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Success Stories: Our Newest Happy Endings!

These are stories of the wonderful dogs that found their forever homes because of AGSDR volunteers and supporters. To make a Memorial/Gift donation, please use the button above.

Have you adopted from us and have a story and picture to share? We believe ALL of our adopted dogs are SUCCESS STORIES and would love to hear from you too! Email us at


Hero in NovemberHero with his new familyIn Fall 2010 Hero came to AGSDR a victim of extreme neglect. He had serious skin issues and very little fur. Hero recovered into a gorgeous dog and was adopted in Jaunary 2011.

Here is a message we received from Hero on New Year's Day!

Hello it's Hero,

Just wanted to tell you that I have been with my new family for a week now, and I love it here. I am adjusting really well and my new Mom & Dad love me very much. I really enjoy playing with my new friend Bella, we sleep together, we share toys, we go on walks together, we go to PetSmart, my mom's clinic and we love playing outside. I have gained 1.4 pounds, I like my new food and my skin is feeling better. My new doctor put me on some different medicine and I feel better, I get a bath twice a week, and love my new massage baths. I still have to eat at a different place than Bella because I'm afraid she might eat my food, but I will get used to that. Today I am going out to Cass'(my Mom & Dad's oldest son) horse ranch to see horses, there are cats and other dogs, horses, donkeys and lots of places to run, I think it will be fun. I love riding in my Mom's car with my head stuck out the window, my little friend Bella tries to stick her head out, but she is too short. I really love it here, and I thank you sooo much for taking such good care of me while I lived with you. My new parents are very proud that I have such good manners, and my new doctors and my new friends at the clinic love me too. I get to sit up front with my Mom sometimes and see other pets coming in, I am always friendly with everyone, except the cats, don't like them when they hiss at me. I will keep in touch, hope yall have a wonderful New Year, and thanks again for all you did for me.

Bow Wow for Now,


Winter and his new packWinter hanging out on his boat

Update from Winter's new family

We took a road trip to west Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, a couple weeks of fun and sun. Spent lots of time on a boat at Canyon Lake near Phoenix. Both young men were stellar travelers and settled into the boating experience nicely. I think both experienced a little anxiety on the long ride going away from home, but after they realized they were not going on a one-way trip they relaxed a great deal. They even made a new friend in AZ, a little Dachshund who belongs to a friend - their new little pack did a great job of protecting us at the place we rented for a couple weeks!


Adopted german shepherd Ebony and friend Dante Adopted german shepherd Ebony Adopted german shepherd Ebony

It's true that love at first sight happens. Ebony (the beautiful Black and Tan girl) is proof. My daughter's first gaze into Ebony's soulful eyes and she was s m i t t e n . We HAD to adopt her. Ebony is a most precious gift in our lives. Acclimation to her forever home was fast. Ebony worked very hard to fit in-even though it meant she faced the huge task of managing her strong aversion to our cat, Jade. They sleep together now! Being such a smart girl, Ebony easily took to training which rapidly increased her confidence. Immediately, Ebony bonded with Dante - our male German Shepard of 2 1/2 years. Though they are inseparable, we nominate Ebony the award for 'most patient dog of the year' because she endures Dante's howling and crooning without complaint. These two spend the hot days of summer in Texas laid up in the air conditioning. Together they love to swim, play ball, chase squirrels (they never catch any :) and take long walks. Ebony jogs with her mom and she especially loves to tag along on horseback rides at the ranch. These two live for car trips, no matter where we go. We cannot imagine life without Ebony and Dante; they are with one of us every moment.

Thank you Austin German Shepard Rescue...Ebony has made our family whole.

Max, Bruno and Marina

Adopted german shepherds Max and Bruno being silly Adopted german shepherds Max, Bruno and Marina being silly

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I took Max (aka Meister) on board in February 2003. Bruno, the bully puppy, moved in a month or two later. Max was the classic rescue story; seriously under weight, heartworm positive, partially hairless when found in Houston roaming around Hwy. ( Now lean 90+ lbs, heartworm negative and plenty of hair to donate for those less fortunate and Bruno is 90+ lbs lap poodle.) Once Max gained his strength, he started showing signs of "post traumatic stress syndrome". We can only imagine what he had experienced in his previous life. We assume he caught middle of that big Houston flooding and thunderstorms, most likely chained in the backyard. He still is extremely scared of rain, thunderstorms, loud noises ( nail guns, fireworks ), sound of opening boxes and big trucks ( he absolutely hates UPS and FedEx trucks ). When ever we drive to our 2nd home, in Atlantic Beach, FL, he goes ballistic when closing in on and through Houston. He actually bent and came through the metal barrier we have for the pups in the back of our Surburban. He also has human aggression issues ( sneak attacks on ladies without warning ). So, I assume his abuser was a female. Taking him to the vet for the 1st time was extremely embarrassing; under weight dog, heartworm positive and filed K9s. We do not know if his K9s were filed or did he chew his way to the freedom??? Overall, his previous life sucked. I made the commitment to him and made sure he'd be the best dog in town ( and I'd like to think we are not too far from our goal, LOL. ) His medical conditions were treated, he eats the best food in the market and he had very good aggression specialist, Lee Mannix, to help us. Only in past 4 years he has truly blossomed. He still has some issues, worst kinds are under control. Even our guests can "roam around" without big GSD controlling their every move. We like to board our pups in the Crackerdog if we are out of town. The ladies were bit wary of Max's female aggression, but he has actually become one of "the best & favorite hotel guests". He is now big cuddly, love bug. Daddy is his official "lickable doggypopsickle"...and boy, does Max know how to give kisses. One of his favorite pasttimes ( other than playing ball ) is playing in the ocean. A long way from a dog who hated water ( he still thinks that the rain can melt a GSD ).

Bruno, the problem child...he actually was "a happy puppy" from the rescue. He was too smart for his own good as a puppy and still is. Everything was fine and fun if he was in charge of the siblings. He was playing well with other dogs for a good while. He has always been eager to learn and he still likes to do independent agility training; walking on the curb, walking on the "stonewall". Actually we did agility training until he decided that no one else was aloud to have fun. We had to start private lessons after nosy Bruno got bitten by Blue Heeler on the nose...and that was the evening when bully Bruno came back. Back to Lee Mannix and "anger management lessons" followed by Good Citizen Class ( No dog got harmed by Bruno!!! ) Bruno did perfect in the school. And he'd be the perfect dog if he wouldn't have selective hatred towards dogs smaller and weaker than he is/cats/ squirrels/ birds/ bees/ deer/ raccoons/ etc. Bruno accepted our sweet, little Mandy ( yellow lab ) to his pack and was willing to protect her from all the "evil" creatures he hates. Mandy moved in 3 years later than the boys. The three of them were inseparable. Sadly enough we lost our little girl to extremely aggressive cancer. She was only 9 years old. She is dearly missed by the whole pack.

I firmly decided not to get another rescue GSD and here we are with another one, Marina. We saw her picture and story on AGSDR website, courtesy listing. Marina moved in two months after Mandy passed away. Our pack is complete again, we have 3 tail waggers ( + British short hair cat Winston, only one w/the papers and French Lop bunny, George, who was "kinda" rescue bunny...) Marina is MegaE pup. ( MegaE = Canine megaesophagus ). Marina was almost year old when she moved in and full of energy. This was bit of a challenge to get Bruno accept this hyper pup. But hard work paid off once again. Adding all up, we have one GSD with human aggression, one with dog aggression and one with health issues, elderly bunny with arthritis and cat who thinks he is 90+ lbs GSD. One could say we have our hands full, but by end of the day all of them are well taken care of. All the issues have been dealt with. Every day is another training day. Overall we have a quite well balanced pack. And we are very proud of all of them.

Tarja and Mark Ackrell



Adopted german shepherd Scout laying down Adopted german shepherd Scout and friend Adopted german shepherd Scout playing

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March 9, 2008 - This boy came to us originally in early July and was quickly adopted. Sadly, he was returned a year later. But his second time has proven to be a charm and take a look at him now!

Haley (aka Heike)

Adopted german shepherd Haley laying down Adopted german shepherd Haley sitting

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Heike, now Haley, was going to be euthanized at TLAC because of her extreme shyness and dramatic cowering. She had to be carried because she would not walk on a leash. She wet on herself when she was picked up. She was very underweight. Her new forever home is changing all of that!

March 12, 2008

"You'll be glad to know that she now weighs 43 pounds! She has gained 10 pounds since she has been here, that's almost 25% of her body weight gained in three weeks! The vet says she is looking very good.

We go on walks every couple of days and she has no problem walking around the block and through the greenbelt with us and the other dogs. She doesn't piddle in the house when people come up to her (only at the vet office), and she even wags her tail when my daughter and grandkids and friends come over to visit.

You were right, she is a real cuddler, and has to have her attention whenever the other dogs are getting petted."

Rich and Pat


Adopted lab Max on his bed in the morning Adopted lab Max on his bed in the morning Adopted lab Max's impression of a GSD Adopted lab Max after he fell asleep in the middle of a tummy rub

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Max has found his new home with Lisa and is living the rough life of the pampered canine!


Adopted german shepherd China laying down Adopted german shepherd China laying down Adopted german shepherd China standing

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November 5, 2007 - Today is the third anniversary of China's adoption. When we look back to the first day we met her, we can honestly say we only thought we were in love with her. She quickly captured our hearts and tugged at them from the beginning. With each passing day she has stolen more and more of our hearts and we cannot imagine a day without her.

China remains as calm and quiet natured today as the day we met her. However, she has finally learned to play and adores her "babies". No rubber squeaky toys for this girl. She loves those plush animals and although the experts say animals are "color blind" there is no doubt that yellow is her favorite color. We think it has something to do with the first one we bought for her which happened to be yellow. We've purchased other colors, but she always drags out the yellow ones. Now, there is something important about her babies. They cannot have button eyes or noses as she performs swift and painless surgery removing them. She does not destroy the baby, just extricates the buttons. So we are always on the lookout for felt eyes and noses.

Since we first adopted her, we moved to an adult living community called Robson Ranch in Denton. She loves people and children but still does not like other dogs. The only type of fence we are permitted is a wrought iron fence and having a greenbelt behind us allows her to survey her kingdom and bark at every animal that passes by. But, she really prefers to be indoors on her "soft beds", enjoys evening walks and intermittent visits to the backyard.

In 2006 China won a "Dog Days of Summer Pet Contest" sponsored by a company called Perky Paws. They asked us to evaluate a new product with her. While we were tugging and tossing with her, she got bored, the toy landed on her head, we captured the picture and she won the contest.

She loves riding around in the golf cart, catching the wind and checking everything out. She is just a doll! But hold onto that leash in case she spots a 4-legged creature!

The famous behavioral scientist Pavlov would be so proud of China. Every morning she faithfully sits on the floor as soon as Joey begins drying her hair. Why? Because she gets breakfast snacks at that time! Mind you she knows the difference between Joey's and Tom's hairdryer...she only does this when Joey's powers on!

Unequivocally this was one of the best choices we made in life. At the time of her adoption it was due to knee replacement surgery and the concerns of getting a brand new puppy perceiving that to be unmanageable. Now, we can't imagine our home without a special adopted German Shepherd from AGSDR and assure you that when China has to cross Rainbow Bridge one day, we will be back to give another German Shepherd a "Forever Home." Thank you for the privilege.

Joey and Tom Prohaska


A before photo of adopted german shepherd Faith A before photo of adopted german shepherd Faith An after photo of adopted german shepherd Faith An after photo of adopted german shepherd Faith

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Faith was adopted in 2007 and has been happily living with her mom Amber since. We wanted to share with you a few before and after about a shy dog coming out of it's shell!

Her mom also remembered us telling her Faith wasn't great with cats (she chased them)...and shares this with us:

"It's funny because my cat LOVES her...if she's laying down, he will either curl up in between her front and back legs and push on her belly with his paws or he'll get on her back legs and sleep with her. It's the funniest thing. Never seen anything like it."

Just goes to show that these dogs are adaptable and you just never know what you're going to get!

Gretta (aka Josie)

Adopted german shepherd Gretta laying down Adopted german shepherd Gretta and friend Adopted german shepherd Gretta playing Adopted german shepherd Gretta sitting

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Josie was adopted from AGSDR in 2006. Her mom sent this update to Josie's (now Gretta) foster mom (we've included some of the pics she sent, also):

Attached are some pictures of Gretta. She is doing wonderful. The first three pictures are my day with Gretta. When I take a bath, brush my teeth or get dressed! Another picture is what happened to the poor pumpkin that we left outside for a little while with Gretta before we carved it! Gretta carved it for us! Then there is Gretta with out cocker spaniel, Lady. Also Gretta with her Labrador buddy, Luna. When Luna comes over to play, Gretta is exausted when she leaves.

The last picture is Gretta with the water hose wrapped around her. SHE LOVES WATER and she loves to chase the water hose. She has learned to catch a ball in her mouth and she loves to play keep away and more importantly, she loves to be chased. I will toss her the ball to catch, then she will run away, sit down and drop it. When you get close enough to get it, she quickly picks it up and runs. She could play this game all day! She loves to go with me on rollerblades. Gretta and the cocker spaniel, Lady, go full blast for the first 1/2 mile!

Also, Gretta has FINALLY learned to go up and down the stairs (this happened just last week!) The first couple of times, she crashed at the bottom, but she has learned some graceful landings! As you can tell, there is nothing disabled at all about Gretta. We are still working on her "mouthiness" and I wish I knew a way to keep her from licking and waking us up at night without crating her! She has also gained 7 pounds and she looks great! Gretta says "hi" and sends you and your wonderful family lots and lots of doggie kisses!

Mario, Melonie, Tristan, Lissy, and Keely Martinez

Lucy (aka Molly)

Adopted german shepherd Lucy laying down Adopted german shepherd Lucy sitting

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Sweet Molly (now Lucy) wrote her previous foster mom:

Hi Mom & Dad

Did you get the pictures of me in Flat Creek, this is all mine can you believe it? I asked Santa for a forever home and I got my Christmas wish early, life is good.

I have been a very good girl just like you taught me to be, no accidents in my new house, I listen to everything my new mom tells me, I can even walk really good on a leash. I am having fun with my new brother, he is the boss of me so I have to follow his lead, he is very calm and so I just do what he does. I have lots of new toys and a new bed and a big chew bone that I like alot. Yesterday I went for a big walk and guess what I saw, ducks, they were very interesting, I like to sniff all around them, they are not too friendly, they flew away when I got too close but I know I will see them lots and they will get used to me.

Love Molly/Lucy

Joanne (her new mom) also said:

As you can see Molly had one more change, we gave her a new name, Lucy, she already responds well to it and it just seemed to suit her. We just love her and she seems to have settled in quite well. She has met lots of new family and friends and they all agree that she is beautiful and very sweet. She listens well to Marc and I and is learning the commands that we use with Tyson. She met the cats and is curious and engaging with them. Emma is not fond of dogs but is holding up well while Princess has already made friends and is quite comfortable with her.


Adopted german shepherd Sydney laying down Adopted german shepherd Sydney and friend Headshot of adopted german shepherd Sydney

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Sydney's new dad sent a wonderful letter and the bottom pic of Sydney in her new home with her new doggie pal:

Well, it hasn't been without interesting events for the first five hours. We departed the kennels at about 8:30pm with a full belly of dog food and about a half a dozen of nacho cheese flavored corn nuts. That was my cheat to make sure she would be at least a bit interested and investigate me after being given freedom to run in the training area. Combine those stomach ingredients with traveling farm to market roads at the posted speed limit and poor alignment on I35 to north of Temple and a transport kennel still leaning against the garage door in Mckinney and well, you get one gacking dog. What a mess she made.

We then stopped an hour outside of Dallas to wake up and while I had her on lead in a coma like daze, I realized too late she was eating large quantities of grass to settle her stomach. She then gacked all the way into Dallas. My back seat could qualify as a hazardous waste superfund site. At least today for a weigh in at the clinic, she was quite pleased to hang as much of her muzzle as would fit out the crack in the window. Btw, this dog has been no stranger to the feed bowl. She came in a tad under 80lbs.

When I looked at the alarm clock, it was 12:40am this morning. My son got up to see Syndey, who immediately attached herself to his leg like she had known him all her life. Washed every part of his exposed skin. You can beat the tar out of me why she was sucking up to him, a complete stranger, so much. HE pronounced her to be a good dog. Before I went to bed, I did allow Luci and Syndey to meet each other through a crack in the door. They took turns slobbering over one another's muzzle. Overall with us she is acting like a sponge for the attention. She is just sucking it up.

This morning I introduced them again and then took them into the back yard. There was the customary sniffing, licking, more sniffing and more licking but no aggressive behavior. Syndey and Luci took turns flipping on their back allowing the other to sniff. Almost like trying to out do the other on the degree of submissiveness each could display. Luci brought over one of her pull toys and shoved it to Syndey. Syndey didn't do anything so Luci laid down and pushed it to Sydney with her nose. She does this to us all the time but I never expected her to behave that way to another dog.

The cat did one of her magic appearing tricks. Instant cat where a second ago there was none. Syndey didn't appreciate this, but I somehow got a firm correction in and she settled down. This is going to take some attentive work. It also did not help that Squishy was puffed up and ready to show Syndey who is alpha in the house. Stupid delusional cat.

Luci is an exuberant dog. She is a happy exuberant dog convinced everyone and everything she meets is, should be, or has been a life-long friend and playmate. Syndey sometimes is intimidated by her. (When I have Luci out and she goes into those "I'm running as fast as I can" fits, I'm intimidated when she barrels in on an collision course with my knees) Luckily Luci will shift focus to me when I tell her to stop, sit, or down.

I haven't observed any issues that make me think she is going to be a problem dog. She is exceptionally sweet and mild. She lacks confidence but only time will overcome that. A little on the sticky side when it comes to attention, but I think that also will decrease once she realizes it is always available if she decides to display appropriate behavior. All in all, I can't be more happy or pleased. At her age she is past the really hard discovery stage of a young puppy but not too old that she can't establish a cement-like bond with us. My wife only asked one question, "Why would someone give up a dog like this?" I simply said, "Some people should only have pets that are kept in bowls filled with water."


And his follow-up letter:

Just wanted to let you know everything is outstanding with Sydney. I won't say that that her adjustment hasn't been without some bumps in the road however, most of the teenage antics, jumping on furniture, chasing the cat, and other annoying behavior has been eliminated. Occasionally, she shows us her brain is at work by displaying a variation of the corrected behavior. Instead of occupying the couch to see out the window, we caught her with her hind feet on the floor and front ones on the edge and/or arm of the sofa.

She has full run of the house now. The crate has been dismantled and put in the storage shed. Her, Luci and the cat are getting along fine. Although I believe the cat is rather repulsed by the fact that there are two full time dogs in the house now. Inside the house, they spend a lot of time playing dominance issues of "Who has the biggest mouth". I always give both of them the opportunity to go outside and blow off steam at least once a day and enjoy running as a pack. There is no physical violence such as fighting, but the best way to describe it are two linebackers colliding with each other at full speed. They seem to take great joy in selecting angles of attack that will result in one or the other or both ending up on the ground.

Prior to adoption, you mentioned that she had growled at small children in her prior home. She has yet to display anything but sweetness here. In fact we are still waiting for her to find her voice. Even when Luci is alarm barking she remains quiet.

Last Update : 02/19/2016
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