Philip Levine, of East Hampton, was hard to miss yesterday as he waited on Westport's Main Street to meet with a client. His German shepherd, Ida, was casually lying on the roof of his SUV as an advertisement for his services.
We sell extraordinarily well trained companion dogs, said Levine. With a soft and calm voice he issued commands to Ida that sounded more like requests. Each was executed promptly and accurately. She looked where he asked her to look and went where he told her to go. When asked with a please, to get back on top of the car, she hopped up effortlessly and without hesitation.
A second German shepherd laid quietly at his feet the entire time. Neither dog was leashed but they showed any desire to wander or perform any action not explicitly requested by Levine.
His company, Companion Dogs, has clients around the nation. Levine said much of his work comes from Westport and the rest of Fairfield County.
He said all breeds have their own quirks and personalities, but German shepherds bring a sense of creative intelligence to the mix.I heard a quote once, and I can't remember who said it but it went, 'A German shepherd comes in first in nothing and second in everything.' And that is a very accurate description, said Levine.
Levine wouldn't say how much, but his services are by his own admission not inexpensive. He can sell a client a trained companion dog, or help correct training and behavioral problems with dogs already in the family. He does sometimes require a retainer before meeting a new client.
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