This month we met Sebastian, one of the senior Goldens being helped by our new grant to Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. Here's the story that DVGRR sent us:
Sebastian’s original family wrote on a Tuesday in June to say they were moving on Friday and could not take 13.5 year-old Sebastian: “I was going to put him down but can’t bring myself to do it. He is great with kids and loves people. Please help my Sebastian.” DVGRR contacted the owner immediately and by Thursday, Sebastian was at our kennel facility, Golden Gateway. His nails and ears were in horrendous condition and our first priority was getting his nails cut and all the black gunk in his ears cleaned out. He amazed us with his good natured attitude towards anything we needed to do — his hearing was gone but the rest of his senses were in good shape and he was a very spunky, spirited guy!
At his vet exam, a suspicious lump was found on his leg and our vet recommended taking it off and sending for biopsy. Sebastian’s pre-op blood work looked great, so he underwent surgery to remove the lump….and to neuter him, since that had never been done by his previous family. We worried about his ability to recuperate from the surgery, but when he returned from the vet he didn’t miss a beat... just kept wagging his tail and saying hi to all his new friends at Gateway — “Didja miss me??” Yes, we did!
The lump turned out to be a peripheral nerve sheath tumor, which is a cancerous mass, so we were very glad it had been taken off. It might return to the same location, but is unlikely to spread to other areas of his body.
Sebastian flourished at DVGRR, charming everyone he met, gaining a few needed pounds, and acting more like a 10-year-old Golden than one ready to turn 14 in a few months. On July 29, he was placed into a hospice home where he will enjoy the company of two other Goldens and a yellow Lab, and be doted on by the humans in the family. He hopped into the car to go home with no hesitation — a big Golden smile on his face!
March 2010 Update
We received this happy update from DVGRR: "Sebastian is amazing! He’s been in hospice care for over seven months now and having a grand time living with his combined human, canine, and equine family members. He’s slowed down some, of course, but still manages to accompany his hospice mom to the barn on a regular basis to visit the horses and smell all the great smells. He’s had some problems with chronic ear infections and back end stiffness, but his spirit is still strong. In December, Sebastian came back to visit at Golden Gateway — a great Christmas gift for all of us! Most recently, we received this update from his hospice mom: 'Sebastian’s plumbing is still working very well and once he gets up and motivated, he’s good to go. All in all, he’s very well and very happy.'"
Update: Sebastian passed away in 2010 but had a great, long life and his final years were spent in a loving foster home. Thank you DVGRR.