Vol 3 No 2

Spring 2001

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

Adopting the Right Dog for You


Auction Sneak Peek

Special Care & Second Chances

Coming Soon

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

On-line GRRI News Archives --

GRRI News Index Page


Special Care & Second Chances

The sweet face above belongs to Sadie, a gentle 3 year old who came into the GRRI program in late February -- and in terrible shape.

It seems that six weeks earlier, Sadie had eaten a kitchen towel ... and despite surgery, she'd been gravely ill ever since.

In fact, Sadie was so sick when GRRI picked her up, she weighed only 38 pounds.

GRRI brought Sadie to the vet right away, where x-rays, blood work and endoscopic exams revealed that she had megaesophagus.

So Sadie was admitted to the hospital for supportive care, which included inserting a stomach feeding tube so she could get nutrition.

Unfortunately, Sadie had other plans ... and her condition quickly deteriorated to pneumonia.  Things soon became so serious that she needed round the clock vet care.

So GRRI transported Sadie to The Animal Medical Center (AMC)  in Manhattan, where she was immediately admitted to their intensive care unit.

That's when a sonogram revealed that Sadie ALSO had severe pancreatitis

The AMC started Sadie on aggressive treatments for her various conditions, which included antibiotics and a nebulizer; IV nutrition and fluids; and multiple endoscopies, lung x-rays, fluoroscopes, blood tests and biopsies to rule out other potential problems -- and to monitor her progress.

Throughout all of this, as sick as she was, Sadie's true Golden spirit shined. Her tail wagged ... she gave kisses ...  and despite tubes, wires and Elizabethan collars, she snuggled with her GRRI foster family whenever they came to visit -- which was often!

Little by little, Sadie began to stabilize to the point where the vets felt it was time to try the feeding tube again.

But again, Sadie had other plans ... and a portion of the feeding tube itself came off inside of her ... causing a blockage that led to peritonitis and that required surgery.

Then finally, some happy news for Sadie:  she was adopted by the foster family who has been seeing her through her medical ordeals.

So the minute the vets say so, Sadie will be going HOME! 

*** UPDATE 3/10/01 ***

We're thrilled to report that Sadie -- now Mystery, or Missy for short, is HOME! 

She's got a 10" incision on her belly that's healing, is still on the feeding tube, and gets special liquid nutrition as well as three medications every four hours.  Her new forever home includes a posse of other well loved Goldens, and a couple of very friendly felines, too ... all of whom are eager to play with Missy.  Missy can't wait to play either, but the vets say she needs some more time to get well first.

*** NEW PHOTO 3/12/01 ***

Missy sure looks A LOT happier now that she's home!  And this morning she even helped one of her new Golden siblings, Savanah, chase kitten Sonya around the backyard!  Her stitches will come out later this week.

*** UPDATE 3/20/01 ***

Missy's forever family says she's doing great.  She's now eating meatballs -- 10 of them, each the size of golf balls, 4 times a day.  And for a dog who has been through what Missy has been through, this is tremendous progress!!

Missy got all dressed up for St. Patrick's Day.  She's come a LONG way!

*** Update 4/16/01 ***

It's with great sadness that we report that Mystery lost her battle last night, dying peacefully in the arms of her adopters.

She'd been hospitalized earlier in the week with another bout of pneumonia, but despite intensive supportive care, her condition continued to deteriorate, and she simply couldn't fight it anymore.

Farewell, sweet Missy ... we know you are forever healthy and happy now, and running free with all our other golden friends at the bridge. 

Say hello to Jack. Until recently, this loving 9 year old Golden had spent his entire life living in an outside 2' x 4' kennel run with his mother, who is 12 years old.   Severely neglected, these poor dogs were living in their own waste.  Fortunately, they were both rescued by a good samaritan.

Their savior placed Jack's mother with a friend, and got Jack to the vet so he could be neutered.  Then she boarded him while she tried to find him a forever home.

A few days later, she went to visit him ... and found him in shock, his incision infected, green, swollen, and dripping with puss.  She immediately took him to the vet ... where he spent the next eight days in critical condition. 

They really didn't think Jack would make it. 

Twelve days passed before he was released ... with a long recovery still ahead of him.

Today, thanks to the good samaritan who saved him, Jack is getting well in a loving GRRI foster home.

He weighs only 49 pounds, is on seven medications, and is restricted from most activity. He's also heartworm positive, but needs to get stronger before treatment can begin.  In addition, some of his other blood work still isn't what it should be.  Jack needs significant vet care -- all of which GRRI is providing.

His foster Mom reports that despite his weakened condition and having had no previous experience living in the house, Jack is so golden hearted that he's making the adjustment beautifully!

He readily accepted all the other dogs and cats at his foster home, and because he LIVES for praise and attention, he's quickly learning the ropes of housebreaking and all the rest.

And he's HAPPY. He's LOVING the hugs, kisses and belly rubs he's being showered with -- not to mention the good eats!

With time and vet care, GRRI is hopeful that Jack will make a full recovery, and have lots more years of happy, well loved, and well fed days ahead of him.

*** UPDATE 3/10/01 ***

The results of Jack's latest blood, urine, fecal and x-ray testing is in, and it looks like he's going to be starting his heartworm treatments this week.  He's also got a nasty case of hookworms, the poor guy.  But as you can see from the picture below, Jack is enjoying the good life at his foster home.  That's him in the front, with the smile on his face! 

*** UPDATE 3/20/01 ***

Jack has been adopted!  After devoting so much care and attention to him, his foster home just couldn't resist his charms and decided Jack was home to stay.  He still needs to gain quite a bit of weight and the lessons on housebreaking are still underway, but it looks like he is over the hump of his medical crises ... and on the way to a great new life! 

This gentle old guy is Max.  GRRI pulled Max from a kill shelter in southern New Jersey, knowing that as an old, sick dog, his chances of adoption there were nil.

Believing that Max deserved a second chance at life, GRRI decided to give him one.

At least 10 years old, Max's overall condition at the shelter suggested that he'd been wandering the streets for a long long time.

Thin, lethargic, obviously quite ill, and sporting a large growth under his tail, GRRI took him to the vet right away.  

The vets heard a heart murmur, then did an EKG and a sonogram and found that his heart was significantly enlarged. 

They also found growths on his liver and an enlarged spleen.  Blood tests revealed liver function irregularities, as well as anemia and a urinary tract infection.

He was also deaf and had cataracts.

The vets told GRRI that his time was short ... maybe a month, maybe two.

So Max went home with a loving GRRI foster family that included two other Goldens and a couple of teenagers, all of whom would make sure that Max's last days would be comfortable, happy, and safe.

That was four months ago. 


Today, thanks to lots of love and excellent vet care, Max is spunky, filled out, and his coat has come back in, all thick and shiny.

The vets will soon be performing additional tests on Max, and will also remove the growth under his tail if his liver and other results confirm that he is strong enough.

Being deaf, Max responds well to hand signals, so despite his cataracts, he seems to see very well.  And his nose works just fine ... he's the first one to smell food!

Max is the perfect gentleman and has never had one accident in the house. He barks to go out -- a real old man sounding bark that always makes his foster family laugh.

Max's favorite daily activity is watching his foster Mom cook dinner. He lays right in the middle of kitchen just in case something falls!

And after he eats, he goes in the living room and rolls around on the carpet, happy to have a full belly, and looking like a big puppy.

Max had his young and healthy days behind him when GRRI found him, but he's already beaten the odds ... and most important, he's living out the rest of his days comfortable, happy, safe, and loved.

***  UPDATE 3/20/01 ***

From Max's Foster Mom ...

When I took Max to the vet last week he was scared that I was leaving him there. My poor baby!!!! To test the liver they had to do 2 different blood tests. One before he ate and one 2 hours after. They wanted me to leave Max there and they would feed him and then wait 2 hours and draw more blood. No way could I do that to him. I brought him home fed him and then brought him back 2 hours after. He would have been devastated if I left him there.

When I first picked Max up from the shelter a few months ago, I brought him right to the vet. He ended up staying there for a few nights having lots of tests done and getting all cleaned up. When I finally picked him up to bring him home he was so scared. He must have thought I was bringing him back to the shelter. He didn't want to leave the vet's office. I had to pick him up and put him in the van. I drove maybe three blocks away and Max had a seizure in the back of the van. I felt so bad for him. I brought him back to the vet's office to have him checked out. The vet said it could have been brought on from stress ... so I'm really careful about not stressing Max out. BTW, he's never had another seizure since, thank goodness!

Anyway, here's the latest on his health:  Compared with his first visit, he's gained 18 pounds and has better muscle tone, and his coat is thick and healthy. His heart murmur is now gone, his thyroid is normal, his liver functions are now normal, he's heartworm negative, and everything is REALLY improved ... except he is still slightly anemic, but getting better there too.  Can you believe how good he's doing? I knew he had it in him!!!! 

The growth under his tail has gotten a little bit bigger. In terms of removing it, the vet said it will be very hard to keep the incision clean because of the location, and of course, there are some concerns about the anaesthesia. So we've decided to leave it alone for now. 

I get tears in my eyes whenever I think of him wondering the streets alone, sick, with no food and no place to sleep. I hope he wasn't alone for a long time. He must have been so scared. My poor baby!!! 

Helping Max has been such a rewarding experience. I've gotten to watch him really come back to life right before my eyes. He's a different dog then he was 4 months ago. He feels safe and he knows he is loved.

*** UPDATE 4/7/01 ***

We're sorry to report that Max has been having seizures again :( ... several so far, each about a week apart.  Initially, the vet wanted to hold off on prescribing phenobarbital, but the time has come, and Max has now been on the drug for about a week. He'll be going into the vets for some tests in another week, where, among other things, the vet will see how well he's tolerating the dosage.

We are all hoping for the best with Max, but whatever the outcome, our goal remains the same:  to provide all the vet care and love he needs to live out the rest of his life in comfort and dignity.

*** UPDATE 4/16/01 ***

Max is still having a bit of trouble adjusting to the phenobarbital, but the vet says it can take some time  ... so we're giving him all the time he needs.  He's been quite weak, though he has recently returned to his habit of supervising all kitchen activities in hopes of spillage! 

More updates to come!

We're Looking for Some Angels ... GRRI Angels!

Giving Sadie, Jack and Max the special care they've needed for a second chance has been very expensive ... GRRI veterinary bills on these three dogs alone are expected to exceed $12,000.

That's why we're looking for some Angels to help us pay those bills. 

Can you be a GRRI Angel?

If so, please mail your check, payable to GRRI to:

GRRI Angels, 258 Randolph Ave., 1st Floor, East Rutherford, NJ  07073


Simply go to the Paypal Website, and "send money" to the designated GRRI Paypal address, which is

  Please indicate in the notes section that your donation is a GRRI Angel donation. 

If you like, you can also direct your donation for a particular golden -- just let us know whether you'd like to be an Angel for Sadie , Jack or Max.

Please help us help them.

Thank you!