Fostering Dogs

I volunteer with the Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue. When I first started in rescue, I had no idea of the level to which these groups work. There is a rescue group in just about every shelter and also for just about every breed! Believe it or not, even the popular and desirable Golden Retrievers need to be rescued.

I am primarily a foster parent for the organization which means that I keep dogs in my house as part of my family until they find a home. While with me, the dogs receive vet care, grooming, training and some good old-fashioned family-style love.

The dogs come from all sorts of situations: rescued from shelters, surrendered by broken-hearted families after a child develops allergies, or abandoned by heartless- downright evil people.

Once the dogs are brought into my home, the organization goes through hundreds of applications to find a perfect match for the personality of the dog. A home visit is conducted to see if the family will be good companions for the dog and finally a meeting is arranged.

Besides fostering dogs in our home, I also pick up goldens from shelters or their surrendering owners. I evaluate dogs, screen potential adopters and transport dogs from one place to another.

32 as of November 2006!

Usually one or two at a time but we’ve had up to 4 plus Buddy and Lily (my own dogs) at one time!

32 Sandy #2
Sandy came to us in September 2006. She is a 10 year old whose person died at 95 years old. My first comment when I saw Sandy was "that's the ugliest dog I've ever seen!" She was overweight, matted and dirty and smelly. During the two months that she was with us , she lost 16 pounds and has reached average weight for a dog her size. She's a sweet dog and loves a good squeaky ball to chew on.

31 Gina
Gina could have been a very sad story. She was just about 15 months old when she came to us. She was picked up on the side of a road after being hit by a car. She had been lying there, unable to move for some unknown amount of time- long enough to be starved and infested with ticks. She was picked up by someone and brought to a vet. The Vet was going to put her down but decided to call LIGRR. We brought her to LI Vet Specialists (LIVS), one of the most advanced emergency animal clinics in all of NY where they repaired the injury to her spine as best they could. She stayed there a week recovering from the surgery. She cost over $5,000 with only a 75% chance of using her hind legs again. That's where we came in.

We took Gina home with vials of medicine and all sorts of harnesses and a special air bed. Unheard of in a 15 month Golden, she is a very sweet and gentle dog. She doesn't bark nor complain but will occasionally wimper if she's lonely. As of July 2006, it is still too early to tell if she will walk again. She has extremely-extremely limited function below the injury. She can't even control going to the bathroom. We hold her rear half up with a special harness and she walks around with her legs dangling. We were trained by the vet staff on how to give her physical therapy, which we do three times a day. She even gets to have pool therapy about once a day but as luck would have it, she doesn't like the pool. Things are looking good. She can twitch her legs when her toes are tickled and can mover her legs when she does one of those yawn-stretches.
Gina Update: Gina is living in her permanent home and we get to see her every once in a while. She is very happy and still gets her therapy every day. In November 2006 Gina Stood on her own! The first time, her person walked into the room to see her standing and she screamed at the surprise. The scream startled Gina so much that she fell right down.

30 Sammy
Sammy came from a shelter where he was left for the second time because he loved to escape and his owners couldn't keep up. He is a sweet, young dog of 2 years old. He loves to play with people, dogs and his tail. He has hip dysplasia in both of his rear legs and needed two seperate surgeries to fix it. Above is Sammy right after his first operation.

Here is Sammy on the mend after his second operation. He's enjoying a leisurely stretch on the couch.

28 Old Barney
Barney almost didn't make it to us! Barney came to us from an elderly woman who couldn't take care of him any more. A day before she was going to give him up, he tugged his leash while out on a walk. Afraid to be pulled over, the lady dropped the leash and Barney wandered away. He's mostly deaf and has very bad eyesight so he probably couldn't see the lady from more than a few steps away. He spent a week on the streets with every animal control officer in the area looking for him. Temperatures dropped to the teens for two days while he was gone! Luckily, one of the animal officers found him and notified us immediately. He was a sweet and loving foster who loved to just lay around and nap. Despite how much noise we made approaching him, he was always startled so we had to step heavily on the floor so he would feel the vibrations and know we were coming.

29 Rocky
Rocky was a fun dog. He played well with Buddy. One of Rocky's favorite activities was eating. He was the most voracious eaters we ever had. He would start banging his face into his food bowl even before we had a chance to set it down.

26 Rosie
Rosie was a very quick foster, only a few days. She stayed with us while her adopting family was away on vacation and then she went to live with them. She always managed to have a spot of water in the middle of her forehead!

27 Barney
Barney came to us in October on 2005. He had recently had surgery to remove a couple of tumors which turned out to be cysts. The cysts were caused by some hairs that got ingrown and infected. Apparently his last owners never petted him or brushed him and that caused the problems. He actually took a long time to heal and will always have an ugly scar on his side from it. Thank goodness for full body fur! Barney loved having all the toys and could easily hold three things in his mouth and still try for a forth. He has weak hind legs which earned him the nick-name "Spaghetti Legs". He liked to counter surf and it took him three hops to get the height.

23 Gordon
Gordon was a young but playful golden. While under our care he got "the operation". When we got him home, we realized that he was never stitched up! The vet tech never showed us the stitches at the hospital nor did he have on a satellite colar- so we don't know if he never got them or pulled them out before we got him. Back to the hospital! New stitches and he removed them again despit having on a collar. He got wire stitches and pulled those out too! We got a lot of medical training with Gordo.

25 Belle

We met Belle at the vet. Her owner died and she was left to the family to care for where she fell into neglect. The family was so heartless that Belle started getting infections from flea bites. The infections got so bad that she started getting maggots in the open sores. She was finally brought to the vet to be put down because she was too much trouble to even neglect. We met her a few days later. Even after several days of intense vet care and medicated baths, she still had maggots when we saw her. A few days later we started fostering her. In the two weeks we had her, her sores closed up and started healing nicely.

22 Satchmo
was rescued from a municipal shelter. He had a horrible skin infection and terribly matted fur. He had to be shaved down except for his head and have many medicated baths over several days as well as start on thyroid medication. He never would have made it out of the shelter without LIGRR rescuing him. People don't usually go into a shelter looking for an old, sick dog that looked terrible. He started recovering and feeling better at his original foster home and began to lose weight. We are his second foster home and continued caring for this jolly boy until he got adopted. He is the sweetest dog loving every dog, cat, and person he meets. He rolls over immediately for a belly rub.

24 Rusti
was given up by a dog rescuer that took her in 3 months ago when her original owner didn't want her anymore and was going to euthanize her. When the rescuer could no longer care for her, LIGRR was called. She is receiving health care that she had been missing for quite some time and is feeling better each day. She is a sweet old girl who gets along with dogs, although she likes to be the lead dog. She enjoys walking around with a toy in her mouth and she loves to be petted.

Rusti and Satchmo

After spending the entire summer together, Rusti and Satchmo finally got adopted together! Rusti became attached to Satch. Wherever Satchmo went, Rusti soon followed. During nap time, they would sleep together. They move as a unit around the house. Their attachment got stronger as the days went on and it looked as if neither one of them was going to get adopted. Finally, LIGRR got an application from a lady looking to fill her house again after the loss of a loved dog. She wanted an old dog and we told her we had two! They are now living happily together in their forever home and may even get a new friend soon!

20 Brandy
What a calendar dog! He had the poses that you see on the magazine covers- perfect posture and the ears up and forward. He was also an escape artist. He opened my locked sliding glass door to let himself into the yard while I was out.

Here's a video of Brandy letting himself out while we were at work.


21 Stanley
Stanley was surrendered because he had a bad case of hip dysplasia and his people didn't want to pay the bill. He was a sweet, loving and gentle dog. He was 9 months old when we got him. Even though he was still a puppy, he couldn't play because of his discomfort. Instead, he loved to wrestle while laying down. He actually needed to have all four of his legs operated on and cost the organization over $8,000! But he's happy with his new family and doing well. It's worth the weekends sitting infront of stores with a can begging for funds.

18 Casey

19 Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear was such a theif! She stole anything made of cloth. "Where's my other sock? Where the dish towel? Where's the laundry pile?" She never destroyed anything, she just needed a pile to herself.

16 Louie

We sprung this goofy guy from the shelter that we volunteer at. He was a puddle of depressed dog at the bottom of the cage- which is just not right for a puppy of 8-9 months! He had an infection and ticks sapping his energy and a fractured femur keeping him from getting any exercise. We had Louie for about 2 months while he healed, rested and recouperated from having all his problems fixed. He is now the happiest, most playful dog around enjoying his forever home with a loving family.

17 Willow (Twice!)

Willow was surrendered to the shelter that we volunteer at because of an allergic child in her home. She was incredibly depressed and upset and barely picked up her head off the cement floor in her cage except when she rubbed her nose on the ground out of frustration. We rescued her and took her to the vet- she had a torn ligament that had to be operated on. She recovered nicely while she was with us and Buddy & Lily. She has since been adopted and is living with a loving couple and their other dog. She is settling in nicely at her new home by the beach. She is looking forward to summer days on the boat with her family.



14 Midas

Midas was an 8-week old puppy that came form a litter of 9. I usually don't foster puppies because of the amount of attention and trouble involved but we knew Midas was going to be a quick foster and he was just so cute and fun. Puppies are a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there!

15 Dudley

12 Katie
Katie was a quick foster- about a week. In that time, she gave my dog Buddy a run for his money. Constantly wrestling with each other.

13 Amber
She was more of a transfer than a foster. She stayed for only a few hours- just long enough to get a bath.

9 Penny
I sprung Penny from the local shelter. She was severly thin and weak. She was diagnosed with diabetes. She was with me for a month until her insulin was regulated and then went to a very loving home in the city.

10 & 11 Harley & Junior
What a pair! Harley, the old man (left) ran the show. Serious and demanding. Harley stood at the edge of the pool and barked orders to anyone swimming to "Get Out!" Junior was a goof. He was like that over-friendly chocolate faced kid. They had to stay together and that made the adoption very difficult. Finally, they found a home in Connecticut where they are the mayors of the block.

Harley passed away in March of 2010 at the ripe old age of 16. He had a great run. He was one of our favorite fosters. Such a sweet, protective dog. He loved Junior so much. Whenever Junior got an ear infection, which was frequent, he would stand over his friend, protecting him and licking his bad ear (not knowing that he was making it worse!) We fondly remember the way Harley would howl/bark at any dogs that came on TV. The two boys hit it big when they got adopted in Connecticut. They lived in a mansion and ended up being richer than me! Harley had 5 great years. It will be good to see him again at the Rainbow Bridge.

7 Lily (on the right- I kept her)
Lily was found as a stray wandering the woods. She is a very petite Golden- the runt of the litter. She makes up for it with attitude. She's the boss of the house and will not back down from even the biggest fosters we've had.

8 Sandy
Sandy was my longest foster. I stopped her person at the front door of the shelter. He was bringing her in to get rid of her. He bought her at a garage sale from her original owner- nice way to get rid of dog you had for 14 years! Sandy was old and in bad health. She stayed with me for nine months until she finally passed away. At least, in the end, she had a loving family that she wagged her tail at.

5 Simon

6 Princess

3 Sergent
This was an interesting dog. He came to my house with no discipline at the age of nine! No one ever said no to him and when he first heard it he couldn't believe his ears! He was pulled off the bed and couch grumbling all the way. He also liked to eat socks. We found one in the yard a day after he found his home- you figure out how it got there!

4 Jake

1 Ginger
Ginger was my first foster. She arrived at the shelter several months before I got her and she was shaved all over except for her head- it looked rediculous! She was old and slow but a real love. She stayed for 8 months until she got adopted by a loving couple in Connecticut.

2 Sherlock

Sherlock was a very active and athletic dog. He way always playing. If there was a moth on the ceiling, he would jump and jump and jump for it- flipping in the air.