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.
SO LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT SCHUTZHUND SHEPHERDS:
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.
SO HOW DOES A GERMAN SHEPHERD EARN THE TITLE OF SCHUTZHUND?
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.
WE DIDN’T BRING STRYKER INTO OUR HOUSE TO BECOME A REGISTERED SCHUTZHUND:
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.
THAT SAID . . . STRYKER HAS MORE TRAINING IN HIM THAN I CAN FULLY DESCRIBE:
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.
AND DURING ALL OF THIS . . . WE SOCIALIZED STRYKER EVERYWHERE:
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.
AND WHAT DID STRYKER DO WHILE ANNE AND I SAW EVERYTHING?
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.
STRYKER CAN HEAL THE WORLD:
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.
NOW HOW NICE A DAY WAS THAT . . . COURTESY OF 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.
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Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov