Something new to howl about at Sapphire Shepherds:

MAY 2018:

Exceptional 7 month old male for family, non breeding rights only.  Please go to our Available sales web page for details
Happy Mothers Day to all our wonderful broods!!

Beautiful Envy!

Early morning tracking was delayed today due to having to stop and watch these two beauties mill about in the fields...we did not mind.

Email from Todd, an owner of a 13 year old female of Rocky and Oresta;
Hi Ramona, I don't know if you will even remember me, but I wanted to tell you that Nikki of Sapphire Mountain turned 13 on March 31st and is still going strong. She moves a little slower, but is still an unreplaceable part of our family. You should see her with the grandchildren. She doesn't let them out of her sight. Somewhere in the future we may have to talk about a replacement, but for know I just wanted to say thanks. Todd Dennis

APRIL 2018:

Ramona, I attached a training video of todays IPO training session.  5 months and Viska is on the puppy sleeve and doing really well.  Everyone loves him.  We have also started tracking with him.  Thanks RS

Hello Ramona, Just a quick note to let you know Wesson is doing extremely well.  He is excellent in basic obedience.  Works hard and stays very, very focused.  He's the one! Thank you again, so very much!  JT and Amanda

Congratulations to Machiavelli of Sapphire Mountain on her new CGC and good luck and have fun at next weeks obedience trail! 

Congratulations to Colin and his dog Duncan on more SAR certifications!;
Hi Ramona, This weekend we got another SAR certification with Duncan! Area Search Live Subject &  Cadaver.  He is doing so great and has such amazing work ethic.  Whatever I ask him to do, he buckles down and focuses like it's nobody's business.  It's really hard to believe he is already three!

A beautiful day in New Mexico exploring ruins!

MARCH 2018

Freyja of Sapphire Mountain BH, AD,
received OFA Good / Normal.  Very happy for her owner and all involved!


Good friend on the coast woke up this morning to a mess.   No traveling for a while now to train dogs, but she took the opportunity to turn it into a training exercise at home.  When life gives you lemons.....


Titan is doing well. He loves the snow and romping around.  Playing fetch is his favorite game.  I can't tell you how perfect he is for me.  He is doing very well in his training. Thank you for picking the perfect dog for me. Paige

Tango is handsome and quite dignified when he isn't being a 5 month old.  He isn't really a sun dog but when he is on the porch I can take shots where his beautiful face shows up.  He is in love with water and has actually been doing some dock diving - no fear, only joy!  Julia

T - Bonatti enjoying being a dog.

Below zero temperatures, lots of snow and the dogs are still having a good time!

Some photos of our clients pups at work and play;

A daughter of Ravenna training with state Police on the coast

SAR dog Uma

Powder hound "Bonatti", a fine young pup from Ex - Envy.

A very nice Xurk - Yazzy female and her best playmate!

Promising pup from Ex and Gem playing around on the IPO field after training.

A strong young Xurk - Na Pali female preparing for more titles...

A Xurk - Yazzy pup and playmate enjoying a day inside.


Happy New Year to all our clients!

Getting 2018 off to a great start with a photo of one of our Donner ~ Touché pups.

High drive Khalia is leaping for joy along with her owner Linda and Sapphire Shepherds upon seeing what a beautiful set of hips and elbows she has!  Congratulations on your Preliminary OFA Good/Normal rating!  This fine young female is well started in all 3 phases and will soon start detection.  She has excellent working drives and character around people, children and is controllable around other dogs. She loves tracking and bite work with very quick-showy obedience.  



What a fantastic end to an outstanding 2017!!


Thank you to Jack and family for the purchase of a very large amount of our Frozen Semen.  You cleaned us out but we are happy of the fact it is still in very good hands and you will keep in touch.  Merry Christmas and all the best in 2018!  And thanks for coming up with the perfect "U" name for the beautiful Donner female, "Uilani". Means "heavenly beauty" or "royal beauty" from Hawaiian


"youth, beauty" and


"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".


Dear Ms Mogan,


I want to wish you and your son the merriest of Christmases.  Your breeding program is stellar and your approach to your clients in regard to business is top-shelf!  Very honored you have allowed me the purchase of some great dog's of yours through your frozen semen. We will talk again soon.


Sending you warm wishes from the Islands!



Greetings submitted by various clients this month;

.....ears almost back up! Santa's helper for sure.





Tango in FL happily preforming the job of retrieving the morning newspaper. 

NOVEMBER 2017: A great start to November with many fine dogs, pups, clients, and friends! 
Also learned 2 more of our dogs received OFA Good/Normal hip/elbow ratings, so happy for dog's Sasha and Duncan and their owners!!
Happy Birthday "I-3" litter Basko - Ravenna;  Enjoy the below email's and video's on 2 of these dogs;

Ramona, Today was quite a day. Cowboy ( I-3 litter Ravenna/Basko ) turned 2 years old today and..... GSSD has two new K9 members. Margaret's puppy from Ex / Uma and Andrew's puppy out of Xurk / Yazzy. Aiko
Andrew with his retired SAR female and new SAR female in training.

Margaret with her new SAR female.


Ramona, Cowboy made it on OPB ( Oregon Public Broadcasting ) they filmed this last Jan at the truffle competition. I am wearing the purple coat.  Hope you can make out Cowboy. Aiko

2 yr/old male Ivar.  Note the solid reaction from the dog at the beginning of the video to a strange person. This dog has been well started by the Bartletts!;
Good morning Ramona! I wanted to give you an update on Ivar! He's doing great. Such a good dog! We recently moved to Arizona and he is loving being outside everyday! Chuck it ball is his life and he has a crazy high ball drive but he still is so obedient and even keeled. I made a video of him on his daily run through our neighborhood I thought you might enjoy. Cheers!
The Bartletts

Ex-Uma pup;

Hello Ramona....I now know what puppy love is all about! What a sweet sweet boy!  I have the PERFECT puppy and what a genius...I'm not kidding...he is one amazing smart pup. I will explain further later of his accomplishments while just being a puppy and learning along our walking, potty time & play time (no official training yet) ...(oh ya potty accidents). Serious! 
He is already so much fun watching him be a puppy, and will be fun to work with in official training...I'm excited! And what a nose! Oh my gosh!
The reason for this email is to provide the spelling of his name for the paperwork; Vojak (Czech for Soldier)
Thank you, thank you and thank you!  You are amazing of how you give back to this breed and my boy is an example of the precision and care you put into what you do.... Much respect to you, no doubt you probably here this all the time, and well deserved.
I hope all is going well there at SS and will keep you apprised of Vojak's development in official training. 
Warmest regards to you and your son Daniel!
PS....Was really nice meeting Linda. You, Daniel and Linda are extremely nice people and it's been such a pleasure working with you Ramona!  Thanks again!

Ex - Uma pup;
Hi Ramona,  No problems and the pup is just great. Confident, curious, eating well. Will have a vet visit Weds, but so far am very happy!
Thanks Norman

A fun afternoon catching up!

Uma had a very nice litter with Ex and we are thankful to have had Uma back with us for this breeding and whelp. Uma is now headed home to New York and will be back in SAR service!
Below are 2 very nice males from Ex and Uma litter flying out to the east coast 1 for SAR the other IPO, along with a wonderful young woman who with her "super" mom spent 2 very busy but fun days here at the kennel receiving a crash course in about every aspect of this business.  Both ladies worked their tails off, had super attitudes and humor throughout their visit!  HUGE help to Dan and I, we will miss them!!


Linda, still all smiles after testing 14 pups!

Dan helping with pups during testing, holding a Xurk  -  Yazzy female.



Many fun pups on the ground now from different litters and great clients to work with!



Email and photos (from video) on a young Xurk - Yazzy female owned by a young man that is taking great care and putting in proper training on her. Pups from Xurk and Yazzy are large, solid nerved and social, love to bite, and retrieve. Yazzy just had her second litter for us with Xurk and there are some very fine females available for reservation! 


Ramona, Thank you very much for checking in. I couldn't ask for a better pup. Reagan is amazing and impresses every one, even people that have been around working dogs for a long time. Video is from a few weeks ago of some bite work (had to trim the video so it would send). I can't thank you enough for the amazing addition to my family you gave me. Hope all is well,  Brenden

Email and photos on a young Xurk - Na Pali daughter.  Congratulations to owner/handler Michelle on your AD!!

Ramona - I hope your summer has gone well.  I wanted to let you know that Freyja passed her BH again.  They aren't quite ready for a 1 so Michelle repeated.  This am she followed up and completed an AD on her. She has a really nice stride and her build is perfect for the 12 mile endurance test.  No issues!

retired from breeding, Basko with his favorite "hot lips" pillow while in the house;

One of our dogs on break during a demo with his owner for the Sheriffs Dept.

After a few weeks of terrible air quality from all the forest fires burning in Montana, a couple of our in whelp broods are out enjoying some very fresh air and blue skies on a beautiful summer evening!

Email and photo of SAR dog Cowboy (Ravenna x Basko son);

Just wanted to let you know a member of my SAR group just sent you a deposit for a puppy last night.  He has watched Cowboy become a great search dog and it's time for a puppy.  He is our groups strongest backcountry dog handler and he absolutely loves his current dog.  He will need a pup that can keep up with a strong hiker and searcher. I know you will suggest a great puppy for him. Below is a photo of Cowboy waiting for his next assignment.  We were called to look for a missing 13 yr old girl out of our county.

Ex & Uma; "R" litter of Sapphire Mountain whelped Sept 9th 2017.  Brood and pups doing very well!
We have a couple pups available for reservation;

AUGUST 2017:


Very happy to report the breeding of Ex and Uma was successful with pups due in a few weeks!

Showing her pregnancy, Uma of Sapphire Mountain; OFA Good/Normal, CGC, SAR Certified Live Find, SAR Certified Moving Subject, IPWDA Human Remains Search-Water, IPWDA Crime Scene.

Enjoyed watching several SAR dogs we have bred work Area and Human Bone search problems this month, even pregnant Uma was able to get in some search work this past week! Thanks Linda for a wonderful visit!

Linda and her SAR dog Cato after working an Area Search problem.

Cato of Sapphire Mountain; OFA Fair/Normal, CGC, SAR IPWDA Human Remains Land.

Boss Lady and Cato, getting in a little obedience training during a hiking break in the Mission Mountains.

Cato and Linda getting in some IPO training.

In training for SAR and IP0, Lia is a lovely and lively young female from Ravenna and Basko. Exploring the Missions during a hike.

Lia and Linda IPO training.

Linda and Lia IPO training.

Xurk keeping an eye on who is giving out treats and Lia.

Well done Leah and Drago! ( Little Bear x Ruta son Canada);


Hi Ramona,  I hope that all is well out in Montana. I want to let you know that this weekend Drago and I earned our PSA PDC Certificate at our club trial here in Ontario, Canada. We were the only team to get our suit division PDC on Saturday and overall in the suit division for the weekend we came second! We can now officially start in the competitive levels of PSA! I am so proud of Drago and we are progressing as a team. He officially has his PDC!  We'll be in touch! Leah


Email on a Ursa x Kona female;
We cannot thank you enough for our girl Jasmine Neala of Sapphire Mountain. She has the absolute perfect mix of a working dog drive with family dog. She has the best manners and amazes people with her politeness. She listens great, loves to track items in and around the house (She has a great nose) and never leaves our kids side. She is lovable but very protective of her family and we LOVE that! She warms up to strangers well as long as we tell her it is OK first. This past year has been very busy but amazing; she completes our family so perfectly as she goes everywhere with us. It seems like we have had her for years and we can't thank you enough for all the careful planning and care you give to breed such amazing companions. Jasmine truly is by far the best well behaved and smart cookie we have ever had the pleasure of owning and that would never be possible if you hadn't bred this pair (Kona and Ursa).  Love seeing all the beautiful new pups and pictures of your dogs as they are so beautiful!  Wishing you a wonderful summer and sending our love for many more healthy, intelligent and beautiful litters to come.  Love, Patrick and Melanie


Email on a Yazzy x Xurk female;

Ramona,  Thank you very much. She is doing great. Took her to my trainer who isn't really a GSD fan usually. More of a mal person. But fell in love with Reagan. Loved her drive and level head.
Thank you for everything, Brenden

JULY 2017:


Touché with judges and track layer after passing her Tracking Dog title TD.  I think Dan was happier than anyone that we passed.  He should be as he helped in the training of Touché by laying many tracks for us. Fun day, happy people and good dogs.



No better way to spend July 4th than exploring our back yard at McDonald Lake area in the Mission mountains. Celebrating freedom, independence and a fantastic life with a early morning 6 mile hike and two beautiful 4-legged companions. 



JUNE 2017:


SAR dog Duncan (Touché x Basko);


Ramona, just a quick note to let you know we passed our NSDA Area Search II test. Duncan was a rock star!! Colin

Ursa x Kona 'H' litter pup;

Hi Ramona, Just wanted to send you some updated pics of Hemi. These were taken last weekend while lure coursing. She loves it! Her agility training is starting to come along pretty well now and she's definitely starting to enjoy it more.  Mike & Patty

Freyja of Sapphire Mountain (Xurk x Na Pali) and owner/handler Michelle earn their BH!
Ulysses x Na Pali son;
Ramona,  I don't know if you remember me but I bought Duke from you last July and he turned 1 this past week. He's been an amazing dog to teach and grow with, and I can't thank you enough for the time and effort you put into breeding. It really pays off!  Sincerely, Curt

Kona x Ursa daughter;
Ramona, Hope all is well. Freya is perfectly healthy, a great companion and guard for my two children. She has awesome drive, but calms down inside and is always on alert for us. Her favorite thing to do after exercise is stretch out in the sun in front of the patio window. We couldn't have asked for a better dog. Thanks again and take care! Nick 

MAY 2017:

SAR dog Uma (Brook x Basko);

Just passed our official IPWDA crime scene test! I'm so proud of Uma! We are now fully operational at the highest level for Cadaver:) Linda


Happy Mothers Day!!!

APRIL 2017:

My favorite place for tracking dogs.  Beautiful scenery in every direction, extremely private, very close to my kennel with perfect terrain (and a lot of it) with a variety of challenging obstacles.  A perfect day is spent here just me and my dogs. Below photos taken after working dogs, everyone enjoying one last break before heading home, what a super day!


Xurk with 3 females.

3 females

Xurk - Ruta female, SAR dog Margo of Sapphire Mountain in training;

Ramona,  I thought I’d take a moment and update you on Margo (Loki). She is doing great!  We are working with trainers that specializes in Police K9, Protection, Tracking, etc. and they absolutely love her. She is tracking like a pro already and we might go for certification in May.  I also have her enrolled in a week long HRD and Tracking training/seminar coming up in May so I am excited to see how she takes to that. She hikes with us almost every weekend and has been canoeing. She was not sure of the water at first, but as you can see from the photos she loves it now.  The trainers love her drive and focus, if only I could keep up!  I’ll keep you posted as her training progresses.  Beth 

Ravenna - Bako male Ivar of Sapphire Mountain;
Hey Ramona! Just checking in with you! He is almost done growing and it's amazing how fast time flies! His head is finally filling in and looking much more masculine. His favorite thing in the world is the chuck it toy. We have put his IPO training on hold since we moved 2.5 hours each way from the nearest club or trainer but continue his training at home when we can. We will resume professional training during our next move in September to a larger city.  I hope all is well! 
Thanks Jill


Xurk - Flame male used for Herding;
Hi Ramona,  I just wanted to give you an update on Helo from the E liter (Xurk-Flame). He has been an amazing boy. He has a great temperament and we couldn't have asked for a better dog. He keeps busy with herding sheep and swimming on a hot day in Arizona. He is very intelligent and gets along well with all people and dogs. We are always getting compliments about how beautiful he is. We just want to say thank you for giving us a great dog! Rachelle & Mike
MARCH 2017;



Ravenna - Basko son;

Ramona, Just wanted to update you with Cowboys latest accomplishments.  Last Sunday he got his ABC Games SOG (Single Odor Games) title.

The big news is yesterday down in Oregon he got his NW1 title.  He also had the fastest time for the container portion of the trial.

While in Oregon, I had many compliments on his looks and how sure he was of himself with people, dogs and his surroundings.  He is truly a Rock Star! 

Congratulations to Ulysses and Charlotte of Sapphire Mountain on new titles; TDX and TD!
Xurk - Na Pali male;

Hey Ramona! I haven't updated you in a long time on Drako from Xurk/Na Pali F litter. They are almost 2 now, time is sure flying by. Drako is now CGC titled and a quick learner. We can work on new commands and with a few tries he has them down! He would be an awesome sport dog, but unfortunately there is no IPO or any training near us to work him further. We keep him busy working on new commands and tricks and he loves to work! And the ball is his life, he will do anything for a toy reward.   We get lots of compliments on him for his brains AND beauty! He has been a joy to have in the family. Thank you again!  I attached a couple photos from when he was 15 months old. He is a big boy weighing in under 90lbs. Hope you enjoy these photos and know he is loved-Monica


Boss Lady - Basko pup in Alaska;
Thought I would send you a picture of Odin and Willow. We could not have asked for a more perfect puppy! At 14 weeks old, he is 34 lbs, brilliant, adorable and so easy to train. Completely house broken after2 1/2 weeks. Crate trained. Sits on command. Stays on command (for at least 30 seconds) and is learning the heel and down commands. Thank you for producing such a wonderful dog.  Dena Tanguay, Alaska

Congratulations Aiko and Cowboy what an Honor!

Winner of the 2017 JORIAD Truffle Dog Championship!  
Out of a field of 20 dogs competing, Aiko and her Ravenna - Basko son (I litter) "Cowboy" rose to the top. 

Aiko & "Cowboy"
Ramona, Yesterday Cowboy placed 1st at the North American Truffle Dog Championship. The Joriad was put on by the Oregon Truffle Festival.  20 dogs started the tests. The 1st test was the TORT (truffle odor recognition test). If you passed then you had 5 minutes to find 5 hides inside a partitioned horse arena. Cowboy placed 1st. The top 5 dogs then went to a producing truffle location. We were given 1 hour to find as many truffles as we could. There was a field judge that followed each dog team and collected the truffles. Oregon Public Broadcast (OPB) sent the Oregon Field Guide crew out to film the event. They followed Cowboy while we hunted. The 2nd place dog found 10 truffles and Cowboy found 24 so he won! All the judges were so impressed with his good nature with both people and dogs. While in the field all 5 dogs were in the same area so you were running into teams a lot. Once again he was a rock star! Aiko
Congratulations to Mike and his lovely Hemi of Sapphire Mountain, C. A. T on your new title! 



Dear Chuck and Brooke,  Thank you both for sharing Zoot with us.....much gratitude. Ramona, Danny & Xurk. 
Zoot:Dec. 19, 2005 - Jan. 8, 2017. Zoot died peacefully at home Sunday while on his dog bed as we comforted him. He was without pain... He lead a full life and was active until 3 days before his death when his body began shutting down. He was a remarkably gentle German Shepherd that loved kids and his family. We expect that the time he spent with his grandson Zar prolonged his life at least a year.   Celebrating his life,  Chuck, Brooke, and Zar

Hi Ramona, I hope everything is well. Julia's here with an update on Niall, Ursa and Kona's boy born last August. I thought I'd send you a photo of Niall. This is from last Sunday. We had a great time at the beach and then went to a doggy friendly cafe. He is doing great. We are starting a Nose Work training next week that will last several weeks, and will do Agility too soon.  I will be sending more photos every once in awhile, if you'd like.  Best regards,  Julia

Hi Ramona! We just wanted to send an update on our German Sheperd "Koda of Sapphire Mountain"!  (K Litter-Basko/Ravenna)  He is already 8 months old and time has just flown by!  He is turning out to be such a well behaved family dog.  Our children are so attached to him and he is just as attached to them.  He always has to know where they are and what they are doing!  He is very active and enjoys walks to the lake.  I have attached a picture.  Thank you again so much, we absolutely love him!  Matthew, Melissa, Treju, Ethan, Mattie and Katelyn


Xurk - Flame female;

Hi Ramona, Happy Holidays. It's been awhile and I thought we were overdue for an update on our Eloise.She continues to be the best dog I have ever had! She is obedient, playful, intelligent and confident. She is friendly with new people and dogs and she does very well when we go out into the community. However; her most remarkable quality is her devotion to our children. She loves playing with them, she gets on the trampoline with them, she goes up and down the slide with them. She trots faithfully alongside our son when he goes to play at the neighbors house and stays with the kids during whatever game they play. She is everything I had hoped for when I chose to get a GSD as our family companion.  Thank you! Sandi

Midnight Onyx of Sapphire Mountain, son of Ruta and Xurk;

Hi Ramona,  Wanted to send you a quick email to let you know how great Onyx is doing. He's past his puppy kindergarten class and will start obedience training in January.  He loves playing ball and has an excellent nose, he's already finding Shed Antlers in the house. He is full of energy and always ready to have fun! I've attached a few pictures of him, hope you enjoy. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!    Cherie

Touché - Basko male in SAR training;

Dear Ramona,  Happy holidays! Hope you, Dan, and the dogs are doing well. Duncan and I are doing great. We had a good backpacking season and some great SAR training opportunities this summer and fall. The GPS collar you donated towards has been a godsend. Duncan usually ranges 150-200 meters away from me when he is working, and I wouldn't be able to navigate nearly as efficiently without it. He's amazing- when he is in scent he takes off like a rocket and I can actually see from his movement on the GPS when he has located the subject. I think we will be ready to certify soon. We are taking our time mostly because I'm new at this. Duncan teaches me more than I teach him.

We participated on the SAR float at the Parade of Lights downtown. It was quite the experience. After waiting two hours in the cold, we road the float down Main Street with the ATV and dirt bike team circling us. Lots of lights and noise. We started out just walking behind the float, but Duncan was NOT happy with me about not being first in line. So we got up on the float where he could look out over the crowd. He loves these PR events because of all the attention he gets, and loves seeing the kids especially. He is very good with them. James' nickname for him is "The Happiest Being." We love him. Cheers,  Colin 

Touché - Basko male in IPO training;
Hey Ramona,  I just wanted to give you an update on Ares.  He is an awesome dog, and he continues to amaze me every day!  He puts so much enthusiasm and heart into training, regardless of what we are doing.  He is friendly and social with dogs and people, and so confident! His Schutzhund training is really coming along.  He loves to track, his obedience is going very well and he is on the sleeve now at just 7.5 months and I could not be more proud of him. Attached are some videos of his first bite work session on the sleeve! Sarah 



Xurk/Ruta female
Montikka of Sapphire Mountain: Star Puppy Certified:

Hi Ramona,  I just wanted to write and give you an update on Montikka (AKA Tikka).  She has truly become a member of our family.  She is eager to learn new things and is very smart.  She just got her AKC Star Puppy certification this week (with our 12-year old daughter as handler) and graduated from Puppy Kindergarten.  She also won the contest for Cute Puppy trick!  We have taken her lots of new places and she is always ready for the next adventure.  We have received so many compliments on her intelligence, looks and good nature.  Two veterinarians we know both commented on her good breeding.  It is a compliment to you, Ramona, and your great dogs!  I'm including some recent photos. By the way, she is really taking to tracking.  I just transitioned her from finding food, to tracking personal items and she's doing great!  Sincerely,  Janelle

Hi Ramona,
Hope you and your dogs are doing well.  Cinder (Jetta/Kona) continues to amaze me.  We recently competed at a local agility trial in which a police k9 officer was present.  He sought me out to learn more about my girl and your dogs.  It was quite a compliment!  Cinder's drive and agility is superior and stands out whenever we compete. Attached find a link to the only run we caught on video.  Not our best, nor or worst run, but shows a typical run for this young girl who has just begun her agility career. The knocked bar is likely due to a little miscommunication at the start line so her stride was off, but she got back on balance quickly.  This run was 6.5 yards per second.  Right on par with some very fast border collies! Thanks again for such an awesome girl.  Oh and by the way, as much as I rave about her sports performance, I often forget to share just how great a companion she is as well.  One of sweetest, most fun, playful girls I have ever known.
Very truly yours,  Molly Rapini

Touché of Sapphire Mountain
(Jetta/Santo) passed her AKC Certification TD Track Oct. 23rd under an AKC Judge. 

Xurk / Ruta pup in Canada;

I would like to thank you for the great dog you have sold me.  He has been a real pleasure to have around us. We left you late September , travelled by car , visit many peoples and places. Now we are back home near Ottawa , after a long plane ride. He is well adapted and very calm.  The puppy , “Fury”  is  probably twice as big as a month ago. Very happy and very lively. I go out for long walk with him in the forest, he is amazing at finding his way back home. Doesn’t matter how many junctions we cross on the trail, he always seems to be good to find his way back home. He puts his nose down and bring me back home. I never seen a dog like this. Lots of fun!  We feed him with mix of dry dog food and raw wild meat. Raw meat is definitively his preferred diet.  Thank you so much,   Josee Auclair

Ramona,  Just wanted to let you know how much I am in love with this puppy. She is hands down the best pup I've ever seen, I am utterly blown away by her. She sat quietly in the car the whole way back, and didn't get sick at all. She is already potty trained and immediately goes outside when I take her, the only accident she had was my fault for not letting her out. She wakes me up when she needs to go and goes right away when I take her out, it's amazing. (I'm sure that is all from you starting her, so thank you for that). She is so smart and playful and curious, listens well and is such a love bug. I've also brought her into many places with me already, wherever allows me in, and she curls up by my feet and lays quietly the whole time. She doesn't know a stranger, and is happy to give love to everyone she meets. Like I said, she astounds me and I am so thankful, she is perfect. Her name is Nhakaina, Kaina for short "kay-nuh". Or Nhakaina of Sapphire Mountain if you need the 3 words. Thank you again, I am so excited for her future and will keep you updated on her progress.  Janelle

Very happy to hear Linda and her fine SAR dog Cato of Sapphire Mountain received a healthy, dysplasia free rating of Fair / Normal from OFA! 

I enjoyed a visit from Josee Auclair and Richard Weber from Canada. They went back up north with a very nice Xurk/Ruta pup.  This pup will lead a adventurous life with this family at Artic Watch & Artic Haven Wilderness lodge.

Xurk/Ruta female pup in Porta Rico;
She's highly alert and focused. Everyone compliments her on her structure; she's a really beautiful dog! She loves exploring the yard while I do my gardening and thankfully sticks relatively close and hasn't gotten into trouble. Basic commands were a breeze. I've started her on the October 1 round of Fenzi classes until she's old enough for group obedience classes. It's such a shame she can't compete until she hits six months, at this point I'm sure she could earn her CGC in no time. I hope everything is going well with the remodeling of your facilities and send a thank you to Xurk and Ruta for such a good puppy! I've attached a photo of her this morning in the car and a video of her playing with my older pup. He's very gentle with her, and she bosses him around already!

Email/video/photo received from Dr. O'Connor on her Xurk/Ruta pup; Mighty Onyx of Sapphire Mountain.  Good job on the video Erin, enjoyed the part where he is teasing your other dog, very cute:~)


Onyx is fitting in well! He's such a good pup! I put a little video together of his first week. If you'd like to see...
Sat evening I took him to downtown Naperville lots of people to meet, sights and sounds, pet friendly stores, etc. He did SO well! And he showed almost everyone his sit! (He's very proud of his sit!) One night everyone crashed on the couch. When we woke up about 1a, "where's Onyx?" He was the smart one who went upstairs and was sleeping in the bed!  He's at the animal hospital with me today and "worked" the front desk all morning. Now we're outside on lunch he's having a lamb bone and as I'm typing, watching a loud train go by... nothing startles him. :) 
Dr. Erin O'Connor
AVCA Animal Chiropractor
ACAN Carnivore Nutrition Consultant

Email and photo received from Leah, Canada on her young Little Bear / Ruta male Gunner "Drago";
Hey Ramona,  I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how Drago is doing.. We are coming along nicely in PSA and will officially begin trialing next year. He sure is a head strong dog and still quite immature, but when it's time to focus he does a good job. I know I've said it before, but he has great nerves. I recently took him to a protest against a really bad roadside zoo just East of us and the patrons were very aggressive towards us as they were coming and going. People were looking for a fight...I brought him out just as a deterrent and he was fantastic. Friendly towards my friends and watchful towards the patrons who were behaving aggressively. It was the first time that I have ever felt unsafe at a protest and I was so grateful to have him there. He will be accompanying me from this point on to all events of that nature. His weight is steady at 84lbs and he is lean and muscular. He has developed a SERIOUS LOVE for water and I try to get him out to swim once  week. I could barely get him out of the pond yesterday! Food wise it's like a switch flipped and he'll only eat raw now, but prey model only...he will not eat ground raw. He absolutely hates veggies too! He is developing into such a fine dog. I hope that all is well out in Montana with the kennel and your family.  Take care, I'll be in touch soon-

Genghis of Sapphire Mountain in Glacier NP

He's doing great! What a dog! We love him so much! Thank you! Amanda


Ravenna x Basko male: 
Cowboy was a rock star today. He passed all 3 Odor Recognition Tests. When he turns a year we can start entering Nose Work Trials. He has become a really solid dog. Today he was such a gentleman to all the dogs he had to deal with at the ORT facility. He had to enter an office then down a hallway into the enclosed testing room and he never gave it a second thought. He also had to hang in the car all day due to taking all 3 tests. After the second test I could see he was getting a bit board so we went for a quick car ride then to a park to play a little fetch. Went back and he nailed the last and most important test. Truffle season is starting up so we will be playing in the woods this fall and winter.Cowboy says woof to all his littermates and mom and dad. Aiko

Good news on Ivar of Sapphire Mountain son of Ravenna and Basko.  OFA Preliminary Rated Good Hips and elbow x-rays look healthy states their vet. Very happy for this fine young lad and his owners!

Super news from Darianna in Canada on her Malka of Sapphire Mountain, daughter of Santo and Flame.  These two fine ladies recently completed their second leg and are now officially French Ring 1 titled. Hats off to you both. Huge accomplishment and even bigger with all the other things you have been dealing with!

AUGUST 2016:

Xurk of Sapphire Mountain TD earning his TDU Tracking Dog Urban title this morning in Missoula.  It was a fun track that took us across grass, paved basketball and sand volleyball courts, river rock paths, between buildings and over sidewalks. Xurk went right to work and preformed very well.  Thank you to Big Sky Dog Tracking Club of Montana for another well ran and enjoyable meet.

JULY 2016:

Little Bear - Ruta male Gunner of Sapphire Mountain:
Hi Ramona, It's hard to believe that today is the G litters first birthday! I wanted to thank you once more for my incredibly awesome boy Drago. I really could not have gotten a better puppy. He is super sweet and still quite goofy, but at the same time his serious side is developing, and when we get a peek of it during training it's no joke. He is wonderful at home, out in public and on the training field. Oh, and his genuine love for children is hilarious! He's a dog who can go anywhere and be 100% fine. In my opinion, he's perfect! I can only imagine what he'll be like and look like in another year! I've attached pictures from training last Sunday. Take care. Leah
P.S. In the first picture my club mate Nicole is posting looks like I'm holding the line with zero effort!

Danny receiving a track laying lesson from the master.  Thanks Dan for laying so many tracks and helping with everything during a very busy week.

Email and photos on a Touché - Basko SAR male in Washington;

Hi Ramona,
Duncan got his CGC today! He's awesome and we are very proud of him. Very healthy, active, social dog. Finally he has stopped getting taller and is filling out more. We are doing a lot of hiking and swimming this summer. We joke that he has an outboard motor because he leaves a wake in the water. SAR training is still going very well. We're moving on to bigger areas and he's proving to be very confident working out of sight of the handler on his own. Our biggest challenge is teaching him what to do with himself when he's not working, because he just wants to follow everyone and bring them sticks to throw.   Hope you're having a great summer! ~ Colin

Ramona, Happy 4th of July from Colorado! Rene and daughter with Little Bear of Sapphire Mountain IPO3 and a young Xurk / Na Pali female.

Great news on another offspring of Little Bear and Ruta, Gunner of Sapphire Mountain in Canada received OFA Preliminary Rated Hips and Elbows; Good / Normal!

JUNE 2016:

Email and photo's from Sarah, owner of one of our Touché - Basko pups;
Hi Ramona,  Just wanted to let you know the pup is doing awesome! Ares is very focused and enthusiastic to train, and so tenacious with his bite work foundation training. Everyone in the Shutzhund club is very impressed with him. He's got so much personality and heart! I couldn't be happier with him! Sarah

Another big Congratulations goes out to Linda in New York and her SAR dog Cato of Sapphire Mountain on earning their IPWDA Human Remains Land!

Nice email and photos from an owner of a Ravenna - Basko pup;
Hi Ramona! I'm sure you're probably sick of our updates but I am just so blown away by how amazing your dogs are. Chevy is filling out nicely  (63 lbs this week!) and such a well rounded dog! He has a wonderful temperament and a huge personality. When it comes to work though, it's all business for him. He can be serious and silly! He wants to work and wants to do everything you tell him to. You say jump, he'll say how high! Today he went fishing, ran next to the atv, and rode in a boat all for the first time and just acted like it's something he's done a hundred times. He loves swimming and recently hiking in the mountains. He has such good control over his drive and shows amazing self control and maturity for such a young age! He fits perfectly into our family in every way.
Thank you and have a wonderful summer! Jill and Kevin

Big Congratulations goes out to Linda in New York and her dog Uma of Sapphire Mountain (littermate to our Ursa) on earning their SAR IPWDA Human Remains Search-Water!

MAY 2016:

Xurk and Gem of Sapphire Mountain.  Gem received OFA Preliminary Rated Good Hips and Normal Elbows.

Two very nice email's and photo's received today on young male's from our Little Bear and Ruta litter:
Hi Ramona,  I just wanted to send you Drago's (Gunner) first picture of him doing some bite work. I was just waiting for permission from the photographer. This was taken last Sunday at the PSA club. Everyone thinks he's a great dog. The trainer is very confident in his ability to be a great personal protection dog. I myself am very impressed with the group. Everyone is very positive and they support each other. It's pretty great!  Take care,  Leah

Genghis at 9 months old, he just gets better and better looking! Thank you Ramona!  Ron & Wanda

APRIL 2016:

Email from Linda in NY about a couple of SAR dogs she owns, bred at Sapphire Shepherds:
Hi Ramona!
All is well in New York! It looks like you are VERY busy in Montana.  Uma and I will be certified hopefully in May for cadaver water search. We are attending a testing in Ohio.  Cato is doing amazing although I had to change his indication to a "bark", his drive and 80lbs of solid muscle were making a "jump" indication way too much for my small frame:)
Lastly, both Cato and Uma attended a crime scene cadaver course in Kentucky and were on the news! They stole the show!  Take care and thank you!  Linda

Congratulations goes out to Molly and her female Cinder of Sapphire Mountain on another Agility title earned!
Hi Ramona, I wanted to let you know Cinder has her Open Agility (OA) title now. We are close with our open jumpers title and I hope to have it soon. I just attended a local agility and got some great photos of Cinder that I have attached.  Hope you and yours are doing well!  Molly

Nice email and photo from an owner of a Basko - Ravenna pup in ID;
Hey, Ramona.  We thought we'd tell you how well Indy is doing. What a great dog! He is extremely smart, very agile, and has awesome nerve. He has such great confidence and doesn't get spooked or nervous. Obedience training is going very well, and he has great self control in training. He's got a drive for the ball that NEVER quits, and a thrown ball or Frisbee has turned into the ultimate reward. We feel great about his interaction with new people and new dogs: confident and calm. One of his characteristics that has impressed us the most is his incredible focus. When we train, play tug-of-war or fetch, his focus on the task is surgically precise and virtually can't be distracted. We frequently get complimented on his intense focus and drive. He's got an independent spirit and a big personality, which brings its challenges and excitement, and we're developing a great bond with the little guy and LOVE his temperament. He's got so much energy and drive that we worry about his joints, because he'll go ALL day, so we're trying to watch that pretty close and his keep jumping to a minimum. He's almost four and a half months now and just weighed in at 34 pounds. Thanks for your remarkable breeding program that produces such stellar dogs. We are so proud of him.  Also, we're pretty convinced he's the best looking dog on the planet. Tell Basko and Ravena that Indy says hi!  Cannon and Mikee.  Idaho Falls, ID. 

Another nice email from an owner of a Basko - Ravenna pup in WA;
Just wanted to let you know how much we are enjoying Cowboy. He just completed level 1 nose work and starts truffle training in May.  I might get him going in SAR work. I have worked 3 dogs with GSSD ( German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington) and Pierce County for 23 years. He has such a good nose and is so smart! When asked to do something I give him time to think it out and then he completes the task.   We love him.
Thank you for breeding wonderful sound dogs!   Aiko, Poul, Hilti ( big sister K9 ) and Cowboy

Big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Gunner of Sapphire Mountain (call name Drago) son of Little Bear and Ruta and owner Leah in Canada on the following great news!
Hi Ramona, 
Drago just passed his Herding Instinct Test. The instructor was very happy with his performance. Nice dog comments all around!   Have a good day.  Leah

Big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Ivar of Sapphire Mountain (call name Chevy) son of Basko and Ravenna and owners Jill and Kevin in CO, on the following wonderful news; 
Good afternoon Ramona!  Today, Chevy "Ivar" passed his Canine Good Citizen test with flying colors before he was even 5 months old! He also graduated from the puppy bite sleeve to the intermediate sleeve yesterday and worked with the Schutzhund blinds for the first time. I will send you a video of him with the blinds (he definitely didn't act like it was his first time) when I get them. He has been doing great with tracking as well. He is gonna be a Schutzhund champ just like his daddy!. We also recently went to an AKC match for fun, socialization and to focus on obedience around a lot of other dogs and he did really good. He is an impressive little man and people constantly compliment him.  Have a good one!   Jill and Kevi

Big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Osah of Sapphire Mountain and owner Marie for earning the TD Tracking Dog title this weekend on the east coast!! Osah is a lovely daughter of our Santo & Iris of Sapphire Mountain and is also titled; NW1, NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD.  OFA Good / Normal.

Genghis of Sapphire Mountain at 8 months. Picture's taken while training 9 April 2016. Son of Little Bear and Ruta.

Love and peace to you sweet Michael,  February 11, 1988 - March 23, 2016.
Thank you Michael for all you gave to your dog Kodos and sharing your huge smile and kind - upbeat personality with me.  My condolence to Michaels family, Thank you and Lynne for allowing me to find Kodos a good home.



MARCH 2016:

SUPER NEWS on a couple of our dog's!
Boss Lady of Sapphire Mountain received a 90th percentile on her hips.  A hip rating in the 90th percentile is the highest PennHIP rating a breeder - owner hopes to receive.  AND...we have heard that another dog we bred, Charlotte of Sapphire Mountain just received a 90th percentile on her hips also!

Email and photo's on a Basko / Ravenna male "I" litter pup in CO:
Hey Ramona! I attached some pictures of our guy at training. I can't believe that he's almost 16 weeks old! He's now getting his adult teeth so we will be taking a break from bite work.  They grow up so fast. His colors started to come in and he is quite the looker! He's a sturdy little guy and such a sweetheart.
Thanks again! Kevin and Jill


Xurk x Na Pali "F" litter female, Frejya of Sapphire Mountain; CO
Ramona- I hope you are doing well.  I wanted to let you know that Michelle and Freyja are getting along well!  She is working towards her BH.  Freyja is tracking well and showing nice balanced drives.  The photos are from a training sessions today. Rene   
Ramona, that was a great note from you- thanks. I'm glad the puppies are working out. I have some video of Freyja working, but the file sizes are too large. I may need to put them on a stick and mail them. It took her a little while to come around, but is now on the big sleeve. Huge defense drive. Rene

Working on grip

Xurk x Na Pali "F" litter male; Faro of Sapphire Mountain: CA
Hi Ramona, We thought you'd like to see how one of your pups has been doing, he was part of the F liter.  Surname was Faro call name is Kratos.  He's getting big and weighs in at 70 Lbs. already.  He's the best dog we have ever owned.  Very smart and loyal.  He loves to swim in the pool, prey-chase drive is strong and every time the baby cries he cries too.  While potty training he only had 3 accidents the entire time!!  We wanted to say thank you for the addition to our family.  Billy 

7 month old male from Bear and Ruta "G" litter, Genghis of Sapphire Mountain: UT
I want to start tracking this spring too. Hope to stop by this summer and let you see Genghis. Everyone here is so impressed with your breeding line.  He is a lot of dog! Ron



Big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Donna Dill in Washington, a pup from her Hyah and our Basko just received OFA Excellent!!!!! Below are photo's taken this week of Basko out for a romp in the fields with a group of our females, one being his daughter Ursa.

JANUARY  2016:

Email and photo on a Ravenna / Basko male pup in training for Truffle detection in WA:
He has quite a nose!  He is unearthing dog toys that have been missing for years in our back yard.  Aiko


Ruta and daughter Gem enjoying the snow on a beautiful sunny afternoon; 

Gem in the photo's below;

Email from Molly in CA on her young female competing in Agility:
Cinder's agility debut was a huge success! She is so much fun to work with and is going to do amazing things. At this rate I anticipate her first agility title next weekend. And she is just 17 months! Thanks Ramona for such a great partner!  Molly

Email and photo's from Colin on his SAR dog Duncan from our Basko / Touché breeding:
Hello Ramona,  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from myself and Duncan. I thought you might like these pictures from our recent snowshoe trips. It's hard to believe how fast he grew up. He has been a great puppy. I get compliments all the time on his stable, lovely temperament. I've only got good things to say about him both as a SAR dog and as an outdoorsy companion. He is growing into a strong and beautiful young adult.
Have a peaceful holiday!


A Beautiful Christmas card and email on Zoot and his grandson Zar (Xurk x Flame):
Hi Ramona! 
Holiday Cheer to You!  We love our Zar. He's more assertive than Zoot and certainly a house protector. He loves the kids that come up the stairs for music lessons but if someone knocks at the front door it's a different ballgame. Zoot is having his 10th birthday and is hanging in there. Zar keeps him busy so he's more active than he used to be. Chuck & Brooke


A beautiful photo and email from an owner of  Gunner of Sapphire Mountain, "Drago" a Little Bear x Ruta male pup in Canada:

Hi Ramona,  I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I would also like to sincerely thank you (which I don't think I've done) for my puppy Drago. I am in awe of him. He is intelligent, rowdy, silly, sharp, bold, brave and loving. Interestingly, he reminds me of his Aunty Malka sometimes. He is a dog's dog! He is everything that I could have wanted and more. Thank you so much again. I have attached a picture from the photo shoot. Unfortunately I won't get the others for at least 2 more weeks. The picture is him at 4 months old and 48lbs! We'll be in touch!  Sincerely,  Leah

Super, beautiful young female from our breeding program!! You have to watch her video pasted below and remember, her owner states she is JUST learning the weave poles!

Hi Ramona, Happy holidays. Cinder is doing great and has proven to be an amazing companion and agility partner. We have had a blast in training and have participated in several seminars taught by world team members. I consistently receive compliments on her structure and temperament by those who have traveled across the globe participating/coaching in the sport of agility and who have seen many other shepherds. I am often asked where she comes from and am told, "that is how a shepherd should look/act." - I have to agree :).
At the young age of 16 months she is ready to compete, but she came into heat so I had to delay as AKC doesn't allow girls in season to participate in agility events. So, New Years weekend will be our debut. I am so excited! She is so speedy and driven that she has really made me have to step up my game in handling. Should be interesting ;). I promise to send videos and pictures.
A local agility competitor/friend just got a pup out of your 'H' litter. I love her too. She has so many of the same qualities of my Cinder that I adore. In about 4 years I will be ready for my next Sapphire Shepherd, so be ready!
Take care, and look for another update next month. Molly Rapini


This is a practice event when Cinder was only 14 months old.  She had just learned the weaves and just started jumping full height and on full height equipment as I waited until her growth plates were closed.  She looks great for such a young thing!


Nice email received on a Little Bear x Ruta male pup in Wyoming;
Ramona,  I am in a constant state of gratitude for this pup and for your discerning eye in selecting him as a perfect match for our family. He couldn't be more wonderful! So smart, trainable and and overall good guy. He is the easiest puppy I have ever raised and he is getting so big so fast and he's BEAUTIFUL!  Thank you again! I thought you might like the photos, but I promise I won't send them through his whole life ;) Warmly,  Amanda


Nice email received on a Basko x Touche female in Washington;
Hi Ramona - I wanted to give you an update on Feenix (Dori - Touche/Basko). To say she is an incredible dog is an understatement. She has yet to meet a ball she didn't like, and absolutely loves a game of laser tag at night before bed.  One of the reasons I choose one of your pups vs. breeder I got my last two GSDs from, was the picture you had of your dogs running across the log, I wanted a stronger, more agile dog than my last one. You delivered, we should have named Feenix - Goat. She has yet to encounter a rock, log, tree stump that she isn't instantly up on. We have done a few very short trail rides so she gets used to being out with the horses. I look forward to her getting old enough to be able to go long distances.  I could go on but instead I'll just say thank you for the care you take to breed such quality dogs.  Denise

Nice email and video received on a Kona x Ursa  H litter female pup in California;


Hi Ramona, here's a link to a video showing Hemi doing a little bit of foundation agility training (mostly balance and rear end awareness stuff). Aside from baby teeth, holes in our arms and hands, she's doing great! Oh yeah, my god this puppy is vocal...holy cow LOL! But seriously she's doing fantastic and we are extremely happy with her, and she is absolutely gorgeous! She is really starting to get into playing tug and she is certainly food motivated.

Nice email and photo received on a Basko x Touche D litter male in Utah;
Hey Ramona, Our pup is doing great. He has not had any health issues. We have started schz training with him and have taken him on all our outdoor adventures. We're really happy with him thank you! Brady

Nice email and photo received on a Xurk - Flame female in MT;
Hi Ramona,  I just wanted to give you a quick update on Eloise. We have had a busy fall and she has adjusted well to the routine change with the kids going back to school. She and I have more time to walk and play. We are still working hard on her training and she is solid on her basic commands. Today I am teaching her to help me pick up around the house, (she just helped me put all the shoes by the door) she always wants to carry things in her mouth so we are building on that. When we go for walks we pick up trash we find discarded on the side of the road and she will carry items for a mile or two until we find a trash can. Her temperament remains very confident and social. I take her all over with me and I am frequently complimented on how friendly and well behaved she is.. Many people are at first intimidated by her size but then she starts wagging that enormous tail and they see what a happy girl she is. Our whole family adores her and we are so glad she came into our lives.   Thank you!  Alessandra


Big Congratulations goes out to Osah of Sapphire Mountain, titled; NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD (Santo x Iris daughter) and Marie on earning your NW1 (Nose work) title in Pennsylvania! Super work you two!

Nice email received on a Kona x Jetta male from California;
Hi from CA! Cole is doing great. He is a big goof who loves to play. He has become Bret's shadow! Thanks again for being so particular with your breeding. He stands out from other "top breed" german shepherds in every category! We are very proud of Cole and love him tons! - Shannon

Email received on a Rocky / Pen daughter: North Carolina
Dear Ramona,
I write to thank you. After 12 1/2 years of protecting and loving our family, Asia (daughter of Rocky and Pen) passed away on Monday. She was a truly unbelievable dog. She was smart, beautiful, strong, loving, and the most incredible athlete I have ever seen! Most of all, she was a true companion and best friend. I want to thank you for giving me, and my family, that gift. You breed beautiful dogs to be sure, but more importantly, you breed dogs that can adapt to whatever we ask them to do. In my case, I asked Asia to protect and love my family. She did that for over 12 years, and became my friend and companion in the process.

We recently rescued a 16 week old female GSD puppy. When she is fully trained and steady, I plan on obtaining another dog from Sapphire Shepherds, preferably from the same pedigree as Asia.

Again, thank you. I hope to be in touch soon! John L. Colbert




Ursa of Sapphire Mountain earned her TD title this weekend in Wolf Creek Montana!

Email and various training photo's received on Uma of Sapphire Mountain (littermate to URSA & ULYSSES) & Cato of Sapphire Mountain (Kona - Jetta son).  Both dogs are being prepared for SAR work by their owner/handler Linda Rudy:
Hi Ramona!   Hope all is well!  Just wanted to send some new training pics and an update on Uma and Cato .
Cato earned his CGC and is progressing quickly toward testing in HRD!
As always, Uma remains a "rock star"
In all areas of SAR. We joined a new and very large team in the Buffalo area with very high standards. They love her! Thanks for all you do to produce beautiful working pups!! Linda


Linda and Cato

Linda and Cato

This is how you reserve a picnic shelter in New York. ( hahaha!) Linda.

Uma, Certified SAR female and Cato SAR in training.


Email and photo's received on a 7 month old Basko - Touché male in training for SAR:
Hi Ramona,   Congratulations on your TD title and multiple certificates!! Xurk and Na Pali look great! Looks like you had a really busy summer. Hope everything is going well and that you are getting some nice fall weather finally.

We just got back from Northwest SARCon after three days of training in the field. We participated in the wilderness air scent workshop for beginning and intermediate dogs. Duncan was exposed to all kinds of new scenarios this weekend: people in trees, inside concrete tubes, on steep slopes with blowdown, rain, rivers, and lots and lots of blackberry brambles. No issues- he goes right to work with huge enthusiasm no matter what they throw at us. We got so many compliments on his drive and energy. He did his first small area search and got an A+ from the instructors. I heard the phrase Wow, that's exciting a lot. :) He is an intense dog, jacked up to level 11 as soon as you take him out of the truck and barks non-stop until he gets to search. We're hoping to certify in about a year from now. I think his hunt drive and search instinct are very good, he just needs to build stamina, grow into an adult, and we have a lot of growing to do as a team. Duncan is an awesome companion outside of SAR training too. He has confident, friendly social behavior with people and is friendly to other dogs, neutral around stock. I've traveled with him across the state a few times and he adjusts very well to new situations. If anything startles him, he generally needs one or two more exposures and then its fine. I'm very impressed with how well he settles wherever I take him. You were right that he's definitely making me step up my game as a handler. I have a hard time envisioning him being happy without some kind of real work to keep him busy.

The skin irritation he had earlier this summer seems to have cleared up. I examined the problem areas carefully and the skin has normal appearance now.. I will definitely let you know if it starts up again in case it turns out he is allergic to something. No other health problems to report. Also I got his weight wrong in my previous email- he is about 70 lbs now. You can see from the photos he is roughly the size of a baby moose!  Best,  Kaitlin

Na-Pali and I passed our AKC Certification TD Track under an AKC Judge on September 24th in Missoula Montana.  Na-Pali is a different type of dog to train from what I have been use to over the years. "Well done" Na-Pali, we had fun this morning I think you are even trying to smile a little in the photo below.

Upper Snake River Valley Dog Training Club, Inc. XURK of SAPPHIRE MOUNTAIN earned his TD title this morning.  He was one of two dogs that passed today (both German Shepherd dogs) out of a total of 6 dogs entered. He tracked extremely well and completely ignored the abundance of live (and dead) mice in the rolling alfalfa fields. 
Leaving the start flag...

Tracking well...
Still tracking well....

After passing his TD track....Well done Xurk!

Stopped at a beautiful area to play for a while before the long drive back home.

#1;  Big congratulations goes out to Darianna and her female Malka of Sapphire Mountain (Santo - Flame daughter), on the following French Ring accomplishment. Very rare for a German Shepherd female to be competing and doing well in French Ring!;
Hi!  Just messaging you from the trial field....Malka got her first leg of her RING 1. :) -Darianna

#2; Big congratulations goes out to Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain(littermate to our Ursa), on the following IPO BH accomplishment;
Hi- We passed! So far in 2015 Toby has passed his first AKC, schutzhund, and SAR tests! These don't really blend for training all the time but we have managed to pass. Thank you again for Toby he has been a good teacher ;-) Clarissa

#3; Big congratulations to FCSAR K9 Brooke of Sapphire Mountain (littermate to our Brook) for achieving your International Police Work Dog Association certifications. And another big congratulations goes out to FCSAR K9 Quinn of Sapphire Mountain and K9 Brooke for passing your certification test in Open Water Search!  Quinn is a grand old lady soon to be 10 years old next month and Brooke is going to be 8 years in December.  I am very proud of these two female's accomplishment's and to hear they are still working!

AUGUST 2015:

Dan and I have been having great fun this month with our dogs and Agility Equipment!

JULY 2015:

A big "Atta Girl" goes out to my URSA of Sapphire Mountain! 
Ursa passed her Certification TD Track on July 27, 2015 on a beautiful stormy evening in Missoula. Two weeks away from having her first litter, I have been tracking her throughout her pregnancy (should  make our SAR and working clients on her pups happy to know this).  She is a wonderful, hard worker and her litter with Kona will be very interesting.  I will be taking both Xurk, Ursa and hopefully a third dog up for their AKC TD title at upcoming meets this fall after her litter. 
Photos below from this evening in Missoula.

Ursa taking a run through the agility tunnel.

Another nice photo and email received on a Xurk -Flame female:
Hi Ramona,  It's been almost two months and I just wanted to let you know things are going well with Eloise. We love her so much! She is so clever and wants to be a part of everything the kids and I do. She "helps" me in my garden every evening and I took this photo today at the farmers market in West Glacier where I sell vegetables every week. I have been bringing her with me and she meets lots of people and dogs and is very friendly and confident. We have taken her canoeing twice and she has been riding on the paddle board as well. She seems to like the water more and more every time we go out. She has such a good personality, she is not afraid to follow our family wherever we go but at the same time she is content on her own those times when she needs to stay behind. She is quick to learn and most people are amazed at how obedient she is considering she is still a puppy.
Thank you again for bringing such a great dog into my world!   Alessandra

Nice photo and email received from Rene taken at Glacier National Park with his IPO3 dog Bear of Sapphire Mountain and his daughter with her new pup from Xurk and Na-Pali;

Ramona- I wanted to let you know that we made it back to Colorado. Everyone did well.  The female is looking really good.  She spent a couple nights in hotels, was very outgoing and met lots of people.  She also had no problems with elevators and a variety of surfaces. Lots of energy and fun.  Thanks again for taking good care of Bear. I look forward to seeing how the pups turn out.  Rene

JUNE 2015:

I had a fun day as a TDX cross track layer for the AKC June tracking test at Clearwater junction. I was able to watch many nice dogs and their handlers and enjoyed meeting members of Big Sky Tracking Club.  The day was topped off for me by being able to pass the required Certification TD track with my dog Xurk of Sapphire Mountain who worked the track with intensity, accuracy and speed on a hot afternoon!  What a blast you are to work with Xurk, well done!  Now we can go up for our AKC TD Title.

Kona of Mission Mountain at Sapphire Shepherds this week breeding Ursa.  Ursa's litter is due August 10th, 2015.

I was able to watch Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain a littermate to my above female Ursa, work a practice TDX track this weekend.  The track was  800-1000 yards long, 5-7 turns, 4 articles, aged 3-5 hours with two sets of cross tracks of two different people. Ulysses with his owner Clarissa handling, worked the track very well in hot weather.  Nice working dog.  Ulysses is SAR Certified Cadaver 1. CGC, OFA Good/Normal and training for more SAR certifications and other titling.

Dan with his current favorite dog Boss Lady of Sapphire Mountain.  Dan wanted to take Boss Lady into Polson and walk her around....good for both of them!

MAY 2015:

Very good news on two littermates of our Brook and Basko "U" litter!!

#1; Big Congratulations goes out to
Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain, passing SAR Cadaver 1!
#2; And  a Big Congratulations goes out to Uma of Sapphire Mountain who received OFA Good Hips and Normal Elbows last month!

Email and photo received on a Touché - Basko pup Duncan of Sapphire Mountain. Duncan is in SAR training with his owner Kaitlin, members of Walla Walla County SAR;

Hi Ramona,  I wanted to send you some pictures and let you know how Duncan is doing. He is one awesome puppy and growing so fast! We started his SAR training about a month ago, doing short runaways for air scent and also imprinting him on cadaver using scent boxes. He is crazy about tug and shows zero hesitation going out towards the subject in various environments. I was wondering how he would handle distractions with how curious he is about everything around him, but when he is playing the "search game," he has laser focus. I think he has a very good balance between independence, curiosity, and work ethic. Everyone who has seen him so far has said he will be a great SAR dog. I have to watch that he does not hurt himself because he loves to jump and climb. I exposed him to a wobble board and tunnel at eight weeks. He still thinks they are great fun. That will come in handy navigating deadfall later.

So far, he has not been a difficult puppy to live with, either. He took to crate training very quickly and is pretty well behaved in the house as long as you give him something to do. Very calm in the car as well. My older shepherd is still teaching him some manners and how to play fair. Duncan also comes to work with me every day at the college. He wants to meet just about everyone. I almost can't get anywhere when he's with me because we have to stop for belly rubs so often. :) I take him downtown regularly on my lunch break and he is solid with all the chaos going on around him- we practice obedience and impulse control out in public a lot since that is not his strong suit! He's going to be a very interesting dog to work with. I'm so happy to have him.   Best, Kaitlin 

Wonderful Touché and her brother, Little Bear of Sapphire Mountain; SG, BH, AD, TR3, IPO3 High in Trail, Temperament Pronounced.  Bear is here in Montana for a breeding to one of our females!



Ursa May 2015
Email and photo received from Chuck and Brooke on their new Xurk - Flame "E" litter pup EnZar of Sapphire Mountain.  They also own Zoot of Sapphire Mountain this pups grandfather. EnZar may be used as stud in the future as he is a very nice pup and this short email says it all:~)
Hi Ramona,  Grandkid of Zoot--Zar: 8 weeks old and 1st day home. OMG!  save us!  Chuck and Brooke

Xurk May 2015

Xurk is a male that enjoys his pups and is safe to be around them.  An "F" litter male pup.

Xurk and another "F" litter male pup.

A nice and rare photo of Ravenna in a still moment.  A tuff female, always busy, nothing phases her.

APRIL 2015:

Welcome to Montana Ruta and welcome back to Montana Bear!
Recent photo's of Dan and many of our dogs this past week are posted below!

Bear in Montana

Bear getting re-acquainted with his birth home during a typical Montana spring snow storm.


Bear saying hello to Dan, last time he saw Dan he was a 8 week old pup.

Dan and Bear

Dan and Bear

Dan and Bear

Dan and Bear

Dan watching Bear and Ruta play.

Ruta in Montana





Funny Ruta thinks she would like to be Dan's lap dog.

Dan giving Ruta what she loves, a belly rub.

Dan and Ruta

Touché, Basko and his daughter Ursa.



Funny Ursa, she is happy the bee's are out and she can run around and try to catch them.

Ursa about ready to launch....

Ursa on lift off

Ursa and Boss Lady

Boss Lady and Ursa

Ursa, April 2015

Na Pali carrying her litter from Xurk

Brook and her two daughter's Ursa and Boss Lady on a glorious, sunny Montana afternoon!

Basko happy he was able to steal my hat.

MARCH 2015:

Email and photo's received from Mr. Parker in TX on his Kona / Jetta son;



Hi Ramona,   My son was having his senior pictures taken and decided to have a few of Kona Jr.( Coburn of Sapphire Mountain) taken as well. He is 7 1/2 months in these pics. I think you’ll agree he is becoming a handsome young male. Things here are warming up so I took Kona to to the lake for the fist time. Without any coaxing he jumped in for a swim. Who taught him that? He is fitting into our family life very well. He is very calm and social with dogs and people. He adapts very well to all environments and activities. His temperament is perfect for our family.
Thanks for sending him our way.  Brian

Email and video received on a Kona/Jetta female owned/trained by a National level agility competitor Molly
Hi Ramona,   Looks like you have your hands full with two amazing litters right now.  I just wanted to pass on a few more pics and a video of Cinder at 6 months with our foundation training.  Cinder looks amazing.  I receive compliments everywhere we go.  My trainers are delighted with this girl and think she is going to do great things.  She is extremely athletic and agile.  She can turn tighter than some of the border collies in my class which is no easy feat!  This girl was born to work.  Her drive and ethic are incredible.  I have been asked by dozens of people where she comes from and know at 1 or 2 people that are thinking about getting a puppy from you down the road.  They are that impressed!  Here is the link to the video:
Thanks again!  Molly

A huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Mr. Rene Stasiak and his wonderful dog Little Bear of Sapphire Mountain.  Rene and Bear earned their IPO3 with a 96 in Tracking, Pronounced in Protection and High in Trial!
Bear is the first dog Mr. Stasiak has taken through IPO training. Congratulations again Rene and Bear, well done you two!

Ramona- we came to the souther border in Texas to trial Bear this weekend. I thought a photo of a Czech border dog on the southern border was fitting!  Bear got his IPO3 today, with a 96 in tracking!!


Recent photos of our dogs. The past few weeks have given us beautiful spring like weather and Dan and I have been outside working on our place and with our dogs.

Xurk and Flame enjoying a sunny afternoon.

Photo taken not yet half way through her pregnancy, I am happy to say Flame is pregnant!

Flame showing Boss Lady who the real Boss is. 

Xurk at complete ease in a full out sprint crossing a narrow log high above the creek.

Touché, Boss Lady, Ursa and Xurk crossing log over creek.

Everyone is happy we are headed down to work!! Xurk, Na Pali, Boss Lady, Ursa and Touché.

Brook keeping watch as we pile and burn brush.

Two healthy, beautiful daughters of Brook, Ursa and Boss Lady. Both full of drive and character.

Na Pali also at ease in a sprint on the log over the creek.

Ravenna with a new toy.

Email and photos received from Nisa in Texas on her Flame / Basko female Zara
Hi miss Ramona, Just wanted to send you pics of my Zara girl! I just love her she is so well behaved and naturally protective she goes everywhere with me and never leaves my side. I could not be more pleased with such an awesome dog and companion! Thank you again!


A very big CONGRATULATIONS to Linda and her dog Uma of Sapphire Mountain on earning their SAR Moving Subject Certification and receiving their membership into the International Police Work Dog Association.
Another very big CONGRATULATIONS to Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain, on earning his CGC title this weekend!
An old photo of my brother Frank in front of one of his many works of art he designs and builds, along with his dogs Moe and Czar of Sapphire Mountain.

Wishing Everyone a Healthy and Peaceful New Year!


Huge Congratulations to Linda and her dog Uma of Sapphire Mountain CGC on passing their SAR Certificate for Live Find!! Way to go you two!! Uma is a Basko / Brook female and littermate to our Ursa. 

A Christmas card from Molly in California of her three beautiful German Shepherd's, the center dog is Cinder (Kona-Jetta) female.

Merry Christmas sent to us from the owners of Cole (Kona-Jetta male) in California.

Merry Christmas sent to us from the owners of Zoot (Xurk's sire).
A recent photo from Kath, owner of Xahria ( daughter of Zoot and Jetta)



Boss Lady outlined in the photo by her dam Brook

Email and photo received on a Kona - Jetta pup being prepared for SAR;

Hello Ramona,  Sorry I haven't updated sooner. Charlotte is almost 4 months old already! She has been growing like crazy. She and Toby have become pretty good friends. Toby seems to be calmer when she is around even though she's the baby. Toby has been surprisingly gentle with her even when she is rough with him.
I think some of this has to do with training but Charlotte likes to track just like Toby does. They both are super hard to take pictures of because they put their noses down and will not lift them up because they are too busy to be bothered with anything else.
Charlotte has been really easy to work with. She is super smart and eager to please. She does most of her commands verbally already and she does them with speed! After seeing several of Jetta's pups from different males I am very happy to purchase one of our own. Charlotte is no exception she has been out and about and nothing seems to phase her. She is extremely athletic. She crawls on, into, under everything! She moves like a very graceful adult dog already.
I attended a schutzhund seminar this fall and was pleasently surprised. Some trainers there talk about some czech lines being VERY sharp. These same people do not know a single thing about any individual dog I have asked about in any Czech bloodline but will spout off their opinions about them. In front of these people one of the trainers (paid) teaching the work remarked "when selecting dogs to make a german shepherd you want some sharpness, without it you wouldn't have a very good german shepherd!" I just had to smile and thought you would too.
Hope all is well on your end I have checked to website and you have some beautiful pictures posted. Looks like you are training away too. I see there is an AKC seminar potentially in May and they are offering a TD title. I was thinking of trying this with Toby. Do you think you will be taking anybody? It is hard to find oppurtunities here in Montana!  Clarissa


Email's received on Tundra of Sapphire Mountain aka Ransom, a Santo - Jetta son;
#1:Ransom has many characteristics you describe about Santo, especially about the use of the front legs! We call Ransom's front legs "larms" because uses them like arms too.  He is our fourth GSD and he is the only one that can do that! He is now 2 years old and has brought us much joy (and I must admit a little bit of anguish-he was a challenging pup) and has grown into an amazing, athletic dog.  He has a sense of humor and is always ready to participate100% in whatever we are doing.  We love him so much!  Thanks for sharing about Santo, it gives me a little insight to our dog.  All the best, Cathy
#2:  I looked at the pictures of Touche’ and she and Ransom definitely share the same look.  Thanks for all you do for the GSD.  You truly breed quality dogs!  Have a nice Thanksgiving- Cathy

Email received on a kona - Jetta pup:
Hi Ramona,  I hope you and your pups are doing well.  I just wanted to send you an update on Cinder (Jetta/Kona C-litter) and let you know how many compliments I receive about her looks and personality.  She is strikingly beautiful and has a face that has melted the heart of everyone we meet.  She has nerves of steel and an impressive work ethic for a pup of such young age.  Her drive was just what I was looking for and it has translated well in training.  But with the energy of a little fire cracker, she has a great off switch and settles when appropriate.  She is a social butterfly that loves every person and every animal she meets.  She is enjoying the California lifestyle and enjoys the beach and stand up paddle boarding.  I have attached a photo of her on my sup board in the marina for you to enjoy.  I look forward to updating you in the future with her accomplishments.  I know there will be many!  Yours truly,  Molly


Email and photo received on a Basko - Brook female "Uma" being prepared for SAR work in NY.
Uma was a "rock star". Over the four days  Uma had exposure with positive finds for tissue, bone, cremated, aged soil and lots of fluid.  My favorite scenario was a fire tower with three floors. It was dark and they were pumping smoke in. All floors had "bodies" in different locations, positions, etc. Our job was to clear the tower and locate the two hidden sources. Uma went right in with solid nerve and never spooked once!! Some dogs wouldn't go on the metal stairs or were getting spooked by the manikin bodies laying around. They had one source in a baby manikin in a crib. Uma jumped into the crib and downed on the wire springs to indicate- crazy!!
Needless to say we earned our Intl. Police Work Dog Assoc. Patch
Tell "Cato" we're setting up the scent boxes for him!- Linda

Email and photo in reference to a very nice visit I had from Michael who owns Prince "Kodos" of Sapphire Mountain a Santo - Flame male.  Kodos travels EVERYWHERE with Michael, who has done a great job with training this dog. Kodos is a very handsome, longer coated German Shepherd with the presence his sire had.
It was such a pleasure to see you again, and to meet the Kona/ Jetta "C" litter at seven weeks of age! Two years has flown by since I picked up my pup from the Santo/ Flame "P" litter in 2012, and I cannot begin to explain how amazing of a dog Kodos has become. Attached you will find a few pictures I had on my computer at home of both Britta and myself with Kodos, as well one I recently took this morning at work with him. He is a courageous, strong, well-mannered, devoted, alert and fearless GSD. I cannot begin to explain the challenges he has conquered to grow into this loyal companion of mine! 
As soon as I have time, I will send a few more pictures with him during his training sessions/ play sessions (swimming mostly!).
Thank you SO MUCH for having me up at your place again, and to remind me how lucky I am to have one of Sapphire Shepherds amazing Czech Shepherds! I will keep in touch, and I wish you the best of luck with all of your upcoming pup placements! Until next time, Michael Denchak

Email and photo's in reference to a Kona - Jetta male "Chase" owned by Michele who is very active in various types of dog training. Michele also owns a Santo - Flame female "Micha" and has spent much time training with Micha.
Hi Ramona, I just wanted to drop you a quick note about how incredible our newly acquired puppy is.  He has been awesome, just awesome.  Inquisitive, responsive, loving, and both active and able to relax appropriately.  He went to his first weekend Nosework trial and I think the word used was “angel.”  
Thank you so much for paying attention to the temperament of your dogs - we are already having a blast!

Email and photo in reference to a Kona - Jetta female "Charlotte" owned by a couple active in Search and Rescue. Their new pup will be prepared for this  area of work.

Hello Ramona!
Just wanted to send you an update on Charlotte. We love her! She is a very nice balanced puppy. From what we can see from her she is exactly what we were looking for. I thought I would send a picture of her and Ryan and her and Toby. She fits right in. We are very lucky to have the opportunity to purchase her.  Thank you again,  Clarissa

"Charlotte" and Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain; aka "Toby".


Recent email's and photo's in reference to Molly and her Kona - Jetta female "Cinder". Molly is a National Level Agility competitor and will prepare Cinder with hopes to do the same.
#1; Hi Ramona,  We made it home without a hitch.  Cinder slept the entire way both flights.  She played with a youngster on our layover and made lots of friends.  She is so social and courageous!  My german shepherds would like me to send her back as they are not enjoying the ankle biting and chasing, but I can see they will adjust quickly once the realize she is here to stay.  I have a vet visit scheduled for tomorrow for physical and stool check.  All is well.  Thanks so much for all your help!  Molly
#2; Just want you to know that Cinder is doing great.  She has a ton of energy and has adjusted to our home and dogs well. Her stool was negative and she is healthy. She continues to be quite the ankle (or should I say calf) biter, but with redirection she is learning to choose a toy over flesh ;).  I can't tell you enough how much we love her.  Pics to follow!  Molly

Molly and Cinder at Sapphire Shepherds.

Cinder on the plane flying back to California.

Cinder at her new home.
Email and photo in reference to a Kona - Jetta male "Cato"owned by Linda who is active in Search and Rescue.  Her new pup will be prepared for this area of work.
Hi Ramona,  Sorry this took so long but as you can guess, I'm busy!  Cato arrived safe and sound.  He went to a training with me Sunday and was the "star".  He has been going to school with Uma too and is just great. The attached photo says it all! Thanks again Ramona for another wonderful pup whose full of potential!
I'll stay in touch.   Linda

Ursa of Sapphire Mountain and Cato of Sapphire Mountain.

Email and photo received on a Kona - Jetta C litter male pup;
Hi Ramona,
We received the pup with no problem. We decided to give Coburn the nickname Kona like his father. My wife could’t go with Coby. Being San Antonio Spurs fans, Coby reminded us of Koby Bryant with the Lakers. Not good. 
Kona is fitting in well. He has been a great joy to us all. He is very trainable and catches on quick. He’s the most settled pup I have ever seen. Thanks again for all your help. Brian TX.

Email and photo's in reference to a female of Zoot - Jetta; 
UKC URO1 titled; Xahria of Sapphire Mountain, CGC; hips x-rayed healthy.
UKC show weekend.  One trial today, 2 tomorrow and 1 Sunday.  Entered Xahria in all four trials.  Xahria qualified today with a score of 95 out of a possible 100 and got a 1st Place AND her URO1 Title!  I've moved her up, so tomorrow she will start competing for the URO2 title.  RO2 is all off-lead. Kath

Email and photo in reference to a male from Zoot - Jetta;
Xavier of Sapphire Mountain, aka "Gabe". Hips have been x-rayed and are healthy.
Gabe is the perfect dog for me. His personality is super. We eat out two to three times a week at different restaurants.  Go to the grandchildren’s band concerts in gyms where the acoustics are horrible also to church.  We will start taking him to plays this fall and also to football games.  People remark all the time about how well behaved he is to be as   young he is. He weighs 89 pounds. His training so far  has been based on how we started out with our guide dog puppies.  Beginning to teach him to pick up and give. Doesn’t take him long to catch on, he thinks he belongs on the front seat and not in his crate.  Try to get him in crowds as much as possible.  Crowds nor noise bothers him. We are working on beginner’s novice and hope to enter him in some shows.  I really prefer agility.  Lillian

Nice email and photo received from Larissa in Texas on her Zoot - Jetta male; Xanto of Sapphire Mountain;
'Xanto' celebrated his first birthday and is doing great.  He is fabulous. Larissa


Congratulations to Darianna and Malka of Sapphire Mountain of Canada, on earning The Brevet for Dogs of Defense French Ring Title!!  Malka is a daughter of Santo and Flame of Sapphire Mountain.  
Darianna and Malka achieved the highest Brevet score that day.  It is also worth mentioning that Malka was the only German Shepherd Dog in this  trial, all others being Malinois. Darianna also states Malka's entry level “temperament test” called the CSAU, was scored as Excellent. This test required Malka to heel on leash, down stay (with absence of handler), leash held by a stranger, pet by a stranger, reaction to noise (not gunfire), dog reactivity, and recall. Basically this is a test to make sure the dog is in control, and not sketchy.
Email received; Hi Ramona,  I wanted to let you know that Malka received her Brevet today in Quebec! I'm hoping for the first leg of her Ring 1 in October....fingers crossed!  Hope all is well with you, your family, and the dogs.
Enjoy the rest of your summer! :)- Darianna


JULY 2014;

Recent photos we have received of offspring sired by our stud dog; Czar of Sapphire Mountain.

"Cal" owned by Mr. Reck Utah. 

Another son of Czar of Sapphire Mountain in below two photos;
"TUG" PSD in Canada, semen from this dog is also being used in the RCMP Police Dog Breeding Program.

Below photo of "Tessa" another offspring of Czar of Sapphire Mountain; brood female in the RCMP Police Dog Breeding Program.

Recent photos of Brook and Basko's "U" littermates, Uma and Ulysses.  These dogs are being prepared now for SAR certification in New York and in Montana.

Ulysses currently in training for Trailing and Cadaver.

Uma SAR training photos.



JUNE 2014;

The first half of 2014 has been very good for Sapphire Shepherds. We have had a number of our dogs x-rayed with hips and elbows receiving healthy ratings from either the PennHIP or OFA organizations as follows;

Osah of Sapphire Mountain;    
Santo/Iris female;      OFA Certified Hips/Elbows;    Good / Normal.
Touché of Sapphire Mountain;
Santo/Jetta female;     OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;     Hips Good/Elbows Normal.
Ursa of Sapphire Mountain;
Basko/Brook female;    OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;     Hips Fair/Elbows Normal.
Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain;
Basko/Brook male;    PennHIP 70th Percentile.
Uzziy of Sapphire Mountain;
Basko/Brook male;    PennHIP 70th Percentile.
Vlad of Sapphire Mountain;
J-Axel/Charli male;    OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;    Hips Fair/Elbows Normal.
Xurk of Sapphire Mountain;
Zoot/Jetta male;    PennHIP 90th Percentile!   OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;    Elbows Normal.
Kona of Mission Mountain;
PennHIP 90th Percentile!    OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;    Elbows; Normal.
Na-Pali of Mission Mountain;
PennHIP 70th Percentile.    OFA Preliminary Evaluation Report;    Elbows; Normal.

Great news for every dog above and their owners!!


MAY 2014;

Photos below of Dan, Ursa and Vlad at the Mission Reservoir;

Email received today on a Santo / Jetta son: Little Bear of Sapphire Mountain, OFA; Good/Normal, BH, AD, IPO 2;
Hey Ramona- Bear got his TR3 today!  Yay!  Regards, Rene Stasiak
Congratulations Rene and Bear!! Thanks for starting the month of May out on a great note from Ramona and the rest of the pack at Sapphire Shepherds!

APRIL 2014;

Email  and photo received on a Flame - Basko female "Y" litter:
Dear Ramona , I wanted to drop a note and say thank you for breeding healthy , intelligent , beautiful German shepherds.  We love our dog!     Debra Nelson  ( Hiking in St George, UT)


Email received on a Santo - Jetta son:
Hi Ramona.  Next month, one of your pups will turn 2 years old.  We call him Champ.  You may remember I contacted you about a year prior to his purchase date with the plan to surprise my husband Chris for his July 11 birthday.  The plan worked out perfect.  Champ was born to Santo and Jetta on May 17, 2012.  He was ready to meet his new owner July 10, the day before his birthday.  I picked him up after getting lost and taking the scenic route trying to find your property.  When I returned home, Chris watched me drive up with some of our family who were staying with us that week.  After I parked the vehicle, one of the granddaughters got out of the vehicle holding Champ.  Chris’ first reaction was to frown because he thought I had bought the kids a dog.  He was annoyed because he wondered how they would get the dog back to Georgia since they flew.  The granddaughter then walked up to Chris and said, “Happy Birthday, Grandpa!” and he got that Scooby Doo look on his face like, “Huh?”

Well, it was love at first sight.  Chris says over and over again that Champ is the best gift he’s ever received.  Champ is extremely bright, learns quickly, and goes to work at our auto repair shop in Missoula with Chris almost every day where he socializes with the employees and customers and often the customers’ dogs which they feel free to bring with them since Champ is there.  Champ is definitively Chris’ dog and shows intense loyalty and devotion.  He is the perfect “man’s best friend.”

Thanks for raising Shepherds, Ramona.  You are contributing the highest quality shepherds I’ve heard of in this area and Champ is proof of that fact.  When people ask where we got Champ, we are proud to say Sapphire Shepherds up in St Ignatius!  Warmly,  Peg

Email received on a Basko - Brook son:
Ramona,  I believe Urso turned 1 today. I just wanted to let you know that he is going to be a great dog. He went through a tough time and ate everything from a Jeep seat to a trampoline. He decided that the crate was not for him and destroyed that too.  But about 6 weeks ago he started having the run of the house at night and has been great ever since.

We were concerned about bringing a new dog into the house with jakey. Jake has adjusted well. We has a 8 year old collie mix that Jake ignores. He is not thrilled with Urso,  but he will pet him occasionally. With autism and Down syndrome this is a big deal. And he is only 1.

One of the reasons we wanted him was family protection. I can tell you he has had a presence since he was 6 months. He comes out of the darkness and all of the sudden he is there.  He is calm when needed. He is still a puppy and a bit overwhelming at times. It is clear this is the dog our family needed.

Enclosed are two photos. One is him looking in on a meeting my wife was having with some local high school kids. The second was his happiness from being sprung from jail (he and Maggie dug under the fence). Thanks,  Joe

Note who is looking in the window at the top of the photo

All of us working dog's at Sapphire Shepherds clearing log jams out of the creek. Just another fantastic day in paradise for me and my dogs :~)

The 3 Amigo's, thinking about the "best" way down....

2 young females walking the log

young male and female inspecting 

young female checking out the stability on one of the log jams

young female getting a better view of it all up high

young male and female finding a way to get down to me.

working on it....

still working...


Atta girl!

better with the log jam gone!

Email and photos received 4/4/14 from the owner of a Basko / Flame son; 
Hi Ramona, 
Thought I'd send a couple new photos as Indy (Basko/Flame 9/13, Y litter) turned six months old recently.   He's just doing great.  I'd guess he's right about 60 pounds now, healthy as can be.  We finished our first obedience class last month and have just started the Canine Good Citizen's class.  I'll be honest, we have our work cut out for us to be ready for the test in just 4 weeks but we are going to try.  As you know, several of the CGC tests involved sitting still for strangers to pet and brush and Indy's still pretty playful with strangers, a bit bouncy for the test but we are going to work hard and see what one month brings.  He loves to "help" me in the yard and loves to play in the creek.  He would retrieve/catch my chickens pretty regularly for a while, without a scratch, but I had to stop that as I know his prey drive is too strong for that to stay safe in the long run.  Gun shots and thunder don't even cause him to blink, he's very steady.  Couldn't be happier!  I think he's pretty handsome, but I'm a little biased.  Jenny and Indy

Email received on 4/4/14 from the owner of a Zoot / Jetta female:

This afternoon, Xahri entered the ring for her first ever Rally 1A trial and did us proud!  She’s never worked without treats before, so that was all new too!  She completed the course and got a wonderful 93 pts. our of the possible 100!  Not only did she earn the first leg toward her title, she took 2nd place for RO1A. 

Conformation ring she got Best Female, but didn’t get Breed – she was beat out by an adult male.  But, she showed really well and made us very proud.  she has beautiful movement.

Tomorrow, we go back for more! Kath & the Furkids 

MARCH 2014

Linda and her dog, Uma of Sapphire Mountain (in center of photo) in New York. Linda and Uma are in training for SAR. The photo was taken during a demonstration they preformed for the Cadets.

Santo / Jetta son "Bear" and his owner Mr. Rene Stasiak receive their IPO 2. Congratulations Rene and Bear!!! 
Litter Bear of Sapphire Mountain: Titled; BH, AD, IPO 2, OFA Hips; Good/Elbows Normal

Email received; Ramona - great news to share -  Bear got his IPO2 today!!  It was cold and an extremely windy all day, but he did great.  We'll send some photos as soon as we have a chance.  I thought you would be excited to hear that.  He really is working very well. Thanks Rene

Photo and email received from Kath in NC., owner of;
Xahria of Sapphire Mountain:
Graduated from 1st Obedience class 11-07-13.
Competed in UKC Conformation Puppy match.
In training for Obedience and Rally competition.
Zoot of Sapphire Mountain
Dam: Jetta vom Feldhaus

She has never really had a puppy look to her - just looked like a miniature adult.  Lots of spirit and drive - once she matures, she could do anything one wanted.  Yet, she can be so calm and quiet - very appropriate. Right now, most people think she's an adult and when I tell them she's not yet 8 months old - they do a double take!  Had her to a UKC show this last October - the conformation judge for the herding breeds made a point of catching us so he could see her up close and he loved her.  We had lots of comments on how nice to see a "properly" structured GSD! She was just in the puppy match - not much other than experience.  Kath

Great news on Ulysses of Sapphire Mountain: His hips just certified through Penn Hip as very healthy in the 70th percentile!
Sire: Basko: BH, AD, SchH3, IPO3. 
Dam: Brook of Sapphire Mountain: TD ( Tracking Dog)
(view Brook)

A photo of my father Don Mogan and his dog Czar of Sapphire Mountain.  Both no longer with us, they live in the hearts and memories of my children and I and many other.  Thanks Sarah for sharing!


Received a new update today from Ginger Pietka, in Michigan on her Santo / Iris daughter Onja of Sapphire Mountain (call name Amelia). Ginger and Amelia passed SAR Trailing 2 in September.  Congratulations to them both!!


Below are recent email's received from owners of the Flame / Basko Y litter:
Hi Ramona,  Was trying to take a few photos to send to my parents so they could see how much he's grown since Christmas and thought you might want to hear how he's doing.  He's doing great!  I couldn't be happier with him in every way.  He was very golden colored for a long time with baby hair but his adult hair is just growing in now and he's getting much darker.  He's lost two front teeth so far as well.  His ears were up tall and straight by 11-12 weeks.  
We are going to a beginning obedience class here in town as Catawba Valley Obedience Club said he was too young for their January class but we'll transfer later to their classes I think.  The local guy's class is too basic and crowded.  But it gives us a chance to practice our sit's and down's with lots more distractions than at home so that's great.  
He's pretty independent at home, will play in the yard by himself with branches, etc and is very outgoing with new people we meet on our visits to town.  He will stand up and bark however, to strange dogs or cars at the end of the road and sound like a dog four times his size.  If people hear him bark or growl they would never guess he was only 3 1/2 months old.  He's about 32 pounds now by the way.  He comes with me to do chores and does well with all the farm animals so far, though he chases the chickens and cats if they run.  
Anyhow, he's great, having the best time with him. Jenny Olson
Last photo is with the barn cat Lionheart.  He is quite disappointed that she never runs from him.

Email on Flame - Basko female pup from the Y litter:
Hi Ramona we couldn't have asked for a better pup. Shep wined for about 5miles and then fell asleep in Haley's lap. We drove straight through and got back about 11:30pm. No accidents whatsoever and now every time I start my vehicle she is at the door ready to go. Within the first week of training she knows her name, come, sit, down, off, release and no. Haley and I have started on some basic track laying in the back yard essentially hide and seek she does amazing for such a young pup. We had our first vet visit and she was so sweet and mellow 12lbs at time of visit. The vet suggested we chip her when we spay her so I agreed that would be okay. She does really well when we introduce her to other people and animals she is a social butterfly :). The Y name we came up with is Yanaha which is Navajo for one who confronts her enemy. Thanks again for a wonderful pup Happy Holidays. John, Beth, Haley and Shep Sannes.


Email on Flame - Basko female pup from the Y litter:

Hello Ramona,
We love our dog ! Thank you
Debra Nelson


Email received; 12/31/13, daughter of Brook and Basko, SAR;
Hi Ramona and Happy New Year.  I've been forgetting to send you these pics of Uma!  She is doing wonderful and continuing her SAR training. These pictures were taken during a Water Cadaver Training session late this summer. She was hitting on scent 6ft deep at only 6 1/2 months old. We have quite a bit of snow now and she LOVES it!  We will be going soon to meet my Ski Patrol Team and socialize on the mountain (ha ha). I hope all is well in Montana. We would love to come visit maybe this summer.  Thanks again for picking out the best pup I could ask for!  Linda

Merry Christmas to Chuck, Brooke and Zoot.  We plan for another nice litter from your Zoot in 2014! Tell Zoot his pups are very nice!!! Ramona

Congratulations to MALKA of Sapphire Mountain in Canada, On healthy hips/elbows!
OFA Hips/Elbows; Good/ Normal.
Malka is a daughter of
Santo / Flame, in training for French Ring, Disc dog and other. Email's and photos below;

Email's received 12/13/13;
Hi Ramona, 
I haven’t touched base in a while, but I wanted to let you know that Malka was OFA’d and here are her results:  needless to say she’s a very healthy girl! 😊
I’m attaching a few pictures of her. She’s living the life! We do French ring training (doing the trial circuit this spring), disc dog, and informally - dock diving 😊  - we try to mix it up so that she’s fulfilled and having fun! Right now she’s miserable that we have to be less social with other dogs, because she’s in heat, lol!
I read on your website that Santo passed, and I wanted to extend my sympathies. He was an absolutely stunning male, and it sounds like he was an incredible companion.
I will keep you posted on Malka! I also wanted to inquire how her litter mates are doing, and if the owners have ever given you any updates on them. I’m curious to know what they are like, and how she is similar/different to the others.
I’d also like to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Kindest regards,  Darianna

Hi, We train with Fred Labrousse, he is a ring decoy from France. We are a small club (North Toronto k9 Centre) in King City, Ontario, but we are a committed little group. We tried schutzhund  with her, but the club fell apart, and to be frank, she HATED tracking, lol!  This was for the best, because she loves ring - it's got all the things she loves!
Her temperament is wonderful. She is confident and has a strong prey drive. She also has a natural aggression and defense. Biting wise, she has a naturally strong grip, enters strongly on face attacks, and handles stick pressure. She's both food and toy motivated, and can handle corrections well when working. At home, she is absolutely a doll. She's got a great shut off switch, and knows its time to relax, and cuddle...a phenomenal companion. She is absolutely in love with my presa canario, Solo, who is her partner and crime, and the object of her torture (which he happily accepts)  LOL!
I will definitely keep in touch, and hopefully compile some good videos for you to see what we're up to. And yes, if you'd like to post up something on your website, that would be great!  Darianna

Malka of Sapphire Mountain;


Email received November, 2013 (Santo x Flame male).
Hi Ramona, I hope all is well with you and your family. An update on Slash from the P Litter from Santa/Flame. Slash is now in training with  Bob, he bought a pup from you back in 1997 and is going help us with bite work and with SRS training. Slash is a fast learner, shows great drive and loves the training. He has also started helping with cows, and has done well with it. Thank you for providing a great dog for our family. I have attached a picture of our last hike about a two weeks ago. Thanks, Danielle Senn


Email received Oct 7, 2013 (Santo x Jetta male receives IPO 1 title):
Ramona,  It has been a while since we have spoken and I wanted to provide an update on Bear's progress -  (L litter).  We're extremely excited to let you know that he earned his IPO-1 title this past weekend in Colorado.  We were a little nervous in tracking in that he spent most of his life tracking in grass and the trial would be dirt.  He did a great job and tracked extremely well despite fairly windy conditions.  He loves the protection work and has great speed to the helper.  In general he is a happy, well balanced dog that is a pleasure to work with.    We have already started work on his IP0-2 and will let you know how he progresses.   We will also send you an updated photo separately.  Regards,  Rene
Training photo's below; Little Bear of Sapphire Mountain: BH, AD, IPO 1, OFA Hips; Good/Elbows Normal.
Owned and trained by Mr. Rene Stasiak, Colorado.  Congratulations Rene and Bear!!!




Email received 8/29/2013: reference to two pups from the Zoot / Jetta litter:
Ramona- I am an unabashed GSD lover and am currently working with my 8th GSD who is a TDI registered therapy dog as have been the last three. I just finished looking (thoroughly!) at your website which is really tremendous- great job! You are obviously doing great work with your dogs which is a breath of fresh air compared to others I have seen. Two members of the obedience club I am a member of, Catawba Valley Obedience Club in western NC, have recently acquired a brother/sister pair from you and they are both delighted with them. No need to reply to this email, I just wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a marvelous job! Gerald Young

Email received 8/26/2013:  Basko / Brook male pup, Uriah of Sapphire Mountain (RUDI):

Hi Ramona!  I just wanted to send a positive comment to you on your breeding program.  We have had "Rudi" Parker here for daycare and boarding and I am just so impressed with him.  He is a very well adjusted and solid pup.  He loves playing with the other dogs, but is also completely settled when crated inside.  His conformation is very nice and I LOVE his pigment.  The Parker family is doing a great job with his socialization and training, and they are keeping him on a high quality kibble with raw meals as well.

Best wishes for continued success with your program!  Jessica Harrison,  Romp N' Run Ranch, Texas 

8/25/2013. Various photos of our adventures with our dogs this month at Sapphire Shepherds:

Dan with some of our youngsters out for an afternoon of fun!

Ramona with some of her young pups during a walk in the Missions.

Basko during a walk under Grey Wolf Peak.

Dan and young pups during one of our outings.

Brave Xurk and Ursa getting a closer look at that stump!

A group of Sapphire Shepherd youngsters exploring a rocky outcropping.

8/24/2013: Below are photos of Ulysses, his sister Ursa and dam Brook from a visit.

Ursa / Ulysses / Brook

Ulysses and Ursa

Ulysses and Brook.

Email received on 8/23/2013 on a Zoot / Jetta male owned by one of my co-owner's of Lary Bret-Bett:
Norse visits the Alamo! (I don't suggest it, we got promptly kicked off the property because dogs aren't allowed.) He was a show stopper generating huge crowds of admirers blocking the sidewalks. Probably another reason they made us take off.  He gets along so far with the cats, too.  Fits right in!   Larissa
Below is a very rare photo of the famous Texas Alamo with a pup in front of it.  We think it very fitting it happens to be a pup from our Zoot and Jetta!

2 very happy youngsters with their new pup!

Email received; 8/17/2013 on a Santo / Iris pup:
Hi Ramona, I want to tell you how much I love the pup I got from you.  She is so smart, is great with the kids and good with all of the other animals.  She is already showing her protective side to strangers.  She has a lot of energy, loves to play tug, fetch and to run behind my 3 year old grand son on his 4 wheeler.  Her obedience is not perfect but she is doing pretty good.  Sigi is a wonderful family member, thank you again. She is a very pretty girl.  Best regards, Ann Graves


Email received: 7/21/2013 on Basko/Brook pup, photos posted on Basko & Brooks offspring web page:

Hello Ramona,  Rudi has been a great fit for our family. I have attached a few photos at 20 weeks. Everything we do as a family, he wants to be with us and wants to please us. I couldn't imagine a better dog for our family. Thanks for sending him our way. Brian, Georgetown Texas

Recent email received: Santo / Jetta son;
Hi Ramona!  Seeing as Arrow is 1 year old today I thought I should send an update. He is super handsome. He has a wonderful temperament: smart, willing to please, friendly with all dogs, friendly with all people, loyal...he is perfect. You picked out the perfect companion dog for me. He is up for anything and learns quickly any activity I want to try. He is so watchful of me and the house; I know I'm safe when I'm with him.  Thanks again and I hope all is well!  Sincerely, Emma Celmins


Email received; June 24, 2013: Jaxon / Flame daughter;
Hey Ramona,   Here's a current picture of Esca, her kennel name was Roma. We purchased her in December. She has been an absolute gem of a dog. Perfectly stable sound temperament. You have done an amazing job in bringing Great old bloodlines into a family environment. Thank You.  Jeremy Wood

Email received; June 23, 2013; Santo / Iris daughter;

Hi Ramona,  Here are the latest pictures of Osah. We started Dock Diving again and I think she found her calling. She just loves it. I took her to a pool and she remembered it from a year ago. She pulled me right up the dock and started vocalizing for her toy and jumped right in after it no hesitation. I don’t think she has much self preservation. lol. Her first competition was a National event and she took 8th in her division in Big Air she jumped 17.9 feet. There was about 48 dogs in this wave. Her second competition she competed in 3 waves. It was in an Open class and she got a 2nd and two 3rds with about 15 dogs entered she came in just behind a dog going to world. It is so much fun and less stressful then schutzund totally different energy and the people are great.  We have access to a pool so the dogs can swim and practice twice a week. We are going to train for Iron Dog which is 3 events Big Air (Distance) Extreme Vertical (vertical distance) and speed retrieve (timed). You would think she was a lab as much as she loves the water, she try's to jump in the side of the pool on the way to the dock. Other than that not much else is happening the dogs just relax in their air-conditioned kennel and out of the Maryland heat. Hope all is well with you, and will send more photos as we get them.   Take care, Marie and Osah



Email received February 4, 2013;  Santo - Iris first litter female;

Hi Ramona,  Wanted to send you a quick update regarding Amelia (Onja). She passed her Level 1 Trailing evaluation with our search team shortly after her first birthday. We are working toward Level 2 at this time and hoping to be mission ready by the end of summer.  She really loves the work!  And the play! Ginger Pietka



Email received; January 30, 2013; Hi Ramona, I just wanted to provide you an update on Atlas from the 2011 Santo/Iris “O” litter. He is doing great; he just graduated from the Georgia K9 academy last month, below is a flickr link that will take you to all the pictures they took during training. His trainers absolutely loved him, they said he was the best looking dog that they have seen in years and he was unbelievably smart (but also stubborn). Everyone that sees him goes on about how big and beautiful he is, I think he looks a lot like his grandpa Rocky personally. He does great on recall and is a natural at guarding, he won’t let anyone come near me when were out if he doesn’t know them. Thank you for such a great companion! I will be deploying this summer but I plan that either late this year or early next I will be contacting you for another pup to keep him company. Thanks again and take care!  Terri Adams

Email received 9-21-12 on a Natasha - Mambo female:
Hi Ramona, It's been a while since I last dropped you a note. Just wanted to say hi and to let you know that Kenzie (Mambo x Natasha) stood trial for her BH today and got it, so now it's off to IPO 1 for her.We've been consistently training with Kenzie, but going slow as our daughter Emily was born last December. Attached is a picture of Kenzie and Emily taken together at about 8 months of age. They are the best of friends. Hope you are doing well. Steve

Email received 9-09-12 on a Santo - Jetta male BEAR:
Ramona - I wanted to take a minute to give you an update on Bear. He was from the 2010 L Litter. As you know he just turned 2. We had a great summer. He passed his BH, passed an AD and is well on his way to his IPO 1. We are hoping to accomplish that next spring. His tracking and protection are coming along really well.
He also OFA'd good, with elbows normal. Overall he is right in line with your description after the temperment tests. He gets along with our grandkids and is a really good all around dog. We are very thankful to have a healthy dog that is a good fit. We will keep you updated on his progress. I hope everything is going well for you and the kennel.
Regards, Rene

Email received 8-20-12. Go to the offspring web page of both Santo and Iris to see current photos of OSAH:
Hi Ramona, Latest update. We leave for California next Sat. to spend 2 weeks with Michael Ellis. I sold my tractor and am spending the money on training with Osah. I am so excited. This weekend it was a new helper from Washington very serious certified Schutzund decoy at national level. Osah doesn’t care who she bites, and is doing AWESOME! Craig loves her, says she’s a real dog just not a sport dog. He likes real dogs and made a lot of comments on dogs now only being sport dogs and not a true dog. He has a litter of 6 week old pups from a bitch imported from Denmark. He said Osah is already working out of defense with a clear head, she is not at all equipment based, he gives her the sleeve and picks up another she spits the one out of her mouth and is ready to get him again. She doesn’t watch the sleeve she is always looking at the helper. He was very impressed. I just love it. He also loves how she gets down and low to come up and strike. She’s also going on to the harder sleeve because he arm is getting bruised through the lighter ones. I just love my dog.  Take care Marie

Another reminder of what all our many troops and their families are having to deal with...

Hello Ramona,  Gia is doing well although we have not done any significant training since September 2010 when my Marine son was severely injured in combat in Afghanistan.   He was evacuated back to NMMC at Bethesda, Maryland where he underwent more than a dozen surgeries.  He was able to return to active duty in May 2011 and again deployed back to Afghanistan in October of 2011.  He currently is there in the Helmand Province and it has been difficult to concentrate on my work and dog training other than local tracking for search and rescue work.   Gia remains a wonderful female with tremendous amount of drive.   I have attached a photo that I took of her with my show line shepherd in January when we had a light dusting of snow.

I see your son was likewise injured in Afghanistan in October 2011 and also sustained significant injuries.  I pray that he has likewise recovered from his wounds.

I apologize for taking so long to respond to your November e-mail.  We had just returned  from Hawaii where we had traveled to my son’s deployment a couple week’s earlier when the e-mail was received and I was overrun with trying to catch up with work.   I just found the e-mail when going back to sort through my inbox.  

I like your new web site.  Hope your business is doing well.   Maybe someday I will be able to obtain another fine shepherd from you. With very best regards,  Jeff Washburn, TN

November email received:
Hi Ramona, Just wanted to let you know Nike passed the National Search Dog Association (NSDA) test for HRD!  She did a great job! Thanks again for a wonderful dog! Rebecca

U.S. Army Pfc. Sam Helmer

On October 16th my son U.S. Army Pfc. Sam Helmer was severely injured in Afghanistan after taking the brunt of an insurgent's homemade bomb while providing protection with a personnel security detachment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, nicknamed "The Bulldogs."
Sam received extensive shrapnel wounds to the left side of his body, including his chest, neck, multiple deep skull and facial bone fractures. He has lost his vision in his left eye and a good percentage in his right.

February 8th, Sam underwent what we hope will be his last surgery in Texas at the Army hospital. I want to thank everyone who reached out with their good wishes and prayers.

Sam is a intelligent, determined and strong young man. He has shown a positive outlook throughout all this. I have always been proud of the person my son is.