WE REMEMBER OUR RESCUE FURKIDS

OUR WHITE-COATED RESCUE FURKIDS

DUCHESS
December 2, 2007 ~ June 12, 2017


Duchess was a neglected puppy surrendered in 2008. We spent many months socializing & training her before she found her way into foster care with foster Mom Becki. Eventually Duchess also found her way into Becki's heart.

  
Beautiful Duchess was a fiercely loyal gal, very protective yet, was able to go everywhere with her Mom Becki.

  
She never tired of playing and remained highly active. Above with foster friend Justy

  
We send our deepest sympathy to Becki on the loss of her great friend, protector and companion

  

ROHAN
February 22, 2004 ~ April 2017


Beautiful Rohan, a real live Teddy Bear, inside & Out

  
RO BEFORE HIS 1st GROOMING on DAY SURRENDERED


AND AFTER

  
HAPPY AT HOME WITH HIS NEW BFFs

This sweet spirit made it to 13 years old before succumbing to DM (Degenerative Myelopathy). A real Lover Boy who is Greatly Missed
Our sympathy to his Mom, Pat

KELLIE
August 2, 2004 ~ March 30, 2017


The circle is closing. Kellie was another member of the Dusty puppy litter who would have turned 13 years old in August of 2017. She was the longest living female of four, survived by the sole male, Sampson (originally Ralph).

 
Kellie had the softest temperament of the litter, kind, loving and gentle to all

 
Puppy Kellie dwarfed by her big brother as they watch TV and at 6 weeks

Her devoted family wrote:

"Hi Steff, Im sorry I couldnt get more out but find myself breaking down when I talk about our Kellie girl. Diane and I both want to thank you for matching us up with her. Its been a wonderful 11 or so years for us, and I think Kellie would say so too. We always tried to do the best for her. I remember we used to have Jeep Grand Cherokees to take to our Pinetop home, and when I realized the ride was a little bumpy for Kellie, we switched to Acura MDXs which have a much nicer ride for the pups. She enjoyed spending summers in the cool mountains running around our fenced property and then resting on the deck. Right now the house seems so empty as Kellie would always be near Diane or I and of course was hard to miss. She loved chewing her ball nearly to the end but in the end couldnt go on our nice walks we both enjoyed. She was very special to all of our family and were all grieving. I know she had a special place in your heart, and we thank you very much for trusting us with such a special girl. She was always a top priority. I was thinking this morning and realized that even with the traveling weve done, she never spent a night in a kennel. Our girls and grandsons would fight to see whod keep Kellie during our vacations. Shed get away with stuff there as my grandsons would often against our instructions let her sleep in bed with them. She always enjoyed playing with their dogs. For now well be grieving for a time but may well contact you in the future to see if a middle aged shepherd may match up with us. Kellie sold us as did you. I appreciate your kind thoughts on the phone, and I hope to talk to you again. One last time, thanks for bringing us our Kellie girl. All our love and thanks, Bob Marconi"

  

GEMINI
ADOPTED in 2013 ~ February 12, 2017


Gem was rescued from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at approximately 5 years of age.

 

  
Gemini was a toy hound, always had one and struggled with choosing which one to take to bed every night
He often fell sound asleep with a toy in his mouth.....

  
.....except when herding..a first for him and a natural at it

 
A VERY SPECIAL BOND...MUCH LOVED

CALEB
September 9, 2002 ~ December 2016


Beautiful Caleb had been an outdoor, backyard dog; It took his calm & friendly nature no time to adjust to being a loved, well mannered indoor member of his new family

  
  
He sure knew how to meet a lady


Caleb on adoption day with new pal Lily and his proud parents who wrote:

"Steff, Just wanted you to know that our Caleb was put down at age 14 last Dec. He was with us for 9 years. He was a wonderful guy whom we took with us all over in our RV. He was so full of love. We miss him very much. Barb and I cry for him every time we think of him" Dutch Bowen

WYATT
2005 ~ January 27, 2017


Back in 2006 we rescued two young stray twins just under a year old; we dubbed them Starsky & Hutch. They were placed in their respective adoptive homes. Starsky was renamed Wyatt. Then one day in 2010 we received a call from an emergency vet clinic about a stray someone brought to them that had been hit by a car.. ...they traced him to us via his microchip, he had no other I.D.

 
It was Wyatt..very disheveled, thin and in pain, along with a case of untreated Pannus. We contacted his adopters who were not very forthcoming; they had "given him away" without notifying us, and would not tell us to whom or where or even when! "We Don't Remember"


Leaving the emergency hospital

First stop our vet

followed by a trip to the groomer

So while in foster care with one of our top regular foster families, he was patched up, bathed,and restored to health and vigor. What stood out to us was that he was being fostered with 3 other dogs, two of which were GSDs, in a 4-dog pack...something we rarely do, yet a testament to his kind, playful and gentle nature. How on earth, we thought, could anyone just dump this balanced, loving boy?!

 
Wyatt meets his new friends & foster family

  
ALL BETTER


Wyatt with his "real Mom" Jayne, who wrote:

"It is with sadness that my Wyatt crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I adopted him from you about 8 years ago and we think he was 4 -5 then. He was the BEST dog I have ever owned. Thank you for trusting me with this loving boy."

MACY
December 2006 ~ December 6, 2016


Sweet shy Macy was adopted at about two years of age in 2008. Her previous existence had been very isolated which left her extremely unsure of just about everything and petrified of men. With her family's incredible dedication and patience she ultimately became Daddy's girl and learned that people and the big world outside could be fun, exciting and safe. In 2012 the Gray's adopted Sampson, a Dusty puppy and Macy finally experienced what it's like to have a best friend and canine playmate.

  

  

  
Ironically, Her Mom recently wrote us:

"They are terrific. Getting old but other than that, both are healthy and happy. When they go to the bridge, we are going to be LOST.

We talk about this often and cherish every moment we have with them. They are the best.

We love them lots and lots. I can't imagine our family without them. Thanks Steff for saving them, and us!"

LITA
August 2, 2004 ~ December 4, 2016

LITA WAS ONE OF THE DUSTY PUPPIES WHELPED IN AUGUST, 2004.

ONE YEAR LATTER, THE HIGGINS ADDED TUCKER. SADLY, TUCKER PRECEEDED LITA TO THE BRIDGE JUST 3.5 MONTHS AGO.. ...A RUFF YEAR FOR MOM & DAD WHO WROTE:

"Thank you so much for picking her out of the Dusty litter to be our gorgeous girl! You surely made the right decision there. She was a gentle soul and showed us so much unconditional love. A great swimmer and cozy sleeping partner. This hurts a little more than Tucker since we had her a bit longer but I miss them terribly and it's going to be hard for me for a while. I don't know if I could get another dog(s), these two set a standard and to me will be hard to replace.

Thank you so much for bringing Lita and Tucker into our lives."

PUPPY LITA

4 WEEK WEIGH-IN

ADOPTION DAY

SPROUTING LEGS AND .....


.....GROWING



4 MONTHS...AND VERY OBEDIENT


EXPLORING UP NORTH

LITA ON HER 6th BIRTHDAY and

CHRISTMAS 2007

GINGER
June 17, 2004 ~ October 2, 2016

Sweet Ginger was adopted 6 months after her fellow adoptee, Jay in 2007 Her grieving parents Jim & Mary wrote: "She came to us, not knowing how to play, tentative, and displayed her odd OCD behaviors. She overcame most of all that, but was always a slightly stressful girl. She was very affectionate and made us happy each day. She made it to 12 years, 4 months, and was a sweet and loving friend. We are missing her very much."

ALWAYS A SNUGGLER

Jay & Ginger, A Match Made in Heaven "Jay is disoriented without his sidekick of 9 years, so I have been taking him for an extra walk each day, which seems to help us both a little."

'Dogs come into our lives to teach is about Love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.'



ALWAYS ON THE MOVE
CHICA
November 20, 2004 ~ July 10, 2016

Chica never met a stranger, she was sweet, loving and accepting of all

Chica's Mom wrote: "Dearest Stefany; I am heartbroken to tell you that my precious Chica girl passed away recently. You may or may not remember, she was given up for adoption by the family that moved to Australia, and I was the lucky one to become her Mom. She almost made it to 12 years. Thank you so much for placing her with me and giving me her to love, we were together for almost 6 full years, not nearly long enough. I am lost without her and miss her terribly. So does her best buddy, my little terrier Oliver. I just wanted you to know and give you my heartfelt appreciation. We had the most wonderful life together, the three of us. I will have another GSD someday, but I recently took a job that has me working too many hours right now and that is not fair to any animal, let alone a GSD. Perhaps when I retire in a few years.. Until then, I know you will continue to tirelessly work for these wonderful, loving, loyal souls who are German Shepherds in disguise.

Many Thanks; Carla"


Oliver & Chica, Unlikely Pals


Our deepest sympathy to Chica's grieving Mom and lonesome Oliver

GRACIE
2002 ~June 14, 2016

A gorgeous long haired, misunderstood GSD who finally found a safe, loving forever

Gracie's story is an uncommon one; she seemed to have had a bulls eye on her back; she had been repeatedly attacked by numerous dogs on many occasions. The photo above was Gracie before we had heard about her, essentially unscathed.

A vet assistant at the animal hospital where Gracie was regularly treated for her injuries, ultimately took her home after she had healed from one of the many surgeries for the damage done by other dogs. At one point, it was so badly mauled that her tail had to be amputated, her side had been ripped open, on and on. We were contacted and gladly took her into our re-homing program. Only a short time later, however, her Good Samaritan withdrew her and said that her mother was going to take her. We advised against it, as again, there would be other dogs, but to no avail.

Some time later, after Gracie's 2nd ear and neck were damaged, we learned that she was languishing in the yard, overweight and in danger of being hurt, yet again. It had to be NOW

While only 7 years old at the time, given what she had been through, we viewed Gracie as a senior and felt a senior adopter who was home all of the time and where she would remain an only 'child' would be the best fit. Along came Joyce who had just lost her previously adopted senior boy, Gabriel. It was a match made in heaven


2010
JOYCE & GRACIE WERE THE PERFECT TEAM.
Gracie spent the following 7 years playing fetch every day, healthy, loved and protected..a real happily ever after.

TUCKER
November 2004~August 22, 2016

Beautiful Tucker was adopted in 2005, one year after the Higgins adopted Dusty puppy Lita. He was 11 months old so he & Lita were about the same age. Lita had already been through her training, so she helped Tucker with learning the ropes; they were inseparable and played non stop.... ...so much so that Mom & Dad had to build a pool for them! Our deepest sympathy to his heartbroken family

Tucker was a gentle soul, curious, playful and affectionate

They experienced many adventures together and annually marched in the Veterans Day Parade.

Mom Ysette wrote: "He was a FANTASTIC dog and such a handsome boy! We are forever grateful for you putting him in our lives. I miss him so much. Lita knows something isn't right. She sniffs all around the backyard and tries hearing for something. I haven't said his name out loud around her. I don't want her getting excited for nothing. Shes 12 too, her hips are getting worse but I keep her swimming and giving her supplementation. I know her time is coming to an end soon too and that just breaks my heart even more."

ADOPTION DAY
Tucker, the one without the tan eyebrows...we know they will eventually be together again...at the Bridge...

DAJA
May 3, 2003 ~ August 23, 2016


Daja was a stunning Czech black sable with an impressive pedigree, adopted 11 years ago. She was an exceptional lady, very high drive, powerful, loyal and super smart. While loving and affectionate to all she knew, Daja was extremely protective of her property and pack.. ...no need to sleep with one eye open when this beauty was on duty.

Daja and Bandit (left) waiting for the Veterans Day Parade to start and being silly (center), Christmas 2010

ADOPTION DAY, and A YEAR LATER WHEN HER BFF BANDIT WAS ADDED TO THE FAMILY

She is already missed beyond words, our thoughts are with her grieving family.

HALEY
January 1, 2004~August 12, 2016


"Loved by all who knew her. Our hearts are broken"


Sweet Haley was adopted 11 years ago & almost made it to her 13th birthday. Six months later her BFF Peter was added to the family, he left for the Bridge in January of 2015.


They both led active lives; pictured below marching in the annual Veterans Day parade, about to head out for they're daily run and biking with Dad as youngsters.


Her parents wrote:
"Thank for bringing her into our lives. We loved her very much."


ADOPTION...A DAY TO REMEMBER

TAYSHA
Adopted at 3-4 years old in May, 2005
Left for the Bridge July 27, 2016


Simply so sweet, Taysha was about 15 years old..quite a long run for her breed and a testament to the loving care of her family who wrote, "She was my baby and I will miss her so much. We enjoyed her and loved her for the twelve years we had her."


KARAT
January 12, 2005 ~ April 21, 2016


While they are all special in their own way, Karat was a classic example of what is most loved about his breed. He was sensitive, intuitive, smart, loyal, gentle, yet protective. A very balanced boy with a golden temperament. He was lost suddenly to torsion; We send our love and condolences to his grief stricken family.

Karat was great with all people, kids, other dogs, always well behaved and loving.


AND, SUCH A HANDSOME FELLOW

A FRIEND, A COMPANION, A NOBLE SENTRY, SO MISSED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM

"Steff, There is no memorial in words that can adequately capture Karat's place in our lives and hearts. Everyone who met him remarked about how exceptional he was. What a privilege and a blessing we had to be his family for over six years. We are forever indebted to you for making that possible. However much we may be hurting now, we-would not have given up a minute of our time with him. We would do it again in half a heartbeat." Much love to you, Sandra and John

BEAU
FOUND JULY 2011 ~ JANUARY 2016


Buddy, renamed Beau by his adoptive family, was a stray found traveling with his "Buddy" Gunner, back in July of 2011. He had several medical issues due to previous neglect, all of which were addressed and eliminated. He was adopted by our co-director's son and turned out to be the most loving and loyal creature in their multi dog family.

Beau was an easy going, never met a stranger kinda guy and whose passing from a sudden collapse, the result of hemangiosarcoma, has devastated his devoted family. He was one of those rare GSDs that simply loved people, dogs, kids, cats and just about anything that lived, yet had the naturally protective nature of his breed when it came to his own people. Words cannot express the degree to which this boy will be missed.

On adoption day, clearly proud & happy to have found his forever. We send our deepest condolences to Sean & Ronna Lewis and family
SIMBA
December 25, 2003 ~ January 10, 2016


This morning, January 10th, 2016, we bid farewell to one very special and much loved member of our rescue family, Simba Holliday.
Regardless of the hundreds upon hundreds of those who have passed through our doors, some leave deeper paw prints on our hearts and Simba was one of those we will forever hold dear.

He was the product of the selective breeding by two of the top working dog kennels of the time, Meerhout and Leerberg. He spent his first three years of life outside on the side of a dirt yard, often muzzled, kenneled or tied. Of course he lacked training and socialization but worst of all he was without love, understanding and human companionship...the unfortunate victim of ignorance.
His high drives and superior athleticism were misconstrued as aggression which was incredibly ironic as Simba was the kindest and most gentle soul.

In an effort to honor his genetics and potential we made every effort to find Simba a working home; even sent him for training in scent work in which he excelled.
But Simba was such a people oriented fellow that he was easily distracted from his task by the humans he so loved being around. We finally relented and placed him with our good friends and volunteers, Jack and Diane Holliday, in whose care and home he flourished as the ultimate companion.


ON ADOPTION DAY 2007

Simba taught us a very valuable lesson; that we cannot make a sound dog unsound and vice versa...that genetics speaks volumes.
Despite his previous environment and neglect, he was a very balanced dog with a sound, solid temperament. He was a loving, high energy mush pot who was happiest just being around his people.


A THE K9 TRIALS SURROUNDED BY HIS ADMIRERS

When informed of Simba's departure for the Bridge, our Tucson co-director Nicki asked, "please thank the Hollidays for me for giving him the fairy tale life he so deserved."



2013

2007

2014
This handsome, solid black lover boy has left his mark on us and his parents to whom we send our deepest sympathy.

HOLLY
2001~August 28, 2015

Holly was Frank & Linda's first SW GSD adoption 12 years ago, followed by Sampson & several fostered puppies. Holly & Sam were inseparable; Sam preceded Holly to the Bridge by only eight weeks. They were destined to remain together.

WITH MOM LINDA & BFF SAMPSON
There's a huge void in this family now..our deepest sympathies dear friends.

HOLLY IN FOSTER CARE PRIOR TO PLACEMENT

PLAYING WITH FOSTER PUPPY SASSY

AT 9 YEARS
SARGE
December 18, 2005 ~ August 28, 2015

Sarge was the victim of divorce and countless extended & lonely stays in boarding facilities. Forever with the Martinez family changed all that; they said: "He was fantastic, just a marvelous dog and full of fun. Thank you so much for allowing us to have him"


ADOPTION DAY w/ DOREEN, MIRA & MICK
GRETTA
2006 ~ 2015


KEN & KIP ADOPTED GRETTA 5 YEARS AGO AND WROTE: "Just to let you know the passing of our beloved Rescue GSD Gretta. She had a great life with us out here in the desert. Our 7th Shepherd over 50 years, the last two both rescues from SW GSD RESCUE and Steff. Gretta was healthy and amazing almost right to the end. Thank you." Ken & Kip Luthe

 
GRETTA EVER ON ALERT LOOKING FOR THOSE PESKY RABITTS & RESTING WITH DAD AFTER VARMINT CHASING

ON RESCUE DAY
"AJ"
NOVEMBER 14, 2005 ~ JULY 20, 2015

We send our love and sympathy to our friend, supporter, adopter and volunteer Al Johnson on the loss of his beloved pal, AJ. AJ was adopted as a youngster eight years ago and succumbed suddenly to the dreaded hemangiosarcoma.


AJ & AL WERE TRUE BUDDIES; THEY WENT EVERYWHERE TOGETHER AND LOVED THEIR FREQUENT HIKES. AJ SEEMED TO SLEEP WITH ONE EYE OPEN, EVER ALERT TO ANY DANGER. HE WARNED HIS DAD TO THE PRESENCE OF A MOJAVE RATTLESNAKE ON THEIR PROPERTY ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS.

HE LOVED THE SPORTING LIFE AND REGULARLY WATCHED ANIMAL PLANET

SAMPSON von Kreifels
January 20, 2004 ~ June 26, 2015

Sam was adopted at 9 months old in 2004, joining previously adopted Holly (below) They were much loved members of their family, both leading active lives and regularly marched in the annual Veteran's Day Parade

Frank & Linda were our puppy fosters and Sam & Holly were loving to all
Below; they welcomed puppies Cricket, Odin & Sassy


SLEEP WELL SWEET SAM, SEE YOU AT THE BRIDGE
KATIE aka "KAT"
AUGUST 2, 2004 ~ JUNE 19, 2015

ELEVEN YEARS AGO WE RESCUED A FEMALE GSD, SIGHT UNSEEN, FROM A KINGMAN SHELTER. WHEN SHE ARRIVED FROM THE LONG DRIVE, STEFF & HER FOSTERS WERE AT THE PARK AWAITING HER ARRIVAL, EAGER TO MEET AND PHOTOGRAPH HER. STEFF GAVE HER THE ONCE OVER AND DECLARED, "I THINK THIS GAL IS PREGGARS"..SURPRISE!

It was getting late, we dubbed her "DUSTY" and off she went with her foster folks with plans for them to meet us at our vet's office that week. In just a few short days Mom had blown up to whelping size, confirmed by X-rays. There was a contest; guess when the puppies would be born, how many will there be, and would they be mixes or pure bred GSDs? No one guessed correctly. .

That following weekend she had her puppies, ALL PURE BREDS, which came to be known as the "Dusty Pups".


beating up her sister and stealing the 'prize'


Always in trouble...... 9 WEEKS.....WHO ME?! 14 WEEKS

At 4 weeks and weaned, Steff took the litter home, evaluated and house trained them. All of the puppies were placed in their new homes but Steff held one back, Katie 'Kayos"..a holy terror not quite ready for prime time. Steff knew she needed to work with her or she would come flying back to us in short order. She proved to be a challenging kid and remained incredibly destructive until, at least, 2-3 years of age. And so, the weeks turned to months, the months to years and before we knew it, now 6 weeks shy of eleven years. Besides, Steff's boy Cooper had pretty much adopted Kat, she became "his" dog and a special one indeed.


KAT AT 8 MONTHS

ON 5th BIRTHDAY

AND AT 2 YEARS


OUT RUNNING HER MOM, WITH SISTER LITA WHO CAME UP FROM TUCSON TO MARCH IN THE VETERANS DAY PARADE & WITH MAIN SQUEEZE, COOPER


1st TIME HERDING

KATIE KAT, THE "FOREVER FOSTER" BLOSSOMED INTO A LOVELY LADY WHO WILL BE MISSED BEYOND WORDS

WYATT
MARCH 2006 ~ APRIL 2015

Wyatt was found as a stray, along with his brother, at 6 months of age (above). He was adopted by the Kenney's in September , 2006.

He is pictured (below) with BFF Cinder; they left for the Rainbow Bridge together

His family wrote:

Cinderella was born on September 24 2002. She was Black and Tan purebred Shepherd beautiful, regal and in charge. Her nickname was "Sweetie" or "Pea" ..she was the pack leader for her brother Wyatt our male shepherd and 3 black cats Bubba, Blackie and Squiggle. She had her first knee replacement on 6-8-2011 and her second knee replacement on 8-7-2012. She was in perfect health throughout her life.

Her brother Wyatt, born on March 24, 2006, was Black and Tan/Brown and our rescue full of love..a cuddle bug we quickly nicknamed monster. He loved his balls and consistently had 2 in his mouth with one waiting to be thrown by his favorite person. He was an avid swimmer who could not wait to get into the water and would play for 10-12 hours at a time. Wyatt was diagnosed on November 3, 2014 with Lumbosacral Stenosis and Cauda Equina Syndrome. Put simply it caused lameness for Wyatt weakening his rear leg and causing extreme pain but he would always be by our side or hoping to get the ball tossed his way.

They passed away on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 9a.m. at home in the backyard. My husband and I were grateful that they could be at home without the drama of the vet office. Cinder was 12.5 years old and Wyatt was 9 years old 1 month when they passed. They are missed here on earth but soaring in heaven we will see them again and rejoice.


ADOPTION DAY SEPTEMBER 2006 ............... and playing in the White Mountains with his family

CIERRA
August 26, 2003 ~ March 27, 2015

Cierra was among our favorite rescues. She was, literally, snatched from death by minutes. County Animal Control was already enroute to pick her up to be euthanized at her original owner's request. We, however, had seen great potential in this import when we did her initial evaluation. We immediately arranged to meet him in an open field and take her from him, without a clue as to where we could put her..there was no time to think about that.

Cierra was not trained, not socialized and spent far too much time confined to a room with two other dogs, one another GSD female...of course there were fights..and of course, the ignorant owner stuck his hand in the midst of one.

Fast forward to post adoption: in short order, Cierra became a well trained, obedient, intelligent and loyal companion who traveled the nation with her Mom & Dad. She flew in helicopters, climbed mountains, conquered her fear of water and hit every lake where she hiked. Despite her high prey drive, she learned to coexist and befriend cats and various critters and to nurture them to boot. She was a powerful and confident swimmer. Thus we were absolutely devastated to learn that Cierra had drowned in a pool. She would have turned 12 years old in August.

Her Mom, quite the shutterbug, has taken 100's of photos of Cierra's adventures. So we have created a link to share some of them.

CLICK TO VIEW PICS   CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO

NINA
October 18, 2009 ~ April 6, 2015

Our hearts, along with her family's, are broken. Nina had finally found, not only forever, but an opportunity to utilize her incredibly nurturing and loving nature with a young boy and his family who shared that devotion. Nina had developed a trust that enabled her to reveal her true personality and a confidence not seen before. She had come into her own and found where she belonged. Sadly, she started losing weight. and all the testing could find no reason other than cancer. Following imaging diagnostics, the outcome was clear; Nina's entire body was already ravaged with this insidious disease. She remained alert, playful and bright eyed until yesterday...it was time. Our thanks and deepest condolences to the Mozier family for teaching Nina that she was special and that life could truly be wonderful. And our thoughts are with Martin who, at ten years of age, has had to learn that sometimes life is not fair. He also learned of the value of being able to make a positive difference on that life.

HER FAMILY WROTE:

"Steff, Just wanted to let you know that at 11:15 today, we said our final goodbye to Nina. Even though she was only with us a short time we all loved her very much. She was smart, loyal, affectionate and a member of our family. I will miss our morning walks, the way she "talked" to Martin and even the goofy way she sat with her one leg splayed all over the place.

I wanted to say thank you Steff for letting us spend the last few months of her life with her. We are sad that she's gone but happy in knowing that we could make her feel safe, loved and a part of our "pack" before she passed."

-Russ, Becky and Martin Mozier

DRIFTER
RESCUED MAY 2008
ADOPTED MARCH 1, 2009 ~ MARCH 5, 2015


Drifter's story is one of uncompromised commitment coupled with the heart of a valiant soldier
.


ABOVE, DRIFTER'S 1st MEETING WITH FOSTER MOM..COULD A (sick) GUY LOOK ANY HAPPIER?


ADOPTION DAY MARCH 2009
It was ten months of treatment and TLC before he was ready for his official adoption.


2011

He was found drifting near a reservation in southern Arizona. He was painfully emaciated, weak and essentially fading away. He was subsequently diagnosed with the worst and most progressed case of (untreated) Valley Fever that we have ever seen. Scar tissue had formed along his throat to near his heart which compromised his airway and ability to breathe.

After much testing, scoping and seemingly endless diagnostics and consults with various specialists, we were informed that surgery was not an option and Drifter was handed a very grim prognosis. But they did not know of the fight in this special boy. They did not know of our resolve along with the dedication of his loving foster Mom, who ultimately became his Mom.

Years later, even those at the Valley Fever for Excellence at the UofA, who were quite familiar with his case, could not believe that he survived. And survive he did, for another seven years! He continued to show a positive VF titer as he was tested regularly, and he remained on medication for the rest of his enriched life.

While we are saddened beyond words and his Mom devastated by this loss, Drifter was living testimony to the value of unwavering devotion and which he gratefully returned. Our deepest sympathies, Elaine, thank you.


DRIFTER IN 2008 - LOSING HAIR AND ALL RIBS

HAWK (originally Hercules)
Adopted 2008 ~ January 15, 2015

Rescued from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona

Free at last, the day he got out of jail

HAWK & EMMA BECAME FAST FRIENDS

Emma, Hawk (right) with Mom Susan who wrote:

"Dear Steff, I am writing to thank you for giving us our beloved Hawk. He was the love of my life, and I am grateful for every minute I had with him. He was always such a joy. . . always talking and snuggling . . .running and playing with his toys . . . always so full of life. Words cannot begin to express what a gift he was. Thank you for letting him become part of our family. Unfortunately, we lost him last night to what I believe was hemangiosarcoma. We miss him so much and are lost without him. Gratefully, Susan"

Our deepest sympathies go out to Susan & Emma

PETER PANZUR
AUGUST 18, 2003 ~ JANUARY 10, 2015

Our hearts are broken for Petey's parents, Tom & Martha. They wrote: "I sit here crying....Peter is gone. He was surrounded by his family. As you know, these are among the worst days of one's life. We love him very much; Thank you for sharing Petey with us."

PUPPY PETE AT 9mos

PETE PREFERRED CELEBRATING HIS BIRTHDAYS IN HIS FAVORITE SPOT


PETE WITH DAD TOM AT THE GRAND CANYON AND A YOUNG PETEY (inside) BIKING WITH PAL HALEY


There wasn't a ball or pool that Pete could pass up


WITH BFF and FELLOW ADOPTEE, HALEY, IN 2007

BANDIT
DECEMBER 16, 2003 ~ NOVEMBER 16, 2014






Bandit, previously adopted "Daja" & the Garlow family whose son Ricky wrote: "

"Bandit was a trip, he acted the same way from the moment we got him. He was always full of energy and kept us all entertained. Definitely the wild child in the family. We miss him tremendously but we know he's in a better place."

NELLIE
RESCUED MARCH 2010 ~ OCTOBER 8, 2014


NELLIE ON OCTOBER 6, 2014


Nellie had transited through 3 other homes before being surrendered to us; we will never understand why as she was the quintessential 'easy keeper'... ...so much for commitment. Then along came Art & Jan..Nellie had finally found forever.


Nellie & Art on adoption day...listening intently to Mom Jan..and posing with family including her kitty.


Nellie succumbed to hemangiosarcoma in the arms of her loving parents who wrote:

"Steff, we can't begin to tell you how much Nellie meant to us over the past 4 1/2 years. Thank you for your faith in us as adopters. She was the perfect dog for us. We are heartbroken that she is gone."

SHADOW
MAY 18, 2002 ~ SEPTEMBER 29, 2014


ADOPTED 10.5 YEARS AGO IN 2004


Our thoughts are with Shadow's Mom and constant companion, Marlene, who more than made up for what was a very rough, outdoor "childhood" and helped Shadow to become an ambassador of her breed


AFTER HER MOM'S COMMITMENT TO SOCIALIZING, SHADOW BECAME A KID MAGNET AT THE PARK & WHEREVER SHE WENT

CONAN aka Lover Boy


ADOPTED APRIL 2008 ~ AUGUST 26, 2014


ABOVE AT THE HUMANE SOCIETY JUST PRIOR TO BEING "SPRUNG"


RIGHT AFTER HIS FIRST GROOMING & LATER IN HIS FUREVER HOME

Conan was the quintessential TEDDY BEAR, both in appearance and personality. He got along with anything that breathes. He was the one-dog welcome committee to many fosters his folks cared for and made them all feel safe. Conan was the kindest, most loving soul of all; we are blessed to have known him.


ON ADOPTION DAY WITH MOM MARCY & HOME WITH HIS BEST BUDDY JEROME CONAN LEFT FOR THE BRIDGE AT HOME IN THE ARMS OF HIS ADORING PARENTS AT 11 YEARS Our love goes out to Marcy, Jerry & Jerry Jr., his devoted and heartbroken family

From Conan's Mom:

"Words can not express how thankful we were to have our Gentle Giant for the time we were granted. He truly was an amazing boy. He was perfect in every way possible. No matter where I took him everyone would tell me what a beautiful boy he was and I would respond by saying as beautiful as he is on the outside, that's how beautiful he is on the inside.

I will miss him greeting me when I come home and giving me kisses. I will miss him rubbing against me and the little kink he would get on his one ear when he was happy. Not a day went by that I didn't think how lucky I was to have him. I have loved many a dog in my lifetime but HE, MY PRECIOUSE BOY, WAS MY HEART DOG.

Jerry Jr. is grieving and missing him as much as we are. He looks at me as if he were asking "where is my buddy"? In time we will all heal but Conan will never ever leave my heart. He truly was a one of a kind dog.

Thank you again Steff for giving him to us, he was my baby boy."

JACQUI
Rescued March, 2011 ~ August 2014

From her dedicated foster family,the Dietmeyers:

"Hi Steff, Jacqui passed away today at 5:20P. We will miss her terribly. We were privileged to be part of helping such a gentle sweetheart see that humans could become her best friends. And Mr. Noah, what can we say about him? He helped her become a dog...and then she bossed him around everywhere he moved. :) Our hearts are broken, but we know we did what was best for her by not making her continued existence consist of only brief struggles to eat or drink or go out to potty. She got all there was for her out of life for as long as her body allowed and we will never, ever forget her strong heart of a champ.

Thank you for all you do for these precious creatures. No one can save them all unfortunately, but for everyone that is helped, there must be a star up there somewhere. God bless you always, Kim"

Jacqui's journey with us began when we pulled her from the pound literally two hours before her scheduled execution. She was in terrible shape..we were not even sure she would last a month. She knew so little that we thought she was deaf, she didn't know what a toy was and made little eye contact. Her tail never wagged.

Many vet trips. surgeries and meds followed but with lots of socialization and TLC, along with the tutelage of her new pal Noah, she blossomed into the most loving, engaging and playful pooch, having learned all of the experiences she had previously been denied. She remained in our and her foster's care, happy and safe, for nearly three and a half years. We simply didn't find anyone special enough for this very special lady.

Our sincere gratitude to her special foster family and her Angel sponsors for helping us provide her with such an enriched life.

Click for Jacqui's Journey

CONCHA AKA "CONNIE"
JULY 7, 2003 ~ AUGUST 4, 2014





This stunning lady was adopted in May, 2007 & lived on a 150 acre sheep farm free and very much loved by the Young family who said, " She was so great, so good, one terrific dog. We thank you for letting us adopt her"

CHARGE
JULY 7, 2003 ~ JANUARY 25, 2013



CHARGE WITH AN OLD FRIEND, CIERRA Charge was Connie's (Concha) littermate. He was friendly to all and will be greatly missed.

DIESEL
Placed JULY 2006 at 5 years of age~
left for the Bridge JULY 2014 ~ at 13 years old


ON RESCUE DAY~ARRIVAL IN PHOENIX:

ADOPTED & ADORED:

Originally "Ditsel" this stunning black sable Czech import was used as a brood bitch by a Tucson breeder for the 1st five years of her life. She knew nothing of indoor living, consistent human contact and was never socialized. BUT, we knew that in the right hands, she would shine. Our sincere sympathy to the Banyas family who wrote:

"Very hard to muster the fortitude to write this.

A long time has passed since 2006 and our switch from lead to last in the Veterans Day Parade. Wanted to let you know that Diesel took her last ride to the vet's a couple of weeks ago.

In 8 years My best friend and I had over 10,000 walks totaling over 8,000 miles. (never less than 3 outings a day) She barked about 5 times Never climbed on furniture Never begged at the table responded to commands instantly Completely ready to defend me and ward off the coyotes and javelina we stumbled across a few times

The rambunctious gal that tried to jump the fence and reared up on hind legs at the site of another dog, turned into the most loveable princess. Dubbed the neighborhood dog by adults and the "singing dog" by the kids, she never met a person she didn't want a pet from. WOOO WOOO WOOO was the greeting given to everyone... until the petting began. If stopped it usually got louder.

Not counting the trips to the shopping center, where we could find a bench where she could sing to passer-byes, her record for one walk was 12 pets.

The kids would all sing to her, Twinkle twinkle and I'm a little teapot were favorites. She would join in and folks would phone in, photo, or video the "choir". Literally developing a "fan club" who would drop what they were doing and run over as soon as we got to the park.

She loved to show off if someone were watching. An example, getting to an intersection, she would stop and sit waiting for me give the OK to cross. Without so much as a halt from me.

She was always on the look out for strollers, carriages and wheelchairs she could walk alongside of for a while. Kind of like a sport for her!

What an unbelievable experience."

Chuck

JESSIE

2001 - 7/19/2014
After a year long battle of a degenerative disease, Jessie knew when to give up and died peacefully at home on her own. Her moms, Sylvia and Dawn, were with her. We adopted Jessie in August 2003.

ON ADOPTION DAY AND RELAXING AT HOME WITH MOMS
ANKE

August 30, 2002 ~ May 13, 2014


ANKE ON ADOPTION DAY..ONE OF THOSE RARE TIMES WHEN DOG CHOOSES A NEW MOM ALL ON HER OWN


CHRISTMAS 2005 & 2006


HIKING IN UTAH 2009

ANKE CHRISTMAS 2011

MAY 12, 2014

MOM DENISE WROTE:

"It is with a sad and broken heart that I must tell you that Anke crossed the rainbow bridge on May 13th, 2014. My beautiful girl went peacefully with her head on my leg, surrounded by both my love and that of my brother.

To say that I miss her is an understatement. I reach out to speak to her and realize that she is not here. I feel blessed to have been with her almost 10 years of her life,

She arrived on December 26, 2004, nervous, curious and looking for love. She jumped on my bed that first night and slept with her 4 paws pressed up against me. From then on she was my 'Velcro girl'.

We had adventures from Arizona to New Mexico and Utah and back here. The almost 10 years was far too short. But I will always be so blessed to have her in my life.

Thank you Steff for all that you do. I have attached a picture from May 12th that shows my beautiful Anke surrounded by love and her many toys often given to her by her many "aunties" that loved her so much.

She will be missed and will always remain in my heart."

DANTE
RESCUED August 2003 ~ April 2014

FROM MOM, JULIE:

"Sending Dante to The Rainbow Bridge broke my heart to say the least. He was such a great and wonderful dog! I have been amazed at how many people loved Dante and were also very upset at his passing. As for myself, I am very honored to have been his Master and I look forward to seeing him again at The Rainbow Bridge some day. Thanks for letting me take care of him all of these years - I was the lucky one!"


DECEMBER 2006

HALLOWEEN 2007

LILLE VEN AKA "LILLIE"
April 20, 2007 ~ May 21, 2014

Lillie had finally found a real home along with her "inner German Shepherd." She flourished in an environment in which she had attention and love and became an engaging playful gal. It was so rewarding to watch her become friends with Simba and blossom into the dog that, for so long, was hidden away. Lillie succumbed to a sudden bout of torsion which we later learned also took the life of her sire at an early age. Her parents Jack & Diane are devastated; they wrote: "There is a big hole in our lives right now."

COLT

FEB 14, 2002 ~ APRIL 25, 2014

"Colt passed on 4/25/14 he is very missed, you blessed our family with the most amazing boy, Thank You"

Colt was adopted over 10 years ago and has joined his "sister" adoptee, Sally, at the Bridge. Our thoughts are with the St. Pierre family.

DAKOTA
August 12, 2005 ~ APRIL 4, 2014



DAKOTA'S DEVASTATED MOM & DAD WROTE:
"Thank you so much for entrusting her to us and if one could summarize her in one word it would be "gentle". "She was known in our neighborhood as the "good Shepherd".


A TOLERANT & DEVOTED GUARDIAN TO ALL OF THE GRANDKIDS

OLIVER Z ALPINE DRAGON
"OLLIE"
APRIL 13, 2006 ~ JANUARY 9, 2014


TO SAY THAT THIS DAY AND THOSE TO COME ARE FILLED WITH SADNESS IS, AT BEST, AN UNDERSTATEMENT

 


Dawn, Oliver & Monty

Darlene meets her boy for the first time

Ollie & Monty hoarsin around while Dawn supervises



OLLIE, A STUNNING BLACK SABLE, PAPERED IMPORT WITH A HEART OF GOLD AND THE PERSONALITY OF A TEDDY BEAR.

TODAY OUR HEARTS ARE BROKEN FOR OUR GOOD FRIEND AND STAFF VOLUNTER, DARLENE. OLIVER WAS DROPPED OFF AT THE NEUROSURGEON FOR HIS CERVICAL SPINE SURGERY TO ADDRESS A HERNIATED DISC. Optimism and hope prevailed at the thought of Ollie being restored to full range of motion with his painful neck. Mom Darlene was prepared to do whatever it would take to ensure that happened.

Then the call came; Oliver passed away on the operating table.. .....his heart just stopped and CPR failed. Ollie wasn't special simply because he was a gorgeous representative of his breed; he had the distinction of being placed in a situation in which we are rarely comfortable; with another large male GSD and in a 3-dog pack. To him, they were sister and brother...no problem.

What makes this loss so deep is the extent to which Darlene has had to cope with loss. She lost her husband, Keith around Christmas, 2011. Less than a year later, she bid fairwell to Dawn, the female matriarch of the pack after more than twelve years of sharing. Ollie & Monty helped Darlene through those difficult times.

This morning Darlene sent this to Oliver:

"To Oliver: Words can not convey the depth of sorrow or void I'm feeling at your parting my friend and companion. Your devotion, zest for fun, your pride in conquering fears and the unknown were a testament to your indomitable spirit! I love you and will miss you my precious boy, but all that you taught me and your loving nature will live on in my heart. Thank you my friend!"

To Steff: "Thank you for your support and bringing Oliver, a precious gift, into my life."

SARGE was abandoned at a dog park with a note on his collar;
"Sarge..we can't take care of him anymore"

ON RESCUE DAY


 
He was confused, shaved and limping.
He was so easy going that we were able to foster him in a home with five greyhounds!

His beautiful thick coat started to return

Then along came Bert & Heidi

and his life changed forever


he will be missed beyond words

December 2013, Sarge's "parents" wrote:

"Sarge's absence has created the darkest days and nights I have ever experienced. The contrast to this is the joy and sunshine he brought to us in life every single day. Sarge and I spent almost every hour of every day together. I'm a homebody and being with him is what made us both happy. Sarge truly had us at "Hello".

Bert and I would sit and watch him sleep because he was such a gorgeous creature and we'd say loving things about him that I believe he loved to hear even in sleep.

Bert calls Sarge a treasure. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. He had so many friends. The neighborhood knew him and people would just stop by to see Sarge. Lots of people are feeling our pain because they're feeling it, too.

We are forever grateful to Sally for introducing us to you and SWGSD.

Sarge is the best thing that ever happened for us. And, we are the best thing that ever happened for him. That's the one thing that keeps me sane right now is knowing what we were able provide for him....a wonderful, loving family.

Blessings to you, Steff.

Heidi and Bert"

TRAX AKA MAX~ADOPTED NEARLY 8 AND A HALF YEARS AGO WENT TO THE BRIDGE ON AUGUST 24, 2013 AT 11 YEARS OF AGE


"He was undeniably the best GSD I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. He became so much fun and was no end of enjoyment over the years we were together. We went so many places together, met so many people and other animals. I really miss him. He will always have a special place in my heart."


MAX AND DAD ADAM ON ADOPTION DAY APRIL, 2005...LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

GUNNER


Good night, Sweet Prince

On Saturday, August 17th, we received a call from Gunny's Dad to let us know that Gunny was not feeling well. When Rick described his behavior and symptoms, we immediately sent him to the Emergency Vet; it sounded to us like possible bloat/torsion. It was.

Given the grim prognosis of Gunner's Degenerative Myelopathy, he crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge in the arms of his family. We send our love and condolences to the Dugan family who took Gunny off the streets over two years ago.



Gunny & Rick-Gunny's dental surgery

Everyone involved in this handsome and regal boy's journey is devastated. SW GSD RESCUE wishes to thank all those who helped Gunner
He will be missed

KATA AKA "CODY"
November 3. 2003 ~ August 10, 2013


  
His Mom Karen wrote, "He was a great dog and I am fortunate to have been his human"

  
Cody led a very active life, camping, hiking, swimming, frisbee & biking until stricken with the dreaded DM-Degenerative Myelopathy

ANGUS AKA "GUS"

"We lost him to bone cancer last week. He was so wonderful! We are crushed. Thank you for him"

  

Lucky Gus loved spending his summers at his family's Montana home

  

THUNDER 2003 ~ MAY 28, 2013
 
THUNDER LEFT 2007 RIGHT 2012

His Loving Mom Jill wrote: "He was an amazing dog that everyone fell in love with that met him. A gentle and sweet soul, he is already missed. Here is a picture of him just about a year ago, such a handsome boy!"

Thunder was rescued and adopted six years ago after being hit by a car in Yuma. His owners were located but had abandoned him and wanted no part of the medical bills. He had a deep chest wound, several, broken bones in his foot, tick fever and bladder stones.
 
It took five months in foster and medical care before he was healthy and ready for forever

All better

HEALED AND HOME AT LAST

SAM
NOVEMBER 26, 2002 ~ MAY 23, 2013
 
SAM WAS ADOPTED IN 2003~LEFT AT 9 MONTHS & RIGHT AT 10 YEARS OLD
Our deepest sympathy to Ange & Holly who wrote us: " Forever thankful to you for him"
BARON
JUNE 1, 2000 ~ April 9, 2013
 
It is with profound sadness that we learned of our majestic Baron's departure for the Bridge. He was an exceptional representative of his breed with respect to temperament, structure health and intelligence. He was the quintessential German Shepherd Dog.
Baron was adopted over nine years ago and would have celebrated his 13th birthday in just eight weeks. He will be missed beyond words. His Dad Ken, with whom he traveled the country, called to thank us for "the best dog I have ever had". Baron was particularly photogenic; his pictures grace our brochures and appear throughout this site..here are just a few:
 

 


NIKKI ON ADOPTION DAY 2005

AND AT HOME IN FLAGSTAFF WITH HER BEST PAL JAKE
 

Nikki's family wrote on March 22, 2013:

Dear Steph and German Shepherd Rescue,

It is with unbelievable sadness that I write to you today to tell you of the loss of our beloved Nikki this morning. We fostered her due to the fact she was an older and overweight dog and not so much on the "popular list", but within 5 minutes of bringing her home, we knew she was our forever dog. This was, I believe, in 2005. We are on page 16 of "successful placements". We were told she was "around" 4-5 years old at the time, so today would make her between 12-13 yrs.

She spent her last 5 years of her life up in the Flagstaff snow with her pal Jake. She loved going for hikes in the cool pines, burying herself in the deep snow, and the vast land she could roam freely on. She was happiest in the snow. She did not like the Northern thunderstorms tho! But there was always someone there she could crawl up with for comfort. And after being "skunked" a couple of times, she knew not to try and make friends with "those things" anymore!

She grew up with my twin grandsons (9 yrs old now) and the succession of 5 more grandkids after that. She was gentle and protective and "everyone's favorite" dog.

The older years for Nikki brought arthritis in the hips and some hearing and vision loss and she moved around much slower in the last months but still kept the twinkle in her eye and could still catch a treat from across the room when it was treat time!

She will be missed for many years to come. She may have been a rescue dog, but she really "saved" us with her gratefulness, her spirit and devotion for her family.

Thank you Steph for allowing us this wonderful creature and know that she was loved beyond words.
I hope all your potential forever homes will see beyond imperfections and to look past the old, the sick and the wallflowers to see there is a loving and faithful friend in all of them, given the chance.

Thank you again Steph, Maria and Forrest Wright and family

(Note: Nikki was actually 7 years old at adoption ~~ 15 years old when she left for the Bridge!)

TOBY ~ADOPTED 2004 ~ MARCH 19, 2013
  

Steff, After almost 9 wonderful years we had to say goodbye to our beloved Toby. My family is very distraught and wanted to let you know and also thank you for letting us have him in our lives for this long. We have had him as long as we have had our daughter Jenna. He was my third German Shepherd I have had in my life and was by far the best one. We loved him so much and as I am writing this e-mail I am crying.

Please keep us in mind as we will definitely want to adopt another wonderful dog from you after we mourn. He had a great life with us as we did with him. Thanks again.

SHEENA ~ ADOPTED 2007
One of 3 dogs taken to the county pound when their owner passed away
ALL THREE WERE ADOPTED
 

 
SHEENA, HOURS FROM DEATH, WENT FROM HOPELESS AT THE POUND (left) to the CUSHY COUCH JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

LOUISE AND HER SPECIAL HOLIDAY GIFT
TESSA~formerly PRINCESS ~ ADOPTED 2003


Tessa was one of our first rescues along with her 10 puppies! She lived a long and much loved life with her Mom Nicki..who wrote: " "Thank you for letting me adopt such an amazing dog."


TESSA AKA PRINCESS & FAMILY WHEN RESCUED IN 2003
BAHNBRECHER'S JOLIE
MARCH 6, 1997 ~ JANUARY 22, 2013


Jolie & Family in 2011 at 15 years old!

      
Jolie in her prime (left) with her son Phelan, now Jack (right)


on day Jolie was surrendered to us

A very special lady, Jolie was relinquished by her breeder at the age of 9 years, adopted by her foster parents at the age of 10 and in just 6 weeks, Jolie would have celebrated her 16th birthday... ...a rare milestone for her breed!!! Hers is a story of seniors helping seniors as Dad Teo is in his 80's and Mom Rosemarie in her 90's While we are saddened to have to say good-bye, we are so grateful for the wonderful care & life she enjoyed for her last 6 and a half years.

      
JOLIE on JANUARY 22nd AT 16 YEARS AND HER GOOD PAL ANDY WHO ACCOMPANIED HER TO THE "BRIDGE" A VERY RUFF DAY INDEED FOR HER LOVING FAMILY~OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO THE JAWOROWSKI FAMILY

ANNIE FORMERLY "CORY" ADOPTED 2010


MOM LISA, ANNIE & DAD CARL ~ "THE BEST DOG WE'VE EVER HAD"


CERTIFIED PET THERAPY DOG~ANOTHER VICTIM OF DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY (DM)

SHEBA

LEFT FOR THE BRIDGE DEC 14, 2012 AT 12 + YEARS OF AGE


SHEBA LEFT, AFTER HER MOVE WITH HER FAMILY TO MICHIGAN AND JUST LAST YEAR (RIGHT) IN 2011


ON ADOPTION DAY WITH PROUD PARENTS BOBBI & JOHN

LOGAN

We wish to express our gratitude to all of Logan's sponsors and his devoted and heartbroken "Mom" Ginger, who helped us to accommodate his needs and provide his long term care



This is how Logan found contentment and security

LOGAN HAD ONE OF THE WORST CASES OF SEPARATION ANXIETY WE'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED. SO MUCH SO THAT WHEN HIS ORIGINAL ADOPTER MOVED FROM A SUBURBAN SCOTTSDALE HOUSE WHERE SHE WORKED FROM HOME, TO AN APARTMENT IN SAN FRANCISCO WHERE SHE LEFT FOR WORK DAILY, LOGAN JUMPED OUT OF A SECOND STORY WINDOW. HE SIMPLY COULD NOT TOLERATE BEING ALONE OR CRATED FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME.

WE ACCEPTED LOGAN INTO LIFETIME FOSTER CARE SEVERAL YEARS AGO. HE LIVED IN THE ONLY TYPE OF SITUATION WHERE HE WAS ALWAYS SECURE AND HAPPY; AMONG A LARGE AND DIVERSE PACK OF CANINES CARED FOR BY A RETIRED VET TECH WHO STAYED HOME MOST OF THE TIME AND KNEW HOW TO TEND TO HIS MEDICAL NEEDS. AS LONG AS LOGAN HAD HIS PACK, HE SHOWED NO ANXIETY WHATSOEVER. HE HAD HIS VERY OWN BED & SPOT IN HIS FOSTER MOM'S BEDROOM AND HIS PERSONAL PLACE OUTSIDE WHICH ALL OTHER PACK MEMBERS RESPECTED. HE WAS NEVER ALONE.

UNFORTUNATELY LOGAN'S SIGNIFICANT ORTHOPEDIC PROBLEMS CAUSED HIM GREAT PAIN AS HE AGED AND FOR WHICH MEDICATION NO LONGER PROVIDED RELIEF.

LOGAN LEFT FOR THE RAINBOW BRIDGE THIS MORNING, 12/12/12, PAIN AND WORRY FREE WE WILL MISS HIS SWEETNESS AND LOVING PERSONALITY

"WOLFIE" formerly "AMOS" ADOPTED 2005


Pictured below with Mom Sue and sister Annie on adoption day

Wolfie never met a stranger and put his exceptional, loving temperament to work as a certified hospice therapy dog. He joined pal Annie at the Rainbow Bridge in December, 2012.

Kaila vom Drei Felsenblick
May 3, 2001 ~ November 5, 2012

Our deepest sympathies to the Ritter family on the loss of their sweet girl

TOOTSIE

Tootsie was adopted eight years ago after surviving and rallying from Parvo. She left for the Bridge, a victim of Degenerative Myelopathy, on August 2, 2012 Her Mom Melissa wrote: "Tootsie made a true German Shepherd lover out of me, thank you for bringing Tootsie into my life!"
LEXUS

LEXI AND HER DEVOTED MOM MAUREEN ON ADOPTION DAY 9 YEARS AGO

Lexi was 12 years old when she left for the "Bridge" on September 19. 2012
BLITZ (formerly RASCAL), adopted 2006


OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE KLEPACZ FAMILY ON THE LOSS THEIR SWEET BLITZ, APRIL 30, 2012
"She was truly a member of our family and was loved by all of us. She is and will be missed for a very long time."

ONYX
December 26, 1999 ~ April 2, 2012



Onyx was adopted as a senior in 2008 and had nearly four wonderful years with the Medland family who wrote, "Thank you for this gift"
MORGAN
DEC 2003 ~ DEC 2011



Her Dad Sean wrote, "It has been very hard. She was such a kind beautiful sweet girl. For me one of a kind."
HEART
Rescued in 2006, departed for the Bridge December 6th, 2011
CLICK FOR HEART'S JOURNEY

  

One of the more gratifying aspects of rescue is being there when they arrive in their hour of need. And if you stay in it long enough, you're also there when it is time for their departure. But that, too, is gratifying as you are secure in the knowledge that there was a caring, loving family to see them off to the Bridge.

Still, it was difficult for us, and Heart's family to say good bye. Heart was one of our more challenging and memorable rescues having been found by Yuma Border Patrol steadfastly (and barely) clinging to life after struggling for hours to keep from drowning in a canal. He was pulled out of the canal and the local Humane Society was informed that he was enroute for euthanasia~ to end the suffering he surely would not survive.
Not so fast....Cindy, one of our volunteers, was nearby. She quickly intercepted Heart and took his nearly lifeless body directly to the vet then, contacted us. He could not move other than to shift his eyes. We gave the green light to pull out all the stops.

He was a mess; emaciated and malnourished, his entire body covered with open and puncture wounds, his ears had holes through to the opposite side, all of the nails on his paws ripped off from trying to claw his way to safety.
Over time and after blood work, X-rays, etc. we learned that Heart had Tick Fever, his rear dew claws were flopping and tattered, his hips were bad, almost every tooth in his mouth was broken or shattered (his dental bill alone was $4,000)
He even battled a brief case of ringworm while recovering. There was no doubt that his name must be "Heart."
The Yuma team nurtured his initial recovery which went relatively quickly. Within a week, he was able to walk and even play, albeit very gingerly...the pads of his feet were raw and one badly infected.
The Phoenix team, meanwhile, was working on getting him into foster care where we could continue with his treatment. Wonderful Angels donated to help with Heart's soaring medical bills.
Our goal was a home for Christmas where he could continue his recovery. After nearly three months of TLC in Yuma, Heart arrived Phoenix on December 16th...just in time.
What started in September and following a few surgeries and countless trips to the vet, Heart's rehab concluded on (appropriately) Valentine's day....his official adoption day.
His foster & adoptive Mom Tracy, her son Chris, along with Rat Terrier Lil Bit, will have a big void to fill.

ready to leave Yuma

first intro to a hyper Rat Terrier

I'm feelin good


HOME FOREVER
Tracy has made a donation in memory of Heart, "my beloved Shepherd who was my great gift from Steff. He is playing over the Rainbow Bridge, healthy, happy, and whole at last."

NERO von SCHLOSS RUNDING
APRIL 20, 2003 ~ NOVEMBER 14, 2011


It is with a very heavy heart that we learned of Nero's sudden and unexpected passing due to a massive seizure. He was an exceptional imported and fully trained West German beauty.

He was not only a much loved family member to the Kimery's but a devoted guardian to their newest six month old daughter.

Nero was a friend and sentry, the quintessential GSD, who will be missed beyond words.


HONEY BUN ~ ADOPTED IN 2006

Honey was found in Tucson surfing through garbage for food for her and both of her two 12-week old pups in 2005. She was very sick; emaciated, severe case of Tick Fever & 3rd stage heartworm.
We have always felt that Honey had been an abandoned or escaped victim of the many dogs rescued from the ravages of hurricane Katrina.
It took us ten months to restore her to health.


Honey spent the last six years loved and devoted to her Mom and Dad, Rosemarie & Tio along with their daughter Jessica and was, without question, Daddy's girl.
Old age finally caught up with her and she left for the bridge Monday to join all of the others this gracious family has helped. Although she will be greatly missed, Honey's is a story of success.

SHANIA

In February of 2010 Shania's "owner" wanted to surrender her but only gave us a couple of days; we begged her "Mom" to give us time to find a foster but there was no way. She had taken Shania in as a stray six years prior, kept her in the backyard during the day, never took her to a vet, never vaccinated or spayed her ..it was apparent that Shania had been bred... and as soon as Shania started showing signs of age, she was, once again, about to be a 'stray'. Not too long after we received a call from Charis; she somehow came into contact with this owner trying to give her dog away, she asked if we could help find her a home if she fostered Shania. Charis had already had Shania health checked, vaccinated and spayed. Soon after we evaluated Shania and placed her in our re-homing program.

There weren't any takers for a senior gal with weak hips but Charis adjusted her household and kept Shania safe and loved. She worked on training and socializing her until Charis decided that Shania didn't have all that much time left to wait for and adjust to a new home; and committed to keeping her until it was time to say good-bye. Shania left for the Rainbow Bridge in April of 2011 having spent the last year and half of her life a much loved member of the Williams family.

ROCKY APRIL 28, 2001 ~ FEBRUARY 4, 2011
A victim of hemangiosarcoma

ROCKY & DAD STEVE

JACQUI & STEVE WROTE:

"We just wanted to let you know that Rocky died peacefully in our arms today at the vet's office. He was 10 years old. He was the best dog we ever had in our lives, and we will miss him always. We had him for 2 1/2 years, which was way too short for us.
Much to our shock and dismay, the vet took x rays and discovered a massive tumor in his stomach which had burst. There was blood in the fluid. Also, all of his organs were pushed against his side, and she advised us that this was the end for our big, sweet guy. There was nothing we could do for him. She helped us to decide to take him home overnight to say goodbye. And we did. We hugged him, kissed him, pet him, slept with him, and said our goodbyes. This morning, we stayed with him until the end. He was so faithful and loyal to us, so we needed to be faithful and loyal to him.

We wanted to let you know that since we laid eyes on Rocky, we loved that big guy. He was such a happy boy and he had a great life here with Greta and us always being home to love him. Thank you for allowing us to adopt such a special dog. He was a blessing in our lives. We are all going to miss him terribly."

Our thoughts are with the Whiteman family

Our heartfelt sympathy to our dear friends & supporters, Rob & Dee Dwight

COURAGE
January 20, 2003 ~ July 31, 2010

graduation from obedience

Sadly, Harley, renamed Courage when adopted seven years ago, arrived at the Rainbow Bridge today. He was a great ambassador for the breed and will be missed by his much loved canine companion Trinity along with the newest member of the Dwight clan Wotan the new Schipperke puppy. Courage and Trinity were inseparable. The patience and tolerance Courage demonstrated when tormented by the new puppy was so very typical of his kind and gentle nature... even though he was in pain.

Please click here for a short Courage montage

HANK

HANK SHORTLY AFTER RESCUE IN 2004 & AT RIGHT IN LATE 2009

Hank, was dubbed "Mr. Mellow" because of his calm & gentle demeanor He left for the bridge on January 21, 2010, a victim of hemangiosarcoma, at the age of 12 and half. Hank we miss your sweet spirit.

SADIE
FEB 2004 ~ JANUARY 2010

OUR SYMPATHIES TO ALAN & VICTORIA HENDRICKSON WHO WROTE:
"Growing up with German Shepherds and having had dogs all my life, I should say Sadie was the best dog I had ever; incredible intelligent, calm and I would say wise... if you can say that about a dog... "
KARLEE March 1998 - June 2009

Karlee was adopted by Ken & Kip Luthe who wrote: "Kip & I were fortunate to have her retire with us almost 4 years ago. Karlee led a good life with us and was healthy to the last few days. She brought us so much love and will be missed every day. She was a wonderful soul and was at home with us from the first day here. Thank you and your rescue .."
YESSIE

Yessie came to us from a shelter in Kingman as a 7-8 year old 4 years ago. She spent the remainder of her life in a loving, forever home with Erika & Dave who wrote: "We couldn't have asked for a sweeter more loving girl and she is so greatly missed!" Yessie left for the bridge in early March of 2009...our sympathy and thanks to her Mom and Dad.
It is with great sadness that we learned of Sherpa's departure for the Bridge on August 11, 2008. He was a constant companion and source of joy to his Mom Beth who took him everywhere. This slide show (click on Sherpa's picture) is our tribute to a great friend and a fine German Shepherd Dog:


4/19/98 - 8/11/08
A donation in Sherpa's memory has been made to SWGSDR by Beth and John's friend, Julia Ousley. Thank You.

This lovely lady was rescued from the Yuma Humane Society despite knowing that she had significant hindquarter weakness. We put our name on her on September 9th, 2008 and transported her directly to our vet in Tucson on September 10th, but not before our Yuma volunteer Cyndi had her groomed. We had everything X-rayed and examined. There was a mammary mass..no problem, we'll get that when she's spayed we thought.

Her hips were actually O.K., some bridging spondylosis along her spine BUT, the abdominal films revealed a huge splenic mass; undoubtedly fatal hemangiosarcoma. We hadn't even named her as we had an adopter waiting in the wings for that honor. So we called her Ms. X for the day. She was humanely euthanized by our vet, in the arms of our Tucson rep Nicki, and will be cremated with dignity. Ms.X will not be another anonymous addition to that heap at the shelter. The ones we can't help hurt the most.

Samantha, adopted in 2004, was Dad Al's constant companion and buddy. Sammie unexpectedly left for the Rainbow Bridge in November 2006, having suffered a massive stroke. Her Dad, as well as his daughter and her Pomeranian, Gizmo, still mourn her loss and feel the void left by her passing. They enjoyed a wonderful and blessed relationship.
Bear was adopted shortly before his 10th birthday and left for the Bridge in April, 2007, just shy of his 14th birthday. He had four wonderful years with a truly wonderful family.
IN MEMORY OF STEVE & CASEY & MISSY

The following was received today from Steve's close friends, Bob and Carol Gray

We are sad to inform you that Steve Meverden, his GSD Casey along with his recently adopted GSD Missy died in a fire at their home in Apache Junction, AZ. The fire occurred about 5:45 am on January 8, 2007. The three of them died together.

Steve and Casey were brought together by Southwest German Shepherd Rescue approximately four years ago. They brightened each others lives and were inseparable. In November of last year they opened their home and hearts to an abandoned GSD named Missy. While Missy never took to other humans or K-9s, she became a full member of their pack.

We wish to thank you for the kindness you showed Steve, Casey and Missy. in bringing them together and training them so they could enjoy their lives together.

It took us 3 weeks to find a way to get Aragorn into an adoptive home from Southern Arizona where he had been temporarily and lovingly fostered. He was an exceptional, obedience trained youngster from titled parents and an impressive family tree of imports. He was not only beautiful; he had a heart of gold.

Just one momentary lapse of judgment on the part of his caregiver resulted in his instant death by a speeding car. He never even saw the inside of his new home. Everyone involved was devasted by the loss of this sweet spirit. We shall never forget him.

On July 25, 2005, our royal lady Greta finally succumbed to old age at 14 years. In just under two years of loyal service and genuine friendship, she literally changed the life of her grateful and devoted companion Pearl. Greta taught us a lesson about old dogs learning new tricks when she certified as a level one assistance dog at 12 years of age.

Greta also reminded us all of the value of life at any age and of the wisdom and purpose of those too often discarded.

Sasha was placed just shy of two years ago; she was relinquished by her owners because of a biting incident. It was instantly apparent to us that Sasha had been put in a situation that she should not have been; there was no question that this loyal sweetheart should not be a victim of some human's negligence and lack of familiarity with this breed. She was re-homed, with full disclosure, and proved herself to be a loyal and devoted companion to Jesse and Maricel, both of whom also saw Sasha's true qualities. They too admired her intelligence, gentle playfulness and dedication to her pack. She traveled and went everywhere with them.

She and Ramsey, her male counterpart, enjoyed life to the fullest until Sasha became ill a little less than a year ago. She left for the bridge following nothing less than heroic efforts on the part of Mom & Dad to keep her alive. She will missed so very much and every Christmas will serve as a reminder of a love lost far too soon. Sweet dreams lovely lady.

Sasha & Ramsey

Sasha trying to hang on


This was the day Ossie was "discarded" at 12-13 years of age. The condition of his coat masked the fact that he was a beautiful long haired GSD, easily seen after placement and TLC by his adoring Mom Jessica. Ossie (at right) on Adoption Day -- looking ahead

Our regal senior one week before arriving at the Rainbow Bridge on November 18, 2005, at just under 14 years of age.
R.I.P.

Sabra
R.I.P.

King
GABRIEL (formerly Gus)


Gabe Happy at Home
GUS, dubbed "GABRIEL" by his Mom Joyce, was found wandering alone in a dusty wash in Yuma having been discarded as old trash. He was skinny and without hope after being picked up by Animal Control and taken to be euthanized. Our volunteer Cyndi stepped in immediately and here he is pictured meeting his Phoenix foster Mom Betty.
It wasn't long before he was adopted by his Mom Joyce after which he blossomed into a hearty, happy and muscular fella. They enjoyed two glorious years providing one another with joy, companionship and security before heading for the bridge at twelve years of age.
Our heartfelt sympathy to his Mom; he will be missed beyond words.
ROXIE was a gal kept in the backyard, sometimes tied to a tree, and bred repeatedly until she, literally, could barely stand. We rescued her at nine years of age when she was no longer "useful" to her owner. Then along came Peggy....


I got Roxie through you almost 3 years ago and I lost her today. I wanted to let you know what a wonderful dog she was for me. We were the perfect match and I got to keep her longer then I thought I would. She was 9 when I got her.

Roxie was the most mellow dog I have ever known. Even people who are afraid of dogs would walk right up to this 85 lb shepherd and pet her because they knew she was so good. We walked twice a day, every day and I know the whole neighborhood will miss her. (Including a neighbors cat who came to visit all the time.)

Before to long I will be checking your web site again for another dog. It's hard when you lose them but they sure are worth it. I know I won't find another Roxie but someone else will be a good companion for some other reason.

Our gentle giant Gordy left for the Bridge on February 26, 2010. He was at home surrounded by his entire human and canine family and enveloped in love. He would have turned 9 years old this April.

Sandra and John Krisch adopted Gordy two and a half years ago knowing that their time with him would likely be less that they would have liked. Sandra & John are our heroes; they have seven senior canines and are acutely aware of the need for these special fur kids to have a loving place to hang their hat in their golden years.


GORDY RECENTLY IN HIS FAVORITE SPOT--HIS SUV


THE CLAN KEEPS GROWING

Seniors themselves, the Krischs' established a foundation designated solely to help such dogs in need. Gordy was a very special dog and his Mom & Dad are, indeed, very special people for whom we are very thankful.


CHARLES

It was only a matter of time before Charlie would have to head for the Rainbow Bridge; his foster Mom finally had to let him go. Sweet dreams little man... .....we tried our best to make up for the rest.

CHARLIES STORY

KEASY

Our friends and Las Vegas fosters Phil & Becky Gang have made a donation in honor and memory of Keasy who left for the Bridge earlier this year, but not before enjoying several loving years with her adoptive Dad Dan..they wrote:

"In Loving Memory of "Keasy" who touched our hearts and won the heart of her new Dad, Danny. We will never forget your sweet face. Run free at the Bridge until we meet again."


Keasy meeting Dan after her arrival from Vegas in January, 2007

These wonderful dogs will never be forgotten -- some were forgotten by their owners, but never by us. We were proud to have had the opportunity to show you the love you all so richly deserved. In memory of Anna, Zane, Vincent, Apache, Alex, Boo, Bailey, Musket, Aragorn, Ossie, Lilly, Greta, Yuma, Gamble, Kristi, Sammi, Bear, Aspen, Samantha, Candy, Shane, King, Winston, Cheyenne, Lucy, Sherpa, Bear, Ms. X and Tinsel, we remind you to HUG YOUR FOUR FOOTED FAMILY MEMBER(s), VACCINATE and:
PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET!!!
"People who let their dogs and cats have litters in order to show their children the 'miracle of birth' should come witness the 'miracle of death' performed in the back rooms of animal shelters all over the country."