Carmel is a sweet, beautiful 8 year-old spayed female Golden Retriever. She is medium gold with a very thick coat. So thick in fact, that is still includes her full winter coat - which I am working on removing. She suffers from severe storm anxiety - this includes fireworks and firecrackers and I assume gun shots. Carmel joined the RAGOM family on July 5, 2005. Her previous owners brought her into a vet clinic and asked that she be euthanized by Animal Control, because her storm anxiety caused her to run away on numerous occasions. The wonderful veterinary clinic and their staff, who Carmel had been turned over to, asked for and received permission to re-home her. They called us for help with finding her the perfect home.
I believe Carmel had spent much of her previous life outside - based on the thickness of her winter coat - so she would have been fully exposed to that which she fears the most. Her foster brother and sister and I have taken a vote and decided that henceforth she will be addressed as Princess Carmel. She will now learn how Golden royalty should be treated.
Carmel is a short, overweight, loving girl who loves to be brushed. Picture a coffee table that almost purrs. She currently weighs in at 70 pounds. I am guessing her ideal weight is closer to 45 pounds. Carmel is the same height as her 50 pound senior foster sister and the same color as her 62 pound 18 month old foster brother - who is 5 inches taller than she is. She will be going to the vet this afternoon.
During the 14 hours she has been with us so far, I have observed her intense love of rawhide chews, her extreme pleasure with being brushed - I have removed a grocery bag full of fur so far - her excitement at meal time (along with her disappointment at the proportion of dry food to raw carrots and green beans she was served. I am sure I heard her mutter something about, "what does she think I am, a rabbit??" I explained the term DIET, but she isn't impressed), her intense discomfort with containment (as is typical of dogs with storm anxiety), and her ingenuity and speed with identifying and opening the dog food bin - she offered to get her own meals from now on - good try, but THAT won't be happening at my house! I have seen no signs of counter surfing or garbage grazing. Carmel also enjoys car rides and is an excellent passenger.
Princess Carmel passed her vet visit with flying colors. She is now micro chipped, heartworm negative and UTD on shots. Her senior girl blood work shows healthy and normal in all areas - which means there is no medical reason for the extra 25 pounds. The diet and exercise will continue. She was voting for a Frosty Paws to help celebrate the 1 pound she has lost so far. There are soooo many disappointments in life!
Today our Princess has just completed a major teeth cleaning and 2 extractions. Her smile will now look much better but is doomed to be lopsided due to the removal of a canine and adjacent incisor tooth. I told her it would just add to her unique charm.
Yesterday another foster mom came over with brushes and we double teamed sweet Princess Carmel for a two hour major hair removal session. By the end of the brushing, she was trying to convince me there were other dogs in the yard who should be getting some of this excessive attention also. She still has more hair to lose, but looks so much better. From above she still resembles a coffee table that smiles and wags (from opposite ends), but now she also shines a beautiful rich golden red. She is touchy about her feet, so of course that means I mess with them even more. My poor Princess managed to get such a contrary foster mom!
There is a lot of love in this girl and a lot to love. When she is excited she wiggles and shakes all over, with all the parts going in different directions. There is no way someone could avoid laughing with her.
I suspect Princess Carmel would be happiest as an only dog. She has twice informed her foster brother that I belong exclusively to her and once informed him that a rawhide chew belongs to her. Instant correction and removal of the rawhide from her mouth has taken care of this, so while I would not say she couldn't be one of several dogs, I do think her preference would be as an only fur child. She has also allowed her foster brother to engage her in short play and chase sessions. She allows me to put my hand in her food dish and remove anything easily from her mouth with no issues.
I have seen no signs of joint stiffness, but with her age I considered it essential for her to get the extra weight off in order to avoid future joint problems. So, I will be looking for a family who will commit to a healthy lifestyle for her. She runs up and down the stairs and around the yard with her foster siblings. She prefers to be within a foot of me. This has resulted in several instances of NUB (Nose Up Butt) because of my lack of brake lights and turn signals.
She walks beautifully on leash with her flat collar. She knows sit and come. Her schedule has been so full since she arrived, I have not worked with any other commands. I would like to see her adopt a family that will complete a basic obedience class with her. And of course her family has to be committed to ensuring she is never again left outside during a storm or fireworks. Princess Carmel is ready and able to begin interviewing a potential family. If you would like to meet her, please send an email to Placement@ragom.org today and tell them you would like to meet our very special Princess Carmel!
Carmel has been a very gracious house guest while her foster mom tended business out of town. She has had only one accident in the house, which I believe was a result of some fireworks anxiety on Saturday night. After that first night, she settled in and has been very, very good. She’s now telling me when she has to go outside, by way of standing in front of me and rocking back and forth until I ask her if she has to go outside. Then she does this cute little dance step on her way to the door. Great strides for a girl who has mostly been outside! She is a bit of an escape artist, but only went from the backyard to the back door… imagine my surprise to see her smiling at me through the back door when I had just put her out in the fence! She seems to be feeling much better with her bad teeth gone, and has even carried a beef bone around for a bit....haven’t seen her actually chew, but I think she’ll get to that soon! Carmel is a wonderful girl!!!
Princess Carmel has had a very busy couple of days. On Friday, our day started at 5:00 AM so we could feed and communicate with her missing foster brother, Red (the ghost dog) 05-182 behind the back fence. Then we kept Red company while he ate and I talked to him for a couple of hours while Carmel and her foster brother and sister tried to entice him through the gate and back into the fenced yard.
Since Red decided for the first time to spend the whole day behind the fence, we talked to him all day. Carmel finally managed to entice Red through the gate and into the fenced yard about 4:30 PM. Our Princess Carmel is one persuasive girl! Since Carmel was playing in the pool most of the day, I just know Red wanted to join in the fun.
Then Carly, a special previous foster girl arrived for a weekend visit.
Then Princess Carmel needed to interview a potential forever family - and she still had enough charm following an already long and eventful day to captivate them all.
Princess Carmel spent Saturday as one of the hostesses of an all day pool party in honor of the return of Red the ghost dog! What better way could there be to get to know a foster brother?
My bag is packed (and hanging on the knob), I'm ready to go. Just waiting for my forever family to come to take me home. It is time for my Golden Life!
Princess Carmel went home with her forever family today. The S's are incredibly lucky (and so is the Princess) to be adopted by such a special girl. I am looking forward to eventually receiving a picture of a svelte Princess Carmel.
Our foster dogs may leave our homes, but they never leave our hearts.
Just a little note to let you know how Carmel is doing. Her first days with us have been so calm and easy. She brings us her tennis balls or her soft toys when she wants to play. She plays for awhile, dropping the toy very nicely in our laps or at our feet. She is eating okay, not finishing any meals yet, but certainly not starving! I thought that with her size, she would wolf down her meals. She is getting exactly what you gave her and just twice a day and she eats about 3/4 of it each time. She hasn't barked at people at the door, is very friendly with kids and adults, but not "in-your-face" friendly. She is just the perfect dog!
She hasn't used the dog bed we bought but is very happy sleeping on our bed for a short time and then to the floor right next to my side of the bed. She has full run of the house when he are home and when we are gone! I tried to babygate her to the kitchen when I went away for a couple hours and when I got home, there she was greeting me at the front door! She just knocked that baby gate right over and I had attached them very tightly! I think she is perfectly trustworthy throughout the house so it's hers!
She has been on two walks or slow jogs each day. She does enjoy the slow jog. I walk her very early in the morning when it is cool, but she has also walked with Faith and I when it is warmer in the afternoon or evening and she does just fine with that, too. My older daughter just loves her and has come over to walk/run her twice! She brings her down into the woods where there is a creek for her to wade through and drink and it is also cooler to walk down there. I went down there last evening with them, too. So Carmel has definitely been getting her exercise. There is a dog scale at my school in the vet tech area so I'm going to bring her there every weekend and monitor her weight. I think she has already lost weight so I'll let you know after her first big weigh-in!
We had thunder and lightning for a short while the other morning and she definitely noticed and was uneasy but I kept her occupied with chasing the tennis ball at several different intervals and that seemed to break the tension. She breathed hard and stayed very close to us but she was very manageable! The storm wasn't long, however, so we'll see what the future longer storms will bring. She wasn't any more anxious with the storm than our other golden so we were quite used to that behavior.
So far, sooooo good! She's so delightful and well mannered. She lays with me on the bed and when Luke gets in, she even moves over and to the end of the bed to allow him some room. Not many dogs have such accommodating manners!
One puzzle - She hasn't even touched the rawhide! It is out for her all the time and I thought she would devour them. I gave her the one you sent along so it's not a different type than she's used to. I thought she would get into it while we are gone, but not so far!
We're still struggling with the name Carmel. It just doesn't roll off the tongue like a dog's name should - It's not my favorite and if we keep it, we'll use the correct spelling of Caramel! It makes me crazy when I see caramel apple booths at the state fair and they are spelled wrong! I'll keep you posted about any aliases we come up with!
Thanks again for the wonderful dog - we are indeed blessed to have her!
A quick exciting update! Caramel lost five pounds! I brought her to the vet clinic at my school on Friday night and weighed her on the animal scale. I had thought she looked a bit thinner, maybe two pounds, but she weighed 64.8 pounds, five pounds less than the vet report on the morning we picked her up! I am walking her twice a day. Several times a day, we exhaust her with the tennis ball in the back yard. She loves chasing and returning that ball and does such a good job of actually dropping it for another throw. She's so funny - she will return and run for another throw over and over until she's tired and then take the ball and rest in the shade a little ways away from me. Then when she's recovered enough, she brings it right back for more. She does a little self-imposed break time.
She is such a great dog - so gentle and easy. In the three episodes of lightning and thunder that we've had, her anxiety is so slight that I would hardly say it's a problem. I truly had more storm anxiety with my previous Golden and I would have never thought of having my previous Golden euthanized over her fears! And Caramel appears to have even less anxiety than Allie did! I can't believe an owner would want such a good dog put down, but we're so thankful she was rescued and came to live with us.
She has definitely chosen me as her alpha! She has loved everybody, but is especially stuck to me. But she's never annoying or needy, just attentive and cute! We can't thank RAGOM enough for the opportunity to give this gentle old girl a home.
It's been awhile but I thought I'd forward some cute pictures of Faith and Caramel. As you can see, they are great friends.
Caramel has been a great dog. She is very mellow, so very gentle, loves to walk and chase a tennis ball, and pretty much is just so easy to have around. She still has storm issues and if we're not home, she wets on our bed and on Faith's bed. When we know a storm is coming, we put her in our very large bathroom when we're gone and at least the mess is contained to a tile floor and washable rugs. Other than the storm thing, she's just been a great addition to our family.
We worked very hard on getting her slimmed down and it took a couple months, but she lost 18 pounds and looked so good. I walked her twice a day and she still eats veggies with every meal. I don't walk in the winter months and she gained some weight back but we're working on that again.
I thought you'd enjoy these darling pictures of our gentle girls.