Archive for July, 2012
Arlo was rescued off the streets of west LA, so badly beaten up and in such terrible shape that we thought he was a dog for our Thulani Program (dogs with only a very limited life expectancy). So we took him in, but soon discovered as he recovered and put on some weight, that he was a relatively young dog with absolutely no intention of ‘checking out’ anytime soon. So we kicked him out of the Thulani Program and put him up for adoption. PJ fostered him and found the most fantastic home for him. Enjoy the comments and the pictures from his new home and family.
To you nice folks that rescued, Arlo,
Well, I thought it was time for a brief update, so here goes. We’ve had, Arlo for about 5 weeks now. Five wonderful weeks. For, Arlo. For ourselves and everyonel among our family and friends who have had the pleasure of meeting him. Love at first site, for all. Needless to say.
Arlo and I more or less bonded overnight. He is a pleasure to be around and doesn’t usually let me out of his site. He, Our cat, Midnight and I take daily walks in the backyard. Sometime the front yard too. Just like I did with, Buddy and Midnight. I thought I’d never see anything like that again. But, Midnight helped make it happen. I think she sees, Arlo as, Buddy. They’ve become very close.This is surely something to see. Unbelievable site.
I get the feeling that, Arlo never saw many (or any) squirrels, or birds before. We have plenty here, daily and he is absolutly facinated by them. Mostly the squirrels. He could stare at them for hours on end without getting overly excited.Giving me lots of photo ops.Which, Mary and I take advantage.
Basically, Arlo is easy to take care of. He has had some good training in his past history. Someone commented on his great looking white teeth. Someone must have had his teeth cleaned, since the shelters don’t do that. I noticed too.
We’ll never know anything about , Arlo’s backgound (history), but believe me, he’s in a good home now and it will be part of my purpose to let everyone know what’s going on in his life today. He’s doing very well and has made the necessary adjustments. He’s gained a little weight and will gain more. Now that he’s off of his roaming the streets of, Los Angelas diet, his coat is starting to sheen. Soft and shiney. It used to have a rough texture. His coat and overall appearence is beautiful. He’s one handsom guy/dog. That’s for sure.
On nice days, when I’m working outside on one of my many garden type projects, He will lie down in the shade, near where i’m working, always wanting to be with me, or at least near me. He did well among our Mothers day gathering.
On Saturday he did so extremely well among sooooo many different breeds of dogs at the Woof To Woof dog show in Scotts Valley, where German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California had a booth.One of many booths. HUndreds of dogs. So nice to see, And so nice to see, Arlo getting along with all animal and human contacts. It was nice meeting, Bob for the first time and seeing, P.J. again and meeting everyone in their booth. Arlo layed won next to and kissed a 13 year old German Shepherd that is on the last days of his life. He looked good though and it was nice to see ,Arlo laying next to him.
Another update will follow. I’m putting together a documentary type video of, Arlo, from day one up until now. It has me narrating. No music, like in first DVD movie. A lot of this video is from his first day with me/us.
Doug and , Mary
Rob has put together a great Thulani Program video that features pictures of lots of Thulani dogs, the interview that Ann Hetherton and I did with Rebecca Corral of KCBS NewsRadio, and background music. Check it out at
My connection capacity is very slow, so to view it well, I needed to download it and then play it.
Below is a moving and eloquent message from Ron H., a long-term supporter of and contributor to the Thulani Program. His message says it all.
So, the question got asked again. Why would I give money to help a group of people that spend their time trying to “fix” a bunch of dogs that are close to death anyway, particularly when “nobody wants a dog that’s in that condition”?
I’ve spent a bit of time myself way closer to death than I care to remember, and I don’t recall any of my loved ones saying they didn’t want me anymore because of the condition I was in. But, you say, that’s not the same. People are worth way more than dogs. Agreed, but the fact that people are worth more than dogs does not lessen the value of dogs any to the person who is thinking clearly.
When you can stick a monetary value on love, then you can stick a monetary value on a dog. But trying to come up with a monetary value for love is folly at best. The whole point of love is that it transcends those things that are merely material. If you are fortunate enough to have a loving relationship currently, or have had one in your past, I dare say you value that relationship more than you value whatever your checking account balance was the last time you looked at it. True?
No my friend, love that is real demonstrates itself somehow. That is why I believe in putting money, time, and work into the Thulani project. Still not convinced? You can read extensively on GSRNC’s web site about what the Thulani Project accomplishes for German Shepherds. But let me offer a word picture for your consideration about what the Thulani Project (and all of GSRNC’s work) accomplishes for the people who make GSRNC what it is.
The duties of my job entail talking with technicians from literally everywhere in the United States. I’m “phone buddies” regularly with roughly 400 different people. Who are the happiest ones? They’re the ones who talk with me about their dogs. And the folks who work rescue for GSRNC will uniformly tell you that they would not trade the joy of the work they do for ANYTHING. But one does not really “understand” until one experiences rescue first hand.
The first “rescue run” I took opened my eyes extensively. I found myself in a shelter on the central coast of California, being handed an 85 pound mass of fear, pain, and suffering that once was a dog. He was so frightened he could not even look at me directly, and he sat in the back seat of my truck shuddering from fear for the three hour drive to our vet. He wouldn’t even touch a freshly cooked hamburger. We gingerly got the dog through a preliminary exam at the vet and headed for the home of the woman who was to handle the dog’s foster care. She sat with the dog for 45 minutes before he would allow himself to be touched. Once the dog was in the door of her home, I left for my home and tried not to think about what I had just seen. I was absolutely sure this dog was never going to have a “real life”.
Three months later at a “rescue picnic”, I was comfortably seated talking to friends. Suddenly, I realized that I was not the only one eating the hamburger that I was holding in my left hand. My friend from the central coast, now known as Carl, had sought me out in a crowd of roughly 100 people, and was now taking a “rain check” on the hamburger I had offered him three months before. His “foster Mom” was still about 20 feet away, on the other end of his leash, trying to catch up with him. I quickly conceded to the proposition that said hamburger was now Carl’s, and spent the next 20 minutes sitting on the concrete with Carl in my lap, witnessing the results of what happens when 85 pounds of fear, pain, and suffering is transformed (by love) into 93 pounds of happy, loving, confident, social butterfly doginess.
This then is why I support the Thulani project. If you want to help with a few small miracles, I would happily suggest sending a check. If a chance at the joy of seeing your heart be changed by love sounds interesting and you have some time to give, I would happily suggest contacting GSRNC, and asking where you fit in. And if you are held back by feelings of insufficient knowledge or lack of ability, I would encourage you to go forward with contacting GSRNC. Nowhere will you find better teachers or finer people to learn from. It’s easy to be good when all you have to do is gently stroke fuzzy dog ears.
We have two brand new members of the Thulani Program who tell me they are delighted to be here.
Darby T was obviously a breeder dog for slime-ball backyarder. When she got old and developed cancer, well tough luck lady, its off to the stainless steel table in the Kern Co Shelter. Carl S. in Sacramento took up her cause, and remembered seeing the story in the Sacramento local paper about the Thulani Program. He posted Darby’s case on the GSRNC Facebook page, and contacted me asking whether we could help. With logistics help from Karen P of Sonoma andtransport help from Kris, Darby arrived all ready to start the next and happier chapter of her life.
Darby loves people and loves to go for walks. I don’t even have her on lead when i walk my property, she follows me everywhere. She trotted back and forth, back and forth, while I as assembling the kennel run for Koby, always making sure that i was doing it correctly. Today she got a bath and was a real trooper about it. Will probably take one more to get her civilized, but she is MUCH better now. She is an absolute love and a very gentle soul. Darby is a real keeper. Tuesday we go to the vet and get rid of that tumor. Wish her luck!!!
Koby T was someone’s pet. He is neutered and chipped, and is a happy, active, energetic 12 year old. But he was dumped at the shelter with a request to PTS, but Thulani Program friend and stalwart in the LA basin found him at the East Valley shelter and evaluated him. Don’t know how much evaluating was done because once a big old male gives Karen his paw, she melts like butter on a Los Angles August afternoon. So Koby was bailed out and sent to the vet because he has a terrible case of diarrhea (diagnosed as IBD). He also has the early stages of DM. But that does not slow Koby down one bit. He pulls me all over the yard, wanting to explore. He loves to go for car rides, and he loves to be snuggled. He is quite pushy about asking to be snuggled. Koby also is enjoying his new life in Aroma, with lots of domestic and wild critters to yell at.
Koby also got his bath today (he will likely need at least two more before he is civilized) and he was a saint. Stood there and took it all without complaint. We got so much crap off him (literally) that he probably weighs 5 lbs less now. But he was as gentle and polite as you could hope for. Koby is here to stay, at least until we can find him his perfect permanent foster home.
Woolsey passed away this week. He was a happy, playful, free spirit that lived a short but wonderful life with Ginger, her family, and her pack. Please see Ginger’s tribute below.
We have fostered and adopted GS’s for many years. We have loved all of them. However once in a lifetime we fall in love with one of them. This was Woolsey. Perhaps part of that was because we knew his life would be short. We guessed about a year. He had a heart condition that would need a transplant to survive. He lasted 15 wonderful months when heart failure took it’s toll. Finally, he could no longer breath. He was put to sleep in my arms on Sat evening. We miss him so much, and will never forget his kind, loving, playful, and puppy personality to the end.