Meet Rainer!

Meet Rainer, our third foster from Southeast German Shepherd Rescue!

Rainer in the kitchen

Rainer is a sweet, shy boy who was brought into a rural shelter as a stray. That’s all we know about him! The shelter estimated he was 10 months old, but I think they were on crack, because he has to be much, much older than that; his teeth are pretty worn down, his muzzle is quite gray, and he doesn’t have even an ounce of the kind of puppy energy typical of an adolescent GSD.

That side eye! Kills me.

He is quite shy and withdrawn. He acts so much like Pyrrha did when we first got her: very curious about everything, can’t stop pacing and patrolling. But, like Pyrrha, he has a gentle disposition. He is nervous about people approaching him, but he calmly submits to petting and attention when approached slowly.

As you can see, below, he didn’t have much problem approaching Guion on his own initiative in the backyard:

Getting some love from Guion

So far, his interactions with Pyrrha have been GREAT, something we are so thankful for! They were both pretty nervous for the first few minutes and ignored each other in the yard for about 15 minutes β€” tons of calming signals being thrown around (curves around each other, lots of sniffing, lots of avoidance, lack of eye contact).

But then Pyrrha started throwing around some play bows, and within a few moments, Rainer had warmed right up!

Bonding with his foster sis

They are very trustworthy in the yard together. I watched them a lot last night and this morning, and they seem very well suited to each other. He’ll romp when she wants to romp, but he also does a good job of deflecting her invitations if he doesn’t want to play.

Rainer strolling

Last night, I took them on a walk together around the neighborhood. Guion couldn’t be at home, but I could walk them quite easily by myself. Rainer was so gentle and easy to lead on the leash, for a dog who had presumably been a stray for quite some time. We passed several dogs, and although he was very excited by them, neither dog barked or lunged, which I was very happy about! Pyrrha’s presence seemed to be calming to him, and he followed her very readily.

It is very funny to me to watch Pyrrha be the model of confidence for another dog! Never thought I’d see that day.

He was pretty rough last night in the crate. He barked for about an hour between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m., which was zero fun times for everyone. Obviously, just quite scared and overwhelmed. However, I think he really has the capacity to calm down and get acclimated to home life.

Rainer in golden light

Right now, my primary concern for Rainer is his health. I am eager to have him get a full vet check soon; we are both a little worried about his hindquarters. He walks very gingerly up and down stairs and seems to have a lot of weakness back there. His balance is also poor. Guion will be taking him this morning to get him a thorough bath and nail clipping, so he’ll also be on the lookout for any other bodily issues.

All that said, however, Rainer is such a sweet boy! What an easy dog. For a shy stray, I think he has a TON of potential, and I think he will be ready for a forever home soon enough.

If you are interested in adopting Rainer, fill out an application at Southeast German Shepherd Rescue!

12 thoughts on “Meet Rainer!

  1. Awe. He looks like a sweetheart. Glad things are going so well. Sorry to hear about the crate issues. My husband and I used to wonder what the neighbours thought whenever we had a screaming rescue in a crate. πŸ™‚

  2. Hooray for Rainer! So glad that everything is working out and he’s nice and calm with Pyrrha. And YAY! For everyone being calm on the walk! That definitely must have been a welcome relief! I love seeing pics of your backyard, it always looks so peaceful and quiet. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Andrea! Yes, big YAY on a calm, zero-reactivity walk! Those are always encouraging. As for the yard, it is many things… but rarely peaceful and quiet! Nice to know that the photos are deceptive… :-p

  3. Aw, he seems like a sweetheart! I have to say that I really, really love reading your blog due to the fact that I don’t know much about the breed. It’s so interesting to read about common personality traits within the breed. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but it’s fun to read nonetheless! Can’t wait to hear more about Rainer πŸ™‚

  4. Glad to see Pyrrha is being a good foster sister. Modeling confidence for other dogs might be the making of her.

    Rainer looks like a lovely dog. I hope he finds a good home (besides his excellent foster home) soon.

  5. We used to keep Kongs loaded with peanut butter when we had new fosters, and toss one in if the dog got antsy so we could sleep. Fortunately, we didn’t have too many times when we needed it. Rainer is a pretty unusual name — I like it! Here’s hoping his health issues sort out and he finds a great family soon!

    I love it when our dogs surprise us with their best behavior!

  6. Your post brought back memories of bringing home Wolf from the shelter, where he’d been for five years. He was also an elderly (black) shepherd. He was determined to follow our other dog, Charlie, wherever. It was as if he felt, if he just stuck with Charlie, he wouldn’t have to go back to the shelter. As you say: “The model of confidence”!

    Knowing how bonded GSDs are, I’m so happy to read about Ranier, and know that he is now loved. Everything follows from that. Congratulations on being a wonderful human being & family.

  7. I am feeling so proud of Pyrrha and Rainer! What a great team they make. I love that they both seem to be gathering courage from the other. They are so lucky to have you. Thank you so much for what you are doing! I can’t wait to watch Rainer’s journey to his forever family πŸ™‚

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