It has almost been a year (just a week and a half to go) since we adopted Dieter. We first met him on a cold January weekend. He was skinny, gooey-eyed and snotty, but sooo wiggly and excited to meet us. He had been dumped at a shelter, but we didn't know why. We decided almost instantly that he was the dog we wanted. He had an eye infection when we got him and he soon developed a nasty staph infection on one foot, between his toes that took two months to get rid of. On top of that, even though for the first month or so he was fine, he had begun peeing in the house. Crating was not (and still is not) an option. We tried, but he was so traumatized by being enclosed in a crate or even a room that he clawed and chewed at everything in sight. He destroyed a door and its trim. He bent the bars of his metal crate with his jaws; we would come home to a drenched-in-drool, trembling, wild-eyed pup, even if we were only gone for a short time. After about 6 weeks of crate training with no improvement, we packed it up and let him have the run of the house. Aside from a few chewed magazines, he did OK. But the peeing continued. After about four months hubby and I had the "talk": we were either going to give him back to the rescue group or stick with him. We had both fallen helplessly in love with him, and decided that we signed that adoption contract to give him a better life. Giving up on him would mean we weren't holding up our end of the bargain. We decided to love him for the dog he is, not for the dog we hoped he would become. We went through obedience training which helped immensly, and after about six months, we finally got the peeing under control through advice from our vet tech and our trainer (was related to separation anxiety). It's been a long road, but he has been so worth it. Dieter makes us laugh, is our constant companion and wiggles with excitement every time we come home like he hasn't seen us for years. He's happiest when he's playing with his daddy or snuggling on the couch with me. He's learned to ignore the barking dogs next door, and is a champion at obedience in the house. He's even getting pretty reliable with recall, and can now stay calm for five minutes in an enclosed room (it's slow, but it's progress!). He has some leash agression issues (toward other dogs) that we'll be working on full-time when the snow melts, and sometimes he pees in the house when his schedule changes unexpectedly (it's all mommy's and daddy's fault!). But if that's all we have to deal with for the rest of his life, we're happy to do it. Thanks to Mid-Michigan Boxer Rescue for doing what they do, and for bringing Dieter into our lives. I also highly recommend your local spca/humane society training programs; the Michigan Humane Society has wonderful trainers and you know the money you pay for classes goes to help animals in need. Our first year with Dieter was challenging, but fulfilling. I can't imagine our life without him now. It's funny, Dieter's a rescue boy who was a mess when MMBR took him in. Now I get people asking me who bred him because he's such a good looking boy. Of course, I encourage everyone who approaches us to adopt a pet -- until there are none, adopt one!