Ziggy, along with his companion, Misty, came to German Shepherd Rescue when his owner, Brian, suffered serious medical difficulties and could no longer care for the dogs.  Both Ziggy and Misty were older dogs when we got them.  According to Brian:

Ziggy was rescued from a local farmer after he was found in a little kennel being eaten alive by fleas and flies.  We were told he was 12 weeks old.  We took him, cleaned him up, and took him to the vet  the next day.  He weighed 18 lbs, and the vet said he was closer to 6-8 months old and that we were too late to save him.  But due to our pleading, the vet filled him up with vitamins and antibiotics, and bam, he lived and has been with us ever since.  He’s very shy and has a hard time warming up to men, but most of it is bluff.  If it wasn’t for Misty, our female, he probably would never have fit in.  Ziggy and Misty were brought to Mike Walker and Jancey Thompson Walker–Mike’s tribute to Ziggy is given below.


Misty and Ziggy were brought to us and they never left.

This is our first Thulani dog to pass, and these are our first Thulani dogs period. We have had them for over a year now and I am having a hard time typing this. Ziggy was not a great dog, he was not a loving / want to be social with you and be in your lap dog. He was an old impatient dog who was shy of people in general but liked to stand with his feet in the pool with the breeze in his face and just stand there. He would play chase with other dogs…sometimes in a fun way, sometimes not.

Ziggy V.

He loved to lay in his kennel with Misty and would follow her in the yard where ever she went. In the beginning if I wanted him to come, I normally did not call for him, I called for her and he would follow. After several months I could call for him and he would come to the general area I was in. Once every 10-15 occasions he would come allow us to pet him, but not for long…then he was off to go sniff and wander. As he became more and more used to us we could pet him in the kennel which would end with him licking his lips and laying his head down. I don’t know if it was that he decided to like it or decided to allow it…but either way we all enjoyed it on some level I think. I know we did.

Toward the end, he would follow us around the yard without Misty…but always just out of reach. If you stopped, so would he. If you reached for him, he moved away. If you walked on, he followed. Now and again you could feel him brush against you, but not long enough to pet him…he did not allow that luxury often. hahaha. He learned that by barking we would allow him in or out of the back yard, and so began a life of “requesting” to be inside, outside, in the kennel, out of the kennel, and other things. This was allowed because…well after all he had earned it at his age, and he was “Grandpa Ziggy”.

Ziggy V.

Grandpa Ziggy kept other dogs in-line. He was good with all other dogs, the dominant male for sure, but never fighting…just giving warnings and needed discipline to the “whipper snappers” when needed (sometimes when not needed, but hey he was old haha)

2 days ago, Ziggy could no longer stand on his own without his back legs falling out from under him. He would try and balance, but would fall on the grass and then just lay there. We took the opportunity to pet him…which I am sure he was not too pleased about since he had no choice in the matter 🙂 but he accepted it and we helped him back to his kennel.

In the end, Ziggy was not a well bred dog, was not a great dog, was not a loving social dog……but he was our dog, he became our family’s dog and we loved him. We will miss him very much.

Michael Walker