Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

January 2, 2007

Happy Anniversary Sweet Pea!

One year ago today, our little guy, Sagan, came to live with us. We adopted him from the Washington State German Shepherd Rescue, who rescued him from the Pierce County Humane Society. Sagan's story was really heartbreaking. At the time he was discovered by a PC Sheriff, he was only 9 months old.
The story we were told by the Rescue people was that he was found locked in an abandoned car in a seedy motel parking lot out in Spanaway, along with a 3 month old purebred GSD that was apparently his younger brother from a second litter of puppies. The dogs were allegedly adopted by someone in the military who was in Texas, because both dogs were from Texas and that his name was "Soldier". "Soldier" was also registered with the AKC and we were given the info to obtain his papers if we wanted them. So it's December of 2005, and bitterly cold. The Sheriff went to check out this car in a motel lot and finds the two dogs, starving to death in the freezing cold weather. They were taken to the Humane Society, then by WSGS Rescue. Both dogs were pitiously underweight and dehydrated. Another day or so and it was all over.
Brian and I were kicking around adding another fur child to our home, and we knew we wanted a GSD. Brian is scrolling through the pictures, looking for an older, mellower male that we could introduce into our household, which already contained Pepper who considers herself "top dog" if you'll excuse the pun. As he scrolls by, I see an entry that says, "9 month old male". There was no photo yet, but the basic info. I squeal, "Oh look! A nine month old!" And that set the wheel in motion.
We were going away for New Years and so we knew we couldn't pick him up until after the holidays. "Soldier" was transferred to Theresa's No Place Like Home delux doggie day care to be fostered till we got back, but Brian was able to meet our new doggie briefly. He was so, so hungry and very food-focused. We went to Theresa's right after Christmas to meet him and introduce him to Pepper. She opened up the kennel and out came this laughing, but painfully skinny, German shepherd dog. He came right over and was so friendly. He happily went over to Pepper for sniffs. But you know when my heart melted? When Brian and I were standing next to each other talking to Theresa, and all of a sudden there's this large dog wedging himself between us and then leaning on us. He looked up at us with these beautiful almond shaped brown eyes. Brian and I instinctively reached down to pet him and he was so, so sweet. You could see the love and relief in his eyes. His name was changed to "Sagan", in tribute to Carl Sagan.
I wish I had the photo we took of Sagan that day; it's in his scrapbook and I don't have a copy that's convenient, but he was all legs. You could see all of his bones - his ribs, growth plates, spine. No muscle at all. When we took him to the vet he was about 57 lbs.; when he was found I think he was closer to 50 lbs. This is our handsome boy in November, 2006, playing in the snow, all 77 lbs. of fur and love.
He's a real comedian...he's got the funniest sense of humor, and makes us laugh every day. So I bought him the jester's collar for the holidays. He loves belly rubs and often lays across door thresholds or at the bottom of the stairs so you can't get by without paying the "scritch toll". He's extremely smart and we can see now that he's closer to 2, that the training is catching on. When he needs to be on alert or on duty, he is. We've seen him come streaking across the yard, silently, if someone drives into the neighbor's yard. He "helps" me do the laundry. And by "helps" I mean he stands either directly behind me pinning me to the machines, or directly between me and the machines, and tries to get his head into the dryer. He inspects the stuff I'm tossing in there. He leans forward with me as I stretch to get another scoop of detergent for the next load. Then he plops down in the hall, with his big fat fuzzy feet hanging into the laundry room, and I'm trying to shut the door. Then he gets up and escorts me back to the couch. Who said chivalry was dead?
Happy Anniversary little guy! We love you!!!


  1. aww, what a sweet story! my dream for a pet is to adopt a grey hound. I've talked to a guy about it, but he says it's not a good idea if you have young kids. so we wait. they're coming to our local library, so i'm going to visit:)

  2. Sagan is so lucky to have you - and I know you feel lucky to have him. I just wish the people who did that to him could have the same done to them.

    Fezzi, I'm not an expert, but I have had the impression from rescue people over here that greyhounds are fine with kids (though I don't know how old yours are) but not great with cats or rabbits...

  3. that is such a wonderful story. he sounds like a doll. pets are wonderful.

    i rescued a male zebra finch from a neglectful owner so i'm always touched by people's pet rescue stories.

  4. What a handsome fellow Sagan is!

    I had a friend who adopted two race track greyhounds. She was told they are not too good with kids, but she had six cats and they were all getting along fine. btw- those greyhounds were just sweet couch potatoes!

    Bless you for adopting a rescue pup!

  5. your story is so heartwarming and made me go funny all over...

    he is certainly a champion; a beautiful creature.

  6. Oh Jojo,what beauties!My family bought a GSD when I was 12.He lived until I was 25.He was a good-natured dog and I miss him every day.

    I have three rescues...a dachshund (black and tan,Beans),a Rottie-bloodhound mix (Kol) and my puppy via my Mom's rescue...a red dachuhuahua.

    Beans was found in the NC mountains by a friend of my uncle.They thought he had been hit by a car because he was dragging his hindquarters.He had not been hit,but was THAT dehydrated and malnourished.He also had a case of worms and had lost a LOT of his fur.He was taken to a vet,who got him well again.I got him weeks later because they could find no one else to take him.He gets extra protein each day,even now,almost a year later.

    Kol was a puppy that someone threw out after having given away all her litter mates but her.My mother and her co-workers fed her daily and looked for a home for her.Within days she began having parvo symptoms.She was brought to me in a puppy pad she was so thin.

    The vet asked if I wanted her and I said yes.He worked with her for over 2 weeks.He also cured a case of sarcoptic mange that she had while recovering.

    I am so happy to hear other people coming to the aid of animals,because they are truly at the mercy of humanity.

    Makes me miss my GSD though....BUT I get to see an old friend's GSD this weekend,she (the GSD that is) is 12 herself.

    Do you have anymore pics of the pups?

    I will post some pics of my "babies" as soon as Blogger will let me.I have been trying to post pictures of stuff all day and nothing is working!But as soon as it does I will post my trio of trouble!

  7. What a great thing to do :)

    Sagan is very lucky to be part of your family.We don't have any dogs at the moment,although we have 4 cats.I still miss the dog we got when I was 13,she lived until I was 26,and was the best dog ever.Even after I had children,she was still my best friend,and happily transferred her protectiveness to my kids.She was also a live babywalker,quite happy to have kids hanging of her :)

    eliza xxxxx