Gelk Miller (1970-1978)
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Gelk was a mixed breed farm dog who lived with our cousin Irv Miller near Rochester, Minnesota. Gelk and Garrett were "cousins," related by way of the extended family tree of their two-legged companions. Gelk is pictured below.

In Irv's words from January 2012, "Gelk was half German Shepherd and half Norwegian Elkhound. That is how his name was derived (G ELK). I suppose today you would call him a designer dog." See more of Gelk's history below the pictures.

Irv now has a German shepherd named Samson living with him.

Gelk on the IH444 utility tractor - July, 1972

Mike and Gelk as Puppies ..................................................... Mike Grooming Gelk

Cousin Amy and Gelk Eye to Eye

More in Irv's words from January 2012:
"At the time that I got Gelk, I lived in an apartment in Rochester, MN. That is where I met my future wife, Diane. I had purchased a 16 acre piece of pasture about 10 miles NW of Rochester, and had built a barn-like building to house my tools and equipment for further acreage development.

"Diane had a friend who had a litter of pups she was dying to get rid of, so I took one, Gelk. Gelk lived on my acreage 6 months before I did. As a little puppy, he lived in my barn. In his youth, he ran free, and was always around to greet me after work when I drove to my acreage to continue its development. I would feed him, work until dark, and then drive home to my apartment for the night. Gelk was 8 months old when my house on the acreage was completed sufficiently for me to move in. He was so used to living outdoors that he would not stay inside for more than an hour at a time. He spent the first winter sleeping on the top of a snow-covered mound of dirt that was eventually spread to became my front lawn. With much patience, I trained Gelk to spend the whole night inside with me on the floor at my bedside. He grew to be the perfect house dog, never doing any damage. I could leave food on an end table at nose-height and he would not touch it. I have never been that successful training any other dog to ignore food.

"Diane and I married in 1974. We got married in my home by a Justice of the Peace from Byron, a small town nearby. Aside from Diane and I and the officiator, only Diane’s parents, her son Mike, and Gelk were present. Therefore, Gelk was my best man.

"After puppyhood, Gelk was never confined. One stormy, snowy December night, Diane and I returned from visiting a friend in St. Mary’s hospital, a frequent opportunity when living near Rochester, to find Gelk not at home. Several days of combing the countryside, adds in the local paper, visits to animal shelters, etc. did not help us find Gelk. However, in the process, we ran across Pepper who was roaming the streets in a nearby town in 20-below weather and had been sheltered by a good Samaritan. When we responded to the lead from Paws and Claws, hoping it would be Gelk, we found Pepper and took him home as a foster dog, thinking Paws and Claws would locate his owner. Pepper became ours."

Irv's next German shepherd was named Pepper (1978-1991).

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Page created in January 2012