Visit The Rainbow Bridge


To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say. But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from the Bridge. Here I dwell with God above. Here there's no more tears of sadness. Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy, just because I'm out of sight. Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you, when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me, and He said, "I welcome you.

It's good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone. As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on."

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do. And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.

And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you... in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years, because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain. Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you, all that God has planned. If I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.

       But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er. I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are rocky roads ahead of you, and many hills to climb; But together we can do it, by taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy, and I'd like it for you too; That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody, who's in sorrow and pain; Then you can say to God at night..."My day was not in vain."

And now I am contented...that my life was worthwhile. Knowing as I passed along, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody, who is sad and feeling low; Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.

When you're walking down the street, with me on your mind; I'm walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go...from that body to be free. Remember you're not're coming here to me.

-- author unknown

Pulled from VVAPL Humane Society June 2022 ~ Lost to us February 28, 2024

Chance came to us when his owners moved away and simply left him beyind in the yard. The buyers of the house were caring for them while they were going over and fixing things up to move in; however, when they brought their own dogs over, Chance didn't like them. So, guess, what? Chance found himself at the VVAPL Humane Society. The shelter guessed him to be between 7 and 8 years old.

We immediately reached out to our Globe fosters, Dave & Jackie, to see if they would be willing to take this senior boy on and they said yes. Chance was quickly pulled from the shelter and transported to Globe thanks to Chuck & Jon from Husky Camp and Michael & Bob, the other half of our Globe team. For almost 2 years, Dave and Jackie took care of Chance, assisted by Michael and Bob. They loved him and cared for him and saw him through until his last days when they had to make the difficult decision to let him go. We are ever so grateful that this senior gentleman, after being abandoned by his family, didn't have to end his life in a shelter as an unwanted dog. Chance was taken care of as he so richly deserved and passed away knowing he was loved.

(aka "Jake")

Pulled from Los Angeles, East Valley Shelter October 2012 ~ Adopted by our
Founder December 27, 2014 ~ Lost to us November 21, 2023

Jake first came to our attention when he was surrendered to animal control officers in October 2012 with allegations of a bite. After examining Jake, who had multiple lacerations on his legs and body, one officer in particular did not believe the bite story and went to the home to investigate further. She first encounted the father, who repeated the allegations of a bite by Jake on his son. When asked about the lacerations on Jake's legs and chest, the father said he beat Jake to punish him for the alleged bite, and Jake went through a plate glass window in order to escape the beating. The officer requested and was granted permission to speak to the son. The officer asked if he had been bitten. When the boy replied "yes," the officer asked him to show her the wound. After pulling up one arm then the other, no bite marks were seen. The officer then asked what was happening when the dog bit him, to which the boy replied in a very annoyed tone, "I was trying to cut off his tail ... and it wouldn't come off!!" We, therefore, gave Jake the benefit of the doubt and agreed to take him into our rescue. It should be noted that for his entire life, Jake was never able to be around young boys. He never forgave or forgot the cruelty that was shown to him.

Transport to Arizona by John - we wound up replacing John's leather leash
after Jake chewed through it on the trip from California

Jake started Boot Camp almost immediately with volunteer Traci

He attended the Grand Opening of Doggie District (on Traci's lap) on November 17, 2012

Jake was Herding Instinct Tested March 17, 2013

Adoption Day! Our founder could resist Jake's charms no longer so she made a pact with Southwest's Founder, Steff -- she adopts Jake and Steff adopts Brady. It was the best deal they ever struck.

"Jake was my faithful protector for 11 years. I was never afraid to be alone in the house when Jake was on patrol. I knew he would lay down his life for me without hesitation. He was my husband's ball playing crazy dog until he could no longer run and he could never use the weedwacker in Jake's presence. Taking care of the lawn is going to be a lot quieter now. He will be missed ..."

Adopted November 24, 2019 ~ Lost to us August 8, 2023

Zulu's mom, Gail, was already on the lookout for a younger male to add to her family -- she had had to put down her 13 year old female GSD and a 10-1/2 year old male GSD (both due to age & health related issues). She was looking to fill that void (and her heart) by helping another furkid have a forever home -- when Zulu popped up on our radar. He had been surrendered to a shelter after his owner passed away. We had nowhere to put him, so we took a chance and send his picture to Gail to see if she would consider adopting him.

Gail was curious and committed to taking him on the spot, immediately changing his name from "LouLou" to Zulu, and we set about getting him from California to Phoenix ASAP.

Arrival in Phoenix with Michael & Bob (Zulu at left)

Zulu and his pack

Cooling off

Sharing a cookie with his best friend, Wolf Child

Relaxing in the hay

After less than a year with his new family, Zulu had to undergo hip surgery. In early 2023, Zulu became paralyzed due to a massive bacterial (staff) infection along his spine. Surgery was done and Zulu started to show improvement; however, in July a CT scan showed an incurable strain of fungal infection that was causing his spine to deteriorate and was likely spreading throughout his whole body.

Gail wrote, "Nancy, I've been trying to write this since yesterday morning but each time I get physically sick thinking about it. I had to let Zulu go to the Rainbow Bridge yesterday morning. There was nothing more that could be done and he was in constant discomfort & pain. His best friend (Wolf Child) went ahead on 6/21, so at least I know, in what's left of my heart, that they're together again. He was only just over 4-1/2 yrs old. He weighed 112 lbs in Feb.; 79 lbs. last week. I'd like the world to know that such a wonderful, sweet and loving soul was lost way too soon. He was only 4 years & 7 months old and he put up such a courageous health battle for most of his short life. It's been 6 1/2 weeks now and I still cry about losing him every single day (and as I write this). Lacey and Quinn are quiet and feeling the emptiness here now as badly as I am. Sadness and a heavy, broken heart." Gail Shell, Lacey, Quinn & Pumpkin

Rescued June 2018 ~ Adopted by our Founder April 2023 ~ Lost to us May 9, 2023

After four months, I am finally able to sit down and write this memorial for our girl. Lila was brought to our attention by our good friend, supporter and adopter Michael (Sawyer and Amy's dad in Globe). Lila had been dumped in a Vegas shelter by her family -- a family that had obviously been using Lila as a puppy factory! We immediately reached out to our good friends Becky & Phil in Las Vegas to see if they could help -- of course they could! They knew as well as we did that Lila was not going to make it out of that shelter alive. Becky & Phil not only arranged for Lila's release, but got her to a vet for boarding (and paid the bill) until we could come for her!

Two of our staff members (Nancy & Bert) headed to Vegas to pick up Lila. She was so overweight she couldn't even get out of Becky and Phil's van without a ramp.

Lila and Becky (Bert in background)
Unloading with Phil & Becky's help

She introduced herself to Stella on the ride home
A potty break in Wikieup was in order

Once we got Lila back to Phoenix, we had her weighed at our vet's office -- almost 100 pounds! Lila was immediately put on a green bean diet and took off an astonishing 20 pounds in no time at all. She was then spayed and readied for adoption ... but there were no applicants for this older gal. After spending 5 years in our rescue, Nancy decided to adopt her and make it official. Lila was home! Sadly, within a very short time, Lila suffered what we believe to be a hermangiosarcoma and was gone within hours. There are no words ... She was one of a kind and will never be forgotten, at least not by the folks at White GSD Rescue who loved and took care of her during the last five years of her life.

Rescued October 2010 ~ Adopted November 2010 ~ Lost to us March 25, 2023

Brooklyn came into a city shelter in San Bernardino, CA, when she was just about a year old. We pulled her from the shelter and she took up residence with Sara in Tucson to await her spay surgery. Upon meeting her, Sara was smitten, and we have to say the feeling was entirely mutual.


In very short order, she became the ruler of Sara's pack

Brooklyn's mom, Sara, wrote, "I lost my Pretty Precious Princess, Brooky Lynn, on Saturday. She has been fighting what I believe to have been cancer for several months. As you know, I kept this very quiet, and to myself until just a week or two ago. I just couldn't face the fact, or admit it, that I was losing her. I have been doing my best to keep her comfortable and happy with things like eating all people food...she would sniff the air every day when I got home and look at me like, "Mom, what did you bring me today?" She fought with all she had in her. Friday night she started to go downhill, and could not really stand up to get herself water, so though I was not ready, I knew the end was near. I laid down on her bed with her, and had a good talk. When I laid down in bed Saturday afternoon to take a nap, she kind of moaned a little, and I told her it was OK, I was there with her and going to take a nap with her. When I woke up a couple hours later, she had passed in her sleep. She went quietly and quickly without pain. I am happy for that, and our little talk. I miss her greatly, but she is in Heaven with Qerc, who she mourned greatly in January, and all of her other siblings. Eleven and a half years was not long enough. I will always love her."


Not a rescue dog, Qerc's mom, Sara (our Tucson friend, volunteer and multi-dog adopter), fell in love with him when he was just a baby. He joined her family at 9 weeks of age.

Qerc's "Gotcha Day"

6 months old

Just a few months later

From Qerc's mom, "Nancy, Ten years ago today, you and I were sitting at breakfast, and you told me we had puppies. This morning ten years to the day later, I have to write to tell you that my loving guardian, best friend of the last ten years, passed in his sleep last night. I will forever miss his love, kisses, and constant companionship. I love him so much, he's gone too soon." Sara

HURRICANE JUDY (aka "Judie Pudie")
Rescued September 26, 2008 ~ Adopted May 19, 2010 ~ Lost to us December 17, 2021

Judy and Star were found by county officials during a drug raid. The police found them in a small pen in the back yard laying in mud, completely emaciated, with mange. Their only source of "water" was a pool of drained motor oil which they were both forced to lie in and drink from. Both dogs were barely alive when officials found them, covered in mange and motor oil (apparently the owner had been dipping them in the oil to ward off the bugs). Not far from their enclosure were 5 newly dug graves where the puppies from Judy's litter had been buried--Star was the only survivor. It took MONTHS of dedication and hard work for the Denham Springs (Louisiana) shelter personnel to get Judy and Star to the point where they could even survive transport, and then Hurricane Ike struck. When they asked for our help, we could not say no.

When the transport arrived in Avondale, at 3:45am, WGSDR volunteer were there to meet it

Covered in motor oil and scared to death, volunteer foster mom Dorothy knew just what Judy needed ... a hug

Judy and her puppy, Starr, were loaded up and taken the rest of the way to Phoenix

This is how Judy spent her first weeks with Dorothy ~ hiding in the bushes

But Dorothy finally won her over and Judy braved the doggie door to join Rascal for dinner
Judy & Dorothy just 5 months later at Boot Camp

Judy was also reunited with Star at Boot Camp

Judy continues to improve and blossom under Dorothy's care

Judy celebrates her birthday with Dorothy in 2021

We don't know how old Judy was when she came to us in September of 2008, but even guessing she was barely 2 years old -- she spent just over 13 years with her doting mom, Dorothy, who loved her at first sight and never gave up on her -- that would have made Judy at least 15 years old when she passed ... quite an accomplishment for a neglected and starved dog and a testament to the love and determination of her mom. We will miss you, Judie Pudie. From a neglected, frightened shell of a dog, you turned into a beautiful, loving, social butterfly. Thank you, Dorothy, for your love and dedication to this sweet soul.

ROCCO (formerly "Jeff" and "Walker")
Adopted December 10, 2019 ~ Lost to us May 1, 2021

Rocco came into our rescue in September 2019, after being pulled from a California kill shelter. He was transported to Arizona by our dear friends, Michael and Bob from Globe and took up temporary residence with foster parents Dave & Jackie in Globe where his name was changed from Jeff to "Walker" because Dave and Jackie said he walked around an awful lot. His coat and skin were in horrible condition, but after a good grooming, his looks and attitude definitely improved.

In December, Rocco was spotted on our website by Claudia & Ron (prior adopters of ours), and they offered Rocco a winter home in Sun Lakes, with a summer home in Washington.

Rocco and his "team" (Michael, Jackie, Dave and Bob)

Before Grooming ...

... and after

Never met a stuffie he didn't like

Christmas 2020

I'm not spoiled one bit!

At home in Washington

On May 2, 2021, Rocco's heartbroken mom wrote, "Sad news. We lost Rocco yesterday. Another loss to hemangiosarcoma. Another one gone way too soon. He was the best dog we could have imagined and the year and a half with him went by in a blink of the eye. My friend said he was happy to be with us. I think so, too. He trusted us completely from the beginning. Everyone loved him. Please let his 'team' know, and again thank you to you and his team who made it possible for us to have time with this boy.."

Pulled from Shelter October 2014 ~ Adopted March 20, 2016 ~ Lost to us April 5, 2021

This one was a heartbreaker for all of us. Jinx was pulled from a California shelter in October of 2014, and for whatever reason, she was passed up by adopters, time and time again. It was a complete mystery to us why Jinx was never chosen, but we didn't look a gift horse in the mouth and put her to work.

After her spay surgery, Jinx started Boot Camp with the new year and volunteer Di. She was a wonderful "demo dog" for Boot Camp newbies and trained with Di and Traci, and helped train new volunteer Wendy. She even went herding with us and did beautifully. She was everything a German shepherd should be, and so much more. Finally, in March of 2016, her forever family found her and she was adopted. We had to say goodbye to one of our very favorite girls, but we knew she was going to a place where she would be loved as much as we loved her.

Transport to Arizona

Herding Day!

At Doggie District having fun

Jinx was chosen to participate (with rescue furkid Rupert) in a 2016
Valentine's Day "wedding" performed by "ELVIS"

Helping new volunteer Wendy

With Di in the middle of the flooding circle at Boot Camp

Adoption Day

Once adopted, Jinx settled in beautifully and was delighted to find that her new home included a pool, which she was more than welcome to use ... and use it she did.

In November of 2019, Jinx was diagnosed with Aspergillosis, which is caused by a fungus. She received treatment and we were hoping for the best. She rallied and managed to fend off the disease until the spring of 2021 when it invaded her brain and the difficult decision was made to let her go with her dignity intact.

Jinx' mom Debbie wrote, "She packed more living into the years we had her than any other being I've ever known. She brought light and laughter into our home, and was my absolute favorite maniac. She even *slept* with relish -- flat on her back with arms and legs splayed out -- that girl had NO modesty and was the queen of her world! =)

Pulled from Shelter February 2017 ~ Fostered then Adopted in August 2017 ~ Lost to us March 19, 2021

Transport to Arizona

Adoption Day

Jack and his mom

Jack's adoptive mom, Lauren, wrote, "It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you Jack is with Matilda. I mentioned a few weeks back he had been diagnosed with DM -- Degenerative Mylopathy. Over last last few months we had been working with another vet for alternative treatment as there is no cure or treatment for this terrible disease. I can't say enough kind words for Dr. Thiel at Integrative Vet Med. She is so knowledgeable and caring; her staff is wonderful and took good care of him. Over the last couple of weeks his strength had declined significantly in his hind end. He was dragging his leg so bad I had to place his foot for him. His knuckles were a mess. Monday night he actually growled at me for helping him. My sweet Jack never did that to anyone. So after his appt on Tuesday with with Dr Thiel we discussed with her his status which wasn't good. I woke to him crying in the early morning so Jack and I had a long chat with me on the floor and his head in my lap. He let me know it was time to be with Matilda. He was tired of struggling with his legs. We made the call to Dr. Hutchinson. On Friday at 5 pm with me and Jeff and his vet family (Dr Hutchinson, Alvin and Garrett), we said our goodbyes and he went peacefully. My heart is heavy once again but I had to put my selfishness aside for my silly goofy big dog aka Jack. He will be missed. Thank you for him and know in the 4 short years we had him he had a good life."

Miyu (formerly "Snowball")
Pulled from Shelter December 2010 ~ Fostered then Adopted in 2012 ~ Lost to us November 15, 2020

Miyu was pulled from a California shelter and brought to Phoenix just before Christmas 2010, on a transport that finally made its way to Tonopah at 3am.

Our tireless team was there to meet her, but by the next morning she was gone -- up and over the fence at her temporary foster home when someone inadvertently let her out into the yard by herself. After a frantic search, she was found at the westside shelter, having been picked up by animal control within hours of her escape. Phew! Now knowing that she was a "jumper," our efforts to find Miyu a forever home were challenging to say the least.

But Deb and Jake didn't let a little thing like fence jumping deter them. They took on Miyu as a foster and never looked back.

Christmas 2012

Getting training tips from Bert ...

... and from Leah

Christmas 2013

Hiking with mom, Deb
Miyu excelled in Agility!

We asked Deb for her favorite pics of Miyu, and she sent us these two

Miyu's mom wrote, "We said goodbye to Miyu today. After her initial perk up she started to decline slowly. Couldn't stay standing, couldn't walk, started being unable to hold her bladder. She hadn't wagged her tail at me since last Saturday. So I made the appointment for today and we gave her ribeye last night and a Mcdonald's breakfast this am. We will miss her so much. She was so special and was such a good girl."

Pulled from Shelter December 2, 2013 ~ Adopted January 11, 2015 ~ Lost to us November 12, 2020

Sawyer's is a story worth reading. It's about a dog, with what would seem to be an insurmountable disability, overcoming that disability to lead a wonderful, happy life and the people who cared enough about him to help him on his way and eventually offer him a forever home of his own. Thank you, Michael (and to Bob and Biscuit), for giving Sawyer his forever ...

Click to read about Sawyer

Michael with Sawyer (left) and fursister Amy at Santa Paws 2019

Sawyer's dad, Michael, shared some of his favorite pictures...

You will be missed, sweet boy. It was our privilege to be a part of your village ...

Rescued March 2016 ~ Lost to us October 24, 2020

Jackson was spotted at the westside shelter by our good friend, Shelly. He was brought into rescue and almost immediately caught the attention of our long time foster mom, Dorothy.

To say he wouldn't hurt a fly was an understatement
Dorothy was always spoiling her boy

Jackson had not had an easy life, but Dorothy loved him a lifetime's worth in the four short years he was with her, and he passed in her arms, knowing that he was wanted and loved. Thank you, Dorothy, for giving him the life we had hoped for for him.

Adopted February 19, 2011 ~ Lost to us September 14, 2020

Taz and his sister, Pacheco, were surrendered to the Arizona Humane Society in July of 2010. Before we could get to them HALO (Helping Animals Live On) pulled them and put them up for adoption. HALO soon realized that their shelter was not the place for two young German shepherds, and they reached out to us for help, which we were happy to provide. Taz was adopted after his fosters completed a training course at Dog House Training Academy,

Adoption Day

Family portrait April 2013

September 2015

February 2017

February 2018

Although Taz presented many challenges for his adoptive family, they never gave up on him.

Taz's heartbroken mom wrote, "I just wanted to give you a update on Taz. We had to put him to rest today. It was a tough day and he was our sweet boy that we were blessed to rescue 10-11 years ago from your place! He gave us some challenging times here and there but there were more happy times than bad times with him. Thank you!"

Rescued June 27, 2020 ~ Lost to us July 1, 2020

Click to read about Rose

May 21, 2008 ~ Rescued February 2013 ~ Adopted July 2013 ~ Lost to us August 2020

Click to read about Caprice's Rescue

KEL-EL (renamed "Kyle")
Adopted April 15, 2011 ~ Lost to us August 2020

Kyle was surrendered by his owner in March 2011 at approximately 3 years of age. Due to his sweet, gentle nature, it didn't take Kyle long to find his forever family.

Adoption Day

We didn't even have to ask for pictures to add to Kyle's memorial, even though we had quite a few of this handsome boy.

Kyle and 7 year old Toby

Kyle and Buttercup

Danny 10, Toby 7 and Kyle at 13
Kyle and his dad, Tom

Tommy (age 16) and Kyle

Kyle and his family (except for mom who was taking the picture

Kyle's adoptive mom, Jennifer, wrote, "Our family has suffered a great loss. Our loving protective wonderful doggie Kyle has passed. He suffered from a neurological disease like muscular sclerosis. We loved him, miss him and hope you can find us another wonderful dog. ... My other best friend is sorely missed. If you can help us, please let me know."

Rescued September 2019 ~ Adopted October 22, 2019 ~ Lost to us August 5, 2020

This one really hurts. Hazel was rescued from a California kill shelter and transported to Phoenix, only to become one of our favorite furkids. She was adopted into what we had hoped would be her forever home ... and it was. Thru a momentary lapse of judgment on the part of her adopter, Hazel jumped out of the back of a vehicle (she was off leash and untethered in the car and the rear hatch was opened) after arriving at daycare, ran into traffic and was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. We are devastated...

Rescued 2012 ~ Adopted March 2017 ~ Lost to us June 3, 2020

Vienna was approximately 2 years old when she was dumped in horrible condition by an uncaring owner at a high kill shelter in California in the summer of 2012. After 3 months in boarding at Crossroads in California, she was transported to Arizona by our good friends/adopters/volunteers Jim and Terri to begin the search for her forever home ... and that search took many twists and turns. She was adopted THREE times before she finally found forever.

Arrival in Phoenix with Jim and Terri

She wowed the crowds at "Woofstock" in Prescott in June 2016

Vienna and her friends at Doggie District
In Boot Camp and at Home Depot with volunteer Wendy

In March 2017, Julie came into Vienna's world and offered her the home she had been waiting for.

On June 3, 2020, we received the sad news that Vienna had passed away in her sleep.

CHARLIE (aka "Colonel")
Adopted February 2010 ~ Lost to us March 31, 2020

Charlie was rescued from a kill shelter in California in late 2009. He was first fostered, then adopted by his forever dad.

A lover from the start

He made himself at home very quickly

Ever watchful over his family

Charlie's dad wrote, "Nancy, It is with great a great sadness in my heart that I need to tell you that Charlie crossed over the rainbow bridge today. I went back and looked at his adoption paperwork and it has been 10 years, 1 month and 10 days since I adopted him. In November of last year he had a tumor removed from his back leg, and recovered nicely. Over the last week the tumor returned and he developed a mass in his abdomen. So today, I had Dr. Fixler come to the house and I held his head in my lap as he peacefully left this earth laying in his 'favorite spot' in the yard.

He was always my tender warrior. Ferocious bark, but love the grandkids and would give the smallest two a lick on the head each week when they arrived for family dinner. Attached is a picture that I took today. He carried himself with pride and prowess each day of his life. Thank you for entrusting Charlie to me all those years ago. I am a better person because I was a part of his life. Best, David

Adopted June 2014 ~ Lost to us February 10, 2020

Allyson and her sister, Mikayla, came into our rescue in the summer of 2014 when they were picked up as strays and impounded in a California kill shelter. Allyson had been adopted from the shelter shortly before we pulled her sister but when she was returned, we went back for her. We couldn't possibly save one sister and leave the other behind.

It didn't take Sara long to discover Allyson on our site and she made the drive to Phoenix to meet her ~ and make her her own.

Adoption Day

Allyson passed away in her sleep and was found lying by her mom's bed in the morning ... Sara and the remaining members of her pack are heartbroken.

MATILDA (aka "Tilly")
Adopted September 2010 ~ Lost to us January 28, 2020

Matilda came to us as a puppy from a kill shelter in California. She was fostered briefly in California and then came to Phoenix to take up residence with foster parents Jeff and Lauren, where it was a love affair from the start.

From her favorite perch at the top of the stairs to the swimming pool, Tilly made herself right at home

Tilly has been our "Santa Paws" model for the past 8 years; the picture at left showing her first startling encounter with Santa himself in 2011. At this year's Santa Paws (picture on right with her adopted brother, Jack), we were notified that Tilly had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer -- her days were numbered. Her family was determined to make the most of the time they had left.

Adoption Day

Tilly's brokenhearted mom, Lauren, wrote, "Matilda's time has come and will cross rainbow bridge with the help of Dr Tom this afternoon ... We will miss her!!"

Adopted September 6, 2007 ~ Lost to us November, 2019

Benz was taken in by our good friend, foster mom, supporter, adopter and foster failure Dorothy, when her neighbors (who knew about Dorothy's connection to dog rescue) reached out to her for help. It seems their friends had moved and left Benz in their care. They were supposed to come back for him ... but they never did. When the neighbors could no longer care for Benz, Dorothy immediately took him in and asked for our help and Benz became our very first "golden" shepherd.

Under Dorothy's care, Benz learned a lot and was soon available for adoption. It didn't take long for him to catch his future mom's eye, and she signed up to foster him.

Pool fun with foster mom Dorothy

After receiving Sophie's approval, it was adoption day for Benz!

He went herding with us in 2009...

...and again in 2010 and proved to be a natural

By 2011 he hadn't slowed down one bit

In 2013 he tried his "hand" at goats

In 2017, Benz & Cathy marched in the Gilbert Days Parade

... and again in 2018

Benz' mom Cathy wrote, "I was going to email you this weekend, I could not bring myself to do it sooner. I lost Benzi a few weeks ago. I am still broken hearted and I miss him so much. He was my guy for over 12 years and he went everywhere with me, I use to call him my shadow. I have a picture for you to put up, it's my favorite of him. I'll forward to you later... Also wanted to make a donation to you."

Take care, Cathy. We grieve with you over the loss of this special boy. Such a sweet gentle spirit. He will be missed.

Adopted November 2013 (at age 6) ~ Lost to us October, 2019

JP (which stands for "John Paul") was surrendered to our rescue when his original family, who had had him since puppyhood, could no longer care for him. JP was first fostered by Tom and his daughter, MacKenzie, before finding his forever home.

With Tom & MacKenzie

Adoption Day

His family wrote, "We are very sad to report that JP has gone to heaven. We are fearsomely missing our best friend and wonderful neighborhood ambassador. He was accepted as our neighborhood dog. His gentle giant presence was a constant for everybody. JP at prime was 110lbs, a king shepherd. Thank you WGSD for letting us have this beautiful boy."

Rescued November 2005 ~ Lost to us October 8, 2019

Trigger came in to our rescue in November 2005 from the Lake Havasu Humane Society. He was a mix, but what a personality he had! He was adopted by his forever mom, Heather, in February of 2006.

Adoption Day

Christmas 2007
When baby Leo arrived, Trigger opened his heart just a little bit more

A selfie from 2018

Always a character ...

... and always mom's protector

Family portrait 2019

Ever vigilant

Best buds

Trigger's brokenhearted mom wrote, "Today my son and I had to send Trigger to the rainbow bridge. I tried to do everything I could, but he no longer had quality of life. He could barely stand and walk; most days I had to help him plus he was on several different meds, several times a day. I finally had a day when I realized I was waiting because I didn't want to lose him and I knew it wasn't fair to him. I want you to know that he was loved so much and he was an amazing friend to me and my son. I can't even put into words how much we will miss him. My son, Leo, adored him and he even though he is only 8, he begged to be there today. He was heartbroken and brave but he stayed the entire time. We cried but we held him and loved him to the very end. Trigger went peacefully at noon today. I want to thank you for letting me adopt such a great companion and friend. Maybe one day we can adopt another german shepherd but we have to mend our broken hearts first. I'm sending a couple pics we took yesterday and today. With love, Heather"

Adopted November 13, 2009 ~ Lost to us September 26, 2019

Scout came in to our rescue in October of 2009 from a shelter in Texas. When we discovered him, he had until close of business to make it out of the shelter alive ~ to put it into perspective, it was 4:30pm and the shelter closed at 6. We were forwarded a copy of the shelter's "e" list, and Scout was on it! Emails flew fast and furious to find someone to help us help this boy.

Our thanks to Natalia, a shelter worker who put Scout's welfare above all else; to Jason, who stepped up and volunteered to pull Scout from the shelter on our behalf; and to Gwen at Downtown Dog, a doggie daycare and boarding facility in Dallas, who offered Scout a place to stay and recover from his kennel cough pending his transport to Phoenix.

Scout was flown to Phoenix in October and was found to be a reliable "babysitter"
from the start with our staff member's 5 week old grandson.

Everyone in his foster family loved this boy

He found his forever family within weeks of his arrival, and when that family grew,
Scout opened up his huge heart just a little bit more.

Catherine Sibiski has made a donation to WGSDR in loving memory of Scout.
With Love, Catherine, Olivia, and Ruby
Thank you, Catherine, for the support in Scout's honor.

BLITZEN (formerly "Brishen")
Adopted November 28, 2010 ~ Lost to us August 15, 2019

Blitzen came into our rescue in October 2010 from the City of Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter, thanks to our friends at Husky Camp Rescue who had spotted this handsome boy just as he was running out of time. The shelter listed him as a 5 year old, but once you met him, you knew that even if his body was 5, his spirit was still that of a puppy. He was quickly brought to Phoenix and fostered by long-time foster mom Dorothy.

In November, Becca and Brett stepped up and offered a foster (possibly adoptive) home and, after a successful home visit (which included a bird introduction), and an introduction to "the doodles" in Payson with "Grandma," Blizten moved in.

To say there were challenges is an understatement, but Blitzen's sweet spirit won everyone over and he was offered a permanent home where he was treated like royalty and loved like none other.

Blitzen's mom wrote, "I have some sad news. Blitzen (formerly Bryson) passed peacefully on August 15th.

He was such a good boy. Despite coming in with no house manners whatsoever, he ended up being the most eager-to-please dog who always had the biggest smile on his face. No matter what, he was ALWAYS happy. The night before he passed, he was squeaking his favorite ball and tossing it around for himself. Unfortunately, what was expected to be a routine vet visit to get more meds for his aging hips turned into the most difficult choice I've had to make. He was bleeding internally, and the chance was low that he would make it through surgery with a high risk that it would cause him more suffering. I didn't want his last days to be alone in a pet hospital in pain, so with the help of our vet he passed peacefully with his big nose in my hands.

I loved him with all my heart, and I miss him like crazy. I'm not sure exactly how old he was when I adopted him in 2010, but I got almost nine wonderful years with him that I wouldn't trade for the world. No matter how long it was, it would have never been 'enough' time. The pain isn't quite so raw now, but it's still hard not to see memories of him all around the house that remind me of how much I miss him.

Thank you so much for rescuing these awesome dogs, and for helping me through Blitzen's adoption and training. He was loved by many and will be remembered forever.."

BEAR (formerly "Johnny" of The Carson 5)
Adopted November 12, 2007 ~ Lost to us July 13, 2019

One of our most memorable rescues, Read About The Carson 5, and Bear's adoption into his forever home.

Bear's mom wrote,"Since I adopted Bear (aka Johnny of the Carson 5) from your rescue in November 2007, I wanted to let you know that he was put to sleep this morning. His breathing (panting) became noisy and labored a couple of nights ago; up until then he seemed just fine (playing, eating, pooping, etc.). I took him to my vet the next morning. His x-rays showed some type of a mass in his lungs and were sent off for review by a radiologist. (no report, yet) Bear seemed to go downhill from there and let me know that he was ready to go yesterday evening. I believe I gave him a good life. His sister, Millie already misses him. I already miss him, too. RIP Johnny Bear."

BANDIT (formerly "Mojave")
Adopted December 2011 ~ Lost to us July 11, 2019

Bandit was rescued from a very rural California shelter in September 2011. After spending some time in boarding in Californa, Bandit was brought to Phoenix and checked into Canine Country Club to await adoption or an opening in a foster home. While at CCC, several of our volunteers visited Bandit and we were told, "He loves, loves, loves the tennis ball and playing fetch," and that was Bandit's passion right up to the end.

Adoption Day

First Christmas

Happy Boy

Bandit (in blue bandana at left and with his ball at right) with partner-in-crime Cali

After his adoption, Bandit continued his life-long obsession with a ball, but also took time out of his busy schedule to become a mentor to two litters of puppies (Cindy in 2014 and Charlotte in 2017)!



Bandit's loving dad, Jim, wrote, "I am sorry to let you know Bandit is crossing the bridge tomorrow at 11am. ... We are all heartbroken as he has been such a good boy and uncle to 16 puppies. We are in Kenosha WI (our hometown); the vet is my sister-in-law's so not a total stranger. We should get him back on Monday. so he is going to finish our trip with us. Cali is going to be so lost as they will not go anywhere without the other."

SYDNEY (formerly "Snowbelle")
Adopted January 2012 ~ Lost to us June 26, 2019

Sydney was rescued from one of the worst shelters in California in 2011. As we got to know her, we added to her bio, "Sydney needs a leader -- a strong leader. When she doesn't have one, she feels very insecure, which is not a happy feeling for a German shepherd." In September, potential adopters Don and Jan (along with their GSD Dylan) stepped up to see if they could give Sydney the structure that she needed ... and it turns out, they could!

Adoption Day

Sydney was slowly but surely introduced to life at The Bird Ranch. She gave herself a job, following Don around on his tractor. She and Dylan became inseparable and, much to everyone's surprise, she was a gentle guardian of the grandkids.

Always available for some TV time (or a snooze) with dad

Computer time with mom

Best pal Dylan

Dad, I think you're doing it wrong!

Meeting "Briskit" the heifer

Ever patient with the grandkids

Sydney's mom wrote: "It's a sad day for us. We had to say goodbye to Sydney last night. Turns out her stomach twisted. She was in terrible pain. With her age and meds she took to control pain for arthritis we along with the vets decided the humane thing was to say goodbye. I don't think I can express the pain we're feeling."

Adopted January 2011 ~ Lost to us April 26. 2019

Moving from a 4x4 outdoor run in Cottonwood to a one acre home with Dave and Laura in Gilbert, Jake's dreams of a loving home had come true. He was his new mom's shadow for the rest of his life ...

Fostered then Adopted November 2006 ~ Lost to us June 15, 2019

Kasey was a challenge for his new mom, Jennifer, but she was up to it and, in return, Kasey gave her many years of love and devotion.

Adopted in 2016 ~ Lost to us April 2019

His loving mom wrote, "He passed away in my arms this morning. He was super wonderful ... loved me like no other! He was MY dog and he showed me that every day.

On Adoption Day

He learned commands in a matter of minutes. He had a thing for empty water bottles - he preferred Voss bottles though (my kind of friend).

He loved his time up at our cabin in the woods of Prescott; and Bigs our cat was his shadow.

Thank you for allowing Adam and me to enjoy his goofiness and protection for the past three years."

Adopted in October 2008 ~ Lost to us April 2019

On Adoption Day with Karen and Lamar at right

MAK (formerly "Jack")
Adopted in February 2014 ~ Lost to us April 2019

Jack came into our rescue after his elderly owner passed away in California, and his wife could no longer care for Jack due to his size. She left him at a veterinarian's office and asked them to find a new home for Jack, but a vet's office is not equipped to rehome displaced German shepherds. A vet tech at the office reached out to our California friends and asked if we would take Jack. The decision had to be made within 24 hours to allow Jack to leave the vet's office via the front door. We, of course, said YES immediately.

After his arrival in Phoenix, Jack was fostered and then ultimately adopted by his forever parents, Liz and John.

On Adoption Day

His grieving family wrote, "About 5 years ago, you helped bless our life with Jack, who we always called Mak. Last Thursday we had to let Mak go and we are simply devastated, and that is truly an understatement.

Mak has had back issues for a very long time, diagnosed as genetic. Last summer he had to have 2 TPOL surgeries, one on each knee. He was brave and strong and we thought that was the end of his issues. Unfortunately, a spinal cord compression in his neck (again, from birth) came down hard last week. He could not walk. We tried several courses of treatment and nothing worked. So, Thursday evening we made the tough choice.


I am writing to tell you that this dog was our joy and did nearly everything with us. He was beautiful and had a heart of pure gold. He camped, he swam, he saw the ocean, he chased squirrels, he hiked - so many, many trips and adventures for him. We like to think we packed 15 years into his short 5 years with us.

Thank you., we never want another dog, Mak is not replaceable. But you never know ... Until then ... we wanted you to know how lucky we were to have him."

Adopted in June 2016 ~ Lost to us March 12, 2019

Chapo and his younger sidekick, Oso, came to us from a kill shelter in California. They had both been deserted by their owner who had been notified by the shelter that his dogs were there, but who decided it was too much trouble to come in, pay the fees and take his dogs home.

Heading to Tucson with his new mom

Chapo very quickly headed to Tucson and was ultimately adopted by our dear friend/volunteer/adopter/supporter Sara. He was gone far too soon, but no dog could have been more cherished or loved. We'll miss you gentle boy ...

Adopted in March 2007 ~ Lost to us December 2018

Sophie came to us from a high kill shelter in Las Vegas in December 2006. After recovering from a severe case of kennel cough, she was spayed and put up for adoption -- she was adopted by her forever mom in March of 2007.

Adoption Day

Later that same year, Sophie's furbrother passed away, and she welcomed a new partner in crime to her family, Benz.

Sophie was delighted to have a new brother, and the two were inseparable.

Herding in 2009

Santa Paws 2012

Herding in 2010

Santa Paws 2014

Herding in 2013

Our final family picture of Sophie, Benz & Cathy at Santa Paws in 2015

Every time she saw our staff member, she knew that treats would be forthcoming. She never forgot in all the 11 years she had been in her forever home. We will miss your sweet heart and happy, smiling face ...

JESSIE (formerly "Mindy")
Adopted in October 2010 ~ Lost to us January 7, 2019

Jessie was rescued from a California kill shelter in September 2010. She was brought to Phoenix and fostered, then adopted by her forever family.

Jessie's new family

Her family wrote, "It is with great sadness that we let you know that we lost Jessie yesterday. She was diagnosed with a neurological disorder (similar to Lou Gehrig's disease in humans) about four months ago that quickly advanced, leaving her unable to use her back legs and most recently, unable to control her bladder. She brought us eight precious years with so many happy times.


We will miss snuggling with her, giving her belly rubs, swimming in the pool with her, playing catch with her, giving her a daily treat as she sat by the pantry door waiting for it. We will miss her howling every time she heard a siren. We will miss her cold nose nudging us to pet her. We will miss her unconditional love she gave us every day. We will miss her cute face that greeted us every time we walked in the door. Our home already is not the same without her.


"Thank you for giving us the privilege of loving her for more than eight years. We would not trade the time we had with her but her loss is so great. The more you love, the more it hurts and we loved her so very much."

Adopted May 18, 2014 ~ Lost to us September 2018

Shasha was an owner surrender; a victim of divorce and the splitting up of her family. She came into our rescue shortly after her 7th birthday in 2013. She was the "perfect" dog -- well socialized, housetrained, good with kids, the whole ball of wax. Only thing working against her was her age. But her age is precisely what drew Lyn to her. Lyn was looking for a calm, older dog to complete her family, and Sasha was perfect for her.

Adoption Day with Lyn

Sasha "marched" in the 2017 Gilbert Days Parade, perched on a platform in the back of Lyn's Mustang

But all good things must come to an end ...

On her last day

Rescued October 2009 ~ Adopted February 8, 2010 ~ Lost to us September 10, 2018

Bridget and her "brother," Badger, were dumped at a south Los Angeles shelter in October of 2009. Bridget looked like a cow -- she had been used to produce so many puppies.


The pair were "air lifted" to Phoenix courtesy of Doug & Wendy (our current volunteer), and settled in with our dear friend Pat, the Dog Lady. While in the care of Pat, Bridget grew strong and healthy, and was ready for her spay surgery (and hernia repair) in no time.

What a difference!
After surgery, Bridget was placed into foster care with Dorothy

Dorothy got started right away with the loving...

...and it didn't take Bridget long to become a full-fledged member of her pack

Once she had recovered from surgery and was the picture of health, we put her up for adoption ... but Dorothy could not let her go and decided to adopt her.

Rescued & adopted early 2011 ~ Lost to us September 2018

Rose and her sidekick Mary (adopted and renamed Maui) were dropped off at a kill shelter by an owner who simply stated, "We have too many dogs." Thanks to our good friend, Cindy, the girls were pulled from the shelter and transported to our rescue.

Thankfully, Joe and Helen were looking for a kitty friendly dog to add to their family, and they offered to give Rosie a chance by fostering her to see how she would do in a household with cats.

With the love of her new family, Rosie began to make great strides. Every week saw improvements -- sometimes very small improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

At first she preferred to sleep in the yard...

...but her new family's love was strong

Rosie proved to be a true cat lover

Adoption Day

Rosie's forever dad Joe wrote, "Hi Nancy, I wanted to let you know that we lost our Rosie last week. She had been fine. She was playing with her cats on Wednesday night and even Thursday morning. She was recently at the vet and doing great. We left the house Thursday morning at 8:30 and everything was normal. She needed to go outside before we left then she went and laid down on her bed as we were leaving just like she always did. Helen called me at 12:30 crying hysterically saying that Rosie was dead. ...The vet really didn't speculate on what happened.

Helen and I put a sheet over her and carried her out to the car still in her bed to take her to the vet to be cremated. It's been a little over a week and I'm starting to tear up as I write this! We cherish the time we had with her. I still remember the first time we met her at the park. She was so timid. She obviously had a rough life before your group rescued her. It took a couple months for her to come around. When we first took her for walks, her ears would be down and her tail between her legs. After a short time, she was happy! Ears up and tail wagging. She loved to go for walks so we took as often as we could. She was such a sweet girl and took such good care of her cats. Our house seems so lonely now!

I went to your website today and found the picture from when we first me her. Anyway, we will be contacting you soon to talk about another adoption. Thank you for everything! Joe

Rescued October 2010 ~ Lost to us August 20, 2018

Farewell "Punkin Eater"

Peter was rescued as a youngster from the east side MCACC in October of 2010. He started Boot Camp in early 2011, and was paired up with volunteer Traci almost immediately -- he was quite a handful to say the least. Peter required a strong, confident leader on the other end of his leash, and Traci was a good match for him. With time and patience, he and Traci qualified for his AKC Canine Good Citizen title in June of 2012 and was finally put up for adoption.

Peter found what we had hoped would be his forever home in October of 2012. Everything went well. Peter and his new dad attended Boot Camp regularly and so we were able to keep track of our latest "problem child." In March 2014, he earned his herding instinct title.

Have you seen my family?

A happy youngster

Starting Boot Camp with Bert

Boot Camp class with Traci

Canine Good Citizen

A family at last

Handsome boy

Water was NOT Peter's thing

Herding in 2014

Disaster struck for Peter in the summer of 2017, when his adoptive family made the decision to move back to family (and grandkids) in New York. His family didn't feel Peter was safe around young children, and so they made the decision to surrender him back to our rescue. We began the search once again for Peter's forever home ... and we found it!

We received an application from a family in Tucson. Since this would be Peter's final move from our care (and we really weren't convinced that he should be going anywhere), we were more than cautious, but once we met Gina, we knew she was the right adopter for our former problem child. Thank you, Gina, for loving Peter as much as we did and for giving him the home we had only dreamed of for him.

Peter's family wrote, "Dear Nancy It is with a heavy heart that Gina, and I email you. We unfortunately have lost Peter. We did all that we could with the vet, but the cancer took him so quickly we did not have much time to react. We have been grieving so we didn't get to email you soon. 8\20\18 was the official date we put him down. He was the best GS we could have asked for. We miss him dearly." Corey M.

MISTY (formerly known as "Mica" and/or "Mira")
Adopted June 2010 ~ Lost to us August, 2018

Misty came to us as "Mira" from Greely, Colorado, in March of 2009, thanks to the folks at West Ridge Animal Hospital who took Mira from the local shelter and got her to a place where she could search for her family -- White German Shepherd Rescue. Upon arrival, Mira went into training with Leah of Dog House Training Academy due to her dominant behavior, and graduated with honors. She was quickly fostered, then adopted by what we had hoped would be her forever family, and renamed Mica. We were devastated when, less than a year later, her adoptive dad passed away suddenly and Misty was dumped at a local animal shelter!

Misty was quickly retrieved and soon found forever with the Robert's family.

Her dad, Don, wrote: "With heavy hearts we had to let Misty cross over The Bridge yesterday. We lost her baby brother Hunter 2 months ago to an autoimmune disease that took him away so sudden and expectedly. Misty looked for him every day since.

We adopted Misty ... as an adult, who was a perfect match for our family. She and Hunter got along wonderfully, never having even one single spat in her 8 years with us. They would even eat out of the same bowl in complete harmony.

When we first got her, she had been through a lot. She would sit in the middle of the room looking worriedly at us wondering where she was and if she belonged here. Her first trip to the local park she freaked out at the sight and sound of running water and waterfalls. It's as if she didn't know anything about how to be a dog. What a turn around that became. Walking with Hunter at the park, and playing in the water became her favorite things. She became the perfect dog for us.


Misty developed a debilitating muscle condition that robbed her the use of her rear legs properly, and eventually began affecting her front. She would have trouble going through the doggie door. As a working couple we worried that she would eventually not make it on her own any more when we were at work. I know she had to be in pain, tho she never acted like it, and right up to the end, appeared to be a happy and otherwise healthy soul. But it was not fair to her to allow her to suffer any longer at the risk of being one day stranded outside in the extreme temperatures we are experiencing. We were faced with the sad and inevitable decision.

We miss her so much. We appreciate and thank you for your wonderful gift to our lives in this beautiful Lady. The house feels empty and too quiet. This is the first time in over 40 years that we don't have a dog in our lives. Just doesn't feel right.

R.I.P. Misty"

JAEGER (formerly known as "Mikey")
Owner surrendered April 2008 ~ Lost to us June, 2018

This one hit very close to home, as Mikey had started with our rescue as a very young puppy. Surrendered as a 10 week old puppy when the family found themselves in over their heads with this puppy with the huge attitude, Mikey was originally fostered by our founder in her home. And what a challenge he was! After a few months, Mikey was placed into a new home with a couple who promised to do right by Mikey -- they didn't and he was reclaimed less than a year later, but unfortunately the "damage" had been done and Mikey was worse off than he had been when we started! And so we began again ...

Up stepped the Cromey family. We couldn't have asked for a better match for Mikey. They took him on and saw it through with Mikey (now renamed Jaeger), dealing with each challenge as it came along, and loving him more and more every day. Constructing this memorial for Jaeger was difficult, because his family always kept in touch and sent us photos, but we tried to choose our favorites to honor the success of his adoptive family in making Jaeger all that he could be...

Hey, Mikey ... He Likes It!!!!

His first days in rescue

Meeting Bean the cat
Ears up ... finally ~ A total cutie

First bath

Adoption Day ~ October 2010

Mikey's former mom pays him a visit

Christmas 2010 - Still a challenge!
Best buddies

Christmas 2013
Hiking was one of his favorites
The ultimate (snow) ball dog!

A new family member

Ever the athlete

Christmas 2016 with his growing family
Who said I couldn't be placed with children?

Jaeger's mom, Karen, wrote: "Dear Nancy, It is with a sad heart that I tell you that we put Jaeger down last week. He went downhill very rapidly since my last email with you. His back end just gave out in spite of laser therapy and increased medication. The picture above is of our last morning together. We drove up into the mountains to a grassy valley where he could lay still and smell the cool air. He was a great dog. We would like to rescue another one. ...Thanks for all the work you do for these wonderful dogs." Karen

RUTH (fondly known by her family & friends as "Ruthie")
Rescued from a California shelter 7/2010 ~ Lost to us May 15, 2018

Ruthie was rescued from a California kill shelter in the summer of 2010. She was transported to us by our friend, John ("Wolfman") of Tundra Shepherd Rescue, immediately took up residence with foster mom, Sara, in Tucson ... and never left.


CHUSKA (formerly "Gretchen")
Rescued from a Texas shelter 12/2011 ~ Lost to us May, 2018

Chuska and her little sister were spotted in a rural Texas shelter by our good friend, Michelle, from SnoCapped Shepherd Rescue in Colorado. Michelle was able to take the little sister if we could take Chuska, and we agreed.

Coming across I-40 in the middle of the winter was no easy feat, but thanks to the wonderful volunteer transport team, Chuska arrived safe and sound in Phoenix.

Chuska was adopted in January 2012 by her forever mom Debbie.

Chuska's mom wrote, "Wanted to let you know that Chuska went to the Rainbow Bridge last week. She had degenerative myelopathy that finally (after two years of muscle building exercise) completely paralyzed her back legs. She was an unbelievably sweet dog that appeared to the uninformed to be a follower, but my other female German shepherd will tell you she had plenty of backbone! I think she was 12 or 13 years old, so she had a great life (after you rescued her and her sister from Texas). Even though I have two other German shepherds, the house feels a little empty."

Rescued from Eastside shelter 10/2016 ~ Lost to us April 16, 2018

Rescued from the eastside shelter after a call went out asking for help with a senior girl with a URI, Annie won the heart of our founder and became our resident "small dog tester." She had no fear of the bigger dogs, and put them in their places. We soon discovered that not only did Annie suffer from a heart murmer, she also had valley fever.

There was nothing Annie loved more than a good car ride; she was the best traveling companion and covered many miles with her mom. Not at all your typical small dog (chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix), Annie hated to be cuddled, held and pampered, but she did love her soft beds. She was independent and wanted to do things on her own, which we absolutely loved about her.

We only had her for a year and a half, but she was loved a lifetime's worth...

June 28, 2009 ~ Lost to us December, 2017

Although not white in color, Seishan and her fur-brother, Chinto, are members of our rescue family and "honorary whites."

Seishan started Boot Camp as a youngster with dad, Dave. At first, we were able to tell when Seishan had arrived for class even before we saw her -- she would loudly announce her arrival as soon as she got out of the car! As we watched over the coming months, the communication and partnership between these two grew and grew. There wasn't any challenge that these two couldn't conquer -- Rally, Herding 1 (Seishan's Herding Video) Herding 2, Therapy Work, Boot Camp -- they were a team, and Seishan was a rock star!

Starting Boot Camp

Learning focus

While still just a puppy, she took second place in our 2011 Top Dog competition with a score of 194-1/2

Rally competition

She only had eyes for dad...
Steady, sound and dependable, she was a dog-tester for many of our rescue furkids ~ males, females, puppies and pushy former stud dogs ~ Seishan took them all in stride

Seishan (at right) never missed her chance at Nancy's chicken treats during Boot Camp

Mom Mickey wrote, "I wanted to let you know we lost Seishan last Friday. She suffered a seizure two weeks ago while at a routine vet check up and after running tests, was found to have cancer spreading in her lungs. The vet didn't think chemo or radiation would help as the lungs were a secondary cancer site but we made an appointment to have an oncologist look at her. She didn't make it long enough to keep that appointment. I guess we're lucky she didn't suffer long as we had no warning she had cancer, but she's left a big hole in our lives. Thanks for welcoming her and us into your rescue group. We're grateful for all the help you and Bert provided to turn her into such a wonderful dog." Mickey & Dave

Dave & Mickey have made a donation to White GSD Rescue in memory of Seishan.

Rescued May 2011 ~ Lost to us December 14, 2017

Nelson came out of one of the worse shelters in California. He was said to be about a year old at the time and very shy. In July, Keith and Nancy stepped up and offered Nelson a home.

Moving in with Keith & Nancy

Learning to navigate a "scarey" hallway

Training at The Dog House

Adding a new sister, Fynn

...and finally at Santa Paws, 2017, just 11 days before his passing

While he never got over his shyness with strange people, places and things, in his own home, Nelson was a sweet and loving boy. According to Nelson's dad, Keith, "Nancy, it is with a heavy heart that I need to tell you that yesterday I had to make the very difficult decision to have Nelson put to sleep. About a week after you last saw Nelson he started to have diarrhea and suffered from incontinence followed by a swollen belly. I got Nelson to the vet who found his belly was swollen from blood; prognosis -- tumors on the spleen. She ordered ultrasounds to verify. The results were large tumors on the spleen and liver and heavy bleeding. Over this very short time, Nelson's ability to get up on his own had left him. After looking into his eyes I knew I had to make this difficult decision. I stayed with him to the end. I miss him terribly and hope he is in a better place."

Keith and Nancy sent a donation to White GSD Rescue in memory of Nelson: "Please accept this donation in loving memory of our friend, Nelson. He was a sweet and gentle dog, and we will miss him gretly. Thank you for rescuing him and for allowing us to become his forever home. Love Nancy & Keith

RIO (formerly "China")
Rescued in December 2007 ~ Passed peacefully at home November 22, 2017

Rio was rescued from the Phoenix westside shelter in December of 2007, where she had been left, along with two of her black & tan housemates, when her owner passed away. She found forever with Roxanne & Michelle in November of 2008, and passed away at home, one day short of the 9th year anniversary of her adoption.

Happily ever after ...

Rio loved cats!

Her mom wrote, "Our big, beautiful, beloved, happy girl passed away early this morning. We miss her so much. Thanks for everything and thanks for all you do!"

Rescued in March 2011 ~ Lost to us October, 2017

Rescued from the Phoenix westside shelter in March 2011, Riley adopted by his forever mom, Mindy, the following month

Mom Mindy wrote: "Hi Nancy, Just wanted to let you know that my sweet, handsome Riley lost his battle with lymphoma last month. We did chemo and he was in remission for months before the cancer returned. It was throughout his body, and I had to put him down. I will always cherish the 7 years I got to have with him, but wish we had more years. He was a terrific dog and I will miss him forever." Mindy

Rescued in February 2011 ~ Lost to us November 11, 2017

Divine was rescued from a California kill shelter in February of 2011. She was first fostered and then adopted by her loving mom, Ellen, in March 2011

Ellen wrote, "My beautiful dog Divine was truly a divine dog. Her name perfectly described her. Her nickname was Diva for short and that suited her also. Such a beauty. We all loved her so much and she will be so missed as she passed away today but her pain has ended and I know she is running with lots of friends, her guardian angel and chasing bunnies in heaven. She loved cats and they loved her but she liked to chase bunnies. She loved to run but couldn't anymore and now she can run all over again with no more pain. Farewell sweet girl until we meet again on the other side. You were my baby and I love you so much." Your mommy

LAYLA (aka "Lady" of the Coachella Sisters)
Saved from a California kill shelter in August 2010 ~ Lost to us September 6, 2017

Layla and her twin sister, Lita, were rescued from the Coachella (California) Shelter in August of 2010. Known as the "Coachella Sisters," they each found their forever homes.

Lita (at left) and Lady

On adoption day at left, and with best bud Cole at right

Sadly, a too short 7 years later, Layla unexpectedly developed labored breathing and coughing, She was taken to the vet, and her family received the sad news that she had cancer in her lungs, liver and spleen with fluid in her chest. (According to her mom, "It was just like Layla to never show us that she was not feeling well, she was always so happy to please everyone else." Layla rapidly worsened, very restless and grunting with breathing. Her mom stayed up with her all night knowing that the next morning would be a difficult day. So very sadly, Layla was put to sleep Wednesday morning to end her suffering. She went very peacefully.

Layla's heartbroken forever mom wrote, "Layla was the sweetest, most well behaved companion that anyone could of ever wish for. She was very spoiled by us. I know that I gave her the best life that I could. She enjoyed the dog park and walks. She also had one of the largest dog toy collections ever! I have never seen a dog get so happy about a new toy. She would proudly carry around a new toy and show it off for days...then pull all the stuffing out all over the floor. I wanted to write to you and tell you thank you for the wonderful gift you gave us in Layla. You did a wonderful job matching her to our family. Layla was the best, well behaved, loving dog that we could of ever hoped for. My husband and I need some time to heal our broken hearts from Layla's unexcepted and rapid illness, but we may return. We love the WGS breed so much and I trust that you could help us find the right one for us again. I am sending you a donation to your rescue site in memory of our beautiful Layla so you can continue to help others in need. Again, thank you so much for bringing Layla into our lives. She was a wonderful addition to our family that brought us so much joy. Layla will live in our hearts forever! With great thanks." Gayle Kohlmann

CHRISTMAS SNOW (aka "Bunny")
Saved from a California kill shelter on Christmas Eve 2015 ~ Lost to us August 2, 2017

How we first saw Bunny in a kill shelter in California

After some TLC

Bunny improved with each passing month

In Boot Camp with volunteer Di

We found Bunny, close to death, in a kill shelter. She had been confiscated as a neglect case, and it was a struggle to get the shelter to release her. We finally won the battle and had Bunny transported out of hell on Christmas Eve.

She spent her first weeks at Crossroads, recovering, after which she was brought to Phoenix in search of her forever home. Unfortunately, it was not to be. After a cancer diagnosis and successful surgery in January 2016, Bunny began the search for her forever family. But, she was selective about who she would let into her life, and the search dragged on for many months. She had several successful introductions, but none were the right family for our special girl.

After a valley fever diagnosis in July 2017, it was decided that Bunny would spend the rest of her life (however long or short) with one of our staff members. She was put on medication in hopes that we could at least improve her quality of life.

UPDATE 8/1: Bunny stopped eating last night -- very uncommon for our girl who LOVES food. Her favorite person, Katherine, fixed her a late night snack of scrambled eggs and tucked her in for the night ... unfortunately, early the next morning the eggs were there, untouched, and our Bunny was gone. Whether it was the cancer that had reoccurred, or the valley fever that had spread; we will never know. Farewell, my sweet Bunny Rabbit. You will be missed ~ who's going to give everyone a hard time when they come over?
BOGART (aka "Bogie")
Adopted December 2012 ~ Lost to us July 8, 2017

Bogie in Dec 2015 at WGSD fundraiser

Bogie's mom, Eileen wrote, "Today, my sweet prince, Bogie, was peacefully euthanized at home surrounded by his family. He was 13 years old. We had successfully managed his arthritis and declining hips with medication for a long time. We continued to enjoy many walks together over the five years he was our baby but the walks grew shorter and this week there were none. After agonizing over the decision I knew I had to make, I found Dr. Morrison (with Pet Home Euthanasia). She came to our home and provided Bogie with a loving, quiet passage. I am heartbroken but at peace too.

When we first met Bogie, I remember thinking why adopt an 8 year old dog? But, it has truly been the most wonderful thing. I can't begin to tell you how special and sweet this dog was. I will miss him very much. Thank you, Nancy and White German Shepherd Rescue for bringing Bogie into our lives. Thank you.

Adopted February 27, 2006 ~ Lost to us May 15, 2017

Stryker was brought to a vet in Las Vegas by his owner, who requested that the 11 month old, personality plus boy be euthanized due to hip dysplasia. Euthanasia? Not gonna happen!

Arrival in Phoenix

Stryker & Betty

Thanks to our dear friends, Becky & Phil, Stryker was rescued from the vet's office and transported to Phoenix, where he was picked up by White GSD Rescue. He immediately went into foster care with our long-time foster Betty, who saw him through the restricted activity period prescribed by the specialist in Vegas. Once Stryker was allowed to resume normal activity, he was sent for water therapy at Canine Physical Rehabilitation of the Southwest.

Water therapy

Shortly thereafter, Stryker was adopted by his forever dad, Robert

On Stryker's passing, Robert wrote: Just wanted to let you know I had to say goodbye to Stryker today. Last 48 hours he couldn't support his back end, wouldn't eat and we found a large mass in his stomach. Again thank you for giving me several wonderful years with him. Robert made a generous donation to White GSD Rescue in loving memory of Stryker ... thank you, Robert for paying it forward and helping other dogs receive the love and care that Stryker did.

Adopted October 13, 2005 ~ Lost to us March 17, 2017

Laci was only a youngster when she was given up by her owner when his wife passed away (in New Mexico). After arranging transport, a foster home was found for her with what turned out to be her forever family.


On placement day

Laci's family wrote: I just wanted to let you know that our sweet baby girl Laci passed away 3/17/2017. She was the joy of our lives and we miss her everyday. Thank you for helping to bring us together."

TALA (formerly Nevada)
Rescued in 2006 at 18 months ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge 2/13/2017
Tala was rescued, along with her male counterpart, Weiss, from a kill shelter in Pasadena, California, in April of 2006. She was subsequently adopted by her forever parents, Art and Peggy. An email from her dad in February 2017, said, "Just wanted to let you know that we sent our beautiful, loving, protective Tala to the Rainbow Bridge about an hour ago. She had lost most of both her front and back her bowel control. She was not in any pain. She was loved strongly...and she had a good 10+ years with us...and we are grateful to you for providing her to us." ~Art
12/17/04 ~ 2/2/2017

When Angel and Crystal's owner (a dear friend of one of our staff member's) died in Minnesota in September 2013, there was no one to step up and care for Angel and her "sister," Crystal. With winter closing in fast on Minnesota, it was imperative that the dogs make their way to Phoenix, and fast!!

Angel (right) and her sister, Crystal, in happier times

If we could get the girls to Kansas City, they could catch a flight to Denver, where they would be met by our dear friend, Michelle, of Sno-Capped Shepherd Rescue. A plea was posted for transport for the two girls, and our favorite rescue transport coordinator, Katrina, stepped up to help! Katrina moved the girls as far as Kansas City, where they jumped on the CARE wagon and made their way to Colorado. After an overnight stay in Colorado with Michelle, the girls were delivered to the airport and flown to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they spent the night with Dave. The next morning, the girls completed the final leg of their journey to White German Shepherd Rescue in Phoenix.

Once the girls arrived safely, they were listed for adoption -- but finding someone to take on two fully grown shepherds is not an easy task, and we were faced with the dilemma of whether or not they would have to be separated.

In answer to our prayers, Chriss applied to adopt both girls! It seemed like a match made in heaven ... and it was.

Adoption Day!

Even as Angel's back legs began to fail her, Chriss made sure that that didn't stop or slow her down one bit. Our thanks to Mickey and Dave for the loan of the cart. Angel LOVED it!

In the end, Chriss wrote: "My sweetest Angel went to Heaven last night. She fought a brave battle and persevered through all of her challenges. She was the strongest soul I have ever known. I will miss her and love her forever ... thank you for all your help in bringing her to me! ...She is back with her first mommy now, running and jumping!"

LUNA (formerly Hannah)
Rescued in January 2010 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge New Year's Eve 2016
Rescued in January 2007 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge December 2016
Rescued in July 2015 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge November 4, 2016

Found in a local kill shelter, we couldn't have saved Fox without her foster mom, Christina, who stepped up to foster Fox, sight unseen, and wound up keeping her when she couldn't bear to give her up. Our profound thanks go out to her for giving Fox more than a year of life (and a good life it was) that she would not have otherwise had. Goodbye, sweet Fox.

(formerly Princess)
Rescued in January 2009 (age unknown) ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge September 3, 2016

Sami and her tiny family of four were rescued from a high kill shelter in California after being dumped (almost full term pregnant) by her uncaring owner. We knew from experience that the chance for the puppies' survival was very slim (puppies born in a shelter environment rarely survive), but we wanted to give them all a chance and, at the very least, offer Sami a new lease on life in Phoenix.

We found Princess pretty much as we had been told -- frozen solid with fear and very depressed -- but taking excellent care of her babies. We brought her to Phoenix with high hopes, but by the end of January, all four of the puppies had succumbed to whatever they had picked up at the shelter, and Princess herself was struggling.

By the time the end of March rolled around, Sami was healthy, spayed, up-to-date on shots and ready to rock and roll with a new family. In stepped our dear friend, volunteer and supporter, Di, and her pack (Shiloh & Missy) to offer Sami a place of her own. She accepted on the spot!!

Missy was kind enough to share her "laundry basket" bed

The pack has changed slightly over the years, now consisting of Buddy and Zenith, but Sami doesn't mind having a new brother and sister

We are eternally grateful to Di and her pack for giving our little Sami the loving home she wanted and so richly deserved. She wasn't a shepherd by any stretch of the imagination ... but she didn't know that...

Rescued from AZ Humane in May 2005 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge August 15, 2016

The memorial you never want to write is the one about your own dog ... the one you rescued, fought for, struggled with, cried over, and the one whose barrier you finally broke through, simply because you were more stubborn than he was and, of course, because you loved him. Sid's capture by the Arizona Humane Society was featured on Animal Planet Heroes - Phoenix in 2005. It was not until I watched the show (well after Sid was already a member of my family) that I saw how wild Sid was and what it took to capture him - he had to be shot with a tranquilizer gun!

Our first view of Sid at AHS

When we went to the AHS to evaluate Sid, we were told that he simply sat in his kennel, refusing to walk or move under his own power. His ears were so badly infected that they simply would not stand; we honestly believed he would be deaf, but he surprised us and only had "selective deafness" once we got the infections cleared up. When we met him, he was carried into the lobby by the AHS, where I joined him on the floor. After submitting to my petting for a short period of time, he moved away and into a corner. No sooner had I uttered the words to Bert, "I don't think we're going to be able to help this one," when Sid slowly walked across the lobby floor (moving under his own power for the first time to the amazement of the AHS staff) and placed his muzzle in Bert's cupped hand. I was hooked! We named Sid after Sid, the sloth, in the movie "Ice Age," because his picture seemed to say to us (as Sid says in the movie), "Doesn't anybody love me? Doesn't anybody care?" We cared and took Sid home.

Sid lived his first few months in my home office, which is our "quarantine" ward. He delighted at the constant company and attention that he was afforded and made himself at home right away on my office sofa.

Posing for the Animal Planet crew

After Sid had been with us for several months, Animal Planet came back and did a follow-up on him (look for reruns of "The Desert" on Animal Planet). When we felt it was time, Sid was put up for adoption. Little did we know that Sid had other ideas. Every time we tried to introduce him to a prospective family, as soon as we put Sid's leash into their hands, he would buck like a bronco and refuse to go with them! After the third such display in as many months, my heart broke for him and I could no longer submit him to what he obviously viewed as torture. Sid was mine and home to stay.

A reluctant student at Boot Camp

Home for Christmas

So proud of the vest Sara made for him

He was a crowd pleaser

Katherine with Shadia, Sid, Sara and Corey after the Veterans Day Parade

"Sid was our ambassador and the symbol of what rescue is all about. He was our triumph and a reminder of why we do what we do. He was my special goofball; he passed quietly on a Monday morning. I was privileged to be his forever mom for more than 11 years and I will miss him more than I can ever say. There will never be another one like him; of that I am certain." ~Nancy

Ain't it the truth?

A poem written in memory of Sid

Rescued in February 2000 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge July 8, 2016

Annie & her best friend
Rescued in April 2011 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge July 2016

Bella Angel graduates from obedience school
MAUI (formerly "Mary")
Adopted in 2011 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge May 31, 2016

Maui came to us from a shelter in Lake Elsinore, California, along with her fursister, Rose. Maui was fostered, and then adopted by her wonderful family. With them she experienced many adventures, and led the life we had dreamed of for her.

On adoption day

At the beach

In the forest

Poolside at home

At (or in) the lake

In the mountains

Best place of all ~ home

From Maui's family: "Sadly, we had to let Maui go yesterday. Her 2 month battle with cancer was getting the best of her. With declining health and no more quality of life we made the difficult decision before she had any pain or suffering. We did not want her to experience that. ...We tried our best to give her a wonderful life and hope that we succeeded somewhat. As part of our family, she knew safety, comfort and love. Maui went many places with us, including out to eat, hikes, day trips, numerous vacations and camp trips (of course anything with water was her favorite). Maui had a fur brother and then sister whom she loved and they loved her. Sorry to have such sad news. We want to thank you again for saving her for us. Our lives were so much richer having her in it and she will be missed more than words can say." Himes family

Adopted in December 2003 ~ Went to Rainbow Bridge May 9, 2016

Pulled from a Los Angeles shelter in October 2003

Niki was fostered and then adopted by Lisa

Niki with Lisa's cat, Cujo

When we found Niki, she had been dumped, along with her puppies. Rescued and brought to Phoenix, her coat was like straw, but that didn't stop Lisa from scooping her up and making her welcome in her home the moment she saw her. It soon became clear that Niki had already found her forever with Lisa.

With Lisa's love, Niki blossomed
Adopted in 2007 ~ Lost to us 4/3/2016

A love affair from the start

Adopted for Christmas

Always her first love & protector

Rascal came to us from Yuma -- a rescue friend of ours, Cyndi, had spotten a bloody Rascal coming out of her vet's office with his owner. She stopped and asked if the owner was interested in finding a rescue for her dog and, thankfully, she was. To say that Rascal was a handful was an understatement, but in Dorothy's hands, he was a completely different dog. He adored her. He chose her as his person and gave her his all. He was her protector and heart dog until epilepsy finally took him from her.

Rascal in his prime

A picture is worth a thousand words ...

Never was a dog more loved ... You fought bravely, Rascal. Rest in Peace. Dorothy will meet you at Rainbow Bridge ... some day.

While not a white GSD by any stretch of the imagination, Buddy was loved nonetheless by our friend, adopter and volunteer Sara. "Buddy was left with me by a friend for dog sitting, and never got picked up. He was at least 12 years old, and I loved him very much. He was my felly. He became sick suddenly, and crossed to the bridge within an hour on March 3, 2016."
Adopted in 2011 ~ Lost to cancer 11/13/2015

Pulled from a California kill shelter in November of 2012, King was adopted by his forever family in early February of 2013. Sadly, he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. His younger sister, Tilly, is lost without him, as are his forever folks, Jeff and Lauren.
Adopted in 2009 ~ Lost to cancer 11/13/2015

Kevin was rescued from the Westside shelter in June of 2009. At his first foster home with Betty, Kevin blossomed in the company of Betty's menagerie. But, in less than a month, Kevin found his heart's desire -- a family of his own. Scott and Kynah stepped up and offered Kevin a home...and what a home it was ~ first in Scottsdale and then to the rural mountains of Colorado.
At intake

Kevin with foster Betty
Kevin loved to run in the park with Kynah

Hamming it up with Kynah

Kevin became the happy boy we had always hoped he would be, thanks to Scott and Kynah.

At home in Colorado with sister Lexi

No dog could have been more adored... Farewell, big fella. You will be missed.

Adopted in 2013 ~ Lost to cancer 11/4/2015
Bobby was adopted in November 2013 and spent the last 2 years of her life as a "snowbird," wintering in Phoenix and summering in Washington. She loved her life as a traveling "motor home dog" and will be sorely missed by her loving family, the Moores.
BRIO (formerly Krypto)
Adopted in 2009 ~ Lost to cancer 9/9/2015

Our profound thanks to Debbie, for making Brio the king of her castle

From Debbie: "He was a big, hysterical, (sometimes) destructive force of nature, but underneath all that crazy was a sweet boy that never hurt a fly. He added a huge amount of energy to my home and I miss him a lot."

Adopted in 2013 ~ Lost to us 9/6/2015

Robby was diagnosed with a heart murmur, but that didn't stop Roger from adopting him in 2013. Robby was sent to Rainbow Bridge by a speeding vehicle on an otherwise deserted street in the early morning hours of Labor Day weekend Sunday.

From Roger: "What a guy he was! As my neighbor put it, 'His entuusiasm and zest for life were contagious. I have never seen any creature enjoy life more. We will miss his happy face." Yes, we will.

SAMSON (formerly Andrew)

Samson was pulled from the westside shelter in 2013 and adopted shortly thereafter. Sadly, he was lost in July 2015 after a short but devastating illness.

Samson's adopters wrote: "I am sorry to say that 23 months after getting our big, beautiful Samson from a rescue group, he suddenly and very unexpectedly had to be put down yesterday. He was only 6 years old.

The weekend was filled with family and joy as we celebrated Michelle's 'White Coat' ceremony. Samson was in the thick of it and loving all the attention, but staying on guard duty and charging to the door when ever the door bell rang. He did have a slight cough and we were going to have him seen on Monday. Monday morning our poor boy could not walk or stand. We rushed him to the ER and a chest X-ray revealed many small tumors throughout his lungs. The doctors believe the tumors were a secondary cancer from an unknown primary. The absolute only recommendation was euthanasia, that day. We brought him home in Richie's arms, to say goodbye to his human and fur family and then we took that long last ride.

To say we are devastated is an understatement. This boy, though with us such a short time, made a immense impact on us all. I have never felt more connected to a dog in my life, and we have had some great ones. Our love for him was profound and now our sense of loss is as well.

I just want to add that he was smart, always doing his job of protecting, loving and filled with enthusiasm for life. Every morning he would be so excited, big tail knocking everything down and pushing into me for affection. I would always say with the enthusiasm he gave me, 'Good morning beautiful boy, good morning my Samson!' :)"


Pulled from one of the worst (and highest kill) shelters in CA, Tommy (one of our first "golden" shepherds ~ at left above in happier times) found forever in August of 2011. Sadly, he was lost to cancer in 2015.
ICE (formerly Ajo)

Ice was pulled from the Ajo substation of Pima County AC&C and adopted by his forever family in 2011. Sadly, he was lost to bloat in July 2015.
CRYSTAL (formerly Christol)

Crystal & best friend Gem

Pulled from a California shelter after her owners surrendered her due to a move, Crystal was transported to Arizona and quickly found joy with a new family in early 2011. Her forever was not as long as we hoped it would be ... she was diagnosed with IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) in October of 2014 and her heartbroken family made the difficult decision to let her go. According to her folks, "She was a beautiful, sweet girl. Her fur-sister, Gem will also miss her very much. They were so close & great friends. Thank-you for taking this beautiful girl in that she became a part of our family. We will all miss her." Don & Dawn J & Gem

DEXTER (aka Gentle Ben)
We are saddened beyond works to hear that our "Gentle Ben" (adopted in 2003 and renamed "Dextranamous Blanc Duke of Dogmalia") passed away in his sleep on September 4, 2014. Dexter and his young owner, Hannah, went everywhere together.

Adopted in December of 2006, Toni lost her battle to cancer in July of 2014. From her adoptive family, "Last week, Toni lost her battle to Cancer of the spleen and liver. We are missing her greatly and she was a cherished member of our family for the past 7 1/2 years. She leaves behind her WGSD companion Charlie who is missing her greatly! Toni was a sweet little girl who loved to swim in the pool and she took many trips to the dog beach in San Diego where she loved to play and swim in the surf! She loved life and really had a good 'ole time. Thank you for bringing her into our lives. Toni will be forever in our hearts." Rod and Gina

Toni's parents have made a generous donation to our rescue in memory of Toni. Thank you!

Pulled from a Tucson shelter near death by devoted mom Sara, senior Bronco wasn't expected to last the week, let alone three and a half years. He had the best years of his life thanks to Sara. The patriach of her pack will be sorely missed. Fare well, old man.

Adoption Day

She loved her dad...

...and Lay's potato chips

Dressed for Halloween

Definitely the queen

Celebrating her birthday in 2014
Pulled from the Lied shelter in Las Vegas in 2008, Pearl was fostered and ultimately adopted by our dear friends Becky and Phil in 2010. She was a character without comparison and loved beyond words. You will be missed by all who knew you...
Our condolences to WGSDR volunteer and dear friend, Traci, on the loss of her adopted white GSD Zack (adopted from WGSDR in 2006). We couldn't have asked for a better home or a more loving owner for one of our furkids. Thank you, Traci.
SHEBA (Formerly Beckie from Lied in Vegas)
Adopted by her foster dad Ralph in February 2008, Sheba led the life of a queen until her sudden demise in January 2014
Adopted in January 2008 ~ lost to cancer July 2013

Our condolences go out to adopters Amaya & Aitana on the loss of Shawnee, who came to us after our staff member did a Petfinder search (for no particular reason), and found a white GSD in a shelter in Idaho by the name of Shawnee. Having lost contact with her dear friend in Idaho who had a white GSD by the name of Shawnee exactly the same age, the struggle was on to identify Shawnee (she was, in fact, the friend's dog), reclaim Shawnee (our staff member was actually her co-owner) and bring her to Arizona. Upon arriving in Phoenix, Shawnee met and stole the hearts of Amaya and her family in February 2004. Farewell, sweet girl. We wish you as much happiness as you have brought to your family...
Our condolences to WGSDR volunteer and dear friend, Traci, and to Zack (adopted from WGSDR in 2006) on the loss of their kitty friend, Basia

Carie Grace was found in a California shelter in September 2012, being held as "evidence" in an abuse/neglect case -- but what the shelter did was far worse than Carie Grace's owner ever did...they sat back and watched her grow worse every day.

We were finally able to secure Carie Grace's release! Thanks to Tric who stepped up to foster Carie Grace in California until she was well enough for transport.

In late November, Carie Grace was transported from California to Phoenix and into the arms of her anxiously awaiting foster mom, Dorothy. Under Dorothy's care, Carie Grace thrived and became a beautiful, loving senior. Ultimately, Dorothy made the decision to adopt Carie Grace, and we couldn't have been happier.

Carie Grace died on the evening of December 2, 2013, in the loving hands of her foster/adoptive mom Dorothy. We know, without a doubt, that Carie Grace was loved more in the last year of her life than she ever had been. God speed, beautiful girl. Our best gift to you was your new mom, Dorothy. No one could have loved you more...

JINGLES (formerly Jennie)
Jingles came to us from The Animal Foundation of Las Vegas. She came very close to being a "foster failure" for one of our staff members, but was ultimately adopted in December of 2004 by her forever mom Kristie. Jingles lead a life we can only dream of for our rescue dogs. Rest in Peace, Jingles. We hope there are tennis balls in heaven... From Jingles' forever mom, "It is with great sadness that I tell you Jingles crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. She was a wonderful companion to my every day for 9 years. Her unconditional love, goofy personality, and all the joy she brought me will always be remembered. Thank you, Nancy, for helping me adopt Jingles." Kristie

CHRISTMAS 2013: Jingles' mom has made a donation to White GSD Rescue in her memory: "In memory of my beautiful white princess. you live on in my heart."

Saved from death by a fellow rescue group, we were asked to take Freddy on in January of 2013. Once Sara spotted him, she had to have him...she gave him the best 10 months of his life. No dog could have asked for more. Bye, bye, Freddy. We'll see you again.

Carson came to us in January of 2005 from a high kill shelter in California

Carson on day of rescue and on adoption day

No dog could have been more loved

In 2009, Carson was inducted into the White German Shepherd Dog Club International's Hall of Fame for saving the life of his adoptive family

Carson lost his battle with cancer in August 2013 ~ we will miss your big heart ... you are our hero. Rest in Peace gallant one. From his mom, Jean, "Thank you again for the work that you do and for giving me the opportunity to feel the joy and happiness this boy brought into my life and the unconditional love he has always shown."

Carson's mom, Jean, has made a donation to White GSD Rescue in Carson's honor. Thank you, Jean. You gave Carson the home we had hoped for for him.


Teton came to us after a California breeder placed him in northern California and then failed to keep track of him. After being placed by another rescue, then turned in to a kill shelter, Teton found his way to White German Shepherd Rescue in early 2009, and ultimately to his forever home. We are saddened beyond words to learn that Teton's forever was cut short due to lymphoma on July 3, 2013. No dog could have asked for more love than Teton found with his forever family. Rest in Peace sweet boy. You will be missed...

Pulled from a high kill shelter in Las Vegas at the age of four, Zena found forever in early 2006. She was sent to the bridge on December 13, 2012. Safe journey brave girl.
Reborn 8/15/10 - 11/15/12

After Luke's owner was sent to prison, so was Luke. He wound up at the Carrollton, Texas shelter, with little hope of survival...until his Guardian Angels came together to save him.

Allison spotted Luke and asked for our help

He was flown to Flagstaff from
Carrollton in the fall of 2010

When Sara saw him, she knew she had to have him...

...the rest of the family agreed

Hurry, mom, I hear the ice cream man coming!

Doin' the "shepherd shuffle" with mom

His life with his new family may not have been the longest, but it was the best time of his life. No dog could have been more loved...
Picked up in Wickenburg in July of 2005 after her owner passed away, shy little Chekota found sanctuary with the Eisen family until her passing on October 28, 2012, at the age of 11. Kota's parents, Marc and Eileen, have made a donation to WGSDR in her memory for which we are eternally grateful.
5/7/1999 - 10/17/2012

With his kitty, Belle

A regal senior

In his prime

Herding at age 10
SHANE (formerly Amos)
Rescued from the Apache Junction shelter in January of 2008, Amos found his forever family (and a new name) with the Daniels just a few months later. He left for Rainbow Bridge on October 7, 2012, after suffering a suspected hermangiosarcoma. We're sure the others heard you coming at the Bridge...we'll see you again one day.
Rescued from the Arizona Humane Society early in the summer of 2010, White GSD Rescue staff members fought hard for Scout's life when he became very ill shortly thereafter. After many weeks, Scout finally showed signs of improvement and, miracle of miracles, he was adopted by Sarah in early September. Our joy was to be relatively short lived when, on August 7, 2012, less than 2 years after finding his forever mom, Scout was sent to the bridge after a diagnosis of advanced bone cancer. He and Sarah spent his last morning enjoying a walk through the park together -- with Scout on heavy doses of steroids and pain medication -- after which Sarah held Scout as he left us. Be well, sweet boy.
11/11/2003 - 2/5/2012

Dumped at the eastside shelter as a puppy in the summer of 2004, Kori showed us the meaning of the old saying..."One man's trash is another man's treasure."
Soon after her rescue, it was discovered that Kori had megaesophagus (a deformity of the esophagus that makes eating difficult and throwing up a way of life). Her chances for adoption seemed slim...until Sara found her.

She learned to eat standing on her hind legs...

...and was spoiled by her mom

Against all odds, she grew into a beautiful adult

She guarded her home against all intruders

From time to time she'd borrow mom's car to take Ohso and Qapa for ice cream

And always stood watch for mom to come home from work

We will miss you, Kori Doodle
Kori passed away in her sleep at almost 9 years of age. The life expectancy of a "mega dog" is 2 years. Kori beat all the odds and was truly her mom's treasure.
RUDI (formerly Randy)

We have told the story often of the day long ago when we conducted Rudi (then Randy's) home visit in 2004. The home was immaculate...not a speck of dust or dog hair to be found. To our staff member, this did not bode well for a GSD that sheds year-round. The potential adopter sat on the kitchen floor with Rudi and began stroking his beautiful coat; our staff member winced as she saw the large ball of fur that was accumulating on Rudi's back...more with each stroke of her hand. We saw doom...but the adopter saw gold and began sprinkling the fur around the floor stating, "I've really missed dog hair." The adoption was approved on the spot. Rudi left for the Bridge in November 2010.
Logan and his mom, Lana, were rescued in December 2005. Logan immediately captivated Graeme and Valerie, who fostered then adopted the little white ball of energy. Sadly, Logan was lost to Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on February 4, 2011.

"Logan you made us smile everyday and we will miss your smiling, happy eyes and wet kisses. You gave us so much in your short life and we will never forget you." Love, Mom, Dad & fursister Spice


Adopted from our rescue in November of 2004, Capri (formerly Isis) led the life of a queen until her untimely death in late January 2011 from a ruptured splenetic mass. Her mom, Jen, and furbrother Duke are lost without her.
Baby was adopted by her forever family in April of 2007. She was their pride and joy, and they treated her like a princess. In the winter of 2010, the family home was foreclosed upon, and the family was forced to move into a rental that did not allow dogs. Faced with the prospect of returning Baby Girl to our rescue, the family pleaded with their new landlord and scraped together the cash to allow Baby Girl to move with them. All was well, but Baby Girl did not understand the move and, as her German Shepherd loyalty compelled her to do, she tried to return to the former family home. Her family frantically searched for her; she was found by the side of the road, still wearing her Christmas sweater. Christmas was not joyful in this family's home this year.
Adopted from our rescue in 2005, "Sasha developed from quite a fearful state to being a calm but nicely timid friend. Our daily walks were a wonderful way to start or end the day. Not surprisingly, because of her beauty she provided a positive moment in the lives of the many, many people we met on the walks or pulled their cars over and commented on what a beautiful dog she was! Since Charlene works from home, Sasha was always ready to be a friend when things got frustrating with work and in any case always made Charlene and me happy simply by her presence. We miss her greatly, but have wonderful memories." (With love from her forever folks, Ken & Charlene)

Keena & best buddy Boomer

Our condolences go out to the Todd family on the loss of Keena, adopted from our rescue 7 years ago.

"She was a good girl to the end."


Pulled from the eastside shelter in June of 2005, after spending some time at Sheriff Joe's MASH Unit, Sugar was fostered then adopted by her forever family. She lost her brief battle with cancer at Christmastime 2010.

Adopted November 2009 - August 8, 2010

We are saddened beyond words to add another of our dear friend Sara's rescued furpack to our memorial page. Hercules, who was turned into a shelter in Los Angeles in October of 2009, was fostered and then adopted by Sara. Herc lived a king's life until he was called to Rainbow Bridge early this morning after a brief illness.

Adopted June 6, 2004 - April 26, 2010

We share in the loss of our beloved OhSo. Saved from the Apache Junction shelter by a staff member and loved beyond words by her forever mom, Sara.

Rest in peace joyful girl. The forever home we found for you was beyond our expectations. We will continue to make sure that all of our rescue furkids are are lucky as you...

(formerly "Wendy")
Our hearts go out to the Hale Family on their sudden loss of Kia (formerly Wendy), saved from a California shelter in September, and adopted from our rescue in January 2010.

Kia was diagnosed with an intestinal tumor and went to Rainbow Bridge on May 5, 2010, to await her forever family.

(formerly "Lisa")

Our condolences to Kathy & Jerry K on the untimely death of Sophie Mae (formerly Lisa)...Jerry shared her "starlet" photo with us, and we share it with you here...


Our condolences go out to our foster mom/volunteer/adopter/supporter and dear friend, Dorothy on the loss of Conner.

Conner was rescued from a Las Vegas shelter in July of 2006. At that time, we were told she was about 3 to 5 years old. Conner was placed with Dorothy in November of that year (picture at left), and when it came time for introductions to prospective adopters, Dorothy could not bear to see her go and so Conner joined her family. When Conner became ill in November 2009, a vet gave us the startling news that Conner was not the age we had been told, but was at least 12 years old. Conner passed away on December 1st after a brief illness.

WGSDR wishes to express our condolences to the von Sonnwalden family on the loss of husband, father and Yuma's (formerly Snow White) adoptive dad, Michael

Rest in Eternal Peace

Our deep appreciation to the friends of the von Sonnwalden family who sent donations to our rescue in Michael's memory:

John & Deborah Letcher
Tom & Louise Clark
Ulrich & Candice Warnat
Fran Iversen
Patricia Hemingway
Herrod & Kawahakut Families
Margret Burke
Dave & Mary Matako
Linda & Robert Perone
Carol Tucker
B.J. Coopes & Paul Williams
Kathy & Kaye Bells

 We grieve with foster mom and volunteer Sara on the loss of her best friend, Qapa on November 12, 2009.

Sara is pictured at left with Ohso (adopted from our rescue in 2004), Kori (adopted from our rescue in 2004) and Qapa


Beth was found in the Harbor Animal Care & Control Shelter in western Los Angeles. We agreed to take her and had transport in place when we were informed that Beth had been euthanized. We're not sure what happened as a rescue's name was on her and the shelter KNEW we had committed to taking her. According to a Coastal GS Rescue volunteer, who was helping us get Beth out of Harbor AC&C, her death was "basically an error...someone did not input [into the computer] that we were picking up. They had us as an interest but that was it. They euthed her when closed on Monday. We had just been there on sad. They said she stopped responding to flagyl and had very bad bloody diarrhea." So, a combination of events prevented Beth from coming to Phoenix in search of her forever home. We don't know that we could have helped her, but we feel cheated that we were not given the opportunity to try.
Maxx (formerly Elvis) came to us via the Arizona Humane Society in October 2008. Grossly overweight with edema in his rear legs, his future looked pretty bleak...that is until Arlene came into his life. She took Maxx on as her project, vowing to get him into shape and healthy--and she did. Maxx lost a lot of weight and the swelling almost disappeared. His future finally had turned around, until early May 2009, when Max wound up in the emergency clinic with what was finally diagnosed as a bleeding ulcer (xrays also revealed that Maxx had been SHOT--his body was riddled with buckshot). He was given 36 hours at most. But, Maxx rallied and was able to go on a family outing the following weekend to Potato Lake. According to Arlene, during the outing he was happy and full of energy and everyone thought that the worst was behind him. However, it was not to be. On May 12th, Maxx woke up and decided he had had enough. He passed quietly.

"I didn't have him very long but he was loved like no other dog. I will miss him so much. Aspen and I are better for having met him. He will be forever etched in our memories and thoughts. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to spend some time with him. He was a gentle giant. Arlene

Maxx on his last family outing

While probably not a German Shepherd of any color, Woozle was in good company...our condolences to her mom, Dorothy, and the remaining members of her pack--Rascal, Conner & Harley


Baby was rescued by Sara out of the Tucson shelter in August of 2006. She was earmarked to come to Phoenix in search of her forever home, but Sara couldn't bear to part with her. On February 16, 2009, Sara helped Baby on her journey to Rainbow Bridge.
Bear (formerly George) came to our rescue in early June of 2007 from the Westside Shelter

From Diane who picked him up at the shelter, to Pat the Dog Lady who gave him a temporary place to go, to Betty who offered him a foster home until he ultimately found his forever home with Jane, Bear touched us all. Good bye, Bear-Bear. We'll miss you.
Claire and Conner were rescued from a Las Vegas high kill shelter in July 2006. She was soon adopted by her forever family -- Maggie, Hannah, Stephanie & JT.

Claire died from complications of Valley Fever on August 17, 2008. She was taken from her family much too soon, but we take comfort in the fact that she lived the last years of her life doing what she loved best -- loving and protecting her family.

Click on the photos to read about Lily's rescue, rehabilitation & adoption

Click on the photo to read about Bailey
Adopted September 20, 2003

Cheyenne was surrendered by her owner in September of 2003 and adopted by the Johnson family. She died in her sleep on her favorite bed on July 5, 2008.
Adopted September 28, 2003

Lucy walked into a Peoria retirement home in early September 2003, where she was found (and hidden from management) by one of the caretakers. Happily, she was adopted by the Russell Family of Yuma. Lucy died in her sleep on August 10, 2008.

Foster Mom Betty never could resist a senior, and Winston was no exception. Deserted at a shelter by his owner, he lived the last months of his life receiving more love and attention than he had ever had. We'll miss you, Winston.
DOB Unknown - June 4th, 2007
Candy, Candace, Sister, Sissy, Sister Matussa, Wolf Dog, My Beauty, My Girl, Miss Big Lips... My Sun, Moon and Stars.

You took away my heartache when Bensen left and it is now replaced with the very loss of you.

We tried so hard to teach you love, trust and what it's like to be in a real family. You brought us so much joy; seeing you come out of your shell. Seeing you go to the toy box for the first time and taking out a toy, learning to enjoy a soft couch, or skipping playfully in the yard. And what we wouldn't give to hear you harass the cats once more and make them scatter for cover.

You were an angel and didn't deserve all that life dealt you. We are sorry that love alone couldn't save you from the cancer. We hope that our too-short time together made up for some of your previous suffering. We hope that you are finally in peace and free from any pain. Tearfully, we will bear the sorrow of your loss if it means that you are happy and healthy again. We love you, Sissy. You are my #1 Girl.

Jeff & I wish to express deepest gratitude to Nancy & Bert at White German Shepherd Rescue for bringing us together with our girl, Dermatologist Dr. Mitchell Song for controlling her allergies, Jeffrey & Karen Flocker for helping her mobility, Dr. Beth Dutton, Dr. Tracy Wight, Dr. Karen Claus, Dr. Marnie Duplissis and Oncologist Dr. Betsy Hershey. You all made a difference in her life and we are very appreciative. She was a very special girl.

1997 to March 15, 2008

Adopted as a senior in early April of 2007 by Gerry and Lynn, Shane led the life of a princess until her untimely death from hermangioscarcoma. No senior could have asked for a better home in her twilight years. She was a puppy at heart to the end...

Could you dump this beautiful face? If you are looking at this site, I doubt it. But this boy's family had no problem doing just that. Aspen was a 10 year old purebred white GSD who had been with his current family all of his life. The family "got tired of having him around" and brought him to their vet to be euthanized. A tech at the vet's office refused to let that happen and called our rescue for help. Unfortunately, Aspen took a very unexpected turn for the worse just before he was to be placed into his forever home and the determination was made to let him go to end his suffering. With his adoption pending, it's devastating for us to know that he never got to see his forever home. We do draw some comfort from the fact that he did not die with his uncaring family, but in a place where he was loved and well taken care of. Our thanks go out to Sara and the staff at Academy West for being there for Aspen and caring enough to do the best for him, and to Kate, who was willing to be Aspen's forever mom.

Gamble was rescued from the Lied (Las Vegas) Shelter in July, 2006. He initially did well and was finally (after a month) ready for his neuter surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery turned out to be a disaster for Gamble and despite all efforts, he passed away four days later of an unknown blood coagulation problem. Our only consolation is that he did not die in that hell hole of a shelter, but with people who cared about and loved him.
Yuma was quarantined as a "biter" by the Yuma Humane Society for several weeks before he came to our rescue. We normally turn away "bite dogs" but what we found was not a bite dog, but a wonderfully social and outgoing 11 month old lover boy who, right up until the end, greeted every human with a wag of his tail. He succumbed 5 short days after we rescued him to a combination of pneumonia, an upper respiratory infection and possibly tick fever. This was NO BITE DOG. He died knowing he was loved and cared for, not euthanized in a shelter with the stigma of being a "biter." Kristi was rescued from the same Las Vegas shelter as Gamble, but what we didn't know at the time was that she had been spayed at the shelter while suffering from kennel cough. After just a few days with us, Kristi developed a 106 degree fever. Diagnosis: pneumonia. Although we fought for many days and nights trying to save her, in the end we had to let her go and even then her tail was still wagging. We won't forget you, sweetheart. (Afternote: Shortly after Kristi was taken from the LV shelter, the shelter was taken over by the US Humane Society due to disease. All animals in the shelter were euthanized and the shelter closed. It has since reopened under what we can only hope are better conditions.)

Anna was rescued from the Dewey Las Vegas Shelter. We lost her due to complications from her spay surgery and possible distemper within 24 hours of her rescue.

Zane was rescued from the Phoenix East Side Shelter. He was lost to distemper.
Musket was a young male white GSD whose owner had turned him in to the Humane Society as being aggressive with strangers. Although we tried to work with him, the abandonment by his owner was just too much for Musket and he became too possessive of his foster and could not be controlled when anyone or anything outside of his foster family was around -- 2-footed or 4, it didn't matter. Sadly, we had to send Musket to Rainbow Bridge in July, 2004. We were just too afraid that someone was going to get hurt. If only his original owners had invested the time to properly socialize this beautiful, loving and loyal boy...we're sorry, Musket. Alex was a 9 month old white GSD rescued from the Apache Junction Shelter in December 2003. After a brief but devastating illness (probably distemper coupled with kennel cough), Alex went to Rainbow Bridge on December 22nd.
Vincent was a very laid back, 2 year old neutered male, who was rescued from the Dewey (Las Vegas) Shelter thanks to the efforts of Sue (Las Vegas Sammy Rescue) and Naomi (So NV Aussie & Border Collie Rescue) and many other wonderful people who cared about him. Sue named him Vincent because he had an old injury and was missing part of one ear. Vincent went to Rainbow Bridge on August 11th due to complications from distemper. I hope you find your loving family there. Rest in Peace, sweet boy. Apache was a white German Shepherd / Malamute mix that we rescued from the Apache Junction Shelter in November 2003. She was called unexpectedly to Rainbow Bridge shortly after her rescue, possibly due to distemper. We were proud to be your forever family, even if forever didn't turn out to be as long as we'd hoped for you. Thanks to Bev and to the people at AJ Shelter for trying to give this girl a chance at a better life.

These wonderful dogs will never be forgotten -- some were forgotten and/or discarded by their owners, but never by us or their loving and devoted adopters.

We were proud to have had the opportunity to give you the love you all so richly deserved. In memory of all of our rescued souls, we remind you to HUG YOUR FOUR FOOTED FAMILY MEMBER(s), VACCINATE and:

"People who let their dogs and cats have litters in order to show their children the 'miracle of birth' should come witness the 'miracle of death' performed in the back rooms of animal shelters all over the country."


Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.

But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again.

As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for awhile to explain it to him.

"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge."

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person, and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

"Watch, and see," said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed her towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of her work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge."

"I think I like rescuers," said the first animal.

"So does GOD," was the reply.