Dana 17-202


Dana is an eight year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She is a big girl who is eagerly learning about life with other dogs, cats and people. Dana was surrendered by a family who was moving into a situation where they couldn't bring Dana. She is as sweet as can be and is very eager to learn.

At a Glance #17-202

Other Pure Breed 8 years old
Female 85 lbs

Available as of February 16, 2018
Fostered in Spicer, MN

Status: Adopt Me
Adoption fee: $400

Children ages 10+
See updates for details
Can live with cats
Physical fence optional
Medium energy
Children ages 10+
See updates for details
Can live with cats
Physical fence optional
Medium energy

Dana's Sponsors


Dana is an eight year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She is a big girl who is eagerly learning about life with other dogs, cats and people. Dana was surrendered by a family who was moving into a situation where they couldn't bring Dana. She is as sweet as can be and is very eager to learn.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Hi Everyone, this is Dana, trying my paw at writing my own update.  I’m doing pretty well here if I do say so myself.  My foster mom and dad say that the doctor thought that the x-rays they took of my left rear knee show that it’s healed really well.  Now, if they could just figure out how to keep the scar on my left rear paw from cracking open everything would be perfect.  Dr. Razz is going to look at it this week and see if she can figure out how to make it heal faster.  I don’t know if I like going to the Vet Office all that well but I really LOVE my car rides!

Meanwhile I have to keep wearing my big, plastic cone a lot of the time.  I just can’t help licking at it when I’m lying on my dog bed.  The good news is that, when I’m just hanging around with my people, I can have it off. 

My sometimes obnoxious foster brothers are still here.  I think I like them (especially to take my walks with) but sometimes I know it would be great to be an only dog.  I do let them know when they’re bugging me, and they are pretty good about listening to me.  Foster mom says I’m bossy, but I say that I’m just a good communicator.

When we get this whole knee/foot thing figured out I’ll be ready for my forever home.  If you think that we might be a good match, let RAGOM know.  (Inquiry for Application)  I know that foster mom and dad would be happy to tell you all about me.

Thanks for reading about me – your friend Dana :)

Friday, February 16, 2018

It’s been a while since we updated you on how Dana is doing. Next week will be 8 weeks since her dual surgeries to remove the tumor on her paw and to repair her left rear knee. We’ll be taking Dana in to have her knee X-rayed. If everything looks good, she’ll be ready have her final surgery on her right rear knee.

From what we’ve seen in these past eight weeks, we’re believers in the surgery. Dana is perkier than she was when she came into our family. We’re at the stage where we can now take her for vigorous walks, and she loves them. She has now started to venture into the snow and she’s having a wonderful time. We’re sure that she is already in a lot less pain than she was, even with one knee to go.

We’re anticipating that her second knee surgery should take place around the middle of March and the rehab from that procedure should be complete by mid-May. It is now just a timing issue. Based on that, we are going to make this sweet girl available for adoption so that we can start talking to potential adopters. With a commitment to completing her rehab, Dana could possibly go to her forever home by the first of May.

The only thing that our Dana hasn’t done well with following her operations has been healing from the surgery to remove the tumor on her left rear paw. Because it is located at a place on her paw that flexes, the wound has been slow to heal. Poor Dana has had to spend way more time than she wants wearing her plastic cone so that she doesn’t lick at it. We’re sure that it itches! Hopefully, she won’t need it much longer.

Here are some things for you to think about if you are interested in adopting Dana. She is a sweet. loving dog, but we think that she is quite different from a Golden Retriever in a number of ways. Dana is very intelligent and picks up on new things very quickly, but she is entirely treat-motivated and not at all motivated by doing something just to please her people. She is strongly bonded to us, her family, but is somewhat indifferent to new people coming into the house. She’s not at all hostile, but it will take her some time to warm to visitors. She is the same way with other dogs and cats. She is interested in them and gets along well, but she has little interest in becoming great friends. She will be OK to live with other animals, but we think she’d love being your only dog.

Another of her endearing (or sometimes exasperating) traits is that she is a talker. She has an entire vocabulary of various whines, whimpers, etc., when she is excited. Unlike our resident dogs, she has picked up on the fact that when Foster Dad wears a certain winter jacket, it means that he’s almost always going outside to get into the car. This starts up an entire excited monologue about how much she would like to come along. She has her own happy dance, complete with commentary, when it’s time to eat breakfast or supper. There are also guard-dog traits that are parts of the Chessie breed, and she does her best to convince her foster brother and sister to join her to warn us of the approach of squirrels, chipmunks, or FedEx drivers.

One last difference you may want to consider is her physical strength. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are the strongest of all of the retriever breeds. Even with bum knees. Dana is a powerful girl. Good training on walks helps, but keep in mind that, if she was to be spooked by something, she would be hard to stop. We use an Easy Walk harness which has made a big difference. While we don’t require a fenced yard for her, we will be giving positive consideration to potential adopters who have one, as it may be a safer environment for her.

Dana is a great girl, and we’re totally in love with her. It has been fun seeing her getting better after her surgery. She’ll have just the one further operation, and then she should be good to go, pain-free, to her forever home. She will make some lucky individual or family very happy.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Here is a quick update on Dana.  We hope that we didn’t confuse you in our last update when we talked about her three surgeries.  When we took Dana in to visit her surgeon to prepare for what we thought would be one operation to remove the mast cell tumor on her left rear paw, Dr. Razz immediately saw that Dana also had ruptured ACL’s in both her rear knees.  One surgery quickly became three.  Dana’s first surgery day (December 28) was to remove the mast cell tumor and do perform a TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) on her left rear knee.  When this leg is healed, Dana will go back in and have the same procedure done on her right rear knee. If you want to know more about a TTA, here is a good link to check out:  http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/ortho_TTA.htm .

We’re in recovery mode right now and things are going pretty well.  We do daily physical therapy per Dr. Razz’s very detailed instructions.  Each week sees a progression of exercises.  Here is Dana, with foster dad applying a cold pack, following a range of motion exercise (hot compresses followed by range of motion exercises, followed by a cold pack).  As you can see, Dana has learned to tolerate this pretty well.  She absolutely loves the hot compresses! 

The cold weather has hampered some of our timed walking outside but we’re doing what we can in the house.  This week we’ve started having her sitting on command, standing back up, sitting, etc.  This has been a hit with Dana because this exercise comes with treats for good performance. 

From what we understand Dana will still likely be dealing with arthritis as she gets older but a lot of the pain that she has been patiently enduring should be gone and her rear legs will be more stable.  We already see a difference (even with one bad knee and one knee still recovering) in terms of her desire to climb up on things.  We have all we can do to keep her from putting too much strain on her knee by jumping up on things, but she shows signs of wanting to climb up now which she never did before. 

While we’re all more or less stuck inside during this miserably cold weather, we’re all trying to work at some other training to keep busy.  Dana, and her two foster brothers, will bark at all intruders – UPS delivery men, squirrels, deer, neighbors in their back yards, etc.  We’re all doing exercises to stop the barking quickly by redirecting them from barking and going to a spot in the living room.  Rewards, of course, are offered.  Dana is actually the best of our three at catching on to this “game”.  Dana has also mastered a stay command at the front door to let one of us or one of the other dogs go out the door without pushing to follow.  Again, Dana is very quick on the pick-up.

Our plan is that, after her second knee surgery, when she is into at least a few weeks of recovery (and we know what the likely recovery timetable is), we will open her up for adoption so that we can begin reviewing applications for her.  Please stay tuned! 

One final thought – Dana, like many of the rescued dogs who come into RAGOM, needed medical attention.  We’re so happy that RAGOM is doing what’s necessary to give Dana the best life she can have.  All of this costs money, of course.  If you are able to and so inclined, please consider sponsoring Dana or any of our other wonderful rescued pups. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Dana had her first surgery day last Thursday and quite a day it was!  The plan was to remove the mast cell tumor on her left rear paw along with reconstructing her left rear knee.  In the process of intubating her in preparation for the surgery, Dr. R discovered a small growth near her larynx and decided that this should be removed as well.  It was a full day for the poor girl, as it also involved a 2 ½ hour ride home over slippery roads. 

We’ve learned yet another lesson about dogs in the few days while she has been rehabbing.  Our biggest concerns revolved around how we were going to support her on her trips outside to do her jobs and then to help her get back into the warm house and over to her dog bed.  This was the case on Friday but, when Saturday came around, we could see that our biggest responsibility had rapidly become how we can work to keep her quiet and moving slowly to let the wounds heal!  She is starting to put weight on her leg and, when the mood hits her, she would like to move faster than we think she should! 

Dr. R gave us a very detailed rehab plan which we are working our way through.  We do some range of motion exercises along with cold-packs in week 1 and also do two, five minute short, slow walks every day.  Each week the exercises increase in scope and duration as do the walks.  She’s been a great patient so far.  Dana has spent a lot of time on her dog bed in her kennel but has also spent time with her foster brothers on the rug. 

She got her dressings changed on Saturday and she’s down to just a dressing and bandage on her paw.  She is doing better every day.  She eats well and does her jobs.  Although she sleeps a lot, she is now back to her job of “pre-treating” the dishes as they go into the dishwasher as well as helping her foster brothers bark at squirrels who venture onto our deck.

Dana’s other big news is that she has lost 10 lbs. from when she came to RAGOM.  She now weighs 85 lbs. This is just what she will need with her repaired knees, as one of the keys to long term success from the knee surgeries is for her to minimize the strain by carrying less weight.

We’ll keep you all informed about Dana’s progress.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hi, Dana fans.  You may have noticed that Dana’s status has been changed from “Adopt Me” to “Unavailable”.  When Dana came into RAGOM our Vet discovered a lump growing on her left rear foot, between two of her toes.  We decided to have it aspirated and it appeared that there were some cancer cells present.  The next step was to do a biopsy to try and pin down exactly what was going on.  The reports came back that Ms. Dana has a Mast Cell Tumor that is cancerous but that it appears to be a Stage II (of four stages, increasing in severity as the number goes up).  That is good news in that it is one of the best outcomes we could hope for.  The complicating factor is that the tumor is growing between her toes so the trick is going to be in removing the growth with as little collateral damage as possible. 

Our wonderful Vet Surgeon, Dr. R., is in the process of determining the best approach to take and we will be setting up a date for the surgery very soon.  Meanwhile we thought it best to make Dana unavailable for adoption until we know more about what the timeline for her recovery will be.  We’ll let you know as soon as we know.  Some special thanks go out to Lisa B who has recently sponsored Ms. Dana.  With the surgery, Ms. Dana can definitely use any sponsorships she can get to help RAGOM to cover the costs.

Meanwhile, Ms. Dana, who lives very much in the moment, is happily moving along with her life.  We see progress every day as she gets more comfortable with living inside with a family and interacting with her pack (two Goldens and two cats). 

When she came home from having her biopsy, Dana had to wear the dreaded “cone of shame” for several days.  Luckily, she discovered that the cone wouldn’t prevent her from doing her favorite job – pre-treating our dirty dishes before they are run through the dishwasher. 

The other highlight of Dana’s week was her new orthopedic dog bed.  Dana is a big girl – still about 90 lbs.  As you can see she has a large wire kennel, which she loves.  She takes naps there throughout the day and happily sleeps through the night.  We didn’t have a dog bed that was big enough to fill the kennel so we did the best we could using blankets.  Thanks to a wonderful donor, David T., we now have a big dog bed that perfectly fits her kennel.  When we put it in we wondered if she would take to it.  In less than five minutes she was in there trying it out and she let us know that she loved it.

Finally, we wanted to share with you a website that we found that lays out many of the things that we’ve discovered that makes Chesapeake Bay Retrievers a little different than Golden Retrievers.


The message that we take from it is that Dana’s personality is different from that of a Golden or a Lab.  It is something that a potential adopter needs to be aware of, as her needs may be somewhat different than a typical Golden.  She is a wonderful girl and, taken on her own terms, will make a GREAT family dog.  If you’re interested we can recommend another source for learning more about Chessies.  There is a Facebook group called “Chesapeake Bay Retriever” that has been incredibly helpful to us in learning more about this wonderful breed.  From our experience, you will be welcomed with open arms when you ask to join so that you can learn more about this wonderful breed.

We’re very hopeful that Dana will be ready for adoption in 60 days or so – following her surgery.  In the meantime, please take a look at the website above and take a look at the Facebook page to learn more about this wonderful girl.  We’ll keep the updates coming!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ms. Dana has had a good week.  Her UTI has completely cleared up.  She is a much happier girl now.  Yesterday we took her to St. Cloud for her spay surgery.  We got a call in the early afternoon that, after putting her under anesthesia and shaving the area where the incision would be, they discovered the scar from earlier spay surgery.  The poor girl ended up travelling 100 miles round trip to take a medically induced nap!  We’re certainly glad that they hadn’t opened her up before making the discovery.  She’ll need a day or two for the anesthetic to completely leave her system.

We are making her available for adoption.  We are ready to talk with potential adopters about this sweet girl. Dana has already come such a long way. 

In her previous life, she was not exposed to other dogs.  Life for her with our two resident male dogs has been a slow learning experience.  Slowly, slowly she is learning about how to get along with other dogs in her home.  As you can see from these pictures she is quite happy now sleeping with the rest of the pack.  She still is uncomfortable with some of the jostling that goes along with three large dogs living together in a small house. 

We believe that, given slow introductions and patience, she will learn how to be comfortable in a multi-dog home. We have her kennel-up when she seems stressed and she is happy to do so.  She is just fine on walks and joining in on other activities with them.

She is very focused on her humans and is a loving, sweet, and very intelligent girl.  She is fine with our two cats - she is friends with one and ignores the other.  She has met the neighbor dogs outside with no problems at all.  She met a lot of dogs yesterday at the Vet and got along fine with them.

At this point she is ready to go to a dog-free home but it will take a while longer to make sure she has learned the rules about how to get along in a pack.  If you have a home without other dogs and with older (or no) kids, we think she is ready to go and will be a wonderful companion animal.  She loves a low-key environment and a consistent schedule. If you are looking for a great dog, we’d love to talk with you about her!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hi everyone – Dana here. I want to tell you how I’m doing in my foster home.  Wow – what a lot of things have been going on these past couple of weeks!  Everything is new for me here.  I have two new humans, two new dogs, and two new cats to try to get along with.  That’s a lot to get used to.  I’m told that cats can be difficult but I think I get along just fine with these two girls.  My special friend is Sweet Pea who likes to play with me.  She uses my nose as a punching bag sometimes but I don’t mind.

I’m not used to having other dogs around and, I have to admit, that getting along with both of my foster brothers is more difficult for me than I thought it would be.  I’m figuring out that Beau must have something wrong with him – it’s like he can’t see me.  I just don’t like him bumping into me and I growl to tell him to knock it off.  Both my fur brothers are good at listening to my growls though and they do their best to give me some room.  Foster dad tells me to kennel up (I love my kennel) if I start to get upset and I can relax there for a while.

I think I’ll get used to these new things in time.  I love to go for walks with my brothers and we love coming back into the kitchen for our treats after our walks.  I’m trying to teach my brothers about hearts of romaine lettuce.  I LOVE them and Foster Dad gives me lettuce as a treat at least twice a day.  Beau has discovered how good they are and now he always wants them, too.  Tank hasn’t figured out how good they are but that’s all right, that just leaves more for me.  I’d better go now as it looks like Foster Dad wants to use the computer.  Thanks for reading about me!

Hi Everyone – Foster Dad here.  Dana is a real joy to have in our house.  She is so friendly and affectionate.  It is taking her awhile to get used to our two dogs – especially our blind boy Beau.  We have no anxiety about aggression, she just gets annoyed with him.  She growls when she feels someone is getting inside of her comfort zone.  Each day gets better but we can see that she will need long, slow introductions to new dogs and will do best with a dog who is not reactive.  She would be absolutely happy in a house where she is the only dog (or a house that she shares with only cats)!

Today is the last day of her antibiotics for her urinary tract infection.  We’ll find out if the drugs did the trick.  If she checks out ok, we’ll be scheduling her spay surgery and then she’ll be ready to find her furever home.

We’re up to about a mile a day (total) for walks and she is doing fine.  Judging by the fit of her collar, Dana seems to be losing weight.  We feed her a cup of grain-free, limited ingredient dry food along with one cup of green beans twice a day, low calorie treats, and, of course, her lettuce.  We’ll find out for sure this week when we take her into the Vet. Dana would enjoy having a yard to roam around in but we think that she would do fine with a brisk walk every day.  We are using an easy-walk harness which eliminates the pulling she exhibited earlier while walking with the leash attached to her flat collar.  Given a chance, she would love to eat leftovers from the table but we don’t indulge her and she is not a pest while we’re eating.  She has managed, however, to pull a part of a loaf of bread from the table while we were getting ready to eat supper!

Every day we see Dana becoming more comfortable in our multi-pet home.  We’ll keep updating as we learn more about her.  Check in again soon!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Please welcome Dana into the RAGOM family.  Dana is not a Golden.  She is, at least in large part, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  The AKC describes Chessies as “strong, powerfully built gundogs standing from 21-26 inches at the shoulder…. The distinctive breed trait is a wavy, waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch…. They are bright, sensitive, perceptive, affectionate, and family oriented.” Dana certainly is a good fit for a RAGOM dog though, as she very clearly has a large Golden heart.

Dana came to us from a family who was moving from a hobby farm to a town situation where they couldn’t bring Dana.  She hasn’t been exposed to many other dogs or cats and hasn’t done much in the way of car rides or other interactions.  Many things are new to Dana. 

Dana’s favorite spot is her kennel, which came with her from her former home.  She is very comfortable there.  She sleeps straight through the night there and will spend time napping in the daytime if she is feeling stressed.  She is adjusting to our two resident Goldens and our two dog-savvy cats.  She is curious about the cats but they know that she’ll back off if they give her a swat or two on her nose.  Our blind resident, Beau, has bumped into her accidently a couple of times which has caused a bit of growling, but nothing more. 

We took Dana for her first vet visit last week.  She is a BIG girl – she weighs 95 lbs.  She will need to lose 10 – 15 lbs. to reach her ideal weight, which still is in the “big” range!  Dana is very strong and, from what we see at this time, she could accidently knock down younger children. She came through her initial visit with flying colors except that she has a urinary tract infection, which we are treating with antibiotics.  Once we get this cleared up, we’ll schedule an appointment for her spay surgery and then she should be available for adoption.

She is one of the sweetest girls we’ve ever encountered.  She loves to sit next to one of us and have her head or chin scritched.  She certainly knows her name and will come willingly for attention and scritchies.  She has had no accidents in our house.  We’ll be experimenting over the next few weeks with more free roam while we are gone and we’ll see how she does.

From what we know as of now, she is fine with cats.  She gets along with our two resident dogs, although she lets them know with a quick GRRR if she thinks they are invading her space.  We also think that she would love being an only dog. 

Adopt Me: If you think Dana would be a good fit in your home, please submit an Inquiry for Application. If you have already submitted an Inquiry for Application, email application@ragom.org with Dana's name, RAGOM number (17-202), the name you submitted the Inquiry for Application under, and a sentence or two explaining why you feel your home would be a good match.