Dear Hoppe Family,
They say it takes a village to raise a child....but I know it takes a special family to raise a good service protection dog and the Hoppe Family is the best!
First of all, thanks to Ted and GatorlandK-9 for bringing me to America. It was a long journey overseas but well worth what was waiting for me ahead.
Your family welcomed me with love and attention and understood all my fears and needs. I couldn’t have asked for more... (continued)
Little Brad rubbed my tummy every day and seems to be an expert at an early age at socialization. His big heart and smiling face always gave me comfort.
R.J. really surprised me the most. Boy, that guy can throw a ball! He instinctively knew when I was ready to work and play and when I needed rest. When I would hear Ted say “R.J. - bring Naxxus down to the field”, I would get so excited because I knew it was time to practice my skills, learn new skills, romp and play and chase a ball, and make R.J. proud to be my buddy and trainer. Most of all I could see that Ted was becoming proud he chose me and recognized my potential, and R.J.’s handling skills.
That Ted - he is quite amazing. He knows a dog’s mind and no matter how many dogs he has trained he knows and remembers every single dog’s personality and strengths. He knew how to make me work to the best of my ability and just when I thought I had mastered everything, Ted would raise the bar, always challenging me to be the best possible canine for my prospective new owners. And probably the most important thing about Ted is that he really knew my personality and abilities so well that when the right family came along he knew I would be a perfect fit. My new family was looking at another of my kennel buddies, but Ted told them that he was not the right dog for them and thank God they listened. (That other guy never would have fit right in the way I have!) Ted knew I would love my new owner’s 15 year old daughter and their female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. And now I am so lucky to have such wonderful girls to play with me and we all get along great!
Dawn also has the keen instincts to know what makes a good service dog - and not all dogs qualify. She told me one day that I had the good nature, even temperament, and constitution to do service work because I was calm, steady and always a gentleman. She trained me to provide the services my new owner needed and made sure I could do the job well. When my new owner called her and told her I went shopping to buy my favorite food - chicken quarters - and never even sniffed the meat counter, Dawn laughed with delight because she knew that I could pass any test. I want to thank her so much for her dedication to provide service protection dogs for those in need. I am so gentle and good natured that my new owner has a hard time believing that I would be able to provide protection since I still like those daily tummy rubs and every where I go, people love me and want to pet me because I am so gentle. But she is in good hands because if anyone should ever try to harm my family, I will, along with every German Shepherd I know, be prepared to protect and defend my loved ones.
As for me, it really is a dog’s life! I love my new family and live in a beautiful home in Florida where I am looking forward to learning to swim in their pool someday. My new owners bought me a giant crate (where I eat and sleep - they laugh when I snore), fenced their yard so I could play ball like I did with R.J. (but they never leave me alone out there) and are continuing to follow your training standards with precision. They are very smart to have listened carefully to everything the Hoppe family advised because it has made for a smooth transition for all of us. And they almost have Brad’s belly rubs mastered to perfection!
Only Ted could have chosen them so well for me and he knew it would be a “match made in heaven.” Ted, you are tough, smart and fair and have made my new family so happy with your ability to judge their needs. Dawn, you are so dedicated to service dog training and continue to learn and educate others on the needs of both dogs and owners. (I think you should run for President and straighten out the world on all the misinformation about service protection dogs).
So Hoppe family - soon I’ll be off to my summer home in the mountains to enjoy the cool air and get out of the Florida heat - I’ll send you a postcard.
Hugs and Doggie Kisses to all the Hoppes- I miss you!
NAXXUS & Teresa Catherine (the human)
P.S. I have sent some photos of me in my new life - notice my big smile!
Photos will be placed on Naxxus page To Be Announced.