Vol 5 No 1

Winter 2003

Features in this Issue:

2002 -- GRRI's Year In Review

Special Help for Goldens Needing Special Care

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

GRRI NEWS Archives



Special Help for Goldens Needing Special Care

GRRI needs your help.

Every day, GRRI depends on revenues from adoption fees, contributions, product sales and special fundraisers to do its work.

And we do that work with great financial efficiency, relying solely on the efforts of unpaid volunteers, and carefully managing costs for necessary out of pockets, such as our hotline, insurance, postage,  web hosting, and of course, veterinary bills.

But in 2002, GRRI outpaced itself by providing extensive veterinary care to 12 wonderful Goldens.  These extraordinary cases helped bring GRRI annual veterinary expenses to more than $29,000, our most costly year to date. 

Whenever a Golden needing major medical care has needed our help, GRRI has never turned away.  But during 2002, we worried that the day might come when our finances would dictate otherwise.

That's why GRRI is creating a special, ongoing fundraiser, called The GRRI Special Help Fund.  Donations directed to this fund will be used specifically for Goldens in need of special veterinary procedures, like the ones GRRI has profiled below.

With your help, GRRI hopes it will NEVER have to turn away a medically needy Golden due to lack of funds.

To contribute to The GRRI Special Help Fund, please mail your check or money order, payable to GRRI, to:

GRRI Special Help Fund
c/o Judy Laureano, President and Treasurer
125 Union Valley Road
Newfoundland, NJ  07435

OR to donate in increments of $10 via Credit Card, Click on the Paypal link below

Here are Just a FEW of the Special Needs Goldens GRRI Has Helped ...

Polar -- Neurological Disorder

Polar was a happy, carefree 7-week-old puppy who suddenly collapsed and became paralyzed in his rear quarters.  He was given to rescue since his owners were unable to afford the cost of the veterinary care he would require.  GRRI placed this beautiful puppy in a foster home and began searching for a reason for the paralysis.  A trip to the University of Pennsylvania for extensive bloodwork and neurological testing was inconclusive.   Some felt he developed the paralysis as a result of a parasite called neospora that was transmitted to him while he was being carried in his mother's womb.  Muscle biopsies and MRI results were sent to the University of California. They felt it could be canine Muscular Dystrophy.  But the prognosis was still the same - Polar would not recover from this disease.  So our challenge was to find a home where he would continue to receive excellent care, un-conditional love and the right to live out his life with dignity, however long that would be.  And we found that home.  Polar is now working as a therapy dog, visiting school children to demonstrate that even dogs with disabilities can live productive lives.

Maxine -- Bi-Lateral Hip Dysplasia
(no photo)

Maxine is a serene 2-year-old with severe hip dysplasia in both hips.  She was extremely obese and walked with a pronounced rolling gait. Attempts to step up onto a curb or climb stairs resulted in collapse most of the time.  GRRI had her examined by both an orthopedic surgeon and a holistic vet. Both felt she was too young to undergo replacement surgery at this time.  They recommended immediate weight loss of at least 15 pounds, a raw diet, acupuncture, glucosamine and chondroitin to support/lubricate the joints, and swimming.  No running, jumping or rough playing.  Thanks to caring foster parents, Maxine did lose the weight, enjoyed a summer of swimming in the family's backyard pool, and weekly acupuncture treatments.  Her condition improved remarkably.  GRRI found her a home that would continue with this course of treatment, and they recently wrote to tell us how wonderfully she is doing.  

Ed -- Severe Neglect and Starvation
(no photo)

How anyone could deliberately starve a dog is beyond comprehension. But that's what the Animal Control officers discovered when they were called to a home to investigate animal cruelty.  He was immediately removed from the home and taken to a local shelter.  He was so ill that volunteers feared for his life.  GRRI was called to help save his life.  We almost lost him. He was beyond caring; there was no light left in his beautiful brown eyes, and he couldn't lift his head or wag his tail.  An emergency trip to the vet revealed that none of his organs had been compromised, so he was started on his road to recovery.  GRRI placed him in an experienced foster home. He was given supplements to support his immune system and digestive tract; he was fed several times a day so he wouldn't vomit what he was able to keep down.  Blood work was performed weekly to ensure that he was stabilizing.   We named him Spirit.  When he realized there was going to be food to eat on a regular basis, and that he had a place to go to relieve himself without having to lie in it, he decided that maybe he would give life another chance.  After months of healing, it was time to go to his forever home.  A young couple read about his story and asked to adopt him.  They have committed to giving him all the love they can for however long they have him, and renamed him Ed.  Ed is happy, he is loved, and he is returning that love. 


Jack -- Starvation, Infections and Seizures

GRRI discovered Jack tucked away in the back room of an animal shelter, so still and quiet that at first our volunteer thought he had died.  In fact, the very room he was in was the room where unadoptable animals are taken to be euthanized.  He was terribly ill.  He had a green mucous pouring from every orifice in his body.  He was very malnourished...and he was going to die if we didn't do anything.  Our volunteer drove directly to a veterinarian who placed him on intravenous fluids and performed extensive bloodwork.  It was thought that he had distemper.  He was suffering from seizures.  But once he was stabilized he was ready to be moved to a foster home.  He was placed on a raw diet and given medication for the severe seizure activity he was experiencing.  Slowly he started to recover.   The seizure activity would come and go; he would have upwards of 14 seizures a day; many times we felt it was time to do the humane thing and help him to the bridge; but then he would rally.  It's now been 2 years since Jack came into rescue.  His foster home was given approval to adopt him, and they continue to do everything they can for him.   They know each day they have with him is a gift, and they accept that and love him.


Taylor -- Neurological Disorder

Taylor was born without a tail.  And his spine was a little crooked, and he walked a little like a crab.  But it wasn't until he was 4-months old that his neurological problem became really obvious.  When he came bounding into his foster home from the backyard, his back legs gave out and he skidded into a wall.  He couldn't get up.  He was rushed to a vet who took x-rays to ensure nothing was broken.   He was kept confined, and then slowly started to regain mobility.  His hind quarters are still weak, but he can walk and run.  He plays with the other Goldens in his foster home, and is pain free. He is growing, but the spine is obviously curved.  GRRI is working with veterinarians to determine the best course of action for this gentle little 6-month old.  In the meantime, the busy life of a puppy continues.

Alex -- Bi-Lateral Entropian of the Eyelids


Alex was born with a congenital condition called entropian eyelids.  An entropian eyelid is one where the lid curves in towards the eyeball, and the lashes scrape against the cornea.  Normally this is an easily corrected condition when the dog is still a pup.  Left untreated, it can cause severe eye inflammation, corneal scarring and even blindness.  Alex was born with entropian eyelids in both eyes, top and bottom.  And unfortunately, his former owners did nothing to correct this problem.  Now a senior, he was surrendered to rescue.  Our volunteers immediately recognized his condition and he was examined by a vet.  The dog was in great pain, and was rubbing his reddened eyes frequently. Thankfully no scarring or loss of vision had occurred.  He underwent surgery and both lids on both eyes were repaired and sutured.  He is still recovering, but already his foster mom reports how happy he is.  To be pain free after 9-years ... how wonderful.  Alex is not yet ready for adoption, but we know that when his time comes, someone will get a wonderful companion.

Honey -- H
eartworm Positive

Heartworm is a potentially fatal canine disease if left untreated.  And it is easily diagnosed with a simple blood test.  In 2002, GRRI  treated 4 dogs with this life threatening disease.  And we are proud to say that all 4 dogs survived and are now happily adopted. But this treatment is not inexpensive.  It involves several stages of medication as well as overnight veterinary stays and on-going blood testing.  Sometimes the treatment itself can be fatal.  Then there is the recovery time.  The entire treatment cycle occurs over a four month period, so a dedicated foster home is a must. 


Angel -- Incontinence

Angel developed an ectopic urethra after she was spayed at 6-months of age.  Her family couldn't stand the "urine dribbling" and smell that accompanied this condition, so  she was surrendered to rescue.  GRRI placed her in a foster home and had her examined by a urologist.  Medication was recommended, but it didn't solve the problem, so surgery was performed.  While this significantly reduced the problem, it didn't totally resolve it.   So her course of treatment was changed and she was given an additional medication to take.  Her adoptive parents report that she still has an accident on rare occasions, but it's nothing serious and everybody is happy. 

Thank you in advance for your contribution to The GRRI Special Help Fund!