The story of Golden Angel sisters Ruby (7 yrs. left) and J.J. (9 yrs. right) has a bittersweet ending that will leave you smiling but perhaps with a few tears in your eyes. These absolutely beautiful girls (with personalities to match) came to GRRR when their owner passed away. When the family realized they had nobody to take Ruby and J.J., they took them to a local shelter along with their pedigree papers. Thankfully the shelter contacted their breeders to ask if they would be willing to take the girls back. The breeders knew about GRRR and asked the shelter to contact us first and said they would take them back if we weren’t able to help. Within an hour of the call, GRRR volunteers had the girls in their car and were on their way to see Dr. Carpenter.
These poor girls really needed our help! Ruby and J.J. were both very neglected. They were matted, dirty and had ear infections and tumors. Most likely due to the illness of their owner, they hadn’t received the care they deserved and needed for a very long time. In addition to having medical issues, they were also struggling with the loss of their owner, having to leave their home and all the trauma that comes with such huge life changes.
When they arrived, Dr. Carpenter and the expert staff at Arvada West Animal Hospital began treating their medical issues. J.J. had many tumors that needed to be removed. Some were as big as a baseball and would impede her ability to walk. She had many abscessed and broken teeth and her poor ears had endured many infections that had not been treated. She had scar tissue from the seromasthat were caused by either shaking her head or scratching her itchy ears with her foot. Ruby had similar issues, but in addition she had a severe urinary tract infection. It was so bad that she had a “leakage problem” when she would walk. Both girls were placed on medications for their issues, and surgery dates were scheduled for their spay surgeries, dentals and lump removals. The Golden Angel Fund made sure both girls were getting the best care possible so they could soon be adopted and begin their new lives with a loving family.
With their vet appointments complete, they were off to the spa to get the works! They were gently combed, brushed and had their ears cleaned. They were such a mess that it took several hours to work out their mats and comb out all their dead hair. Ruby required a lot of extra attention; the stains on her beautiful blonde coat from her ongoing urinary tract infection wouldn’t all come out. We were able to remove the hair that had been holding all that bacteria and burning her skin in the process. Then it was time for a relaxing bubble bath. We could tell from their expressions that they were loving all the attention and tender care they were receiving. J.J. came home from surgery with lots of stitches and drain tubes. Both girls were fed softened food because of their dentals and painful teeth. They LOVED that part of recovery. While being treated and waiting to be adopted, Ruby and J.J. stayed at Phoebe’s Place where the two sisters had the time of their lives chasing balls, running in the play areas and sleeping on the bed. They went for many walks with the volunteers and found out what being truly loved and cared for meant. We are so grateful they had this wonderful time together because, although we didn’t know it at the time, the girls would soon be separated from each other.
Unfortunately Ruby’s infection wasn’t getting better and she was still leaking urine when she walked or ran. She went back in to see Dr. Carpenter for a re-check and had x-rays and a culture sent out to see what those nasty bugs were that needed to go away. When Dr. Carpenter did the X-rays he found Ruby had a bladder stone, which explained all of her urinary tract infections. Bladder stones are very painful and she needed surgery right away. Dr. Shafer did a complementary ultrasound on the day of Ruby’s surgery as part of her continuing education. She saw something unusual and brought it to Dr. Carpenter’s attention. There appeared to be a mass on her liver. When Ruby’s surgery began, Dr. Carpenter checked out the location where the potential problem was seen, and it was not good news. There was a tumor on her liver that wrapped around a main artery to her lungs. It was a time bomb waiting to go off. If he tried to remove it, it would be impossible to get all of the mass. It would be an hour or a day or maybe weeks before it burst and would take her life. While she was on the operating table, Dr. Carpenter consulted with Mary. The decision was made that it would be kinder to have her cross the Rainbow Bridge peacefully while still under anesthesia and not put her through the pain of recovering from a surgery that wouldn’t save her. Ruby was such a wonderful Golden. She was so full of life and so affectionate. She would steal your heart the moment you met her.
Through the Golden Angel Fund we help hundreds of Goldens live pain free lives and are able to save almost all of them. Ruby had to leave us, but she is now an ambassador for the Golden Angel Fund. We were able to help her as much as possible and then provide her freedom from her pain. We’re pretty sure Ruby’s weeks with GRRR were the best of her life. J.J. is doing very well and is almost recovered from her tumor removals. Her ear infections are also much better. She is healthy and happy and we hope she will find her new forever home soon. Although we know she misses her sister, Ruby, it is so wonderful that they had such quality time together at Phoebe’s Place with so much attention and love from all the volunteers. Even though it was for a short time, they were the center of attention and loved by so many wonderful people. A sincere thank you to each of you who donates and volunteers to help the Goldens in need. When they come through our doors we give them our love whether they are puppies or seniors, healthy or in need of medical care, and we make the best decisions possible for them. Beautiful, loving Ruby’s memory will shine on as a GRRR Golden Angel. Through your donations and countless volunteer hours, GRRR is able to promise each Golden who comes to us that they will be cared for and receive unconditional love. By Mary Kenton & Linda Hartma