Kaizur (was Niklas)
GSRNE #223

We were devastated after the death of our six month old Shepard Sheba. We were a bit apprehensive about getting another dog as our hearts were broken and we were not sure if we should perhaps wait. Our daughter Becca came across GSRNE while searching the internet. We spoke about it as a family and decided we were ready to try again. We soon heard from Laurie Keating and she started the process. We were very excited to learn about what a great organization GSRNE was and how much they really cared about the kind of home the dogs went to. A search was done to find us a dog that would be friendly with our three cats (this must have been quite a task). We were then notified that a potential dog was identified, the email included a few photos. As soon as we opened the pictures we knew this was the dog for us – we instantly fell in love and soon he was part of our family.

Kaizur is doing just great! He is a dog that loves routine. We take him for several walks each morning and evening with our other dog Sampson. He always has to have a stick to carry during our walks so part of the fun of the walk is Kaizur choosing the very best stick. We keep a stack of them at the beginning of a rail road trail that is behind our house for him to pick from. There are many trails adjacent to our property so he is never board and loves to explore. Just yesterday during our walk we met up with a pack of turkeys.

Kaizur is a very friendly dog and loving dog. His best kitty buddy is Symba. Symba was just a year old when Kaizur joined our family so they are growing up together. Every night after dinner they play, running through the house and “wrestling”. Kaizur is very gentle with him, it’s really cute to watch them together. The two of them like to cuddle up every now and then for naps
on Kaizur’s dog bed. They also like to watch the birds come to our feeder. The two of them will sit together by the window and watch the bird action.

Kaizur is very smart. Our daughter Becca is now teaching him how to bring slippers to her at night. I’m sure he’ll have this mastered very soon. He seems to really like learning new things as he is very curious and always thinking. Becca likes to watch shows like “It’s me or the Dog” or “Dog Whisperer” to find out new little tricks we can teach him.

Kaizur has been with us a little over a year now and we could not imagine life without him. He adds a bright spot to every day. Kaizur has brought a great deal of happiness to us and has made our home complete. We are so very grateful to GSRNE for finding us the perfect dog. We love him very much. Thank you to everyone!

GSRNE #224

It is true what they say about “love at first sight.” My husband David and I have now experienced it and we know it exists. Love at first sight was what we felt that Saturday morning when we first laid eyes on Delilah at the home of her foster father Danny Thompson. Watching her skip around Danny’s kitchen, nudging and chasing her foster brother Rocky, it was obvious that she was smart and curious and playful, but that she was also shy and timid and frightened, and that there was so much more to her. We were later told that Delilah had been surrendered when her family moved from their home and could not take her with them; they gave her to a family friend. A year later that family friend surrendered her as well, only this time to a shelter. Thus, Delilah was coping with two major losses in her life in a very short time, as well as struggling with having lived in a shelter.

Although she came to us healthy and strong, having been nurtured by Danny and Rocky, she frequently begged for attention and physical affection from David and me. She didn’t play with any other toys except the old tennis ball she came with, and she never barked. I mean, Delilah never barked. Not in the house, not outside in the yard, not when strangers came to the door or when the UPS man delivered a package, and not even when she got excited and chased the neighbor’s GSD in fun around our front yard. For the next few weeks after the adoption, the only occasions we saw Delilah excited and happy was when we took her for long walks on the many trails in the wooded areas behind our home in Marion. She would run ahead of us at the farthest extension of her leash and frequently stop and sniff the ground, reading it and taking it all in like a newspaper, learning about her new surroundings.

Even my efforts to entice her to play with toys often failed. In preparation of Delilah’s arrival, I had purchased a wide array of dog toys for her and arranged them all in a basket on the hearth of our fireplace. There were stuffy toys that squeaked, stuffy toys that didn’t squeak, numerous types and flavors of chew sticks, an assortment of bones, balls that squeaked, balls that bounced, and balls that rolled in a crooked line across the floor. But the only toy Delilah insisted on carrying around with her was her old tennis ball.

Happily though, over the course of the next several months, with our consistent love and attention, David and I slowly watched Delilah change. We saw her change her attachment from the tennis ball to “Green Bear,” which became her new favorite stuffed toy, and we listened as the house changed from a setting of tranquility to one of doggy chaos as Delilah confidently and joyfully found her voice (a very deep voice!) and began to increasingly alert and defend her new home.

The biggest moment came three months later, however, when we brought Delilah to the Sharon dog park to visit with Danny and Rocky again, and we watched with delight as she ran around the park with the other dogs, unafraid, chasing balls and sticks, and bumping and “hip checking” Rocky as they played together! She was no longer the shy, timid girl she once was; Delilah had come into her own, and it was clear that she was now a self-assured and secure GSD. All three of us stood there like proud parents. Proud to see Delilah’s true spirit and personality shine through, proud of her ability to transcend a past she never deserved, and proud that we had all been allowed to play a role in a journey that provided her with a real opportunity for a happy and contented life.

Yes, David and I believe in love at first sight. There’s absolutely no doubt in our minds. We fell in love with Delilah, and she in turn brought us love and made our home, now her forever home, complete.

The Daversa-Gulleys

GSRNE #195
Adopted in June 2007 

Takoda was found as a stray wandering the streets of Swansea, MA and ended up in the local shelter, who contacted GSRNE in November 2005 after efforts to find his owners proved fruitless. As with all of us who do foster or adopt, I would so very much love to know what his history had been prior to that. I choose to believe that he was loved by a woman somewhere, but got lost on a trip, or perhaps the husband didn’t care for him. His behavior with women (loves us) and men (scaaary folks) lead me to that conclusion. I hope that Glenn and I are doing a job that would make his original Mom happy – I think we are.

How did we end up with him? Glenn had a German shepherd, Heide that would take a whole article of her own to describe – a wonderful dog, and the one that hooked him on Shepherds for life. I had a Golden, Rusty, who was my “heart” dog. We care about and love all of our dogs, but a heart dog is special, the bond so extraordinary that when you lose them a piece of you is gone. A canine soul mate, if you will.

When Rusty died in December 2006, I thought that I could never look at another dog, but soon the hole in my life became unbearable. I couldn’t bear the thought of “replacing” him, so we decided to foster for GSRNE and help a dog go to his forever home. We thought, since we both had experience with training, that they’d send us a typical young surrender – you know, a 1-3 year-old whose owners had no idea what they were getting into with this breed. We’d work with it, train it to a little obedience, teach it some house manners, and off it would go, leaving both of us with a glow of pleasure at having helped a dog and me a little further away from the pain of Rusty’s passing. We went through the nerve-wracking interview process for becoming a foster home – would they think we were a suitable home? Would Heide’s behavior measure up? She had a history of dog aggression, but we’d worked very hard with her on it. When we were approved, it was clear they had a dog in mind for us, and we would get our foster task quickly. We did, but it couldn’t have been further from our expectations. We knew because of Heide’s alpha (read “bitchy”) behavior that it would be a male, as that’s what would have the best chance of being accepted by her, but that’s where the similarity to our foster dream ended. Takoda was a very large, somewhat overweight gentleman aged about 10 who had been brought back into the foster program after having been adopted out for nearly a year. After first being brought under the GSRNE umbrella from his beginnings wandering in Swansea, he’d been fostered for nearly a year. A diagnosis of Lyme disease that required treatment before he could be adopted was followed by a seizure, which required more treatment and observation over time so that a prospective adopter would know what they were getting into. Finally an adoptive home was found that was willing to take on the age of this dog and the possibility of seizures. After a move by the family to a city, and an incident of growling at someone in the household, the family sadly surrendered him back to GSRNE. After nine months they loved Takoda very much, but their circumstances made a possible bite too much of a risk to take. Takoda is sound sensitive, hates bustle and confusion, and turned out to have contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, as well as testing positive for Lyme again. No wonder he was a bit crabby! Apparently he’d gotten both diseases in the country, and then moved to a big city with all its stresses. When we came onboard for fostering in January 2007, he was in a kennel being treated for both, and not flourishing in a kennel environment, as most GSDs do not.

He was so sad; it was as though he just didn’t believe anything good could ever happen, not permanently at least. Despite the best efforts of the girls at the kennel to walk him when they could, the muscles in his hind end were not in good shape. Glenn said we probably wouldn’t have to worry if he ever got loose – Glenn could catch him pretty easily at the rate of speed Takoda could work up. Heide seemed to know that this dog needed us and that she had to accept him into the house. She did, but that’s as far as it ever went. They never really warmed up to each other, just learned to live politely together like two dissimilar strangers in a rooming house. Tolerated but not loved. Takoda was so confused, by everything it seemed. We’d take the dogs someplace in the car and when we arrived back at our house he’d get up, peek out the back of the Jeep, sigh, and go back in it and lie down again. ”Nope, this isn’t the right place,” he seemed to be saying. Or maybe it was, “This isn’t where I thought I was going.” He did not acknowledge his name by as much as a twitched whisker when called. If you wanted him you had to go get a leash, clip it on, and gently tug to get him started along with you, whether it was out of the Jeep, out of the house, or back into the house. Nothing was good enough to get him excited, not even food, although he certainly ate well enough at meals.

After a while of this monotone living we looked into taking him off the Phenobarbital. Since he had never had a second seizure, our veterinarian agreed it wasn’t necessary, and it might be contributing to his lack of emotion. He’d also finished his treatment for Lyme and Rocky Mountain and seemed a bit better physically, but perhaps that was just because he and Heide were taken on a couple of pretty good walks each day, and he’d slowly begun to build that muscle tissue back up. At first he needed a boost into the Jeep, but then began to hop up by himself, which was heartening. Under our vet’s supervision we slowly weaned him off the barbiturate, but it only helped a little. He seemed less confused but no happier. Takoda still didn’t believe good things would ever happen to the likes of him.

Strangely, I never really worked with him in obedience in any way. Every animal I have ever had a relationship with, part of that relationship has been the excitement and give and take of training. Koda, well, he just never seemed interested, so I didn’t push it. He learned house manners of course, to wait for an invitation before going through doors, to sit for dinner and the like, but nothing further. He still would not respond to his name, happy noises, toys, etc. He did seem to want to be with me whenever he could, at least to be in the same room. Glenn still seemed to be a little scary despite working carefully with him. We loved Takoda, but we didn’t really understand him. At one point, while socializing him, we took both dogs to a small local flea market. Although undemonstrative up to this point with us or anyone else (although perfectly sweet), Takoda suddenly showed the first signs of animation we’d seen. He spotted a woman 50 feet away, and his head came up, his tail lifted in joy and actually WAGGED, and he pulled on the leash tugging to get to her. I allowed him to move towards her, but when we got within about 10 feet, it all disappeared again. He positively slumped. It was clear to me that he’d thought he recognized this person, and when we got closer her scent tipped him off that it wasn’t who he thought it was. He was very sad, and my heart went out to him. I would have given nearly anything to be able to reunite him with the person he thought he’d found again, but the shelter hadn’t succeeded, and the trail would be pretty cold after so much time.

In April 2007 we went to GSRNE’s silent auction, and brought the dogs to leave in the car as the weather was cloudy and cool. Takoda had a lot of fans since he’d been in the GSRNE system unusually long, and we knew they’d want to see him. He spent the day with folks coming out to the car with us, he and Heide hopping out to be petted and admired, and hopping back in. He was kind of getting to like all the attention and pets, and the cookies didn’t hurt, either. We ran into his previous foster mom, who had loved him very much and would probably have adopted him if her personal circumstances had allowed it. She burst into tears at hearing that he was doing well and was actually right outside in the car, and that she could visit with him. Out we went to the car, and Koda saw us coming, sitting (illegally) in the driver’s seat and sticking his paws across to lean into the passenger’s seat ready to greet the guests – when he suddenly recognized his former mom, and drew back into the driver’s side, refusing to come out of the car. After a few moments and some coaxing from both of us, he got out. He really was happy to see her, but after a moment leaning up against her, which had been their means of exchanging love, he got up, wagged while looking at her, and came over to me and sat at my side. Another clear communication from Koda – “ I love you, other mom, but I really just want to not get passed around anymore.” We didn’t realize what we had done until then. Poor Koda wasn’t stupid. What happens when you are a rescue GSD and you spend some time with people, then go someplace in a car where lots of people look at you? Well, you go home with another set of folks in another car, don’t you? And maybe you never see the last set again? Right then and there, amidst the tears of both me and the first foster mom, and if the truth be told, Glenn’s too, we committed to adopt this dog. I promised him right then he would NEVER go anyplace without us again.

We officially adopted him at the member’s picnic in June. And we’ve kept our word. We only vacation where dogs are welcome; he’s spent every night since then with one or both of us.

Glenn and I bought 75 acres in Maine on January 4, 2008. He and Heide pretty much moved up there right away, and Takoda and the cats and I stayed in Revere while I continued to work until mid May. Takoda developed some digestive issues during this time and had to either go to day care – which stressed him out and made his diarrhea and vomiting worse – or had to stay in the car so I could take him out several times a day. It was thought that he had Irritable Bowel Disease, one of the auto-immune problems that affect our breed, but since he’s been in pretty good shape for several months now, we think he may well have been surreptitiously eating the top layer of cement around the pool in Revere. Did I mention that whenever he is upset, he licks the floor or ground, crunching up dirt, gravel, ice, snow, or things that I simply don’t want to know about? And he was upset at the pack breaking up.

Once I moved up here full time, his life got good again: long walks in the woods, sometimes with Heide and Glenn, sometimes just me and Koda. It’s so rural here he doesn’t need to be leashed – he may still not acknowledge his name, but he won’t go out of sight of me voluntarily. We spend a lot of time together, and he is happy to help me with anything – he helps cook in the kitchen, assisting with bowl cleaning and taste testing. He helps me relax and read, keeping the couch warm. He likes to mark trails around the woods, and if we occasionally flush a woodcock, he is happy to quietly observe their flight from on the path. Since Heide passed away in August, it was lonely for a little while. It was clear that he missed her, and we were distraught as well. Glenn said the only thing to do would be foster another one. In October we got Ysa (eeh-sah) to work with. Here’s the dog we thought we were getting the first time we fostered! She is just over a year old and full of beans. At first she and Takoda were not certain they wanted to be friends – she is a high energy, faster than a speeding bullet, rowdy little girl, and Takoda is a non-interactive geriatric with degenerative myelopathy that makes it hard for him to walk at times. Well, they may be unlikely friends but friends they have become. Ysa has taught Koda how to play – at least how to chase her, that’s the only one he’s picked up although she keeps trying to get other concepts across. She’d love to play keep away, and roughhouse, and bite-your-butt-and-run – oh wait, she does play that, that’s why he chases her! It’s wonderful to see. We say she has “youthened” him. He is happy to get up in the morning, goes out the door at a jog, and chases her all over creation, doing his best to keep up. He has developed a funny little running bunny hop to keep up as much as possible, and although his rear end fairly frequently goes out from under him on turns, he just levers himself back up to continue the chase. Glenn says wisdom and guile out do youth and speed – Koda fakes her and manages to bite her butt every now and then. I wonder what he’ll think when she finds her forever home? Maybe we’ll have to get another foster for him.

We walk and visit neighbors all together, and the dogs even got invited to part of a New Year’s Eve celebration, where they were very well behaved. At least Ysa was, at one point Koda was found to be cruising for ice cubes in the champagne ice buckets.

I often wonder why I never did any obedience training with Takoda – he still doesn’t always acknowledge his name, and his only trained behaviors are to sit, give his paw, and wait till he’s released to dive into dinner. I think I know the answer – he was sent to us to live out his golden years happily, enjoying every day, knowing he will never get in a car that doesn’t come back to us. Little did I know that in return, he would find his way into my heart, and make me enjoy every single day a little more than I otherwise would have. He’s taught me that you don’t always have to have a reason to have a friend, or a specific task or interest to share with them – sometimes it’s ok just to be friends.

Carol and Glenn Visser

Riley II
GSRNE #220

Riley is a grand guy….He settled in quite fast, met friends and a few of their dogs without any real problems. He has his bed in our bedroom and a blanket in the living room…seems he loves the warmth from the wood stove last winter.

Riley stays with me in the yard, but does sneak off now and then through the wood about 150 feet to the neighbors house to play with Jack their black lab, then they both come back ….wanting cookies!

His first camping trip was interesting. The first day it was a lot of looking and smelling around, meeting people and other dogs on the walking tour. However, he didn’t like the idea of other dogs walking by HIS campsite. By the next day he would only bark if the dogs walked next to his site and not on the roads further away, but on the third day it was just too much work (he was on vacation after all) and just forgot about the barking and enjoyed the grass and the sun.

We had both our dogs out on our old Chris craft “yachting” on the lake. He was a bit nervous the first 10 minutes or so, then he settled down, laid out on the forward seat with me and watched everything going on–happy as a clam.

GSRNE #118
Adopted in October, 2001 

Buddy is generally doing well. He is slowing down a bit (he’s 11-12 yrs. old), and has some arthritis in his hips. We are giving him Glyco-flex III (glucosamine) and it seems to help. We also take him for at least 4 walks a day.. Buddy loves his toys and will play for hours with us. We don’t toss things as far as we used to, but he will chase his “squeaky” toys and bring them back to us to throw again.

Buddy sleeps with us on our queen-sized bed and doesn’t leave much room for Dave and me. We love this dog dearly and are so happy that he is a member of our family.

GSRNE #174

We adopted Diamond when she was approximately 2- 2 ½ years old. She came from an abuse situation, where the husband was abusing the wife and terrorizing Diamond. When she first arrived at our house, she would not let her new Dad (me) pet her, although her Mom could. She ducked in terror at the whirring of the ceiling fan, when she heard tree branches stirring in the wind, or even if I opened up a newspaper too quickly. Thankfully, the one thing she always permitted me to do was to take her for a walk. Three weeks into the adoption, she still would not allow me to pet her. But one day, when working in my (home) office, I noticed that she was laying down quietly right behind my chair…and she did not run away when I got up out of my chair.

Soon, she began following me all around the house. Now, she is a constant companion. When we take her to the park now, we can let her run free to chase her little animal friends, as we know she will come running back to us (at full speed) without even having to call her. She is, for the most part, courteous to other dogs, and is very friendly to humans. My wife and I often say about our German Shepherds (and we have owned several over the years), that “so and so” is our favorite Shepherd ever, but we truly believe Diamond is the best dog we have ever owned. She is an absolute joy and we love her to death. Thanks to GSRNE for saving this wonderful creature.

GSRNE #179


Miya was born in a shelter as her mother was part of a GSD confiscation in a neglect case. She lived in the shelter for her first 3 months, then was transferred to another shelter who contacted GSRNE for help with her and her 4 siblings. Miya has found her forever home with Bruschi (also 2 yrs old) and me! Miya is still very active. Her nose is into every package or bag brought into the house. She’s a prankster and loves to steal anything she can. She takes “her people’s” objects, like the phone, the computer mouse, shoes, nail polish, make-up etc. She usually doesn’t destroy it, just moves it! Last spring she and brother Bruschi were enrolled in a tracking class. She had fun eating the hot dogs! She has become a seasoned traveler. Last year she made 5 trips to Pennsylvania. We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn each way of the trip. It’s a long ride, but both dogs stretch out in the back of my SUV. I often hear “snoring” during the ride. She’s very affectionate and wags her tail at any person she sees. She is great with my 91 yr old Dad also! She’s doing much better on leash walks. She was very reactive to every noise, squirrel, and dog she saw or heard. Mostly, she will ignore them now.

She and Bruschi got a “doggie door” for Christmas! I can see the opening and I watch them use it when the weather is nice. (I keep it closed in rain as they want to bring all the mud into the house.) They love being able to go into my backyard at will. She is always willing to go out and chase the ball. She can catch, but prefers running along with Bruschi. Then she steals the ball from him so he will chase her!!

I’m looking forward to spending many more great years with Miya (and Bruschi) as they grow from the now” terrible two’s) into the stunning adults they will be! She is a wonderful little pipsqueak!

GSRNE #145

GSRNE #166

January 2007

Koa and his family were being held after being confiscated for an abuse/neglect case and had spent most of his first 7 months in a shelter while awaiting judgment. Shortly after the shelter was awarded custody, they called GSRNE for help.

Koa and I met for the first time when I picked him up in Connecticut for German Shepherd Rescue of New England. He was a very insecure boy that did not ride well in the car as he had little if any experience with cars.

When Koa first came into GSRNE he hated being touched. He had never lived in a house. He suffered from separation anxiety and had panic attacks when you tried to touch his legs and paws. He had a lot to learn. I was lucky to visit him often his first three weeks with GSRNE as he adjusted to being a dog that lived indoors and was cared for with love and tenderness.

My beautiful Christy, GSRNE #115 (see Rainbow Bridge), had passed away a few months before I picked up Koa and I had no intention of fostering or adopting for a very long time. Fate had other plans. A foster home was desperately needed for Koa and there were none available. I was reluctant at first, because of my recent loss, but then I agreed to foster Koa and he came to live with me. We took things very slowly and he responded well, becoming a happy confident boy that loves people, dogs, and cats. Actually he loves everything! During this process I fell in love with this very special boy and asked to adopt him.

It has been almost three years now and Koa is a very different dog. As I write this I realize just how far he has come. He loves hugs, kisses, belly rubs and leaning on his mom. He can now stay at home alone with no panic or anxiety. He loves riding in the car, swimming at the beach, and playing in his pool. We walk almost every day and the best part for Koa is when we meet up with other people. He is thoroughly convinced that everyone loves him. I love watching how people respond to him. His enthusiasm is infectious and people just melt around him. He is a goofy, happy boy that loves to play.

Thanks GSRNE!

Koa and Laurie

GSRNE #159


We are so grateful that we have had this opportunity to rescue Ina. We walk her 6 miles a day in beautiful woods, cook her three fresh organic meals a day, give her birthday parties, wonderful vacations, and sit on the couch with her snuggled up to us with her head on our lap. Thank you so much for your blessing; it is our blessing to have Ina in our lives.


Here are some more pics of our wonderful, sweet, happy girl, Tai and Michael

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