You may have seen the edited version of this commercial, but this one has more of my favorite dogs, German Shepherds. In fact, there is a scene in which a girl is cradling a German Shepherd in her lap and it brings me to tears.

Our family has always had German Shepherds, but the first one that was all mine was a gift from my co-workers at this very radio station after the death of another pet. She was a beautiful puppy whom I named Baci di Natale, (Christmas Kiss in Italian), because they gave her to me at Christmastime. Baci turned out to be physically flawed in many ways. She needed multiple surgeries on her hips and always had a very touchy intestinal system, (as a lot of German Shepherds do). She was a regular for a while in Ames, Iowa at the Veterinary School and Hospital. They adored her because she was, in their words, "an amazing patient with an incredible will!"

She cost me a fortune during her 14 years, but I wouldn't trade a minute of that time for a million bucks! Because of her physical issues she was very small in stature and weighed only 60 pounds at her top weight. This is tiny, by comparison, in terms of a normal German Shepherd dog. I would often get on the floor and gather her up in my arms to cradle her like a baby. She hated it, but tolerated this because it meant she would get some extra "rubber carrot chasing time"! I used to buy her rubber carrots with squeakers in them, by the case, because she loved playing with them so much.

She hogged the bed every night, lived to eat her "Frosty Paws" puppy ice cream and never stopped stealing your shoes when you'd try to put them on. We traveled across the country together, because there was only one place she was more at-home than home, and that was in the car. Baci really was my co-pilot She was so smart that over the years I started spelling words instead of saying them, so she wouldn't know what I was talking about, only to find that she quickly figured this out too! Baci was the most loyal, loving dog, I have ever known and my heart still breaks whenever I think about her.