Riley first came to the attention of Golden Retriever Rescue when he was advertised at Griffith Pound through a Dogzonline forum. Katherine from Labrador Rescue in Yass arranged Riley’s release and cared for this underweight, filthy, flea ridden bag of bones who limped on his front paws until he could be transported to GRR Headquarters in Sydney. Katherine named him Riley and bathed, flea rinsed and rushed him to a vet each time his skin erupted with pus. As Katherine’s young son was teething and woke every couple of hours with painful gums she took the opportunity to feed Riley small amounts of food until his ribs were no longer showing. Riley was flea free and clean but it was obvious there were other issues that needed urgent treatment.
Riley was driven from Yass and handed over to a GRR foster carer late at night just off the M5. The Kidd family was shocked at how thin this young boy appeared, but more alarming were the marks on each of Riley’s hocks. Katherine had mentioned these marks which were all of the same size and diameter, rubbed raw and bleeding but she could find no reasonable explanation. The morning following his arrival saw Riley delivered to GRR’s vet where he weighed in at 23.5kg. Still a long way to go but it meant that he could have surgery to find out why his feet were oozing pus. GRR’s vet removed two grass seeds which had become deeply embedded in his hock, Riley was also desexed and vaccinated and returned to GRR Headquarters to recuperate.
There has been much speculation about the marks on Riley’s legs and it would appear that this young boy has been tied by all four legs. Not rope, as the marks are not burns, but maybe a belt with the buckle rubbing into the skin. It’s all conjecture and GRR will never know the true story, but whoever took this boy and anonymously placed him in the dog run at Griffith Pound, you have GRR’s eternal and heartfelt thanks.
GRR is once again amazed at the ability of this beautiful breed to move on, forgive and trust humans again. The low life who abused this young dog did not succeed in breaking his spirit. The light in Riley’s eyes shines bright as he looks straight into your eyes and each morning he shows that he is ready to embrace the day and enjoy life.
Riley is now in foster care with Dr Katrina Warren, sharing her home with her young daughter and Mr Fox, a cat with a reputation for being the centre of attention. His care is ongoing and he is receiving a ton of love, going for walks each day, eating nutritious meals and being part of a family. Riley will need time for the wounds to heal, time to put on weight, to grow a luxurious coat and eventually be ready to take his place as a much loved member of a family.
**UPDATE** Dr Katrina Warren admits that she is a foster failure and is now the proud owner of Riley. Updates on Riley are available on Facebook via Toby The Wonderdog’s page.
An article on Riley was also featured in Griffith's 'Area News' newspaper, you can view that story here.