Autumn has a beautiful new name, Riley, to go along with her wonderful new life. Be sure to read the update from her new family following her Golden Angel story. Autumn is a beautiful, special five-year-old Golden girl who came to us very scared but also full of hope. Her dream of a second chance at a happy life almost ended before it even began. Everyone at GRRR and the Golden Angel Fund would, of course, do anything to save her, but when the desperately needed medicine isn’t even available, the challenges for Autumn were great. We first found out about Autumn when we were contacted by Donna with Second Chance Rescue in Lamar, Colorado. Donna had been contacted to help with a Golden (our sweet Autumn) and two Dachshunds. Their owner was ill and could longer provide for the dogs. A few phone calls later, Autumn was on her way to GRRR to become a part of our family. When she arrived, she had the appearance of a tragic puppy mill dog. She had spent her entire life either living on a chain or in a pen. She was very timid with people, afraid to eat out of a bowl, her hair was all matted and filthy, and she was cautious of new things that most of our Goldens find to be a normal part of their everyday lives. Autumn had not been treated well at all in her previous life. Her transition from neglect to love began immediately when she went home with me. There she was gently groomed and given the full spa treatment. She was unfamiliar with being inside a home and cautiouslywalked across the carpet and hardwood floors. When she was lifted onto the soft bed, she quietly took in all the surroundings of this new place looking like she was wondering when this dream might end. It was obvious Autumn had never been treated with love before. She almost cooed while she was combed and brushed to remove all the nasty traces of her past life of neglect. Autumn had been suffering with chronic ear infections for most of her life. The scarring from the neglect was heartbreaking to see. Mealtime was a challenge for sweet Autumn. When given a dish of quality food for the first time, she seemed to be afraid when the bowl was placed in front of her. Even though she was overweight, getting her to eat became a challenge. I tried some canned food, then put it on a plate, then served it to her outside.Finally she must have felt like she trusted me enough to taste the food. It must have tasted fabulous, but she ate cautiously, keeping a close eye on me looking as though she feared she might be kicked or hit. First thing on Monday Autumn went to see Dr. Carpenter and was given a thorough exam, had blood work done and was spayed. Her ears were cleaned and treated with medicated ointment, and as the medication was massaged into her ear canals, she got a look on her face that said she was in heaven. Autumn then went to the foster home of Joyce and Bob Childerston to be loved and cared for. She began enjoying all the special comforts life can offer. She had many doggie friends to keep her company and show her the good life of being a loved family member. She enjoyed playing and the freedom of having a yard to run in. The following day we received very bad news for Autumn. Her blood work showed she was heartworm positive. Not only was that heartbreaking news, but a bigger challenge faced Autumn and all other heartworm positive dogs in need of treatment. Immiticide, the drug used to kill the heartworms, is not currently being manufactured and only very limited supplies can be found in the U.S. Because this region doesn’t have many heartworm positive dogs, the medication is not kept in stock in large quantities. Arvada West Veterinary Hospital did not have the amount needed to treat Autumn. Without this medicine, Autumn’s life would be in jeopardy from the spread of the heartworms which damage the lung tissues and can eventually lead to heart failure. GRRR extends a very special thank you to Dr. Anna Lindsey at Clear Creek Animal Hospital for allowing Arvada West to purchase the Immiticide from their supply so Autumn could receive the treatment to cure her heartworm disease. Autumn has received her treatment and she is doing very well. Because her activity level had to be very restricted for six to eight weeks, Autumn was moved to a new foster home with Kim Koch. There she is the only dog and is receiving all the daily attention and special care she requires. Autumn is feeling better every day which is wonderful but also a challenge for Kim to keep her sedentary. Kim has glowing reports about our wonderful Autumn. “Autumn is absolutely loving her new life as one very spoiled and loved indoor family member,” Kim said. “She is still feeling out her surroundings, and one of the first items on her to-do list was to find the treats, which she has. For a dog that lived outside she has the best indoor manners. She still needs to be reassured that all is well and needs to know where I am at all times. She waits for a kiss on the head before coming outside when I get home after work—it’s a very cute and endearing ritual. She is always up for a belly rub and does love those kisses and massages. And how can you resist that cute face?” It’s hard to imagine what Autumn is thinking about all the changes in her life. Though she spent the first five years of her life being neglected, her loving ways, growing confidence and enthusiasm for life are good indications she knows she is now well loved. Now we hope she lives for today and realizes those days of being chained or confined to a pen with chronic ear infections and heartworm disease are all behind her. She’s a GRRR Golden Angel and loved by many people, many of whom she’s never met but show their love through their donations to the Golden Angel Fund. Without all the volunteers and donors, Autumn’s new life would not have been possible. Welcome to your new extended family and new life, precious Autumn. We’re sure every day of your new life will bring you balls to fetch, yummy food, room to run, gentle kindness and much happiness. Update on Autumn Riley (aka Autumn) received a clean bill of health from Dr. Carpenter back in November – her heartworm treatment was a complete and absolute success. Who could ask for anything more! For anyone who knew Riley when she came into GRRR’s care, to look at her today you wouldn’t know she’s the same dog. She is so full of energy and love for life – not to mention food. When I first started fostering her, I had to bribe her to eat – now she tells me when it’s mealtime! And she loves her cookies. She is completely settled into being a spoiled indoor puppy. She has figured out how to get up on the bed (my 11-year-old niece taught her that over Christmas) and is no longer afraid to go up and down the stairs in the house – which opens all types of opportunities for mischief. She loves visiting with her GRRR girlfriends, Lady and Sadie, at Joyce’s house. And, boy, does she love Joyce, too! Every time we walk by their house she gets so excited – Riley definitely knows who took care of her during her first few weeks at GRRR and shows her appreciation with many, many kisses. Riley took what I think is her first long road trip – we went to visit family in Wisconsin over Christmas. She made friends at every rest stop we visited! If Riley could talk I know she would thank the GRRR volunteers and donors from the bottom of her heart for all that they do to help dogs just like her. Without their support Riley’s story would not have the successful and wonderful ending it does. I would personally like to thank Joyce and Mary for working with me to find just the right dog – I can’t imagine life without her!