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Swan Belgian Shepherd / Malinois San Diego, CA

  • Young
  • Male
  • Large
  • Black, Yellow / Tan / Blond / Fawn


Vaccinations up to date, spayed / neutered.

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Meet Swan

You may have heard of Swan when he first came to the rescue. He had one leg that was broken, already had one surgery on the leg before he came to us, but the results of the "fix", with pins poking into the muscle every time he moved his leg caused him constant pain. As if a broken leg weren't enough, Swan's other leg had the fur, skin, and tissue removed from a large part of his leg. His leg had been wrapped with bandages. When we removed the bandages, his leg was swollen with a horrible wound that was red, inflamed and painful. And, as if that weren't enough, two of his toes had been so badly broken that they had been amputated. Swan had been hit by a car, dragged along the road, and then brought to the shelter.

When Coastal was asked to help Swan, our first mission was to get him the medical treatment he really needed. With the help of many supporters, Swan's Angels, we were able to get him the best of medical care. He had surgery on his broken leg to remove the pins and repair the leg. He had surgery on his other leg to close up the gaping wound. With his legs repaired, we had to begin to address Swan's other needs. He was in pain and had been in pain for a while. He was only 5 months old and he was so afraid. He didn't know who to trust, and trust was essential between him and his foster for his recovery, the daily bandage changes, giving medications. He barked and growled at any dog who came close. His body was on the way to mending, but his soul was still very broken.

Over the last three months, Swan has spent most of his time on crate rest so that all of his physical wounds could heal. He could go out for potty breaks and to enjoy time with his foster mom as long as he didn't run and jump. Slowly but surely, he began to trust. Part of that trust was the bond that was built with training. At first, we couldn't do training because most movements for him were painful. As he healed, he began to be able to sit without pain, to walk without pain. Training for Swan began and so did his bond. As he began to feel better and trust more, he felt good enough to show his energy. Still, he couldn't burn it. He so wanted to run and to play with the dogs that he lived with. One of his new dog friends kept Swan company during the day, laying by his crate, giving him kisses. Swan, with his mischievous puppy mind, would take every opportunity to carefully grab his new friend's tail when it got close enough. It became a game for them, one that didn't require jumping, bouncing and he could do it while he was still healing. His new friend didn't mind. Slowly, as he healed more, the play bows began.

The day that Swan was giving permission to be off leash and run around alone was the happiest day for him. He ran circles around the yard. Whatever damage had been done to his legs had no effect on his ability to move. We began working on his training more, sit, down, stay. He is very good at them. Key for him, though, is still "When he wants to."

He finally got permission to be with other dogs, but they had to be older dogs who wouldn't engage in play with him. After all, German Shepherds and Malinois play rough and a fall from a jump or a hard hit from another dog could injure him again. Lucky for him, he has a foster sister who is above playing with puppies. She likes to teach. Swan got to be off leash with her. He sniffed, gave her kisses, touched her with his now, did a very beautiful play bow and proceeded to do circles around her. Mildly amused, she let him run for a bit and then went on her own way. Swan didn't mind. He had had his first off leash play date, and he was happy and tired.

When he got permission to play, he ran with his other foster brother, not rough housing, just enjoying the freedom and friendship. Swan still stops and sits so regally and looks up to the sky whenever he sees a bird sitting on his fence or flying over his air space. The only difference is he no longer dreams of learning to soar. Thanks to all of Swan's angels and his medical care, Swan has learned to soar.

The only thing remaining for Swan now is a family and home of his own. He needs a family that is experienced with the breed. As a Malinois, he can make the German Shepherds look slow sometimes. He loves his training and his new family must be willing to keep up with his training. With Swan, the bond that he develops with his person during training equals respect, guidance, and structure. Without those things, any dog can become lost. For Swan, he becomes lost with a lot of undirected energy. No children for Swan. He is still learning to trust. He does need a home with another active dog. He doesn't mind if it's male or female, so long as it likes to play. Little dogs are safer in a home without Swan. He thinks the little dogs are toys.
Puppies are a life-long commitment. They need time, training, vet care and healthy feeding to become good canine citizens. Don't even think of adopting a puppy unless you intend to invest the time and money and commitment required, and you can expect to lose a few good shoes along the way!

If you are interested in me, please contact us at or call (858) 779-9149. Don't forget to fill out our online application:

The minimum adoption donation ranges from $300 to $400. This amount only partially covers the cost of veterinary care, boarding fees, and other miscellaneous expenses involved in the temporary care and adoption of our dogs and is 100% tax deductible.

Prior to placement, all dogs will be spayed or neutered, receive current vaccinations, and are usually microchipped. If not, arrangements will be made on an individual basis. Special consideration may be given to those willing to adopt older dogs or dogs with physical problems.

Our adoption process begins with completing an application on-line. A phone screening will soon follow, and lastly a home visit will be conducted by our volunteers.

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  • Belgian Shepherd / Malinois
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