Have you ever felt like you were in the fight of your life but you had no idea who the enemy was? No matter what you do, you cannot conquer the roadblock that is standing in your way. Topaz is a bright shining example of a dog who wakes up every morning ready to face adversity and never give up. She isn’t fighting a horrible disease or even a small medical issue. She is fighting for a home, a home that will be forever and she’s hoping that this will be her lucky year and 10 will be her lucky number. Yes, 10. We’ve managed to piece together what we know of her history, eight homes, eight families who didn’t understand what she needed, eight families who, for whatever reason, gave up on her, and then there was number nine, a wonderful couple who stepped up to foster Topaz when it seemed she had no other chance. They were determined to understand her, work with her and not give her up, until she had a family.
With home number nine, Topaz was no longer fighting the battle alone. Within a short time, her foster family was able to help identify Topaz’s problems. For such a long time she had been misunderstood. She was a dog who was afraid. Imagine “8” homes since you were born, all with different rules, boundaries and limitations. Topaz lacked confidence; she was full of insecurity, and she had no one to help her overcome those challenges. Each time she was left alone, wondering what she had done wrong. When she joined her foster home, they could see how confused she was. With so many different homes, it was no wonder that her brain was in a spin. Her foster home had some things, though, that the other homes had not had. It had structure. It had clear boundaries and rules, and, as equally important, it had three other dogs, a big goofy German Shepherd, a big not so goofy German Shepherd, and a female, definitely not goofy, Belgian Malinois who realized the importance of Topaz having a pack but knew how to work with her slowly until she became comfortable. It has taken her sometime to become comfortable with her living arrangements, but with the help of her human leaders and her pack, she finally has begun relaxing, and, well, showing what some like to call her “true colors.” As with humans, all dogs are different and some adapt well to new surroundings and some take a little more time. Topaz definitely likes to take her time.
Topaz’s fosters realized that if they were going to help her find her forever home, they needed to help her in every way they could. They sought the help of a trainer. Topaz has been working with a trainer and doing very well. It is extremely important that her forever home be able to continue her training. For a dog like Topaz who has lived in fear for most of her life, this is how she will ultimately form that unbreakable bond, a bond that is based on mutual respect, clear guidelines, and a feeling of being safe. There is still a long way to go for Topaz to completely trust her humans. At some point during her journey through those “8” homes , when there was no one to provide the structure that she needed, Topaz definitely felt the need to take control and like all GSDs, that means setting her own boundaries and being the one to control the situation. Here is a comment from her current foster dad …she definitely wanted to be the alpha at the beginning. It was clear that she was confused, and I would go as far to say that she displays one of the worst portrayals of an alpha dog I have ever seen. She doesn’t WANT to be the alpha dog and nor should she be, it has taken patience and time, but now she looks to my wife and I for direction and reassurance. Still to this day we have to be the ones looking out for her, and we suspect it will be like that for sometime.
Topaz has been fighting alone for seven years, fighting to feel safe in a world where no one recognized that she was afraid. Finally, she has found that safety in her foster home, with her humans and her pack. In that home she has finally been able to relax and show her really true colors. Topaz is seven years young. She promises not to discriminate against age and hopes that she can be given the same consideration. At seven years young, Topaz is very happy to please. She loves her baths. She loves going for walks; she loves swimming, and she really really loves her ball. But, above all else, she loves being loved.
Her foster family loves her dearly and will work closely with her new family. Some fosters fall in love and end up adopting their fosters. There are those who take on the special cases, cases like Topaz, knowing that they will give her their all, their hearts and their souls, only to say goodbye. It is a bittersweet goodbye when they watch as the dog they have worked so hard to help walks into the arms of a family who understands them the way they have, knowing they will provide for them the way they have, and then they turn to welcome the next foster into their home, another, like Topaz, who would not have a chance without them. We know that Topaz’s home is out there. Number “9” has been wonderful. Number “10” will be forever.
Please watch her slide show to enjoy some of Topaz’s favorite pictures
Please click here to fill out an application to adopt Topaz