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Shepherd Guide, Issue #010 -- Apr 10
April 27, 2010


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.

April 2010

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - Starved GSD Eats Dirt to Survive
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Buddy Leads Troopers to Fire
  3. Training - DIY Dog Training
  4. Health Issue - Dog Vaccination Schedule
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

Courage, a 3 year old German Shepherd, was left in the backyard and a garage without food for five weeks. Despite this, his strong instinct to survive told him to eat dirt and rocks to kill the hunger pangs.

When he was brought to Orange County German Shepherd Rescue, he weighed just 37 pounds. This is less than half the weight for an adult male GSD, according to the German Shepherd Growth chart.

He was so emaciated, GSROC volunteer Shawn Hollub was asked why she was sitting with a dead dog. The doctor at Community Vet hospital says that he has not seen this type of abuse/neglect in his 20 years on the job. He estimates that Courage was hours, at the most one day, from death when he was brought in.

Courage is making a remarkable recovery. He is being fed every two hours around the clock. His diet is a mixture of proteins, enzymes and high calorie food to nurture his starved body.

While he is not out of the woods yet, he has amassed a large following of caring supporters. Volunteers sit with him throughout the day and he spends nights at the house of a vet tech so he is not left alone.

Disturbingly, the previous owner that neglected to feed him is herself a vet tech.

Watch the video to see the amazing progress of this courageous and spirited dog. He is a real talker!

It touched me enough to send a donation to GSROC so that they can continue their work in helping deserving German Shepherds.

Have something incredible to share about your dog? How about telling us 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

Buddy, a 5 year old GSD in Anchorage, Alaska is this month's GSD Hero. When fire broke out in a workshop next to his home, Buddy's owner, Ben Heinrichs, said, "We need to get help."

The dog disappeared into the woods. Little did Ben know that Buddy actually did seek help.

State Trooper Terrence Shanigan was aware of the fire and was working with dispatch to find the location after his GPS froze. He was about to make a wrong turn when he saw a shadow in the intersection. It turned out to be a German Shepherd. The dog took one look at him and then started galloping down the road.

Acting on a hunch, Shanigan followed the dog. Buddy's valiant act is caught on the officer's dash cam. It shows Buddy leading the trooper, periodically turning to make sure the officer was still following him.

The officer was led directly to the house and was then able to give directions to the firefighters. Without precise directions, they may not have been able to contain the fire in time.

Buddy's actions saved his family's home. Heinrichs says, "If it wasn't for Buddy, we would've lost everything."

Buddy was honored on April 23. Col. Audie Holloway awarded him with a silver plated, engraved bowl and a large rawhide bone.

"Buddy's valiant actions saved Trooper Shanigan valuable time in responding to the fire," the Daily News quotes Alaska State Police Director Col. Audie Holloway as saying. "Buddy's pluckiness is a bright spot among an otherwise tragic event for the Heinrichs family."

Not bad for an "untrained" GSD.

Way to go Buddy!

3. Training

This month, I reviewed the Complete DIY Dog Training Guide.

The author is a self taught dog trainer who used a lot of trial and error. She then confirmed her findings with a variety of dog owners and professional trainers.

She believes that most dogs can be trained easily and inexpensively at home, by the owner.

A very through training course, this program offers tips on everything from potty training to advanced dog training tips. For such a thorough guide, the price is right at only $27.95. But, there are some topics I wished she would go into more detail, instead of covering so many topics.

If you need help with German SHepherd training, and don't want to enlist the help of an expensive professional, this may be the guide for you. If you're not easily able to understand accents, the recorded version may not be to your liking.

4. Health Issue

I'm sure you've seen them. The reminder postcard from the vet stating that Fido or Fluffy is due for her annual examination and vaccinations.

My holistic vet was never keen on performing annual vaccinations on my pets. She had a cat that developed a tumor at the injection site.

After researching the current dog vaccination schedule recommended by most vets, I now understand why.

As children, we all got innoculations. But, they eventually stopped. With the exception of a 10 year (or as needed) tetanus booster, no further vaccinations were needed.

So. why do we have to get our pets vaccinated annually? You may be shocked, as I was, to realize that the current guidelines were created over 20 years ago by the USDA and vaccine manufacturers. And disturbingly, they were not based on any scientific evidence.

In fact, it may be harmful to re-vaccinate a pet that is already immune to the viruses we are attempting to protect them from. Once they have this immunity, further shots are simply a waste of money. And, they may actually do harm to your pet.

Find out more at Dog Vaccination Schedule.

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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