We got lucky in 1997 when we bought our first dog together (Smooch, an American German Shepherd) from a renowned vet in Old Brookville, New York. I fell in love; Bill was already in love with German shepherds from his boyhood. I wasn’t much of a true dog lover. I had them growing up, but my father and brothers brought them hunting and fishing. They smelled and got hair all over my clothes.
I loved Smooch, but Bill is like a dog whisperer and I yearned for a small dog of my own. He would hear nothing of it. I work in the city and he does most of the care giving so it was a Shepherd or nothing. We had read about Judy, from California who claimed to have first 160lb plus dogs. We thought she was nuts! Well, she isn’t and wasn’t. We got Lola from her. Lola came into the three of our lives and took over. We were never the same. Smooch was smitten, she was boss and we loved her. The two of them were inseparable. We had puppies-it rocked our world.
We kept two boys, Ton and Cruz and gave or sold the rest to family and friends. We had a total of four litters and kept two more, Saint and Reign. She was an amazing mom, Bill and her hand delivering them and me feeding her throughout the night. All of us were exhausted, but in a good way! Our pups grew into huge, gentle giants, Saint weighed 163 lbs., (males-generally weigh 115-165 lbs. and females 90-135 lbs.) and we started to have a following. It was our passion, but then tragedy struck. Lola developed cancer. We all fought it and thought we beat it, but we didn’t and we were crushed. We were inconsolable for about two years. Before that we had puppy parties, Christmas gifts with Lola’s scent, visits to their homes and a whole new circle of friends with our puppies. Dog lovers are great—these dogs are great, they are just big happy puppies who will love you forever-their loyalty is unforgettable.So…..almost done. Cruz is my baby and he had always helped Lola with her pups, cleaning and nurturing them. Cruz loves puppies almost as much as Bill and I. I had promised Cruz a puppy before he died and i was running out of time…
I had followed a few breeders for years, not many wanted to speak with other breeders. They wouldn’t let you come see their dogs and they didn’t want to see yours. But I had promised Cruz a puppy, so when I saw this soulful puppy from a breeder in West Virginia, we packed up the car with two of ours, and off we went to meet with Becky and Alice. Alice is a true angel; she heard our story and took us under her wing-she gave our breeding program life, she gave us her blessings which are bountiful. We bought moonshine… a cream, silver and black long coat from daughter Becky-after hips were checked Becky would give us breeder rights-we became friends and tried to help each other in our breeding programs. I asked of Alice to please vouch for us to a fellow breeder friend of her’s, Julie. Bill and I were heading out to Iowa to pick up a dog from Robin, who was a favorite of mine back in 1998. She did a lot of search and rescue and would sell a breeder dog to us and so along the way we met with Julie she has a great set up amazing dogs and amazing woman and she agreed to sell a breeder dog to us also. Julie also led me back to Judy “the Lola breeder” that I couldn’t find, who has also agreed to sell to us-another amazing woman…and I believe as the story is told the lady who started “it” all.
We loved the girl we got from Robin so much that we tracked down the dame’s breeder, Christy. Christy was willing to meet with us, we brought our voucher, our dogs, our pictures and our story of the love we have for these great dogs and Christy and Mikey sold us three, yes THREE awesome sweet dogs. Christy has been a big help to us as well. Christy is the “link” lady she has lots of great sites and information and Robin does as well. , , .
These women have allowed us and helped us pick the best dogs from the best breeders to restart Shadowlawn Shepherd’s and to return to our passion of breeding German Shepherd dogs of size sound mind and temper, family raised, old style gentle giants.
God Bless America and take care of each other,