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After a long hiatus, I’m back to blogging. Life has a funny way of rolling by faster and faster as each year passes. Work, home, dogs, birds…all seem to demand their amount of time and energy. Happily, I may have figured out a way to steal some time and tell all y’all about the wonderful celebration we attended. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy telling the story.
July 25 was the Third Annual Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue reunion. This was a day for all the dogs who had been adopted through the rescue to come together with their owners and meet/reacquaint with others.
It was also time to meet some extraordinary people who are involved in saving so many German Shepherd Dogs from certain death in the overcrowded shelters in California.
This group is the Miracle GSD Network. You can find their page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/310605105708097/
This group is especially dear to us, as they are the ones who saved our darling Dolly!It was our first opportunity to meet some of these dedicated women with whom we’ve become very dear Facebook friends over the past year. It was also the first opportunity for them to actually meet – face-to-face – with many of the dogs they’d worked so diligently to save. There were lots of happy tears shed over these first meetings. I’m not completely certain, but I think even the dogs realized how important and special these women were in their lives.
The group began when several of these women got together just a very few years ago to see if they could help with the dire situation in the shelters in California. The shelters were (and are) filled well past capacity and it has meant that hold times for dogs (especially large dogs like German Shepherds) have been cut to just the bare minimums required by law. Rescues were doing their best to try to save as many as possible, but sheer numbers and widely-spread locations and even crossed communications were hampering their abilities. The women from the Miracle Network have been able to help cut through these barriers. They have helped funnel dogs from the overrun shelters to reputable (strenuously checked) rescues throughout the country. They take absolutely NO funds for their work and spend hours upon hours on the computer and telephone with the yeoman’s job of coordinating getting the dogs from the shelters to the rescues which are all around the country.
One of the approved rescues is Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue. Kristin Bright has been involved from the very beginning. It is through her rescue that we adopted our adorable Dolly and our precious Cinder.
A few months after Dolly came to live with us, we lost our Sydney. Not long after that, Kristin contacted us as a possible home for another senior girl who had recently been rescued from Ohio. Cinder was not part of the Miracle Network, but was an owner turn-in. You can read all about both Dolly and Cinder in previous posts, but they were alumnae at the reunion on Saturday.
All of the dogs here had amazing back stories. It’s impossible to share all the stories. Here are a few that will amaze you and which exemplify the work being done to save these fantastic dogs.
Naturally, you know I have to start with Dolly. The before and after are really something to see, and she was one of the dogs who wasn’t in very poor condition.
Here are photos of Kyra (Miracle Dog #38) before and after!
Here is handsome Zeppelin (Zeppy) – Miracle Dog #69. It’s clear that he has gone from the depths to a wonderful, loving home.
This is Tequila! Of all the sad faces, she had one of the saddest. I fell in love with her when I first saw that sad face. I was so hoping the right person would come along and give her the home she so richly deserves. She sure hit the jackpot with her “mom”, Susan!
The most amazing story of all (in my opinion) is that of Dulce (now named Cali). This poor dog looked so emaciated and rough. I can’t help but believe she would not have lasted more than a day or two more had the Miracle GSD Network not swooped in and saved her.
Everyone who saw her transformation (and her forever family hasn’t had her with them very long) was thrilled. I think more happy tears were cried over this pup than any other.
There are so many happy stories with the Rescue and Miracle Network. It was wonderful to get to meet other human family members who share with us the love of rescued dogs. I hope to be sharing many of these in future posts.
Another great story is that of Karu and her puppies. Karu wasn’t at the reunion, but two of her pups were. Karu was rescued and had puppies. Karu is full German Shepherd Dog, but dad was apparently a Mastiff/Boxer mix. Two of the pups – Augusta and Gunner – had not seen each other since they had been adopted. It was clear to all that they remembered each other. It was such a joy to watch them play together.
All in all, there were easily forty-plus German Shepherd Dogs all in one place. There were absolutely no instances of fights or difficulties because we all respected each other’s space. There was ample area to walk the dogs, kiddie pools to drink or cool off in, and activities to keep the dogs entertained. There were also many children around who really enjoyed being able to pet so many beautiful dogs. That was remarkable in that the dogs seemed to enjoy the kids as much (if not more).
There were contests for the dogs (like who could lie down and stay the longest) and “hot dog” eating contest. (Not really hot dogs – they were special doggie treats that floated.) I entered Dolly at the last minute.
She wasn’t sure at first, but got them all. Just as they were finishing the contest, Jim decided that Cinder needed a chance to beat Dolly’s time. Not only did Cinder beat Dolly’s time, she won the contest with all ten pieces snagged in 10 seconds! A new record! She won a prize bag full of fun toys and treats!
There were cakes and treats for humans and canines alike. The door prizes and raffles were really top notch.
We all had a marvelous time and are very much looking forward to next year’s get together. We’re really hoping that many of those who couldn’t make it for this reunion will be able to join us next year.
I can’t say enough about all the work put in by Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue. Kristin has so much on her plate running the rescue; but she did a fantastic job of pulling everything together and assuring a great time for everyone. I can’t imagine how she found enough hours in the day to do everything she did. If Wonder Woman were real, I imagine she’d look a lot like Kristin.
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Looking Forward to “Seeing” You Here Next Time on Colmel’s Blog!