County Face: Buster Prosser of Monticello
MONTICELLO, Maine — When it comes to raising German shepherds, Monticello resident Buster Prosser knows all the tricks of the trade.
Prosser, who turns 60 in April, was one of eight children born to Buster and Sis Prosser of Houlton. The family spent his early years living on Bowdoin Street.
“Then we got out of the big city and moved to the farm (in Monticello) when I was 5 years old,” he said.
Now retired, Prosser served in the United States Army from 1975-82 as a military police officer, stationed at a missile installation located at the northern edge of the city of Pirmasens, Germany, approximately 15 miles from the French border.
He later transferred to a security position in Stuttgart, Germany, where he met his first German shepard, which was being used as a military canine. That dog was just 6 months old at the time and little did Buster know that the chance encounter would one day trigger a deeper connection with the dogs. It would lead him to become a breeder of the canines back home in Aroostook County.
Upon returning to the States, with his police dog in tow, Prosser re-enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. That dog was bred and yielded 11 pups. He brought one of those puppies home, but a housekeeper accidentally let the dog out and the pup ran away never to be seen again.
Later in life, Prosser worked as a security officer in the Portland area including a stint at the Old Orchard Beach Ball Park, a 6,000 seat stadium that opened in 1984 and served as home field of the Triple-A International League’s Maine Guides from 1984–87 and the Maine Phillies in 1988. The Guides were the top minor league affiliate for the Cleveland Indians from 1984–86 and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1987-88.
At the age of 48, Buster went to a doctor for knee surgery, only to discover he also had a heart ailment that forced him into an early retirement. He is also considered a retired veteran due to post traumatic stress disorder from his time serving in the military.
“I just saw way too many things that people shouldn’t have to see,” Prosser said.
Despite the change in profession, and his later retirement, breeding German shepherds has proven to be extremely beneficial in helping him deal with his PTSD. Prosser has bred the animals since 1977.
“I never drank, never turned to drugs, but what I did do is turn to my dogs to help me get through it,” Prosser said.
While stationed in Germany, he met a local woman and the two fell in love and were married for 22 years. He has one son, Ken Lars, from that marriage. In 2005, he married Roxanne and the couple operate Buster’s House of Shepherds from their home in Monticello where they breed service and therapy dogs.
“When I moved back to The County, I told myself there was only one girl who could ever really put up with me, and that was my high school sweetheart, Roxanne,” he said. “My dogs are therapy for companionship and they are also very protective. I am starting to get much more serious with this and I have had a lot of requests from people from Ashland to New Hampshire, even Canada wanting dogs.”
For more information contact Prosser at firstname.lastname@example.org.