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
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.
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;
Ramona, 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;
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.
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;
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!!!
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!
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
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
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!
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
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, 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
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
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.
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
Very first bite on the sleeve:
Second bite on the sleeve:
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
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:~)
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!
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.
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 him..it looks like I'm holding the line with zero effort!
Email and photos on a Touché - Basko SAR male in Washington;
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.
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
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.
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
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
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;
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
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!
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.
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...
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!
Dan and I have been having great fun this month with our dogs and Agility Equipment!
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
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!
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.
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.
Email and photo's received from Mr. Parker in TX on his Kona / Jetta son;
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.
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!!
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
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
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:
Training: Graduated from 1st Obedience class 11-07-13.
Competed in UKC Conformation Puppy match.
In training for Obedience and Rally competition.
Sire: 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)
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!!
Email on Flame - Basko female pup from the Y litter:
We love our dog ! Thank you
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
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.
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
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOMS!
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!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgiak9/sets/72157631906353128/ 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 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
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.