Danny de Hek
Read the stories on how our rescue dogs found their way to their new families. Some of the stories will be heartbreaking to think of what these trusting dogs had been through on their journey to find their forever home. Please keep coming back to visit as there will be new stories added on a regular basis. After all we have 970 dogs to tell you about.
Dudley #511 spent his first five years in a wire crate in Wellington, unprotected from the weather and unsocialised.
Originally called Lucky, his neighbours had seen him and his plight and when his owners said they were going back to where they had come from overseas, the neighbour encouraged them to sign Lucky over to GSRT. Lucky was assessed in his foster home and found to be great with people, including children. He quickly learnt that cats have sharp claws, but was never aggressive with them.
I had meanwhile been keeping an eye on the Homes Needed page, but not seriously, as we already had our Boxer, Chloe, then aged 10 years. When Lucky’s photo and story appeared, however, I instantly knew he was for us and commented on the message board that we would like to offer him a home. However, a family in Christchurch had submitted an official adoption enquiry form at the same time as my posting. I had to let him go. However, during the two week trial period with the Christchurch family, it was decided that Lucky wasn’t suitable for them.
Lucky was flown from Christchurch back to his foster family in Wellington, where he waited for transport to be organised up to my house, north of Auckland. He got to drive up on the back seat of a car, with air conditioning and lots of comfort stops – he had hated having to be flown in a small crate. Throughout his journey by car, we were being updated as to where he was.
I took Chloe for a long walk, more to calm my excitement than for her. Chloe was wonderful with Lucky right from the start. We named him Dudley, as I figured he hadn’t been at all lucky while living in a crate. Chloe showed him how to live inside a house and how to please humans yet get your own way as well (by giving us a big soppy look).
Dudley has been wonderful with our two children, the youngest was only a baby when we adopted him.
Since Chloe’s passing in 2008, Dudley has been Top Dog and a very much loved member of our family and spends each day enjoying his freedom
Miss Jess Adoption #804
I became Miss Jess’ foster Mum in November 2009. She had a few issues that I had to deal with. Firstly, she had no tail, she had to have it amputated. She was tied up and her exercise was looping around counter clockwise (still one of her quirks). She damaged her tail on the fence and whether it be from pure neglect or ignorance, her tail was not able to be saved.
She suffers from phantom pains to this day.
The day she arrived, I met Denise at her place and I was quite shocked to see this small female shepherd hop out of the car. She was gorgeous then and now! This was on a Friday and two days before the Rescue Trust Xmas Party. I had arranged to spend the weekend at my father’s in Papakura and at the Xmas Party, I was able to have her offlead on the grassy area with no worries of her not returning to me.
She bonded to me very quickly and though I tried not to get too attached, it was too hard not to! I fostered her for nine months, in between twice with her going to potential forever homes. Unfortunately no one seemed to be able to deal with her small issues so in the end I had to adopt her. She had already placed her paws on my heart!
Nowadays, she is well loved and cared for, sleeps on my bed (though sometime during the night, hops into her crate) and now has a GSD sister whom I also saved from death row. The pair of them get along great, although do like to chase the neighbours cats out of the yard but will not hurt them.
With her character and nature, Jess has become known as Miss Jess and has also been accepted as a Canine Pet Therapy Dog, where we visit rest homes for her to see the elderly and she loves it. She is a highly active dog, but knows when she has to be gentle.
She loves the water, goes swimming regularly and rollerblading with me, she’s like my sled dog!
Sophie #822 & Blaze #927
Our family are the proud owners of 2 beautiful rescue German Shepherds. Sophie 822
came to us via German Shepherd Rescue , she was found wandering and unloved in Franklin and picked up by the Ranger. We had just put our names forward to GSD rescue as we had recently lost our beloved boxer to cancer and our big boy Stan the man had lost his playmate and best friend and feeling rather lonely.
We got a phone call from Denise to say that they had a little female that needed a home would we be interested. A few photos followed and a phone call to see what we thought.We fell in love with her huge ears and gorgeous trusting eyes (we were smitten) next was what do we call her?
Paul and I always wanted a girl but got 2 boys instead and were not risking any more trying so we called her Sophie the name we had picked out for a daughter we never had ( now a furbaby daughter)
All was going well ,but things soon changed rapidly. Stan our boy (boxer) was diagnosed with an in operable brain tumour and the hard choice was to have him put down as the vet could not do anything to help him.The boys were up North a few weeks later and I was trolling on Trade Me . I saw the most gorgeous boy advertised free to a good home.
I duly contacted Denise about him who in her wisdom told me to ring up and enquire as to his situation as I had said to Denise that we would like a male GSD at some stage. Well I did and spent a good half an hour on the phone with his owner talking about our situation and what Blaze 927 was like.
We then said our goodbyes and he said he would think about us as adoptees. I called Denise back and explained his situation and the next thing I knew Denise had emailed the guy that had him to tell him she thought that we would be good owners for Blaze. Well we got another call from the guy and we agreed to take our girl Sophie down to see how they got on. We took 2 cars down and the adoption papers with us ever hopeful that they would get on. Well it was love at first sight for all of us ( but boy was he a big hairy smelly boy ) the 2 dogs played for about an hour, he was well and truly meant to be for us.
Blaze was not neutered or registered and rather thin for his age. The young guy that had him did love him but was not able to look after him as he was moving into a flat.Poor Blaze was left to wander during the day and used to swim in their fishpond and eat their goldfish (no wonder he ponged). He duly came home with us in my husbands car as he stunk so much. Well 1 day later he was smelling like roses and 2 days later he had been neutered,vaccinated,and microchipped and registered.
Many thanks to GSD Rescue and Denise for our lovely pair of furbabies.
Anne, Paul, Michael, Tony and Sophie 822 and Blaze 927
Ian and I had just put our other Dog to rest at the age of 13yrs and we heard about the GSD rescue so decided to apply for another dog. Denise let us know about a young long coat female whose owner had been deported and she was being looked after by a friend of his. She put us in touch with her after Linda had done the assessment and we went and met her. Ian knew from the start that Hazel was for us so in September 2010 Hazel came and lived with us. When we picked her up from where she was staying she was dirty and very matted. We got her home and she made herself comfortable but she was very much a man’s dog.
The following day we took her to the vet and got her checked over and vaccinated and bathed. Hazel went off to work with Ian each day to Waiuku to our business and when she came home she came up to me but then back to Ian. Ian got me to feed her each day so she would bond with me more and if I had a day at home he would leave her with me. Hazel had no idea what a toy was when we got her and she soon learnt with the grandkids what a squeeky toy was and a ball and her first visit to the beach she stood there and shook until I got her to come into the water with me. Now you can not keep her out of the water.
In November 2011 things changed for us. Ian was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my first thought was Oh what am I going to do with Hazel as she is a very strong dog and I didnt think I would be able to handle her. Ian and I had a big discussion on this and he said he felt she would be to much for me and we may need to rehome home. My heart was broken with knowing I was losing my husband I couldn’t stand the thought of loosing Hazel as well so one day while Ian was lying on the bed I got Hazel’s lead and decided she isn’t going anywhere I am going to learn to walk her and so I did. Hazel knew Ian wasn’t well and spent many hours lying with him when he was at home but while in hospital she became more and more attached to me. When I have my down days before and after Ian passed away Hazel is always here for me. I have her head on my knees or her head on my shoulder and her big brown eyes looking at me saying everything is ok.
Hazel led the casket into Ian’s funeral service and sat there as if she knew this was his end.
There is know way now that Hazel will be going anywhere she is my constant companion and she knows her home is here with me.
Marlene & Hazel #852
Grace’s Story, Adoption #636
Grace is a small, older female longcoat who was ‘owner surrendered’ to the Wanganui ? Pound.
Grace was in poor condition with severe skin infections, major hair loss on her stomach, ear and eye infections. Nearly all of her teeth are worn down to gum level, for months her tongue constantly hung out the side of her mouth. Initial blood tests revealed that her liver and kidney functions were poor. Grace couldn’t sit still, was highly strung and anxious.
Four years on, at the age of 13, Grace lives a comfortable life on a rural property with her GSD sister, Shep (also adopted through GSD rescue) and two cats.
She always has a ball for comfort, eats the lemons off the tree, and loves her food. Grace is healthy, trusting, settled and very much loved
Shep adoption #565
Shepherd (Shep) arrived in our home as a foster dog when she and her brother Duke were surrendered by their previous owner. Duke was permanently placed in a loving home in Auckland and Shep came to stay until a permanent home could be found.
She had been an outside dog for the first five years of her life and being a long haired shepherd her coat needed a little work. She quickly adjusted to inside living and had an exceptionally gentle nature. She instantly bonded with us and our extended family. We knew very quickly that we couldn’t let her go, so she became a permanent member of our household.
Shep has no understanding of chasing or retrieving balls and is a little fearful of the water, but we are working on that!
Since adopting Shep & Grace we have several other foster dogs in our home and shep has taken it in her stride. She is loving, loyal and extremely well behaved and we thank Denise and the German Shepherd Rescue Trust for bringing her into our lives.
Adoption Number 851
Adopted September 2010 Aged 7 ½ years old
(Born April 2003)
When I met Zoe, she was being looked after by a French student who was on a study visa which was due to expire in 2 months time. She had only had Zoe for about 3 months as Zoe’s previous owner had gone to Europe on his OE. In less than ½ a year, I became Zoe’s 3rd owner and she was quite anxious.
Her Vet Records give us some insight to her history.
At 2 yrs old she was described as a lean hyper dog. At 3 years – she barks a lot. At 5 years old she was at the vet with an infection from a bark collar – “3 deep wounds” (I was surprised when I stroked her neck to discover that I could still feel the scars). At 6 yrs old Zoe was spayed, she was described as generally naughty, worse than previously and she had shown aggression towards her owner – when taking a toy. At the follow up after being spayed, she was very vocal and excitable. In May 2010, she went to her new owner (French student) and the comment in the Vet records was that she whines a lot.
Zoe bonded with me very quickly and became my shadow. Every time I moved, she moved. She is better now that she is more settled and she is my most loyal companion.
We walk/run 2-3 times every day and even though we have been doing this for 1 ½ years, she is still always in full alert mode, her ears are high & eyes scanning all directions. When she is confident there is nothing to worry about, her nose goes to the ground checking out every smell.
Zoe is not the best with other dogs, but she enjoys going to training every week, initially through the German Shepherd Trust and for the last year to the Auckland Provincial German Shepherd Dog League Inc.
She gets very excited about going to Dog HQ Dog Daycare 2 days a week. We are very appreciative of all the understanding and support from all these caring people which has benefited Zoe and I greatly.
We have come a long way in the last 1 ½ years and Zoe’s achievements include:
Dog HQ Christmas function 2011: Prize – Most improved
Auckland Provincial German Shepherd Dog League Inc: Trophy – Most improved – Obedience training (Sunday)
We have had our challenges, but it has been very rewarding. I have learned so much from her.
Zoe’s story is only ONE of over 900+ German Shepherds rescued and re-homed over the last 9 years.
This wouldn’t be possible without the German Shepherd Trust “family” and all their help and support. Especially one very dedicated person – Denise. Denise just gives, gives, gives, she always has time and I don’t know how she does it in addition to her normal full time job. She loves all the dogs like they are her own, sharing the pride in their achievements, joy in their happiness and sadness when any of her 900+ “children” crosses Rainbow Bridge.
Date: 12 April 2012
Max’s Story #682
In February 2008, I lost TC. She had been my beloved companion for almost 12 years. I thought I could never go through it again. The house was a lot cleaner, but it felt so empty. I put myself through the usual guilt trip of the “working mother” and wondered if it was fair to have another dog. I thought long and hard.
I began to browse the internet, looking for breeders and up popped the German Shepherd Rescue Trust. When I read Yani’s story – so reminiscent of TC’s brush with cancer, I knew what I had to do.
And then along came Max! Sid (as he was then) was in jail, aka the New Plymouth Pound. And he was a day away from disaster.
Denise stepped in and in no time flat, I was meeting him for the first time at Queen Elizabeth Park, courtesy of Dana who had run the second leg of the relay to get him to Wellington.
Max had been roaming the streets. He was used to being his own boss and he wasn’t going to let a five foot nothing woman get in his way. At first, there was some very challenging behaviour but I just couldn’t give up on him. Inside Mad Max, there was a great dog just waiting to get out. And get out he did. Fences were no barrier to him!
It took a while and there have been some household casualties along the way. Let’s see – he trashed my bedroom, gave me a black eye, ate my teddy bear and several bath mats, gnawed a skirting board or two, and pulled the toilet roll holder out of the wall, along with a sizeable chunk of plaster. He routinely tracks mud from one end of the house to the other. He likes to take an occasional kip in the bath (witness the missing enamel). Oh well, what else would I do with my money if I didn’t have household repairs to pay for? I mean, who’s got time to eat anyway?
It’s been 3 years now since Max came into my life. He’s more trusting now and less likely to be a one dog demolition squad. He’s gained 10 kilos (cheese scones are now off the menu). If I wake at night, I’m likely to find a furry face beside me on the pillow. Was he worth it?
Just look at that face – what do you think?