Our Golden Angel program normally consists of precious seniors who come into our care in their golden years. But there are rare occurrences where a Golden with an entire life ahead of him will come into the picture. That brings us to the story of Lucas.
Lucas is a 10-month-old Golden who ended up in a shelter in New Mexico, where New Mexico Golden Retriever Rescue (NMGRR) was contacted for assistance. He had so many medical issues that the veterinarian described him as an “orthopedic disaster.” The veterinarian was unable to determine if these problems were genetic or from trauma. NMGRR felt really horrible for this little guy, but unfortunately they do not have the kind of resources nor generous members that GRRR is so lucky to have, so they contacted us. Lucas is darling, and seeing the fear in his eyes, we could not say no to taking him in.
Thanks to John Rogers, and Bill and Gail Korin, Lucas made a quick trip to Phoebe’s Place from New Mexico. He arrived safely, and when he was out in the play area stretching his legs, drinking water, starting his new life with GRRR, Mary noticed he had a tick on his eye. Thankfully, it was a Sunday, and Dee Delay was there grooming. Dee bathed him and picked off over 100 ticks. When he was clean and all dry, Lucas was given a Frontline treatment. He had to stay in a kennel to make sure the creepy bugs didn’t take up residence on any of the other Goldens at GRRR. Lucas was fed and given some Rimadyl and Tramadol to help with the pain in his elbow. Little Lucas was tired; it had been a very long day, but soon he was all snuggled up on a soft dog bed for his first night at GRRR.
After a couple of days he was seen by Dr. Carpenter for a full evaluation, neuter appointment, and vaccinations. The x-rays showed some pretty significant problems for Lucas. Lucas suffered a broken elbow which was not properly treated nor set, so the bones healed side by side. He is also missing the hip socket on his left hip, and his other elbow is not stable either. Dr. Carpenter said Lucas needed to see a specialist to evaluate his condition, which did not sound too positive for his prognosis. Despite a seemingly bleak outlook, Mary focused on how to ensure he was not in too much pain and making sure he could still be a puppy.
Sadly, Lucas couldn’t join the gang at Phoebe’s Place until all of his ticks were gone. Finally, after a week the unwanted visitors were all gone, and Lucas was able to come into the house and acclimate quickly to life inside. He was house trained in a short amount of time and immediately started enjoying life as a puppy with a little help from his friends. He was quick to learn how to play tug-o-war with the other dogs, wrestle with other young dogs at GRRR, and every night he climbs the stairs to cuddle next to Mary on the bed. Lucas is so affectionate and sweet, and has become a favorite of the VIP team. This little guy probably didn’t know life without pain before being rescued.
Lucas has been with GRRR for a couple of months now, and at the end of some days, you can see him limping in pain from wrestling too long or chasing after one of his buddies. The specialists at Colorado Canine Orthopedics sent a letter with possible options regarding Lucas, and they will need to further evaluate his orthopedic issues. In the meantime, he gets to be a puppy with the help of pain medication, although we have restricted his activities so that he doesn’t overdo it. We hope the specialists will provide the opportunity to have surgery to repair his legs, and his life will be long and pain-free.
Lucas needs our help financially to help pay for his medical issues, and he would also like to find his own forever family. He would do best in a home with no stairs, because he thinks he can go up and down just like everyone else. Like many puppies, there are some behavior issues such as excessive chewing that will need to be addressed, but he’s a pretty easy keeper. Most of all, he needs a new family who can give him the love and care we hope all of our Goldens receive. There may be a few more visits than normal to the vet, and hopefully someone can help him through recovery should he be eligible for surgery.
No matter what happens, Lucas would like to thank you all for being a part of GRRR. He would like to thank all the volunteers who walk him, play with him, give him treats, and is especially grateful to all of the people who generously give to the Golden Angel Fund. You all make it possible for Lucas and other Goldens to get a second chance and live a life without pain. Update: Lucas had his surgery and is doing great. He was adopted by the vet tech that helped with his surgery.