Your favorite adoption of all time, please share. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

A low thud joggles me awake. Slightly groggy, I wonder for a second where I am at. Another thud. Oh yes, I am on the plane, headed to Texas. I look out the window at the rain coming down in the low light. Another thud, as the ground crew heave luggage aboard below.

My day started at 3:30 am at the truck yard where I work. I was nervous, and excited all day, what began almost 3 weeks prior was coming to fruition sometime in the next 30 hours. I was getting a GSD, one I had never even met, one who very nearly lost her life, before a network of wonderful people got her out of danger in the nick of time. And I was had adopted her, for 2 weeks, she was mine, and I did not even really know what she looked like. June 7th, 2007 would be the longest day, as I worked, tried to keep busy, be patient. I went to work at 5am, so I could get out a 2, and make the 7 hour drive 355 miles away to Anchorage, where I would fly away to Texas. 2 Oclock finally came, and I jumped out of my coveralls, grabbed a quick shower, and grabbed my bags, and drove off into the rainy, cool afternoon for Anchorage. Despite my excitement, the smooth road, and quiet Aveo, along with my early morning rise, began to fatigue me. 5 hours into the drive, I could no longer keep my eyes open. Although my flight left at 12:30 am, I did not want to risk falling asleep, and oversleeping. But I could not drive any further. Finally, pulling over, I set my alarm for 10 minutes and kicked the seat, and closed my eyes. About 2 minutes later, I zonked out, and got the best 7 1/2 minutes of sleep. Refreshed, and some coffee from my thermos, I drove the rest of the way to Anchorage, checked the Aveo into a 24 hour parking lot, and got the shuttle to the airport with 3 hours to spare.

The APU hums soothingly away, as the tug moves the big Airbus out of its slot and out to the taxiway. People are talking, laughing, as the safety video starts up, and the flight attendents go through the safety procedures. Reality sets in. I am doing all this, I thought to myself, for a dog. I feel slightly crazy. Fatigue returns, and by the time we are roaring skyward, I am out like a light.

Shiva had just died about 3 weeks earlier. It was May 18th, and I was feeling lonely, and very sorry for myself. I had gone out for breakfast that morning, and now I was on the computer lurking on the GSD forum. After some posting, and responding to some of the other boardmembers, I went to the Urgent section, to see who might be up for adoption. Then I saw Hannah. I looked. Looked again. It was a bad photo, taked through chainlink fencing, but it could not hide her face, her eyes. I was in love. But, she was so far away, in a shelter in Laporte Texas. And her time was nearly up. But, several boardmembers, and I rallied for several days, and by memorial day weekend, I was able to put up a post, that Hannah was safe, moved into a vet boarding house across the street from the shelter, where we got her out 2 hours before being euthanized. And I was listed as her new owner, but it would be nearly 2 agonizing weeks before I could meet her.

It was a torrential rain, as we landed in Seattle on our first stop. I deplaned as the cleaning crew came aboard, and went off to get some breakfast and coffee. An hour later, I reboard, and we take off, and I try to relax on the 5 hour flight to Houston. I am nervous, and excited, and still feeling a mite crazy about what I have taken on. What would she be like, I wonder. Would we love each other, or would we clash?? I read, watch my DVD player, watch the planes movies, try to eat, relax.

We finally land in Houston. I wait forever for my bag, and then I get my rental car, and rental GPS, so I could find the vet clinic, 35 miles away. My heart is in my throat, as I get settled in the little Mitsubishi, punch in the coordinates and head off to Laporte.

40 minutes later, I am there. I hesitate a moment, as a calm suddenly comes over me. This is it, I think. I open the door, walk inside. Hi, I am Richard. The staff look at me. I am the guy from Alaska. Sudden smiles, your here for Hannah!!! I pay the last few bills, sign my name, as staff bustles around, and one of them runs off to the back. A moment later, she reapears, and my heart nearly stops. The shelter photo had done the hyper, straining little GSD no justice. Hannah was so pretty in person. I really had no idea. The vet staff hand her little red throw-away leash off to me, and Hannah drags me out to the parking lot. I get her into the rental car, and we drive away. The pent-up energy was spilling out of her, as she was climbing all over in the car. A panic hits me. Will a kennel keep her contained on our way home??

Back in Houston, we check into our motel. Hannah is nervy, edgy, panting nonstop. I am dead, almost. The outside temperature is nearly 100 degrees, and it has sapped all my energy out. Hannah cannot seem to settle down, and I finally go to sleep, expecting to awake to a trashed motel room. But for 12 hours, we slept. And silently bonded. It is nearly noon when we awaken from our slumber, and I am suprised to see a calm, collected Hannah. We load up in the car, and go off to breakfast, and shopping for a kennel. And a puppy pawprint collar and leash. On our way back to the motel, I load Hannah into the kennel, and am suprised that she seems quite comfortable in it.

We play tourist for 2 more days, and on June 11th, we head to the airport for the long flight home. The whole way home, I am so nervous. Would the flight break the magic, would I find a terrified Hannah in Anchorage?? Forever, and a day later, we land in Anchorage, and I run to the oversized luggage reception, and wait nervously. Soon the big kennel comes through the door, and I run to it, and look inside. Hannah is laying in the bottom, quietly preening herself. Her eyes suddenly sparkle, as she sees me, and recognizes me. I hurriedly call the airport shuttle to take me to my car, and then it is finally time for us to head back to Fairbanks, and home. And we have not looked back.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:28 AM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

Richard, we have not been introduced, nor do I know you officially, however I lurk around a lot and have been doing some posting lately. Your posts always grab my heart and I read each and everyone of them. You have tenderness and emotions that can only be felt by either animals or animal lovers. You can form into words emotions we can not describe and never fully knew if anyone could relate to what we feel when we look into the eyes and see that soul. I marvel at your love and tenacity when it comes to animals of all kinds and I only wish I had the opportunity to touch as many lives as you have touched. You inspire me to do more and love without regret/fear. I thank you for that. Awesome post!

Ricci: Sable GSD Born 7/26/2010
Cleo: Dilute Ragdoll Kitten-9-10
Apu: Lovie- 4-10
Charlie and Peewee Cockatiels 1-10
Hercules: Ocelot- Rainbow Bridge 9/10
Bob: Aussie- rainbow bridge Feb 07
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

My little co-pilot.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:52 AM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

Awww, that story...
Written so beautifully, with so much heart...I admit I teared up at this part. "Then I saw Hannah. I looked. Looked again. It was a bad photo, taked through chainlink fencing, but it could not hide her face, her eyes. I was in love." Just thinking about that feeling you get when you see an animal the first time, and every time from that point on, even one that has been mistreated, is underweight, dirty, scared looking...and still you just connect from the spark in their eye. You know right then that they are meant for you, as you are meant for them. It's like you can see inside their soul, and you know it is just...right. You can almost get a glimpse of the future, and the potential for all that they could be, if by your side.
That was a really great story!
I'll come back and post one about my T.O.M. cat tomorrow, I'm too sleepy to do her justice tonight. All I'll say is that girl has practically saved my life, and I love her far more than words can possibly describe...but I'll try.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:54 AM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

P.S. You weren't lying, she IS very beautiful!
It must be so exciting to stay in an R.V., getting to travel around, wherever you want to go...and I'm jealous!!


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 02:51 AM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

I was sitting at my desk at the Vet's office when Kirby called... "Hey, Jill... we (Pet and Wildlife Preservation Rescue) just got a call on a mama dog with eight 10 day old pups who were dumped @ the pound. Know of anyone who could raise a litter??" This she says KNOWING that I've raised GSD's for many years and didn't have any brood stock now... "Gee, Kirb... dunno... Wish ya luck" (not falling for the hook). "Oh, did I mention that the mother is a purebred blue Merle Aussie??" (again KNOWING that I was considering an Aussie at some point in time...) I grumbled a bit... then agreed to foster the batch for a few weeks.

An hour or two later She called me back..."Errr... dunno if this mama dog is going to be salvageable... When I went up to the Kennel she attacked the fence, and I had to use the snare to get her into the crate... couldn't lay a hand on her!" I didn't relish raising 10 day old pups without the mother, so told her to bring the mother dog anyhow. She pulled up and we opened the cap on her truck. Pups were adorable, mama snarled at us both...

I took a deep breath and made a loop in the lead I had...and opened her crate... quick flip of the loop over her head and walked away from the truck and away from the pups... her eyes were wild, flitting every direction, she slunk along the ground jumping at everything... and I walked her into the Vet office. In the exam room she was again nervous. But the Vet and I had worked together so long that our timing was right on... he distracted her and I scruffed her on each sided of the head, tucking her body under my arm as I knelt down beside her. She was a smart dog... knew she couldn't escape so just stood wild eyed. We did her needed Rabies/ DHLP vac... and I walked her out the back door and back to my van and popped her into a crate there.

At home I had set up a brood box in the spare bed room... so upon arriving home I took the pups in first, and got them all settled. Put food and water in there for the blue dog. Then went out and took her in to her babies... she jumped into the box, glared at me as I shut the door. For the next week we played this little game, of not touching her, but walking her out to the yard and taking care of the pups while she was outdoors. Gradually she began to trust me.

I named her Misty... til her pups were old enough for homes, and she could be spayed herself. @ 8 weeks the pups went rather quickly. They were 3/4 Aussie and 1/4 Golden... Misty had been bred it seems by her own 1/2 golden son. Now it was mama's time for a foreverhome... I searched and found a PERFECT couple... older, a farm couple who had lost their Aussie a year or so before. They came to see her @ the Vet's... she politely said hello to both, then turned back to me with a look that would sink the Titanic. Don looked at me... and I met his eye... and we both knew that Misty would never leave my home. She'd been thru so much already... and cautiously gave me her trust... I couldn't break faith now. And everyone in the room knew it.

She lived to be 16... and was one of the very best dog I ever owned. Despite being beaten severely for the 1st 2 years of her life, abandoned to be killed at a pound with her unwanted pups. She learned to trust again... became the clinic blood donater dog saving several dog's life in the process. The dog I never wanted... and can't imagine my life without.

This is the ole gal her last year.

Home of:
Bree... Rescue Mutt (12/11)
Demi V. Hayden (8/09)
SG Ikon V.Wolfstraum--(5/09)

& Many beloveds at the gate waiting for me...
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 10:43 AM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

Richard and Windwalker - I could read your stories all day long.

Write a book - you both are so descriptive and have so much love for your animals.
My favorite adoption?

Going out Rt 41 I was focused on going to the outlet mall, stocking up on books and maybe finding a bargain or two.

It was curious to see a small german shorthair pointer beside the road, no trees, at least 95 degrees out. Maybe she was out running and just stopped for a minute.

Five hours later she was still there, lying down by now. I couldn't pass her by, now knowing something was wrong. I turned around and parked behind her, got out a water bottle and spent the next 45 minutes coaxing her to let me touch her. I could have counted every bone in her body and her hair was dry and course. Sadly, she had milk drying and had obviously recently been removed from pups.

Strangely, once in my truck she surrendered her trust to me almost immediately, putting her head in my lap. First call to my vet and got an appointment a few hours later. First stop, a trainer I know with a dogfood and supply store. She gave me a bag of food for nursing mothers to help build her up.

She was great with the vet and other than being malnourished, she got a clean bill of health. She appeared to be bow legged and was just below the small end of female gsps. My vets theory was that the owner dumped her so no one would see the mom as the pups were sold.

I named her Sophie and watch her settle right in with my two dogs - both also females and never a scrap among them. Sophie was to be with me only until I could find her a home.

She had a hundred fears that took years to completely overcome - a broom dropping, a door slamming, speaking too loud, any new people all sent her into hiding. She spinned in happy circles twice a day at each feeding - she never learned there would always be a next meal and would never be hungry again.

I took two years before she accepted all people I let into my house - then she learned they would give her attention and she spread her love to everyone. Oh - and she was not bow legged. That had been her submissive dog stance based on fear. She walked proud now that she had good food, good care and love. This 'temporary' dog was with me for just over ten years and had been estimated to be 3 when I found her.

My other dogs were obedience and therapy dogs. Sophie had a job, too. She was my shadow and constant companion. In all the years I knew her, her eyes rarely left me and she most loved to snuggle with me as I read.

I lost her suddenly - she went off her food one night, then the next morning - that never happened and I had her at the vet withing an hour. She had a clean bill of health 4 months earlier, but xrays showed a severly enlargened heart, smothering her lungs. As they were counting out pills, she collapsed and stopped breathing. That quickly she was gone.

I will never forget my Sophie, the dog who found me and accepted me as the one she would give her love. I don't know why she gave me her trust, but I made sure to never let her down.


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With approval from:
Skye, CGC & certified therapy dog (GSD)
Buddy, CGC & certified therapy dog (golden, tripod)

Sophie - the life was too short dog
Solo - CGC, AAT 'stars in the sky dog'
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:34 PM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

The day I met a big boy named Dude, I had heard a big obviously shepherd voice barking as I walked into to the shelter to see a 5 month old pup. The pup was adorable but he looked so scared and sickly. I told him, little one there will be someone to take you out of here soon. We were top of his long waiting list.

Then I walked off following the big voice - I just wanted to meet the dog who was inciting the other dogs to riot. I asked a guy pouring food bowls 'What is that dog's problem?' The food guy smiled and said 'Dude wants his lunch' Dude wants his lunch became a running joke in my house.

I walked up to Dude, he looked me up and down then he stood up on his cage and barked in my face. But there was a twinkle in his eyes, like he was saying Hey Red, how you doing? You think you're tough enough to be my Mom?

I had to meet Dude without the cage between us. After a few moments in our little room, I was in love with him. The girl who worked there told me he'd been there for 5 months and he was a wonderful dog, used to go out to fund raiser events with the staff. Very funny dog with a big sweet personality but he was a headstrong dog. Then she asked if I'd had shepherds before becuase this one wasn't going home with just anyone.

10 minutes later, I"m writing a check at the front desk and saying 'Dude is a stupid name for a dog. He's going to be Luther.' The woman behind the desk smiled and said that was a good name for him.

He was a nut and headstrong doesn't even begin to cover it. For 5 years that dog never stopped making me laugh.

Hey - How you doin'?

Moonie, you'd look better FLAT!

I was bored, it was hot so I figured out how to do this

and of course, Dude wants Dad's lunch.


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:39 PM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

Meisha was our female GSD we got from a member of Doberman Rescue League. It was a day like no other when we went to pick her up at a place in NH. We arrived at a wooden cabin with two small rooms. The first thing we saw was a cage with a monkey in it! Cages stacked in the front room and in the back room with different animals, mostly cats I believe. They brought this skinny girl about a year- two years old out from the back and my mom knelt on the floor to meet her. Meisha looked at my mom sniffed her face and promptly took off one of mother's clip on earrings! That was it, love at first sight for my mom. I took her on leash to see how she would do outside and once she was out of the door, she wasn't going back! She did look for my mom who came out a minute or two later, and we all got in the car. As we were driving away from the cabin, a couple was arriving to look at Meisha. At this point, no money had exchanged hands and the rescue people trusted us enough to know we would follow their directions to a second house in the backwoods somewhere where we paid for her and received our paperwork. As we finally headed home, my mom and I were talking about how we didn't know this dog at all but what a sad history. A family with seven kids lived in Cambridge, MA. They had Meisha tied up outside and she kept getting loose. After running around Cambridge and being returned and fined by AC several times, they gave her up. She stayed with AC until she would have been euthanised and they sent her to another AC shelter/officer instead because she was such a good girl, noone wanted to put her down. This AC officer (a woman) had her the legal time and then gave her to the Rescue (again couldn't put her down). Then she wound up with us. She was a velcro dog and never left our side. We lost her to hemangiosarcoma and that's when we found out about that horrible disease. I'll never forget the monkey in the cage!

Kim (MSPCA Vol.), Lainey (Lainey Express Destiny Ryanhaus) and Beau (formerly Booker GSD/Lab?- Rescue)

(At Rainbow Bridge) Vegas- Our Gentle Giant R.I.P. 2000-2008 Meisha - Moo Moo R.I.P. 1990-2000-All GSDs
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 01:03 PM
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Re: Your favorite adoption of all time, please share.

January 2, 1987. I recently had lost a dear friend to a hit and run accident and I was down in the dumps. I had been thinking about adopting a dog for a while but this was way before the Internet and so what I did was to look in the weekly paper that came for my rural area in MA. The animal shelter listed the dogs they had each week. I had been checking the listings for months but they never seemed to have puppies or breeds/mixes that I was interested in. I had always loved german shepherds and huskies. Looks mostly as I knew NOTHING about dogs or these particular breeds. I thought a mix of the two would be the perfect dog.

I open the paper and go straight to the animal shelter listing. Not only is there one puppy listed, she is listed as a "german shepherd husky mix." Her name was Petunia. I convinced one of my housemates to drive over to the shelter with me and asked to meet Petunia. They brought her out and I fell instantly in love. She raced around trying to bite everyone and then took a big dump in the corner. I asked to adopt her.

I filled out the application and of course had to indicate whether I rented or owned my home. I was only 22 years old and lived in a big house in the country with 3 other people and about 7 cats. They called my landlady and by some miracle she answered her phone (she lived on a farm and NEVER answered her phone) and approved the adoption.

So home we went. It was only a half hour drive but Massasoit Little Bear (her new name) threw up on me at least 4 times. We stopped and picked up a bag of puppy chow and a leash and collar (yep, no preparation whatsoever) on the way home.

That was the beginning of my adventures with german shepherds. Massie had no husky in her but as a puppy she had a poofy coat so I'm sure that's why they labeled her that way. She was a high gsd mix. Now I see that she looked like a much larger version of Rafi so who knows what she was. She was all gsd in personality though and that doomed me forever with this breed! She was the most amazing dog in the world--more like a person than a dog. She taught me everything I needed to know about dogs and a lot about life too. She was my constant and loyal companion. She raised Chama, friends' dogs and several cats. Luckily I still have Cleo, who carries much of her personality.

Here she is as a baby

Playing with Baby Chama and a friend's dog

Swimming (she was 90% blind here) with a little cousin

Hiking in New Mexico & Colorado

Ruth & the 4 Legged Rescue Gang

Rafi the malaroo

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Gio & Varda, the krazy kittens
....In my heart:
Cleo Kitty
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