Johnny was adopted in May 2016 by his besotted foster family.  Here’s their note:  Well the good news is Johnny is a darling and lovely dog with an amazing attitude and temperament we rarely see.

The not so good news is that Johnny doesn’t have cataracts and therefore there is nothing to be done that can restore or improve what sight he has left.johnnyhe2

The best news is we are officially adopting him. We’ve foster many a dog over the years and have never kept a one. This time, we can’t and won’t let this amazing dog get away.

Love truly is blind. And Johnny is truly loved and has found his forever home.


Here’s Johnny!

Wow, isn’t he absolutely gorgeous?! He is supposed to be 8 years old, but based on how playful he is we have to believe he may be a little younger. He is playful, gentle and as handsome as they come.

Johnny is listed as Special Needs because he has severe cataracts. He is blind for the most part, yet he can see shadows therefore is a PRO at getting around. He does not run into walls or furniture, and is careful about approaching staircases.


We are told that cataract repair surgery may be an option for him, though, as he is in seemingly perfect health otherwise.

Johnny came to us with a perineal hernia so we had that repaired 8 weeks ago. (read about that below) He is recovering nicely and is working on growing his hair back but it is a slow process.

johnny13The foster home is working on teaching him important commands (important for his safety) such as ‘easy’, ‘wait’, ‘back’, ‘this way’, etc..

Johnny walks nicely on a leash, takes treats very gently and crates very well. The other day on our walk he saw a couple of squirrels scampering across the road and wanted to chase them. So he does have some sight ability. German Shepherds are smarter than smart!


We are asking for a quiet home for Mr Johnny, with no children. Surprises, hugs and a lot of chaos are difficult to handle when you can’t see what is going on.

Another dog in the home is fine, as long as he/she is kind to him.  Johnny is very gentle with other dogs and loves to be near them, as you can see from his photo, but is easily pushed around due to his vision disability so we do not want him to go to a home with a dominant acting dog.

Johnny has a lot of love and probably a lot of years left to give to some lucky person, so apply to adopt Johnny today!

Previous entries:

February 10 Update:

Johnny continues to heal from his hernia repair surgery.   Here’s little video of him enjoying a bright sunny winter day!

Johnny’s foster mom reports that he is spunkier, happier, more playful and acting like a loved dog should act since I’ve had him. He found the toy basket and picks out toys to play with. He seems to prefer the red ones. Maybe he can see them better? Even the red squeaky ball – if he drops it and it rolls down the hallway he is able to follow it and catch it.
He takes stairs like a pro. You would never guess that he is as sight impaired as he is. If I move too fast (which I often do) he is right on my heels, and sometimes he hits walls and things trying to keep up with me, but besides that is is a rockstar at figuring out where to go.  He is letting me pet him pretty much all over now without flinching. Up until now I always had to start with his face/head then could pet his body. Now I can reach down and touch his back, etc and he doesn’t flinch.
He nosed his way around the den and found the couch and jumped right up there. (see the photo proof above…). That really makes me think he has been in a home before.
We tried to do basic commands but he is clueless so apparently that is new territory. He takes treats very, very gently and he does not jump up on you, so those things seem to have been taught.   We are working on basic obedience and he’s catching on like a champ as all smart GSDs can do!
So progress wise – he seems to feel so very much better.

Johnny’s story

john8NorthStar got the distress call right after the holidays from a shelter in Illinois. Would we have any room for a German Shepherd who had been found tied up outside with no food or water in the bitter cold?  He was very thin, walked with some backend difficulties and had severe cataracts.  The up side…..though he had been treated horribly by his humans, he was very loving to the staff and got along nicely with other dogs in the shelter.  Was there anyway we could help?

NorthStar WI is a small rescue with limited resources and yet we know we had help this dog.  So we drove to Illinois, met Johnny and made the decision to do what ever we could to help this poor soul.  We discovered right away that….
  • he’s nearly blind from the cataracts and gets spooked pretty easily (imagine that…new environments, new people, new everything….)
  • He walked kind of weird with his back legs
  • He had terrible difficulties pooping.
  • He is an absolute gentle sweetheart

The foster mom, reached out to a local vet she knew had a soft spot for older German Shepherds who saw Johnny right away.  The X-Rays showed the walking problems were not caused by hip dyplasia (his hips look great…) but by an internal perineal hernia in his rump.  The large hernia needed to be repaired immediately as it was causing bowel blockage and a lot of pain.  Surgery was scheduled asap and Johnny is now recovering and the prognosis is very good that he’ll have a full recovery.


taking a little nap

Once he’s recovered from this surgery we will be able to explore options to possibly treat or reduce his cataracts to give him better vision.  His foster mom says that through all of this, Johnny remains such a sweet and gentle dog.  He deserves a chance to live pain free and be a happy,well-loved dog!


Johnny, one day after surgery to repair a perenial hernia. The swelling is already coming down.

Please consider giving a donation to help with Johnny’s medical care  His medical care so far is right around $2000.  We don’t know yet if cataract surgery is possible or if he’s a good candidate due to his age but we’d like to be financially able to cover that future surgery as well.   NorthStar WI is a 501 (c)3 organization

Donate for Johnny today!