I never write as if I’m presenting a Diary, but in this case, I want to relate to you what Anne, Stryker and I did on Friday in Houston Texas, which had very little to do with Politics, and everything to do with making a real nice day Great.

But FIRST, let me tell you something about Stryker. Stryker is a 92-Pound German Shepherd, whom we purchased as a Puppy 7-Years ago. Stryker’s Parents were bred in Poland where he was born, which is just one of three countries where REAL GERMAN SCHUTZHUND Shepherds are recognized as the most PERFECT Shepherds possible.

Aside from Germany, the only other country besides Poland, where the German Registry will recognize Schutzhund Shepherds is the Czech Republic.


1 – They have the OLDEST Pure German Shepherd Bloodlines, going all the way back to the foundation Shepherd.

2 – All Schutzhund Shepherds must be bred and born under strict regulations under the auspices of the German Shepherd Registry in Germany, or in one of the two aforementioned countries, including Germany of course.

3 – And all Schutzhund Shepherds must be bred ONLY to Registered Schutzhund Shepherds through German Registration.

4 – Once the pups are born, they are registered as Schutzhund Shepherd Puppies, but are not recognized as Schutzhund Shepherds until they themselves pass the Specific Tests for Schutzhund Shepherds IN GERMANY.

5 – Schutzhund Shepherds must be of a certain size, coloration, physiology and psychology. Schutzhund Shepherds are generally Black & Tan with a Rich Reddish Tone. They don’t have that Ridiculous German Shepherd Slope found in North American Shepherds, which almost always leads to Hip Dysplasia. And if a Schutzhund Shepherd is found with any hint of Dysplasia, the entire line ceases to breed.

6 – Schutzhund Shepherds must be Agile, Strong, Fleet of Foot and Daring.

7 – Schutzhund Shepherds CANNOT be TIMID. They can’t blanch at Thunder, Lightening, or Loud Noises like Gunfire.

8 – And Schutzhund Shepherds CANNOT be Aggressive.

9 – Generally, Schutzhund Shepherds are ALOOF, and are constantly surveying the premises where they’re at.

And Stryker Meets All These Standards In Spades.


REAL German Schutzhund Shepherds are rated from 1 through 3, with 3 being the Highest, and 1 being just Acceptable, which doesn’t mean that 1 isn’t necessarily a great dog to have, since 1 – still represents amongst the best.

But to earn Full Schutzhund Shepherd Recognition . . . you have to bring your Shepherd to Germany, where he or she must under-go extraordinary Testing for all the Qualities I wrote about in the preceding. And they have to be trained for it.


The German Schutzhund Shepherd Breed & Registry . . . started in 1899 with Max Von Stephanitz, with his Sire Horand Von Grafrath.

As all Schutzhund Shepherds, Stryker’s Lineage and Pedigree goes all the way back to the Original Foundation German Shepherd, with most of Stryker’s Ancestors being Level THREE Schutzhunds.

Since we took Stryker into our House at 4 ½ months old, to be a Pet and Family Member, we had no interest in sending him to Germany to be Registered as an Official Schutzhund Shepherd, which would have made him valuable as a Breeding Shepherd, which was never even close to our interests.


Stryker has several levels of Obedience Training with Anne and Myself working for Months at a time with him in Special Classes at Tri-L Kennels, near Hudson Quebec, where we all learned under the Tutelage of Larry Liljedahl, who spent most of his Life training Shepherds for Active Military and Police Duty at home and abroad in the USA and Canada, as well as for Battle Fields . . . going all the way back to Vietnam.

And after Two Extremely Successful Obedience Courses, Anne followed up by entering Stryker into Multiple Classes of Agility Training, where Stryker learned how to walk on Narrow Planks 4-Feet above the ground, run through Multiple 2-Foot Circumference Tunnels, Walk up and Down Teeter-Totters, and weave through a series of Vertical Poles.


Wherever we went, Stryker went with us. Whomever we spoke with, Stryker was included. Wherever Children Played, you’d find Stryker Playing with them. Wherever we went-out to eat, as long as they had an outside Dining Patio, Stryker was with us. And we encouraged EVERYONE who had the desire to pat Stryker to do so.

THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE . . . for Stryker – came with the Pledge Rides, where Stryker was Fully Trained to keep a Wary eye on all things around us when we stopped for gas, a meal or any event. He was ALWAYS RIDING SHOTGUN in one of our Vehicles, which were purchased to accommodate his REALLY BIG SIZE.

And . . . anyone who might have thought they would want to start some trouble, because, whether we were Jews or Christians we flew the Star of David from our Bikes, or wore it on our leathers, especially when we were on our own . . . with one look at Stryker, they would think otherwise.

And once Stryker really got into the swig of things and fully understood his “JOB”, we bought him a Security Vest, which he REALLY likes to wear. And wherever he goes with the Security Vest, Stryker attracts a crowd.

AND WHEN WE WENT INTO BALL ROOMS . . . in the Fanciest Hotels where the Pledge Ride held our Banquets, there was Stryker, always lying at our Feet.

It has come to the point, that wherever we are . . . Stryker is too, which brings me to Friday.

SO HERE WE WERE AT NASA, The Johnson Space Center, with two Texas Friends and their Extremely Well Behaved Service Dogs. So, we put on Stryker’s Security Vest as always, approached the Ticket Gate and the NASA Security Desk, and made it CLEAR TO THEM, AS WE ALWAYS DO, that Stryker is NOT A SERVICE DOG, but is used and Trained for Security Purposes, and does very well in Busy and Crowded Spaces, where we like to keep him Sharp . . . But, if they have any problem whatsoever with us bringing him in . . . no problem, and we won’t enter. And low and behold as always, after an abundance of patting and generous compliments from the NASA People . . . Anne and I paid the Fee, and the three of us were invited in.

So, not only did Anne, I, and our two Friends with their dogs see and do everything at the Space Center, so did our Dogs, especially Stryker, who was Literally Mobbed by people wherever we walked, especially children, who couldn’t help themselves but to pat, hug and kiss Stryker.

At one point, we were surrounded by as many as a dozen Children and their parents at one time, who took turns holding Stryker’s Leash to have their picture taken with the Vested Security German Shepherd, who was in every case bigger and heavier than any of the Children, some of whom seemed to be terrified of him, but couldn’t help themselves but to hold, pat and kiss him. And while all of this was happening, Stryker was as patient and gentle as imaginable.


Stryker was on the Shuttle. He was all over the 747 that carried the Shuttle. Stryker was in Mission Control. He was on all the Trams on special seating the Tram Operators made available for us because of Stryker, which brought us throughout the Space Center.


At one point . . . a Moslem Man who was with two Women wearing full length Hijabs, who were in line with several Children, came right up to me, and in accented English, excitedly asked if Stryker was a REAL German Shepherd. And when I said yes, he asked if he could touch him, which to me was a somewhat strange request, since in Islam, Dogs are considered to be “Dirty”, to which I also said yes, and then this guy starts rubbing him and kissing him all over, while telling me how much he loves German Shepherds, and this is the Nicest German Shepherd he ever saw, and then he starts banging me on my back as best friends do when excited over something or another. HE WAS BEAMING AS HE TOUCHED STRYKER.


And when we left the Johnson Space Center . . . Employees of the Center, Adults and Children alike said goodbye to Stryker, while no one said goodbye to Anne and myself, which we’re kind of used to.

PS – It’s nice to relate a pleasant story. And as I see it, Trump and Conservatives can survive a Day or Two on their Own, without me writing about Socio/Political Hellfire and Brimstone.

Follow me on Twitter @Galganov. And please, include my Editorials in your Face Book Accounts.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

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  1. I also see similarities in Ukraine and what Putin is doing there while the world just sits and watches.

  2. I’ve owned 4 over the last 31 years. Loved them all. Tremendous family pets. Tears never ending upon each ones passing.

  3. Nice story, Howard, and thanks for the human interest break from the silly political stories coming out of the NYT and the Washington Post.

  4. Aww, nice. Having lost our two dogs relatively recently, I can certainly relate to how special is the relationship between human and canine.

  5. I have a 90 pound Doberman that looks fierce. Bella has had training but is not as well behaved as Stryker. When ever I walk her people come up to me as well. The children are excited by such a big dog and ask if they can pet her. I as well have noticed what humanity dogs bring into the world. Your column brought a smile to my face and reminded me how lovely all dogs are. Thank you for sharing.

  6. What a wonderful blog! I dearly love German Shepherds. We had some when we lived in California. Funny story on Thor our male. We had to put our gas dryer out on the back porch. I had dried some underwear & other things. I got up at 6 AM went out to get my dried clothes. I saw Thor hanging his head & his tail was between his legs. He went into the house crawl space. Then I looked around & saw ALL of my underwear all over the backyard. Not Hubby’s but mine!!! He knew he was guilty. :O)

  7. This is for all the protesters out there.

    The election is over, the talking is done

    Your party lost, my party won

    So let us be friendly, and let arguments pass

    I’ll hug my elephant, and you kiss your ass!

  8. My husband and I own a beautiful 6 year old male schnauzer named Ike that accompanies us wherever we go. He is high spirited, as are all schnauzers, but VERY friendly. Everyone always ooh’s and coo’s as they pet him (we didn’t get his ears cut which makes him seem puppy-like). I believe dogs are the best ambassadors. Thank you so much for sharing Striker’s story.

  9. Stryker sure sounds like an exceptional dog, and very handsome, to boot. I have been master to only one German Shepherd in my lifetime, and he and I graduated from obedience school together. “Sam” was always very loyal and responsive to my every command, even when rendered by hand gesture. Today I own a Pit Bull mix who is one of the joys of my life in my advancing years. Dogs do enrich our lives, and you are indeed lucky to have Stryker by your side.

  10. I think German Shepherds are most gorgeous dogs in the world…and Stryker is a good example of why…..but my wife wants a lap dog and our small back yard says no ….so we have a Shih Tzu….. he thinks he is big enough to take on Stryker….but I do think he would lose…
    regardless dogs are wonderful companions…

  11. What a lovely story, Howard!! Will forward to some animal lovers. Dick & I have Moragh – Highland terrier – & we love her to bits. She’s not as exciting as Stryker but that’s OK – she suits our quiet life-style.

  12. That’s a really nice story, Howard, and much in line with our election results, with the exception that Stryker’s feet will not have to be held to the fire.


  13. I had a German Shepherd years ago and had to give him away at my dear wife’s request…we had a daughter about the same time as we got the puppy and he just grew up to fast and it scared my wife, but not my little girl…he was huge, but stayed a puppy, very gentle and loved to play…we gave him away to a farm family with a good home and I still miss “Boggie” to this day.
    Thanks for the story, Howard

  14. We all have had many dogs. My German Shepard, tan and black, was a Police reject, too kind. Kept licking everyones hands. That was until he met my three small kids. He took over, protection and the smallest learned to walk with one
    hand in his mouth. Lived a long full life.

  15. He’s gorgeous. I have Siamese cats that are excellent quality as well, so I know what you mean about breeding. Your dog and my cats have better breeding and manners than the idiot protesters who have shown what absolute hypocrites they are. I haven’t had a dog in 30 years, but I had two Dobermans that were special animals and I miss them both; they leave big, muddy paw prints on our hearts.

  16. It’s so nice to read details about Stryker and the interactions among people and dog! Please give Stryker a big hug from me. 🙂

  17. I think we all could learn a lot from Stryker. And should Stryker take up writing commentary on His keen observations of “the dilemma of mankind” I for one would believe every word…

  18. Thank you for a wonderful post today, Howard. I have always been enamored by Stryker, and now even more so after learning his heritage. It was so uplifting to read a totally happy story after the ugliness of the past few months. Now I would like to hear about April the Cat!

  19. I am so pleased to read this story because I can confirm what a great dog Sryker is. I was at the R2R rally when this picture was taken. Ann and you were busy and I was asked to hold the his leash for a short time. He did not move or make a sound. We just stood together even though I was a stranger to him. This story brings back some very pleasant memories.

    Thanks, Andy

  20. I particularly loved the interaction with the Muslim man, Howard. People are people. Live and let live. He was obviously an observant Muslim but I’m guessing not whacked-out on Sharia or he would not have been so dog-friendly. People don’t understand that Donald Trump is not anti-Musliim. Only anti Sharia-obsessed Muslims who just might have another agenda that supercedes the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of Rights in Canada. Tolerance to the tolerant works both ways!

  21. THAT has got to be one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen! Thank you for sharing!

  22. We have owned 2 German Shepherds. The first a black and silver female we had to give up when moving. We gave her to a Nun’s Convent and she became their protector. Enter at your own risk if you didn’t wear a habit. The second was over 100 lbs. male who was the friendliest dog one could imagine. The most fun came when my wife adopted a 12 lb. German Dachshund. They got along fine as long as Shogun (the big dog) didn’t annoy Pancho (mighty mouse).

  23. The election of Trump affords us the “luxury” of turning away from the constant horrors brought on by liberals in charge of the government and, rather, being able to simply enjoy the good things in life again. Great story! Thanks

  24. Beautiful dog…equally as beautiful a day spent at NASA it seems. Loved the sharing. Thanks!!!!

  25. I love Stryker and I haven’t even met him! He is beautiful, Mr. G., as well as being smart and loving. Thanks for sharing him here.

  26. Loved this!! Of course my little Shih Tzu named “Cuddles” is precious too! He loves to chat to me and growls fiercely when other dogs come near,

  27. Loved your Stryker story. We’ve had a yellow Lab, German Shepherd and now a ‘rescued’ Jack Russell mix. Can’t imagine my life without a dog. Nothing can replace their loyalty, protection fun and love 24/7. Wherever THEY go when they die is where I want to go for surely THAT would be Heaven. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure.

  28. Howard and Anne, what a wonderful departure from the daily political BS. Have never seen a photo of him and he is truly a beautiful dog. To me, stories like this are what makes life enjoyable. I remember when you got Stryker and knew he would become a major part of your family and your editorial reinforces why he is. Thanks for all your GREAT editorials – you and Anne are the best. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for.

  29. The best thing about loving, and comfortable pets, (mine is a cat who is 19 years old) is they remind us of the real qualities in life that matter most, LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SELF-DICIPLINE, and CARING,…even in trying times, and they are 200% loyal to us!!!

  30. I love this story. Yes, STRYKER CAN heal the world. He is a beautiful German Shepherd. I have a little mutt of a dog, kind of like me. LOL.

  31. This is great. A wel train dog with given respect and love will show you on this side of Heaven what real unconditional love is.

  32. We have a dog that sounds just like Stryker, however, he is a Coton de Tulear, the Royal Dog of Madagascar. They are also very carefully bred. The breeding stock has to be pure white. Any markings are put in the puppy class and must be neutered before they are sold not to carry on the markings, or cross breed with a breeding quality. He is also spoiled rotten and goes with us wherever we go. He loves to be petted and can’t understand why not everyone will take the time to pet him.

  33. Howard, I have been reading your emails for several years, rode a 83 Honda Aspendcade across this USA, & back. Many miles my riding partner was a 5 lb Yorkie. I had 2, first one lasted me 17 years and second laster me 10 years after first owner had 3 pups and nuttered her. That said wife said no more in the house !! They rode in saddle bags, trunks and on the gas talk with home made pad & straps. I thank you for your editorals & they start singing on the road again.
    Dan Scott, Texas City, TX

  34. What a great story. Nice break from all the political stuff. Had a wonderful male German Shepherd once who guarded the farm. Always greeted me early in the morning when I went to milk the cows. One time in the pasture came between me and the bull and am sure saved my life. Great dogs. Have a good weekend and a great Thanksgiving.

  35. What a beautiful dog, looks & personality. My favorite of dogs we had thru the years was a female German Shepherd, smaller breed, black w/markings like Doberman. She’d had her leg broken & healed when I got her as a 5-month old from hospital shelter. They’d named her Sweetie Pie because even in pain she licked their hands on way to hospital. Too regal for that name so named her Duchess. She grew up with my kids, loved & protected them but not viciously. I cried wks when had to put her to sleep.

  36. Before Newt Gingrich became Speaker His mother did an interview and in this interview she said that Newt had always wanted to be the Curator of a zoo. So then Newt took his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives. I wrote a note to Newts Momma and told her….. Well Ms. Gingrich, Newt is now officially the Curator of a zoo ! Since you did an animal story today I decided to do one myself. It’s not exactly an animal story but it has animals in it ! 535 to be exact !!!

  37. Thank you for clarifying the sloped vs non-sloped GSDs. I can’t stand the sloped and well know HD in dogs. Apparently I’ll never be able to afford a quality GSD from Europe but I’m thrilled to see someone is looking out for this breed. Stryker is a tribute to the breed as are you his guardians.

  38. Howard, Stryker is a beautiful dog, which just by viewing his photo, one would love to hug him. Your editorial is a great change of pace from politics, and we can all appreciate hearing something positive during these trying times. It sounds like you all had a very enjoyable time. AMEN!

  39. Speaking of politics…After reading about your visit to NASA, I think STRYKER would make a fantastic Secretary Of State, or at least an Ambassador. It must be a family thing.

  40. Stryker is one of a kind!! I enjoyed having you and Anne at our home but, Stryker even got to my heart. I
    Am not a dog lover….but Stryker is more than a dog!!! He is blessed to have you both as parents. Loved your column Howard.

  41. I would nominate Stryker for a cabinet position in the Trump (THANK GOD) administration.
    But he’s way too decent and well behaved to do what has to be done to our enemies, political and Islamist.

  42. Thanks for sharing, Howard! Beautiful animal…..beautifully trained! Really special. It doesn’t get any better! A full fledged member of the family.

  43. Wonderful story, Howard. Even Scottish Terrier lovers can appreciate the qualities that make Stryker so unique. I especially was interested to learn that the sloping back, which I consider unsightly, is not a trait of the true German Shepherds. Stryker is indeed a magnificent animal.

  44. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. Stryker is beautiful and striking! I’ve had fifteen dogs in my life and each and everyone enriched my life, including the four I have now. Dogs are simply the best!


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