In February, our shelter contact sent pictures of a young blonde Golden with this message: 'She is the sweetest girl! You must save her! She has a malformed mouth & looks like she is smiling. I cried after I took her pictures. The owner actually came forward, just to sign her over to us. Her name is Ciara, and it breaks my heart that someone could just throw her away. This little girl has truly touched me. Please save her!”
And on Valentine’s Day (appropriately for such a sweetheart), 18-month-old Ciara arrived in GRR care. As she tells it:
Hola everyone! My name is Ciara. I got lost a while back... just went out for a st
roll really... when suddenly I got picked up and taken in a truck to a place called the animal shelter. I had a collar and tags on, but my owner did not want to bring me back home again. Can you imagine?? But it all turned out OK, because it was at that point that my whole life changed for the better.
A really nice person from Gold Ribbon Rescue came to take me for a long ride to Austin. I just smiled the whole way, knowing I was in great hands. My “chauffeur” just thought I was the best & sweetest girl she had ever seen. When we got into town, I went straight to a doctor's office to get checked out, and everyone there fell in love with me too! The folks who met me at the shelter could tell there was something funny about my jaw—I look like I’m smiling all the time—and sure enough, the doctor said I broke my jaw a long time ago, and it has healed up that way. (I’m glad I don’t really remember that!) He took a heartworm test, and I am heartworm negative (yay!). But the bad news is that he also said that my hips are REALLY out of whack and I need to go see a specialist.
A few weeks later, Ciara saw the surgeon. The report: “Pelvic radiographs revealed severe bilateral subluxation of the hip joints with early osteoarthritic changes noted at this time (worse on the right than the left).” In other words, bad hip dysplasia. The recommendation was for FHO surgery (the same operation that’s advised for young Chewy), and Ciara had her right hip done on March 27th. The road to recovery has had a few bumps, as her incision became infected and needed treatment, but now her foster mom reports, “She is recovering well from her hip surgery now that the infection is finally gone. We are rehabbing the leg by stretching and increasing her walks little by little. The doctor has given her the OK to play and run in the back yard all she wants! She’s a happy girl.”
Here’s more from Ciara herself:
WOW!! It has been an eventful few months, that’s for sure. Let me tell you, I love living indoors and getting all this TLC. The house is so interesting… I love mirrors, and the television just fascinates me at times... all of those noises and flashing lights in one spot... soooo mesmerizing. Did I mention I have a foster Golden brother to play with and a cat to watch and play with whenever I want? I play gently with the cat. At first I had trouble remembering not to chase him, but now sometimes I don’t even notice him, though occasionally I DO hang out near the cat door waiting for him to come in and say hi. Oh, and there is food here...TWICE a day! Who knew life could be so safe and warm??
Now, I'm not going to lie—I am just a puppy, and I am full of what my foster parents call 'puppy energy,” the more so since I can run and play again as much as I want. I think it's like having super powers! I love to go on walks, run, play with toys, swim (sometimes even in the water bowl), and just to be on the go. I am good on the leash, but the backyard is a great place to hang out, too. I play and romp with my foster brother even though he is bigger than I am. I used to pull recyclables from the bin, but now I have learned not to do that… and I don’t dig holes in the garden any more, either!
When my foster parents give me instructions, I try to pay attention always, but sometimes my super powers take over & it is really hard to concentrate. But my mom says I am focussing better all the time. Just check out this list: I am learning STAY, DOWN, OFF, and GO TO YOUR BED. I have mastered SIT, COME, NO, and OUT (as in “out of the kitchen,” tee hee!). I am pretty smart and I do listen well.
For as much energy as I have, I do like to just relax, snuggle and lie around the living room with my foster family. My foster mom says I know how to settle in nicely, and I would love to settle into your home. I WILL need to have my left hip fixed in another few months, so my new family will need to help me through that. But GRR and my foster family will be happy to give you all the help you need!
Ciara’s surgeries will cost about $1,000 per hip, all in all. Any donation to our Extraordinary Golden Fund, no matter how small, will go toward helping this pretty young girl and our other Goldens in need of special medical care—and there are so many of them this year! And if you are interested in adding Ciara to your household, please give us a call. We’ll be very happy to tell you the details of her surgery and discuss rehab with you (the activity restriction period is quite short, just 7 to 10 days).