“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
GretchAnya was established with our first German Shepherd, Gretchen, in 1995. We strive for puppies with good conformation, excellent temperament and medium activity level. We are hobby breeders who average two litters per year. All our dogs are family members first. During the day, they enjoy spacious outdoor runs, where they are kenneled with a pal. In the evening, they warm their paws by the fireplace.
Three Generations, left to right: Anya (12 years), and her daughter, KK (7 years), and KK’s son, Moe, (2 years).
Photo June 2008, snowheronstudios.com
Gretchen gave us our start in the breed mainly because of her mischievous nature. A brain like hers had to work – and work we did, breezing through our CD title before the age of 2. An injury prevented her from continuing her canine education. So we turned our attention to Anya, a lovely American-bred bitch who would become our foundation.
Gretchen left us on a crisp fall morning in 2008, after a sudden onset of unexplained seizures. She never had a sick day in her life and we are especially grateful, for her sake, that her passing was quick. She was 10 days shy of her 13th birthday and didn’t look a day over 7. It will never be the same without her.
Anya passed exactly two weeks after Gretchen, on a cold and damp December afternoon. She was 12 years old, and had a short period of failing health. She was my protector, teacher, counselor, co-pilot, mentor, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Jack’s girlfriend and – without question – the best friend I have ever had. She stole my heart at age 24, helped me raise my two boys, and left me much, much too soon.
Gretchen taught me about dogs. Anya taught me about life.
The girls are the reason we became “GretchAnya” German Shepherds. They inspired us to get involved in the breed, with both local and national clubs, and rescue work. Today, our dogs are shown in the conformation and obedience rings, in the U.S. and Canada. But mostly they make wonderful companions. Read below to learn more about how we raise our dogs.