I figured for my own reference and for others to follow (who have been already) I would start a thread I can update on an on going basis with our rescued GSD Diesels journey.
Diesel was scheduled to be put to Sleep on April 7th 2013. My DH and I had been discussing getting a GSD as our 19yr old shiba approaches the end of his life. We were not 100% ready to get one and we thought we would HAVE to get a puppy in able to integrate into our fur pack. Diesel came across my Face Book feeds as being in trouble in Columbus GA Animal Shelter with no one offering to help him. The photo spoke to me in volumes something about him just called out to me. Without consulting with my husband I immediately started the calls / emails etc in order to save his soul. It took me over 25 phone calls and 18 emails to get someone willing to actually go into the shelter and get him out. PAWS Humane next door to the shelter stepped up on my behalf and pulled him just a few hours before it was closing time. If he had not been pulled before opening the next morning he was scheduled to PTS. Our journey began....
Little did I know that GA has some of the most difficult laws regarding adopting a dog from a Shelter, so much so that the Department of Ag is involved in it. Diesel was scheduled to be neutered / micro chipped / vetted the next day. I was told he would be ready to travel on Weds 4/17, I immediately started trying to arrange transport. I called airlines, people, reached out to every transport group I could find, and put a bid up on UShip. My bid on UShip offered to take him from Columbus GA to Raleigh NC where I could meet and pick him up. Raleigh is about a 5 hour drive for me but I was in desperation at that point as it was already Monday so I agreed to drive to NC to get him and take a day off work. Transport arranged....
Tuesday Morning 7am my cell phone rings. Diesel is sick, bloody stool, not eating, not drinking not feeling well.... They immediately suspect Parvo. My heart sank. Cancel transport and stop everything. While Parvo can be cured there is no way to sanitize a dog and a dog can carry the virus long after it is cured. I cannot put my fur babies at home at risk. They run a parvo test it comes back negative but still suspect it may be a false negative, two days pass of testing / sick dog and there is no diagnosis. Diesel finally turns the corner and is starting to feel better, but we still dont know what it is was... There is a new scary Parvo virus floating around that comes up negative on tests. Another vet assesses him, and is certain it is NOT parvo or the other scary things (giardia etc). Its now Weds 4/24 he is doing well eating and needs to get out of the vet clinic they cannot have him there any longer. A generous person along the way of my crisis offered to foster him until I could arrange transport.... Transport arranged for Saturday 4/27 8pm pick up....
Foster picks him up at 5:02pm 4/24 from the vet clinic at PAWS Humane. They send me photos and say he is a bouncy boy that has a TON of energy... Great... 25 minute ride to Fosters home who has a St. Bernard, Husky, and Great Dane (all females) 5:44 Foster says he is dog aggressive and cannot stay. Heart sinks... No way proper introductions could have been done. Its only been 17 minutes! I am devastated, they say he has to go back. Its now 6pm PAWS closes at 6 I call anyway luckily enough get someone on phone, who calls my coordinator on their cell and they agree to stay and let him come back to the vets office... 6:26 Foster text he is throwing up all over her car??? He rode fine to her house and the Shelter Manager said he rode shot gun from where he was picked up on street back to shelter???
Next morning, contact PAWS he needs to get out of there they cannot keep him there...and they cannot be there for 8pm pick up by transporter and transporter cannot come any earlier... Cancel transport, scramble to find another foster... No foster no transport... Send to a pet resort until we can arrange transport. At this point I have 3 GSD rescues, and 3 other rescues involved in this trying to help. They put me in contact with a transporter making a run up the east coast through Baltimore MD on 5/3-5/4 from GA but the pick up location is 185 miles from where he is
Put another bid out on UShip to get him from the pet resort to pick up location for 2pm 5/3 success! Transport now arranged!!
4/28 - Storms rolling through GA.... Pet resort calls me he is in melt down mode covered in his own feces, upset his food / water they cannot leave it down for him.... Tranquilize diesel so he can make it through night... 4/29 Doing slightly better but still pacing like crazy. Emotional state of dog continues to deteriorate over the next several days. 5/3 8am 1st transporter arrives to pick him up, his spirits lift and he is happy again. Need to get 185 miles with him in 6 hours no problem right? WRONG... Department of Ag has to be there for the transporter to sign release papers / provide all documents including health cert / vet records etc... Dept of Ag no where to be found ... hour later Dept of Ag shows up.... Great on road by 9:30... Transporter hits traffic in ATL. Second leg of transport is waiting for them at next pick up point ... 1.5 hours late they arrive! (Thank goodness for patient transporters!) He is too big doesnt fit in the crate they have for him
They reluctantly let him lay on the floor of the van and hit the road... He is dog aggressive being reactive to other dogs in van, shove him in the crate he is too large for and continue on.
5/4 - 6pm Transporter arrives here to me in MD and we bring him home finally!! This time we are going to do the proper introductions... Bring him around back and let him smell our dogs in the yard... Take him away from yard and out of sight, bring our Timid F Samoyed outside into yard bring him back... FREAK OUT!!! 60 yards away .... 2 hours later after working with him approach and retreat get him to fence to smell our Samoyed... ATTACK! Thank goodness he was on other side of fence! Give it up for the evening and let him rest in crate away from all other dogs / cats.
Its been almost two weeks now, and he still is not permitted around my other dogs. He has stopped barking his face off at them i the crate and he goes on walks with our Samoyed and he is muzzled for her protection. Walks are going great but still trys to attack when in yard or house with her.
5/10 - Meet with behavorist in home trainer he flips out while we are outside talking about her program and methods, she attempts to handle him, he drags her around the yard and she ask's my DH to take him please.
5/11 - Meet with another trainer who handles him and walks him through a class full of barking dogs with no incident (HE MUST BE THE ONE RIGHT?) $2,000 for him to work with us OUCH! Tell him we are meeting with another trainer next day. He KNOWS this trainer... Even consults with him on his OWN personal dogs!!
5/12 - Meet another trainer - Soft spoken mild mannered man, doesnt even want to acknowledge the aggression issue until we have full obedience when not stimulated... Makes sense... Handles dog, tests him for a number of things, agree's there is a little issue but will probably resolve its self ... BINGO! Can we start now??? No go.... Book training and we start 5/17
Today is 5/17 and we have our first training session with him. We are excited and nervous all the same time. The dog we brought home on 5/4 is not the same dog we have now, he was a WILD ELEPHANT... Charge through doors / house just so out of control. Our new trainer put a pinch collar on him and showed us briefly how to use it. We have had several successful walks and a much happier dog all week thanks to this collar. Our bodies are recovering from the bruises, sore muscles, scraped knees!
4/6 Diesel Comes across my news feed as scheduled to be PTS
4/24 "Foster" picks him up from Vet Clinic, first time I have saw him since the photo came across my news feed.
5/4 - We just picked him up from transporter
5/5 Spending the day exploring and having fun with these new people
5/6 First day at work with this new lady, I would rather be outside and play. Its a long day for this lady of me climbing on her desk, in her lap, in the window, and pacing the room
5/7-8This lady finds this music... It makes me sleepy while I am at work
5/11 I am going to see a trainer, I dont know what that is, so I am not all that thrilled
5/12 Another trainer today
5/17 Another day at work, I have learned sitting down nicely gets me lots of petting and love. I still occasionally try to get on the desk but I have really been trying to be a good boy....