One Foster Mom’s Story: A Golden Thank You

Jessie: From Fleas and Neglect to Sign Language and Pampered

Jessie 2502Back in October of 2014, I was asked to foster Jessie (#2505) who’d been seized from her home by Animal Control for legal reasons. Health-wise, she was neglected–smelly, fleas, skin infections, ear infections, and so scrawny you could see her ribs poking out. A couple months later, Regina adopted Jessie and I have enjoyed getting emails with updates and photos. When I got her last email, I got to thinking about the tremendous changes in Jessie’s life in just 15 months.

Here is Jessie’s story–a thank you to all the Golden Bond foster families who make the decision to forever change the life of a foster dog. And a thank you to the special angels who adopt special needs goldens, dogs that bring such joy, in their own special way, to their forever families.

Memories of Jessie from my 2014 journal:

  • “ … The vet said her legs “hadn’t been used much.” Was she kept in a bathroom or closet? Why’s her rear end so weak? …
  • I measured her waist today–only 17” around! Did she not get fed everyday? …
  • Her skin, coat and smell are starting to improve …
  • Her energy’s better, now she can walk almost 25 minutes …
  • Jessie’s getting more attached, sociable and affectionate …
  • This is the SWEETEST dog!! …
  • No problems with the mass removal so now I can put her on the website …
  • There’s already someone interested in Jessie! A retired lady from Seattle who sounds perfect …
  • Talked to Regina, she’ll be great for Jessie …
  • Jessie got adopted today. I’m sad for me but happy for her … ”

Jessie 2502What an amazing 15 months this little dog has had. So many changes—neglected and left alone, seized by Animal Control, hating the shelter so much that this scrawny little girl pulled like a sled dog to get out of there. In foster care, she got happier and stronger. Jessie’s brand new life began last December with a new name, Rosie (because she had a rosy new future in front of her). Her new mom is a big-hearted woman who fell in love with a deaf, 12-year-old dog with a partially torn knee ligament and other health issues. Now Rosie gets lots of time and attention from Mom and neighbor, Aunt Annabelle. Deaf Rosie knows sign language to get treats. There’s daily walks around Lake Washington and the Arboretum (she can walk for an hour!) where she loves meeting other Goldens. Lots of toys, lots of pampering, lots of love. Two dog beds, one in front of the fireplace. Vet care. And she gets fed every single day.

“Rosie’s so funny,” her mom says. “She responds to signs like ‘sweet girl’ by laying on her back and wiggling with a huge grin on her face! She drags her leash when she wants to walk and sometimes to sleep with. She carries her two favorite stuffed animals from bed to bed … so cute … maybe her way of saying, ‘This is my little nest, my comfort zone.’”

This is what dog rescue is all about. If Multnomah County and Golden Bond Rescue hadn’t stepped in, Jessie could be dead by now. Instead, she’s a pampered pooch with a loving mom. Rosie’s got a brand new life!

Kathleen Howlett – Foster Mom

 

What You Should Know About Canine Acupuncture

Debra MulrooneyDebra Mulrooney, DAOM, LAC is a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine who has been licensed by the Oregon Medical Board since 1992. She is currently the Associate Dean of Clinical Education and a clinical faculty member at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.

In 2010, Debra started volunteering acupuncture services for GBR foster dogs to help them during their rehabilitation and recovery. GBR foster dogs are seen free of charge at Milner Veterinary Hospital in Oregon City on Saturday mornings by appointment and referral from their primary veterinarian. In Oregon, Statute 686.040(4) allows acupuncturists to practice on animals if the practice is upon referral from a licensed veterinarian for treatment or therapy specified by the veterinarian.

Chinese medicine predates the development of western scientific approaches to health care and as such, has its own perception of the body, health, and disease. Basic theories were developed through the observation of changes when animals or humans were treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture needles that are made of stone and dated atapproximately 4000 years have been found in caves in China. Also, depictions on cave walls of animals and humans being treated with acupuncture have been dated at over 5000 years. Today, acupuncture needles are sterile single use filiform needles which are medically disposed of immediately after treatment.

There are 365 “regular” acupuncture points on the 12 channels of the body.Each point has specific actions when stimulated and combinations of points are used to take advantage of the synergistic reactions between them. The duration of each treatment session depends on the condition being treated and the tolerance of the patient but usually takes an hour.

Most research on acupuncture has focused on pain control. Studies have generally been conducted on humans and animals living with chronic pain. Musculoskeletal, neurologic, intervertebral disc disease, lameness, and degenerative joint disease such as arthritis are commonly treated conditions. Some veterinary professionals have reported greater flexibility, as well as increased energy and stamina in their patients after being treated by Debra. Additionally, Debra has successfully treated animals undergoing chemotherapy to decrease digestive related issues and support quality of life.

If you parenting a GBR foster dog and feel they might benefit from care, you may contact Dr. Mulrooney at 503-253-3443 extension 139 or email her at dmulrooney@ocom.edu to discuss treatment. Debra also sees GBR Goldens that have found their forever homes and strives to make acupuncture affordable.

Note From GBR President Jill Groves:

Dr. Mulrooney has been treating Duke, one of our long time foster dogs who has recently found his forever home, for several years. GBR is convinced that without Dr. Mulrooney’s treatmnt, as well as swim therapy, Duke would never have become strong enough to have surgery to correct his bent rear legs.

Additionally, Dr. Mulrooney has been treating Scooby, a dog who had surgery for two floating knee caps. After a few treatments, Scooby has begun to raise up on his rear legs. get the zoomies and play like a normal dog.

 

 

Project: Taiwan Continues…

NiNi blogSince the first article about GBR rescuing dogs from Taiwan was published, volunteers have made several trips to Seattle, one to Los Angeles and one to San Francisco to meet dogs coming from Taiwan. The total number of dogs rescued from Taiwan is 30 and one from South Korea. Pictures of some of those dogs are scattered throughout this article.

It was pretty exciting for those volunteers who drove to SeaTac to meet the first group of dogs to arrive from Taiwan. We didn’t know what to expect and in what shape the dogs would be. We were surprised and shocked when the Sky Caps brought crate after crate after crate out to the baggage area. We soon learned that a total of 21 dogs had been sent from Taiwan, though only five were for Golden Bond Rescue. Other than the goldens for GBR, all the other dogs were Formosan Mountain Dogs Momoko blogsent to the U.S. by Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) for a Seattle based mixed breed rescue.

After the goldens were released to GBR by their flight escort, they were taken to a grassy/dirt area just outside the Arrival Terminal. One by one, the dogs were taken out of their crates to get a drink of water and to pee. Once the essentials were taken care of, GBR’s newest goldens began to act like typical goldens: PET ME! PET ME!

Oba blogWith each additional group of goldens to arrive, we found them all to be pretty much the same in stature and in temperament. Physically, they usually arrive shaved with a lion-type hair cut. Only their heads and the tips of their tails are left with long hair. This makes them easier to keep clean, tick and flea free, and are cooler in the hot and humid Taiwan climate. They are stockier than the golden we generally see in the Pacific NW. We’ve found that their rear leg muscles are mildly to severely atrophied. This is because they have been kept in kennels for long periods without exercise.

All vaccinations have been given before coming to the U.S and they have been neutered. In addition, they were tested for heartworm (treated if positive) and several tick borne diseases (treated as well, if positive). They have been dewormed, and microchipped, plus for as long as they were in their Taiwan rescuer’s care, they were given a monthly flea/heartworm ChiChi blogpreventative,

When the dogs arrive in Oregon, they are immediately taken to a GBR vet where they get a thorough exam, fecal and urine analysis tests, as well as a blood test. A few of the dogs have had allergy issues (no surprise there!), a few have been anemic, and some with ear infections. Overall, they come to GBR pretty healthy.

Temperament-wise to a dog, they have all been so calm, so sweet and a delight to have in a home. They don’t bark much but usually need some help getting the hang of living in a house. Most of the dogs (a few have come from Taiwanese foster homes) have been living on Prince blogthe street for months or years then moved to a shelter and don’t know the comfort of a soft bed and regular meals.

Because we found the dogs to be so calm and well adjusted when they arrive, we have been placing them in pre-approved foster-to-adopt homes.  Whether placed in a foster-to-adopt home or a regular foster home, they all need quiet time in order to adjust to their new environment, new food, new language (no they don’t understand English commands or their names), and chillier weather. Just as a person who has flown for many hours must get over jet lag, so do these dogs. They need time to figure out what’s what.

Lucy blogGBR will continue to help as many of the Taiwanese goldens as we can; however, that does not mean we will ignore our local goldens and golden mixes needing help. Unless a dog is aggressive toward people and/or severely  aggressive to other dogs, GBR will not turn down a golden who needs our help!

If you’re interested in adopting, fostering, or foster-to-adopting (same process as adopting) any dog from GBR, please contact us or read about these opportunities on our web site.

 

We’re Bringing Them Home!

SeaTac Flight 12/15/14

Since mid-April of this year, GBR began bringing goldens (and the occasional lab) from Taiwan. To date, 52 lucky dogs have found new homes in Oregon and SW Washington. On 12/15/14, that number will increase by six when BoBo, Amber, Abby, Bona, Bentley, and Jack arrive at SeaTac International Airport. Taking the dogs in from Taiwan has been surprisingly free of difficulties. Before the dogs come to the U.S.A., they are tested (and treated, if needed) for heartworm and tick borne diseases. They are also neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. A few of them have come needing extra medical help, e.g. skin and ear infections, bad joints, lumps removed and analysed, etc.

Bona in hay stackThe majority of dogs sent to GBR have been rescued off the streets of Taipei or out of its horrendous shelters. After reviewing the “before” pictures of some of these dogs, we wonder how they survive long enough to come to Oregon. Here are before and after pictures of Bona (6 year old female), who was found hiding in a haystack starving and riddled with fleas. BonaShe still has a ways to go before being ready to find her forever home. She has a large bulbous growth on one of her front feet, which we’re hoping a GBR surgeon can remove.

Most of the Taiwan dogs when they arrive are “good to go” so we try to place them directly into approved adopters’ homes as foster-to-adopt dogs. Those adopters who take in the dogs agree to care for them with the understanding that once GBR is comfortable (2-3 weeks generally) that there are no “hidden” ailments, they (adopters) have first chance at adoption.

A bit about the other dogs coming on the 15th: Abby is a 2-3 month old mix golden puppy; Bentley is a 5-7 year old male; BoBo is a 6 year old female; jack is a 3-4 year old male white lab; and Amber is a 6 year old female.

If you’d like to know more about our Bring Them Home project, continue reading the information below.


The Beginning

A few months ago, we were searching the web and came across a site belonging to a rescue group (non-golden) who had recently begun bringing rescued dogs to the U.S. from Taiwan. Further searching revealed that a couple of golden retriever rescues in California had been bringing in Taiwanese goldens off and on for a few years.

GBR teamed up with Seattle-based Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue to try to locate a contact in Taiwan. Unfortunately, the California rescues were not very forthcoming with their Taiwan contact but with perseverance, one was found and a conversation started. The process of communicating has been interesting because they speak a little English and we speak zero Chinese.

On Tuesday, April 15th, GBR and Evergreen will meet a flight from Taiwan carrying six dogs: Gary, Cola, Minnie, Sindy, Donna, and Lady. Lady will stay with Evergreen and the other five will spend the night in a luxurious Motel 6 in Fife, WA with four GBR volunteers. Bright and early the next day, the dogs will be transported to foster homes in the Portland area, Eugene and Roseburg. You can read a short bio on each dog and see a picture by clicking on their individual names.

Why Go Outside Oregon/Washington or Even Outside The Country?

That’s a good question and we’re glad you asked. There are two reasons: 1) GBR is dedicated to rescuing goldens and golden mixes no matter where they are and 2) we have a waiting list of 30-40 approved applicants waiting to adopt a GBR dog.

We have spent years establishing a great working relationship with Oregon, Washington and Idaho shelters, as well as the Oregon Humane Society. Frequently, these establishments will contact GBR asking us if we can take a sick or injured golden, puppy mill goldens, or help free up kennel space by taking a stray golden. We also have a dedicated volunteer who daily scans Oregon’s and Washinton’s Craiglists for posted goldens. Lastly, if an owner contacts us about taking in their golden, we never turn a dog down unless it has a history of aggression toward people.

But Why Taiwan?

Another excellent question. Taiwan is a densely-populated country with very small living quarters. The “Dog Fad” has erupted there with cute little puppies being in high demand. There is a high desire for puppies of large breed dogs and little to no interest in rescuing existing dogs, especially street dogs. When folks find that living in close quarters with a dog isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be, the dogs either go the ‘asylum,’ (Taiwanese terminology for a shelter) where they’re routinely euthanized after seven days, or they get turned out on the streets. Our rescue counterparts in Taiwan are primarily focused on the street dogs and rescuing them from the horrific conditions they have been subjected to in their lives. Some dogs find their homes in Taiwan, but overwhelmingly the large breed dogs are overlooked and the rescuers are left with few options.

Big dog breeds, such as golden retrievers and Labradors, are the main victims in this recent wave of dog abandonment. Tallies compiled by Taipei City’s Environmental Protection Department, which is responsible for handling stray dogs, show that the highest number of abandoned canines were captured in the Shihlin and Beitou districts, adjacent to Yangmingshan National Park, a recreation area in Northern Taiwan. The park has become a popular dumping ground because dog owners believe its vast wooded environment is suitable for dogs to find food, take shelter and survive on their own. It is estimated that there are more than 300 or 400 stray dogs roaming within the park at any given time. They survive on food and snacks left by visitors as well as small wild animals, such as snakes and mice. Those abandoned in the cities scavenge for kitchen scraps at dumpsters outside the city’s many restaurants.

Take a look at your golden – can you imagine him or her wandering the streets of Taipei looking for a scrap to eat? We can’t, that’s why where there are goldens in need, GBR will be there!

How Can You Help?

Easy Peazy: DONATE! It’s as simple as taking out your checkbook, writing a check and sending it to: Golden Bond Rescue, P.O. Box 25391, Portland, OR 97298 or donate online by clicking here. Indicate that it’s to help “GBR’s Taiwanese Dogs.”

We hope this will be the first in a number of goldens we will bring to Oregon from Taiwan. These dogs are indeed very Fortunate Cookies!

 

GBR Partners With Fred Meyer

You can help Golden Bond Rescue earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Golden Bond Rescue at www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 94391.
  • Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping Golden Bond Rescue earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
  • For more information and to link your card to GBR, please visit www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards.  Once there, click on the Link Your Rewards Card Now button. If you already have your sign-in set up with Fred Meyer, just enter your email address and password.  If your new to FredMeyer.com, click on Get Started and follow the simple instructions. Once your account is set up, you can link your card to GBR’s account number – 94391.
  • If you’re having trouble opening an account at FredMeyer.com or linking your card to GBR, please contact Jill Groves at jill.groves@gmail.com.

End Of Year Letter

Those of you who are on GBR’s mailing list will have already received our End Of Letter in the mail.  This letter is an opportunity for us to let our followers know what we did during the year and to, of course, ask for financial support so that we can continue helping our dogs in 2014. For those of you not on our mailing list, please enjoy our End of Year Letter. We hope, as well, that you will make a donation to help us continue rescuing goldens and golden mixes. Happy Holidays!

Dear Friend of Golden Bond Rescue,  

Whoa!  You may be thinking “Didn’t I just get one of these letters from Golden Bond Rescue?!”  Well, it seems to us as well that only a few weeks ago we were sending a letter like this out even though it’s really been almost a year. 

This past year, like every other year, there have been some dogs which have just touched us more than usual.   Here are brief bios about three of the dogs who came to us with extreme physical challenges – Peanut, Buster and Duke. 

Spotlight on Dogs

PeanutPeanut (#2370), a very loving seven month old, has a significant genetic deformity of her lower front legs. As she grew, her ulnae became fixed and stopped growing, though the radii did not. This caused the radii to curve outward.

After consulting an orthopedic surgeon, GBR was given four options: 1) euthanize immediately; 2) leave her as is, and she’d probably live another year, then would need to be euthanized; 3) cut the ulnae to see if the radii would straighten some on their own; or 4) rebuild the legs.

Because of the cost, pain and high probability of infection, GBR did not choose option 4. Neither could we euthanize her without giving her a fighting chance. We elected Option 3 – cutting the ulnae.

On July 17th, Dr. Munjar (Veterinary Surgical Center) performed the surgery, and Peanut has fully recovered and is doing very well. At her final post-surgical visit, follow up x-rays were taken which showed that both radii had in fact straightened some, so there was less curve where they meet the ankles. This was excellent news!

Peanut is able to have her two 15-minute walks a day, plus play with the other dogs living in her foster home. However, if in the future she shows some pain due to deterioration of the ankles, she will need to have her ankles fused. She will still be able to walk, run and play but will have limited movement of her feet. Her small size may be part of the deformity but is a big advantage for her, as there is less stress on her wrist joints than if she were a normal sized Golden.

Buster before greenBuster (#2363) was seven weeks old when he first came to Golden Bond Rescue on May 30, 2013. At about five weeks old, his snout area began to swell and turn red. The diagnosis was “puppy strangles,”  also known as canine juvenile cellulitis. The treatment consists of large doses of prednisone along with an antibiotic, but unfortunately, for two weeks after the diagnosis, Buster’s owner failed to give him the medication, so the disease rapidly progressed to the point where the fur and skin on his face and legs began to slough off. (At the time his weight was 5 pounds.) Buster after caps newOver the course of several weeks, Buster was put on a hefty dose of prednisone and antibiotics, and had cold laser treatments several times a week. He is now six months old, weighs 45 pounds, and hair is beginning to grow back on his face. The vets who cared for Buster said that he had the worst case of puppy strangles that they had ever seen. The scar tissue that formed under his eyes has pulled his lower eyelids down, so he may need to have surgery to correct it at the time he is neutered.

Duke old leg greenDuke (#1979) was relinquished to Golden Bond in December of 2009 by a couple of young ladies who picked him up for free from a lady at a supermarket in Southern Oregon. Once they got him home and looked past the cute little six month old puppy with half his front leg gone, they realized that they couldn’t keep him. They contacted Golden Bond Rescue.

 While in the womb, Duke’s right front leg had begun to form but then stopped about a couple inches below the elbow. When he arrived in Portland he was seen by a surgeon to see if the leg should be removed. [Many three legged dogs can do quite well.] Unfortunately for Duke, it was also discovered that he only had one structurally sound leg and that was his other front. The knees of both back legs had not formed correctly so they kept popping in and out of the joint; this could be visually seen, for the knees stuck out in funny angles. Sadly, these deformed joints were causing Duke to be constantly in pain. It was determined that surgery was not a good option at this point.

Duke New Leg greenSuspecting that his life expectancy was going to be only six months to a year and due to his super sparkling personality, we decided to keep him under our care (aka permanent foster). With all his troubles, we couldn’t believe what a happy boy he was. Our goal was to make him as comfortable as possible for the few months that he had left. A generous supporter paid for Duke’s artificial leg, which really helped him get around but never quite fit him properly. Skip ahead 3.5 years to June, 2013 and Duke celebrated his fourth birthday, plus he’s being fitted for an even better prosthetic! We credit his amazing survival to his foster mom, Dr. Shaw at Back On Track, Diane Kunckle at Paws Aquatic and his extraordinary acupuncturist – Debra Mulrooney.

 A return visit to an orthopedic specialist this summer gave us all hope that with surgery on his rear legs, Duke can look forward to a normal golden life span and he’ll begin looking for a forever home. All the physical therapy Duke has had over the past 3.5 years has strengthened his muscles to the point that they can support his “dodgey” join

 Some Stats You Should Know In 2013, GBR took in 100 dogs and adopted out 106 dogs.  Even though we took in somewhat fewer dogs than in the preceding several years (this is happening nationwide), our vet costs were way up because a higher proportion of the dogs had moderate to severe physical challenges.  This, by the way, is among several things which makes trying to budget our modest non-profit maddeningly difficult.

New Training Programs  To more cherry news, there are other ways to assist dogs besides medically, and now we want to tell you very briefly about new efforts we are going to make on behalf of our dogs. GBR has had a terrific track record in placing dogs because we are so careful in evaluating both our dogs and our applicants prior to making a match.  Two new initiatives for the coming years will involve foster home training (if you’re a foster home, listen up!) and dog evaluation (ditto if you do “dog evals,” ).

Dog Evaluations  If you’ve ever done one, you know that dog evaluations can be tricky because the dogs are usually “not themselves” – they sense something is up.  To help insure that all of our volunteers who do dog evaluations are on the same page and feel confident in what they’re doing, we will be partnering with Synergy Behavior Solutions to develop a training package for dog evaluator volunteers.  We’re just in the beginning phases, but we know some of the pieces we want to be part of this training:   For example, how can you be sure that you’re seeing a friendly, open personality?  What is “reactivity,” and what do you look for to see if a dog has it?  If you’re using your own dog to assist your evaluation, what steps do you need to follow to help it give insight into your evaluation?  Even though we’ve had excellent success in the past, we think this new initiative will make our dog evaluations even better, especially because in recent years we have noticed an increase in the proportion of dogs exhibiting negative behavioral traits.

Foster Home Training  We appreciate so much that we have wonderful foster families (never as many as we would like, of course), and a goal we have had in mind for a long time has been to give them some  tools they may not have currently to help prepare our dogs for the transition into their forever homes.  This new, in-depth training is intended to help the dogs grow so that adopting a dog from us will be even more of a “turn-key” operation than it has been to date.  In brief, we plan to use reward-based games to train the dogs in at least the following activities:  getting used to being crated; knowing the commands “sit,” “down,” and “come;” walking nicely on a leash; and lastly, giving new people a polite greeting (i.e., not jumping and/or slobbering all over them.  Curiously enough, there are actually some people who don’t like that.)   We are hopeful both that our already high rate of “customer satisfaction” will increase and that our foster families will appreciate learning some skills they can use with their own dogs.

We Cut to the Chase!  There are only so many ways to ask for your money, and that of course is what this letter is about.  Much of what we do has costs, although our reliance on volunteers minimizes them, and our new initiatives will have some associated costs as well.  We feel fortunate that for the last several years we have not been forced to cut corners on what we can do for our dogs, and it is no exaggeration to say that “it’s all due to you.”

With tongues firmly in our cheeks, we want you to know that your donations go completely “to the dogs!”   Seriously, contributions to Golden Bond Rescue are a great way to direct your charitable giving because we are a 100% volunteer staffed organization, and only about 8% of our costs are administrative.  Over the last several years, this letter, our end-of-the-year appeal, has raised nearly one-quarter of our annual operating budget – it’s a crucial piece of our fundraising.  We know that you’re aware that the end of the tax year falls on December 31st, so we invite you to be as generous as you can in writing a fully tax deductible check made out to “Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon” and mailing it to this address:  Golden Bond Rescue, P.O. Box 25391, Portland, OR 97298-0391, or you can donate online by clicking here.

In closing, we want to say, without the slightest hint of flattery, we truly believe that Golden lovers are to humans as Goldens are to dogs:  the best of their kind!  Please be as generous as you can to help us guarantee our ability to continue our work.  We and a whole bunch of dogs THANK YOU SO MUCH!  And because we know that it’s highly likely that you volunteer for us as well, we want to say “THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!” for that, too.  Oh, and remember that you can donate on-line at our website, www.goldenbondrescue.com.

With sincere wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and your family (including Goldens and other pets),

The Board of Directors

Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon