Thursday, May 23, 2013


Richard Deggans of Texas is a Viet Nam veteran and a professional dog handler who has been heavily involved in the JBMF, INC. group which has worked so hard for so long to bring about the long overdue national memorial for our military working dogs. The monument will open in the fall of this year at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, where the working dog teams are trained.
I know my fellow dog-lovers will enjoy the following poem by Deggans, shared with his permission.

WRITTEN by Richard Deggans (Notes), Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 9:47pm

The Spirit of a German Shepherd Dog

I was standing on a hillside
In a field of blowing wheat
And the spirit of a German Shepherd Dog
Was lying at my feet.
He looked at me with kind dark eyes
An ancient wisdom shining through
And in the essence of his being
I saw love there too.
His mind did lock upon my heart
As I stood there on that day
And he told me of this story
About a place so far away.
I stood upon that hillside
In a field of blowing wheat
And in a twinkling of a second
His spirit left my feet.
His tale did put my heart at ease
My fears did fade away
About what lay ahead of me
On another distant day:

"I live among God's creatures now
In the heavens of your mind
So do not grieve for me, my friend
As I am with my kind.
My collar is a rainbow's hue
My leash a shooting star
My boundaries are the Milky Way
Where I sparkle from afar.
There are no pens or kennels here
For I am not confined
But free to roam God's heavens
Among my Shepherd kind.
I nap the day on a snowy cloud
Gentle breezes rocking me
And dream the dreams of earthlings
And how it used to be.
The trees are full of liver treats
And tennis balls abound
And Milk Bones line the walkways
Just waiting to be found.
There even is a ring set up
The grass all lush and green
And everyone who gaits around
Becomes the Best of Breed.
For we're all winners in this place
We have no faults, you see
And God passes out those ribbons
To each one, even me.
I drink from waters laced with gold
My world a beauty to behold
And wise old dogs do form my pride
To amble at my very side.
At night I sleep in an angel's arms
Her wings protecting me
And moonbeams dance about us
As stardust falls on thee.
So when your life on earth is spent
And you stand at Heaven's gate
Have no fear of loneliness
For here, you know I wait."

--Info on the monument and JBMF INC can be accessed at
--Comments can be directed to Rose About Town (me) at
 --Richard Deggans notes: "That poem has had several iterations through the years, along with the Guardians of the Night poem. I don't know that I would take "full credit" for the poem. I have added many pieces to it. I would say that the "German Shepherd Dog community" should have credit for it. I love the dogs as do many others like me. Thank you Rose for sharing, I hope others find comfort in it."