Thursday, November 19, 2009


In the world of human psychology there is a condition known as paranoid personality disorder. Without going into a long description here of this disease, at its most basic it is a person who is suspicious of most everyone and everything. They don’t trust most people and question everyone’s motives.

In today’s world of political unrest and economic hardships no where in modern history has people felt more compromised in their personal and business life than in these times that we are living. Not too many people have job security anymore and many others are wondering how they’re going to meet their financial obligations or put food on the table for their families. This is a worried, cautious, and anxious society that we all live in.

I have friends call me or send me long e-mails about their concerns with the world that we live in. Some are almost rebellious in their attitudes about what is going on with this planet that we all share. I get religious based e-mails, political e-mails and then yes, sometimes just plain paranoia based e-mails.

I have some friends who have upped their security in their homes. One guy that I know who has a lot of top of the line computers and a state of the art musical studio in his home has bought a shot gun, installed an alarm system and has security cameras all around his property. His thought is that in these hard times with people losing their jobs and homes, that “desperate people do desperate things!” Does he have a paranoid personality? No, it’s “just that the times they are a changing” and he’d rather “err on the side of caution” then not be prepared. He’s not alone in his thinking.

So thinking about all of this, I came up with the idea that perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to think like a German Shepherd dog would think! No, I’m serious. We all love this breed for their intelligence. The standard says that the ideal German Shepherd does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. To be a friend with a German Shepherd that you don’t own, you must prove to him that you are worthy of his friendship. He’s not just going to accept it with out proof of it! Smart dog!

Many years ago someone said to me, “Barbara you’ve got all these German Shepherds. Don’t leave them all in the kennel. Always keep at least two of them in the house with you at all times!” He was absolutely right.

One day I was getting ready to meet with another breeder friend of mine to take our dogs for exercise at this huge reservation that we used to go to. I was loading the van with my dog’s crate and a car with two men pulled into my driveway. I had the garage door open. The male dog I was taking with me was in the kitchen. One man got out of the car and walked toward me telling me that they were helping someone move in down the street and that the telephone wasn’t turned on in the house yet. (Cell phones were not available at this time). So he asked me if he could come in the house to use my phone. I told him no he couldn’t, but if he gave me the telephone number that I would be happy to make the call for him. He started to follow me into the garage. I told him not to follow me that I had a dog in the house. He didn’t pay attention to me and continued to follow me. I reached the door that led into the house just in time as the man was close behind me. I quickly opened it and a huge German Shepherd stood guard in the doorway. The man backed away and said, “Oh I see you do have a dog in the house. That’s alright; we’ll go down the street to someone else.” With that he quickly got back into his car and disappeared. Very suspicious, don’t you think?

My friend Lorraine Cohen who owns Select Ch Cathlin Azeri of Hallmark ( Annie) told me a story one time. She was home alone at night and she heard a ruckus in her backyard. Annie was barking and anxious to go outside. She opened the door and saw a man climbing over her fence coming into her yard. Well Annie flew out the door and charged at the man. She said she never seen someone scramble over a fence so fast in her life.

Marilyn Smith told me that her Select Ch Jim who was her house dog and guardian thought he had the need to stop a worker in her house one time. She was doing a major renovation in her home. Workers were coming in and out all day. All the work was being done on the main floor. One worker came in and decided he was going to go upstairs. Well that was before Jim changed his mind for him. The man started up the stairs. Jim got up and before the man knew what hit him, Jim had him by the arm. He didn’t bite him…….he stopped him. The man couldn’t move with Jim locked on his sleeve. He was warning the man…….your business is downstairs!

A few summers ago, I took my then 10 month old puppy for a ride with me to the local store. This is my “doggie” bi-colored bitch. Now with a huge black head and big bone, most people think she’s a male. And most people seeing that it’s a German Shepherd would be very cautious with their approach. You would think!! So I pull into the parking lot close to the entrance. The windows are down enough to allow my dog plenty of air. I was only going to go in the store for a soda. As I’m putting my keys in my purse, a man comes from nowhere and starts to stick his hands in the back window urging my dog to come to him so he can pat her. My dog is dumbfounded at this man’s totally uninvited approach. Well she went from one side of the car and started at him with a menacing bark. I told him not to try to touch my dog. Did this stop him? No, he laughed and tried to pat the dog again. She would have no part of it and was ready to “rock and roll” with this fool! Finally I decided that the soda wasn’t that important to me and I backed the car out of the driveway and went down the road shaking my head at how stupid some people can be. This happened another time with this same bitch in the car with me. A man tried to reach in the back seat and said “Oh I had a dog who looked just like yours!” He too was greeted with a “Get your hands out of my face” warning bark! I mean I would never try to touch even a little lap dog no less someone’s German Shepherd dog! What do some people use for common sense anyway?

It is a known fact that most crimes against women and one’s home happens during the day when their husbands are working. Putting advertisements in the newspapers for things that you have for sale would seem the "normal" approach to try to sell them. Many people have turned to Craig's list to advertise things for sale. You get the call from a stranger and you invite the stranger to your home to see the items that you have for sale. Many of us do this when we are looking to sell our pet puppies. One story I remember hearing about was when a woman put an ad in the paper to sell her wedding dress. She always had lunch with her mother but on this day she told her mother that someone was coming to look at the dress. She told her she'd call her after the person left. Her mother waited and waited and no call from her daughter. She telephoned her and no answer. She became worried and decided to go to her daughter's house. After knocking several times and getting no response, she used the extra key that her daughter had given her. She called out to her daughter. She was greeted with silence. Investigating the rooms in the house, she finally found her daughter laying in the bathtub. She had been murdered!

So these are just some examples of situations we can find ourselves in with the “humans” of the species. And all those situations I just wrote about were under normal times. Living in these uncertain times, we can expect to see a lot more abnormal behavior when people are seeing their lives turned upside down.

I had someone say to me one time, “Well you can have your German Shepherd dog but if someone comes in your house with a gun, your dog won’t be of much use to you then.” So I told him that’s why I always keep more than one dog in the house at a time. If one of them doesn’t get you, the other one surely will!

Paranoia? I think not. It’s like the old saying goes, it’s “the survival of the strongest” and “only the strong survive” because you know what, sometimes it’s a jungle out there!

My rating: German Shepherd dog for protection: (4)

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