21
Apr 10

Elka in the News

What a nice surprise this morning to see my favorite plush-coat German Shepherd friend, Elka, and her Mom, Pam Gaynor in the News concerning their therapy dog work!

Pam worked with me when Elka was young, bringing her to puppy classes, basic obedience, beyond basics, agility , CGC and even a freestyle (dancing with dogs) class offered at Bed & Biscuit when we owned that facility in NC. Elka is now 8 years old and stays very busy going to Hospice and nursing home facilities each week.

Elka was not "born" a therapy dog, she came from working lines and like many Shepherds, had a fairly high defense drive - always on alert.  I remember when she came to our Poodle socialization classes and how she would keep an eye out for any newcomers, barking to let us know if someone came in the training buidling - letting us know if they did not belong in Poodle class!  She was a great Poodle protector.  Pam taught Elka however, that if something bothered her, she was to look to her owner for protection and guidance.

Because Pam taught Elka to look to her for direction,  her early work with Elka has paid off - not only by giving Pam many years of pleasure with a treasure of a dog, but even giving terminally ill people many moments of happiness in their last days.

Please take a moment and view the short video clip (click on the video right above Elka's photo) on this link:

http://www.digtriad.com/life/community/herocentral/story.aspx?storyid=140734&catid=256

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Comments (4)
  • Joni  - Elka and Pam

    How wonderful! Very inspirational. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Pam Gaynor

    When I got Elka, I had no idea she would turn out to be the perfect Pet Therapy Dog. I started training at BFBB when she was 8 weeks old. I loved taking her to Puppy Preschool. There was a group of us that just loved taking our dogs to obedience school so each 8 weeks, we signed up for another class. Next thing you know, we are taking advanced obedience, agility and like Melanie said,we even took a Dancing with your dog class. Elka excelled at everything we did, even agility. What made her so easy train besides her breeding was that Melanie made it FUN to come to class and learn. We did not just do obedience, we put dogs in Sit Stay and she would roll a ball across the room or a bike would go by. Elka at only 9 months old would not move. She passed her CGC test at 9 months old. Now when she goes to hospitals, nursing homes etc. nothing phases her. I was so lucky that BFBB offered all these classes for us. It is what shaped Elka and I into the K-9 Pet Therapy Dog team we...

  • Melanie  - Pam and Elka

    Pam - you are so sweet re giving credit to the training offered at that time, but it was YOU, and all your hard work, that shaped Elka into such a great dog. As you and I have discussed, working lines German Shepherds aren't just born in a therapy dog package! You've done a great job with her, congrats and bless you for all you do for the people that Elka visits.

  • Pam

    It was alot of work but it did not seem like that as it was my Passion. I am always asked about Elka and how someone can get a dog "Just Like Her". First I give them Toni Brezels website, then I tell them how much her puppies are. Next, I explain the training and the dedication you must have to train a working line GSD. Most are discouraged by this which is fine. I would rather see someone who is dedicated to this breed aquire a dog then someone who leaves it in the backyard and wonders why it did not "Turn Out" like that GSD Elka or her brother, Xander.

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