|HURRICANE JUDY (aka "Judie Pudie")|
Rescued September 26, 2008 ~ Adopted May 19, 2010 ~ Lost to us December 17, 2021
Judy and Star were found by county officials during a drug raid. The police found them in a small pen in the back yard laying in mud, completely emaciated, with mange. Their only source of "water" was a pool of drained motor oil which they were both forced to lie in and drink from. Both dogs were barely alive when officials found them, covered in mange and motor oil (apparently the owner had been dipping them in the oil to ward off the bugs). Not far from their enclosure were 5 newly dug graves where the puppies from Judy's litter had been buried--Star was the only survivor. It took MONTHS of dedication and hard work for the Denham Springs (Louisiana) shelter personnel to get Judy and Star to the point where they could even survive transport, and then Hurricane Ike struck. When they asked for our help, we could not say no.
When the transport arrived in Avondale, at 3:45am, WGSDR volunteer were there to meet it
Covered in motor oil and scared to death, volunteer foster mom Dorothy knew just what Judy needed ... a hug
Judy and her puppy, Starr, were loaded up and taken the rest of the way to Phoenix
This is how Judy spent her first weeks with Dorothy ~ hiding in the bushes
But Dorothy finally won her over and Judy braved the doggie door to join Rascal for dinner
Judy & Dorothy just 5 months later at Boot Camp
Judy was also reunited with Star at Boot Camp
Judy continues to improve and blossom under Dorothy's care
Judy celebrates her birthday with Dorothy in 2021
We don't know how old Judy was when she came to us in September of 2008, but even guessing she was barely 2 years old -- she spent just over 13 years with her doting mom, Dorothy, who loved her at first sight and never gave up on her -- that would have made Judy at least 15 years old when she passed ... quite an accomplishment for a neglected and starved dog and a testament to the love and determination of her mom. We will miss you, Judie Pudie. From a neglected, frightened shell of a dog, you turned into a beautiful, loving, social butterfly. Thank you, Dorothy, for your love and dedication to this sweet soul.
|ROCCO (formerly "Jeff" and "Walker")|
Adopted December 10, 2019 ~ Lost to us May 1, 2021
Rocco came into our rescue in September 2019, after being pulled from a California kill shelter. He was transported to Arizona by our dear friends, Michael and Bob from Globe and took up temporary residence with foster parents Dave & Jackie in Globe where his name was changed from Jeff to "Walker" because Dave and Jackie said he walked around an awful lot. His coat and skin were in horrible condition, but after a good grooming, his looks and attitude definitely improved.
In December, Rocco was spotted on our website by Claudia & Ron (prior adopters of ours), and they offered Rocco a winter home in Sun Lakes, with a summer home in Washington.
Rocco and his "team" (Michael, Jackie, Dave and Bob)
Before Grooming ...
... and after
Never met a stuffie he didn't like
I'm not spoiled one bit!
At home in Washington
On May 2, 2021, Rocco's heartbroken mom wrote, "Sad news. We lost Rocco yesterday. Another loss to hemangiosarcoma. Another one gone way too soon. He was the best dog we could have imagined and the year and a half with him went by in a blink of the eye.
My friend said he was happy to be with us. I think so, too. He trusted us completely from the beginning. Everyone loved him.
Please let his 'team' know, and again thank you to you and his team who made it possible for us to have time with this boy.."
Pulled from Shelter October 2014 ~ Adopted March 20, 2016 ~ Lost to us April 5, 2021
This one was a heartbreaker for all of us. Jinx was pulled from a California shelter in October of 2014, and for whatever reason, she was passed up by adopters, time and time again. It was a complete mystery to us why Jinx was never chosen, but we didn't look a gift horse in the mouth and put her to work.
After her spay surgery, Jinx started Boot Camp with the new year and volunteer Di. She was a wonderful "demo dog" for Boot Camp newbies and trained with Di and Traci, and helped train new volunteer Wendy. She even went herding with us and did beautifully. She was everything a German shepherd should be, and so much more. Finally, in March of 2016, her forever family found her and she was adopted. We had to say goodbye to one of our very favorite girls, but we knew she was going to a place where she would be loved as much as we loved her.
Transport to Arizona
At Doggie District having fun
Jinx was chosen to participate (with rescue furkid Rupert) in a 2016
Valentine's Day "wedding" performed by "ELVIS"
Helping new volunteer Wendy
With Di in the middle of the flooding circle at Boot Camp
Once adopted, Jinx settled in beautifully and was delighted to find that her new home included a pool, which she was more than welcome to use ... and use it she did.
In November of 2019, Jinx was diagnosed with Aspergillosis, which is caused by a fungus. She received treatment and we were hoping for the best. She rallied and managed to fend off the disease until the spring of 2021 when it invaded her brain and the difficult decision was made to let her go with her dignity intact.
Jinx' mom Debbie wrote, "She packed more living into the years we had her than any other being I’ve ever known. She brought light and laughter into our home, and was my absolute favorite maniac. She even *slept* with relish – flat on her back with arms and legs splayed out – that girl had NO modesty and was the queen of her world! =)
Pulled from Shelter February 2017 ~ Fostered then Adopted in August 2017 ~ Lost to us March 19, 2021
Transport to Arizona
Jack and his mom
Jack's adoptive mom, Lauren, wrote, "It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you Jack is with Matilda. I mentioned a few weeks back he had been diagnosed with DM -- Degenerative Mylopathy. Over last last few months we had been working with another vet for alternative treatment as there is no cure or treatment for this terrible disease. I can't say enough kind words for Dr. Thiel at Integrative Vet Med. She is so knowledgeable and caring; her staff is wonderful and took good care of him. Over the last couple of weeks his strength had declined significantly in his hind end. He was dragging his leg so bad I had to place his foot for him. His knuckles were a mess. Monday night he actually growled at me for helping him. My sweet Jack never did that to anyone. So after his appt on Tuesday with with Dr Thiel we discussed with her his status which wasn't good. I woke to him crying in the early morning so Jack and I had a long chat with me on the floor and his head in my lap. He let me know it was time to be with Matilda. He was tired of struggling with his legs. We made the call to Dr. Hutchinson. On Friday at 5 pm with me and Jeff and his vet family (Dr Hutchinson, Alvin and Garrett), we said our goodbyes and he went peacefully. My heart is heavy once again but I had to put my selfishness aside for my silly goofy big dog aka Jack. He will be missed.
Thank you for him and know in the 4 short years we had him he had a good life."
|Miyu (formerly "Snowball")|
Pulled from Shelter December 2010 ~ Fostered then Adopted in 2012 ~ Lost to us November 15, 2020
Miyu was pulled from a California shelter and brought to Phoenix just before Christmas 2010, on a transport that finally made its way to Tonopah at 3am.
Our tireless team was there to meet her, but by the next morning she was gone -- up and over the fence at her temporary foster home when someone inadvertently let her out into the yard by herself. After a frantic search, she was found at the westside shelter, having been picked up by animal control within hours of her escape. Phew! Now knowing that she was a "jumper," our efforts to find Miyu a forever home were challenging to say the least.
But Deb and Jake didn't let a little thing like fence jumping deter them. They took on Miyu as a foster and never looked back.
Getting training tips from Bert ...
... and from Leah
Hiking with mom, Deb
Miyu excelled in Agility!
We asked Deb for her favorite pics of Miyu, and she sent us these two
Miyu's mom wrote, "We said goodbye to Miyu today. After her initial perk up she started to decline slowly. Couldn't stay standing, couldn't walk, started being unable to hold her bladder. She hadn't wagged her tail at me since last Saturday. So I made the appointment for today and we gave her ribeye last night and a Mcdonald's breakfast this am.
We will miss her so much. She was so special and was such a good girl."
Pulled from Shelter December 2, 2013 ~ Adopted January 11, 2015 ~ Lost to us November 12, 2020
Sawyer's is a story worth reading. It's about a dog, with what would seem to be an insurmountable disability, overcoming that disability to lead a wonderful, happy life and the people who cared enough about him to help him on his way and eventually offer him a forever home of his own. Thank you, Michael (and to Bob and Biscuit), for giving Sawyer his forever ...
Click to read about Sawyer
Michael with Sawyer (left) and fursister Amy at Santa Paws 2019
Sawyer's dad, Michael, shared some of his favorite pictures...
You will be missed, sweet boy. It was our privilege to be a part of your village ...
Rescued March 2016 ~ Lost to us October 24, 2020
Jackson was spotted at the westside shelter by our good friend, Shelly. He was brought into rescue and almost immediately caught the attention of our long time foster mom, Dorothy.
To say he wouldn't hurt a fly was an understatement
Dorothy was always spoiling her boy
Jackson had not had an easy life, but Dorothy loved him a lifetime's worth in the four short years he was with her, and he passed in her arms, knowing that he was wanted and loved. Thank you, Dorothy, for giving him the life we had hoped for for him.
Adopted February 19, 2011 ~ Lost to us September 14, 2020
Taz and his sister, Pacheco, were surrendered to the Arizona Humane Society in July of 2010. Before we could get to them HALO (Helping Animals Live On) pulled them and put them up for adoption. HALO soon realized that their shelter was not the place for two young German shepherds, and they reached out to us for help, which we were happy to provide. Taz was adopted after his fosters completed a training course at Dog House Training Academy,
Family portrait April 2013
Although Taz presented many challenges for his adoptive family, they never gave up on him.
Taz's heartbroken mom wrote, "I just wanted to give you a update on Taz. We had to put him to rest today. It was a tough day and he was our sweet boy that we were blessed to rescue 10-11 years ago from your place! He gave us some challenging times here and there but there were more happy times than bad times with him. Thank you!"
Rescued June 27, 2020 ~ Lost to us July 1, 2020
Click to read about Rose
May 21, 2008 ~ Rescued February 2013 ~ Adopted July 2013 ~ Lost to us August 2020
Click to read about Caprice's Rescue
|KEL-EL (renamed "Kyle")|
Adopted April 15, 2011 ~ Lost to us August 2020
Kyle was surrendered by his owner in March 2011 at approximately 3 years of age. Due to his sweet, gentle nature, it didn't take Kyle long to find his forever family.
We didn't even have to ask for pictures to add to Kyle's memorial, even though we had quite a few of this handsome boy.
Kyle and 7 year old Toby
Kyle and Buttercup
Danny 10, Toby 7 and Kyle at 13
Kyle and his dad, Tom
Tommy (age 16) and Kyle
Kyle and his family (except for mom who was taking the picture
Kyle's adoptive mom, Jennifer, wrote, "Our family has suffered a great loss. Our loving protective wonderful doggie Kyle has passed. He suffered from a neurological disease like muscular sclerosis. We loved him, miss him and hope you can find us another wonderful dog. ... My other best friend is sorely missed. If you can help us, please let me know."
Rescued September 2019 ~ Adopted October 22, 2019 ~ Lost to us August 5, 2020
This one really hurts. Hazel was rescued from a California kill shelter and transported to Phoenix, only to become one of our favorite furkids. She was adopted into what we had hoped would be her forever home ... and it was. Thru a momentary lapse of judgment on the part of her adopter, Hazel jumped out of the back of a vehicle (she was off leash and untethered in the car and the rear hatch was opened) after arriving at daycare, ran into traffic and was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. We are devastated...
Rescued 2012 ~ Adopted March 2017 ~ Lost to us June 3, 2020
Vienna was approximately 2 years old when she was dumped in horrible condition by an uncaring owner at a high kill shelter in California in the summer of 2012. After 3 months in boarding at Crossroads in California, she was transported to Arizona by our good friends/adopters/volunteers Jim and Terri to begin the search for her forever home ... and that search took many twists and turns. She was adopted THREE times before she finally found forever.
Arrival in Phoenix with Jim and Terri
She wowed the crowds at "Woofstock" in Prescott in June 2016
Vienna and her friends at Doggie District
In Boot Camp and at Home Depot with volunteer Wendy
In March 2017, Julie came into Vienna's world and offered her the home she had been waiting for.
On June 3, 2020, we received the sad news that Vienna had passed away in her sleep.
|CHARLIE (aka "Colonel")|
Adopted February 2010 ~ Lost to us March 31, 2020
Charlie was rescued from a kill shelter in California in late 2009. He was first fostered, then adopted by his forever dad.
A lover from the start
He made himself at home very quickly
Ever watchful over his family
Charlie's dad wrote, "Nancy, It is with great a great sadness in my heart that I need to tell you that Charlie crossed over the rainbow bridge today. I went back and looked at his adoption paperwork and it has been 10 years, 1 month and 10 days since I adopted him. In November of last year he had a tumor removed from his back leg, and recovered nicely. Over the last week the tumor returned and he developed a mass in his abdomen. So today, I had Dr. Fixler come to the house and I held his head in my lap as he peacefully left this earth laying in his 'favorite spot' in the yard.
He was always my tender warrior. Ferocious bark, but love the grandkids and would give the smallest two a lick on the head each week when they arrived for family dinner. Attached is a picture that I took today. He carried himself with pride and prowess each day of his life. Thank you for entrusting Charlie to me all those years ago. I am a better person because I was a part of his life. Best, David
Adopted June 2014 ~ Lost to us February 10, 2020
Allyson and her sister, Mikayla, came into our rescue in the summer of 2014 when they were picked up as strays and impounded in a California kill shelter. Allyson had been adopted from the shelter shortly before we pulled her sister but when she was returned, we went back for her. We couldn't possibly save one sister and leave the other behind.
It didn't take Sara long to discover Allyson on our site and she made the drive to Phoenix to meet her ~ and make her her own.
Allyson passed away in her sleep and was found lying by her mom's bed in the morning ... Sara and the remaining members of her pack are heartbroken.
|MATILDA (aka "Tilly")|
Adopted September 2010 ~ Lost to us January 28, 2020
Matilda came to us as a puppy from a kill shelter in California. She was fostered briefly in California and then came to Phoenix to take up residence with foster parents Jeff and Lauren, where it was a love affair from the start.
From her favorite perch at the top of the stairs to the swimming pool, Tilly made herself right at home
Tilly has been our "Santa Paws" model for the past 8 years; the picture at left showing her first startling encounter with Santa himself in 2011. At this year's Santa Paws (picture on right with her adopted brother, Jack), we were notified that Tilly had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer -- her days were numbered. Her family was determined to make the most of the time they had left.
Tilly's brokenhearted mom, Lauren, wrote, "Matilda's time has come and will cross rainbow bridge with the help of Dr Tom this afternoon ... We will miss her!!"
Adopted September 6, 2007 ~ Lost to us November, 2019
Benz was taken in by our good friend, foster mom, supporter, adopter and foster failure Dorothy, when her neighbors (who knew about Dorothy's connection to dog rescue) reached out to her for help. It seems their friends had moved and left Benz in their care. They were supposed to come back for him ... but they never did. When the neighbors could no longer care for Benz, Dorothy immediately took him in and asked for our help and Benz became our very first "golden" shepherd.
Under Dorothy's care, Benz learned a lot and was soon available for adoption. It didn't take long for him to catch his future mom's eye, and she signed up to foster him.
Pool fun with foster mom Dorothy
After receiving Sophie's approval, it was adoption day for Benz!
He went herding with us in 2009...
...and again in 2010 and proved to be a natural
By 2011 he hadn't slowed down one bit
In 2013 he tried his "hand" at goats
In 2017, Benz & Cathy marched in the Gilbert Days Parade
... and again in 2018
Benz' mom Cathy wrote, "I was going to email you this weekend, I could not bring myself to do it sooner. I lost Benzi a few weeks ago. I am still broken hearted and I miss him so much. He was my guy for over 12 years and he went everywhere with me, I use to call him my shadow. I have a picture for you to put up, it’s my favorite of him. I’ll forward to you later…. Also wanted to make a donation to you."
Take care, Cathy. We grieve with you over the loss of this special boy. Such a sweet gentle spirit. He will be missed.
Adopted November 2013 (at age 6) ~ Lost to us October, 2019
JP (which stands for "John Paul") was surrendered to our rescue when his original family, who had had him since puppyhood, could no longer care for him. JP was first fostered by Tom and his daughter, MacKenzie, before finding his forever home.
With Tom & MacKenzie
His family wrote, "We are very sad to report that JP has gone to heaven. We are fearsomely missing our best friend and wonderful neighborhood ambassador. He was accepted as our neighborhood dog. His gentle giant presence was a constant for everybody. JP at prime was 110lbs, a king shepherd. Thank you WGSD for letting us have this beautiful boy."
Rescued November 2005 ~ Lost to us October 8, 2019
Trigger came in to our rescue in November 2005 from the Lake Havasu Humane Society. He was a mix, but what a personality he had! He was adopted by his forever mom, Heather, in February of 2006.
When baby Leo arrived, Trigger opened his heart just a little bit more
A selfie from 2018
Always a character ...
... and always mom's protector
Family portrait 2019
Trigger's brokenhearted mom wrote, "Today my son and I had to send Trigger to the rainbow bridge.
I tried to do everything I could, but he no longer had quality of life. He could barely stand and walk; most days I had to help him plus he was on several different meds, several times a day. I finally had a day when I realized I was waiting because I didn't want to lose him and I knew it wasn't fair to him.
I want you to know that he was loved so much and he was an amazing friend to me and my son. I can't even put into words how much we will miss him. My son, Leo, adored him and he even though he is only 8, he begged to be there today. He was heartbroken and brave but he stayed the entire time. We cried but we held him and loved him to the very end. Trigger went peacefully at noon today.
I want to thank you for letting me adopt such a great companion and friend.
Maybe one day we can adopt another german shepherd but we have to mend our broken hearts first. I'm sending a couple pics we took yesterday and today.
With love, Heather"
Adopted November 13, 2009 ~ Lost to us September 26, 2019
Scout came in to our rescue in October of 2009 from a shelter in Texas. When we discovered him, he had until close of business to make it out of the shelter alive ~ to put it into perspective, it was 4:30pm and the shelter closed at 6. We were forwarded a copy of the shelter's "e" list, and Scout was on it! Emails flew fast and furious to find someone to help us help this boy.
Our thanks to Natalia, a shelter worker who put Scout's welfare above all else; to Jason, who stepped up and volunteered to pull Scout from the shelter on our behalf; and to Gwen at Downtown Dog, a doggie daycare and boarding facility in Dallas, who offered Scout a place to stay and recover from his kennel cough pending his transport to Phoenix.
Scout was flown to Phoenix in October and was found to be a reliable "babysitter"
from the start with our staff member's 5 week old grandson.
Everyone in his foster family loved this boy
He found his forever family within weeks of his arrival, and when that family grew,
Scout opened up his huge heart just a little bit more.
Catherine Sibiski has made a donation to WGSDR in loving memory of Scout.
With Love, Catherine, Olivia, and Ruby
Thank you, Catherine, for the support in Scout's honor.
|BLITZEN (formerly "Brishen")|
Adopted November 28, 2010 ~ Lost to us August 15, 2019
Blitzen came into our rescue in October 2010 from the City of Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter, thanks to our friends at Husky Camp Rescue who had spotted this handsome boy just as he was running out of time. The shelter listed him as a 5 year old, but once you met him, you knew that even if his body was 5, his spirit was still that of a puppy. He was quickly brought to Phoenix and fostered by long-time foster mom Dorothy.
In November, Becca and Brett stepped up and offered a foster (possibly adoptive) home and, after a successful home visit (which included a bird introduction), and an introduction to "the doodles" in Payson with "Grandma," Blizten moved in.
To say there were challenges is an understatement, but Blitzen's sweet spirit won everyone over and he was offered a permanent home where he was treated like royalty and loved like none other.
Blitzen's mom wrote, "I have some sad news. Blitzen (formerly Bryson) passed peacefully on August 15th.
He was such a good boy. Despite coming in with no house manners whatsoever, he ended up being the most eager-to-please dog who always had the biggest smile on his face. No matter what, he was ALWAYS happy. The night before he passed, he was squeaking his favorite ball and tossing it around for himself. Unfortunately, what was expected to be a routine vet visit to get more meds for his aging hips turned into the most difficult choice I've had to make. He was bleeding internally, and the chance was low that he would make it through surgery with a high risk that it would cause him more suffering. I didn't want his last days to be alone in a pet hospital in pain, so with the help of our vet he passed peacefully with his big nose in my hands.
I loved him with all my heart, and I miss him like crazy. I'm not sure exactly how old he was when I adopted him in 2010, but I got almost nine wonderful years with him that I wouldn't trade for the world. No matter how long it was, it would have never been 'enough' time. The pain isn't quite so raw now, but it's still hard not to see memories of him all around the house that remind me of how much I miss him.
Thank you so much for rescuing these awesome dogs, and for helping me through Blitzen's adoption and training. He was loved by many and will be remembered forever.."
|BEAR (formerly "Johnny" of The Carson 5)|
Adopted November 12, 2007 ~ Lost to us July 13, 2019
One of our most memorable rescues, Read About The Carson 5, and Bear's adoption into his forever home.
Bear's mom wrote,"Since I adopted Bear (aka Johnny of the Carson 5) from your rescue in November 2007, I wanted to let you know that he was put to sleep this morning. His breathing (panting) became noisy and labored a couple of nights ago; up until then he seemed just fine (playing, eating, pooping, etc.). I took him to my vet the next morning. His x-rays showed some type of a mass in his lungs and were sent off for review by a radiologist. (no report, yet) Bear seemed to go downhill from there and let me know that he was ready to go yesterday evening. I believe I gave him a good life. His sister, Millie already misses him. I already miss him, too. RIP Johnny Bear."
|BANDIT (formerly "Mojave")|
Adopted December 2011 ~ Lost to us July 11, 2019
Bandit was rescued from a very rural California shelter in September 2011. After spending some time in boarding in Californa, Bandit was brought to Phoenix and checked into Canine Country Club to await adoption or an opening in a foster home. While at CCC, several of our volunteers visited Bandit and we were told, "He loves, loves, loves the tennis ball and playing fetch," and that was Bandit's passion right up to the end.
Bandit (in blue bandana at left and with his ball at right) with partner-in-crime Cali
After his adoption, Bandit continued his life-long obsession with a ball, but also took time out of his busy schedule to become a mentor to two litters of puppies (Cindy in 2014 and Charlotte in 2017)!
Bandit's loving dad, Jim, wrote, "I am sorry to let you know Bandit is crossing the bridge tomorrow at 11am. ... We are all heartbroken as he has been such a good boy and uncle to 16 puppies. We are in Kenosha WI (our hometown); the vet is my sister-in-law's so not a total stranger. We should get him back on Monday. so he is going to finish our trip with us. Cali is going to be so lost as they will not go anywhere without the other."
|SYDNEY (formerly "Snowbelle")|
Adopted January 2012 ~ Lost to us June 26, 2019
Sydney was rescued from one of the worst shelters in California in 2011. As we got to know her, we added to her bio, "Sydney needs a leader -- a strong leader. When she doesn't have one, she feels very iinsecure, which is not a happy feeling for a German shepherd." In September, potential adopters Don and Jan (along with their GSD Dylan) stepped up to see if they could give Sydney the structure that she needed ... and it turns out, they could!
Sydney was slowly but surely introduced to life at The Bird Ranch. She gave herself a job, following Don around on his tractor. She and Dylan became inseparable and, much to everyone's surprise, she was a gentle guardian of the grandkids.
Always available for some TV time (or a snooze) with dad
Computer time with mom
Best pal Dylan
Dad, I think you're doing it wrong!
Meeting "Briskit" the heifer
Ever patient with the grandkids
Sydney's mom wrote: "It's a sad day for us. We had to say goodbye to Sydney last night. Turns out her stomach twisted. She was in terrible pain. With her age and meds she took to control pain for arthritis we along with the vets decided the humane thing was to say goodbye. I don't think I can express the pain we're feeling."
Adopted January 2011 ~ Lost to us April 26. 2019
Moving from a 4x4 outdoor run in Cottonwood to a one acre home with Dave and Laura in Gilbert, Jake's dreams of a loving home had come true. He was his new mom's shadow for the rest of his life ...
Fostered then Adopted November 2006 ~ Lost to us June 15, 2019
Kasey was a challenge for his new mom, Jennifer, but she was up to it and, in return, Kasey gave her many years of love and devotion.
Adopted in 2016 ~ Lost to us April 2019
His loving mom wrote, "He passed away in my arms this morning. He was super wonderful ... loved me like no other! He was MY dog and he showed me that every day.
On Adoption Day
He learned commands in a matter of minutes. He had a thing for empty water bottles - he preferred Voss bottles though (my kind of friend).
He loved his time up at our cabin in the woods of Prescott; and Bigs our cat was his shadow.
Thank you for allowing Adam and me to enjoy his goofiness and protection for the past three years."
Adopted in October 2008 ~ Lost to us April 2019
On Adoption Day with Karen and Lamar at right
|MAK (formerly "Jack")|
Adopted in February 2014 ~ Lost to us April 2019
Jack came into our rescue after his elderly owner passed away in California, and his wife could no longer care for Jack due to his size. She left him at a veterinarian's office and asked them to find a new home for Jack, but a vet's office is not equipped to rehome displaced German shepherds. A vet tech at the office reached out to our California friends and asked if we would take Jack. The decision had to be made within 24 hours to allow Jack to leave the vet's office via the front door. We, of course, said YES immediately.
After his arrival in Phoenix, Jack was fostered and then ultimately adopted by his forever parents, Liz and John.
On Adoption Day
His grieving family wrote, "About 5 years ago, you helped bless our life with Jack, who we always called Mak. Last Thursday we had to let Mak go and we are simply devastated, and that is truly an understatement.
Mak has had back issues for a very long time, diagnosed as genetic. Last summer he had to have 2 TPOL surgeries, one on each knee. He was brave and strong and we thought that was the end of his issues. Unfortunately, a spinal cord compression in his neck (again, from birth) came down hard last week. He could not walk. We tried several courses of treatment and nothing worked. So, Thursday evening we made the tough choice.
I am writing to tell you that this dog was our joy and did nearly everything with us. He was beautiful and had a heart of pure gold. He camped, he swam, he saw the ocean, he chased squirrels, he hiked - so many, many trips and adventures for him. We like to think we packed 15 years into his short 5 years with us.
Thank you. ...today, we never want another dog, Mak is not replaceable. But you never know ...
Until then ... we wanted you to know how lucky we were to have him."
Adopted in June 2016 ~ Lost to us March 12, 2019
Chapo and his younger sidekick, Oso, came to us from a kill shelter in California. They had both been deserted by their owner who had been notified by the shelter that his dogs were there, but who decided it was too much trouble to come in, pay the fees and take his dogs home.
Heading to Tucson with his new mom
Chapo very quickly headed to Tucson and was ultimately adopted by our dear friend/volunteer/adopter/supporter Sara. He was gone far too soon, but no dog could have been more cherished or loved. We'll miss you gentle boy ...
Adopted in March 2007 ~ Lost to us December 2018
Sophie came to us from a high kill shelter in Las Vegas in December 2006. After recovering from a severe case of kennel cough, she was spayed and put up for adoption -- she was adopted by her forever mom in March of 2007.
Later that same year, Sophie's furbrother passed away, and she welcomed a new partner in crime to her family, Benz.
Sophie was delighted to have a new brother, and the two were inseparable.
Herding in 2009
Santa Paws 2012
Herding in 2010
Santa Paws 2014
Herding in 2013
Our final family picture of Sophie, Benz & Cathy at Santa Paws in 2015
Every time she saw our staff member, she knew that treats would be forthcoming. She never forgot in all the 11 years she had been in her forever home. We will miss your sweet heart and happy, smiling face ...
|JESSIE (formerly "Mindy")|
Adopted in October 2010 ~ Lost to us January 7, 2019
Jessie was rescued from a California kill shelter in September 2010. She was brought to Phoenix and fostered, then adopted by her forever family.
Jessie's new family
Her family wrote, "It is with great sadness that we let you know that we lost Jessie yesterday. She was diagnosed with a neurological disorder (similar to Lou Gehrig's disease in humans) about four months ago that quickly advanced, leaving her unable to use her back legs and most recently, unable to control her bladder. She brought us eight precious years with so many happy times.
We will miss snuggling with her, giving her belly rubs, swimming in the pool with her, playing catch with her, giving her a daily treat as she sat by the pantry door waiting for it. We will miss her howling every time she heard a siren. We will miss her cold nose nudging us to pet her. We will miss her unconditional love she gave us every day. We will miss her cute face that greeted us every time we walked in the door. Our home already is not the same without her.
"Thank you for giving us the privilege of loving her for more than eight years. We would not trade the time we had with her but her loss is so great. The more you love, the more it hurts and we loved her so very much."
Adopted May 18, 2014 ~ Lost to us September 2018
Shasha was an owner surrender; a victim of divorce and the splitting up of her family. She came into our rescue shortly after her 7th birthday in 2013. She was the "perfect" dog -- well socialized, housetrained, good with kids, the whole ball of wax. Only thing working against her was her age. But her age is precisely what drew Lyn to her. Lyn was looking for a calm, older dog to complete her family, and Sasha was perfect for her.
Adoption Day with Lyn
Sasha "marched" in the 2017 Gilbert Days Parade, perched on a platform in the back of Lyn's Mustang
But all good things must come to an end ...
On her last day
Rescued October 2009 ~ Adopted February 8, 2010 ~ Lost to us September 10, 2018
Bridget and her "brother," Badger, were dumped at a south Los Angeles shelter in October of 2009. Bridget looked like a cow -- she had been used to produce so many puppies.
The pair were "air lifted" to Phoenix courtesy of Doug & Wendy (our current volunteer), and settled in with our dear friend Pat, the Dog Lady. While in the care of Pat, Bridget grew strong and healthy, and was ready for her spay surgery (and hernia repair) in no time.
What a difference!
After surgery, Bridget was placed into foster care with Dorothy
Dorothy got started right away with the loving...
...and it didn't take Bridget long to become a full-fledged member of her pack
Once she had recovered from surgery and was the picture of health, we put her up for adoption ... but Dorothy could not let her go and decided to adopt her.
Rescued & adopted early 2011 ~ Lost to us September 2018
Rose and her sidekick Mary (adopted and renamed Maui) were dropped off at a kill shelter by an owner who simply stated, "We have too many dogs." Thanks to our good friend, Cindy, the girls were pulled from the shelter and transported to our rescue.
Thankfully, Joe and Helen were looking for a kitty friendly dog to add to their family, and they offered to give Rosie a chance by fostering her to see how she would do in a household with cats.
With the love of her new family, Rosie began to make great strides. Every week saw improvements -- sometimes very small improvements, but improvements nonetheless.
At first she preferred to sleep in the yard...
...but her new family's love was strong
Rosie proved to be a true cat lover
Rosie's forever dad Joe wrote, "Hi Nancy, I wanted to let you know that we lost our Rosie last week. She had been fine. She was playing with her cats on Wednesday night and even Thursday morning. She was recently at the vet and doing great. We left the house Thursday morning at 8:30 and everything was normal. She needed to go outside before we left then she went and laid down on her bed as we were leaving just like she always did. Helen called me at 12:30 crying hysterically saying that Rosie was dead. ...The vet really didn't speculate on what happened.
Helen and I put a sheet over her and carried her out to the car still in her bed to take her to the vet to be cremated. It's been a little over a week and I'm starting to tear up as I write this! We cherish the time we had with her. I still remember the first time we met her at the park. She was so timid. She obviously had a rough life before your group rescued her. It took a couple months for her to come around. When we first took her for walks, her ears would be down and her tail between her legs. After a short time, she was happy! Ears up and tail wagging. She loved to go for walks so we took as often as we could. She was such a sweet girl and took such good care of her cats. Our house seems so lonely now!
I went to your website today and found the picture from when we first me her. Anyway, we will be contacting you soon to talk about another adoption. Thank you for everything!
Rescued October 2010 ~ Lost to us August 20, 2018
Farewell "Punkin Eater"
Peter was rescued as a youngster from the east side MCACC in October of 2010. He started Boot Camp in early 2011, and was paired up with volunteer Traci almost immediately -- he was quite a handful to say the least. Peter required a strong, confident leader on the other end of his leash, and Traci was a good match for him. With time and patience, he and Traci qualified for his AKC Canine Good Citizen title in June of 2012 and was finally put up for adoption.
Peter found what we had hoped would be his forever home in October of 2012. Everything went well. Peter and his new dad attended Boot Camp regularly and so we were able to keep track of our latest "problem child." In March 2014, he earned his herding instinct title.
Have you seen my family?
A happy youngster
Starting Boot Camp with Bert
Boot Camp class with Traci
Canine Good Citizen
A family at last
Water was NOT Peter's thing
Herding in 2014
Disaster struck for Peter in the summer of 2017, when his adoptive family made the decision to move back to family (and grandkids) in New York. His family didn't feel Peter was safe around young children, and so they made the decision to surrender him back to our rescue. We began the search once again for Peter's forever home ... and we found it!
We received an application from a family in Tucson. Since this would be Peter's final move from our care (and we really weren't convinced that he should be going anywhere), we were more than cautious, but once we met Gina, we knew she was the right adopter for our former problem child. Thank you, Gina, for loving Peter as much as we did and for giving him the home we had only dreamed of for him.
Peter's family wrote, "Dear Nancy
It is with a heavy heart that Gina, and I email you. We unfortunately have lost Peter. We did all that we could with the vet, but the cancer took him so quickly we did not have much time to react. We have been grieving so we didn't get to email you soon. 8\20\18 was the official date we put him down. He was the best GS we could have asked for. We miss him dearly."
|MISTY (formerly known as "Mica" and/or "Mira")|
Adopted June 2010 ~ Lost to us August, 2018
Misty came to us as "Mira" from Greely, Colorado, in March of 2009, thanks to the folks at West Ridge Animal Hospital who took Mira from the local shelter and got her to a place where she could search for her family -- White German Shepherd Rescue. Upon arrival, Mira went into training with Leah of Dog House Training Academy due to her dominant behavior, and graduated with honors. She was quickly fostered, then adopted by what we had hoped would be her forever family, and renamed Mica. We were devastated when, less than a year later, her adoptive dad passed away suddenly and Misty was dumped at a local animal shelter!
Misty was quickly retrieved and soon found forever with the Robert's family.
Her dad, Don, wrote: "With heavy hearts we had to let Misty cross over The Bridge yesterday. We lost her baby brother Hunter 2 months ago to an autoimmune disease that took him away so sudden and expectedly. Misty looked for him every day since.
We adopted Misty ... as an adult, who was a perfect match for our family. She and Hunter got along wonderfully, never having even one single spat in her 8 years with us. They would even eat out of the same bowl in complete harmony.
When we first got her, she had been through a lot. She would sit in the middle of the room looking worriedly at us wondering where she was and if she belonged here. Her first trip to the local park she freaked out at the sight and sound of running water and waterfalls. It's as if she didn't know anything about how to be a dog. What a turn around that became. Walking with Hunter at the park, and playing in the water became her favorite things. She became the perfect dog for us.
Misty developed a debilitating muscle condition that robbed her the use of her rear legs properly, and eventually began affecting her front. She would have trouble going through the doggie door. As a working couple we worried that she would eventually not make it on her own any more when we were at work. I know she had to be in pain, tho she never acted like it, and right up to the end, appeared to be a happy and otherwise healthy soul. But it was not fair to her to allow her to suffer any longer at the risk of being one day stranded outside in the extreme temperatures we are experiencing. We were faced with the sad and inevitable decision.
We miss her so much. We appreciate and thank you for your wonderful gift to our lives in this beautiful Lady. The house feels empty and too quiet. This is the first time in over 40 years that we don't have a dog in our lives. Just doesn't feel right.
|JAEGER (formerly known as "Mikey")|
Owner surrendered April 2008 ~ Lost to us June, 2018
This one hit very close to home, as Mikey had started with our rescue as a very young puppy. Surrendered as a 10 week old puppy when the family found themselves in over their heads with this puppy with the huge attitude, Mikey was originally fostered by our founder in her home. And what a challenge he was! After a few months, Mikey was placed into a new home with a couple who promised to do right by Mikey -- they didn't and he was reclaimed less than a year later, but unfortunately the "damage" had been done and Mikey was worse off than he had been when we started! And so we began again ...
Up stepped the Cromey family. We couldn't have asked for a better match for Mikey. They took him on and saw it through with Mikey (now renamed Jaeger), dealing with each challenge as it came along, and loving him more and more every day. Constructing this memorial for Jaeger was difficult, because his family always kept in touch and sent us photos, but we tried to choose our favorites to honor the success of his adoptive family in making Jaeger all that he could be...
Hey, Mikey ... He Likes It!!!!
His first days in rescue
Meeting Bean the cat
Ears up ... finally ~ A total cutie
Adoption Day ~ October 2010
Mikey's former mom pays him a visit
Christmas 2010 - Still a challenge!
Hiking was one of his favorites
The ultimate (snow) ball dog!
A new family member
Ever the athlete
Christmas 2016 with his growing family
Who said I couldn't be placed with children?
Jaeger's mom, Karen, wrote: "Dear Nancy,
It is with a sad heart that I tell you that we put Jaeger down last week. He went downhill very rapidly since my last email with you. His back end just gave out in spite of laser therapy and increased medication. The picture above is of our last morning together. We drove up into the mountains to a grassy valley where he could lay still and smell the cool air. He was a great dog.
We would like to rescue another one. ...Thanks for all the work you do for these wonderful dogs."
|RUTH (fondly known by her family & friends as "Ruthie")|
Rescued from a California shelter 7/2010 ~ Lost to us May 15, 2018
Ruthie was rescued from a California kill shelter in the summer of 2010. She was transported to us by our friend, John ("Wolfman") of Tundra Shepherd Rescue, immediately took up residence with foster mom, Sara, in Tucson ... and never left.
|CHUSKA (formerly "Gretchen")|
Rescued from a Texas shelter 12/2011 ~ Lost to us May, 2018
Chuska and her little sister were spotted in a rural Texas shelter by our good friend, Michelle, from SnoCapped Shepherd Rescue in Colorado. Michelle was able to take the little sister if we could take Chuska, and we agreed.
Coming across I-40 in the middle of the winter was no easy feat, but thanks to the wonderful volunteer transport team, Chuska arrived safe and sound in Phoenix.
Chuska was adopted in January 2012 by her forever mom Debbie.
Chuska's mom wrote, "Wanted to let you know that Chuska went to the Rainbow Bridge last week. She had degenerative myelopathy that finally (after two years of muscle building exercise) completely paralyzed her back legs. She was an unbelievably sweet dog that appeared to the uninformed to be a follower, but my other female German shepherd will tell you she had plenty of backbone! I think she was 12 or 13 years old, so she had a great life (after you rescued her and her sister from Texas). Even though I have two other German shepherds, the house feels a little empty."
|TUGBOAT ANNIE ("Annie")|
Rescued from Eastside shelter 10/2016 ~ Lost to us April 16, 2018
Rescued from the eastside shelter after a call went out asking for help with a senior girl with a URI, Annie won the heart of our founder and became our resident "small dog tester." She had no fear of the bigger dogs, and put them in their places. We soon discovered that not only did Annie suffer from a heart murmer, she also had valley fever.
There was nothing Annie loved more than a good car ride; she was the best traveling companion and covered many miles with her mom. Not at all your typical small dog (chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix), Annie hated to be cuddled, held and pampered, but she did love her soft beds. She was independent and wanted to do things on her own, which we absolutely loved about her.
We only had her for a year and a half, but she was loved a lifetime's worth...
June 28, 2009 ~ Lost to us December, 2017
Although not white in color, Seishan and her fur-brother, Chinto, are members of our rescue family and "honorary whites."
Seishan started Boot Camp as a youngster with dad, Dave. At first, we were able to tell when Seishan had arrived for class even before we saw her -- she would loudly announce her arrival as soon as she got out of the car! As we watched over the coming months, the communication and partnership between these two grew and grew. There wasn't any challenge that these two couldn't conquer -- Rally, Herding 1 (Seishan's Herding Video) Herding 2, Therapy Work, Boot Camp -- they were a team, and Seishan was a rock star!
Starting Boot Camp
While still just a puppy, she took second place in our 2011 Top Dog competition with a score of 194-1/2
She only had eyes for dad...
Steady, sound and dependable, she was a dog-tester for many of our rescue furkids ~ males, females, puppies and pushy former stud dogs ~ Seishan took them all in stride
Seishan (at right) never missed her chance at Nancy's chicken treats during Boot Camp
Mom Mickey wrote, "I wanted to let you know we lost Seishan last Friday. She suffered a seizure two weeks ago while at a routine vet check up and after running tests, was found to have cancer spreading in her lungs. The vet didn't think chemo or radiation would help as the lungs were a secondary cancer site but we made an appointment to have an oncologist look at her. She didn't make it long enough to keep that appointment.
I guess we're lucky she didn't suffer long as we had no warning she had cancer, but she's left a big hole in our lives.
Thanks for welcoming her and us into your rescue group. We're grateful for all the help you and Bert provided to turn her into such a wonderful dog." Mickey & Dave
Dave & Mickey have made a donation to White GSD Rescue in memory of Seishan.
Rescued May 2011 ~ Lost to us December 14, 2017
Nelson came out of one of the worse shelters in California. He was said to be about a year old at the time and very shy. In July, Keith and Nancy stepped up and offered Nelson a home.
Moving in with Keith & Nancy
Learning to navigate a "scarey" hallway
Training at The Dog House
Adding a new sister, Fynn
...and finally at Santa Paws, 2017, just 11 days before his passing
While he never got over his shyness with strange people, places and things, in his own home, Nelson was a sweet and loving boy. According to Nelson's dad, Keith, "Nancy, it is with a heavy heart that I need to tell you that yesterday I had to make the very difficult decision to have Nelson put to sleep. About a week after you last saw Nelson he started to have diarrhea and suffered from incontinence followed by a swollen belly. I got Nelson to the vet who found his belly was swollen from blood; prognosis -- tumors on the spleen. She ordered ultrasounds to verify. The results were large tumors on the spleen and liver and heavy bleeding. Over this very short time, Nelson's ability to get up on his own had left him. After looking into his eyes I knew I had to make this difficult decision. I stayed with him to the end. I miss him terribly and hope he is in a better place."
Keith and Nancy sent a donation to White GSD Rescue in memory of Nelson: "Please accept this donation in loving memory of our friend, Nelson. He was a sweet and gentle dog, and we will miss him gretly. Thank you for rescuing him and for allowing us to become his forever home. Love Nancy & Keith
|RIO (formerly "China")
Rescued in December 2007 ~ Passed peacefully at home November 22, 2017
Rio was rescued from the Phoenix westside shelter in December of 2007, where she had been left, along with two of her black & tan housemates, when her owner passed away. She found forever with Roxanne & Michelle in November of 2008, and passed away at home, one day short of the 9th year anniversary of her adoption.
Happily ever after ...
Rio loved cats!
Her mom wrote, "Our big, beautiful, beloved, happy girl passed away early this morning. We miss her so much. Thanks for everything and thanks for all you do!"
Rescued in March 2011 ~ Lost to us October, 2017
Rescued from the Phoenix westside shelter in March 2011, Riley adopted by his forever mom, Mindy, the following month
Mom Mindy wrote: "Hi Nancy,
Just wanted to let you know that my sweet, handsome Riley lost his battle with lymphoma last month. We did chemo and he was in remission for months before the cancer returned. It was throughout his body, and I had to put him down. I will always cherish the 7 years I got to have with him, but wish we had more years. He was a terrific dog and I will miss him forever."
Rescued in February 2011 ~ Lost to us November 11, 2017
Divine was rescued from a California kill shelter in February of 2011. She was first fostered and then adopted by her loving mom, Ellen, in March 2011
Ellen wrote, "My beautiful dog Divine was truly a divine dog. Her name perfectly described her.
Her nickname was Diva for short and that suited her also. Such a beauty.
We all loved her so much and she will be so missed as she passed away today but her pain has ended and I know she is running with lots of friends, her guardian angel and chasing bunnies in heaven. She loved cats and they loved her but she liked to chase bunnies. She loved to run but couldn't anymore and now she can run all over again with no more pain.
Farewell sweet girl until we meet again on the other side. You were my baby and I love you so much." Your mommy
|LAYLA (aka "Lady" of the Coachella Sisters)
Saved from a California kill shelter in August 2010 ~ Lost to us September 6, 2017
Layla and her twin sister, Lita, were rescued from the Coachella (California) Shelter in August of 2010. Known as the "Coachella Sisters," they each found their forever homes.
Lita (at left) and Lady
On adoption day at left, and with best bud Cole at right
Sadly, a too short 7 years later, Layla unexpectedly developed labored breathing and coughing, She was taken to the vet, and her family received the sad news that she had cancer in her lungs, liver and spleen with fluid in her chest. (According to her mom, "It was just like Layla to never show us that she was not feeling well, she was always so happy to please everyone else." Layla rapidly worsened, very restless and grunting with breathing. Her mom stayed up with her all night knowing that the next morning would be a difficult day. So very sadly, Layla was put to sleep Wednesday morning to end her suffering. She went very peacefully.
Layla's heartbroken forever mom wrote, "Layla was the sweetest, most well behaved companion that anyone could of ever wish for. She was very spoiled by us. I know that I gave her the best life that I could. She enjoyed the dog park and walks. She also had one of the largest dog toy collections ever! I have never seen a dog get so happy about a new toy. She would proudly carry around a new toy and show it off for days...then pull all the stuffing out all over the floor. I wanted to write to you and tell you thank you for the wonderful gift you gave us in Layla. You did a wonderful job matching her to our family. Layla was the best, well behaved, loving dog that we could of ever hoped for. My husband and I need some time to heal our broken hearts from Layla's unexcepted and rapid illness, but we may return. We love the WGS breed so much and I trust that you could help us find the right one for us again. I am sending you a donation to your rescue site in memory of our beautiful Layla so you can continue to help others in need. Again, thank you so much for bringing Layla into our lives. She was a wonderful addition to our family that brought us so much joy. Layla will live in our hearts forever! With great thanks." Gayle Kohlmann
|CHRISTMAS SNOW (aka "Bunny")
Saved from a California kill shelter on Christmas Eve 2015 ~ Lost to us August 2, 2017
How we first saw Bunny in a kill shelter in California
After some TLC
Bunny improved with each passing month
In Boot Camp with volunteer Di
We found Bunny, close to death, in a kill shelter. She had been confiscated as a neglect case, and it was a struggle to get the shelter to release her. We finally won the battle and had Bunny transported out of hell on Christmas Eve.
She spent her first weeks at Crossroads, recovering, after which she was brought to Phoenix in search of her forever home. Unfortunately, it was not to be. After a cancer diagnosis and successful surgery in January 2016, Bunny began the search for her forever family. But, she was selective about who she would let into her life, and the search dragged on for many months. She had several successful introductions, but none were the right family for our special girl.
After a valley fever diagnosis in July 2017, it was decided that Bunny would spend the rest of her life (however long or short) with one of our staff members. She was put on medication in hopes that we could at least improve her quality of life.
UPDATE 8/1: Bunny stopped eating last night -- very uncommon for our girl who LOVES food. Her favorite person, Katherine, fixed her a late night snack of scrambled eggs and tucked her in for the night ... unfortunately, early the next morning the eggs were there, untouched, and our Bunny was gone. Whether it was the cancer that had reoccurred, or the valley fever that had spread; we will never know. Farewell, my sweet Bunny Rabbit. You will be missed ~ who's going to give everyone a hard time when they come over?
|BOGART (aka "Bogie")
Adopted December 2012 ~ Lost to us July 8, 2017
Bogie in Dec 2015 at WGSD fundraiser
Bogie's mom, Eileen wrote, "Today, my sweet prince, Bogie, was peacefully euthanized at home surrounded by his family. He was 13 years old. We had successfully managed his arthritis and declining hips with medication for a long time. We continued to enjoy many walks together over the five years he was our baby but the walks grew shorter and this week there were none. After agonizing over the decision I knew I had to make, I found Dr. Morrison (with Pet Home Euthanasia). She came to our home and provided Bogie with a loving, quiet passage. I am heartbroken but at peace too.
When we first met Bogie, I remember thinking why adopt an 8 year old dog? But, it has truly been the most wonderful thing. I can't begin to tell you how special and sweet this dog was. I will miss him very much. Thank you, Nancy and White German Shepherd Rescue for bringing Bogie into our lives. Thank you.
Adopted February 27, 2006 ~ Lost to us May 15, 2017
Stryker was brought to a vet in Las Vegas by his owner, who requested that the 11 month old, personality plus boy be euthanized due to hip dysplasia. Euthanasia? Not gonna happen!
Arrival in Phoenix
Stryker & Betty
Thanks to our dear friends, Becky & Phil, Stryker was rescued from the vet's office and transported to Phoenix, where he was picked up by White GSD Rescue. He immediately went into foster care with our long-time foster Betty, who saw him through the restricted activity period prescribed by the specialist in Vegas. Once Stryker was allowed to resume normal activity, he was sent for water therapy at Canine Physical Rehabilitation of the Southwest.
Shortly thereafter, Stryker was adopted by his forever dad, Robert
On Stryker's passing, Robert wrote: Just wanted to let you know I had to say goodbye to Stryker today. Last 48 hours he couldn't support his back end, wouldn't eat and we found a large mass in his stomach. Again thank you for giving me several wonderful years with him. Robert made a generous donation to White GSD Rescue in loving memory of Stryker ... thank you, Robert for paying it forward and helping other dogs receive the love and care that Stryker did.
Adopted October 13, 2005 ~ Lost to us March 17, 2017
Laci was only a youngster when she was given up by her owner when his wife passed away (in New Mexico). After arranging transport, a foster home was found for her with what turned out to be her forever family.
On placement day
Laci's family wrote: I just wanted to let you know that our sweet baby girl Laci passed away 3/17/2017. She was the joy of our lives and we miss her everyday. Thank you for helping to bring us together."
|TALA (formerly Nevada)|
Rescued in 2006 at 18 months ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge 2/13/2017
Tala was rescued, along with her male counterpart, Weiss, from a kill shelter in Pasadena, California, in April of 2006. She was subsequently adopted by her forever parents, Art and Peggy. An email from her dad in February 2017, said, "Just wanted to let you know that we sent our beautiful, loving, protective Tala to the Rainbow Bridge about an hour ago. She had lost most of both her front and back legs...plus her bowel control. She was not in any pain.
She was loved strongly...and she had a good 10+ years with us...and we are grateful to you for providing her to us." ~Art
|ON ANGEL'S WINGS VON JOY|
12/17/04 ~ 2/2/2017
When Angel and Crystal's owner (a dear friend of one of our staff member's) died in Minnesota in September 2013, there was no one to step up and care for Angel and her "sister," Crystal. With winter closing in fast on Minnesota, it was imperative that the dogs make their way to Phoenix, and fast!!
Angel (right) and her sister, Crystal, in happier times
If we could get the girls to Kansas City, they could catch a flight to Denver, where they would be met by our dear friend, Michelle, of Sno-Capped Shepherd Rescue. A plea was posted for transport for the two girls, and our favorite rescue transport coordinator, Katrina, stepped up to help! Katrina moved the girls as far as Kansas City, where they jumped on the CARE wagon and made their way to Colorado. After an overnight stay in Colorado with Michelle, the girls were delivered to the airport and flown to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they spent the night with Dave. The next morning, the girls completed the final leg of their journey to White German Shepherd Rescue in Phoenix.
Once the girls arrived safely, they were listed for adoption -- but finding someone to take on two fully grown shepherds is not an easy task, and we were faced with the dilemma of whether or not they would have to be separated.
In answer to our prayers, Chriss applied to adopt both girls! It seemed like a match made in heaven ... and it was.
Even as Angel's back legs began to fail her, Chriss made sure that that didn't stop or slow her down one bit. Our thanks to Mickey and Dave for the loan of the cart. Angel LOVED it!
In the end, Chriss wrote: "My sweetest Angel went to Heaven last night. She fought a brave battle and persevered through all of her challenges. She was the strongest soul I have ever known. I will miss her and love her forever ... thank you for all your help in bringing her to me! ...She is back with her first mommy now, running and jumping!"
|LUNA (formerly Hannah)|
Rescued in January 2010 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge New Year's Eve 2016
Rescued in January 2007 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge December 2016
Rescued in July 2015 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge November 4, 2016
Found in a local kill shelter, we couldn't have saved Fox without her foster mom, Christina, who stepped up to foster Fox, sight unseen, and wound up keeping her when she couldn't bear to give her up. Our profound thanks go out to her for giving Fox more than a year of life (and a good life it was) that she would not have otherwise had. Goodbye, sweet Fox.
Fox's Facebook Page
Rescued in January 2009 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge September 3, 2016
Sami and her tiny family of four were rescued from a high kill shelter in California after being dumped (almost full term pregnant) by her uncaring owner. We knew from experience that the chance for the puppies' survival was very slim (puppies born in a shelter environment rarely survive), but we wanted to give them all a chance and, at the very least, offer Sami a new lease on life in Phoenix.
We found Princess pretty much as we had been told -- frozen solid with fear and very depressed -- but taking excellent care of her babies. We brought her to Phoenix with high hopes, but by the end of January, all four of the puppies had succumbed to whatever they had picked up at the shelter, and Princess herself was struggling.
By the time the end of March rolled around, Sami was healthy, spayed, up-to-date on shots and ready to rock and roll with a new family. In stepped our dear friend, volunteer and supporter, Di, and her pack (Shiloh & Missy) to offer Sami a place of her own. She accepted on the spot!!
Missy was kind enough to share her "laundry basket" bed
The pack has changed slightly over the years, now consisting of Buddy and Zenith, but Sami doesn't mind having a new brother and sister
We are eternally grateful to Di and her pack for giving our little Sami the loving home she wanted and so richly deserved. She wasn't a shepherd by any stretch of the imagination ... but she didn't know that...
Rescued from AZ Humane in May 2005 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge August 15, 2016
The memorial you never want to write is the one about your own dog ... the one you rescued, fought for, struggled with, cried over, and the one whose barrier you finally broke through, simply because you were more stubborn than he was and, of course, because you loved him.
Sid's capture by the Arizona Humane Society was featured on Animal Planet Heroes - Phoenix in 2005. It was not until I watched the show (well after Sid was already a member of my family) that I saw how wild Sid was and what it took to capture him - he had to be shot with a tranquilizer gun!
Our first view of Sid at AHS
When we went to the AHS to evaluate Sid, we were told that he simply sat in his kennel, refusing to walk or move under his own power. His ears were so badly infected that they simply would not stand; we honestly believed he would be deaf, but he surprised us and only had "selective deafness" when we got the infections cleared up. When we met him, they carried him into the lobby. After submitting to my petting for a short period of time, he moved away and into a corner. No sooner had I uttered the words to Bert, "I don't think we're going to be able to help this one," Sid slowly walked across the lobby floor (moving under his own power for the first time to the amazement of the AHS staff) and placed his muzzle in Bert's cupped hand. I was hooked! We named Sid after Sid, the sloth, in the movie "Ice Age," because his picture seemed to say to us (as Sid says in the movie), "Doesn't anybody love me? Doesn't anybody care?" We cared and took Sid home.
Sid lived his first few months in my home office, which is our "quarantine" ward. He delighted at the constant company and attention that he was afforded and made himself at home right away on my office sofa.
Posing for the Animal Planet crew
Sid was with us for months. Animal Planet came back and did a follow-up on him and when we felt it was time, he was put up for adoption. Little did we know that Sid had other ideas. Every time we tried to introduce him to a prospective family, as soon as we put Sid's leash into their hands, he would buck like a bronco and refuse to go with them! After the third such display in as many months, my heart broke for him and I could no longer submit him to what he obviously viewed as torture. Sid was mine and home to stay.
A reluctant student at Boot Camp
Home for Christmas
So proud of the vest Sara made for him
He was a crowd pleaser
Katherine with Shadia, Sid, Sara and Corey after the Veterans Day Parade
"Sid was our ambassador and the symbol of what rescue is all about. He was our triumph and a reminder of why we do what we do. He was my special goofball; he passed quietly on a Monday morning. I was privileged to be his forever mom for more than 11 years and I will miss him more than I can ever say. There will never be another one like him; of that I am certain." ~Nancy
Ain't it the truth?
A poem written in memory of Sid
Rescued in February 2000 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge July 8, 2016
Annie & her best friend
Rescued in April 2011 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge July 2016
Bella Angel graduates from obedience school
|MAUI (formerly "Mary")|
Adopted in 2011 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge May 31, 2016
Maui came to us from a shelter in Lake Elsinore, California, along with her fursister, Rose. Maui was fostered, and then adopted by her wonderful family. With them she experienced many adventures, and led the life we had dreamed of for her.
On adoption day
At the beach
In the forest
Poolside at home
At (or in) the lake
In the mountains
Best place of all ~ home
From Maui's family: "Sadly, we had to let Maui go yesterday. Her 2 month battle with cancer was getting the best of her. With declining health and no more quality of life we made the difficult decision before she had any pain or suffering. We did not want her to experience that. ...We tried our best to give her a wonderful life and hope that we succeeded somewhat. As part of our family, she knew safety, comfort and love. Maui went many places with us, including out to eat, hikes, day trips, numerous vacations and camp trips (of course anything with water was her favorite). Maui had a fur brother and then sister whom she loved and they loved her. Sorry to have such sad news. We want to thank you again for saving her for us. Our lives were so much richer having her in it and she will be missed more than words can say." Himes family
Adopted in December 2003 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge May 9, 2016
Pulled from a Los Angeles shelter in October 2003
Niki was fostered and then adopted by Lisa
Niki with Lisa's cat, Cujo
When we found Niki, she had been dumped, along with her puppies. Rescued and brought to Phoenix, her coat was like straw, but that didn't stop Lisa from scooping her up and making her welcome in her home the moment she saw her. It soon became clear that Niki had already found her forever with Lisa.
With Lisa's love, Niki blossomed
Adopted in 2007 ~ Lost to us 4/3/2016
A love affair from the start
Adopted for Christmas
Always her first love & protector
Rascal came to us from Yuma -- a rescue friend of ours, Cyndi, had spotten a bloody Rascal coming out of her vet's office with his owner. She stopped and asked if the owner was interested in finding a rescue for her dog and, thankfully, she was. To say that Rascal was a handful was an understatement, but in Dorothy's hands, he was a completely different dog. He adored her. He chose her as his person and gave her his all. He was her protector and heart dog until epilepsy finally took him from her.
Never was a dog more loved ... You fought bravely, Rascal. Rest in Peace. Dorothy will meet you at Rainbow Bridge ... some day.
Rascal in his prime
A picture is worth a thousand words ...
While not a white GSD by any stretch of the imagination, Buddy was loved nonetheless by our friend, adopter and volunteer Sara. "Buddy was left with me by a friend for dog sitting, and never got picked up. He was at least 12 years old, and I loved him very much. He was my felly. He became sick suddenly, and crossed to the bridge within an hour on March 3, 2016."
Adopted in 2011 ~ Lost to cancer 11/13/2015
Pulled from a California kill shelter in November of 2012, King was adopted by his forever family in early February of 2013. Sadly, he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. His younger sister, Tilly, is lost without him, as are his forever folks, Jeff and Lauren.
Adopted in 2009 ~ Lost to cancer 11/13/2015
Kevin was rescued from the Westside shelter in June of 2009. At his first foster home with Betty, Kevin blossomed in the company of Betty's menagerie. But, in less than a month, Kevin found his heart's desire -- a family of his own. Scott and Kynah stepped up and offered Kevin a home...and what a home it was ~ first in Scottsdale and then to the rural mountains of Colorado.
Kevin with foster Betty
Kevin loved to run in the park with Kynah
Hamming it up with Kynah
Kevin became the happy boy we had always hoped he would be, thanks to Scott and Kynah.
At home in Colorado with sister Lexi
No dog could have been more adored... Farewell, big fella. You will be missed.
Adopted in 2013 ~ Lost to cancer 11/4/2015
Bobby was adopted in November 2013 and spent the last 2 years of her life as a "snowbird," wintering in Phoenix and summering in Washington. She loved her life as a traveling "motor home dog" and will be sorely missed by her loving family, the Moores.
|BRIO (formerly Krypto)|
Adopted in 2009 ~ Lost to cancer 9/9/2015
Our profound thanks to Debbie, for making Brio the king of her castle
From Debbie: "He was a big, hysterical, (sometimes) destructive force of nature, but underneath all that crazy was a sweet boy that never hurt a fly.
He added a huge amount of energy to my home and I miss him a lot."
Adopted in 2013 ~ Lost to us 9/6/2015
Robby was diagnosed with a heart murmur, but that didn't stop Roger from adopting him in 2013. Robby was sent to Rainbow Bridge by a speeding vehicle on an otherwise deserted street in the early morning hours of Labor Day weekend Sunday.
From Roger: "What a guy he was! As my neighbor put it, 'His entuusiasm and zest for life were contagious. I have never seen any creature enjoy life more. We will miss his happy face." Yes, we will.
|SAMSON (formerly Andrew)|
Samson was pulled from the westside shelter in 2013 and adopted shortly thereafter. Sadly, he was lost in July 2015 after a short but devastating illness.
Samson's adopters wrote: "I am sorry to say that 23 months after getting our big, beautiful Samson from a rescue group, he suddenly and very unexpectedly had to be put down yesterday. He was only 6 years old.
The weekend was filled with family and joy as we celebrated Michelle's 'White Coat' ceremony. Samson was in the thick of it and loving all the attention, but staying on guard duty and charging to the door when ever the door bell rang. He did have a slight cough and we were going to have him seen on Monday. Monday morning our poor boy could not walk or stand. We rushed him to the ER and a chest X-ray revealed many small tumors throughout his lungs. The doctors believe the tumors were a secondary cancer from an unknown primary. The absolute only recommendation was euthanasia, that day. We brought him home in Richie's arms, to say goodbye to his human and fur family and then we took that long last ride.
To say we are devastated is an understatement. This boy, though with us such a short time, made a immense impact on us all. I have never felt more connected to a dog in my life, and we have had some great ones. Our love for him was profound and now our sense of loss is as well.
I just want to add that he was smart, always doing his job of protecting, loving and filled with enthusiasm for life. Every morning he would be so excited, big tail knocking everything down and pushing into me for affection. I would always say with the enthusiasm he gave me, 'Good morning beautiful boy, good morning my Samson!' :)"
Pulled from one of the worst (and highest kill) shelters in CA, Tommy (one of our first "golden" shepherds ~ at left above in happier times) found forever in August of 2011. Sadly, he was lost to cancer in 2015.
|ICE (formerly Ajo)|
Ice was pulled from the Ajo substation of Pima County AC&C and adopted by his forever family in 2011. Sadly, he was lost to bloat in July 2015.
|CRYSTAL (formerly Christol)|
Crystal & best friend Gem
Don & Dawn J
Pulled from a California shelter after her owners surrendered her due to a move, Crystal was transported to Arizona and quickly found joy with a new family in early 2011. Her forever was not as long as we hoped it would be ... she was diagnosed with IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) in October of 2014 and her heartbroken family made the difficult decision to let her go. According to her folks, "She was a beautiful, sweet girl. Her fur-sister, Gem will also miss her very much. They were so close & great friends.
Thank-you for taking this beautiful girl in that she became a part of our family. We will all miss her."
|DEXTER (aka Gentle Ben)|
We are saddened beyond works to hear that our "Gentle Ben" (adopted in 2003 and renamed "Dextranamous Blanc Duke of Dogmalia") passed away in his sleep on September 4, 2014. Dexter and his young owner, Hannah, went everywhere together.
Adopted in December of 2006, Toni lost her battle to cancer in July of 2014. From her adoptive family, "Last week, Toni lost her battle to Cancer of the spleen and liver. We are missing her greatly and she was a cherished member of our family for the past 7 1/2 years. She leaves behind her WGSD companion Charlie who is missing her greatly!
Toni was a sweet little girl who loved to swim in the pool and she took many trips to the dog beach in San Diego where she loved to play and swim in the surf! She loved life and really had a good 'ole time.
Thank you for bringing her into our lives. Toni will be forever in our hearts."
Rod and Gina
Toni's parents have made a generous donation to our rescue in memory of Toni. Thank you!
Pulled from a Tucson shelter near death by devoted mom Sara, senior Bronco wasn't expected to last the week, let alone three and a half years. He had the best years of his life thanks to Sara. The patriach of her pack will be sorely missed. Fare well, old man.
Pulled from the Lied shelter in Las Vegas in 2008, Pearl was fostered and ultimately adopted by our dear friends Becky and Phil in 2010. She was a character without comparison and loved beyond words. You will be missed by all who knew you...
She loved her dad...
...and Lay's potato chips
Dressed for Halloween
Definitely the queen
Celebrating her birthday in 2014
Our condolences to WGSDR volunteer and dear friend, Traci, on the loss of her adopted white GSD Zack (adopted from WGSDR in 2006). We couldn't have asked for a better home or a more loving owner for one of our furkids. Thank you, Traci.