Meet Fritz & Anna!
First impressions aren’t always lasting. Just ask Carolyn the owner of German Shepherds Anna and Fritz.
When Carolyn’s family moved into a bigger home, they decided to get a dog, and began their search at a local shelter.
“When we visited Anna at the shelter, I was about nine,” Carolyn remembered. “And I was scared to death of big dogs. My mom and sister went into the outdoor “visiting” kennel that the trainer and Anna were in. They played with her a while, then my mom thought that it was okay to let me go in. I went in, holding my mom’s hand tightly. When Anna came up to me, and sniffed my fingers, I thought she might be alright. But then she jumped up on me, and scratched my face with her claws (I was really short). I started crying and ran out of the kennel with my sister. I looked back, and there was Anna, crouching and whimpering with her ears back. The trainer hadn’t even scolded her; Anna knew that she had done something wrong instantly. I went into the bathroom with my sister, and she helped clean my face. While I was wiping my face with wet paper towels, I knew that Anna was a very special dog. I convinced my mom afterward that I really did like Anna, and wanted to adopt her very much. A week or two later, we adopted her.”
The family shortened Anna’s original name of “Breanna” Anna, and adopted her on May 2nd, the date they observe her birthday. When she first arrived at home, Anna was “really energetic,” but soon calmed down. Anna is six or seven years old, and has a small hip joint problem. The family looked for a playmate for Anna, and found “O’Rion,” who they renamed “Fritz.” Fritz is four years old, and has no known health problems.
“We renamed him Fritz because it’s German, and it suits his energy level,” Carolyn said.
Born on Valentine’s Day, Fritz was neutered, and settled into the family well. He got used to Anna, and Carolyn’s siblings: older brothers, Jonathan and Stuart, and older sister, Rebecca. Anna is most attached to Carolyn and her mother, while Fritz is quite attached to her step-dad.
During the summer of 2006, Carolyn once again learned that sometimes things are not as they seem.
“One summer,” Carolyn said. “I think the summer of 2006, my brother, Stuart, was home for a visit. I was inside watching television, and I heard growling. My mom ran outside, and I went into my parents’ bedroom to look out the window. There in the yard, were Anna and Fritz, fighting. My mom had a stick in her hand, and was trying to make them stop. She yelled at me from outside to get my brother. I ran upstairs and told my brother what was happening, and he went outside to help.”
Though it looked as if Anna and Fritz were fighting, they were actually tangled together. While playing, Anna’s tooth had gotten stuck in one of the holes of Fritz’s chain collar. Anna was trying to get her tooth out, yanking the chain to free herself, unintentionally choking Fritz. Fritz bit Anna above the eye, and a fight ensued.
“There was Fritz on the back patio (my mom brought Anna into the bathroom to clean off the blood on her face), with his eyes bulging. It made me so sad,” Carolyn said. “I thanked God that they were alright, and we didn’t have to get rid of one of them. Since then, they haven’t had any major fights.”
Anna and Fritz spend their days sleeping, eating, and playing. Anna is partial to sleeping, while Fritz enjoys playing, and chasing dust in the sunlight. Fritz isn’t afraid of anything except vacuum cleaners, and Anna dislikes loud noises, especially thunder.
First impressions aren’t always lasting. And sometimes, they are. Carolyn’s initial reaction of fear to Anna quickly yielded to a loving, mutual acceptance between them.