Monthly Archives: January 2013

Saving Holly : A Thulani Story

Zane T–Hang Onto Your Hearts, Long Coat Lovers

I know that I am beginning to sound like a ‘pre-recorded’ announcement, But Zane T. is the third incredible senior male we have brought into the Thulani Program just since the first of January. Zane’s owner passed away and his daughter could not take Zane to the east coast with her, so Zane came to us.Zane_T_5621

For all you long-coat lovers, this is one spectacular guy.

He is a moderate-sized male with a spectacular personality. He is friendly with people large and small, and friendly with dogs, large and small. He is well trained and has the medals and ribbons to prove it.  He is well bred, and has the papers to prove it.  He is in great physical shape, bounding up and down long flights of stairs with no problem, and loves to go for walks. He also loves to go for rides. Apparently he is also smart and dextrous–the daughter claiming that he opens the patio sliding door and other doors in the house at will.  Zane is a level 2 dog being fostered in the south Bay area.Zane_T_5615

We are looking for a permanent foster home for Zane T., and we may have found one.  As with all Thulani Program dogs, the program will pay all of his expenses for the rest of his natural life.   For more information about Zane T. or the Thulani Program and its dogs in general, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org.

Angel de San Martin–A Reminder That We Don’t Know Much

Angel de San Martin

Angel de San Martin

When I brought Angel into the Thulani Program in November at the age of 12, her new fosterer, Nicole Breuner,  let me know that she was going to have to move next August and that she did not know if she could take Angel with her.  I assured Nicole that I did not think Angel would live that long, so it was not a problem.

That was in 2010.  I visited Angel today (2/16/2013) and although she is weaker and has some trouble walking, she is far from saying goodbye.  In fact, she stood up to greet me, went out for a short stroll, and came back in to her pad, where she watched all of us and our activities with focused interest.

Angel looking at Suzanne

Angel looking at Suzanne

Angel has a fabulous home in the wilds of the central California Coast Ranges, where she shares her life with Suzanne, Jim, and Brian, and fur brother Mikey.

Go Angel!!!  You are an inspiration to us all.

Brigitte Donner–A Thulani Shout-Out For Special Foster Mom

Brigitte with George T.

Brigitte with George T.

Everyone in German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California knows Brigitte as one of the most dedicated volunteers in the entire organization.  At one time or another, she has held just about every position and job in Rescue. She has probably fostered over a hundred German Shepherds during her time with GSRNC.  What you may not know is that throughout the last few years, Brigitte has been a very active foster mom for Thulani Program dogs—those special needs dogs with not a lot of life left to them.

Brigitte with Kiska

Brigitte with Kiska

Brigitte began fostering Thulani dogs from nearly the inception of the program, and over the past four years has provided a warm loving home for four of these deserving creatures.  Sammi, Kiska, Mazenda, and George T. all experienced the good life at Donner Haus.  And as so often is the case, they each gave back tons of love and joy in return for a warm place to live.  The pictures attached need no words to let you understand the happy life they were given.

Sammi

Sammi

And Brigitte is always there to sing the praises of the Tulani Program and to offer a home for next Thulani dog.

Mazenda

Mazenda

So the next time you see Brigitte, give her a hug and thank her for being a hero to so many deserving dogs.

Gus, Mary, and the Ocean–What Else Do You Need

February 2013. 

I recently adopted Frisco out of the Thulani program. This is my third German Shepherd from your GS Rescue website; my first GS died several months ago.  Much as I loved her dearly, I was adamant that 33 years of rescuing various types of dogs was indeed sufficient – I was done!  I relished being able to walk happily around in my back garden without having to look down and better yet: vacuuming only occasionally.  The only real down-side was constantly being told by assorted people: “Oh, you just wait…you’ll get another!”  The more I argued their point, the more they chuckled.

Well, you know what?  They’re right!

A house isn’t a home without a German Shepherd, dog hair underfoot and the odd glob of poop lurking in amongst the tan bark just waiting to get me!

Gus, watching Mary

Gus, watching Mary

Gus (sorry, but ‘Frisco’ just doesn’t do it for me) has restored my contentment with/in (?) life.  Yes, he does follow me around the house but thankfully this GS does not constantly attempt to herd me back into the kitchen (the configuration of which clearly made it the perfect sheep-pen to GS#1!)  The only reason would seem to be that Gus and I both share a need for companionship.  While out on his daily walks, he serves as a true ambassador for GS Rescue and the Thulani program.  Many people have already shown a keen interest in your mission and love the fact that something which looks so intimidating (OMG – a 103lb police dog!) can actually be so full of love and desperate to meet n greet everybody!

Gus and Mary

Gus and Mary

Finally, I really would like to thank Bob Jachens  (and Anne Hetherton as my Counselor) for their absolute dedication to those older German Shepherds in the Thulani program.  Without Bob and his dogged (sorry!) determination to save these guys, many wonderful GSs, who still have so much love to offer, would meet a miserable end.

 

The Open Beach-Life is Good

The Open Beach-Life is Good

An Interesting Footnote:

In 2001, I adopted my first German Shepherd from SaveGSD. org.   She was named Kylie and fostered by Kris Jennings (maybe some will remember her, she and I still keep in touch)). Kylie came to me with a grey muzzle and an estimated age of 6 years.  At that time, my vet concurred with that age estimate. For many years, we would spend an hour on the beach every morning with a ball-chucker. It would take me that long to wear her out!  Consequently, she developed the physique of a greyhound and was admired by many. I was often asked her age and as the years wore on, I began to doubt that original estimate…surely she couldn’t be fast approaching 17 years?!!   However, one day (after telling the story for the umpteenth time), a passer-by told me that: oh no, it absolutely was possible, their neighbor had just lost their GS and they knew it was 18 since they got it as a puppy AND had the paperwork to prove it !

 

 

 As I said, my GS did eventually die just recently, apparently at the ripe old age of 17 !

 

Athena T: Lucky To Have Been Dumped At A Shelter

Well, are you going to get me outta here?

Well, are you going to get me outta here?

Athena smiling

Athena smiling

It is not often that I say a dog was lucky to have been dumped at a shelter, but for Athena T., it definitely was a great day for her.  Athena has lots of problems, but we are committed to making sure that every day from here on is better than the one before.  We are committed to seeing that her life with us is as good as we can make it.

Athena is a cute, perky, petite female German Shepherd who has tons of good qualities.  She loves people and greets them all with a really waggy tail.  She thinks walks are the greatest, and car rides come in a close second.  She has a great smile—I tell people that anyone who doesn’t think a dog can smile has never watched a German Shepherd—hers is brilliant.  She is the perfect lady around other dogs.  She knows how to use a dog door, and is comfortable in a crate.

Athena was brutally neglected by her former owners, resulting in horrendous skin conditions from the middle of her back to her tail.  It is just inconceivable to me that someone would let a loving creature like Athena get into this condition.

Athena skin condition

Athena skin condition

In addition, Athena has a large, pendulous mammary tumor the size of a medium-sized orange.  This must have been growing for years without her owners caring. It likely has metastasized to her lungs but we don’t know that for sure.  Again, inconceivable to me.

ugly tumor

ugly tumor

And she has other medical issues, but none of them have dampened her spirit.

We will immediately begin aggressive treatment of the skin condition, and will remove that large tumor.  If the cancer has spread, removal of the tumor won’t cure her, but it will make her a lot more comfortable.  We have two other dogs that had similar tumors that we removed—one has been with us for more than a year, and the other is approaching a year.  And these are good quality times for both these dogs.

So keep your fingers crossed for Athena T., and if you are interested in learning more about her, or possibly becoming her permanent forever foster home, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org   Remember, we cover all the costs for the rest of her life.

Jayne T.: A Rough Start But An Incredible Finish

Jayne T. was born in a junkyard in Hunter’s Point, and given to a passerby when she was just a few months old.  Not only did she have a rough start, but she had a heart condition that was described by a vet as sounding like an old washing machine out of balance.  But Jayne (formerly Janie T.) is a fighter and she never gave up.   The Thulani Program took her in, and found her the most incredible forever foster home any dog could wish for.  Read about Jayne’s wonderful life below, in the words of her foster mom, Susan.

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Sarah and Jayne

Sarah and Jayne

It was a cold and cloudy Saturday when my daughter, Sarah, and I went to the GSRNC event in Redwood City. We were looking for another German Shepherd to be a pal for our 7 year-old male Shepherd, Rex.  As we looked at the dogs there, Sarah kept pointing to a skinny female who was on a leash with Ginger.  Sarah was mesmerized by her big brown eyes.  Of course, my thirteen-old couldn’t help herself and started  a conversation with Ginger.  Before long, we were talking with Bob about Jayne and her heart condition.  When Sarah found out Jayne was going to have to go back to a kennel, Sarah said no way, we are going to foster her.  Sarah didn’t care if she had a heart condition, she just wanted to be her foster mom and love her.

Susan and Jayne

Susan and Jayne

That afternoon, Bob brought Jayne to our home and she met Rex.  It was love at first sight.  Sarah knew from the start that Jayne might not live as long as our other shepherds had but that didn’t matter.  Sarah said that it didn’t matter if it was two days, two weeks, two months or two years, at least Jayne would be loved and have a good home.

Sarah, Jayne, and Cole

Sarah, Jayne, and Cole

A few weeks later, we made it official and adopted Jayne.  Sarah just couldn’t stand the thought of someone taking her away from us.  Jayne has been thriving in our home the last two months.  Her days are spent playing with Rex and going for walks.  On the weekends, Jayne has decided that I need to be awake at 5:30 a.m. She comes bounding down the hallway and jumps into bed and begins to lick me until I get up.  Cole has nicknamed her JTF for Jayne the Fighter and he has a new reading buddy.  Watching Cole and Jayne play in the backyard is amazing.  They play tag and she waits for him if she gets too far ahead of him.  The bond between Sarah and Jayne is special.  Jayne will sit by Sarah while Sarah is doing homework just waiting for her to finish so they can play.

Jayne and Rex

Jayne and Rex

Rex, our male shepherd, has learned to be on the lookout for Jayne’s sneak attacks as well as the stolen toy ploy.  These two dogs get along so well and they provide the whole family with an afternoon of entertainment when they are playing.  We know that her heart condition means she has limitations, yet we love her dearly. Thank you Bob and GSRNC for saving Jayne and allowing us to be a part of her life.

A Few Words For Our Thulani Dog Rambler (Grandpa)

Rambler’s time had run out at a Los Angeles Shelter, but Mike and Amy stepped forward and gave him a fabulous final year, with lots of love and life on the ranch with his fur-buddies.  Below is Mike and Amy’s farewell to their special boy.

Rambler T. and his favorite ball

Rambler T. and his favorite ball

A few words for our Thulani dog Rambler.  We are very sad to say that we had to say good-bye to him on Valentine’s Day.  He was no longer able to stand or walk; his old body had finally given out. We are very grateful for the year we were able to have him as part of our family and hope we gave him a better life than he had when he was found, he certainly deserved it.  He was  sweet, gentle and silly and sometimes mischievous.  He taught us about appreciating things while you have them because we knew our time with him was going to be brief.  

Rambler T. and Beowulf, enjoying the ranch life

Rambler T. and Beowulf, enjoying the ranch life

We were very hesitant at first when Bob asked us to foster him because we knew this difficult time would come all too quickly.  But now we feel it was so worth it so he could live a little longer, happier life.  Every day we’ll miss his gentle eyes,  funny crooked walk and the little sounds he made when he wanted a cookie,  we were lucky to have him.  It was an honor to have been given the opportunity to care for one of these most special German Shepherds.

Mike and Amy

Jake T.: A Shelter Favorite

Jake T. smiling

Jake T. smiling

Our old gentleman Jake T. has lived for the past 3.5 months  in a shelter.  You might think that living in a shelter that long would be a very unpleasant way to spend your time, but not true for Jake because he was at the Sonoma Humane Society (I swear SHS could be called a B&B for animals) and furthermore Jake was a favorite of the staff. He is now in the Thulani Program, but we will need to work very hard to upgrade his living conditions.  We will need to find the perfect forever foster home for Jake.

Jake T. and sister Gayla

Jake T. and sister Gayla

Jake and his younger sister were brought to the Sonoma Humane Society around Thanksgiving last year, supposedly for a limited stay while their family sorted out some difficulties.  Both were a bit out of control.  After more than a month, the family informed SHS that they would not be reclaiming him.  Meanwhile, the people in the Training and Behavior Department had been working with Jake to give him some training, manners, and respect for people leadership.  They also really spruced him up (he had just come from the groomer when we evaluated him).  When they realized that he would not be reclaimed, they put him up for adoption knowing full well that a 12 yr old male German Shepherd was going to find it difficult to find an adoptive home.

One of our Thulani fosterers noticed a posting about Jake and his availability, and suggested we contact SHS regarding the Thulani Program and our potential interest in bringing Jake into the program.  The people at SHS warmly welcomed our inquiry, and we brought Jake home five days ago (to a chorus of enthusiastic Goodbyes from the staff and volunteers).

Jake T.

Jake T.

Jake is a friendly, spry, mobile old gentleman who gets on well with people and dogs (he has been running free with my 4-furpack, everyone completely at ease).  He loves to go for walks, gallops up and down stairs, loves to explore our large tree-lined backyard, and really loves treats.  He should be wearing a sign “Will Work For Treats”.  He knows some basic commands and walks very well on lead.  He is very much a people-focused dog.

Being 12 years old, Jake has his share of lumps and bumps, has a bit of a wobbly rear-end if he tries to take corners too fast, and he has a large spindle-cell sarcoma on his elbow.  The sarcoma is not operable, but does not seem to be overly bothersome to him.  He is on Rimadyl and a mild pain med, and probably will be for the rest of his life.

Jake T.

Jake T.

Jake T. is ready for his forever foster home.  He would do just fine as an only dog as long as his people were around most of the time.  He can also live comfortably with other dogs.  He is unknown with cats.  Remember, because he is a Thulani Program dog, we will cover all of his expenses for the rest of his life.  If  you are interested in learning more about Jake T. or are interested in possibly being his permanent foster family, please contact Bob at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.org.

Traylor (AKA Sherman)

Traylor was supposed to be Cindy’s dog.  What happened?