They say one picture is worth a thousand words, and that is so true for our newest Golden Angel, Grace. If you study her picture, you will see sadness yet hope. It tells us she has lived a life of neglect but still has the capacity to give and receive love. It will tell you she’s been sick but is now feeling stronger each day. You can also see the cautious trust that is developing with all the TLC she has received since joining the safe haven of GRRR. Grace is a precious 8-year-old Golden who has captured our hearts and is so deserving of our help.
Like many of the Goldens who come to GRRR, her new life started the day she met Mary Kenton. GRRR received a call from a local shelter asking if we could help a special needs Golden who recently arrived as a stray. Grace came in sick and emaciated and was terrified in the shelter environment. She needed lots of tender loving care, and she needed it quickly. The shelter contacted us the day Grace was spayed, and Mary was there that same afternoon to get her.
Mary tells us, “When Grace was walked out from the back area of the shelter her appearance just took my breath away. She was so skinny. Her hair was very sparse, and what little she had was matted. She smelled horrible and her skin was in terrible condition. The skin on her tummy was actually black. Clearly this poor girl had seen some very hard times. It was hard to even imagine what she had been through. The shelter said it was evident that she had been a mother many times. We gently carried our precious new Golden Angel to the car to begin her new life with GRRR.”
Grace didn’t utter a peep on the ride “home” to Phoebe’s Place. Upon her arrival, she seemed confused by her surroundings and overwhelmed with all the attention and kindness she was receiving. It was all so different to her. She was placed on a soft bed in the house to rest. She stayed right there, never getting up, but just observing this unfamiliar world she was in. She didn’t interact with the other dogs and was startled by the noises and the movements of every living thing in this new environment.
The very first night Grace started coughing and by morning had a high fever. Because of Grace’s frail condition and having just gone through surgery, she had come down with pneumonia. It seemed so unfair that just when things were looking up for her, she had to suffer through the pneumonia and fight for her life yet again. Kattie Rollins from Arvada West Veterinary Hospital was kind enough to come to Phoebe’s Place to bring medications. It was a big challenge to get Grace to eat. She was offered a variety of tasty options – special dog food, roasted chicken and rice, hamburger – to name just a few. While being treated for pneumonia, she started incessantly scratching. She was seen by Dr. Carpenter who diagnosed her with a yeast infection on her skin. She was placed on prednisone, ketaconizole and weekly medicated baths to bring her some relief. We weren’t sure if she would make it. Thankfully, her inner strength and all the love and care she received somehow got her through those first two critical weeks.
The medication did its job and Grace became stronger each day. Much to our delight she also started coming of her shell, although she was still fearful of noises, metal bowls, quick movements and other things she had never experienced in her past life. She began to love her food. Louie (Mary’s new boy) taught her how to play. Soon Grace was engaging in play with many of the dogs. She even began to explore her new surroundings. Grace’s social skills have continued to improve. She is excited to see familiar faces. She does a special happy dance when her good friend Carole McMurray visits. She is getting massage therapy from Linda Pierrel who has given her the nickname “Smoochie” because of an adorable white spot in the middle of her forehead meant just for a smooch. The name has stuck!
Now for the really good news! Grace’s beautiful red coat is growing back and she is no longer skin and bones. We’ve even seen a little sparkle in her eyes. And wait....was that a tail wag we just saw? Yes! Grace is learning to enjoy life and is thriving with the love and care she is receiving at Phoebe’s Place. She is so grateful for every beautiful new (and better) day thanks to the expert care from Arvada West Veterinary Hospital and from all the new human and canine friends she has made. All of her treatments and medications have been provided through the Golden Angel Fund which has saved so many precious lives just like hers.
There is still something very important that is missing in Grace’s life, and that’s a special family to call her own. Do you have a place in your heart and home for a girl who has come such a long way and survived so much? After all the puppies she’s had and all the neglect she’s suffered, it’s her time to shine and celebrate each and every day with a loving family – a family who will love her unconditionally and show her how good life can be as a treasured family member. Sometimes when she’s quietly gazing out the window we’re sure she’s hoping that today is that very special day where she will go to her forever home with you. p