What's the Story?
So why did we decide to do this? People who don't like people very much? Crazy "Dog People" who are in love with dogs? Are we out of our minds?
No, it's really all about passion. People have always commented on how happy our dogs are and that they seemed to be "living the life." Occasionally we would keep friends' dogs. Their dogs were so content with us, it seemed they would be quite happy to stay. We wanted to start a business that we not only loved, but one which we would be amazing at doing. Shepherd's Glen was born.
Now Meet the Human Staff
I've owned and shown dogs my whole life. Growing up in Nebraska, the family breed of choice was Norwegian Elkhounds. At the time, I was much more interested in training and showing my horses and calves, but the dogs were trained and occassionally shown in 4-H. I graduated from Iowa State University with an Animal Science degree. I've since moved on to other career choices, but animals have always been and always will be a big part of my life. I can't imagine a life without at least dogs and cats.
My first dog after college was a Golden Retriever. Two of them entered our family and the competitive Obedience bug bit. The Goldens did well and we had a great show career, but as they aged out of being shown, I became more interested in a relatively "new" breed to the AKC Obedience scene, the Australian Shepherd. It took 18 months to find the right breeder and the right dog, but a love affair started.
My first Aussie, Husker, was the canine "love of my life." I have very good relationships with all my dogs, but the bond I experienced with that dog was like no other. I first met him when he was just 4 weeks old and he looked at me as if to say, "Well, there you are. I've been waiting my whole life for you." Any person who has owned and trained dogs will tell you, there are times the dog picks you, that was one of those times. He and I went on to accomplish some amazing things, but more than that, a bond developed that was second to none. He's been gone several years, but I still think of him every day. He was one in a million.
Since then seven other Aussies have come into my life, each one with a different personality and with each one, I've developed a different relationship. All of them went on to accomplish different things. What's so key though is the love they've brought into our home and the devotion they have for us and our pack at Shepherd's Glen. They are a truly wonderful and special breed.
Animals have always been a big part of my life. I can remember my mom being such a cat person and we had several over the years. A few of them had kittens, some would stay, we found homes for the others, all were so special. Over the years, Mom acquired other animals, including a pair of monkeys. They would sit at the top of the drapes and play tricks on folks for fun. One of the more interesting pets we had was Rocky, the raccoon. My family owned a bait store and I can remember Rocky coming in to take his pick of the minnows for his meals. He'd go to a corner above the tank to eat his "catch" and wait to see who might come in. I remember him scaring one poor guy as he was picking out his minnows. Rocky had been sitting stock still and the guy thought he was stuffed. He scared the man so bad, he dropped his bait buket, ran out of the store and made his son come back for the bucket. My family also had several dogs as I was growing up. One that was really special to me was Butch, a little rat terrier. He was a very independent and resourceful guy. He would accompany me a lot of times on my paper route. He was the perfect friend to have as I was growing up.
Years went by and I became an animal control officer in Oklahoma City. I dealt mostly with large animals, but still had a lot of experience around dog and cat cases. That job definitely showed me the darker side of pets' lives. Many times it was not pleasant, but it gave me a chance to do what I could for those animals. They didn't have anyone to speak up for them, so me and my fellow officers had to do the talking for them. It was a good feeling knowing you helped take a animal out of a bad situation.
Renee spearheaded this idea, but I quickly jumped on board. I really enjoy the visitors we have at Shepherd's Glen. I feel that we have a special environment here that allows dogs to have fun, yet thrive under the love and structure we have to offer.