AURORA IN A NUTSHELL: We have been told that Aurora gets along with kids, cats and other dogs (both large and small), but we're finding out that that is not necessarily true! Aurora has been kept in a very small "box" of an environment, so everything outside of that box is to be feared. It's our guess she was NEVER taken outside, to the park, to the vet, or simply anywhere since she was a very young puppy! She's a gem in her own home where she knows everyone and everything, but being taken out of her comfort zone or bringing someone strange into that zone is definitely a challenge for her. She's not aggressive, but puts on a big display that certainly looks scarey when something or someone new pops up in her world. She needs someone with the strength and determination to introduce her to the big wide world around her. She would do best in a female household, as she tends to be most reactive with men. Chalk up another one to her upbringing. This girl just got a very raw deal.
Aurora is a rare owner surrender -- we haven't had more than a dozen in over 20 years of doing rescue. Her family has fallen on hard times. Mom has recently become a single parent and is being forced to move to another state and in with friends who already have 5 dogs. Mom is trying to do the right thing for Aurora, who she has owned since she was 6 weeks old (DOB 8/24/2019).

According to the surrendering owner, "Goofy, loveable, hard headed girl. Super smart. Knows shake, sit, lay down, night night time, kennel, wait. Tons of energy. She needs someone experienced and willing to put more training into her and will keep her busy. Allergic to chicken and corn. ...Recently became a single mother & can't afford to live out here. I am moving to Florida to live with a really good friend. She is gonna help me get on my feet and I unfortunately can not afford to take Aurora with me. ...It's just not possible for me to take her and it breaks my heart. I just want a great home for her. I have reached out to tons of rescues with no luck and have posted her everywhere I could think of." Her owner also provided these photos:

In order to assist, we have organized a transport for this coming weekend to Yuma where we will be met by Aurora and her mom. Aurora will be spayed, microchipped and updated on shots in preparation for her new family.

UPDATE 11/7: Aurora (nicknamed "Rory") was picked up in Yuma this afternoon by a staff member and volunteer, Wendy.

Rory's mom bids her a fond farewell

Wendy takes over

Safe in Phoenix

Rory is currently in season. She will be seen by our vet, updated on shots and microchipped and we'll let the vet determine a safe spay date for her. Right now she's pretty shell shocked, so we're going to give her some time to relax and regroup before we do anything. She's had a very hard day.

UPDATE 11/13: Rory is showing definite progress in her foster home with one of our staff members. She now sits and shakes on command, and we're working on getting her to sit, rather than raising up on her hind legs to try and give us a kiss. She happily complies once she understands that you're not mad and just want her to sit. She's still a bit shaken from her move -- after all she did just lose the only home she's ever known -- but she's learning.

UPDATE 11/18: Aurora was seen by our vet today and weighed in at a healthy 69 pounds. She greeted the vet and vet tech like they were long-lost friends, wagging her tail and pushing in for affection. There was none of the expected growling or dodging being handled. All-in-all we were very pleasantly surprised! The vet pronounced her fit and ready for spay, which was scheduled for December 9th. Rory was updated on her shots today and will be microchipped on spay day.

UPDATE 11/21: Rory was lucky enough to find a foster home today! Our thanks go out to Hillary and Phil who have offered Aurora a foster home for the holidays. She'll be living as an only dog in a busy home (with cats), so we'll be learning a lot more about her over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

FOSTER UPDATE 11/23: "Aurora is doing pretty well - she met my parents when they came over and she was perfectly friendly with them. We did get a prong collar as you suggested and that has proven to be necessary as she is very strong and very aggitated on the four walks we've done so far. I'm looking into obedience classes here in Tucson to see if I can get more comfortable walking her alone.

The main concern is that when she sees other dogs or cats (and sometimes, but not always, people) on the walks, she lunges and barks and twists her collar. She doesn't seem to have had much experience walking as even with the prong collar she still pulls and weaves from side to side. I don't think we could walk her without the prong collar. I tried a harness in the backyard but when she heard a strange dog she nearly pulled me off my feet. She's also had diarrhea each time she's gone to the bathroom but no accidents in the house. I noticed she doesn't go to the bathroom (not even peeing) on walks so we make sure she's let outside when we get back from a walk.

She is fine in the house so far; she follows us everywhere we go but she slept the last two nights in her crate no problem. She does get anxious when we leave the room or when we went into the garage (she could see us in there but we kept her in the yard since we had the garage door open). We haven't introduced her to the cats yet as I want her to be more relaxed in the house first. We've played some ball with her (I take her out between my zoom calls) but she quickly loses interest, so we've ordered a puzzle game and some other enrichment things for her to keep her occupied. We are going to try working with her more today on walking and try some techniques to make walking easier. Here's a few pictures."


FOSTER UPDATE 11/26: In a disappointing turn of events, Aurora is being returned to her temporary foster home. According to her foster, "Things aren't going great. We had to give up our walk this morning as we just didn't have the physical and mental energy to handle the reactivity. My dad came over, who she's already met and had done fine with, and she kind of went ballistic and I had to have him leave. I went towards the front of the house and she came crashing through the securely fastened pet gate, knocking it completely down. While I don't think she poses a threat to me or Phil, I am too afraid to be taking her out in public or having her around others. The only way now that I'm able to get anything done outside of that half of the house is to put her in the crate. I honestly don't think I have the confidence or experience required to handle her safely. This isn't the outcome we wanted but unfortunately we don't think we are experienced enough for her. Disappointing for sure; I think we just didn't understand exactly how difficult it would be."

UPDATE 12/9: Aurora was spayed today; she weighed in at slightly over 72 pounds. She surprised us, yet again, by bounding into the vet's office, tail wagging. If you didn't know better, you'd swear she was coming home! She greated everyone there with a smile and wag of her tail, even those who she had never met before! We can't figure out why Aurora is so comfortable and friendly at the vet's office, when other things seem to frighten and upset her. Once she's feeling better, we're going to try and take her places like PetsMart and Home Depot to see how she does in capable hands.

UPDATE: Aurora was taken to her favorite place today -- the vet's office -- for a vaccination update and general health exam. As before, she greeted everyone as if they were old friends of hers. She allowed the vet to examine her without protest and happily said hello and allowed herself to be loved on by anyone and everyone. We just haven't gotten this girl figured out quite yet. She's just so quirky! Our (female) staff member has no problems with her whatsoever; however, Aurora is still growling at the husband in the household whenever she sees him. He has been nothing but kind to her and, when she's not in her crate, can approach her for pets and treats with no trouble at all. We're still going with "quirky."

Adoption fee $225.00.

If you are interested in Aurora, please fill out our PROSPECTIVE ADOPTER'S QUESTIONNAIRE. You will be contacted by return email. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, please Email Nancy at This questionnaire link is only for Aurora or other white German Shepherds on our site. WE WILL NOT CONTACT YOU until a questionnaire has been completed.

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