We are used to receiving emails asking for help from the California German Shepherd rescues, but today was a little different. On July 3rd, a mom and her 2 four month old puppies wandered onto the property of a home in a very sparsely populated area of the California desert outside of Los Angeles. They were obviously in distress and needed food and water, which their Good Samaritan provided to them. Thank you, Donna!

After eating, drinking their fill and resting for a short time, the family disappeared. However, the day after the Fourth of July, they returned, apparently having decided that the hospitality provided by Donna and her family was preferable to what the desert had to offer. The dogs remained there, day after day, while Donna searched for their owner to no avail.

On July 9th, Donna sent an email to Coastal German Shepherd Rescue asking for their help. Naturally, Coastal forwarded the email to us. Could we help? Well, we could sure try. The first problem was getting the mom and pups to safety since they were simply wandering around on Donna's property and not confined. A hurried email to our dear friends Chuck & Jon of Husky Camp Rescue (coincidentally in the same town where the family was found), told us that not only could Chuck & John help, but they were on their way to a destination close to Rialto, which is where the boarding kennel is that we needed the family to go to! Chuck & Jon were happy to make a stop and pick up the family along the way.

While Chuck & Jon were trying to locate Donna's home, Debbie (a transporter for Coastal who also lives nearby) went over to Donna's to check on the mom and pups and took these photos of them. According to Debbie, "My hubby is gone in our dog transport vehicle, so I drove in my other car to check on the dogs. They are all staying on her [Donna's] front porch. They are all VERY friendly, and walked up to me like they always knew me!."

UPDATE: A call from Chuck and a confirming email from Crossroads told us that the family had arrived safely. According to Cathleen at Crossroads, "Well they arrived today much to my surprise. lol Momma and 2 kids. They have great temperaments and are in pretty good condition. Not the least bit skinny. I'm sure they all need to be wormed though. They're not white right now but maybe they will be by the time you see them."

Our next big challenge will be to find transport for these three to Phoenix. Then there will be the expected spay surgeries for all 3, shots and worming for the pups. All-in-all a huge expense, and we sure could use your help.

UPDATE 7/11: From Cathy at Crossroads, "THEY ARE THE BEST. GREAT temperaments. They do NOT bark ...They are so sweet."

Cathy gets Jasmine ready for her transport

Hi folks! We'll be in Phoenix soon!

UPDATE 7/18: We have a confirmed transport, and mom and the girls will be heading for Arizona on Wednesday (the 20th).

UPDATE 7/19: The family is safe and sound with our volunteer Cindy in Riverside. According to Cindy, "Mom is pretty kick back. My neighbor came to the fence and gave them all a milkbones. No barking, babies were not shy".

Chillin' at Cindy's

Pink Girl

Purple girl

Jasmine (mom)

UPDATE 7/20: The family has arrived in Phoenix!!

With Cindy's assistance, Purple Puppy disembarked at Ehrenberg first, followed closely by Pink Puppy and then Mom

Loaded up and ready to head for Phoenix

Since we have already named mom "Jasmine," we have been searching for an appropriate name for her puppies. On the transport home, our staff member passed an 18 wheeler with the name "Jasmine Trucking" on the side. Shortly thereafter, a song came on the radio..."Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts. For those of you who are not old enough to remember (as our staff member is), the words of the refrain go, "Summer breeze, makes me feel fine. Blowin' with the Jasmine in my mind." We have, therefore, dubbed the puppies "Summer" and "Breeze." It remains to be seen who is who.

Mom's job is done, and her babies are safe and resting comfortably at their temporary foster home in Phoenix. They are all exhausted.

UPDATE 7/21: The entire family saw our vet today for their initial checkups. Summer weighed in at 36 pounds and Breeze weighed in at 37.

Candace helps Bert with the weigh-ins

Mom goes first

The girls look worried

Breeze gets a good going over...

... and has a slight temperature

Other than kennel cough, Summer gets a clean bill of health

Breeze has a friend in Alvin

They all checked NEGATIVE for worms, which was very surprising (but they will be dewormed as a precautionary measure). Breeze (purple collar) was running a slight temperature and given an antibiotic injection. All three were put on antibiotics and will be rechecked in a week.

Since the girls checked negative for worms and are very social and outgoing, it is our belief that someone took care of these babies when they were younger. Almost all puppies are born with worms and, unless they have been previously wormed, Summer and Breeze should have tested positive. We can only guess how this family got separated from their home or why. Mom is a very people-friendly girl; she has not had a problem with anyone being around her or her babies. The pups are extremely social and outgoing, which tells us they were well socialized at a younger age. It boggles the imagination how this family wound up in the desert. Thankfully, they were directed to the right road that brought them here to us.

UPDATE 7/22: The girls have really been hit hard by kennel cough. The entire family is hacking but at least mom is eating and has a healthy appetite. Little Breeze is not interested in food at all, and Summer just picks. They've all been getting their antibiotics and we're hoping for some improvement soon.

Jasmine, Breeze & Summer (underneath)

UPDATE 7/23: I think we may be seeing a slight improvement in Breeze this evening! Breeze, who has spent the last few days on her bed in the family's 42" kennel, only coming out to go outdoors and potty, actually came out and had some dinner with her mom this evening, although Summer now seems to be the one uninterested in food. We'll keep you posted on their progress and on their search for foster or foster-to-adopt home(s).

UPDATE 7/26: Breeze is definitely feeling better and starting to act, play and eat like a normal puppy again -- she's quite the feisty little girl. Summer is a few days behind her sister (Breeze got sick first), so she's not quite up to par as yet but both are coming along. The family will see the vet again on Thursday, and we'll have a better idea of their progress. Please check back.

The family decided today was a good day to spend some time outside on the lawn, chewing on a bone (Breeze is in front of Jasmine; Summer is standing behind--still not feeling 100%)

UPDATE 7/27: Summer is still not feeling well. She's not eating, and we're anxiously awaiting her recheck at the vet tomorrow. Her sister, Breeze, is running circles around her! We'll know more tomorrow after they've had their repeat visit to the vet.

UPDATE 7/28: The family had their checkup with the vet today, and we were not at all prepared for what the vet had to tell us. First, the good news: Breeze is recovering nicely. She will still be on antibiotics for another 2 weeks, but appears to be well on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, Summer is not faring as well; she's lost 8 pounds this past week. Summer spent the day at the vet's office receiving IV antibiotics and fluids -- she had the misfortune of getting sick several days after her sister and did not have the benefit of the antibiotic shot that her sister received last week, so she's having to make up for that the hard way. We'll be picking her up this evening and bringing her back to the vet in the morning to spend the day tomorrow. Even though she's running a temperature and obviously doesn't feel well, she's still looking for her foster mom and wagging her tail whenever she comes near. Such a sweetheart.

Summer gets a good going over

Our favorite vet tech, Garrett, steps in to take care of Summer

Breeze is doing much better

Dr. H is very suspicious of Jasmine's swollen belly...and it turns out, with good reason

We saved the best for last. JASMINE IS PREGNANT! We had thought as much last week, but no puppies could be felt. This week she had gained a huge amount of weight (we think she found Summer's lost 8 pounds) and palpation turned up a pretty hard belly. It was either a pregnancy or a closed pyometra (which would require an emergency spay to save Jasmine's life). Thankfully, it turned out to be a pregnancy (about 5 weeks along). The vet could distinguish SEVEN puppies on the xray, but couldn't be sure there weren't more still up in her ribcage. As you can imagine, we're a little shellshocked at the prospect of having to care for a new litter in about a month.

Summer is home from the vet! She will need to go back in the morning for more IV antibiotics and fluids, but her fever is down and she's feeling much better. She actually had some dinner when she got home!

UPDATE 7/29 AM: Summer went back to the vet's bright and early this morning to receive another day of in-house care (IV antibiotics and fluids). Her temperature was almost normal, and her appetite has returned, so we are hopeful that she has turned the corner and will soon be heading for home.

UPDATE 7/29 PM: Summer has been discharged from the "hospital" and has returned home to her mom, sister and foster family. She is eating normally and has already gained back 2 pounds! She's very happy to be home again.

It's been a long road for this family, and we're so happy that Breeze and Summer are on the right track and will soon be heading for forever homes of their own.

UPDATE 7/31: Breeze and Summer are now available to foster-to-adopt homes. They will be on antibiotics (provided) for the next 7 (Summer) to 10 (Breeze) days, after which they will be scheduled for their spay surgeries. Jasmine is due to whelp some time in late August. We will be launching a puppy application once the pups are born.

Jasmine's condition is evident...


Mom Jasmine looks on as Summer meets her new foster family


Breeze moves in with foster mom Tricia and foster brother Bo

Thanks to all of you who have donated:
Marie M
Laura A
Kathi R
Maria L
Dotti B
Jocelyn B
Monica L-R
Mobiltech Computer Services
Roxana P
Janet S

A donation was made to help the Desert Family by Becky & Phil Gang in memory of Joe Joe:

In Loving Memory of "Joe-Joe"

Joe-Joe was rescued by his mom Eva, from a shelter in California four years ago after the death of her husband. They became members of our Pet Therapy Program at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas. They were loved by patients, family members and especially loved by the staff. Joe-Joe was forced to retire due to health issues earlier this year. Sadly, he developed glaucoma which was very painful and became a victim of sudden blindness and lost his sight. He also had various other health issues that he couldn't recover from and on July 15th his mom made the decision to send him to the Rainbow Bridge. He will be greatly missed and we send prayers to his mom Eva.

Phil and Becky Gang

Summer is growing like a weed and doing beautifully in her foster-to-adopt home