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Gunner and Mima…

Posted by on October 10, 2013


OCTOBER 10, 2013

This is a difficult post to write. It has to do with our two beautiful German Shepherd dogs Gunner and Mima. It’s been seven months since I started this blog and not until this afternoon have I been able to actually write about them…we miss them so much. They used to go motor-home camping with us for weekend trips and we enjoyed taking them. For this Great American Adventure, however, they were just too large and needed too much exercise for us to take them with us. We were able to re-home them with a wonderful family but that didn’t make it easy to say good bye. We imported these working dogs from Germany and purchased them from the top GSD breeder-trainer in the United States, located in the state of Washington, when they were puppies…just old enough to travel. They are European working dogs, not American German Shepherds. There is a significant difference.



I’ll never forget the day we met them at the cargo-freight section of Lindbergh field in San Diego. They were tiny little pups, peering out of their travel cage looking at us with their little tails wagging. I swear they were smiling at us, as if they finally were where they wanted to be. My dog Gunner is a male and Florence’s dog Mima is his sister. We fell in love with them at first sight.  We started training them with a professional trainer as soon as it was appropriate. I think they were then about 7 months old. Their trainer owns a business called “Whose Walking Who?” in La Mesa. He drove all the way to our ranch in Deerhorn Valley several times each week for a long time to train them and teach us how to work them. It’s quite a process. We did the training at home rather than in La Mesa because we wanted to acclimate them to our home and teach them its perimeters for guard and protection purposes. Boy, did that work? Gunner in particular “owned” our yard. He’d patrol it on his own and even on my command. It’s dark and isolated at our home and more than once I was very happy Gunner was on duty to keep us “informed” of goings-on in the area and keep us safe. He’s a lovable dog and faithful companion, but if you’re a stranger and even think about coming into our yard without an invitation from me, watch the hell out…He’ll scare you so much you’ll never want to come within a mile of our property again!


Gunner at the fence-line. Those little rubber balls like you see in the picture lasted about 20 minutes…he’d chew them into little pieces that quickly!

Our property was a perfect home for these dogs. They had free rein of about 5 fenced acres and another miles-wide area including a 40 acre field in our back yard. I’ve never seen two happier or more content dogs anywhere. We kept them crated at night or whenever it was appropriate to do so. Long before I ever owned one of these dogs (I’ve had two others, previously.) I thought it was almost cruel to “cage them.” How wrong I was. Two high-end trainers convinced me it was the “only way to go.” Dogs are pack animals, descendents of wolves, living in caves for security safety and comfort. Our “guys” knew exactly which crate belonged to him or her, regardless of placement. We’d take the two identical crates to, say, a camping park and place them in a location neither dog had ever been. When it was time for them to be crated or sometimes just on their own, each would go directly to the right crate. Enough for now. To be continued.

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