|Les & Pepper|
Les Castro (pictured here with Pepper) lives in Dallas Texas and is the President of H & L International, Inc. He holds a masters degree in International Management from A.G.S.I.M. (Thunderbird) in Arizona and has been a college lecturer in international business at four universities. He is an entrepreneur and business owner, having developed products for international import/export. He has traveled widely and enjoys fishing when time permits.
Les began going into juvenile prisons in 1994 with a Dallas-based prison ministry. Through that ministry, he met Jennifer, his wife, who was a volunteer counselor with the same group. Together they lead Faithful Friend Ministry.
Pepper is a Schutzhund-bred solid black German shepherd dog bred in Texas at Germelhaus Kennels. “Schutzhund” means “working dog,” and Pepper comes from a long line of champion working dogs. In fact, Pepper's great-great-grandmother Winnie was the mother of Ayla, the very first Faithful Friend Ministry partner. We know for sure that Pepper comes from good stock! Pepper was bred for abilities in obedience, tracking and bite work rather than for her looks. Working dogs are often mislabeled as attack dogs when in reality most of their training focuses on obedience. Of course to be a good guard dog, the dog must be willing to bite. However, this is taught by very strict guidelines of obedience as to when, how, and whom to bite.
Pepper has belonged to Les and Jennifer since she was eight weeks old. She has a wonderful temperament. Her early training has developed into assertiveness, and this assertiveness can be channeled into a strong willingness to protect the human master. Pepper can be accurately called a personal protection dog, and she quickly became a faithful friend to Les and Jenn.
The application of Pepper's early training has transferred very well into doing presentations. Her focus and willingness to work are exceptional. She can be dramatic or funny, ferocious or loving depending on what she is called to do. She commands respect by her structure but attracts undivided attention with how she interacts so closely with her master. Many of the key truths she depicts so well are a combination of her relationship with Les and her obedience that is so clearly demonstrated.
Special thanks to Cindy Gordon of Cindy Gordon Photography for the images of Pepper.
We've been extremely blessed to have three amazing German shepherds as our ministry partners. Ayla was our first, and she paved the way for her successors with her remarkable obedience and focus. Shiloh succeeded her and was phenomenal in her work. We miss them both but are grateful for the years God gave us with each of them.
To learn more about Ayla and Shiloh, please click on the link above.