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He is quite shy and withdrawn.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 — 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!

Picking up our next foster tonight!

Tonight I’ll be driving to pick up our next foster through Southeast German Shepherd Rescue!

Here is his (blurry) shelter photo:

new foster

All we know about him is that they say he is a 10-month-old male who was picked up as a stray in the countryside. And that’s it!

I always get pretty nervous when we bring in a new foster, mainly because of all the unknowns — what if he’s dog aggressive? What if Pyrrha hates him? What if he’s a constant barker? Or destructive? etc. — but it always works out, and my husband is a great mood equalizer. Thankfully, my leg of the transport isn’t too long, so I’m hoping he’s not extra rowdy, since I am unable to fit a crate in my car. I got a seatbelt-hooking harness for him… here’s to hoping that will hold!

We also get the fun task of renaming him, a job that I always love. (His shelter name is “Mel,” which is plainly awful.)

Here are the top contenders:

Boston
Bowie
Declan
Gage
Hugo
Knox
Marius
Marko
Murray
Rainer
Sander

Which name do you like best? What would you name him?

(Obviously, we’ll probably pick a totally different name upon meeting him! Have to see them first. We were going to name Pyrrha “Inez,” but after meeting her, we knew that just wasn’t going to fit her look and temperament.)

More to come on the new guy!

New foster: Laszlo!

Everyone, meet our new foster pup, Laszlo!

Pen Park with Laszlo

Laszlo is a 9-10 week old German shepherd mix. He was thrown over the fence in the middle of the night at a West Virginia shelter, and that’s basically all that we know about his background.

Out back with baby Laszlo

He was dropped off at our house by a sweet family who volunteered to transport him on Friday. Laszlo arrived somewhat overwhelmed and withdrawn, but he was very cuddly with everyone and always wagged his little tail whenever a person approached him. Within a few hours, he had started to open up and explore the house.

Pen Park with Laszlo

Pyrrha has been a little less than thrilled with his arrival. She treats him with a kind of reserved disdain. He was quite frightened by her at first, but after a day, the two of them now coexist peacefully. (This morning, the two were playing bitey-face while I ate breakfast…)

For all of her standoffishness, Pyrrha remains gentle with puppies, and she does seem to respect his size and age. For now, they are tolerating each other, which is all we can really ask for. I imagine, however, that within a week or so, he may gain more confidence and the two of them might actually interact more.

Laszlo in the car

My sister and brother-in-law were visiting for the weekend, and on Saturday, we took the dogs to the local trails for an afternoon walk. Laszlo kept up quite well and did OK on the leash, partially thanks to Pyrrha’s example, I think. We did carry him part of the way back, but he was a trooper. He even met a few dogs on the trail and didn’t seem too scared of them, which was a good sign.

Pen Park with Laszlo

He strikes me as quite smart and trainable. Within a day, we trained him to sit, and he’s now habituated to sitting in front of us when he wants something, instead of jumping up. He still does jump, but he doesn’t seem to have many of the typical GSD vices yet (noisiness, biting people, chewing up stuff). Essentially, he strikes me as a rather easy puppy. He slept through the night on his first night here, and he’s still getting used to the housetraining.

Out back with baby Laszlo

What would you guess he is mixed with?

His paws are somewhat small and proportional, so I don’t think he’s going to get very big. He clearly has GSD markings, but purebred GSD puppies don’t get their ears up this young. His coat is also unusual and unlike a GSD; instead of the fluffy puppy fur that leads to the thick GSD double coat, this guy has somewhat odd, silky fur that is close to the skin. He has a stocky build, too.

My best guess is either some terrier or some heeler somewhere in his lineage, but of course, we have no idea. What do you think?

Out back with baby Laszlo

Looking forward to getting to know this little dude more and more! More details to come!

Laszlo is looking for his forever home! If you are interested in adopting Laszlo, fill out an application at Southeast German Shepherd Rescue.

Brando update

Poor ol’ Brando got neutered yesterday, so he’s still really out of it.

Dazed and confused: Brando post neuter

When he got home, he stumbled around the house and would freeze for minutes at a time, just staring at nothing. Sweet dude!

Dazed and confused: Brando post neuter

This morning, he was livelier, although still weak in the back end.

Dazed and confused: Brando post neuter
Couldn’t keep his little tongue in his mouth… so cute.

On the flipside, an unexpected advantage of the presence of an affectionate foster has made this little lady more attentive to her human dad:

Leaning on Guion

Leaning on Guion

But here’s the UPDATE:

Brando is moving to another foster home this weekend. Cue big sad face.

Why? Because the rescue organization needs us to foster a puppy right now, and we are one of the foster homes with a more flexible schedule (e.g., able to come home in the middle of the day).

We are very sad to not continue being a foster home for Brando, but we are also confident that he will be adopted in no time at all.

Dazed and confused: Brando post neuter

We will miss you, Brando!

Updates to come on our NEW foster, who sounds like he’s a feisty little puppy!

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