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Ervin's Labs


One of the reasons that we moved out to ten acres to grow our kennel was to "make people happy" by giving them a new family member that has that right temperament. We discovered that "the right temperament" is also key in training service dogs.  After we donated several males to a couple of service organizations, we realized that some of our dogs were destined for this wonderful cause!  It's our way of giving back to the community.

We have donated our puppies to these wonderful organizations listed below.  Click the links and take a few minutes to learn about them.  You may want to become involved in some way!  They are always in need of supplies, monetary donations, and especially puppy raisers.



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Here are a few pictures of N40K dogs in training:

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Staff Sergeant  Juan Amaris’ story really first began in a small village outside of Bogota, Colombia.  When Juan was ten years old, his mother came to America to provide her family a better life and Juan was placed in a military school in Colombia.  In June of 1999, he came to America and in 2001 enlisted in the U.S. Army.  After serving his first tour in Iraq in 2003-2004, where he suffered minor injuries, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen.  A dream only realized after he fought so bravely for this country.

After tours of Ft. Bragg, and in Alaska, Juan returned a second time to Iraq where he served another year at F.O.B. Courage.  In 2006, Juan was only one month away from being deployed back to the U.S. when an event occurred that would forever change his life.  The base was closing and because they were short of personnel, Iraqis were given the job of transporting heavy eighteen wheel trucks carrying T-barriers to the next base.  The Iraqis were known for stealing fuel.  Juan saw the men gathered around one of the trucks and walked back to investigate.  Just as he reached the truck, the Iraqis began to run and the truck exploded into a ball of fire.  Juan was on fire too.  With his shirt burned to him, he ran to the nearest grassy area and tried to roll the fire out.  The flames were too strong for him as again he ran, this time to fellow soldiers screaming for help.  The flames extinguished, he lay there for 20 to 30 minutes waiting for a medical helicopter to take him to a hospital.  Fully conscious, he lay in pain the entire time until the medics administered the shot that brought welcome sleep.

After four days , Juan awoke in Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  He had no idea at the time how badly he was injured.  The doctors soon told him that he had sustained third degree burns over seventy three percent of his body.  One hand had to be amputated, and he has since lost the other.  His chest and neck were so badly burned that he could not bend his neck. 

Flash forward to 2010, Juan still resides at Brooke Army Medical Center.  His ongoing therapy and rehab have been painful and difficult.  He has learned to use two prosthetic hands for many things, others cannot be managed.  Juan’s greatest wish now is for a dog that can assist him with dressing, picking up objects from the floor and restoring some degree of independence when he is able to go home.

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"There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer" - Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle

This is the quote I first thought of when I had the opportunity to sit down with Sergeant Major Brent Jurgerson.  The heart of a volunteer….  He is an imposing figure of a man, built as one would expect a soldier to be, but his physical presence pales in comparison to the character within.

He was no stranger to war for he had been injured before while serving in Balad, Iraq.  A bullet penetrated his mouth and lodged in his throat and for many, that would have been the end of their service.  Some people would have returned home, recuperated, and gone on to lead normal civilian lives.  And that would have been expected.  But Sergeant Major Jurgerson had made a promise to the families of the men and women he led in Iraq that he would take care of their loved ones.  Knowing he couldn't stay out of the action and fulfill that promise, he volunteered to go back.  And it was during his second tour, on January 26, 2005, while working Recon patrol in Iraq, his world forever changed with an explosion and darkness.

That attack left him an amputee, a disabled American veteran.  He will tell you there are thousands upon thousands of men and women just like him and that each and every one of them has a story to tell.  He doesn't want to be the focus of any article, no matter the reason, because he feels there are far too many veterans from far too many wars that have never been heard.  And he's right.  But his story, while it may not be unique, is a direct link to Houston.  No, not Houston the city, but Houston the service dog given to Brent by Patriot PAWS Service Dogs in Rockwall, Texas.

Sergeant Major Jurgerson had the opportunity to visit Gatesville, Texas to tour the Laine Murray and Craine Units of the women's correctional facility.  It was there, in the confines of metal and brick, that he learned how ordinary dogs became extraordinary service dogs, trained by inmates to eventually become the dedicated worker to a vet.   It was there that he met Houston.  Houston is an amiable, beautiful yellow lab with a huge heart and a willingness to please.  These are traits Lori Stevens, Founder and Executive Director of Patriot PAWS says are necessary in any potential service dog.  The instantaneous bond that occurred between Sergeant Major Jurgerson and Houston was obvious, to both man and animal.

And so, many, many months later, I was there while veteran and dog trained together prior to Houston's departure to live with Sergeant Major Jurgerson.  I asked him what he hoped to gain with Houston in his life and he said he hoped to be more independent, that perhaps his loved ones wouldn't have to worry about his safety when he was alone anymore.  And I suspect Houston will offer far more than just independence.  Patriot PAWS trains its dogs with 35 base skills, everything from retrieving keys and dropped items to bringing drinks from the refrigerator and alerting someone if the veteran is in need of help.  Houston will be greatly missed at Patriot PAWS, but I believe if he could have volunteered to be a service dog, he would have.

I genuinely appreciate your continued support for our program.  Your previous donations have turned out to be wonderful service dogs and service dog candidates.  They have a wonderful temperament and disposition and learn quickly.  I can't wait to see how this little girl will progress.   Patriot Paws
This little female, #9 from Pomona and Russ, was selected by Therapetics.  She is going to make someone very happy!
Here is Barbara Lewis, President of New Leash on Life selecting a puppy from Phoebe's litter.
This is "TRIPP" from Psyche's litter.  He is in training with Canine Sidekicks in Houston.
This is "MAVERICK" who is training with Patriot Paws in Dallas, TX.  He and his brother below are from Psyche's litter.
I am raising one of the puppies you recently donated to Patriot Paws. They named him Mustang and his brother is Maverick. I have to say I am MOST impressed with Mustang. It is very obvious that y'all as his breeders took a lot of time and care with the litter and didn't leave them out in a kennel in the back yard. He is very well socialized for a puppy his age and quite self-confident and self-possessed. I have yet to see him be afraid of anything (including the vacuum cleaner!). When it is time to get another dog, I would be most interested in getting one of your wonderful dogs. I can only hope it would be as great a dog as Mustang appears to be. I already have no doubt in my mind that unless something entirely unforeseen happens, he will become an outstanding service dog in a couple of years.
All three of these pups are from Vesta's litter; two sisters and one brother.  Donated to NLOL
All three of these pups are brothers from one of our litters.  Donated to NLOL
Hanson as a pup

Contact North Forty Kennels by email:  jervin4@aol.com

N40K Hours of Operation:  By appointment only.

We are a non-commercial breeder.