As far as I can remember – I always wanted to have my own German Shepherd Dog. As a child, this was not possible so I had an imaginary one, or I ‘adopted’ any willing German Shepherd in the neighbourhood that wanted to temporarily come home with me. Much to my chagrin, the ‘adopted’ Shepherd always went home.
Eventually, however, after many years of persistence, I was allowed to have my first German Shepherd Dog. He was a handsome sable puppy that I saved up for and bought off a retired ex RAF (Royal Air force) dog trainer named Bill Cuthbertson. I called him ‘Lobo’ and religiously took him training to the local dog school every Saturday afternoon. By this time my love for the GSD had turned into my passion for the breed.
The years passed, Lobo passed on, I studied, went overseas, and eventually settled in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It was here that I bought my first bitch for showing from a well-known breeder. Little did I know that she was a long-coat German Shepherd Dog, and only found out when she stood last in the ring. I had also bought a young male by this time and of course like any novice let them have a litter of pups. This was my very first litter but I enjoyed them so much, that my love for breeding bloomed.
After a few years I returned to South Africa where I settled down on the lovely farm ‘Sangiro’ and started breeding as a responsible breeder should, according to the correct regulations and procedures. My daughter Tzilla was born on the farm and I have wonderful memories of a group of GSD’s always guarding her pram under large shady trees, whilst her mother was busy doing other household chores. They would religiously let me know when my baby needed me by coming and tugging at my arm. They were also very protective and instilled in me that warm secure feeling that we were always safe.
Time passed and Tzilla grew up with Shepherds all about. As a tiny tot, she constantly shared her food with them and came along to every show we attended, and so her love for the breed developed. Eventually she started handling dogs in the show ring and did exceptionally well, often being awarded with the medal for the best youth handler. In one year at our National Show (South African Sieger Show) she handled both the Sieger and Siegerin to their titles. She has travelled to Germany to the Sieger Show several times, handled in the show and successfully competed in the Sieger Show with her own dog ‘Fero Vom Messebau’. She has made many friends in her travels and is always full of excellent ideas and suggestions about breeding. She exercises the dogs, trains all of them, plans their mating, manages the stud dogs and runs the kennels, as well as managing the puppies for sale.