To Honor Tito – Miracle Dog #328

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This is a post directly from the Miracle GSD Network. They’ve graciously allowed me to post it, along with photos. Several people over the past couple of years have asked me who or what the Miracle GSD Network is. It’s definitely WHO. Miracle was started by a group of people who were incensed to find out how many German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) were being euthanized in California shelters. They made a pledge that they would form a network of caring individuals who would get as many GSDs out of these high-kill shelters as possible, and get them to legitimate rescue organizations across the country. Over the years, Miracle has grown to a network of many people who have taken these dogs into their rescues, been foster homes for the dogs, adopted the dogs, and/or been donors. The core group is still in place and responsible for keeping the lines of communication open and doing the “heavy lifting.” The Miracle GSD Network has a Facebook page where updates and happy stories about the Miracle Dog alumni. https://www.facebook.com/groups/310605105708097 . There are always more dogs to get out of high-kill shelters. I, for one, am so grateful that Miracle GSD Network exists. It’s thanks to them that we have our beautiful Dolly (Miracle Dog #307).

Here is a tribute to one Miracle Dog – Tito #328

Few dogs have tugged at our hearts more than Tito, with his wonky head and his sweet demeanor. We knew the moment we saw him back in March 2014 at the Downey Shelter in CA that we needed to help him. Luckily, the wonderful Thulani program for seniors and hospice dogs saw the same thing we did in him, and stepped up to help, and Tito became Miracle Dog #328. We are sad to report that our Tito went to the bridge about a month ago. He had a GREAT end of life with his adopter Morris who took fantastic care of him. Morris sent us this wonderful Tribute, so we could all get a glimpse at Tito’s life for the past 2 years. RUN FREE AT THE BRIDGE SWEET TITO!

tito

A Tribute to Tito

2002 – March 18, 2016

He didn’t look exactly the way you’d expect a Shepherd to look, but he had a way about him. He was rescued from the L.A. County Animal Shelter in Downey, and I identified with him right away. Having spent most of my life in that general area, I knew there were some rough areas in that vicinity. He had been an “owner surrender” because they thought he had had a stroke and wanted him to be PTS. He actually was suffering from the benign condition known as “Old Dog Vestibular”… which NEVER occurred again! I often wondered what his life was like before the Thulani program.

He had a way about him. He wanted to be friends right away, and we were, from the beginning. He wanted to fit in with the rest of the pack: another male GSD, a male Chihuahua, and a two-legged couple, and he did, with ease, by watching the other dogs and learning the pack’s routine, expectations and the tricks they knew.

Early on, we battled with a few of his health issues, especially stubborn ear and urinary tract infections. In due course they were resolved, but in the interim he was confined to the laundry room to minimize the impact of “accidents”. Before too long he “promoted” himself, quietly and without adieu, out of the laundry room and into the kitchen. By then, his first infection had resolved, and we said he had promoted himself to Sergeant. Then there was a relapse, and another round of antibiotics, and, at last, a complete cure – he promoted himself into the dining room. Now, we said he had promoted himself to Captain.

When the pack came into the house in the evening from their day outside, and the door to the house was opened to him, he was oh sooo happy to come inside. So, he picked-up an alias of “Happy”. I wondered what his life had been like before Thulani… was he ever allowed inside? Scars on his hind feet and elbows, where fur refused to grow, suggested he might have spent many, many days lying on a concrete slab somewhere.

People often commented on how gentle and sweet he was – he was – all 90 pounds of him! He just wanted to fit-in and be with the pack. He had a way about him. He was “Happy” during our two years with him, enjoying camping trips with the pack, and especially his morning constitutional walks, sniffing here, peeing there, lagging behind but enjoying every foot of the 1/2 mile walk.

In his last 4 weeks, he developed a paralysis of his hind quarters. It had been gradually coming on for several months, showing its face as a dragging of the left leg, but in that last 4 weeks, it developed into a full paralysis, including a fatal inability to urinate – if you don’t urinate, you don’t live. He never complained – he was a trooper!

Probably his favorite time of the day was when the pack was gathered close together to watch TV at night. My legs would reach-out, and my feet nudged old “T”. His head would pop-up, and he would look at me to say “what’s up Dad?”, then flop back down to luxuriate in the comfort of his bed! He had a way about him…

[Our sincere thanks to Miracle GSD Network and Thulani for bringing Tito to us!]

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Looking Forward to “Seeing” You Here Next Time on Colmel’s Blog!

DON’T BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?–HERE’S A REAL ONE–MIRACLE GSD NETWORK

If you’re reading this in email or on Facebook, click on the title! It will take you directly to the blog (an easier viewing page.) If you’re already in my blog, WELCOME! (One more hint: If you click on any of the photos in the blog, they should open up in a browser window so you can get a better look!)

This story is a follow-up to my last post about the Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue 3rd Annual Reunion. I’ve had several people ask me about the Miracle GSDNetwork and the different rescues with which they work. Through the kind permission of The Miracle GSD Network team and Thulani Dogs, I am reposting a terrific article from their website. I’m sure you will enjoy it. These people ARE miracle workers.

Miracle GSD Network Team Members

Miracle GSD Network Team Members

“In the summer and early fall of 2012, a few people got together to see what they could do to help all the German Shepherds they were seeing that were dying in southern California shelters.  After talking for several weeks, they decided their best route would be to work with reputable rescues to move the dogs to places they could be adopted – where GSDs weren’t as common.  Their idea was to navigate the complicated California shelter system FOR the rescue.  Partner with the shelters, temp test the dogs, arrange with a rescue partner for the “pull”, arrange vet, board, and transport to the rescue – AND to raise the funds to do it.  They wanted to do this – to deliver the dog to the rescue – without the rescues having to figure all this out – taking away from the important job of taking care of the dogs, and getting them adopted.  Rescues already HAVE too much work to do!  After months of planning, Miracle GSD Network was formed, and “pulled” their first dogs in October 2012 from the Coachella Valley Shelter in CA for Southwest Michigan German Shepherd Rescue.

Miracle GSD Network only works with a select few rescues that they have thoroughly checked out, and have processes in place that employ good and transparent rescue practices.   Since 2012 they have built a partnership with several rescues and shelters, and with many people on the “ground” assisting with temp tests, fostering, and transporting. They have earned the trust of so many people in rescue.  This small group of people is spread out all over the country – Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina…”

Thulani Dogs is one of the select rescues who has been approved to work with Miracle GSD Network.. They have a marvelous website. Thulani is not your “everyday” rescue. These are people with an amazing strength. Here are a couple of excerpts from their website:

“The Thulani Program is a subactivity of German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (GSRNC) that focuses on helping German Shepherds with limited life expectancy, typically measured in months or possibly as much as a year.  Although independently run, this program is fully integrated with the much broader activities of GSRNC…”

“The Thulani Program for providing hospice care and sanctuary for German Shepherd dogs with limited life expectancy was founded in mid-2009 as a German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California response  to a need identified by our shelter evaluators.  The evaluators were finding German Shepherd dogs in shelters that were wonderful dogs, but because of terminal medical conditions or extreme age, were not dogs that could successfully be adopted out to the public as part of regular adoption program. Yet these wonderful dogs have some quality life left for them, even though it might be short. The evaluators realized that, if they turned their backs on these dogs, they very likely would die alone and afraid in the shelter almost immediately…”

The Thulani Program has a wonderful website: http://thulanidogs.org/

Here are photos of “Morrie T.” He was a Miracle Dog who was adopted through Thulani.

“Morrie T” in the shelter (Just pitiful!)

Photographer, Jane Sobel Kronsky Morrie T with

Photographer, Jane Sobel Kronsky
Morrie T with “mom” Vicky (this year) – Just look at the happy, healthy, much-loved boy , now!

JUST ADDED!!!

Here are photos of two sweet, elderly dogs who were just rescued out of a shelter in California. They are going to the tremendous Thulani Program!

Shelter photo of Lucky and Sugar

Shelter photos of Lucky and Sugar

and NOW, here are their “Freedom” photos!

So good to see these two going to a place where they will be loved the rest of their days!

So good to see these two going to a place where they will be loved the rest of their days!

“Miracle GSD Network is PROUD to partner with the Thulani Program, to save Senior & Hospice German Shepherds – a cause near & dear to their hearts.  Miracle GSD Network is an “informal” organization dedicated to helping rescues navigate the difficult shelter system by coordinating “pulls” of dogs in need.  Visit (ask to join) our Facebook page – it is a HAPPY PLACE – where we post updates of all our “Miracle Dogs” – to date over 450 saved:”

Since this article was written, so many more dogs have been saved thanks to the combined efforts of the Network and their associated rescues. As of this writing, 564 dogs have been pulled from shelters and sent to rescues across the country. It’s so remarkable that such a small group can do so much good! I think it proves that if you really want to do something ‒ you CAN!

If you’re interested in learning more about Miracle GSD Network, you can visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/310605105708097/

Remember, I really love to hear your comments. Just click on the “Comments” link and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if there’s something you’d like to hear more about.

Looking Forward to “Seeing” You Here Next Time on Colmel’s Blog!