Sloan (Henry)

Extraordinary Golden Fund recipient?: 

Positive for heartworms?: TBD

GRR number: 16-020

Type of Surrender: stray from Palm Valley Animal Center

Status: Adopted

Age: 4 months

Weight: 8.3 lbs.

Personality: Sloan is a Golden pup, with distinctive long ears much like a cocker spaniel. He is the brother of Sandy (16-019) and now they are fostered together after their initial veterinarian exams, which indicated Sloan is fundamentally in good shape. However, Sloan has contracted mange, just like his sister, and it has progressed farther in his case. He is receiving serious treatment from his GRR fosters getting medication, medicated baths and lots of TLC. As you can see from his photos, while he heals, a fancy t-shirt is just the attire for helping to squelch the need to scratch.

In his fosters’ home, meal time is great. No more extreme competition for food. In fact, he is on the way to catching up with his sister in the weight department. As seen in the photos, Goldens will prevail, as they hang out on the couch, in the back yard and in their shared condo crate.  He is quickly de-stressing and showing his true personality that is playful (a stick can be the best toy ever), affectionate and energetic. What a treasure he is becoming!

Ideal home: Sloan is quickly thriving in his foster’s home, and every indication is that he is a great companion. His forever home should be prepared for a high energy guy. Basic training will be the starting point for Sloan with plenty of play time available. A home with one or more other dogs also appears to suit him just fine.

Follow Up: I met Grr-16-020/Sloan and his litter-mate GRR16-019 Sandy on Good Friday, March 25, 2016. I drove from Austin to San Antonio to pick them up from their first foster who had be nursing them for several weeks. Rescued by Gold Ribbon Rescue from Palm Valley, these little pups were tiny canines with big issues. Since Sloan was the weaker pup, and bullied by his bigger sister, GRR had decided to separate Sloan and Sandy.

Worm, that's what he looked like, a skinny, little, hairless worm. His ribs and hips poked out of bright pink skin, with hair (what was left of it) sticking up in sparse, white, tufts. His first foster dad, Dan, said the skin across his shoulders reminded him of an old man's elbow, scaly, wrinkly and dry. I watched in some trepidation, as he tentatively snuffled around my feet.

I was new to this fostering thing. What had I gotten myself into? This puppy looked so fragile I wondered if it hurt him just to be touched. Then he looked up at me. Oh my, that face. Fuzzy, pink, floppy ears, dark fathomless eyes and a heart shaped nose. Then, wonder of wonders, he wagged his tail. With permission, I gently picked him up and immediately wrinkled my nose. "Yes, he is smelly", said his foster mom Lynn, "You will have to give him a bath every couple of days. It's the skin infection". He felt weightless and hot in my hands. I gingerly scratched him under the chin as his first fosters explained what they had done to nurse him and his litter-mate so they could be placed with a long term fosters. Lynn then carefully outlined the care he would need over the next couple of months until he could be adopted; a slightly intimidating litany of bathing, medicating, and vet visits. Oh boy… but that face.

I transported the pups to Austin and handed Sandy over to her new foster. So, here is this rather pathetic bald little worm looking to me for nurturing. Over the next few weeks I discovered this tiny scrap of puppy had practically every parasite known to dog, demodectic and sarcopic mange, coccidia, tapeworms, hookworms and giardia. He was underweight, suffered from alopecia and a nasty skin infection. He had to be kept isolated from other dogs, and bathed every other day. He required frequent trips to the vet, who carefully juggled prescriptions to attack each issue without creating toxic combinations. About two weeks in Grr16-020/Sloan developed slight respiratory symptoms; runny nose and eyes and sneezing. Dr. Peck did not seem overly concerned but informed me his litter-mate seemed to have a respiratory infection and possible distemper and/or canine flu. A couple of days later I received the heartbreaking news GRR16-019/Sandy had become so ill she had to be euthanized. He advised me to keep a close watch on Sloan. It would take an anxious 10 days before we knew Sloan was out of the woods.

Despite all of his issues he was all puppy. It wasn't long before he was gamboling about the house - just full of energy and mischief. I foraged through the sock drawer, made some improvised toys, and picked up a few more at Petco. Sloan's training started his very first full day. He leaned "sit" literally in 15 minutes! Wow!

Additionally, I discovered he had a rather charming personality, complete with goofy grin and very expressive ears. Somehow, though, "Sloan" just did not fit. It was too serious a name for such a silly goof. I also found out he had not really been called "Sloan". His name on the intake papers was "Carl", and Lynn and Dan called him "Sully". Poor guy didn't actually have a name. Ever aware he would be adopted I called him "Pup".

About 4 weeks in I was taking him for a walk. By now he was gaining weight and his hair had begun to grow in so, although he was still pink, he was more lamb-like than worm-like. He had developed the endearing habit of carrying his leash in his mouth during our jaunts. He pranced along beside me, leash firmly between his teeth - so proud and happy. I suddenly saw him trotting by my side though many adventures. In that instant, my mind was made up. I still had another 6 weeks to go before he was adoptable but I knew I had just become a failed foster. Could I now give him a name?

After several days of decision, I landed on "Henry" after the author O'Henry, who wrote a short story called "The Caballero's Way" about a fella named "The Cisco Kid". Perfect, Henry would not only fit GRR 16-020's goofy grin, it would honor Cysko, my beautiful golden boy who died in November, 2014. Furthermore, if this wee pup somehow miraculously turned into a bruiser , despite Dr. Peck’s estimate of 26 pounds, I could always go with Hank. Henry learned his name tout suite

It would, however, be several more months before the adoption could proceed. Henry had to fight two more bouts with mange, a reoccurring coccidia infection and another skin infection. But this pup was undaunted, during this time he learned stand, stay, off, no, down, circle, touch, speak and leave it with lightning speed. In the course of one weekend he learned how to ring a bell to go outside.

Alas, not everything is sunshine and milk bones. Henry is a golden mix; perhaps the speckles on his feet harken to an English Setter ancestor, which may explain Henry's most challenging attribute. He is one stubborn pup. My at home vocabulary had been drastically altered. Now every sentence begins with "Henry". "Henry off, Henry sit, Henry come back here, Henry where are you? Henry leave it, Henry leave it Henry LEAVE it!" The other day I swear I heard my parrot say "Henry"! His intelligence means everything quickly becomes a game. He has learned how to open doors and cabinets, is fixated on the cat, yarn and laundry -(it's SOOOOO much fun to race through the house, underwear dangling from jaws), at bedtime he gets a serious case of nippy- zoomy- rollies, and house training tends to occasionally regress. Although a bit exhausting at times (feel like the mother of a toddler with teeth) I rejoice in his joie de vivre, the little worm metamorphosed into a vibrant, confident, happy dog!

Henry may not be a pure golden but he is pure retriever. He lives to retrieve. He is persistent, following me around the house and smashing toys against my legs until I cave in to his demands to throw something -anything-for the gazillionth time. He also loves water. Keeping him out of the shower is challenging to say the least. Two weeks ago, after he received a clean bill of health and recovered from neutering, I was able to take him to the lake. Happiness oozing from every hair follicle, he rolled, splashed and paddled until something incredibly rare happened. He ran out of steam! Next month we go on our first big adventure, camping along the Guadalupe River.

Now weighing in at an athletic 40 lbs, Henry has a gorgeous, silky, white coat with a golden streak running down his back then feathering gently along his sides. His paws are sprinkled with golden freckles. His face is creamy with just a dusting of gold. His eyes are nearly black, as fathomless as ever. He has retained his heart shaped nose and typical golden retriever ears. His crowning glory is a sumptuously long tail which is beginning to grow full and plumed. I think of him as my white gold retriever, an alloy, strong, forged by fire, and golden through and through.

 To learn about the adoption process and complete an application, click here.   We do not guarantee the availability of the dog that you have expressed interest in as it may be matched to another waiting family.  However, there are always new dogs available as rescue is dynamic.  We appreciate your interest in adopting a rescued golden.

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