K9 Guardians, new Beginnings steeped in over 11 years of experience
Love of Nature
The middle of three daughters in a military family, Leisa Tilley-Grajek spent her childhood befriending animals big and small. As a young girl, she would ride horses in the desert of 29 Palms with her sisters, and even snuck a tortoise under her seat in the car when it was time to move across country. Growing up, two of her most memorable four-legged friends were German Shepherds. The loyalty and friendship her shepherds showed her throughout the years created a lifelong impact and held a special place in her heart.
Years later, Leisa and “Santa Clause” delivered a beautiful German shepherd, Ander, to her children on Christmas day. To her children, Ander wasn’t just another pet but a new brother. For 11 years, Ander endured days of dress-up, long walks on the golf course, and even served as a furry pillow, constantly watching over his family through thick and thin. While his passing created a void in the hearts of all of those he touched, his memory served as an example of the companion every man, woman, and child needs in life, prompting Leisa to start the Von-Tilley German Shepherds.
The Early Years
It wasn’t long after moving to her beautiful 3-acre paradise before Leisa added Tex and Xena to the family. However, the shepherds were not the only addition to the family, and soon had to adjust to sharing the ranch with horses, chickens, turtles, and even a goat. Living on the outskirts of the town, surrounded by mountains and rivers, was the definition of paradise. But the secluded location also posed an issue of safety and security, both from wild predators and two-legged intruders. To better protect her children and property, Leisa soon began training Tex in home protection.
Working with a trainer, Tex began developing his natural skills of tracking, obedience and protection – the three main disciplines of Schutzhund.
Here Come the Puppies
In August of 2005, Xena welcomed her first litter to the Von-Tilley pack. From this litter, came the beginning of the bloodlines currently training in the line of service to be the next K9 Guardians. Over the past 10 years, Von Tilley German Shepherds have welcomed fourteen litters of puppies, placing them in homes serving children with autism, those suffering from physical and mental handicaps, and disabled veterans.
From birth, the puppies are hand raised, in a family environment