The Latch String is Out

By Ed Emanuel

Excerpts from Mr Emanuel’s entry in ESCoA “Who’s Who”, early 1950s

“… We own and operate a farm of 185 acres that has been in the family since 1836, and still has about 50 acres of uncleared land. It is located at the west end of Ohio Route 249.

Now, about myself and dogs. I am a large man, about six feet, one and one-half inches tall, and weigh two hundred pouunds. As a child, I was frail and a victim of Asthma, which seemed to result in a heart ailment in my present stage of life.

I have always been a lover of dogs and livestock and have grown to feel that I have a certain power of understanding that others do not possess. I am a great believer in studying the eyes of both men and beasts. In my opinion the eyes are the “window of the Soul” of men, and the innermost depths, of animals.

I am a great nature lover and derive much pleasure by constantly watching for the little things of nature that most folks would pass by unseen…

In the spring of 1951, The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne’s largest newspaper, requested an interview with me which resulted in them sending along a photographer and following soon after with a half page of pictures and a nice story entitled “Here is a Kennel Owner Who Breeds Farm Dogs”. Summarized by the thought that plenty of kennels are raising pets, but I am producing a useful farm dog.

Now, I want to tell you how the term “Step-Saver” came about. Several years ago we were having one of those summer down-pours that we have in this part of the country. It was chore time, and I was in the barn putting chop in the mangers for the cows. I stood in the barn door and sent Lady, a beautiful shepherd, to the field about a half mile away after the cows. In a little while, Lady and a herd of sopping wet cows came in the barn. I praised her and said, “you are surely a step-saver”. Then I got to thinking about it and figured they would save countless steps for other farmers just as well as for me. So, I took that term to denote the strain of English Shepherds that we produce here at Webster Farms.

Anytime you are within driving distance of our house, the latch string is always out, even if the pup did chew up our “Welcome” mat in front of our door.”

Note: Mr. E.G. Emanuel went on to help found the English Shepherd Club, in 1954, and served as its first president. He also establishd a registry for English Shepherds — The International English Shepherd Registry — which continues to operate today under the auspices of the National Stock Dog Registry. Finally, Mr. Emanuel was the editor of National Stock Dog Magazine for many years, and published numerous articles on dog training. A short booklet by Mr. Emanuel, “How To Train Your Farm Dog”, is available from the National Stock Dog Registry. The photo above is from that booklet.