Annual Reports ...


From 2013


The report below was read at the annual International Shiloh Shepherd Registry (ISSR) Homecoming.

The Gracie Initiative has had a busy first year! We have breeders who have bought monitors and monitored their pups at large cost. We have breeders educating their puppy people and the public. We are removing affected puppies from the breeding program. We are hearing of more affected puppies because we are monitoring and discovering. We have offered low cost alternatives for the high price of monitoring. There is a website, although pretty basic, that tells the public to FIRST use your breeder as a resource. The group assembled here has been responsible for much of the movement on the Gracie Initiative. The purchasing of the Holters, the monitoring of pups. All this has taken place in a year’s time. We are out there working very hard. The website may be basic (that’s me) but the rest is moving forward thanks to incredible and loving participation from people who care and have a passion to see this breed continue.

I have prepared a simple report that shows some basic information on the Holtering efforts by our LBs and LBITs. I am so proud to share these numbers with you because it shows the dedication these breeders have demonstrated in eliminating GSDIVA from the ISSR Shiloh. We have six breeders who have purchased Holter monitors. Zwanet in Holland has purchased two monitors to cover all of Europe. These breeders have not only tested their own litters, but have shared their monitors with breeders who do not have access to monitors and otherwise would have to send their puppy people out into the doggie cardiology world to obtain the same results at a much higher cost. So, we have 7 Holter monitors. Here are the results from the first year of monitoring our puppies:

  • Puppies Holtered:  78
  • Puppies Tested Clear:  70
  • Puppies Tested Affected:  8

We are still waiting for information from a couple of breeders.

The puppies tested ranged in age from 5 months to 23 months.

Please keep in mind this is very basic reporting. I did not collect data reflecting how many pups were born during this time period, or how many pups died from suspected/diagnosed GSDIVA The data does not reflect how many of the clear and affected pups were breed quality vs pet quality. However, all breed quality pups that tested affected were removed from the breeding program.

The Gracie Initiative has been an amazing journey and collaborative effort. The Gracie Initiative flyer was the brain child of the Annes, Vanessa, Maya, Margaret and Olga. They guided me through my technology allergy and helped produce an incredible learning tool. The very first Holtered pup under the GI was O’Kelly from Fisher Crane Shilohs. I have to mention this because as soon as Carla returned home from HC last year, she immediately had O’Kelly tested. Although her affected status resulted in her removal from the breeding program, that single test prevented GSDIVA from being passed onto another generation of puppies. Carla is a hero who traveled this road first.

We have lost puppies this year who will leave their little paw prints in our ISSR history book and our hearts. Their contribution of love and dedication to their people cannot be counted into any tangible data, and yet their presence surrounds us as if they were laying here tonight, at our feet.

We have worked hard and we are making progress in eliminating GSDIVA from our breed. The day will come when we will be able to sell our Holter monitors on eBbay. This journey will have a beautiful end. Thank you so much for honoring these pups, their owners, and our breed founder. I know she would be so proud.