Autumn: A Rehoming Success Story

Written in 2005 by Autumn's family.

I acquired Autumn from a humane society in Nebraska when she was about 2 months old. She was my only dog all through college. Autumn had been to puppy obedience and loved bullying all the other puppies. At the time I didn't think much of it. I just thought she was a dominant female shepherd. Once I graduated from college I commissioned in the Air Force and moved to Missouri. I work long hours at times and noticed that Autumn was lonely being by herself so I thought another dog would keep her company.

Since she had never really been around other dogs she was very apprehensive about the new puppy. For a while they played very rough w/each other until the puppy grew older and could defend himself.

Then I had another life changing event, I got married. Shortly afterward we rescued another german shepherd from a local shelter who had been badly abused and neglected. I could tell this dog needed lots of TLC and I couldn't stand leaving her in the high kill shelter. Autumn accepted the new dog but was very dominant.

We figured this would change as time went on and the dogs got used to each other. As our new german shepherd became more confident and realized that her people were loving she came out of her shell. She began to challenge Autumn and this made Autumn very upset. They started fighting to the point that we were concerned for both dogs safety. When you would be around them individually they were great dogs.

So my husband and I were left with a very agonizing choice. We knew that at least one of the dogs would have to be rehomed. We had to decide which one would be the better candidate for a new home. After speaking w/a dog trainer we realized that Autumn was being dominant and spoiled. She was used to being an only dog and didn't want the other dogs taking the attention away from her. We watched her interactions and she was very dominant w/both dogs. The other dogs get along well with each other and we didn't want to separate them. We decided that the best placement for Autumn would be in a home where she was the only dog and could get all the attention her heart desired. It was very difficult to give her to a new owner and I was very upset but I felt this would be the best decision for her.

I posted Autumn on petfinder.com and other internet sites but all the replies were from people who weren't capable of taking care of her properly. One lady was from England and wanted me to ship Autumn to her at our expense...no way!

I contacted our state rescue but they never responded. When it seemed that re-homing Autumn was a lost cause I found the Central Illinois German Shepherd Rescue site. I decided to give CIGSD rescue a try. Thankfully the kind [all-volunteer] staff was more than eager to help. I was very pleased w/the professional article [on rehoming a pet] on their website and they even included pictures of Autumn for all to see.

I was shocked and amazed when I received a call about Autumn about a week later. A family in Kansas was looking for an adult German Shepherd and saw her on the CIGSD rescue website. They had 2 older boys, perfect for Autumn b/c they could help work off her energy. They had no other pets so she could have all the attention she ever wanted. We arranged for a meeting later that day. They loved her. At first it was a little tense we wanted to make sure she would be a good fit for their family as she hadn't been around children much and she is a very large dog. Almost immediately she bonded w/everyone in the family. She jumped right into their car and was ready to start her new life. I told the new owners we could do a trial run, they could call me in a few days to let me know if she was a good fit for their family or if we needed to take her back. A few days passed and they never called!

I began to worry so I called back. To my relief the father told me she was doing great that the kids love her and she was a lot of fun.

Rehoming a dog is never an easy decision to make. In some cases though it works out for the best. Now both of our remaining dogs are getting the attention they need and deserve and they don't have to compete for it. And I'm sure Autumn is loving all the attention she is getting from her new family.

CIGSD Rescue was a lifesaver. I love German Shepherds. I think they are a very intelligent and loyal breed. I was so pleased w/CIGSD Rescue that I donated the $50 adoption fee for Autumn to the organization. I know that they will make good use of the money to help other needy German Shepherds find good homes. We appreciate the fact that CIGSD rescue took the time to listen to our unique situation and helped us.

Thank you so much CIGSD rescue...you are definitely a cut above the rest. Keep up the excellent work.

Return to the Articles main page.