Golden Angel Marco is pleased to announce he has a wonderful new family! His adoption story and progress report follow is Golden Angel story. Hi. my name is Marco, sweet Golden puppy who needs your help. I’m hoping you will take a couple of minutes to read about me and my plea for a chance at a pain free life. Without your help, I probably wouldn’t have much of a life – certainly no playing or hikes or wrestling or all the fun things puppies like me love to do. It all began when I was purchased as a little guy and taken home to become a very loved little puppy with a family to call my own. When I was about five months old I would play and run, but I would start hurting and limp in pain. Then it hurt so much to just get up and walk that I could hardly stand it. I would have to go lie down because I hurt so much. My family took me to the vet and explained that I wasn’t acting much like the happy and playful puppy they brought home with them. I seemed depressed and I limped a lot. The doctor examined me, took some x-rays and explained to my family that I had horrible hip dysplasia in both hips and shoulder and/or elbow disorder. My family took me home and gave me the medication the doctor prescribed to help me with my pain. My family — who also had children to care for — was already struggling to pay their bills. They were really at a loss as to how to help me and still make ends meet for the entire family. They were broken hearted knowing they didn’t have the money to refill my pain medicine or get the tests I needed, let alone be able to pay for the surgeries that would take my pain away forever. I was in pain, but so were they. They loved me so much, but it was really hard for them to think of giving me away or putting me to sleep because they couldn’t afford to help me. Out of love for me, they made the decision to call GRRR and ask them if they could help me. They were so sad to let me go, but they knew the people at GRRR would keep their promise and take very good care of me. That was a tearful goodbye for all of us. It made me sad to see them cry and I really tried my best to comfort them. As soon as I arrived at GRRR, the Golden Angel Fund provided Rimadyl — wonderful but expensive pain medication to help ease my pain. Dr. Carpenter saw me right away. He gave me a thorough exam and took more x-rays. Dr. Carpenter and all the techs at the hospital said I was just the sweetest, most adorable puppy. It doesn’t take long for me to grab the hearts of the people who meet me. I have what they call a sad puppy face. Wow, did I make friends fast! I was in a foster home for a few weeks where there was another young girl to play with. We had a lot of fun! The Rimadyl helped a lot. It allowed me to play and wrestle with my new friends and not be in so much pain that I could hardly walk. Sometimes I would still hurt, but the doctors said it wouldn’t make my condition worse to have a little fun. My foster mom had to leave town, so I went to stay at Phoebe’s Place, and boy were there a lot of places to run and play there! I made a lot of new doggie friends, and people were coming to see me all the time. I felt like I was so lucky to be at such a wonderful place where all these nice people came to walk me and play with me. They loved that I was such a cuddly guy, and I was always hoping with all my heart that one of them would take me home with them. One special morning I got to go to the annual GRRR picnic. I was resting under the welcome table when Karen Martens came to take a turn as the welcome volunteer. I really liked her right away, so I made myself look extra good and introduced myself to her Golden Doodle, Murphy, who is also a GRRR dog. He liked me and I could see I made a good impression on Karen. Sure enough, a few days later she came to Phoebe’s Place to pick me up and take me to foster. How lucky can one guy get? I love living with Karen, Murphy and Wilson who is an eleven- year-old Golden. Karen says I am like a little shadow because I follow her everywhere not wanting to miss a single thing. I went to see Dr. Ko who is what they call an orthopedic surgeon and boy was he nice. Dr. Ko said that my shoulders were what needed surgery right away. The surgery was set up for the next day. My condition is osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) which means there is an underlying bone defect that is flattened areas of the humor bone. A piece of cartilage becomes partially or fully detached from the surface of the joint. These lo ose fragments cause inflammation of the lining of the joint and cause pain. When I woke up I couldn’t believe how much better I already felt. They told Karen it will take about 4 weeks for recovery and that my she may have a challenge keeping me calm because I feel so much better. Dr. Ko said we need to wait and see how things go with my hips, maybe I won’t even need more surgery! But if I do, GRRR will pay for me to get them fixed too. Dr. Ko is a good orthopedic vet and he doesn’t want to risk putting me through an operation until it’s absolutely necessary. Hopefully I will never need the surgery and if I’m extra-active and over do it, hopefully I will just need to take some Rimadyl to relieve the pain. So now our mornings start with breakfast. And then Wilson and I get our meds and supplements and then we go for a walk. I am trying to get used to not pulling on the leash but it is hard when you are so excited and young. I am only 8 months old but I think I can get it right with time. Back at home we play some more and then Wilson and I have our morning nap usually on the deck in the sun. In the afternoons we play some more (I love toys) and then comes brushing and a little work on manners. I have a happy attitude and enjoy every day. I love dinner. I clean my bowl and try to see if anyone left anything in their bowl. So far no one has left even one kibble. It’s amazing how everyone is so kind to me. I am so thankful that GRRR and the wonderful donors and volunteers are here to help me. I know my medical bills will be expensive and that the Golden Angel Fund will make sure I am well cared for. I know that some Goldens aren’t as lucky as me and have sad lives and people aren’t always nice to them or don’t give them the best care. I have always been loved, and it was a great act of love when my family found GRRR so I could get the surgery I needed. Please give to the Golden Angel Fund. Thanks to everyone at GRRR for keeping your promise of giving me the gift of a pain free life. Update Hello everyone. December was cold and snowy, so I stayed inside most of the time because the cold weather made it so hard for me to be outside. My Mom walked me two short walks a day but she was noticing that it took me longer to get up and stand, and I was favoring my right side. So I went back to Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital for a checkup. I so enjoyed seeing Dr. Ko and Daryle Malcosky, my old friends there, but I did not like the news. My hip dysplasia is worse. My shoulder surgery three months ago went very well, but my hips are in worse shape than were at that time. The one good thing Dr. Ko said is that this is Phase One, whatever that means, but with work I can get through this. Dr. Ko said swimming therapy would be good for me so I’ve been going to CRCG. Everyone is so nice there and they help me with exercises and swimming in the endless pool. They said “he has so many problems” but we are going to work on them. Well, I figured the endless pool out quickly… if you do not paddle, it will just hold you up and you float! That did not last long… they said “Marco go-go-go” so I had to paddle again. It is still so hard…so hard because I am in pain. We also do three exercises every day and one of them seems to really help me get a little more range of motion. Most nights I go to bed earlier that the others – they think I am a baby. Well, I am only a year old (January 8th was my birthday). I just want to thank everyone who donated for my surgery, therapy and medicine. I think I will get better with all my very special friends and all the new exercises I am doing. Thanks to all of you wonderful GRRR people.