Tuesday, December 04, 2007
If it hadn’t been for RAGOM’s (Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota) tremendous rescue effort at a puppy mill in North Dakota, Cody 07-149 would not have come into our lives. Nor would we have experienced the love affair that began that first day he greeted us with his foster dog brothers, and his foster mom and dad, Marie and Jim.
He was such a waif. Eight weeks old but with none of the usual features that make golden retriever pups one of the cutest things God ever invented. When I think of golden puppies, I think of caramel colored fuzz balls, with bright brown button eyes and butterball bodies. Cody was the antithesis of that vision. Thin fur, mangy ears and elbows, and soulful eyes that looked up at Molly and I as if to ask, “will you love me”? We sat down on the floor of the family room and he walked into Molly’s lap as if he was always meant to be there. He may not have had the typical golden puppy look, but he already had the great golden personality – and that gave us all the warm fuzzies we needed.
Cody was Marie and Jim’s first foster pup. They opened their home to him despite the risk of exposing their other two dogs to potential parasites and other problems that Cody inherited from the filthy kennel conditions at the puppy mill. They loved him, gave him his meds on time, and started him on the best diet they could possibly give him to help him fight off the bugs that were bothering him. They bathed him and brushed him and by the time we first saw him he was 100% improved from the little urchin they first took in. Love does that.
Now, four months after we adopted Cody, he’s growing and turning into a typical teenager. Growling and acting fierce as the neighbors pass by our house, only to melt into a wagging puddle of puppy if they pay any attention to him. At 50 pounds, he’s the same weight as our full grown golden retriever, but skinny as only a teenage male can be. He still struggles with intestinal issues from his rough start, but we have a great vet, terrific support from the volunteers at RAGOM, and most of all our love. With time, I’m sure we will figure out what is best for this pup’s gut.
He’s smart and as easy to train as our other dog has been. Like every golden I’ve ever known, he wants only to please. He loves to dig, loves the water, and loves his treats. He was an ace pupil at puppy class and Obedience Training. And man, he walks a mean loose leash.
Thank-you, RAGOM for rescuing Cody and his 82 kennel mates. Because of all the volunteers, transporters, vets, and terrific organizers, we were given a wonderful chance to make a difference in this very special dog’s life.
Postscript: I am now a RAGOM volunteer – transporting dogs from their sad former lives to the foster home and golden life that awaits them. What a joy and privilege it is to help these precious animals.
Posted at 9:53 AM