Brittany and Arie, two female German Shepherds of approximately 10 years of age have lived their entire lives as outdoor dogs. When their owners sold their home in Joshua Tree, Calif., the neglected dogs were left behind on the property. Christa and Mark Cranston have stepped up to take care of the dogs and find them a new forever home.
The Cranstons live adjacent to where the dogs lived. Since moving there, four years ago, they have always seen dogs roaming the property.
Initially, there were four dogs running loose in the yard, but last year the smallest of the four dogs disappeared. The third dog unfortunately had to be put down, she had cancer and it had spread to her lungs.
“Due to one of the owner’s major health issues, we finally were able to purchase this property a few weeks ago – dogs and all,” said Christa. “We immediately took one of the dogs who could barely walk to the vet and found out that she had cancer.”
Mark Cranston showed the dog love and compassion until the dog took her last breath. He was with her at the vet’s office until she was peacefully put to sleep.
“I am thankful that the last few hours of her life were filled with us loving her, petting her and telling her what a beautiful soul she was” Christa said.
The Cranstons had been feeding the dogs for months, yet, they found it difficult to approach them. The property the dogs were kept in is a large area and whenever the couple tried to get close to the girls, the dogs would run off.
“The few occasions that we were able to touch them, pet them and take pictures, where when the girls were in a makeshift enclosed area we created on the property,” said Christa. However, the dogs are used to living on their own, fending for themselves and running loose, that they were always able to escape the Cranstons.
“These dogs did what they could to survive,” Christa commented. “[They] slept outside, hunted rabbit and birds, dug through the neighbor’s trash for food, and drank from our pond when thirsty.”
Both dogs are very timid and so far they have not shown signs of aggressions. The Cranstons’ 4-year old son has petted the girls on occasion.
On April 30th, 2013, the Cranstons moved the girls to their own property. They set up a 10 by 10 dog run where the girls will get constant supervision, food, water and walks. Once the girls get used to their new surroundings and get more socialized, they will be taken to the vet for a full check-up.
“We bought a dog run and have placed it under a big tree in our yard next to my garden full of flowers,” said Christa. “I also bought a kiddie pool to fill with water on hot days.”
Keeping the girls is not an ideal situation for the Cranstons. They already own a dog of their own, who was also rescued two years ago when he was abandoned in another yard. Monty, the Cranstons’ current dog, barks and chases the girls constantly and Christa says that “keeping these two neighbor dogs would be hard.”
The Cranstons hope that with the dog run, the German Shepherds and Monty could be introduced safely. At the same time, the girls could be socialized more, making them adoptable indoor pets.
Christa and her husband hope the dogs will be adopted together. They will wait for the perfect family willing to take them both.
“We will keep them as long as it takes to get them adopted,” said Christa.
If you are interested in helping or adopting the girls, please contact Abandoned Shepherds in Joshua Tree.