8/12/06: There are some things that happen in life that are meant to be. Sunny ending up with RAGOM and at my house is one of those very special stories, and I'd like to share it with you. Get your coffee and hope you had a nap :)
It was Friday and I was on my way home when I decided to stop and gas up the Doggie Mobile. I filled up and as I was going in to pay I noticed a car with a woman and Golden in the back seat. When I came out I just decided to wander over and see the dog. The man was just getting into his car when I said hi, I just wanted to see your Golden....I do Golden Rescue. The woman looked at the man and said, "She's just the person to talk to". He got out and we chatted and he told me he had seen an ad for the dog in the Metro paper, but wasn't sure he should get her. When she was in the paper a second week, he knew it was meant to be. When he picked her up, she jumped right in the car like it was the most natural thing to do. So off they went to his home to meet his 2 Goldens, Great Dane and 2 Persian cats. A couple days later he took the dog to his vet. He received the devastating news that she was heartworm positive and he would have to make a choice, put her down or run tests to check her other functions. If they were good, then go through a very expensive treatment that would require her to be kept quiet and calm during the weeks of treatment. Not an easy thing to do with a Golden who was accustomed to running in her yard most of the day. Worse yet, he found out the dog has a "high prey drive"....which means cats, bunnies and other small furry things are fair game....and not to play with. This man had this sweet dog for less than a week. Amazingly, he chose to have her treated, but he would have to find someone who could care for her and eventually find a home for her. But he would pay for the expensive heartworm treatment. So he made a call....
My friend at our St. Cloud Humane Society emailed me about a Golden that was heartworm positive and the owner had to give her up because she has a high prey drive. But he was willing to pay for the heartworm treatment. Did I think RAGOM would be willing to take her? So I started things on my end with RAGOM. Meanwhile, my friend would have to wait to get ahold of the owner to see if he would indeed be willing to surrender her to RAGOM. I figured this would take the weekend to figure out and get all parties in touch with one another.........
As the gentleman was telling me his story about the dog in the car and how he needed divine intervention.....it hit me...this had to be the man Vicki had called me about. I said excuse me, but did you call Vicki at the Humane Society about a heartworm positive dog needing a foster.....and that he would pay for the treatment? He just looked at me and said yes. I said...well that would be me.......the lady who Vicki called. We all were just amazed how we came together at a gas station and I ended up meeting Sunny.
We moved our cars out of the way, got Sunny out, I did a quick _eval of her, called my RAGOM mentor, talked, and decided she would be a welcomed addition to our RAGOM family. We exchanged names and numbers and he said he could keep her at least through the weekend. On the way home I called Vicki and she said she was so sorry she hadn't gotten back to the man.....and I told her I'd just met him.....she had goosebumps!! Our great RAGOM Intake people got things done and by Friday night we were set. So today we met at our favorite gas station and Sunny came home with me. Many times I have stood where this man stood...saying goodbye to a dog I had known and cared for.....for a short period...and had wormed its way into my heart. This gentleman had a very difficult time saying goodbye to this beautiful girl after only a week. He asked to be kept updated on her treatment, recovery and adoption. He kissed her goodbye more than once and I finally saw what others see when I say goodbye...the pain of saying goodbye, but knowing the dog woud be loved and cared for. I know we will find a wonderful home for Sunny when she has completed her treatment.
There are people in this life that can have a dog for years and never feel what this man felt for this dog in one short week. There are people who would choose to put the dog down rather then spend the money, if they had it, to give the dog the treatment. I feel it was meant to be that I walked over to his car to see the dog....I see many Goldens in many cars....but I never go to meet them. I feel blessed to have met such a warm, caring, loving and generous man.
In a few short hours I have learned that Sunny is housebroken, will go into a crate, has a nose that won't quit.....when she was outside her nose was to the ground smelling where the rabbitts had been. She is sweet, ate her supper out of my hand, but barked whenever she saw one of the dogs, even in a separate room with a gate keeping them all apart. I did forget about the cat thing....and we went up stairs to see the house and walked into the bedroom and there was poor Sedwick napping on one of the doggie beds. Oh boy....Sunny just went nuts, barking and lunging, but Sedwick wouldn't budge and stood his ground hissing and growling at her. I think had he run she would have tried to get him. But now Sedwick knows to stay away from her. Fact is, we haven't seen him since!!
We've been a bit dry up here, but tonight when I took Sunny and Finn out to go potty, the thunder started and this girl was like a bullet shot out of gun....right for the door. So, storm anxiety big time. I gave her some Valerian Root in a couple capsules and rubbed some calming oil on the inside of her ear flaps (after I let her sniff it). Thought she might be happier down in the basement level, so made TM go get another crate and set it up. Meanwhile it got quiet and so we tried to go out again. No dice. Sunny wanted in the Doggie Mobile......so I opened it up and let her in. She sat in there while we got the crate set up. Only thing is, she didn't like this crate, or the room or whatever, so took her back up to the living room and crated her. Turned all the lights off and came down to tell Sunny's story. Not a peep out of her.
Sooooo....for the duration of Sunny's heartworm treatment she will be unavailable, living a very quiet and sedate life. Won't be much for newsy updates, but will send in a few more pictures down the line.
One last thing....thank you to Dennis for trusting Sunny to me and RAGOM. You are a very special man and it was Sunny's saving grace that you brought her home with you that day and stopped for gas on Friday :)
Foster Mom and the Crew
Ms. Sunny has been to the vet and had her first heartworm treatment. The shot must be something, as she was a sad girl who wanted to lay in her crate and not eat for a day. She will have 2 more shots in about a month. Her heart is enlarged and she is over weight, so the combination makes panting a constant thing for her. While at the vet she was micro chipped and updated on all her shots. The exam showed she has a yeast infection in both ears and she has postules spread out over her body. She is on antibiotics, steroids and drops for her ears. She also has a special shampoo to help her skin and coat. She has a funny bite in the front of her mouth, a bit of tartar, but that's about it. Dr. Nancy thought she was about 4 or 5 years old.
Sunny settled in fairly well and fast with Reba. Casey....well that's always another story. One time she's fine... the next...she just doesn't like her. Who knows. BUT Sunny does have a very HIGH prey drive. Today while she was loose in the kitchen with me, with a leash on, I turned around and next thing I knew she had gone after our cat....whom I'm sure figured he wasn't going to budge. Got Sunny and crated her and then went to look for Sedwick. Found him behind the water softener...pretty shook up. I got him out and checked him over, no blood but a lot of "wet" on his body. I don't know how she would be with small dogs, but I feel for Ms. Sunny a fenced yard, no cat(s) or small dogs would be the best bet for her. She is very loving and enjoys the attention you give her, but doesn't come up and flip your hand for attention. She does pull very hard on her leash, which isn't good for her, so a Gentle Leader is a must to keep her calm. That and keeping her away from Casey :) Sunny would greatly benefit from obedience school. She knows come and sit...but only when so inclined. When she is out and "sniffing" she just ignores you.
Sunny will be moving to a new foster who has no cats and a very mellow Rottie. She has to be kept quiet for at least a month, and even if we weren't going to be gone, she would be better off in a more quiet environment....no cat and no rude foster dog. She is sweet and it is very difficult to keep her crated or leashed, but I just have to remember it's for her life...literally. I know she is going to a very nice foster and will be well taken care of. I will let you know when she makes her move.
I wish the last picture I had of Sunny and bed buddy, was more clear. But she was so cute just laying in the kitchen with her buddy. Sunny has packed up her bowl, toys, and meds and headed for WI to stay with a new foster and will have a foster furbutt brother. Sunny is a sweet girl who I'm sure is crossing her paws in thanks for the gentleman who saved her and then when he knew he couldn't keep her, was kind enough to give her a chance with RAGOM. Paying for her heartworm treatment was frosting on the cake. So from Sunny and us at RAGOM - Thank You, Dennis!
Sunny's new foster will be taking over the updates from here on out. I'm sorry I couldn't keep her longer, but needing peace, quiet and no stress just wasn't gonna happen here with Ms. Casey and Sedwick the cat. But we got her started on her treatment, up to date on her shots and now she will rest and recover in her new foster home.
Foster mom ..... take it away Foster Dad :)
Sunny arrived at the Apple River Resort late Friday evening. She was way overdue for some much needed R&R and some extensive pampering. She seemed to love the car ride and much to my dismay, she even managed to find my open moon roof for a brief second on the way home. She met her lumbering new roomate (my resident dog, a 100 pound Rottie named Tiny) with a little bit of aprehension, as do most people, both two legged and four legged. She soon found out that despite his appearance he is the biggest love bug she ever met. It only took a few good sniffs and some rubbing noses and they had declared a friendship. They are working on figuring out how to play together, but can't quite get it figured out. Tiny's way of playing is by jumping up and down and barking, but Sunny isn't quite sure of that activity. Her idea of playing is rolling over and rubbing her nose on the carpet, but when she does that Tiny looks at her like she must have an itch some place that she can't get scrathced. It is really kind of cute. We are working on teaching Sunny to sit at the door before going outside each and every time. In addition we are slowly trying to introduce her to a Gentle Leader, but she really seems to object and with her heartworm treatments in progress I don't want to put too much strain on her so we are taking the Gentle Leader training in small steps. Her medical condition seems to be improving. We have an appointment coming up next week to have a check up done on her ears and skin condition. I gave her a bath last night and boy oh boy, was that an awesome sight. I think some of the suds and water might still be floating around my bathroom. We were an efficient washing machine - I provided the shampoo and water and she provided the movement. What a team! I haven't had a chance to snap any pictures yet, but promise some on the next update after our vet visit next week!
Now that Sunny has spent a couple weeks with us I feel a lot more comfortable telling you all a little bit about her. In the last week she has really come out of her shell and has started to let us see just a small glimpse of who she really is. She greets me very happily at the door no matter if Iíve been away five minutes or five hours. She requests her fair share of attention, and if it is not doled out accordingly, she will lovingly take her head and flip your hand up to the top of her head. It is so cute!
Her house manners are absolutely excellent! She doesnít counter surf, scratch or chew, she is completely housebroken (no accidents, even in a new house and takes care of business quickly when she is let out), doesnít beg, and doesnít jump on any furniture unless invited. I couldnít ask for a better house guest. She is content to sleep in a dog bed at the foot of my bed and usually settles down fairly quickly at night. On the rare occasion she needs to go out during the night (only once in two weeks) she barked at my room door until I awoke and took her outside.
She will do anything for a small treat. (Even get in the bathtub!) So far Iíve figured out that she knows how to sit, lay, stay, and shake, but all are only when she is so inclined. Sunny is kind of headstrong and when she gets excited, listening tends to go out the window. She is very strong on the leash. I have requested a halter for her as she is still strongly resisting the Gentle Leader. She will need continued work on leash manners, but her excellent inside skills more than make up for any misgivings on her leash. As her earlier foster mom mentioned, Sunny does have a high prey drive and she will chase just about anything that is small, furry, and runs. Because of this I am going to be requesting that her forever family have a fenced in yard. She deserves to have a yard where she can ran and play and not have to worry about being distracted by a pesky squirrel. We continue to work on getting Sunny to sit and stay right inside the door while I put her leash on. She is catching on slowly and I think in a short time we will have that skill mastered.
Sunny is truly a heart-throb as can be seen in the picture below with my resident dog Tiny. When Tiny reached in for a little kiss Sunny shut him down in a hurry. REJECTED! I guess all of us single men should get used to that.
Our vet appointment last week went well. We got a new medication for her ears, and they seem to be clearing up very quickly. We also scheduled her last heartworm treatment for the 14th of September, which will unfortunately take us out of commission for the RAGOM picnic, but this was one of the few times when the vetís office could guarantee two very quiet relaxing days at their facility. Weíll be in touch again soon with some new pictures and hopefully some fun new adventures to tell you about.
Wow! Progress! Slow, steady, progress! It has been an eventful week at the Apple River Resort. This week Sunny has mastered her stay command. When it is time to go out, she now goes to the door and sits. We are still in the process of re-enforcing the behavior with repetition, but we are light years away from where we started just a few short weeks ago.
We also discovered that Sunny knows how to hold perfectly still and flip a treat from her nose directly into her mouth each and every time you set one on her nose. Thatís a fun little trick, but not too conducive to a good diet, so now that we discovered it we will be reserving it strictly for showing off to all of our two and four legged friends.
We received a delightful little package from our good RAGOM friend in charge of supplies this week. I think the package came straight from Heaven, either that or someone exchanged my Sunny Bunny for another while I was away at work. We received an easy walk harness and although it was a new contraption for me, I donít think it was all that new to Sunny. She stood perfectly still all the while I fitted it to her plump little body and never struggled with it a bit. After all that we had been through with the Gentle Leader training, I expected the harness to be a major undertaking as well, but no such bad luck. Our first run out was smooth! I believe she must have been walked using a harness prior to coming into RAGOM because when she is wearing it she doesnít even attempt the same type of lunging behaviors that she might otherwise attempt with just her normal collar on. It is great! One of Sunnyís largest obstacles to becoming an exceptional member of four legged society has been overcome.
One more hurdle coming up this week (her final heartworm treatment) and she is going to be ready to take all you doggie loving forever homes by surprise. Please take a moment to think of Sunny and her recovery and all that RAGOM does for our wonderful dogs while you are enjoying yourselves at the picnic next weekend. Though Sunny will not be there in body her spirit and hundreds like her will be all around you! I promise a quick update as soon as I know anything about Sunnyís condition late next week.
What a wild and crazy ride the last few days have been! I picked Sunny up from the vetís office promptly after getting home from work on Friday night. She seemed very worn out and tired when I got her, as was to be expected, but glad to be leaving that place. She met Tiny with wagging tail and a very mutual happiness to be back together. When we arrived home the issues started in. She came in the door and quickly drank the entire huge bowl of fresh water I have for the dogs. She then proceeded to go into the bedroom and try to drink that entire bowl. When I realized what she was doing, I stopped her, but it was too late. It only took about 10 minutes and all of the water that went down came right back up. Not too pretty! Even Tiny went and hid under the kitchen table, he must have a weak doggy stomach. We continued to fight with getting her hydrated and keeping down food all weekend. By Saturday mid-morning I was like any parent with a very sick child, beside myself. I didnít know what to do and I just wanted her to feel well again. Finally Saturday afternoon I went to the grocery store and bought a 5 pound bag of chicken and boiled that and de-boned it. I added some rice and also purchased a doggy version of pedialite in a can to help her re-hydrate. We went with small bites at first, about a tablespoon, then an ice cream scoop and on up the line. By Sunday night she was able to drink freely again and urinated for the first time since I brought her back home. The vet prescribed a special kd dog food for 30 days to help with her kidney function and she also came home on some steroids to help with the general aches and pains as she slowly recovers from this last round of treatments. As long as she continues to improve over the course of the rest of this week she should become available for adoption very soon! Tiny and I will miss her greatly, but weíve hogged our share of unconditional love and affection from her and we really should let a great forever family start to enjoy their share before we become too attached to let go. Iíll do another update in a couple days, just to follow up, but it looks as if we are passed the worst of it! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. They seem to have worked!
I never thought uneventful was a good thing until I met Sunny! The last couple days have been very quiet and very good for Sunny. She has been eating her new KD dog food and seems to like it. We've been going for very short walks and she's still seems as strong as an ox! Best of all, she already has her drive to play back. She tore all of the stuffing out of one of her chew toys last night and had a very cute half smile on her face all the while she did it. She was just waiting for me to yell at her, but I was too busy laughing at her to yell. I am making Sunny available for adoption as of tonight. Her new forever family will have to understand that she will have a few restrictions like leash walking only and a special diet for a few more weeks, but after that.......look out because you will be getting the most beautiful, playful, snuggle loving, four legged friend you could ever ask for. Please remember that Sunny will do best in a forever home with a fenced in yard. I will update again soon with some more pictures. In the mean time come and meet this beautiful girl for yourself!
Another week has passed and Sunny continues to do well. Her appetite is strong and soon she will no longer need any special medications. Another good bath and brushing are in order as she has a potential forever home coming to check her out this week! Our neighbor's Saint Bernard got loose one night this week and came across the yards to visit. Sunny did not appreciate his company. I think she may have been intimidated by his enormous size. I quickly ushered her inside as I did not want her getting too excited. Other than that it has been a very quiet week! We'll keep you posted on Tuesday's visit.
Sunny had a visit from a nice forever family earlier this week. She put on her best performance despite the fact that is was about to storm outside and she was a little anxious. Shortly after they left she spotted a cat right outside the living room window and pushed out the screen and jumped out to get to the cat. Good thing the window is only a couple feet off the ground! I followed her to my next door neighborís front yard where she had chased the poor kitty up a tree. Needless to say I will only be opening the top portion of those windows from now on. We scheduled a second visit with the nice forever family for next week. We are going to meet their resident dog and check out their yard. Sunny and I canít wait!
This Friday evening Sunny will leave her plush accommodations at her Apple River resort and start her new Golden Life with her new forever family. Sheíll have three kids to play with and a great new fenced in backyard. Good luck, Sunny!