Back to Back Issues Page
Shepherd Guide, Issue #013 -- December 10
December 31, 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.

I hope you enjoyed the holidays with family, friends, and your dogs. Here's to a great 2011!

Special note: Looking for a GSD? Please consult a German Shepherd Rescue. There are many deserving GSDs looking for their forever home.

December 2010

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - Cancer Patient Reunited with his Best Friend
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Rescue Team Saves GSD from Icy Pond
  3. Training - Dog Body Language
  4. Health Issue - Mira Demonstrates the Importance of Spay or Neuter
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

Residents of a small Texas town hatched a plan to reunite a cancer patient with his best friend for Christmas.

Paul Gray is a career criminal who found God in prison and devoted his life to help other inmates do the same. He was invited to Texas by the founder of the prison ministry organization, The Heart of Texas Foundation.

Gray left New York not knowing what had happened to his 2 year old German Shepherd, Albert, who had gone missing. Shortly after arrival, he learned that a woman had found the dog. While overjoyed at the news, he felt forced to make a painful decision. Gray asked the woman to care for his dog as he had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

But his new friends decided that was not the best option.

"He comes home from all these treatments and tests and he needs his dog," said Peggy Townley.

Her husband agreed.

"He needs his dog, whether he's sick or well. I know I would," Jeff Townley said.

The Townleys invited Gray and mutual friends to their house on a recent Thursday afternoon. The local news was invited to meet Gray and interview him about his involvement in prison ministries.

After Gray had answered a few questions, they decided the big moment had arrived. The living room blinds were opened revealing Albert in the backyard donning a large Christmas bow. They had arranged to fly the dog from New York to Houston to give Gray an early Christmas present.

"I don't know how to put it into words. I started crying. I raised him from this big," Gray said, wiping tears from his eyes.

"It's good to see him," Gray said. "He's family. He's home."

Read the full story.

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

This month's hero award goes to the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue and Swift Water Rescue Team for saving a lucky GSD.

Hope, a 2 year old German Shepherd, was rescued from an icy pond near her home in Boone County, Kentucky. Owner Gary Erdman, let her out for her morning run on the horse farm where he lives. As he called for her to come home, he noticed that she was trapped in the icy water of a nearby lake.

He ran out to rescue her, but only made it about 10 feet when the ice collapsed and he was submerged up to his neck. He was able to get out and call 911.

The Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue team and Swift Water Rescue responded. Using a boat, they were able to pull the 100 pound dog out of the water.

After being dried off with blankets and towels, Hope zoomed up the driveway to her house. Though she was in the water for 30 minutes, she appeared to be fine.

Thanks to the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue for saving Hope, the German Shepherd!

3. Training

"If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn't either."

This quote makes an important point. Dogs are masters at interpreting body language. So, they'll know someone's intent long before you ever will. And they use body language to communicate with other dogs as well.

I recently watched an episode of, "It's Me or the Dog," where Victoria Stilwell politely chastised a couple over dressing their pets. Imagine her shock when she realized that the dogs actually wore diapers!

Her message was loud and clear. Dogs communicate primarily through body language. When you cover them in clothing, they lose the ability to convey and receive messages properly.

She allowed them to keep simple dog sweaters, but everything else had to go. Not that I think you dress your GSD in fru-fru clothing, but this is an important point to remember.

Learn more about dog body language.

4. Health Issue

I may be preaching to the choir here, but I wanted to remind everyone about the importance of spaying and neutering.

This is made evident by the story of Mira, a 3 year old Mastiff-German shepherd mix, who was improperly euthanized. She had been dumped at a shelter and was scheduled for euthanasia. Miraculously, she was found alive in a freezer, four days after the botched attempt, along with the bodies of other dogs that had been euthanized.

The local humane society is using her as an example of responsible pet ownership. She now visits schools to help people understand the bond between people and their pets. A stark reminder about the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the number of unwanted animals.

Help Mira get out the message about responsible pet ownership and spaying and neutering.

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,

If you like this newsletter, tell a friend.

Back to Back Issues Page