Lyndie’s Story Back to Top
On April 3, 2009, Tom decided to go to Toledo for the day. It
was a last minute decision and one that changed our lives.
Tom left early that cold, rainy and windy morning. He was just
an hour north of Dayton when he saw two beautiful black and
white dogs in the median of interstate 75, in the midst of heavy
traffic. He was amazed that the bigger dog, a male, looked just
like a drawing I did of our first English Shepherd! He knew they
were English Shepherds, and knew that he must rescue them. So he
got off the interstate at the first exit he came to.
Lyndie made it to the other side of the interstate, but sadly
the male was hit before Tom could get back to them. After many
phone calls and then finally with the help of a sheriff, he got
the two terrified dogs in the front seat of his little truck and
drove them an hour and a half back to our vet.
The vet and techs said both dogs appeared to be between 2 ½ and
3 years old. They thought the male would make it if he made it
thru the night. We kept close watch on him all day but in the
early evening he began to get worse.
We were so sad to lose the male that evening and he died in
Tom’s arms with both of us crying. Lyndie’s sadness over losing
her male buddy made us even sadder.
I contacted shelters and humane societies in five counties
surrounding the area where Lyndie and the male dog were found.
No one ever called looking for the two beautiful but thin
We believe it is a miracle that Lyndie is with us we are
thankful she came into our lives.
Lyndie was traumatized when she got here but with care and
patience-- way more patience than I ever knew I had, and getting
her used to everything slowly, she began to trust us and her
personality began to blossom. The first few weeks were painful
for her as she was very sad, and afraid of everything we
introduced her to. But she eventually learned to walk on a
leash, ride in a car, and how to act around other dogs.
We found that she is friendly to all people and is exceptionally
gentle with children. She likes to lean on your leg while
basking in being petted and touched.
She is soft and sweet and has a very deep bark when they coyotes
She became our English Shepherd shadow, wagging her tail as she
follows us everywhere—the perfect chore dog.
Lyndie likes swimming the geese off the pond and swimming after
radio controlled boats!
So many of our friends fell in love with her and one puppy owner
who had just lost her English Shepherd that she had gotten from
us 14 years earlier, asked if we would breed her to our male so
she could have a pup.
This was an unusual situation and as I was thinking things thru,
two more people called wanting a puppy from Treve. So with
three folks wanting a puppy, it seemed meant to be and I found
myself planning the things I needed to do to breed Lyndie to our
We had a health check up on Lyndie, had hips xrayed, and MDR1
tests done. Then we needed to get her registered. After talking
with JR Russell of the International English Shepherd Registry
(IESR) where our other English Shepherds were registered, I
learned what was necessary to do in this case to get Lyndie
We took her to a herding instructor to see her working style and
how she worked with the sheep.
Lyndie surprised me but not the instructor! Lyndie’s instincts
overcame her fear of being in a new place! She showed she was
brave with the sheep and she was biddable for Tom.
We received a written evaluation from the herding instructor
about the good potential Lyndie showed for herding and sent it
in with other required information and photos to the IESR). We
were thrilled when we received her registration certificate!
Lyndie and Treve had eight beautiful puppies in July of 09. Six
were black and white and two were tri color pups.
We could see Lyndie had a litter before and she whelped easily
and produced plenty of milk for her brood. She was an awesome
mother and we enjoyed the whole puppy raising experience. Treve
showed he was a fantastic Mr. Mom with his 7 week old pups!
Without advertising, enough friends, puppy owners and a few
other folks came our way to give eight pups wonderful
homes. We are thankful for each and every one of those families.
We have stayed in touch with all of our puppy owners, have
received stories, and photos and some have visited us with their
dogs or we have visited them! At eight months old, one pup was
moving sheep, and recently was just introduced to the baby
chicks he will watch over. One pup graduated from a beginner
obedience class being the youngest dog ever and with the highest
score since 1957!
One pup spends her days with 3-5 young children her owner
baby-sits for and she is exceptionally gentle with them all. One
pup is getting ready to start agility and another herding. One
pup goes to the horse barn everyday. One wakes her four
year old boy up each morning by putting a ball on his bed. All
the pups are good ball and Frisbee dogs and one is an
outstanding soccer player! My six year old grandson played
with him for a half hour and said the dog only missed two balls!
We have learned a little about what the pups have become so far!
Lyndie is great in the house, just happy to by near us. She
loves sleeping on Tom’s lap with her head on his shoulder as he
sits in the recliner in the evening.
She likes to walk the horses out to the pasture with me and is
careful around them. She heard me reprimand Bergie for barking
and chasing at the fence when the horses and I were going to the
pasture and gave Bergie a nip and Bergie does not bark anymore
when we are walking out! Lyndie likes to keep things in order as
our other English Shepherds do.
Lyndie received her Canine Good Citizen certificate at our
English Shepherd Gathering here in Sept of 09. I have to say I
was teary, to think how far she had come! She is MDR1
normal/normal and her hips are OFA good.
We bred Lyndie to Treve and on June 27th 2010 and
eleven pups were born. We have seven males and four females.
Three are tri color boys, two are tri color girls, four are
black and white boys and two are black and white girls. All have
gorgeous markings, nice white blazes, big white chests, white
collars, white feet and white tips on their tails. They are
happy, healthy pups and incredibly cute! It has been a joy to
care for them and watch them grow.
The pups are five weeks old and for now we have eight wonderful
homes for them. Most pups are going to homes with friends who
have gotten to know our English Shepherds over the many years
and one to a new neighbor!
We are enjoying every moment with the pups!
"Bouncing on his
mother's hip as she walks down the aisle of the kennel. Dogs
rush through the canvas flaps in the barn wall, look at him,
take his scent. His father, sitting at the kitchen table, papers
strewn before them. Pictures of dogs. His father's voice quiet
in his ear, talking through a line cross, the corner of a
pedigree pinched between his fingers. Running through the yard,
past the milk house, throwing the fence gate closed before
Almondine can catch him. He crouches in the tall weeds and
watches. She loves to jump. Her stride draws up and she sails
over the fence. In a moment, she's next to him, panting." --
from "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski
By Judith Sutherland
Farm and Dairy columnist
I grew up with dogs, and can't imagine a life without them. A
book of a boy and his dogs was a gift to me from my sister,
knowing I would love it.
Edgar Sawtelle, in this novel, is born in to a family who breeds
and trains dogs. Though Edgar can hear, he cannot speak. He
trains the dogs to follow his training with sign language. He
spends hours upon hours with the dogs, not only in the barn, but
walking the farm, spending time on the porch. His beloved
Almondine, a Sawtelle dog who has watched Edgar grow from a baby
to a hard-working boy, spends nearly every moment with him. They
understand one another.
This fictional tale makes me ponder the many things that we are
born in to, the strengths and traits that might be woven in to
our souls before we arrive and begin walking about on this old
I never had the opportunity to know my paternal grandmother, who
died in her mid-30s of a tonsillectomy gone wrong. My father,
the oldest of the children, had to become a man at the age of
12. He took over her dog business as best he could, because it
was the black and tan English Shepherds who helped to put food
on the table. My grandparents raised hundreds of these puppies
each year, shipping them in hand-made crates by rail car to all
48 states over the course of the years.
It has always astounded me when older people in the community
tell me they see many of her personality traits in me. I was
born with a love of dogs, an understanding of dogs, that
sometimes goes beyond reason. I have studied pedigrees, raised
beautiful litters of puppies, enjoyed the process of matching
each pup to the right family. For me, there is really nothing
more rewarding than seeing that connection, happiness blooming
in the new family as well as in the young pup.
English Shepherds are known for their intelligence, their
ability to become a working member of the farm family. I have
witnessed it many times, and still it amazes me. Bill, a
long-lived English Shepherd with whom I was lucky enough to grow
up, knew when he was needed without being told. He herded up the
milk cows from the far pasture right on time each day, knowing
to treat the young heifers with more aggression, showing his
tender side with the older matriarchs of the herd.
He could sort hogs on market day in a way that defied human
reasoning. "Well, I'll be darned. I wouldn't have believed it if
I hadn't seen it with my own eyes," Earl Boyd once said when he
came to load our hogs for market. Dad just smiled and
said, "I've heard that a whole lot of times in my life when it
comes to these dogs."
We once sold a pup to a family in Minnesota. A few years later,
we received a letter thanking us for the heroic dog. He had
followed their son and nephew on a hike. Perhaps a bit too young
to know better, they walked across a lake that was not
completely frozen. The dog began barking frantically, refusing
to follow them. The boys continued across, and fell through the
ice. The dog pulled the first boy from the icy water and
continued to bark frantically as the ice broke away with each
attempt to save the other. A neighbor who knew the family well
realized the bark was unusual for that dog. He jumped in his
truck, arriving in time to save the boy with a rope and a whole
lot of luck.
I felt a whole lot like my dad when I wrote back, saying how
pleased I was to hear this story, but that I wasn't totally
shocked by the dog's determination and intelligence. I grew up
hearing such great dog stories and treasure each one.
It makes me wonder, as I always do, just how much our dogs are
capable of learning and doing. I just know I wouldn't want to
walk this life without them.
Back to Top
Our English Shepherd Ellie, Beagle Brownie, and 14 year old
Briard Cassie, joined me as I worked in the orchard early
As I was heading back to the house, I didn’t see Cassie. She
didn’t hear very well so I called and clapped but still
didn’t see her.
I didn’t worry because many times she went back to the house
when she got tired. On my way to check to see if she was
there our neighbors stopped by and we spent about two hours
talking in the driveway. When I finally returned to the
house, it was dark. I was shocked that Cassie wasn’t there.
I called to Tom to help me find her and he said to head back
to the last place I had seen her and he would be there
shortly. I grabbed a flashlight and headed back to the
orchard and called Ellie to join me.
Since my English Shepherds know the names of all our dogs
and all the people in the family, I told Ellie to “go find
She took of running toward the cornfield. I remember
thinking if Cassie was lost in the cornfield, it would be a
long night of searching to find her.
I shined the light in the direction that Ellie was heading
and I saw her stop and look back at me wagging her tail. I
ran toward her and couldn’t believe my eyes!! All I could
see was Cassie’s head coming out of the ground! She had
fallen into a large deep hole, a blow hole, made by a broken
field tile. I ran to Cassie and found she was hanging on for
dear life with her front feet and her back legs were just
touching the ground at the bottom of the hole.
I didn’t wait for Tom but was able to pull her out myself.
She was exhausted and couldn’t walk so when Tom came he
carried her back to the house. I felt terrible that I had
forgotten to check on Cassie after our friends came by but
was so thankful that Ellie know just where to find her.
I remember reading in the English Shepherd Advocate in about
1993 that Pam Burgess’s dog Heather knew her husband’s name
and I thought that could come I handy sometime. We had just
gotten our first English Shepherd and until then I didn’t
even know a dog could learn such a thing!
It was easy to teach since English Shepherds are so bright.
I just set the food bowl down for each dog and said his name
each day and also said each dog’s name as I gave them a
treat. It didn’t take long!
Cassie lived to be 15 years old thanks to Ellie finding her!
Sloane and the Sofa
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When Sloane was four months old he was already
enthralled with his ball. He loved catching it,
fetching, and finding it.
Sometimes the ball would end up in the house where we
might play a game of kick it.
Sometimes it ended up under the old sectional sofa in
the family room.
Sometimes I wasn’t quick enough answering his
high-pitched yip, which meant—the ball is under the sofa
so hurry up and get it!
One day when I was getting ready for work, I heard that
excited high- pitched yip, but didn’t hurry out to get
the ball for Sloane. He kept up the yipping and then
there was quiet. Then I heard some unusual sounds.
When I got to the family room, there was Sloane dragging
the sofa with his teeth!!
Just then he saw his ball, and I will never forget the
look of happiness and surprise in his eyes as he saw it,
then brought it too me!
That was the beginning of me coming home and finding the
sectional sofa pieces all over the room. My friends
laughed and thought he was the perfect dog for me, since
I was an interior decorator and always moving their
Well, it wasn’t too good for the sofa and we eventually
had to replace it with one he couldn’t move!
Pens and Housebreaking
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An exercise pen is
made of 8 wire panels 24 inches wide and the best
height for an English Shepherd is 36inches tall. It
folds up to take up a space of 24x36x6. Use it like
a crate and take it whenever you take your pup for
You can get the best product for the best price at
Item number 12150-276, model number 544-36 $53.99
It is zinc wire and brass coated and has a door with
You can set if up in a 4x4 square or whatever shape
fits your space. It can be used instead of a crate
or in addition to a crate but it is less confining
than a crate, and the dogs can move around when they
are inside it.
Put the pen in a place on top of an easy to clean
floor in a place where you will spend a lot of time
so the puppy can be around the family and be part of
things. You will use this pen thru housebreaking and
thru the chewing stage.
Without confining him when you are away, the chewing
stage can become a chewing habit and be plenty
destructive. Some dogs chew or worry more than
others by the way.
Follow these tips--It makes the job of housebreaking
so easy you may say it feels like you never potty
Cover the floor inside the pen with newspapers and
remove soiled papers quickly.
Put the water bowl, a stuffed animal for company
(the pup will be especially lonely those first few
nights), toys, and a pillow or blanket.
the pup in the pen and throw a good treat on the
floor inside to encourage the pup to go in on his
own and make his choice to go in the pen a positive
Keep the pup in the
pen all night, and give him plenty of time out of
the pen during the day, but anytime you leave or
cannot watch the pup put the pup back into the pen.
The pup will do a lot of sleeping the first two
weeks you have him home. Let the pup sleep in the
pen. The pup needs his own space, away from other
dogs and kids.
Do your part as always, by taking the pup out
after meals, after naps, first thing in the morning
and last thing at night.
the pup needs to use the papers in between those
times, that is a good thing and exactly what you
want. And as you have seen, the pups are very well
You want to encourage the paper training at the SAME
TIME you are
teaching the pup to go outside
in a special spot and always out the same door—you
just won’t have all the worry if the pup doesn’t go
when you take him out. He will later use the papers.
You don’t have to worry about him having an accident
when you aren’t home in time because you want him to
use the papers.
At around 10-11 wks the pup will be able to hold it
longer and you will find less papers soiled. Keeping
paper training going also keeps pups from having
bladder infections from holding it too long when you
are away longer than usual..
After a few weeks of unsoiled papers you may
consider the pup MOSTLY housebroken.
Always remember when the pup is out of the pen to
keep a paper on the floor where the pup is playing
and you may see the pup run to the papers in the
midst of rough housing!
Some folks really make themselves crazy potty
training a puppy.
They take the pup out every half hour or hour. It
really doesn’t help the pup because most of the time
the pup won’t have to go so he doesn’t get much
chance to learn what he needs to do.
just encourages more times outside without success
which is very frustrating for the owners and then
the pup feels it.
training should be a positive experience with
ridiculous amounts of praise!
And when a pup doesn’t go, put him back in the pen
if you cannot stay outside for a while or the pup
will walk in and use a spot you don’t want him to
And every “accident” is two steps backwards!
Take the pup out the same door, to the same spot and
when the pup pees or poops-- praise, praise, praise
in your high voice, excited voice, and clap! Then
play with the pup as a further reward!
Anything to let him know he just did the most
important thing in the world!
Keep the pup in a small area—kitchen or family room
and do not give him more space until the pup he can
be trusted as housebroken. Giving the pup too much
freedom too soon will make it easy for him to have
an accident and cause housebreaking to take longer.
Use baby gates to close off the room the pup needs
to stay in.
My vet tech and good friend Amie taught me this
method 20 some years ago. I have used it ever since,
it always works and makes housebreaking a pup a
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