Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

In remembrance of our lost friends
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centrop67
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Tell us about yourself: Accidentally adopting a Dutch Shepherd when I had no idea about the breed led me to research and act on all of his needs. This site was a key component to making things right for Radar, so when the original owner was calling it quits, I stepped in to keep the site running.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by centrop67 »

June 27, 2020 - RIP Radar

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I am not sure why it took me over a year to post this here. I honestly thought I had already posted it. I guess the grief I felt was more overwhelming than expected. It was a horrible day.

The Miami Dade Animal Services Shelter called him Goofy and listed him as a "Shepherd Mix." He had the face of an angel, and the shelter staff had written "Awesome Dog" and drew hearts all over the paperwork attached to his kennel. I had never heard of a Dutch Shepherd.

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To say I wasn't prepared for a Dutch Shepherd is a vast understatement. The first week with Radar was filled with highs and lows and a complete misunderstanding of owning a working dog. He was in one minute a totally affectionate loving creature and the next a holy terror.

Taking on the commitment to bring a new family member into my home is a serious proposition for me, and I wasn't about to give up. I really though the work I had put in to owning a Labrador retriever would help me through it. There were a lot of similarities, but a lab can be coaxed to peacefulness much easier than a Dutch Shepherd.

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The first month I had him, I did everything wrong. I tried alpha rolls and an e-collar. I thought twice daily walks would suffice for exercise, and I couldn't get him to play with me. I brought in a pet-level trainer who thought a squirt bottle was the key to an obedient dog. The look on her face when Radar stole the water bottle from her was priceless. I can tell you that she was the 2nd person who's life was positively impacted by this dog.

She was just getting started in training, and had a clear learn by mistake epiphany. She took her game to the next level and is now an accomplished behavioral specialist.

Obedience was a breeze for Radar - he actually lived for it and loved every one of our sessions. He picked up a command in just about 2-3 tries for everything, but when he wanted to be stubborn, there was no getting through to his thick skull. I started calling him boo-head - as in he had a boo-boo on his brain.

One of the biggest concerns I had was his reactivity. He would blow up in the presence of other dogs, anything on wheels especially skateboards, and occasionally random people.

We worked for months on counter conditioning the dog reactivity and had minor breakthroughs, but he never got consistent on ignoring things. Eventually, I just let him be himself and kept him away from his triggers to the best of my ability.

I actually feel like that brought us closer.

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He still had a good life. I found that playing tug with him was better at calming him down than anything else. I enjoyed it as much as he did. He had a big plastic ball that he would chase and rollback to me. we did that 10+ times a day. He got to go out on the boat and hikes where he was able to swim like the fish he was meant to be and loved it always.

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I can't stress enough how much this website got me through the rough times, and it is the main reason I keep it up and running. So, you could say that if you're reading this, he impacted your life as well. Hopefully, in a positive way.

His soft side was amazing. Big long licks of the tongue to your face that I welcomed every time. He would snuggle between my wife and I most night in bed, but really get upset when I stopped petting him. If I rolled over to turn away from him, he would get up and lay at the foot of the bed.

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The COVID-19 virus lockdowns allowed me to work form home fulltime. I was thinking it would be a really great time to make my bond with Radar even stronger, but fate was not on our side. In early June 2020 I took him to the vet because he had a sore spot on his neck that caused him to lash out if touched and hold his head in a strange way. Diagnosis - soft tissue injury.

I have pics that show the issue more graphically, but here's one a little more tame...
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A couple of weeks later, he had a giant lump on his neck, so we took him back to the vet for the worst news possible - aggressive cancer intertwined into his spine. We took him home on pain meds to say goodbye and make final arrangements.

Like my memorial post to my lab (Tequila) and shepherd mix (Snickers) in another post I always take solace in the fact that when a dog leaves my life it leads me to a new adventure like Radar.

The same is true again, as Radar's passing has lead me to Mustang who although he has his own challenges, is an adventure I am happy to be on.

Rest in peace my old friend, and if ever there was a single true mythology, please let it be the concept of the rainbow bridge.

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Michael
Location - Cutler Bay, FL USA
Image RIP: Radar, Tequila, and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
ladyjubilee
Training Dog
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Sharing life with Bramble Dutch Shepherd mix (?) and Casper Whippet/Pit Bull (????) mix

Re: Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by ladyjubilee »

He was a great dog.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC
TimL_168
Working Dog
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am: a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. We added Endeavor in April 2016. She was not working out in HRD. I train for game recovery and general utility.
Location: central MD

Re: Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by TimL_168 »

Man... Why you gotta make me tear up first thing on a Friday😟
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor
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centrop67
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Posts: 3333
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm
Tell us about yourself: Accidentally adopting a Dutch Shepherd when I had no idea about the breed led me to research and act on all of his needs. This site was a key component to making things right for Radar, so when the original owner was calling it quits, I stepped in to keep the site running.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by centrop67 »

TimL_168 wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:40 am Why you gotta make me tear up first thing on a Friday
I needed to celebrate his life. It had been a year, and I was felling pretty down myself.

It took me a while to get thru my own tears to write it.
Michael
Location - Cutler Bay, FL USA
Image RIP: Radar, Tequila, and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
DutchLuna
Just Whelped
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2021 2:57 am
Tell us about yourself: Just adopted a 2 year old female DS, love the breed! Love the energy and drive!

Re: Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by DutchLuna »

Beautiful tribute, sounds like he was such a good friend. They never live long enough. Full consensus on the Rainbow Bridge 🌈. Thanks for sharing, and Mustang is a lucky dog!
User avatar
centrop67
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3333
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm
Tell us about yourself: Accidentally adopting a Dutch Shepherd when I had no idea about the breed led me to research and act on all of his needs. This site was a key component to making things right for Radar, so when the original owner was calling it quits, I stepped in to keep the site running.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: Radar ~1/1/2012 - 06/27/2020

Post by centrop67 »

Radar didn't do anything notably spectacular, but I know he was one of those one in a million special dogs. I almost feel guilty for not being able to let him reach his full potential. I am confident that my rescue saved his life. I am overly humbled by not allowing him to reach his potential but I know I did the best I could
Michael
Location - Cutler Bay, FL USA
Image RIP: Radar, Tequila, and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
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