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Today I went with my oldest son and Lucy to meet pupresq and Grace. Grace is very sweet and cool, and my son threw the stick for her, to her delight. She's a lovely dog.
But what really took me by total surprise was Rafe (hope that's right- my son said it was Refe). Rafe is a foster that pupresq and her group saved from the gas chamber.
Well, I'm now going to show my ignorance here. I expected a nasty dog. A nervebag dog that would be aggressive to either me or my dog. A dog I'd have to keep my son away from. After all, nobody came to adopt him and he was going to be gassed. There had to be a reason, right?
What I did not expect was what I saw- an absolutely beautiful GSD that stole my son's heart with his affectionate nature. He looked shockingly like Lucy, but darker. Their faces were very similiar. He was a total love. I cannot believe his life almost ended. What a tragedy that would have been.
The preconceived ideas about rescues- I was guilty. That they are somehow "less than" the dogs we paid good money for. That there is a reason they are tossed out. That they are any different at all from my dog.
Consider me educated. I would take this dog in an absolute heartbeat if I didn't have Lucy. She's all I can handle

But I cannot think of any dog I have met recently that I'd rather have in my home than Rafe. He's a jewel.
Good luck with your heartworm treatment, my friend, and here's hoping you find a human deserving of you for your forever home.
And God bless the rescue people.
 

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Thank you so much for posting this. As a "lifer" volunteer with a GSD rescue I know that some of the top kennel names spend time in our foster homes. I've personally fostered dogs that were surrendered by owners who paid 4 and 5 figures for what became a nuisance to them. I've also met so many wonderful dogs from who knows which breeder who are amazing ambassadors for the breed and the importance of responsible pet ownership.

There are some challenging cases in rescue, but usually it's because a good dog ended up starting life in a bad home or maybe just the wrong home. When folks outside the rescue world share their positive experiences it sends such a powerful message. What a wonderful day for all of you!
 

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Lisa,

Thank you for sharing your day and you experience. I am sure you guys had a great day. Rescues and foster homes do a great thing, even the dogs that are less than "perfect" get a second chance.

My admiration goes out to all of those that work in rescues and help these poor babies that no one seems to want.
 

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As a rescue guy, I really appreciate your post. The dogs I have served as a rescue for have never been mean or aggressive. Some are shy, but warm up quickly, and perhaps because of past issues bond almost immediately.

I am still learning, so I keep asking my rescue to give my a dog with more issues. Perhaps fortunately, every dog I get has been fine.

If anyone from the Midwest is interested in adopting my current rescue, send me a personal E Mail.
 

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Lisa's message is one that needs to be preached everywhere. These animals need homes not because they are trouble cases that need to be stuffed in a corner somewhere until they kick the bucket but most of the time because theres a excuse. "I can't do this anymore because where I'm moving to they don't allow dogs" or "I'm bored with this" or my favorite "it was fun when it was my christmas present but now that its getting bigger I don't want to deal with it anymore". I made a hard decision when I bought Baron because I wanted to rescue but I was worried about not knowing the history of the GSD and how their hips, elbows, ect were going to be. I didn't want to find the love of my life only to have poor breeding take them away from me early. Since that time I think I have changed my thought process on the situation. If I rescue a GSD even if their life was shorter or they had problems from genetic issues I could give that GSD a better life than he currently has. The time spent in our family would be priceless and create many memories. Our next GSD WILL be a rescue and actually we are currently searching for the right situation to step in and say "we will give her a good home". I owe it all to this forum because of all the people on here educated on the issues. So I say great job Lisa on your post and may many more change their thinking on the issue too.
 

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Rescues can be wonderful dogs. Mien Luther spent 5 months in a no kill shelter. He was big and intimidating looking, horrid leash manners and a tendency to put people in his mouth. His first owners were college kids and they just found they couldn't deal with him anymore so they dumped him at about 18 months old. That's right, he spent from 18months to almost 2 years in a shelter. Make a dog crazy, you bet!

Under all that teenage non sense was the funniest most intuitive dog I've ever known. He just needed some tough love.
 

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What a great post Lisa! We really enjoyed hanging out with you and your son.


Yes, it can really be shocking when you first get involved with rescue or meet rescue dogs just how many of them are wonderful dogs, beautiful dogs, dogs that are indistinguishable from any other dog from anywhere else. Honestly, very very few shelter dogs I meet were given up for anything that had anything to do with them. Yes, some of them can have some emotional baggage because of mistreatment or poor handling, but most do not, and even the ones that do can usually be turned around.

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that shelter dogs are "unadoptable." This is one of the reasons I started my group - which takes exclusively rural shelter dogs - I have always been appalled by how many absolutely fabulous dogs die in shelters while people go out and buy dogs because they "wanted a purebred" or didn't "want someone else's problem dog." I can't speak to shelters everywhere but the ones I deal with are full to the brim of purebred dogs, young dogs, very tiny dogs, very large dogs, and everything in between. I'd say more often than anything shelter dogs are victims of geography. The shelters in the southeast have all these fantastic dogs but with little exposure and almost no local adoptions their chances of survival are slim unless someone can get them on the Internet and get help from elsewhere. Thank God for Petfinder.

But anyway, Rafe ( aka Dallas from Gaston County if anyone is interested) was very pleased to be an ambassador for death row doggies. We had a great time hanging out and Lucy is a beautiful and enthusiastic pupper.
I can't wait to download the pictures and get them posted. Big thank yous to your and your terrific son for coming out and meeting us. Grace says "THROW THE STICK!!!!"
 

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This is VERY cool to read.

For every really hard case type that I would take (because I like them) I would see 20 dogs adopted out that were totally "normal". Maybe neglected and unhealthy, but ready to roll as soon as they ate and got some attention!

I am so glad that Rafe was such a good ambassadog. Sounds like fun!
 

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All these gorgeous dogs are rescues making their families happy. They were thrown away to die in gas chambers, by heartstick, lethal injection, disease or starvation. They were given a second chance.

 

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what a great thread! lifts my spirit!
 

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OMG - he is STUNNING!!!

Lisa's message should be posted at the top of every rescue board - I think it bears repeating. So many people think that dogs are at the shelter because there is "something wrong" with them. In fact, most dogs are at the shelter because there is "something wrong" with the people who dumped them, not the dog. People who couldn't bother to train and exercise their dogs and ended up with dogs that were bored, destructive, or a nuisance.

My girl was turned in to the shelter because she was "too hard to handle". Abby is the easiest, most laid back dog I've ever had in my home, bar none!
 

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Thank-You for a wonderful story, its never the dogs fault for ending up in a shelter, its the people that do not know how to handle them. All mine are rescue that "had problems " acc to the people that dumped them. Well I will tell you that all 5 are the best dogs.(I know everyone says that about their dogs). I love mine and will always rescue. Thanks again. Its all about education.
 

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We went to the beach this evening and Mr. too "aggressive" to be adopted
was giving smooches and hamming it up for all his fans. He says he's not so sure about the waves but digging the sand rocks!

And although Rafe, specifically, is pretty much just an all around awesome dog, a lot of the dogs surrendered because they're "problem dogs" are actually just higher drive, higher energy than their owners were prepared for. Half the dogs on this board would be "problem dogs" in the wrong home! A lot of it is simply mismatched dogs and owners. I think Grace was one of those. First people turned her in for being too high energy. Second people tried to beat it out of her.


I got her and started training her in SAR. Voila - my dream dog! It's all context.
 

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This is a wonderful thread. Thanks so much for starting it! Rafe and Grace are both gorgeous. And the beach looks nice too!


Your Rafe sounds like my Rafi! He would certainly have been pts had he been taken to the (high kill) shelter in the condition he was in.

There are so many wonderful dogs out there waiting for a chance at the right home.
 
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