Jacco was rescued last Saturday and is now safely in the Thulani Program (thulanidogs.org), but unfortunately his ordeal is not over. He went through a terrible time recently, and probably even before that. He was turned into the shelter severely malnourished and emaciated. He probably had been neglected for a considerable time. And then he was held in a shelter run for two months, on an evidence hold. Concrete floors, limited exercise, and limited human company—just a horrible situation for a German Shepherd. Today his muscles have atrophied, his hips are arthritic, he can barely walk short distances without dragging his hind feet and eventually falling.
Thulani is going to help him get there in any way we can. We don’t know how much of his mobility issues were caused by the shelter stay, but we are going to try to reverse the damage with good food, gentle care, and physical therapy. As you well know, PT can be expensive and time consuming, so if anyone can help us fund the PT, we would be very appreciative.
Fortunately, unlike her namesake, our Giselle (T) did not die of a broken heart. In fact, she did not die of anything, although she seemed bound and determined to scare us with the possibilities.
Our Giselle is a 13 year old senior that was dumped at a shelter—not a great way to have your like expectancy enhanced (she did not yet need The Wills to bring her back). And there they discovered a huge foreign abdominal mass, one so large that they could not feel her various organs. Not looking promising.
Trying to prevent a need for the services of The Wills, the Facebook posse rode out on her behalf, saturating the blogosphere with hundreds of pleas to help her. What an uprising!
Better yet, Karen Barnes and the Thulani Program stepped up to rescue her and immediately took her over to the Pet Care Veterinary Care Center in Los Angeles for surgery. There they found not one, but TWO huge, grapefruit-sized ovarian tumors, and what looked like the remains of half a plastic food bowl in her stomach (don’t look at these pictures unless you have a strong stomach). At this point, things were looking pretty grim, but that was the low point.
The surgery was successful, Giselle is recovering nicely, and—drum roll—THE TUMORS WERE BENIGN. Giselle is presently getting into mischief at her foster home and enjoying every moment of it.
We may yet turn The Wills loose on the jerks that dumped her at the shelter, but for now, Giselle could care less. Please help us find a retirement home for her—all medical expenses will be paid for the rest of her life.
In the summer and early fall of 2012, a few people got together to see what they could do to help all the German Shepherds they were seeing that were dying in southern California shelters. After talking for several weeks, they decided their best route would be to work with reputable rescues to move the dogs to places they could be adopted – where GSDs weren’t as common. Their idea was to navigate the complicated California shelter system FOR the rescue. Partner with the shelters, temp test the dogs, arrange with a rescue partner for the “pull”, arrange vet, board, and transport to the rescue – AND to raise the funds to do it. They wanted to do this – to deliver the dog to the rescue – without the rescues having to figure all this out – taking away from the important job of taking care of the dogs, and getting them adopted. Rescues already HAVE too much work to do! After months of planning, Miracle GSD Network was formed, and “pulled” their first dogs in October 2012 from the Coachella Valley Shelter in CA for Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue.
Miracle GSD Network only works with a select few rescues that they have thoroughly checked out, and have processes in place that employ good and transparent rescue practices. Since 2012 they have built a partnership with several rescues and shelters, and with many people on the “ground” assisting with temp tests, fostering, and transporting. They have earned the trust of so many people in rescue. This small group of people is spread out all over the country – Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina.
Miracle GSD Network is PROUD to partner with the Thulani Program, to save Senior & Hospice German Shepherds – a cause near & dear to their hearts. Miracle GSD Network is an “informal” organization dedicated to helping rescues navigate the difficult shelter system by coordinating “pulls” of dogs in need. Visit (ask to join) our Facebook page – it is a HAPPY PLACE – where we post updates of all our “Miracle Dogs” – to date over 450 saved:
It was that close. Here is what happened.
Frank T. brought to the LA City East Valley Shelter as a stray
Scanned for microchip—none found
Frank could not stand or walk without collapsing
No owner came forward during stray hold
Frank T. still in bad shape, left rear leg non-weight-bearing.
***DECISION—Euthanize for medical-nonmanageable***
SCANNED ONCE MORE PRIOR TO EUTHANIZATION—FOUND A CHIP
Hold put on euthanization while owner contacted
No owner BUT Frank T. much better
Alert and moving around well. Left rear leg now weight-bearing.
Karen Barnes of the Thulani Program pulls Frank into the program.
A close shave but Frank T. is safely in the Thulani Program. He is 10 years old, alert, social, affectionate, and quite mobile. In fact, we are now working on him not pulling me all over the place when out on walks. He takes a ‘good’ walk, lots of sniffing and exploring, with an occasional check-back with me to make sure I am OK. He is very handsome, well proportioned, and nearly a show-quality German Shepherd. He is a bit aloof with people at the very beginning, but after just a few minutes, he shows his abundant social skills. He is fine with other dogs, but pretty much ignores them once he has met them. He has not shown much prey-drive, and actually may be cat workable. He is everything a well-balanced German Shepherd should be.
Suspected testicular cancer must have been a scrotal infection. He is fine—no cancer
Frank T. is part of the Thulani Program, and as such we are looking for a forever home that will care for him for the rest of his life, in warmth and love. He will come with a supply of food, a cushy pad if wanted, and other goodies such as toys. His medical expenses will be covered for the rest of his life by the Thulani Program. If you want to learn more about Frank T., or are possibly interested in providing him a home in which to spend his retirement, please contact Bob at email@example.com Frank T. is a level 2 dog.
Donating by check:
Make check payable to GSRNC/Thulani and send to:
PO Box 1930
Cupertino, CA 95015
Donating through PayPal
If one already has a PayPal account, there are 3 ways you can send money to GSRNC:
You can use the “Send Money” tab when you first log in to PayPal.
- Enter the email address to send money to as firstname.lastname@example.org This will insure the money is earmarked for the Thulani fund.
- Check the box that says “I am sending money to family or friends.” If the money is coming directly from your PayPal account, there are no fees deducted. The dogs get more money
- Note: Unfortunately there is no way to “Send Money” on an automatically recurring monthly basis.
You can go to the Donations Page of our website http://gsrnc.org/donate.asp and select the “Make a One Time Donation” button. Here you can make your donation either using your Pay account, or use a credit card. After you’ve entered the donation amount and account information, click the “Review Donation & Continue” button, then click on “Enter Tribute or Special Instructions”. In the text box that opens, enter the name of the dog you wish to sponsor or any other instructions to GSRNC, such as “for Thulani Fund.”
You can go to the Donations Page of our website http://gsrnc.org/donate.asp and select the “Monthly Recurring Donation” button and follow the instructions. To set up a recurring donation you must have or set up a PayPal account. With this option, there is no opportunity to add notes to GSRNC. So if you wish to designate where these funds are to be used, such as Thulani Fund, you will need to send us a separate email to that effect and I will add the notation to the report I send to our Donations Team with the periodic PayPal reports.
I hope this information helps you and I we thank you profusely for your continued and generous support of GSRNC and specifically the Thulani Program.
We are a 501 (c) 3 charity and all donations are tax deductible.
Sammy is a loveable, very slow-moving senior GSD who still has plenty of love and companionship to offer the right person or family. He clearly enjoys human company and will follow his person from place to place – if he is awake. Like most seniors, Sammy sleeps a lot, and he does have some special needs :
- Sammy requires pain medication (pill form) throughout the day, accompanied by small meals to help keep his stomach calm. Someone would need to be home to give him his mid-day meds/meal.
- With his very low activity level Sammy does not need, nor consume, a large amount of food. Generally 3 to 3-1/2 cups spread across the day with his meds is sufficient. Because his teeth are worn and aged, chewing hard kibble is not easy for this old boy. He should be fed a good quality (mild formula, such as: turkey, lamb, etc.) soft canned food (about 2 to 2-1/2 cans per day), or something like The Honest Kitchen’s KEEN formula, with the occasional addition of some cooked white rice or boiled ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken).
- Carpeted flooring is a must, as he cannot walk on slick surfaces without falling. He will try but too easily slips and falls, and then needs help to get back on his feet – none of it good for his arthritic joints. He currently walks across sections of laminate flooring by stepping on a pathway of non-skid rugs, and is blocked from accessing a larger room that has slick flooring.
- Steps and ramps are too much for him to navigate without assistance. He would do best in a home that has a direct across-the-threshold access to a patio or yard area where he can do his potty business or snooze in the shady grass.
- Sammy gets along fine with cats – he notices them but is not interested. His 17-year-old foster cat frequently approaches and rubs noses with him, and there has been no negative reaction at all.
- Older and/or calm dogs are also fine. Sammy is too old and arthritic to play with other dogs, but he is comfortable in their presence. But he does not like to be jostled or cornered – he is clearly not comfortable in close confines with other dogs – that may be due to his mobility issues and pain. Sammy will tell the other dogs they are too close, firmly but not aggressively. If the other dog(s) respects that and gives Sammy space there will be no problems.
- Sammy loves car rides (calm rides, not Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride), but needs to be lifted in and out of the vehicle; he does not use a crate (in the car or in the house), as it would be too difficult to get him in/out of one.
Although Sammy has special needs, they are not difficult to fulfill. His person just needs to be attentive to him, have a plan to give him is meds/meals on a reasonable schedule, be aware when he is moving about to assist him if he stumbles, and be willing to scratch his neck – frequently.
Sammy T. is part of the Thulani Hospice Program of German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California. As such, all of his medical expenses will be covered by the Thulani Program for the rest of his life. For more information about Sammy T. or if you might consider providing him a home in which to live out his natural life, please contact Bob at email@example.com
Sammy will steal your heart before you know it. He is a kind and sweet senior gentleman whose keenest desire is to be within sight of or near his person. Friendly and loving with people, he ignores his foster home cat and is accepting of the dogs so long as they do not get in his face or get pushy with him. His arthritis and physical vulnerability may result in a mild vocal reaction if dogs run past and jostle him, but he’s just saying, “Hey, slow down – you almost knocked me over!”. Sammy has been in the company of older children (ages 9 to 15) who have grown up with small and large dogs and know how to behave around them, especially older and physically vulnerable dogs. While untested, Sammy may be fine around younger children but should be supervised at all times to avoid a being grabbed and hurt, potentially resulting in an undesirable response from Sammy.
Once acclimated to his environment, Sammy is trustworthy on his own in the house and has had free run of his temporary foster home to sleep where he chooses, day and night. He has also been left inside unsupervised up to 3 or 4 hours and behaved like an angel. Although he will follow you from room-to-room, or outdoors and back inside, he does not exhibit separation anxiety – he just wants to be near you. Sammy is fully housetrained and has had no potty accidents; given free access to go outside he will take care of his business on his own. However, if the outdoors is inaccessible and if he needs to go outside, he will stand by the door or, at night, he will come into your bedroom and give you a gentle nudge to let you know he needs to go out – one just needs to be attentive. He is not able to navigate through a dog door, and he currently comes and goes via a split screen in place of a patio screen door.
When up and moving, Sammy ambles along outside, exploring the yard, stopping for a rest break or to nap in a preferred spot
He has been able to slowly navigate up/down 2 to 3 steps from the house to the patio and back inside, but he needs the full width of the open door with nothing blocking his access. Inside, he will investigate other rooms, probably looking for that next perfect nap spot. Most of his days are spent napping in the shady grass or inside on the carpet. He has an orthopedic bed that is seldom used; because he is arthritic and mobility challenged it may be easier for him to push himself up from the carpet rather than from a dog bed. His physical stamina is very low, most likely because he has experienced pain for so long that he didn’t move unless he had to. Now, with pain medication and feeling better, Sammy is more inclined to get up and investigate his environment, but he does so in small spurts of energy with stops to rest or nap in between. He is not a dog that needs to be walked – but he does need opportunities to walk at his own pace and duration when he is able to.
Sammy has responded well to his pain management regimen, but must take his medication on schedule or he will suffer for the lack of it. He easily takes his pills stuffed in small meatballs of canned food, or in pieces of turkey hot dog. When giving Sammy his meatball meds, treats or any food by hand it should be offered on an open palm, as he is very food motivated and can be a bit grabby. His current weight is good: not fat and not skinny – just right, and he eats an amount of food appropriate to his activity level and weight maintenance. He has the usual set of other senior dog troubles, but is really in remarkably good health given his age. He loves to have his neck and ears rubbed, and calmly accepts gentle grooming. And he smiles a lot. Be ready to open your heart to him because he will steal it regardless…
Sammy T. is part of the Thulani Program, and as such we are looking for a forever home that will care for him for the rest of his life, in warmth and love. He will come with a supply of food, a cushy pad if wanted, and other goodies such as toys. His medical expenses will be covered for the rest of his life by The Thulani Program. If you want to learn more about Sammy T., or are possibly interested in providing him a home, please contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org Sammy T. is a level 1 dog, and he is fine with cats.
Gregory T. came to the Thulani Program when his companion and guardian, Bob Goodwin, passed away recently at the age of 89. Bob and Gregory T. had been inseparable for more than six years, a bond that grew out of an incredible story.
Bob Goodwin enlisted in the Army during WWII, at the age of 17, and was shipped to the Burma theater. He and his squad were engaged in nearly daily combat for long periods of time. At some point during the war, Bob acquired a Belgian Malinois that quickly became not only the squad mascot, but also a valuable security partner. This dog provided Bob with companionship and comfort during this very difficult period of his life. Tragically, the dog was killed shortly before Bob returned to the states.
Bob’s grandson Tom reports that roughly seven years ago “my grandfather went to the San Mateo SPCA to look for a dog to adopt. He specifically asked to see the dogs that weren’t up for adoption, and in his exact words (which I heard him say many times retelling the story), he asked them to ‘show me the dogs that nobody wants.’ He was immediately smitten by Gregory, as his features were very reminiscent of the Mal he had overseas, and who guarded and supported him during the most difficult time in his life. Gregory was like a son to him, and grandpa would take him absolutely everywhere he went, and Gregory, like the dog he had overseas, was his constant companion and provided him with much emotional support during the last several years of his life.”