Archive for December, 2012

An Added Thulani Holiday Bonus (or Three)


The Thulani Program has three worderful, and somewhat unanticipated, events to celebrate this Holiday Season.  The program is designed to help terminally ill German Shepherd Dogs live out their final chapters in love, warmth, and comfort.  And it has done so for nearly 50 dogs so far.  All of us who work in and contribute to the program are very proud of our accomplishments.

But every now and then, a special event takes place that gives us reason to be even more excited about the program.  During the past few months, we brought in three different dogs, with presumably very serious medical conditions.  With care and love in the program, each has thrived to the point that they no longer are considered Thulani Program Dogs, each has been returned to the regular GSRNC program and each has either been adopted or will be in the next week or so.  Please enjoy their stories below.

Halo T.

Halo T.

Halo T.

Halo T. was found in a shelter in southern California, emaciated, unresponsive, suffering severe hair loss, and generally in very bad shape.  She was rescued, bought into the Thulani Program, fostered in a home where she could recuperate at her own pace and interact with her people and dogs, and generally live a stress-free life.  She gained weight, gained confidence, grew her hair back.  She was originally estimated to be 10-11 years old, but as she got her health back her age estimate kept dropping.  Yesterday, as she was being adopted, we guess her age at about 7 years.

Halo will live out her natural life with Don, Lisa, Brodie, and Mesa at a beautiful home in Saratoga.  Live well, Halo, you earned it.

Martin T.



Martin T. was a super happy, friendly boy that we rescued from the Palo Alto Animal Services Shelter and took into the Thulani Program.  He had a grade 6 heart murmur, so we did not expect to have him with us for very long.  But Martin had other ideas.  Absent the stress of the shelter, and given the good life in his foster home, Martin T. (AKA Martino) put his heart at ease, and his last vet visit yielded a GRADE 2 heart murmur and a prognosis of a long and normal life.  Martino will be adopted right after New Years.

Ice Princess T.

Ice Princess

Ice Princess

Ice Princess (called Ice Man at the shelter–guess they were not paying attention) has an unusual gait that was thought to be the result of some serious problem with her rear end.  With that in mind, we brought her into the Thulani Program to assess her and learn what we could about her condition.  After seeing a number of vets, and having Jackie Athey, one our most experienced fosterers, watch her for a number of weeks, we have concluded that she has an unusual gait of unknown origin, but that it is not the result of Hip Dysplasia or Degenerative Myelopathy, the two conditions of most concern.  As we were determining this, a wonderful potential adopter in Palo Alto fell in love with her, so Princess goes to her new home tomorrow.

These three stories illustrate unanticipated benefits of the Thulani Program, true bonuses.

Handsome Red Max T.


Red_Max_Sally_5552Red Max T. barely escaped the Santa Maria shelter where he was scheduled to be PTS.  But A/C volunteers got there with a day to spare and rescued him for our Thulani Program.  His extraordinary good looks, his happy smile, his gentle personality, and his senior status won over the volunteers, as they will anyone who comes in contact with him.  He has some wonderful months ahead of him, and the Thulani Program volunteers will be the ones to benefit from him joining us.  To learn more about Red Max T, go to

Otto’s Life


It is with a very heavy heart that I report that Otto (AKA Solo T) has gone to the Rainbow Bridge to await his foster parents Colby and Jim.  We don’t know a lot about Otto’s life prior to coming into the Thulani Program, but we can infer that much of it was not pleasant.  But Otto relished his new life, first with Bob and Karen and their 5-pack of fur-faces, and then with Colby and Jim where he had his people all to himself, had the beaches of the Mendocino Coast to explore, and all the critters at Sea Ranch to investigate and harass.  Otto fit in well and his final chapter was all a dog could hope for.

I will leave Otto’s eulogy to the marvelous photo essay that Colby and Jim assembled.  Please help us celebrate Otto’s final chapter.


This next sequence of pictures chronicles an adventure in which Otto decided to chase a fox, ended up in a steep creek bed, and had to be rescued by the Gualala rescue team. From top to bottom–stuck in creek, hauled out, checked for injuries. Foster mom reports that Otto had a great nap while mom washed the mud off everything.


New Thulani Program Facebook Page


Just a short post to announce the existence of a new Facebook Page for the Thulani Program.  It can be reached under the name   Thulani Program     .

Its purpose is to give periodic brief updates on new dogs coming into the program, important events, and a forum for interested people to post their thoughts.

If you want to follow the information that will appear on this site, go to the site       Thulani Program      and click the ‘like’.

I am a complete amateur at this so if you have difficulties, contact me at  thulanidogs@gsrnc.comThulani_FaceBook-7_customsize

I hope you will find this site useful.


Bob Jachens
Coordinator, Thulani Program

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