A “Lion’s Head” shepherd has a mane that encircles its face. They are enormous; the female can weigh as much as 110 plus pounds, and regardless of whether we think of them as ”house pets,” they are incredible guard dogs from the tip of their nose to the end of their substantial tail.
Example one: In 1959, I worked for the LA Bd of Education. On most weekends that year, I would leave for Shasta to prepare for our first summer at camp. A 600-mile drive on two-lane country roads awaited me. I would take Heidi one weekend, Brutus the next, or a very young Kim Wilson might join me.
When I took Brutus, I would give Heidi instructions to watch over Lenette. Lenette always told me that Heidi would follow her to the toilet, sleep beside her and not leave her alone even once while I was gone.
Example two: When a strange car drove into Camp Shasta (usually a visiting parent), Heidi would be at the car door’s side with her paw on the door and all her teeth showing; it was not a grin. When I came to join her, all was well and safe.
The wilderness surrounding camp was also “open range,” so cattle, bears, and mountain lions roamed those thousands of acres. If any cattle or wild animals entered camp territory, Heidi knew it and would aggressively take on that uninvited guest, whether bull, bear, or lion. She also loved Kim and the stables. It is where she daily assisted him who, apart from so much else he was capable of, was to become our wrangler. The two of them ran the best program imaginable.
What a remarkable animal, companion, loyal friend, and guard dog she was.