Bailey is a 15-year-old handsome and sweet boy who came to GRRR after a few stops along the way. Bailey was a “frequent flyer” at a local Colorado shelter. He had been brought in as a stray many times. But this last time his family told the shelter they would not be picking him up—they didn’t want him anymore. Sitting in a sad but familiar setting, he probably couldn’t imagine what was taking his people so long to come for him. But instead of his people showing up, a kind and reassuring volunteer came to rescue him from the shelter, promising him he wouldn’t be left behind again.
When Sophiane Nacer, Executive Director of Cayleb’s Kindred Senior Dog Rescue, arrived to pick up Bailey, he probably wondered what in the world was going on. But little did he know how lucky he was to have been spotted on Petfinder and pursued by Sophiane. After several calls to inquire about Bailey, Sophiane was finally allowed to come rescue this loving senior Golden boy. Sophiane took Bailey home to foster. It was obvious to her that this sweet and gentle boy hadn’t been cared for in his previous home. With his matted coat, neglected teeth and being a little overweight, it was likely he had been spending his time alone in a backyard for quite some time.
Once settled in Sophiane's home, Bailey quickly learned how to be an inside dog. Enjoying the comforts of a loved pet was easy for Bailey to get used to. He looked forward to his walks and especially the socializing of the other dogs they would meet along the way.
While checking the postings for available and found Goldens on Petfinder, I kept coming upon Bailey’s posting and thought how handsome he was. Every day I would always see his handsome face and wonder why a 15-year-old Golden needed a home, but know that things do happen in life that force people to find new homes for their Golden Retrievers and other dogs. Missing the company of a senior, I inquired about Bailey. Sophiane replied to my email quickly, and the following week Queen Stella and I went to visit Bailey. Bailey and Stella hit it off right away. Arrangements were made to bring Bailey to Phoebe’s Place to see how he might fit in at GRRR.
Bailey seemed to enjoy his visit and he stayed with us for a trial period to see how things went. Things went great! Bailey seemed to love it here and we loved having him. An appointment was made to get Bailey an exam, heartworm test and vaccinations. Bailey was a hit at Arvada West Veterinary Hospital, walking around like he’s just one of the gang. But the next day the bad news came—Bailey was heartworm positive. It was heartbreaking to believe that someone who was supposed to care about him didn’t bother to give him heartworm preventative. Such a simple thing, but they failed to do that for him.
Poor Bailey. Thinking of this old boy having to endure the painful, very expensive and hard to obtain treatment was devastating. He didn’t deserve this. He spent many years lonely in a backyard, looking for ways to escape and being successful several times. Bailey loves people and other dogs. How could they allow him to live this way? And now being diagnosed with heartworm, would he live to see how life can be as a cherished companion?
I contacted other rescue groups who regularly treat heartworm when they get rescue dogs from states that commonly have high heartworm positive dogs. Kelley and Rachel shared information on a method that was successful for several dogs that had come through their rescue. The information and protocol was forwarded to us. Dr. Carpenter did some research to see if he felt it was the best option for Bailey. Everything seems difficult with treatment for heartworm positive dogs these days. The immiticide used to kill heartworm is no longer manufactured in the U.S. Doxycycline that is given during heartworm treatment was a very common inexpensive drug, but it is now very expensive because the manufacturing plant was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. No matter what we did, it was going to be costly...and all of this could have been prevented with a fairly inexpensive test and monthly preventative. We made Bailey's transfer from Cayleb's Kindred Senior Dog Rescue to GRRR official so that he could receive the treatment he needed.
Bailey is doing fine since keeping him quiet isn’t a big issue for this boy. He is pretty low key unless he thinks there is a chance that a car ride is in his future. He LOVES the car. Bailey also loves his weekly massage from Linda Pierrel. Bailey has some sore, arthritic hips and the Rimadyl seems to make all the difference for him. He has his cute spurts of puppy behavior as he attacks the Kong toys or decides to shake a stuffed animal. Bailey is feeling great and he has so many people to thank. He loves his new life and everyone who made it possible. Thank you for supporting the Golden Angel Fund and helping give these wonderful Goldens in need a newfound life that they could not have had if not for your generous donations.
Update: Bailey/Bentley is 16 years old and is Phoebe's Place official elder statesman
Important information on Heartworm
Unfortunately, a lot of people are still under the mistaken belief that heartworm disease doesn’t exist in their region. Then when rescued dogs arrived in shelters across the U.S., many didn’t bother to check for heartworm prior to placing them into new homes. That’s not the only reason, but I believe it sure had something to do with the increase in the cases of heartworm we have seen in Colorado. GRRR had less than 10 cases of heartworm in the first 10 years of our rescue being founded. Then we suddenly saw an increase where we had 10 cases in two years. From that point we started testing all of the Goldens who come into our care. Even with that they should be tested each spring as it takes 6 months for the heartworm to form to the stage where it shows up on a heartworm test. Please get your Golden tested for heartworm and on preventative medicine every spring. It’s such a small thing to keep them safe from such a tragic and painful disease.