German Shepherd Dogs (Reflections on Last Year’s Wildfires)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow, I will return to discussing our young German Shepherd Dogs and the future of Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, but for today I cannot allow the month of August to pass without discussing a small miracle on our behalf and a horrible tragedy to over 400 families in the Mannford, Oklahoma area. 

Last year on Thursday August 2, 2012 a fire was started nine miles South of Mannford, OK when Billy Cloud threw his lit cigarette down on the ground just outside his trailer.  The summer of 2012 brought most of the Midwest including Oklahoma a continuation of severe drought that started in 2011 with record high temperatures of 110 degrees to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Fires Burning Toward Keystone German shepherds & Kennels

The lit cigarette ignited a wildfire that burnt over 90 square miles and burned down over 400 homes.  Throughout August 2 and 3, 2012 the wildfires raged several miles from us at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  On August 4, 2012 my wife and I had lunch in Mannford and had a false since of safety against the fires since they raged so far away.   Upon returning to home and the kennels, the wind shifted and the fires started burning straight toward us.  Late that afternoon we lost electric and could see the fires approaching us.  Roads in and out of our area had been closed, and while we had several wonderful clients and friends offer to come out to pick up our dogs and then drive them to safety, they were not allowed in.  We were ordered to evacuate, but we would not leave our dogs so we stayed to fight the fires.  We thought that we could save our kennels and house by manning several water hoses around our property.  However, as the fire approach, we lost all water pressure.  The Creek County Rural Water District water well pumps went out just as the fires approached our property.  Without water we became very concerned for our own safety as well as the safety of our dogs.

Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property
Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property

At the time that we had lost water pressure a small fire truck came roaring up our driveway and told us that they only had 5-minutes of water and that they would not be able to save our house.  He pointed to the woodlot that was 100-yards away from our house and said once the fire gets into the canopy of the trees the heat would be so intense that our house would just explode into flames.  The firemen yelled for us to let loose the dogs from their kennels and to get ready to jump in the pond to save our lives.  The fireman said they would be in the pond right behind us.

I was never so proud of my German Shepherd Dogs, as we let them out of their kennels, they remained calm and none of their normal squabbles or barking took place.  They all knew that the situation was serious and they all stayed around but out-of-our-way.  With the gates open they would be able to escape and return after the fire had passed.  

At this time the smoke had grown thick with very little visibility.  While only about 5:30 PM, it appeared to be twilight just after sunset.  After burning down our neighbors’ houses, the fires jumped Highway 48 and started raging up our property.  I will never forget standing in the driveway watching the fireman raise his helmet and start scratching his head.  The fires had hit our forest and then began to die down and go out.  The fireman was befuddled because for three days he had watch these fires hit woodlots and then just roar out-of-control.

I yelled down to the fireman that I had burnt my property earlier that year in March, burning all the leaves and fallen branches on our twenty-acres.  He said that controlled burn had saved our home and kennels because the fires did not have the fuel to reach the forest canopy.  We returned the dogs to their kennels, and watched the fires burn around while burning more of our neighbors’ homes. 

Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor's House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down
Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor’s House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down

We were saved from the fires, but due to loss of power, we did lose over 2,000 pounds of frozen venison meat for our dogs, most of the contents of our refrigerators, all four-corner fence posts, and suffered two-weeks without power with record high temperatures of 110 degrees and above.  The Water District did restore water service on the 5th of August so we only had to haul potable water one day.

We were spared by providence because I was led to burn my property, which I had not done in about three years.  Due to the senseless act of a drunk thousands of people suffered the loss of everything that they owned, and while no human life was lost several animals and even a customers Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog perished in the fires of 2012.  Even though I am an experienced ecologist and have been trained in fire management and prescribed burning methods, I learned given the severe environmental conditions that we experienced in 2012 that wildfires can become extremely dangerous and unpredictable.  I would most likely move our dogs much sooner and not stay if ordered to evacuate if ever faced with similar circumstances.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Walker, a male puppy left.  Walker is a wonderful highly intelligent and a very quick learner.  Walker will be perfect for a family looking for an obedient and loyal companion that will provide home protection.  Families with existing pets such as dogs and cats will be a good fit for Walker.  Walker is very sociable.  Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog (Our Daphne)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

 Hi Everyone,

When watching Heidelberg’s Daphne Oklahoman (Daphne) yesterday, my first thought after saying to myself she is perfect was how blessed I am.  I do not see myself as particularly talented and to consistently have such wonderful and nearly perfect German Shepherd Dogs, I can only be thankful to God for his blessings upon me and my family.  Daphne is a Daughter of Grand Champion (GCh.) Champion (Ch.) Best in Show (BIS) winner Heidelberg’s Oklahoma Natashac (Kay) and Ch. Heidelberg’s Bogie v Charisman.  Kay is a Ch. Heidelberg’s Natasha Cheyenne and Ch. Heidelberg’s Dargo v Angeliq daughter.

This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne's Perfect Gait
This Picture Taken In February of 2012 Shows Daphne’s Perfect Gait

The wonderful thing about Daphne is that she is an exact copy of Kay, but where Kay was a little bit too small at approximately 65 pounds, Daphne is going to finish out at approximately 85 pounds.  With the size of her Grandmother Natasha and the movement and structure of Kay and the energy and Charisma of Dargo there is little doubt that Daphne could be campaigned to be the number one German Shepherd Dog in the country.  Will that happen probably not because of the expenses related to such a campaign, but maybe if we can find a sponsor for her in the next couple of years it could possibly happen. 

Daphne (left) Playing In Pine Bluff, AR Feb, 2013
Daphne (left) Playing In Pine Bluff, AR Feb, 2013

Daphne already has 3 champion points from the puppy class with me showing her and when we start showing again this fall, I suspect that she will finish quickly like her mother, Kay.  Kay finished in three weekends going breed every day and winning several group placements.  Kay is our first BIS Winner and multiple-Group winner.  In 2009 at Kay’s first competing show, I showed her in the 12 to 18 month class, I won the class, but Kay was jumping and playing not showing well at all because she was too happy to be with me.  Brian Livingston, one of the best professional handlers in the country, saw Kay with me in the show ring.  After I won the class, Brian came up to me and said, ‘if you will let me show her for the rest of the weekend, I’ll show her for free, and I guarantee that she will go Best of Breed and win in the Groups’.  Kay won Best of Breed and took Group 1 and just missed out on winning Best in Show.  The next day she won Breed and took Group 2.  Kay is a superstar that rarely comes around and Daphne is in the same class as her mom.

GCh. Ch. BIS Multiple-Group Winner Heidelberg's Kay at age 15 months
GCh. Ch. BIS Multiple-Group Winner Heidelberg’s Kay at age 15 months

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dogs (Our Patriot)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today, I am going to discuss our wonderful Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan (Patriot) a Grand Champion, Champion (GCh.) (CH.) Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queirdad (Kodi) son.   He is also the son of Heidelberg’s Atlanta Natashac, a Daughter of Champion Heidelberg’s Natasha Cheyenne that produced GCh. Ch. Best in Show (BIS) winner Heidelberg’s Oklahoma Natashac. 

A Two-Year-Old Patriot playing in Pine Bluff, AR at Dog Show in February 2013
A Two-Year-Old Patriot playing in Pine Bluff, AR at Dog Show in February 2013

Patriot is 2.5 years-of-old and is finally maturing into a fabulous dog.  He is sweet and smart and extremely confident.  He is the perfect size German shepherd at the top of the height standard at 26 inches and at around 100 pounds he will be a trim solid dog.

Patriot does very well at the dog shows, and as he matures he is starting to get a lot of second place and reserve wins.  I suspect that he will reach a point in his maturity where when he starts winning, and once he starts winning he will fly through to his championship.  He will be finished, and we will look back and say, ‘wow that was fast’ as it has been with most our great male champions.

Patriot is a true joy to travel with.  He never has an accident in his crate and when he really needs to be let out of crate he has whine that is distinct.  When he needs an unscheduled bathroom break all we have to do if we are driving is find an exit let him out and he immediately takes care of his business and then he wants to get right back in his crate.

When we are at scheduled breaks, he is great to let out with our girl German shepherds because he romps around and with his playful nature he encourages everyone to run and play fight.  When Patriot is at the shows everyone gets good exercise breaks.

Patriot Playing With Daphne at a Dog Show in Wichita Falls, TX in February 2013
Patriot Playing (left) With Daphne at a Dog Show in Wichita Falls, TX in February 2013

 Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

 

German Shepherd Dog (Time to Say Goodbye)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

 Hi Everyone,

Today, I am going to switch gears to discuss an issue that has developed with one of our long-time friends.  Monday, I will continue my discussion of our new family members.

We received a call about 12 1/2 year-old Rocky, one of my all-time favorite German Shepherd Dogs.  Rocky has stopped eating and drinking and is throwing up bile.  He has rapidly gone down health wise in the last month and it is time to say goodbye until we meet again.

Rocky started his life out as a promising show dog and was sold to Connie who lived in Mannford, Oklahoma.  Connie and Rocky were extremely close and did everything together.  Connie after a year and half was diagnosed with breast cancer, and so Rocky was boarded out here at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels while Connie was going through treatment and too sick to take care of Rocky.  We got to become very close to Rocky.  Connie lost her battle to cancer, but her love and fighting spirit was not lost on Rocky.  Connie’s husband gave us Rocky after her death because Rocky presence was just too painful of a reminder of Connie.

When Rocky came to stay with us he was not the same after Connie’s passing.  Rocky was very depressed and grieving.  We decided the best thing for Rocky was find him a good home with children that could take his mind of his loss.  We re-homed Rocky to such a family, and Rocky began to recover from his grief.  Now ten years later after a wonderful and spoiled life, Rocky will be reunited with Connie.  I imagine that they are taking one of their long walks along a beautiful mountain stream.

Losing your best friend after 12 years is the hardest part of owning a German Shepherd Dog.  It hurts as bad as losing a close family member and the grieving process is very similar.  I am comforted in knowing that because God loves us that we will be reunited with all our companions someday in Heaven.  He will not withhold any joy from us including being reunited with our best friends.  I am not going to start preaching in this blog, but there are several Bible verses that support this hope of being reunited with our beloved German Shepherd Dogs.  Personally I believe Heaven will be filled with cats and dogs. 

A young Rocky and Me On a Walk
A young Rocky and Younger Me On a Walk

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dogs – Our Future Superstars (Hardy)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today I am going to introduce you to Heidelberg’s Hardy v Casinoe (Hardy).  Hardy is out of our Champion (Ch.) Heidelberg’s Tundra v Heath (Tundra) and Heidelberg’s Casino Royale (Cassie) who is out of Heidelberg’s Emerald (Emmy) a daughter of our Ch. Heidelberg’s Oliver v Diamond a Ch. Heidelberg’sGunter v Whipero (Gunter) son.  The reason I am excited about Hardy’s breeding is the divergent lines that his two parents come from because Gunter was Ch. Heidelberg’s Rocky v Kaito (Rocky) son and there are very few of those out there and I only believe one Champion, our Gunter.  The reason is because the owner of Rocky refused to continue breeding Rocky because she wanted him to be totally focused on her. 

Heidelberg's Hardy V Casinoe (Hardy) at 12- Months-of-Age
Heidelberg’s Hardy V Casinoe (Hardy) at 12- Months-of-Age

Our Ch. Tundra is a Ch. Heidleberg’s Dargo v Angeliq son and our all-time best producer.  Now that I probably bored most of you to death talking about my Grandchildren, let me just suffice that Hardy provides us a lot off diversity in our breeding program, thus allowing us to line-breed without inbreeding. 

 Hardy is not our largest male unlike his sire Tundra and while he is only 19 months old and has a lot of growing to do, I believe he will finish up at approximately 85 to 90 pounds lean weight. His size will be much more like his Grandfather, Ch. Dargo, who is our smallest stud dog.  I have found that our smaller studs out produce themselves in size producing unusually large offspring and then these huge studs tend to produce smaller offspring, and through this cycle, we maintain balance in the size of our dogs where our males average 100 pounds and our females average 85 pounds.  For example our Champion Natasha Cheyenne was our all-time largest Champion bitch; however,she produced our smallest bitch, Grand Champion( GCh.) and Best-In-Show (BIS) winner GCh. Ch. Heidelberg’s Oklahoma v Natashac (Kay).

Heidelberg's Hardy V Casinoe (Hardy) at 12- Months-of-Age
Heidelberg’s Hardy V Casinoe (Hardy) at 12- Months-of-Age Showing His Perfect Front

Hardy has been shown several times in the puppy class accumulating several blue ribbons and it is obvious that the judges like him.  He is not yet extremely happy in the show ring, but that will improve and he will start winning once he starts expressing charisma in the show ring.  Hardy has perfect structure and form and a nice even gait.  He has had a high rear-end as a puppy, but that is not uncommon where the front shoulders grow slower, catching up to the rear later much as with horses.  I have been concerned with his turn of stifle but that has also improved with time to where he is almost fault free.  In addition, he has a perfect coat, not too long but very plush. 

Hardy is a sweet and very confident puppy with a very playful personality.  Several people that have come out to see our puppies have said that they want a male just like Hardy.  Look for puppies out of Hardy next year as we move forwards with his Championship and get him OFA’ed certified.

We have some wonderful new additions to our kennel including Nelson, Patriot, Sword, Daphne, Journey, Winter, and Serenity.  Tomorrow, I will choose another puppy to discuss on this blog. 

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Update

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

 Hi Everyone,

A quick update for everyone; I finely feel caught up around here with everything so that I can start blogging six days a week (Monday through Saturday).   We have finished the repair and resurfacing on the driveway, which took two and half weeks of some the hardest and hottest work I have ever done.  I am very happy about being done, but I thought that I might have lost some weight, but I did not lose one pound.  I turn 50 at the end of September and I am determined not to be overweight by my birthday.  I believe the only way that I am going to lose weight is to starve myself and start jogging.  Therefore, the next two months that is what I am going to do.  I will try not to be too grumpy!

This morning I got up at 3 AM to drive a Heidelberg’s William v Carlie (Jury) to the airport.  As I am writing this Jury is on his way to Anchorage, Alaska. What a perfect place for very large long-coat German shepherd Dog to live.  I am happy for Jury and his new owners.

Heidelberg's William v Carlie (Jury)
Heidelberg’s William v Carlie (Jury)

We just love our customers and we are so appreciative of how our business has grown in the last year.  However, there are some areas due to this growth that need to change.  We can no longer be open seven days a week and be available during all our waking hours.  We are going to start closing on Sunday so that my wife and I go on a weekly hiking trip.  In addition, we will have to close at 6:30 PM every day and phone calls after closing will be addressed the following business day unless it is an emergency.  We will still allow boards to be picked up on Sunday during hours that do not interfere with our weekly hiking excursion.

This week we are going to Cookson Hill Wildlife Refuge to hike the Bolin Bottom to Round Mountain trail.  This is going to be approximately a 4.5 mile hike in the woods in August so we will see how it goes as far as the bugs and humidity.

We have some wonderful new additions to our kennel including Nelson, Hardy, Sword, Daphne, Journey, and Serenity.  Tomorrow, I will discuss these German shepherd puppies and our high expectations for them.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

 Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds