Monday, February 1, 2010



This is Brandy & Schultz taken from the Pet Finder adotption site.  These dogs were turned in by their owner because they didn't have room for them anymore!

Could you love a homely dog? How about one that doesn’t meet the German Shepherd Dog’s standard for conformation? Maybe he’s a little shy. Maybe he limps. Would you even consider a dog that has only one eye? Have you ever adopted a dog from a shelter or picked one up from the street that was dashing in between the cars on the highway? 

Anyone can love a beautiful structured German Shepherd puppy.   They’re easy to love. Sometimes in a litter of puppies, there may be a runt or one that nature forgot to give “good looks” to. This may be the puppy that is left behind. More times than not, he is the last one puppy people are looking to buy.

We live in a world that admires and rewards beauty. Beautiful women grace the covers of magazines. Handsome men get the romantic leads in big blockbuster movies. It is said that attractive people have more job opportunities come their way and that they are hired first. Many times the most popular kids in school were the good looking ones. Is it fair? Of course not, but in many cases it’s the truth.

Many of the German Shepherds that you see in the shelters don’t look like the type of dog that the serious breeder is breeding for. Most of them don’t meet the “ideal” standard of the breed. You’ll see all sorts of colors, faded pigment, spindly bone, oversized bone, long coats, short coats, mange infested bodies, erect ears, down ears, high in the rear, sway backs, you name it…………….but one thing they all share and that is that they are indeed, a German Shepherd dog. They have the intelligence of this great breed and have a tremendous amount of love to share even if they are not as pleasing to look at.

If you stroll through a shelter, you’ll see purebred dogs of most breeds. They’ll be German Shepherds and many mixes of the breed. Many of the German Shepherds that you find in shelters are from the back yard breeders or people that thought it would be a good idea to breed their dogs so the kids can experience the birth of a litter. Everyone fusses over the puppies until they become too unruly and no one wants to take care of them anymore. You’ll see a tremendous amount of Pit Bulls in these shelters and more than anything else you’ll see the “mutts.”

Look at the faces of some of these marvelous dogs. The eyes that look back at you touch you deep down in the soul. I’ve always been partial to the German Shepherd Dog ever since I was a kid. To me they embody everything that I think a dog should be. But did you ever adopt a stray dog? Some marvelous personalities and minds are housed in that funny looking little body that can barely contain themselves when you walk by.

I have been to many shelters. I have seen the pictures of some of the shelter dogs on the rescues lists. Some of them are beautiful and some are down right homely and you may find yourself questioning if he is a German Shepherd at all. But we must never forget that no matter if they fit the standard of the breed or not, that inside that no so attractive body, the heart of the German Shepherd still reigns supreme.

And what about those people that adopt the most un-adoptable? What type of people are they who take in the blind, who give comfort to the senior dog who may only have another six months to live? Who are these people who give medical care to dogs that many would never even touch? What do these people look like? Do they live in big houses and drive expensive cars? Most people wouldn’t recognize them for they don’t look to flatter themselves with unnecessary adoration. Their goal is to help save another German Shepherd Dog from an early death and to give them another chance at life. These people have to be some of the most unselfish people that I know. What are they getting out of this hard, tedious type of work? And work it is!

They are getting the dirtiest, smelliest, diseased infested dogs that no one else wants. They didn’t breed them. They didn’t bring them into the world. So why are they doing what they are doing? In a “What’s in it for me” type of society, what are these people doing this for? Do they love the breed anymore than you or me? How many of us would do what they do even if we had the means to do it? Does it make them better people than you or I? I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I do believe that some people have a calling to do what they do. Some of them are breeders and some of them are just people who love the breed. I am in admiration of these people.

With the recent devastation in Haiti, I am proud to see how the American people have pulled together to send aid and donations to that country. Children are being adopted by caring people. Food and medical supplies are being sent for the hungry and sick. Helping another human being is probably the most rewarding thing you can do. But when you do for God’s “lesser creatures” (the animals) then in my opinion you have truly humbled yourself by giving care to the beasts of the land.

From the book “Dogs I have met: And the people they found” by Ken Foster…..and I quote: “In this moving sequel to his 2006 bestseller The Dogs Who Found Me, Foster introduces readers to dogs and owners he encountered while promoting his earlier book. In many cases, the dogs had been rescued from death by people who had "decided that they were worth the work of saving," and Foster interweaves their remarkable stories with updates on his own life and the dogs who continue to change his life in surprising ways. The stories are as diverse as the dogs themselves, from a woman who found a pregnant, one-eyed stray in the exact spot where she had been involved in a car crash six years earlier that killed her best friend, to a man certain that his adoption of a pit bull saved him from Hurricane Katrina. Foster concludes with a more detailed look at the animals affected by Katrina's devastation, including a moving tribute to the volunteers who helped give shelter to the dogs of New Orleans.”

So although some of the German Shepherds in shelters may not be “picture book” pretty, they are just as deserving of a life as those that are. And maybe you won’t see those who do rescue work running around the conformation ring showing their dogs. (Although some of them do)! But whatever it is that have brought these people to hear the call of the German Shepherds that need to be rescued, I believe that they have been touched by angels to do the angelic work that they do. Many more German Shepherds walk this earth because of these kind people’s dedication. Unwanted and forgotten German Shepherds brought together by unsung heroes and lovers of the breed…… unbeatable combination. Role reversal, perhaps? Without question, the German Shepherd Dog has always been known to be the servant of his master. This is a case where the master is giving back and serving the dog.


  1. I could not have said this better myself Barb. Far too many of these beloved dogs are spending their last days waiting for the owner who will never return. Those who walk the halls of the shelters saying "This one...and her over there, the mangy one...and oh, this senior" are people that are living a purpose driven life. I cannot imagine the nightmares that must haunt them; I know that heartwrenching gaze of Elsa and Lucas will follow me to my death.
    Those who do Rescue are a truly amazing breed...and the world is a brighter place because of them.

  2. Found your article through a Google Alert... anything and everything GSD I am drawn to... had many breeds growing up including a German Sherpherd and as an adult I will never be without a GSD. I have adopted ones with spinal diseases, rescued one that had become nocturnal and had black leather for skin... and rescued another because the owner lied and said they were moving and actually the dog had a huge mast cell tumor, and now I have Stella II, who has absolutely nothing wrong with her except she roamed the streets with heartworms and found me. I don't have to tell any of you Shepherd lovers that they are one of a kind, each similar in their 'sheriff' attitude, but the best, most loyal, loving, obedient, intelligent... okay, so I love German Shepherds. I have 12 dogs, all rescues and one always has to be a GSD ... forever...
    I also run a no kill shelter in New Orleans, started after Katrina working as a first responder on land/water... and I became hooked on giving to animals as a life's work...
    Rescue GSDs are even more special.. they are smart enough to know you have saved them because you loved them...
    Adopt a Rescue GSD as a second, or third, dog today! You will not regret it.

  3. Thanks for commenting on this article Charlotte. You are one special lady for doing the unselfish work that you do with rescue dogs. You're right German Shepherds are so very special and they know how special you are as well!