Ryker vom Polarstern SchH 3 FH CD TD

b. 22 Octo­ber 1986 — 29 Novem­ber 2000

aka “Ryker Doodles”

Ryker at 14

Sov­er­eignty” was the best word to describe Ryker. He pos­sessed dig­nity, intel­li­gence, char­ac­ter and strength, with just the right amount of sil­li­ness thrown in, he rep­res­en­ted the ideal GSD tem­pera­ment. He was a nat­ural tracker who was always V or SG in his Schutzhund rat­ings, calm, quiet and intense. His pro­tec­tion work derived from a delight for the fight — the tougher the bet­ter. Yet he adored chil­dren and was com­pletely safe around every­one. In obed­i­ence, Ryker was, unfor­tu­nately, han­di­capped by a hand­ler who was a total novice. “If we knew then what we know now” Ryker would have shined in obed­i­ence as well.

At 14, Ryker was still the quiet alpha of the house. Con­fid­ent and never need­ing to dis­play his power, he could still cause Ivan or Hawk to fawn and grin like puppies.

Take a look at the mot­ley ped­i­gree below. Everything from “vom Lier­berg” to “Ger­tie XII”!  Ryker’s father, Dirk, was an out­stand­ing track­ing dog, while his mother enjoyed our early Schutzhund prac­tices and was a bal­anced, nice dog in both struc­ture and temperament.

Crosswind’s Dirk v. Heiterhaus

OFA GS-13697T


Heit­er­haus Cabot

OFA GS-10837

*Masko vom Konigstein



*V-Mars v. Sonnen­berg

*V-Olly v. Lierberg


SchH 3

Schokrest Oh My Darlin’

OFA GS-7449


Covy’s Oregano of Tucker Hill

Philberlyn’s Rhoda of Marin


Heit­er­haus Debra Joy

OFA GS-10949

CH Judd von Kristy

OFA GS-3899


US CAN CH Von Der Ley’s Mid­night Cowboy


Von Leebrin’s Adelheidi

Covy Tucker Hill’s Spirit

OFA GS-7448

US CAN CH Cobert’s Reno of Lakeside


Covy Tucker Hill’s Glimmer

Kuss vom Schatz

OFA GS-18094

Der Hans vom Kriegerhaus


AKC WE430798

Heinz Peters

Krieger von Hiatt
AKC WC226109

OFA GS-4270

SchH3 FH


Phyl­lis Hiatt

Wenatchee’s Armando


Freia vom Pross

Vilma von Pfersee

AKC WD 640250

OFA GS-7644-T


Phyl­lis Hiatt

V-Roon v.d. Freiheit Westerholt

SchH 3 “a”

V-Inka von Pfersee


SchH 1 “a”

Ger­tie XII

AKC WE942411

Alf vom Hessenhof

AKC WC615659


Rogue XVII
AKC WB352322

Missy v Portnoy

AKC WC275038

Greta von den Lachenden Augen

AKC WE755797

*VA-Roll vom Sieben Faulen


AKC WC784120

*Sun Shine’s Daisy Mae

AKC WD857821


Ryker and War­ren after fin­ish­ing their SchH 3 in Poca­tello, Idaho. (Pam Christensen photo)

New CD, Fall of 1987

Schutzhund 2 heel­ing — doesn’t look too bad for Ryker! This photo appears in Dog Fancy’s Ger­man shep­herd edi­tion. (Judith Strom photo)

Cour­age test for the schH 1 in Spokane with helper Jim Elder. (Kerin Elder photo)

With helper David Macias dur­ing a sem­inar in Helena. (Judith Strom photo)

29 Novem­ber, 2000

I always knew Mag­gie and Ryker would go at the same time.

We put Mag­gie to sleep Monday night. We’d been con­cen­trat­ing so much on Mag­gie that we chose to ignore the fact that Ryker was going down­hill. By Tues­day morn­ing he’d crashed. He had a tem­per­at­ure of 105+ deg, and though a shot of banam­ine brought it down, he never recovered. By Wed­nes­day morn­ing he couldn’t walk at all, and even rolling over onto his chest took everything he had. So, last night, Ryker went too.

No mat­ter how pre­pared you are, it’s still hard. Our vet came to the house around 8:00 last night. Ryker had enough energy to sniff her and wag a time or two before lay­ing his head back down.
This is the worst part about hav­ing dogs in your life.

But, life goes on. It snowed 4 or 5 inches last night and Gator, Rosie and Ivan are all mani­acs out­side, char­ging through the drifts with their mouths open, scoop­ing up snow and beat­ing each other up. They come inside with snow all over their faces and big happy grins.

To those of you with dys­plastic dogs, Ryker is proof a dog can have an act­ive, long life with bad hips. He was dia­gnosed with mod­er­ate dys­plasia at the age of two; got his SchH 3 at five (when he was finally show­ing signs of pain and refused the wall on the way back) got his FH at six, and then for many more years helped train new decoys on the train­ing field.

Ryker may be seen in the Dog Fancy spe­cial GSD issue and sev­eral pet-oriented GSD books. He was a spe­cial dog. We’ll miss you, Doodles.