Gabriel 20-006

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Gabriel (Gabe) was picked up by Animal Control and when his owners declined to claim him, RAGOM stepped in. Gabe is mostly or completely blind but quickly learns to navigate his surroundings. He is mostly deaf as well and will require a low-key environment; any children in the home should be age 13+. This sweet boy ignores our cat and gets along with our dogs (but wouldn’t do well with energetic dogs). A fence is optional as long as Gabe is leashed and monitored when walked or out in the yard.

At a Glance #20-006

Golden Retriever Born: January 2010
Male 61 lbs

Status: Adopted

Gabriel's Sponsors


Gabriel (Gabe) was picked up by Animal Control and when his owners declined to claim him, RAGOM stepped in. Gabe is mostly or completely blind but quickly learns to navigate his surroundings. He is mostly deaf as well and will require a low-key environment; any children in the home should be age 13+. This sweet boy ignores our cat and gets along with our dogs (but wouldn’t do well with energetic dogs). A fence is optional as long as Gabe is leashed and monitored when walked or out in the yard.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Gabe found his forever family today. He will have a mom, two human brothers, and a cat sister. He will be warm, comfy, and cherished in his senior years—lucky boy!

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Mr. Gabe has passed a really significant milestone this week. After many delays, he has had successful neuter surgery, including a tumor removed, and, as a bonus, had a cyst removed from his tail, and had his teeth cleaned.

Two weeks ago, we received a very positive report from our vet—after an ultrasound, Gabe does not appear to have abnormalities with his heart or his spleen. Other than some higher-than-normal kidney readings, Mr. Gabe appears to be a healthy 10- to 11-year-old gentleman!

This week we’re helping him recover from his neuter surgery and, of course he’s having to put up with a cone to keep him from licking his incisions.

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Finally, after nearly 6 months, Gabe is READY to find his forever home!

Here is what we think this sweet, crochety curmudgeon needs in his forever home:

  • Human parents who are around a significant portion of the day. While he does well in his kennel, he longs for human companionship as his world (blind and mostly deaf) is restricted and he loves to know that his people are there with him.
  • An environment that has few or no steps. While he has been building up his muscle mass in his rear, we don’t think he is ever going to be able to master more than 3 or 4 stairs at a time—preferably 1 or 2 max.
  • Humans who can go with the flow. He is a wonderful combination of a stubborn, opinionated old guy who wants to do what he wants when he wants to do it and an extremely treat-motivated guy who can be convinced by the well-timed treat to do what you want him to do. He’s learned come, sit, and down using physical touch signals and would be glad to work with you to learn more (and get even more treats!).
  • A family who is prepared to do what it takes to keep him healthy. He has drops for his eyes every day and he (happily) eats a prescription, renal-support diet. We estimate that his food and meds would set his family back $4 – $5/day.
  • A family who knows that his time here will be limited. Gabe is 10+ years old and won’t be with you forever. However, these years since his rescue will be his best ever and he needs a family who will love him and accept him for the time he has left and will make that time the best he has ever experienced.
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If you think your family might be the place for Gabe, we would love to talk to you more about him. As you can tell, Gabe is one of the most unique dog-characters we have ever met and we so much want to find him a great resting place for the remainder of his life. He had a tough life before he came to RAGOM and we want to make the rest of his days the very best they can be.

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Monday, June 8, 2020

We wanted to give you a quick update on how Gabe is doing. In Gabe’s own words, things are chugging right along!

“Hi everyone, Gabe here. Foster Dad just gave me my first outside bath in something he called a 'kiddie pool.' The bath was great but then we went to the deck to air dry. Even though it’s almost 90 degrees, there was a high wind off the lake and I got COLD!

“Luckily dad caught on and fluff dried me and let me lie under the towels for a while. Now I feel great. He’s combed out my front end and is taking a break (drinking something he calls beer) while he rests his brushing arm.

“Life is good!”

Gabriel 20-006
Gabriel 20-006
Gabriel 20-006

We’re hoping to get a bit more clarity on Gabe’s medical issues at the end of this week. Gabe is finally going to have an ultrasound done of his spleen and his heart. Hopefully we’ll know whether there is anything serious to deal with or not.

Please keep this guy in your thoughts. We’ll let you know as soon as we know anything. Meanwhile, please know that he’s enjoying the Golden Life with RAGOM.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sorry, it’s been longer than I had thought between updates on Gabe. With Covid 19 and “stay at home” we haven’t had many big adventures but we’ve all had a good time anyway. Gabe and Foster Dad have taken an on-line obedience class courtesy of RAGOM, with Anne, one of our new, talented volunteers who is a professional trainer. Class #2 is tomorrow night and we’re both looking forward to it.

We’ve been working on figuring out how, by using touch, we can better communicate with Gabe. Gabe is all for it, because everything we’ve done so far comes with treats! Last week we worked on sit. Two light taps on his rump means “sit” and he’s rewarded with a treat when he complies.

He’s doing a great job so far. We sit before we open the door to let him out for his walks, when all the dogs get a treat after walks, and at other random times. Every day he’s been getting better.

The other thing we’ve seen in the last two weeks is that he’s starting to become more affectionate. We think that he didn’t know much about affection in his past life and he is, just now, starting to have confidence that he can come to us for some loving.

Yesterday he spent quite a bit of time after supper using the “Golden paw” and the “Golden nudge” telling me that he wanted some pets and scritchies. He also found that drooling on the keyboard of the laptop sent a very effective message! Here he is, for the first time, trying to climb into my lap.

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We’re still in a bit of a holding pattern regarding the next medical steps. We’re waiting for an appointment to have an ultrasound done for his heart and his spleen. Hopefully, that will tell the docs what they need to know regarding next steps. Meanwhile we’re all taking one day at a time and enjoying each other. 

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Monday, April 27, 2020

Hi everyone, this is Gabe, writing for myself—for the first time ever! I’d like to give you all an update on how things are going here. Foster Mom and Foster Dad have been up and down over the last few weeks. They were really happy that I was going to get surgery on my eyes so that I could see again.

When that didn’t work out, they got a little down in the dumps, I think. Then they were excited that I was going in to get my neuter surgery (whatever that is). When some complications arose, they got kind of depressed again.

I have to tell you that I’m sorry they feel bad, but let me tell you how I see things. Foster Mom talks about an article she read called “3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months.” It says that when a dog comes into a new home it takes 3 days to decompress, 3 weeks to learn the routine, and 3 months to start to feel at home.

I’ve been here 3 months now and I am feeling at home. I wish I could make them feel better and make them understand I’m a happy boy.

I don’t look at what they call “the big picture”; I look at what’s going on right now. I got up this morning at 8:00 and Foster Dad and I went outside for a short walk with my foster brothers Tank and Sooner. We came right back in and I had a delicious breakfast.

They have changed my food to what they call a “Renal Support” diet and the mix of dry and wet food is really yummy! After breakfast, Foster Dad took me out for another walk. This time I let him know that I wanted to go on a long walk and he and I went for nearly a mile.

When we got back, I settled in for a long nap.

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I like to sleep in the kitchen, right in front of the stove and refrigerator. That way I don’t miss out on anything important. At about 1:00, Foster Dad woke me up and we went outside to work. He has an old boat anchor and he hooks a 20-foot lead to it and I get to be outside with him to help him work.

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Today Foster Dad and I raked leaves. He makes sure that I can roam around in an open area and not get tangled up around trees and bushes. Yesterday I helped Foster Mom pull weeds. I love the spring smells and the wind blowing in my hair. At about 3:00 we came back in and it was nap time again.

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I woke up at about 4:30 (I’m really good about telling time). I gave out a few barks to let everyone know that it was time for Foster Mom to get up and get our dog dinners ready. I like to lay down in the kitchen, right next to the dinner prep area to make sure that I don’t miss out on anything.

After a yummy dinner, we all went out for another walk where we could do our jobs. Foster Dad says that I’m a “three pees and a poop guy—regular as clockwork.” I take that as a compliment!

After our supper we generally hang out together.

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Foster Mom likes it when I give her the “Golden nudge” for attention. Today I introduced her to the “Golden paw”. She was surprised but she seemed to like that too. I’m waiting for 9:00 to come around because I know that Foster Dad will be taking me for my final walk of the day.

After I do my jobs, I get another treat and then it’s time for bed. Foster Dad lets me know by clapping his hands that it’s time to “kennel up.” What a deal! I head right for my kennel and I get a whole handful of treats scattered in my kennel. It’s a lot of fun using my sniffer to find every last one of them.

Then it’s time for bed and we get to do it all over again tomorrow! I love routine. I’ll let you go now and let Foster Dad weigh in. Thanks for reading about me!

Foster Dad here—we’ve had some medical setbacks this week. Gabe went in for his neuter surgery but it was postponed because they found a heart irregularity. Further testing also found that his kidney readings were up out of the normal range.

Our vet did an ECG and took X-rays. These are being read and the interpretations should be back early this next week. This is concerning but, as you can see, it doesn’t bother Gabe one bit. He keeps chugging along, living in the moment.

We’ll let you know when we find out anything definite.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

We’re sorry to be so late with another update on Gabe, but there have been a few other things going on in our Covid-19 world that have distracted us. However, there has been a lot going on in Gabe’s world, too, and we’ll try and fill you in.

On March 25 we travelled to the Twin Cities to see one of the top eye specialists in the region. Based on a preliminary exam, we were cautiously optimistic that at least some of Gabe’s vision could be restored.

However, after putting Gabe under, prior to surgery, the final testing indicated that Gabe had retinal degeneration and would not be a good candidate for cataract surgery. This was devastating news to us but the decision was made to do the surgical procedure to remove the growths on both of his eyelids that had been rubbing on his corneas and causing him a lot of discomfort.

It was with a heavy heart that we brought Gabe back home. As an old dog, he didn’t react well to the anesthetic and was pretty zonked out for the next 12 hours.

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However, as he began to perk up, we were overjoyed to see that, even with post-surgical pain, it was clear that removing those growths had a huge benefit for him. We could see how much more comfortable he was without that irritation and the constant eye discharge it caused him.

Dogs live in the moment. Gabe has no regrets, we think, that he can’t see—he just does the best he can and moves on. His world is full of pets, of love, of good food, and walks—what more could he ask for? Here’s Gabe, on his first day without his “cone.”

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The next medical step for Gabe is to get his neuter surgery scheduled. Because he has a lump on his testicle, his neuter has been classified as “essential” surgery. Hopefully we will be able to schedule it within the next several weeks.

Meanwhile Gabe continues to become more and more a part of our pack. Here he is with our old resident boy, Tank. It’s great to see him participating more with our two residents.

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We want to share a video that we made yesterday of Gabe and his foster brothers involving lettuce—Gabe’s new favorite treat. Watch the video and we’ll explain!

Thanks for reading about this great guy!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

First, we want to thank the generous folks who have sponsored Gabe here on his RAGOM web page. The latest best wishes come from the Rainbow Bridge—from Shiva, Honey Bee, and Mya via their loving adopter. Thank you all so much.

Second, many of you know that we reached out to the RAGOM Village asking for your help to cover Gabe’s expected medical expenses, which will include surgery for removing his cataracts and removing the growths on his eyelids, another surgery to remove and analyze a couple of tumors, his continuing treatments for ear infections, and, of course, his neutering. Thanks to a great outpouring of support, it looks like the expenses are covered!

Oof! That’s a lot of work ahead for Mr. Gabe! We got great news this week though. We took him in to see an eye specialist in the Twin Cities. The doc believes that there is a 90% chance that cataract surgery would give Gabe partial sight or possibly even complete sight again.

We have a surgery appointment scheduled for March 25th. At the same time, they will remove the growths from his eyelids, which are causing the irritation and oozing from his eyes. This is the absolute best news we could have received.

Gabe is really settling in here with his two foster canine brothers and one feline sister. His days largely consist of short walks, a lot of naps, hanging out in the kitchen waiting for a tasty morsel to drop on the floor, and lots of pets and attention.

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One highlight of each day is having his “morning lettuce.” Our dogs have gotten used to getting a piece of Heart of Romaine lettuce every morning. They plop themselves in front of the fridge to make sure that we get the hint. Initially Gabe wanted nothing to do with this. After a couple of weeks, he started joining his brothers in the kitchen but wouldn’t touch the lettuce.

Finally, he decided to take the plunge. This picture is his first day of eating lettuce. As you can see, it was a mess, but his brothers helped him clean it up. Now he has the technique down—he eats his lettuce leaf in three quick chomps!

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This week Gabe gained another pound in weight. He’s up to 61 pounds now—just 4 pounds to go to reach his initial goal. He’s looking good! It’s fun to watch him settle in here and gain confidence. He has an independent streak but he does love getting attention from his humans.

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We’ll check back in with you in a week or so. Meanwhile, if you think that you might be the right home for Gabe after he works through his medical stuff, please submit an Inquiry for Application (see details at the bottom of Gabe’s page). We’d love to start talking to you about him to see if you might be his forever home!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Gabe wants you all to know that he has received a second sponsorship! An anonymous friend has sponsored him.

Gabe will be seeing the eye specialist on March 18th and asks that you all send pawsitive thoughts that, maybe, he can regain some of his sight. Thanks to all of Gabe's friends who wish him well and want to help us pay for his medical expenses.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gabe has had a pretty good week. We’re working on his dual ear infections. When we saw Dr. Jean today, we found out that things have improved quite a bit but he still has a ways to go. We went home with more meds and a plan to continue to treat the infections for the next four weeks.

The great news is that Gabe has gained five pounds and is now up to 60 pounds. Our initial goal was to get him to 65 pounds and then re-evaluate. We’re on our way!

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Next week Gabe has an appointment with an eye specialist to evaluate what, if anything, we can do to improve his eyesight. Our fingers are crossed that there will be some things we can do.

Gabe is tremendously treat-motivated, which has made things easier for us. He now knows how to “kennel up.” He eats his meals in his kennel and he happily sleeps through the night in there.

Gabe wants to thank Joan and John for their sponsorship. We all know that Gabe will need a good bit of vet care in the coming months and this sponsorship means so much for Gabe and for RAGOM.

More to come for this great old guy!

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Ten-year-old Gabriel (we call him Gabe) apparently wandered away from his home. When he was picked up by Animal Control, he was emaciated, dirty, had cuts and bruises on his legs, and was in generally poor shape. He must have been on his own for quite a while.

His owner was eventually located but declined to claim him. Luckily for Gabe, a small rescue organization heard about his plight and sprung him from Animal Control. When they contacted RAGOM, we said that, of course, we would take him in!

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Gabe is currently working through a number of medical issues. We’re taking things one at a time and we are making progress. Gabe appears to be mostly or completely blind. We have an appointment with an eye specialist in the Twin Cities for later this month to see if anything can be done to improve his sight.

He has infections in each ear, which are being treated with drops. When he arrived, we first thought that he was also completely deaf. But as his ears are being treated, we now think that he may have some hearing. He has a check-up scheduled for next week to further assess his ears.

Our vet has investigated four possible tumors. Two of them turned out to be cysts but the other two were aspirated and we’re awaiting results. He also has a slight heart murmur.

Those are the challenges and they are serious. However, here is the good news. As we’re quickly learning, Gabe is a wonderful boy! It took him a day to map out our house in his brain and he gets around just fine. It’s amazing to watch him navigate.

He rarely, if ever, runs into anything. His first mission was to locate the water bowl, which he accomplished on his own within ten minutes of arrival. He is very alert to vibrations and when we or our resident dogs move around the house, he knows what’s going on.

He has ignored our old cat and gets along with our two resident dogs. He had an initial spat with our 13-year-old resident dog when he accidentally headed for Tank’s food dish instead of his own. Tank let him know that this was impolite.

We’ve moved his feeding station farther away and this problem has been resolved. Our younger resident dog Sooner has been disappointed that his play bows to Gabe have been ignored, but they’ll figure out a way to communicate eventually.

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We don’t have a fenced yard, but Gabe likes to take walks (most of the time). We use a longer leash as he does wander a bit. He likes to sniff everything. We’re able to communicate with him pretty well with very gentle pulls and twitches on the leash.

We have learned to allow extra time for walks as he does like to stop and smell the roses! We try to walk slightly longer distances each day. We’ve gone up to a mile at a time but most of his walks are from a ¼ to ½ mile in length.

He does have strong opinions about the lengths of his walks. If he decides that he’s ready to go inside he just sits down and won’t move until he “feels” us heading back in the direction of the house. When that happens, he jumps back up and trots along to the door.

We’re sure that there are many more updates to come as we learn more about this sweet boy. Every day we learn something new. Last night, for instance, we learned that he can type with his nose. As foster dad sat in his easy chair, working on his laptop, Gabe decided he needed more attention.

When nuzzling under the computer with his nose wasn’t effective, Gabe decided on a strategy of laying his big, blocky head on the keyboard and “typing” to get his attention. It worked very effectively!

Until some of Gabe’s medical issues are resolved, he is not ready to go to his furever home. But if you are interested in him, we would love to tell you more about him and learn more about your family. Please see the information below about how to apply.

Gabriel 20-006
Gabriel 20-006