Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue Inc., Anonymous Friday, June 21 2024 @ 06:37 pm UTC

What People Have to Say:

Dear Erik and Diane, Kenny and I just have to thank you from the bottom or our hearts for helping us adopt our new dog Roadie. Because he was set out, then tested positive for heartworm at the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, his fate would have been sure death had you not gotten involved. Because of you, he is now cured of the heartworm and is thriving as the newest member of our family. He is vibrant, happy and alert and alive, thanks to you and your foundation. Every morning when we look at his sweet face, we realize he was destined to meet you, and to be ours. Or are we his? Many, many, many heartfelt thanks for all the good you do, for dogs and us humans who share their lives. We'll be telling this story for years to come!

Most sincerely, Kelly and Ken

Dear Diane and Erik,

Just a note to thank you for finding the perfect home for Baron. Even though it is a win-win-win placement for Baron, his new family and me, it has also been a difficult and emotional time for me. Being able to meet and get to know his new family made it easier for me to give him up. Quite frankly, I don't know what I would have done if I had not found you. You took the time to understand my situation and to learn about Baron. You cared....and that was huge for me. I thank you both again and salute you for the wonderful work you do! Jill PS Thank you for forwarding Baron's picture and the note from John about how Baron has become part of their family. I do really like happy endings and happy beginnings!!

Hey Erik

I hope all is well. Baron has adjusted fantastically, he and Rusty are literally best buddies now. I couldn't have hoped for his placement to work out as good as it has. I have started some minor obedience work with him. I really have spent the bulk of my time with him socializing him on my walks. He does appear to be dog aggressive and slightly spooky with people but I will continue to work on that. I have had to assert dominance over him a few times at the house. These were usually minor issues in which he just seemed to act like a spoiled teenager...Tess and I were talking today and we truly have already fell in love with him and couldn't imagine not having him in our lives:-) I will send a picture I took recently (separate email). I know you are probably really busy but if you get a moment send me a couple of the pics you took of us.... Again I hope all is well. Talk to you soon.

John Just wanted you to know, Molly has made it to her new home and has met her new sisters. She is really happy and waggin her tail to see another dog in the house. Got hissed by one of the sassy cats but, she didn’t seem to care too much. She has even eaten all her supper and has been introduced to our “pee and poo” places. Her ride was uneventful and she slept the whole way here. Thank you again for Molly, we will take wonderful care of her. She is already part of the family and we absolutely love her so much. We will keep in touch. If you would like to stop in and check on her Saturday, just come anytime. Thank you again and we will send updates in the next day or so to include pictures.

Hugs, Kathy, Paul, Katelyn and Molly

Erik, We had a great day yesterday! We attended a big family get together for Easter in Arcadia and took Kai with us. He needs a lot of work socializing with other dogs so we had to leave him on lead but he had a great day as did all the rest of us. He had a big day and immediately went to sleep on the way home. I attached four pics for you to see. Some were taken with cell phone and some with other camera.


Hi Erik:

Just wanted to let you how well sadie is doing we renamed her on the way home just seemed to fit she is settling in very well no accidents in the house follows me every where could not ask for a better match thanks again for rescuing her for us i also sent a couple of pictures. Thanks again Marty & Sally Hello Erik, I just thought you’d like to know how well Macy is doing here in Palm Coast. She has completed 5 of the required 8 training classes and is the star of her group. She has put on about 10 pounds since we got her but is still in fabulous shape as you can see by the photo above. Yes, she is eating the same brand of dry dog food you gave us when I picked her up from you. The girl just loves to eat. She still has a touch of separation anxiety but she has come a long way in the last month or so. She no longer feels the need to follow me around to every room of the house anymore and she has become quite comfortable here. She is fantastic with our grand kids and very protective of them and us. Once she warms up to you, she’s a real sweetheart. I just wanted to say “Thanks” again and offer you some feedback. I’m sure it is hard for you sometimes taking these dogs in and getting attached to them while you try to find them “forever” homes, not knowing for sure if you found the right home. Well you scored “big time” here my friend. Please say hello to your wife for me and thank her as well for the great service you guys are providing to the community. Even when the community is 300 miles away…

Mark thanks so much for your great success in adopting out the German Shepherds. You know Jim and I love the breed and often it is very hard to adopt them out - because of the breed's reputation. I am the Web Guy, so yes please keep pictures and fliers coming, I will be more than happy to publish it on our web site. Monika Erik, Just a quick note to let you know, Titus is now one of the family...he swims in the pool at his leisure, chases the squirrels and birds out of the yard (or at least up the trees) and greets us like we have been gone for months when we don't take him to the mailbox to get the mail. Thank-you for keeping him until you found us. I will send pics soon, Tim, Maureen, Ashly, Levi and Titus

Hello Diane & Erik:

As promised, attached are some pictures of Buddy lounging around his new living room and playing around his new yard with Hanne; so far all is well and they are going through their "who's in charge" phase...

Thank you both again again for bringing the two of them together.


Well it has been almost two weeks since I adopted Lyla and it feels as if we have been best friends for years.  After the death of our family German Shepherd a few years ago, I always knew that I wanted another loyal German Shepherd dog.  I recently began searching statewide for a dog to rescue.  I wasn't sure if I wanted a puppy or an adult dog.  Then I came across Erik and Diane's rescue agency online.  And there was my new best friend, Lyla.  Her "parents" had to give her up because of going into the military.  Our family has always been strong supporters of our service men and women, so I knew this was the right one for me.  The moment I met Lyla, I feel in love with her.  She now enjoys riding in my car, playing outside, going for walks and sleeping in my bed.  She is the perfect match for our family!


Hi Erik! My husband & I adopted Mono from you two months ago and I just wanted to let you know that he has quickly become my world and we couldn’t image our home without him. He truly completed our family! He has been slowly learning his new obedience training commands and I can tell it is helping him relax Thank you for everything you do! hope you all are well...Grizz and I were thinking about you...today is our anniversary....1year ago, having lost Zuri, I went back up to Erik Hoffer at SWFLGSD Rescue to meet and adopt Grizz...what a joy he has been. Everyday I am grateful you rescued him from abuse and when could not keep him,etc.,found Erik Hoffer and his superb rescue. Realize life must be crazy for you all with school, baby coming, etc., settling into a new state...just know Grizz is doing well, going to Naples Botanical Garden to celebrate tommorrow with dog cousins and family for brunch. Thank you for all you did for him and you will always be a part of us. Hope we can meet when life settles down abit for you...let the girls know how well he is. Have a wonderful week end and stay well and safe, Shannon

Hi Erik and Diane,

I took Penny to the vet on Tuesday and everyone there absolutely loved her!! She was pronounced to be in "excellent physical condition". The Doc wants her to gain about 10 more pounds-she weighs 71 now-and he's keeping her on the Ivermec until all of her hair grows back. He said otherwise there is a good chance of the mites returning.

She is licensed and legal in Lee county and is a happy girl! I must say, this dog is a delight to have around. She sleeps in the bed with me when Jim is gone and loves to be around Tucker-he even likes being around her as long as he doesn't have to exercise too much. She is coming along great with basic training stuff and starts the "good citizen" class in January. Jim and I are so happy that we adopted her.

Thanks again, Lynne

Do what you love. Love what you do.

Dear erik and Diane,

Rasta has become part of the family. He has adapted to his new home and has ingrained himself in our hearts. At first he was anxious and attempted to get back in the car. After we walked him and introduced him to the cats he settled down.

Pam read in his file that he was not interested in toys. Well, Pam had a large tennis ball that he began to play with. When the ball went in the pool he began to bark and attempted to reach the ball without getting wet. The attached picture shows just how far he would go in his attempt.

His only time of stress was when I left to go to the store. Pam said he whined and kept walking from the door to her and whining. He is now more comfortable and accepts that we will return.

Thanks again for thinking of us.

Bill & Pam

 Hi Erik and Diane!!

We just wanted to send you a note on Lacy!! We get so many comments on how beautiful and well mannered she is, and we'd like to think you guys had a hand in that! We walk her to the bus stop with our daughter and she's made lots of new friends! There is a woman with a son that is just in love with Lacy. She loves GS and wants your information! I'm going to pass it along!! I hope they can find a wonderful match for their family as we have!!

Thanks a bunch!!

Jared and Candice Carey.....and Lacy too!

Hello Erik,

I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how thankful we are for you and your lovely wife for bringing Macy into our family. As you can see she is quite happy, quite the Queen and quite wonderful to have as a family pet. She remains fantastic with our grandchildren and family and friends and we could not ask for a more loyal and better dog. She is a beauty!

We just wanted you to know how thankful we are for all of the good work that you do.

Mark & Ruth

Hi Erik,This is Peggy Aimaro, and I just wanted you to know that Titan is doing real good. He is a wonderful little boy. We are so blessed to have him. I can not tell you how GOOD he is.. He sure is a mommy's boy.. I can't wait till the end of next month so I can take him to his obedience classes. He is going to be very easy to learn.. We thank you so much for him.... Oh by the way... do you have his papers with his shots and his chip???   We will keep in touch...

Thanks Again......... Peggy

Hello Mr. and Mrs. Hoffer,

I just wanted to send you both a quick update on our sweet Keisha. She has settled in very nicely. She had been eating a bit "peckishly", but today ate with GUSTO. I started her on some Prilosec in case the Doxycycline was upsetting her stomach, and it seems to have helped. She also played with a kong throw toy for the first time today. She has done VERY well with my little girls. There were a few growls the first day, but everyone seems just fine now. She has slept on her big, new, comfy pillow the last 2 nights, right beside my bed. She gently woke me with a nudge each morning to go outside. I told her she could sleep on the bed, but she seemed to prefer the dog bed. I heard her bark for the first time today when a delivery man came to my door. She has a wonderful deep, throaty bark that she used at an approiprate time. She stopped as soon as I asked her to sit and answered the door.

I couldn't be happier with her as part of my family, and I am VERY grateful that you not only saved her, but also considered allowing me to be her forever home. THANK YOU!!

I will keep the updates coming. I plan to do her chest radiographs and the microfilaria test next week and will also update you both on those. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!

Sincerely, Amanda

Eric and DIane,

I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how wonderful Yoda and Sedona are doing!  Sedona is eating everything i give her!  Her coat is looking shiny and she will be at her ideal in no time.  She is enjoying the organic raw diet and also eating kibble and canned food and she is playing and running and seems so happy.  I know that will especially please you Diane.  She is a special girl.  Yoda just loves his big sister and they are getting along wonderfully.  We are taking long walks every day and teaching Yoda, as well as refreshing Sedonas leash skills-they are both so smart!  Thank you again for the gift of these beautiful dogs, we are blessed to have them with our family forever. I was unable to come to observe your class this evening as I had forgotten that i had a webinar to attend for work, but we will come by in the next week or two.  thank you.

The Sadler Family

I hope to have some pictures to send soon. I have been taking tons of them but I am unable to find my computer cable for the camera. It will turn up. I wanted to let you know lexi is an absolute joy in our home. She has even put some play back into our old lady bear. She plays outside with the boys all day and never runs off. The boys have taught her to swim as she was only going in up to her chest at first. She now swims all over the pond trying to catch up to our duck, donald. They also taught her to stand on the kayak and they paddle around with her in it with them. She sleeps very well at night!the very first night here she disappeared and we found her sleeping on the foot of aarons bed. She has made friends (sort of ) with the goats and is learning not to chase chickens. Last night she climbed up on the couch and stretched herself across me and cuddled for a while. I cannot imagine a more perfect dog than lexi for our family. Today the boys bought her a bed for christmas. It was quite a big deal for them to pick out just the right one but they decided and she is already using it. Thank you for sharing her with us, I know  the decision was not an easy one. Merry christmas and happy new year!


Hi Erik and Diane,

We are so happy with Maisy.  She is very sweet and playful.  Just the right temperament for us!  We are working with her on some basic training commands and will enroll her in some puppy basics in the new year.  Thank you so much for saving her and for letting us become her family.  She is very cuddly with all of us, especially Colin!  

We will keep you updated.

Thank you again.Michele, Brice, Colin and Maisy!


I just wanted to take the time to thank both you and Diane for your help in placing Lucy in a new home. You were both very kind and compassionate and it was much needed. It was very important to me that Lucy find a loving home where she can receive all the attention she needs and I believe you found that for her. It helps to know that she will be happy and have a "doggy brother" to share her time with.

Thank you for all you did for Lucy and my family.

Best regards, Stephanie

Hi E &D , THis is A wonderful dog so far, she was sitting at my open kitchen ,her ears move like little radars and her profile is beautiful there  at my door!  you know tey move as soon as you get the camera! I am calling her LUCKEY / lucy . Dosn't seem to care as i am the resident chef, we are having home made chicken soup  tonight! Your devotion to the breed is incredible.


Hi Erik and Diane,

Everything is going so well with Maisy (ne: Missy).  She is an amazing family dog.  We are totally in love with her and she with us!  She is in a “Doggie Basics” class with our trainers (The Lucky Dog Company www.theluckydogco.com) every week and is doing very well.  She’s full of energy and loves her daily walks as well as playing in the yard.  Her new favorite toy is a squeaky chicken…it must be squeaked a thousand times a day!  She will go anywhere with us…LOVES the car!  We can’t thank you enough for helping us to find our dog!  It feels like she’s always been here!

Hello Erik & Diane!

Hope all is well with you, just wanted to give you an update on Thor's first week home. Overall he has adjusted very well! He is truly doing great. No more submissive pees- he only has had a few excited pees and those were within seconds of being in the grass usually. He just hasn't figured out how to hold its his excitement when his bladder is full. Haha but he'll get there! His training is going great, he is so smart (and of course a little stubborn at times) But really he is doing very well. We have been to the neighborhood dog park a couple times a day to play, but sadly despite the amount of dogs that live here, nobody is ever there at the same time haha so it's just one big backyard for Thor. He also had his first day coming to work with me and he did awesome! Right now the only major thing we are working on is the pulling on walks, but he is getting much better. We've also worked on a few tricks too just for fun (and mainly because he was already doing them haha) like "spin" and "roll over". He loooooveees his big nylabone we got him. It's huge & unfortunately very painful when he walks by with it and takes out your knee! But really I am so happy to report he is doing great. We are going to the vet on Saturday for a check-up and to talk about his growth. I'm almost 100% positive he's grown a lot in just this week (filling out in the legs and chest-not so gangly and lengthy haha) And thankfully, despite our walks & playtimes we haven't seen any limping. Just lots of stretching after nap time.

Hope all is well with the rescue, we wanted to thank you again for helping us find our new best friend! He's so great :)

Here are a few pictures from playtime in the yard the other day... Oh and his ears have been up for almost 2 days now (just a few flops here and there)

Katie, Pat & Thor :)

Erik; Just a quick note to let you know we are off to a great start just two small accidents Saturday night (wet floor) nothing since then. The fence is in so we have been playing in the yard and the Lanai, we have been for walks and we have started exploring the walk in area of the pool. Jan made an  appointment the vet in Punta Gorda for tomorrow morning so we will have Shadow (sorry he didn’t look like a Duncan) all checked out. Thank you for the opportunity to get a great companion the rest is up to us

Sincerely, Dave

Wow.....that makes us so happy for Rosi and so thankful for you and your wife for having such a caring and loving home for the dogs and finding them new owners....let us know if you are ever in Homestead and we would love to have you stop by for dinner or just to chat....and if they want to call they can try my cell but Jan's is probably better.....our home phone is 786-404-3625 and her cell is 512-413-8099....thanks again Erik....you guys are really special people and it is a pleasure to know you.....John and Jan

Hi Erik and Diane,

I just wanted to give you another update.  Maisy is now officially ours according to 24 Hour Pet Watch (her microchip company).  It took this long to get a letter confirming that her chip is now registered to us!  Thank you for all your help with the letter.  I’m glad the chip is now registered to us, in case of an emergency.

We are so grateful to you for helping us find Maisy.  She is an amazing family member.  It’s like she’s always been here in our home.  She’s done very well in her training classes.  Brice has taken her to 2 levels of Doggie Basics and to another class on loose leash walking.  She loves car rides and the dog park and really going anywhere with us.  We just love her!  When I am practicing (singing) she will sing along with me!  She is the perfect family dog for us.

Thanks again for everything.

Michele, Brice, Colin and Maisy


That is funny I got an email from you today because I just recommended your rescue to a couple in our neighborhood admiring Thor! They just bought a house and have wanted a shepherd for a while.

Thor has been doing awesome. He really is fitting in great. He LOVES car rides! So rides to work are his favorite and anytime one of us is driving the other to/from work he rides along. He's a big chewer- luckily not our stuff (although he got to a pair of my flip flops while we weren't looking) we give him deer antlers and he loves them! Forget Kongs, Nylabones, Beef Femurs he's all about the antlers! His training has been going really well, we are just working on everything with distractions now (our goal is to do the CGC by mid summer and therapy certification by fall- but we will see!) He still gets really excited around other dogs he wants to play with, so we are working on that. He has been a great "demonstrator dog" for my puppy/beginner classes (and for a few intermediate commands- some he's not 100% on yet) and boy does he love it when they get their "socializing" time. Unfortunately he forgets his size with the smaller puppies but most hold their own! We try to go to the big dog park once a week minimum (I've attached some pictures from there) and he goes nuts with the water. He never fully gets in- he likes to lay down and roll around right at the edge! haha it's really funny and most people laugh at him :) But he loves it. His potty training is 100% now, he even slept out of the crate all night the other night with no getting into trouble! He will still occasionally do a submissive/excited pee if his bladder is full and someone try's to greet him (this only happens while at work on our way to go outside, I always tell ask them to wait but sometimes it's too late they riled him up too much) But it truly has gotten better. It should pass once he's no longer a "puppy" and we continue to work on the overly excited greetings. Oh and we've also found he has a sensitive stomach (as do most shepherds) so he doesn't get treats from strangers, only the natural stuff we get him (like duck jerky, yams, freeze dried chicken liver etc.) He does great with all that.

Well I think that is all! He's been such a good boy and has been fitting in perfectly. We love him to pieces and couldn't have asked for a goofier puppy to fit our personalities :) oh yeah and my favorite quirk about him... he like to sleep on his back, legs all sprawled out and ridiculous while snoring! So funny.

Well thanks again, I hope all is well with you guys!

Katie, Pat & Thor :)

Dear Diane and Erik.

I am  writing this letter because we want to thank you for bringing Buddy to our life; he is the most wonderful addition to our family.

The first night was the biggest night for the three of us because Buddy was nerves and couldn’t go to sleep, but as a good mom I make him laydown by the bed at my side and pad him on the back like a baby until he went to sleep.

The second night he just laydown by me and I only have to put my hand on his back and sleep all night

The third night he just came to the same spot by me and sleep like a baby.

Now, because he spend all day with Roberto the bonding is spectacular and the most important part  is that Buddy is the most obedient guy we ever saw, we are enjoying him very much.

This Saturday we have the first appointment with the Vet. to update the information and to get what ever medication he need so he stay healthy.

Once again, thank you very much and God Bless you both.

Trixi and Roberto


Thanks for emailings the records so quick.  We are so happy to have found you and your rescue.   I am so thankful that there are people in the world like you and your wife.  God must have a very special place in Heaven for you both.  We are all madly in love with Emily/Shelby.  As you said things happen for a reason and I know that this was meant to be. Please know that we will take very good care of our knew puppy and keep you up to date. Cj is out this afternoon, but I promise he will send you pictures!!!!  We will keep in touch.

God bless and Thank you for our very precious gift!!!

Dawn Lewis, the Lewis family and Lillie

Hi Erik,

I hope you and your wife are doing well!  I wanted to give you an update on Stella.  She's our little angel.  We are so in love with her it's crazy!  My husband and I could not have been happier with our sweet girl:)  And she's growing like a weed!  Ears pop up every now and then but nothing permanent yet.  We love her all the same regardless!

I've scheduled the appointment for her spaying this Saturday and wanted to know which fax number you wanted the conformation sent to.

Also, is there a form or is it just a document or receipt stating the date and time?

Thank you,Jennifer

Hi Erik and Diane,

I have some sad news to bring you......we had to put Bella to sleep yesterday.  She had been having problems with her balance.  We thought it was her ear infections again.  She did have that and was given very expensive antibiotics on Friday.  They helped for a couple of days.  Then starting on Monday, she got worse.  By Wednesday, she could no longer stand.  It turns out, she had a brain tumor interfering with her inner ears.  It broke my heart to lose her, especially so soon after losing Miss Sadie.  I'm just glad that Bella had a good life for her last year.  She was very spoiled.  We will miss her and her antics.

We're greatful to still have Piper.  Shes an amazing girl, very smart and shes very funny.  She keeps us laughing.  She loves to sleep with us in our bed even though she takes up most of it.  She lays on the couch and watches tv or out the front window for rabbits and turtles.  We hope to eventually get her a playmate again but need some time to heal for now.  We hope to find a white shephard one day but have room in our hearts for just about any shephard.  

I'm glad you were able to find my friend Dalia a puppy.  She came into my work to show me pictures of her.  Too cute.

Sally and Marty


I will send some from home it works better.  I also have lots of pictures on facebook if you want to find me there.  Sheldon is popular with my friends on facebook.  He is doing great in puppy class he loves playing with the other puppies.  He has learned (come, sit, stand, lay down, and leave it-still a little rough on that one but does it most of the time.  He gets his last puppy shots next Tuesday so we can walk him around more.  Our homework has been to take him to restaurants and events and he is well behaved at those.  Mike takes him all over also during the day.  He loves the float in the pool and jumped from the side to the float the other night so now it has to come out every night.  He learns very quickly and is growing a lot.  Ears standing up more often now also.

Take care,Lorraine

Dear Eric and Diane,

Just read Paco's story, very nicely written and very touching.  As we are saddened by not seeing his sweet face here at home, I am ever so thankful and gracious to you both for all you do and your love for all these dogs.  I am so thankful to have met y'all and feel like Paco was sent our way for a reason, to get in your hands and direction.  Thank you again for accepting him and giving him a opportunity.

It was absolutely an honor to meet y'all!  I will be in touch to hear how things are going, Take care!


Dear Erik and Diane

I'm not sure how I will ever thank you and Diane for the gift of Paco.  We had a great first night, and we walked this am.  Paco met my nephew and sister this am, and could not have been a better host.

I can't wait until you find me #3 :)

Thanks again.

Susan, Joe, Kilo and Paco!Day 4 with Paco.  He has settled in and likes to sleep in the bedroom on a comforter.  He tries to sit in my lap, really!   It's hysterical.  His personality is really coming through and he is just a big goofy ball of love.  He went to the vet yesterday and go all shots, and meds, and was very well behaved.  He enjoys scaring the fedex man with Kilo!!  



Kilo, Paco and Rasta have become fast friends.  Rasta loves Joe, and really could care less about me, unless I am feeding him... Although he did sit on my lap and knocked the wind out of me.  Rasta LOVES my nephew, they became fast friends.  Paco is my buddy and I adore him.  Paco had a very large tumor removed and is now recovering.  He is doing well.  Rasta and Kilo play like crazy dogs!  Rasta finally seems to be happier, I think he was a  bit depressed to leave you, believe it or not he would not eat that much for the first 2 days, but he now has his appetite back.  He has been walking every morning (he loves it), just a short distance for now, but I will add to it soon, and he will start swimming at doggie day care with the other two 3 mornings a week.  

I will never be able to thank you and Diane for the work you do and the wonderful dogs you have brought into my life.  Paco and I were certainly meant to be.  

I will keep you posted on thier progress, I know it will be all good news.

Yours, Sue and Joe

Dear Erik,

Shelby is doing really well .  She seems very happy and is very healthy.  She has already gotten two more sets of puppy shots and is due again at the end of July for her final series.   She is growing like a weed and she has really made a difference in the life of our other dog Lillie.    Lillie is happy and playful again.  We are so happy to see the two of them running and playing in the yard and around the house..  Shelby was frightened of the fire works last night and jumped up on the bed and got super close to Lillie and she was fine.  I emailed you that picture in the prior email.  

We are taking puppy classes ....she is very smart and seems to pick up the commands very quickly..  She is still  a little timid around other people, but seems to be coming around.

We can never thank you enough for allowing us the rescue this wonderful puppy and for letting us make her part of our family.

 I hope you enjoy the pictures we sent and I will continue to keep you up to date.  Please tell your wife Hello for us and let her know how happy we are to have Shelby and that she is well taken care of and has fit right in with our family.


Proud and happy dog mom of Shelby

Hi Erik and Diane,

I just wanted to let you know that the introduction with Pearl and Caos has gone well. What a beautiful German Shepherd! I cannot believe that anyone could let any dog get in the condition that he is in without trying to seek help. He is such a sweet and loving dog and so happy to have a home.

We fed him his dinner tonight following the instructions that Diane gave to Doug and he ate it all like all German Shepherds eat at meal time. He is actually now sleeping next to Pearl and seems so content. I know that as each day passes he will get stronger and be the most faithful loving dog that anyone could ever want.

He is very intelligent and listens to commands. I know that as each day passes he will become stronger and will grow into the dog that he deserves to be.

It is obvious to me that all he ever wanted was a family to love him and I can also say that once he has become stronger he will be the best dog anyone could ever ask for.

We will never know where he has been or what he has been through. The only thing that we can control is where is goes from here.

I thank you both for all that you do because it is certain that if it were not for your foundation this beautiful german shepherd would have met his demise in a cold shelter in a strange place that he never belonged in. My only wish is that there were more people like yourself and Diane. I think the world would be a much better place.


Eric and Diane,  We both wanted to thank you so much for all your time and help getting the three dogs into new homes.  While it is really sad to see my grandson loose his dogs, we are delighted that they now have wonderful homes to live out the rest of their life.  Lady's new owner is just delighted with her and she seems to be happy to have all the attention.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Cathy & Earl

Things are going VERY WELL , They are together 24/7 , he's getting settled in well, cats are him are fine, he is GREAT with my 5 yr old, you couldn't ask for a better dog, She is in love with him. She doesn't answer her phone much, she lost some of her hearing. Thank you and I'll tell her you were inquiring about him and her. Thank you  , Danelle

Hello Mr. Hoffer,

I finally found a great deal on a smartphone so I'm able to capture some pictures of Duke on something more than my computer webcam!

Duke has been absolutely amazing, there was an almost instantaneous bond the second I brought him home. We had the normal ups and downs as he adjusted to his new life in new surroundings, but he is now totally comfortable. His coat seemed a little washed out when I first brought him home, and per the Hoffer's excellent advice, I switched him to the Science Diet and his coat has come back in beautifully, his black saddle has come in more and the reds stand out perfectly. We have a huge dog park/fenced in area at my complex and he loves running around outside, unfortunately with the temperatures running in the high 90s we can't stay out for too long yet, but its a perfect situation. The biggest problem when I first brought Duke home was finding a toy he couldn't destroy, but luckily I found some nearly indestructible large rubber balls and he'll play fetch all day. Training has been a breeze, he's very obedient and learns quickly, he can be impatient on the leash when he knows he's going to the fenced in area, but its night and day from when I first got him. All he wants to do is be with people and please everyone around him, he's been amazing with my family and friends. There were some issues with other dogs at first, but slowly he's becoming better, one of my neighbors has a large Rottweiler and the two have gotten along wonderfully. I recently brought him home to meet my parents whom have two very small Shetland Sheepdogs...and they got along perfectly! There was no aggression on Dukes part and he even allowed them to play with his toys, there was no aggression or issues at any time. We had to be cautious however because while they all wanted to play, Duke was simply too big for them, but the fact they wanted to interact and there were no dominance issues was phenomenal. Both of my parents grew up with German Shepherds and instantly fell in love with Duke, my Dad couldn't get enough of the big guy whom he affectionately nicknamed "Moose", he wanted Duke to himself almost the entire time I was home! I'm a firm believer in adoption and rescuing as you'll always get back what you put in with these dogs, and Dukes a wonderful example of this, he's been an amazing addition to my life and I love him tremendously. Happiness is a spoiled rotten German Shepherd!

Thanks again for helping me find my best friend!


Eric and Diane,  We both wanted to thank you so much for all your time and help getting the three dogs into new homes.  While it is really sad to see my grandson loose his dogs, we are delighted that they now have wonderful homes to live out the rest of their life.  Lady's new owner is just delighted with her and she seems to be happy to have all the attention.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Cathy & Earl

Erik & Diane...

We wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you both for all of your help in finding a home for Gant.  We didn't think we would ever meet two people who love dogs as much as we do until we met you two.  The compassion you showed for Gant's situation and the persistence with which you worked to find him a suitable home was and is an inspiration to dog lovers everywhere.  We have 4 Bassett Hounds ourselves...all of which are rescues...so we share your passion.  Please keep up the good work and may God bless you both in all that you do for animals...you are a blessing to them.

Sincerely, Jodi & Bob

Hello Eric,

I just have to tell you how much my family and I love Angel (whom we renamed Kenzie).  She is a perfect fit.  She gets along well with the two little dogs and is very attentive to the cat much to the cat’s chagrin.  She is loving and happy and seems very content with us.  She spent some time at the beach with us this past Saturday and had a lot of fun playing with other dogs.  She even swam in the ocean with the kids.

She definitely knows who her “people” are and stays with us when we’re outside.  I am able to let her out without a leash to do her business.  She seems to know the boundaries of the yard and stays on our property.  She listens very well.

Thank you so very much for matching her to me.  I love her so very much.

Keep up the good work that you do and thank you again.


Good Morning Eric,

Well it's been almost a full day and we couldn't be happier. "Little" Miss Katherine is such a wonderful dog. She has an amazing disposition and follows basic commands wonderfully. She is bonding well with our two legged pack members and is slowly winning Maxx over. There is no aggression between them and the interaction is slowly but surely increasing through out our walks and play time. They aren't best friends yet but the day is still young and they will have a life time to figure it out.

Iris, the kids and I are so very grateful for the work that you and Diane do.

I'll send some photos later this week. Have a very Happy Thanks Giving. We have a new blessing to be grateful for, thanks to you two.


Erik & Diane:

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that the "boys" are all doing amazing.  Paco has done a complete turn around!  You wouldn't know him.  He loves to walk every morning and has the most beautiful coat and full tail now.  Rasta is an amazing boy, he LOVES kids and has never met a person he does not like.  He is down to 99.2 pounds and healthy as can be.  All 3 dogs get along great.  Kilo, Rasta and Paco usually play for about 10 minutes 3 - 4 times a day and then mostly sleep - the beauty of "older" dogs.  I hope all is well with you both and your pack!

Dear Erik:

Well we have had Sage for a full 5 days now and he is a terrific dog. Does not pull on the leash as i have taught him and we  walk every a.m. early and he looks forward to it. Knows all his commands and is friendly to all who visit us. Sarge is a good watch dog when a stranger comes to the door. He is very playful out in the yard and has finally begun to eat as i anticipated this . We could not have made a wiser choice. We thank you and the Mrs.for finding Sarge for us..He just gives so much love and is always looking for it.

Sincerely, Harry and Fran

Hello Mr. Hoffer,

Just thought I'd give you an update on how Dukes doing! He's such a great dog, he's adjusted really well to his new surroundings and loves the big fenced in area next to my townhouse. Honestly, he's just a giant goofball who wants to be with you at all times no matter what you're doing. All my neighbors, friends, and family have fallen in love with the big guy and my Dad can't get enough of him when I'm down visiting. I love his curiosity and inquisitiveness and he has such a strong play drive. He's getting along great with many of the other dogs in the neighborhood as well as my parents two small Shelties. I knew exactly what to expect from the breed and German Shepherds have proven to be the perfect match for me, I love this big guy, thank you so much for bringing Duke into my life!

Thanks again for everything, and Happy Holidays!


Thank you, Erik, for the pictures - the photos are very nice.  Randy is doing well.  He was exhausted last night and hardly moved - slept all night.  Today his leg seems much better.  He is so affectionate.  We had a couple of errands to do and he greeted us royally when we returned. ( We think he likes it here!)  Thanks for all your help and good advice.

We'll write more later.    Jack and Barb

HI just to let you know we love our dog.He is great. He wanted to get in bed with us but that was a no no,He has taken over the big chair in our living room ,he also has his bed right near his chair. Now he wants the love seat but Harry says know and puts a kitchen chair  on it so he can;t.He wakes Harry up in the morning to go the back yard.Harry takes him for a walk each day.He loves Mike we let him feed him ,he will eat some only Mike has to sit with him while he eats. He loves to have mike sit out with him and play , today he hopped in his lap to take him out  and barked at him.He gets along good with our dog plus our son has a pit bull with us alto and they get along  great. Thanks for a great dog we  love him, Have a great Christmas.God Bless You Both   Fran  

Merry Christmas Hoffer's!

I've had a great year! 2012 has been awesome to me. I was given a second chance by your wonderful family (P.S. Tell Rudi I said hi!) and found my forever family with the best "human" parents I could find. I've grown up a lot and Daddy says I still have more to go! I'm a big boy at about 100 pounds now so I'm growing into my name. I learned all sorts of "good boy" behaviors and of course got into a little trouble on the way... but Mommy says Santa has me on the nice list! I even learned some "tricks" that always gets me lots of belly rubs and ooo's and ahh's from people. I turned a year old and Daddy bought me a SPECIAL birthday bone that was very tasty. They brought me to the beach for the first time and I swam and swam and I'm pretty sure I saw a manatee! (But Mommy & Daddy wouldn't let me go that far to see) I've had the best year ever and I'm so happy I get to snuggle with my new family every night. Next year will be even better and I can't wait to see what is in store for us in 2013! Mommy says I'll be a certified therapy dog- but that doesn't matter to me. I just want to love and give kisses and hugs to everyone I meet! Oh and Mommy & Daddy said when we get our own house I will get a brother or sister! I can't wait to meet them one day.

But I just wanted to say thank you for all the happiness you've brought to me and all the other orphan dogs who needed a home. You really do save lives and bring happiness to both humans and dogs.

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Love, Thor(but you called me Puppy Jack) oh and Katie & Pat too :)

Just wanted to give you a quick update on yoda and sedona.  They are doing well we are biking and walking every day, and have taken them camping and up to our home in NH, haven't seen the snow yet, but maybe next month.  Sedona is healthy and weighs 76 pounds, and Yoda is leveling off at 56 pounds of muscle!  We enjoy them every minute!  Looks like you have had a productive year as evidenced on your website-keep up the great work!  Sincerely Jay

Hello Erik and Diane

We just wanted to email you and Thankyou for the BEST MATCH for our family Theia has been such a blessing she is so fun, such a loving and gentle dog she terrific with all the kids and honestly has become bff with Jaxson (1.5 yrold) she has gained the weight that she needed and is very healthy. She loves giving kisses! We can't express enough the love and happiness she has brought us! I am going to attach some pictures!

Thank you again

Tira and Brad

Hello Eric and Diane,

Just wanted to give you a quick update on Koneg's status.  No worries - he has adapted to his new life with us extremely well, as if he's always been here.  Went through a rough patch initially, adjusting to Dave, but much better now.  Dave is the only one to feed him, including treats, realizes Dave is an alpha.  Not perfectly comfortable with men yet, but working on it. Plays fetch only briefly, burying the ball in leaves when he wants to switch gears and do something else.  Still can't find the frisbee!  Loves to ride anywhere, anytime - perfect car manners.  Yup, he's velcro to me! Just a big snuggle bunny at heart.  Will sit on the patio loveseat with us each evening and weekends for coat brushing and loving.  Such a player!  Loves to run with us and takes a flying dive-flop over onto his back for tummy tickles when done.  Just a goof!  Love, love, love this sweet big guy!  Wouldn't give him away for a million bucks!  

Thank you again for all your positive efforts to re-home such wonderful creatures.  No doubt, divine intervention played a role in this adoption!  

Still trying to find the perfect name for him. Koneg, pronounced Kuuneg, is tricky to pronounce.  Suggestions?

Have an excellent day!

Lisa and Dave


Sheba is just a dream of a dog!  She and Gillespie have quickly become "buds" around the house and outside.  She is eating well, sleeping well and finding her favorite spots around our house.  She has 3 more days of her antibiotic then she will be done with that.  I am planning to start her on a heartworm preventative in April.  The picture is forthcoming...work has been crazy this week with the FGCU Eagles in the NCAA tournament so I haven't been home in the daylight to get a picture of her with us!


Hello Mr. Eric,

Hope all is well with you and Diane. I apologize for such a delayed update but time has gone by so quickly since we adopted Lucky. He is doing fantastic!  He has had two vet follow ups since he has been home and on the last appointment he was tested heartworm negative!

I can't even explain how much joy he has brought into our family.  We instantly fell in love with him and he has become like another child to us.  He is loving and intelligent, I swear he knows everything we say to him. We gradually started him on walks and short trips to the dog park which he loves both. He absolutely loves going in the car.  He goes with me every morning to take the boys to school and is my buddy throughout the day. We feel blessed to have connected with you and Diane and that you gave us the opportunity to have Lucky in our lives! Thank-you for everything you do for the GSD community. I wish everyone would consider rescuing vs buying from a breeder.

Take care!

Chris, Kelly, Erica, Spencer, Brayden & Lucky

Koneg is enjoying the good life!  He and Dave are best buds now!  Already had the groomer come out and he hopped right up in the van and hammed it up! Definitely likes being pampered. Has happy bone hour each evening on the patio. Loves to sit with us on the chaise chairs. Eats sweet potato fries with me. Take him everywhere with us - such a show off! Still working on the perfect name for him, as Koneg is difficult to pronounce. I call him "handsome" and hubby says he's going to get his own dog and call her "beautiful."The cat is not thrilled to share company just yet. The cat taught him cats don't play eat me! We LOVE this dog! Heaven sent!

Hi Erik!  I was just going through your website and had to stop and let you know that just over the past few weeks Bo has become even better than I ever expected.

He is with me (Tammi) most of the time, as Rick is working offshore now.  I cannot tell you the bond that Bo and I have now.  He minds so well, and responds to commands 98% of the time.  It's as if he wants my approval.  We have a cat (Brit) now and they are the same age.  Brit is very timid, but Bo is super gentle with him.  Of course Bo eats Brit's food more than his own most of the time.  Ha!

Also, I take Bo with me everywhere I can.  We even go to my little nephew's (who is 9 yrs old) baseball games.  He loves hanging out with all the kids and loves it when people come over and tell him how handsome he is.  (Which we all know he's regal anyways)  We are so thankful for having him in our lives.  He's like a fine wine.  He gets better with age.

Thanks Erik!!!!

Bo Regards...(LOL)

Tammi, Rick, and Bo

Dear Erik:

Hope this email finds you all well.  I could not let this day go by without a quick note to you and your wife.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of our adoption of Shelby.  We came to your home a year ago today and picked up this amazing little puppy.  She was named Emily at the time of her adoption.

She is  a light in our lives and is truly a Blessing to our family. We love her soooo very much and she has bonded with our other dog  Lillie so well.  From the very first day, they were fast friends and have not been apart since.  They LOVE to play ball in the yard all day  and they sleep together at night .

I just wanted to keep you up to date on her progress and have sent a few pictures as well.  Thank you for all you do in your efforts to rescue and find homes for these amazing dogs.  Please keep me in your files,and newsletter if one is available.  God Bless you and your family.

Sincerely, Dawn

Hi Erik and Diane:

Attached is a photo of Shatzi, how lucky we are to have her.  Thank you for bringing her into our lives, she just turned two years old and has become such a devoted companion not only to our family, but also our 5 year old Golden Retriever.  I owned a German Shepherd as a young girl and forgot how intelligent they are, she knows when we need her to give us a lift and is always on alert to protect us, but is loveable to all who enter our home - unless we tell her otherwise :)

John and I also thank you for all the wonderful work you do to rescue this beautiful German Shepherds.  The world is a better place because of you both.

Happy Tails to you,

John and Faye

Hello Mr. and Mrs. Hoffer!

Its been a full year since I adopted Duke, it feels like almost yesterday when I drove down and picked him up! Dukes such a fun dog, he minds really well, he's great with people, and is a total goofball. His socialization has gotten much better, he's very close with my parent's dogs and my neighbor's Rottweiler. My neighbors next door got two puppies and Duke is great with them!

I love the big guy so much, he's my buddy and right hand man, thank you so much for helping pair us up and bringing him into my life!

Sincerely, Michael


Just wanted to give you an update on Roxy.  She is doing great.  Almost 75 pounds now and healthy.  She follows me everywhere and does not leave my side.  She is by far the best dog I have ever known.

Thanks again, Ian

Dear Erik and Diane,  Even though I love and miss her dearly this is really wonderful news! Thank you so much for helping us to find her a suitable home. She really is a special girl. I am grateful for the help you provided us in getting her into a loving home! Best wishes to you and thank you again for everything!

Kind regards, Becky

Erik and Diane.

Maddie is adjusting nicely. And has eaten some dry kibble.

She then took our other dogs for a run in the back yard in 4" of water.  They couldn't keep up and she ran laps around them.  In fact , their tongues are still hanging out of their mouths; not hers though.

She has used the doggy door twice and knows how to open the French door into the house if its not closed all the way.

Here is a picture of her relaxing and using our French door as a headrest.

Thank you for giving us this great opportunity to bring her into our family.

Warmest regards

Vinnie and Gail

By the way, we went to my parents and introduced her to my family; mom, dad, brother and his 3 kids.

They adore her and she was great!


Attaching a photo of Shadow.  He really is a wonderful dog and much loved around here.  He had 2 weeks training with Mark and now has ongoing training in the home with Mark.  He is great on lead and heels beautifully.  He still is not sure of the neighborhood surroundings but willing to learn.

He is a needy dog and a bit of a big baby. Shadow is very vocal and talks to me when he wants something or if I don't fix his food quite fast enough. When we arrived home, he latched on to Don and had a severe case of separation anxiety if Don left the house or went into the garage, howling and climbing the doors.  That is over now and he has become closer to me, since I handle his training, walking and feeding.

In the photos the little Black and White Papillon, Barney is the one Shadow is very fond off, although he likes the other 2 as well.  The morning begins with Shadow bugging Barney and Barney shrieking at Shadow and  chasing Shadow around the room.  This goes on until breakfast and then they mellow out because Barney is old (14) and needs a lot of naps..

So, all is well here in the Hookom household. Shadow has settled in very nicely and we both love him...

Until next time...Sue

Duke[his new name]did great last night. No crate. He slept in our bedroom. Didn't even snore!! lol Very good dog! Thanks. Bill and Meng

Thank you for copying me.

It is inspiring to receive "Happy Ending & New Beginning" Reports that keep me moving forward :)

You and your wife are a breath of fresh air and a welcome pleasure in my life.

Bless you both, Jeanette

Dear Erik and Diane, there are not words to express how grateful we are with you for finding Forrest, or “Duke” A new home, when Forrest showed up to our house looking for help I did not know what to do  with such a big dog. After the event, I started calling different shelters without any result. Finally, I started calling shelters out of the Miami area, coming across with Erik and Diane who found a wonderful family for this great dog. Thank you again, and thank you to Awl, I wish there were more individuals like you in this world; this would be a much better place.


Dear Erik,

We would love to come to your reunion…however, we work on Saturdays and can’t make the drive up from Naples.  We would LOVE to make a donation to the cause.  To whom should we write the check?  Where should we send it?

I’ve attached some pictures of Maisy and Colin.  They are really the best of friends.  She is the perfect dog for us.  Thank you for finding her and bringing us together.  We want to help another dog find it’s forever family.

All the best, Michele, Brice and Colin

Hi Erik and Diane,

We would like to start off by saying thank you for letting us bring Lilly to be part of our family. She has brought so much joy to all of us. The kids just adore her as she does the kids. She fit right in at our home. She is very happy here and we couldn't be anymore happier with her. She loves to play catch,  run around and play with all of us.  Thank you again for giving us the opportunity of allowing Lilly to join our family. She is loved by all of us..

Sincerely, Jabie, Michelle and Kids

Hi Erik and Diane,

Ive been wanting to give you an update on ESO.  We couldn't be more pleased with our new addition.  He makes me laugh from morning to night!  What a clown. And soooo smart!  Thank-you again and God Bless,  Ginger


Hi Erik & Daine, its me Zeus. I wanted to tell you how I am doing. I love my new home. My new family adores me, I go for walks and get to run in my big back yard all the time. I have a lot of toys, but my favorite is the ball. I impressed my family when I fetched the ball and brought it back to them and when I show them what basic obedience training I know, and that I can speak on command. My new mom and dad say that I am walking better and starting running like I should be. My parents got really happy to see me lift my leg to pee... but I don't understand what the big deal is. My parents were surprised to see that I can push open the doors too. I shocked my parents when I barked at the city lawn mower. He got close to my yard, so I told him to back off. My dad ran to me since that was the first time he heard me bark, then told me it was ok and that I was a good boy.  I love to spend my days watching the guinnea pigs, they make whistling noises when they get their treats. They get really happy when I lay next to them. I met my doctor because my ear was itchy and they loved me too. I was very nice to them. They made me feel better and gave me lots of love too. I get bathes one a week... I love it when I get to run outside after. My dad says I act like a horse running around and laughs all the time. I like to lay next to my parents and in my yard. Kaelyn really likes me laying next to her, sometimes I will craw into her bed and sleep next to her. Her bed is so comfy. She fell asleep on the floor with her ipad, so I slowly pulled it out of her hands so she could sleep. I love all the hugs and kisses that I get. Bugsy and I sleep next to each other, in our own beds, but I leave Bugsy's food and water alone. My vet, and my parents said I have gained 10 pounds so far and that I am looking healthier everyday. We have a pool here, but I am not sure if I want to go swimming yet.. it looks like a big bathtub. I found an armadillo in my yard.. i was chasing it until i ran into my fence. my dad was laughing a lot. I have met a lot of the neighbors and their dogs, everyone is really nice. I love it when my mom gives me massages. I wanted to say a special thank you for saving me. I didn't think that I would find my forever loving home. Well, I'm going to go for now, I want to go play outside. I will keep in touch.

I will have my mom & dad send pictures of me soon. Thank you for saving me and for my new family.



Hi Erik,

I would like to give you an update on our family member Bear. He IS the perfect match for us and our little dog, Angel. Thanks for not giving up on us when our first try just didn't work out with another beautiful German Shepherd. From the first day Bear came home he showed us that he truly made it home. I will send your name out to others that are in need of a perfect family pet. Attached are some pictures to show you what a happy soul he is. In these pictures you will see how he went from one extreme to the next.

Thank you, Jennifer

Mya is an absolute gem. We all adore her and she loves us too. We just got back from a 3-mile bike ride with her. She was great. We went trick-or-treating and we were so proud of her. Just ordered one of those walkydog dog leashes for bicycles. I am going to call the previous owner this weekend. I have been to every pet store in the area. She has new toys, ball, food, collar, leash, frisbee, door bells, and a hula hoop. We still need a crate. We sold ours for five dollars in sept at a yard sale.  It was identical to the one we r borrowing from u. That is the way it goes sometimes. We will sent u a family photo as soon as someone can take r picture. Thank u from the bottom of our heart for connecting us w mya and for all that u do.




I can't begin to express how thankful we are for your help in finding a loving family to become the new owners of Buddy/Sarge !!

It brought a sense of relief knowing that he will be safe and taken care of physically and emotionally.You are an angel sent from heaven and I am so moved by your dedication and love for dogs.

I  will definitely write a review on your website and donate money to your rescue. If you receive any updates and pictures of him please let me know.

Thank you and have a great night!



Thank you for your kind words. Life's meaning, in my belief, is a legacy that many people overlook. It is not just that people are born, work hard, live their lives and die, but what we do daily during our lives that provides help, love and support for our fellow man and for creatures of all types that creates the legacy we leave behind.   All interested people should know we existed and who we were while here on earth.  This does not in any way have a religious basis but a moral one.  Diane and I feel as if we are contributors to life and we are proud we have found a calling that is not only enjoyable to us but important to these dogs and cats we save.

Any financial help you can be to the AWL would be greatly appreciated.  Again thank you both for being caring humanitarians.

Sincerely, Erik

This us Eugene and Sheila, thank you so much for the photo! Although we miss Coco it is great to are that she is with a new owner and both Vivian and Coco look Very happy. We are Very thankful that we found you Erik. Merry Christmas!!

Dear Erik and Diane,

I’m taking more pictures of Alastair and Gypsy tomorrow. I had one that was pretty good, but not good enough, and I can’t find it anyway. She is such a beautiful animal, I must show her off at her best. She turned out to be everything we could hope for and then some. Finally this week she has shown more life than I thought she had in her. She’s a joy, and I realize now that she was going through depression prior to becoming at ease again. We make sure she has the best of everything and I’m so happy to do that for her.

I’m taking her last caretaker; that would be Bob and JoAnne Hacking, out to lunch in a few days.

Owe an awful lot to you and Diane as well.

Sincerely, Vivian C

I was going to reach out to you tonight. He is such a love and honestly I can't understand how anyone could "throw" him away. I promised him this morning in those beautiful eyes of his that we will love him forever and give him the best life. He follows us everywhere and this morning was licking juneys face.

I'm just so in love with him. He slept on Drews bed last night by the way.

Thanks so much and we will keep sending you updates.


 Hello Eric. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for all you have done for me and Laicee. I am so grateful to you guys for working so hard at what you do and for finding Laicee such a good home. People like you make the world a better place knowing that your love for animals is a top priority in your life. If you would please forward my message to Laicee's new Mom. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, Deborah.

Thank you so very much for rescuing Schultzy!  I am so grateful, and I know the family is, as well!

Warmly, Kelly


I thought I would take the opportunity to give you some feedback.We decided to keep his name as Mueller. It has been challenging but rewarding as well.He is beginning to become a member of the pack.

He still has some separation anxiety issues but it gets better every day. I was reticent to let him exercise in the back yard until today. He appears to be healing well. He clearly is a very smart fellow as I left him in the back yard, while monitoring him from behind the blinds. He was trying to lift the latch on the fence. I will secure the fence gate before leaving him by himself.

We downloaded the application for the Venice Dog Club training and will send it in.

We started out with letting him sleep in the bed with us but it was just too much mass in too small a place. We took an old blanket and put it on the floor as a bed and he has taken to that. Today I was taking a shower and he was curious and trying to get into the shower but responded to my correction to stay outside. In response, he dragged his bed into the shower area and laid down on it there.

Thank you very much for allowing us to assume the responsibility of raising this fine young man. Please feel free to contact us at any time for an update. I will do my best to keep you apprised of his progress.

Thank you for your dedication to GSD's  We will do our best to exceed your expectations of us as leaders of Mueller's pack.



Attached are a few more photgraphs of Maddie.

I was on your website and looked up success stories and found her original pitcures. She is doing great, is very healthy and is having tons of fun!  I included a picture of Kaylee and Logan our other shepherd and rottweiler.

Vinnie & Gail

Dear Eric and Diane,

I just wanted to thank you again for finding Nala a home and saving Alex.

I go in every day to Manatee County Animal Services and walk the dogs. At any given time, there are 50+ dogs on the floor who need help. Thank goodness there are several of us dedicated dog walkers. (I've even gotten my husband, Frank, walking once a week.) I love all the dogs, but some just grab at your heart. That's how I felt about the mix, Alex, and wanted to let you know how grateful I am that you didn't send him back to Manatee County.

Please note that I posted a thank you naming your Rescue on the Support Manatee County Face Book page and also sent a message re Sue Kolze's comments to my friend, Joanne Sampson, who is on the Board of Animal Network.


I’m trying to leave feedback on your website not sure if this is the procedure but maybe you can get it to the right place! First I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart to give me the opportunity that allowed me and my family to have this wonderful loving dog in our lives! I feel as if you listened to all our needs and sent us an ANGEL. You took the time to speak with us ( as we were wanting a German Shepard playmate for our baby, a 16 month male German Shepard Carlo) and made a perfect match! I have nothing but love and gratitude knowing that because of your rescue this baby ( we named her Margo) was taken off living in the streets and saved from a kill shelter.Nothing was forced, hours were spent introducing the pups. Carlo and Margo are now best friends and spend hours a day playing!!! I would also like to Thank You for making sure this puppy in need was taken care of (spayed,shots,chipped,medication that was needed).

Please know that she is a love and part of our family ,we are so happy,this is like adopting a baby! Please feel free to call on my company when you are doing fundraisers as we would like to help out if possible.This is our first rescue and we couldn’t be happier!



Hi Erik and Diane,

Thanks for sending the photo of Gaia, but especially for making it possible for us to adopt her.  We absolutely love her and could not be more pleased with her than we are!  Thank you both so much for the wonderful work you are doing with placing these beautiful shepherds in loving homes.  Again we can not thank you enough!

Best regards,


We adopted a rescue German Shepherd a little more than a month ago. He is 1 yr old and full of energy.    He had a few trust issues but has adapted to us really well. He is fun and a joy to have around.  What would we do without him? We have always had dogs and I feel a home is not a home without one.

Already Dakota has shown us so much love which makes this more of a happy home. These dogs deserve to be loved and live a long healthy happy life.

Our Dakota has a forever home.

Harry and Jan

Erik and Diane,

I want to share with you our celebration of Satchmo’s 1st birthday!  If you recall Satchmo was dropped off at the Sarasota Animal Services last July and thought to be blind and potentially positive for distemper. Here's the original link:


Amy and I were immediately drawn to him and we were able to adopt him from you in August.

Today is Satchmo’s 1st birthday and we wanted to let you know that he has been the most loving, wonderful and smart dog we’ve ever had.  We, along with our vet, believe that he has some if not most of his vision intact and shows no outward signs of any health issues of any kind. We are so happy we were able to add little Satchmo to our family!  He and our Golden Retriever, Gillespie and Cacia, our other Shepherd from you have become one tight pack in the last 9 months!

Thank you for your wonderful services!

With warmest regards,

Todd & Amy

Hello Eric, i wanted to update you on benji. He is doing really good ,getting along fine with our little dog&cat.He plays with his toys and loves the yard &trees.His eating is getting better,he eats a nice size bowl through out the day.Thank you, he will have a special place in our family .i will send pics soon.:-)

She's come so far in such a short time.  Thank you for all you do for GSD's!  We bought the squirrel for her right after we left your house, it took her a couple of weeks but now it's her baby. And she loves her cat and he puts up with her ;)

Hello eric&diane,I wanted to thank and update you on benji.He is doing awesome Eating Great ,loves royal canine dry/innova wet.He is responding to all commands consistently now.we take him on walks through beautiful forest trails behind our house daily , he runs and Jumps like a deer as fast as he can ,back and forth to us playing catch its hillarius. I have yet to see him bounce or carry his one leg either.An absolute playful Sweetheart with our cat and family.I love him with all my heart   and you too for helping him and us enjoy life to the fullest.I will text pictures

Thank you.  Joe&family


They are settling in very nicely.  They are really good dogs, very smart and quick to learn.  Sara sleeps curled up next to me at night and Burgo sleeps on the rug next to my bed.  They are glued to my hip non stop, When I sit down they lay down at my feet, if I get up they are two steps behind me (sometimes less, and I get a cold wet nose on my butt!!)  I have never had dogs like this before.   If anyone tires to hurt me or break in, I think the dogs will eat them!!!

They love to go for rides in the Smartie,  Sara hops in and sits in the back with her head on my shoulder and Burgo sits in the front seat.  In the next couple of days I will get a pic and send it to you, it is quite a sight!  When I get back home I let them out at the front gate (after it closes) and they chase the car back to the house (about 1/3 mile)...  I was doing 17mph and they were catching up!!  I try to do this a couple of times a day to burn off some excess energy.  Tonight I went to pick up take out for dinner and took the dogs with me...  you should have heard the comments, needless to say, no one went real close to the car. They were good, I was watching though the glass doors, no barking or ugly behavior when people walked by, the window were part open and they could have stuck their heads out if they wanted to, they just sat in the front seats intently staring at the door waiting for me to come back out.

Sara is a very picky eater....  vet said to give her wet puppy food, Nurta Max Puppy Large Breed in a can, till she has put on a few more pounds.  Burgo will eat what ever you put in front of him.

They both want to eat the cat, but are afraid of her...  lol

Sara is the more dominate and aggressive of the two, but when I get after her she backs off right away.

I went to Yoga class in Clermont a few days ago, the wire cages were latched and secured.  They both succeeded in bending the panels such that they escaped.  I wasn't gone long so they did not do any damage to the house,  I took the pliers and straitened out the panels, I then took a dozen heavy tie wraps and secured the edges were the panels meet.  I was impressed!!!!

We have had some fun play/wrestling sessions on the floor, Burgo got a little carried away and put teeth on my arm...  as soon as I raised my voice in displeasure he cringed and laid down right next to me, he didn't roll over but I had no doubt that if I had continued scolding him he would have.  I pet him and we were good.  These are big powerful dogs!

A little note of concern, Burgo cannot jump up on the bed or very the low stone wall.  I wonder if he doesn't have enough muscle mass in his back end or maybe residual pain from being neutered??  What every it is, it doesn't effect his ability run!!!!

Speaking of running, these dogs are beautiful when they are moving at speed.

I am very pleased. And thank you for your help in arranging the adoptions.



Just a quick update for you.  Buddy Boy and his mom moved from North Port, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee, last month.  He now has a huge half-acre fenced yard with plenty of mature trees to run around and - most importantly - Squirrels to chase after (his favorite past-time!!).

Can't thank you enough for having been there at the right time and place for Buddy to have found his home.




Great news, the family that is now fostering Princess has decided to adopt her, the whole family fell in love with Princess for being such a lovable and great dog, thanks for all your efforts Eric, if it wasn't for you, I would've taken her to the shelter the day after I spoke to you, so God meant for me to contact you instead. We are very happy for Princess, she is such a great dog who just found a great family to be with,



I’m trying to leave feedback on your website not sure if this is the procedure but maybe you can get it to the right place! First I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart to give me the opportunity that allowed me and my family to have this wonderful loving dog in our lives! I feel as if you listened to all our needs and sent us an ANGEL. You took the time to speak with us ( as we were wanting a German Shepard playmate for our baby, a 16 month male German Shepard Carlo) and made a perfect match! I have nothing but love and gratitude knowing that because of your rescue this baby ( we named her Margo) was taken off living in the streets and saved from a kill shelter.Nothing was forced, hours were spent introducing the pups. Carlo and Margo are now best friends and spend hours a day playing!!! I would also like to Thank You for making sure this puppy in need was taken care of (spayed,shots,chipped,medication that was needed).Please know that she is a love and part of our family ,we are so happy,this is like adopting a baby! Please feel free to call on my company when you are doing fundraisers as we would like to help out if possible.This is our first rescue and we couldn’t be happier!



Dear Erik,

First of all – Happy 4th Of July! I hope it is a safe and fun one for you and your family.

I have great news! It looks as though we are going to be able to take Cooper with us. We found a similar rental property near the one we were originally looking at that is managed by the same property management company but that allows pets. He technically exceeds their accepted weight limit, but we were able to work around that.

I cannot thank you enough for all of your efforts to help us find a home for our boy. I sincerely appreciate it and I know he does too.

Best wishes for continued success with all you do for these wonderful dogs!

Mary AnnYes. I'd be glad to. Give me his number and I will give him a quick call. I wanted to let you know what's going on with Chance. They kept him for two nights. Removed his stitches, treated him for hook worms, and liver and kidney issues. He is continuing to take the meds you gave me for heart worms. He will be getting his first shot for them in a few more weeks. The techs were all watching him when I picked him up. He ran over jumped and hugged me and was crying!! I am totally in love with this sweet dog. He is doing so much better. I taught him some basic commands like sit, stay, stop, and heel. He is eager to please. Thank you for this precious baby. :)

Dear erik and Diane,

Rasta has become part of the family. He has adapted to his new home and has ingrained himself in our hearts. At first he was anxious and attempted to get back in the car. After we walked him and introduced him to the cats he settled down.

Pam read in his file that he was not interested in toys. Well, Pam had a large tennis ball that he began to play with. When the ball went in the pool he began to bark and attempted to reach the ball without getting wet. The attached picture shows just how far he would go in his attempt.

His only time of stress was when I left to go to the store. Pam said he whined and kept walking from the door to her and whinning. He is now more comfortable and accepts that we will return.

Thanks again for thinking of us.

Bill & Pam

Hi Erik and Diane!!

We just wanted to send you a note on Lacy!! We get so many comments on how beautiful and well mannered she is, and we'd like to think you guys had a hand in that! We walk her to the bus stop with our daughter and she's made lots of new friends! There is a woman with a son that is just in love with Lacy. She loves GS and wants your information! I'm going to pass it along!! I hope they can find a wonderful match for their family as we have!!

Thanks a bunch!!

Jared and Candice Carey.....and Lacy too!

Hello Erik,

I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how thankful we are for you and your lovely wife for bringing Macy into our family. As you can see she is quite happy, quite the Queen and quite wonderful to have as a family pet. She remains fantastic with our grandchildren and family and friends and we could not ask for a more loyal and better dog. She is a beauty!

We just wanted you to know how thankful we are for all of the good work that you do.

Mark & Ruth

Hi Erik,

This is Peggy Aimaro, and I just wanted you to know that Titan is doing real good. He is a wonderful little boy. We are so blessed to have him. I can not tell you how GOOD he is.. He sure is a mommy's boy.. I can't wait till the end of next month so I can take him to his obedience classes. He is going to be very easy to learn.. We thank you so much for him.... Oh by the way... do you have his papers with his shots and his chip???   We will keep in touch...

Thanks Again......... Peggy

Hello Mr. and Mrs. Hoffer,

I just wanted to send you both a quick update on our sweet Keisha. She has settled in very nicely. She had been eating a bit "peckishly", but today ate with GUSTO. I started her on some Prilosec in case the Doxycycline was upsetting her stomach, and it seems to have helped. She also played with a kong throw toy for the first time today. She has done VERY well with my little girls. There were a few growls the first day, but everyone seems just fine now. She has slept on her big, new, comfy pillow the last 2 nights, right beside my bed. She gently woke me with a nudge each morning to go outside. I told her she could sleep on the bed, but she seemed to prefer the dog bed. I heard her bark for the first time today when a delivery man came to my door. She has a wonderful deep, throaty bark that she used at an approiprate time. She stopped as soon as I asked her to sit and answered the door.

I couldn't be happier with her as part of my family, and I am VERY grateful that you not only saved her, but also considered allowing me to be her forever home. THANK YOU!!

I will keep the updates coming. I plan to do her chest radiographs and the microfilaria test next week and will also update you both on those. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!

Sincerely, Amanda

 Just wanted to let you know Precious has been doing very well. She is pretty well adjusted to her new home now. Precious has been a wonderful little baby who just wants attention. She seems to love women more the guys but she is still an attention hog despite who is around. Occasionally she can still be a little snot as some young dogs can be but nothing too crazy. I take her to work once or twice every week and everyone loves her and always comments how she is the nicest dog they have ever met. I stepped her food down to normal after her initial weight gain and believe it not she has gotten a little picky with the food now. But with a little encouragement and a touch of can food, she eats all her food. Now she is nice and lean with her regular exercise...dog parks are her favorite too. Her one thing is she loves to be chased through the park but she is so fast, no dog can ever catch her. Its always fun to see that....anyways, just wanted to know how she is turning out. Attached are some recent pics of her at the house and soaking in some love from my girlfriend

All the best,Chris


They are doing wonderful!!!  I am very glad to have them in my life.

Sara is eating very well, Burgo is glued to my side.  Yesterday morning and last night I was out bushing hogging (mowing with the tractor) and they follow me every where and explore all the critters...  they are not sure what to do with the armadillos...  cows well they bark at them but aren't interested in up close and personal.;

Sara sleeps with me on the bed at night...  real close, likes to be touching me (good thing I have a kings size bed!!!) and Burgo sleeps on the floor right in front of the bedroom door....  looking out..  it is kinda interesting...

I have a big water trough from the horses and keep it filled right next to the house, Burgo loves to lay in it.....  what a mess.... rolling eyes

I took them for a well visit at the vet at the CARES center, every one loved them.

I will send you pics soon.


Oh we do love him and Khaleesi absolutely loves him. He fits into our family perfectly. I started him on glucosamine and vitamin C for his hips too. He slips a bit on our laminate floors so I am picking up some runners to put down throughout the house so he can get his grip. He's so awesome. Can't thank you enough.

Hello Erik & Diane

We feel very Blessed to have Nala (we are calling her Kaluha). She is so loving. Lucy and her have had 2 "discussions" and Kaluha is very respectful.

As far as the cats, when 2 of them saw her, they both arched their backs. Kali whined and did not attempt to go near them. For now the kitties are hiding.

We have registered for Michelle's course online. So we look forward to hearing from her to get started on classes.

We have the crate out and both Kaluha and Lucy have gone in it. Separately of course.

She has been for a walk around her new neighborhood. And walks so well. Right now she is out like a light on the couch next to her Dad.

She has also been invited to dinner at her new grandparents house in Ft Myers next week. They are looking forward to meeting this sweet girl.

I have written the check and will mail it Monday to you.

Thank you for all you give to these dogs. Surely you two are Angels. Pet Guardians Definitely!!

Tracy & Geoff

Dear Eric and Diane,

I just want you to know that everyday I thank God that I met you both with your infinite wisdom on German Shepherds.  You are truly wonderful and caring people.  You couldn't have done any better in matching me with Remmington ( formerly Max).  Yes we changed his name when we got home, because there were so many Maxs in our neighborhood.  He adapted to his name immediately like he had always been named Remy.  We have developed this super solid bond and he is the most loving, sweet tempered, needy friend.  Each day we spend time meeting new people and experiencing new things. He seems to be socializing quite well and has made many dog and people friends. We have finally conquered Remy's fear of the cage.  He eats in it twice a day and quite often I will catch him snoozing in it. The cage door is always open so he is free to be travel in and out at his leisure.

I am so glad you had me bring JJ, my daughter's pomeranian to meet with Remy because they have developed an unbreakable bond.  When JJ goes to visit his other grandmother in Orlando, Remy goes into a deep depression until the little guy comes home. It's funny to watch this huge horse of a dog playing with this little 7 pound ball of fluff. JJ jumps on Remy and chews on his huge paws, and Remy swats him and takes his head in his mouth,but he makes sure he doesn't hurt JJ.  Remy is a gentle giant!  Through his bond with JJ, he is able to accept the foster pups that come through our house and then leave to go with their adoptive parents.  I just hope that it won't affect him too much when JJ and his family leave to move into their new home.  I might have to have you find me a companion for Remy!!!!!!

Thank Heaven you put me in touch with Michelle.  She is terrific; and you were right, she and I hit it off fantastically!  Remy and I have learned so much from her and she said he seems to be a natural at tracking.  He really seems to enjoy it.

It was so good to see both of you this past Saturday, had a lot of fun at the Pet Day Event.  Remy enjoyed meeting the new dogs and all the new people.  He also had a ton of fun.  I will try to send you an email every now and then if this is successful.

Sincerely, Cinnie

Hi Erik,

I was going to email you this weekend after having them for a full week.

They are doing great. My wife and family absolutely love them.

We can certainly see why they need to be together. Everything they do the other is right by the others side.

We wouldn't trade them for any other pet.

They have taken to inside the house very well and listen to commands.

Also, when we arrived home that night we walked them around the property several times and repeated the second night. So far, when not on the leash with one of us there, the remain right on the property....very smart dogs.

The only thing "one of them" has done and we don't know which, is went poo on my daughters floor three times now.

Her door has been closed but these two figured out how to open our doors that have handle type levers. Wow!

We are going to a local pet run tonight not to far from where we live and they'll be able to run and play with other dogs.

On Saturday they have an appointment with their vet to get their scheduled dose of heartworm and flea treatment.

Being new, the vet will give them a good exam so we have a starting point for their health.

I could go on but have probably said too much already. All I can say is they are a wonderful addition to our family and loved by all.

Thanks for the time you spent with us Monday and the expertise you shared which has helped us alot.

We plan on getting further education and attending obedience classes as time permits us to do so.

Thanks again,

Mike, Rose, and family.

Dear Eric and Diane

Mike and I can't thank you enough for rescuing these amazing dogs! I didn't think I could love another dog after losing our beloved max. These two dogs are so much fun. What a special blessing  for us. We brought them home and walked them around our property just as you suggested and I was amazed they do not leave the yard. We have a really nice dog park 5 minutes from our home, and are looking forward to taking them there,  we haven't gone yet do to weather . Hopefully today!

Well this is just a humongous thank you for the sacrifices you both made to save these dogs and others like them!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mike and Rose


Just a little update. I renamed him Marley. He is walking, heeling great with a loose lead. We are using a backpack and he loves his job of carrying my water. He has a good command of basic obedience.

All the neighbors have loved on him and he loves it.

We have a lot of cat work to do. If he is crated and sees a cat he goes berserk.

I am holding the cats now and " owning them" and that is helping.

He is a dream dog. Amazing. We can't wait for 10/30 to start obedience classes. I have my name on their list. There is no registration yet.

You both are very special people to help others on their journey to find a life's companion. We cannot thank you enough.

Below is a pic from night one with all dogs on place for over an hour! Exercised dogs are happy dogs!

Dear Erik and zach's previous parents,

His first day went well. He has been accepted into my pack without a single problem. He did not give the cats a second glance.  He has been groomed and bathed. We have gone for a walk, went swimming together(thrilled), played with his favorite ball. He has been playful and ran in the yard. He found a comfy dog bed and chewed a big bone. He also charmed me into sharing my apple with him. He is now sound asleep and it's only 4 pm! Lol. It's like he has always been here. Thanks Erik we love this guy!

Hi Erik!

My boyfriend, Christian, and I adopted a beautiful shepherd from your organization this past July.  We are so happy with her integration into our lives.  Cacia proved to be quite the escape artist at first, managing to unlock a deadbolt and open the entry door to our condo in the middle of the night.  She and our veteran shepherd, Jasper, were roaming the neighborhood (together, to our surprise, as they had only been in the same household for under two weeks) for up to an hour before a friendly, sleepless neighbor brought them home.

Admittedly, there were a couple of territorial scuffles in the first few weeks, but we've found that Cacia and Jasper truly love one another's company and continue to work on their relationship.  Cacia still suffers from thunderstorm anxiety, but we've managed to keep her unmedicated and mostly comforted during the storms.

Cacia has been to the beach once (very early on - maybe ten days after we adopted her) and needed to be kept on the leash to ensure that she didn't run off as a wanderer.  I have not yet decided if we were pronouncing her name wrong, or if she didn't really respond well to her name, but after a few months, Cacia has become a very good listener and responds whenever called.  She did extremely well at the dog park a couple of weeks ago.

Cacia clearly has some good moves when it comes to facing off with a dog she views as a threat to her family (she has proven her loyalty to Jasper, the kids and the two of us). Given her temperament, I can only attribute her assertiveness to her unfortunate early experiences of abuse.  Cacia backs down to no dog.  She does not hurt them but she is not afraid to stand up for herself and defend herself when provoked.

She listens to us and never shows a hint of aggression, even annoyance with our kids.  In fact, Cacia chooses and asks to sleep in the kids'room in between their beds.

Thank you for all that you do - we never thought that we'd meet other amazing dogs like the ones we'd known from puppyhood.  Cacia has been such a wonderful addition to our unit and we're so grateful for altruistic people such as yourselves who dedicate your energy to the world's deserving creatures.

With gratitude,

Tracy and Chris

Dear Erik,

  I just wanted to say thank you for being patient with our family and finding us a dog that was a perfect fit for us. We absolutely love Shiekra. She has quickly made herself at home and become part of our family. We love her! McKayla has come out of her shell and loves taking Shiekra for a walk, it's her favorite part of the day. Mckayla also loves playing ball with her. Thank you for all that you do for these dogs and the families that adopt them.

Thank you,


I know, wrong name. He has been called William, not Michael. I worked all day today, and when I got home the atmosphere in the house was more relaxed. Lexi  (the cat who was not eating) Is inside the house, more relaxed, and starting to eat a little. (Yesterday she stayed in the lanai and cried). Also, the dog is giving the cats their space, although he still wants to follow them around,  he listens and backs off. He enjoys walks and meeting people,  kids, and other dogs. He will be an awesome Buddy. As long as we continue to see improvements in the cats, we will be more relaxed too.Bill took him to our local vet Dr. Bowen in Punta Gorda yesterday and got his hearworm/flea meds. He weighed in at 64#. He also signed up for classes starting this Saturday with Rusty. Rex is learning to sit or lie down when the cats are eating instead of hovering over them. (I wish the cats would eat off of a high surface, but they prefer the floor) Rex is great with the crate, training collar, and loves to ride in the truck. We need to learn the correct way to teach him not to jump on people and not to pull on the leash when walking. He is well behaved at Bayshore park and in our neighborhood when we walk him on the leash, excited to meet other dogs but not aggressive toward them. He likes people and children, very calm with them. We are all getting into a routine. It has been a long time since either of us had a dog. - Debbi

Eric and Diane,

My family and I would like to send a huge thank you for placing Remi with us. After a short few days she has become a best friend and protector to all of us. She even lets the cats think they rule, haha. Vivian has begun bonding and now takes Remi on her morning walk, while I man the late shift. She’s eating well and loving life. I feel sorry for the Brown’s as they are surely feeling the loss of their pet.

Thank you both so much, Steve, Vivian and Michael

Hi Erik,

I can't believe that we're coming up on a year, March 1st, since I adopted Rickey, and he has become my best friend.  Following the adoption, I purchased a house with a view of Lemon Bay from my front porch and kitchen window.  Rickey loves to lay on the front porch and, being a German Shepherd, keeps a very close eye on the comings and goings in the neighborhood.  I also installed a doggie door on the back of the house giving him direct access to a fenced backyard.  The downside to that is sometimes he goes out patrolling late at night, creates a ruckus when he finds a critter out there, and I have to go out in my pj's to drag him back in.  As you may remember, he has serious elbow and hip displasia which severely limits his mobility...but I'm not sure that he notices that or cares. And I'm also not sure that I would be able to handle him if he were 100%.   He was not neutered until last January, and he is definitely an alpha dog.

Thanks again for your tireless efforts and wonderful work with these dogs.  They are precious.

Wishing you the best in 2015!

Sincerely, Kim

Dear Erik,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you from my heart for finding a good home for Shadow.  I would have written sooner but I have been extremely upset over having to loose her.  She had my heart and I am sure you could see the bond between her and I yesterday.  I was so upset that I had to leave when I did or I would have just broken down.  I sit here with a broken heart and missing Shadow so very much.  When we were driving away I saw her sitting there looking at us (me) and she just looked so sad.  I swear she knew she would never see me again.  If you don't mind I would like to stay in touch with you to see how our girl is doing.  I didn't sleep all last night thinking about her.

Shadow is a very special girl and I know in time she is going to be such a wonderful dog and companion to that young man.  He seemed very happy and as I watched how he was with Shadow I had no doubts what so ever that he would be a better choice for Shadow.  He is young, has lots of energy and is going to treat her like his best buddy.  The questions I asked him helped me decide that he would be a good fit.  Had I not felt that, then I would not have agreed to give her to him.  It did my heart good to see how he was with her and how excited he became over telling us all how he is going to include  Shadow in to every aspect of his life.  I hope she never forgets me as I will never forget her.

When I am in a better place emotionally I will absolutely write up a stellar review on your website.  Thank you again Eric and I wish you and your lovely wife a wonderful time on your trip abroad.

Most sincerely,


Hi Erik,

Jax adores his new playmate! He is having a little bit of a hard time understanding the situation, of course, but he likes having a "big, BIG dog!"

We came home and I gave Marley a good, fluffy, blueberry & vanilla bubble shower. What a GOOD DOG!!! She stood like a champ and let me scrub her sparkly clean, tip to tail. She finally loosened up enough to fetch her ball a couple times, but then decided all we were gonna do was keep throwing it, so she hung on to it lol ;)

The cat has barely come off the bed, and swatted at Marley once when she was sniffing too close, which set off a string of yelping barks (poor dog!). She is panting a lot, whimpers and paces if I am not sitting down, and has bonded to me like superglue. She follows me everywhere I go, which is fine with all of us. I absolutely LOVE HER!!! Jax is a little jealous at times (being an only child, he is used to getting 100% of my attention), but I will continue explaining her predicament... how she misses her family and that she needs us to make her feel welcome and loved to become part of our family now. When he hears how sad she must be feeling he walks over to her and softly pets her and gives her a hug, sometimes a kiss.

She ate just fine and is drinking a TON of water... only one little puddle, but mostly lets us know she's gotta go by giving us "that look" and extra whimpering. She is currently cuddled up on her new, fluffy bed, with her 3 blankies and tennis ball splayed under her. I know this must be devastatingly difficult for her former family, but they can rest assured, Marley is in a very happy home and we will take VERY GOOD care of her!!! Things happen for a reason... she needed us and we needed her!!!

She just sighed a big, relaxing breath and is finally resting. :)

Thank you for bringing Marley into our lives!!! :)

I will call my vet tomorrow to see about having her chipped down here, if only to avoid the stress of another long, confusing drive so soon. I am looking at my schedule now to send Michelle so we can find days to get together next week. More updates and pics later :)


Thanks for the info.  Yes, he went to vet and all shots done.  I also started the heart worm, and flea and tick medicine.  I also already called Michelle and made appt for meet and greet for Tues and 12pm.  I got her card from the vet I switched to.  Golden Gate Animal Clinic.  They told me that they work a lot with her.  Just what are the chances that I e-mailed Michelle prior to adopting Bruno, and I'm using the Vet Clinic she works with ?  It was just meant to be !  Bruno is so wonderful.  He brings so much joy to both of our lives, and that boy so makes me laugh !  What a personality !!!  Thanks again Eric !  Have a blessed, wonderful day !  Sherri

Thank you Erik. Jax is a gift from god!!!!!!!!!!!!and you. We love him sooooooo much!!!!


Hi Erik,

I wanted to thank you for the time you spent with my wife and I today telling us about your German Shepherd Rescue and offering your suggestions and recommendations for our rescue. You have a wonderful organization! You said that you would be willing to share your rescue templates with us. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and I look forward to reviewing them and getting our paper work completed and in workable fashion.

We stopped by the Animal Welfare League building on the way home. It must be a great feeling to see the reconstruction start and know that your new facility will be up and running soon. I wish you a smooth construction process. We will be calling to see if we can be of service as volunteers for the short time we have left here in Florida this winter. We will be leaving Florida April 1 st. and planning on returning next winter. We look forward to seeing your new completed facility.

I want to thank you, Diane and and all the people you work with for helping German Shepherds find loving forever homes in this area. You have and are doing a wonderful service for such a magnificent dog. German Shepherd dogs have been near and dear to my heart for over 40 years and I am excited to get our rescue up and going.


John R.

Hi Erik,

I just wanted to thank you again for everything you’ve done for my mother and I, we are beyond grateful and so happy to hear that Marley is with a loving family now.  The message near brought me to tears but I’m so glad you sent it.  It truly warms my heart to know Marley is doing so well and her new family loves her so much.

I’m sorry I haven't been in touch since I left and didn’t respond initially to your last message, I’ve been sick since we got to Arkansas and have been out of touch with everyone but wanted to make sure I thanked you for everything.  Also I wanted to apologize for not sending anymore checks yet, we have every intention to pay everything back in full and we will be sending another payment very soon.  I hope the weather is alright down there, it got a little cold here for a few days (it snowed the first week! couldn’t believe it) but it’s warming up right now.  In the mid 70s with a nice breeze today.

Anyway, thank you so much again, Erik.  I hope you’re doing well and I’ll be in touch with you again soon.  Let the new family now how tremendously grateful and happy my mother and I are that Marley is getting so much love  : )

All the best,


Dear Erik,

I apologize for not being in touch with you and updating you on Jager's progress, no excuse for it, but I just kept putting it off.

Jager is doing fantastic, he will be 6 years old on April 1st.  When I first brought him home he was a bit of a handful, but with a little patience and discipline he stopped jumping up on people when they came over.  Leslie Lake still contacts me about him and still seems to miss him terribly, but also knows that she could not handle him.  I believe she suffers from guilt at giving him up, it's somewhat sad for her.

Shortly after I had Jager with me I noticed he was losing a lot of weight, after much research I concluded that he had EPI, I took him to a fantastic Internist (Dr. Heidi Ward) in S. Sarasota where she diagnosed him.  He's been on Epizyme powder and gained back his weight, he had gone down to 60#'s from 120#'s before I found the right Vet.  Jager is a very nice 90#'s and pretty much maintains that weight.

Jager is a high energy dog, as you know so I started to bring him to daycare once a week (Bayside Pet Resort).  He runs with about 25 dogs and plays in a small pool that they have.  He's been going there for about one and a half years now and it has been a blessing for him.  They have competitions and parties for the dogs, it is so good for all the dogs, most especially Jager.  You cannot imagine how he carries on when Wednesday mornings come around and he knows he's going to the Spa, he can hardly contain himself and barks all the way there.  

I'm attaching a few pictures of the handsome guy, they had a Soccer Ball competition and well, Mr. Jager won MVP, it seems once he had control of the ball he hung on and never let go....he scored 7 points overall....

I absolutely love Jager, I think he is the greatest and thank you for fixing us up.



I just wanted to drop you a few lines about how Gracie is doing with us. She is a wonderful dog that has already made tremendous strides in learning to live a " normal" life. When we picked her up at your house 3 weeks ago, I had never seen such a basket case of an animal. Even the noise of stirring a drink at home sent her into a nervous funk. Here in the North Carolina mountains she loves to run free and explore the fields, and her appetite has gotten to what one would expect of a healthy young dog to be. I hope you can see from the attached photos how she is doing.

Thank You, Jim

Hi Erik, we adopted Zeus, on Sept 2013.

I am writing you to let you know that last Sunday, March 29, Zeus was laid to rest. He had a wonderful life, filled with unconditional love. He enjoyed his final days with us to the fullest,  playing with us, playing with our other little dog (Bugsy),sitting outside feeling the sun and the breeze on his face and listening to the wildlife, Chasing birds and lizards, car rides, give kisses and hugs, loved christmas and loved to sing.  Zeus and Bugsy became the best of friends and spent hours playing together and loved being in our back yard; they were inseparable. Although we only had him for a short time he will be forever in our hearts. With Zeus' story, we and he were glad to get some borrowed time and we enjoyed every minute we had with each other, thanks to you and your wife. From the time we got him to the end, Zeus made sure that he showed us how much he loved us. I want to say thank you for what you do, if it wasn't for you, we would have never had the chance to share our love with Zeus, and he wouldn't have experienced the love he deserved.  With the exception of his hips/legs, he made a full recovery. He had gained weight and showed his personality. Even in the end, it could be seen that he wanted to hold on because of us, but as a parent, we had to make the decision to let him go as it wasn't fair to have him suffer. When we told him what needed to be done and that it was ok to go, you could see the relief in his eyes. (If you want to know the details, I will tell you, upon request). Zeus loved everyone he met. And everyone loved him.

Thank you for saving him,and giving him another chance. He is the only dog I know that had more lives than a cat.

He will be greatly missed.

Sincerely, Jen, Mike, Kaelyn and Bugsy Lahn

Everything is going great!  He  is crated at night in my youngest daughter's room. My other dog was actually licking him this morning. He is everything as reported. We went up to Cosco and opened a membership yesterday so we could purchase the food he is use to and appears to be working for Duke.

I made an appointment with my vet the end of this month.. my favorite vet..the owner and long time vet of 30 years is now only working Wednesdays. I discussed it with my husband, and as the drive to DeSoto Animal Clinic is long it was always for the sole purpose of having Dr. Kanzler as we trust him so much! But now with him retiring and only working Wed., my husband and I discussed  that with his limited availability, the writing is on the wall to now switch vets. I believe we are going to go with Dr. Mcinnich on Toledo blade. I will stop by this week to get paperwork for my other two pets switched to him and I am sure we can then get Duke in earlier than April 29th appointment we had in Bradenton.

I will definately keep you posted!!

Thank you. When we are ready to rescue another we will let you know. We really enjoyed rescuing a senior dog who need a loving home. Thank you for saving him and allowing us to be a part of his life. Without you and what you do, he would have never had such a great retirement. Jen

Hey Erik,

My wife and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you and your wife have done for us! You've allowed us the opportunity to have THE MOST AMAZING pet in the world! And considering the changes we have had in our life you have been so kind to understand our situation and to help us find an amazing family that is sure to give Kobe the life he deserves!

Knowing you and your wife has been an honor and a blessing and I pray that God continues to give you the strength and ability to help other pets and families.

Thanks a million for everything, although we are heart broken we feel we did the right thing and we couldn't have done it without you!

Best Regards,

Ed and Laila

Erik, you provide such a valuable service to the misplaced GSDs of Florida. You have created a legacy that will live on in memory of your lost pals. Ebo and Bud. They were so lucky to have YOU in their lives!


Thank YOU! He is a wonderful dog! He is not showing the excessive hyperness that others said he did, he listens, and is a complete Velcro dog! He is going to be a perfect dog!


Dear Erik,

I needed to drop you a line to update you and your wife as to the status of Charlie (how you knew him)/Sarge (what we called him because of the ancient pug named "Charlie" that lived right behind us).  

There have been and will continue to be some difficult transitions ahead for my family. My husband left about 2 months ago.  

I want you to know that Sarge is fine. I want you to know what a remarkable dog he is.  That boy stood up to my husband to prevent me from being harmed.  He went for him.  Bless that dog.  Then it was my turn to protect Sarge and no harm came to that puppy.  

That Sarge dog has been the best at guarding myself and these children.  He lays down in front of the entry door when we leave and monitors it when we are home. At night, he has adjusted to Bella being gone and instead of sleeping at my bedside -he sleeps in the hallway between my room and the children's room.

I am so very grateful to you and your wife for allowing us to have this wonderful, silly, and brave boy in our lives.  Please know that where ever life leads my family -Sarge/Charlie is a member of that family.  He stays with us.



Hi Erik,

I thought I’d give you a progress report on Chance (aka Toby). We’ve been in Vermont for 12 days and he is adjusting well—much spunkier, and now plays with stuffed toys which he ignored when we got him from you.

He did great on the ride up, and loves to go in the car. As you recall, when we got him, he was slightly emaciated. He has put on 6 pounds and the vet thinks he’s at a good weight.

He has had a number of amusing experiences——saw a couple of deer in the back yard and quickly retreated to the garage; our back yard has a very steep hill which puzzled him for several days. We are now trying to train him to the invisible fence and our biggest problem is that he won’t go far enough from the house to encounter the fence.

He’s friendly with everyone he meets and is also friendly with dogs. He is getting over his depression, but seems to be totally lacking in protective instinct—he is oblivious to people driving down the driveway, knocking at the door, or coming in to the house. The biggest risk to a burglar would be tripping over him! But, that’s ok. We were not looking for a guard dog.

All in all, we’re happy and I think he is as well.


Hi Erik,

I hope this email finds you both well. Lou Anne, Joe and I just wanted to thank you again for traveling to Georgia to get Max for us. Erik, thank you for bring Max and us together. He is great and we love him so much. We took him to the vet just to see how his staples were holding up as he was dropping blood still on Weds. The vet put in a few more staples and put him an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic as a precaution. He is so full of energy and 80 lbs! It is hard to keep him from romping around but he does love his bean bag chairs and going for calm walks around our property.

Today was gardening day so Joe hooked up a line between two trees and hooked his leash on the line so that he could run back an forth but not get away from us. It worked well and while we were pulling up my spent Brussels sprouts, he was laying in the grass and/or on his mat watching us work. He loves to pick up sticks and pine cones and carry them around the yard so I am sure he would have been in the dirt with us had we let him.

The first few nights he wanted to play all night and most he would sleep would be 2 hours and then it was play time. (did I hear "that's when the crate comes in handy???") He is getting much more acclimated to our routine now and is even learning some commands like sit, stay, wait, ok and his favorite... NO! Joe is starting some of the training now but we will enrolling a class as soon as his staples are out. We can leave him by himself in the house without too much mischief although he did chew up the pizza box this morning when we went out for breakfast. He is totally house broken and has yet to have an accident.  He loves to be brushed and get a grooming every day.

Thanks again for your dedication to saving such wonderful animals such as Max. You both have helped make our family complete. Please feel free to stop by for a visit if you are ever in Naples.

Karen and Joe

Hi Erik

Just a note, In just two days Marley has gone from total detachment no tail wagging no interest in anything not following either one of us around to pleasantly today he has stuck to my side all day.  His tail is starting to wag and he has a little pep in his step and was playing a little bit today.   He has gotten some really good rest last nite and today. I am taking him back to see your vet tomorrow for her to hopefully pack his ears.  I have an appointment with my vet for him on Friday for a once over and a good bath.   I will keep you posted on his progress and send some progress pictures thru.  The little bit of pep I saw in him today made me cry.  So happy to see him like that.  He's in there and I know it will take time but I can see in his eyes that he is very grateful.  Thank you again for bringing him into our lives.  I can assure you he will get the best care and love.  Can't wait to see him in a few months


Happy Memorial Day!

Well, Max is free from all the staples and is doing very well. The incision was less than optimal as the vet who did the neutering had overlapped the skin instead of butted the two cut ends together so there this a little skin flap but Max does not care nor do we as long as it is healed. He is a bundle of energy and loves the yard. He does great with fetch the ball and he is getting lots of exercise early morning and after 7 PM when it is cooler. He understands "Wait" "OK" "Sit" and we are working on "Down", "Settle" and "Stay". We met with Michelle on Saturday evening and we are in the process of setting up the training days. She is great and we are excised to get started. We got a collar that sits around Max's nose and he is getting used to that and we also got the Martingale collar as well. I was working in my garden on Saturday and Max jumped in and started to dig in the freshly turned soil. He was just trying to help and he got himself pretty dirty. Well, I thought how about a bath? So I single handedly shampooed him and he just loved it! No pulling or running away - he's a  real water dog!  He is so happy to be wherever we are and we love him to be with us too. He is very good when we are both away and has not chewed up anything since the pizza box incident. He does like to move shoes around however so now we are putting our shoes out of reach.  We are doing to introduce him to the dremel trimmer tonight. His nails are so nice and short and we want to keep them that way.  Max is intrigued with the lizards that we have around here and he loves chasing the birds that we feed. So far he hasn't caught anything yet. Time will tell......

It is hard to believe that we have only had him for two weeks and he has adapted so well to our household. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to adopt Max. Our hearts are full.

Best Wishes

Karen, Joe and Max

Hi Erik and Lou Anne,

I hope this email finds you both well. Lou Anne, Joe and I just wanted to thank you again for traveling to Georgia to get Max for us. Erik, thank you for bring Max and us together. He is great and we love him so much. We took him to the vet just to see how his staples were holding up as he was dropping blood still on Weds. The vet put in a few more staples and put him an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic as a precaution. He is so full of energy and 80 lbs! It is hard to keep him from romping around but he does love his bean bag chairs and going for calm walks around our property.

Today was gardening day so Joe hooked up a line between two trees and hooked his leash on the line so that he could run back an forth but not get away from us. It worked well and while we were pulling up my spent Brussels sprouts, he was laying in the grass and/or on his mat watching us work. He loves to pick up sticks and pine cones and carry them around the yard so I am sure he would have been in the dirt with us had we let him.

The first few nights he wanted to play all night and most he would sleep would be 2 hours and then it was play time. (did I hear "that's when the crate comes in handy???") He is getting much more acclimated to our routine now and is even learning some commands like sit, stay, wait, ok and his favorite... NO! Joe is starting some of the training now but we will enrolling a class as soon as his staples are out. We can leave him by himself in the house without too much mischief although he did chew up the pizza box this morning when we went out for breakfast. He is totally house broken and has yet to have an accident.  He loves to be brushed and get a grooming every day.

Thanks again for your dedication to saving such wonderful animals such as Max. You both have helped make our family complete. Please feel free to stop by for a visit if you are ever in Naples.

Karen and Joe

Hello Erik.  Hope all is well.  I just wanted to let you know that Nero is doing great.  He is our best friend!  Thank you for all your help in the past.  

Best regards,


.     Hi Eric,

Just a little update on my Loki.

I've had some health issues so I did not get back to you as promised (broke hip in February and major surgery in July).    However I did have a complete health check with bloodwork done by new vet before I went for my surgery, everything came back good except for a uti. Which we treated.   So now all I have to say is that Loki is the BEST dog ever,  still can't believe that his owners gave him up.

Thank You for all that you do for the dogs.     Peggy

Hi Eric,

I just wanted to update you on Kathrine’s (Katniss) progress since she came into our lives.  We moved to Myakka City, from Bradenton about a year and a half ago.  Katniss and Maxx her big brother now had 10 acres to call home, they were free to run and roam as they choose.  

Unfortunately Maxx passed last year but not before we rescued a very young GSD mix.  Brutus was weaned too early and in need of a good home with a loving/ nurturing mother figure.  Katniss turned out to be the perfect mom.  She raised him as if he were her own pup and they have been inseparable ever since.  

We are so grateful to you and Diane for the services you provide for these amazing creatures.  I often joke that I love all my children (which includes the four legged ones) but I actually like the furry ones!  Katniss, Maxx and Brutus have brought us joy every day and we can’t imagine our lives without them.

Thank you!


Erik and Diane

I just want to thank you so much for what you have done for me!! You filled a hole or void whatever it may be called in my life and my heart that has been empty for over 20 years.  I have been checking your website almost every day for about a year and a half now, looking for that one dog that hits me. Yes there have been dogs that I would see and think huummm maybe I should call about this one? But never did. Then Saturday night when I got home from work and checked the web site and there she was… Tara, I knew right then I could see she was that one dog I had been waiting for to come into my life. I called to Cecile (my wife) and said this is her, this is the one!!  I then said we have to email them and see what we have to do to get her. (did not want to call you and wake you up at 12:30 at night)

Well it all worked out, you made it happen for us and we are so thankful.  As for Ms. Tara she is doing fantastic!! She is all and so much more then we could have ever hoped she would be. We do not know if it is possible to give a dog too much love but we are testing the limits and trying to see if we can, and she is doing the same giving that love back to us.

 I know you both know you are doing a great thing and touching so many lives and saving so many great dogs in the process.  I don’t think you will ever understand how many human lives you are changing for the better too and how deeply. I am sure with all the dog lives you have saved there are probably more than a few human lives you have saved also.  As Cecile said to me tonight “Ever since Tara came into your live you are a much happier person”, and I must agree!!!

Thank you for enriching and making our lives so much better and happier.

 God bless

Doug and Cecile

And little tiny sis Bandit

Yes the funny thing is Bandit is like a new dog, she is happier and more loving than she has ever been as she leads Tara around and they play.

Thank you Eric, I will call tomorrow didn't want to call this late.

Thanks again they are both getting along so greatly.

Can hardly wait to see how they progress with some training behind them.


Hi Eric!

This is Laurie Crowell. I adopted Chance (aka Taco, Talladro) from from you almost 2 yrs ago. He was so messed up when I got him,stitches, heart worms, hookworms, and under weight. Anyways this is him now. The best walking buddy ever! Thanks so much for this beauty????

Yes, Erik, that's a great thought, regarding writing up a story, and I'll absolutely do that.  I'm hoping that we'll have a report soon as to the status of his injury.  Before and after pix would round out the story nicely.  Too bad we can't add "scratch-n-sniff" to his story/pictures.  That poor soul had been sitting/laying in his urine and feces, and the smell was so strong that my eyes were watering.  Can you imagine the effect it has on those pups with their keen senses of smell!!!!  My sorrow for him was overwhelming.

CONGRATULATIONS!  I'm marking my calendar for November 4, and short of feast, famine, family death (God forbid), or zombies (Ha!), I'll be there.  I'd be honored to support your, and Diane's, wonderful cause and accomplishments, and will posting the event on my page,  and on that of Daytona German Shepherd Rescue (formerly known as Team German Shepherd Rescue), and sharing with friends.  Thank you so much for the invitation, and I very much look forward to meeting you both, as well as, all affiliated with this great event.

Beside thanking you profusely for all that you've done for this pup, and all that you've done for countless others, I ask that you kindly tuck my name and phone numbers away in the event that you have need in my area (central FL).  I'd be happy to follow up with pix on any dogs in my area, transport, or pull them out of AC on your behalf.  And, now that the red tape of acquiring pulling privileges is done in Polk County, if you find a pup in need that you feel you can provide for, please don't hesitate to call on me.  I will also be putting a donation in the mail this week for your rescue.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!


On a positive note, Izzy has had a great summer.  She has been in 12 weeks of obedience and tracking classes.  She loves tracking.  She has done some agility, some rally, and a bit of herding.  She loves kids and is enjoying playing with other dogs.  She is a great swimmer and keeps the ducks off our beach. She needs lots of exercise, and is enjoying lots of new things. She is much better in the car, and is much better with men, including my husband.  We are very proud of the strides that she has made.  She sends hugs and dog kisses to all!

Hope we will be in town for the ribbon cutting.


Dear Mr Hoffer

Words cannot express my gratitude to you and your organization for allowing me to adopt Lexy. She fulfills my needs perfectly and responds to me without hesitation. She is very intelligent and often seems to know what i want before i do.  She has three balls in my house, one in the living room, one in my bedroom and a full size bed in my second bedroom. She gives all three of them equal time when she wants to nap. She gets along great with my cat and my 3.5 pound Pomeranian and i find I can leave her alone in the house with them and not worry about any accidents. Lexy is a joy to live with and she has become my best friend and my constant companion. She is friendly to everyone and only barks when someone comes to the door. She filled a large void in my life and has truly enhanced the quality of my life and for that I cannot thank you enough.



Hi Eric

I just watched your video and that reminded me that I haven't talked to you in a while I just wanted to let you know that piper and molly are doing great piper has turned out to be a very loving girl she must have been really mentally abused from the previous owner it took a long time to build her trust but they both have turned out to be fantastic girls thanks again for letting us share in your cause to rehabilitate these wonderful pets they deserve the best.

Thanks again

Marty and Sally


Wanted to apologize for not making it today for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the AWL. I have been battling pnemonia for the past month and can't seem to shake it   Chip and I are so grateful we have met you and Diane and we have great admiration for all you two do to save so many pups.   We are so grateful for Marley he has enriched our lives tremendously    As soon as I can get back on my feet we will take a ride up and see the new facilities as my Mom had also requested I purchase a couple more of your books.  She wants to make sure all the grand kids have one.  Also Lola is doing very well and she seems to be the perfect fit for them.


Chip & Linda, Tucker  & Marley

Hey Erik,

I was just thinking about Gunner the other day and wanted to thank you and your family for helping him find a great home. You saved his life!



Hi Erik and Diane!

This is Sandra Cruz.  We adopted Sadie (white GSD) back in Feb 2015.  Just wanted to update you that we moved back to Miami as of June due to work and family circumstances.  Sadie is doing amazing!! She is the sweetest and definitely by best friend; I say, she rescued me!!

I hope you are all doing well!!! I simply wanted to give you an update on Sadie and how she is.  Again, we couldn't thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to adopt her.  I attached some recent pictures of her; enjoy!  


The Cruz

Just wanted to let you know that Annie is doing fantastic! We love her so much and so thankful that you chose us to adopt her!  Hope all is well with you guys! Craig started a new business! We are on Linkenin as well as Facebook. Seabreeze Odor Removal, Inc! Please feel free to follow us, like us on Facebook and share!  Have a great rest of your week! Becca

Good Morning and we hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyed with thankfulness, good food and friendship. And, PS: Your fine 4 legged friends

Achilles is a fine dog bringing us much pleasure. We extend our thanks to you for your dedication and fine work with German Shepherds in need.

The attached  letter is offered as thanks, and as an expression of appreciation, for the work you do.

Achilles coat is growing in and in short order I will send a picture of her. Our best for the holidays,

Peggy and Jim


November 22, 2015

A month has passed since (with your help) we adopted the playful three year old German Shepherd Achilles. She is bringing much joy to our home.

As I reflect back on the day before Achilles came home with us I was recovering for eye surgery and very aware of our desire to have another German Shepherd. So, I sat at the computer and perused the dogs on the   South West Florida German Shepherd Rescue website (swflgsdrescue) . One of the dogs spoke to me and I emailed Erik Hoffer to inquire about a 3 year old female Shepherd. Jim and I had thought about another GS for some time and it was only recently that we were talking more seriously about a rescue.

Within an hour after my email was sent off the Erik Hoffer at the (swflgsdrescue) I received more information on Achilles. Now I was even more intrigued and my husband and I were getting excited about the possibility of again having a dog in our life. The following day we met with Erik and he prepared us to have our first, and forever, meeting with Achilles. Erik walked us through how Achilles would initially respond to us. During our introduction to Achilles Erik coached us on how to allow Achilles to approach us. He shared what we could expect as Achilles was adjusting to her new home, community and routine. And, as we have traveled the last four weeks Erik words have rang true and we are fortunate to have this great dog as a part of our family. Achilles offers much affection and she is a very well trained lovable dog.

We want to thank South West Florida German Shepherd Rescue (swflgsdrescue) for uniting us with this lively addition to our home.  We were, and are, delighted with the guidance and supportive process that we received when we reached out to swflgsdrescue. One day we were reaching out looking for a GS and, the next day with the help of Erik Hoffer, Achilles was on her way home with us.

Achilles has been with us a month now and to our delight she well trained, loves walks and car rides and is fitting into our home. She is affectionate and yes, protective.

 Jim and I, and this wonderful dog, thank you Erik for your passion and commitment to the adoption and rescue process.  We would like to let Derek and Kate English know that Achilles is loved and she is a gift that has brought a spirit of liveliness and fun into our home. We also appreciate their ongoing information about Achilles health, food, favorite toys and habits.

Peggy and Jim

Hope all is well with you and Diane, Tana is a Great dog with great personality and still does her job as a protector. She loves people and other dogs! Glad I found you guys to bring happiness  back to me and family after the loss off another great shepherd. Thanks again. Bob

Hi Erik,

You may not remember me.  My name is Kim and I adopted a beautiful senior german shepherd from your organization in March 2014.  He had several health problems when he came to you, including severe elbow and hip displasia.  He also had a malignant tumor on his side, and your organization graciously covered the cost of the surgery to remove it.

Rickey is now 9 years old, and we have had a wonderful 2 years together.  However this weekend he stopped eating.  The vet did some x-rays yesterday and it seems that all of his internal organs have been pushed to one side and to the top of his internal cavity. The vet speculated that it is probably due to a mass that is growing and pushing the organs out. He offered additional tests including an ultrasound and some blood work to gather more information, but  I declined----it seems like kind of a moot point, given the x-ray, his age and other health problems.  I wasn't ready to put him down yesterday and he didn't seem ready to give up. So he is home with me now drinking lots of water and he's eating for me, particularly if it's chix or hot dogs and I hand feed him. ????I'm not sure how much time he has left, but I will cherish the remaining time.  My main concern is that he doesn't suffer.

I want to thank you for giving me such a wonderful dog, and I hope that I am doing right by him .  I will adopt another german shepherd down the road and I hope I can work with you again to find just the right dog for me.

Best wishes to you and your wife for the holiday season.

Kind regards,


Hi Erik,

Just some info on Molly.  The flea dermatitis is 100% gone, hair is very soft and wavy.  Some undercoat starting to reappear.  She is doing very well ... a true pleasure to have as a member of the family.  Loves her treats, meals are a celebration for her.  Very happy girl, but the resident squirrels are not happy !  We love her a lot!!

We are planning on having the umbilical hernia repaired in February.  At the same time we will have her spayed.  She was an intact female and came into heat about 21/2 weeks ago.

So that is the update on the Star of your video.  We will keep you posted the happenings in the Molly World.

We wish you a safe and Happy New Year!

Dennis, JoAnne, Rocky the rottenweiler, and Little Miss Molly


Thank you so very much for taking the time with my son, Brian. Listening to him and responding.  Of course we are all devastated for Brian. I cried, his gramma cried. We all love JD as he is a part of our family and a grandpuppy.  We would have loved to have been able to help if we had been in a position to, would not have hesitated for a second. As much as it hurts and trust me, Brian is broken hearted over this, he knows he had no choice. JD's bio is awesome. We all had a cry over that as well.  He will do well in another house.  He loves to be the center of attention an when he lived out with me in Lehigh for a time he loved to be trained. It only took a few times to show him a command and he had it. He is very intelligent.  He would sit and I'd point at him and say BANG and he'd flop over on his side lol. But, as I was saying, we are so thankful to you and your rescue place. Without it I don't know what Brian would have done. It's so scary out there anymore with having to rehome a pet. All the horror stories you hear and read about.  I know you will find a great family for JD to become a part of.  I hope they allow Brian to keep in touch.  If not, I understand though.  Once again my gratitude to you and what you are doing.  I'm basically poor however if I can assist with time and volunteer work please let me know. I live in Cape Coral.


Hi Erik:

I adopted "Baby Ava" last September when she was 8 months old.. She is a wonderful dog. As you know she was pretty much without manners and any obedience training. She has always had an abundance of affection. You can't teach that. After obedience school and constant reinforcement she now responds well to most hand/voice commands (still working on "leave it"). She sits in front of her food until I give her the ok to eat. She lays down by the dinner table while I eat. (no begging). She trots by my bike for a 2 mile ride every morning at 7:00 with the gentle leader .  I barely have to hold the leash. The bike run is followed everyday with 20 minutes of Frisbee. (she is obsessed with Frisbee). I drop her off every Wednesday at Country Inn Pet Resort (owned in part by Cesar Milan) where she socializes all day with 10 other dogs in her group and swims in the pool.

In the beginning she was a real handful. She is still progressing and not where we ultimately want to be. It took several weeks for her to understand that I am the  Alpha and she is Beta. All positive reinforcement. Gently correct bad behavior and praise and reward good behavior. She responded. Like most things in life... the rewards are proportionate to the investment. The more quality time put in one on one yields a happy obedient dog.

Thank you again for the "Match" with Baby Ava.


Steve and Joanie  are delighted to welcome Ranger to the family! Tho' we have only had Ranger in our lives for a few days, he has won our hearts completely!

We want to thank Eric Hoffer for finding us the perfect German Shepherd, and for former mom Melissa for raising him so lovingly up to this point. He has obviously been cherished, and he will continue to be so...

Today is Ranger's first birthday... He has had toys presented, songs sung ,kisses and hugs given from 2 adults and 3 grandchildren.. And we are just getting started!????????????

Steve and I have always loved German Shepherds... We had our last one about 15 years ago. We weren't able to keep a Shepherd in a condo on Ft Myers Beach, but we have recently purchased a home in Cape Coral.... With a fenced yard and doggie door; we think God was sending us a message!

We interviewed with Eric, and he promised he would find the perfect match..thank you, Eric, you certainly did!

Ranger does SO many things perfectly! He has the greatest kiss, loves his kennel for sleeping, adores people.... Both big and small, runs like a Gazelle, is totally house broken , and craves snuggle time!

Area for improvement: becoming socialized with dogs.....woof... We are going for obedience training!! ????????

He is just a pup with in-bounding energy, but he is going for long walks every day and chases the ball at least four times a day.

He eats well, sleeps through the night , kisses on command .. And basically fills our hearts with joy!

Thank you, Eric!

Most Sincerely,

Joan and Stephen

Good Morning Eric,

I hope your day has started out well.

First we wanted to say think you again for everything you did to help find Addison for us. Last night was a very good first night in the house. She ate right when we got home and she took her meds really well. She spent the night in bed with us and just relaxed. The kids woke up this morning and were doing everything they could to get her attention and play with her. Thus far she has been very calm and relaxed.

She has only gone pee so far but we know it will take a little time for her to relax enough to be comfortable. She has had a lot of changes in a very short period of time.

When you find out what food she eats can you please find out about snacks as well. We have milk bones but she has no interest in them.

The only other thing we would like is the information to start training classes this weekend. Again when you can please let us know who to contact and where to go.

Thank you very much for everything you have done. If the next two weeks goes anything like the last 12 hours Addison will have a great home and will be a wonderful addition to our family,

Warm Regards,


Next, Addison is doing great. She is starting to adjust to her new surroundings and trust us. For the first couple days she was very timid but she is now running around the house, playing, and following us around to see what is going on. Everyone that meets her just adores her and falls in love with right away. She is a great addition to our family.

With that being said we see no reason why we would not keep her. So here is our thoughts on getting your cage, lead, a copy of her records, and the two checks to you. After class next Sunday can we come and drop everything off at your house. I assuming it will only take 10 minutes or so to get to your house from the training field so we will be there around 1145am.

Please let me know if that works for you.

Again thank you for everything you have done. It is amazing on what having a pet does for the family.



Hi just thought I would update  on Dutch Cannon he is doing great. His activities  are watching the farm at night keeping 12 hogs inline which he does well and most of the time he goes with me or one of the crew members to work during the day.  On the weekend  he is really busy playing with my cousins kids that live down the street helping me with the nursery ( alerting me when costumers  come in)  He has proven to be a great friend and asset  to our family and business thanks again John

We can't believe you have been with us for 4 years. If not for the German Shepherd Rescue of Southwest Florida and Eric and Diane we never would have found you. You were an emaciated pup in a shelter about to be euthanized. If it were not for the German Shepherd Rescue and the efforts of Eric and Diane to give these beautiful dogs a second chance you would not be here with us today Look at the handsome man you have become. We love you and can't imagine life without you.

Hi Erik and Di,

Just saw Diesel on you website and was wondering his age.

Also wanted to send some pix of Loki. We are doing our community training now for service dog and he is doing tremendously well. We are so in tune I swear sometimes we read each others minds. It hasn't always been an easy road but we have succeeded. He's turning into a wonderful service dog for my anxiety issues and I will forever be greatful to you both for him. Hope all is well with you two. Love and Loki hugs, Linda and Loki

We couldn't be happier with Theo! And I hope he feels the same about us. He's a bit shy still, but he is warming up as he is getting acclimated. He is still so sweet with our daughter - we know we made the right choice. And despite finding the one hole in our fence (it has been closed)  he loves being outside and running around.

I re-registered the chip so that we are now associate with the tag.

One thing we have noticed is that he tends to get a bit skiddish at times, like he may not have been treated all that well at one point, poor guy. Yesterday I moved quickly to get something from evie and Theo acted like I was going after him.  We'll keep giving him rubs and love and hopefully he'll learn that we are a safe place.

Thank you so much for your help in bringing us our new family addition.


Hi Erik,  just wanted to let you know that Bella is adjusting really well.  She is such a good, obedient, sweet dog.  She and Yeager get along great and she has begun to really show affection to me also.

We are going to Edgewater the end of this month to visit my sister.  Her son has a photography business and he is going to do some pics of the dogs while we're there.  I will email you a copy.

Thanx for allowing me to be the lucky person who got to adopt Bella.


Hi Erik,

Just wanted to keep you updated on our progress with Clewy, now Jasmine. She has really made herself at home here, which is fantastic. We had a few potty accidents at the beginning, but we are trying to keep her on a regulated schedule and that seems to be helping a lot. She is making great progress. We have also signed her up for obedience training through the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She and I actually begin classes this evening (we were supposed to start last week but the trainer came down with the flu and postponed for this week).

I also had a question on her medical records. I've been looking through them because I need to email them to the trainer, and I noticed that under name it says Dotty and under breed it says German Shepherd/Mix. Was just wondering if she is a mix because we believed her to be purebred. Not that we will love her any less, she's already a member of the family, but just wanted to make sure in terms of healthcare, etc. She looks so purebred.

Also, we are still waiting with bated breath for her ears to come up. We literally look every single day for any signs that they are going to stand up. They've twitched up a few times but still nothing yet. We are still hoping they will come up by her first birthday. Or we are wondering if we may have to prop them up, which we know is a bit tricky.

Anyway, just wanted to say that we love our Jasmine and are so happy she is in our lives. I also have some pictures here because I remember you did say that since you deal with so many dogs and families, it's impossible to keep track - understandable!

And if you can let me know again about her medical history, that would be great. Thanks!


Hi Erik,

I have been keeping a close eye on your website since December, and I was particularly touched by your reflections on your two recent dilemmas with GSD rescue.   You run your organization with amazing integrity.  While that  isn't the same as perfection, in my opinion it is a more demanding standard, because it's actually achievable.  Maintaining one's integrity is an ongoing exercise in honesty and modesty--behaviors that can sometimes be a big struggle for us humans to master. Don't beat yourself up over these two exceptional situations. In the end it comes down to intention--you had the best of intentions for all parties involved, and you did your best.  And your best is pretty darn good, since each dog is getting another chance with a new pack.   It would probably be a healthy exercise for all of the adults involved to closely examine the integrity that characterized their decisions and behavior in each unfortunate episode.  As for the dogs and the kids affected...they are resilient and will find a way to thrive going forward. ????

I look forward to working with you to find me a new companion soon!  I have a couple of trips scheduled in May and June...and then I'll be ready to commit to staying put again in Englewood, and to having a new GSD join me.  



Hi Erik;

I just thought I'd check in and give you a Rosa update and pic.  Rosa is through all her ailments. The vet still wants her on prednisone for a while yet. She's 20lbs. heavier than the day we picked her up and we couldn't ask for a more grateful and loving shepherd.

Thank you for your rescue and all you do for German Shepherds.

Joe & Paula

Erik, I want to encourage you in your adoptions! We adopted a very large black and brown long haired Gsd from you. Heart worm positive and with fistulas. Underweight and quite unhealthy. You got the call from ft Myers kill shelter. I had asked about a dog named Max, but evidently you remembered I asked about a long haired GSD. We met at your place and what we named Vader came out of back of your suv and about shocked me with his size! Shocked my wife also when I got home! She wanted me to bring him back!

We spent a large amount of money on this dog, he is amazing! Beautiful, loves my grandchildren, and very protective. Erik, you did an amazing job matching us up! Thank you!

Jim and Quincy

Dear Erik and Diane,

One year ago today we met Max (aka Knox) at your Punta Gorda home and it was love at first sight. He is such a joy for us and growing into a fine GSD. He is so smart and a constant companion for Joe (who he thinks makes the sun rise and set every day) and myself (who bakes him his special peanut butter pumpkin cookies and brushes him every night). He has become so helpful around the yard as we garden and loves to carry limbs "from" the pile to various parts around the property, thinking that is the best way to "get organized". We are working on teaching him to fetch the limbs and bring them "to the pile" and maybe even the garbage can, but maybe we are expecting too much!   

We have gotten him re-micro chipped with second chip since all of our efforts to get the breeder to transfer the chip registration to us failed. That is the only thing that keep us up at night....the rare case that he might be taken from us if he ever got outside the fence. We have a fully fenced in 1.5 acres and along with that there also is an invisible fence around the perimeter which Max religiously observes but with two chips in him what would be the chances that the original chip was detected first and then the breeder would be notified before us???   

Maybe we are too obsessive but he is such a big part of our family and we love him so. We want to thank you for choosing us for his new family and if you are ever in the Naples area, please give us a ring so we can show him off to you. We are just a few short blocks from the I 75 interstate and easy to find.

Well he's officially Max the Bear and we usually just call him Bear because when he came to us between the way he lumbered around and his fuzzy look he truly looked like a bear.  This picture was taken with Athena back in March and I am just so thrilled with how he smiles all the time now.  I thought you would like to see his smile too.

He spends a lot of time on the couch ( of which he takes up a bug portion of).  He took to the raw diet wonderfully and it has done wonders for his coat and teeth.

We've recently learned that he appears to be very protective of small children.  He is very gentle with them and doesn't mind them being around him but a neighbor dog came running up to the fence to bark at one little guy and he wasn't having any part of that.


I wanted to let you know that Koshi has settled into his new home extremely well. He is an awesome dog. He does his business in same spot back of the yard and he is walking very well on the leash. It took about 4 days and now he walks right by my side. He seems  to handle new introductions to people very well.

I took him to the dog park yesterday and he did well. He met 2 other dogs and for the most part checked them out and wasn't too alarmed. He's eating well and his coat is doing very well with no issues. He loves his daily brushing.

I haven't started obedience classes just yet. I want him to be introduced to new things slowly over time.

Also he stayed home with full access to the house While I was at work with no issues what so ever.

He is an amazing dog.




I forwarded your information to friends who recently lost one of their shepherds and are considering another.


Thor is doing great and is such a wonderful part of our family! He goes running with me at least 3 mornings a week now, only up to 4 miles. I take longer runs on my own so I don't overdo him with this heat. Having him as my running partner actually probably saved me last week. See, I have to run before the sun even thinks about coming up and we were going down the sidewalk and came upon an overturned trash can (it was trash day). Low and behold, about 3 feet away I just made out this shoulder-high black figure when Thor turned and woofed... a huge bear got up and lumbered back into the woods we had just run past!!! Needless to say, I am so thankful to have had my running partner with me!!! Not to mention, Thor is the BEST thing that could have happened for Marley!!! She runs around like a pup again and is in great shape too! :) I wanted to write and tell you about coco and the things that she is doing and that she has done in the last 2 years that I have had her. She is a real couch potato I let her sleep anywhere that she wants to she had some issues when I got her but she has adapted well and has become so attached to us that when I leave the house Judy says that she sits by the door that I went out of and cries for a little while but eventually she will settle down. Our daughter and her two boys came to visit 2 years ago after we got her and the youngest boy is type 1 diabetic and she knew it the minute he came in the house. She attached herself to him and kept watch on him the whole time that he was here. When they were in the pool she was right there watching and making sure that they were safe she would bark at them if they were splashing around in the pool she does not like that. When I am in the pool she is right there watching me if I go under water she is barking at me before I get to the other end of the pool I have to let her know that I am ok. Our oldest granddaughter came home with the wife last year and coco just like the time before with the 2 boys was very protective when she was in the pool. Amber would try to run and jump in the pool and coco would block her Amber would try to side step her and coco would move right along with her. We walk twice a day in the morning and at night I have gotten her in the habit of walking without me holding onto her leash and she stays with me sometimes she will get stubborn and will stop walking and lay down so I just keep on walking I get about 20 feet from her and she gets up and runs to catch up. If I stop and talk to someone she lies down and is very patiently waiting to continue our walk. One time not to long ago I was talking with one of the other guys that I know that was walking his dog and then another couple came along with 2 little Yorkies and one of them was barking at coco and she never said anything when we started to walk the yorkie was snarling and barking at here and baring its teeth at here and she decided that enough was enough and she let loose that little dog couldn't get away fast enough and we all had a good laugh about that and praised her for giving that little dog the dickens. I want to thank you for letting me give her a forever home that she so richly deserved she has given us so much joy. We went to Conn. this year and took her with us and she was a hit one of our friends daughter is moving to Ariz. and she wanted to take her with her and you know that I would not let that happen. Another of our friends was having an in house tag sale and she just lied down on the living room floor and everybody that came in asked if the dog was for sale I guess they were impressed by how well behaved she was. We stayed in a hotel while we were there and they commented how well behaved she was and did not even bark if anyone walked by the room. Well I guess that I have said all that I can about her but I wanted to write this to let you know how well she is doing. Again thank you. Bruce Hi Erik, There’s not a lot of exciting stuff to say. She has never really recovered from heartworm because she’s very sedentary and gets winded quickly. I am not sure what terrible environment she grew up in but to this day, she is still scared of people. She is very gentile and has been great with the kids. She is also very well behaved and smart. She knows what you want from her: she can ‘read’ your thoughts (or maybe your body language) and she does what you ask willingly. I am very happy to have her, she has been awesome. She is so noble that she actually will step aside and let my smaller dog in to eat from her food bowl. I have never seen that before! If there’s a dog heaver she’s certainly a shoe in. Cheers, Miguel Just wanted to thank you again for an amazing dog. Heidi has lived up to the breed qualities you told us about at her adoption. It has been wonderful to see her progress from the scared anxious dog to the assured service dog she has become. She continues to work hard to train us into better people. Hopefully she is as happy with our progress as we are with hers. Dear Eric & Diane, This is Cecile Gelb Tara's mom. I am not sure if you had received my message about a couple of months ago. I wanted to let you know how thankful I am to have Tara in my life, we lost Doug on the 15th of June. It was unexpected and I was left reeling, my whole world off kilter. Tara has been my rock and I thank God every day that I have her here with me. Sincerely, -- Cecile "CC" Greetings, Erik, We just wanted to let you know that our first week with Sugar has gone well and we’re so glad we’ve made her a part of our family! She did wonderfully on the ride to her new home, and we think she’s really taken to her new pack. We’re settling well into our routines together. She’s doing much better with her commands and obedience, she’s less anxious when any or all of us leave, and enjoys playing with all of us. It took a few days, like we talked about, for her to really begin to settle, but she seems content, and we think she’ll only continue to settle in. We’ve been working with her not to jump when one of us first comes home, and she’s doing much better. Though still excitable when we come in, and definitely playful, she is a sweetheart and we can’t imagine how anyone would give her up. We remembered the posting about her that she responded better to men, but Diane has made a lot of efforts to build a relationship with Sugar, brushing her, playing, taking walks, etc and Sugar is doing well with her. When she plays with her ball or the other couple of toys we have, she’ll wrestle with each of us one by one or take turns bringing the ball to each of us. She is truly fantastic with our daughter, Myra, and we’ve enjoyed watching how much Myra is growing in learning about and taking care of her dog. Sugar is the first one she looks for in the morning, and Sugar knows where Myra is at all times! :) We have one of those rope toys and it’s neat to watch how well Sugar does tugging Myra on the other end, or how Sugar responds when something has happened and Myra is upset. We’ve been working with Myra on giving commands to Sugar and both she and Sugar have done well, they’ll be a pair! We visited one of the vets we’d been recommended to, and really like her and the office. Sugar did well at her visit, and she is officially confirmed as a healthy dog. They also recommended a good trainer, and we plan to call her Monday so we can continue to refresh Sugar’s basics and strengthen her ties with us. We really couldn’t be happier. We’re so glad we found SWFLGSD Rescue and a special dog like Sugar! Thank you again! David & Diane Erik Hope this email finds you doing well. Atlas is doing great and his manners are getting better all the time. However, I don't think he will ever realize how big he is. He thinks he is a lap dog and loves to snuggle with the kids. His relationship with the kids is finally to a point where I can trust him and them to make good choices around each other and he herds them like his little flock. :) All that to say that the girls especially have bonded with him and recently did a lemonade stand to earn money for some things they wanted. They decided they wanted to send half the money to you and the rescue to help take care of other dogs who don't have a home yet. Where would you like me to send the check? It isn't much but I know every little bit helps. Thanks for what you do Julie story of a foster failure: Hi Erik, We are excited about keeping Jody too. Thanks for saving her and covering the HW treatment. I will call Gulf Coast on Monday. Jody just fits right into our family. Unfortunately for you, we will have to stop fostering for a while as we get her fixed up. We still want to remain part of the dog group so please keep us up to speed on any dog events you and the group will be attending. We are so glad you had a good time at your party and we are honored to be friends with you and Diane. I only wish we could have stayed later, but a prior commitment to get the grandkids to St. Petersburg early Saturday made it prudent for us to leave early. So...we will keep you posted on what's happening with Jody and the vet. Is there any paperwork we need to fill out with you in order to keep her? I will also contact Ida from Caloosa to let her know the outcome, I think she'll be happy. Whoohoo! Guess we can't use "Jody Foster " anymore...lol. Thanks a gazillion Erik! Sue Erik, Wanted to let you know about Ginger. She is thriving and happy. She has gained her weight and her coat is beautiful. She is wonderful with the kids and has started getting protective of them. She gets along great with people and dogs. Before, I could not get her into the car, now, every time I grab my keys she is waiting at the door to go for a ride. Ginger has come a long way and we are thrilled with this sweet new addition to our family. Thanks again, George Hi Erik, Thought you would like some of these pictures. Lola is doing great! Fitting in well. She is playing so nice with Ellie and Candi. Our vet checked her out and other than having to gain a little weight she is doing good. Our vet just loved her. Lola is very active outside with us but really just relaxes when she's inside. I don't ever think we had a 2 y/o dog that was this calm inside. Lol She is eating good. Maybe when she gains some weight she will become a little more energetic inside. I have to take her in two weeks to weigh her again to make sure she is gaining weight. They cut her nails and she was a very good girl. Everyone in Petco couldn't believe how well behaved she was for her age. I did get the paperwork in the mail....Thank You. I see the chip number on the paperwork but how do I go online and change the address for it? Is there a website or a phone number I should call? Once Lola settles in more I will be calling to schedule the 6 week training. Thanks again. We love her! Dawn Hi. Eric Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that we lost are beloved molly yesterday afternoon to cancer she will be truly missed. She didn't make it long enough to see the new house as we will be moving in the next two weeks. Piper is still doing well fat and sassy and really turned into a great dog it just goes to show that with patience and love you can turn an animals life around for the good regardless of how some people have treated them before you get them. Hope you have a great thanksgiving. Marty and Sally Erik - My thanks to you and your wife for the great work you do with the German Shepherd Rescue. I just found your website. My wife and I have had two GSDs, one we adopted from an animal shelter and another from the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue (MAGSR) when we live in the Wash DC area. We live in St Pete Beach now. Sadly, both have passed on (both from old age). The second one, Lady, just a few weeks ago. While we are not yet ready for another GSD, I do want to make a donation to your organization. I was touched by your write-up on Ford. I see he needs a tripod. Happy to fund it or help fund it. How much is something such as that for one that is very good and very effective? Also, is there anything else he needs that we could help fund to make him more adoptable or to make his life easier? Tx Tom Attached is our Christmas letter and photos (which include Major). He traveled well (in the crate that John, the trainer highly recommended). He is eating well (the better dog food that John recommended and which we get from Animal Luvrs). He is HANDSOME and we love him. There was not room in the crate for his Fl. bed.... so we put towels in the crate bottom for the trip. But once we got to Virginia, we went out and bought him a bed for here!!! He LOVES running in the field up front and I wish I could 'clock his speed'...... Merry Christmas to you and Diane and our 'hat is off to the two of you for the good work you do and the blessing you are to the dogs and their new owners/companions! Mary Frances and Robin Here she is . in the group photo she was more interested in me and the ball . Nolen feel asleep on her and she just let him sleep for about 5 min. I can't say thank you enough for placing her with us . I'm telling all my vet. Friends about you and how great you are with the dogs and that your a vet. Too. Hopefully you can place more with good vets that need help like this . God bless my friend . Hi Erik! I just wanted to give you an update on Lola. I know I called you a while back asking you questions about Lola trying to dominate over our older dog Candi. Your help and advice was really appreciated. As you expected, things have leveled out and they have all found their place in the pack. They all get along great now and play and even sleep and eat together. Lola has done so well fitting into our family. She is such a joy! Ellie Mae and her have really bonded and play so well together. I will send some pictures. Lola and I are almost finished with the obedience class K9 Korral. They are wonderful there and Lola is doing great! I had no doubt...she is very smart and already knew so many commands when we got her. The instructor is so impressed at how bonded Lola is to me in the short amount of time that we have had her. She literally stares at me and wants to be right by my side. Lola has gained a little weight (she is not food driven at all...she doesn't even care about the treats at training...just giving her positive praise) but it's a slow progress with that. I want to Thank You again! We are very blessed to have Lola as part of our family. Dawn Erik, Thank you and Diane so much. Winston is a great addition to our family. Your making him familiar with us and our 2 little dust mops began a wonderful path for our future. We are so thankful to you. Lisa Dear Diane and Erik, We are eternally grateful for your judgement in pairing our gorgeous and most loving Winston with our family. Winston is an extraordinary addition in our household. Your keen understanding of both human and dog nature made it possible for us and our two dogs to immediately bond . We so love and cherish Winston. He is extremely affectionate and well behaved . You could not have been more exacting when you called, telling us of this truly magnificent dog. You were fantastic in our initial meeting . Guiding us through each critical phase you enabled us and our dogs to get acquainted and play in your most safe and caring environment. Your guidance enabled all of us to feel comfortable and secure, leading us to take Winston home with his tail wagging all the way. You were indeed meant do exactly what you are doing. There is no one better than you. There is no better a team than you. Your working together, in sync with extreme respect for each other indeed translates in your mastery in handling and in so well knowing this greatest of dog breeds. We would so like to volunteer with you and spread the word on the work which you do. We are so very happy. Most Respectfully, Drs. Lisa and Scott Thank you again Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue!! Harley is flourishing, she is eating really well and has fit right in to our home, we adore her!! Sandy our Golden and she are absolutely best buddies, constantly side by side ~ they run and play and wear each other out... We caption this picture as Grayson saying...come on now and eat Harley, we need to put some weight on you ;-) Hi Erik- We're hanging out in the backyard and thought about how grateful I am that we met. Roxie is a blessing and the reason why I smile inside all the time. She is so happy and so am I. Thank you so much, Jac Hi Erik, You are welcome to come over Wyatt's home any day and any time. Wyatt Goes Every where I go. We are never apart. He goes food shopping at Publix, goes to the doctor located in Sarasota. He goes with the family out to dinner to several restaurants we like. He does like us being separated and I feel the same way. Wyatt gets groomed just about every day of the week. There are times that he is groomed 2X in a day. He loves it. Unless I am standing next to him he will not eat. He loves to play hard and long. Wyatt also comes running with me. I cut down my run to accommodate his current physical fitness. I typically going running for about 5 miles. I have to keep an eye on him to make sure he does not over heat. We have water available to us whIle running. John and I are working on the disability stuff. When I went to K-9 training school that was not on the course material. This was 20 years ago. So John and I have a custom training course for Wyatt. I love Wyatt very much, he will get all the training he needs. His train will never end. Like me, an IT Architect and Systems Engineer retired from IBM, I will never stop learning and Wyatt will never stop learning. He takes care of me and I take care of him. Thank You again for Wyatt, my mom thanks you too. After the loss of my Garrett and Molly on December 7 my mom told me I changed and not for the better. She was afraid for me. She wanted me to get another GSD K-9. I could not channels that fast. Then you came into my life. I canceled my trip back to Los Angeles. You know the rest. Mom said after I got Wyatt I was healed and back to normal. She was afraid that this was a loss to me was so great the stress would cause a heart attack. I have heart disease so this was very plausible. Thank you again for my Wyatt Sent from Ricky's Dear Erik and Dianne, I want to update you on Gretchen in her new home. All is wonderful. I write this with a cat asleep in my lap and Gretchen sleeping beside me on a new bed. There are multiple dog beds …and cat beds. They all share and move from bed to bed. Gretchen has numerous toys, but her favorite is the blue troll doll by her nose. Her favorite outdoor toy is a ball on a rope that she holds by the rope making the ball swing wildly as she runs. She also loves soft frisbees. For treats, she loves dental chew sticks, bill jack treats or cheese. Actually, she just discovered barbecue chicken, too. She knows sit, down, come, stay, heel, back up…all in German. Well, "back up” is actually in english, but I have always found it to be a necessary part of the vocabulary. Gretchen has 3 close dog friends. She walks with two different dogs several times a week each, in different sections of my neighborhood This is a very large neighborhood with miles of walking trails. The third dog friend is a big, boisterous, male doberman who has a big field to run and play in. They have a doggie date once a week. It looks like they are in love. She has been to the dog spa twice and to the vet’s twice…just to visit. She has filled out and built muscle and her coat is glossy and full. She is a perfect guard dog. If anyone even gets to the porch, she barks loudly about 4 times. When I let them in, she is fine. Gretchen and the cats groom each other. Gretchen plays with the cats and tries to herd them, with mixed results. She certainly seems to consider them her sheep. We go to the Farmer’s Market, Petsmart and Home Depot frequently so that she continues to meet new dogs and people. She has changed from the quiet reserved girl she was a few months ago when I picked her up. She is still very sweet and loving, but she is also bouncy and playful (trotting around with her blue troll doll in her mouth), intelligent and interested in learning, and with great instincts. All of my friends love her and all who see her, admire her. I check your Facebook page and know all is well with your rescue and that your work continues. I thank you for all that you do. Sincerely, Martha Thank you so much for such a great dog! He is perfect for us, we love him all ready and he knows this is home. He is very good with our grand baby. He is learning his new name and loves cheese. April 16, 2017 Dear Erik and Diane: Camber is such a wonderful addition to our family! She adjusted to us as if she knew us forever and we certainly love her as well. She is so loving and gives us kisses freely and often. We are grateful she came to us crate trained and “potty” trained. We appreciate the personalized training you, Diane and John provided us with upon bringing Camber home. We enrolled her in formal dog training at My Buddies and John and Tom have been wonderful as well. She even had an admirer; Tom’s dog took an immediate liking to Camber; he too sensed her gentle nature. She is a fast learner and was introduced to all the doggies in her class and Camber responded well. After only a week of bringing Camber home, she not only adjusted to us but to our out-of-state friends who stayed with us for the week. Camber makes us laugh at some of the cute things she does; mischievous yet gentle at the same time. She always greets us with lots of kisses! Of course, there are a few things we need to work on; after all she is still a one and a half year old puppy. With consistent and constant reinforcement and lots of love on our part and hers; she will be well-trained soon enough. We plan on taking her wherever we go; to places that are “dog friendly”. We love Camber dearly and can’t imagine life without her; so much loving and living to do! It’s a dog’s life after all!! Thank you to everyone who made it possible for us to welcome Camber into our lives. With much gratitude and love, Josephine and Steve Hi Erik - We got one of the puppies you adopted out last year - Cash. He just turned 1 year old last Tuesday and thought I would share a few pictures with you. Thank you for all you do for these dogs - we are so happy with him. He's been through 4 obedience classes - we are taking a break now. By no means is he the best in the class, hahaha, but he is good. He LOVES other dogs - sometimes I think more than us. He has gone to doggie 'day care' 1-3 days a week since shortly after we got him for dog socialization. They always tell me how good he is with all of the dogs - he will lay down to play with the smaller dogs, but loves running with the big dogs too. His favorite activity is swimming. He loves playing fetch with any of his toys. He weighs about 75 pounds. He could eat a little more but vet is happy with his weight. We are trying a daily pepcid to see if that helps with some acid reflux he seems to have - per vet. I have attached 3 pictures. 1 swimming, 1 on the couch and 1 in what I call his 'kangaroo' pose. He has recently learned that, while waiting on us to throw his ball, he can touch the bottom with his back legs and 'stand' in the pool. He will walk back and forth like that - it just cracks me up! Thanks again! We got a great puppy / handsome boy! And now a 1 year old! Time flies! Tammy Here is a current picture of Timber. He is a happy boy since he had his ear surgery but unfortunately his ears will never stand up again and he cannot hear. His hearing was going before surgery because of his condition. I want to get with Breezy to learn sign language, Linda We are loving Zoe Athena... she is a wonderful girl. She is sleeping with me now! She did have a few excitable pee moments, but less and less as the day progressed. She is quite obedient and I'm sure we will do really well at doggie training! She has not barked as yet... but she gives lots of kisses! She runs "full out" and has a cute, puppy-like way of playing. She met the family and really loved her time with the children?? She enjoys all her toys and is very trustworthy with the run of the house. Steve and I took naps and she stayed in the living room with checks in each of us every once in a while. I texted Tiffany to reassure her that she was in a loving home, and she appreciated that. Steve wondered if the Beneful with chicken rather than beef would be ok is Sams Club only has that. Thank you again! She is precious; we feel very blessed! Sincerely, Joan and Steve Erik, Kai is doing great. She has put on 12 lbs as of last Monday and looks great. We feel blessed she ended up with us. Training is going well also. Some basic commands are mastered; sit, down, stay, come and heal all coming along good. James has been taking her to work most days, since she does have separation anxiety but that is coming along also. We are leaving her for short times only. In general we are just so happy to have a dog in our home again! Thank you! Lisa Erik, Such a delightful experience adopting one of your GSDs. Vortex has settled in fine and am happy to report that Rambo is no longer having anxiety issues. Please forward the prescription for the cream for Vortex. Have a great day and continue to do your wonderful work. Penny I just wanted to send you and email and update you and the amazing dog you put with my family. Asia has become a wonderful loving member of the family and has adapted to several cats in the house and a very high energy loving daughter in the house. You do an awesome job matching the right dog with their forever home. Thank you again and please continue to do your work as the world needs more people like you and your wife. Geoffrey Eric – Dakota has been with us for a week. He is living a comfortable life…..eating well and beginning to show signs of weight gain. Dakota has integrated, in a respectful and respected manner, with his pack (our two other dogs). He is friendly with both our house guests and visitors. Dakota enjoys our spacious yard, sunning himself on the lawn (including rolling in the grass and chewing his bone) as well as on the lanai and walking with all of us to our dock. He has established his “hidey hole” under my desk when I work. Dakota rubs against us when he wants a pet and/or a scratch. Erik it Is unclear who, Dakota, Beryl or I or the our other dogs, are more happy that he is a part of the Family. Thank you…. Glenn and Beryl Warm Regards from the entire family…. Good morning Diane and Erik. I am so sorry we couldn’t make it last night. Regardless, Rich and I wanted you to know how much we admire you two. Our circle of friends includes many wealthy individuals but NONE, I repeat NONE are as generous and sincere about helping people and animals as you two. We are honored to be counted as friends of yours. We hope that you are both feeling better, staying out of the hospital and getting some well-deserved rest. Hope to see you soon. Our Love and Admiration, The Kresge’s Erik, We want to extend our sincere thanks to you for adding a wonderful addition to our family- namely Rex (formerly known as Sam). What a beautiful animal he is, both inside and out. When my son first broached the idea of bringing a German Shepherd into our home, I was a little apprehensive. We were already parents to two small dogs, and we were a little concerned how such a large animal would fit into our established family. What a surprise we got! Rex became integrated so quickly and smoothly. He is sweet with “our girls”, Punkin (terrier mix) and Pixie (chihuahua) as well as the other dogs that are frequent guests in our home-Bernie, (another chihuahua) and Jasper (shih tzu) and our other son’s pit/lab mix, Dagon. During Thanksgiving, we had all six here in our home as we entertained our two-legged friends and family. Dogs and people had a great time with each other. We are infinitely pleased with our new boy. He is loving and much loved. He enjoys long walks and loves to romp around and play when he gets up in the morning. His training is going very well; he is SO smart and willing to please. I’m including some pics of Rex with us as well as all of the dogs with the whole family. You can see all shapes and sizes represented! Once again, thank you so much for your part in bringing him to us. We truly admire what you do with and for these animals. Sincerely, Thom, Becky, and Scot Good morning, Nya now has a perfect forever home! The amazing woman that adopted her immediately worked on training her. I witnessed a dog that was tough to handle around other dogs, morph into a dog that can now play and run alongside her German Shepard AND cohabitate with 5 dogs and 2 cats! It is so wonderful to know that Nya is loved and taken care of in a home that she will thrive in. Thank you so much to all who assisted me and shared Nya's information. I appreciate your support and assistance with helping find her the right home! With appreciation, Margaret I don’t know if you remember me, but we adopted max a few months ago! He is doing amazing with us, he loves us so much and we love him the same! He has turned into such a great family dog and no longer exhibits any aggressive nor dominantly protective traits. He is living the life he was meant to live and he is so happy!! I attached some pictures below so you could see how great he was doing! Erik, I wanted to let you know that Ginger is still doing very well. My girls adore her but Ginger still loves money the most. She did steal a pork roast off the stove a couple weeks ago which made Mommy very angry. She knows all the neighbors now and the neighbor kids and is just sweet with everyone. George Now i have time send you my compliment Letter. I get the E Mail from Jo Ann. This German Shepard Has a new Name is Princess. I be so happy to have her and i can say she is real lucky also. This Girl are so smart when i say lets go sleep she jump the bed and i have to look where i lay down. Also she eats and drink a lot and when i come from the Store she looks into my bag then she know i bring some for her. Thank you again to give me the best friend of my Lifetime. She is the Princess on the Property and House. And also she react to the name Princess better us the old name. This Girl have a new home of lifetime and you can see she know. Also i met many new people when work by the street. She is very friendly to children only black dog she don't like. Before i close let me recommend you and your Service to others who looking for there friend in life. Good i see your Truck by the Shelter so i could call you to start my connection to my new Friend Princess. Nice day stay in touch Heiko Hi Erik! This is Tonia, Vinnie, and Javier, Max's new family. We just wanted to thank you again for bringing Max into our lives. We stay in touch with Sue Ann and she also is an amazing angel on Earth! Max had his first heartworm injection yesterday and is doing well. He had some rough days with the doxycycline and needs lots of love as he has to go through these terrible shots. It angers me so that anyone would not take precautions to prevent such a horrible worm! We love Max and he is a pretty happy pouch. He seems afraid of water and brooms which makes us all wonder what he may have been through. Thank you so very much for all you do. When Max is treated and socialized we will come back to volunteer as foster parents. It's the least we can do! Thank you. We will stay in touch and keep you posted, again thank you Erik????????. Tonia and Max2 Hi Erik & Diane, We would of loved to make the German Shepherd get together. However, we are all vacationing in Blue Ridge GA. Lola is doing great! She is a wonderful addition to our family! She has had one hip surgery (she has stage 4 hip dysplasia and was in a lot of pain) and has recovered remarkably. She runs and plays like she didn't even have surgery. She will probably need the other one done in the future. She loves car rides and loves to play with our other two dogs. Thanks again! We love her so much! Hope to make it next time. Here are some pictures of Lola on our vacation Bill & Dawn Dear Eric, It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife yesterday. I want to thank you both for all you do for German Shepherds and all the many other causes you support with your foundation. It’s people like you two that make a big difference in other people’s life’s. I also thank you for rescuing Rex and helping him find a new happy home, we are not in the position to give him a home now but I have to say he added a happy spark to our lives during the week that we had him. We have a short video on Youtube of the wildlife that visits us, Wilsons wildlife April 2015. I think you will enjoy the video and you’ll see how dangerous it was for Rex to be tied to our gate! Sincerely, Terry Aug 14, 2018, at 10:08 AM, Paul Caruthers wrote: Just wanted to let you guys know that Poppy (formally Nova) is doing great! She is such a sweetie. She’s over the kennel cough, and is settling in very well. Our Vet gave her a clean bill of health. She’s add a few pounds (she had lost about 8 from surrender date to her first vet visit 2 weeks ago. She has a great appetite, We are going on daily walks, usually two good mile plus walks. Leash training is going very well, she’s a pleasure to take out. She does have a thing for squirrels lol!! As it turns out she’s been create trained. Bonus! It is actually a surprise, she was house trained & create trained, but look at you clueless with basic commands…. I just find it odd that someone would train her for all of that and not a single basic command.. Maybe she speaks Spanish lol.. Anyway, she’s doing great, and we love her to pieces! Thank you for pairing us up! Paul & Jenn C Good Morning-- Just a quick update this morning, as we all had a very good evening together. Tasha, Julie and I are adjusting well together. We actually tried a short walk last night, in between the rain drops. While certainly not 100% by the end of 10 minutes, it is amazing how quickly she was picking up the proper tempo. Walking with fairly loose leash and by the end, it was great to see the limited times she ended up on taught leash. Just back from the Vet visit. She does have a bit of an upper respiratory infection, so on antibiotics for a few days (Shari--I'm sure you do this anyway, but you'll probably want to make sure you wipe stuff down to help protect your dogs and next foster). Vet wasn't overly concerned, pretty common given stuck in animal control a few days and felt she'd clear up fairly quickly. Follow up visit with them in a couple weeks to confirm. Obviously they would like to see her gain some weight, but want muscle weight, not fat weight--so we'll stick with the puppy food mix over time and keep an eye on her there. Overall, felt she was in good condition. Of course she was a sweetheart and accepting pets from everyone. Last night she probably only ate about 3/4s cup of food, but I didn't think that was too bad given she wasn't eating much previously. This morning, she ate over a cup. I'm sure her appetite will pick up as the days go and she's more comfortable. She also basically slept through the night--got up once I think to check to make sure we didn't go anywhere and then laid right back down and continued sleeping. So, now back to work, but wanted to give quick update on our first evening together. Thx Again--Greg Hi Erik and Terry, Rex has been doing so well. He is a blessing to our home. I am still in shock that anyone would do that to such a loving dog. He already has his routine. He sleeps next to my side of the bed. My husband and son take he and Rocky for a walk everyday 5am! He tries EVERY night to climb up in bed with my youngest son and I as we are talking about our day. He loves the pool! So thank you Terry. Rex feels loved everyday. Thank you Michele We took Jax to our vet today. He is heartworm negative, which is excellent. We will formalize everything next week, as we are planning to keep him. Last night at about 3am he arrived in our bed (we had left his kennel door open), curled himself up in between us and slept until 10 this morning! Outside of one yelp, Dakota took it with very good grace. Glen’s comment: “Jax has voted himself into the family……” Just let me know by next week how I need to formalize this, as I need to pay the rescue, have his chip registered to us and get him registered with the county. We are planning to call him Jax. In the meantime, I think he’ll have a mighty fine Labor Day weekend. Have an excellent Memorial Day Weekend Yourselves. Best Regards, Beryl, Glen, Dakota, Jax, Casanova and Nova……….. Hi Erik, I’ve wanted to write to you for many months now and update you on our wonderful boy, Sammy, who we rescued from you in May of 2015. We could not be more in love with our perfect GSD. When I contacted you we had 3 children at the time and were in the process of moving into our own home. There was so much going on. When we first met Sam at your house I was quite intimidated by him and his demeanor. He was a little aloof. I was never a pet person, but loved the idea of having a German Shepherd for protection while my husband traveled for business. You felt really strongly about Sammy being the perfect fit for us and all of our kids. You were so right. You told me on the phone he was a “10” and called him a “perfect gentleman”. Let me tell you, after 3 and a half years of loving him, he really is more than we could have ever hoped for. He LOVES people, kids, and other dogs. We have no behavioral issues at all with him and never have. Since bringing him home we’ve welcomed another baby and he has been nothing but amazing with her and the other 3 kids. He is so sweet and obsessed with playing ball. I think he’d play fetch with the ball 24/7 if we could keep up. He’s a crier. He loves attention so much he whines and cries like a baby whenever someone new comes in the house. He is a big big baby. I have never seen him be aggressive with anyone. When my husband is away though, I know he is “on guard” and watching the house for me and the kids. He is truly the most amazing dog ever. I say to my husband almost everyday, I don’t know how anyone could have let him go, and how will we ever find another one as perfect as him when he’s gone. I just wanted to let you know how much we love our boy and even though I was overwhelmed and unsure I could keep and handle him in the beginning because of our move and having so many kids, he has turned out to be a dream come true and must be the BEST GSD in the whole world. (Maybe I’m a little biased). :) Thanks for taking the time to match us with Sammy and for the incredible work you do with these special dogs. Sincerely, Chrissy & Brenton Rose and kids and Sammy Hi Erik. We got Max, our German Shepherd from you almost 10 years ago. He was 5 then. (Approx) He was the best thing that happened to our family and had an amazing life. The last year has been hard as you can imagine for a 14 year old german Shepherd but still amazing. We just wanted to say thank you as we had to let our Max go to rest finally and be without pain. He was the best thing that happened to our family, we could never thank you enough. Best, Sam Antonini and family Hey Erik, Thank you so much for reaching out to me and sending the pictures of Ralphy. He's a tremendously handsome boy. I've given it a lot of thought and my heart is still so full of grief over the passing of Duke and it's going to need more time to heal in order to give these wonderful dogs all it has to give. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys. Duke was an absolute joy and my right hand man, and although I'm overwhelmed with sadness I know its because he filled my life with love and I his. Even though right now isn't the right time, I know there will be a point in the future where I will be ready, and I can't wait to share that experience with you guys again. Thank you again for everything, Mike Erik thank you so much for bringing DJ into my life. He is a perfect best friend for me we walk ,play ball,go swimming everyday he is such a sweet dog!! You did a great job matching us up thank you thank you thank you I would never recommend any one but you for anyone interested in owning a great dog Joseph and Kim Hi Erik, It's been a little over a year since Heidi came home with me and I couldn't be more in love! She's such a sweetheart who loves to please. Since she's come home, she's learned K9 nosework, done a little urban mushing (she loves to run), visited the beach, celebrated her adoptibirthaversay, and finally graduated from basic manners obedience class. It's my fault she didn't get in a class sooner. I wanted to see how the Tallahassee Dog Obedience Club (instead of going to petsmart and the like) trains dogs and it's so hard to get in a class (which are only offered 3 times a year). But all the while, I was working with her (she'll do anything for her squeaky tennis ball) so that by the time we finally got in a class she already knew what to do. It was still good for her though, the other doggy distractions added complexity to the obedience she already knew so well. We'll hopefully start the next level of obedience courses in March 2020. For now we're gonna continue urban mushing, using her sniffer to find her favorite toys hidden around the house and learning new tricks. She knows how to spin right and left, weave through my legs, shake, and jump over the hurdle I made for her (right now we're up to 3 feet). I did have one question for you, what's the best way in your opinion to get a dog to like water? Every time I give her a bath it looks like I'm torturing her. She's not a fan of water at all. And we've been working on this slowly and she'll get in the kiddie pool for bath time so long as the waters only about 3" deep. I want to do a fun dog biathalon in Alabama (if not this year, maybe next year) with Heidi but there are water obstacles that I don't think she'd enjoy. Any tips, tricks or tried and true methods that have worked for you? Anyhoo, thank you so much for allowing me to find my furever friend! Here's a few pictures from the last year. Love, Marysa and Heidi I wanted to touch base and let you know how Noah is doing. It's been 2 1/2 weeks since bringing Noah home. Being about a year old and a 'street stray', we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. For the first week I was looking for an excuse to return him. Judy and I talked, and we didn't want another dog! Foster yes, but Xena was going to be our last dog. Noah didn't disappoint. He didn't mark in the house; he wasn't aggressive with food; he was measured with his play with Xena; (Xena had a spinal cord injury and has a week back leg) and got along great with the neighbors and their dogs. In short, Noah passed with flying colors. We can't believe someone could give this dog up. The only answer I can come up with, he was meant to end up in our family. Xena and Noah are best buds. Like brother and sister, they have their skirmishes, but it's all good. Xena is the alpha female and Noah, as the 'little' brother, likes to push her buttons. I thought about re-naming him Loki, because he is so mischievous, but the name really fits. Noah completes our family. He's gentle, loving, intelligent and gets along with everyone. I will train him as a service dog. He's got the perfect disposition. Thanks for what you do! Walt, Judy, Xena and Noah Erik: You made my day yesterday at Fishermens Village down in Punta Gorda. The stunning male you were walking tugged at my heart strings and the attached picture will show you why. When I came back from Vietnam it was my first male German Shepherd who literally and figuratively saved my life. Living with, working with, training this wonderful breed has meant everything to me. Throughout many years of joy and some sadness along the way I couldn’t have asked for a better life with 11 of this breed. My regrets now is I’m on my 11th who is a female and aging quickly. I couldn’t foster another due to an incident that happened to her and I when she was only 10 months old. This was an incident where she literally protected me But also became tramatized for her entire life. There is so much I could go on about but I just wanted to tell you for what you”re doing for this breed you have my respect. It was my honor meeting you and I hope to run into you again. Lew Dear Eric and Diane, Zuri and I (and Yeti) wish you a happy, healthy, and joyfilled 2020. ...and thank you for the joy of Zuri in our family. Everyday is a gift with her...she is thriving and slimming. The best is her dancing and prancing and running (really!)...she is a love and is friend to Yeti, our very special 14 yr. old special needs cat. The holidays make you remember all the reasons you have to be grateful and I am very grateful to you and SWFLGSD Rescue...and life with Zuri. Shannon Good Morning Erik, Hope all is well. If you recall, I adopted a German Shepherd from you( Barks or Barkley). I wanted to share with you some photos of him and to say Thank you. He is the best addition to our family. Happy New Year from our family to yours! Yana, Jorge and Barkley! Hi Erik, What a fun moment...Zuri (dog#936) met another alum of yours at Petsmart...Sweet Molly(dog#979) and new dad (November2019) Tom. She and Zuri struck it off right away as if they had known they had come from your good deeds...(Molly is the HuskieGSD mix...beautiful! and also well behaved. Seems very bonded to new family as is Zuri to Yeti (cat)and me. We plan to get together atBotanical Garden and dog park, etc. Again, thank you for the work you do, Shannon and Zuri --Dear Erik, Thank you so much for having this rescue and giving these babies the opportunity to find homes. Jenny or Lucy as we call her is such an amazing, loving dog. In the short amount of time we have had her she has shown me how even though she was left in such a sad situation, she is still able to love unconditionally. Thank you again, Melissa Hello, Let me start this by saying, I’m sorry for not sending more updates of his wonderful life over the years. And I’m sorry for this email to be the first in years. 8 years ago, to this month you took a leap of faith and adopted 6.5 month old “Puppy Jack” to a young couple who weren’t even engaged yet. I will forever be thankful for your trust in us to raise, train and care for that sweet boy. Jack did not fit him, and we chose to name him Thor. Funny enough he really didn’t even fit that name much thanks to his goofy personality. I guess his gargantuan size did though. Thor grew up to be a healthy 120lbs of dog. He was massive, but the best boy around. He was truly loved by everyone he met. He started his puppy life with us as my “demo dog” or associate dog trainer while I trained dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds at Petsmart. He was a lovely couch potato at home while I worked with marine mammals at Sea World and was happy to go on a walk (short walk- he liked them no more than 2 miles, on the dot!) on weekends or during our time off we would visit farmer’s markets or the beach. He loved the beach! Just enough water to lay in and cool off, but not too much that he had to swim. In his younger years we would go to a dog park or two, but we preferred puppy play dates with his best buddies. He was always happy to meet new friends and loved everyone that came by for a pet. His favorite was when they would let him lean on them like a cow (if you’ve ever been around cows, you know what I mean- that loving lean for a scratch but they are way too heavy and usually end up standing on your foot that you can’t move until they shift their weight back). His favorite thing was definitely car rides. You could literally let him jump in the car, drive around the block, and he was so happy and content with that. Such a goofy pup. Thor had a great life. But he definitely struggled with his health early on. Tummy troubles, itchy skin with hotspots that eventually turned into secondary bacterial infections and fungal too. We tried just about every food, supplement and medicine out there with that pup spending ungodly amounts to figure out what worked for our baby! But he was worth every penny. We discovered eventually that he was basically just allergic to life haha. He had an allergy to major proteins, and carbohydrates, some fruits, veggies and literally all grass types and most tree pollens too! The poor guy was a mess, but we eventually figured out what we could do to heal his gut best and give his immune system a fighting chance. He spent the last 6ish years doing so much better than those first two! He went with us through a few moves to different rentals, and a couple month stay with our friends and his best friend (a crazy German short haired pointer names Waffles who crossed the rainbow bridge almost 2 years ago) before moving into the house we bought with a huge yard! Ironically, the big oaf (as we lovingly called him) would rather be inside with us or just mosey about the yard instead of run around it. Despite putting positive reinforcement behind fetch, Thor never had a strong ball/prey drive haha. His favorite game however, was hide and seek! I would throw a toy to distract him, he would go get it then I would run and hide. He would find me, get so excited and then we would run around the house and he would chase me. He was definitely a herder. He was there for the good times too. Our wedding was out west (home for me) and sadly he could not attend so we made a life size cardboard cut out of him to take photos with. He was there in spirit! Thor also was there for us during the tough times. Being the best fluffy cuddler when you needed it most. (He wasn’t huge on cuddling unless it was cold or we needed it- he always would get too hot and go lay on the tile) he was there for our announcement to bring his little brother (human brother) into this world and happily held the sign “I’m getting a human” for our pregnancy announcement. He was there for me during one of the worst times in my life when I was laid off from my dream job of 10 years just two months before giving birth to our human baby. He was also the best big brother around! From greeting Flynn when we brought him home from the hospital to lying next to him and letting Flynn explore and climb all over and next to him, he was the gentlest soul. He would always get up and move if he had had enough but would paw at the gate and ask to come into the play area to be around Flynn. Admittedly, I was still his person and no baby would ever change that. He would lay near Flynn’s bassinet or in Flynn’s room while he slept, but not for long because he always needed to be near me. He also preferred to listen to me too (in typical shepherd fashion of course!) He would listen to others, if it was necessary of course. Even my husband always laughed because he would ask him a million times to do something but the second I asked (sometimes only verbal, sometimes physical) he would do it. In the end, we will never know what truly was the cause of his much too early departure from us. Though the vets assume his sudden collapse from cardiac arrest was likely an undiagnosed and hidden issue that may have been unpreventable even if found. While I’m happy he didn’t never suffered, I miss my big boy. Today has been a very hard day for our family, but writing this to you has helped me and I hope you enjoy the photos I’ve attached. There are far too many great ones so I’ve attached the first one that you had on your site that allowed us to find and fall in love with the goofball we spent the last 8 years loving like he was our human baby. And the next two are from our family photos this past December. Thank you again for rescuing Thor and giving us the chance to have best dog we could have asked for. I know our home won’t be complete without him, but I’m positive he would want our hearts to be shared with another pup very soon to help us heal. Thank you, Katie Pat and Flynn Hi Eric, I wanted to send you an update on Caden, who we adopted from you and his original owner, Gloria, back in September. He is doing very well with us. He gets along very well with our chocolate lab. He comes with us everywhere as we trained him to be a service animal for my husband Damien (he has a TBI) and Caden LOVES to work! He is always wanting to make us happy. His training was extremely smooth because he’s so smart and quick. Caden loves to play ball in our backyard with Hunter (our chocolate lab), he loves to hike with us in North Carolina and explore the woods. He is so gentle with little kids, especially babies. It took him a little while to fully warm up to Hunter but now, they are best friends. He sleeps in bed with us and is always at our feet (and our little shadow) when we walk around the house or work outside. He’s very aloof to other dogs ( not mean by any means but not interested either). He went on his first plane ride in January and did so great! We have kept his hair long and he has lost about 8 pounds and is looking much fitter. Damien and I are so thankful to you and your rescue for allowing us to bring him into our family. We remain in touch with his original owner and send her pictures/ videos often. I am including some photos! ! I know you already know, but she is already part of the family. I did crate her last night as it was the first night here and she didn't make one noise. Probably passed out from all the excitement. We went for a walk as a family last night with her and she just explored all she could and hopefully realizes this is where she remain. Her tail is constantly wagging. We can't thank you enough and will continue to stay in contact. Thank you tons Sam, Ivy & family -----Original Message----- From: Baltasar Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 12:11 PM To: alphadog63@comcast.net Subject: Letter of recommendation My experience with southwest Florida German Shepherd rescue has been fantastic! This is a very special service that Erik provides in order to rehome Surrendered German Shepherd pets.Eric takes the time to match each dog with a proper family in their new forever home.He is passionate in his mission.I personally am extremely happy to have been able to adopt my 4 1/2 year old German Shepherd after losing my 12-year-old Labrador.He fits in perfectly with my other pets and is a great companion. I highly recommend southwest Florida German Shepherd rescue. Baltasar Sent from my iPhone Hi Eric, You asked how Bambi was adapting. Bambi is doing very well. She is so sweet, loving and playful. She plays with her toys, rarely barks, sits on top of my feet when I sit in a chair and curls up next to me on the sofa. Bambi whimpers when she wants to go out. I have taken her for a walk around front yard on her leash but she has freedom in the fenced in back yard. I did not close doors or confine her inside the house as I thought she might have to sniff her way around first. I left her alone for a short period of time while I went to the grocery store, I think it bothered me more than her since she was sleeping when I returned. Eric, Thank you, I could not have asked for a better companion. Sincerely Marianne We picked up Ava (formerly known as Eviee) one year ago today. Erik matched us perfectly with Ava and we love her so much. Ava in the crate with cast on is the day we brought her home. Ava standing in the backyard is a year later. Ava has had two surgeries since last year with the last surgery in Feb 2020. Ava has been pretty mellow but now after Feb chases her ball, loves her long walks and running in the dog park. The third picture is Ava sleeping with her cat sister Tabby. Mornin'..Erik...just read your great magazine article....Wow...I get why u save dogs...you started out like MIMI....nothing....less than nothing....and you came..you saw...and you kicked some ass...look at you now...a happy ending...just like MIMI and all those wonderful animals that have a soul and need humans to step in and save them....and your wingman is your beautiful wife...your soulmate for life....have a good day..won't bother you much...'cause there is a new dog everyday.....that needs directions to Yacht club drive.... On Sun, Aug 9, 2020 at 5:58 PM Bob Doyle wrote: YESSSSSSS!!!!!! She is a normal...playful...beautiful dog that I instantly bonded with....I could not be happier....she doesn't need to remember me...her past...like my childhood is water under the bridge...it makes you stronger and more appreciative of every day....I told her...I never give up and never will....neither will she ......it brought those happy tears down my cheeks for which I never apologize...real men do cry....thank you for realizing that an aggressive life for her did not make her aggressive....it made me aggressive defending her for 11 days....I was worried about her safety...I never worry about mine....I can defend against the worst of threats....it was so nice meeting real...nice people...and to you especially...You could have used your monies that you worked hard for your all your life to buy more....bigger and expensive stuff....but you decided to follow your heart and make a difference...so grateful I found your web site...keep in touch and GOD bless you, your wife, and all your friendly and wonderful dogs who know they are living at a country club.... Erik, It is my pleasure! My family should be thanking you over and over again for finding Bambi. We are madly in love with her and she has proven to be a wonderful companion for my mom. I hope we get some donations in and get some of these beautiful babies some forever homes. Thank you again for what you do. Lesley Good evening, I’m not sure if you remember me, I hope all is well. I want to thank you again for everything that you do. Thank you for finding coco and noah a great home, and keeping them together. as I want nothing but the best for them. I love them very much, and I will always love them no matter how hard it was for me to let them go. I want the best for them always. Their well deserved happiness is most important. I know you said a couple months back that you encouraged David Graham to contact me, and I know he isn’t required to. I just wanted to check in and see how the dogs were doing? I hope they are happy and are doing great! Thank you for your time and patience. Sincerely, Lauren Dear Erik, Thank you for the opportunity to foster and adopt Gus. I wanted to get involved, and I thought fostering would be the best way since I already have two dogs, Quincey and Cupcake. When I met Gus I witnessed the cruelty of some people who neglect, abuse, starve, and then dump their aging pets as easily as they would trash. I was shocked at Gus's condition, yet you said you rescue dogs who are in even worse shape, and they recover. Through the process of healing Gus's infections, skin problems, parasites, and malnutrition, a magnificent dog began to emerge who was remembering and learning what it is like to to have treats and be fed regularly, to have a safe place to sleep, to relax, to feel safe, to play, and to be loved. My heart went out to Gus, and I became another "foster failure." I want to keep Gus in my care and make sure he lives the rest of his life in comfort and happiness. So now I live with three dogs, and there may be another. There is surely a place in heaven for people like you who truly make a difference in this world. Thank you for all that you do, and may God bless you. Sincerely, Nancy Dear friends, Here is Beau Grizz...(Grizzly)... looking handsome and ready for the new year.(also, one of tbe brothers who walk, play, and help socialize him and realize that "mom" will always be home waiting till he comes home. His coat is now thick and shiny and his muscles strong.... fit 75lb.s. Thank you, Erik, for another wonderful rescue GSD! Happy and Healthy 2021! Robert Hello Erik, First of all, I would like to thank you for the work you do because without you, we would not know Loki’s love. He has been such a blessing to our family. Loki has been nothing but sweet to our toddler and they have become great friends. We love to go for walks and he even comes along for drives or any place that welcomes dogs. I am so glad we could be his forever home. Thank you again for matching us! Sincerely, Cristina Dear Erik I was looking for my last German Shepherd I wanted a special girl. Luka is one of those great German Shepherds. Very intelligent, loving, a 7 year old puppy who carries her beloved ball with her, ready to play! She sleeps by my bed or on it. Come 4:00 a.m., I make a cup of coffee as she awaits me at the patio door. Once outside, she tracks the lizards and frogs while I sip my coffee. When I finish, she brings the ball to play a rousing game of Fetch. We go inside to await the awakening of my family then to my bedroom window which is her portal to watch the world go by! She is quite vocal as she comments on who passes by. A great guard dog. She tells me when someone is at the door. When I sit, she sits leaning on me or lays across my feet. In short, I got the dog of my dreams, the last piece of my bucket list. An old man, an old Jeep, and a old German Shepherd going down the road. God bless you Eric for the work you do. Your dogs bring joy to all of us that are fortunate to receive one. Sincerely, Rich It was a pleasure to meet you and I greatly appreciate the work you do in finding forever homes for beautiful German Shepherds. GUNNER is the perfect addition to our home and family. I wanted to share some glamour shots with you for any use, you see fit. Also, I wanted to provide you with a Testimonial for your website. My name is AJ , and I was lucky enough to find Erik and South Florida German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. https://www.swflgsdrescue.com/ GUNNER was the only dog I saw, was introduced, and adopted with zero hesitation. He was already well trained, housebroken and affectionate. Since bringing him home on Saturday, June 26, 2021, he has already bonded with his new little brother Cooper (a 2-year-old Frenchie) He has identified his favorite spot on the couch and is honestly the best boy. We will be working on his walking and some other minor behavioral things, but I feel that most of that is because he is still learning to trust me. We have our first assessment for training on Thursday of this week with a great Shepherd training academy. I am already scheduling his dental appointment this week to make sure he keeps a beautiful smile. I have provided some fun photos to Erik to post. the South Florida German Sheperd Rescue, Inc and Erik are in my opinion, the premier non-profit agency to adopt a beautify Shepherd. AJ Mr. Hoffer I was reading back through you stories about the adoption of your German shepherds and found where we adopted our GS from you back in 2016. I just wanted to give you an update. She is doing great. She is such a huge part of our life's. As a veteran, she has helped me so much. Our 2 children ages 3 and 8 are her puppies lol. She protects them from all kinds of things lol. She is also their best friend. I just wanted to say thank you so much for placing her with us. By the way, she is still as playful as ever Hi Erik, It has been just over three months since we adopted Bjorn (was called Carter), and he became one of our pack. He took a few days before he started to eat well and a couple weeks to seem that he had settled into calling our place home, but all the while he was friendly and so well behaved. Once the first couple weeks passed, and we felt that he too had adopted us, our bond was strengthened. Our big "Baby-Dog" is a delight and a wonderful companion. The first time that he and our Miniature Schnauzer shared the same area rug in the living room was a sweet moment. It is a little amusing, with their size difference, to watch them explore the property together. We are all very happy. Rick and I want to thank you for everything the rescue does. We watched the Facebook page for years, had good conversations with you over time, and just love the match that was made for us! Sincerely, Angela It's coming up on 1 year that Erik let me meet this special dog he had named "Philip". I immediately fell in love with this big guy. Erik estimated him to be about 8mos old and he weighed in at 87 lbs. I took one look at him and said "he's not a Philip, he's a Bailey" and so his new name stuck and he responded to it beautifully. What was originally to be only a foster was finalized and I adopted him; how could I not! Look at that face!!! He has been in training with Tracy Hudak of Stellar K9 Services ever since. Even though he is still a highly energetic puppy, the minute his prong collar goes on, he knows what is expected of him. He has earned his AKC Star Puppy and his AKC Canine Good Citizen. Everywhere we go and everyone he comes in contact with falls in love with this big boy. He is like a bull in a china shop most of the time without his prong collar, but when he is around children he is calm and loving (even when they wrap their arms around him or tug on him) and when we are shopping and we meet folks in motorized shopping carts he is gentle and loving to them. It's truly amazing to see. If all this isn't enough, he is now my registered service dog. Being older, I have a multitude of health issues and one of them is diabetes. I had spoken with Tracy about training him to alert when my blood sugar drops too low. We were going to start a training with him, however, out of the blue, one day while I was napping he came from another room and woke me and would not back off until, when I was fully awake, I realized my sugar levels were dangerously low. This could have been a coincidence, however, after 12 more repeat instances where he was right in my face and would not back off, I am comfortable he needs no further training. He is a true blessing! Thank you so much Erik for allowing me to add this fantastic boy into my life. I couldn't possibly love him any more than I do. Well, it’s been 10 days & she is fitting in nicely. When we brought her home Sunday she was pretty anxious. She was sick most of the night. Oh well, we have cleaned up messes before and she hasn’t been sick since. Monday we went shopping for all the essentials. We set her bed up in the den, which is off the kitchen and she pretty much stayed there for several days. We would walk her around in the house, but she just felt more comfortable in the den. We are going on a couple of walks a day, which she enjoys, but we can tell when she gets tired. She has met our friends and is good with them, except she wants to bark at them when they get here. She does well walking, unless she sees another dog and then she barks and doesn’t want to stop. Since the weekend she has: - Started following us around in the house and hangs out with us ….on the lanai, in the house, or in the yard. - She will now chase a tennis ball, sometimes walking, sometimes running - Is starting to play with her toys - Has been following commands; come, sit, stay….and she definitely walks on your left. She has been on a couple of car rides…..the 1st time we only got a couple of blocks…..she was too nervous. We came home and came in the house, loved on her and then took her back outside, she walked over to the car….so I let her in and we made it to the bank and back, just fine. A couple of days later we went on another car ride & she did ok. She does fine with our pool cleaning people, she barks they ignore her and she lays down and watches them. I feed her morning and night…..of course it must have a small amount of cheese on it and the same with the pill. I’m taking her to our vet today to get her meds and have him check her out, for her initial visit. She was a little scared of the fireworks New Years Eve, but she just wanted to be close…..we came in the den and she went to sleep. She has a great temperament, loves attention, and seems perfectly content doing whatever. She is somewhat anxious about the pool ….when I get in, she heads to the den and if no one is in the pool she will hang out on the lanai, if we are out there. If there is a trick you know to get her to stop barking at other dogs, I would appreciate your input. She met some dogs at the park, she barked, they were introduced and she was fine. But, when we are out for a walk if there are dogs in a yard, or walking down the street, she will not stop barking. Feel free to pass this along to her foster mom, sorry I can’t remember her name, tell her to feel free to contact me if she wants updates. She is a great dog and we appreciate the opportunity to make her part of our family. Wanda Mr Hoffer: I adopted a dog from you around 6 yrs ago his name was Marty , Marty was a wonderful dog to me he had become a Diabetic alert dog for me as I suffered from severe diabetic episodes. Marty never left my side followed me everywhere even in the shower he would just lay on the floor and wait for me to come out of the shower. He passed away this past November just before Thanksgiving, It seems he had a mass on his pancreas and it was just not going to work out for surgery the cancer was too far gone I am now in search for another dog and was wondering if Sasha was still available. If she is can you tell me if she is kid friendly As my great nephew who is 18 mos. Comes to visit. Marty was so good with him and guarded him as he guarded me. Please also know I now have another dog Pax also a German Shepherd rescue and since Marty was the alpha Pax is not doing well at all Can you help me please THANK YOU IN ADVANCE Joyce The Hoffer Family Foundation Inc. SWFLGSD Dear Erik, I want to thank you and your organization for all your help. On super bowl Sunday, when my daughter and I had to take our beautiful dog Tanner to the emergency veterinary Hospital, you were there to answer the call for help. Tanner was very sick and vomiting constantly. I feared he might have ingested something I just wasn't sure what. He was examined, blood work completed and an x-ray was done only to find out he ate a sock and needed emergency surgery. I was absolutely beside myself when they hit me with the bill close to $11,000. I then called you to see if your veterinarian or facility could help with this being it was way too much money during this time to help with the situation. I had already come out of pocket over $1,000 for the exam x-rays and blood work. I was fearful we would have to euthanize him and it broke our hearts. With your help and the help of the doctor there, we arranged to take him immediately to another all hours Veterinary Hospital in another County. I applied for Care credit to try and pay for this but did not know how I would make the monthly payments. So all in all the amount came to about $4,000. You started a GoFundMe page on your organization's site. We picked him up a week ago yesterday and he is doing great. If not for your personal assistance and your plea for help on your site with the GoFundMe page, none of this would have been possible. I am so grateful we adopted Tanner from your organization and will continue to keep a very close eye on him for his recovery and to make sure this never happens again. I want to thank you, your organization and all the people that rallied around to help Tanner, myself and my daughter in our desperate hour of need. This is the best organization that goes out and rescues these dogs from horrible situations and find them a new home. We are grateful to have been one of those families to rescue Tanner back in December of 2020. Thank you so very much! Janice and Katie S Hi Everyone, I haven't posted in a while mainly because Riley and I are doing reasonably well. We have put out our forest fires as we came upon them and settled into a rhythm that works for us. I am a huge and ardent animals advocate here where I live and since I adopted Riley a lot of people have come to me asking for help with their GSD's. Because I am not a trainer I stay away from training issues but Rescue issues I jump in with both feet. I am seeing bunches of GSD's surrendered to Shelters and Rescues here with absolutely horrible or no social skills which leads me to believe that the people who are buying these Dogs do not research the breed, don't know what the Dogs need, and don't take the time and put in the effort to give the Dogs what they need and dump them when it becomes inconvenient for the owners. Many of you know from my posts that Riley had serious issues with fear, reactivity, anxiety, and shyness when I adopted her. I firmly believe that Riley was isolated for the first part of her life probably confined to a garage or a spare bedroom and she was not socialized at all. This past year has been very hard on both of us and it has been an uphill but we met her demons head on and while Riley will never be a happy go lucky Dog she is doing well now. I am going to make a statement based on my experience and I am sure there are people in this group who can either back it up or tear it down but from my experience I firmly believe that German Shepherds are the number 1 breed in the world who are sensitive to and must have vital and proper socialization from a very early age and when they do not get it bad things happen. I have been around Dobermans, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, Presa Canarios and other working breeds and I have never seen a Dog that is more sensitive to socialization or the lack of it than the German Shepherd. I don't know how to go about it but the word has to get out that German Shepherds have to be socialized from a very early age if there are to achieve the great potential that they have. In the last 6 months I have seen too many GSD's that have been ruined and then dumped by people who just did not give these wonderful Dogs what they need and that is a terrible shame. I had a rough start with Riley but now that we are on stable ground she is thriving and would give her life for me as I would give my life for her. Thanks SWFLGSD-Rescue for all you do for these wonderful Dogs! David Good Afternoon Eric, We adopted a GSD from you on 9/27/15, named Molly. She was a long hair and very fuzzy! She was also one of those dogs that take a bit of your heart when they leave. Molly starred in you video and she was a star in our lives. After 11 years of companionship Molly had some serious medical conditions. Her mobility was leaving her and for the past 2 years we acted as her “legs”. During this time she went through water treadmill, acupuncture, laser treatments and ultrasound along with an assortment of medications to halt the loss of mobility. Unfortunately nothing worked. On 5/18/2022 Molly was diagnosed with Kidney failure and passed over the Rainbow Bridge. She was a very special and fun dog to be around, not to mention one of the smartest canines we have ever had. We wish to thank you for all you do for the pups like Molly, who would not have a chance of a better life without help. Thank you again for all you do. M. Dennis and JoAnne Hi Erik, That will work out fine! I'll bring the paperwork from the Ohio vet. Otto and I took a mile-and-a-half walk last evening and an accidental almost four mile walk this morning--ambushed by a lady walking her uncontrollable pit bull and 'we' got all turned around as we kept avoiding them. Never could make either of those with my little guys! Mr. Otto is an absolute sweet heart! Thank you for match making. Gratefully, Sally Dear Erik, Happy New Year!! We are on our way back to Florida after spending Christmas with family in Illinois. I heard that you pulled Bruce, Robin & Geralt plus helped get Sirius into a sanctuary. I just wanted to sincerely thank you. I loved those dogs. Someone contacted me today after seeing my post on Geralt re adopting a male. I gave him your contact information. Maybe you can help him. Thanks again for being there for German Shepherds. Thanks for helping so many. I love the breed. I fell in love with German Shepherd dogs when I was a little girl & they have been a part of me most of my adult life. Sincerely, Carol Although this is not a SWFLGSD, Erik Hoffer and Vicki Pence played a big part in saving this boy. See Jaxx, formerly known as Sirien at Manatee Animal Shelter did not have a great outlook in getting adopted. First, he is at least eight years old. Second, he’s blind in one eye. Third, he’s got hip dysplasia and the start of DM. His outlook was dim. See I run a sanctuary for seniors, hospice and special-needs dogs.?? I had contacted Erik about a different senior dog that he had taken from Lee County animal services. Luckily for that dog he was adopted out. Vicki had just contacted Erik about Jaxx, Erik gave me Vicki’s info and the rest is history. Erik and I go way back. I’ve actually adopted three dogs from him. Jaxx’s is settling in very well. He had three heartworm injections before coming here so we are keeping him on the calm side for a few more weeks.??? Good things can happen when different organizations work together. If this is not allowed on this page please go ahead and delete it.? Thank you Erik and Vicki, Jaxx is a sweet heart. I’m so happy we were able to save this boy.? Celia Hi Mr. Hoffer, I wanted to reach out and let you know we adopted Holly, a female GSD about a year and half old. We drove down to Vero beach to meet with her and the foster family. She is very gentle and a real love bug. My son, Reid, fell immediately in love as did our whole family. We are keeping in contact with the Foster so we will gain a new dog and life long friends. We will bring her home in about 2 weeks. She is completing her heart worm treatment. We made it official over the weekend and signed all of our paperwork. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the time and effort you put in to helping us find a dog. I would highly recommend you. Big Cypress spoke highly of your program as well. Thank you, Neil, Kim, and Reid Good morning Erik this is Teresa. I wanted to let you know how well Angel is doing. She is eating, going to the bathroom, she started playing with her toys today. She slept besides Vinny all night, I think she picked out her favorite already. She doesn't jump on anyone, on the furniture. Made dinner last night she didn't get too close to the table, she listened. The only thing that she hasn't done yet is bark. I told Vinny she probably doesn't think she is her to stay. What a perfect dog to a perfect match. I will keep in touch, but I wanted you to know that Angel and us are doing very well. Thanks for all your help, Terry Erik, I took her to the Pet Food store, extremely well behaved in store, road extremely well in SUV on long haul back to Vero B. Not a peep, mostly laid down. I just gave her house tour, walked around yard, house a few times, then watered, fed her. I praised her up for proper eliminations and she took off with zoomies in yard for a few minutes. Ahhh. Thanks again for your work helping this beautiful breed. Jeanette D. Hi Mr. Hoffer, I got your email about Maisy's chip. She is registered already. We sorted that out a long time ago. She is doing so well. Missy whom we renamed Maisy is almost 13 years old and still acts like a puppy sometimes! She's very healthy, except for the usual things that happen as you get older! Her hearing is not too great and she does have an issue with her nails that we have under control with some medication and a grain free diet. She will still go for long walks with me every night. We couldn't be happier to have been picked for her forever family. We hope for many more years with her. Thanks, Brice It has been four months since we adopted Brody (formerly Broly) from SWFLGSD-Rescue. At only 7 1/2 months old, we were Brody's 3rd home. He was so terrified the first 48 hours that he was inconsolable. He quickly accepted us as his new family, but his extreme anxiety/behavioral issues (constant barking and chasing & biting his tail) persisted. We did not know how to help this poor dog, but I did know one thing - I would never put him through the stress of re-homing again. We needed help! The vet recommended Trazodone to help with his anxiety, but that was not an acceptable long-term solution. We were referred to a professional trainer Kevin Cafarelli at Everglades Canine Academy in the Naples area (239-946-4468). The tips he taught us in the very first session helped reduce the issues by 75%. We completed a round of obedience training sessions, and will start his socialization training next. While he is still a spunky dog, full of personality and endless energy (and apparently part Malinois), he fits in perfectly with our family. We absolutely love Brody, and are so happy to provide this beautiful dog with a loving, stable home. Thank you, Erik, for allowing us to become his furever family! And we are forever grateful to Kevin for helping make this a happy, healthy experience for Brody (and us). I know there are circumstances where re-homing is unavoidable, but whenever possible, please seek the help of a professional trainer before surrendering your dog. Erik, Good morning! I wanted to thank you again for asking me to consider adopting Moosie. He is a wonderful dog and I am so thankful to have him join our family. We are having lots of fun together and going on many adventures. I wanted to ask you if you can recommend any intellectually stimulating dog treat puzzle toys. I have learned that Mr. Moosie is exceptionally smart and I want to nurture that in him. I see all kinds of ads and have bought one, but it turned out to be a dud. Do you have any success stories or recommendations of intellectually challenging toys for GS's? I hope to send photos of him and his new mini-doodle little brother, pancake, soon. The adoption day was a hard one for me as I felt the emotion as his previous owners, who obviously loved him, let him go, but I am so thankful for him. Thankful also for you and your wife too and all you are doing! Sincerely, Karyn Carol, our trainer is very impressed with Angel and says that Angel wants to please us, so she is easily trained. She is not too worried about Angel's growling. Angel only growls is the other dog approaches her, she is not the aggressor. Carol said once Angel gets more confidence, the growling will probably stop. Angel is gaining some weight, in a good way We are very strict with what we feed her. However, I think the prong collar is getting to tight for her. If Angel starts to scratch around her neck, she whimpers. Do you think it is time to remove the collar considering she is doing so well with her heeling, walking and taking commands or can you send me another link for her collar so she can be made more comfortable? Angel does have problems with some loud noises, not all of them, but thunder and fireworks. She removes herself to another room, she does not whimper or cry or try to hide, but she won't go outside. Carol told me not to try to soothe her because I would be enforcing her bad behavior, so we are working on that right now with us taking charge and that seems to be working. Erik I can't tell you how much joy Angel is giving us and can't thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to have Angel be a part of our family. Please let me know your thoughts on the collar. Look forward to hearing from you soon and hope you are feeling well. Regards, Terry and Vinny Erik. I adopted Gretchen from you 6 1/2 years ago. She is now about 8. I am just messaging to give you an update on this great dog. You can stop reading if you are swamped with great dog stories, we understand. She is incredibly attached to me (as she was to you), she takes great care of her cat... they sleep in the same bed, eat out of the same bowl, play and groom each other. We have an early morning ritual before getting out of bed where we all three put our heads together and kiss each other. She has helped to take care of my two grandsons since their birth. They are now 3 and 6. The few times that I have left my animals, they have stayed with their buddies in homes or a friend has come to my home to care for them. I don't want them to ever wonder if i am coming back. They are maturing, but I am giving them very nutritional opportunity to thrive for as long as possible. Gretchen is constantly admired and I am often asked if she is a puppy. I am often complimented on her responsiveness and demeanor. She gets along well with almost all dogs...as long as they are willing to be friendly. Her buddies include every size and breed from Akita to Pit Bull, to Dachshund and everything mixed. I have not secured her any titles, but she does all basic obedience on and off leash. She has never had any bad habits at all. She has only brought the pleasure of sharing life together with the tightest bonds. She has protected me and one of her dog buddies only by inserting herself physically between the "perceived" threat and me or her buddy...never with aggression. The wonderful and hilarious instances of dog to human communication are too long to list. We have moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia. Thank you for all the fur families that you have created, mine especially. I’ve followed this group for sometime now. A animal lover like everyone else. No stranger to dogs, but I’ve never owned a GSD. I wanted a GSD. I wanted a puppy. A Black and Tan GSD puppy. I filled out my paperwork, and spoke to Erik Hoffer about a particular new puppy in the rescue. He listened to my story, listened more than he spoke. Perhaps evaluating me, my lifestyle, current pack, and desires. I am sure he’s expert level with all things GSD. Breed standard, genetics, personality traits, behaviors, illnesses. But I suspect he also knows a bit about people as well. Not simply a judge of character , but also their personality, with an ability to translate their needs and wants and help guide them towards the best match for the dog and them! So without hesitation , he said , “Ok, I’ll see you Sunday to meet Puff “, a 2-3 year old Sable GSD.  NOT a puppy. NOT what I had applied for. NOT what I wanted . Sometimes, we need to be told what we REALLY want, and what we really need. We have to be shown that what is best for us, and the dogs, is not as straightforward as we think! It’s only been a few days, but thank you Erik Hoffer for Puffsuading me towards what I truly wanted and needed. Puff is absolutely gorgeous , sweet, gentle and loving. Thank you for allowing her to show me I needed her. Richard Erik, Angel is doing wonderfully. She has gained some weight and her personality is really presenting itself. What a great dog, she really makes Vinny and I smile and laugh at her antics. She passed her Good Citizens' course with flying colors and we are now looking into her next course. She still doesn't like dogs coming nose to nose, but no problem with them getting close to her. We had her a Yuppy Hour at Bell Tower 2 times and she did well with those dogs and the dogs in her classes. I just wanted to give you an update and thank you again, for Angel. Hope all is well and if you need anything, please let us know. Teresa and Vinny 4 yr male sable from Redlands. His name remains Miles--it is him. Wanted to share with you that within the past 3-4 weeks he has begun to wag his tail when I come home, when I call him to me, and not just when he sees other dogs. My heart rejoices that he loves me as much as I love him. Just sayin' Blue update ❤️ I can’t believe we brought this sweet girl home on September 3rd. She has settled right in our family as if she was here all along. Blue loves her little people and is always eager and ready to play hide and seek, dress up and a game of fetch. She is gentle and minds her manners with the littles. Blue is super smart and is always ready to learn new things. She loves to be outside and play with frogs. She is socializing daily, has ongoing training, loves car rides and of course belly rubs and face scratches. She happily sleeps in her crate every night, with all four paws and belly up in the air. She makes her business outside like a boss. She loves to meet new people and play with new furry friends. When we are out and about during the day, people stop me all the time and ask me about her blue eyes. Yes, she is 100% all GSD with these beautiful blue eyes. It’s hard to believe that someone would just dump her in the Everglades and leave her there to die. How.. Why.. Could someone do that to her?? A human!! She is the sweetest, gentle, calm, trusting, loving, obedient, smart and most amazing girl anyone could ask for!! A huge thank you to the forestry officers, who found her and saved her life, and her foster, that loved on her and took care of her.  I think her favorite part of the day is when I clean off her paws and brush her teeth every night before she goes to bed, and of course some extra snuggles, belly rubs, kisses and love. I sing to her and she falls asleep while I brush her pearly white teeth. She really is the sweetest girl. Thank you Erik SWFLGSD-Rescue for all you do and for bringing Blue into our lives!! I love her with my whole heart!! ❤️ People tell me that she’s lucky to have me, but really, I’m a lucky one!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ We have Raya now for 60 days and we want to thank you again for raising such a nice dog and for all of the time you spent with her to teach her and love her. Melanie calls her Raya Sky. We are also thankful to you for all of the photos of her that you shared with us along with her documents. Have you by chance found her AKC papers? Raya loves to play with her toys and chase them, especially her squeaky toys. Her favorite game is hide and seek where we hide a toy and she has to go find it. She practices her commands that you taught her, and we continue to learn with her new things. We had a trainer that Erik recommended help us with teaching her how to properly walk at heel. She is doing so much better with that now that we have learned how to help her do so. I purchased a program, “Brain Training for Dogs” that will help us teach Raya more and more. She is so eager to learn and please. She has a puzzle where she has to move covers to find treats. She quickly figured it out and finds all of the treats quickly. Raya goes with us almost everywhere that we can take her and loves riding in the truck. Sometimes we have to leave her at home alone, like when we go to the grocery store. At first she was very anxious, and I think had some separation anxiety, but she is doing much better with that now, being more comfortable in our house, and knowing that we will come back. (We have cameras to watch her while we are gone). But even when she is alone, she has never done anything naughty or destructive, and has never done anything to be scolded for. She only ever gets positive reinforcement and praise. She loves being out on the lanai, and soon we will have a fence installed so we can play and learn in the back yard. We go on several walks every day and she is so good. She is very friendly with everyone she meets. Sometimes she will bark or even growl at other dogs from a distance, but when she has a chance to meet them nose to nose she is friendly with them and wants to play. She does a great job being non- reactive to anything, even squirrels & rabbits when walking at heel. Her best friend is a Chocolate Lab next door named Brutus. Raya has been to her new Vet for her initial visit and made friends there. But she was not happy with a stranger checking her out. Since they are just down the street from us, we sometimes go in just to say hello and get a treat. She has been to day care for a few hours to play with other dogs and to a dog park to play. The first time she was a bit shy, but the second time she played with 2 other big dogs, Stella & Charlie. I thought you told us you fed her Purina, so we initially bought her Purina One, but she seemed to not like that so much, so we started mixing some Purina canned food in with it. We are now transitioning her to Purina Pro Plan and hope that she will like that better. Is there any flavor she likes better, (beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, Squirrel etc)? Did you feed her once or twice a day? We feed her twice a day, in the morning and at dinner time, but she usually does not eat anything during the day, only at supper time and later. How much did you feed her? We are giving her about 3 cups of food, maybe a little more. She sometimes gets a Milk Bone, but won’t eat it right away, she will save it, usually on her bed, and eat it later. She gets Pupperoni treats when she is practicing and learning new things, and sometimes special treats like a hard boiled egg or a piece of bacon or liverwurst. Finally, just thank you again for giving Raya “Sky” your time and love to be such a good dog, and allowing us to continue to love her and be a part of our family. She has captured our hearts. Steve & Melanie Hi Eric I wanted to reach out to you personally and tell you that Thank you for our Brizzo when I adopted her she was a (Layla) Brizzo was everything to Jason her and Tucker the pig became very good friends ❤️ Jason bought a house and moved back to Virginia Beach to be close to his brother and work for him and Todd and I relocated to Key west for our jobs we still have our house in Port Charlotte where our daughter and grandchildren live and we are still rebuilding after Ian. So yes when Jason heals I will be reaching out to you again . Everything happened so quickly when she got diagnosed with Lymphoma we decided to start Chemo however she passed 2 days before her appointment . I'm glad Jason reached out to you to thank you for all the amazing things you do! I hope all is well with you and you are doing good. Thank you again so much and in time we will teach out to you again. Ann Hi Rachel and Erik...thanks to you both for bringing us Anya....who may be one of the best GSD's, if not the best, we have ever had. What a wonderful, playful, affectionate, loving, sweet dog. She is so smart and is very calm. We have been walking each morning around our community around 6a which generally takes 50 minutes to an hour to complete. She knows her commands as written out by Rachel on the paper she gave us. She loves other people and happily approaches strangers and immediately wants pets and attention from them which is very endearing to the new folks. She exhibits no anxiety at all but was startled just a little bit the other day when we had a tremendous crack from a nearby lightning strike and she made a beeline over to me for some comfort apparently. Kay has absolutely fallen in love with this little girl. And she looks exactly like Bear, the dog we had before our last dog who was named Millie. When you hold up Bear's photo next to Anya's face, you can't tell who is who....it is quite amazing. Didn't mean to go on quite that long but just wanted you to know that she has fit in like an old pair of comfortable slippers and is laying right next to me as I type this message. We love her to death and thank you both one more time for making it possible to bring this little lady home where our house now feels like a home again. Respectfully, Mike and Kay

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