#240 Fila

GSRNE #240
Adopted in September 2007 

Fila has crossed the Rainbow Bridge but her final years were spent in a loving home where she learned how great she could be and what love was all about. Here is her rescue story as told by her family. 

We have been members of German Shepherd Rescue for some years now in spite of the fact that we did not own a dog. We had a cat named Max who suffered from Diabetes and didn’t like dogs so we had to wait.

In September of 2007 the time was right and we submitted our application to adopt a senior GSD from GSRNE. We hoped that they would have a dog that we were right for, and who would be a good match for our family. We needed a dog with a low prey drive since we have a hamster, gerbils, degus and chinchillas.

We were told at the time that they did not have a dog that would be the right match for our home. So we thought that we would have to wait. That night we received an email asking us if we would be willing to foster a female German Shepherd dog that was now being boarded at a Vet office in CT and needed a foster home. It didn’t take us long to say yes we would. She needed a foster home, and we would have the opportunity to help her find her forever home. So we had to hit the ground running.

I went from thinking that I had time to prepare for our new adopted dog to having to run around preparing for our foster home visit and getting everything ready for Fila’s arrival. On September 12th, Milou and Karen arrived with Fila.

It didn’t take Fila long to make herself at home. Within a half an hour she was sound asleep on the family room floor. During our visit with Karen and Milou, we would learn about the life that Fila was living before GSRNE came to her rescue. Her family did not provide her with the medical care that she needed, resulting in the fact that her ears are no longer erect. They did not always have food for her and actually were heard hitting her. I learned later that there was even domestic violence in the home.

With all the things that she had obviously been through, she is sweet and always looking to please. She is happy just to be with her people and to go for walks, which we do three, four or even five times a day. Fila just loves all the people that she meets and all the smells that are there to be sniffed.

When Fila arrived at our home, she was a nine-year old female German Shepherd Dog, but deep down inside she had the heart of a puppy. She absolutely loves tennis balls; she will play with them in the house, and for some reason, it always has to be the right one. She will go from ball to ball and bite them a couple of times until she finds the right one. It may be the one that she bit at the beginning, but that is the ball that she has to have. If it goes under the sofa or TV, she will pace around until she can figure out how to reach it. If she cannot get it, she will bark until we come and retrieve it for her.

She even loves to play ball in the snow and will dig and dig until she finds it.

Everything was going well, but then the licking began. First the feet and then it moved on to chewing hot spots on her hip. GSRNE took her to a dermatologist to determine what was going on. Through testing we would learn that she is allergic to dust mites, trees, weeds and even my grass. It would not be easy. It took a really long time to get to a point where we had it somewhat under control, and I have to admit that through a lot of hard work, she is fully furred again. We still have to deal with periods when her allergies get really bad; but with medication, weekly baths and staying on top of the situation, we get through those times.

In August of 2008, we had been fostering Fila for almost a year and had dealt with all of her allergy issues. It was decided that with everything that Fila had been through, all the experiences that we had shared as a family and knowing just how comfortable Fila was in our home that we were the match for her, and so we happily adopted her.

Fila has settled into her forever home quite nicely and loves to spend time with Emily. Every morning she is happy to ride in the car that takes Emily to school and then back again to pick her up in the afternoon.

Janice Ritter has been helping us with training and Fila looks forward to each of her training sessions. Janice has been helping Fila with her basic commands and is now working with us on her separation anxiety. Fila just loves it when Aunty Janice comes to see her. It means fun, attention and treats, all the things that Fila loves.

Fila is not an easy dog; given the chance, she would be the boss. She keeps me on my toes, and Janice helps me to be the leader in our family. Fila deserves all the happiness that I can give her, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She just loves us to pieces.

She is such a special dog, and with the help of GSRNE and all its volunteers, Fila was rescued from being put to sleep. For this I thank you all.

Judi and Emily Poirier

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