German Shepherd Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin
It is with a heavy heart that we share Gage's story with you.
Gage came to us via a frantic call for help to our Rescue. A woman asked if we would take a young male dog that was continually being beaten by his owner. This owner's preferred method of discipline -- a baseball bat. This man's 8 year old son often joined in on "the discipline." The abuse was so severe that she took it upon herself to take the dog from this person, even though she could not herself keep him. She definitely saved his life. When we picked him up, we found him wearing a prong collar that was so tight, it had grown into his skin (oh yeah, you can add "neglect" to the list, too).
It was not long after taking this dog into foster care that the effects of prior abuse began to show. Fear aggression was the result of Gage's abusive upbringing. Gage was easily one of the brightest dogs I have had the pleasure of training. He mastered each command within minutes of it being taught as he took complete enjoyment in learning new things. Through positive reinforcement training, he learned to trust and completely bonded to his foster family.
This is the story of a dog who loved too much. For the first time in his life he loved, and he trusted, FIERCELY. The more Gage bonded to his foster family, the more he felt it was his mission to guard HIS people against everyone and everything, because to him, all of the world was evil. His instinct to protect at all costs became increasingly alarming. Gage's aggressive tendencies continued to escalate over a period of many months. No training in the world could erase his memories of abuse and the fear that it culminated, making a very difficult decision imminent. With more sadness than we can express, we reluctantly agreed to do what we were advised had to be done. Gage was one year old.
I will see you again some day Gage, my friend, and together we will cross the rainbow bridge. Know that we loved you as deeply as you loved us.
Solomon came to us from the Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Solomon had been at a shelter there and despite bad hips and possible other maladies, the board members of the shelter felt he was just too nice of a dog to put down. Their last hope was rescue. GSRAW agreed to take him in and try to fix him up. Sadly, it was soon discovered that besides needing both hips replaced, Solomon was full of cancer. His foster moms, Wendy and Lori, were angels of mercy in Solomon’s last weeks here on earth. Solomon was immediately put on Rimadyl for joint pain, eradicated of a severe case of coccidia, and given meds to help him keep food down. Despite the internal pains he most likely was experiencing, Solomon managed to smile, show love to every human and every animal he encountered, and also earn the title of “sweetest dog to ever come through the rescue doors of GSRAW.” Solomon touched the hearts of everyone who met him and we feel truly blessed to have known him.
A huge THANKS and hugs of condolence go to you, Wendy and Lori, for giving him a warm home, making him comfortable and giving him your unconditional love during the last weeks of his life. We can picture him now pain free, tail wagging, and watching over you from the rainbow bridge in quiet anticipation of meeting you again some day. Solomon thanks you, and we thank you, for all that you do.
With sadness in your loss,
Your friends at GSRAW
German Shepherd Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin
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Take a Chance on me....
Chance was found in Iowa County in a ditch on the side of the road -- left to die in the middle of winter. The rescue got a call about this old guy that we might give him a few days of happiness and not let him die alone in a kennel. So I agreed to take him in. Chance came to me covered with burrs, thin, blind, deaf, arthritic and full of cancer. He was to only spend a very short time with me before he would be put down. I gave him a bath and pulled out all those burrs. What a job that was! So I decided to take him to PetSmart and have him finished up. How handsome he was when I picked him up!
Here we were 10 months later -- fat, happy and so very loved. He was my sanity saver from a bad day, good day or just there when I needed to cry. He wanted nothing more than to lay on my lap and give me kisses and be petted. How life didn’t seem so bad at that very moment.
Chance had a very strong will to live. I thought he would live until he could no longer get up and even then I think he would have fought to stand on all fours. Each time he gave me a scare, was each time he pulled out of it. I kept saying “this is it, this is it,” and sure enough, he wobbled out of his house tail wagging standing right between my legs as always, looking up at me as though he could see me, telling me “nope, I’m still going, don’t you worry!”
He loved the outside more than anything. The snow was his favorite thing. He would get down and roll from side to side. How he knew that there was snow on the ground or that it was even snowing was amazing. But he knew and loved it. The first few days with me I had him outside when it was snowing and I was shoveling and when I went to go check on him, he’s sound asleep covered in snow. When it was time to come in, boy how he hated to go back in the house.
Chance was so full of life and had so much love to give me. There wasn’t a day that went by that he wasn’t readily waiting for me to hug him up. Once in a while I would get a broken up howl. I was like a proud momma, my baby saying his first words. The first time he did that I got all teary eyed thinking he just doesn’t stop amazing me. To me, he was indestructible, my stepping stone and my rock. He lived everyday with me like there were so many more to be had.
Chance has made such an impact on my life and I miss him terribly. He has left such a special place in my heart and in my world, but has also left a big void in my life. I knew that this day would come, but I didn’t think it was going to happen so fast. I know in my heart that he knew I loved him and he loved me. I buried him in a special place that even after I move he won’t be touched.
Chance, my old man, my friend, I miss you more than anything -- especially those morning kisses. You’re in a better place, free of pain. When it’s my time, we will be together again. In the meantime, I will think of you, and blow you kisses in the wind.
Rest in peace, Dear Friend