I haven’t written lately. Between my shoulder situation and my spinal operation, I’ve had my hands full. Yet, these recent events have caused me to reminisce again… Jim Croce did a song, which I realize was intended as a romantic ballad. But, when I browse through the limited collection of pictures I have of my childhood (I was “Bowman” until my mother remarried), the words still flow:
“Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can’t be true
That’s all I’ve left of you”
From when I was very tiny, I was raised around German Shepherds. I harbor VERY fond memories of the dogs we raised. Sugar and Tammy in particular. At that young age, I don’t have many specific recollections of our travels around the country side. Yet I DO remember the “trophy room” containing silver trays, plaques and trophies galore that were earned and awarded in a variety of categories by our dogs during that era. Sugar nearly always took home top honors in the “Obedience” classes while Tammy swept the fields in “Confirmation”. The above news clipping is from around 1958. I can VIVIDLY “see” the two opposing portraits of those two, hanging on the wall in the trophy room. I deeply wish I had copies of those two pictures. Not that the memories probably matter to anyone but myself anymore. I think though, dog owners in general, can relate to the feelings I have for each of the animals that have touched my life!
German Shepherds were bred specifically for their intelligence, a trait for which they are renowned. They are considered to be the third most intelligent breed of dog, behind Border Collies and Poodles. In the book “The Intelligence of Dogs”, author Stanley Coren ranked the breed third for intelligence. He found that they had the ability to learn simple tasks after only five repetitions and obeyed the first command given 95% of the time. Coupled with their strength, this trait makes the breed desirable as police, guard, and search and rescue dogs, as they are able to quickly learn various tasks and interpret instructions better than other breeds.
A few years ago, I met someone who raises German Shepherds. And she’s become a good friend as well. Though she and I are close in age, listening to her talk about her “family” always takes me back to my childhood. The love, the devotion that these grand animals exhibited… indescribable…
I belong to several Social Media groups who concentrate on the German Shepherd breed and I enjoy “listening” to their stories about their dogs. As a result, I began a number of art projects featuring this magnificent animal. I don’t know that I’ll ever have another one in my life as perfect as Sugar or Tammy. But even after all of these years, I still miss their companionship…
The pieces are my small tribute to the breed. They’re available on other paper besides canvas, AND a variety of other sizes. My German Shepherds are available on Greeting Cards. Post Cards and First Class United States Postage as well.
I’ve been lucky in my life, to have been acquainted with such dedicated and loyal animals. It’s too bad some people aren’t that way! If YOU have a GSD or other pet that’s touched your life, and you’d like to have them featured with my art work, click on the “contact” button here and I’ll be in touch.