Wednesday, June 30, 2010


When’s the last time you and your dog worked up a sweat together? After having high temperatures and even higher humidity these last few days in New York, today is beautiful. As I write this the sun is shining and its only 65 degrees this morning. The weatherman promises it’s not going to be any hotter than 76 degrees today. This is the type of day to get out and enjoy nature. Yes sir, I like this day all ready!

What kinds of things do you do to have fun with your dogs? Do you take them hiking? Do you go swimming with them? How do you take advantage of a beautiful day like this to enjoy with your dogs? I have been really bad about getting my dogs out. “Amber” and “Bu” love to go for walks. “Jess” is not really thrilled with it. She’d rather be home eating something! The trick for me today will be to get them all out one by one. The problem is when you take one out, the rest carry on screaming and complaining.

Oh I tried taking two of them out together. One day, I took the two sisters out to a local park with trails around the outside of the lawn. Let me tell you that was a big mistake. You try to do something fun and it was more aggravation than anything else. I should have known better than that with my two “wild childs!” All they did was crisscrossing one another and tangling up the leashes more than I care to remember. So “OK, I shout……I’ve had enough. Your sorry little butts are going back to the car.” So we turn around and do the same thing with twisting up the leashes while desperately trying to make it back to the car. You want to build up a sweat? There you go. Try handling two uncontrollable youngsters. Caesar Milan where are you when I need you?

I live at the bottom of a mountain. My mother all ways called this God’s little mountain. And right she was. When you go hiking up the mountain, the noise and the traffic slowly diminishes the higher you climb. All of a sudden you become very aware of the stillness and the silence. You truly are one with nature.

One day I took Amber up the mountain. This used to be a routine of ours as part of her exercise program. I’d walk her up part of the trail on a leash. When we got safely away from the road, I’d let her run loose. “Yee haw!” She loved it. Freedom at last. I was all ways aware of the danger of being in the woods and the many wild animals that we share these woods with. It would all ways make me a bit nervous. You never know what you may run into when you least expect it. On this day, we ran into a bunch of deer. “Amber” saw them and she was in hot pursuit. They took off so quickly up over the hill, she stopped as if to say, “Where did they go?” Thank God I put basic obedience training in her. I called her back to me because she knew when she came; she’d be rewarded with those treats that I all ways carried in my pocket when going out for a walk. My biggest fear was that we might run into a black bear. We never did. Thank God.

German Shepherds love to go everywhere with their owners. Exploring the woods and trails of a mountain excites their senses. “Bu” is at her happiest when she’s exploring things. Her tail never stops wagging. My biggest concern this time of year is those little nasty cousins of the yucky spiders known as the tick. I no longer use any of those poisons on my dogs. Every day they get sprayed with lavender oil mixed with water. I haven’t found any ticks on them for these last two summers. However, I haven’t taken them for a walk in the woods in a long time either.

Because our dogs are great companions, it’s a shame if we don’t include them in more of our outdoor activities. My first German Shepherd I used to take hiking with me. We’d take her to a river and she loved to go swimming. She was the type of dog that would try anything as long as she was doing it with us, she was happy. Only problem with Helga is that you didn’t want her swimming too close to you. She’d run you over with her “doggie paddle” style of splashing and kicking. Get too close and she would almost drown you.

Through out the years, I would buy my dogs those kiddie pools to splash around in. They loved it. It was an inexpensive way for them to have fun and at the same time keep themselves cooled off. “Rajah” loved to just lay down in it. He was so dark so he’d really feel the heat of the sun more than some of the other ones.

When I lived in Westchester, my friend Nancy Vaught (Masstana Shepherds) and I used to go out several times a week to exercise our dogs. We would each take a couple of our dogs to the Pound Ridge Reservation and go hiking with them on the trails. I’d take my “Xanadu” and maybe one or two of the others and Nancy would take whoever it was that she was trying to condition for an upcoming show. We never had a problem with any of our dogs getting in to a scuffle. They all knew that they were there to have fun. Some of the trails winded along side of streams that followed us on our long walks. Another time we’d take another path. You know what looking back at those days, I don’t remember ever having problems with ticks. I wasn’t treating my dogs with anything like they have now like Frontline. I might have been using a flea collar, but I don’t remember. This was back in the 80’s. We never ran into any wild animals but we would occasionally hear a deer or two off in the distance. Those were the good old days.

My friend Lorraine Cohen and her husband Marc take their dogs sailing all the time. She’s sent me pictures of some of the dogs on the boat in the past but unfortunately I didn’t save them. She’s been sailing with her dogs for years. All those years ago, she would take her Select Kharu with her. Now her Select Annie and the younger generation go sailing.

Even taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood can be very rewarding for you and your dog. It’s great exercise for the both of you. It’s a great way to socialize your dog and it’s a great way to bond with your animal. Any dog at any age loves to take a walk. It’s all about him exploring and being with you. Dog shows are fun, but hiking with your dog is even better.

So what kinds of things do you do with your dog? Are you having fun with him? So now that I wrote this short little article, it looks like I’m going to have to get off of my “posterior” and break out in a sweat. It’s summertime and the living is easy……

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My rating:  exercising with your dog:  (4), raising couch potatoes:  (1)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. – Albert Pine

This is another saying that I love. And oh boy is it true. When you think of it, this certainly can apply to our German Shepherds Dogs. Oh they can be a little selfish and jealous when they are looking for our attention or they perceive another dog is challenging them for that attention. But this breed does so much for mankind that it remains long after the dog is no longer here. If we were to truly develop our dogs into all that they are capable of doing, when they are no longer with us, our heart would probably break even more. This is why I believe that we get so attached to this breed. There isn’t too much that we can ask of them that they can’t do. For although the dog is truly dependent on us for his needs, we have become dependent on this breed for there isn’t another dog that can replace their uniqueness. All dogs are great and have their own wonderful qualities, but the German Shepherd spoils us with his advanced intelligence and capability to love us.

No other breed that I’m aware of leaves so much behind when they depart this earth. If developed his potential for greatness has not limitation. I don’t believe any other breed has had more movies with him in the starring role. No other breed has been in the Police Department for as long as the German Shepherd. No other breed has fought more wars than the German Shepherd. The list remains endless for this breeds capability to work along side of man.

When showing this breed of dog, can there be any more beautiful in stance? Can they be anymore elegant in gait? Can there be any more obedient in trials and herding competitions?

There’s no doubt about it, this is truly an excellent all around type of dog. He’s not too big that he’s clumsy and he’s not too small that he doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. The general public admires the breed. The owner of one of these magnificent dogs knows what it’s like to be loved and protected by this breed. You couldn’t find a more loyal companion.

And what role do we play in the ownership of the German Shepherd Dog? What responsibility do we have to ensure that this breed does all that they were born to do? Do we owe a dog of this superior quality more than a hard cold cement kennel run? Do we owe this dog to be let out of that kennel run for other things besides going to a dog show or to produce a litter of puppies? Some dogs only see the inside of a house when they are giving birth to puppies. Then others never come in and remain in the kennel to fend for themselves.

When we show our dogs and win big prizes with them, we are doing that for ourselves. The dog doesn’t know what he just did and really doesn’t care. The only thing he cares about is being with us.

Some great dogs of this breed will always be remembered no matter how much time goes by. The Great Grand Victor Champion Lance of Fran-Jo ROM probably more than any other dog changed and dictated the style of dogs for decades to come. Some great breeders have a page in the history books reserved for them with their names on it, like the Fran-Jo kennels, the Covy-Tucker Hill kennels, etc. But you don’t have to be a big shot breeder or owner of a well known stud dog to leave your mark in this breed. It’s about those that do all the work in the clubs that never get recognized for their dedication. It’s about all those that give unknown hours upon hours of their own personal time rescuing dogs that no one else wants. It’s about those breeders that breed animals with wonderful minds that can serve in the military or visit the sick and old in the nursing homes. These people’s names you may never read about, but without them this great big wonderful breed of ours would never get the recognition that they have.

How we treat people in this breed stands as a testament to what remains behind when we leave this earth as well. Have we been kind to one another? Have we lent a hand to help those just starting out? Have we added to the gossip chit chat trying to destroy others reputations? That too remains long after we are gone…… we treat others.

Have we helped with rescue efforts in some way or another or did we choose to turn our heads convincing ourselves that it’s not our problem? After all we didn’t cause it and why should we be made to feel guilty about it? I am forever grateful for all the selfless hours and time spent that some people put into rescue work. This too shall remain.

The older that you get and the more you realize that you’ll be stepping up to the plate some time in the not too distant future, the more you think about your life and what you will leave behind on this planet that we all share. Oh you could get yourself all wrapped up in the “Do you know what she said about you” kinds of conversations. You can get mad. You can get sad. Yes we’ve all experienced those feelings, but you always must consider the source of where it is coming from. And you know what your first impulse may be to lash out and reciprocate. But then you just can’t help it because you find yourself smiling. Not planned smiles mind you. But it’s there nevertheless. You realize that you have just been given so much power over the weaker vicious “gossip lovers” (without even looking for it) because you’re still bothering them and you didn’t even have to lift a finger to do it! And to add to that, you didn’t have to do anything about it at all. In time it will all be taken care of. You find that you’ve got someone bigger in your corner. Payback is a bitch! Don’t you just love it!

I would hate to think that I left this earth not having touched some people positively. Having bred some wonderful dogs and having them go into some wonderful loving forever homes is more than I could have ever asked for in this breed. Having the winning show dogs has been a wonderful journey because of the friendships that I’ve made in the breed and the wonderful people that have come into my life. Knowing that I’ve made some people happy, knowing that I’ve helped some people and that I’ve bred some dogs that brought happiness into other peoples lives, well then I’ve lived a successful life and it remains when I leave.

If I can be remembered for what I wrote, whether I wrote a memorial for your dog or an article that helped you to understand something better, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do. I’ve set out to touch you…….and this too remains.

From the book: "THE HIDDEN POWER OF KINDNESS".....You're almost certainly not as kind as you ought to be - and your relationships with God and those you love may be suffering as a result. Probably you just can't find the time - and can't ever seem to develop the patience - that you need in order to be consistently kind amid the irritations that afflict you daily. That's why these pages are such a godsend. You'll learn how to be kinder, even in difficult circumstances! There's nothing complicated or magical about learning to be kinder; it just takes greater attention to the things that you do and how you do them. These pages show you how to become more aware of even your most offhand daily actions. You'll find simple, step-by-step, and spiritually crucial directions for how to overcome the habitual unkindnesses that creep - undetected - into the behavior of even the most careful souls. If you want to make progress in the spiritual life you can't afford to miss the bracing insights in this handbook for souls who yearn to be kinder. They'll give you years of solid help in overcoming sin so that you'll live more fully with others - and truly transform your corner of the world!

My rating: Being remembered for the dogs you bred: (1 - 4), Being remembered for the lives you've touched: (4)

Monday, June 28, 2010


So yesterday I wrote on a few e-mail lists about something someone wrote about on a social network group that I belong to. For those that didn’t read it, and for those that are not on those e-mail lists, I’ll write about it again here because it fits in with today’s topic.

This woman wanted to know what she could do about a male dog that she owns that has been driving her crazy with his constant whining. Hmmmm, all right, so I read on. It seems that the dog has a one track mind. You see this woman also owns another dog which is a female that just so happens to be in season. She’s not a breeder, but a pet owner. Obviously neither one of the dogs is altered. She wanted to know what she could do about his constant whining besides having them altered. Oh yeah, she keeps the female up on the bed with her while the male paces around the floor. So I write to her trying to convince her to get both dogs altered. I told her how her male could end up having prostrate problems if she doesn’t have him “fixed!” I don’t think she liked my answer because she never wrote back. She’s more focused on trying to get him to stop making so much noise rather than fix the problem at its source. Wouldn’t you think that someone would have more common sense than this? I guess not. People never fail to amaze me……even though we have more intelligence than animals do! Sometimes I wonder!

Looking back through the years and the people we’ve all dealt with……wow the stories that we could tell. Some of them may have made us laugh and others may have made us shake our heads in disbelief. Sometimes friends will share their stories with me and we’ll giggle about some of them. So here’s a couple of more that I share with you.

Seems this woman was a neat freak. She liked everything to be perfect in her house. She had owned other breeds of dogs before, but this time she wanted a German Shepherd. When the breeder told her the only negative thing about this breed was their excessive shedding, the woman squirmed in her chair a little bit, but she wasn’t convinced that this could be a problem for her. As time went by she would call the breeder with her puppy tales about her new dog. The breeder really didn’t hear about too many complaints so she was happy. One day she got a letter and a couple of pictures from the woman. In one of the pictures she could see that it was taken in the winter time. She saw the dog in boots and rain gear. In the summer pictures, she saw that the dog had been shaven. The breeder was concerned so she called the owner. The owner just said that she was making sure that her house would remain clean. All winter long she kept the boots on the dog every time he went in and out of the house. The rain gear prevented him from getting water or snow on her Oriental carpets. The shaving of his coat prevented him from shedding too much. Forget about the fact that he needed that undercoat to protect him from the elements. Forget about the fact that now he could get sunburned. So she says, “I’m a fashionable woman, and the dog that lives in my home must also be fashionable and keep up with the latest trends!” She planned on keeping the dog dressed in designer clothes! So I guess that no harm was done except maybe the loss of the nobility of the German Shepherd! He really didn’t care though. He was very much loved and at the same time became quite a fashionable fellow among the local neighborhood dogs I’m told!

One day I got a call about a litter of puppies that I had advertised in the New York Times. I had a pleasant conversation with a man that told me what he was looking for in a dog. He had told me that he owned a German Shepherd before. He seemed intelligent and educated about the proper way of taking care of this breed. He promised he would do the best by my puppy and that the puppy would be very much loved. He told me his dogs slept in the bed with him. Well he seemed like the perfect type of person that I wanted for one of my puppies. He was adamant about the fact that the puppy had to be a female and told me that he wanted the biggest one in the litter. He said that size was very important to him. He didn’t want the runt of the litter. Well these requirements seemed reasonable enough. I reassured him that my puppies were big and healthy. He seemed happy with my response to the size question. Then he proceeds to tell me (I don’t know if you guys are ready for this), the reason that he wanted the biggest female in the litter was because he wanted to have sex with her. I kid you not!! I almost dropped the phone on the floor. I thought I must be hearing incorrectly. I asked him to repeat himself hoping that I was wrong. Nope, I wasn’t and yes this is what he wanted the large female for. I slammed the phone down and stood in the middle of the floor with my mouth open. I just couldn’t believe what I just heard! Ahh…..just another reason why I like animals better than most people.

Then there’s the story of Mr. Jones. Now Mr. Jones was the kind of man that everyone liked. You just couldn’t get mad at Mr. Jones. He was a refined elderly type of gentlemen. He would come to obedience classes all dressed up in a suit and tie. He was very distinguished looking. Everything he did was slow and deliberate. He took his time when all those around him were loud and boisterous. Mr. Jones wasn’t in any hurry. And one could tell this by looking at his dog that he brought to class with him. He too was a quiet sort of dog. Oh Mr. Jones was very proud of his dog Rusty. He didn’t care about his pedigree or that he wasn’t a show dog. Mr. Jones just loved good old Rusty. The instructor of the class was very patient with Mr. Jones because after all, who could ever get mad at him? He was just too nice! Well the instructor would tell the class what she wanted them to do with their dog, whether it be to sit, stay, down, come, etc. So one night the instructor tells us to make our dogs sit and stay and then for us to walk across the floor to the other side of the room. Mr. Jones tells Rusty to sit and stay as the rest of us are telling our dogs the same thing. So we all are walking across the floor to the other side of the room. Our dogs are doing what we commanded them to do……except for Rusty. Rusty is closely following Mr. Jones across to the other side of the room. Mr. Jones is not even aware of it as he’s walking calmly with his dog wiping up the rear. You could just about hear a pin drop even though some of us were trying to hold back our giggles. “Mr. Jones” the instructor calls out to him. “Correct your dog.” He looks at her like if to say, “Who me?” But one never to argue or question anyone, he turns around and see’s Rusty standing right behind him. He say’s “F….Rusty what are you doing boy?” Well all of our mouths dropped as the refined elderly Mr. Jones just burst our bubble! He was human after all!

So there you have just some of the stories about people and their quirky ways. I’m sure many of you have your own stories you could tell when dealing with the public. Dealing with the public is by far my most disliked area when selling puppies.

My rating: no bad dogs: (4), dysfunctional people: (1)

Friday, June 25, 2010


Barbara J. Galasso

Some of you will be born a dog and some of you will own that dog.

Some of you will win. Some of you will fail.

Some of you will own a champion dog. Some of you will wonder why some of you did and why they didn’t.

Some of you will do great things in the breed and others will only talk about the great things that others do.

Some of you will get to the top honestly by working hard to achieve your goals. Some of you will lie, cheat, steal and do just about anything else you can think of just to achieve your goals.

Some of you will be asked for help and some of you will actually be the one that helps.

Some of you will be president and some of you will live under the jurisdiction of that president.

Some of you will turn everything you touch to gold and some of you will belly ache why them and not me.

Some of you will be loved and some of you will be hated.

Some of you will care and some of you won’t give a damn.

Some of you will breed the best dogs you can taking into consideration their health and character. Some of you will be only interested in breeding for looks and movement.

Some of you will go to all the club meetings, volunteer for all the committees and actively partake in your dog club. Some of you will rarely do any of these things, but want to know why the heck the club folded.

Some of you will teach and some of you will be taught.

Some of you will know the joy of owning and living with a German Shepherd because you have utilized and brought out this breeds fullest potential. Some of you will let this breed sit in a kennel never to have known what this fantastic breed is really all about.

Some of you will lead and some of you will be led.

Some of you will give all the credit to those that deserve it. Some of you will take all the credit even when you don’t deserve it.

Some of you will scratch your head and wonder “Why not me?” Some others will take your missed opportunities and succeed with a big old smile on their face saying, “Indeed, why not me?”

Some of you will use others for your own selfish means and some of you will allow them to use you with the false hope that they just might like you.

Some of you will gossip, laugh, point and stare while some of you will live your lives ensuring that they do.

Some of you will crawl through life and some of you will run through it.

Some of you will lend a hand and mentor the novices of the breed knowing that they are the future of it. Some of you will turn your back to them hoping they’re going away.

Some of you will create and some of you will destroy.

Some of you will devote hours upon hours of your time rescuing the German Shepherd Dog from the shelters. Some of you will be called up by those rescuers saying “We have one of your dogs” and some of you will say, “It’s not my problem.”

Some of you will participate and some of you will stagnate.

Some of you will chase and some of you will be chased.

Some of you will be looked up to and asked to be the President of the club. Some of you will do all the work behind the scenes and be the foundation that holds the club together, but no one asks you to run for anything.

Some of you will live by the “word” and some of you will die by the sword.

Some of you will have courage and be a hero and some of you will be spineless and forgettable.

Some of you will live each day like there is no tomorrow. Some of you will live each day wondering why you even got up in the first place.

Some of you will seek and discover and some of you remain lost and never found.

Some of you may think you’ve got it all figured out while some of you actually do.

Some of you when it’s time to take a trip to those “Pearly White Gates” will be wondering “Was that all there was to my life?” Some of you having lived life to the fullest here will slide into those Pearly White Gates asking “Where’s the party?”

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My rating:  Vibrant Pets Supplement: (4),  staying positive in a negative world: (4)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I apologize for not getting my blog out yesterday but I was gone all day from early morning until late in the afternoon. Then I had car trouble and was lucky I made it home at all. It was a stressful day and I had the migraine this morning to remind me of it!

I love this list of suggestions for success that I came across. Although it’s written for us and our personal lives, I thought I’d use it to see how it can apply to our lives with our German Shepherds.


H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent.
Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Be forgiving of yourself and others.
Be generous.
Have a grateful heart.
Persistence, persistence, persistence.
Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.Commit yourself to quality.
Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
Be loyal.
Be honest.
Be a self-starter.
Be decisive even if it means you'll sometimes be wrong.
Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
Take good care of those you love.
Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud.


Buy the absolute best bitch you can afford. She will help determine the future success of your breeding program.

Decide what it is you hope to achieve in the breed whether it’s a top show dog, obedience winner, a therapy dog or just an all around wonderful animal to live with. Just make sure you and your dog are having fun.

Show people the best representative of the breed that you have and that you’re proud of.

Be a person that people can approach and talk to.

Don’t hold grudges because someone’s dog beat your dog at a show. Today was their day. Tomorrow might be your day.

Help the novice person in the breed by being a mentor to them. They are the future of our breed.

Never think that you know everything there is to know about the breed. No matter how long you’ve been in the breed, if you’re not still learning, then you’re stagnating.

Never give up with your goals in the breed. If you want to have a champion, find ways to make it happen. If you want to have a well behaved dog, teach it obedience commands. He may be smart, but he won’t learn if he isn’t taught!

Spending a fortune with a top handler is not the only way to go. Don’t over look another less known handler that is coming up in the ranks. Remember that tomorrow he will be the top handler.

Respect, good sportsmanship and yes a smile goes a long way. Remember when you first started out and you had butterflies in your stomach. Be kind, you just might be responsible in shaping someone’s future in the breed…..either by making it or breaking it.

Never settle for mediocrity when owning a German Shepherd Dog. Help him to achieve all that he was meant to do. He’ll never disappoint.

We as breeders help determine the future quality of the breed. Strive for greatness. Never settle for anything less.

Remember it’s not the breeder that has produced the most champions that will be remembered. It’s the breeder that has produced the most “excellent quality” champions that will be remembered. This is the breeder whose bloodlines have produced the least amount of genetic health and temperament problems.

Gossip is a given in the breeding and showing of dogs. Just make sure you don’t believe everything you hear and always consider the person the gossip is coming from. Remember if she is talking about everyone else all the time….she’s talking about you as well!

If you’re a judge, be honest in your evaluations of your placements in the class. Know that your friends will show under you. Be true to yourself and chose your selections because they deserve those awards, and not because “Joe Blow” won’t talk to you anymore if he doesn’t win. When you hire a handler, hire one that feels he truly can finish your dog. If he likes your dog that’s even better. If you’re a breeder, be honest about your own dogs. Don’t become kennel blind and think just because you bred it that it’s the best thing walking on four legs! Know when to weed out stock that is not in the best interest in the gene pool.

When you are first starting out, realize that you just don’t show up one day with your beloved dog and win every prize that they are giving out that day. It took these breeders many, many years to accomplish what they have. Learn everything that you can about the breed, ask questions, join a breed club and keep on learning.

Make up your mind what type of animal you want, but also never think you know it all. Take advice from those “in the know.” You don’t know it all. They’re not where they are because someone handed it to them. They’ve worked extremely hard at what they do!

If you lose (and you will lose more than you win), stop blaming the judge. Stop blaming the handler. Take a step back and take a good look at your dog. You may think he’s great, but not everyone else may share your feelings for him!

Know that breeding animals is always a risk. You have no control over genetics. Don’t give up. Improve and continue to improve. It’s the brave ones in this breed that rise above the rest. They’ve known that they needed to take chances. Sometimes they win and sometimes they loose, but they never give up.

Don’t forget the rest of your life and the people that are in it just so you can pursue your dreams in the breed. Nurture that part of your life as well to have a healthy balance.

Don’t back stab, don’t cheat, and don’t do anything that would not make your mother proud that you chose the German Shepherd breed to help make your dreams come true of being a good breeder, exhibitor, handler, judge or just an all around lover of the breed.

From the book: "THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES: HOW TO GET FROM WHERE YOU ARE TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE"..........When it comes to success, Canfield knows of what he speaks: he is co-creator, with Mark Victor Hansen, of the seemingly endless Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He presents 64 success principles that he claims "always work"—and draws on his own experience and that of others to illustrate them. Sixty-four principles may seem like a lot, but each receives a concise, easy-to-digest chapter that challenges readers to risk creating their lives exactly as they want them. Many of the principles are familiar—e.g., "Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life"—but Canfield has a nifty way of summarizing them ("Reject rejection"), and some are inventive: "Become an Inverse Paranoid" means see the world as out to help you instead of out to get you. He also offers specific techniques, such as positive-thinking exercises and visualizations. A section on transformation provides even more on how to overcome self-defeating beliefs, fears and habits. Further sections offer principles on building good teams and better relationships at the office. Canfield acknowledges his predecessors in the success advice field, such as Napoleon Hill, and is also clear that while he gives information, motivation, and inspiration, readers must contribute their own hard work. Canfield's energy and enthusiasm bounce off the page; many will flock to this inspiring (and very rich) teacher. And those starting off in business or in need of a refresher course may consider this title required reading.

My rating: Living a successful life: (4) Jack Canfield's inspirational books: (4)....I love this guys writings!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


All right so I’ve worked on this blog all morning long and wrote it, proofread it and it was all ready to go. I copied and pasted it to my blog and it came out a total mess. Sure I could have opted to send it out like that, but I’m too particular that way so this is what I’m going to write today instead. I’ll have to fool around with the other article some way to get it to print the way that I want it to.

Anyway, I get many letters sent to me privately and they address certain things with me or they ask if I will write about certain things. So because I’m keeping the authors of those letters private, I will still share some of their thoughts and questions here anyway.
Maybe some of you can offer advice to them or add your own ideas on a particular subject.

Yesterday a well known breeder wrote to me and suggested I write about this on my blog. Here’s what she said. “If you co-owned a dog and you found out it had been neutered without your consent, what would you do?” Now I don’t know the writer personally, but we’ve enjoyed some e-mails back and forth occasionally. So I wrote back to her with my answer. I told her: I’D CHOKE THEM! I don’t think she was amused. I think she was looking for more than that answer. But my quirky sense of humor what it is, I just couldn’t resist. Anyway on to her question.

Because I don’t have any other particulars about this question, I’m going to assume that the co-owners had a written contract. I’m going to assume that they had everything spelled out what each one expects. Sometimes in contracts not everything that can happen is spelled out. But in this case because this is a top breeder, I’m assuming she made it very clear what she expecting when this person bought a puppy from her. I’m assuming she might have wanted to breed to the dog herself and she probably wanted the dog shown.

Some co-ownerships can be a wonderful experience for all that are involved. For others, it can be a total disaster. It really depends upon the moral integrity of the person that you co-own with. Most people want to live up to their part of the co-ownerships expectations so everyone is happy. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen that way. One may get greedy and want it the way that they want it, forgetting (or choosing to forget) their responsibility with the other co-owner. Some people’s true colors show their ugly little faces when they want to do it their way and betting on that the other co-owner never finds out. Well I just love it when they do and good prevails over bad and the truth comes out! I don’t know what the legalities are in the case of this breeder and her co-owner. Perhaps she might need to check up about that.

On the other side of the fence about co-owners, sometimes it can be truly a wonderful experience for all that are involved. Many of your top breeders won’t even consider letting some of their best dogs go if they are not a co-owner on that dog.

Another letter that I received awhile ago was about asking me to address the much debated subject of German vs. American lines. I told her that I had written an article about this all ready, but it seems that this subject will continue as long as there are German and American bred dogs in this country. I really could never understand the controversy myself. Isn’t a German Shepherd a German Shepherd no matter where he was born? I guess it’s just me, but like I never liked the division of “them against us,” “you against me,” “whites against blacks,” “Christians against Jews,” I really hate it even more when it comes to our breed. Why must there be this division within our own breed? Is it the way of human nature? Who knows? So to the writer that wrote me about this subject… say you’re proud of your German bred dog and plan on showing him anyway but you’re upset about all the snotty comments that are made to you. As I wrote in one of my other articles……..DO IT ANYWAY! The hell with the rest of them!

Then there’s the letters that I get from time to time from people that write to tell me that they’re afraid to stand up for their beliefs because they fear the criticism that they’ll receive. Now believe it or not, I’ve heard this quite a few times from those just starting out in the breed, but I’ve also heard from a judge that has been in the breed for many years right about this very same subject. Then there are some very well established breeders that have told me the same thing. They say that they just sit back and read what is posted, but no longer respond because of the fighting and bickering. What these people are saying is if they put an e-mail out over any of the specialty e-mail lists that many of us belong to, that they get ripped into or read the riot act! Why is this I wonder? Aren’t these lists places that we all should be able to give our opinions about any given subject? One would think so. Some of these people have written to me and have asked me to write about something or ask a question on the list for them. Many times I have done this for them. I've also addressed some of their concerns by writing articles here on my blog. Why should anyone fear to write what’s on their minds without worrying that someone is going to go off on them? I always look forward to a HEALTHY exchange of ideas.

Oh well there you have some of the letters that I get from people. I also want some of my readers that are not on these e-mail lists or maybe only might belong to one of them, many of the responses to my articles on this blog, you never get to read. I wish that some of them would respond on this blog so everyone can read some of the very important information that they share with the rest of us. Some people will respond here, but the majority responds on the e-mails lists. I send this blog to five e-mail lists.

So I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the many, many wonderful e-mails that you send to me. I try to respond to all of you. Excuse me if I’ve missed a couple of you. Although that’s rare, it does happen. So now back to trying to figure out how to get my other article up for tomorrow. I hate modern technology that was invented to make my life a whole lot easier! NOT!

From the book: "YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT: FIVE PRINCIPALS FOR KEEPING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE" Many people believe they can only be happy when their problems are solved, relationships improve, and goals are achieved. In this simple guide, Dr. Richard Carlson shows readers how to be happy right now — no matter the situation. His plan, based on the principles of Thought (thoughts are voluntary, not involuntary);Mood (thinking is a voluntary that varies function varies from moment to moment and these variances are called moods); Separate Realities (everyone thinks in a unique way and lives in separate psychological realities); Feelings (feelings and emotions serve as a barometer for when one is “off-track” and headed for unhappiness); and the Present Moment (the only time when genuine contentment, satisfaction, and happiness). This timeless book guides readers through life's challenges and restores the joy of living along the way.

My rating: Life hands us problems, it's how you decided to deal with them that matters: (1 - 4)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Yup, that’s the title of another “oldie but goodie.” If you been in this breed for any length of time, many different dogs have come in and out of your life by now. You’ve owned all different types and personalities of the breed. Some were better than others. Some may have been “stars” or top producers of “stars.” Some may have been great show dogs and others had the potential to be, but maybe they lacked the “get up and go” needed to reach that potential. Maybe they just found running around in a circle a foolish waste of their time.

Some of the dogs that we have owned were more favored than others. Perhaps it was that one had a great personality while one was more laid back and content just lying around the house all day. Dogs are not that much different in personality than people are. And the same way that we are drawn to certain people, is the same way that we are drawn to certain dogs more than his kennel mate. It’s called chemistry.

Chemistry is not something that we can explain. It’s like the beautiful woman hanging off the arm of the not so attractive man. How many times have you asked yourself, “What does she see in him? How did he get so lucky?” We don’t get it. Beauty and the beast! It’s the same thing with our dogs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the prettiest dog in our kennel that is our favorite one. There’s just something about this favored dog that might be familiar to us on a whole other sub-conscious level. Your friend might come to your house and notice the attention that you give to the favored dog. She might not see anything special about her at all, but it’s a connection that you have with the favored dog. You can’t explain it. It’s just there.

I own three dogs. My Amber is my house dog and then there are her two daughters Bu and Jess (that's them as babies in the above picture....Bu in the front and Jess following her like usual).  Amber is a great house dog. She’s extremely intelligent and learns very quickly. Amber lives for love……24 hours a day if she had her way. Then there’s her daughter Bu, who is my “heart” dog. It doesn’t make sense to me because she’s by far the “bad to the bone” dog that I’ve ever owned. Bu lives for Bu. She’s always happy. She’s always on display. She’s the alpha bitch although sometimes her mother will challenge her for that position. She could play 24 hours a day. Life is a party for Bu. Then there’s Jess. She’s built like an Ox, strong but gawky. She lives in the shadow of her exuberant sister Bu. She could eat 24 hours a day. Of the three, she’s my least favorite………….and she’s the reason that I’m writing this article today.

Jess is the one that wags her tail the most when she sees me looking out the back window. Oh Bu loves me too, but that’s because Bu knows I love her best. It’s not that any one of my dogs gets more attention than the other. They all get the same food and treats, and the same amount of attention. You know what I’m talking about though. Whether you admit it or not, you have a favored dog as well. Just notice how your voice changes when you speak to the favored dog. Notice how your eyes get all soft and “love sick” when you’re looking at the favored dog. It’s true. The favored dog is the one that we’re more tolerant of than the others. He does something bad and yeah we get mad at him and yell at him, but he really doesn’t’ take us too seriously. He knows we’ll get over it quickly. Yeah he really does. He’s got us all figured out. He’s not too much different then the spoiled child in a family.

Oh I know there are those that are reading this saying “Not in my house. My dogs know better. I’m the alpha and they know better than to come up against me.” Well that may be true, but I bet you still have a favored one that even if you do get mad at her, it’s not too long before she softens you up a bit. It just seems like we can’t stay mad for too long at the favored child.

Do you find your patience is different with one of the less favored dogs? Do we tolerate less from them than the favored one?

How many times have you had a potential buyer for one of your puppies call you up and tell you they’d like to look at your litter, but they’re not ready to buy yet? They tell you that they’re just looking. They just lost a beloved dog and that no other dog can ever take their place in their heart. I remember one such instance years ago.

A husband called me to tell me that he and his wife would like to take a look at my puppies. He told me that they had just lost a beloved dog and that his wife is devastated over this loss. He said that she didn’t even want to come look at the puppies, but he convinced her to join him. He told me that he hopes she will change her mind once she sees the puppies. So they come to my house. I could see that although the lady was friendly, her mood was withdrawn and sad. They showed me pictures of there beloved German Shepherd and proceeded to tell me that no other dog could ever take the place of their “Sadie!” I wasn’t about to try to change the woman’s mind on my own. Instead, I brought the puppies in to the den and let them sell themselves. They ran happily in to the arms of the young couple. Kisses were plentiful from these fat little babies. I immediately saw a change in the woman’s body language. She was smiling from ear to ear. I didn’t have to saw a word. She was sold. But even so, she tried to convince me that no one could replace Sadie.

Well over the following weeks I heard from the woman that bought this puppy from me. She finally admitted to me, that although the puppy didn’t replace Sadie, she helped make much of her pains go away. She told me in time, she was convinced she would love this puppy just as much as Sadie. And she did. All the wonderful phone calls and pictures of the puppy growing up convinced me of that.

Is there perhaps one of our own dogs that may not be the favored dog that we might have overlooked? Have we been guilty of not developing this dog’s full potential? Does this dog sit in the kennel without the proper training and socialization that he needs to be the dog that he can become? Have we forgotten about the less favored one because we are too busy putting so much time in to the favored dog? We just might be surprised at what we might find locked away in that great old big heart from the dog that wags his tail at us the most!

From the book:  "THE BIRTH ORDER BOOK, WHY YOU ARE THE WAY YOU ARE".........Your birth order -- whether you were born first (or are an only child,) or second, in your family -- powerfully influences what kind of person you are, who you marry, the job you choose. Now you can discover: How to pick out the first born in any group. Why the baby in the family gets away with everything. How to help middle children feel less squeezed and more loved. Ways to overcome your worst inborn tendencies. Which career suits you best. How to make the perfect marriage match and much, much more... You've seen him on television and heard him on the radio. Now internationally known psychologist Kevin Leman reveals an exciting new way to better understand yourself and those you love. "Forget astrology. The fresh, new karmic aid for picking friends and lovers is birth order... a funny, and sometimes not so funny, look at the effect siblings, or the lack of them, have in shaping a person."

My rating:  favored dog: (4), not so favored dog: (4), love the one you're with: (4)

Friday, June 18, 2010


Do you have friendly neighbors or do you have neighbors that are giving you a glimpse of what hell looks like? When you own dogs, and especially if you own more than a few, you better pray that you live next to great neighbors that tolerate your dogs and their barking. If you don’t, all hell can break out.

I guess it really depends upon where you live. If you live in the country and you have several acres of land, most of the time you never even know who your neighbor is. Most of the time if you’re lucky, you won’t have any problems with neighbors at all. But if you live in a residential neighborhood this is when your neighbors from hell can show their ugly faces.

I’ve lived in both the country and residential neighborhoods while owing my German Shepherds. Living in the country was by far the better place to raise my dogs. Although I did have a neighbor call me one time that my dogs were barking too much when I was gone for several hours. That’s when I decided when I was going to be away for any length of time, the dogs got put away until I returned. This is the policy that I still chose to use when I’m not going to be home. None of my dogs are left outside when I’m away from home.

When we got my very first German Shepherd, we lived in an apartment for a year. She was a happy go lucky kind of dog that loved going everywhere with us. She had a marvelous disposition and loved everyone that she met. We had a neighbor that lived in the apartment above us. She’d pat our dog on the head when she would see her but made the comment, “Oh that’s one of those police dogs. I would never trust her.” No matter how friendly my dog was, this woman would always have something bad to say about “those police dogs!” She was the most annoying and obnoxious person you could have the misfortune to run into. How annoying was she? Well she would do her vacuum cleaning every night after 10 o’clock……..back and forth it would go across the floor for what seemed like hours. Then her teenage son would add to the “musical serenade” by sharing with us his latest hard rock selection of the week. If we complained to her, she’d sarcastically say, “Oh what’s the matter your dog don’t like rock and roll music?” We only lived there for a year.

We moved to a residential area and bought our first show dog. So now we had the two dogs. We had a garage that we built indoor/outdoor runs from. They had a doggie door to go in and out of the garage as they pleased. However at night, I’d lock the doggie door so they wouldn’t be barking into the wee hours of the morning. Well I had this neighbor that had two small flat coated wire haired terriers. Can I tell you that they had the yappiest of mouths on them that you ever did hear? The husband was a nice sort of a guy. He’d exchange a few pleasantries with us across the fence. We had chain link fence enclosing our whole back yard as well as the two dog runs. The wife on the other hand, was Mrs. Nosy. She asked us “Why are you doing this and why are you doing that?” We put up privacy shields in the fence to try to block her spying eyes. I remember one morning my telephone rang. I picked it up and it was my neighbor cooing in to the phone, “Barbara dear, I noticed that your bedroom shades were down and I was just checking in on you.” Wasn’t she sweet and considerate? NOT!

When we moved to Georgia, we again lived in a residential area. The two dogs that I owned then are the ones that you see pictured at the top of the blog. They both had magnificent temperaments and many times they’d be with us on the front lawn loose. The children from the neighborhood would come over and say hello to them, so people didn’t have a problem with our dogs here. HOWEVER, my neighbor on the one side of my yard had a Bassett Hound. He was a sweet natured dog, but did you ever hear them bark and howl? Oh my God, they sound awful.

Well quite frankly I used to feel very sorry for this Basset Hound. This poor dog would be left outside (not tied up though) in all kinds of weather. He’d sit on the back deck howling and begging them to let him in, but most of the time it fell on deaf ears. I wouldn’t have minded being deaf myself at those times. Once in awhile they would open the door and let him in. The worse of times was when they left the dog out past 10’oclock at night. They were abusive to this dog for letting him sit outside all day and night howling and abusive to their neighbors that had to listen to his awful annoying howling and barking.

Or how about the time that I complained to my neighbor that used to let her dog run loose all over the neighborhood and “deposit” his “stuff” on my nice freshly mowed lawn? You know what her answer to me was? “You’re an animal lover, deal with it!” We only lived there a year also before we moved to the country.

Those few instances that I shared with you about some of my neighbors are mild compared to other people’s stories about the “Neighbors from Hell.” I’ve been told or read about stories where neighbors have poisoned other people’s dogs. Most of the time by the time the owner of the dog got to him, he was already dead. I’ve heard of dogs being killed in their own kennel runs. Sometimes people will throw something over the fence to the dog so he’ll eat it. It always amazes me about some people’s degrees of nastiness.

Here are a few that I found on the internet about “Neighbors from Hell.” I tell you some had me laughing out loud although I wouldn’t be laughing if I lived by them!

It seems that one neighbor had no respect for his neighbors when they were asked to please keep their barking dogs in late at night. But nope they let their dogs bark 24 hours a day. Well these were smaller dogs and if you ever heard them, you know how very annoying their barks can be. So it seems the children of the family took matter into their own hands. They wrapped sleeping pills in a treat and threw it over the fence to the dogs. The dogs became very drowsy and were stumbling when they tried to walk. I guess their owners took notice and the yapping dogs were in bed at a reasonable time from then on in.

Another neighbor did the same thing. It seems he feels that he had good reasons for doing so. From what he says, his neighbor is certifiable! He says that she cleans the snow and ice off of her car with a hula hoe. (I never heard of that before). He says it’s one of those garden tools that are on a long wooden handle with the metal blade that goes back and forth. Apparently it’s used to dig up weeds. Well when this huge dog at another neighbor’s house hears it, all he did was bark, howl and woof incessantly. After this went on for three days, it seems this neighbor lost all control. He says in his own words that “”Over the counter sleep aids are of a great value in this type of case. After 45 minutes the dog started making sounds like some drunken cow.” He says he hasn’t heard from the dog in a year and that he found out that the dog now lives elsewhere!

Another “friendly” neighbor didn’t like people’s dogs period. It didn’t matter if they were well behaved and didn’t bark or make a lot of noise. They were just an animal hater. Well the owners made sure that the dogs were never outside alone and that they were in the house at night. Well it seems these neighbors didn’t have the same degree of good manners as their neighbor’s dogs. The husband and wife would sit on the back porch all night into the wee hours of the morning, laughing, smoking and drinking. It just so happened to be on the side of the house where their neighbor’s bedroom was. So besides listening to them carry on all night, they had to breathe in the smoke of their cigarettes as well. Talk about getting second hand smoke. Oh yeah, and to add insult to insult, they even did the “wild thing” on the picnic table for their neighbors viewing pleasure! Is this what they mean by "Love thy neighbor?"

I know someone in the breed (no don’t write me and ask me who it is) that lived on several acres of land. She told me one time that a neighbor called her complaining about her dogs barking too much. Well she and her husband worked full time out of the home. She didn’t know what to do about this because the neighbor was becoming more and more threatening on the phone with her. Well her husband made “THE CALL” to “SOMEONE who had connections.” This “SOMEONE” called the annoying neighbor and told them “You will not bother these people anymore.” My friend never heard from them again! See it pays to have someone that has “CONNECTIONS.”

So there you have it. Some neighbors are great and many become friends. They share barbecues with one another, kids birthdays and heck some even go on vacation with one another. But for every neighbor that is like this, there are those few that came up from the bowels of hell! I can’t wait to hear some of your stories about your “Neighbors from Hell!”

From the book: "COPING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE"..... Based on many years of research and observation, Dr. Robert Bramson identifies the seven personality types that victimize the people around them and offers six basic steps to coping with each one. Proves that difficult people may be unavoidable but not unmanageable. Bosses, friends, family members, they've made your life hell -- until now! Based on fourteen years of research and observation, Dr. Robert Bramson's proven-effective techniques are guaranteed to help you right the balance and take charge of your life. Learn how to: Stand up to anyone -- without fighting.
Blunt a sniper's attack. Get a clam to talk. Cut off a Sherman tank at the pass.
Manage bulldozers. Get stallers off the dime. Move a complainer into a problem-solving mode. Learn the six basic steps that allow you to cope with just about anyone. Reclaim the power the rightfully belongs to you in any relationship!

My rating: Living in the country with dogs: (4), living in residential areas with dogs: (1 - 4)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


For all you single people in the breed...........

Barbara J. Galasso

The young beautiful woman walks into the office of the famous matchmaker hoping that she will be able to help her find the man of her dreams. She’s a little nervous and embarrassed at first wondering if she is appearing desperate having to come to a matchmaker. She almost turns around to walk back out, but changes her mind knowing she’s been unsuccessful in finding the type of guy that she wants on her own.

The matchmaker beckons her to come in and take a seat so they can have a talk. She asks the young woman just what type of guy is she looking for. She reassures her that she will do her best to help her find him.

The young woman opens her pocketbook and pulls out a list that she has made of all the qualities that she is looking for. She tells the matchmaker that she is adamant about what she expects. She’s not willing to compromise in her requirements. These things she considers “must haves” in the guy of her dreams.
“Okay then”, the matchmaker says to her, “Tell me what it is that you are looking for.”

The young woman proceeds to read her the list of her requirements. “He must be tall, dark and handsome, race and religion aren’t important. He must be very rich and it would be nice if he had some kind of aristocratic background. Loyalty is high on my list of requirements, a one woman kind of guy, someone who is brave and willing to defend me, a good listener, and someone who is non-judgmental. He must be smart, and love me unconditionally. He must be someone who can put up with my mood swings, letting me come and go as I please. He should love to cuddle, and he must accept my two young children and not want anymore. He must be noble, someone I can be proud to be seen with and oh yes, he must have a good personality and make me laugh, and most importantly, he must worship me and put me before anyone else in his life.” she adds.

“Wow, “the matchmaker says. That’s some long list of expectations you have there. That’s a tall order to fill to find all those qualities in one guy. Are you sure that you’re not willing to be a little more flexible? This would give you a better chance of meeting that special someone,” she tries to explain to her. The young woman remains firm in her requirements and tells her there is no room for compromise. The matchmaker tells her she will see what she can do and she’ll be in touch but not to expect many matches that can meet all of her extraordinary requirements.

A week goes by and the young woman doesn’t hear anything from the matchmaker. So she calls the office to inquire about this. The matchmaker tells her she’s still working on it. This goes on for weeks and the young woman grows more and more frustrated and inpatient. The matchmaker asks her again, “Are you sure that you’re not willing to compromise on a few of your requirements? I have a few matches that have many of the requirements that you are looking for, but not all of them.” Once again, the young woman remains strong in her convictions. This is what she wants, and she’s not willing to change a thing.

Weeks go by. The matchmaker is becoming agitated with her client because no matter who she tries to match her with, they are never good enough for her. Again she suggests for her to be a little more flexible in her requirements because she’s never going to get everything in one guy. But no, the client remains strong in her requirements and is not willing to budge.

Three months go by and the telephone rings at the young client’s home. It’s the matchmaker. She tells the excited young woman to come to her office. She thinks she’s found her the perfect match. When she comes into the office, she sits in the chair in front of the matchmaker. She tells the young woman, “It took me some time to find you this special guy, but I’ve finally narrowed it down to one very special guy that meets all of your requirements. “That’s great, that’s great, the young woman says. Do tell me all about him,” she eagerly pleads.

“Well the matchmaker says, you said you wanted tall, dark and handsome. He is considered very handsome. You said race didn’t matter. He’s black. You said he must be very rich coming from an aristocratic background. I can tell you that he comes from Europe and has generations of his family still living there. He and his family are worth a lot of money. “Oh, what do they do?” asks the excited client. The matchmaker tells her they’re in the import business and have been for generations. You wanted someone who is loyal. This fellow is a one-woman type of guy. He’s fiercely loyal! You wanted someone who was brave and willing to defend you. This guy will defend you with his life. A good listener is another one of your requirements and someone who is non-judgmental. Well this guy will never judge you and will always think you’re right even when you may be wrong and he’ll always listen without judging you. He is very smart. In fact, in his social circle many believe him to come from the most intelligent of families. Unconditional love is what you want? Well you got it with this guy. He’ll be only yours for as long as you want him. If you’re moody, grumpy, and acting like a “princess,” he won’t mind. He’ll accept you for who you are. You want someone to cuddle with? Then you’ve come to the right place. This guy will give you all the love and affection your heart craves. He’ll love your children and play with them like they belong to him and not expect to have anymore kids than what you already have. You wanted someone who was noble and someone you could be proud to be seen with. Well when people see the two of you walking down the street, people will step aside and let the two of you pass out of respect for the reputation this guy commands. Doors will open for you when you’re seen with this guy! You wanted a good personality and someone you can laugh with. This guy can be so funny and from what I’m told, some of his antics will make you have tears running down your face. You want someone to worship and adore you and put you first in his life? Well, young woman that is what he lives for!”

The woman says this all sounds too good to be true. She says to her, “There must be some negatives about this guy. Do you know about any of his personality faults?” “Well, the matchmaker says, from what I’m told about him, he can be jealous and temperamental if he feels your affections for someone other than him is being shared. But other than that, I think you’ve got yourself an all-around good kind of a guy. Pretty near perfect if you ask me. After having met this guy, I know now why he is so popular. Everyone who meets him, likes him."

“Oh my God,” the young woman almost shouts out in her excitement. I can’t believe you found this guy for me, the one of my dreams!” “Yes I can’t believe it either," the matchmaker echoes what she says. It took me many long hours and weeks to try to figure out who would be just right for you. I’m good at my matchmaking skills and I have to be honest with you, I just didn’t know if I would be able to come up with all the qualities you were looking for in one guy. I didn’t know that he even existed. Anyway, enough of this small talk, she says. Are you ready to meet your perfect match?” “He’s here? the young woman asks in disbelief. Oh my goodness, how do I look? I didn’t know I’d meet him today.” “You look fine,” she tells the young woman. Remember you wanted someone non-judgmental, so I know he’s going to like you just the way you are.” “Okay then, the young woman says. Bring him in. I guess I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be."

The matchmaker opens the door and says to her assistant, “You can bring Mike in now." The young woman rearranges her dress, checks her lipstick, and shifts position in her chair nervously waiting for Mike to come through the door. The matchmaker turns to the young woman and says, “Let me introduce you to your perfect match according to your requirements. Say hello to Mike.” She opens the door a little wider and in walks a large, handsome black German Shepherd Dog who rushes over to the young woman and plants a wet, sloppy kiss on her cheek. The young woman faints.

Moral of the story: Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. Don’t you just love a happy ending?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Only “Baby Boomers” or children of “Baby Boomers” will remember that song (the title of this article). It was a fun, up beat type of song. You know the kind that makes you want to tap your feet to the rhythm of the music. Here are a couple of lyrics from that song.

“I'm in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I'm in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows”

So I remembered that song because of the subject that I chose to write about today. How important is it to you that you are in with the “In Crowd” when it comes to the dog show world? Do you rub elbows with the “Big Shots” of the breed or do you travel on your own path being remembered for your own contributions to the breed? Or are you one of those “name droppers” because you have nothing important to say yourself so you have to quote other people. You know the type that I’m talking about…….”Well Ellen said this and Ellen said that…….”Everything in my kennel is from Ellen’s dogs”………..”Ellen wouldn’t be seen dead with something from those bloodlines”……..”Ellen is judging this week-end and she said I could go with her.” They have nothing to contribute to the breed so they talk about the big shot like he’s some sort of God or something. I suppose these types of people are not any different than some people are in their everyday life. There are leaders and there are followers in this world. I suppose we need both types of people. After all, where would the leaders of this world be without their adoring followers?!

What about when it comes to choosing a stud dog? Are you are “title” breeder? Will you only breed to the Selects or the Grand Victor because of their prestigious title? Do you think this makes your puppies more desirable? The week before he was crowned Grand Victor, were you thinking of breeding to him then? If he didn’t win the Grand Victor title, would you still have bred to him?

The “In Crowd” of people you’ll see at all the dog shows. You’ll recognize them. They’re the ones that as soon as they step on the show grounds, are encircled with their “adoring fans” hanging on every word they say. Some will pull out a chair for them hoping they’ll sit next to them at ring side. In their mind, it’s good to be seen with the “In Crowd.” It’s like if they’re associated with the big shot, maybe people will think that they’re more important than they actually are. “Hey Jane, come on over here and sit with us. We saved a seat for you.” “Oh no, I just couldn’t. So and so is here today. Maybe another time, but today I’m sitting with the In-Crowd.”

Oh it’s fun to be with the “In Crowd.” You get to pack up their car when leaving the show grounds. You get invited to go out to lunch with them after the show. And you even get to pick up the tab for the big shots lunch. While eating a cheeseburger together the big shot might suggest who to breed your bitch to. You really had hoped to breed her to the champion that has everything your girl needs. Nope, the big shot tells you that that is a silly breeding. If you’re ever going to get anywhere in this breed, she tells you to do what she suggests. Sensing an “attitude” coming on, you decide to take her advice. You do the breeding not because you wanted to but because the big shot told you to. I wonder if you can be actually considered the breeder of this litter when you didn’t even chose the stud dog for your own bitch. The puppies are born and you didn’t get the improvement in your puppies that you wanted, but you made the big shot happy. Now isn’t it nice having someone do your thinking for you? Ah… is good when you’re in with the “In Crowd!”

I remember one time an “In-Crowd” worshiper told me that she was very interested in buying a puppy from a well bred litter that wasn’t bred by the “In – Crowd” breeder who she normally bought her puppies from. Well you would have thought that the world was coming to an end the way the “In – Crowd” breeder read her the riot act. “Why would you want to buy a puppy from anyone else other than me when I have the best in the country?” she shouted at her. Did she buy the puppy from the well bred litter? No she didn’t. She couldn’t afford to suffer the wrath of the “In – Crowd” breeder if she ever wanted to show her face in “this town again!”

Another bonus of hanging out with the “In Crowd” is that most of the time you’ll get the better seats at a show especially the size of the National. You won’t find the “In Crowd sitting in the bleachers! No sir, the “In – Crowd” is never at a loss for a seat. His devoted followers always make sure that a seat is available right next to them.

When its time to pick a judge for a show and especially the National Specialty show, you won’t find just any old judge on the slate of judges. It’s usually the same judges year after year that get asked to do these prestigious shows. These are usually the “In – Crowd” judges that get chosen.

Notice when you go to your specialty clubs meeting how the “In – Crowd” normally sits together at one table and the little shot sits over on the other side of the room. After all what could the little guy add to the discussion at the “In – Crowds” table?

Is it good to be in with the “In – Crowd?” Some people think so. They feel if the “In – Crowd” gets noticed so will they. They fail to realize that those that truly make up the “In – Crowd” are those that have usually done something in the breed. So if they only hang on their coat tails, that’s where most people will consider them to be……wiping up the rear at the end of the line. They never get the respect that they were hoping for by hanging out with the big shot. You may think that you know what the “In – Crowd” knows by laughing at his jokes that you never really get anyway, by nodding your head up and down when he’s telling you something, by “yesing him to death” and by doing everything he tells you do… in the shadow of the “In – Crowd,” but never really being a part of the “In – Crowd.”

Some would rather be in the shadow of the “In – Crowd” than walking their own path. These are the type of people who never really command respect because they’ve devoted all their energies to rubbing elbows with the “In-Crowd” that they’ve never developed their own potential. It’s easier adoring someone else even though the “In-Crowd” never looks at you with the same adoration and respect you give them. You give up YOU to be part of THEM! You see the “In-Crowd” knows what you’ll never know and that is how to get people like you to put him Wayyyyyyyyy up there while you remain Wayyyyyyyyyy down there. As the song goes, “We get respect from the people we meet. Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest.”

So you laugh when he laughs. You talk about what he wants to talk about. You breed to whomever he tells you to breed to. You buy only his dogs. Only his opinion counts. You drop all your other friends just to be in with the “In – Crowd.” But you never really are. What do you care anyway if he gets all the respect and you don’t get any? Just consider it your contribution to man-kind. Look at it this way; you helped make someone else feel more important than he really is. Yup, life is certainly good when you’re in with the “In – Crowd!”

My rating: Being part of the In - Crowd (depending if you're part of it or in the shadow of it: (1 - 4)

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I think when one thinks of the Witmer German Shepherd Dogs they immediately think of beautiful breed type. I know I do. It seems that Suzie Witmer has strived for a certain “look” in her animals. I know when I see one of her dogs, I say to myself, “Wow what a pretty dog that is!” Her dogs are very easy on the eyes. They also have been consistently good moving animals having won many Futurities and Select titles to their credit. (See the above dog:  Ch. Witmer's Hale of Vanderwerth OFA).

I asked Suzie if she would consent doing an interview with me about her breeding program and I’m happy she consented to share her ideas with us.


I always had a love for animals. Horses came first and then dogs, and mostly German shepherd dogs. My aunt raised a couple litters of German Shepherd puppies when I was a kid. There was one in particular (male) that I became very attached to while my aunt lived with us. She took him with her when she moved out, and broke my heart... I saved my allowance, $5 a week, and bought a purebred unregistered German Shepherd puppy for $75.00.


My kennel name is Witmer, which is of course my last name. A German name!


Nancy Towns, Bob Vanwinkle, the Dancosse family, and Rose Quigley. Nancy had a great eye for motion/side gait. She sat with me for hours looking at puppies and teaching me correct movement. . Bob taught me how to groom and condition.


The folding of specialty clubs, and lack of exhibitors…


My dogs are known for a dominant breed type, correct shoulders, and that they’re good moving dogs. (See the above dog:  Am Select Excellent Can Select Ch Witmer's Jamiroquai OFA H & E ROM).


Intelligence, trainability, and their loyalty.


Too many short upper arms and moving from the elbows. Also running too fast and too many steps to cover ground.


Line breeding, and inbreeding.


I think type to type can work. However I do feel pedigrees are very important. Looking at a pedigree gives you a lot of knowledge including health issues and their pheno and geno type. I'm a pedigree person!


5 wks 7 wks, 12 wks. If I like them, then I grow them out. Teenage stage (8 months to 14 months)is not a good time for my dogs. I look for forehand, type, presence/showmanship, and character.


I would like the parent club to be more open to the membership. Too many hush secrets have hurt us badly..


I feel futurities are important. I enjoy seeing what breeders are producing. Futurities enable us to make educated decisions in our breeding program. Unfortunately entries are very low.


I feed Costco's, Kirkland chicken & Rice. It does a very nice job, and is a good quality food at an affordable price. I feed it with meat. I also feed a few raw.


I use Dr Kruger’s supplement show coat formula.


I do have favorites, and all my favorites are my heart dogs... Wilmer’s Angel, my Hawkeye dtr, her 2 inbred Hawkeye sons Witmer's Expresso, and Witmer's Executive, both passed with 12 pts all majors. My Andretti son, CH Ramhaus Eros of Nordlicht, Sel Ex CH, Can Sel CH Witmer's Jamiroquai "Jerry", CH Witmer's Angelina, and of course my current heart dog, Sel Exc CH Karizma's Nicaragua "Neeko"... One of the sweetest/kindest dogs I have owned. He has his 10 qualifiers, and it will be anytime now he receives his Rom..  (See the above dog:  Select Excellent Ch Karizma's Nicaragua OFA).


Watching Jantar's China Lake of Witmer go Grand Victrix in Canada...enjoying it with my best friends!! We also had a great party that night! A lot of good laughs.


Not dogs I personally own, but dogs by or out of my dogs are in all venues. Many therapy, search, and Rescue, herding, and obedience. My passion has always been in the ring. I have never had the desire for anything else.


Join a breed club, and hopefully find a good mentor.


Their companionship and loyalty.. They are so smart they amaze me. They are always
a step ahead of me, especially now!


I am content with the accomplishments to date. However adding more would be just fine with me....


Beautiful breed type, fronts, dogs that can side gait and are always competitive.

My rating:  Witmer's producing consistently beautiful moving animals:  (4)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Writing on this blog five days a week is work. Make no mistake about that. Coming up with fresh and new ideas is always a challenge, especially for someone like me. I’m very self critical about my writings. It always amazes me about the articles that get the most responses. Sometimes the ones that I’ve spent the most time on are not necessarily the ones that most people respond to. Sometimes the ones that I’m not the fondest of are the ones that people respond to and like the best. Go figure!

One of my favorite things about writing on my blog is the people that I get to “meet” that respond to some of my articles. There are worlds of fascinating people out there that share their love of the German Shepherd Dog and what makes it even more fascinating is the way they live and share their lives with their dogs. Not everyone that reads this blog is a show person, an obedience person or a dog trainer. But one thing that they are is a lover of the German Shepherd. Writing this blog brings many different German Shepherd people together and makes us realize that it’s not just about you and me. It’s about them and those as well!

One such person that I’m delighted to have made an acquaintance with is one of my newer readers. He’s responded to some of my articles that I’ve written and I was drawn to look him up on his own blog that he writes. I was taken with this mans lifestyle that he and his lovely wife have chosen to live with their three dogs that they adopted from rescue……two German Shepherds and a Border/Collie mix. These German Shepherd lovers have chosen to live their lives with their dogs in God’s country….in the wilderness. His pictures on his blog tells the story of how they live in their beautiful cabin and of their “neighbors” that happen to trespass on their property from time to time…… bears, mountain lions and wolfs to name just a few. Do check out Bruce and Carol McElmurray's blog and look at their pictures of their cabin and their  lifestyle. Bruce is a down to earth kind of writer…….hmmmmm similar to his lifestyle. You can check it out here: Oh yeah and Bruce just wrote to tell me that one of his articles was just published in “Mother Earth News” in the Aug/Sept issue that comes out on 7/20. I can’t wait to read it.  I hope everyone gets a change to read it as well.

I asked Bruce if he would write an article as a guest writer for my blog. I am thrilled that he did just that and I share it here with you now. Okay Bruce, take over…..


We live in the mountains of S. Colorado at 9,750', in a rather remote area with our two German Shepherd dogs and our Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. Bozwell is our 95# male GSD, Sarah our 65# female GSD and Gypsy our 60# mix. All are rescues. Our property is heavily wooded and has two springs on it which attract various forms of wildlife. We see and encounter bear, mountain lion, coyote, wolves, lynx, bobcat, deer, elk, and a host of other animals on a fairly regular basis.

When we lived in Central Pennsylvania within the city we had totally different circumstances to deal with. When we walked (our now deceased) dog Ben (GSD) in the city we had to watch for different dangers like traffic, weird strangers, children on bicycles and so forth. We had sidewalks but sometimes we had to cross busy streets and a mini mall parking lot where there was a Pizza Hut that delivered. We trained Ben to look both ways at intersections which he always did. Being run down by a Pizza Hut delivery vehicle can ruin your day so we trained for specific risks peculiar to our area. When we would come to an intersection or corner like the mini mall it was best to peek around the corned of the building to see if a pizza delivery vehicle was screaming down the alley. Ben would stop, sit, look both ways, (as would we - except the sit part) and if safe we would proceed. As to weird strangers, I was out walking Ben one night and this spectral image came floating down the other side of the street semi illuminated by the street light. It turned out to be someone wearing a pill box hat and silky flowing robes dressed in traditional African style. We were on the dark side of the street and Ben went on alert and gave a low guttural primitive growl that sounded like it came from the pits of hell. The person stopped instantly and made a 'U' turn and wasted no time getting out of Dodge. That growl was so compelling my hair stood up. I heard it twice in Ben's 13 years.

Now we live where there are few people, (we have one seasonal neighbor 300 yards away - our next neighbor is one mile) and more animals than anything. Our dogs have been and are continually trained to cope with animals that would endanger them. Instead of Pizza Hut deliveries and city risks we are now concerned with predators. Since we rely on our dogs instincts of smell, hearing and sight as well as our own limited instincts, we certainly don't want to train any of the natural instinct out of them. When a bear and her two cubs come up out of a ditch on our dirt road we don't want our dogs to mis-behave and create a crisis. That happened last year right in our driveway and Bozwell our male GSD conducted himself perfectly. He sat down next to me and watched the bear with her cubs 20' away, and when the mama bear realized we were no threat we all maintained our places for several minutes and then went our separate ways. The key ingredient is the human staying calm and in control. Those situations do not occur often but when they do if the human jumps around flailing their arms yelling "Oh my God, a bear" you will have an excited dog and ultimate catastrophe. Both GSD's are trained to take their cue from either myself or Carol. Last year for example Carol was walking Gypsy down the road in front of the house and 8' away on the down hill side of the road was a bear munching grass. Bozwell and I were on the deck and he did not bark but went on full alert. I waved to get Carol’s attention and when she looked up told her calmly not to panic but she was standing 8' from a bear. She looked over and there was the bear not paying any attention to her or Gypsy, simply grazing along the road. She promptly made her way up to the house without causing any incident. She did put new meaning to the word promptly however. Had I yelled or Bozwell started barking the bear would have instantly been on alert and it could have turned into a nasty situation. Instead the bear just watched her walk away in the opposite direction.

Our dogs have been trained to expect the unexpected. Bears are curious and only one out of a hundred is aggressive. Even then they will leave you an escape route. Wild animals have instincts that we probably used to have but have evolved away from over the years. They know immediately if we pose them any danger and if you stay calm you will be all right 99.9% of the time. Even mountain lions will avoid you especially if you have two or three dogs with you. Wild animals are a whole lot smarter than people give them credit for. We have examples and stories to prove that but will write more on that later should anyone be interested.

Maybe the most important element is that you need to have excellent rapport between you and your dogs. You are the pack leader and you want them to look to you first for who is in control of the situation. They also need to be flawless on walking on leash right beside you. If they are out in front of you that is an open invitation to disaster. Training is an ongoing process with us because no two situations are ever alike. The only time our dogs are off leash is in our fenced in back yard. We have a 6' steel fence which is an area for them to be relatively safe but still we are always with them, even in the back yard. A mountain lion can leap up to 15' and a deer can vault a 6' fence without any trouble. They also need to respond well to the command 'come'. Ours do and even when there are deer on the other side of the fence, given the 'come' command they will immediately come. That proved itself last year when a bear head suddenly appeared over a small hill just past the back yard. Bozwell did not see the bear but when given ‘come’ he came instantly.

How dangerous are these wild animals you may ask. Not dangerous at all as long as the human respects them and their territory and most of all remains calm. It also helps if you understand their ways and traits and know the potential danger sighs. Coyote's will lure a dog away into an ambush where it stands no chance. A swat from a bear will break bones and kill a person or dog. Wolves have much more powerful jaws than a domestic dog. Mountain lions will avoid humans but will track and stalk a dog by itself.

How close have I come to wild animals? I have been 8' and 30' respectively from mountain lions. Up close it is easy to see they are killing machines. When they curl that lip back, snarl and hiss at you with those yellow teeth it can be hard to stay calm but if you want to walk away you have to be calm and in control. You also have to look big and face them. Cower or run and you are dinner. Another time we were about 50 yards away walking behind a lion that was also walking down our road. I have been within 4-5" of a bear; nose to nose, with a flimsy pane of storm door glass between us. Had our GSD standing right next to me barked it could have been an ugly scene. Both the bear and I were surprised to see each other that way and up close. Always the key is to stay calm. Deer account for the injury and death of more dogs than most other wild animals. Those hooves can be deadly. It is foolish and very unwise to not have your dogs on leash where we live. Those who do allow their dogs to run loose invite disaster. We love our dogs far too much to put them at any risk.

So depending on where you live you should train your dogs to your environment. In our case basic commands are important but many times you need to improvise. Our dogs look to us for leadership and we need to meet that need. We are constantly on guard and aware of our surroundings. Different situations require different tactics. I can not express in words how much we love our dogs and we want them to have long and healthy and safe lives with us. By staying vigilant that will be the case.

Coghlans Bear Bell W/Silencer: Attaches to clothing or pack with a velcro strap. In the bag, the magnet eliminates any noise. Out, movement will cause a steady ringing to warn animals of your presence.

My rating: Living among animals and the wilderness: (4), Having guest writers: (4)