Nature Versus Nurture . . . No Contest


Yesterday Early Evening, Anne & I Had a Very Good Friend, a Young Woman who we Mentored as a Younger Girl, who Eventually Became a Great Veterinarian, Come Over to the Property to Lay Tavor to Rest.

It’s A Very Complicated Story Which Is A Microcosm Of Life Itself.

As Most Of You Know . . . Tavor Came Into our Lives When he was Just 3 1/2 Weeks Old, After We Laid Our 11 1/2-Year-Old German Shepherd Dog Stryker To Rest Because Of Failed Health.

We Bought Tavor From A Reputable German Shepherd Breeder Near Vancouver (Canada), and Officially Took Tavor Into our House at 8-Weeks Old. And With this Gorgeous Puppy, we Drove the 3,000-Mile Distance Across Canada from the Pacific Coast to South-Eastern Ontario.

Tavor Was A Bundle Of Joy. But, At 8-Weeks Old, Just After we Began our Journey Back Across the Rocky Mountains to Home, we Literally Realized from the Get-Go, that Tavor Would Never Really Be a Pet . . . Tavor’s Nature Was 100% Focused On Two Things . . . Being With Anne & Myself . . . And Protecting Anne & Myself From Everyone & Everything.

Tavor’s Messianic Focus On Protecting Anne & Myself Became A Huge Issue & A Problem That Could Not Be Ignored. We Spent a Great Deal of Time, Effort & Money Having Tavor Evaluated & Trained with Two of North America’s Best German Shepherd Working Dog Behaviorists, to Do Whatever we Could to Make Tavor’s Life as Perfect & Protected from Himself as We Could.

Tavor Was Just A Bit More Than 2 1/2 Years And Well More Than 100-Pounds . . . When we Finally Realized that No Matter How Much Time, Effort & Money we Threw at the Problem . . . Tavor’s Nature Will Never Change . . . He Was What He Was.

To Anne & Myself . . . Tavor Was The Most Incredible & Loving Dog In Existence. He Would Die for Us & Conversely, He Would Kill for Us, which was the Problem.

To The Entire Rest Of The World . . . Tavor Saw Everyone as a Threat to Anne & Myself, Even People who He Knew as a Puppy.

Had We Been Able To Surround Tavor In A Hermetically Sealed Bubble, We Would Not Have Hesitated, since Anne & I Had Already Altered our Lifestyle Completely to Accommodate Tavor, Which To Us Was Indeed A Small & Worthy Sacrifice.

But We Couldn’t Guarantee That At One Time, Tavor wouldn’t Break Free from One of us, or that Someone who we Didn’t See Would Rush Unseen by Either Anne or Myself to Give Tavor a Pat, or that the Amazon Driver would Come at the Wrong-Time or Wrong Place.


If Any of the Above Scenarios were to Happen, which More Likely than Not Would Have Eventually Happened . . . Tavor Was Such A Massive, Powerful & Aggressive Dog, That He Would Have Caused Great Personal Damage & Even Death.

AS MUCH AS ANNE & I LOVED TAVOR WITH ALL OUR HEARTS . . . We Could Never Live with Ourselves if Anyone (Undeserving) was Ever Injured, Maimed or Killed by Tavor, Only because We Didn’t Have the Strength to Sacrifice Tavor for the World Around Him to be Safe.

I’m Going To Be 74-Years Old In February. Anne Will Be 73-Years Old In December. Yet Here we Were Yesterday, Crying like Children over the Body of Our Best Friend whose Love, Devotion & Trust I Felt I Betrayed in Order to Keep The World Around-Us Safe.

If There Was Any Other Way Not To Have To Do What We Did – We Would Have Done-It. But there Wasn’t.

Tavor Didn’t Die Alone. Even though Everyone was Terrified of Tavor, He was so Beautiful that Whoever Met Tavor, Even from a Distance, could Not Have Too Much of Looking at Him. And Whenever we Had Company-Over, which was Often, Tavor Wore One of His Many Custom Fitted Muzzles, which Allowed People to Pet, Hug & Even Kiss Tavor, Of Which There Was An Army Of Tavor Fans Who Did Just That.

Close Friends who Love Anne & Myself (Probably More Anne Than Me), and Loved Tavor, Came to Pay their Last Respects as our Good Friend Frank, Anne & Myself Carried Tavor’s Wrapped Lifeless Body Several Hundred Feet where we Laid-Him to Rest in a Pre-Dug Grave Near his Absolutely Favorite Outdoor Spot.


Whether People Agree With This Or Not . . . I Stood Before the Open Grave & Delivered the Hebrew Prayer for the Dead. Then We Mostly Filled The Grave By Shovel Before We Finished-Up With The Tractor.

As I’m Telling You This Story . . . My Heart Is Broken – There Will Never Be Another Tavor. But After Saying that, Life Goes-On. And the Only Way we Can Move-Forward is to Put the Past Where the Past Belongs – But Never Shutting-Out The Memories.

Anne & I Will Be Seeing A German Shepherd Breeder This Afternoon . . . Who Has a Female German Shepherd Puppy Ready to be Adopted. I Don’t Know if that will be the Dog, But What I Do Know, is that Anne & I Don’t Want to be Spending the Winter at Myrtle Beach (SC) . . . Without A Dog We Can Train & Smother With Love.

Just Like With Stryker, Our Previous German Shepherd Dog Before Tavor, We will Love all the Wonderful Days & Memories Tavor Gave-Us from the First Moment We Laid Eyes on Him.

In A Twisted Way . . . Good People Do Bad Things For Good Reasons:


With Teary Eyes . . . I Bid You Adieu . . . And Will Keep You Apprized.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

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  1. Barely controlling tears here, just from reading this. I am SO very sorry for your loss.

  2. Sorry to hear you had to put your loyal friend down. My husband is more of a dog lover than I am. Therefore, we don’t have one as I know it would be hard for him to do what you did. We enjoy dog sitting for our friends because you know the pet will be going home and my spouse doesn’t get overly attached. It works for us.

  3. I’m sorry to hear of the decision you had to make and the loss you suffered. You did the right thing but that doesn’t make it less painful. May you soon find a suitable puppy.

  4. Words cannot express the sadness in my heart to hear about Tavor. I have been with you a long time and know how much you loved Stryker and Tavor because we too have pets that are part of our family. Our deepest and symphony to you and Anne over your loss. Tears come to my eyes when I look at that photo of beautiful Tavor. Tavor RIP Tom and Melanie Risk

  5. Howard & Anne: Thank you for the beautiful story & for loving Tavor as you did. I am a lifelong dog lover, dog owner, dog rescuer — so I do feel your grief. Saying goodbye to a beloved dog is one of the hardest things to do. There is always second-guessing, but I have no doubt you did the right thing. I send wishes that your hearts will soon smile again. I sit here with my “special needs” OES, fear-aggressive — and loved. The love you shared with Tavor & Stryker will endure. Ble

  6. The pawprints left on your heart will never be forgotten. Your sadness is shared.

  7. I share your sadness for your loss. When it came time to put down your daughter’s 1ST horse it took me a long time to do the job. And I have buried several cats and dogs along with my tears. As a child I never had a pet but as a man, I have known the love of several cats and dogs. I will turn 90 in Feb & right now have a deaf miniature who is full of love. His tail goes 60 miles an hour when he see me & jumps on my lap. God bless all of you.

  8. My heart goes to both of you…and to Tavor. What a way to start the New Year! However its very good that all the love you two can give will be going to another creature of God that will need it. Love and huggsesses to both of you. Andy

  9. It breaks my heart that you and Anne had to make such a sad decision for Tavor. May he rest in peace. I hope your next dog will still be protective of you and Anne without being a threat to others.

  10. I share your grief as My Wife and I went through a similar situation several years ago, but it still seems like yesterday. Our Condolences. TedR

  11. Such a precious handsome dog. Not to worry, he will be waiting for you on the other side with love and joy and Stryker. With blessings and light, Susan.

  12. Howard / Anne so sad for your loss as we know that Your actions are well meaning as we Sue and I are trying to fight back the tears as we read Your blog. It is with great sadness as we write this to both you and Anne as there are tears that are dripping down our faces to go with Your loss. R.I.P. Tavor But always remember GOD is DOG spelt backward. Anne and Howard our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  13. I was so sad to hear of the loss of your friend and companion. He sounds like a dog head and above all others. I hope you find a replacement soon as this world is getting worse and worse. You and Ann will need it with the truth you apply to those selling out both our countries and Israel. My condolences friend.

  14. So, sorry about the entire loss to you all. We too have lost dogs. We loved and love them all. I figure we have a very large dog family waiting for us in heaven. Time will make it easier to bear but is remembered forever. God Bless.

  15. I am so very sad for your huge loss. I have had 3 dogs, who I loved more than most people who’ve come into my life. [There, I said it.]. My hope is that I will be reunited in heaven with my beloved pets; my hope is that soon you will get another faithful 4-legged companion who will bring you and Anne much joy.

  16. So sorry for your loss. Pets become part of the family. To quote Will Rogers: “I do not know where dogs go when they die but that is where I want to go.”

  17. So sorry Mr. “G”. My heart breaks for you and Anne. May you see your beloved Tavor again in a much safer, better place. 💜💜💜

  18. I am very sorry for your loss of Tavor. May God bless you both during your time of grief.

  19. So sorry to hear of your loss. I took great courage to act as Anne & yourself did. RIP TAVOR.

  20. So sorry for you both as having a loyal dog like Tavor. Dogs are so much a part of our lives. Thinking of you both So sad/

  21. My heart breaks for your and Anne’s tremendous sadness. Making a decision like that is never, ever easy. But it must be done at times. Sometimes doing what is responsible hurts. Hopefully you will find another in the near future to help mend the brokenness. May Tavor share fun times with Stryker in doggie heaven.

  22. Howard, Anne, I sincerely empathize with your loss.I Raised German Shepherds in my younger years,One was Shep that was his name.Fully aware of their Characteristics,of protection and being part of family too.Moved on to Great Danes.Shane was his name, Both Shep & Shane were alike in many ways, Protection yet Gentle, Ferocious when deemed necessary.Both had a keen sense of people.If they didn’t care for someone, neither did I.That payed off too. Loosing them broke Our Hearts, our children’s too

  23. So sorry you had to lose a great protector. I know the feelings of your loss. Been there, done that with long time similar companions. Your love for Tavor will not be forgotten. Like my love for my Tyson so many years ago.

  24. Oh my goodness the tears are flowing for you both. There is nothing like the love for and from a dog. Thank you for being such good and special people!

  25. I’m so sorry for you and Anne to have had to make that decision, but understand your reasoning for it. I am adding my tears to yours.

  26. Please accept my Deepest Sympathy and Condolences. Your and Anne’s loss of Tavor is felt deeply. Doing the Right thing is a horrific burden. Prayers of Peace and Comfort for you and Anne. God Bless

  27. This is so heartbreaking. I have had to face a similar situation & I cried for days. There is nothing like the love of a good dog & the love we have for them. I am so sad for you both over this great loss.

  28. Howard, lost my dear doggie of 15 years just one month ago. I loved your stories about Tavor and cried for you and Anne. You did your best, loved him to the hilt. Can’t replace Stryker or Tavor. Sending you sympathy and love. With blessings🙏🙏🐶

  29. Dear Anne and Howard, Antonio and I are deeply saddended to hear about your loss. We know how painful it is to lose a pet who becomes your child and part of your family. We have also gone through this process too many time and the heartache never goes away, but the memories sustain you forever. Hopefully you will find another beauty to give you love and affection to fill the void. Please accept our sympathies, Judith & Antonio

  30. Howard and Anne, My deepest condolences during this time of mourning. I know that you both loved Tavor very much, and I am so very sorry for your sadness at the (unfortunate, but necessary) loss of Tavor. Doing the reasonable and prudent thing sometimes is very hard and heart wrenching, but time will eventually heal the hurt. My prayers are offered for you and Anne. Sincerely, Dewey Barnes, IL, USA

  31. Howard and Ann, Although I have had to put several of our dogs to sleep (I detest the words PUT DOWN) it is impossible for me to know how Tavor’s loss is affecting you both. When your devoted pet crosses the bridge there is no way anyone can know how this affects one personally. Please take consolation in the fact that Tavor and Stryker are indeed eagerly waiting for you and Ann to join them at the proper time. Rest in dog peace Tavor and the best to you and Ann with your new family member.

  32. Howard & Anne, there are just not the right words to express the sadness I feel for you “guys”. We usually had a shepherd when we had a dog on the farm. They are a special breed. Sometimes we had a collie but shepherds were preferred. I can only begin to imagine the pain of having to make such a decision and putting the safety of others ahead of your love for a “friend, companion”. God has a way of healing you but always allowing those great memories to last.

  33. I’m sincerely saddened by your loss of Tavor. My prayers are with you and fobe for Tavor is in a better place. I still miss my doggie that we had for over nineteen years and has been gone over twenty years. But the memories remain for you and Anne also.

  34. Howard and Ann … I am utterly shocked but totally understand your predicament. It’s one of the worst days in your life when the final day inevitably comes when it’s time to put your beloved pet down but must be so much worse when it’s young and healthy. I still mourn my beloved Great Dane who died at age 12 in 1988. There are some great videos on YouTube of people who died and were brought back and experienced the afterlife and being with their pets. I hope that’s true in your case.

  35. Tough time! But imagine how tough it would be if you had to live with the sight and memory of what those teeth and paws could do to someone. You made the correct decision! Believe me I tangled with a dog similar to that once.

  36. Heartbreaking. Its the hardest of all decisions. Harder than putting a dog to sleep for cancer. My heart goes out to you, especially since its obvious how much you loved Tavor, and how you see dogs as animals equal to us, living in a different dimension with more acute senses. I own two dogs, have buried 8 others over the years (in Montreal, in Guelph, in British Columbia, and in Israel. I am also a veterinarian, so I feel the pain on both sides of the exam table. RIP Tavor.

  37. So sorry to hear about Tavor, Debbie and I knew how precious he was to you and Anne.

  38. We all feel your loss but you did the right thing. Nurture can not overcome nature.

  39. Sorry, for your loss, we had a beautiful German Shepherd . Her name was Lady, and she was . She was large for a female at 96 pounds. we lost her when she was nine with torsion’s. we had been Pug breeders and also showed them. So when Lady died we went and bought a Boston Terrier. we love that dog so much. He died in 2020, I also lost my wife of 58 years that same year. I hope your new dog will give you all the love you and your wife deserve.

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