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P.O. BOX 743 - MONROE, WASHINGTON 98272 - FAX 360.794.4084


*Angela the German shepherd may
not mind hamming it up for the
camera, but there's nothing
humorous about her regular job,
protecting her owners' jewelry

*Gabrielle Bradley's well-trained
canines know their patience in front
of the camera will be rewarded with
two hot meals a day. Here Angela
is posed as " Whistler's Mother."

Gabrielle Bradley adjusts a wig on
Alexis to photograph her as Snow
White. Bradley says she can get
her canines to do just about anything
for the camera as she poses them
for children's books and greeting

Guard Dogs Find Time To Mug For The Camera

These German Shepherd Can Put On The Dog For The Camera

These German Shepherds can put on the dog for the camera
by Jon Hahn, Seattle PI Columnist

Gabrielle Bradley's German shepherds don't have Marlene Dietrich's great legs, but they have her incredible stage presence, and also Col. Klink's ironic sense of humor. Which makes them absolutely boffo dog-photo subjects, much like famous photographer William Wegman and his Weimaraners.

Enter, stage left, the Bradley troupe of fun-loving German shepherds, as featured in a new series of children's books and an amusing set of greeting cards.

"These kids are big hams, and they're also spoiled brats," said Bradley. "I can get them to do just about anything." Well, almost. "When we first set up for photos to illustrate 'Hansel and Gretel,' I made a false-front house covered with dog biscuits instead of ginger bread. And I had a very hard time getting them to leave that house alone!"

Show biz being what it is, her shepherds aren't about to quit their day job guarding and protecting Monroe Jewelers, the Bradley family business. In fact,some of the dogs are actually owned by the jewelry shop and some are owned by Bradley and husband, Peter.

"Originally, after we moved here from L.A. to get away from the crime, we had some 'foo-foo' dogs - you know, Afghans and sheep dogs," Bradley said. "But then, about 12 years ago, a lady down the road from our home was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight.

The very next day, I called my father in Germany and said I wanted a German-trained shepherd. They're much sturdier, and more disciplined. They're not bred simply for looks." That statement failed to hurt the feelings of either Alex or Angela, her current 6- and 7-year-old stars, who were relaxing behind one of the jewelry store counters.

After all, they do look positively stunning in costumes and classic poses. In their own way, they're sort of canine Arnold Schwarzeneggers. Trained for strength and street smarts, they strayed into show biz. But these dogs haven't forgotten, let alone bitten the hand that feeds them. Neither would you, if you got two squares each day "That's two hot meals each day,"said Bradley. "Breakfast is usually scrambled eggs, oatmeal, macaroni and vitamins. Supper might be rice and veggies and tuna or chicken."

And decent lodging at the Bradley's rural home several miles from town, where the family penchant for collecting animals also has deposited resident roosters, goats, pygmy sheep, cats, a donkey and you-name-it.

Most of the shepherds are German-born and certainly trained to German standards and performance. Bradley's first shepherd died of an infection contracted during tracking trials in fields fertilized with human sewage.

She once again phoned her father in Germany and got Sancho and Ondra, the parents of some of her current dogs. Along the way, Bradley has trained with some noted police canine-unit experts so that she, in turn, can help train shepherds for police work.

"One of Sancho and Ondra's pups, a dog named Lex, now works with the Portland Police Department," she said proudly. Bradley also helped train a German shepherd for the Redmond police, "partly because I know how to speak German, and that's the language they knew."

The German German shepherds must show courage during field trials, but they cannot be certified if they react without provocation or command. They also must not flinch at the sound of a gunshot and must display even temperament. All the dogs Bradley has trained, including those she owned over the past dozen years, are bilingual. Some are trained for police or guard work, but hers are also trained for protection, mostly to protect her and Peter. But they've all learned how to wear costumes and hold still for photo sessions at the Bradley home.

"The first photo thing was actually a special card I wanted to do for my father," Bradley said. "Then I did one of the kids ( that's what she calls the dogs because her and Peter's sons are now adults) dressed in DARE T-shirts.

Then we got a little more daring. That's when we tried 'Whistler's Mother' with Angela. I can get her to do anything!" For photos to illustrate children's books, she had to borrow some animals.

"On 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' I borrowed Rottweiler pups and I had trouble with one Rottie that tried to eat the bunny rabbit!" she said. Bradley and her shepherds also have illustrated a "Mother Goose Revisited" anthology, "Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf," in which Rottweiler puppies again play the innocents to one of her German shepherd, as well as about 100 individual greeting cards.

In another classic she illustrated, "The Bremen Town Musicians," Bradley recruited Chico, a miniature donkey, and posed one of her dogs atop the donkey, then Kipper, her cat, atop the dog, and then Ricky, her rooster, at the very top. A casual reader might assume it was all done by computer graphics, but the animal balancing act was done by a very patient Bradley at her Monroe home.

"And of course, the donkey was a perfect little ass during the whole photo shoot. We've since adopted him." Well, there you have it: another fairy-tale ending. Except at Monroe Jewelers, the dogs have air-conditioning, those two hot meals, daily exercise and all the perks. So they probably live happier ever after.

Bradley's dog photo greeting cards are about $2.50 each, and the photo illustrated children's books retail about $29.95. They are carried at local Pet Pros stores and , of course, at Monroe Jewelers.

John Hahn is a staff columnist who writes three times a week in the P-I

*Angela the German shepherd may not mind hamming it up for the camera, but there's nothing humorous about her regular job, protecting her owners' jewelry business.

*Gabrielle Bradley's well-trained canines know their patience in front of the camera will be rewarded with two hot meals a day. Here Angela is posed as " Whistler's Mother."

Our store, Monroe Jewelers, is located at 19569 Highway 2 in the Safeway Plaza in Monroe, Washington. For directions, please call us at 360.794.7393 or toll-free at 888.794.7394.

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