The native American Indians, I am told, believe that you bond with the first animal you see ... for me, it was a German Shepherd! Her name was Val, she had been given to my Mum as a birthday present (Valentine's Day). She had been left on their doorstep with a message:
"I look so good but I am bad, I've chewed up everything I've had!
Now left alone to pine, will you be my Valentine?"
that was in 1955 and to this day my parents don't know who gave her to them! Val was 10years old when I was born and if I cried and was in my pram, she used to stand up and lean on the pram handle and look in. Her unsteady stance whilst trying to balance on her back legs would inadvertently rock me back to sleep! From that day to this, I have been hooked! I have predominantly had German Shepherds but after losing my last Shepherd, Legend, to cancer, in January 2009, I decided I needed a change (as the GSDs just keep breaking my heart) so I now have a new love in the shape of a little character called Maverick who is a 3rd Generation Labradoodle. Ok, this didn't last very long and now we have Mia too!
Val LG Max Esprit Storm Legend
1955-1968 1973-1986 1981-1994 1989-2003 1995-1999 1999-2009
30/12/2008 - 31/07/2009 -
In 1996, I qualified as a German Shepherd Dog Association (Western Australia) Obedience Instructor (quite a mouthful!). My speciality is puppies - I love teaching "Kindy" - but I have trained dogs from tiny Jack Russells to enormous Saint Bernards and everything in between and of all ages and stages. One of the things I enjoy the most is educating the owners, helping them learn how to socialise their dogs and solving some of their most challenging problems!
This brings me around to the reason that I have started A Dogs Life web site. I had a beautiful dog called Storm. She had just turned 4 years old when she became very ill. I spent hours searching the Internet looking for something or someone that could advise me, point me in the right direction, anything! I couldn't find anyone or anything and it was all to no avail as she had Canine Aspergillus (different to nasal Aspergillus which affects all breeds and can be treated)- which is a ubiquitous (it's everywhere) fungus in Western Australia (and also found in the US) and everyone and everything recognize and fight it - except German Shepherds. There have been less than 20 reported cases in Western Australia and Storm was one of them. The fungi got into her kidneys (it was first diagnosed as incontinence) and then into her spine. It can eat through half a vertebrae in less than 3 weeks. She was in agony and we were devastated to lose her.
My page, I hope, will provide a service for people to contact me and be guaranteed of a reply. I am not a Vet and, therefore, cannot give medical advice but I can hopefully help with the care of your dog, hopefully point you in the right direction if you have a problem, help you narrow down the odds so that you select the right puppy for you and your family, give you some guidance on behavioural problems, advise on child/dog relationship safety, and help you to understand your dog a little better. I work with problem behaviours not behaviour problems (e.g. major anxiety or aggression) - for this I will refer you to a Vet Behaviourist.
Martha Scott once said:
"Don't make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans; or they'll treat you like dogs."
Since February 2000, when I started this site, I have written back personally to thousands of emails free of charge but I have now included (and added to) a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) Page where hopefully you can find an answer to your question and there is a lot of information that can be found around the site. If you cannot find your answer, please include whatever you think is relevant in your email - the more you tell me, the clearer the picture I will have of your situation. I do reply to every one but if you have not received a reply within 2 weeks, please email me again as I may not have received your email or been able to access your email address.
Please Note too that I do not receive emails that contain viruses, worms etc - my Server stops them before they get to my 'inbox' - if you receive a notice from WestNet, please email me again once your computer is virus free. Thank you.
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