Axl was taken off the streets of Queen Creek about a month ago, by a very caring couple who frequently find themselves taking local strays out of harms way. He had no tags, collar or chip but wore a harness and was in relatively good shape. Following an unsuccessful and lengthy search for his owners, and lacking familiarity with German Shepherds, his Good Samaritans reached out to us.

At the time of his initial evaluation, it was immediately clear that Axl was in pain. This, coupled with the fact that he has not had full in-house privileges due to their own dogs and toddler, we decided to hold off on a full eval with dog intros and concentrate on Axl's health.

We can't write a candid bio with so much missing information. The fact that no one has responded to all of 'found' flyers, postings, etc. also gives us pause. Often dogs in need of medical care are abandoned because of cost.

We have estimated Axl's age at approximately five years; we will revisit this when we have an opportunity for a closer exam. He's neutered, knows some basic commands and is loaded with personality. Needless to say, he's a rather handsome fellow as well.


Either way, we have to find out exactly what's going on with him. All four legs and hips need to be X-rayed. In addition, a complete blood panel is necessary to rule out Valley Fever and check all function levels. Then vaccinations, fecal, etc.

We're ESTIMATING about $800.00 for the imaging alone, $1,000.00 should anesthesia be required, another $200-$300.00 for labs.

Can you help us help Axl? Any contribution toward his care matters and is needed and appreciated.

or click on the HOW TO DONATE link for more info

If you can't help, rub my belly ;-0)


Marlene A
Kim D
Arthur O
Fran & John N
Arthur & Jan J
Janet S
Diane M
Kristie G.
Melissa K.
Allison G.

Since Axl is so far away from us and transporting him is problematic for his current care givers, we would very much like to get him into our foster care ASAP.

For the time being, it would have to be a foster home without children or cats and just ONE other large breed female OR no other dogs. Please READ our foster page to see if you can help...THANKS! FOSTER LINK

UPDATE 4/13: We had to cancel Axl's vet appointment for last week as we were unable to gain access to him. It is now scheduled for tomorrow. He has since stopped limping and holding up his forelimb but we might just X-ray it anyway. He will also have a blood draw and complete desert disease profile, exam, fecal, rabies vaccination and microchip.

We will wait for the results of his blood work before scheduling a visit to an orthopedist as we must rule out anything systemic such as Valley Fever.

Observing a new dog under stress while being invasively handled by strangers is a very valuable opportunity to further evaluate each dog's temperament and tolerance levels which is one reason why we use private veterinarians that do not take the dog 'in the back' or away from us. Thus we should have more information about Axl after his vet visit.

We would also like to start working with him on social skills and obedience, however, his current location presents a challenge in that regard. A qualified foster home is still needed for Axl so that he is available to us while we prepare him for adoption.

APRIL 14th: Axl was a model patient and tolerated three different "pokes" very well (Rabies vaccination, blood draw & chip) in addition to a thorough exam...not a peep, just some wiggling. He was clearly a little frightened yet no growls or nips, just wanted to leave. Everyone remarked at what a pretty boy he is. Our vet placed his age right where we did, at five years old..he weighed in at a healthy 84 pounds.

His forelimb was tender to thinks it might be elbow related but agreed with us; better to wait for the blood work results before moving forward with a series of X-rays which will require anesthesia. Even with a lot of manipulation, his knees and hips did not appear to bother him at all.

His fecal was negative for parasites. We took him for a long walk in the adjacent park and he did very well without a training collar. This is a lovely dog; we're keeping fingers crossed and will post the results of his labs when received in a few days. Next stop..orthopedist to check out those bones.

UPDATE 4/16: As we suspected might be the case, Axl tested positive for Valley Fever.. will be another couple of days before we get his titer to determine just how significant the infection is, followed by immediate treatment. All of the rest of his blood work was normal.

We will now put a full orthopedic work-up on hold and X-ray just his forelimb to see if the VF is in his bones.

Good thoughts and prayers are needed for our boy.

UPDATE 4/17: Axl's valley fever titer was !:8..could be worse. We have picked up his meds and working on getting them to his fosters so that he can begin treatment this weekend. He will be on them for, at least, the next 3 months with intermittent titer checks to see if it's going down.

At the advice of our vet, we will wait on any orthopedic studies until his titer re-checks.

UPDATE 4/20: Axl came out to Boot Camp yesterday, both to see how he behaved around a bunch of strangers & strange dogs, and to give his foster Dad his meds and a crate. In short, he was a very good, well behaved boy. He has also stopped limping on his forelimb.

He did well with basic obedience skills, had no problems with females and did not lunge at but did bark to keep another large male out of his space. He was calm and walked beautifully on lead without a training collar.

He was started on his meds yesterday and will be moving out of the garage to a crate indoors...YAY!

Pictured: AXL walking with Bella and being a "good dog" for foster Dad Nick.

UPDATE 4/23: Our boy is very happy to be inside in his crate where the action (and A/C) is. He has again started limping and his leg is clearly painful to palpation. We will be checking that out when we retest his VF titer to see if he is responding to about 3 weeks.

We would still very much like to move him to a foster home closer to us and wherein he has more freedom. Anyone, anyone?


UPDATE MAY 9th: Our boy has been getting intermittent house privileges, mostly at night and when the resident toddler, who is at the age of inappropriate curiosity, is napping. Even when Axl is in his crate during the day, the little one will stick his fingers into the openings making Mom very nervous. He also has freedom while everyone is asleep for the night and has not shown any undesirable behaviors. He gets fetch time with his favorite ball almost daily and is an exuberant participant.

The limping is on and off, currently off. His Valley Fever retest, to see if he is responding to his meds and the dosage, will be done next week along with an X-ray of his forelimb and a refill of medication. We need to rule out the Valley Fever as the cause of lameness before going the orthopedic route...stay tuned.

We have learned that cats or very small dogs should not be included in his future, that Axl walks very well on lead without any training aids, is now crate trained, would do best with older kids, and with a medium to large breed female or as an only other male dogs.

We would like to thank Axl's Angels for helping to make providing him with whatever he needs are the best!!

UPDATE 5/14: Axl has a vet appointment tomorrow; another blood draw for a VF titer check, X-rays and refill for his RX. We will post the results next week.

UPDATE 5-15-15: Our boy was his usual sweet self for his vet visit today..even handled a couple of X-rays with no sedation. His shoulder was normal. There were no Valley Fever lesions seen in the bones of his forelimb although he did show what our vet thinks might simply be elbow dysplasia. He has not been limping of late. He had gained a pound and weighed in at 85lbs.

We should have the results of his blood test around the middle of next week. He will have two more months of meds before he is tested again.

Here's Axl being examined then ..........

...............................outside smiling, taking a relief break before heading home........

...............and very happy to be on the other side of the door!

MAY 20th: Axl's titer was the same, 1:8. We're hoping to move him within the next 2 weeks in order to give him more house freedom and us greater access to him.

UPDATE MAY 21st: We had sent the X-rays we had to our specialists in Tucson for a 2nd opinion. The result: it IS Valley Fever in his bones, and they saw no elbow dysplasia at all. We are awaiting an answer as to whether or not we should increase the dosage on his meds. Bottom line: recheck in 2 months and he will see a specialist in Phoenix to have several new X-rays done in addition to a Valley Fever recheck. Steff is a strong believer in that imaging is only as good as the positioning, quality (we use only digital) and the person who reads em. Thus, we will now have the images we already have sent to a board certified radiologist.

Unfortunately Axl's expenses continue to rise and help is still needed and appreciated more than you could know..thanks so much.

Can you help us help Axl? Any contribution toward his care matters and is needed and appreciated.

or click on the HOW TO DONATE link for more info

If you can't help, rub my belly ;-0)


Marlene A
Kim D
Arthur O
Fran & John N
Arthur & Jan J
Janet S
Diane M
Kristie G.
Melissa K.
Allison G.
Teresa T.
Jackie D.
Douglas S. & his GSD Storm
Helm W.
Sandra W
Tamara P.
Andrew N.
Desiree E.
Laura L. in the name of Marlene Appel
Kathy F.
Robin C.
Susan S.
Laura L. in honor of Axl's foster Mom
Jeff K.


The radiologist concurred with our local vet: No VF seen in bones and early elbow dysplasia / arthritiis
Axl's VF titer will be checked again toward the end of July.

UPDATE 6/22: We moved Axl to his foster home over this past weekend. So far, he's been a perfect gentleman. He's doing a bit more crate time than we would like but that's only until we know he's trustworthy left loose while his foster Mom is at work. He is having to navigate stairs on a daily basis which will help build up some limping yet.

He's getting walks early morning and evenings every day and really seems to be enjoying them. Now that he's in a more "city like' environment, he is also being socialized by virtue of all of the new things he encounters on his walks. We will also be taking him to indoor Boot Camp soon after which he should be Mr. Social.

Axl is a very sweet and gentle guy who just wants to be with or near his person.

Good News: Axl was left loose in the house from 9a-3p on Tuesday and was a very good boy. It's too early to tell for sure but there's a good chance he will have his freedom if this continues.

UPDATE 6/29: Axl joined the boot camp crew yesterday and did very well in a room filled with strangers and dogs. He now has run of the house full time, even when Mom is not home, and has been a perfect gentleman.

eager to please..great focus on handler heels like a champ

UPDATE 8/5: Axl had another vet visit and blood draw last week along with a nail trim & heartworm test. His Valley Fever titer remains the same at 1:8 although he has no symptons and has not been limping at all despite navigating a long staircase several times a day. We will now be changing to a different compounding pharmacy and increasing the dosage of his daily meds. He will be retested in 8 weeks. He is a happy fella and a pleasure to walk.

8/10: Well, no sooner did we say no limping, he spent 2 days unwilling to put weight on his forelimb, hopping on 3 legs. Then back to normal again. Thanks to Axl's Angels, we will be scheduling more imaging and an orthopedic consult within the next few weeks.

AUGUST 18th: Well, this sweetie pie sure keeps us on our toes. He had a couple of days of what we will call constipation..relatively uncommon in dogs. After trying all of the usual, off to the vet again today. We decided to eliminate any serious possibilities and X-rayed his abdomen, his lungs and the "full Monty" on the back end. His lungs are completely clear, no masses or obstructions anywhere. DX: colon spasms. He is otherwise feeling fine, so off he went with some special fiber food and hopeful for some relief, both for Axl and our wallet...stay tuned.

UPDATE 9/12: After finally resolving his last issue, Axl once again presented us with a new challenge. After running some more tests we determined he has a urinary tract infection. His new medication is on board and hopefully, will do the trick. We will give him some recovery time before "torturing" him with an orthopedic evaluation. Meanwhile, he will be returning to Boot Camp this weekend to hone his social skills.

Our sincere appreciation to all of Axl's Angels..Axl seems to want to take full advantage of your generosity...THANK YOU!

UPDATE OCTOBER: Talk about surprises...guess there's always the possibility of new 'firsts' in rescue;

About 2 days before completing his past round of antibiotics, Axl left a few droplets of blood at which point we made an appointment with a specialist for a another complete physical, review of previous images and a possible ultrasound. To this point, the only body parts of his that we had not imaged were his brain and tail! That said, we needed to rule out any prostate as well as bladder and urinary tract issues which can't be seen all that well on X-ray. As it turns out, after completing the full course of meds, he has shown no further signs of a UTI but we kept the appointment anyway.

Following a complete history and exam including another rectal intrusion, we moved forward with the ultrasound and everything was completely normal, however, something unforeseen was discovered. We never saw it, our vet never noticed, the internist didn't even notice, not even the staff who had him sprawled out for previous X-rays saw it, until the ultrasound revealed that Axl is intact! Yup, Axl needs to be neutered and since all of his paperwork and the folks that found him, said that he was neutered we had no reason to question. We really couldn't see anything from behind when he stood or walked as his testicles are set a bit forward of his hind legs. We all had a good laugh.

We also had blood drawn for his Vally Fever recheck but this time, sent it to a different lab which is always a good idea with regard to VF titers. We should have the results by Friday.

In addition, a surgeon took look at his previous leg X-rays and said he saw no elbow dypslasia or arthritis, although it would be a good idea to take new X-rays from a different angle which we had planned to do anyway. A very small kinda blurry patch was thought to simply be inflammation which would account for the fact that Axl can go months without showing any discomfort with his forelimb.

Yes, it was another $700 and counting but this boy certainly deserves whatever we and his Angels can do for him. So, pending his Valley Fever results and trip to snip, Axl will be declared healthy and ready for forever!

UPDATE: His titer was up to 1:16. It's possible that, due to the difference in testing protocols among labs, it has always been higher. Regardless, the dosage on his meds have been substantially increased and he will be tested again in 3 months utilizing the same lab.
Aside from his Valley Fever, Axl is otherwise doing fine.

UPDATE OCTOBER 30th: Axle was neutered today and did just fine. We will give him a break from vet visits for a bit then shortly after Christmas, have both of his forelimbs X-rayed and Valley Fever titer rechecked, which, hopefully, will close the book on any medical issues.

In the meantime, his training and socialization will continue. We would like to move Axl to a foster-to-adopt situation after the New Year and will begin accepting adoption inquiries after Thanksgiving.

He is an easy keeper, affectionate, quiet in the house and wonderful to walk. We're not certain about kids, especially toddlers so teenagers only. He would prefer someone who is around and can spend time with him as opposed to being left alone all day; active retirees are on his wish list as is low impact exercise. No cats or small dogs. Some GSD and/or handling experience would be best.

Axl is vaccinated, neutered, microchipped, crate and house trained and will be accompanied by his ever present, favorite ball.

UPDATE 1/17: Axl has, what we hope will be, his last vet visit on January 27th. He will see a specialist, have both forelimbs X-rayed and evaluated and some blood work to check his Valley Fever titer.

He has come a very long way with his training and socializing as his dedicated foster Mom has been taking him to Boot Camp regularly...THANK YOU Marlene!

We could still use some help with his next vet trip which will be expensive but on the plus side, we are definitely nearing the finish line. ..fingers crossed.

January 27th: Axl had a 2 hour vet visit today. Two views of both of his forelimbs, complete blood panel and orthopedic exam with palpation. His right front leg was normal. There was an area of calcification on his left front leg and/or possible small bone spur. It is not possible to know what caused this i.e. trauma, Valley Fever, congenital, DJD, etc. however, it is clearly the reason for his intermittent discomfort. There was no surgery or action recommended other than what has already been suggested; low impact exercise and swimming for his arthritis. His films have been sent to a radiologist for confirmation of the diagnosis and we should have the report by weeks' end.

We won't have the results of his blood work for a few days which will include his current Valley Fever titer. The results will dictate any changes in his medication. He was declared otherwise totally healthy. Barring anything unforeseen with his labs, Axl has an adopter waiting!!

FEBRUARY 1st: Sadly, we have to report that Axl's VF titer has increased to 1:32 and he is losing weight as well. The rest of his blood work was normal. The radiologist's report indicated that the issue with his left front leg is likely related to Valley Fever, however, there is no way to be certain without a bone biopsy. Regardless, we must concentrate on gaining control of his Valley Fever, thus we are seeking the guidance of Dr. Shubitz at the Valley Fever Center for excellence at UofA.

This will undoubtedly involve changing his anti-fungal, the dosage or the compounding pharmacy...Possibly a change to Itraconazole which is far more expensive. We will update once a new protocol is prescribed. Axl's battle continues...

As expected, Dr. Shubitz feels that the left leg issue is, indeed, a chronic active valley fever lesion. He has been prescribed a certain type of Itraconazole which has been ordered. Time will tell us how he responds to the change. Unfortunately, the cost per month is between $150.00 and $185.00 (contingent upon dosage), in addition to his last vet visit of $879.25.

Turns out, the Itraconazole is around the same cost as the his previous medication, Fluconazole, at least in the current dosage; $124.00/mo. Dr. Shubitz also informed us that the 2nd lab we sent his VF test to is always higher than the other and suggested that we stick with whichever one for an accurate future comparIson. Since his titer did increase from 1:16 to 1;32 with the same lab, we will continue to retest with that lab.

Come on Axl, fight!

UPDATE FEB 8th: Axl is tolerating his new medication well, he shows no indication of any problems. Here he is pictured at boot camp on SuperBowl Sunday, getting social surrounded by dogs.

UPDATE FEB 14th: Axl was moved yesterday to a foster-to adopt home where his Mom will be home more often and he has a yard in which to play. He also will no longer need to navigate a long staircase on a daily basis. His first night went well although he is understandably anxious about his new surroundings; he had bonded very strongly with his former foster Mom. It will be several weeks before we know if his new foster will adopt him and perhaps not even until his next titer check in April. We did a quick visit with our regular vet the day before moving him and he has gained 2 pounds since his last weigh-in, less than two weeks ago. There are still ongoing costs for medications, etc.

Axl is a real people pleaser..very sweet; we are eager to see him really settled in..stay tuned.

UPDATE 3/5: Axl's foster Mom has elected to make him hers; the official paperwork will be signed next weekend. They are also starting a real, structured 5 week obedience class tomorrow. We have kept in very close contact with them, visiting often, delivering his medication refills, etc. and will continue to do so to ensure his blood work is done in April.

We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Axl's Angels..your help enabled us to pull out all of the stops with regard to his expensive and ongoing medical needs...THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Axl now lives less than 10 minutes from Steff; she will be available to monitor and be involved in his care.

UPDATE FOR AXL'S ANGELS: Our boy had done so well by his 2nd class that his trainer moved him to the advanced class..way to go Axl!!

Any additional updates will posted under our "Adoption Updates" link

UPDATE APRIL 24th: We accompanied Axl & his Mom on his vet visit this past week; his liver is fine and his titer is DOWN to 1:16..goin in the right direction.

This will be his final update; anything his Mom sends us will be posted on the adoption updates page.

Thanks again to all!!