I started looking at petfinder.com, because my mom thought it was time to get another dog and asked for my help in finding the right one; a female German Shepherd Dog between the ages of 2-6 with saddle dog markings, good with kids and preferably house-trained.
I looked at all the dogs in Arizona, and since she was visiting me in last week, all the dogs in Minnesota. Very few fit the bill. One listing with a fuzzy picture and a sensational story
described how a dog named Shayna (name given by the rescue so she could be posted) was in a kill-shelter where they would euthanize her with a gun… The commentary went on for some time, designed to tug at the heart-strings, stating that a foster home was needed "ultra-urgently." The pictures (shown here) looked like she might be a German Shepherd and my mom and I had a free day to go pick up Shayna and “save her” from her terrible fate.
I left messages for the rescue, but got no response on this "ultra-urgent" need. So after waiting a day, I called a friend who has done some work with the listing rescue and after a few more phone calls learned that the dog was in South Dakota, but could be transported as far as Sauk Centre, MN. I offered to pick up Shayna, and foster her short-term in exchange for having the first right of adoption.
My mother and I drove the two hours to meet Jodell and Shayna in a rest area. We learned Shayna’s story as Jodell knew it: When Shayna was brought to the police department on the South Dakota reservation, the surrendering party said the original owners brought her home and walked and fed her for about two days and then they just let her loose and didn't put out food and water for her, nor did they come out to visit her. The person who brought her in has a dog of their own so Shayna went over and stayed with them for a couple of weeks. When the original owners didn't come and get her and didn't feed her they decided to bring the dog up to the police department, and that's where Jodell met her and contacted the rescue organization.
After we loaded Shayna in the care we drove to the rescue organization offices in Brooklyn Park after stopping at Fleet Farm to buy a collar and a few toys (and I had to pick up an equine mounting block, so it was just a fun shopping trip!). I had put a smaller collar with PureSpirit Pet Sitting tags in the truck, but it fell underneath her kennel and was just too much work to get out. Besides she needed some new toys and chews for her new life, right?
In Brooklyn Park she was admitted to the rescue program, where they happily micro-chipped and tagged her and processed paperwork. After some discussion I was able to have their staff veterinarian look her over, vaccinate her and prescribe a wormer. She weighed in at 42lbs. The veterinarian estimated her age at 6-7 months, I would have guessed her younger from her size and given that she still has her puppy coat, but with a full mouth of adult teeth she’s at least 6 months.
I took her for a flea bath and brought her home to blow-dry her and groom her. She looks great but her coat is very dull. I’ll get her on a high protein, high quality diet and see what we can do about that. I feed my dogs raw food, but my mom feeds kibble. I’ll likely be sneaking her some raw meat while she is staying with me, I know it will improve her coat luster and she could probably use the nutrients at this point.
Shayna was intrigued by the large birds in my living room (I have two macaw parrots) and sniffed everything in her new environment, but she was so pooped by the early evening she collapsed in a pool of puppy jello on one of my dogs’ cushy beds. Can’t say as I blame her, I was exhausted from all the driving, it was about a 9 hour excursion for Mom and me. I can’t imagine how she must’ve felt being bounced from place to place in the last week, then the long travel with Jodell only to be handed over to a stranger in a park, put in the back of a truck and driven away again. What is wonderful about her is how resilient and adaptable she is.
Since she was so tired, clipping her nails was a piece of cake, I don’t even think she opened her eyes. When it was time to turn in for the night she was faced with 15 rather steep steps that must’ve looked like Mount Everest to her. She was quite unsure about them at first, but with a little patience, and my mom “disappearing” around the corner at the top of the stairs, she gave it the “good old German Shepherd” try and made it all the way up! She was far more wary coming down in the morning, but she conquered that challenge, too. She slept with my mom last night and didn’t even get off the bed once.
Stay tuned for more on Shayna…