Meet Szva (pronounced “Zeeva”). Her American Kennel Club-registered name is Szva Kodiac Pride Haus Von Leerburg. Alan White, a former U.S. Marine security guard, is her proud owner and trainer.
While a short stint in the Air Force allowed him the opportunity to work with a canine unit, White said he wanted a “more disciplined” life, and received a military transfer to the Marine Corps. He was a flight engineer for 18 months; when he turned 21 he was eligible to become a Marine security guard and work with canines.
After leaving military life, White doubted working with canines would provide enough income to support a family, so he pursued other job opportunities. But his love and enjoyment of dogs never wavered.
While at a park in Houston, a man attempted to kidnap the family’s youngest daughter, White said. Otto tore at the man’s leg in thwarting the would-be kidnapper. But the man pulled out a pistol and shot the dog. Both Otto and the would-be kidnapper died before law enforcement arrived, White said.
“It took me a year and a half before I could open up my heart to another dog,” he said.
Urban Canine Good Citizen training teaches dogs how to navigate situations in public settings, such as an elevator or public transportation. Some apartment complexes and condos are requiring dog owners to provide proof of at least basic dog training completion before being allowed on their rental properties, he said.
Alan White credits his German shepherd Szva with saving his life this spring after he passed out in his home due to low blood sugar. She’s fairly new to the Waco scene, and she’s gorgeous. Soulful brown eyes, long legs and a winsome personality makes her hard to resist. […]