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Golden Retriever Rescue

Shadow Needs Your Help

Hello, my name is Shadow and here is a photo of me with Inspector Slade Macklin of the RSPCA (photo #1). This organisation, in conjunction with PetRescue and Jet Pets enabled me to fly from Townsville to Sydney to be cared for by GRR.

Slade knows my story, but let me share it with you. I was purchased from a pet shop and all was going well in my life until I began to limp. When a vet advised that I would need expensive surgery my life began to fall apart. My family was not willing to pay for so much as an x-ray and indeed was very angry that they had spent so much money on a puppy that was nothing more than a financial burden. I soon found myself at the RSPCA in Townsville. When I arrived at the RSPCA it was discovered that I had a broken rib and had suffered blunt force trauma to the top of my head. Talk about angry!! Surely, it's not my fault that backyard breeders and puppy farmers care more about quantity than quality in their search for the almighty dollar.

Caroline and the caring team at the RSPCA Townsville knew that I would not be a candidate for sales because of my hip problem but being a sweet young pup they wanted me to have a chance and with the help of PetRescue and Jet Pets I was soon on my way to GRR Headquarters. GRR's vet, Ben Acheson at Kogarah Veterinary Hospital took one look at my x-rays and advised Wendy and Trisha I needed the help of Dr David Lidbetter who has successfully operated on Lacey.

David Lidbetter advised that GRR had surpassed itself in finding a dog whose hips were worse than Lacey's. One thing in my favour, being a young pup, is that my knees have not yet been affected. David, Wendy and Trisha were talking in the consultation room about my options and I felt that things were not going my way so I looked at them all with my big, soft, brown eyes and pleaded for a chance. I don't know what it's like to walk without pain but I sure would like the chance to find out.

David Lidbetter advised that he thought he could help me and it was then up to Trisha and Wendy. They had a long discussion because 2010 had already seen 70 Goldies arrive requiring expensive surgeries, medications and long term care. Could they afford one more........could they afford me?

Thank goodness for big, brown eyes. Trisha and Wendy just couldn't resist and I had a right hip replacement Wednesday, 19th May and GRR is looking to Dr David Lidbetter for another miracle. I have met Lacey and she tells me that although it's a long and difficult recovery it's wonderful to live a pain free life. Lacey had her chance and now because of GRR I will get mine.

The response to Lacey's plight enabled GRR to not only give Lacey the surgeries and rehabilitation she required but purchase merchandise to raise more funds to keep on helping other Goldies just like me. You can raise awareness of Golden Retriever Rescue and help me at the same time by purchasing a GRR T-shirt and Lapel Pin for $30.00 (P & H included). The T-shirt order form can be downloaded from the website or simply email your order to GRR once you have paid by PayPal. If you are not the T-shirt type GRR will send a supporters Lapel Pin with every donation over $30.00 along with a tax deductible receipt.

I met so many wonderful folk at the Million Paws Walk that I am no longer frightened of people because I felt your love and kindness when you reached out and touched me. In photo (#2) you can see me with Warwick Kidd, one of my carers for the Million Paws Walk, in photo (#3) I am sitting with Lee Kidd and Anne Skulander who are two of GRR's foster carers, in photo (#4) I am with a visitor who came back many times just to sit with me, and who ended up in tears over my story. And finally in photo (#5) looking up at Wendy (Donohue), I think this is the look that may have saved my life when GRR were given the decision to operate or euthanise.

Whenever I see a person wearing a GRR T-shirt I'll know that you were one of the people who cared.


UPDATE 06/06/2010:

Wednesday 2nd June saw me back at Dr David Lidbetter's surgery for a checkup. I had taken care of the ghastly plastic hat by scraping it against the crate, managing to force the catches apart and for a moment looked a lot like a frilled neck lizard before the remains of the hat were removed. When I arrived at Dr Lidbetter's surgery I had a lovely cuddling session with Alyssa (photo #6) before my stitches were removed and David said I no longer need to wear a plastic hat. Whew, that is good news. It was difficult to turn around in the crate with my hat attached so now my living space is small but comfortable.

The other good news is that the surgery site is healing nicely. I am walking extremely well and taking the weight on my right foot, although I am being supported by the sling under my belly when I go out to toilet. The bad news is that I have to live in the crate for another four weeks until I return to David Lidbetter for x-rays to determine if my hip replacement is in the correct position. I show my displeasure of being in the crate by ripping up my bedding occasionally and Wendy has to call in help while I am taken outside and the new bedding put in place....at least I get an extra trip outside. Wendy forgives me because I am a puppy but I have a feeling that the excuse won't last long and I will have to rely on looking at her with my big brown eyes. Thank goodness for big, soft, brown eyes.

While I was at David's clinic I had the chance to catch up with Lacey (photo #7) who was having a check up from her knee surgery. Lacey is lucky because she doesn't have to live in a crate but she does have to wear a hat for another five days. Lacey told me that I am lucky to have replacement hip surgery at such a young age and I will soon forget the discomfort of the crate when I can walk and run freely without pain.

I will keep you up updated on my progress and will let you all know how I'm going after my visit to David Lidbetter on the 30th June.


UPDATE 01/07/2010:

I visited Dr Lidbetter this morning and the x-rays showed that David has once again given GRR another miracle and my new hip is in the position it was placed during surgery and my new exercise regime starts today. I can start going for short walks building up to longer walks each day and GRR need to think about the date for my left hip surgery. I've already been for my first short walk and can't wait till I can go again. I don't like living in my crate and show my displeasure by ripping up my bed. This is the remains of bed number four (Photo #8 and #9). GRR think they are clever because they have put two beds, one on top of the other, in the crate and have wrapped a doona cover around the top bed hoping that I won't discover the bed underneath. I know it's there but seeing I get to go for several walks each day I think I'll give GRR a break and not rip up the other bed. However, if the walks stop, the bed goes.

It's not easy being a normal active young pup confined to a crate and I had a word to Alyssa about the situation (Photo #10) after my x-rays were taken today. Alyssa told me that life is getting better for me day by day and soon I won't need to be in the crate but she was less than impressed when I spied a pretty Staffie pup in the waiting room and stood on my back legs to give her a comforting kiss. There was a chorus of "Oh no, Shadow' and I was taken out to the car. Can't a puppy have any fun?

David doesn't need to see me until GRR decide on the date for the next hip replacement. I'm told that Wendy is still in shock after being told that I'm to have another hip replacement. Apparently she's been counting down the days until I could go into a foster home and all the time I thought that she was counting up the days she had been lucky enough to care for me. Humans, they just don't get it about ripping up toys and beds. I tried to make Wendy's house more homey by throwing the bedding out and around the crate to take away that harsh look but does she appreciate it? No, she doesn't and I have to win her over with the special look and of course the cuddle with a lick thrown in for good measure. She's such a sucker for the Golden treatment.

Trisha and Wendy have told me that the T-shirts have been selling so thank you to all those people who are helping me. I'll let you know how I am progressing and when GRR decide on the date to have my left hip replacement.

Talk to you soon, Shadow.

UPDATE 27/07/2010:

I had a special delivery last week. Well, not all for me, but the fantastic people at KraMar PetCare sent GRR two boxes of beautiful dog coats. Here I am modelling the Wag Wear coat (photo #11) before going out for a late night toilet. It was raining and I returned to the house warm and dry but I couldn't say the same for Wendy as she resembled a drowned rat. Not my fault if I need to sniff for ages before choosing that very special place to go before I retire for the night. As well as the coats one of the boxes contained toys so I have chosen a stuffed toy to rip and a ball with a squeaker to chew. Thank you very much KraMar for supporting the less fortunate Goldies this winter.

I had an appointment with Dr David Lidbetter on Monday 26th and it was decided to go ahead with my second hip replacement. GRR is used to David performing miracles and he didn't disappoint this time either. My surgery went very well and I'm already walking with my left foot to the ground. I'm back in the crate in Wendy's dining room and wearing a ghastly plastic hat. Did you know that it is possible to rip up a bed wearing a plastic hat? It takes longer but the sense of achievement is wonderful. I’ve also decided to chew my plastic hat to pass time in the crate. My check up with David Lidbetter is scheduled for Wednesday, 11th August to remove the stitches and hopefully the plastic hat and see how I'm moving so I'll catch up with you and give you a report.


UPDATE 14/08/2010:

It was back to visit my friend, David Lidbetter on Wednesday 11th August to have my stitches removed. I had assisted David by removing my plastic hat and as I had not touched my stitches David was happy to allow me to be hat free. David was very pleased with the way my hip is healing and I am moving normally. After holding me down to remove the stitches vet nurses Jade and Alyssa described me as bounding with health and vitality with an emphasis on the bounding.

When I arrived at GRR headquarters in May, 2010 I was 10 months old and weighed 21kgs. I am now 13 months old and weigh in at 29kgs. Now, don't panic, I'm not fat, I've just grown taller and have loads of muscle. Wendy can attest to the muscle tone as she hangs on gamely as I bound out of the crate for my short walks to toilet. Yes, I'm back in the crate (photo #12) but no more hat so it's easier to grab the mat outside the crate and gnaw on that and if I push really hard on the sides of the crate I can make the water bowl collapse (Photo #13). This usually brings Wendy running to mop up the mess but I get some company even though she isn't very pleased with me. Wendy is such a spoilt sport.

I'm told that GRR is going to start looking for a special home for me so watch out on the Current Rescues page of the website for my poster. I need to spend another four weeks in the crate and then I can start taking short walks to build up my muscle tone (I can see Wendy shuddering at the thought of a stronger Shadow) and will need to live in a home without stairs or another playful pup. Soon I will be able to run and play with other dogs at the park but won't be able to rough house and agility and flyball will be out of the question. However, what I lack in ability I make up for in good looks. When Wendy isn't angry with me for spilling the water, eating the mat, eating my bed or barking loudly when dinner is being served, she tells me I'm a handsome young man and someone out there will fall madly in love with me and I will live with a family who will care for me forever. Bet I will fall in love with my new family and love them right back. Wow, can't wait for that to happen.

My next appointment with Dr Lidbetter is Wednesday 8th September where my hip will be x-rayed to check if it has moved from the original position. Until then I will try to be patient but I won't promise to be good as I have to do something to amuse myself while I live in my crate.


UPDATE 10/09/2010:

X-ray day for me at David Lidbetter's surgery so it was an early start and then an anxious wait for Trisha and Wendy until the results from the x-rays were seen. Everything must have been good because Wendy and Trisha both jumped with joy when David told them the results from the x-rays. How come they can jump and I'm not allowed? David showed Trisha and Wendy the x-rays and it was hugs all round. David has given GRR another miracle and I'm as good as new. Good news is that I'm allowed to go for short walks several times a day building up into longer walks each time and GRR is looking for a family for me to love. You can find my poster on the Current Rescues page.

Wendy wasted no time in getting me started on my new exercise regime and we headed off to visit all my friends at Lugarno Shopping Village. After spending so many weeks in my crate with only short walks outside Wendy's home it was a little scary to see so much traffic and so many people. I soon settled down and it was nice to meet up with some old friends. First stop was Lugarno Newsagency (Photo #14) where Kelly was happy to see me again. The staff at the Newsagency are always good for a cuddle and everyone was happy to see that I am out and about again now that my surgeries have been successful. Next stop was a visit to Gabriella at Floriart (Photo #15). Gabriella is always happy to see the rescues and her shop is full of lovely scents. I was on my best behaviour and didn't stick my head into any bouquets and didn't drink out of the flower buckets. With all the attention I was receiving I was really relaxed by the time I called in to say hello to Pam at Tara's Hairdressing Salon. Nobody minds if I pop in to say hello because hair on the floor is what happens there. The ladies in the salon were very welcoming and I gave Pam my special look (Photo #16) which made her smile. All this visiting and attention was wearing me out so it was a quick visit to Sienna Café where I was welcomed with a huge smile and a hug from Max (Photo #17) before heading for home and a big sleep.

I'm so happy to be out and about again meeting up with friends and getting used to all the sights and sounds of the neighbourhood. Wendy is hoping that I'll be so exhausted from my walks that I won't get into too much mischief. I may have gone through two major surgeries, but I'm still a puppy. I managed to demolish twelve beds in four and a half months and out of desperation Wendy started using dozens of towels in my crate and as I don't eat towels the atmosphere at Wendy's home is a lot more rosey.

Thank you to everyone who emails or calls to check on my progress. It's been difficult for me as a puppy to cope with life in a crate but just like Lacey told me, it's been worth it. I'm as I should be, and a big thank you to Dr David Lidbetter and his fantastic team at Parramatta Veterinary Surgical Specialists. GRR first met David when Lacey was scheduled for her first surgery twelve months ago and what started out as a visit to the vet has ended up with a friendship. GRR has come to not only appreciate David for his skill, generosity and love for the animals he treats but as someone to call a friend. GRR has spent the last twelve months on an emotional roller coaster caring for two special dogs, Lacey and Shadow. The support and back up from David and his exceptional team has made the ride a lot easier. GRR hope to keep in touch with David but after caring for Lacey and Shadow through four hip replacements and crutiate surgery we hope it's to catch up for a coffee and not another dog needing surgery.