We found a GSD at the humane society while looking for a family pet in October 2013. We'd always wanted one, but didn't have the money to buy a purebred at the time.
She wasn't even on the website yet. She was surrendered by her owners because they were unable to care for her anymore. Our then 2 year old son loved her, and so we took her home. Not too long after that, I found out I was pregnant again!
We were very concerned about her weight. She was very skinny, around 52 pounds, and her fur wasn't healthy looking at all. It was dry and dull. They ran blood work and determined that she was in the last stages of kidney failure. They said she may last 3 weeks, she may last 6 months, it was hard to tell. And there wasn't much we could do for her except either try to make her as comfortable as we could during her last days, or put her down.
We called the shelter, and they said if we were to return her that she'd just be put down because, obviously, they couldn't adopt her out to another family. We decided to keep her with our family until she became too sick and miserable. The vet told us we'd know when it was time.
She seemed to have so much life left in her and just wanted to be loved. We couldn't stand the thought of putting her down when she wasn't in any pain or suffering. Because she was sick, her weight didn't come up too much, but after several months she did start to look much healthier.
She stayed with us through my entire pregnancy and made it so much longer than anyone expected. It wasn't until July of 2014 just a week or so after our baby was born that she began to get really sick and we had to make the difficult decision to put her down.
It was so sad taking her back to the shelter and knowing it would be the last time we'd see her. It was hard because she still seemed happy enough, but she wasn't able to keep any food down, so we knew her suffering would only become worse. We didn't want our son to come downstairs one morning to a lifeless dog. We felt that would be more traumatic for all of us.
But, we were happy with the time we did get to spend with her. It was so hard not to be angry with the previous owners for mistreating an animal. Difficult to understand.