Raining German Shepherd Dogs

Winter finally arrived – in March. It has been raining buckets of water, hail, mud –

and lately – German Shepherd Dogs.

The AKC does dogs no good service by listing them as among the favorite breeds. When Goldens hit the top of the chart, a wave of abandoned and surrendered golden dogs followed. German Shepherd Dogs have been making their way up the list and now rival Labrador Retrievers for the top spot. So guess what? The shelters and “found” pages are full of them.

And, increasingly, so are the fields near Homeward Bound. We have found them wandering loose dumped on the levies – and even staked outside our doors.

Kathryn’s training classes are filling up with them. That’s good. They are getting the training and socialization they need.

My husband’s co-worker found this one wandering the streets.

At less than a year old, he’s still a puppy. Apparently tied up somewhere, he had chewed through the lead that was still tightly wrapped around his neck. Her son – a fan of Superman – named him Clark.

She couldn’t keep him, but she wasn’t about to take him to a shelter, either. So she held him safe until the connection was made to Homeward Bound. We’ll work with our German Shepherd rescue friends to get him to a good home.

The Mulberry trees in our garden are strong, fast-growing, and blanket us in merciful shade on hot summer days.

But their roots invade our beds, their berries leave stains everywhere and give the doggies purple poo, and they require constant pruning to stay tidy (which they do not receive).

German Shepherds are smart, loyal, and very capable working dogs. Like our Mulberry trees, they have characteristics that make them sought after. They are also adorable fluff balls as puppies. But they are not for everyone.

Highly sensitive, they want to be with and protect their person – sometimes to a fault.

This is Addy. She’s not at all sure about me.

But she courageously put herself between her Dad and two loose, attacking dogs.

German Shepherds need continual training and socialization to humans and other dogs. They are energetic and require mental and physical activity or they will act out in boredom and frustration. They shed pillows on a daily basis. And they do everything with intensity – be it play or prey.

German Shepherds are beautiful, intelligent, devoted dogs – for the right person.
Choose the right tree for your garden.
Choose the right dog for your life.

A Rescue Tale

This story has been embargoed for what seems like forever. I could not wait to report the full happily ever after.

It began in mid-December, when someone who has long been connected to our rescue saw something out of the corner of his eye as he drove down the road. Instead of continuing on, he stopped. He found two dogs, a German Shepherd and a German Pointer, tied to each other in the mud. The weather had been alternating between rain and freezing. Their only shelter was a dilapidated fruit crate. With only three feet of chain between them – only one dog could raise itself above the muck.


Our rescuer spoke to the owners. They claimed the dogs had been dumped, separately, in the surrounding country and they took them “in.” The story took twists and turns as they spoke, but the bottom line was that they would give them up. That was all he needed to know.

He and his wife set about contacting rescues. Relying on foster care, their inns were full so close to Christmas. They worried about bringing the dogs to a shelter given the Shepherd’s age. Given their breeds, they didn’t automatically think of Homeward Bound, but when our president got wind of it, she said “we’ll take them.” They were quickly transported to safety.


The Shepherd, Sadie, had a microchip; the owner on record did not return our call.


Gage had no identification. Our vet put Sadie at 13, and Gage at 6. We had been told that Gage had been joined with Sadie about a year ago.


The dogs had bonded through adversity despite the difference in their ages. Still, their needs were very different. Once freed, Sadie worked hard at keeping up with Gage who ran like the wind. At 13, a leisurely walk was more her speed.


Whenever we can, we keep bonded pairs together. But in this case, we felt that potential adopters would be looking for two very different kinds of dogs and that could significantly reduce their chances. On Christmas Eve, Sadie went home with former adopters who had been searching for a special, older dog to pair with their senior Golden. They fell instantly in love with her.


Gage was temporarily lost without her. I had taken him for a walk while Sadie was being adopted. To watch him search for her when we returned was heartbreaking. But he got extra loving and lots of play time from our volunteers who discovered that – after expending his energy – this adorable boy wanted nothing more than to climb in your lap and cuddle. Gage’s rescuers visiting with him:


We also learned that Gage didn’t have a single hunting instinct in him, which is probably why he was dumped. He walked right by bunnies and kitties, and the sound of gunfire from nearby hunters sent him running for safety.


Over New Year’s, one of our volunteers brought her neighbors out to meet Gage. This special family was already involved with Pointer rescue, and were the adoptive parents of two beautiful (human) girls. They had recently lost one of their Pointers. While they weren’t sure if they were ready, they found Gage’s story compelling.

Hiding in the adjacent yard so he wouldn’t see me, I watched and listened, hopeful, as Gage chased the girls around the Park. The family had a vacation planned and could not take him immediately. We crossed our paws, and they returned last week with their dog, Toby, for an introduction. Toby is a big Pointer mix without a care in the world. His boundless energy put Gage a little on guard. We sent them home for a trial week to make sure all would be well. And after a few days of figuring each other out – it was.


Gage was officially adopted this week. He and Toby are now playmates, and sleeping mates – in the bed, of course!


What a life Sadie and Gage will have now – because someone stopped and asked instead of driving by. It’s a small thing that can turn anyone into a rescuer and give a gift that makes a world of difference in the life of a dog – and quite possibly, yours, too.