We are Fireside Shilohs. I liked
the name "Fireside" because it brings to my
mind the timeless image of a beloved dog, lying near a
crackling fire enjoying his humans.
We have been blessed
with what we consider to be the
best dogs on
earth: Shiloh Shepherds.
We specialize in plush, large,
healthy Shilohs with top notch
They fit right in our family and our small-town community. They are often seen with us out
on a run or hanging out at a game with the kids. They
are perfect companion dogs and ambassadors for the breed.
Our goal is to enrich people's
lives through these dogs, whether it be
through helping them get
the new family member of their dreams, or using our dogs
to reach a child in need. We believe this is the most important
thing we can do.
saving up for my first German Shepherd puppy when only ten years old. I
gathered firewood, and shoveled horse manure. I did anything a
boy my age from the sticks of upstate New York could do to make money. Then
on my eleventh birthday, we got her. Frieda was a beautiful black
plush from German working lines, who acted more like a human than a
dog. I'm pretty sure she understood a few hundred words in
One time she
probably saved my life. I foolishly made my own
"alternate" route to the top of Spruce Mountain. It was January
in the rugged Adirondack mountains, and was only 17
degrees. I was 15 and bulletproof, miles away from anyone with my
dog. Life was good! At least it was until the sky turned
gray. Huge flakes began to fall faster and faster. Soon
visibility of that peak so far in the distance was cut off, ...and I
was hopelessly lost. A soft blanket of snow covered my back
trail. I made large circles trying to find it, with no success.
Somehow I managed to keep my nerve until it got dark.
I was completely unprepared to spend a night on the mountain.
Desperate, I snuggled up with
Frieda near a rock overhang to weigh my options.
Then she did the strangest thing, as if guided by an unseen force, she led me back out into
the snow. I did the smartest thing I had done all
day and followed her blindly in the dark. She lead me for
what seemed like hours
back to the road. She was amazing! I still thank God today
for giving me that dog.
As an adult, I tried to find a dog that would come
close to Frieda.
After college, a beautiful bride, and my first house, I picked up my second GSD.
to return him to his breeder. The vet wondered how he was able to
function with his enormous heart murmur. I didn't want a small,
angulated show dog, so I went back to working
lines hoping for a healthy dog that would not chew up my house or the
We had German Shepherds for the next several years, that we
enjoyed. But even with
lots of socialization, the drive they were bred for was hard to keep a
lid on. When it came
time to think about their replacements,
changes needed to be made. Was there
another Frieda out
there? There had to be a healthy,
easy to live with shepherd
somewhere. The search
A friend told me about Shiloh
shepherds. I couldn't believe there
a dog that fit my description of the ideal
dog. Was there really a large, healthy, smart, stable dog with a
heart of gold and a coat that felt like a pillow?
Surely, this was too good to be true!
We researched intensely and
picked up the first of our
foundation dogs a month later. She was all I hoped for. My
Amara. It means "beloved." We welcomed our incredibly sweet
Anja later, when plans to get her brother fell through. I looked
long and hard for the right male. At last, we found him. He
so huge with such a puffy mane we called him Ari, which means "Lion
As I think back now on the
path to get here, our beginnings with Shilohs (and feel the warmth
of their grand and great-grand-puppies at my feet) I am so thankful for
the dogs we have been blessed with through the years and how they have
enriched our children's lives. It has not been without it's
difficulties, but we
can gladly say we found our perfect dog in our Shiloh Shepherds.
Content and Photos Copyright ©2006-2017 Sam Knaus / Fireside
permission. All rights reserved.