This Dog Spent Years Chained Up, And Now He’s Finally Free


Imagine being chained up for your entire life. Imagine being out under the blazing sun or when temperatures are below zero. 

Imagine having no freedom at all and being sentenced to only a couple of feet of your space.

That’s how Herschel felt. 

That was his everyday life.

That was almost his disaster.

If it wasn’t for Rocky Kanaka, a dog lover, rescuer, and the creator of Dog’s Day Out, Herschel wouldn’t be with us today.

This is the story of Herschel… a wonderful German Shepherd that’s finally roaming freely.

Herschel’s Story Becomes Viral

black and white german shepherd

More than 200 adoption applications were filed for Herschel… a sweet, long-haired German Shepherd boy that was rescued by Rocky Kanaka.

Found chained up, with a ridiculously small place to move around, Herschel was facing his doom. The poor pup was in terrible condition, with almost no teeth at all because he was trying to chew up his chain.

dogs teeths and a tongue

Herschel was fighting to escape… fighting to grab his new chance in life.

After finding out about Herschel, Rocky went immediately to rescue him. The videos went viral and Herschel’s story became a burning sensation. Everybody wanted to adopt the sweet, lost soul. 

As Rocky stated on his Instagram account, Herschel was adopted twice and returned to the shelter. Not everyone is able to handle big dogs like this buddy. Not everyone has the capacity to take care of pups like our Hersch. 

Chances were, he wouldn’t get a third chance if he ever went back to the shelter.

Fortunately, this huge Teddy bear did get his happy ending. 

The Found Animals organization heard of Herschel and soon contacted Rocky. 

Rocky’s program, Dog’s Day Out, focuses on making a dreamy day full of excitement and fun for dogs in need. Herschel was the ideal candidate.

Thanks to Rocky, Herschel got more than just a day; he got an adventure of a lifetime and a furever family. 

Together, Hersch and Rocky ate delicious treats, drank puppuccinos, met new and loving people, saw snow for the first time, and even saw the ocean.

cake for german shepherd

Herschel’s reaction to the ocean was so pure and innocent. He started whining and crying, jumping towards the big blue water’s surface, and begging Rocky to take him closer. 

man walking german shepherd on the coast

The poor pup was ecstatic! He jumped right in and started playing in the water like a smol pupper. 

After enjoying the best day ever, Rocky and Herschel were off to Washington, so Hersch could enjoy the best life ever with his new furever family.

Finally Free

german shepherd dog in the bush
Source: @teddybearherschel

A dog that spent so many years chained up could go insane with all that free space to roam through. 

But, Herschel didn’t go cuckoo. He blossomed! 

Together with his new family in Washington, and his new canine siblings, Herschel started living the best life possible. 

Rocky couldn’t find a better family for old Hersch. He got his own 40 acres of land to run freely and get in touch with nature. 

Herschel was finally free. 

Herschel was finally a real dog.

And, Herschel was no longer Herschel.

With the new family came a new name: Teddy Bear Herschel. 

big german shepherd dog
Source: @teddybearherschel

Can we all agree that the name change suits him just right? Herschel is just like a giant Teddy bear… so sweet and cuddly, and pawdorable on the inside, too. 

What was once a written-off dog is now a happy doggo enjoying every moment of his life. 

And, life couldn’t be better. 

If Herschel’s story touched you, head over to Rocky’s Dog’s Day Out. There are more heartbreaking stories like this one.

Oh, and show ol’ Teddy Bear Herschel some love by following his Instagram account.