Brenda spent her childhood as a military brat moving every few years with her family and continued that tradition as an adult, where she spent 23 years traveling the world as an Air Force Officer. Unfortunately, the constant moving did not lend itself to having animals in her life.
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, Brenda worked as a nurse anesthetist assigned to a MEDEVAC unit. On one of her first missions, she picked up an injured dog handler and his German Shepherd and quickly realized she needed more training handling military working dogs.
She eventually connected with Sgt Soto and his MWD, a GSD named Bengus, and together they began conducting monthly training exercises for the MEDEVAC crew. The training benefitted all in that the crew learned how to handle the dogs, Bengus loved the attention and this was where Brenda's love for the German Shepherd Dog was born.
In 2017, she started volunteering at a local German Shepherd rescue and finally adopted her very first shepherd puppy, a beautiful girl she named Scarlet. Volunteering at the rescue really helped Brenda understand the qualities and needs of the breed. She was determined to raise Scarlet to be a confident, well-socialized dog. Today, Scarlet is lovingly referred to as Brenda's supermodel athlete, becoming involved in agility where they both compete several times a year and gorgeous Scarlet is proudly accumulating ribbons.
In 2022, Brenda began volunteering with a local shelter and spent most shifts walking the GS dogs. This is where she met Blueberry, a rather hefty, black German Shepherd with the sweetest temperament who, like so many dogs, was not adapting well to shelter life. Blueberry, now called Blue, became a foster "fail" for Brenda. Blue is a svelte, incredibly happy boy who loves walks, wrestling with his sister and recently became a blood donor at the emergency vet hospital in town.
Brenda is so excited to be a part of the wonderful team starting Shari’s Shepherd Sanctuary. Her years of volunteering and personal experience with the breed make her a great asset to the organization and she looks forward to meeting other members of the community who share her passion for German Shepherds and commitment to finding them forever homes.