Steve K 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Convertible

I Loved My Dog

My German shepherd was exceptionally smart, obedient and loyal. He would learn new behaviors in just one trial and knew a wide repertoire of commands. There rarely was a need for a leash, as he would instantaneously obey softly spoken instructions. His collar was intentionally oversized so he could easily pull out if anyone ever grabbed it.

Shep - not a very novel name, but the name he came with from the Humane Society - would either sit up in the passenger seat of my 67 white Corvette convertible, or curl up on the floor of the passenger's side. As you can imagine, if he was in the car there was no need to lock it. I'd just say "guard!" and no one would come close.

I could spend hours relating the innumerable times Shep obeyed, but my car memory arises from the rare instance when he didn't obey. I would often drive to Lake Waccabuc in South Salem/Lewisberg, NY to swim in the lake. When dry, Shep weighed 95 pounds. Much more when wet. I did not want Shep to swim with me out of concern that even as a former lifeguard I would not be able to rescue him if he had a problem swimming across the lake.

This is what happened when I'd go to swim. I'd tell Shep to stay. As soon as I splashed in the lake Shep would follow. I tied his leash to a tree. Shep would immediately pull his head out of the collar and follow me into the water. I'd tighten his collar and tie his leather leash to a tree. One bite and the leash became two half leashes and he'd follow me into the water. My friend had a cabin near the lake and I'd put him inside the cabin. The screened window would quickly become unscreened and he'd follow me into the water. Finally, I'd park the Corvette in the deep shade, crack the window for ventilation and ..... Let's just say, in the long run, replacement convertible tops aren't that expensive.

Sadly, Shep is no longer with us in body, but his spirit and memory remain with me and others who love him. The 67 Vette is a wonderful car but I'd trade it in an instant for more time with Shep

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