Last year, the RAGOM village rallied to help a senior dog who was nearly blind and nearly deaf. He'd been found as a stray a few months prior, and first taken in by an Iowa shelter. Knowing surely someone must be worried sick about him, they went to great lengths to track down his owner. But his owner did not want him back.
We couldn't understand why. But we knew this sweet gentleman deserved better. We were happy to take him into our care.
He was given the name Gabriel because he was in need of a few angels. And that's exactly what he got when our supporters learned about him.
In addition to his vision and hearing issues, Gabe arrived with a heart murmur, a tumor on his testicle, and double ear infections. He was skin and bones.
But he was full of love for those around him, and we could see he had a strong will to live. We asked for your help. And you answered the call.
A chain of volunteers drove him all the way from Iowa to Spicer, MN, where a loving foster home was waiting for him.
A veterinarian heard Gabe's story. Her schedule was booked solid, but she came in early the next morning to help him. Supporters donated funds to pay for all of Gabe's medical needs.
Gabe's foster family began treatment for his double ear infections, and set out to help him gain ten pounds. Gabe visited an eye specialist, and surgery was scheduled.
The veterinarian was hopeful he'd be able to remove the significant cataracts Gabe had on his eyes, restoring his vision. But under anesthesia, they discovered they would not be able to improve his vision. The doctor was, however, able to remove the painful growths on Gabe's eyes that caused him to constantly rub his face.
Despite his limitations, Gabe was happy, and we wanted to make sure the rest of his days were wonderful. They sure were.
Gabe was adopted by a kindly person. His new mom made sure every day was filled with love and joy. Gabe loved going for walks, being in nature, rolling in the leaves and snow, and sharing a banana each morning.
"The gift of love is a blessing. The honor of being trusted by an old, blind, and nearly deaf soul to provide for all his needs was the most humbling experience of my life," his adopter said.
This sweet dog, who had been loved for no one for most of his life, was now cherished.
Recently, cancer and neuropathy got the best of Gabe, and he grew weary. He slipped away peacefully, surrounded by love.
"I am heartbroken," his mom said, "and pray he is living unencumbered, running free in spirit. I feel him with me, and while it is comforting it is gut-wrenching at the same time to know our physical journeys together have ended."
Rest in peace, sweet Gabe. You were loved by all of us.
Happy Gabe looks healthier than ever
Remember Gabe, our happy senior rescue from Iowa? Nearly blind and deaf, Gabe was found as a stray a year ago. A chain of wonderful RAGOM volunteers drove him all the way from Iowa to Spicer, MN, where a loving foster home was waiting for him.
Gabe's journey from Iowa to Minnesota
Having been on the streets for quite some time, Gabe had some health issues that required treatment, including ear infections, growths on his eyes, kidney disease, a urinary tract infection, a tumor on his testicle, and a heart murmur. Thanks to your generous donations, Gabe was able to get all the medical care he needed. His foster family helped him gain some much-needed weight and gave him all the love a sweet senior deserves. Gabe thrived in their care.
Gabe and mom Shelley
Earlier this month, Gabe found his forever family! Gabe's new family includes a mom, two teenage boys, and a cat. Gabe quickly learned his way around his new home, and he is thriving in their care. We caught up with Gabe’s mom Shelley to find out how he’s doing, and here’s what she said.
Gabe is a wonderful addition to our family. He enjoys snuggles, short walks several times a day, laying outside in the sunshine during the late summer and early fall days of this past year, and he is always willing to keep me company when I am cooking or busy cleaning in the kitchen! He's not super interested in wading in the lake or swimming, but he is always up for some people time regardless of where we go!
Blindness doesn't stop Gabe from enjoying walks
Gabe goes where mom goes
Gabe can get a little anxious when he awakens and cannot find his people (likely due to his blindness and hearing deficiency), so I perform my telecommute job duties from the kitchen table to alleviate his distress. My work shadow, Gabe lays by my chair while mom works, and he is always ready for a snuggle or quick pet. He wants to be near me wherever I am working, and especially enjoys when the mama lays on the floor with him while watching movies. Gabe loves his snuggles!
“Working” with mom
Gabe has a smile that goes on for days and the most adorable head tilt when he is “looking” around when outside. Although he cannot see, Gabe is always up for a good “run” while laying down. Every time we go outside, Gabe lays down and “runs” with his front legs. He does this because his back legs are not mobile enough to allow him to move them as freely. Gabe's horizontal running makes the best snow angels!!
Gabe enjoying the early Minnesota snow
His kidney disease is being closely monitored by our veterinarian, and Gabe eats a special diet to assist with decreasing the stress on his kidneys in hopes of slowing its progression. Gabe enjoys sharing a banana with mom after we return from our morning walk and he is always interested in whatever is being cooked, while secretly hoping some goody will find its way to his food dish.
Being the perfect dog is tiring work
Gabe has his good and not so good days with his ability to ambulate and sometimes appears to not know where he is until he smells who is petting him. For right now, the pretty good outweighs the not so good. We are prepared to love him each and every day for the rest of his time with us. He holds a very special place in our hearts, and we would be absolutely lost without him!
RAGOM does all that we can for every dog that comes to us because we believe every dog believes a second chance. Will you consider adopting a senior or special needs dog?