Volume 10, Issue 4 - July/August 2008
Mygrant’s Jean Pero decided she wanted her first dog 26 years ago. “I had a cat as a child, and I’d always wanted a dog, and wasn’t allowed to have one,” she says.
So, she purchased a Great Pyrenees that was a show pup and her whole world changed.
“Her breeder talked me into going to a show, and I starting showing her, and shortly after that I got a male puppy who I showed too,” Pero says. “After that, I started breeding and had my first litter, and it went on and on.”
Though she no longer actively breeds, Pero’s bred 12 litters of puppies over the years.
“Out of that, I’ve produced 20 champions, and I’ve produced five specialty winners,” she adds. “At one time, I had the number-two and number-three Great Pyrenees in the country.”
In addition, she’s been highly involved in a number of Great Pyrenees associations.
“I served six years as the vice president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America, two years as president and two years as president of the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America,” says Pero. She is also on the board of directors for her local all-breed club and the board of directors for the Colorado Dog Federation, which fights anti-dog legislation.
In 1988, she ventured into a new type of dog breed—Pyrenean Shepherds. While at one time she had a total of 27 dogs, today, she only has two show dogs: a Great Pyrenees, Champion Reymaree’s Kascadian Encore (also known as Murphy), and a Pyrenean Shepherd, Champion Reymaree’s French Kiss (also known as Snoop).
Having been involved in showing her dogs competitively for many years, Pero also judges competitions. She recently was selected to judge the Great Pyrenees’ national specialty in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2009. “It’s quite an honor,” she says. “It’s like our Westminster within our breeds. The judges are elected by the membership of the club.”
For those less familiar with competitive dog shows, Pero adds, “A lot of people ask what you win—you win ribbons,” she says. “A lot of it is ego.”
In addition, though, Pero’s had success with using her dogs to serve others, too. One of her late dogs, Champion Reymaree’s Mr. Bojangles (also known as Bono) was the top “therapy dog” in the United States.
“He worked with autistic kids, he worked at rehab facilities and he did a lot of work at brain injury facilities,” she says. “There are so many things you can do with dogs.”
Pero also is a member of Paws Across Texas, an organization whose purpose is to provide diversified therapy programs using trained volunteers (representatives) and their privately owned companion animals (registered therapy dogs).
Recently, the organization launched a reading program for children in which the dogs are actually used in schools for helping struggling students learn to read. “Children who are having trouble reading can actually lay on the dogs like a pillow, and they read to the dog,” she says. “It’s really been successful.”
When Pero isn’t helping others with her dogs, showing them competitively or judging a competition, she still remains busy. She’s been in sales at Mygrant for eight years, though she began in the industry in 1973. She also chairs the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council’s membership committee as well, in addition to organizing the group’s silent auction each year.
Pero and her husband, Dave, have one son and two daughters, two grandsons, ages 8 and 4, a granddaughter, age 12, and grand-twins due this Thanksgiving.