More than a service dog
By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer
“Duke doesn’t listen to me like he does my granddaughter,” laughed Ray Unterseher of his new German Shepherd’s selective obedience.
Unterseher, a retired Watford City resident, recently welcomed Duke, a German Shepherd, to the family a couple of weeks ago.
“I’ve always admired my friend and veteran Chuck Abrahamson’s German Shepherd Dog named, Uri,” says Unterseher.
Over the past nine years, Unterseher says seeing his friend raise Uri has made him extra fond of the breed.
“I always told him if I could afford to have a dog like that, I’d love to own one,” says Unterseher.
When Unterseher’s neighbors, Scott and Lisa Stebbins, moved next door seven years ago, he says his adoration for the breed only continued to grow as he had association with his neighbors’ different German Shepherd dogs.
“They had a white one when they moved here in 2013,” says Unterseher. “Now, they have two, a 14-month old and a 6-week old, registered German Shepherds.”
As Unterseher acquired a deep love for German Shepherds over the years, an opportunity to own one finally presented itself when Unterseher’s friend, who has connections, reached out to him.
“Chuck Abrahamson, who’s a part of the Veterans Administration (VA), called me because he knew my love for his dog,” says Unterseher.
Unterseher would soon become one of the fortunate few military veterans across the country to receive a German Shepherd free of charge.
“When I enlisted in the Navy, if you were 17 and joined, you could get out on your 21st birthday,” says Unterseher.