Sponsored by: Dennis & Joanne M.
We welcomed Christian to our family late on a Sunday. He came a long way to be with us and thanks once again to JH and SG for all they do for transporting these great fosters to us safely here in Sioux Falls, SD!
First on this boy:
v Christian is a Puppy Mill dog
v Christian is approximately 8 years old
v Christian is a male, un-neutered breeding dog (until this Friday)
v Christian is heart worm positive
v Christian is a Purebred Golden Retriever who weighs about 77#
v Christian is a beautiful golden in color
What Christian will need:
v Christian will need a home with a fence
v Christian will need a home with another dog(s)
v Lots of love and patience
The Story so far:
Christian traveled good coming to us (for several hours and with another dog). Christian from the beginning is a sweetheart. Again, he is a breeding stud dog from a puppy mill who is heartworm positive. A very sad and terrible situation. Christian came in with a breeding female, Sinda 09-253 (PM of course as well) from this mill place. So now this magnificent dog is here with us for foster-care and heartworm treatment. When he came he smelled horrible. Of course he was an outside dog, not bathed, very dirty ears, bad mouth (which really adds to the smell) so all around, pew. Christian has symptoms of a PM dog but not horrible. He does want to ‘pace and pace’ which makes sense from his past. We are already getting better with that. He and our pack, which included 3 resident dogs (golden, corgi and border collie) and 3 cats, are just fine. Total harmony. Christian is perfect and respecting of the animals. So there really has not had to be adjustment(s) in that area at all. Even at feeding time. Amazing. So yes, Christian will definitely need “pals’ in his forever home. They are very comforting to him. He totally ignores the cats and the cats are not scared at all. Bonus points in ‘this’ home! He enjoys of course being outside and we walk around the backyard, sniff but he will make sure you are not far away. The little bit I have walked with this boy, he is a total dream. Stays right next to you on your left side. This is the sad part of course once we get the HW treatment this Friday the 27th then he will not be able to be walked for a while due to the way this disease is treated.
I have to say this is one magnificent boy. Totally beautiful, gentle, dependant, sweet, perfect golden size. I cannot say enough what a grand boy he is. Yes, you can tell he is a PM boy, again not severe, but you can also tell he is your typical golden retriever, (I want to be by you all the time!). He is insecure of course. He has a very gentle mouth and demeanor. We are now learning, probably for the first time ever, in a home learning all the new sounds and things that are in a home. He had fun looking in a floor-length mirror, that was so cute. Didn’t quite get it but thought it was someone he knew and he just stared for a few seconds. Went back to see if it looked the same a few seconds later. Funny. He is doing very well with the doorways, again, that is where another dog is huge of course. Follow the leader. He is not sure what to do once he is out there, so I go with him and he really loves the outside. Again, you will see pacing along the fence in wondering what he is to do next. There are no potty training issues that we have experienced at all. He goes outside just fine. He follows you everywhere inside. Making sure he is right by you. He is just today, relaxing and laying by me. This behavior I feel in him will come easy in time, it will be the trust part he will really need to learn and that is just patience and schedule. Currently, Christian is in a large (big) crate in our kitchen (right by where all the traffic is---kitchen and family room, library and front door) so a good central place. He is in his crate while I go to work (4-5 hours) and then is always out by us. He does sleep in there at night as well. He feels secure once he is in the crate. He is not really interested in toy or bones yet as I do not think he knows what they are. He seems fine when I return from work and happy in the morning. Crate stays clean. He is quiet all night. He goes out in the morning with the troops and potties, comes back in and eats fine with everyone.
We had an initial vet check and GROOM yesterday. Wow, we really needed the grooming!! Talk about a total change! Our groomer did a super job and this boy has one wonderful coat, perfect size and just awesome. The groomer said he was scared (worried) in the tub and wanted to just lay down and soak (which they did). He does not growl (I cannot imagine he does at all) nor bark. He was just worried more than anything. Got through just fine. As I sit here and type, he is sure curious about the ‘sounds’ which come out of the TV, again, so cute.........time and patience. I think it is actually becoming comforting for him. (sounds). He has no problems with flooring or sudden noises. Just curious. Sometimes there may be a sound or noise which can startle him for a second, and then he is fine. Now at the vet. He weighed in at 77#, just right. His teeth are horrible, we did do a HW test and X-ray. Christian is not neutered yet either. He behaves great with the vet. No bad panting or drooling. He did the HW test and turned positive right away; the chest X-ray did not look bad. So we are not talking a real severe case of heart worm which was great news. His teeth really need help....a lot of bacteria, tartar, chipping and bad breath. Christian is current on all shots and is microchipped. Again, he behaved great. He did not want to take a soft treat as I feel he was still ‘worried’ and unsure. His mouth is sore and now he is on clavomox antibiotic for infection. We have otomax for his ears but they were not horrible......really bad outside but way inside, not bad. His hips and everything else are great. This dog does not act nor certainly does not look 8. Not sure that is accurate but what we are told, born in 2001. All other tests are good for him. Christian is not sure about getting into a vehicle. I first lift his front feet on the floor followed by lifting the rear. He is fine once he is in but this is totally unfamiliar to him. This will take practice and confident once again so he knows it is safe and a good thing!
This Friday the June 27th, Christian is scheduled for the following:
A dental, neuter and HW injection/treatment. So Friday will be a real tough day for our boy. He will go in the morning and with no complication(s) will come home that evening. He will require a lot of rest of course and monitoring for any side effects from treatments. I have fostered previous HW positive goldens with great results. Vet will do this first injection while under anesthesia (nice for Christian) and in 4 weeks, will get a second one. This is a disease where a lot of down time, quiet time, no walking or excitement for a few weeks so that the ‘worms’ can break down and pass through the blood stream. So our job will be to continue to keep him quiet and calm and of course, just continue to love him! He is in good shape otherwise, and a good blood panel. Christian will do well I think through all of this.
What is so very difficult is WHY this great boy is the way he is. First, a ‘mill’ dog which is horrible; second he has heartworm, and third-- so hungry for love and just kept outside for a ‘reason’ as a stud dog. So Christian, thank goodness, is in rescue and will get the care and treatment he needs. Again this is huge a team effort with Ragom and also with DONATIONS from you wonderful people out there to help us help these wonderful animals from a horrible, unsafe, dirty, sad life and to get the veterinary care so desperately needed, as well and emotional/physical rescue. We really need and appreciate that help and generosity. We can’t do it without your help too.
We are hoping for this Friday to be behind us and get on the road for recovery, once and for all. It is always difficult to be foster mom and know you need to put a magnificent dog through some of these very difficult procedures/tests just after you get them --- you want them to be safe and happy. It is a real blessing that these goldens don’t base the rest of their ‘stay’ with us on some of the procedures/treatments we need to put the dogs through. They absorb the love, nurturing and care so much, they move on quickly. That is why we love what we do. There will of course be a new update after our surgery and treatment this Friday. Such a magnificent beautiful boy!!! He will be fun to photograph a lot.
Our new update today the 27th of June is the vet appointment yesterday went very well. We are ALL happy to have that behind us. Christian does not know that, but good to have done and over with! Christian is doing quite well considering what he had done yesterday. He only had on small tooth pulled and the rest are sparkling and infection taken off. He is neutered, so that will not have to happen again and received his first HW injection and the site looks very good. He of course came home with pain medication. He is actually resting very good today and had a quiet night. I know he wants to pace but he did calm down. He was real thirsty but did not get sick. He ate a good breakfast this morning and is now sleeping.
All of his vitals are very good and everyone at the vet office cannot get over how stunning this dog is! He will be on pain meds the next few days and the same antibiotic for another week until it’s gone. So far, just one small poop yesterday in the kitchen before we got outside from getting him home but otherwise, no accidents. So he is fine with wanting to go out potty. I am hoping some of the pacing will decrease after this, also with trusting a ‘human’ again too of course and no ‘need’ to pace. He is not bad though. So now medically, we are done until the second injection for HW in 3-4 weeks.
During that time he will need to remain calm and no excitement or long walks. From having heart worm positive golden fosters before, they do very good with the treatment which is a more conservative approach. Slow going, first one injection, remain calm and quiet, and then a second one, and same thing, and just do things slow and work into things over a period of time, and they do very well. They build up trust with us as well and being as it is gradual, and works out great. So Christian is on her way to recovery and is doing great. A couple new photos of him, and one is cute with the sleeping in the doggie water dish! He is a great boy.
Christian continues to do well after his HW treatment, dental and neuter.Just amazing considering what he went through. I think he FINALLY feels good really. His teeth were bad and are now clean and not infected and he has a home to be in. It does not HURT to eat now. I think a big weight is off of him in a way so-to-speak, especially emotionally -------not to mention physically of course. He is getting more and more trusting, so loving my gosh! A happy camper and just a total delight to foster. He has come so far in such a short period of time from where he came from. Big note here: I want thank his SPONSORS, Dennis and Joanne!!! How generous and kind in doing such a considerate thing for this wonderful rescue boy named Christian. Thank you both so very very much. Your caring is so needed and very very appreciated. We all thank you.More to come.
New update on our boy! He looks so much like our Cheyenne, hard from a distance to tell them apart! A photo of Kelly (daughter) with Cheyenne and him too......He is doing so good, so beautiful!
Christian is doing wonderful and shines more every day. We have been without a computer for a while so no new update. Christian will be going to the vet tomorrow, July 23rd and July 24th for his final HW treatment injections. He did wonderful with his first round (and neuter). (Again, THANK YOU to our Sponsors! Your help and assistance is so needed and appreciated)
Christian is no longer in his crate. I have an area baby-gated off and he does just fine. He is left from about 6:15-6:30 am until 11:30-noon on weekdays. Christian has gotten the schedule down very well. He knows when to go to bed at night and lays down on his pillow and is quiet all night.
Christian does just wonderful with all of our resident critters, 3 dogs and 3 cats. He really does great with the young grandkids as well who are 5, 4 and 2 ½ years old. Christian LOVES people!
Again, what he does NOT like is fireworks. It seems he can distinct some loud noises from others. The lawn mower is fine, not crazy about it but not scared either, just ok with it. I think a bad thunderstorm may be upsetting and he will need a safe spot to go to.
I have taken him for very short walks (because of HW) and gosh, great. He walks RIGHT NEXT to you on the left, always on the left. We need to go slow of course, but he sure likes them. He is also really branching out with his personality……….now, we are doing ‘laps’ in the backyard which sure shows us how comfortable he has become and how he really wants to feel better! We will ALL be so happy when the final HW treatments are done this week.
We are working on sit/stay with treats. He does pretty well with that too. Just time and patience with this part. He is more bold than my troops trying to get a treat or attention as he is much younger and agile ----- he is going to get right in there next to you for lovin’ or snack, of course a trait of a PM dog. He is learning however, it is not just him in the home.
Christian enjoys being groomed and is so beautiful. His golden hair is really spectacular. Christian acts about 4….no one guesses this beauty is 8 year old. As you will see from photo, there is nothing like a good nap and a roll either!
We will report back after out vetting this week to once and for all, be done with HW treatment and to never have to go through this again……not go through the injections and pain again. Christian is UTD and current on frontline of course too, as well as neutered.
We now have all of our heart worm treatments behind us!So glad for that. Things went real well. He didn’t feel the best for a couple days and as you can see from photo, a little soreness in one of the sites (which now is clearing up fine). At these injection sites the fur is shaved to keep the area clean and sometimes they can have swelling and redness after these injections. They are always in the rear quarters of the dogs as muscles are better there and the photo included on this update shows where one injection got a little “warm and red” and had a slight reaction to putting some antibiotic cream on as well to help. Presently it is healing up well. Another note too is to make sure a dog does NOT lick the site. Gus has been great to leave his alone. With the antibiotic treatment this area will be 100% in a couple days. Remember, there were two other sites of injections that you cannot even tell! But this is to show you how one of them can look. Most of it is the fur that is shaved! This is such a horrible disease for dogs, so easily “preventable” and they have to go through this sometimes uncomfortable process for treatment of heart worm, and of course, costs associated with its treatment. Again, a big THANK YOU to sponsors Dennis and Joanne for helping make this possible.
I would like to take a moment here to mention that we as fosters, dedicate ourselves, time, training, love, schedules, resident children/pets and put our all into these fostered rescued dogs who come with all sorts of different issues. Please remember that we have put all of the above into our foster dog(s) and new homes cannot assume that when they leave our foster home, they will just pick up this learned behavior(s) at your home right away. There will always be an adjustment and even perhaps small set-backs due to transitions, every dog being different of course. This is the normal. We cannot expect our wonderful fostered golden retrievers to pick up where we as fosters left off. Patience, patience, knowledge, and more patience. Learn as much as you can on the particular golden rescued dog and their foster; ask as many questions as you can and, plan accordingly. Do your research. If you look at a rescue dog for adoption and come into this wonderful, great experience of Ragom with a “learned attitude and expectations”, we will all benefit and have a wonderful golden life and great adoptions. It is all about the rescued goldens. As with our Gus, he has come so very, very far from being outside kennel/stud dog ALL year round (imagine….)to inside a home, love, good vetting, food and golden care!
Our golden boy is doing great. We are taking more walks and he walks so beautifully. It takes us a few minutes to ‘get going’ as he still wants to walk in front of me to make sure things are ok. Once we are going wow, what a walker! Always on your left side and now he will stop and sniff. He really enjoys these. We sure get the compliments too. We still do these walks with care from his HW treatment yet of course, but he is not affected by it at all. He loves to look and listen and smell now. He has really learned not to be scared of things which pop up on our walks and is very trusting. This is a huge step after 7+ years in a mill. He listens while you walk very well and everyone loves to meet him and he of course, really loves people. Other dogs are fine of course too. He is so beautiful to watch. We just make sure we don’t go too fast or if too warm/hot outside and have a labored breathing (don’t want that for any dog!) but especially one who is ending HW treatment. There is sure no rush. (Due to a lot of heat lately we have not been out much lately) I have to say he is one of the most wonderful goldens to walk ever.
Gus is ready to play…….and is now really doing ‘laps’ in the backyard to blow off a little steam. It is just a hoot to watch. Then our Maggie (border collie mix) joins in so for about 3-5 minutes it is non-stop laps/runs. So fun to watch and so incredible how good is he feeling!
Gus loves his grub and is always the first one done. He listens well with a hand signal and ‘wait’ by me until the other 3 are done………(they are old and really take their time!) He loves “canned veg-all” or browned turkey on his kibble. Basically he is not fussy at all. It does get busy around here with all 7 of the pets. Gus really wants his attention and he is learning to share.
He sure knows our schedule well. It is fun to watch how his beautiful, fluffy tail goes up and he cocks his head at the door when ‘dad’ is home or Kelly comes over, or a friend. Always happy to see someone…..just incredible. Again, he has such a great ‘nose’ to put underneath your arm/wrist for a pet!
He will watch patiently at the door for you to come home!!
Our magnificent Gus (Christian) is with Mom and Dad now. Deb and Paul are one of the most wonderful families I have ever met. This is a family who is well prepared, did research (I love that!), asked great questions, a lot of questions, which really impresses me. Knowledge, they wanted to know as much as they could about our wonderful boy to make this the best match and fit for ALL of us. They took their time, traveled, and really did their homework. That is the way it should be. Gus had also ‘read and felt’ the love and heartfulness’ of this family. He is going to a home to his sister, Amie, a senior Ragom golden from 9 years ago, a fenced yard, someone who is home most all of the time, and just the most gentle, wonderful permanent home a golden could ask for. A family who was really ready for this adoption. We will sure miss Gus, just really loved this boy. Incredible how far this PM/Stud dog has come from June! And always thankful to our sponsors too for helping make all of this possible! A great adoption to such wonderful people and of course, for one of the most beautiful, wonderful Ragom golden retrievers! Such a great day. Hugs to you Gus boy……you are finally ‘home’ now.
Today (August 28, 2009) Gus (Christian) is celebrating his first week in our home, and he is settling in very well. Even though he had spent the previous seven years in a puppy mill, he is transforming into smart, sweet, and quite well adjusted boy. It is evident that not only is he a remarkable dog, with a strong spirit, but also Rona his foster mother did an amazing job of caring for him during the two and a half months he was with her. She is miracle worker.
It was just a week ago yesterday when Deborah and I arrived at Rona’s home to meet Gus for the first time. Gus greeted us right away; tail a wagging, happy to be petted with very little hesitation to make contact with us. We spent about two or three hours at Rona’s house talking and scratching dogs behind the ears, getting to know her and Gus, and meeting her other dogs and cat. First thing Friday morning we were back at Rona’s to pick up Gus, thank Rona for the amazing work she did with him, and then we headed out for the four hour car ride back home. We had a nice comfy place prepared for Gus in the back seat, but to make the trip easier for all of us I rode in the back with him. It was a good time to do some guy to guy bonding, some serious head-in-lap time, and lots of scratches behind the ears for Gus.
Arriving home, we called our daughter Heather to have her bring our 12 year old Ragom female Amie out to the front lawn so that Amie and Gus could meet for the first time on neutral ground. Amie has been a solo dog since her buddy Ike, our 14 year old male golden, had died last fall. We were not sure how she would respond to losing her unique spot of only dog in the house. It didn’t take long at all to see that any worry we may have had about the two of them getting along was unnecessary. A little nose touching, some introductory sniffing, and they were buddies.
Gus spent the first hour or so in our house doing some serious exploring. You could tell that he was pretty confused. He didn’t really pace back and forth, but he did a lot of darting about the house, looking into this room and that. He stopped frequently to listen nervously to every new sound that he heard, and there were a lot of them. A jet plane flying overhead, a loud lawnmower two houses over, the barking of our next door neighbor’s dachshund Eva, all were strange new sounds. The wind was out of the north so you could also hear the steady hiss of the freeway four blocks away. New people, a new dog companion, a new house, lots and lots of new sounds. That was a lot for a guy to take in. Finally after about an hour, he found a quiet corner and lay down.
That evening Heather’s twin sister Ariel came home for a weekend stay; yet one more new thing was there for old Gusser to have to adapt to. When we all turned in that night, Gus was very ready to settle into the new dog bed we had laid out for him. He had had a very big day, and slept soundly his first night in his forever home.
Over the next few days Gus began adjusting to the house and many of the daily routines very quickly. Meal times were no problem, and virtually no in-house accidents. The one obstacle that was daunting to him was going out into our fenced in back yard alone. There are a number of trees in our yard and in adjacent yards and when the wind blows they can wave about in scary ways. The freeway noise can get loud on occasion, plus all kinds of new smells. We had to take him outside on a leash and walk him around for awhile to get him to do his business outside. But each day we would bring him outside, keep him close to the house, and give him a chance to slowly get used the outdoors. I’m sure seven years in a cage outside did not make the great outdoors an especially fun place for him. We took him on walks every day, and little by little he started to get comfortable with being outside. After about the fourth day he did go outside by himself for a very short foray. Then yesterday while Gus, Amie, and Deborah were out on the patio a bunny hopped through the yard. Amie spotted it first and she started loping after it. Gus jumped to follow, and the chase was on. Fortunately for the bunny a couple of older golden retrievers were no match for it in terms of speed and agility. Mr. Bunny left the two of them in the dust, but WOW what an exciting romp that they had chasing him. Since then he has quickly gotten more and more comfortable with going outside on his own.
So, first week anniversary and Mr. Gus is doing pretty darned good. I’m sure there is a lot of adjusting that he will need to do still, but he has made amazing progress in such a short time. Thanks much to Super Foster Mom Rona, she is a gem.
I have attached a few pictures of Gus, Amie, and some of the two-leggeds.
Paul K & Deborah M