Of interest is this article that I found in my weekly neighborhood news. This is the feed store where I purchase my dog food for my German shepherds. I am totally into supporting our local merchants! They always carry my 40 lb. bag out to my van!
Here's the article. You can also click on either of the pictures and it will take you to the actual article on their site........
Uptown merchants give a canine surprise
Each morning, Fletcher and Klair, a 13-year-old East German shepherd, could be seen walking along State Street, stopping for biscuits at DJ's Feed Store, accompanied by Urman, a West German shepherd owned by Fletcher's daughter.
Fletcher has been raising and training pedigreed shepherds for about 30 years and was never without a dog --until Aug. 25 when Klair passed away. A month ago, when Fletcher's daughter moved into a new home with a fenced yard, Urman returned to his family.
For the first time in his life, Fletcher was without a canine companion.
"We walked the city streets for two to five miles every day of the year. Klair was always safe to approach, a true treasure," Fletcher said. "When my daughter came for Urman, I was a little sick with the flu -- I was a little lost as to what to do with the day."
Bill Rohrbaugh, who works at DJ's Feed Store, said Fletcher's absence was strongly felt around the holidays.
"It was kind of a constant here. We'd have officer (Mike) Beekman and Jim in every day, and when I got Jim on the phone, he didn't really even want to talk about it," Rohrbaugh said.
Once Rohrbaugh told Beekman about Fletcher's situation, however, the officer procured a phone number for a woman who was selling shepherd pups.
"The pups were selling for $500 and we told the owner our story and she said she'd give one up for $250," Rohrbaugh said. "That's when it took off -- we had a customer here in the store at the time who heard what we were up to, and she pulled out $20 on the spot and told us to put it toward the dog."
Word began to spread around town, and within 36 hours, customers and merchants from Uptown Westerville had donated more than enough to buy the pup, Rohrbaugh said. The pup was delivered to the feed store on Friday, Jan. 9.
"I called up Jim and gave him kind of a coaxing white lie to get him here. I said there was a fellow with a new shepherd pup who was wondering if anyone could tell him a little about the breed," Rohrbaugh said. "He agreed to come over, and we had as many people as we could who had contributed waiting here to meet him."
"They did pull quite a surprise on me," Fletcher said.
Waiting for the trainer was a 20-week old, gangly, 44-pound American German shepherd named Benjamin.
"The dog that was given to me was an American dog, and I've shared my contempt about the American breed of shepherd with lots of folks before," Fletcher said. "I really had to pray about that. God was telling me that this wasn't about me or the dog, but about the gift. He was telling that I'd been given this pup and I needed to love him."
In a letter written to Fletcher, Beekman said he also believes God provided the opportunity to help someone in need.
"Life has taught me that respect, caring and love must be shared, for it's only through sharing that friendships are born," Beekman wrote. "Many were born last week É I am not sure who was more blessed by this event, but I know for many, such as I, God's timing was perfect."
Fletcher said although he has always been somewhat discriminating about dogs with no pedigree, he has found a new friend.
"I'm so grateful, and he's such a special little guy," Fletcher said. "He's very sweet. He has a great temperament and he bonded with me immediately."
"Monday, Jim came in with Benjamin and picked up two biscuits, like he always has," Rohrbaugh said. "It felt like things were back to normal. People haven't stopped talking about it since."
Fletcher is back to walking through Uptown every day. The caring nature of his community will stick with him for the rest of his life, he said.
"All of these people, they came together for a common cause," he said. "Many of them were people I didn't know. The generosity of the common man, it is an uplifting thing."