Alpha - Paying it Forward
Imagine entering this world being dealt a bad hand – and not having a way to get a better one. Some dogs come into our program and, happily, find their perfect forever home with ease. Others, like Alpha, come to us with little hope caused by the bad hand they have been dealt.
Alpha was found early one spring eating garbage with what was believed to be his mother. They were trying to survive as best they could but, if you saw their condition you would agree, they were not doing a good job of fending for themselves. At 25 pounds underweight, this little guy was barely alive. Alpha and his mom were taken to a high kill shelter and scheduled to be euthanized. Fatefully, someone contacted us and Alpha’s life began to change.
In addition to being emaciated, Alpha had a laundry list of ailments including; ear and eye infections, an infection in his lungs which caused him to cough, multiple intestinal worms, somewhat advanced skin disease with fur loss, and heartworm disease.
As well, Alpha had a damaged hip that required expensive FHO hip surgery. At some point in his short life, his hip had been damaged so severely that his back left leg was detached. Rather than his back paw pointing forward like a normal dog’s would, his paw and most of his leg pointed out to the side of his body. In order for him to avoid debilitating pain as he grew older, he needed to have the hip repaired.
For his first days in rescue, Alpha just existed. He only ate and slept. He did not make a sound -- not a bark or cry - or even a heavy sigh. The very first sign of life was when he started to whine because he was so painfully itchy. He was such a “sad sack” that he needed a special name. So, his foster mom named him Beauregard (Beau) Britches. She knew he would be special some day and he needed a name to match his potential.
After many months of medical treatment, proper food and lots of love, Beau fought his way back. Skin issues were resolved, hip surgery was performed and heartworm treatment was completed. Beau transformed into a beautiful butterfly of a golden retriever (albeit a “red” one). After over 15 years of fostering golden retrievers with all her fosters finding their forever hones, Beau’s foster mom decided she could not let him go. He became her first and only “foster failure.”
You might think that this is the happy ending to Beau’s story - but it’s not. Beau’s mom continues to foster and Beau is paying it forward. He has taken on the job of helping his adoptive family help more goldens in need. He welcomes his foster brothers and sisters into his home with open paws. Toys are shared, games are played and every dog gets lots of licks and comfort. With Beau’s help, many more dogs who have been dealt that bad hand will discover that the cards have been shuffled, and they can live the golden life that they deserve.
Your contributions to Blarney’s Fund will help dogs like Beau continue to “pay it forward” – helping us fulfill our mission to rescue golden retrievers in need.