Monday, November 15, 2010


Today I’d like to thank Liza (with a “Z”) Minnelli for today’s topic! You see I’m a big fan of “You Tube” and all the many entertaining videos of song and movies. So I was pulling up some of my all time favorite “Oldies but Goodies” songs of my youth. Anyway when you listen to one song, there are many other entertainers that sing their own version of the song. So this is how I came across some of the videos of this phenomenal entertainer.

Liza and I go back many years. You see when I was first married and I got my first German Shepherd puppy, we lived in a ground level apartment. She was a little coated bitch with the most marvelous temperament and had a zest for life. We had a neighbor that lived upstairs that liked to vacuum her apartment around eleven o’clock every night. None of my requests for her to turn her music down made a hill of beans to her. She also had a teenager son who liked to bang on his drums from morning to night. I was very young at the time and a lot more tolerant of annoying loud noises than I am today. So one day I went out and bought a newly released album (yes that’s what they had then… CD’s) of Liza Minnelli’s called “Liza with a Z”…….I must have heard a positive review about it on the television because I was not really familiar with her music. I was too busy listening to rock and roll.

Anyway I bought the album and became an immediate fan of hers because of her powerhouse voice (truly a daughter of her mother Judy Garland)and the way she interprets a song. And truth be told, I needed her “pipes” to drown out the rude people that lived upstairs. So that’s how I became familiar and very much appreciative of Liza’s music. I liked her so much, that I went and seen her in concert twice. Talk about star power. She “owned” the stage. She gave me goose bumps listening to her!

So my first German Shepherd was either enduring the loud drum practice of a teenage “not so good drum player” or the vocal pipes of an electrifying singer. As I said, she had excellent temperament and was very tolerant of anything that came her way. So where is this topic leading me to anyway?

There are times in our lives that literally give us goose bumps. How many of those goose bump moments have been related to the German Shepherd dog? When was the last time that you watched the National Specials class and one of those dogs took your breath away? Was it the Grand Victor or was it another Select dog that you liked a whole lot better but the judge had a different opinion? Or maybe you were crazy about the Grand Victor that had been chosen and watching him crowned gave you goose bumps.

Anyone that was at the 1985 National Specialty show surely can agree with me that that year’s Grand Victrix Ch Lynrik’s Kristal gave all the spectators a “goose bump” moment. She was handled by a very young and talented Leslie Dancosse. Kristal’s leash was dropped when Leslie took a minor misstep and the bitch continued to gait around the ring as if Leslie was still attached to the end of her lead. I’ll never forget it or the roar of the audience at watching this little bitch perform her little heart out. She was indeed what a Grand Victrix should be.

What about when you have a new litter and they start to gait across your backyard. One stands out from the rest. One begs you to “look at me”……”keep me, you’re not going to regret it.” She stops and sets herself up without any training to do so. She takes your breathe away. You run to the phone and call the stud dog owner and tell him, you have a future Grand Victrix in your kennel!

Perhaps you’ve entered one of your dogs in a performance arena and he got a perfect score. All your hard work and training paid off and you were beaming with pride at the athletic abilities of your dog being realized. He looks up into your eyes as if to say, “We did good mom!” And indeed, he has!

Maybe you are one of the hard working, unselfish rescue workers that are called upon time and time again to help the “unfortunates” of our beloved breed. You could write a book about all that you have witnessed. You are not in it for any rewards or blue ribbons. You’re in it for the most simplest of reasons. You just plain old “give a damn!” Your reward is seeing another German Shepherd rescued and placed into his “forever” home. When a dog is down to his last day in the shelter before he’s getting ready to meet his maker and you walk and sometimes literally run into the shelter just in time, well damn if that isn’t a “goose bump” moment, I don’t know what is!

Your child loves dogs and he would love to become more involved with them so he helps groom them, he helps train them and then he asks you, “Mom can I show Duke myself in the ring? Can I please Mom?” Well your chest swells with pride at your child’s request and sure you’ll give him the chance to show his own dog. When he takes his feet into the ring for the very first time and he looks in your direction and sees you clapping for him, his eyes light up and a smile escapes his lips, you just know that you’re watching a “handler in the making!” You bet it’s a goose bump moment!

Having a senior dog that can barely walk because he’s crippled with arthritis respond to a medicine or supplement that puts a new spring in his step, gives you hope for your old guys later years and this too is a "goose bump" moment.

The pride of German Shepherd ownership or any dog for that matter brings along with it some very special ‘goose bump’ moments. From the wet, sloppy kiss planted on the new baby in the house, to the guardianship of that baby, to looking out the window for little “Johnny” getting off the bus……..all “goose bump: moments. It is not after all, just about the show wins, it’s about truly living each day with these exceptional dogs. To miss a moment with them means you may have deprived yourself of one of those “goose bump” moments. All you need to do is pay attention……its coming!

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