Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Agnes, reflections on what might have been!

Thank you to all who left comments and messages of support following the passing of Agnes. Your best wishes are well received and were needed by us. In reflecting on Agnes and her brief stay here, we wanted to share some thoughts with our readers. We realize that most of the readers are already rescue workers and volunteers, but just in case you are not a rescue volunteer, please read on.

Agnes was picked up in Pueblo, Colorado, wandering free, dirty and matted, with no tags or collar. No tags or collar usually means an "on purpose stray", one who was set lose on the edge of town because it was sick and there was no room in the owners lives for an old, sick dog, even after 10 years together.

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies was notified that an older, ill Golden Retriever was available at the pound in Pueblo. A volunteer driving team made a trip of 200 miles to bring her to the rescue in Golden Colorado. They said they had never seen a more matted, dirty dog in their lives. Once at the rescue she saw the groomer and the vet. She tested heart worm positive and she had to be treated for heart worm which is no easy battle for an older dog (10+), especially where she had gone untreated for some time. Agnes also had issues with her rear hips and legs, she was not walking well and tried not to get up and down more than she had to. She was put on several med's to help her hip pain and to help her weather the heart worm treatment. The rest of the story you have already read in the blog.

The real hero's in her life are the volunteers that rescued her from the pound in Pueblo, groomed her, took her to the vet and helped her along the way. They gave us the chance to foster her and to provide some comfort to her in her final weeks. We are grateful to all the team that helped her on her journey. It may not have been as long of a journey as we had hoped for, but it was a journey that made her life better in her last days.

We continue to have nightmares of might have happened if the rescue and its volunteers had not intervened. She could have died alone on a concrete floor in a chain link run. What keeps the rescue workers going is the knowledge that there are hundreds more lost dogs that we still need to reach, we need to transport and groom, give them medical care and a warm home while they seek new homes. Hundreds more sleeping on concrete floors with chain link for walls, but even worse for a Golden, no human hand to give head pats, no human voice to give comfort.

We only fostered Agnes for weeks, someone else had her for over 10 years, and let her down. We hope we let her know that humans do care, a dogs love and loyalty is not wasted.

Our thanks go out to all the volunteers that work in rescues all across the country. If you don't volunteer at a rescue, take time today to use your Internet connection to search and find a rescue near you.

Donate time and money to help another Agnes find a warm home, help another Agnes die with dignity.

Thanks for all you do.
Mogley G. Retriever


  1. I'm just catching up on your Blog, and have read about Agnes. As you know, I am also involved in GR rescue here in Virginia...I always say that "rescue touches my soul and breaks my heart." My heart has been broken in reading about Agnes today. Although her time with you was much too short, I'm thankful that when she left this life for the next, that she was with someone who truly cared about her. You unselfishly opened your heart and home to her at a time when she really needed someone. What a wonderful gift--I know you will never forget her.

  2. Hey Mogley, Bella, Chauffer and House Keeper,
    We are all still in shock here. Agnes came so far on her journey. Her situation is a lot like our late brother Gordon. He lived with a family until he was 7 years old and then he started to go blind; a preventable blindness if he had been treated our vet told us. But for whatever reason he was dumped at a shelter and spent about 3 years bumping around. Y'all know that it extremely unusual for a dog to "survive" for 3 years in the normal pound and shelter environment. Obviously Gordon's personality and a sympathy factor for his blindness kept him alive. Fortunately he made his way into rescue. Once in a rescue situation a dog's like chances at life go up incredibly. Gordon came to live with us when he was 10 and totally blind. Our first blind rescue. Mom and dad read all sorts of stuff and were worried that they couldn't handle a blind dog's needs. Heck, Gordon was fine here. The girls loved him like a father. We all helped him find his way around the yard and house, but he quickly mapped everything out. He had 5+ GReat years with us and since he had moved to Bumpass with us, he was a plank owner Bumpass Hound. Agnes would have been a lot like Gordon. She would have thrived in a loving and caring furever home and we have proof. You all gave her that gift; it was an early Christmas gift that she actually got to open and enjoy, the best one that she ever received, life in a caring and loving furever home aqnd she thrieved. Non rescuers will always question if it was worth the effort, time and expense to try to save Agnes. Just the fact they ask such questions reveals them as non rescuers. You didn't try to save Agnes, you did save her. She wasn't a stray struggling to survive. She was in a home as a family member. She was saved, she just didn't have to move on to placement. Is it worth the effort to save a dog's life? Ask any of the volunteers involved in Agnes' journey through rescue, short as it may have been. They'll all respond immediately without having to think about it; YES it is worth it. Most would feel bad that they couldn't have intervened years earlier. We are proud to say that we are rescuers and we are proud to have an acquaintance with other rescuer such as y'all. DWB has opened our eyes to how universal our feeling are to other rescuers throughout the world. We all rejoice when one is saved and we all mourn when one is lost. We guess that we are all one GReat big family doing what we can together. People reading your post that aren't involved in rescue should do as you say Mogley; get involved. An hour a week at the local shelter cleaning kennels or walking dogs, driving a segment of a transport, simply sitting with a shelter dog to provide socialization. There's no such thing as doing too little unless you're doing nothing. Sure, money helps buy necessities but it doesn't buy the needed caring. You don't need money or an SUV to help, all you need is some time and a heart that' willing to help. Moglet, we are so honored to know a family that cares as much as you guys do. Like Tiny Tim said; "God Bless Us, Everyone."
    - TBH&K

  3. Wow, TBH&K, what a wonderful comment to a wonderful post.

    Thank both of you for sharing these stories with us!!

  4. What an excellent post. As we said before, we are in the chain toward the end - providers of forever homes to a fairly sizeable Herd. We totally respect what everyone does in the chain - evaluating, pulling, transporting, fostering, vetting, etc. - and are supported of our local all breed rescue (in a very challenged rural area) as well as a couple of breed specific rescues. The problem seems overwhelming at times, but we love to hear the stories of the Agnes' of the world who felt love in their final days because of great people like yourselves and everyone else involved in her rescue.

    As a family of rescues - THANK YOU!

  5. Through reading your blog I absolutely was falling in love with Agnes. We have two goldens, one 13 and one 8 and they are a special breed to be sure. Thank you SO much for taking such good care of her and making her time with you the BEST. So sad that her family threw her away, cannot understand that at all. Our dogs are an integral part of our family and it is my honor to care for them. You are a wonderful family to do so much for so many dogs.

  6. Woo know how we feel...

    That's why we do what we do when we khan do it!

    Again, thanks to ALL that made Agnes last days happy GOLDEN ones!

    Khyra and Her Mom

  7. It is hard to have them only a little while right at the end but, as you say, at least at the end, they can feel loved and be comfortable. And they can go peacefully rather than some unthinkable horrible way. It was a beautiful gift you gave herthe gift of a peaceful death.

    Stephanie, River's mom

  8. Had read about Agnes. So sorry to hear what happened. She was a beautiful soul and very lucky to have had her last times be with you all. The family that threw her away didn't deserve her. She had happy memories and times with you. Now she is no longer in pain and I can imagine her playing happily with other pups.
    Bless you all.
    Ernie & Sasha's Mom

  9. We read with great sympathy about Agnes' will to join in and have fun with the other dogs and her mighty spirit. We had to help an older dog walk over that Rainbow Bridge last August and now are fortunate to have Aspen a 10 year old who benefitted from the kindness of your home. So we thank you and others like you for giving Agnes and Aspen a wonderful rollicking fun loving home.

  10. Hi, I am a long-time Golden lover (on my third Golden girl - 3-year old Ruby) and a new member of GRRR. I have been following Mogley's blog for several months and really appreciate the work that you and the other volunteers do. At some point I hope to be in a position to either foster or adopt myself. In my opinion, life is not long enough to include as many Golden Retriever family members as I would like to claim. What you gave Agnes was priceless. She reminds be so much of my first Golden, Promise, who we lost to cancer at the age of 11. Putting her down was one of the biggest heartbreaks of my life, and I share your sorrow for losing Agnes. Agnes' story made me cry at how her former owner treated her, but I am so happy that she found a wonderful loving home and the care she needed during her final days. Thank you for making the world a better place!

  11. Heartfelt thanks to all the rescue and shelter volunteers and foster families who care for pets with love and hope. Thank you for sharing Agnes' story. Her last days were filled with the love and care she deserved. My heart is still heavy at times for my wonderful golden Duncan who had to be euthanized about a year ago due to cancer. I plan to adopt another one soon once some time and economic factors allow me to do so.

  12. I just found out about your Agnes from the Bumpass Hounds. I am so sorry to hear about pretty girl, Agnes. I am a foster home for Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and know how grateful these dogs are to their rescuers and foster homes. Agnes was so lucky to have been rescued and been able to spend her final time with people who love and appreciate her, despite her illness. I just took in an older golden named Goldie who was obvoiusly not treated very well. She came from a small rural shelter in WV. We are so grateful to the wonderful volunteers who drove all over creation to help rescue her and get her to safety. RIP Agnes the snacker. You looked so gorgeous in your photos. I can tell you were happy in your foster home.
    Julie and CJ in Lewisburg, WV