I selected my English shepherd, Max, from a breeder’s Facebook page. Pet selection has advanced from the days when a family would make a trip to the dog pound and take whatever was available at the time. That was not a bad way of picking a dog. My Dad and Mom used that method to select a beautiful rough collie for our family when I was four years old that would be my best friend for the next 11 years. The new method, made possible by Facebook and other social media sites, allows for a more personal touch.
Even before the final pups from Max’s litter made their entrance into the world, photos were made of the first moments of the dogs that were early arrivals. As they were born, each dog’s neck was fitted with a colored collar to assist potential puppy owners in identifying each dog. I didn’t need the collars, however. After pouring over all the photos that the breeders, Laura and Jeff, posted of the dogs, I learned to recognize Max by the white “socks” on his front legs. The left leg had a white marking that barely covered his paw; on the right leg white stretched almost to his knee.
Although I intended to purchase a black and tan shepherd, the tri-colored Max caught my attention. He reminded me of the English shepherd that my mother once owned who had died ten years before.
On pick-up day, I felt like I already knew Max. Through all of the photos and updates about each dog’s temperament, I already had a good idea about the kind of puppy I would be bringing home. I accomplished this through the technology of social media despite a 200-mile distance from my home to the breeder.
Max was a year old last month. Photos of his siblings from around the country were posted on Laura and Jeff’s Facebook page. Not only do I get to watch my dog grow, but social media is allowing me to follow the development of the rest of the pack, also. Boo, Dublin, Jackie, Bruce, King, and the rest of them made an appearance during the virtual birthday party. Even Checkers and Reesie from mother Dixie’s previous litters joined the fun.
Max’s mom and sister Boo are tennis ball freaks, just as he is. As much as I loved the other dogs that passed through my life, I never knew anything about their parents or siblings. Max has a wonderful extended family that we will be able to keep track of for years to come. It is going to be fun.