Running like the Wind

Running like the Wind
Ghillie full speed ahead


To see our currently available dogs , visit
Looking for foster homes for German Shepherds & Welsh Corgis. It will be the most rewarding thing you have done. Contact me for details. Won't you please consider? email Kathy at

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Natalie ears a JHD title

On November 19th, a cold, wintery morning at 7:00am and the temp is 14 degrees above zero, we start out for Pine City, MN and Ellysian Farm.  We are entered in two herding trials. When we entered it was not believed to be this cold.  The farm is beautiful and quiet. Only the owners, Kim and Joe Schneider were out feeding stock, moving stock or making sure everything was in position for the herding trials today.  The coffee was on, the wood stove was stoked and the smiles were in abundance.

As folks arrived, we all were anticipating what the day would be like.  Would we qualify?   For some of us, that was a Pass or Fail, at the level of testing we were at.  The trial started at 8:30 am with a handlers meeting by the judge with the exhibitors for that class.  The first judge was Canadian, her name was Tonya Wheeler.  We were #6 in a class of 7 dogs competing for a leg, or qualified run. 

The JHD means Junior Herding Dog.  At this level, one enters the pasture with your dog on leash. I believe the pasture was 100' x 100'.   You proceed to within 15' of the sheep or as close as you can without the sheep running away.  With a German Shepherd, I can only come within 50' of the sheep, or they tell me we are too close by stomping their feet or moving away.  We put our dog on a sit or down stay.  We remove the leash.  We walk calmly to our sheep and turn around to face the dog. The dog must remain in the stay position until the handler gives the command to move.  My command to Natalie is  "Steady Walk", we start walking with the sheep.  The dog gets up and hopefully does not charge in and scatter the sheep.  It is with anticipation that she herds them calmly.

The pattern has three panels that the sheep have to go through.  It is your choice which panel you choose to start the course. Once you go through one panel you proceed through the other 2 panels. All 3 sheep do not need to go through each panel but it is nice if they do.  Then you proceed to the pen where the handler puts the dog on a stay command.  Ideally the dog is between the gate and the sheep.  This part entails the dog holding the sheep off the gate so that the handler can open it to let the sheep go into the pen.  Once the sheep go through the gate, the handler closes the gate with the dog is trotting slowly behind the sheep. Then the exercise is complete.  It is a timed event and you have 10 minutes to complete the course.  You need to do this same pattern 2 x under 2 different judges to get your title. It is a PASS or DID NOT PASS event.

Our first leg or run was really nice and calm. Since I had never penned sheep before, getting Natalie to sit between the gate and the sheep was a little difficult.  I soon realized the sheep ended up behind the gate.  Which meant when I opened the gate, the sheep had to go around me, in front of Natalie and go into the pen.  It worked for us as I opened the gate and stepped back to allow the sheep to run around the gate and into the pen.  Natalie did not move until I was closing the gate.

Tonya Wheeler wrote comments on my sheet "Very nice handling. Excellent!"  She told me, "we looked like we were in harmony working towards the same goal and it was the way it should be done".  My time was 2 minutes 5 seconds.

Our second leg or run was under Judge, James Bergert from Iowa.  We walked calmly through the course. For the 2nd run we stopped the sheep about 2 or 3 fence posts away from the gate.  I put Natalie on a sit stay, turned and walked to the pen.  As I walking slowly to the pen I noticed the sheep were walking with me. I was surprised to see them at my side.  I got to the gate and opened it.  To my good fortune, Natalie was sitting and watching us, she never moved as I penned the sheep.   As I was closing the gate I told Natalie to "walk up", which she did slowly.  This was our 2nd leg or run and we were done.  We qualified for our title.  YEAH!!!.  Natalie was awesome.  The time was 2 minutes 1 second.

James comment on my sheet: "Nice dog".  I thanked him for the visual of how to pen the sheep during the handlers meeting.  James told me,  "You did a really nice job and the two of you were very calm together".

All 7 JHD and 1 HCT competitors qualified.

The only part that was not positive was the temperature, which dropped to about zero with a windchill or lower, as the day went on.  It was not just cold, it was freezing.   We were at the farm, in the cold, from 8:30am until 4:00pm.  At this time the awards were handed out and we all shared a wonderful potluck with Joe Schneiders' Beef Stew/Soup in their warm house.

Natalie and I returned home around 6:30pm.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nolan earns his HCT Title

On March 28, 2010 Nolan earned his HCT-Herding Capabitlity Test title Under Judge Rebecca Bechman at Kim Schneider's Farm.  Nolan now is Mari's Little Man AHBA-HCT.

For a dog that was "checking out" of life 2 years ago he has found something that gives him Quality of Life.  He was one of the original CastAways that came from an Ottumwa IA puppy mill.  The conditions were so deplorable the local officials who raided the puppy mill had to wear full body suits and gas masks.  The dogs were in wire cages with holes in the floor.  They never walked on a flat surface, the ground or grass.  They never saw the outside world or had human contact.   His ears have pieces missing and his face and eyes are scared from his battles.   The dogs were raised 10 per cage.  Nolan had to fight for everything and had almost given up on life IE: checking out of life"".

Two years later Nolan is doing what he loves  - herding sheep - he has the natural ability for it  - all at the young age of nine.  Once so shy he hid behind me when meeting a stranger, Nolan can be seen approaching people by touching their leg with his nose.  He wants people to pet him.  We love you Nolan-way to go.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Bed of Her Own

I think I will sit on it this way, maybe I will fit better and Mom will get the idea to get me a bed of my own

Natalie thinks it is only fair to have a Wrought Iron Doggie Bed. Since it is not being used by Ms Ghillie why not sit on it

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friends - Holiday Cheer 2009

Friends come over to share some Holiday Cheer. This of course included their 4 legged companions. Cinda, Carol and Lois all enjoyed a wonderful potluck holiday meal.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter 2009

Minnesota and the Midwest have been hit with 2 to 3 feet of snow. My yard is only part of it. My vehicles were buried one morning

Monday, December 7, 2009

The name of my rescue has changed

As I have down sized in the number of dogs I personally own and no longer breed German Shepherds I thought I wanted to only rescue Corgis & Corgi Mixes but my love of the German Shepherd Dog is too strong. Due to tough economic times, three German Shepherd Dogs have been surrendered to rescue.

So it is with LOVE that I have changed the name of my rescue to include the breed that won my heart over 40 years ago. For anyone who has owned a German Shepherd Dog, you know they are your best friend, heart dog, loving, intelligent, kind, funny, regal and so much more.

My goal, when I began raising the German Shepherd Dogs was to start a line that was healthy, intelligent, balanced in structure and the best temperament anyone could want. I have placed puppies and dogs with families, individuals, young folks and older folks. Over the years I often heard "Your temperament is the best we could find". Even though I have no children of my own, I have managed to socialize my puppies and dogs to fit into any type of home.

Over the years folks have returned to purchase/adopt a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th dog which paid me the highest compliment a breeder could receive. To go from breeding to doing rescue seems like the right path at this time of my life.

Two of the three German Shepherd Dogs I have taken in as foster Shepherds have been adopted to previous adopters homes. Thank you for giving these dogs a Forever Home.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pilots N Paws saving dogs

Pilots N Paws Exciting things on the horizon us! Michael Samstag has been filming our flights for over a year now we look forward to seeing "Tails in flight"

Tails in Flight TV Trailer
There are over 400 million dogs in the world, each deserving a loving family and home. But not every dog is so lucky. Every day, tens of thousands of dogs and puppies are lost or abandoned. They are destined to be one of the 4 to 6 million animals euthanized every year in the U.S.

That ís where heroes from above step in. Pilots who donate their time, planes, and fuel to rescue dogs and transport them quickly and comfortably across the many miles to their new life.

The story of Tales In Flight follows the incredible journey these dogs take, from their tragic starts in life to their amazing transformations when they reach their new homes. It also tells the story of the very special people that realize how amazing these creatures are and go above and beyond to save lives.

The dogs shown in this film were rescued by Pilots N Paws. Please visit their website and donate money or just buy some merchandise to support their cause.