Gracie Initiative at work ...


O'Kelly's Story


O'Kelly is a plush-coated, brown sable Shiloh Shepherd born 01/26/2012. A happy girl with a great temperament. O'Kelly lives with her dog and human pack and is in training to be a Diabetic Alert dog. Her family hoped that O'Kelly would one day become their first breeding female. In August 2012, O'Kelly's owners attended the annual ISSR Shiloh Shepherd Homecoming in New York, where the Gracie Initiative was announced at the Licensed Breeders meeting. Thanks to the information discussed regarding GSDIVA, O'Kelly's owners made arrangements for her to be tested through the Holtering program at North Carolina State University. Unfortunately, the tests came back with a diagnosis of GSDIVA with a Grade 4 arrhythmia. O'Kelly was placed on medication and has frequent checkups. She was also removed from the breeding program because she carries the genetic material that a puppy could inherit. O'Kelly stands a good chance of safely outgrowing the deadly arrhythmias. Thanks to the Gracie Initiative and the diligent care of her family, O'Kelly and other pups like her will have the chance to lead a normal, happy life.


Hank's Story


Hank is a 7 month old, smooth coated, black and silver Shiloh Shepherd puppy. His owners hope that Hank will contribute to the gene pool when he is old enough to be bred. He is a happy boy and loves to play with the young kids in his family. Hank's owners receive a package in the mail that contains everything they need to complete the Holter monitor test to rule out GSDIVA. Hank wears a vest and monitoring device for 24 hours and goes about his regular routine. The next day, his owners pack up the vest and monitor and mails them back to Hank's breeder. The test is evaluated by a veterinary cardiologist. The results show that Hank has only a few irregular heart beats in a 24 hour period and is free from GSDIVA. Hank grows up to sire 5 litters of puppies that are not affected with GSDIVA.