Baton Rouge, La #36692 - Blind Senior "Dorothy" (in foster care) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Baton Rouge, La #36692 - Blind Senior "Dorothy" (in foster care)

This one has me worried. I'd be grateful for help networking her. Feel free to cross-post anywhere good people might see this. PM me if you know anyone who might be interested in taking her into rescue, fostering her, or giving her a place to enjoy her last years safely surrounded by comfort and love.

Here's the bio that will appear over the next day or so on Petfinder:


Dorothy appears to be a purebred German Shepherd Dog. Once upon a time, this "Golden Girl" used to be a svelt, sexy, young German Shepherd girl with a glistening coat and bright eyes. Her body was full of athletic energy and grace back then. Time has left its mark on her, and she no longer has the sparkle she once did, but her heart is full of love and wisdom that can only come from age. She's hoping there's an adopter out there who can relate to what that feels like, and appreciate that sometimes our bodies look older than we feel. Her muzzle may have turned white, but she still has a deep inner beauty that still shines in her face when she meets new friends.

She is friendly and trusting, with a lovely gentle disposition with the volunteers and staff in the shelter. She still has a lot of get-up-and-go and enjoys going for walks. She has perfectly polite leash manners, and she walks without any stiffness or limping. In fact, we think that once she gains some much needed weight and adds a bit of muscle-tone through daily walks, she will regain some of her sparkle. She would be a marvelous companion for someone who wants a calm, mellow friend to enjoy sitting together and watching TV or reading a book -- she's as easy-going a dog as we've seen, and likely has years of friendship left to give.

Dorothy appears to be blind. We suspect she perceives light, and possibly some shapes, but she does bump into things if not guided carefully into new environments. She is confident and eager to explore, without any fear. She's also very trusting on the leash, expecting her human companion will help show her where to walk. Blind dogs adapt very well, as dogs naturally rely primarily on their sense of smell and hearing anyway. They lead normal lives, memorizing the layout of their homes and yards, navigating with uncanny precision once they know their environment.

Dorothy is available at the Companion Animal Alliance (Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge), the public shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. Her impound number is 36692. This is NOT a "no kill" shelter, but it has a progressive management team open to creative solutions to save lives. We need help finding a solution for Dorothy.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 11:54 AM
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Do you know if this shelter adopts out of state? If so, I can crosspost to some groups in my area.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, they do. In the past, I've sometimes been able to get a GSR or other good rescue out-of-state to do a "courtesy" home check as a favor to us when there are private-party adopters, so that we all have peace of mind regarding where the dog is going. We've even had some adopters on the other side of the country pay for commercial plane transport, since the shelter is right next to the BTR airport.

They'll also work with out-of-state rescues, if the rescue is willing to arrange transport.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I pulled her. I couldn't stand her being there any more. She needed to be out of there urgently.

I arranged for a vet opthamologist to do a pro bono exam on her eyes. One is blind from an old injury. The other is actually fine -- possibly some age-related vision loss, but it's still functioning. The bumping into stuff only happens on the side with the bad eye.

Also, she's not as old as she looks in these pictures. She's very emaciated at 71# (should be 85+, as she's a BIG girl). Her skin and coat is in awful condition, adding to the illusion that she's geriatric. The vet said 5+. I'm going to guess ~7. She's way younger than my 11 year old. In fact, when we took her out for a walk, she was jaunty and spry. She loves going for walks.

There's a good dog hiding beneath the raggedy exterior. She's totally people focused and very calm -- following us around the yard, walking in a nice heel position, and taking direction beautifully. She has a lovely sentry bark and is alert and bright. There's a lot of life and spunk in this dog. She loved meeting my friend's young children who are my experienced "dog testers." Even when the boys were running (and yelling) a few feet away, she just calmly watched them without the slightest hint of uneasiness.

I became deeply worried about her at the shelter after I heard a clueless cat-person who works at the shelter label her as "dog aggressive" after that person took her out for showing. That DA label is frequently a prelude to putting dogs on a euthanasia list, so I was worried. I think this person was afraid of a big GSD, and likely misread normal excitement of being let out of the kennel and curiosity about other dogs.

Before we came home, I spent an hour trying replicate the alleged reactivity this shelter worker thinks she saw. I actively tried to find a trigger--any trigger. I couldn't find one.

In the shelter's vet clinic, Dorothy was around 4 other dogs in the exam room, without incident in very close quarters. In the stray area, I walked her past cages with obnoxious dogs jumping against the gates growling and snarling at her --she was non-plussed (no hackles raised, no body tension, just patiently waiting for me to move on). We introduced her to an array of dogs -- she even went nose-to-nose with her tail happily wagging.

As we were leaving with her, once we knew she was stable, we walked her through the lobby, where there were lots of people and dogs on a weekend afternoon. She sat shoulder to shoulder with a dog she didn't know, eating treats, while I filled out paperwork. She calmly waited for the other dog to finish its own treat. At one point, she wanted to try to play with one of the smaller dogs.

Not many dogs would have been as mellow about all this as she was. Dog aggressive??!

I'll post more pics later today. She's in pretty bad shape physically. In a month, she won't be recognizable after she puts on some weight and her coat starts coming in.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 07:07 PM
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How good of you to pull her. She looks like she has really suffered.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 07:10 PM
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I can take her if you can get her down to Texas.


My furs are not in storage, nor draped across the bed. They're peering out the kennel door just waiting to be fed.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 08:04 PM
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Wow, what a story! Thank you so much for pulling her
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 10:39 PM
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I was just going to ask if something came through for her. It's good to see that she is safe though.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 12:28 AM
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She is such a pretty girl- I can't wait to see how she progresses under your care. Bless you for pulling her.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 01:10 AM
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Nice story and thank you for pulling her and possibly saving her life. She looks so sweet and innocent.

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