Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Belated Tribute to Louie, THE 9/11 Search and Rescue Boxer

When Kate Schoyer, Louie’s breeder, posted a tribute to Louie and his owner, Michelle Verdell, on the SB-L, I was immediately struck by two things: First, that Louie was the only Boxer that had participated in the Search & Rescue effort at the World Trade Center after 9/11; and second, that Louie’s breeder attributed his working ability to several generations of cattle herding Boxers in his background. This is how Kate put it in a subsequent email: “I think my short story puts across the fact that Louie had a few generations of working dogs on his sire’s side of his pedigree that probably enhanced his ability to grasp the S&R work so well. He was the first dog Michele had trained for S&R, too. She had told me she was just going to do obedience with him. An S&R dog needs to be able to think, have a good prey drive and posses a stable, unflappable temperament.”

As a strong supporter of giving our breed the opportunity to compete for titles in AKC Herding Trials, this blogger wants to thank the overwhelming majority of ABC members and member-club members who responded so enthusiastically to the ABC Herding Survey that was sent to all ABC members and member clubs; and to the progressive ABC Board members who voted in May to send a Boxer Herding Petition to the AKC!

Louie, the 9/11 SAR Boxer
By Kate Schoyer

I was the breeder of “Louie,” whom I sold to Michele Verdell of PA when he was about nine months old. Louie's original name was Ivan and he had working dogs from Austria two and three generations back on his sire’s side. His grandsire was a lovely dog named Danny, bred by Billie McFadden of Flemington, NJ.

Danny was a Famous Amos son who was then bred to a very nice working cattle herding Boxer named Eliza who lived near Billie. I purchased Louie's sire Trump through Billie from her veterinarian, Oliver Elbert DVM, who owned Eliza. Eliza's sire Boris and dam Maude were imported from Austria by Billie's friend and her vet's mother Shirley Elbert. They were also working Boxers used for herding.   So Louie did have some true working dogs behind him on one side and his mother, whom I owned, was a very sweet couch potato with 7 AKC points. I did have an obedience title on Louie's sire Trump and also had worked him in protection training.  I must say out of the many male Boxers I have owned, Trump was very intelligent.

I was fortunate to get Louie featured on the front cover of the Boxer Review with the help of the editor Kathy Cognata. I called Michele a few times to finish her article so Billie McFadden could proof read it, then I sent it to Kathy to be published.  Michele did a great job conveying facts and emotions into what she and Louie had experienced after 9/ll while searching for DNA samples of the victims at Ground Zero. We had many requests from other counties for reprints of Louie's photos and the articles about his Search & Rescue experiences.

Louie was a sweet lovely Boxer.  I never dreamed my little lovable black reverse brindle boy would be such a star after being trained by Michele for Search and Rescue.

I think Boxer people were very proud of the fact Louie was a Search and Rescue dog during 9/ll. I know I sure was when Michele called me and said she was going to NYC with Louie to help. It was such an emotional time for every one of us in the USA and in every country around the world who felt our pain, too.


Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. - Sydney J. Harris, journalist and author (1917-1986) 

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