I Reminisce About Heidi

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.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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