Heather, Gretchen was a really beautiful German Shepherd dog. Interesting story really. When we moved to our new house in 1963 it was the first house on a new street and we were really out in the country. My Dad was an on-the-road salesman at the time and he would be gone for at least a few days a week, so he thought it would be a good idea to get a large intimidating looking dog to protect the estate. So he got Gretchen to look after things. And she was protective, very protective, maybe a little too protective. Nobody other than family could come into the back yard unless we put her inside the house. She would bark, bare teeth, hackles up, the whole nine yards. I don't think she ever bit anyone while we had her, but if she didn't know you, she was one scary dog. We used to go on walks sometimes in the evenings in those days. My brother Bill was a baby at the time and Gretchen was especially protective of him. One time we were walking, Bill was in the stroller and we met up with one of the farmers in the area. Really nice old guy, he had a peach orchard. He talked with us for a while and then went and got some peaches for us. He came back and handed each of us kids a peach and when he reached to give Billy his, Gretchen grabbed the guy by the arm. Didn't break the skin or anything, but she sure as heck wasn't going to let him get any closer to Billy. He was real nice about it and eventually got free and gave the peach to someone else, but it kind of freaked my Mom out. About a week later, my Mom went to get Billy out of his playpen on the back porch, and Gretchen got between her an Billy and growled at her. That was the last straw. The next day Gretchen was gone. They told us she went to a farm where she woud have lots of room to run. Even at the age of five, I knew that was a lie. Later on we kids found out the truth. My Dad had sold her cheap to a family that lived about a mile away from us. Years later my older brother and I had a paper route, and Gretchen's house was one of our customers. She was for sure one of the worst dogs on the route, she didn't remember us at all and I think she even bit my brother once. So that's the story of Gretchen the German Shepherd. Then we got Gretchen the Airedale Terrier and that's a whole 'nother story.
I know this doesn't have much to do with the topic. I was just responding to Heather. Sorry folks.