Sad News

We wish there was no sad news to report but...this page is dedicated to all those trusting and loving dogs out there who have made our lives better by being in them.  We miss them now and forever.

For information on Pet burial alternatives please visit Beloved Pet Cremation and Burial Service

Pet Cremation Urns - At we sell custom pet memorial products. We have a large
selection of German Shepherd figurine urns among other items.

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth. 
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. 
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land 
of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. 
They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. 
So, each day they run and play until the day comes
when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
The nose twitches! 
The ears are up!! 
The eyes are staring!! 
And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet,
you take him or her in your arms and embrace. 
Your face is kissed again and again and again and again, 
and you look once more in the eyes of your trusting pet. 
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, 
never again to be separated. 



I am sorry to pass on that Mistletoe has left us. 

We were lucky to have Mistle join our family in October of 2004 and we able to have 5 and a half great years with her.  She brought joy to Debra and I, but also to her extended family.

From her cousins Sabre and Bear, to the rest of her human family, she was a great friend and companion and we miss her dearly.

Miss you girl!

Mistletoe at Christmas, 2008

Mistletoe, Spring 2008
Mistletoe & Sabre


Duke-meisterIt is with much sadness and a very heavy heart that I am writing to tell you that our beloved Duke was laid to rest on December 29, 2009. He was truly a tremendous joy and inspiration and he will be sorely missed.

The experience of having a german shepherd has changed our lives forever. His steadfast devotion was something I had never experienced with any other animal. Even at the end, when he could barely walk, he would not leave my side. We shared many adventures over the years and have so many happy memories.

Duke loved going to the beach where he would chase the waves and bark at them relentlessly. Many of the people on the beach laughed and remarked to us how amusing it was to watch him. Duke often received compliments on our walks from drivers who would slow down and remark on how handsome he was and he really knew it too, let me tell you.

As you can see from the pictures, he loved posing for the camera and was in the MAGSR calendar, although I can't recall the year, wearing his doggles. He acquired many nicknames over the years, including "Duke-a-roo", "Duke-meister", and my favorite which I called him most often "Bubby". 

BubbyHe was a silly, sweet-natured, affectionate guy and so amazingly intelligent. All my friends and family adored him and felt completely comfortable with him. I honestly don't think I ever even heard the dog growl, although he absolutely knew when to bark at strangers and I never worried with him by my side. There was nothing I wouldn't have done for him and I know him for me. Someone once remarked they thought we had an unhealthy attachment to one another. I don't know, maybe we did, but I just don't think they really understand the bond that can be potentially formed between a dog and his master (or mistress in this case).

I am eternally thankful to God and to the MAGSR that we found each other and shared nearly 8 years together, I do not regret one single day even as painful as losing him is. We were truly blessed to have him in our lives and I know that I will cherish my memories of him forever.

Lisa Myers


Duke-meister Bubby

Cody, Radar and Sable



We appreciate everything you are doing for these wonderful dogs.

German Shepherds give their love unconditionally, and in our family, we have been blessed with a number of fantastic companions.

We would like to remember 3 of our dogs that have past away recently.

All of these dogs received a lot of love; however they gave back even more. They are missed dearly and we will never forget them.

The Chamberlin Family


Cody (March 25, 1995 – September 12, 2004)


Radar (January 03, 1995 – April 14, 2009)


Sable (March 03, 1998 – September 22, 2009)



My sweet Dee crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning as I held her in my arms and told her how very much she was loved. Dee had already lost the use of her back legs, a victim of DM,  when she came to me and her cruel disease struck again on Friday disabling her front legs also. I hoped against hope that it was just a set back but sadly it wasn't.



I was sad to hear that our former foster dog Chicana passed away recently. Chicana was an exceptional companion – calm, dignified and beautiful. She lived with us in the winter of 1999 and got along very well with our 4 dogs and 2 cats.

Chicana was adopted by Geri and Blake Bond in January 2000. Geri and Blake gave Chicana the most loving home a dog could ever have. Recently her health deteriorated so badly that her family had to let her go. I know they are missing her badly. She was a great dog.

Chris Lienesch



Our sweet Henry passed away October 16th, 2009 due to complications following his heartworm treatment. During his short time with MAGSR he was loved and shown a life he had never imagined. His devoted foster mom was with him during his last moments. Please remember to give your dogs heartworm preventative. It is a simple monthly pill that can prevent so much heartbreak. Run free Henry! We miss you!



Dan and I just wanted to let you know that it is with very very heavy hearts that we send this e-mail. My husband and I had to put our German Shepherd, Harley, down on Sunday (9/27/09). This was probably the hardest decision we have had to make. He went lame about 3 weeks ago with nerve damage hip dysplasia of which the vet said he would never recover. He lost 40 pounds in 3 weeks and could barley walk. He was not eating at least anything of significance in the last week. We know that it was the right decision to make to not have him suffer any more but it does not make it any easier. He was a great dog that we adopted from MAGSR back in June of 2003 when he was 1 and 1/2 years old. It was the best decision ever to adopt from a rescue. I think we got the better of the deal to have known a dog like that. I always explained to everyone that Harley was just like Lassie except he was a German Shepherd. 
Thank you,
Danny and Terry



Sadly we are writing today to let you know that our wonderful Duke (From circa 2003) has passed on due to tumors/cancer at age 10.5. It took him very suddenly on September 4. He was an outstanding dog from the moment he arrived and got better with each year. He really took to our now 5yr old grandson and they were best friends ever since. Honestly, Duke bypassed our son, his wife and us when Logan would arrive, they were thick as thieves so to speak.

We want to thank you for the opportunity to have Duke, it was a truly wonderful experience and we will always cherish the memories. He was a full fledged member of our family and will be missed everyday. We have enclosed a picture of Duke, our son and grandson.

Bruce and Bonnie Dubel Burns
Churchville, Maryland

Tom, Jill and Logan Dubel
Reisterstown, Maryland



Rusty died on 9/3/09. I got him back in march of 04. he was a big tank of a dog who never really got tired of walking(sometimes pulling too hard but that's a dogs job). he loved to play with water, trying to bite it as it came out of the garden hose, he was still trying to bite water up until a week of his passing. rusty had very bad arthritis in his back and ruptured a disk rendering him unable to walk. he was a great dog and actually defended me and my home on more than one occasion. but I will always remember him pulling me like a tank down the street on his walks.




I am sorry to tell you that Janna crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 1. The swelling in her legs was not subsiding and began to affect her front legs as well. Each time she has one of these episodes, it takes her longer to come back and some of the damage done is permanent.  I talked to one of her vets on Thurs 7/30 and he decided to increase her prednisone for a couple of days to see if that would help. I picked up her prescription on Friday and on Saturday morning she could not get up. Her right front leg was grotesquely swollen, as was her stomach and she was running a high fever. Neighbor and a friend carried her out to the car on a rug and I drove to the vet. I knew by the look in her eyes that she was telling me she wanted to go. I told her that it was alright and that I would love her forever. When we got the vet's, they brought out a gurney and put her on it and wheeled her into an operating room where we lowered her to the floor and put her onto several blankets.  I told the vet adn the techs that I was letting her go. The vet was crying too, becasue she is a shepherd person and thought Janna was really an exceptional dog. Janny went to sleep very peacefully and I was with her the whole time. She is at peace now and no longer in pain. I miss her so very much. SHe was such a presence in my home.  Really an incredible, gentle, kind, loving, smart dog.  My heart is broken.  Just wanted you to know she is at peace.



It is with deep regret that I announce Deegan's passing over the rainbow bridge. Though I was not part of Deegan's "pack", I had the great pleasure of knowing him. Deegan was a wonderful boy. He was a fabulous pack member, opened his home to other dogs in need, was an excellent student in his training classes and was an all around well balanced dog. How I came to know him is because he shared his home with a foster "sister" of whom we adopted. When we first started with the rescue many years ago, we first met Deegan's adopter, then Deegan himself. Deegan was spunky, friendly and obedient. He seemed to have a comical side to him but was always obedient and a perfect gentleman. He loved to attend training, was an excellent student in advanced classes and proved to be a role model for many others both. Deegan will be greatly missed by many of us. Had he not "paid it forward" by opening his home to his former foster sister, it is very possible that we may never have had the opportunity to adopt her and because of this, we will always be eternally grateful. Rest in peace, sweet boy. You will always be in our hearts.


June 12, 2009

Dear MAGSR Volunteers,

My family and I adopted "Abby" in 2001 from MAGSR. She was a loving, devoted German Shepard to not only me (her mother) but the entire family. Unfortunately Abby was diagnosed with a ruptured (bleeding) tumor on her spleen on Wednesday, 9 Jun 09. Prognosis was not good and with her blood count down and her advancing age of 9 estimated years, she was euthanized and buried on Friday 12 June 09 in one of her favorite fields next to a playmate, 11 year old Jasmine, a Doberman.

Abby came to us over 8 years ago from MAGSR as a 43 pound, worm infected, fly bitten dog who had the roughest coat I have seen in a while and who was also frightened of cameras. She was adopted by the other family dogs, a Collie and a Doberman with whom she played very well with. She tolerated cats, mostly because the Collie would play and sleep with them. Fetch was not a game she enjoyed, but walking, running, riding in the car, and quietly sitting or laying under your legs was her favorite past time.

At the time of her death, Abby was a healthy 77 pound, silky smooth girl who loved her people as much as they loved her. She loved her ears and muzzle to be rubbed but most of all a tummy rub was a great reward. Her tail always waged when she saw her people, early am or late pm. At the command "Abby, Christine" (Abby's mom), she would literally fly downstairs to the garage door to wait for Christine to walk through the door after work.

Abby was a great companion, a beautiful dog, and a good friend. Although there may be other German Sheppards in this family there will never be another Abby. She was one of a kind and is deeply missed.

God speed Abby, you're loving family, Christine, Jim, and Desiree Herrick

June 04, 2009


Dear MAGSR Volunteers,

It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to you tonight. Almost a year ago I was blessed with a wonderful new member of my family from the MAGSR. Going into the process I was not really sure what to expect. I could not imagine that I would fall in love at first sight but I did the moment I set eyes on Bogart. His movie star name and description on the MAGSR site could not have been more perfect. He was a beautiful Black and Red GSD with the kindest brown eyes and the biggest heart. As a red head, we had an instant bond.

He was all the things you would want in a pet...loving and loyal and always knew how to put a smile on my face. We created our own game of hide and go seek and he had this special little hop he did when he was excited. Bogart immediately took over a bench seat in my front window as his own personal perch to watch the world go by.

He unexpectedly passed away this morning. The vet will be running tests to determine the cause but believes it was GDV. I am heartbroken and incrediably sad at this unexpected event and cannot imagine my life without him. Bogart had a MAGSR chip and with his passing, I wanted to pass along this sad news. Attached please find his adoption photo and one of him on his 'perch'. Thank you for bringing him into my life.

Sincerely, Susan Bennett

June 04, 2009


It is with heavy heart to announce that Alexa has passed away this morning at 3am. She was in the loving arms of her foster Mom Nancy from the group home. Alexa was 13 years old and passed on knowing she was loved by Nancy and her husband Ken

May 11, 2009


I am writing with a heavy heart and an ocean of sadness. Our Parker was sent onto our/his Good Shepherd in Heaven on Monday, May 11, 2009. It has taken this amount of time for me to be able to compose myself to write about Parker, and to thank MAGSR.

A year ago April, he was diagnosed with an abdominal/colon mass. We made the decision not to operate based on an expert oncologist’s advice, but instead, to keep him comfortable and enjoy each and every day we would have together. He did amazingly well and his pain management kept him comfortable and happy. He even had an annual senior exam and relatively clean bill of health three weeks ago, but took a sudden turn for the worse. Parker began to hobble on Saturday. I thought he might have developed arthritis, an anticipated a cortisone injection, or other remedy plan when we set out for the vet on Monday morning, but an x-ray showed his left wrist bone and joint were consumed by cancer and the pain was excruciating for him. We made the horrific decision to end his suffering, since his vet determined no additional pain medication would help him live longer or at all comfortably. Parker’s quality of life in the past year was most excellent, as you can see from his photos.. There is a photo of him posing as a lap dog last Christmas with my son, Mike Sponaugle, proud co-owner of two MAGSR boys.

I will be eternally grateful to Denise Gosnay, who said “Yeah, what about Parker?” on that cold March 2005 Saturday morning off in where God left his sandals Pennsylvania. Kelly brought him up to me after a walk and said “Mom, he winked at me, he’s the one”. I said “My God, he’s big”, he was skinny and the size of a small pony. Parker grinned and looked at me as if to say—what do you think? “I’m ready to go.” And off we went--to our amazement we left crying volunteers and caregivers’ of Parker behind and began our four year journey. I am everlastingly indebted to Pat Walraven, Bill Myers, Rebecca, and Nicole Sponaugle, my daughter-in-law. Pat really just loaned Parker to me, since he was her boy and soul mate. II am happy for her devotion to Parker until we could come along and take him home with us. The McDonald’s drive through trip will never be the same—Parker would honest to God stomp his feet, screech like a girl and rock the car in anticipation of a burger—Pat Walraven taught him that trick!

I have a hole in my soul and hear him still. I miss his grin and wake-up face on my bed every morning, I miss guarding my plate, sharing a Skinny Cow ice cream—as everyone who knows Parker will appreciate—he was most adept at “food” It was so fun watching him lick an ice cream stick, emptying a Kong, eating any/everything off of a fork or spoon without biting the utensil. I miss his rapt attention when I was blow drying my hair—the hair dryer equates to someone is leaving, and he wanted to be on the bus when it did! I miss our walks and talks and fabulous trips to his favorite pet store down the street--he would put his eyes up against the glass and look in when it was closed. I miss our alone time at the dog park—he just knew he was going to get that ground hog on the other side of the fence. He became an adept condo dweller, and knew the way to the elevator and Kelly’s on the second floor. Most of all I miss his nudges and the most loving eyes God could give a creature. Parker is one of the featured in the MAGSR calendar (November 2009). Thank you MAGSR for allowing me and Kelly the privilege and great joy of adopting Parker—the good shepherd.

Very truly yours,
Terry M. Green

April 27, 2009



With a sad and heavy heart, we had to give Tyson (at time of adoption known as Tazwell) to God last evening. He suffered numerous health issues over the last six months and was in extreme pain. Losing the ability to move his legs and tail, loss of hunger, vomiting and hearing, Tyson was brave to the end.

We wanted to thank your organization for allowing us to adopt Tyson back in late November of 2000. He was accepted into our family from the beginning by our other German Shepherd, Casey. The two became very close companions and were like brother and sister.

Tyson was a fighter-recovering from heart worms shortly after we adopted him, enduring a lengthy therapy for elbow surgery, and serious arthritis limiting him in his final years to the first floor of our home.

Tyson was a trooper, putting up with numerous moves between Pittsburgh-Northern Virginia and back to Pittsburgh. He helped us welcome our two children by putting up with crying children and their constant wanting to “play” with him. He accompanied us on those middle of night feedings, never complaining. He greeted us with a wagging tail and a drooling tongue. He loved us all unconditionally.

I can’t explain what he meant to me and my family. I lost my friend. He will never be replaced nor would we disrespect him by thinking he could ever be….

Thank you, Tyson for allowing us to adopt you and loving us every day, through the best of times and the worst of times. We will never forget you.

MASGR thank you for bringing Tyson into our lives.

Love you, pup.

Andreas and Michelle Knispel
Nicholas and Samantha
“Sister” Casey


Waco/Tiny Tillis
March 30, 2009
Adopted 6-29-02 @ 1 1/2 years old



April 12, 2009


This precious little girl was found in a plastic bag on the side of the road. We named her Gladys and brought her into MAGSR. Gladys had some paralysis in her back end which presented some challenges in her care. We resorted to diapers to keep her clean and dry then found we had to dress her in baby clothes to keep the diapers on. We took her to a specialist and the prognosis was devastating. Her paralysis was more extensive than we had believed. She only had feeling in 2 toes, the rest was unresponsive. The crushing news was a severe heart defect which explained her nonstop panting. It would only get worse as she grew. With great sorrow we had to say goodbye to Gladys. Gladys was adopted by her foster Patty and is now running free at the Bridge with Shasta and Patty's other puppies.

Run free, Gladys, you touched us all in your short life.

March 27, 2009


Dear Mid-Atlantic German Shephard Rescue,

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I write to you this evening.

Our beloved Hailey (named Tinsel when we adopted her from you) has passed this evening. She was a key member of our animal & human family, she was the constant comedian.

When we first got Tinsel she was just a year old ball of bright white fur. However we quickly decided her name didn't fit her. While wondering what her new name should be to go with her new life my mom and I were outside with her when we saw Hailey's Comet in the sky! We knew that Hailey had to be her new name, she was bright white and had endured so much hardship before coming to our farm. After getting her over her fear of men she became my Dad's best bud. Always in his lap when he sat down or by his side. She was always the first one at the door when you got home ready to greet you with a kiss.

This sad day started out like any other, she was the first one up for breakfast, was the first one ready for the morning walk and the first one to jump in the car for a drive to the barn. It wasn't until after dinner that we noticed she was not acting like her usual energitc self. She was just laying on the floor panting and not wanting dinner. I check her gums and found that they were white. I called the emergency vet and rushed her in. They found internal bleeding in her abdomen, she had a tumor on her spleen that ruptured suddenly (we didn't even know the tumor was there). After talking to the vet, surgery was not a good option since she would most likely not survive the surgery. We decided that the best thing would be to ease her suffering and let her pass.

I wanted to thank you for allowing us to know Hailey and her sister MacKenzie, (was Sasha when we adopted her from you) who is mourning the loss of her sister.  Please keep her and us in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you again for all you do!

Michael, Karen & Megan Clem


January 5, 2009


Kevin and I are saddened to share the news that we had to put our beloved Cliffy to sleep last night...
This past week has been the hardest I can remember.  I took Cliffy to several vets including veterinary specialists, getting multiple xrays and blood work... but the prognosis kept getting worse with each visit.   He was suffering from excess gas in his stomach and intestine - from a bloat-like condition they called Chronic Stomach Torsion.  And they weren't quite sure what was causing the intestine to dialate and become filled with gas.
Cliffy worsened with his level of discomfort, that was clear.  He would have turned ten years old in a few weeks -- a remarkable age for a dog who has suffered with Megaesophagus his entire life.  We will always remember his playfulness, his friendship, and his cuddly-ness, among many other things.
We hope that he is now playing with Toby in Heaven. 
We miss our Cliffy dearly...
Jen and Kevin


January 5, 2009

Dear MAGSR Family and Friends,

My name is Jason, father to Fluke and Dakota Smith my two GSD's. I have some very, very sad news to pass along to you all this evening-

Dakota, my 16 year old german shepard has been dealing with a large tumor. The mass has spread from his rib area to his left rear leg making his quality of life very rough. I cannot be one to see any animal in pain. Today I visited no just my boys doctor (vet) but another to get a second opinion and both have come to the same conclusion which was the worst. He has been 'the one' out of all the GSD's that I have owned and cared for- Dakota was not only the most loyal but amost human like in his personality. I had him since I was in the tenth grade- a puppy. I brought him home without my parents permission and at the time we had Sarge- yep another GSD who showed Dakota the ins and outs of the Smith household - and now a great good memory. He has taugh Fluke so many good things for his own, such as how to get food out of the large plastic food container if hes hungry and how to stay in the yard when out front smelling the rose bushes. Both dogs would smell around the rose garden and watch cars from the grass, but Dakota always stayed near the house, as if he was unable to cross the street, Fluke has simply followed this trait. Today I was told by the vet that he really lived past his expectancy for the breed- he survived with a lot of love. He will be missed terribly by me, and that now said Fluke has big shoes to fill! I know he will do just fine, after all he was taugt by one of the finest! Anyone who wishes to send their wishes may do so at my address

Please post this for us, as we mourn over our loss. Simply, Jason Smith

December 11, 2008


I have some sad news and there is no easy way to tell you this. Raider developed osteosarcoma and we could no longer manage his pain with medication. He is a brave dog and is a warrior. But last night and this morning was a clear sign that this battle was to end. Raider was surrounded by me and my fiancee and the caring vet staff who cried right along side us. This was one of the hardest things I ever had to do as he continued to give unconditonal love, sloppy kisses, and act goofy right up to the end. My heart is broken and the tears won't stop.

But I want you to know more about the happy days of Raider's life here with me as there were only a couple sad days. His sad days were when I had to go out of town and my mom babysat him. He loved her but Mom said he would cry when I was away. When I called home, she would put the phone to his ear and when I talked to him he would make the funniest faces.

The great days: Raider was always ready for a road trip on a moments notice. He would take his leash and jump into the know he was a light traveler! He loved butterflies and bumblebees. His favorite toy was his feed bucket...yes a bucket because he was a bit sloppy. But then he like to chew on his bucket and he constantly played chase with it. There were times when Raider would see his shadow and then would play shadow boxing...he was hilarious. I do believe he had a complete understanding of the English language as when I would say please drink...he would.....please eat...he would do that to!

He had the uncanny talent of reading your face. He had the ability to truly read anothers eyes as I would tilt my head to go just ever so...and he would leap up. I would nod my head forward and he would lie down. Raider is the poster child of the German Shepherd breed. He was a great ambassador of the breed for everywhere we went he made friends; velcro true to nature and we loved it; gentle yet a giant in stature, heart and soul; protective as he showed a couple of dumb hillbillies that this is MY mom and you WILL LEAVE NOW OR SUFFER THE WRATH OF RAIDER.. THE FEARLESS....oh yeah that was something and shocked me sideways. Guiness loved Raider....they played constantly and now she is very quiet.

When I got hurt by a horse right after I got Raider and was knocked unconcious, it took me some time to remember that it was Raider who stayed by my side on that horribly cold day.....he was actually licking my face to wake me up.....yeah took alittle time to remember things when you land head first into a fence post and suffering a severly injured leg (I took a brutle kick from a young horse...never saw it coming). Despite our new relationship, he really gave the paramedics a time of it trying to get close to me to treat my injuries. I do believe in my heart that Raider saved my life that day as you know I live by myself and the temps at 4pm were in the teens. No one would have looked for me for days ....Raider kept saying "wake up Mom ...we gotta go". I always felt safe with Raider and he always watched my every move. This is so hard.

As our relationship developed, Raider became the most obediant, loyal, honest, velcro, loving friend I ever had in a furry coat. He is an angel sent to me and now he is gone. I am devasted and lost. He was my best furry friend who loved me unconditionally. Please know that Raider was loved beyond belief, adored and cherished. He loved life and there were many who loved him. He touched Al, my fiancee, in a special way and he hurts also. Could you please notify would be nice to see him noted on the passing page.....he was special.

Carolyn Miller-Willis


Van (Vanilla Dog)
November 26, 2008


As you know Van suffered hip and elbow dysplaysia along with arthritis everywhere including his spine since he adopted me on Thanksgiving Day 2000 when he was about two years old. The last six months have been increasingly difficult with multiple illnesses and inexplicable behavior changes. Today he could not get up. He finally gave up. It was clear he participated in the decision to euthanize him at 1:00 this afternoon. He was diagnosed with cancer in his leg and likely his chest and maybe his brain and other areas, in addition to his original ailments that had been overwhelming him. He was an exceptional companion for 8 years and was approximately 10 years old.

He came to me through the incredible work and selflessness of the volunteers at the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue and the wonderful people at the shelter in Pennsylvania where he was on death row before the persistent efforts of the staff contacting Rescue groups states away was successful.

Van loved all humans and most dogs whether they deserved it or not. He was more intelligent, loyal, silly and funny than most humans, as well. He remembered everyone he ever met no matter how much time had passed and greeted them with the huge joy of finding a long lost friend. He LOVED presents, new what the word meant, and loved to open wrapped presents himself, as the attached video shows (Christmas in Folly, 2004) He is terribly missed already. I'm sorry he won't be here to greet you the next time any of you visit.




Lady (FKA Reno)
November 3, 2008

I regret to inform you that our "Lady" (AKA "Reno") MAGSR tag # 189 pasted away this past Monday, November 3rd, 2008 due to age and sickness. She was loved very much by all us as well as by other family members. We will miss her greatly. I have attached a few pictures, one of "Lady" and "Princess" (AKA "Tawny") the day we brought "Princess" home from MAGSR and the other of just "Lady" standing outside on our deck at the door. "Lady" actually was the one who decided "Princess" was the one to come home that day in March.


Patrick, Jody, Katie & Bryan


November 3, 2008


Last night, 3 November 2008, our miracle girl Isabel ran out of miracles. She came to us from Puerto Rico where she had lived the hard life of a stray. Within the first hour of arriving at our house 6 months ago, she managed to slip her collar and run away. As I was in hot pursuit of her, she jumped a cement wall that had a 20 foot drop on the other side and crossed the Fairfax County Parkway (during rush hour) all without suffering an injury. She was gone for five days, being sighted as far as 8 miles away, before she found her way back to our house.

You could not meet Izzie without being profoundly touched by her gentle and sweet spirit. Isabel was not the demanding type. If she wanted affection, she would sit next to you and wait patiently until you noticed her. Her nightly routine with her dad was to sit next to his side of the bed and put her head on the mattress so that he could rub her ears. She would make human-like grunting noises to express her contentment or to let me know that it was getting really close to dinner time. When it came to food, she actually showed her mischievous side. No matter where she was in the house, when I rustled the bag of chicken jerkey, she would come running as fast as her legs carried her. For chicken jerkey, she was ready to endure baths, vet visits, and medication. I will never forget when she stole half of my husband's tuna melt sandwich right off his plate. She snatched it in a split second and tried very hard -- though unsuccessfully -- to make a fast getaway.

Izzie suffered from a never-ending series of illnesses and infections all of which she battled and seemed to defeat. Ultimately, though, heartworms had caused progressive heart and lung disease in her that made it increasingly difficult for her to breathe. When I look back on her journey to us, I ask myself why Izzie-Bee only had 6 months with us. Why did she come to us all the way from Puerto Rico only to die here in the States? Then I realize that the fate she would have suffered in Puerto Rico with the diseases she had would have been a horrendous one. Thanks to MAGSR, she was able to experience a loving home and a dignified death. We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to love and care for Izzie-Bee. She was a truely special girl, my canine soul mate. It was clear last night that she knew how much we loved her. Even though she had difficulty breathing, she wagged her tail when she saw us, she licked my arm and hand, and made the same ecstatic grunting noise when my husband rubbed her ears. She passed peacefully in our arms. I take solace in the fact that Izzie will never be a stray again; she has found a permanent home in our hearts. rest in peace, Izzie-Bee.


October 12, 2008


It is with great sadness that we inform you of Gunner's (Gunther's) death. We adopted him in August, 2007.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 at approximately 8:30 pm, our vet ended his suffering. Luckily, he did not suffer very long, as his symptoms only started a few short hours before our emergency run to the vet. The vet informed us that he had a tumor in his spleen that had ruptured, causing internal bleeding, anemia, weakness & dizziness. After her examination and explanation of the problem, we decided to end it. The size of the tumor and how quickly his condition advanced indicated slim to no chance of recovery and we didn't want to let him suffer any longer. gunner

He brought a huge amount of joy to our family and is missed dearly. Pop-Pop (Justin's dad) couldn't go anywhere without Gunner. He shadowed him everywhere. If Pop-Pop went outside without Gunner, he would sit at the door or go to the picture window and whine. Gunner would not go inside if Pop-Pop wasn't going inside. He was a great companion, very affectionate and a great "watch dog". Nothing happened outside without him barking at it. He loved his chest scratched and made sure he got his daily scratch every night at bedtime (he slept with Pop-Pop, too). He was so "in tune" with Pop-Pop. If Pop-Pop was starting towards a diabetic "crash", Gunner would wake him by licking his face. When Pop-Pop fell, Gunner howled & barked with Kylie until I came upstairs to help. He was a magnificent animal. We were blessed to have him in our lives.

Our other dog, Kylie, is doing well, but is still searching for him. It won't be long until she takes full advantage of being the only dog in the household. She was "Queen B" before we adopted Gunner, but adjusted very well. The two would play every morning when I'd let them out before going to work. I've attached a few pictures for you. One is of the two playing.

Thank you for facilitating the adoption and permitting us the pleasure of having Gunner with us, if only for a short time.

Justin, Sue & Joe (Pop-Pop) Whitacre
York Springs, PA


October 6, 2008

I'm very sorry to report that I had Josie euthanized a week ago,the night of 10-06-2008. She was with me almost five years; a Thanksgiving treat from the day she came into my life, 11-28-2003. She would have been 11 next month.

Josie was in terrible shape when MAGSR rescued her and I gladly took her, sight unseen, and met her on that rainy, cold day. She was emaciated with every bone in her body clearly visible, her ears were terribly raw from fly bites, we could see her skin through her patches of fur, and her tail looked like it belonged to a rat. Her immune disease prevented her mouth opening more than about an inch, and it prevented her eyes from closing when she slept. Her serious medical problems stayed with her, but she stabilized after about two years and had a terrific quality of life, following many years of suspected abuse. Stabilized is a relative term - we had several trips to the ER during her all-too-brief stay with me. Josie's health started deteriorating a few weeks ago, and changes in her many meds didn't stop the downward spiral.

She fit right into my home and loved the cats. She was gentle, loving, patient, and quiet. Her vet and I thought her "barker" had been removed; however, after about three years, she finally let out her first big bark when she got excited to see me come home. I don't know who was more shocked, Josie or I. She liked to survey the neighborhood from the safety of the back yard deck, go for leisurely walks, or a ride in the car. It didn't matter where we were riding to, just so she was in the car going somewhere. She also liked to play hide-and-seek, and would twirl around in circles when she found me. She often shared her bedding with one or more of the cats, and never lost patience with them when they pestered her for attention. Josie was a gentle soul. She is being cremated and will be buried alongside three of her feline friends.

I miss her terribly. Judith Anderson

September 30, 2008

Katherine and David Jeschke adopted Mack; and he will be at the Rainbow Bridge to meet them. Rest in peace and run free handsome boy.

August 20, 2008

On July 27, 2008, we were so excited to add to our family this very sweet, beautiful, gentle girl. However, after multiple seizures, a stay at the emergency vet clinic and a visit to the neurologist, we found that Sable had two brain tumors that had metasized from a carcinoma lung mass. The prognosis was not good, and there wasn't anything the doctors could have done for her. Sadly three weeks later on August 20, 2008, our sweet Sable girl passed away.

Sable was the perfect dog. She came into our lives and it was like she'd been here for years. She adjusted to our routine almost immediately, there were no accidents in the house, she only chewed on her toys (the squeaky pink pig was her favorite), and she instantly got along with her new big brother. The first weekend we had her, we took her swimming in our pool. However, we didn't think she really enjoyed it like our other dogs do. She just kind of floated on a raft and really didn't swim that much. But after she got out, Sable was so frisky, and was chasing and playing with her brother all over the yard. She was finally loving life, acting like a dog, and knowing what being a part of a family is truely like.

I remember she would come up to me and just want to rest her head in my lap or move my hand with her nose so I would pet her. And she gave lots of hugs too! She loved human contact. Sable got lots of treats, new toys, a new comfy bed to curl up in, and lots of tummy rubs from her dad. We had juststarted training classes too, and Sable was the star student. She was such a smart girl! She absolutely loved her new family. We are just so happy that we were able to give Sable probably the best three weeks she had ever known. We miss her terribly, but we know that Sable is in a better place now, and not sick and suffering anymore. This sweet girl didn't deserve the life she was given. Although we only had her a very short time, we loved her very much, and it breaks my heart that we couldn't do more for her or that she couldn't be with her new family longer. Sable will live forever in our hearts, and will never be forgotten.

We love you little girl!

Stephanni, Taylor and Gotti


She came to us just like others have – the result of a phone call – many people searching not so nice areas near the city for a dog on the loose – a dog in distress, a German Shepherd that needed help.

Honey’s capture was dramatic and not without some danger to both the people that had committed to finding and bringing her to safety and to Honey herself.    It was worth it and we all felt a sense of accomplishment when the search team notified us of its success. 

Honey, now captured and safe was brought to a veterinary hospital where we could finally assess her condition.  She was found to be severely emaciated and dehydrated, had mange, fleas, an open and oozing neck wound from a embedded chain or a collar, badly fly bitten ears, evidence of recent birth of puppies and multiple ruptured mammary glands; she was generally not in too good a shape at all. 

Honey was named by one of her saviors who was also ready to foster her when Honey was recovered. She was Honey for her beautiful honey colored fur and for her sweet and loving nature. 

Honey had improved considerably, and was well enough to be spayed and her foster parents were preparing her foster home for Honey’s arrival.  Sadly and tragically Honey never made it to her foster home.  She died sometime last evening as a result of complications from her spay due to her weakened state. 

Honey was a beautiful dog, both physically and in spirit.  She was a very sweet and brave girl who touched the heart of all of us at the rescue.  She is now at peace and without pain. 

Chris and Brian Hinkle have adopted Honey; and she will be at the Rainbow Bridge to meet them. Rest in peace and run free pretty girl.


A few days ago, an old friend died very peacefully in his sleep. Jerome was not a young man and he had known some pretty hard times early in his life, but his later years were filled with much love and warmth and peace.

For those of you that are not familiar with Jerome's history, he was found lying in the middle of a country road a few years ago apparently hit by a car and left to die; and if it had not been for one of our most caring volunteers who just happened to drive along when she did and find him there, he most likely would have been killed by the next driver down that road. God was watching over this special boy and sent one of his rescue angels to find him at just the right time.. Originally thought to have been hit by a vehicle, it was later determined that Jerome was quite ill but had no trauma. Our vets patched him up and he went home with his rescuers for the TLC that only they could give. From the moment Jerome arrived at the place they called Solitude, he knew nothing but love, caring and happiness with his foster parents and his canine buddies. Jerome will be greatly missed by all of them. Run free now, Jerome! Chase the bunnies and the squirrels to your hearts content!

August 6, 2008

It is with a heavy heart we must report that our dear China has left us. She stopped responding the medications that offered her such quality of life. She was loved by her family and her two canine companions.

China was held tight by the ones she loved, and the ones who loved her, as she passed from this world to the next.

My dear China left us on the 6th of August 2008 and I have struggled to put into words what her loss has meant for our family.  In short China has been my inspiration and my dear companion since coming to us 2 years ago. My son Sean and I saw China standing in a field at the old kennel looking like she had no one and it melted our heart. We took China home only to discover that she was going blind and would be completely blind within the next year, she took this major life change as if it were nothing. Very soon after the blindness issue, we discovered she had a vaginal infection that may have been present for quite a while and we began a 2 year battle with every anti-biotic known with only small successes, during the last year we discovered that she had an adrenal tumor that could only be treated with surgery. China’s age and health dictated that surgery was not in the cards for her so we tried hormonal treatment to battle the increasing health effects.
I am only telling of her health issues so that you can all understand her resiliency and her ability to make the best of things. China never lost her sense of humor or her desire to be the controller of all things canine in my house.  She ruled my males with an iron fist and never let them get over on her. She would roll around on her back even up through her last days. She closely scrutinized all the fosters and adopted furkids and was a big deciding factor on their staying or going. China’s loss is terrible and raw and makes me sad everyday, but she was a wonderful girl and we loved her dearly.

August 2, 2008

Phoebe came into the rescue in early May. She was in absolutely horrible condition. A once beautiful adult girl of about 5 years old, but looking much, much older, she had been discovered by a construction crew tied to a site they had been working in -- after they had been there for two days! No one had noticed her. She had been without food or water or any care at all for god knows how long. She was extremely emaciated, had open and oozing sores, mange, flea dermatitis and a horrific infection in both ears. She was a walking disaster!
MAGSR took her in and brought her immediately to the veterinary hospital where many, many of our dogs have gone before, -- to heal and to get well enough for us to find her a peaceful and loving home -- finally.
Phoebe was being treated for her many, many issues, the most serious of which turned out to be her ears. A long and oozing "wound" on her neck turned out to be the oozing from her ears. She underwent surgery on her ears and was scheduled to have another surgery very shortly.
Sadly, she never made it out of the hospital and into our system. She had been fed in the morning along with the other dogs in the facility, and when a vet tech went to check she was showing distress and signs of bloat. She was rushed into surgery, but unfortunately Phoebe died on the operating table.
Phoebe was friendly to all the people that she met. It is so sad that we never really had a chance to show everyone what a beautiful girl she was. RIP brave girl....we will meet you at the Bridge!

June 29, 2008

On June 6th 2006 I was introduced to a skinny, scrawny little shepherd mix named Lesha. Due to a pre-existing medical condition called mega esophagus disorder, Lesha threw up a lot and it was very difficult for her to maintain a healthy weight. I happen to have a very soft spot in my heart for animals with chronic illnesses, injuries and disabilities. I care for a blind, deaf dog, a half blind cat and other animals with issues the ones that most people would over look. At that point, I knelt down and whispered a promise to her to do anything I could to help her get as healthy and happy as I possibly could. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of trial and error but between my boss Debbie and I (and the wonderful employees at our kennel), we managed to make our little Lesha ..well.. not so little anymore. She put on quite a bit of healthy weight, (she went from approx. 30lbs to approx. 50lbs.) for 2 years I watched her flourish, (falling more and more in love with her each day), we had our ups and downs of course but I never saw it as a burden, I saw it as a blessing. The bright eyes, the smile (she did smile) the unconditional love she gave. Watching her chase squirrels in the yard and play catch in the office, we went for walks around the property and took a few field trips. (I could go on for hours of all the wonderful memories I have in my heart).

Sadly, the last week of June, our little Lesha fell ill. The angels took her on June 28Th 2008. MAGSR has asked me to write a little memorial for her and I didn't think it would be this hard, but it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I can’t in words express the love I've had for this dog over the last 2 years, but I'm sure that if you've ever loved and lost an animal, you understand. I (and Lesha, I'm sure) just want everyone to know that these animals with these medical conditions make wonderful companions and friends. Sometimes its a little more work but they are worth it. THEY REALLY ARE A TRUE BLESSING.


I took a walk the other day and rested by a tree; that same old tree in the yard you used to go with me.
I tossed a stick up in the air, the one I used to throw; you loved to run and catch it no matter where it'd go.
I laughed as I remembered when you gave us both a fright; when you found that stick in a pile of leaves and a nest of squirrels took flight.
I closed my eyes and felt your licks wet and warm upon my face; it was your way of thanking me for loving you this way.
I cried as memories flooded in, my Friend is no longer here; the grief and pain I feel sometimes flows in a watershed of tears.
I prayed for you, my beloved pet and thanked our gracious lord; for giving you a brand new life and a body now restored.
I smile because I feel your love that transcends time and space; when I'm missing you dear Lesha, I’ll meet you at this place.




March 24, 2008


t's with deep sorrow that we inform you of Jade's passing. We adopted Jade through MAGSR at just 10 weeks old and at that time we could only imagine the beautiful young lady she was to become. Jade had a powerful presence and anyone coming into our household knew that she would be keeping her eyes on you - especially if you were near her Mommie & Daddy! She was our protector, our dog Hunter's best friend but most of all she was our precious little girl. On January 31, 2008 Hunter and Jade escaped from our backyard and began wondering the neighborhood - the gate became unsecured during a recent storm. Hunter was always people friendly and went to a lady who called me to let me know my dogs were roaming the neighborhood. Jade never overcame being skiddish and kept her distance from the lady and Hunter. I got up to the where the dogs were and got Hunter in the car right away - at this point Jade was down the street about 500 ft away. I began to jog towards her however she turned and ran away - I was almost 9 months pregnant at the time. After much searching we lost sight of Jade. We put up signs, contacted the rescues, animal controls and humane societies in the 5 surrounding counties but after 6 weeks began to give up hope. Our daughter was born on March 9th and 8 weeks, almost to the day that Jade ran away, on March 24th, I received a phone call from the Berkeley County Animal Control. Jade had been found! We were ecstatic that she was alive however we didn't know the condition she was in - all we were told was that she was found in Martinsburg, WV (20 miles away!) and they thought she had been hit by a train. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst we rushed to her side at the Martinsburg Animal Hospital. Upon entering the room we saw our beautiful girl in alot of pain - her back was broken and spinal cord severed - an injury that we couldn't fix. Our beautiful girl went to doggie heaven that day. The ironic thing was that she never lost her collar and she always kept running. The only thing we can think is that maybe eventually she would have made it home. We had her cremated and brought her home although it's not in the physical sense as we'd hoped. She watches over us every day and there's not a moment that passes that we don't miss her sweet face! Jade Stevens February 14, 2005 - March 24, 2008

May 9th 2008


It is with a still heavy heart that I write to tell you that we had to take Dakota to the vet on May 9th, and have him put to sleep. He had experienced a rapid decline in his back legs the preceding week, and he could no longer walk on his own for any great distance...using his back legs. (If he had been able to use only his front legs, then he would be walking all the way to California right now.)

I adopted Dakota and Cheyenne in 2004 and both of them quickly became inseparable. They loved each other, and Dakota even tried to shield Cheyenne from correction and discipline when he could. Dakota was a very strong dog, mentally and physically, for a very long time. Over the past few months, however, his age started to catch up with his heart and his will. He developed cataracts that severely reduced his peripheral vision, and his hearing deteriorated so much that he was left with very close distance range and vibration reactions. So we adjusted our communications with him and greatly exaggerated movements so that he could tell when we were calling him and when we had plans for walks and play and relaxation. In 2007, he made a new friend -- Duke - my boyfriend's slightly younger Chesapeake Bay Retriever, that this year became part of our family. Dakota was a leveling force for Cheyenne, who to this day still has extreme anxiety with separation, storms, and sometimes things we just don't know. (Now - at least Cheyenne has Duke... a great play buddy and a pal.)

If his desire to stay with us, and his heart and will were the true determiners of his time with us -- he would still be here. But, he just couldn't physically keep up, and the attempts to do so were just too much. His decline over his final week left him in a state where he could no longer do the things that he loved the most -- resting on the top stairs landing and watching over us, or climbing the stairs to lay in the sun and shade. He also could not stand long enough to eat, or long enough to relieve himself.

Although I know that he had almost 4 terrific years with me and my family -- and lived a life that was so much better than he had before MAGSR got him -- I still cannot forgive whomever his original owner(s) was(were) (and I presume from whom some kind soul rescued him). It was evident throughout his time with us that he was never allowed to be a puppy and learn how to have fun, to run and play, and to just be. He always wanted to be our protector, and he just loved simple attention, and how I know he would have loved to play and swim, and run and walk (oh did he LOVE walks when he could).

Now I know he is watching over all of us -- and running and playing and sunning and walking like there is no end.

Thank you for the adoption in 2004 -- and thanks for what you do every day.

Tonya and Mike



June 13, 2008

daisy    daisy

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I tell you of the passing of our wonderful Daisy Mae (a.k.a. Diva Dog). 
Five years ago this week we were given the opportunity to adopt this wonderful little ball of black fur.  She didn't know what to think of us and I admit there were times I didn't know what to think of her.  But, we got through those awkward moments and she grew into the wonderful dog that many of you knew. 
After Gary and I were transferred to Hawaii, Daisy and Otis had a brief 3 week stay back in Maryland before they joined us here.  When she got off that plane she was like a new dog - or at least like her old self.  She had always had some weakness in the hips and we assumed it was from the extra weight she was carrying.  But when she got out here she was running around like a puppy again, her energy was amazing.  Then, a few weeks ago Daisy ate some ant bait and was acting very strangely.  We thought it was from the bait, but her vet assured us that the amount of bait eaten by a dog her size would not hurt her.  We kept an eye on her and she just kept getting worse so we took her to the vets office and they immediately sent her to an emergency clinic.  Apparently we were dealing with a very sick dog.  Just how sick would come as a surprise to everyone.
After numerous tests and a visit from a doctor on another island they sent her home with us to await the diagnosis.  Daisy started to seem normal again and we thought we had just spent thousands of dollars for her to have a week and a half vacation (albeit with a lot of poking and prodding).  Last Thursday we learned that it was cancer.  Although that word had been tossed around by her doctors, we didn't want to believe it was the case.   The doctor warned us that she would be fine for a while, but not to get lulled into a false sense of security - we had a very sick dog.  I looked at her and still could not believe that our beautiful, seemingly healthy dog had very little time left.  She had a lung tumor and a blood borne cancer that was in her vessels and causing slow bleeds.  We were left with a lot of options and believed we had a lot of time to think things through.  Obviously we were wrong.
This morning I woke to find Daisy staring at me and I could tell that she was in pain.  I called Gary over and he looked at her and quickly decided she needed to be seen by the doctor, TODAY.  Gary took her to the emergency clinic that had been treating her and the news was very bad.  They informed us that they could aspirate the bleed, but it would just come back and we would do this dance over and over again.  They could remove the lung, but the cancer would just go to another area of her body and this would probably go on for 4-6 months and she would be miserable.  Or we could make the most final decision.  After a lot of  talking and tears, we decided that we would have to let her go. 
A few hours ago Gary and I sat with Daisy for an hour and held her and cried and told her how much we loved her.  The doctor came in and gently administered the dosage that would bring her over the rainbow bridge.  It was very peaceful and she just looked like she was sleeping.  We kissed her and said goodbye.  Now we just have to wonder how Otis will be without his big sister to chase around.   Hopefully we will all get through this fine - but right now that's a very long way off.
Thanks for listening. 
Meagan & Gary


May 29, 2008


Dinah almost made it here.  Not quite.

Early this week Dinah was picked up from the shelter where she had been left as an owner surrender.  She was approximately 4 - 5 years old and a beautiful Sable German Shepherd female.  She had no information turned in with her.  No vetting information, and no indication other than her people were moving for her surrender to the shelter.

Bill picked her up for MAGSR and brought her directly to the veterinary hospital to be examined and to have her initial shots and to have her checked for possible spay.  He said she seemed a bit depressed, but responded very well to his voice and his touch.  He stayed with her while she was examined because she seemed so sad, and when he left she was warming up to the staff and seemed content.

The doctor at the veterinary hospital called Bill this morning and informed him that sadly Dinah had passed away apparently as a result of bloat. There is some consolation in that the last hours of her life she had gentle hands touching and petting her and the soft voices of people who truly cared as her last memories of this earth.

Bill has adopted Dinah; and she will be at the Rainbow Bridge to meet him along with all of the others gone before her that he has befriended and adopted and loved over all the years. Rest in peace and run free pretty girl.


May 29, 2008


Delilah Dee went over the rainbow bridge on May 29, 2008 due to cancer. We adopted her from MAGSR in 2001 and had seven short years having fun playing ball and frisbee with her. Even to the end, in pain, Dee still wanted to play. Kennedy & I will miss playing with her.

Jane Woerner



May 21 , 2008


God sent for his angel, Mr. Chase, to come home last Wednesday. He was dreaming in his bed when he was called. We only had Mr. Chase for a few short years, but we take comfort in knowing that he had a wonderful retirement here with my daughter and me. I still remember the day Rich and Julie brought Chase to meet our family. I sat on the living room floor and he immediately came over and plopped down next to me....making his 'purring' noise that he often made when he was happy. It was a perfect match =) Mr. Chase NEVER met anyone that he didn't care for, and all the kids in the neighborhood loved him so much. He was a gentle giant...always ready to greet someone new with a high-five or a wave. I will never forget the time I had to have a home-nurse come to the house to give me a physical for a new life insurance policy. Anyone who knows me knows that I have the hardest time giving blood because my veins are so difficult to see. (they tend to poke me at least 4 times or so...) I was sitting on the couch with the nurse facing me as she attempted to move the needle inside my arm. I believe Chase, even though he couldn't see what was going on, could 'feel' my pain....he came over, sat next to me, and put his paw on my knee. =) I'll never forget my little hero. Simple moments like when I was in the kitchen rattling dishes or opening the fridge and I felt someone 'looking' at me....LOL...I'd look towards the door and see his cute face poking out from around the side just to see what's going on. No one could ask for a more loving, kind-hearted, old soul of a dog. He was truly man's, or in this case, "woman's" best friend and he will be sorely missed not only by me, but by all who loved him dearly.

I love you Chase, my buddy, my puppers...xoxo

chase chase

Christine and Kaitlyn Fleckenstein


April 16, 2008


It is sad news I write about. Angel, our German shepherd we adopted from you, has passed away from old age. She was a great dog, sweet and caring. She will be missed dearly. We had Angel for 7 years. Her age we are not sure of, but the vet estimated her somewhere between 14-17 years old when she passed. Thank you for bringing us together. I have enclosed a picture of her and my children taken in 2002.

Mary Sturgis


March 26, 2008


It is with a heavy heart that I relay sad news. Our dog Chuey (FKA Roger) passed today. My wife came home this evening and found him in his crate having a seizure. His mouth was foaming and he was twitching and appeared to be in shock according to my wife. She immediately called a local vet to which they advised of his seizure and he needed to be brought in right away. I came home about 5 min later and he had already passed. It is sad, because he showed no ill signs or problems leading up to today. He was happy, healthy and loved by all of us. I am very grateful to MAGSR that we got to share his all too short life.

Roger Meraz and Autumn Burns



March 25, 2008

I am very sorry to report that we lost Elsa last night. Elsa was adopted back in December of 2003, I believe. She had been rescued from a kill shelter and brought into our family. It was a rocky start due to the fact that she was very skittish around my four children. We had her evaluated by Wesley and he assured us she would not harm our kids due to her gentle nature. Although she never really bonded as well as we would have liked w/my children, she was always very gentle and became my dog. She followed me everywhere and was a constant companion to me and I will miss her dearly. Not sure how she spent the first two years of her life but I can tell you that the last 4 years were good to Elsa, thanks to MAGSR and Wesley.

The doctor believes she had a tumor and it ruptured unexpectedly and took her fast. She did not suffer and died very peacefully w/her constant companion right by her side as she took her last breath. She will be greatly missed by us, I can assure you of that.

The Kirby Family


March 25, 2008


My beautiful foster, Serena, lost her battle with cancer and was sent to the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. She has had a long, hard fight, and has been an amazing girl through all her situations. She showed so much strength and courage since I got her last November and will always be remembered for her ability to show me, the vets and vet techs, and anyone who knew her how strong and brave one can be when they know they are being loved and treated with care.

I got Serena from an Animal Hospital in Winchester, VA where she was taken with an apparent leg injury, either from a trap or from a chain being wrapped around her leg for a very long time. A relative of the owners brought her in to the hospital for care for her bad injury. They did surgery on the leg, and the owners were not willing to pay the bill. MAGSR was notified about this and were willing to step in, pay the outstanding bill, and give Serena a chance.

She came to me recovering from the surgery, but the wound wouldn't heal. I went to my vet several times, but it still kept getting worse. I took her to the surgeon in Annapolis where they performed another surgery to help heal the leg. Serena went to the hospital every day for a week, then every other day for 2 weeks for bandage changes. She impressed the vet techs there, as she did not need to be sedated for the extremely painful bandage changes and wound cleanings. She just lied there trusting them.

Then a few weeks later, I took her to the surgeon again to see why it was getting worse, and he said that he could do surgery again to see if he could save the leg and remove the damaged and dead tissue. He kept questioning the fact that this was an injury due to the trap or chain, but that was all the info we had. Then, while in the middle of her 3rd surgery, the doctor called me and said he could not save her leg and suggested we amputate. I agreed and he said that she should be fine and live a happy life as a three legged dog. To be safe, he sent the leg to be biopsied to make sure there was nothing else wrong. Unfortunately there was. She was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive blood cancer that was not curable, and the prognosis was not good.

I met with an oncologist to see if any treatments could help her, but with the history of her multiple surgeries and frequent recovery visits, we felt that any more would be too much for her. She deserved to live out her life happy and care free. She was just that for a month or two, but that was it. Then she started limping and I took her back to the surgeon and he told me the bad news that the disease had overtaken her and she was near her end. I brought her home and gave her a very special last week of her life. We took lots of car rides, snuggled on the couch, laid in the sunshine and took in the fresh air, and spent happy times together.

But today, she gave me the look that she was tired and couldn't fight it any more. After all she had been through with me, and never showed any weak moments at all, I knew that if she was looking at me this way, that she wanted to go. I spent the day with her and she quietly and peacefully was put to sleep in the comfort of the back seat of my car, where she loved to sit and watch the world go by. She was so sweet and loving to the end, as she laid with her head in my arms while she went to sleep for the last time.

Serena will always be a part of my life, and an inspiration to me for her ability to stay positive and trusting even through the worst of circumstances. She can now run free and not worry about any future pain and suffering. She will live on in my heart and will always bring a smile to my face.

-- Tricia & Joe


March, 2008

Dearest Ava,

You were so loved. The moment I saw you on the Mid Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue’s site, I knew I had to meet you. When we met, there was an instant connection. I knew you had to come home with us and become a part of our family. Your past filled with abuse touched my heart. I could not believe someone could be so cruel. Blinded in one eye by blunt force trauma, and you still said “I love you” with your sweet, soulful eyes, like only a being full of unconditional love could. Your smile made me smile every time. I know everyone will always remember your loving kisses that you loved to share.

From the moment we brought you home, you adopted us as your family and took on the role of loyal protector. You cooperated so well when we took you to visit Wesley to learn you didn’t have to be quite so protective.

Ava, we could not have asked for a sweeter, more loyal companion. You were one of a kind and we will miss you more than you know. I pray you know how much we loved you and that we were so very sorry you had to suffer from such a horrible condition that gradually and cruelly took your ability to walk, run and play. I also pray that you know that we never minded helping you do everything you couldn't do on your own anymore; it was the least we could do in return for your unconditional love. We know that now you are looking down on us from Heaven and are able to run and play to your heart’s content.

We miss you Ava Girl.

In loving memory of you, Daddy, Mommy, little Vincent, Bella & Mia

ava       ava


December, 2007

It is with sad news that I send this email.  Hello, My name is Karin Dombrowsky and back in 2000 myself and my husband, Aaron adopted a beautiful German Shepherd.  Magsr had named him Baron and we changed his name to Alex.  Alex came to us with great discipline and just wanted to be loved.  At the time we also owned an Alaskan Husky.  Both which were of the age of 2.  Alex became part of our family instantly.  We went through two moves with Alex.

It is with great sadness that Alex had to leave us recently and is now in Doggie Heaven.  Alex's health had been slowly deteriorating over the last year.  He had lost 30 plus pounds, could not control his bowl movement, one eye had gone totally blind and he was losing sight in the other, and his hearing was going bad.  This has been a tremendous lost for our family.  My two kids loved ALex so much. 

I just wanted to pass on this news.  It is such a joy to read the news letters and see all the dogs and what is going on with Magsr. 



To everyone at MAGSR (and especially Candace as she was his foster mom),

It is through a flurry of tears that won't stop that I write this e-mail. Our beloved Grizzly ( or, as I alone called him, Grizzly Bear or Grizz-Grizz) was hit and killed by a car this past weekend. While we suspected he could jump our fence, we honestly never thought he would. In fact, we believe in our hearts that the only reason he jumped was that there was something that was too tempting on the other side. We have a fox in our neighborhood that has actually been in our yard a couple of times and we think he may have tried to catch it. Unfortunately, it was 9:30 p.m. when this happened. Because it was night-time and Grizzly is black, we knew our chances for finding him right away were diminished. It didn't stop us from trying though.

Grizzly came to us in September 2005 as an adorable, super-playful 6 month old pup. He grew to be an absolutely beautiful dog, with the softest fur imaginable. Everyone who saw him commented about his good looks. While Grizzly was something of a challenge for the first several months, we overcame those obstacles and life settled down for us. I could list so many things Grizzly did that we will miss so much, but the I'll list just a few of the things that stick out the most . Grizzly liked to lay at the front door and lick the door. If you weren't standing right there, all you could see was his tongue licking the door and his white teeth. One of Grizzly's favorite places was on the trampoline in our backyard. On nice days, Grizzly would curl up in a little ball (is that possible when you weigh 75 pounds?) and take a nap. In fact, it became more Grizzly's trampoline that my boys' because he would run all around the yard and then jump up there and lay down. Grizzly loved to play chase around the yard with my husband, KC. KC would get a running start and be halfway across the yard and, quick as a flash, Grizzly was right there. One time KC didn't turn around fast enough and Grizzly nipped his rear and actually ripped his pants. We were in stitches laughing that time! Many people said Grizz looked more like a wolf than a dog and were somewhat frightened. When I told them that you could hold out the tiniest piece of cheese for him and you wouldn't even feel him take the food from your fingers, they shook their heads in disbelief. He truly was a gentle, loving dog that people realized once they got to know him.

Grizzly was definitely my dog. He greeted me when I came home every day with a hug and loads of kisses (the only time and person he would jump up and on)! He was my protector too. Whenever KC tried to give me a hug, Grizzly would come running from wherever he was and bark at KC. We always asked ourselves how he knew what was going on from anywhere else in the house. Grizzly's fur sibling, Kasper, is just as devasted as the rest of us and keeps looking for him to come around the corner. When Kasper joined us as an 8 week old puppy, he tried to sleep curled up next to (okay, practically on top of) Grizzly. Grizzly wanted none of it, but as Kasper grew, so did their love for each other. If Grizzly was in the family room with us as night (as opposed to the much comfier couch in the living room), Kasper was always close by. When we left in the morning, Kasper laid on his rug right next to Grizzly's crate. When the fire or police whistles went off, at first Kasper didn't know what to do. Grizzly taught him to howl--what a hoot to have two of them howling over the whistles. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say he will be missed very much and remembered forever. We buried Grizz in the back yard. While I wanted to bury him in the spot we referred to as his den (a hole he would repeatedly dig no matter how many times we filled it in until we finally filled it with rocks!!), it was too wet and we had to choose another spot. Come spring, I will plant some flowers in the spot (knowing he would have dug them up if he were here). Two and a half years (almost) was not nearly enough (I figured my boys would have him through high school). In my heart, I know that he crossed the Rainbow Bridge knowing he could not have been loved more (and he could not have loved us more either). Thank you for giving Grizzly over to us to care for and love.

Kristin McCloskey




First of all I would like to thank MAGSR for all you do. My wife Roe adopted ... Our family adopted Harold in March 2000 who then became Bear so as no to confuse him with me. My wife called him PupPup. We had 8 wonderful Years with him but sadly he died yesterday of Lymphoma. Too young. It hit him very quickly. Needless to say we are devastated. My wife lost her " Velcro Puppy ". She is taking it very hard. Just felt I should pass on the sad news since he was a MAGSR success story in my book. Sorry for the downer. Attached are 2 photos. When we picked him up and at Home.

Thanks Again for all you do.

Harold R. Engle





It is with deep sadness and anger we learned today of APOLLO's untimely death.
This beautiful boy was euthanized at a local shelter after being turned in by his adopter without MAGSR knowledge.
We learned of his fate only after the fact. Our hearts are broken over his fate.
We were never given the opportunity to take him back and would have, as with all our dogs.
The MAGSR Board of Directors will pursue this violation of our contract to the fullest extent allowed by law. It won't heal our pain but we will ensure this adopter knows we love our dogs and will not walk away from this.
Apollo, we are sorry we let you down when we promised you we would always look after you...........we will never forget you.



Candy Clark


This afternoon our sweet spunky Candy passed over the rainbow bridge. Despite modern medicine and technology, Candy was not able to maintain a good quality of life. Many combinations of medications were tried as well as an MRI and CSF tap to rule out the possibility brain disease that could be causing her seizures. All of her tests came back normal. Candy did have many days of being seizure free and we celebrated each of those. Unfortunately, she paid for those weeks of being seizure free with several days of multiple gran mal seizures. Her seizure disorder was very severe and after many appointments and conversations with her wonderful neurologist we all agreed it was time to set our Candy girl free.

Our beautiful Candy was one spunky girl who live her life to the fullest. She always had her tail wagging and her favorite past time was terrorizing her big brother, Pahana. She loved to rough house with him in the early mornings and steal his toys. Candy's favorite toy was an alligator and she loved to make that little gator squeak. Our family is missing her terribly but we know she will never have another seizure and she is now at peace.

So, be free our sweet Candy girl and thank you for being part of our lives. We are richer because of you and will take your life lesson with us- to live our lives to the fullest.

We love you,
Leigh, Stephen, Nicole, Ronald, and Pahana




Dec 2, 2007

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write this email to inform you that our beloved family member and MAGSR adoped GSD, Zorro, passed away unexpectedly last night. Zorro, who we adopted back in the fall of 2001, apparently died of a previously unknown heart condition but it is not clear. We thank MAGSR for allowing us the opportunity to spend time with such a great member of our family. .

Andrew Funk (and Dana Vogel and AJ Funk)



November 20, 2007

Victor is a pup that embodies all that rescue is about. He was found curled up in a tiny ball behind a trash can in back of a bank, and was brought into the rescue in early November 2007. He was severely emaciated and covered with sores and mange. He was filthy and scared and starving. He was taken in and cleaned, fed and loved and eventually found his way to us. He has remained throughout all his trials and tribulations a very sweet and loving puppy. He never, ever deserved to be thrown away.

Poor Victor got very sick today and despite the best efforts of the vet, he could not hold onto life. We are very saddened by this loss. We can at least take comfort in the fact that he died in the arms of people who loved him.


November 9, 2007

    When MAGSR came to Shelby's rescue, she was tied to the end of a chain and had been neglected almost to the point of death.  It was a race against time just to get enough weight and muscle back on her so she could begin the heart worm treatments that she so desperately needed to survive.  She was filthy and full of fleas and ticks and her coat was dull, with the tips her ears eaten by flies.  MAGSR could have easily decided that due to her age that she was not worth the investment it would take to restore her to health.  But they gave her a chance to have a new life and I know she was grateful everyday.  She was absolutely the sweetest, most gentle, loving dog I've ever seen.  When she was very happy, she would look like she was laughing and roll her head side to side like a bobble head! 
    Shelby was loved and pampered for the last 16 months of her life, but sadly her age caught up with her over the last several weeks.  She was in constant pain due to arthritis and hip displasia and in spite of everything the vet was doing for her, her body was failing in other ways too.  The sad, heart breaking decision was made to say good bye and send her over the Rainbow bridge, where I'm sure she is now running, pain free and laughing again.  I sure miss my "bobble head" girl.

Sheri Smith


November 1, 2007

heidi heidi

My beloved SOPHIE died in the early morning hours of Thursday, November 1, 2007. She died quietly. She had been suffering with “fainting spells” or mild seizures since Tuesday and the meds the vet gave me were not working. I had the feeling she passed exactly where she wanted, in her yummy, round bed, beneath her favorite window, and with her family. I also had the feeling she was ready to go.

Sophie’s life was a living testament to kind people and the wonderful people of rescue groups. The first several years of Sophie’s life (6-7 years) were spent in horrible conditions – she was beaten, starved, forced to produce at least five litters of puppies, and she was kept in a cage. Someone reported her owner and after he was arrested, the police officer who was supposed to take Sophie to the animal shelter, did not. He knew they would kill her – she was sick and pitiful looking. He contacted a friend at a Rottie Rescue group. They picked her up and called MAGSR (MidAtlantic German Shepherd Rescue).

MAGSR spent thousands of dollars bringing Sophie back to health (she had surgery for cysts, two treatments for heartworm, and so on). Sophie was also deaf – probably a blessing considering her first years, at least she could not hear the horrors around her. Sophie’s ear tips were also damaged – probably by frostbite. A lot of her teeth were missing and worn down – from chewing on her cage. All these things made her a “less than perfect GSD” and she would have been hard to place in a home, you would think.

However, for all her “imperfections” she had one thing that endeared her to everyone who came into contact with her – she was a smart, gentle, adorable dog! How she could even look at a human being after the way she was treated is still a mystery to most of us. A lesson in forgiveness, I guess.

Sophie’s new life as a rescue dog was a good one. She was in a foster home for a while. When she returned to the MAGSR kennels for heartworm treatments, everyone commented that she loved it there! It was the best life she had ever known!

Then one fateful Saturday afternoon, in June 2001, Alexander “the wonder dog” (a drop-dead gorgeous GSD himself) saw Sophie. She was sitting pretty on a hill during one of the dog outings, right there among the other gorgeous GSDs, with her handler Pat. It was love at first sight and Sophie had a new forever home. (She was officially adopted in November of that year.) She began her new life and has amazed me with her progress and her gentleness ever since! The years that followed were good, bad, and in between. But through it all, Sophie and I were together – a forever family.

In May 2006, Sophie fell in love! We met a boxer named Sass and Sophie pranced around like a girl on a great date! Sass joined our family and Sophie was perky and seemed to be happier than ever. Sophie had arthritis (we had her on Deramaxx and that helped a lot), she had also developed cataracts in both eyes (I was saving for an operation), and she slowed down a bit in walking, but I know in my heart, she was a happy dog.

Everyone at my apartment complex is sad about Sophie. She was a fixture – a gentle dog that all the other dogs loved and treated with respect. She would go to the dog park at least twice a day, every day, and watch as the other dogs ran and played. She would walk around and you could tell she enjoyed herself and wanted to be there.

I feel honored to have been her owner and caregiver all these years. Sophie was a doll! A precious dog that made my life whole and wonderful. Sophie was my shadow – followed me everywhere! A typical GSD! I miss my “white shadow” terribly. The only thing that makes Sophie’s passing bearable is knowing she is now in Heaven – where she can hear, see clearly, and run around with the other dogs! She has no more pain and I am sure Alexander “the wonder dog” was there to greet her! When I took her to the vet (to be cremated), the vet said that she believed our dogs become our angels after they are gone. "She will always be with you" she said. I believe that too.



November 1, 2007

heidi heidi
heidi heidi

Heidi crossed peacefully over the Bridge on November 1, 2007.  She was ours for just five short months.  During that time she amazed us with her beauty, her grace and intelligence and her unending energy;  Heidi was rarely still.  She loved us unconditionally and was a wonderful family pet whose time on this earth was all too short.  We miss you, pretty girl.  Run free and catch the wind.

Marian and Alex

August 8, 2003 - October 31, 2007



Gus is an “almost” MAGSR dog.  He was turned into my local Humane Society with his 7 of his littermates.  The shelter adopted Gus and one of his sisters to local people and then turned over the rest of the litter to MAGSR.  Since his adoption a sister from another litter (Gabby), his brother from the same litter (Tommy) and his father (Ralph) were surrendered to MAGSR.

Gus was the light of our lives and kept order in our chaotic household.  He held control over our other two German Shepherds and any foster who has come through the door.  No dog dares to overstep their bounds or they had Gus to deal with.  We called him “The General”.


After over a month at Chesapeake Veterinary Referral Surgery Center in Annapolis it was time to send Gus over the Rainbow Bridge .  He was having incredible swelling in his face and it was eventually determined the bacteria was e-coli and pseudomonas.  After many, many thousands of dollars in medications and over a month in ICU both Dr. P and I decided that Gus had been through enough.  The bacteria was spreading and he was not getting any better.  With all the marvels of medical science sometimes there is nothing more you can do.


More than a dozen of the staff said their very tearful goodbyes to Gus today.  Not only were Woody and I crying our eyes out but Dr. Prostredney was right there with us crying and saying goodbye.  I will never ever forget the kindness and love that Gus experienced at CVRS.  They all genuinely loved Gus and professed him to be their favorite patient.  It meant a lot to both Woody and I.

This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever to make but it has been so hard to see him like this every day.  I know one day when I get to Heaven he will be there waiting for me with a tail wag and a kiss.

Christie Woodard


October 26, 2007

e e

Enya went to the Rainbow Bridge on 10/26/07 after fighting a hard fight against a rare vaccine reaction and the complications that followed.  She was surrounded by the people who loved and fought so hard with her, her family, two of the wonderful vets who took time on their day off to be with her and us and the compassionate surgeon who assured us that we were making the humane decision by letting her go. Through weeks of multiple medical procedures her tail always wagged and she never complained. Enya was a bright, sweet puppy and loved nothing more than to be outside with her brothers, chewing on "her" stick and stomping bugs. Several days before she left us, with all four feet bandaged, she was still begging her dad to throw that stick so she could run and chase it.

We think that the surgeon who worked on Enya on the day that she died summed it up  best when he said that Enya was truly a one in a million dog who unfortunately had a one in a million response to a vaccine. It does not ssem fair although we are comforted by knowing that even if she cannot be here for us, we were there for her.

We love and miss you little captured our hearts.

October 6, 2007


Daisy was adopted about 5-6 years ago from MAGSR. She was adopted as a companion for our other GSD that was getting on in her years. She made a great addition to the family but after we lost Duchess two years ago Daisy was never the same. She started jumping fences and refusing to go outside. We worked with our vet and several trainers to stop this behavior but lately it had gotten to be really bad. On a number of occasions she would jump the fence only to end up getting cut. Numerous vet visits to get injures treated. The vet suggest a chain out, trolley lead and even electric fences but nothing worked. Well tonight we found Daisy on the ground by the fence she had just jumped. We are not sure what happened but it appears she cut herself quite badly on the fence. What surprises me most was that we were just outside a few minutes before and she was fine. Barking like mad because we would not let her back inside until she had gone to the bathroom. We are all heartbroken. Daisy was like no other. Gentle, kind and loving to a fault. She never complained when my niece would lay on top of her. She would just let the baby hug, kiss and love on her.

I know Daisy had been broken hearted when she lost her best friend Duchess and I keep thinking that maybe she was just not happy being without her friend. Right now I am just trying to remember them both and the good times the two shared. They are now together and I am sure that Daisy and Duchess are running free in an open field.

March 1999 - October 2, 2007


Gunnar came to our home as a MAGSR foster dog in October 1999 after Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue acquired him from a shelter. He was approximately 6 months old, and one of the early acquisitions by the rescue – MAGSR tag #35. He had the sweet temperament of a Golden Retriever and the brains of a German Shepherd – the best of everything – so we decided to adopt him ourselves.

Gunnar hung on for 6 months after the diagnosis of anal gland cancer. My husband Gary returned from Iraq yesterday (October 1), and we’re glad Gunnar was able to see his daddy one last time. He was the most unaggressive, nonthreatening dog I’ve ever lived with. He never growled at, bared his teeth at or bit another living thing (except for the two groundhogs that USED to live on our property but apparently he perceived them as a threat). He also loved obedience training and because he was so bright, he learned quickly.


Gunnar and his GSD brother Rex represented MAGSR on visits to local elementary schools. He paid a visit to the Maryland School for the Blind (shown above), and the Montessori school. Along with his best buddy Dillon Baker, he represented MAGSR at a few Federal agencies during a United Way/CFC campaign, and a few community events. Gunnar was the best example of a rescue dog, and we were always proud to tell people that this gentle boy was adopted. He had no papers, no pedigree, we could not brag about the champions in his bloodline, but we could go on and on about his gentle nature, and the love and loyalty in his big heart.

We know we had to put an end to Gunnar’s suffering, but actually saying goodbye has been a heartbreak. The memories of his antics, his adorable quirks, and the happiness he gave us will always be in our hearts.


October 1st

Chris and Gary Lienesch – October 2, 2007

JAKE (fka Jason)
September, 2007


Our Time With Jake

Jake came into our lives 8 years ago from MAGSR, awkward in manner and skeletal in frame.

Plucked from roaming the wilds of West Virginia, he was fearful of hunger and suspicious of other dogs. He struggled with learning to walk with a leash and decided that all counter top food was fair game. He went to obedience classes and soon danced with joy when the leash was picked up.

After sometime he put on a healthy amount of weight, fell in love with the humans who lived with him, and they with him. He forgave them for all their faults and always greeted them with a smile.

He followed his master everywhere he went and accompanied him on many adventures. Jake opened doors with varying doorknobs and even car doors to be with his master. He loved rides in cars, but especially boats. He had fun dissecting tennis balls. He loved to chase deer, leaping in the air majestically. He loved walks. Most of all he loved having a sense of purpose.

As the years went by he became social and protective of other dogs as he was with his humans. He knew that at 5:30pm everyday it was time to leave his house for the Dog Park, but he began his lobby at 5:00pm. He watched over his pack. He had a harem at his Dog Park yet had a secret crush on Brandy, an older female shepherd that lived across the street. He was distressed last spring when her driveway was full of cars and he couldn’t watch her house; it is Easter, Jake, the humans told him and strangers visit.

Slowly, Jake gave his humans signs that it was time for him to go. A twin size bed was set up in the living room for Jake and his master took the couch beside him. He gave back all of the love and support he was given.

From nothing, came something, a love so constant and powerful and unconditional that the humans are now left aching. That there is no pain in Heaven is the only consolation.

Jake was our shepherd.

Peg Terl (Volunteer)

We have been informed that former MAGSR volunteer Peg Terl died recently.  Peg was a key player in the early days helping many dogs and people when MAGSR was first getting started.  Our sympathy goes out to her husband and family.

August, 2007


Ollie came into our home via MAGSR.  He was an abused and abandoned young fellow.  He had been to several homes and was sent back to MAGSR.  Once he arrived at our home he became an instant family member.  We noticed, several months ago, that he began to limp and keep the weight off of his right hind leg.  Today we went to have x-rays taken and found out that he had cancer of the knee and hip area.  The Vet took additional x-rays, to check if the cancer had spread, and found that he also had a “twisted stomach”.  We will miss his excitement he showed for his walks, the way he watched over us whenever we were outside and especially the way he carried himself as a proud GSD.  He will always be our “big fella”.

JAKE (fka General)

August, 2007



My beautiful, beloved Jake had found his
forever home at last.

Jean Stanek  

July 24, 2007

Forever in our in peace our cute bundle of mischief.

Some fosters come into your home for a few days, fit in right away and find their forever homes just as quick.  Others stay with you longer and you get to know them a little better.  All of your fosters come to you with their own stories to tell and fears to work through.  They all take a piece of you with  them  when they leave to go to their new homes.  They are all worth all the blood, sweat and tears they put you through...they all deserve a chance.

Georgie came to our home and was part of our pack for 2.5 years.  He probably met 60 or so MAGSR fosters we had in our home  during  that time.   It may  be better to phrase it as Georgie introduced himself to them.  When you have a foster for a while you really start to learn the difference in the sounds they make and the postures they assume and for the ones that need it, you learn when you need to step in and remind them who is in charge.  Georgie taught me a lot about how you do not need to be black and tan, white, black or sable to be a GSD at heart - you can be a cute tan and white fluffball that kisses up to unsuspecting people and knows when to turn on the charm.  He taught me that he may like to roll in every stinky thing he could find but LOVED to be clean from being brushed, to being bathed to having his nails cut (which was rare since he would bite them to keep them short).  Georgie taught me that with love, patience and work you can have a food aggressive dog eat in a down with 5-6 other dogs walking around and your hand in his bowl.  He taught me that with the right training and supervision you can train a dog with dominance issues to learn to sit and down for a 3 year old proudly giving him commands.  And most importantly he taught me that sometimes you need be reminded of your limits and say "No" no matter how much it hurts.

Hope you found a big coffee table to lay under boy!

Franklin (fka Diesel)

Franklin, the 140 lb. dog in my dream, went to the Rainbow Bridge today in the car on his beloved bed with his head in John’s lap. Five years ago I dreamed our son had given me a very large GSD named Franklin. Our daughter who lives in N.VA found the MAGSR web site with a dog matching the one in my dream and e-mailed his picture to me. It was Franklin! After talking several times with the adoption coordinator and being checked out, they decided to take a chance on us since “Diesel” was considered unadoptable and had been back in the kennel for over a year. We drove 600 miles to see him.

What we found was a huge GSD with one eye (the other having been blinded by a pencil!) who had once been abandoned on a road and hit by a car and who obviously had been beaten by a man or men because he hated most men. Strangely enough he didn’t dislike John, and we brought him back to SC where he got what we think was his very first dog bed and toys. He was never touched in anger again. He was home.

Last fall he developed a neurological problem with his spine. If it could have been fixed, the vets said he would not survive the surgery because his heart had started to weaken. By Thanksgiving he could only get around in the cart with wheels that John built especially for him. Shortly into the New Year he refused to use the cart and spent all his time on his bed. For 6 months John cared for Franklin literally day and night and never complained even when Franklin called him at 2 or 3 a.m. which was frequently because he had become totally incontinent.

A few weeks ago it was obvious his heart was weakening, and he could no longer even push himself around on his bed. In addition he was now blind in his “good” eye and couldn’t find a dish in front of him. His quality of life had become zero, and occasionally he seemed to be in pain. So we made The (heartbreaking) Decision.

The day we adopted Franklin I asked Bill Myers if anyone had been praying for Diesel. Bill said, “Everybody has.” God let us have him to love for 5 years, but it was now time to let him go.

I have gone into detail because I know so many of the MAGSR people loved him and cared what happened to him. He loved you, too, which was obvious when we brought him to our daughter’s and some of you were able to visit. He is buried on a hill with Riggs and another dog we dearly loved. Thank you for Franklin. We will never forget him.

Meg and John McCravy

July 2007

Ian Toney, former MAGSR foster, passed away last week at the age of 36. He can be seen here being climbed on by Max, with Snoopy on the left about to follow suit. His patience and nurturing with these dogs and others helped land them into their forever homes. Ian will be deeply missed by his family and friends. 


May 21, 2007



Our little Sweet Pea was not strong enough to survive surgery so we had to let her find peace.  She was a wonderful little girl whose kisses touched many heart.  She was adopted by Patty and died in her Mom's arms.  Sweet Pea was met at the Rainbow Bridge by Patty's husband and dogs Athena, Shasta and Ike.  Be at peace, Sweet Pea. 


April 24, 2007



Gus was his mom's greatest joy and she absolutely adored him. He was a wonderful dog and he could not have found a more loving home. He and his mom Bonnie were a very special pair. Gus never barked and was always as welcoming as Bonnie as you can see in this picture.


April 17, 2007



Hope came to the rescue in sad shape. She was severely underweight, and upon several vet visits she was found to have bladder stones and irritable bowel disease. Through surgeries she fought back from the edge of life and was adopted by her foster. Tail always wagging, she was the welcome wagon for many fosters until they found their homes. Hope loved to be part of nature, walking though it or chasing it. She was so attached to her daddy, as he was to her. Lumps recently surfaced, she labored to breathe, and couldn’t keep food down. A rush to the vet confirmed that it was cancer and had already spread through her entire body. Hope was sent to the rainbow bridge to wait for the ones who held her tight as she quietly passed from this world.

Be free of illness, and free of pain girl. I love you.


 April 2, 2007


Trinity came into our lives at an MAGSR Meet & Greet in White Marsh.  We walked in and I was immediately drawn to her and had to have her permanently, I had the hardest time leaving her with the MAGSR people and cried the whole way home.  We went home and I immediately got on the computer and filled out the adoption application for Trinity.  We went to the kennel about 2 1/2 weeks later, spent 3 hours there and let her interact with our alpha.  She was a scared little girl who was afraid of everything and all I wanted to do was love on her.  We took her home that afternoon and she blossomed into a beautiful flower.  Trinity was always searching for something, which caused her to get hit by a car.  She survived with a lot of medical attention and LOVE, but was never the same.  She had underlying issues which caused negative behavioral changes, but that only made us love her more.  We tried everything we could to make her life "normal", but in the end it was just to much.  Trinity is now at peace and running free and happy.  She is once again the beautiful flower she became before her accident.  We will LOVE and MISS her FOREVER.

Be happy, my little PUPPY PRINCESS, your Human MOMMY will love you forever and I will meet you at the Bridge. 

January 2003 - March 2007


When the cold winters winds
Sends a chill down your spine
You will long for your loves tenderness
When you held him so tight
In the dark of the night
Never forget the sweet caress
You know he is gone 
Your love lingers on
In a warm summer breeze 
Teddy sends to thee


May 16, 2000 - February 21, 2007


Shep was an amazing animal-truly a part of our family. When we rescued him, we knew it would be easy to bring this loving, gentle dog into our lives. About six months ago, he was diagnosed with perianal fistulas. PF is an incurable disease affecting countless GSDs. Our Shep was one of them. He was miserable most of the time and it made us all very sad to watch him each day. In the end, Shep was taking six different pills, two-three times each day. One pill was to hold off the effects of another. If we stopped giving him the medication, he was noticeably in pain, and it was always getting worse. I miss the way he would speak to me in the mornings, when he would see his leash getting ready for a walk, his excitement at a new snack, or running for his duck--he was a central part of our home and our lives. Thank you for giving him to us.


1997 - 2007


Shelby came to us by way of you and before that the Harrisburg Shelter. She was placed there because her owners had a family and could not or did not want to care for her anymore. I believe it was Dave who became a foster for her until she found us and came to live with us. We enjoyed her so much and only wish we had had her as a pup. She had a great personality and was almost 7 when we adopted her. She wasn't sure how to really "play" with the other dogs but came to love to play ball and chase her canine buddies around the yard. She loved to lay under the porch on hot days as it was cool. She also loved her stuffed animals and would pull the squeak part out. Shelby had bad hips when we adopted her but never let that slow her down. She did great until right before this Christmas when she started to drag her one leg and eventually lost use of both legs. We would take Shelby out by carrying her outside to do her business. She was not in any pain but the last few days we could see she was failing more. We took her to the vets where they said she had bone cancer. She was not in any pain but we felt it best so she did not suffer. My husband was with her and as much as I wanted to be there I could not as I was working. He said she went very quickly and peacefully. She will be very sadly missed. Her time with us was short but I do believe she loved it here. She romped and played and loved to eat her biscuits. She loved walks and in the end you could see the disappointment in her eyes when the others went for walks but she could not go. She will be forever in our hearts. Thanks for all the work you do with these special animals. Please let Dave know of Shelby's passing. When the time comes we will look to you for another special friend.


1999 - 2007

It is with deep regret that I must inform you that we had to make a difficult decision today regarding Caleb, who we adopted in August 2001.  He had developed an active malignant brain tumor that had quickly debilitated him over the course of just a few months.  After the MRI exam confirmed our worst fears, we agreed that it would not be right to make him suffer any more distress.  We don't really know how old he was -- best guess is that he was about two when we adopted him in 2001.  We only had him about five years.

Caleb originally came from the PG county shelter - we don't know if he was an owner surrender or a stray.  He was returned by his first adopters, who found him too much to handle, including nipping and jumping up on people. He also had a problem with wanting to lunge at joggers or runners.  The good news is all these issues worked out with time and patience.

Caleb was the fourth German Shepherd we have owned over the past 35 years but was our first "rescue". He was a great dog with unequalled drive and heart.  He was basically well behaved (if exuberant) and wanted to please. He was a handful and a challenge but loyal and loving. He quickly took over our back yard and bounded like a rabbit down the trail in the woods behind our house.  He was initially a little startled by things (wildlife, lawn mower, vacuum cleaner) but calmed down.  He quickly adapted to his crate and used it as his refuge. He of course found his way into our hearts.  We will miss him and hope he finds plenty to chase (but not catch) in the next round.


January 1, 2000 - January 10, 2007



Harliemae came to me when she was only six months old. She soon became the light of my life! Harliemae enjoyed going with me to pick up dogs from shelters, and many other outings. She spent many years helping new MAGSR fosters, two of which became her 'brothers'. Harlie started a battle 1 1/2 years ago starting with her liver, but ended today with her battle with cancer. A huge part of my life left when Harlie went to the Bridge.  My heart is breaking, but the love I received from this beautiful girl will last forever.

I miss you, and will always love you "daddy's little girl."


February 2002 - December 30, 2006



You came to me in a dream. A big black dog with a white blaze on his chest, romping in green grass. And there you were, on MAGSR's website. In May of 2004, I met you for the first time.

We've had almost three wonderful years together. Three years in which you taught us a great deal about patience, tenacity, loyalty, and just plain goofiness. Three years in which we tried to fix you. Three years in which you tried to love us.

You triumphed.


We carry your heart with us.
- Sara, Barry, and Nik

December 18, 2006


Rest in peace Liam

Ricochet (fka Sasha)
December 11, 2006



In 2000, I visited the MAGSR website. Of all the dogs available, one really hit me. Her name was Sasha and between her picture and description, she caught my heart.

We met many of the dogs available, both at their temporary quarters and at visits to our local PetSmart in Pasadena, MD. The day we drove to Manassas, VA to see "Sasha," construction and traffic on the DC beltway was horrible. When we arrived at the kennel, four shepherds were brought out to meet us. Only Sasha stood out. We adopted her, brought her home, and that's when the neighbors heard the sonic boom!

We'd let her loose in our half acre, fenced yard and she flat out RAN! It was as though she'd never had the chance to just run before. She bounced from the fence on one side of the yard to the other, non-stop. She was in her glory! And that's when we named her "Ricochet." We'd taken our old dog, Casey along when we picked her up and being old and cranky, he had no interest in this young ball of energy, but she loved him and our son Joey, who has Downs syndrome.

Her training was already well on its way and being a professional trainer for years, I found her one of the easiest dogs I'd ever trained. It only took three tries to teach her to wait at the bottom of the stairs until anyone on the stairs reached the top so she wouldn't knock Joey down accidentally. It took only two days to teach her to use only one spot in the yard when she went out. She was a dream dog.

Last year, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Four months later, it was brain tumors. Ricochet refused to leave my side. When I had to get up during the night, I had to swing my foot over the side of the bed and rub her with my toes so she'd move out of the way. If I was lying on the family room sofa, she was always within reach. In May, I was pronounced cancer-free, but she had established her position as my guardian and remained constantly by my side.

She was also Joey's playmate and Official Protector Of the Realm! She alerted me when Joey's bus was approaching. No one came into the yard uninvited, but once invited, they were welcomed with a gentle nudge and a wagging tail. Even visitors who were terrified of big dogs were quickly and totally won over by Ricochet's gentle, sweet disposition.

She soon learned to bark only when something was wrong, and because of her excellent behavior and temperment, she soon endeared herself to the neighbors, too. Our next door neighbor wouldn't come out to work in his yard without first calling Ricochet to the fence for a good scratch before he got to work.

Last August, at the age of six, Ricochet developed rectal fistulas. Since our vet hospital is within shouting distance of home, we got her immediate treatment. The vets (including several specialists) said it was from a food allergy, she was put on a special diet and took a myriad of medications. But the treatment wasn't working, so they changed it, and changed it again, and again. She stopped eating. We kept asking if there might not be a blockage, but they said there wasn't. By this time, we'd had a standing appointment for every other Monday for months. Yesterday, Monday, December 11th, they FINALLY did x-rays that showed a tremendous blockage in her bowels. We left her there to see if they could dislodge it. Yesterday afternoon, her vet called to say there was no hope.

While a friend stayed home with Joey, my husband and I went to the vet's office to say goodbye. It's nearly impossible for me to type this through my tears. Even the young, burly vet's aide in the room with us was crying. Ricochet was only six and a half. She was one of the most beautiful, devoted and loving animals God ever put on earth. Although we know the memories will eventually overcome the pain, we also know that nothing replaces a dog you've loved like another dog to love. We will be watching your site closely to find the next special dog that will become a member of our family. We cannot express how much we appreciate your organization and what Ricochet meant to us. We can only pray that one day soon, the expression on a face, the description of temperment, that indefinable connection will happen again. We know it will, and when it does, you'll be seeing us again.

God Bless you all for the wonderful work you do and for the incredible love you offer!! May you all have a wonderful holiday and the most joyous and successful New Year ever!

This is Ricochet's website.

With sincere best wishes, Judy Payton and Family


November 30, 2006

With tears dripping down my face, we deeply regret having to tell you that after suffering from seizures and heavy sedatives for a couple of years, our beloved Valmi has passed away. You introduced him to us. We will be forever grateful. He was “the bestest best puppy ever” and he is greatly missed. --René Powell



November 9, 2006



Cajun succumbed to the seizures tonight, with his grieving family at his side. The seizures had resumed after a short remission and couldn't be stopped so his family made the decision to end his pain and send him over the bridge.

Mr.s Peck had been keeping me updated regularly and this sudden turn for the worse really surprised her. The vet thinks it may have been a brain tumor.

She wanted everyone to know how much they all loved her boy, and is sending me a picture by mail (I will scan it in) that she wants us all to remember him by...........of him after a few months with her, coat shiny, 19 pounds heavier and looking beautiful and happy, as he was.

As broken hearted as they are her husband told her to adopt from us ASAP in honor of will help fill their void and help another dog........

Please give your dogs an extra hug tonight, they wish they could.......


October 27, 2006



Our sweet, sweet Ziggy died after complications from heartworm treatment proved to be too much for his little heart.  Ziggy was so full of life and such a happy-go-lucky boy...we are all so sad to see him leave us all too early.  The worst part for Ziggy is that this was ALL preventable.  This is why MAGSR requires all of our dogs to remain on heartworm preventative.  It's simply a small pill that you give your dog each month, they eat them willingly.  Had Ziggy's original family done this he'd still be with us today.  Rest in peace sweet Ziggy.  We love you!!




October 2006

This is a note from Rhett's  family to me, because i fostered him and did the adoption  paperwork. He was a very special dog, with his flopped ear and goofy grin ( check out his photo on the MAGSR Calendar  ). He hadn't had a good life and it showed in his body when i first had him, he was skinny, scarred and generally bedraggled, but he had the kindest, sweetest personality and he never met anyone or any dog  he didn't love.      Candice

"We are destroyed about Rhett! He truly was the best dog I have ever had! He was so cute, if I was taking a nap and he wanted to play, I would ignore him and he literally would pull me off the couch by my shirt! He was like a human. Gracie (our little dog) and him were best buddies, she still waits by the front door for him. My children sleep with his collar and leash.

You told us about bloat and we were so careful, we made sure he was calm before and after eating, and that night was no different. About an hour after he ate he got sick, we knew what it was, took him to the emergency vet, but it was to late. We'll miss our best buddy, thank-you for giving us time to love him and be loved by him!
Angie, Jeremy and Lindsay Turcotte


Irene Lumpkins (Volunteer)
October 10, 2006

On Sunday at 1:40pm my mother and friend Irene passed away in her sleep.

She was resting comfortably after a fourteen year battle with cancer and went peacefully. The thoughts, prayers, and visits from all of you over the past several months have comforted us in this time of sorrow.

Ever the strong and proud woman, Irene went out as she lived her life - in charge of herself and her surroundings. Irene decided on Monday of this past week that the treatments she was suffering to address the infections she had were no longer likely to succeed and thus she was ready to move on to the next phase of her treatment. It was in respect of these wishes that she spent her last week at Stella Maris, resting and preparing herself for her next great adventure.

She also was a caring woman, grateful for the outpouring of support in the past few months as her condition worsened. We frequently talked about her love for all of her friends and family, and how surprised she was about the support she received.

There is a lot of people we could thank at this time the folks I want to thank the most right now are her medical team. We have spent happy times and sad times with them over the years and at every turn they were there to help and were respectful of my mother's wishes; even to the end, it was the medical team that eased her pain and helped us with the most difficult of our decisions.

While this is time of grief, it is also a time of hope - hope that her strength these 14 years will carry each of us through the pain that we are feeling now; hope that we understand what it means to love and be loved; and hope that we continue to be the masters ofour destiny when it is time for each us to decide how our stories end.

Thanks to all of you again for your support. While this a hard time for our family, we are comfortable in knowing that Irene's pain is over.

Peace be with you,

Don and Kim Lumpkins
Donald "Doc" Lumpkins

Sad news about one of our volunteers who has lost her battle with cancer.

Irene Lumpkins who many of you might remember helping at a few events like Walk for Paws and the Bull Roast, or helping at the kennel while in her wheelchair due to bone cancer. She had thought she had been one of the lucky ones and had beat 'the monster', but it came back.

Irene never let her illness or the fact that she needed to use a wheelchair get in her way of doing what she needed or wanted to do. She worked, and helped both people and animals in need, and always was ready to lend a hand, that made her the whole person some of us had the pleasure to meet and get to know.

Irene is someone who is going to be missed by many whose lives she touched.

A special thank you also to Lauren and Frank Fernandez who have donated $100.00 to MAGSR in memory of Irene and to help carry on Irene's love.


October 10, 2006

Well I have some sad news to share with everyone. I know we have had a lot of this recently and this one hits really close to home for many others besides me.

Lokie was hit and killed this morning.

Lokie was with the rescue for quite a while. He was adopted and returned at least once. Many of you will remember him up at the kennel howling away because he had not gotten out of his run yet and wanted to go for a walk. He was famous (or maybe infamous) for his nibble kisses that were even rougher after he chipped his teeth. He could break, hop or climb out of almost anything he did not want to be contained by.

My mom fell in love with him and came up to the kennel with my sister to spend time with him and my parents eventually adopted him. And since he was legal in both NJ (where they live) and VA (where they are moving) it worked out great. He was always happier playing in the two ponds on my parents land in VA and running around with Alvin (another MAGSR alum). When my sister was killed in VA it was hard on my parents but my mom loved going to the VA house and watching the dogs run around free and happy. It gave them a reason to focus on movng down there.

Lokie had a history of being an escape artist. Fencing would not contain him. To keep him in the yard in NJ they used a heavy duty tie-out. Lokie got off his tie-out this morning (his collar was still on) when my mom went upstairs to get changed to go to work. My parents drove around looking for him and called the police and left a message for animal control. My dad called back after AC opened and they told him that Lokie had been hit and killed about 3 blocks from their house.

Lokie's adoption photo is already up on the sad news page about my sister. It just does not seem fair that Lokie is now going to be listed up there. The reassuring thing is that Coley is a lot like me and Lokie would actually listen to her more than my other sister Heather. So he is with someone that can keep him in line :)


Jaime Farris



October 8, 2006



This is a very difficult email to write but I wanted to let you know that Stella (we never changed her name) has passed away. We lost her to bloat. It came on suddenly and viciously. We took her immediately to the emergency vet but her stomach had already twisted 160 degrees and she had trouble breathing. After all she had been through to lose her to that was horrible. I have always been so careful to avoid any of the situations that can lead to bloat so I am shocked that she got it anyway despite my care! Thank goodness we did get to spend a few minutes with her. She was happy to see us but she had that look in her eye that said, "it's time." She went very peacefully with my husband scratching her ears, her favorite, and me telling her how much I loved her. The whole thing was over so fast I still can't believe it. One minute she was fine and before we knew it she was gone. I guess it's better that way but it's still so terribly painful. She was such a joy to us and brought us so much happiness. All her vets and people she came in contact with marveled at her strength and resiliency at all she had been through. She was amazing to me that she never gave up, she still looked forward to the simple joys of her life with so much enthusiasm, like her treats after dinner and doggie ice cream in the hot summer days. She loved going outside and laying in the yard just watching the world go by. I wouldn't have changed anything about her. Thanks again to your wonderful organization that saved her so we could enjoy and spoil her for these last 5 very happy years!! Thanks again, Norma and Paul






September 19, 2006



We are very sad to have to tell the group that Shep had to be put down today. After a 2 year battle with Degenerative Mylopathy, his body just couldn't hold on anymore. We have helped him in and out for a very long time, but recently he couldn't even move. His body just finally quit, and we had to let him go.

He suffered a lot in his short life. When we first brought him into the rescue, he had Glaucoma and had lost his eyesight and was in great pain. The rescue had his eyes removed and wonderful "fake" eyes placed so that he looked more normal. Just months after the eye surgery, we started noticing his rear end swaying and after an MRI was performed, it was determined that he had DM, which has no cure. A cart was purchased to help him stay mobile, which really helped him stay strong. But then he continued to decline and eventually he could only move with the assistance of Joe and I. We kept him comfortable and helped him in and out until this past week when he let us know it was time for him to move on to his place of peace. The vet told us as he went to sleep, that he was now running and chasing all those rabbits, and that he could not only run, but could see them again also. I know he dreamt about that, and now he is free to play again.

Shep will be missed greatly in this house. He was a real trooper and we loved him dearly. Even though he had lots of ailments, he had lots of love from us humans and his dog and cat friends. He did appreciate the attention and shared his love back in his own quiet way.

Run free, Shep. We love you.
Tricia and Joe



September 15, 2006


 His last session with the Frisbee and me, 1/2 hour before going to Rainbow Bridge, where arms never tire of throwing the ball, Frisbee or stick.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. My family, furry and non, appreciate them. The favor is to ask each one of you in MAGSR, to revaluate your efforts in the rescue, to give an extra hour or 10 in whatever capacity you can for our dogs. This is to honor those who have passed from our eyes but not our hearts and memories, dogs with their selfless, boundless, unconditional love would want this. In memory of my big beautiful boy, Duke, I ask this of you. MAGSR found my big boy for me (his last day at pound) 4 years ago minus 4 days and I can never repay them, there is no price on unconditional love, trust, devotion and companionship.


-Thank you, Tammy and Duke


September 15, 2006



A very sad Friday. My newly adopted fur kid of only 3 short months has passed over the rainbow bridge today while my husband and I were at his side.. Grandpa "Grizz" as he came to be known as had suffered a stroke that came on very suddenly last night at 7pm. I came home to him crying, circling franticly while he was laying down. His head was tilted to the hard right. First I thought seizure?, but he was coherent, just obviously upset. So I thought an inner ear infection? but he did not have the eye nystagmus (eyes bouncing from left to right, can't focus) which is usually associated with that. He calmed down about 1/2 hour later. Last night I slept with him, watching over him. He was all ready walking impaired due to bad arthritis, hip dysplasia, and the on set of DM. I had just got a custom K9 cart delivered to our home, that he got to use 2 days. I think he liked it, for the short time he was in it.

I took him in to the vet clinic I work at this AM, his condition was very sad. He could not stand even with my assistance like before this happened. They said they could switch his current medications, by taking him off his tramadol & rimadyl and placing him on prednizone and see if that would work. But by examining him the two vets both said it more than likely was not an inner ear infection it looked more like a stroke. The only true way to tell was to put him threw a MRI or CAT SCAN. But even with that, it would have not really changed the treatment. As sometimes with humans, they may get some function back. My pal could not look at me, hold his head up strong. He only could lay on his side and look hard over his shoulder for balance. When we tried to get him to look up at us, he would lose his balance.

I chose to let him go with some dignity that he still had, but he was no longer happy I saw that in his eyes this AM. I believe he was suffering... and there was no guarantee that a another even bigger stoke was right around the corner.

He was one of the most handsome shepherds I've ever seen, I loved to pet his huge fluffy ears. Grizz was very special. He is sadly missed by my husband and I very much.


- Larissa & Michael Goldstein
Fallston, Maryland



September 5, 2006



It is with great sadness we must inform everyone of the passing of Grace, who was formerly known as Kora while with MAGSR. Grace came to MAGSR with a lot of baggage after living as a backyard dog. Even through all that she endured before joining us, Grace was always very dedicated to those that she loved. Grace will always be remembered for how gentle and sweet that she was. She was also known for the special little head nuzzle she would do when she wanted attention. Grace is now at peace, no longer stressed by the anxieties that troubled her. Although her family and those who knew her with the rescue are greatly saddened by her loss, we are grateful that she is finally at peace and look forward to the day we will meet her again at the rainbow bridge...



July 2006



Sadly, to all of us, Pirolte passed over to the Rainbow Bridge, July 27, 2006. Pirolte is a french word meaning "Pirate", this big handsome guy was indeed a pirate, stealing the hearts of all of us who came to know and love him. He was highly intelligent, a quick learner and eager to please; Pirolte was never comfortable in his run, he loved to get out for his walks and social time. When walking Pirolte would look up @ you and lean into you, wanting to be close, it seemed he was saying "we're buddies", I like this. Pirolte is missed, still loved, when he crossed over he didn't go alone, he took a piece of our hearts with him-----If love alone could have saved you Pirolte, you never would have died. Give em hell boy!


Bill Myers


August 15, 2006



Dear Magsr,
I am sad to share that on 08/15/06 our MACIE (formally Ingle) passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. She suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with end stage liver/spleen cancer. We have had her about 3 years and will miss her so much! I can only hope that we loved her, in that short amount of time, enough to make up for the rough life she had before. Its unbelievable the amount of love Macie had to give. She unselfishly masked her illness with a wagging tail and affection. It breaks our hearts that she is no longer with us. As she passed on her family was holding her close. In reality I think she was holding us. Attached is a photo of our girl. Thank you for placing Macie in our lives.

The Kintop Family
Chris, Tina, Alex, Sarah and Foster.



August 2006



I wanted to let you know that our beloved Jarrid passed away yesterday evening. My husband (back then fiance') and I adopted Jarrid from MAGSR back in August of 2001. His name was Jarrid at the rescue and we never changed his name. Jarrid was having lots of trouble with his hind legs and could no longer stand up. It was such a pitiful sight to see this happen to THE SWEETEST dog I have ever known. We went with him to the vet and held him as he went off to sleep.

This is so hard for me because Jarrid was my best friend. I spend a lot of evenings alone as my husband works at night and Jarrid always kept me company. We only had him for five short years, but those were some of the best years of my life. He was quite (only barked 3 times in five years) and gentle and sweet. He was an older dog when we adopted him and had been at
MAGSR for a while. I like to think that he was waiting for us to come and get him that day in Westminster (he lived with James the trainer) and that that day we won the lottery and got to have him love us for five years. I was so happy to have him. He slept on the couch and got a walk every day that we had him (we never missed one day). He never begged for things from
the table but did pressure you for a nice long pet. I am so happy that we chose him (or he chose us) and that he had a wonderful last five years and that we were by his side in the end. Now he can wait for us at the rainbow bridge.

I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be loved by him. He  taught me to be quite and sweet and thankful and simple. I love him so much and will miss him so. He took some of my heart with him and can now rest happy. Attached is a picture of Jarrid with baby Carter a few short months after he was born. When we adopted Jarrid it said that he only did well with older children. That was wrong, when Carter came along he was unsure at first but in the end, I know he loved him too. Thank you again for all that you do and all that you did for us.

Kelly Sparwasser (formerly Jehnert)



July 26, 2006



It is with heavy heart that we let everyone know that Gretchen has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. She developed a serious case of bloat and along with other age related issues it was decided that it would be best to let her go. She was only with us for a short time (we adopted her from MAGSR in September 2004). She was an older dog but had a lot to give. She loved giving 'kisses' to both my sons (Jared - 5 yrs, Kyle 22 mos). She also loved playing catch in the yard with her tennis balls. Jared always referred to her as 'his girl' because he called our other German Shepherd (Tacoma) my girl. He and the rest of us will miss her dearly. We take comfort in knowing that the last 23 months of her life she was loved and cared for by all of us. We look forward to the day when we can see her again.

We miss you Gretchen!

David, Mini, Jared, Kyle and Tacoma



June 19, 2006



We have lost our beloved Navarre (FKA Farley). He passed away in his sleep in the fall of this past year, but we have all been too broken up to share the sad news. We have always loved GSDs and wanted to foster a dog, and MAGSR introduced us to this handsome fellow, that had just eaten a couch in another foster home. They guessed he was 3-4 years old at the time, and he was very fearful. Despite his history of severe separation anxiety, we took him into our family, and we all fell in love. We found we could not part with this gentle soul, and adopted him. He has been such a wonderful gift, and we miss him terribly. To all of you considering fostering or adopting, please help these dogs find a new life...despite the sad goodbyes, we would not trade a single moment of the last four years spent with this happy guy (Navarre is the old fella on the right, he is pictured here with two of his four sisters, Selma and Liesel, in the middle and back, and his brother Jackson, forefront). Thank you MAGSR for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful boy's life, we all miss him.

Karen and Sean Cramer and the "kids" Jackson, Liesel, Selma, Timber, and Shannon



June 19, 2006



Our little 4 month old boy Smokey came down with what the vet believes to have been parvo. He had received his vaccination recently but it obviously was not soon enough. Please keep this sweet baby in your prayers as he says good-bye to a life he was not allowed to live. Rest in peace little Smokey.


June 10, 2006



It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved "Bailey" this morning June 10, 2006. Bailey developed a fast spreading cancer that ultimately spread to her lungs and made her quality of life diminish quickly and very suddenly. We adopted Bailey (aka Brandy) in 2000 from MAGSR and we feel blessed to have been able to spend the last 6 years with her as a part of our family. She was a best friend to our 5 year old son Logan. He will miss her terribly as she has been a part of his life since he was born.

Bailey was delivered to the Rainbow Bridge this morning with the assistance of our veterinarian. She laid in my arms as we were on a grassy clearing under a canopy of beautiful trees. It was early morning and the sun was just perfectly warm on her face and the breeze was just gentle enough to let me know that her spirit was given a head start on her journey. Her passing was so peaceful.

Myself and my family would like to once again thank MAGSR, as we have for the last 6 years in our "success stories" entries, for giving us the gift of "Bailey" and we are forever grateful for being allowed to have her in our lives. Her spirit will live in our hearts forever.

-Kathleen, Randy, Logan, and Chase Blodgett
Woodbridge, Virginia


June 15, 2006



Today was the day that Dax was sent to peace. A beautiful young boy who someone ruined the life of, and ultimately caused his life to end. Bill and I spent some time with Dax today, Bill walking him just like it would be any other weekend walk, except this time he was heavily sedated (not that you would know it), and going for his last walk. He got to find that 'perfect spot' that all dogs search for so that we can use our baggies, make sure a few bushes got a good 'watering', and a few good scratches from those same bushes. He enjoyed a huge knuckle bone in his run, and a few milk bones on his ride. He passed feeling the touches of human love, kindness, and compassion.

As sad as times like these are I know Bill and I both took comfort in knowing that Dax would be at peace, never again having to deal with whatever was going on inside of him. This is probably the most peace this beautiful boy has known since he was a very young puppy. Times like these are hard, and we're all grateful that we do not have to face them often.

Dax will be waiting at that bridge for the family who loved him enough to adopt him unconditionally so that he would have someone to join him in the years to come. His (private) remains will be returned to us next Friday at which time they will be placed with his new family, Tiffany and Chad.

Enjoy the peace, freedom, and happiness you deserved from the start of your life Dax. Run free with no limits, you'll never know confusion, pain, or mistreatment again.


You were loved many.


May 22, 2006



MAGSR's committment dog, Ace, passed away this afternoon. He had been doing great until this weekend when he stopped eating. His spirit was still high and he was drinking water, but today he had the look that he was close to the end, and we took him to the vet and he went quietly on his own.

Ace has been a part of all of our lives for 4 years and this rescue has supported him through all his ailments. He lived many years longer than first predicted when he was initially diagnosed with Degenerative Mylapothy, and he lived to be 12-13 years old. We are so proud of our big boy and we will miss him greatly. Even though he couldn't walk for the last year or so, he had gotten around with his cart and our help and he was able to enjoy life. - Thanks to all.


Click here for Ace's Story



May 19, 2006



Our sweet Angel passed away in her sleep yesterday morning.  Angel was about 13 years old.  While Angel's life was not always the easiest, this girl was very much loved by her foster mom Michele and her foster brother Ajax (MAGSR alum).  Angel's family very much misses her and hopes that she is resting peacefully with her human grandma who we are sure met Angel at the rainbow bridge.  Rest in peace sweet girl.



JACK (fka Adonis)

August 4, 2003 - May 19, 2006



Thanks for the time and conversation this morning. It was a hard decision to make. Jack first started seizures in October.  He was diagnosed with Idiopathic epilepsy. The seizures were getting worse and we almost lost him at Christmas. In February he spent an entire weekend, starting on Thursday night to Sunday, in the ER and had seizures even while receiving IV drugs. We maxed out his Phenobarbital meds and he had three months of cluster free seizures. That ended early this morning. Between 1:20 am and 7:30 am he had 9 grad mal seizures and several smaller Petit Mal seizures. We gave him 4 doses of valium and extra Phenobarbital with no help. We met with out vet at 8:00 am and made the decision to help him the best way we could.

When we adopted Jack (fka Adonis) he was 12 weeks old. We started his training after only a few weeks, and he did very well even earning AKC Canine Good Citizen award when he was 11 months old. The training brought us together and made us very close. He would play ball for hours or was happy to just lay at my feet. Jack went with me on several home visits and was the 'perfect' MAGSR dog during the visits.

Jack would have been 3 in August.

Thanks for fostering him and his litter mates. Thanks to MAGSR for allowing us to have him even for the short time he was here.


- Bill & Christine Tyndall



May 2, 2006


A few yrs ago we brought in a boy from PA.  When he went to be vetted we asked that they remove a few bumps that he had.  He went into foster where they noticed a few more bumps.  Off to the vet he went to have them removed, but this time the news wasn't good.  Lex had cancer.  His fosters seen him through all his Chemo treatments, a few more bumps removed (these were not cancer), and finally Lex started getting hair back from being shaved so much.  All his check ups were good, and he didn't have to go as often.  Ginny and Bob had been through so much with this boy they couldn't see him leaving them so they adopted.  Ginny did not attach the picture but when she sends it I will pass it along.

Here is the note Ginny sent to me...



We don't think it was the cancer.  His neurolgical conditioned had progressed to the point of regular incontinence and the inability to get up once on the floor.  But, in the   last few days he had stopped eating and was clearly unwell.  He really couldn't have taken any further treatment of any kind.  We had been to the vet several times waiting and wondering when the time would be the right time.  But we knew that last Tuesday, May 2 was going to be the day.  It was a beautiful day and my husband helped him outside where he was just lounging in the shade in the grass.  I came home from work when it was time for the appointment.  We both took him to the vets and held him through the process.  Our vet is a very sweet and caring man.  It was peaceful for Lex and he was looking at me the whole time.  I will never forget the love and trust in his eyes.  I will miss Lex - he was "my" dog from day one.  He followed me everywhere and didn't want me out of his sight.  Holly (the puppy we adopted from you) has been very sad too.  She hasn't been herself at all - ears kind of droopy and not quite so much energy.  Even to the end, Lex still tried to play with Holly, they were buddies. 

I often had to get my kids to get things for me because if I got up he would try to get up too.  It was especially troubling when you could tell it hurt him to move around.

He had a very good life in the past couple of years since MAGSR rescued him.  He was well loved and he loved us back with all the love possible in a dog that had never been cared for before.  He was especially bonded with me and I miss him terribly. I attached my favorite Lex picture, because he would sleep in that position and it was simply "too cute". 

I miss him.



April 27, 2006



To our Friends at MASGR

We are writing to tell you that Bob passed away April 27th 2006. We don't know what we will do without him! He had just turned 14 on Jan 1st and we had him for 4 years. They were the best 4 years we ever enjoyed! The house is so empty, we see him everywhere we go. He was the most gentle, loving and sweetest dog we have ever had. My husband has had a hard time without him. Bob was very close to my husband as well as me but like to follow my husband around.

We want to thank all of you for giving us an angel! If it had not been for Candy, we would never had had Bob. We will always keep him in our hearts.

Thank you again for our angel,
The Steinwedel's  



April 20, 2006



Jack was treated for increased wax buildup in his ears about one week ago. He was doing fine till yesterday when around two o'clock he started to pant more than usual. With Jack this usually means that he has to go to the bathroom. So at about three o'clock he came and got me and I let him out and he wizzed. I did notice upon coming home at two and when I let him out at three that his chest and abdomen were a little distended and when Christine came home thirty minutes later she took him to the vets to be checked out. To make a long story short, Jack was x-rayed and was found to have bilateral pneumothoces. Jack's condition worsened right in the vets office untill his heart stopped beating. He was dead at five thirty. Andy and Christine took it very hard. I don't know what cause his spontaneous pneumo's but looking at the x-rays both  lungs were 100% collapsed. He was a great dog and Chester misses his buddy a lot.  I'm sorry for the bad news but I thought that you would want to know. I can't be sure but am wondering if the heartworms had anything to do with it. I always thought that he would have a shortened lifespan but I did not expect it to be this short! He always seemed to breath heavily and had trouble catching his wind. He always wanted his walks and his treats which were frequent and we enjoyed his company every minute of the day. He will be sorely missed. So long for now and


God bless.
Joe, Chris, Joe Jr, and Andy.


April 20, 2006



I'm very sad to say that one of our special girls has passed on today. Bridgett, renamed Evanka came to us as a return but from a German Shepherd Rescue of MD adoption because they closed and could not take her back. Bridgett was very thin, scared, and had a large mass on her right back hip. When I found it while talking with her people they tried saying it was just a fatty tumor, but it did not feel like one. They signed her over to us, she went in to foster with Ed, and off to the vet for surgery and a biopsy. The news did not come back good and we were told that the cancer could come back at some point, and in the same area. Evanka was in her home where she was loved and treasured for less then 2 yrs, but it was the best part of her life. Bridgett's cancer returned and she was in a lot of pain, and was sent to peace today by her family.  Her family is setting up a memorial statue in their garden for Evanka...they miss her terribly.





March 14, 2006


It is with a heavy heart, we have to tell you we had to say goodbye to Baer last Tuesday, March 14, 2006.  He will surely be missed.  He would have been 11 this July.  He had a pretty crappy life but we were lucky to have him for almost 4 years.  Actually, it would have been 4 years in April. We have been donors to MAGSR for many years and also approved for adoption.

We now live in Florida and eventually, will find a new dog.  We think, next time, we will get two of them. For now, we are doing nothing and next year we will get serious about adoption. I know there are some GSD rescues in the Tampa area but not all that familiar with them. Anyway, if you can recommend one, we would appreciate it.

Please, if you can, include Baer in your newsletter.  We will be sending a donation in his name this week. Thank you.

Gayle and Tom Yaeger
Zephyrhills, FL



March 20, 2006


I just wanted to let a few of you know that, at 2:30 a.m., I had to let my Gracie go to the Rainbow Bridge. She made a turn for the worse-I stayed up with her all night and held her.  When she could no longer walk or move without pain, and the fluid that crept back in her chest made her uncomfortable, I knew I needed to let her go.  2 days ago, she was her old self, romping in the yard and carrying her ball around.  Not one day with Gracie was ever taken for granted. 

My heart is broken and my house will never be the same without her. 




March 20, 2006



With a heavy heart, I pass along the news that Lady, who was fostered and then adopted by my friend Kristine, has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

In a span of several days, Lady's cancer aggressively took over her tummy and she lost the ability to walk. She was wrapped in loving arms as she left this world. Although not with Kristine nearly long enough, she did retire in home of comfort, love and spoiling.

She will be remembered for her "talking", tail wagging and the way she "shuffled along" as she took her walks. She was a sweat old girl, who got a second chance. Thank you, MAGSR, for allowing this senior to join us and find love and peace.






December 2005


We had been trying to do follow up calls on Rusty but could never reach her adopter so I went for a visit. When I knocked there was only one dog barking...not Rusty. When the adopter finally came to the door she offered me to come in and she mentioned there was only one dog. I asked about Rusty and where she was. "Just before Christmas Rusty and the GSD Samantha got out of the yard and Rusty was killed by a car.

This little girl should never have had her life end like this.



February 2006


Dear Pat.. Thank you so very much for choosing Mike for Winny. You can't begin to know how grateful we both are. It was love at first sight for him. She has been his best hiking buddy and at times I was exasperated by the fact that all our vacations were geared around the Princess having the most fun.


One of the few times we didn't spend hours searching for the perfect dog friendly vacation house was when we went to Ireland and if she could have ridden in the plane in a seat next to Mike she would have gone there too. He jokingly said he was going to buy her a little dress . All our vacation photos include Winny swimming, Winny digging in the sand, Winny running through the woods, Winny shaking her club. It's a good thing I'm not the jealous type. And to be truthful her joyfulness made all those vacations extra special and filled with laughter.
I'm sure you know what I'm trying to tell you. She took a bad turn on Sunday night and Mike did the only loving thing. We were with her the entire time as Mike told them he was a nurse and insisted.



She was in his arms.

-Mike & Carol


February 2006


Xena was adopted from MAGSR in January of 2001. My family and I went to visit a shelter and found a very beautiful girl sitting in the back of her kennel. I asked my father if we could take her for a walk. She was very shy. In fact most of the volunteers weren't too sure about her and the young lady who fed her had to get her out for us. When we tried to pet her; she cowered. Then I leaned over and told her it was ok... and she gave me a kiss on the cheek! That was it! We took her home. That first night we bought her a nice bed and some toys. She had no idea what to do with those we taught her. My father spent hours each evening training her. She learned how to walk very well on a leash, play ball, and play with toys. When my parents decided they wanted to travel, I saw my opportunity to take care of her. My husband and I brought her to our house in September of 2005. She made such a wonderful addition to our home. She was my pretty girl. Most often she loved to sit outside, with her ears up, and turning her head watching the birds. Shadows were her personal entertainment.

On January 2, 2006 Xena fell twice in the morning. We thought that it was because of the hard wood floors and her claws were getting pretty long (she had a grooming appointment scheduled for the end of that week). By 4pm that night she could no longer get up. Her back legs just wouldn't work. We took her to the vet and were told it was just arthritis and the vet was positive that she would get better by the next day with the medicine she was given. The next morning... she wasn't any better. We called the vet again and received another shot to give her because it was suspected that there was now inflammation around her spinal cord from the arthritis. Again we were told in another day she would be much better. The next day... Xena still wasn't improving. So we went back to the vet and got some stronger anti-inflammatory to try. During this time we had to help her get out to go to the bathroom. She was such a sweetheart allowing us to help her do everything. We spent hours massaging her legs and stretching her muscles. We also found a canine spa to take her swimming. We did not want her muscles to atrophy because she was eating normally but not getting any exercise. One week after her legs stopped working we scheduled another visit at the vet because she was getting very frustrated with herself and she was having accidents in the house. My husband and I along with my parents took her. We were optimistic that she would be ok, but worried that there wasn't going to be any more options. That night the vet watched her try to walk and determined that it was now neurological. We had to put her down. She was only 6 years old.

She was the sweetest girl. She changed from the scared puppy (most likely due to previous abuse... like so many MAGSR dogs) into a cuddle buddy. She loved everyone! Although she was protective of her home as GSDs are. We are very thankful to have been able to spend five short years with her. We hope we had as much of an impact on her life as she did on ours. We miss her immensely!

The Fogle's and The Fry's



January 28, 2006


On Saturday Chris and I brought Bailey our 10 year old GSD home from the vet to say our goodbyes.  Bailey was diagnosed with kidney disease almost 5 years ago and given only 3 months to live at that time.  Through alot of love and alot of trial and error we set out to find something for her to eat (she was pitifully thin and refused to eat)  We finally found a combination of KD, dry food and chicken noodle soup and she started eating and gaining weight.  She did very well up until about 2 months ago.  After the Vet found cancer in her lymph nodes and liver, we brought Bailey home on Saturday and I thanked her for all the joy and love that she gave us....she was such a beautiful and sweet girl (she was also a MAGSR alumni) and I am so thankful for MAGSR for allowing us the honor of having her as a part of our family..on Sunday after a very rough night - she was so sick....we went back to the Vet and said our final goodbyes...We both realized that we had never had to decide to do anything like this before....and we were devestated.

We drove home and were greeted by Sadie (our first MAGSR girl) and Zeke who we just recently adopted from MAGSR.  Zeke had gotten into a few things and made quite a mess in the hour that we were gone.  I looked around at the mess and his face and started laughing.....and crying all at once......I realized that all things happen in God's time not mine and that Zeke came into our life when we needed him the most..... he and Sadie are buddies and Sadie doesn't have to be alone...and I truly believe Bailey held out until Zeke came so Sadie would be OK.

I just want to say how thankful I am to all of you for everything you do...and although I have been sick lately myself and not around very much to do much volunteer work I am truly proud to be a part of MAGSR and hope to be active again very soon......without the work that you all do we would have never had the privledge of having Bailey, Sadie or Zeke (Chris has knicknamed him Dennis the Menace) in our thank you from the bottom of my heart....   





December 24, 2005



We share a long driveway with our son's family and a family that has never built on their land but let assorted people hunt on it. Well this morning they had their first kill of the day.

John was walking the dogs. We live on so much land that only Franklin has to be on leash because he got lost once running after a deer.

The hunters came SPEEDING up the driveway and ran over Riggs. I can hardly believe it yet. John said his death was almost instantaneous; he only lived a couple of seconds and "never knew what hit him" as the cliché goes. You KNOW we are heartbroken. John told the hunters that "you have ruined my wife's Christmas." Laura advised us to collect all the toys he loved so much right away so I won't look at them and start crying all over again. I took down his stocking.

I know he had a great life and loved it out here and loved us, but he was only 2. We are going to miss him terribly. He was really one of a kind with those goofy ears, and we expected to have him many years.

I know I have to eventually forgive the men, but I can't do it today.

-The McCravy Family




December 22, 2005


Little Ellie, 15 year old, could still out run me with only three legs Ellie, will cross tonight. Ellie was my very first adoption and she has taught me and my family an awful lot. She has a heart of gold and the courage of a lion. Ellie joined me when Shannon was only a little girl and she quickly established herself as the guardian of the two of us. Ellie kept me company with every other weekend trips back and forth to North Carolina for a year and a half. During that year and a half, Ellie listened to every story, complaint, and joke I had to offer. She happily rode in front with me for 6 hours, snuck sips of coffee and took her job of protector very seriously. Ellie was always happy and frequently shocked me with her intelligence. Ellie is famous for sounding the alarm to summon help for me and she could take one look at my face and KNOW I was going to cry and off she'd go to get someone's attention. Ellie was very patient in teaching Donnie that when she came charging in, screaming (she did not bark) and nudged his knee that he should immediately follow her. Eventually he got it just as we learned to watch her for signs of trouble etc while in the woods and driving late at night. Ellie took very good care of Shannon and slept with her, guarding and loving her every night since she joined us. Ellie welcomed and educated Buddy and Emma on how things work around here and she was never jealous or selfish. As Ellie has grown tired and chose to sun herself in the yard instead of chasing the younger dogs, she still kept watch and would scream at the others if they got too rough or were into something they should not, I still don't know how she knew those things. This summer Emma took a post either over Ellie as she rested and sunned, or right in front of her so the "kids" didn't run into her. Last night for the first time ever Ellie refused her dinner and clearly did not feel well. This was a huge red flag for me and the absolute warning was that Emma would not leave her side. She sat beside her all night. She would look back at me for a minute then back at Ellie, Emma inspected her from head to toe but never left her side. Today we found out Ellie's heart is enlarged, she has a mass in/on her liver and spleen. She has severe arthritis in her spine as well. It is time for us to see her home and safely and quickly into the arms of those who wait for her. We love you little Ellie girl and we will miss you everyday.



December 21, 2005


Picture taken the day before.


Just wanted to let you know that Molly was put to sleep this afternoon. Since she never quite recovered from the episode she had, they think she either had a sort of stroke or a tumor on her brain, not the ODE since the symptoms didn't go away. They could have done an MRI to determine exactly what it was, but I didn't want to put Molly through that - car rides even stress her out! That was the only time she was sick in 13 & 1/2 years.  I am a total mess, but am thankful she was able to go in peace, with dignity, and at home with me holding her until the end. The vet came to my house and was so good w/me and Molly. They took her body and she is being cremated for me. The vet assures me this is a reputable place and it will be Molly's ashes I get back.

I've been crying a lot, numb, sick to my stomach - praying to God that I made the right decision for Molly. I just hope she knows how much I love her and will miss her - she was truly my best friend from the day I adopted her. Dr. Megan (vet) said w/Molly's symptoms, she didn't think she would improve much - but that we could put her on pain meds. I didn't want to keep Molly around on pain meds because her quality of life had gone down hill so much already.

I keep catching myself looking for her, getting ready to feed her, let her out, etc. She is loved and missed.



December 17, 2005



It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to let you know that on December 17, 20005 at 8:30 a.m. we sent Jasmine to the bridge. She came to us an unwanted dog 5 years ago and left as the most loved and treasured member of a family. No dog will ever take her place in the hearts of our family. I want to thank you and everyone at MAGSR back then who convinced me to take her in as a foster, and thank God for not giving me the strength to let her to anywhere else. She was a wonderful girl, and she gave us all the love she had to give. Here is a photo I took of her the night before she joined her friends at the Bridge, and a poem that I feel tells it all so well.

With our sincerest appreciation,
Stephanie Rameika and family

Hello. I've been expecting you for quite some time.
Here, come sit beside us for awhile.
and let me tell you about this old friend of mine.
She might look tattered or maybe old
But I won't say goodbye until you've been told.
She had the brightest eyes I had ever seen,
And wore a beautiful fur coat that would out shine a queen .
She was never prissy but walked with an aire ......
And oh so polite, you could take her most anywhere.
She could run like the wind and could catch anything she chased
But she protected and sat with me when I had problems to face.
You could not find a friend nearly so dear.
Because no matter the trouble she always stayed near...
She has never asked for much from me;
Just to love and respect her and I think you'll agree .
To give her a good meal plus a nice warm bed is not much to ask ;
When she has given me all her love and to her this was no task.
Now I understand you have a schedule to keep.
But I have a small favor before she nods off to sleep.
Please fold your wings around her and let her feel young while in no
pain ;
Dear Guardian Angel of Pets ,
please keep her safe and happy until I see her again.

-Ginger Patton





December 2005



Denise and all MAGSR volunteers,

It is with a very heavy heart I am writing to let you know of the passing of our beloved Luke. He had a spinal embolism that rendered him paralyzed. After consulting a neurologist it was determined he would not regain any movement. We made the agonizing choice to put him down. We are utterly devastated. He was the greatest dog I have ever known. I doubt I will ever find one as loving and loyal as our boy. He will be greatly missed.

I am so sorry to be the one to bring you this sad news. If we could have done anything differently we would. It all happened so fast. The day before he
was fine. The next morning couldn't jump up on the bed with me. I thought it was his hips and took him to the vet that day. They gave him pain and anti inflammatory meds but by 10:00 that night he couldn't move. He couldn't lay his head down so my poor beautiful boy couldn't rest. He was so very brave. He let us carry him on a stretcher and had several doctors and techs examine him. He never complained. He never got aggressive even though I know he was hurting. He whimpered but never gave anyone any trouble. Like I said, he will be missed.

We got a card from the neurologist last night and he reiterated that there was nothing to be done. We made the right choice. The hardest call I've ever made.

Thank you so much for all you guys do. We appreciate it.
Amy Larson
John Nolting




May 17, 2000 - December 2, 2005


Picture taken just a few days before.


Amar was not an MAGSR dog - but he was 50% of why I am a volunteer with this rescue and have been for almost 3 years now.  I got Amar at 6 months of age and despite his young age he turned out to be severely dog aggressive.  Because I was working nights and lived alone it was never really an issue.  It was just him and me during the day - we'd take walks and go for runs together but rarely if ever came across another dog.  The first year I had Amar he was lucky enough to come to work with me as well - since I worked nights and was the manager of the office I worked in.  That first year together was important because Amar was really the only friend I had around - and I was his.  He learned a couple dozen "tricks" (hey, we had lots of time on our hands!) and for the few years I had him he impressed many visitors to our home; he loved entertaining! 


I new very soon after bringing Amar home that he would not live to a ripe old age.  I just never thought it would come so soon and only after such huge costs in his normal lifestyle.  Last summer Amar started having minor things come up that eventually led to a diagnosis of Lupus, a degenerative disease, that over the last year took away Amar's abilities to run and play, do many of his tricks, and eventually even walking for too long a period of time.  He was no longer allowed to go to dog parks or training or anything else where other dogs would be (yes through training Amar was able to be with and play with other dogs despite his early dog aggression) because lupus, an immune system disease, is treated with medications that shut down the immune system making it important that the dog not get sick from anything.


Amar was by all standards not an easy dog to own (he was hard work) but he was a very easy dog to love.  He loved to cuddle in bed - as long as he got part of the pillow - and would snuggle in as close to you as he could get.  No one who met Amar did not instantly like him; he was a real people-oriented dog - extremely eager to please, happy, social, and willing to do ANYTHING for a treat.  I was always aware that Amar's life did not turn out how it was intended.  He got stuck with me when he would have been happier with a "real" job (he was bred to be a search and rescue dog).  In spite of this, he and I lived together for 5 yrs, 1 month, and 1 day - stuck with each other against the odds but stayed devoted to each other nonetheless.  Amar was the most intelligent dog I have ever met - not always a good thing I must say but he taught me a great deal!  After several months of wondering when/if the time had come and asking myself every second if it was fair to Amar or me to let him continue to decline, I made the decision to have Amar put to sleep at home.  I had hoped that it would be easier, that Amar would tell me he wanted to give up, but being true to Amar that never happened.  It's a decision I am sure I'll always question and one I certainly hated making.  I miss him more than anything in this world right now and just hope and pray that he is happy and in a better place then he was when he left us.



- Rebecca and Zoey



November, 2005



About five years ago another volunteer and I were spending the day taking an approved applicant around showing her dogs, and at that time we also had dogs staying with a man named James so we went to show her them as well. When we walked into the field we were met by this huge beautiful boy named Ben, Gentle Ben. Ben was full of life and just waiting for his home. He was not adopted that day but shortly thereafter by a very nice man who he has been loved by since day one. I had the wonderful pleasure of seeing Ben again at the Baltimore Co event a few wks ago and he was getting around surprisingly well for just going through major brain surgery for cancer a couple wks before.

It makes me very sad to say that our Gentle Ben has now crossed the Bridge where he will continue to watch over his people as he waits for them to join him again.

Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as I know just how much he is loved and will be missed.



November 2, 2005


(Jake is the one in the back.)


Our wonderful friend Jake, and first adoptee from MAGSR, passed away yesterday. He was suffering from end stage liver failure and the vet suspects cancer. He had lost eight pounds in a week, and for those of you who met Jake, you'll remember his size.

Even though we all know in our hearts that Jake was ready to go and that his last days were hard for him, we were not ready. He was stoic to the end, fighting to hold on for his family. We could tell his strength was giving way to the disease. But he kept trying to convince us he could hang on.

My family wants to thank MAGSR for uniting us with the greatest dog we could have hoped to share our lives with. Jake saved my daughter twice from other dog attacks and that is the only time we saw aggression from him. He took his job very seriously of protecting his family. He always offered us love and companionship. We knew adopting a 6 year old would not leave us much time with him, but we treasured every day of the last five and 1/2 years.

I know it sounds crazy but he was training Gabby to take over his role. She is deeply hurt and misses her brother as much as we do. Poor girl doesn't really understand where he went or when he is coming back. She just keeps searching the house and yard for him.

The tears are rolling down my face so I guess that means I have said enough. Please say a special prayer for him today as he meets new friends over the Rainbow Bridge.

- The Palughi Family



November 1, 2005



Baby Sabre and his little sister Yasmin did not make it through their battle with pneumonia.  They never had the chance to be the happy, healthy puppies they deserved to be due to negligence on their previous owners parts.  PLEASE...spay and neuter your pets.  Rest in peace little Yasmin and Sabre.




September 2005



Tiga was adopted out of Furry Friends Networkand two months later was taken to a shelter to be put to sleep despite the rescue's request to have her back with them and legal contract requiring it!  Here is a letter from Tiga's foster Dad, Josh. Not only did Tiga's killer take away a very special dog, but she has also taken away a very special foster family....


After all these months your foster sister still looks at her brother dumbfounded that he won't play like you did. When I
take walks by the river and my dogs are 20 yards in front of me I remember how you always stayed right by my side and
enjoyed my company more than the walk. I still think of your determination when I would lie tired on the couch and you
would stare at me with your blue ball until I would play. I miss our races down the steps, you always won, but you made me
think I had a chance. I wonder if anyone else realized that when you curled up in bed and got settled you were the
mellowest sweetheart around. You won my heart when I picked you up from the Kennell and I counted everyday closer to you
coming to live with us while you were at CampHill. I even secretly hoped you wouldn't get adopted from there so you
would come here.

And so it goes, the memories flood back. Thinking I sent you someplace better made the memories sweet and I smiled. Now
all I can think of is how I failed you and the memories just hurt. I can't do anything for you now, I just hope somewhere your
spirit can still think of me and smile. Because as much as I hate and blame myself I know you could never hate or blame me.


Furry Friends Network


October 3, 2005


I thought I would let you know that Daisy has lost her friend. Daisy is the GS that my mom adopted December 2002. Our family dog, which we had from the time she was 8 weeks old and honorary MAGSR volunteer, passed on Tuesday night.

Daisy was a great help to her old age.  Duchess had just turned 13 years old and had been sick for awhile now. We all will miss Duchess very much.




October 2005

Murphy had to be put to sleep today. He was 10 years old.  We fostered, then adopted him back in 2000.  He is very, very much missed and will always be loved.



September 17, 2005

Coco was adopted May 7, 2004.  After extensive testing at the hospital in Bowie, they found Coco had a failing, enlarged heart. Her lungs were full of liquid and she was having a terrible time breathing.  She had a seizure earlier this week and then more trouble yesterday. They determined it would be better for her to be put to sleep. I am very sorry. Coco was such a good girl. My heart is broken into pieces. She was only 3 years old. - Scott


Nicole Lyle Zimolong

August  27, 1986 ~ September 12, 2005

It greatly saddens us to post this... Coley (Nicole - holding the small fur-baby, with two other MAGSR alums) who is one of our volunteers, and the youngest sister of our Jamie, was tragically killed in a single car accident on her way home from classes Monday night.

Coley loved all animals and had decided to direct her collage courses to become a vet tech.  Her goal was to make her life count for those who could not help themselves.  Coley spent her time with her family pets as well as helping with the many fosters at Jamie and Jon's, helping at the kennel from time to time, and baking cookies for her family and us to enjoy.

Coley only got to spend 19 years on this earth which is no where near long enough.  Our hearts are breaking for all of Coley's family.


September 2, 2005



Baby Ike was pulled from a shelter in VA with his 6 brothers and sisters.  He was covered in fleas and ticks and was not even old enough to eat solid food yet.  Through love and care from his foster with all of them growing big and strong, the puppies were waiting to get old enough to be adopted to their own forever homes.  Unfortunately, little Ike managed to get to an unsecured area of a retaining wall and fell off.  It happened so quickly no one could help and the fall was far enough that Ike did not live through it.  He was posthumously adopted by his foster mom who did her best to save little Ike.  He will be missed...and never forgotten.



August 10, 2005



Rex was diagnosed with an untreatable form of kidney cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Today I could see that he was ready, so we took that trip to the vets.

A pile of soft blankets were placed on the floor for Rex's comfort. I knelt next to him, and stroked him, and talked quietly to him. I took a last look into his beautiful eyes, then held him while the vet administered the first injection.

She said "keep talking to him, he can probably still hear you."

She then gave him the final shot, and as I sang his special song to him, his heart stopped. His head was cradled in my arms, close to my heart.

Rex was adopted from Pennsylvania German Shepherd Rescue for a mere $100. He was worth so much more than that, in the loyalty and love he gave back to us and to others. In his brief 9 years with us, Rex made many friends visiting schools, nursing homes and hospice patients. He was a dashing figure in the parades too. Rex - the second hand dog - was a first-class friend and family member.

It was 9 years ago today, August 10, that we adopted him. Nine years - it wasn't long enough. I am missing you, Rex.

- Chris



August 2, 2005

Toby is on the right and his brother Cliffy is on the left.


Over the past few months, we've noticed slight behavior changes - sporadic depression type behaviors. We've had him looked at by the vets, but nothing was detected.  Monday, he seemed especially down - not walking much...not eating...By Monday night, we contemplated taking him to the emergency vet, but decided to wait until Tuesday morning (a decision we regret now - although that isn't necessarily a guarantee he would have made it). I took him in Tuesday morning - he seemed really out of it... blood count seemed almost normal, except mild anemia... his coloring looked poor; they kept him for IV antibiotics and fluids - saying he was in no condition to go home. Vet called in the late afternoon saying the x-rays didn't show anything... she said she wanted an ultrasound of his abdomen, since it seemed like a mystery as to what was making him do weak and depressed...We were called by the vet at 7:30pm or so, with further blood work results that showed increasing anemia, and with the update that Toby's coloring had gotten worse, and that he had fallen several times when being taken out to go to the bathroom. Vet said we're looking at either euthenasia (in that he most likely wouldn't make it through the night) or an abdominal surgery to look for the source of the loss of blood. Surgery wouldn't be a guarantee of recovery, as Toby was so weak and we weren't certain that he would have the strength to come out of the anesthesia or to recoup with the recovery afterwards.  We OKed the surgery and went to the vets (dropping off the kids at Adam and Ashly's). Vet was in surgery when we arrived, and them came out shortly with the bad news. Toby just didn't have it in him to fight it anymore - it was with the surgery that she determined the source of blood loss as the ruptured spleen. She removed it, but lost Toby during the stitching
up. We were able to say good-bye to Toby - It was a very very sad night... not much sleep and quite a lot of  tears...Although Toby wasn't an official MAGSR dog, he shared his home with 15 foster dogs over the years...RIP Toby.



April 22, 2005



It is unfortunate that the news I wish to share regards the passing of Chelsea -- our beloved girl who came to live with us just a little over 2 yrs ago (Feb 1, 03). Chelsea had been diagnosed shortly after we brought her home with hip displaysia, and last year as confirmed by her doctor with a nerve disease known as Myelopathy that had affected her left hind area before progressing rapidly towards her upper body. Even though Chelz was no longer able to walk or stand without falling down, she continued to prove her strength and determination everyday -- never once allowing her inability to get around keep her from doing the things she loved best (enjoying the great outdoors or playing with family). Chelz continued and always had a happy and loving demeanor and knew how to enjoy the "now" - be in the moment. And despite our denial of her illness, she knew that eventually the end was near and we would have to let her go.

Chelsea was a precious and wonderful addition to our family and brought such life to our home .. her presence is very much felt throughout. Her final days were spent with family and taking rides to all her favorite spots in of course the very jeep we bought to bring her home in. Pete and I were by her side during her final moments ... and though extremely sad - very peaceful as she slipped into a deep sleep. Her spirit is now free to run as she once had before and live a second life free. We had her cremated and plan to sprinkle some of Chelz at her favorite spots and in the ground when we plant a Japanese Maple in the front yard in her honor.

We miss our girl everyday and not a moment passes when we don't recall some wonderful memory of her.

I wanted to share (although sad) news with you as you are the link that connected us with her. Thanks to you and others like you who help our four legged friends find happiness -- we could not have had a better friend. We loved every moment we were able to spend with Chelz and make this a loving environment for her and learn from her how great love can be when it's given unconditionally.

Carole Warren & Pete Woelper




April 19, 2005



I want to inform you that we had to put our wonderful German Shepherd Logan to sleep on April 19, 2005. We received Logan from you in 2002 after he had been in the foster care of Mr. David David.

Logan came to us as “the gentle giant,” and this was truly what he was. He got along well with our 7-year old mixed breed Diva and with all people. Unfortunately, in October 2004 he presented with an advanced case of adenocarcinoma of the perianal gland. At the same time he seemed to be developing degenerative myelopathy in his right hind leg. We took him for radiation therapy treatments at VCA from Oct-Dec 2004. He had trouble due to closure of the rectum, but gainfully ate the cooked pumpkin we gave him along with chicken and dog food. He never complained, although he was obviously in pain, especially when he had diarrhea and other intestinal problems. By April 2005, his left hind leg was paralyzed from the degenerative myelopathy, and his right hind leg was getting weaker daily. All this time, he never once did his business in the house. He never once snapped at us when we helped him up from the hind end, which must have hurt him. He enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the backyard April 16 & 17, but he could not get up on his own . With a heavy heart I called our vet Dr. R., and he kindly came to our house on April 19 to put Logan to sleep. Logan trusted us completely and showed no signs of fear. He passed away painlessly in a matter of minutes. This was a fantastic dog, a “real trooper” in the words of my pet sitter who visited the dogs while we were at work. We miss him tremendously. Sometime we hope to rescue another German Shepherd because we love this breed, but Logan was certainly a one-of-a-kind.

Thank you for your work and giving us the blessing of 3 years with Logan.

Anita Goldhar




March 21, 2005



Ruby was a new girl just brought into MAGSR.  She went into the vet's for normal vetting like all new dogs but never got to leave.  Parvo took little Ruby's life before she ever had the chance to know what a great family was really like.  The parvo virus, while avoidable through preventative vaccinations, proved too much for this little girl.  Please remember to vaccinate your dogs with simple yearly trips to your veterinarian.  It may save their life! 

March 18, 2005

It was a sad day at the Tillis house today.  We had to put Hamm down.  It took us a long time to get his seizures under control, we were at the vets so much we were all on a first name basis.  Then, about two weeks ago, Hamm got diarreah, as soon as the pills would run out it would return.  Then he started having trouble breathing & walking and then he stopped eating & drinking.  Hamm was such a food motivated boy.  He was such a good dog.  He loved to eat his meals and lay by the gas stove on his blanket.  He will be greatly missed.



January 16, 2005

The day we met Phoenix he picked us.  I should say, he picked my husband, Fred.  Phoenix walked between Fred’s legs while we were talking to his foster Mom at a MAGSR adoption day.  She told us that this was something Phoenix did when he liked you.  So we decided to take him home to live with us.  This was the first time we had a rescue GSD (9/30/00).  Our two previous GSDs we had raised from puppies.  However, Phoenix was the most affectionate of the three!  He was a great snuggler and crawled up on our bed and nestled right in between us every night.  This lasted until he got too hot and jumped down and went to sleep in his own bed!  Phoenix was also a very good-looking boy.  My brother-in-law said he was so pretty he should have been on television.  We took him for rides on the Potomac River in our boat.  He barked at the ducks and geese if they got too close.  Once we got going faster he fell asleep to the hum of the motor.  He attended the Adopter’s Reunion Picnic this past Spring and had a wonderful time.    Phoenix’s time with us on this earth was way too short.  He loved us and we loved him very much.  We truly believe that we will meet him again someday at the Rainbow Bridge where he waits for us with his brother and sister who went before him.     




February 18, 2005


Chloe was much loved and will be much missed by her family here at MAGSR.  She was adopted posthumously by her devoted fosters - the Baughers.  Chloe was released from her pain and suffering after succumbing to tumors in her stomach. Rest in peace sweet Chloe.




February 5, 2005



We at MAGSR are sad to report the loss of one of recently adopted boys.  Sarge was loved greatly by his new mom Terry and will be missed dearly.  Rest in Peace Sarge.





January 16, 2005

It is with a heavy heart that I write this note. On Sunday, Jan. 16th, we made the painful decision to euthanize our beloved GSD due to complications with cancer. His name was Phoenix (tag #332) and he joined our family back in September 2000. We will miss him greatly.

Last May we attended the adopter's reunion picnic and Phoenix had a great time.

Fred & Cindy Zugay



January 16, 2005



Unfortunately, our dear Sienna crossed the rainbow bridge this morning. We are grateful that Sienna was lucky enough to enjoy the warmth and love that her foster parents gave to her while with them. She never had to endure the stresses of the kennel while with MAGSR and we can not thank Tricia & Joe enough for opening their home and hearts up to her and so many of the other fur-kids who have come to MAGSR along the way. Sienna will be missed greatly by all of us in the MAGSR family, especially Tricia, Joe and their crew. Now she can romp and play pain-free at the rainbow bridge with all of the others that are there waiting for their loved ones. Sienna did not leave us without a family, Tricia and Joe have also decided to adopt her. Here is what Tricia & Joe had to say about our sweet Sienna:

Joe and I just came back from the Emergency Vet Clinic in Annapolis.  Sienna had a really good day yesterday, the first really good day since we came back from the vets on Monday, but last night started to feel bad again.  We had her sleep in our room and at about 3:00 a.m she woke us up restless, panting, and uncomfortable.  We kept her warm, laid on the dog bed with her and kept hoping she would start to feel better again.  At 9:00 this morning, we decided we needed to go to the emergency clinic to have them check into her, as she was not getting better.  They did a sonogram of her heart and said that the sac around her heart was so full of blood that it was causing pressure on it and not allowing it to pump properly.  She was in shock and we were told that even draining the blood could kill her during the procedure, but if it didn't, it would only buy her a week or so before it would fill back up and put her into this pain and suffering again.  We knew that wouldn't be fair to keep her in a state where she was hurting and scared.  With the help of the doctor, we decided that we would help Sienna go and let her go join all our other wonderful rescue dogs over the rainbow bridge where the pain and suffering was gone for good.  We had absolutely no idea when we left this morning to help make her feel better that we would not be bringing her home with us.  It is the most sudden decision we have ever had to make, but the prognosis was just so bad and she was so sick for the second time in a week.  The doctor said it would just continue until she eventually died from the heart working so hard to compensate for the pressure against it.  So, we let Sienna go today, and it hurts so bad.  She was the sweetest, most lovable girl.  She always greeted us at the door when we got home with that beautiful smile.  We will miss her so much around here.  I am glad she didn't get adopted out and break someone else's heart.  She was so special, and we were so lucky to have had her as part of our family for the last 5 months.  Willy and all of the other 4 legged creatures here at our zoo will be lonely without her. 

Keep her in your thoughts.  She was our special girl.  



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