From Foster to Forever!

Raven with his Mum





Tara was one of almost 150 dogs rescued from the Nevada desert in the middle of winter after their caretaker died. We took Tara and her friend Arnie into GDR knowing that these dogs were painfully unsocialized, as most had never lived inside or with people, and would require a lot of work and patience. We received the following note from Donna, who fostered and then adopted Tara.

I don't know if you remember me, but you graciously agreed to sponsor my fostering and adoption of Tara in 2008 -- one of the 144 dogs from Gabbs, Nevada. Well, very sadly, Tara was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy in July 2013 ... and after a year of steady deterioration, she reached her limit on Tuesday 11/11/14. When I saw her Tuesday morning, I knew it was her time. 

We had almost 7 beautiful years together, thanks to you!! She was the greatest gift I could have ever had. I miss her every day but I know for sure that it was the right decision for Tara.

Just wanted to thank you, again, for all your help and for taking such a chance on us. It was a beautiful match  :-). I've attached a fairly recent picture of my girl -- as you can see, she is still fearful and never likes the camera!



Most of us met Angel for the first time at this adoption event in 2009 when she was our official greeter! Not surprisingly, Angel, as beautiful inside as out, was adopted almost immediately. Sadly we learned that Angel passed earlier this month after living a wonderful, active, loved life with her adopter Anne:

She was an amazing, loving dog. She had a heart of gold and an uncanny sense if someone was upset or just having a bad day. She would pull me across the street to greet passersby or people getting out of their cars and wanted them to pet her so she could take it all away. Thank you so much for rescuing her Grateful Dogs Rescue!!!

We received these lovely words and photos from Mike and Maya, who adopted Raven from GDR almost 12 years ago:

Thank you for saving Raven in the summer of 2006. We adopted him that fall. It is impossible to describe how much he meant to our family, and how much he enriched our lives. Raven was pure love and joy, and sometimes magic. He was a living angel who kept us safe and ever-present.

Raven passed away last fall. He lived well into his twelfth year. We will miss his strength and light. We gave him a wonderful life, and he made our lives wonderful.

This sweet boy was so fearful when you rescued him, downright aggressive, no one could take him, SPCA had deemed him unadoptable. Were it not for your patience and kindness as he sat in San Francisco Animal Control he would have been euthanized. Animal control was also truly instrumental in saving him, they called you because they recognized his potential. You put the time into him because you are amazing! I still have the records from Animal Control that documented your visits and your patience with him until he would come to you and you found him a foster - Kathleen Bolton. She loved him so much. Kathleen's big heart brought him to us and I will not forget her for that! Thank you all!! We had a beautiful, joyous life together. He loved the mountains, the beach, the desert, creeks, lakes- really an amazing life was had thanks to your work! 

We are eternally grateful.


​​Franny was rescued with her sister from ACC in July 2003 and finally found her forever home at Thanksgiving 2004. The following was written by her mom last year on the anniversary of Franny's adoption.

When I think about the past nine years of my life with Franny, I am so glad that Grateful Dogs rescued her.

"Rescue" is not an exaggeration in Franny's case: she was slated to be euthanized at San Francisco Animal Care and Control, for "behavior" issues. Her crime: she was very shy and scared, and not even remotely outgoing. The opposite of what people look for in a dog, I suppose.

But when I saw Franny's picture on the Grateful Dogs site in 2004, I felt an immediate connection -- it felt like fate. Not so much on Franny's end, however. The first time I met her, she hid behind a fallen tree and watched me warily, emerging only when I brought out some sliced (extremely fancy and expensive) chicken apple sausage. But a few days later, when she came home with me, she hopped into my bed and lay her head on my leg.

Nine years later, I can't imagine what my life would have been like without her. Watching her blossom from a dog who was so frightened that people thought it would be a kindness to end her life to a rambunctious, silly, sassy girl who just wants to play and cuddle as been one of the greatest joys I've ever experienced. If Grateful Dogs hadn't believed in her, Franny and I never would have found each other! I will always be thankful to them for taking a chance on this scared little dog and saving the life of my best friend.



Maggie doing what she loved best - lounging in the sun!

Maggie was rescued from SFACC.  Below are some lovely photos and a note from her forever family who gave her a wonderful life: 

On March 31, 2006, my husband and I adopted our beautiful dog from you. Her name was Lady and she was about 12 months old. We changed her name to Maggie. She was an amazing and elegant creature and often stopped people in their tracks. Everywhere Maggie went people wanted to know what kind of dog she was and to pet her. She had the sweetest smile and grandest spirit. However, it took Maggie many years and love to help her to feel safe and to enjoy all the love that people wanted to give her.

Maggie came when called and could be walked off leash. She never ate off our coffee table nor did her business in the house.  Anyone who knew her knows that what I am relaying to you here in these words cannot possibly express who Maggie was or who she was to us and to all that knew her.

Maggie left us on September 20, 2018. She had a stroke and after she stopped eating, we had her put to sleep. For the two days before we brought our vet to our house to do this, many friends and neighbors came to visit with her and with us. We miss her so terribly much and I cry for her all the time. It was such an honor to share her life with her. She gave us so much love and laughter. I always felt proud walking down the street or on a trail with her.

I want to thank you for saving her.  - Maura


In Memoriam

This page is dedicated to Archie and Decca.

We think of Grateful Dogs Rescue as an extended family made up of our dedicated volunteers, our wonderful adopters, and of course our beloved canine companions. We celebrate together, and we mourn together. On this page we honor the lives of the dogs we have loved and lost.

To memorialize your dog, please send a story and picture to  (Stories may be edited for length.)