Rufus is a 10-11 year old purebred Golden Retriever. Rufus is being returned back to RAGOM due to his eye disease. He initially came into RAGOM in 2006 and we fostered him back then. At that time, he was seen by an eye specialist and was diagnosed with progressive retinal atrophy or PRA. Rufus was blind in his right eye but still had sight in his left eye in 2006. This condition can lead to blindness in both eyes over time and that is where Rufus is at today. He may see some shadows in his left eye but other than that I don't think he sees much anymore.
This condition frequently causes the development of cataracts which can produce off and on inflammation which can lead to higher pressure in the eyes (glaucoma). This can lead to retinal detachment and that can cause hemorrhage in the back of their eye. In Rufus' right eye, this has happened at some point and so his eye is quite red and the whites of this eye look very bloodshot. The vet said that he is past the point where it is painful but we need to keep the pressure down so he gave us drops for both of Rufus' eyes. The drops are put in each eye every morning and Rufus is very good about it. Of course, he needs to have a special treat for being a perfect patient.
Rufus also has a tumor in his right eye called an epibulbar melanoma. It is a benign tumor of the surface of the eyes of dogs. These tumors grow very slowly in older dogs so for now, we are monitoring it. If it should grow too fast for some reason, the eye specialist said he can laser it to stop the progression. If this along with the pressure in the right eye become problematic, he suggested the eye be removed. At this point in time, we both agreed that just treating the pressure and seeing how things go would be in the best interest for Rufus, especially at his age. We don't want to put him under any added surgeries or stress if we don't need to. However, in the future, the right eye may need to be removed.
While at his regular vet checkup, the vet saw that Rufus had teeth with very heavy plaque buildup and some horrible breath. She suggested we get his teeth cleaned and it was more than likely that several teeth would need to be pulled. Last week, Rufus did get his dental cleaning and had 10 teeth pulled. His teeth look so much better and I am sure once his mouth his healed, he will feel much better also. Another thing was discovered while doing his cleaning, and that was a tumor on the under side of Rufus' tongue. They sent that out to see what it is. We will update on that in a few days.
Rufus is eating well and loves attention. We have our two resident dogs and also our other foster dog, Parker 12-254 so Rufus is just part of the pack. Rufus is a sweet, mellow, boy in his golden years who despite losing his sight, seems to enjoy life. He loves going out each morning to take his roll in the grass and his stroll around the entire yard sniffing at anything and everything. Rufus has learned the layout of the house pretty fast and also where the two deck steps are to get down into the yard. In his previous home, he has been called "Copper" for the past 6 years so that is what we call him. He is a very good boy and he listens well.
Rufus went to Bubbly Paws recently and got a very nice bath and brushing. He came home with his dark red coat all shiny and clean. Thanks to Amy L. for helping out with the three dogs I brought for baths that day.
If you are looking for a dog to sponsor, RAGOM and Rufus would appreciate any help you would like to give. With his dental work and eye care, we have stacked up some bills in a very short time. Without your donations, RAGOM would not be able to help as many dogs as they do each year.
If you would like a sweet, mellow companion that still has a lot of love to give, please let your Placement Advisor know.
9/21/12: Rufus is doing quite well after his dental cleaning. His mouth is all healed up and eating food has been no problem. He is like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to keeping the floors clean of any food or crumbs he finds. I know he is feeling much better now that all of his bad teeth have been removed.
Rufus gets his eye drops every morning after he eats. He comes over by the counter and stands, waiting for his drops. He is sooooo very good about it. I always give him a treat after for being such a good boy.
We will be at Goldzilla from 11-2 tomorrow. Please come and see us at the Foster Tent from 11-12 and he will also be in the Foster Parade at 1:30. Don't let Rufus' blindness scare you away. He gets along really well and since dogs rely on their hearing and nose so much anyway, not being able to see really doesn't affect them as much as us humans think it does. Stop by and visit with us. Rufus would love to say "Hi".
Hi everyone. Sorry it has been awhile since our last update. Rufus has been doing great. He is a very well mannered, mellow guy. We have been taking Rufus for some short walks and I did find out last week that he gets too tired on longer walks. I took all of three dogs and went for a 40 minute walk and Rufus had to stop several times on our way back. We took some short breaks and that did help, but I will keep his walks down to 25 minutes or less. He loves, loves, loves going for walks and the exercise is so good for him. Gotta keep those old joints moving each day.
Rufus gets his eye drops every day in both eyes. He has a check up with the eye specialist this Wednesday. I am hoping that the drops have been controlling the pressure in his eyes so that surgery is not needed at all. Rufus really knows the routine with the drops. After he eats he comes over and waits for me to put them in and then he gets his treat for being such a good boy. He patiently lets you put the drops in. No fuss, no muss.
We also want to give a big "Thank you!" to Julie K. for sponsoring Rufus and providing extra help with the vet bills and care Rufus needed when he came into RAGOM. Your thoughtfulness and support is very much appreciated.
We will try to get some new pictures of Rufus this week. I am hoping we can visit Bubbly Paws and give Rufus a Thanksgiving bath. He wants to look his best when Turkey Day arrives. It is coming fast so we better break out the brushes and clippers so everyone can have a spa day.
Rufus/Copper has been living with me for almost 2 months. He hasadapted to his new living arrangement with very little drama and fits right in with the rest of the 4 legged creatures that inhabit my home. It only took him a few days to figure out the layout of the house and the entrances and exits. He does live on my main floor, and definitely prefers the carpeted living room to the wood and vinyl floors. I have tried to entice him into the bedroom for sleeping but he always retreats to the living room. He sleeps through the night and waits for RD to get him up in the morning. He goes outside on a tie out and loves, loves, loves the snow. I learned the hard way that he needs a tie out or fenced yard. I turned my back for minute and when I turned back, I saw him happily trotting down the street. Who knew a blind dog was completely comfortable roaming the neighborhood alone? Admittedly, not one of my best foster moments!
The thing I want to share with all you potential adopters is how easy this boy is to take care of and love! He is the most gentle, least demanding dog I have ever had, and I just adore him. I actually have little moments of OMG where is Copper, and then realize he is still outside on his tie out because he doesn’t bark, ever! He just waits patiently until I let him in. He really functions like a sighted dog as long as he is in his own element. He is very voice responsive and loves his treats every day. Even when we travelled over the holidays, he did very well in all the places we went. He met all creatures great and small with ease, and after touring each house found his spot to settle and was very content. His medical care at this point consists of a daily drop in one eye, and no further follow up until next November.
If you are looking for a constant companion that loves to take short walks, loves a daily massage, and is sweet, sweet, sweet, this is the guy for you!
From Stichez, Madison and Priya
Merry Christmas to the Golden Seniors! From Anonymous
I just had to post this shot of Copper and RD. With the ice, snow and cold weather, this is their favorite position. I love that they are laying together in the exact same position!! I sure would love to see someone adopt this golden boy, he is one fantastic critter!
To my future forever family,
I just wanted you to know that I, meaning me, Copper, the totally cool blind dog am still waiting patiently for you to come find me and bring me home! I just can’t understand what the heck you are waiting for. I am the PERFECT COMPANION for those of you who want the perfect dog. I might not see, but I hear and smell just fine. I can totally wander around my FMs house with no help, go out in the yard by myself, put up with RD and RC (and believe me, they are sassy), and I never bark. I have NEVER had an accident in the house, I LOVE the sound of food pouring into my bowl each morning and evening, wait patiently for my daily dose of loving, take my eye drops with no fuss and don’t snore nearly as loud as the other creatures in the household. Come meet me please!
Photo of Copper exploring on the farm in Nebraska. I just put him on a long leash and let him do his thing while I stay close enough to supervise.
Copper, on the right, hanging with buddy, Stubby/Cooper, former foster dog, who has found his forever family and lives happily in Nebraska.
- If you want a dog to run or take long walks with you, he’s not the dog for you.
- He does wander on the leash, and doesn’t walk a particularly straight line, and he always likes to do a lot of sniffing. I have found a harness and short leash to be the best walking solution for him, and I have learned I walk him for his pleasure, not my exercise.
- He has done some digging in my plant beds, (not the yard itself). I actually considered it a favor as he got rid of some hostas that I was tired of! J When I scold him and tell him to knock it off, he stops.
FM has been going on and on about this place called "the lake", talking about how much I'm going to love it at the lake, it's so fun at the lake, I get to swim at the lake, I will sleep like baby after being at the lake.... So on Friday night she tells me, "Copper, this is it, we're finally going to the lake, hop in the car boy cuz we gotta take a ride." So, RD and I scrambled into the back of the car; okay well really I don't scrabble I sort of pretend to put my front legs up on the back of the car and then I wait for FM to pick me up and put me in. I could do it, but why bother when I know she'll do all the work? Anyway, then we picked up FMs daughter and off we went. Finally, after 4 grueling hours of napping and listening to RD snore in the car we finally made it. I was greeted by all the other dogs that hang out there, they all smelled real fishy and lakey, mmmm, delicious! I thought to myself, whoa, I want to smell like that.
So after a good night's sleep, FM let me hang out on the lawn, lots of room to explore with no trees to bump in to, and then it was finally time to go in the water. FM led me carefully down the steps, I really appreciate that she always tells me every time I need to take a step down, and then pretty soon I was on the dock, FM said that was kind of tricky because it's not very wide but she showed me where to step to get on the entry platform and then she helped me into the water. I could hear all the other dogs splashing around, so I knew it had to be fun. Man did that water feel good. I walked back and forth and back and forth across the sand, and then FM helped me get out. I loved it! FM says we get to spend a whole week there in July and that she will teach me to swim. I can't wait to go back.
Hanging out in my doo rag, while my fur dries off after chillin’ out in the rain!
It is with a heavy heart that I am reporting that my loving friend passed over the Rainbow Bridge today. He was suffering from vestibular disease and could no longer walk. The vet and I both agreed that he would not recover and I didn't want him to have a poor quality of life. The house feels empty without the sound of his comforting snore.