Rescues/adopted stories! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Rescues/adopted stories!

I am in desperate need of success stories!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:27 PM
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I hope you aren't struggling with a rescue, but if you are, you've come to the right place. There are lots of experienced folks here to offer wisdom and advice. I don't have any stories to share, but I think there are several members who have rescue-experience. Perhaps they will chime in soon with some of their experiences.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:36 PM
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This sounds alarming.
Are you having issues with your rescue?
In your previous post, looks like a beautiful GSD you found!

We adopted our dog a couple of years ago and I would consider him to be a success story. He was a pretty easy dog but I realize now that in the wrong hands, he could have become a dangerous dog. (For example - thanks to advice from this forum, I work hard to fend off random strangers who want to pet him and I trained him how to pass other dogs calmly on-leash. As a result of that, he has become much more relaxed and less edgy around strange people and dogs...no more crossing the street for us!)

We didn't have issues with house behavior (pottying, counter-surfing, etc) so that part went smoothly. In the beginning, he spent a lot of time in his crate and dragged a leash around. These days, he is trusted to be free in the house (even when we go out) and even has a dog door leading out to our fenced yard, which he loves.

A big help in the first few months was a group obedience class - not even so much for the commands but just for the insight into HOW a dog thinks, which in turn leads to understanding your dog and being able to teach/train him.

There were a lot of worries and issues to work on in the first months, but life is settled now and about the only thing I fear now with my dog is sickness and aging..I don't know if I will ever get over it when he passes away! Just the thought gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 10:44 PM
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Buddy was 11 months old, sick, hurt and savage when I brought him home. He had been starved, beaten, attacked by other dogs, left chained outside with no shelter, shot and hit/rundown with a quad. They sprayed him with a hose for making noise.
I put him down shortly before his 14th birthday, he spent 13 years hiding his head in my shirt when he was afraid and romping around the country with me and Sabi.

Define success.

I was cooking dinner and laughing at Sabi's attempts not to beg when the phone rang.
'Come get me. Bring a towel.'
Short and cryptic, so typical. Swearing under my breathe, I turned off my dinner, gave the dogs a quick 'be right back' and headed out. It was a twenty minute drive to the place my husband was working at, and I vented to the radio the whole way. I was fuming by the time I got there.
He met me in the driveway and told me to bring the towel and follow him. I stomped through the clear, crisp October night to a dark garage. Inside his flashlight swept across the floor and my stomach clenched. Puppies. Tiny, still puppies sprawled all over a filthy, wet, cold concrete floor. My mind took over and grabbing the flashlight I started moving, asking questions and giving him a list as I went.
Ten. Ten puppies. Small, young and thin. I collected them on a clean blanket from my car, set some shop lights around them for heat and used a clean rag to clean them as well as I could. I needed water, formula and their mom. I stood up and the flashlight beam bounced off a tiny bump in the corner. Eleven.
As I reached for the little, furry body their owner made an entrance dragging mom by the scruff and complaining that she kept running off. My husband slapped together a makeshift pen and ensured the poor waif had food and water. She was bone thin and weak, and she wanted nothing to do with the pups, but with coaxing we got her settled and the pups nursing. I guessed her at about a year old. I cradled little Eleven the whole time, feeling that faint flutter of a heartbeat every few seconds. We tried to put her with the other pups but she was too weak to even wake up, and mom kept pushing her away. As we turned to leave, he reached to take her from me. I actually snarled at him.
'That ones dying anyway' he laughed 'Go ahead. Save me throwin' it in the burn barrel.'
My husband dragged me to the car with my precious bundle.
Shadow has struggled with fear, aggression and health issues since I brought her home that night at just a few weeks old. She is now 8.5 years old and currently staying in a motel with me. She has crisscrossed the country with me and done all sorts of strange things not generally demanded of pet dogs. She has some issues but we manage.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post

I was cooking dinner and laughing at Sabi's attempts not to beg when the phone rang.
'Come get me. Bring a towel.'
Short and cryptic, so typical. Swearing under my breathe, I turned off my dinner, gave the dogs a quick 'be right back' and headed out. It was a twenty minute drive to the place my husband was working at, and I vented to the radio the whole way. I was fuming by the time I got there.
He met me in the driveway and told me to bring the towel and follow him. I stomped through the clear, crisp October night to a dark garage. Inside his flashlight swept across the floor and my stomach clenched. Puppies. Tiny, still puppies sprawled all over a filthy, wet, cold concrete floor. My mind took over and grabbing the flashlight I started moving, asking questions and giving him a list as I went.
Ten. Ten puppies. Small, young and thin. I collected them on a clean blanket from my car, set some shop lights around them for heat and used a clean rag to clean them as well as I could. I needed water, formula and their mom. I stood up and the flashlight beam bounced off a tiny bump in the corner. Eleven.
As I reached for the little, furry body their owner made an entrance dragging mom by the scruff and complaining that she kept running off. My husband slapped together a makeshift pen and ensured the poor waif had food and water. She was bone thin and weak, and she wanted nothing to do with the pups, but with coaxing we got her settled and the pups nursing. I guessed her at about a year old. I cradled little Eleven the whole time, feeling that faint flutter of a heartbeat every few seconds. We tried to put her with the other pups but she was too weak to even wake up, and mom kept pushing her away. As we turned to leave, he reached to take her from me. I actually snarled at him.
'That ones dying anyway' he laughed 'Go ahead. Save me throwin' it in the burn barrel.'
My husband dragged me to the car with my precious bundle.
Shadow has struggled with fear, aggression and health issues since I brought her home that night at just a few weeks old. She is now 8.5 years old and currently staying in a motel with me. She has crisscrossed the country with me and done all sorts of strange things not generally demanded of pet dogs. She has some issues but we manage.
That's such a moving story, and so well-written. Thank you for sharing it. You should write a book of your experiences. I would buy it.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 12:09 AM
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This is the story of how I adopted my first German Shepherd.

I went to visit my uncle, who owned a dairy farm, and found this nearly skeletal dog lying under his kitchen table.

"Do you want a dog?" he said. "She belonged to my neighbour, Joe, but he had to go into the Manor, and we promised to look after her."

"How come she's so thin?" I asked.

"She won't eat," my aunt said. "Guess she misses him."

"She's not a good farm dog," my uncle told me. "She's scared of the cows, and we put her outside to chase off this tramp the other day. When we next looked out, he was sitting on our garden bench, petting her! She practically had her head in his lap!"

The dog was SO thin, I was worried for her. When I took her for a walk around the property, I realized there was also something wrong with her eyes, and she was partially blind. I really wanted to give her a decent home, but the problem was I was living in an apartment building.

I spoke to my friend, Chris, who also lived in an apartment, and had a male GSD. "Look," he said, "they can't kick you or the dog out unless the dog is causing problems. If I were you, I'd give it a try."

The next week, I dropped by my uncle's place after our annual family reunion, and took her home with me. I named her Lilli Marlene, after the old WWII song. Joe had named her Lassie, and I just couldn't use that name for a German Shepherd.

"Here's her food," my aunt said, handing me what was left of a bag of cheap Purina kibble. I looked inside, and found it was crawling with insect larvae. Hmm....maybe that's another reason the dog is off her feed!

Worried about her overall condition, and her eyes, I made a vet appointment for her as soon as possible. The vet examined her and shook his head.

"I can't say for sure this dog is going to live," he told me. "She may have some sort of chronic wasting disease, like EPI. She's 26 inches tall, and only weighs 35 lbs.!"

"Look, my uncle didn't want her, and she's missing her owner. Also the food they were giving her was crap. Let me give her some TLC, get some good food into her, and see what happens!"

"As for the eyes, that's easy to fix," the vet said. "She's got pannus, but it's early stages, and eyedrops should help keep it in check."

Lilli adjusted to life in a high rise very quickly. I think she had a total of two accidents before she was housebroken. She also didn't bark at noises unless someone knocked on the door. And as soon as she knew someone really wanted her and cared for her, she began to eat. She was always a picky eater, but eventually, I got her weight up to 70 lbs.

She had a very sweet temperament, without an ounce of aggression. A neighbour of mine, who babysat her niece every day used to take her out and walk her for me while I was at work. The niece took some of her first steps hanging on to Lilli's collar for support!

Last edited by Sunsilver; 04-08-2019 at 12:30 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
This sounds alarming.
Are you having issues with your rescue?
In your previous post, looks like a beautiful GSD you found!
No issues yet.. I just keep thinking of all the what ifs and I know it is way early for me to be worrying. I am just scared she is not going to come out of this.

She hardly eats (she is underweight) she is so terrified of everything. I think we are getting somewhere like she will come sniff my hand and stand beside me then go lay down and come back and do it again. Of course I get excited but keep calm dont move dont touch her and she seems relaxed. Then I go to take her for her walk and she is a trembling ball of fear with her nose tucked in the corner.

I know it is going to take lots of time and patience and love.. I just need to know it can be a happy ending for her.

Sorry for my jumble and bad grammar.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:52 AM
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I’m sure I told the story before someplace. I’ll try to keep it short.

My sister adopted a border collie/ aussie shepherd cross puppy from the pound years ago. This puppy had been so abused in her very short, young life that if you look at her wrong when you called her she would pee and crawl all the way to you. She was deathly afraid of men.

My sister worked with her and mostly treated her as though she had no other problems and the puppy did better. Still she was fearful but with the training learned to trust my sister.

She was still fearful, but if my sister stop to talk to a male person, she would still sit nervously next to my sister. She would shake and with sweat enough in her paws to leave paw prints. But she trusted my sister enough to stay anyway.

She continued to improve. At some point she came to live with me for a while on my small farm. The freedom helped her to gain more confidence and by the time she left she was nothing like the puppy my sister first adopted. No one and nothing seemed to scare her. She had solid nerve and was one of the smartest dogs I have ever come across.

Hope this helps you 🐾😊


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:47 AM
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OP....sounds like you're doing the right things...as you said ...time (the most important ingredient)....patience and love....throw in regular daily routine and you'll both get there......you really just got the dog ..... you've had her less than a week....not really knowing what a rescue may have been through.....you have to "earn" a rescue's trust it just takes T-I-M-E-some dogs more than others....I know it's very hard day to day when improvements don't happen as quickly as we like....am I doing the right things??....should I be doing more??......the tiniest change for the better daily "says" you're doing the right things...the simple fact that you're concerned tells me you both WILL get there !
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 09:13 AM
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I have successfully rescued/adopted 2. The greatest joys of my life have been the turn around these dogs do.
Both physically and mentally. Remember these poor dogs were someone else's throw aways. Trash to some but
treasures to me.

Rescue #1- Dear, Sweet Tasha- came to me at 40 lbs of skin and bones and had just had puppies at 1 yr. old.
She was the nicest dog anyone could ever want. She happily lived here til she was 16 yrs. old. Never sick a
day in her life til DM finally took her.

Rescue #2- Orphan Heidi- has been here 6 mo. 1-2 yrs. old, had just had puppies and was a bag of nerves but
loved all people. Could be gsd/husky mix. Still dog reactive but can get along with some non-aggressive dogs. She has become my almost
perfect Farm Dog Extrordinaire. Smart and has learned manners and rules of the farm like not chasing horses and
cats. The first few months she was here she was like a greyhound running around the pastures. Now she's calmed
down and trots around. She immediately learned that she's the protecter here and must chase off or bark off all
the wild animals snooping around. A real snuggle bug and smiles happi[y all the time. Big personality.

I started both my rescues on a raw or home cooked diet. That way I could control their nutrition. It made a huge
difference in their overall physical and mental condition. Lack of good nutrition and certain vitamins can make
so many problems in rescue dogs. And so many commercial kibbles are really just cheap, crappy food. Like you
eating stale white bread everyday for your meals.

Most dogs who are not eating well will nibble on cooked chicken. Or cooked hamburger. Or cooked pork. You
have to keep trying different things in the beginning to get them to experiment.

Remember "This too shall pass". It helped me overcome many of the surprises that come with rescued dogs.
Just take it a day at a time and work with your dog every day and she will come around even if slowly. But get
her healthy first. Then you will see great improvement. We're here to help whenever you need a boost.
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