Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Update on Our New Girl Riley

Riley was taken to see the orthopedic surgeon, who by the way is the same one who did surgeries on Hamlet, our boy Josh and Sheba too. There was a lot to digest and I'm thankful that a board member from the rescue attended with me to try and remember everything.  

Riley has, 'Grade 4 Medial Patellar Luxation.'  She was likely born with compromised knee joints so this wasn't from an accident.  What we're seeing today is a result of tendons being too tight, that has caused her knee caps to move to the inside of her legs, causing her legs to draw up.  Over time, the quadrecep (muscle of the thigh most responsible for walking) has tightened up and the tibia bone in the lower leg has become warped. The good news is, is that she's not in any pain, and surgery can be done to try and fix it.

The bad news is, is that it'll be 4 procedures done in two surgeries, and 6 to 8 months recovery at the very least. The key to success with these surgeries will be the months of physical therapy afterwards.  This includes an underwater treadmill, cold laser therapy, passive stretching, etc.  Dr Walker (surgeon) said that if the commitment can't be done to do the therapy, there's no use in doing the surgery.  It's critical because the muscles need to be stretched and re-trained.  As I said, it was a lot to digest.  

~Riley during the 'dirt debacle' on Saturday~
I spoke to the board member afterwards about everything.  I had to be honest with her and tell her that I feel stretched pretty thin these days.  I don't know that I have the time to be able to give Riley all that she will need.  I feel like it's her one chance to have a good healthy and active life, and I don't want to short-change her.  Of course I feel guilty, but this isn't about me, it's about giving Riley all the time and the dedication she deserves.  I'm hopeful that the board member understood.  

Finally, some of you asked about where the money will come from to pay for Riley's surgeries.  When we bring dogs into our home, we pay for all their food, etc.  But anything beyond that, like these surgeries, the rescue will pay for. The rescue that I work with is a large 5 state rescue that has generous donors and vets who give the rescue a discount for treatment.  Riley will be no exception.  The surgeon has offered to discount his service, and all of her physical therapy will be discounted as well.  (The rescues total cost for Riley will be around $10,000)

Riley has settled in nicely here.  But I do think that she will and should be moved to another foster home.  But until the Board of Directors of the rescue decides what to do, and who should take her, she'll be just fine here, living in the 'group home!'  
~In Our Yard on Sunday~


  1. Sounds like you are approaching Riley's situation with alot of thought and caring, Kim. I really don't know how you do all that you do. I hope Riley is eventually able to have her surgery and PT. She's such a sweet girl and deserves to be healthy.

    Beautiful buck in your yard! Amazing rack. :)

  2. Bless Riley's heart and yours too. I appreciate all of the information you have shared. You are doing all that you can for Riley. I hope the board finds a place for her as she surely deserves the chance at a normal life. She looks so sweet and kind.

  3. Woof! Woof! Hope Riley is not hurting or bothered by it. The way she's sitting on the stairs is interesting ... is he looking at TODD? Oh I can see all the soil by the door. Sending the whole Golden PINES Gang Lots of Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  4. I'm glad Riley can have surgery, really good news the Rescue centre will pay for this too, she is such a sweet girlie. Your final photo of the deer! wow beautiful, can't believe you get them in your back garden...lucky you.

  5. I do hope they find a less stressed home for her, she looks like she would love to join in the fun! Meanwhile, enjoy her lovely face and personality! I agree, she deserves to have more one on one for the PT and other aftercare, you have too much on your plate right now.

    How are the chub boys doing? Is Bubba having anymore water therapy? Give the dear a hug for me, also every one of them!

    Kisses to the kid in the crowd!

  6. Kim, you are a Godsend to these wonderful creatures - your kindness, generosity and good judgement never ceases to amaze me. I am so thankful that our paths have crossed.


  7. What a sweetie pie she looks to be. Sounds as though she needs more of a one-on-one living situation. Hope she finds that soon.

  8. oh, that sweet girl. i do hope her surgeries and therapy can happen - and yes, i understand completely about the time constraints you are under. i do hope she can be placed in a loving, nurturing home that can give her the time she needs.

  9. Angel Kim!...You are an extraordinary woman! So much love at Golden Pines. I am amazed and awe-inspired.
    My best thoughts and warm wishes in your endeavour to help Riley.
    You are an icon amongst Golden Retrievers - a true Golden person!
    With love

  10. What a sweetie! I do hope a good home is found for Riley where she can get more one-on-one care. It does sounds like quite an ordeal for her. In the meantime, I'm sure she's getting lots of love and attention; you're amazing, Kim!

  11. Do not feel guilty about Riley, that would be a lot for any person to handle, especially someone like you who already does so much for the rescue! I'm sure they will be able to find someone for her who will have time to take her to the therapy sessions.

    That is a beautiful deer you had on your property! We of course don't have any deer on the Island of Montreal, not that I know of at least!

  12. Riley looks like she had a trip to the spa.

    One thing might help. We needed a vest so we could have a handle to lift on to help Boo Boo Bear walk. We found this on line and it looks like it might do the trick. http://www.rei.com/product/771047/ruff-wear-web-master-dog-harness . For those of us that have dogs with mobility problems, a little lift can help a lot.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  13. I think you are making the right decision......you have your hands full! Ther will be a better situation for her.....after all, you can't do it all!
    I love the dirt debacle pics! Little stinker!

  14. Well done for being honest with yourself and realistic about the amount of time you have to spend with Riley. You have given her the best start to her new life and she will have gained so much confidence from being with you an the gang.

    Love those photos!


  15. Can some of the stretches start now? Is there any therapy that can be done just to strengthen her legs? She is such a sweet looking girl. And a huge commitment.

  16. i am relieved to know that the rescue will even try to help her at all! and then to pay for it? they are people like you kim, too good for this needy planet!
    you are stretched thin. and you give so much in emotion to each one of these beautiful beings who've come into your care. but if one on one is needed, as it appears to be, she will not only survive but thrive on that kind of love. her adorable face! ... and she made me laugh out loud seeing her sitting almost like a human, on your steps. poor little baby. at least no pain. hard to believe that but if they say so...
    love and blessings to you.
    i wish i weren't in debt up to my eyebrows and i wish i had millions of dollars... i'd send you the first million.
    love always,
    tammy j

  17. I hope a home can be found with the time to devote to Riley's therapy. She's such a sweet-looking girl! You've done so much to get her housed and evaluated and ready for the next big step. Bless you!
    - Anne

  18. Hopeful news! I do hope that a home can be found for her where they can give her the attention she needs. Doing therapy with an animal is so stressful and time consuming. Samba and I can attest to that. Good luck to you and to Riley.

  19. Hi Kim, Wow girl you've got alot on your plate. Sending lots of love and hugs to you today.
    Noreen & Reggie-dog

  20. Kim,
    You most definitely are an angel in the rescue world. We know that whatever decision is made for Riley will be for his best interest.
    We know what a time consuming job PT is having gone through it with Sophie and that was only one surgery, although with "chewing" complications.
    We hope that Riley will live a long and happy life.

    Sheila & Bob
    Hamish & Sophie

  21. I can only imagine how hard this is for you and it makes me wish I was closer, because I would certainly help with the physical therapy.

    Is there any way for a volunteer from the rescue to pick Riley up and bring her to PT as needed? I know for my local Labs4Rescue, they use volunteers for that type of situation.

    As I like to say, it will all work out the way it is supposed to Kim. You are an angel to these dogs and surely there must be a special place in heaven for people like you.

  22. Thanks for the update on Riley. It is wonderful that you have found out that she can be helped. Riley deserves the best chance of a good life, so I know it must have been a hard decision for you to decide not to be part of her recovery, but you are wise to want her to be with someone who has the time to do all that is required in that process.

    Maybe, by posting her progress, someone reading your blog will know of a friend or family member who can help (unfortunatley I live too far away). The world works in strange ways and Riley staying with you (at the moment) is one step on her journey to a better life, as with you she knows she is worthy of love and that people want her to get better. May her journey, with whoever loves and cares for her next, continue to be a good one.

  23. She is lucky to be in your "group" home Kim. Your care and concern are remarkable and have no idea how you are able to do it all!
    I hope she can find a new foster home and have the surgeries.

  24. As always Kim I will pray that you will have peace and strength with whatever path Riley is placed on.
    I also, like you, think she deserves these surgeries and therapy, but as you said it is a huge commitment and you have such a full house and schedule. I know only one thing for sure, a way will be made if it is the Lord's will and I know in my heart he will bless and keep you and the pups!
    Love to all.....Tina xo

  25. I would have done the same thing,Kim. Thinking of Riley then yourself is so you. I think you were right in speaking up, voicing your concerns and being honest...:)JP

  26. Your decision is definitely in Riley's best interest. She should be placed in a home with no other dogs, or only one dog. And certainly not in a home with a new mischievous puppy. The therapy cannot be compromised and you truly cannot commit to that intensity of care.

    What a beautiful buck!

  27. Hi Kim
    You got the ball rolling by taking Riley in to see the doctors. That was the first step.
    Your very wise to acknowledge that your plate is too full. We certainly understand.
    I know there will be someone out there that has the time and accountabilty to be with Riley if she gets her surgery, and we hope she does.
    The resuce group is wonderful for helping out.
    And you- our sweet friend, have already given more than you have to give

  28. Oh by the way,,,
    that buck!!! Awsome!! What a great photo!

  29. Wow, I can see that you had a lot to digest. But, I can also see the determination in Riley's eyes. She'll do it and make the best of it. I'm glad that you were so honest with yourself about what you could handle. I hope that they can find a home with lots of time for helping Riley. BTW, it looks like her fur is coming in soft and fuzzy in the photo!

    I love the buck photo.

  30. It sounds like you are doing best for this sweet pup. Hopefully everything will work out. She is a very cute looking dog and I wish her all the best!
    xo Catherine

  31. riley is a sweetheart...god bless you for helping her....

    kary and teddy

  32. This is so sad. There are so many in need of help, but when you have one in your home, you really want to do something. It's a shame you won't be able to keep Riley through all that but it would be a huge commitment of time and effort. We hope an appropriate foster home can be found for her and that the surgeries and therapies will help her walk normally.

  33. awww bless her little heart. What you guys do is wonderful! Just sayin!

  34. We'll keep our paws crossed for Riley, that she finds a rescue home with fewer residents and more time to spend on her rehab, and that she has a full recovery and finds a wonderful forever home.

    Jed & Abby

  35. As pretty as it is here in Alaska you have it pretty darn good too. What a beautiful homestead you have and deer instead of moose!
    It does sound like Riley's rehab. will be long and drawn out and perhaps a more one on one situation will benefit her best.


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