Tag Archives: GSD

Jack Shepherd in Vet Dash Drama

12 May

BESTSELLING writer Jack Shepherd was rushed to the vet by flunkies on Tuesday evening, writes Al Sation, for attention to his foot.

The type of ambulance that was not used to transport Shepherd

The type of ambulance that was not used to transport Shepherd

Shepherd, 4, author of multi-million selling GSD Rescue, From Rags to Royal Cannin and the smash-hit sequel Settling In: The Story of a Shepherd in Pastures New was taken for attention to his right front paw this week after sustaining undisclosed injuries.

Jack Shepherd was not available for comment today at his £120 luxury kennel, agent Nick Palmerley refused to answer reporters’ questions and we’re having great difficulty cracking his voicemail.


A spokesman at the Betty Ford Veterinary Clinic near the writer’s North Yorkshire home said: “We can confirm that Mr Shepherd attended on Tuesday evening with a minor injury.  Our client received a light sedative and a small procedure was performed.  He left in good spirits the same evening and thanked the surgical team and attending nurses for their attention.  He is progressing well and there is no reason for concern.”

The spokesman would not be drawn on the nature of the injury, but a clinic insider said: “Jack ripped open his right front dew claw whilst chasing a cat in the garden.  The claw was removed and the area cleaned.  He’s fine and was sitting up joking with 2 labradors and a chihuahua an hour later.  He was an absolute gentleman – just like an ordinary dog really.”

A passer-by who fancied a few quid and says he  saw Shepherd leave added: “he walked calmly out to the waiting car with his chauffeur, jumped in the back and was driven off.  You’d never have thought there was anything wrong.”


If true, this wouldn’t be the first time that Shepherd has encountered difficulties with cats.  Last year police dog sources report that he was cautioned for chasing a cat across the garden from the pond down to the vegetable patch, and in front of the conservatory to the fence where  it made a lucky and nimble escape.

Celebrity vet’ Trude Mostue didn’t say: “Dew claw injuries are relatively easy to sort, they just need trimming off and as long as the owners keep the area clean bathing with salt water twice daily, the claw should recover in a couple of weeks.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by an issue covered in this article, please contact the BBC Action Line on 0800  110 100 in complete confidence (or leave a comment in the box below).


What to feed the fussy German Shepherd?

18 Feb

I’d read on the German Shepherd Dog Rescue website that newly re-homed shepherds often go off their food. Being used to labradors this seemed difficult to believe. Labradors see you proffering a dog biscuit and consider the whole treat-fingers-hand combination to be a special one-time only offer which is to be immediately snapped up. In short, if you’re not gifted with the digital dexterity of a concert pianist then you’re in real danger of a trip down to Accident & Emergency. A labrador turning down food is cause for concern: my parents’ late dog Sally once did and we were somewhat alarmed to note that she had enormous distension of her abdomen (like one of those snakes who’s swallowed a rat whole) only to discover that she’d located the sack of dog food in the garage and settled down to her very own all-you-can-eat buffet earlier that day.

Back in 2011, having picked up our new furry friend earlier in the day from his foster carer in Newcastle, we settled Jack down in his dining room, poured him some Malvern Water and offered the extensive menu.

“I’ll take a bowl of the Wheelwright’s Complete please,” he indicated.

“Good choice sir,” I replied. The initial signs were good, the ever vigilent ears stood to attention and there were genuine signs of excitement as the biscuits fell into the stainless steel bowl. I placed the food on the conservatory floor. Jack sniffed the contents, looked up at me, looked down at the food and lay down on the floor apparently entirely disinterested. “Go on boy, get it!” I coaxed. Nothing. He simply didn’t want to eat. We consulted the website:

German Shepherds often go off their food for the first few days when they’re in a new home. Offer the food to your dog, then take it away again. Your dog will not starve himself. Simply put it down again an hour or so later and he will eat.

He didn’t. So we spent a good half hour feeding the whole meal by hand: biscuit by biscuit. This pattern was repeated on a twice daily basis for the next week, the promising initial interest, followed by the disheartening rejection. Where were we going wrong? I rang our contact at GSD Rescue for some advice. “Try varying it a bit, maybe add some gravy or pilchards – dogs love fish.” Leafing through my copies of Larousse Gastronomique and Heston Blumenthal at Home we set to work in the kitchen. Wheelwright’s Veronique was dismissed, along with Wheelwright’s Dauphinoise and Wheelwright’s shiitake and spring onion sushi all ending up at best 40% in the dog and 60% in the bin.

Experienced doggy friends suggested trying different foods – perhaps he’d been used to a raw food diet? Ten days into our new dog ownership Jack had visibly lost weight to the extent that he’d twice been approached by modelling agencies suggesting that he might like to sport their new size zero canine clothing range (which would have been fine but for the fact that he objected to being on a catwalk – I know, but I couldn’t resist). I scoured the internet for advice working my way through Baker’s Complete, the entire menu from our local Chinese take-away, Chudley’s and Pedigree Chum before eventually stumbling upon Royal Canin German Shepherd food.

For those who haven’t come across Royal Canin, it’s easy to find online or in your local pet store (where it’s kept in the same sort of locked display cabinet jewellers use for their diamond rings). Purchasing Royal Canin is not unlike trying to buy a house – first you put in an offer and then the vendor lets you know their response through an agent. If you’re in luck then your solicitor organises the conveyancing before you send your money (telegraphic transfer) and the food is delivered by Securicor about six weeks down the line. I’m not saying it’s expensive, but for the same price I could probably send him to a mid-range finishing school with views of Lake Geneva.

I carefully snipped open the hand-sewn sack (using the supplied silver-gilt scissors) and poured the biscuits into his bowl. Jack watched intently as the shining morsels (each one individually fashioned to exacting standards on the lap of a specially-trained Vestal Virgin) gently fell onto the stainless steel before… he wolfed it down like one of Pavlov’s dogs watching the opening titles to News at Ten. We had won and finally found a food our animal would eat.

The relief of was immense and can only be described as being akin to that engendered at the end of the item featuring Bruce Forsyth on The Royal Variety Performance. A content and well-fed dog has, somewhat to my surprise, made for a happier home. Our initial idea of simply employing a furry security guard has given way to the pleasure of his companionship around the house – though to be honest, those winter morning walks at 5.20 am still have all the appeal for me that a bowl of Wheelwright’s Complete holds for Jack.