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Shepherd Guide, Issue #006 -- Nov 09
November 20, 2009


Welcome to another issue of the Shepherd Guide!

Thank you for subscribing. As always, in respect for your time, I will keep these monthly updates short and to the point.

November 2009

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - This Dog is Mine?
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Nubs the Mutt
  3. Training - Back to Class
  4. Health Issue - Stem Cell Procedure
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

Former Navy sailor and dog handler, Jeff Meyer, finally got the call he had hoped for, but never imagined. He was told, "Rex is yours."

Several years earlier, Jeff and Rex were partners. Rex, now eight years old, was trained in explosives detection.

They got off to a rough start. Rex was a stubborn German Shepherd that refused to find the explosives. They worked hard together, but Rex stuck to his hard-headed ways. Right before a major inspection, Meyer sat in Rex's kennel and literally pleaded with the dog. Surprisingly, it worked. Rex performed extremely well.

The two forged a strong bond and served on several missions together. Meyer and Rex spent a lot of time together. The soldier told Rex everything.

He had this look in his eyes, Meyer said. "It was like, 'You can tell me anything.'"

The night before Meyer's last day in the Navy, he couldn't sleep. He took Rex for one last walk. "I was just bawling," said Meyer.

A year later, Meyer was told that Rex was being retired. He was told if Rex's current trainer didn't want him, the dog was his. Meyer was afraid to get his hopes up. He got married and bought a house. One with a backyard, just in case. Then, he waited.

Finally, the call came.

Rex is yours.

Everyone's dog has a habit or two that make them undeniably theirs. What makes your dog unique?

Share your dog stories here.

Read more stories about German Shepherds in the news.

2. GSD Hero of the Month

Nubs, a stray German Shepherd / Collie mix, befriended a US Marine In Iraq. Major Brian Dennis came across the dog, whose ears had been shorn, while on patrol.

Over the weeks, their bond grew and grew. But soldiers aren't allowed to have pets. Even though the dog unofficially went on patrol with him, Dennis had no idea how it was going to work.

When Dennis was relocated 70 miles away, he figured he would never see Nubs again.

But, Nubs had other ideas. He traveled in the the direction of the Humvees and found his best buddy in the desert just 2 days later.

Read the story of Nubs, the Mutt and the Marine.

3. Training

Back to lessons and group class for Schatzi. Her limp has disappeared. Conservative management went a long way in restabilizing her partially torn acl joint.

Further updates with the e-collar training are forthcoming.

4. Health Issue

Stem cell procedure shows promise in treating arthritis in dogs.

Ranina, a 10 year old GSD in Jupiter, Florida, was stricken with arthritis. Her owner, Salmia Witt, spent thousands trying to bring her beloved dog some relief. But, nothing seemed to work.

To top it off, the German Shepherd was overweight and had torn her acl. Witt did not think her dog would handle the recommended surgery.

"I was looking for something that would be more outpatient -- something just as beneficial but less invasive," Witt said.

Turns out, Ranina had everything she needed to be healthy... inside her body. Apparently, stem cells exist in adult bodies, not just in embryos as is commonly believed.

Her vet describes the stem cell procedure as similar to liposuction.

"We removed some of Ranina's fat and sent it to a California company called Vet-Stem," says her vet, Dr. Michael Stephan. "The company then extracts the stem cells from Ranina's fat and sends us the cells in a syringe. They then go to work to repair the damage that has been done."

Two months later, Ranina's owner reports that she is 75% better. The procedure ranges from $2,600-2,800.

5. What's On Your Mind?

As a fellow German Shepherd lover, I want to hear what you may have questions or concerns about.

What would you like to read about in future issues? Reply to this email and let me know.

Until next month,

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