Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue

Shaggy's Story


July 19, 2013



One year ago, Shaggy was adopted by his foster family who fell head over heels in love with him during his recovery from amputation surgery of his hind leg.  After he was adopted, he spent several months in physical therapy working on building muscle and strengthening his back.  He is down from 94 pounds to a lean 78 pounds and can walk about a mile a day with his family - including his furry siblings.

He attended the Golden Gala in February and got to meet Blarney's mom (who started the Blarney's Way Special Needs Fund) which was a very special moment for him and his adoptive mom. 

He's camping, swimming, and enjoying the good life.  He wakes up each morning with a smile on his face.  When asked about him, his family says, "Shaggy is a ray of sunshine and he reminds us to always smile and stay positive. He has made our lives brighter just by being here."


Shaggy, his adoptive family and everyone at Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue would like to thank all of the supporters who generously donate to the Blarney's Way Fund to help our "special" dogs move on to happy and healthy lives. 





 August 5, 2012

Hi everyone, Shaggy, world's cutest tripawd here.  I know my foster mom has been updating you on my surgery and recovery, but I feel great and I told her I can do it myself! 

I am now almost to my three week ampuversary and my incision is completely healed!  I still have some medications to finish up (yuck) and a little bit of healing on the inside, but pretty soon she said I can start looking for my forever home.  I don't really understand what that means but she told me to dream big because I deserve it and I'm a pretty big guy anyway. 

My hair is super cool right now because I have a buzz.  It's so hot, its like a personal air conditioner.  My foster mom makes me do some exercises now, which I think are dumb, but I get treats so that's a good thing.  Also it means I get paroled from my house arrest and that is GREAT news because I am tired of laying around.  I have heard some rumblings of going swimming and my foster brother and sister say that its really fun, so I hope that happens soon.  You know, I love to work out anyway so practicing my balancing and getting stronger is a daily routine for me.  Plus all the ladies love it.

I am such a good boy that I am allowed outside without my leash.  I helped with yard work and laid on the front porch so I could supervise things.  This parole thing is really great.  I have to be careful though because it does make me tired, but there is always a nice squishy bed near by to lay down and take a short nap.  I can't wait until I am strong enough to chase my favorite tennis balls again.  

I want to write a special thank you to my friends Caroline, Leo and Thelma who are NRGRR alumni.  They sent me a package in the mail!  Oh that's my new chore every day, I get to go out to the mailbox to get the mail.  Imagine how excited I was to see that there was a package for me!  Inside were some yummy cookies, but my foster mom made me share them with my foster brother and sister because I have to "watch my weight" she says....why?  that's boring.

Thanks to NRGRR for helping me and to all my friends that have been sending me positive thoughts and well wishes.  Talk to you soon!

Love, Shaggy.


July 29, 2012

We have great news!  Shaggy is officially cancer free.  Woo hoo!!  We could find no evidence of cancer in his leg after the lab searched high and low.  The final ruling was that it was some sort of traumatic injury.  Since Shaggy has been limping and then not using his leg for so long, it seems this was the best choice for him. 

Meanwhile, he continues to heal in the area around his incision.  Unfortunately the bruising has returned, but his incision is almost completely healed.  He is still taking pain medications and now two antibiotics to ward off infection, just in case.  He continues on house arrest much to his dismay, however we are getting him outside for a little exploring when he feels up to it.  Yesterday, Shaggy visited his friends at Care First Animal Hospital for his first check-up since his surgery.  He loved riding in the car and all the attention at the vet office.  He got a great report from the vet and although his healing is slow, it's moving in the right direction.  We are hopeful, he will make great progress this week.

He had a fun field trip yesterday so he is feeling the fatigue today and is taking it easy.  We continue to use warm compresses several times a day to help heal the tissue in his back end.  He's chillin with his bone and tennis ball today and enjoying a lazy Sunday.  He looks forward to the day when he can play in the fence and take some short walks.  All in good time, healing comes first and is very important.  He's obviously feeling better since he has outsmarted the collar of shame.  But we were able to fix the collar so he can no longer remove it himself when no one is watching.  Ha! 

Shaggy, his foster brother and sister and his environment all look forward to the day he doesn't have to wear that stupid collar any more.  The walls have taken a beating.  In the meantime, he's enjoying the company of the other dogs in the house.  He and his foster brother Gus have developed quite a bromance.  They both share a deep love of tennis balls, especially those that squeak!

Shaggy sends his love and thanks and will keep you updated on his progress.


July 22, 2012

 Shaggy is doing great!  Thanks so much for the outpouring of well wishes and positive thoughts and prayers.  He is going outside regularly on his own which involves a couple of stairs and is able to maneuver around the house.  He has already started looking for his favorite tennis balls to play with so that must mean he's feeling better!

 Shaggy is learning how to support himself better and better every day.  He is still having some trouble getting into a position where its comfortable for him to lie down, but you can see him working it out in his head.  He has plenty of squishy dog beds to lay on, but actually prefers to lay on the floor. 

He readily gets up in the morning and bumps and pushes when its time for food with his foster brother and sister, but occasionally loses his footing.  We have decided a boot with some traction for his back foot might really help in situations like these.  As much as we can, we are trying to keep him from overdoing it, but he seems to think that he feels fine.


 Shaggy's incision is healing well.  He has a lot of bruising still from the fluid in the area under his incision, but it is starting to heal.  We had a small set back over the weekend when a second pocket of fluid had started to build.  This is called a "seroma" named for the "serous" fluid that is a component of blood.  This particular location seemed to really bother him so he started trying to lick at it.  In an effort to keep him from wearing the "cone of shame" all the time, we have outfitted him with a new pair of boxers!

And since the swelling is evident, we have switched from cold compresses twice a day to warm compresses three to four times daily.  Ah, the life of an amputee...... :)


Shaggy won't need to go to the vet until the end of this week, as long as his seroma continues to heal on its own.  He is otherwise drinking, eating and going potty.  Thanks again to everyone for keeping Shaggy in your thoughts.

And remember....we could not do this without your donations to the Blarney's Way Special Needs fund.  So, please donate.  Shaggy, and the rest of the special needs dogs, thank you!



July 19, 2012


Shaggy is home!  Thanks to the wonderful job of Dr. F. and Dr. G. at Care First and all the positive thoughts, prayers and well wishes from everyone, Shaggy made it through surgery with flying colors. 

His surgery was long, (about two hours) and he spent the night at the vet's office, but I was able to visit him briefly on Tuesday night.  He was still pretty out of it, but was comfortable. 

On Wednesday Dr. F. called in the morning and said "What a great dog...he is a real trooper."  Shaggy had eaten breakfast and even gone outside!  This just tells you the determination of this brave guy.  Less than 24 hours after his surgery he was up walking around!  After weaning him off his IV fluids and making sure he was comfortable, Dr. F. called me Wednesday afternoon and said I could bring Shaggy home.  Boy was he happy to see us!

Shaggy has a small area in the living room where he can easily get to water and a squishy bed.  He is able to go outside with minimal help and is eating well. He is sleeping well so far and only woke up a couple times last night.  He'll be doing a lot of resting in the next couple of weeks to let his incision heal. 

Our goal is actually to slow him down so he doesn't overdo it while he gets used to his new mobility.  His muscles will need to get in shape so they can support him differently than they did before and he's a big dog so he has his work cut out for him.  In about a week, we will go back to the vet for a recheck to make sure everything is healing properly.   

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful support as Shaggy starts on his road to a new and improved life!








 July 15, 2012

Shaggy came to us just a couple of short weeks ago.  His owner could no longer afford his veterinary care and he is unable to use his left rear leg.  When he first arrived at our vet's office, we thought he had torn his cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) which is similar to the ACL in humans.  However after he was examined and x-rays were taken, Shaggy had something much more serious.  A tumor of some sort was growing in and around his ankle.  His foot was swollen and he refused to put weight on it.  Small incisions were made in his skin to get good samples of the bone and the area around the bone and he went into a foster home.  He was taking lots of medications to keep him comfortable and to try and reduce the swelling.

After about a week, the results of the biopsies came back.  Unfortunately because of all the inflammation, the biopsies were inconclusive.  It's possible that Shaggy has a serious type of cancer, and since it appears the tumor is invading the bone, there are a number of serious issues that could be the answer.  Shaggy went in for more testing last week, we looked at his blood and did x-rays and ultrasounds of his chest and abdomen. 

The good news is, we can't find any other signs of cancer or other illness.  Since Shaggy appears to be otherwise healthy at this time, our vets recommended that we amputate his leg.  After a lot of discussion and research, we have decided that this is the best path for Shaggy and it gives him the best chance at a long healthy life. 

Shaggy has a tough road ahead but he is a beam of sunshine and has a positive outlook on everything in front of him.  His medical costs will be high and we will be doing whatever we can to keep him in shape and help him learn to function like he always has.  Donations will help cover medical costs but also supplies and extra care that he may need through his rehabilitation after surgery.    

Please help us, help Shaggy as he prepares to start a new life.  His surgery is scheduled for July 17th.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  We will keep you updated on his surgery and his prognosis.


Neuse River Golden Retiever Rescue
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