This will be my 200th post of “German Shepherd Adventures.” A bit more than 4 years worth of reporting, editorializing, opining, teaching, learning, screwing up, eating crow, declaring victory, and growing. The blog has changed as I’ve learned and changed, and it’s dug in its heels where I have lead it. I’ve enjoyed it all. I’ve hated some of it. Its grown beyond my wildest expectations, and I hope to welcome member # 100,000 this Spring. There are 168 different countries in the subscriber list, including someone from McMurdo Sound, an Antarctic Research Station! (That thrills me to no end!)
The Good has far outweighed the Bad parts by a long shot. I’ve been fortunate to make friends with, and make mentors of a few very talented writers, trainers, and others. Imagine how thrilling it was for me to exchange thoughts with Mr. Ray Bradbury before his death in 2012…I was a fan of his from boyhood, and when I learned that he had read “GSA” and enjoyed a particular post enough to contact me, I almost fainted. Exactly how he found “German Shepherd Adventures” has never been clearly explained. He said only that he was,” researching something”, for a short story, and Google spit me out. I hold no claim to being a “Bradbury” level writer, but he was genuine and encouraging and enthusiastic. We shared similar views on learning, laughing, and life, and I treasure our brief friendship…Among other notables, I count Carol Lea Benjamin, author, Dog-Trainer, and all around good egg. Her training methods were at the bedrock of what works best, and she explains it clearly and without ego. She has a touch of whimsy and laughter about her, and her cartoons rival James Thurber any day of the week. Carol Lea also managed to get me interested in the Mystery genre. Her fiction is a “potato chip” type of fare. You will always look for, “just one more”.
Another luminary among writer/trainers that I’ve been privileged with knowing is Lee Charles Kelley, as well as his mentor Kevin Behan of “Natural Dog Training” fame. Kevin has developed this way of helping many understand dogs “flow”, but nobody explains it better than Lee Charles Kelley. Many thanks to both of you and the Natural Dog community.
Among the wonderful trainers, I simply must thank people like Wade and Lori Morrell, Ivan Balabanov, Andrew Ramsey, Michael Burkey, Becky MacGregor, Angie Ballman-Winters, Brett McKnight, Kevin and Cheryl Goede, and the group at Balanced Trainers from Dan Audet down the line.
I suppose that I could publish a list of “Low-lites” and “Low-Lifes” as well, but why bother? They are a much smaller group, and below my notice.
Finally, I must thank Rhonda Sellers, and the Omorrow Pack. I started “German Shepherd Adventures” with this group of people as my focus, and they have formed a wonderful core of friends. I had no idea that the blog would eventually grow beyond those confines, and I didn’t care. Being part of this family of crazy German Shepherd people was enough for me, and I thank each and every Omorrow friend for coming along on the journey so far. Rhonda, you are a mentor and friend in the truest possible way, and I will always be indebted to you, and as grateful as I can be…
As for the parts of writing this blog that I’ve hated? Well, most of them involved the cowardice and self-serving interests of people that enjoy hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard. Dealing with the darker corners of opinion and political-correctness, has been tiring and wearisome. The rantings and raving of such people are a huge waste of time. Those who practice militancy are a sad and confused lot, and doing more harm to the dogs and the dog community than is warranted. I will continue to reveal their ignorance as much as possible. On the positive side of these people, is the fact that they have often caused my readership to blossom into the eyes of new dog people and those looking for the best way to work with dogs. I will continue to refer them to trainers that I know will help them determine “Best Practices” in dog training.
This is my way of thanking everyone that takes the time to read “German Shepherd Adventures”. I hope that you will continue to visit with me here, and I will do my best to keep making it worth your time…
Above all…I want to thank my dearest friends, CarolAnn, Hans, Holly, and Sammy.
Hans, there has never been a better friend than you have been. No more loyal partner, fellow worker, or goofy buddy. I promise you a long and happy life.
Holly, my golden girl, you have become much more than what I thought was possible. Above any other dog, you have taught me the most about Training, and How dogs Think. You have challenged me, taught me, and given me the opportunity to learn from the masters.
Sammy, my newest buddy, you are something I never expected. Your loyalty and manner have taught me what dogs are capable of when it comes to nurturing, helping others, and having insight into the human spirit. You read people like no other living soul I have encountered, and you teach me without hesitation.
Finally, Thank you to my dear wife, CarolAnn. You put up with this silly collection, and make it your own. You must be out of your mind, but it seems to work…
Okay, everybody, Go Take Your dog out and do something!!!