Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...and Monte makes three!

Monte's intake photo taken in November of 2008:
Monte spent thirty days at Fort Bend County Animal Control after being rescued from inside a foreclosed house where he'd been living without food or water for way too long. When his family left they "forgot" to take him. His GBGRR driver, Lou, kept telling him things were going to get a whole lot better for him as soon as he got to something called a "foster home", where people would feed him and love him and he might have doggie brothers and sisters to play with. Monte got all all of that, plus so much more. He was a very sick dog and there were times when we were certain that he wouldn't live another day. His kidneys had been damaged from all the time without food and water and he had tested positive for both Heartworms and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (not good for the kidneys, either). But foster mom, Shari P. would hear nothing of it and her focus was on Monte's future. There was a time when she thought she was getting him healthy for his future forever family...

Monte saw the vet on May 28, 2009 to check on his kidneys and discuss his heartworm status (he is heavy positive). Monte’s BUN was 50 (normal is 10-20) and his Creatinine was 3.7 (normal is .6-1.2). Because Monte’s kidney counts remain high, it is Dr. Brice’s recommendation that Monte not undergo any treatment to kill the adult heartworms. Monte will remain on heartgard preventative so that no new heartworms can grow. Hopefully, the adult heartworms will die off over time. Monte is very healthy now - he weighs 83 pounds, his coat looks great, and he’s a very happy and loved dog.

The next day, Monte's foster mom, Shari submitted the paperwork to make him officially hers! Shari and her two Goldens, Maddie and Kipper, worked so hard to get him to eat and gain weight and they never gave up on him ... and that counts for a whole lot when a sick dog is recovering.

Recently, Shari took her three beautiful Goldens to Danny Clark's studio in Houston for a photo shoot. That's no simple task, but the pictures came out great and everyone had a really good time.

The photo shoot started with introductions and instructions, but none of the Goldens paid attention!!

Kipper didn't want Danny to stop taking his picture, while Monte patiently waited his turn.

Maddie was a natural!

Maddie, Monte and Kipper

It's hard to say to who is luckier, Monte, Shari, Maddie or Kipper? Some would say that it is a tie!

Whew, that was hard work! Time to go home!

Many thanks to Danny for his patience!

Danny Clark Photography:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 Reliant Dog Show: Goldens and kids just go together!

We're sad that the dog show is over and are already looking forward to next years' event! Our dogs have so much fun meeting the public - especially the kids!
OK, I'll wear the hat, but ONLY during the dog show!

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported GBGRR!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jazz finds a home

A few days after intake, Jazz was diagnoised with Parvo. She was admitted and thanks to the vets and staff at VERGI, she has made a full recovery. And although Parvo is a horrible virus and often fatal, it's the reason that Jazz is being adopted by a family with children, cats and two other dogs! You see, her new mom was the vet tech at VERGI who helped nurse her back to health! Some things are just meant to be.

Looks like Jazz and her new mom are two peas in a pod!

Thanks to Lacy and Subi for fostering Jazz!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dog Show!

It's our favorite time of the year: The Houston Dog Show is in town!! We participate every year and truly value the opportunity that it provides us to educate the public about rescue and share our experiences of being owned by Goldens! So many people are shocked that there is a need for Golden rescue, but the fact is that a Golden is not for everyone. They are loyal, fun-loving dogs, but they shed, require grooming, exercise, training and they want/need to be a part of your family. Most people reading our Blog would say "yea, so?", but so many people don't research breeds before they purchase a puppy and by the third or fourth month they've had it. The puppy is too active, chews, digs, and won't sleep all night!

Every time we get to talk to someone about this incredible breed, we hope they walk away informed and in a better position to decide if a Golden is right for their family and lifestyle...and if it is, we're happy to make the match and send a Golden to it's forever home.
Pecos (left) and Tatum are ambassadors for rescue and their story is all too typical of what we see day after day. Pecos was found at 6 months old in a Houston shelter, sick and grossly underweight. It took months to get him healthy and trusting of his new family. Tatum's mom was the victim of a backyard breeder. Carelessly bred, she had multiple litters before her third birthday. But the bad times are behind them now and they happily participate in our education program!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A REALLY good day for Katie

Katie hit the jackpot today. She had an appointment to meet a family who was interested in adopting her. They were touched by her story and thought they could give her the loving, secure home that she needed and deserved.

She was shy at first, but always her sweet self. The decision to adopt her was easy, especially after she and Haden exchanged kisses! She's going to a home with another Golden, named Haden, two King Charles Spaniels, a couple of cats, a couple of grandchildren, a mom who works from home ... and the best: a weekend house in the country with a pond!

It's been a blessing to see her transformation and we all look forward to hearing from her family as she becomes the Golden she was always meant to be: HAPPY, SAFE, and LOVED!

Katie (left), Vanna (center) and Haden

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why we do it: Katie, A Rough Start

Friday, June 26th started with a call from GBGRR volunteer, Joel R. who had a medium sized crate that he and his wife Kelly wanted to donate. Always in need of crates for our foster families, he dropped the crate off at a fellow volunteer's house. We knew it wouldn't be empty for long...

Katie is a sweet young girl with gold eyes. She's warming up to her foster siblings and less than 24 hours with them, she felt safe enough to walk out of her crate and sit in the middle of them, waiting patiently for a treat. She'll walk on a leash (preferably if foster brother Pecos is near) and understands that she needs to take care of business when she is outside. Katie has been through a lot, her introduction to rescue started when she was thrown from a car onto a freeway. Banged up and bruised, Katie is afraid but when she looks at you there is no doubt that she is willing trust again.

Katie's intake picture:

Here's an uplifting update from Katie's foster mom, Joanie P.: "Thanks to the good samaritans who rescued this frightened and scraped up young female golden on the highway and for saving her life..and for reminding us that there are so many caring and wonderful people in this world. Katie is young, between one and two years old, but seems to have spent her short life having puppies. She weighed 54 pounds when she came to us-her ideal weight will be around 60 lbs. She had us worried at first, as she was so frightened that she wouldn't even stand up.

Every new experience would start her trembling, but after just a few weeks with her 3 foster brothers and sister she has become an enthusiastic, happy girl. Her tail, once hidden away, tucked between legs, now wags all the time. She is like a delicate little fawn compared to my dogs, but loves to be with them, and learns daily how to be a golden: stuffed toys terrified her at first, now she proudly carries one around, and even prances! Our vets recommended this period of building her up mentally and physically before she is spayed, but she will soon be ready for her forever home. This gentle girl has learned some basic obedience already, and would love the comfort and support of a family with another dog."

Katie isn't afraid to be out of that recently donated crate, but you will find her in it when it's time to catch some zzzz's. Get ready Katie, life is going to be really great for you!

Thanks to Joel and Kelly for the donated crate that made Katie feel so safe and thanks to Joanie, Travis, Pecos and Shiloh for starting Katie back on the road to recovery. She might not know how many guardian angels she has watching over her, but we sure do and although we call them "volunteers" they're just as special as guardian angels.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

David Rosenfelt: A GBGRR hero

Mystery novelist David Rosenfelt will return to Houston this August for a special event to benefit Golden Beginnings. David's newest novel in the Andy Carpenter series, New Tricks, will be released this summer and will again feature the dog-loving, smart-mouthed attorney and his golden retriever Tara, along with a new character, a Bernese Mountain Dog. David is a great speaker, and has loads of stories about his years in the movie business, and life with 30+ geriatric Goldens! You don't want to miss this event. Food, wine, raffle, reading and book signing: 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at the historic residence of the French Alliance in the Montrose area, 427 Lovett Blvd. 77006. Presented by Golden Beginnings and our partners Murder by the Book, The Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club, the Golden Guild , the French Alliance, Bayou City Seafood n' Pasta, and Gone to the Dogs Boutique.

See David Rosenfelt discuss "New Tricks" and life with dogs on YouTube (click on YouTube to watch the video).

The Tara Foundation, which David and his wife founded in memory of their beloved Golden Tara, has rescued over 4,000 Goldens. Currently, David and his wife lovingly take those Goldens too old or ill to be adopted into their home, where they spend their "Golden" years.

David truly is a GBGRR Hero!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tucker: prayers answered, but more prayers needed

Here's an update from GBGRR president, Cil H.:

"On June 30th, 4 month old Tucker was diagnosed with a congenital birth defect called PPDH (Peritoneal- Pericardial Diaphragmatic Hernia) and it was determined that he had gotten into some kind of poison (most likely rat bait). Here is the link to PPDH -- but basically the diaphragm is a wall of muscle that separates the heart and lungs from the rest of your internal organs. Little Tucker was born with a hole in his diaphragm which is allowing his liver and body fluids to intrude into his heart cavity. They are giving him vitamin K therapy for the poison but his liver levels are still very high and he is on oxygen.

On Saturday July 4th, Dr. Noaker took Tucker off oxygen. He's barking and playing with his toys, tail wagging and in general acting like a puppy should. He is doing soooo much better. Dr. Noaker did caution me that he may have to go back on oxygen but for the moment he is doing fine. His little body has been busy gradually re-absorbing the blood in his lungs and chest cavity. However, his liver is still putting pressure on his heart. His liver should be in his lower body cavity but because of the hole in his diaphragm it is actually sitting on top of his heart. If he continues to improve he will be well enough for the corrective surgery in a few days. He seems to have gotten over the rat poison, his coagulation numbers are just about back to normal.
And yesterday, we got to go home with Dr. Noaker no less!"

Saying thank you is not enough. Dr. Laurie Noaker, Chief of Staff at VERGI (Veterinary Emergency Referral Group, Inc.), and her staff wouldn't give up on Tucker. He's not out of the woods, yet, but he's got a chance thanks to this talented group of veterinarians.

All tuckered out! Tucker (the little one) taking a nap with his foster family.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Most Patriotic Pet: Bear!

Here's a great update from Bear's foster mom Susie H:"Happy 4th of July from our neighborhood' s most Patriotic Pet: Golden Beginning's very own BEAR! Every year our neighborhood has a 4th of July celebration complete with a bike, wagon, hat and most patriotic pet contest and parade with a firetruck. We entered Bear, and he won the "Most Patritotic Pet" contest paws down. We made a flag cape out of streamers along with a matching flag paper bag hat. Katie had an outfit to match. Here are some pictures, including Bear with his first place trophy and flag tennis ball prize. He has been back on Rimadyl twice a day since Wednesday, and it is really making a big difference. " -Susie H and family

Thursday, July 2, 2009

GBGRR volunteer: Kathy Y.

After my first golden, Tiffanne, died from cancer, I wanted to adopt another golden. I had just moved to Houston the year before, so I went online to try to find a golden. There it was...a website for Golden Beginnings! I thought "how perfect"...for not only was it a golden beginning for Mattie (one of the "Fab Five"), but also for my daughters and family, new city, new job, and now, a new dog!

I was approached to become an Adoption Team member. I quickly said "yes". I wanted to help any way I could. I was so thankful for the beautiful golden that GBGRR introduced me to. After a few years, I became a member of the hotline team. I still cover hotline twice a month. At the annual GBGRR picnic held every May, my daughter fell in love with a puppy named Holly. She carried that puppy around all day......well, you know who that puppy came home with! Mattie is now 9 years old, Holly is now 4. We also have another mixed dog, Nikki, who is 9 and a cat, Oliver aged 1 1/2. The joy our animals bring us is amazing.

A few weeks ago, I tried my hand at fostering. Trey, an 8-week old puppy born without a paw became an instant part of our family. It was with many joyful tears that he went to his forever home last week. Guess what? I get to babysit him for a few days when his new mom goes out of town this week!

So, I have covered the gamut....adoption team, hotline team, fostering, Meet and Greets, and the proud owner of two alumni! I can not say enough about the kind people involved in this organization! When you become involved in GBGRR, you become one of many wonderful, caring, loving friends who all have something in common.....our love for our goldens!!!!!

Kathy and her daughter volunteering at the 2008 Houston Reliant Dog Show