August 2, 2004 ~ May 5, 2019
The circle has closed.
Sampson (originally "Ralph") was the last surviving member of the litter known as the 'Dusty Pups".
He was 3 months shy of his 15th birthday
SAM NEVER MET A STRANGER...FRIENDLY TO ALL, GENTLE & KIND, A LOVING COMPANION
"The last of the Dusty Puppies.
Today we said goodbye to our old man Sam. From the moment we met him, he fit right in with our family. He was a big, happy, lovable goober with a playful, kind soul and a ball obsession like I've never seen before!
He cracked us up the way he had to "hop" down the stairs because his legs were too long to go down any other way. He was sometimes a bit of a stumble bum, as his giant feet would get tangled up. As I reflect back on our time with him, I wish I had more video, MORE pictures.
He was so funny and gentle and never met a stranger. One of our many nicknames for him was "poops while walking" which makes me chuckle in this moment and it also makes me very sad, because he can't walk at all anymore.
He was afraid of thunder and when I would sneeze, I think he thought my head was exploding because he would come to my aid with that "Mommy, what ... the hell ... was THAT?" look on his face. He was such a big love bug. To the very end.
Sam LOVED to swim. He'd spend hours with us in the pool and delighted in running around the deck trying to get the balls we were playing with.
We were hoping for just one more summer with him, but it's not to be.
He was a good pal to our new fur baby Cassie and he's been the best buddy to everyone who ever came into our home. He's been as stoic as them come, as his ability to freely move about came to an end.
We've had him for about half of his nearly 15 years. We wish we could have had more time with him, but things work out the way they do and we were all in the right place at the right time on Saturday March 10, 2012
when he was surrendered back to Southwest German Shepherd Rescue when his dad became ill."
"We love Sam so much ..... Thank you for him"
"As a tribute to Sam, we want encourage you all to consider rescue FIRST when adding a fur kid to your family. Our family is fuuurever grateful to Steff at SWGSDR for the wonderful additions to our family.
Our handsome boy has left a giant paw print on our hearts"
August 8, 2007 ~ April 29, 2019
We've been singing Tank's praises since the day of his rescue nearly 12 years ago.
Let's face it...t'aint nuthin cuter than a coated (long hair) GSD puppy!
Tank was a dual certified and obedience titled therapy dog adopted from SW German Shepherd Rescue at 4 months of age in 2007.
He worked as a team with his Mom Sharon to serve his community and bring joy to hospice patients.
His Mom Sharon worked diligently training him and bringing out his wonderful potential before getting him accepted into the Hospice of the Valley Pet Connection program. MEET HIM
Tank has also acted as the meet and greet ambassador at many of our events.
He reminds us that with commitment, the full potential of a rescued dog should never be under estimated.
AT 4 MONTHS
WAITING for SANTA ~ VERY 1st CHRISTMAS
HIS NEW BESTIE NIKA SHOWED PUPPY TANK THE ROPES ~ ABOVE, their LAST SUMMER TOGETHER in 2018 ~ Nika preceded Tank to the "Bridge" by just a few months
CHIEF BABY SITTERS
HEADING OUT FOR HIS THERAPY DOG TEST
EARNING HIS CD TITLE
TANK with NIKA, HIS BEST FRIEND, LEFT: 2008: 2nd Christmas, MIDDLE: 2018, LAST CHRISTMAS, and RIGHT: 2010
DECEMBER 25, 2007
Dan, Sharon, Tank & Nika
Tank's distraught family wrote: "We truly can't thank you enough for allowing this boy into our lives. Tank was one in a million and without you doing what you do so well in rescue, Tank would of never had the opportunities he had.
Our hearts are shattered right now and it's so difficult to go thru each day without our faithful companion. I can't stop crying and I realize only time will heal but I'm guessing this one will take a
VERY long time.
We love and miss that boy so much."
June 15, 2007 ~ April 30, 2019
Maverick came to our attention along with a few other coated (long hair) puppies that were roaming around the Prescott area.
Clearly, whomever bred them, gave or sold them to just about anyone, as several were left at large outside.
There was no training, boundries, etc. so Mav was a bit of a wild child.
With the commitment and training of his adoring adoptive parents, along with many months of patience,
Maverick became the "Golden Boy' we knew he would be.
Right after 1st post rescue Vet check
Mav & pal Tank did some training & event hopping together..very enthusiastic students & friends. Sadly, they left for the "Bridge" within less than 24 hours of each other
Mav traveled with his folks everywhere they went and accompanied them on all family vacations
Beautiful Maverick's devastated folks wrote:
........we decided to make the most of his last few days rather than wallow. We have spent three days taking him everywhere with us - to all his favorite spots.
And needless to say bawling our eyes out most of the time.
Thank you for entrusting his life to us 4.087 days ago on Feb 20 2008. We think it was a good life with vacations, road trips, and all the love a dog needs.
He enriched our lives and we will miss him terribly. Thanks again.
David & Ginnie, and Maverick
December 8, 2007 ~ March 19, 2019
Chase was adopted as a senior shortly before his 9th birthday, in 2016.
He was whelped in New Zealand, purchased as a pup from a breeder of imported working dogs.
He came to AZ with his family, however, leaving NZ with a dog is a whole lot easier than trying
to enter the country with one. In addition, he was, at the time, being treated for disseminated Valley Fever.
His original family was returning to New Zealand which enforces a strict 6 month quarantine.
There was no way his treatment could be followed nor would it be humane to relegate him to a kennel in his golden years.
Thus, his family made the painful decision to re-home him.
We had concerns about placing an older dog with medical issues on daily medication.
But Chase never met a stranger; he had one of those magnetic personalities
that simply made you want to be in his company. He was a clown, always entertaining with his antics.
Dee & John had adopted special needs dog, Sasha in 2011.
And they had recently lost their 17yo Husky mix, Alaska.
John & Dee did not hesitate and Chase had found forever, now a much loved member of their pack.
Much to everyone's surprise, shortly after his adoption, Chases' VF titer was a clear NEGATIVE and was never a problem again.
Chase was a very unique and balanced dog who made you wish that you knew more people like him.
He adored his toys and often offered to share them. Even before breakfast, he picked out a toy.
He seemed to have a great sense of humor.
GUESS THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT BY "JOINED AT THE HIP"
Chase developed a very strong attachment to John and vice versa
11th BIRTHDAY & NO DOGS ON THE BED RULE OFFICIALLY ENDS
"I haven't stopped crying for a week now. He was loved beyond measure every day that he lived with us.
Our house is so quiet and empty without his giant smiling face and big paws and silly voice.
He was the heart of our family and Sasha is lost without him as well.
We can never thank you and Nicki enough for the blessing that was Chase"
Dear Dee & John,
We feel your pain and send our deepest sympathy. Thank you for stepping up and giving "Goober" a wonderful life.
10/10/2007 ~ FEBRUARY 4, 2019
Beautiful and huggable Nash was dumped at the Humane Society of So AZ when barely 12 weeks old in 2007.
We scooped him up right away and he went from our rescue to his foster Mom who jumped into service without hesitation.
Kristie, of course, found him irresistible; he never left
NASH AT ONE AND TWO YEARS OLD
Nash & his former main squeeze, Jingles, who preceded him to the Bridge by a few years, had the good fortune to spend
most of winter in Arizona and spring & summers in gorgeous Telluride, CO. And they loved frolicking in nature
A YOUNGER NASH
Nash was a unique puppy. Most German Shepherds are born all black and lighten as they mature.
Nash was born mostly blond with just a black muzzle. He had little tufts at the base of his ears and retained a
very soft fuzzy puppy coat so we figured he was a coated (long hair) sable GSD.
We were all surprised to learn that he was neither! But he was, without a doubt, the cutest damn puppy ever!
Nash & loving Mom Kristie who wrote:
"Nash, was a once in a lifetime dog and I miss him terribly. His passing has left a hole in my heart.. Thank you for introducing me to Nash.
He gave me and countless others a life time of love.
We send our sincere and heartfelt sympathy, Kristie, Steff
MARCH 24, 2006 ~ JANUARY 30, 2019
Beautiful Mia was initially rescued in 2009 from an all too common situation; living
in a dirt filled back yard 24/7 for her 1st 3.5 years..no training, no socialization,
little human contact. She was not treated well, thus wary of people.
That all changed after we took possession of her, got her into a home setting and taught her what being a
much loved family member was like. Mix in some obedience training along with lots of
socializing and it wasn't long before Mia was adopted.
MIA AT 11 YEARS~~WAITING FOR A 2nd CHANCE
In early 2017 Mia's Dad passed away and Mom, in very poor health, was leaving AZ to live with family.
We quickly got Mia into foster care where she perked up upon meeting her very handsome new friend Collin,
who was accustomed to welcoming fosters and happy to have a pretty girl around.
AND PICTURED AFTER 2nd RESCUE WITH HER NEW ROOMMATE COLLIN WHILE IN FOSTER CARE
Mia was eleven years old at the time so we were concerned about the possibility of someone stepping up for an older Shepherd.
Then along came Dan & Carlotta who saw the value and wisdom of a senior easy keeper..
Mia would have turned 13 years old next month
"Steph, We had to say good bye to Mia yesterday. During an ultrasound they discovered a mass the size of a lemon inside of her spleen. Although there were other issues this was obviously the most serious. Her pain was obvious and seemed to be increasing from day to day. We made the decision to end her pain and allow her to leave us with the dignity she deserved. Special mention to Dr. Fleming and the staff at Surprise Animal Hospital and to Dr. Jason Eberhardt of Valley Veterinary Internal Medicine for their outstanding and compassionate care.
Thank you also for your recent support and advice and for allowing us the privilege to become Mia's new family. Mia's loss has left a huge void in our hearts and our home but she will always be in our hearts. Thank you, Dan and Charlotta Ranieri"
March 31, 2004 ~ August 26. 2018
Teekah's (original) Mom, while making her annual visit out of state, developed
some health issues that kept her from returning home to Tucson and
unable to continue to care for Teekah.
A very good friend flew to where they were and brought Teekah back to Tucson,
despite the fact that Teekah and her own dogs did not get along.
Teekah was 10 years old at the time and time was of the essence.
Surprisingly, it was not long before we had a good adoption prospect but schedules and geography conflicted as her caretaker was
in Southern AZ, worked full time, and was unable to transport, the adopters resided up North,
and we were given little time to move her.
Since we had excellent medical records for Teekah, she was not getting any younger,
and it's not always easy to find good prospects for a senior, we simply arranged for them to meet in Tucson right away.
They did and Teekah went home to Flagstaff that same day.
It wasn't long before everyone was in love and Teekah became more active, clearly enjoying the cooler weather and her new family.
The Warburtons kept in touch with us, providing photos & regular updates for the next FOUR years
ADOPTION MONTH 2014
2015 ~ I am Loved
CHRISTMAS 2016 .... OH GOODY-SNOW
She spent most of her days in Dad's wood shop to be near him, or checked holes for rabbits
MARCH 2017 - 13th BIRTHDAY ON THE COUCH
13.5 YEARS OLD
Well, the old lady Teekah made it to 14 years old and she's still going strong.
A little shaky at times and doesn't see or hear too well, but she follows me up and down stairs and on short outside excursions so she's doing well physically for an old gal.
Thanks again for connecting us."
MARCH 2018--TEEKAH'S 14th BIRTHDAY
AND FINALLY, at 14 AND A HALF YEARS...
... "We are sad to report that Teekah crossed the rainbow bridge Sunday
Thanks again for pairing us with such a loving and wonderful GSD. We miss her greatly. Steve"
A TESTAMENT TO THE VALUE OF A SENIOR DOG
AND THE OVER 4 YEARS OF JOY SHE SHARED WITH HER FOREVER FAMILY
~ June 1, 2018
Ben was a stray picked up by a Good Samaritan who contacted us in July of 2017. His face was splotchy with small patches of missing hair, eyes crusty, he was underweight and looked very sad.
We estimated his age at 8 to 8.5 years, got him into foster care and began his medical work-up. The next couple of months were spent putting weight on him, neutering and chipping while his devoted foster Mom treated his severe and previously neglected allergies. It wasn't long before Benny looked like a shiny penny. And it wasn't much longer before his foster Mom fell in love with this easy keeper's delightful personality; she officially adopted him in time to celebrate Christmas.
Always happy and cooperative even at the Vet
Sadly, Benny's happy ever after was short lived; he succumbed to DM (degenerative Myelopathy) less than a year after rescue.
He had her at "woof"...our deepest sympathy to Mom Kim who said, "He was just wonderful to live with."
Adopted February 2009 ~ February 2018
Sunny was surrendered to us by a homeless owner who provided very little information about her in February of 2009.
Her age was estimated to be 4.5 to 5 years at the time. She left for the "Bridge" in February of 2018 having made it to nearly 14 years old.
SUNNY WITH MOM LIZ & "BROTHER" KRIS ON ADOPTION DAY
2005 ~ May 29, 2018
Rocky was adopted in 2007 and has been a much loved member of the McCullough family ever since.
His extensive socialization has enabled him to go everywhere with Mom & Dad and on many adventures in addition to being a groomsman and the ring bearer at a 2014 family wedding. His BFF Kelli was added to the pack in 2011.
The family vacation home in Prescott was a favorite for the fur kids.
With Mom & Dad
in Prescott with Mom
1st meeting with new BFF Kelli
Life's a lot of Fun with Your Best Girl
September 2004 ~ May 20. 2018
MAY 2005 - AT THE SHELTER AFTER RESCUE, AT TRAINING
ADOPTION DAY, JULY 2005
Her heartbroken Dad wrote:
"Gitana and I never were apart, and my day always revolved around her.
She had ESP and knew what I was going to do before I did it, and loved to lead me out to the door to let her out.
And when she came in would sit and wait for me to give her glucosamine tablet and biscuit and have our morning hugs.
She would then cheerfully lead me around as I got dressed and ready to minister at the hospital. She was so loving.
Then she would take care of the house until I arrived home and she would meet me at the door as I arrived
and continued to start our evening routine, which she never forgot, and would never let me forget.
I just kept petting her, and weeping, and telling her how wonderful she was for me to have as my best friend, companion, comforter, and helper."
|Collin von Nimbus
June 19, 2005 ~ May 21, 2018
In 2012., Collin was pulled from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in pretty bad shape.
He was very weak, sick and could barely walk; we were advised he might not survive.
He was picked up by our very compassionate foster Mom, Therese.
She took him to his many ensuing vet visits, including surgery for an obstruction, and, over time, nursed him back to health.
What lay beneath the crusty skin, missing & matted fur of this thin & neglected fellow, was a stunning import with a Golden Temperament.
We tracked down his early days and this is Collin before someone simply discarded him
After four months of TLC, he was restored to health and adopted by his foster Mom.
Never met a stranger
He became the welcoming committee to several other fosters while we prepared them for adoption.
Mia, Chelsea and Addie are just a few who Collin helped us rescue
Collin collapsed suddenly from hemangiosarcoma just weeks shy of his 13th birthday
|MALACHI AKA MALLIE
March 6, 2006 ~ February 2018
Mallie was placed in early 2009, a youngster that had lived outside, alone in a yard, prior to being rescued. As a result, he knew very little and craved human contact.
We got him socialized, taught him all about toys and started him on his basic obedience.
His adoptive family took it from there and Mallie became a part of the Caring Canines* Team, serving Mayo Hospital patients and guests.
He also made regular therapy dog visits at the Veterans hospital and VA residence in Phoenix
LEARNING TO PLAY
Mallie appears throughout the Mayo Clinic's Caring Canines introductory video:
Malachi's loving parents wrote:
"Just wanted to let you know that our beloved Mallie attended last call, and made the trip over the rainbow where we'll meet at our final Rally Point. It's been just over a month and we all miss him to include Sassie who we adopted from you as well. With a box full of toys she finds Mallie's favorite every time. Mallie had a lot of friends in our neighborhood, at Mayo, and the VA hospital.
We'll be looking for a German Shepherd to join our family and share our life. Don't be surprised when you hear from us. Thanks!"
Jeff & Jane Daley
* Caring Canines is a formal animal-assisted activities program launched in September 2011 at both the Phoenix and Scottsdale campuses of Mayo Clinic. Registered dogs and their owners make "meet and greet" visits in hospital and clinic waiting areas. Dogs are registered and tested by Pet Partners.
May 27, 2006 ~ March 6, 2018
Hawk was up for anything, any time, especially running like the wind
HAWK WAS AN ADVENTUROUS GUY, RIGHT UP TO THE VERY END
And if there was a stick to be found, he's your man
Hawk and his Mom Suzanne clicked instantly.There was nothing they both loved more than to travel & explore and hike & play in Sedona
His Mom wrote:
"I am devastated to let you know that my beloved Hawk passed this morning at 1:30. I let him know that I was so thankful to have him in my life all these years. We did everything together and I do mean everything. I truly believe those that can't speak on earth have wings. He was my angel and I don't know how I'll make it without him. I've had many dogs in my life, but Hawk was exceptional, truly.
Thank you for giving me one of the greatest gifts of my entire life.
Suzanne, his Forever Mom"
December 2005 ~ December 19, 2017
Simply put, Monty was one of a kind in every respect; temperament, beauty, sensitivity, intelligence.
Aside from his endearing personality, he was one of, if not the, most handsome GSDs we've known.
He was so beautiful and well trained that we used
to bring him to our events just to attract visitors to our booth; as
few were able to walk by without stopping to touch and admire him.
His rock solid and tolerant temperament in public made for a great ambassador; always allowing strange kids all over him
It was Monty's accepting nature that allowed us and Darlene to foster a 3rd dog with him.
Pictured above, romping with pal Oliver and teaching foster pup Gilbert (left) to play tug.
Bella, Cedric and Monty~Christmas 2016
Our heart goes out to our friend and staff volunteer Darlene on yet another loss
December 1, 2004 ~ November 11, 2017
We were originally notified by Good Samaritan neighbors about two or three GSDs
living together outside 24/7 in a filthy, all dirt yard.
Mom and her two male offspring rarely had any human interaction, attention,
or vetting...sadly and simply; lonely and neglected.
By the time we were aware of them, Zeus' brother was gone..his fate unknown.
Zeus and his aging Mom spent their lives relegated to the yard shown
below..their sandy, barren living quarters for all of his seven years.
His rat tailed Mom, thin, frail, infected ears, begging to get inside, and remarkably sad.
Nonetheless, she was dutifully checking him over when handled by these new friends who
had started visiting regularly until help was found.
THIS WAS "HOME" ALL OF THEIR LIVES
1st day with foster Mom,1st bath & plenty of TLC...next, a good brushing and medical work-up:
AHHH..now THIS is LIVING
LAST DAY IN FOSTER CARE...............I'M GOING WHERE?
YAHOO!..me & my forever Mom, Gigi, who called to let us know:
"Having been a lifetime GSD owner, Zeus was, without a doubt, the best."
Gigi called regularly just to thank us for having had the privilege
of sharing her life with Zeus.
2003 ~ November 9, 2017
Diamond was adopted at just under 2 years of age in April of 2005.
She had experienced pretty rough and neglected first years, housed outdoors 24/7, running free and unattended on 5 acres.
In fact, when her owner sold the property, the buyer was surprised to learn that she was part of the deal having been left behind, abandoned.
He brought her inside and ultimately contacted us to rehome her.
Diamond struck gold as a member of the Tindle family with whom she remained for the last twelve years.
ADOPTION DAY with MOM GINA & BFF ASHLEY
DESPITE LACKING TRAINING & SOCIALIZATION, DIAMOND HAD ENOUGH SWEETNESS TO
MAKE UP FOR IT....THAT SWEET SPIRIT WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.
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
February 22, 2004 ~ April 2017
Beautiful Rohan, a real live Teddy Bear, inside & Out
RO BEFORE HIS 1st GROOMING on DAY SURRENDERED
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
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:
I’m sorry I couldn’t 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. It’s 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 MDX’s 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 couldn’t go on our nice walks we both enjoyed. She was very special to all of our family and we’re 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 we’ve done, she never spent a night in a kennel. Our girls and grandsons would fight to see who’d keep Kellie during our vacations. She’d 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 we’ll 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"
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
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"
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
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."
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!"
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."
4 WEEK WEIGH-IN
SPROUTING LEGS AND .....
4 MONTHS...AND VERY OBEDIENT
EXPLORING UP NORTH
LITA ON HER 6th BIRTHDAY and
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
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
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
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.
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."
Tucker, the one without the tan eyebrows...we know they will
eventually be together again...at the Bridge...
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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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."
This handsome, solid black lover boy has left his mark on us and his parents to whom we send our deepest sympathy.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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."
Rescued March, 2011 ~ August 2014
From her dedicated foster family,the Dietmeyers:
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"
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.
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."
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
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."
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!"
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."
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.
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
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
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