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The Story Behind Shep The Musical

Shep’s on the left and Shea’s on the right.

Shep the Musical Began on the Day Joe Ozier Found Shep Tied Up

Joe’s love for dogs and his developing knowledge of their behavior began with his family dogs. From the roots of his childhood, Joe’s love and experiences with dogs led him to write and develop his first show.  This project started on the day he found Shep tied up to a dog house in Madera CA.

After seeing his filthy conditions, he convinced the man and his wife that they should let Joe take Shep and give him a great home and life.  On that day, he started a ten year endeavor that was entitled, “ Shep The Musical”.

He Found Myself Scrambling for Pens and Paper

(In his own words) “Songs began flowing into my head …arrived in either word form or through the music that I was hearing.  I found myself scrambling for pens and paper and cassette audio recorders so I could document them as they arrived.  I learned that they once lost or passed by, might not always return.”

It was over the next two years that most all of the music that was coming to him about his show was complete.  In rough form albeit, yet still transferable to a musician that could develop his scores by Joe singing each one as he heard it and put upon those magnetic cassette tapes.

Songs for Shep’s Musical Just Kept Coming to Joe

After nearly 10 years, all 24 songs finally made their way onto paper and into recordings.  Many of his favorite songs  got cut out when he hired a musical script pro to evaluate his 3 hour epic extravaganza! I’m giggling as I write this.

The pro cut out 7 songs and two characters and about 80 pages… much to Joe’s dismay.  It was tough cutting and gutting his own “inspired masterpiece”.  That show grew out of the simple and universal goodness that was unleashed from saving a poor lonely dog living outside in Madera, CA.

Joe Wanted to Give Him the Very Best Life He Could

In the end, Joe had Shep 13 and a half years. (In his own words) “I originally thought that I at least wanted to give him the very best life I could for that same 3 and a half years.  I looked at that as one entire lifetime for him. Looking back, I smile when I know that I gave Shep 3 more new alternate lifetimes to replace with his former hell. He and I became a team of entertainers together, over several years and many shows…until the day we met Shea!

Shea Was a Runaway Who Was Caught By Firemen a Week Earlier

Shea on the left and Shep on the right. Yes, that’s me Christmas 2000!

Shea Was an Accomplished Escape Artist

Joe spotted Shea at the local Humane Society just before Christmas in the year 2000, and he realized that Shea had “that something special”.  Shea was a runaway that was caught just a week earlier.  As he quickly discovered, Shea was also an escape artist.  Shea’s savvy street smart spirit became the true story of Shea’s Lounge.

By June 2011, Joe had lost both Shep and Shea and he found himself still drawn to wanting to be around dogs. Without the time or place to get another dog, Joe pondered his options.  Having returned to care for his mother, and no prospects of gainful employment, Joe decided he knew just what to do.

Joe began professionally connecting dogs to their people under the name…Way of a Dog.  Joe loves going to work and teaching dog owners how to get into their dog’s heads.

Coming in 2018 Will Be Joe’s Next Children’s Book

Joe’s first professional publication  Shea’s Lounge, is a Family and Children’s book! (In his own words) “Coming in 2018 will be my next Children’s Book about my dog Jimmy.  It will be about his true story of being dumped at a car wash outside of town where he lived in the hole of a tree until he was trapped and taken to a shelter.

Once at the Shelter, he bit all the volunteers who just wanted to help him over his 19 month stay.  Jimmy’s life changed the day I caught him and took interest in helping turn him from Feral to Friendly in 3 days.

It’s going to be titled Jimmy’s Tree! The rescue dog who bit the hands that loved him!”

Contact: Joe Ozier / (559) 394-5398 /

From the Author

Joe’s first book , Shea’s Lounge, is based on actual events surrounding the discovery and adoption of a stray dog that had been living on Central Florida streets for at least two years.  Shea, the runaway, was an escape artist who repeatedly escaped from my backyard only to be repeatedly caught by Animal Control officers, myself, or by my frustrated neighbors on numerous occasions.
One day, after another escape, Shea returned to my home on her own, and never left again.  I based this book on a true story which is why it is heartwarming for me.  Shea’s Lounge is a perfect book for children and families and dog shelters.

From the Back Cover

I have been a writer since my early teens, having dabbled in Science Fiction, Poetry, Lyrics and Haiku’s. When I graduated with a BA degree in Geology in 1981, I turned right around and began to focus on Video production for the next two decades. I began writing Stage Plays and Musicals after moving to Florida in the late 1990’s to pursue acting.

The motivation for my first attempt at being a Playwright came from a dog I found tied up to a dog house and never picked up after…for three (3) years. I convinced the man to let me take him and give him a good home,…he reluctantly agreed.

That Was the Inspiration for the Story

The man giving up his dog for a better home. I watched he and his wife ponder letting go of their 3.5 year old dog. I hope his former owners would appreciate just how far Shep went in life because of the right decision at the right time.

With Shep in tow, we drove to Florida and stayed nearly 10 years as I pursued a career as a Stage, Film and Commercial Television Actor, as well as Print Model. That career gave me an invaluable education in the importance of authentic presentation to one’s audience.

As it turned out, I was fortunate enough to have Shep appear with me in a National Association of Realtors commercial for a 2006 national advertising campaign.

I Enjoy Writing and Directing My Own Plays and Musicals

Over the years, I have written and produced some of my 9 original stage plays and musicals to date. My original shows include a comedy/Tragedy Opera, Two Ghost Stories, another musical about a biting Mute, My own comedic Shakespeare Play, and others.

One day, I hope to get more of them in front of audiences in the future. The photo below was taken for the promo photos during the show “Sugar Babies” that Shep and I were performing together in.

I Spotted Shea While at the Local Humane Society

My love and respect for dogs and my development in understanding their attitudes and behaviors, began with my family dogs. From these childhood experiences, it led me into my first show and a ten year endeavor entitled, ” Shep The Musical”. While doing research for the show, I spotted Shea while at the local Humane Society. I quickly realized that Shea had “that something special”.

Shea was a runaway dog that was caught just a week earlier. As I quickly discovered after adopting her, Shea was also an escape artist. Shea’s savvy street smart spirit became the inspiration and true story of my children’s book, Shea’s Lounge.


‘Shea’s Lounge: The Story of a Runaway Dog That Found Her Forever Home’ Is Available Now in Many Formats.

In 2011, I began professionally connecting dogs to their people under the name Way of a Dog. I love going to work and teaching dog owners how to get into their dog’s heads and connect with them. Shea’s Lounge, a Family and Children’s book, is my first professional publication.

Ebay   Smashwords  Kindle     Call Author to order directly- (559)-394-5398

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