Roman, GSRNE #148
Roman was found wandering in Boston several years ago-he was in poor
condition as the result of living on the streets for some time. He was
cared for at the Boston Animal Rescue League before being fostered by
GSRNE. Since he was discovered to have separation anxiety, he was
medicated for that condition. He also disliked being touched or spoken to
My sister's family had been looking for a companion for their young GSD,
Rhea, who was despondent over my nephew's leaving for college and so
adopted him through GSRNE. Roman and Rhea became best buddies. I got to
know Roman and play with him; he and Rhea visited our home and walked in
our woods many times.
Roman's anxiety improved and one day he and Rhea escaped from their yard,
and in their exuberance and living up to their shepherding names, decided
to try and herd some of the neighbor's sheep. Fortunately no one was hurt
in the process, but a complaint was made which caused the animal control
officer to contact them. In the best interest of everyone, it was decided
that Roman would have to go. This was very upsetting to all of
us, especially because it meant that it would be another transition for
Roman. GSRNE was contacted; fortunately for all, we were approved to adopt
him about five years ago.
He arrived with a metal crate with bars that I don't think King Kong could
break! He was glued to me at first, but has gotten better. He did like
to get into things on the counter and took down the Levolor drapes when he
first came, but he began to blend in, submissive as he is, with our two
other shepherds. He's a wonderful marshmallow of a dog-never pulls on
leash, does not jump on people, only gives a "woof" to alert. He has
cheered elderly people in nursing homes and comforted our elderly shepherd
during her acupuncture treatments. He's a handsome dog and has made many
"people friends" on his walks in the neighborhood. He's been to beginner
and rally obedience classes and earned a CGC.
When Roman became an "only dog" here, we came home with another shepherd
pup, "Chips". She dragged him around by the jowls, took all his toys, and
basically "took over." He became her "parent":
whenever he spotted her being "naughty", he would come over and stand in
front of me so that I would go and see what she was up to. Now he
considers Chips his girlfriend.
We've tried to make up for whatever pain and mistreatment he may have
received, but he still is a subdued dog and is uncomfortable when
strangers pet him in certain places. Apparently he never learned to play
with a ball but does enjoy getting brushed and going for walks. We're
able to leave him alone in the kitchen/family room without problems or
medication. He's getting gray in the muzzle now, but we hope we still will
have him with us for some time yet for there is a special love between us
By Barbara and Kurt Koppetsch
Minka, GSRNE #120
husband and I first contacted Janice Ritter, we told her we were
interested in fostering and that we had a one year old male GSD at home
and thought a companion would be nice. Janice immediately said she had a
female dog in mind. We signed our paperwork September 9, 2001 and
welcomed our new member of our family.
Although it was not
love at first sight, Minka turned out to be the perfect match. The best
thing we could have done was to get two dogs. Minka has always been a
pleasure; she is a gentle and affectionate dog. Through the years Minka
has welcomed our two children with open arms, but I know she enjoys when
they go to bed.
say Minka is in her Golden Years, but she still can move! She still
tries to chase the deer in back of our house and goes on adventures
looking for wildlife. These days Minka likes to take it easy and be
pampered, maybe that comes with age! She still looks beautiful and has
no medical problems. I thank Janice for bringing the perfect dog into
our lives, and for all the volunteers that work so hard for this
Eric & Sandra Shoemaker
Max, GSRNE #235
When we applied
to adopt from GSRNE rescue three years ago, little did we realize it would
change our lives. After passing the "tests" for adoption (my sister said it
was easier to adopt a child), we waited for our perfect match to come along.
I was constantly on the web site looking for new adoptees and hoping one of
them would be ours. Finally the call we waited
Laurie Keating called with an offer, but he just didn't sound like the right
dog for us, so we turned the first one down. Then she called about Max
and sent us e-mail pictures; we fell in love. He looked and sounded like
just what we had dreamed of.
We set up an appointment
to meet him and his foster parents, Jon and Kelly. It was LOVE at first
sight for us and we thought Max was perfect! Now if he just liked us, we
were in. He was a little reserved and standoffish at first but that was
perfectly acceptable to us. Then we went outside to play ball. I have never
enjoyed playing with a dog as much as we did that day! Max was quite the
ballplayer. I swear he would have played until he dropped if we had allowed
it. We went home that night full of hopes and dreams that we would be
allowed to have this wonderful guy.
Laurie called us the next
day and said, “Yes,” which was a magic word to us. We were thrilled! Max was
having his neutering surgery done the following Monday so he would stay with
his foster family until he recovered. We were worried and called Jon
frequently for updates, but Max was soon ready to come home.
He came with some food
and toys, one of which was his ball. He settled in just fine and acted
like he had always been with us. It was an ideal time because Rob was out of
work and spent all day with him, and then both of us were with him all
evening. He never spent time alone for quite some time and quickly adjusted
to life with us, my sister and her young grandson, Connor. Max was a
self-appointed guardian for the baby whenever he visited. Max loved to give
Connor kisses which helped Connor learn that though dogs can be big, they
can also be nice.
Life was good and the
backyard became a huge ball field for Maxie and us to play. His poor ball
soon fell apart and he would bring us pieces to throw for him. Other balls
were ok for one throw, but then he would find a hunk of rubber from the old
ball for us to toss.
We decided to move to
Florida and our first consideration was a fenced yard for our boy and lots
of room for him to roam the house. We found the perfect house and moved down
last October, along with crate, old and new toys, and three pieces of rubber
from his old ball. Yep, we had to move the "ball" with Max. We searched many
stores to find another ball like the old one, even people toy stores like
Toys-R-Us, all to no avail. My son threatened to toss the old rubber pieces
many times, and I just kept saying, “No, that’s Max’s ball; you leave it
Just when we had given up
on finding another ball, Rob went to a new pet store opening in the area and
guess what?!?! He found not just one, but two balls like the old one, so
now we have a spare. When he came home and squeaked the bag, Max went
NUTS. Then Rob pulled out the ball and Max was so excited, he was
jumping around flipping the ball and acting like a young puppy. We all
laughed and laughed at his antics. When he tired out, he lay down with the
ball between his legs and proceeded to "talk" to it. That was so funny and
we all laughed so hard we cried. Now Max won't go into another room without
it. It is always within his sight which is too funny and too touching!!
After more than a year, he got his baby ball back!!!
Max is very free with
kisses to me. He will walk by and lick my arm just to say hello and touch
me, but with Rob he is all Macho. Kisses? I think not, my man! How about a
high-five or a tail wag? Kisses are for Mommy not Daddy. He will wash my
whole face but just nod to Rob. But he is more Rob’s dog than mine so we
find this strange. Max is just Mr. Personality and loves us to pieces. His
two favorite humans are my son, Greg and his daughter, Mackenzie. Kenzie has
been in Max's life since we moved south and though she’s only four, she’s
not in the least concerned with his size. The two of them will go out back
and play for hours together with balls, sticks and whatever else they can
find. My son will do the same and also play rough with him in the house. Max
loves it. When they come over, there is never any doubt about who has
arrived because Max whines and talks to the door until they come in.
Max has adjusted well to
the Florida weather and since we keep the house cool, we have had no
problems with his coat. Our vet loves our boy, too. She always says, “Oh
good, it’s the wonderful Max come to see us,” and will sigh. We have him on
the once-a-month Comfortis, and he has never had a flea or tick problem
which is a problem here in the heat belt.
could just go on and on about Max but just wanted you all to know how well
Max is and how loved and spoiled he is. He also seems to know every word we
say, so at times he is downright scary. Both Rob and I live for the looks of
pure love from him. Thank you, thank you, thank you for our special guy. I
just have no idea how we will cope later on when the crossing of Rainbow
Bridge is on the horizon; hopefully it won't be for a long, long time. We
will send updates as they happen; until then keep wagging and keep up the
good work you do.
Veronica, Robert and
Sheba, GSRNE #90
Sheba and I celebrated our tenth anniversary
together in 2010, and it's truly been a "happy tail." Others had written her off
as not savable, but GSRNE did their miracles and turned Sheba's life around.
In December 1999, she was found on the street in Massachusetts--young, very
frightened, and badly abused. Her paws were covered with blood, and her face,
according to the Animal Control Officer, "looked like raw hamburger meat." The
pound had no funds to treat her for her injuries. Another rescue stepped in and
had Sheba (as the ACO named her) transferred to the vet. The vet thought she
might be an escapee from a backyard breeder who kept her dogs locked in rabbit
cages. Sheba was clearly unsocialized with people. She recovered quickly
physically, but her behavior issues meant she could not be placed. People
frightened her, and any change in her environment paralyzed her with fear.
GSRNE stepped in and found a foster home willing to take on a "project dog" (a
dog that requires a lot of work to be adoptable). I adopted her a few months
later in July 2000. I had years of German Shepherd experience, but Sheba
demanded new skills and tremendous patience. I had to learn an entirely new body
language. Using Turid Rugaas' "Calming Signals," I was gradually able to
rehabilitate Sheba. A quiet life here in Vermont was just what she needed.
People who see her today would never believe how she started out. Sheba is now
the calm, stable dog in the pack. She holds office hours with me on campus, and
the students love her. She visits the nursing home where my mother lives, and
has her own fan club there. She's always been a dream in the house, and gets
along great with the cats who have shared her space.
Sheba is one of the most affectionate GSDs I've seen. Right from the start, when
everything else scared her, the bed was a safe place. She would jump up beside
me and bury her nose under my arm. We start every morning with "bed cuddles" and
spooning. I'm lucky enough to work at home about half time, and she's always by
my side. Every day we walk in the woods, off leash on my twenty acres, and Sheba
gets to swim in rivers and splash in the beaver pond next door. She's a happy,
I've been blessed to have Sheba in my life, and I'll always be grateful to GSRNE
for giving her the chance that brought her to me.