A Heartwarming Thank You

As most you know, Atlanta was hit by a winter storm that paralyzed the city. While some people were calling it “Snowpocalypse” and others called it “Snowmaggedon,” we can all agree that it has been a rough couple of days. So we would like to share a heartwarming letter that will bring everyone some much needed joy.

Ryan and Bella

“Mr. and Mrs. H: I want to begin this note by saying “I am writing to thank you…” like I begin most “thank you notes”, but this really isn’t like most thank you notes. One writes a thank you note for a flower arrangement, or a casserole, not for a gift that cured my heart and brought my family a greater joy than I ever could have wished. Several months ago, in an act of an enormous generosity, you paid the medical bills for an unfortunate and confused shelter dog called Bo Peep. Her back story was never entirely clear, and she didn’t even seem to be a golden retriever, but you dug into your “Adopt A Golden” dog loving guardian angel hearts and paid her expenses so that she could have a second chance at life.

Let me tell you what was going on in our lives at about that same time… My husband, Kevin, and my sons, Ryan (9) and Sean (6) were in the process of saying good bye to our Lillian.  Lily joined Kevin and me as a six week old 8 lb golden pup three months after we were married.  We thought, at the time, that we were raising her, but what I have since learned is that she raised us.  Lillian was the quintessential Golden Retriever – loving, good tempered, family devoted, food obsessed.  To know Lily was to love Lily and she was at her best at any gathering of children. Lillian was there as I brought both of my sons home from the hospital as babies and sat at my feet for every single midnight feeding. Lily came to the beach with us, slept in the bed with us and was the definition of unconditional love.

For all of these reasons, you can imagine our heartbreak as we learned of her terminal illness in the early summer.  As a hospice nurse, I was aware that Lily was aging and navigating relatively severe arthritis.  She became noticeably ill in June and was hospitalized for pancreatitis.  Lily was released three days later, but didn’t return to her “baseline”. When I brought her back to the vet, we learned she had a large tumor on her spleen. At age 12, with arthritis, multiple lipomas, and other respiratory issues, she was most certainly not a surgical candidate. So we brought her home to love her as best as we could.  Which we did, successfully, for several weeks.  Through love and steroids, we were even able to get Lillian to the beach for a family vacation at the end of July one last time.  But just like I see with so many of my patients in hospice, that was all she had left in her.  Every night after we returned she panted all night long and in the middle of the sixth night as I woke to check on her, she gave me the look that told me she had given all she could give.  So two days later, our loving vet came to our home, and with her head in my lap and peanut butter in her mouth, Lillian went to heaven.

I should have known that Lillian, who was an angel on earth, wouldn’t stop her work just because she wasn’t on earth any more. Lillian was listening. She was listening to a dog, who was in a shelter, who was lost and scared and who needed love. I think that dog was Bo Peep. So in whatever ways the miracles of the universe work, four other angels heard Bo Peep:  the two of you, Lauren, and Donna A. Were it not for you both, Bo Peep would not be alive. Lauren rescued her and Donna fostered her and nursed her back to health. At least that is how I understand it. Bobby and Jeanne, you are incredible to me. You saved a dog you didn’t know to go live with a family you’d probably never meet because it was the right thing to do. You could have easily used the money it took to save Bo Peep for something for your home, an indulgence, a treat for each of you. Instead, you extended yourselves anonymously so that another family could be richer for the love of a dog.

Well I hope you know, and I am here to tell you, your investment was well worth it and the return, for my family, has been enormous.  The four of us took some time to grieve Lillian. We also moved our home within the same neighborhoood, so we knew we couldn’t make any commitments until we were settled. Once in our new home, Kevin and I quickly completed applications for a rescue golden and rushed to get our home survey done.  The Friday before Thanksgiving I received a call from Donna, an AGA volunteer. She told me about Bo Peep and asked if we would like to meet her. Donna acknowledged she wasn’t a full bred Golden, but was very sweet.  We agreed on a meeting at our house the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Bo Peep came to our house politely and timidly. She stayed close to her foster, Donna, but had an eye on my sons.  We tried to take her outside to our large, flat, fenced back yard, but she was reluctant, so we came back inside. As Donna and I spoke, my sons rolled tennis balls in Bo Peep’s direction.  For several minutes, she ignored them – and then she caught one – an a flicker in her eyes ignited.  We all went back outside and Bo Peep came alive.  She played fetch tirelessly, did 360 rolls, and only stopped for belly rubs and cuddles, which she welcomed.  It was purely holy to observe.  Donna left and my family convened to decorate the Christmas tree. Or so we thought… Neither me nor Kevin nor Ryan nor Sean could concentrate on anything but Bo Peep. Our hearts were alive again with love and we wanted her THAT night. We called Donna and through herculean efforts on both her part and Lauren’s, we prepared to adopt Bo Peep the next night.  I think each member of my family went to bed that night feeling a warmth in our hearts we hadn’t felt since Lily left us.

The night of Bo Peep’s adoption has a special detail that I would like to share with you.  First of all, after we learned that we could adopt Bo Peep, we decided to rename her to one that suited her and made her our own.  She is a phenomenally gorgeous dog, so both of my sons nominated and agreed upon the name Bella. On adoption night, after all the paperwork was signed for Bella, I told my sons to give Donna, her foster, some time to say good bye since she had done such a good job nursing her back to health (health she would have never achieved without your generosity).  I was a little tearful with the emotion of it all.  Donna knelt down to give Bella a kiss and my younger son, Sean (6), touched her shoulder and said, “you know, something good is going to happen for you now…”  That was all it took to get the water works flowing for both Donna and me.

What Sean articulated at that moment was what I felt for Donna and I feel for both of you – I pray and I feel confident that good things happen to you as reward for the good and generous deeds that you have done.  I don’t know the words to express my gratitude. Maybe they don’t exist. All I can do is care for the beautiful loving creature that you saved; raise her and keep her safe.

I am delighted to report Bella is thriving. She has been seen by our at home vet twice and is wholly healthy.  We now know she is a Great Pyrenees with a little Kuvasz in her.  We couldn’t love her any more.  She has a Golden heart and spirit.  My boys are delighted with her and play with her every day in the back yard. My husband and I walk her – which we couldn’t do with Lillian for so long because of her arthritis. Bella has a personality that is sometimes bossy and sometimes sassy, but always always loving. She has healed us and we are deeply in love with her.

I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Bo Peep when everyone else was ready to give up on her and I promise you that Bella is now a very happy, very loved, probably spoiled family dog.  I have included a picture of her with my older son, Ryan, that I love – because I am so sure that she is smiling.

Love, Jenny, Kevin, Ryan and Sean B.

“Thank You” from the Golden Retriever 6 Pack Pups

Every great story has a beginning, middle and a happy ending. My name is Michelob and I want to tell you mine.

The beginning: I’m a 6-month old, purebred, male Golden Retriever. Adopt A Golden Atlanta rescued me and five of my brothers and sisters from a rural property in Middle Tennessee. They named us Amstel, Coors, Corona, Killian, Heineken and of course myself, Michelob. Not only has AGA given us a lot of love and attention, but they have also spent lots of money and time to ensure we get healthy and are ready to find our forever home.

The Middle: Me and my siblings are currently at one of AGA’s fabulous vets. We were told that the wonderful AGA community kept asking one question on our facebook page: “What can we do to help these sweet Golden pups?” Although money donations are the most helpful to us, we are Golden pups and what do pups enjoy the most? Toys, kongs and more sturdy toys!

We are extremely happy because we just receive the most wonderful gift in the world… an Amazon box full of toys and kongs.

6 Pack Pups - Toys

We aren’t really sure who our “Toy Angel” is. Whoever you are, the Golden Retriever 6 Pack Pups want to say, “Woof, Woof, Woof!Thanks for the awesome toys. You have made us very happy pups.”

More Toys!

The End: Now folks, I can’t tell you how our story will end. But I can tell you that we are very blessed to have been rescued by Adopt A Golden Atlanta and “spoiled” by your loving community.

Thank you for the toys, the love and please cross your paws to a great future!

Love, Michelob

Sadie and Tater Love Their New Home

Hi there! Sadie and Tater here. We are so excited that we found our perfect home in August! Things have been great for us since we met our family at adoption day. Our family was looking at our other Golden friends on adoption day, but kept coming back to us. A perfect match! We have three human siblings and the greatest parents around. We love going for rides and playing outside! Thank you to everyone who helped us find our dream home.

–Sadie and Tater

sadie and tater

Tater & Sadie Need a Home

Tater & SadieTater is an 8 year old, 90 pound male Purebred Chocolate Lab . He is very bonded to his sister Sadie, a 10 year old, 115 pound Purebred Golden Lab.  He even cries when he can’t find her.  They come with papers. They have been together forever, but tragically their owner passed away and their happy life was disrupted. Al they have now is each other. They are best friends, brother and sister and family! No one in their original family could keep them and they were in danger. AGA said even though we are a Golden Retriever Rescue, we could not stand to see them homeless.  They are extremely sweet dogs, and very conscious of their house manners. They ask to go out to potty, they like kids, other dogs, attention, good food and a place to lounge around and get petted. They are used to living inside but would like a yard with a fence for outdoor time because they love to play and enjoy the fresh air. Sadie has some stiffness in her hips so it’s hard for her to climb stairs and she likes flat places better.. They love to swim. They are such fun to watch.  Sadie is on thyroid medicine to try and regain her girlish figure. If you could offer them a forever home, they would be so happy and would love you forever. If you happen to have a pool, that would be even better!  It doesn’t get any better than that.

P.S. They need a foster in the meantime while they are waiting. Of course they must go together. You can’t split up family.


Red at Vermillion
Adopt A Golden Atlanta has had several dogs with Megaesophagus Disease who have been successfully adopted into loving homes. We were asked to post a special request about Red, a Handsome Golden Retriever, in a foster home with Vermillion Animal Aid in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana. He has a manageable level of Megaesophagus Disease. Vermillion Parish has not been able to find an adopter for Red and they asked if we would share him with our Golden followers to see if that special adopter is out there who would open up their arms and home for a special dog with special needs. If there are any families interested in a dog with very manageable special needs, please let them know. They are trying to find him the loving home he deserves!

Red is a beautiful golden boy who was going to be euthanized by his owners for no good reason at all except they “did not have time for him.” Animal Aid Vermillion Area rescue offered to step in and take him.

Soon after they rescued him, it because apparent that something was wrong. He continued to aspirate his food. After a visit to the vet, it was determined he has megaesophagus and will be required to eat upright in a Bailey chair the rest of his life. He is also on a special diet for the rest of his life consisting of soft food, Nutrical and Ensure. Their vet does not feel like surgery will be necessary as long as the Bailey chair works.
The muscles of the esophagus fail and it cannot propel food or water into the stomach. The result is that ingested food sits in the esophagus within the chest cavity and never makes it to the stomach. The most serious complication is that digestive fluid and food will at some point pool in the esophagus, which could lead to pneumonia. Dogs with Megaesophagus Disease usually cannot drink plain water. They have to get hydration through their wet food, and they have to stay upright for 20-30 minutes after eating so gravity can help work the food into the stomach.
Red is a really great dog, loves kids and other dogs but no cats, rides well in a car, and knows sit and stay. He just has a couple of manageable special needs. He deserves a chance to be the right person/family’s pet! Are you Red’s special family?

Here’s the link for an adoption application:http://members.petfinder.com/~LA26/dog_applicationCGI.htm

Animal Aid for Vermilion Area: Adoption Application for Dogs