I don't remember the moment when I knew I wanted a German Shepherd, but I do know that it wasn't something I had thought about forever. In fact, when my roommate during my senior year of college came home with a dog (we had a no pet lease) I specifically remember thinking, "wow, what a terrible idea."
Not only do I not remember when exactly I decided I needed to have a German Shepherd, but I don't remember when I decided that I was going to have to have a dog ASAP. I think it was a longing that grew over time, and came to a point while I was in grad school. It was my first year living alone, and while I was totally fine with not having other people around, I still wanted some kind of companionship.
I'm allergic to cats and having horses in the house is generally frowned upon by landlords, so that left me with dogs. I somehow ended up living in a complex that didn't allow dogs over 35 pounds, and well, I'm not a big fan of small dogs. While there were a whole bunch that I found along the way to foster and rehome or track down their owners, I knew that I would have to wait to get the dog of my dreams.
Those who know me know that I value discipline and consistency. It's what I use to train horses, and I wanted a dog that would fit well into that lifestyle. I wanted a smart dog. The dog also needed to be loyal. I've always been someone who just does my own thing. This dog would be my sidekick. I also didn't really have a solid plan for what life was going to look like, so I wanted a dog that could seem intimidating if it needed to. A dog that would say, "Hey bud, keep walking, this is my human and if you mess with her, you'll have to deal with me."
I brought Finn home when she was 7 weeks and 7 pounds. I think when I told mom that I was getting a puppy her reaction was about the same as mine to my college roommate, "wow, that's a terrible idea." Lucky for me this is perfect, she's everything I ever wanted and everything I didn't know I needed.