Editor’s Note: Our guest blogger, Don Grskovich is a valued member of MDSA from Virginia. Don entered our video events with his handsome Doberman, “Broker” and recently titled at the Veteran’s level. There’s more to Don and Broker than meets the eye, and we know you’ll enjoy their heart-warming story.
Congratulations Don and Broker!
Broker, a Doberman Pinscher, was born in October 2005. He was probably weaned off of his mother in December and, more than likely, was a Christmas gift. He was turned into the Shenandoah VA Animal Shelter in April 2006 at six months old. Broker spent three months in the shelter and, fortunately, was rescued by the local Doberman Pinscher rescue organization the day before his "last day". My spouse, Linda, and I fostered him for a few weeks prior to putting him up for adoption, but he was so well behaved and obedient and got along so well with our other Doberman that we adopted him ourselves.
We entered Broker into an obedience class where he earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title. From there, he went on to earn his Rally Excellent (RE) as well as a Companion Dog (CD) title. Due to his excellent temperament, I enrolled him in the Therapy Dog International (TDI) program. For the past 3 1/2 years, he has been going to the local nursing home. Before each visit, when Broker is dressed up in one of his 15 neckties (which one depends on the season), gets so excited, because he knows where he’s going. The residents just love him and look forward to his weekly visits. He has earned his TDI Outstanding Volunteer (TDIAOV) title for the number of visits he has done (over 200).
Broker is also in the TDI "Tail Waggin Tutors" program where he makes weekly visits to 3rd, 4th or 5th graders and “tutors” them in an after-school reading program. He is probably a year away from earning his TWT title for 100 tutoring visits.
In addition to his MDSA Freestyle Novice and Veterans title, Broker achieved a Nose Work 2 (NW2) title from the National Association of Canine Nose Work (NASCW) and an Instinct, Novice and Open title in Barn Hunting. He was the "cover boy" in a monthly calendar as well as the “Man of the Month” in another year's calendar.
Needless to say, whoever gave this boy up, gave up a gem of a dog.