotional attachment. I still get sad when I walk past his grave in the corner of our property.

So against my wishes my son brought Mary Jane over for us to keep. And sure enough I ended up watching her during the day. But I found it wasn't all that bad. I would put her out during the day but soon found myself bringing her in more and more. By the time the month was up and Wayne returned to get his dog I had become kind of attached to her. My wife and I began talking that it might be time for us to get another dog.

Then the big battle began, what kind of dog to get. My wife wanted a mini dachshund, I wanted a doberman. As a teenager my dad had brought home a doberman and Brutus and I became close. We played, wrestled, I even trained him to do a few tricks. His speed always amazed me, he was so much faster than the collies we had. I lived with Brutus for 5 years before going to college and I knew if we got a dog it was a doberman that I wanted.

But how to convince my wife? I really don't like "runt dogs" as I call them, but she had her heart set on a mini dachshund. She didn't want a big dog.  I was really afraid that I would hurt a small dog by accidently tripping over or stepping on it because I wouldn't see a dog less than 10 inches tall. Karen realized that since I was the one now home all the time that I would be the one taking care of it. I began looking at dobies on the internet and when she saw my sincere interest in them she gave in. The search for a dobie ensued.

Looking at online ads I found an ad for doberman puppies about 60 miles from our home. I called and they were down to 2 males. My heart was broken, I really wanted a female. Females tend to be smaller, a plus for Karen, and I've always heard they tend to bond better with men (don't know how true that is). I wasn't looking for a dog to breed, I just simply wanted a female. The breeder told me that their other female had just had a litter, but they were less than 2 weeks old. We decided to go take a look, knowing we could come home with a male if he was so adorable we couldn't wait. Plus it gave us a chance to scope out the conditions in which they kept their dogs.

When we arrived the next to last male was being sold, so there was only one left and he was a cute black and rust, which I prefer since Brutus was black and rust. But in the 2 week old litter there were several black and rust females, one of which Karen took a liking to. We decided to wait on a female and set an appointment for 2 weeks later to pick out our new puppy.

In the meantime I began working on a name. Since the Magnum P.I. dobies were named Zeus and Apollo and I was teaching a western civilization class at the local community college I wanted to stay with the Greek god(dess) theme. Hera was my choice. But when I told my 16 year old daughter Rachel about Hera she had a fit, she didn't like the name.  So I started over.  Finally I came up with Freyja, the Germanic/Nordic goddess of sensuality. Rachel agreed, although not enthusiastically, to Freyja.

When we went to pick our new puppy out Karen again found the one she was taken with 2 weeks earlier. She held it and we asked if she wanted to be Freyja. Rachel had found a more aggressive female that she liked, but knowing a little bit about the nature of dobies, I thought we'd be better off with one a bit calmer. Finally we decided on Karen's puppy and Freyja was marked for us. I told them her name and asked them to call her Freyja. We arranged to pick her up in another 3 weeks.

Those were a long 3 weeks, but finally the day arrived and we brought Freyja home. She was so little she couldn't step from the garage into the house. Her bowls dwarfed her. How could this little puppy grow into a big doberman pinscher? Believe me, it didn't take long.

A couple of days later Freyja and I began short walks around the neighborhood for introductions. Because some have the wrong conception of the breed as mean and vicious,  I wanted to make sure all the neighbors met Freyja and knew who she was. No one could possibly think a puppy this adorable was mean or vicious. We started our walks and quickly they became longer and longer. Our walks still remain a part of our lives, and everyone along our 3 mile route knows Freyja.

We began training at about 3 months old. We started with sit, then down, stay and (play) dead. I wanted to train her without using food but found she responded very well to treats. I considered training her for obedience trials but after attending a trial I didn't feel it was for me. I want Freyja trained for real life situations, not to parade around in a ring. But at times I still consider taking her to earn her CD title, she knows all the elements very well and yes we use them in everyday situations.

Freyja has truly become a member of the family. Since we take our camper on nearly all our overnight trips Freyja is always with us. At six months old we took her to the beach. There we found out Freyja is a "chick magnet". Everywhere we went ladies from 16 to 60 kept coming up to us wanting to pet her, telling us how beautiful she is. Hardly any men spoke to us. By the end of the beach trip I was ready to rent Freyja to men needing to get conversations started with the fairer gender. Freyja has only spent 3 nights away from me in the last 15 months; when whe had her ears cropped, when Karen brought her home a day early from a radio competition, and when she was "fixed". Whenever I'm not with her I miss her dearly.

After I got Freyja people began asking me if she was going to be my "seeing eye dog". I had actually never thought of that. I began calling guide dog schools to see if they could train her. Each school said I could apply for a dog but they would not take Freyja and train her for me. I even had one school that wanted me to donate her to them, but would not train her for ME. That one I didn't understand. I really don't want another dog, I love Freyja. The more I work with Freyja the more I learn, and while I know I'll never be able to train her to be a full guide dog, there are many things I can teach her to help me. On our walks, which have no sidewalks, she gets me off the road when a car approaches. I am now working with her to stop at curbs, since I have difficulty recognizing curbs when I come to them. She's doing well so far.

But I don't want Freyja and I to be all work. I want us to learn to play flyball. We've been working on retrieving the ball and going over jumps. Freyja also loves to catch a frisbee, she's the first dog I've ever had who would catch one.  We have had a lot of fun in the front yard chasing balls, toys and frisbees while the neighbors watch us play together.

Freyja is on the small side of normal for dobies, 24 inches at the withers and about 60 pounds at 17 months old.  This is great for us since Karen didn't want a big dog. She has the most beautiful face I have ever seen on a dobie. I constantly get comments on how beautiful she is, with some saying that she "looks like one of those show dogs on TV". Tonight Rachel made a comment about how white her teeth are, and they do look intimidating. To me, Freyja does her goddess namesake proud.

But perhaps Freyja's most important aspect is how loving she is. I have never had a dog as loving. During our dog breed debate Karen said she wanted a lap dog and she sure has one with Freyja. Over the past 15 months I have gotten used to dog kisses. Most every morning I wake up to her in the bed, snuggled up against me, having taken over Karen's spot. And with all this loving I have no doubt that Freyja would protect Rachel, Karen and I from any and all evildoers. No she's not perfect, but I'm told that I'm not either (I'm still not convinced). I really do love this animal, more than any dog I've ever had, and I know that she loves me.

swiftK9s's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-17

This was such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing it with us. She is a beautiful girl and I wish you many many happy, healthy years together.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Wow!! What an incredible and inspirational story.. She IS gorgeous, and the love in her eyes is apparant. Lucky you and lucky Freyja!!
Have been following your posts re: this amazing girl and I'm so glad you told us how it all came about. You are a great wordsmith and a wonderful DoberDad!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Your experience with Freyja sound similar to mine with Windy. Only my experience with Dobies as a teenager was nowhere as positive as yours. The only Dobies I ever came in contact with seemed to be in the yard next to a house in which I was helping install Air Conditioning ductwork. I worked for 7 summers I worked for the same company earning money for school. It seemed that a lot of existing homes seemed to have a Dobie next door that was convinced that I was #1 on the enemy list and he was determined to eliminate me if only he could get over the fence.

Needless to say that as a result I was non too fond of Dobermans. Then I chanced upon a 4 month old female that was available, and tell the story here: [url=http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum]http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum] .  Within a few days she had me wrapped around her cat's paw front paw and knew it. She has been gone now for over 20 years, but I still think of her a lot, even though I have had more than 10 Dobermans since and currently have two wonderful ones. Windy is my avatar, and that photo is a clip from one that was taken in my back yard sometime around 1984 when she was two.

There is no doubt in my mind that Freyja will protect you and your family, it is in their nature. I once saw a Dobie that had never growled at anyone previously growl and snarl at a visitor to a friends house. The visitor had a previous encounter with their teenage daughter (he was a groper and she had deftly avoided his attempt, but was wary of him) whose reaction set her off. He opted for discretion and left. I think I would have too if she was aiming that at me, for it is a rare individual who is willing to face down a barking, growling, snarling Doberman displaying all their dentition so you can count the pearlies.

Within a few minutes after he left, she was back to her friendly lovable self. My friend looked at me and said, if she never does another thing she has earned her keep for life, as he praised he for her reaction. The situational reaction of a Doberman is in fact unique. They seem to be able to read minds and know when to warn and when to lick.

Freyja is indeed a beauty and is a little smaller than Princess who is currently about 70 pounds. BTW - she has recently decided she wants to be lap dog. At that point I sometimes wish she was a little smaller.

Freyja's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-03

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We had a similar situation as the one you describe happen with Brutus.  My cousin had brought a man over to our house that we knew as "Stinky Tim".  It was the first time Stinky Tim had ever been to our house.  When I came into the room Brutus had Stinky Tim cornered, growling and showing him the business end of his pearly whites.  When I got to Brutus and told him it was ok Stinky Tim was shaking.  Needless to say Stinky Tim never came back to our house again.  It wasn't long after that that Stinky Tim was in trouble with the law, I'm convinced that Brutus could sense that he was no good.  I can never remember Brutus acting that way around anyone else.

One day my daughter Rachel was play fighting with me, punching me in the arms like a teenage daughter will do to her dad.  Next thing I knew Freyja was between us.  She didn't bark or growl but it was clear that she didn't like Rachel hitting me.  Had it not been a family member I think Freyja would have been much more aggressive in her protection.

The local guys I talk with on my radio call Freyja my security system when they hear her barking in the background.  The other day I had a telemarketer call wanting to install a security system in my home if I'd put a sign in my yard (why I don't know, I live at the end of a dead end street).  I told him I had a security system he couldn't match, her name was Freyja and she was a doberman pinscher.  He politely told me to have a good day and hung up.

While Freyja is truly a gentle doberman I did put up a "Beware of the Dog" sign. Should an evildoer come to my property and Freyja defend her home I don't want that evildoer sueing me.  Plus I figure the "Beware of the Dog" sign and the sound of Freyja barking will probably be enough to scare off most people thinking of doing us harm without any further incident.

Of course any protection provided by Freyja is secondary.  She is my buddy girl.  I really can't believe how attached I've become to her.  If we are this close after 15 months together how close will we be after 3, 4, or 5 years?

indermohan's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-19

Hi!
It's beautiful story. And i must say that your Freyja reminded me my old dog. Her name was Rubby, I guess 28 years back, when i was a school going kid. I think females are very calm comparatively to male pups. Wish you enjoy happy  :) years and years with her!!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Reading the story of the Freyja getting between you and your daughter when you were playing, reminds of one related to one of Windy's puppies. I had sold a black (all of Windy's puppies were black even though Hans was red. She was apparently a dominant black.) female to a friend of mine. He and his wife had two boys, the older at the time was about 14 and the younger one was 9 or 10. They named her Erika and she attached herself to the youngest. He was a bit of a hellion, and before they could discipline him, they had to put Erika up, because if they started chewing him out and she was loose, she would suddenly be between the boy and the parents.

I had gone over there on day earlier with Windy and Hans. They had a miniature Dachshund named Baron. We were outside and suddenly noticed the dogs were nowhere in sight. So we started calling them, and suddenly around the bend of the road came Windy in full mature Doberman gallop. Truly a pleasant sight. Behind her trying to keep up was 5 mo old Hans, but slowly loosing ground. A few minutes later around the bend came Baron, his little short legs just churning, but not getting anywhere very quickly. The Dobies had laid down and stopped panting by the time an exhausted Baron got there. My friend and I were laughing so hard, I thought we were going to fall down. That may have been the day they decided that someday they wanted a Dobie.

SnoopyDobe's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-01

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I have two boys.  the oldest is 7 and the youngest is 3.  Anyways one day the kids were jumping on the beds in thier bedroom ans Snoopy was with them just hanging out.  My oldest was trying to bounce my youngest off of the bed when I heard a loud crash.  My oldest had fell between the bed and the wall.  My boys know that they should not be jumping on the bed in the first place, but isnt jumping on the bed something that every kid does even after they hurt themselves.  Anyways I heard the crash ran upstairs only to find two boys just anticipating being in trouble staring at the doorway.  Snoopy was right on the side of the bed there watching the chaos unravel.  I raised my voice and Snoopy went into protect mode.  he did not growl at me or anything, but he did move between the boys and I and just looked up at me like he was asking me not to move closer to the boys, or that if I was going to that I would have to go through him first.  At that point I knew that he has the Mentality needed to protect my family from any evildoers.   Kind of made me proud, and I never had to teach him to do so...  Those boys are his best friends and it is apparent.

Freyja is very beautiful, and thank you for sharing.

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Joined: 2010-04-12

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What a wonderful story...Kratos is my very first doberman however I've always known that I wanted a doberman more then anything in the world.  Now that we have him we couldn't any more happier.  We're still working on training and it is a bit frustrating at times because boy does his name fit him.  Kratos is an ancient Greek word for strength and power.  He's only eight weeks old and already he's practically pulling me on our walks, of course, I'm teaching him how to walk on the lead, but even then sometimes he sees something he likes and pulls me after it.  Even with the frustrations of training he's such a wonderful pup.  I can see that Freyja's name suits her well she's a truly gorgeous dobie and definitely true to the breed...