“Goldie” hopes for recovery and a second chance at life

“Goldie” arrived to our shelter weighing 46 lbs, nearly 20 lbs underweight.

The Humane Society of North Iowa recently received a phone call from a distressed landlord in Forest City.  An evicted tenant had moved out leaving behind eight dogs, all of whom were emaciated, malnourished, and filthy.  Loving homes were found for all, except for an elderly Golden Retriever, who was later named Goldie.

Goldie had been imprisoned in an outdoor kennel for nearly three weeks.  She had no food and only a limited water supply.  Either in an attempt to avoid inevitable starvation, or a result of extreme anxiety, Goldie consumed half her tail leaving the bone painfully exposed. Despite all efforts of the landlord, Goldie was clearly in agony; euthanasia was becoming a sad last resort.

On the very day the landlord was preparing to take Goldie to the Veterinarian to end her misery, he made one final attempt to find an alternate ending to Goldie’s tragic story. This time, he called the Humane Society of North Iowa.  Fate intervened.  The shelter had space and resources available to help the dog in need.  The landlord was told to bring Goldie over to the shelter in Mason City right away.

Goldie showed up to the Humane Society of North Iowa emaciated and starving but excited, bloodied half-tail wagging, and seemingly anxious to make new friends.  At only 46 lbs, she was a staggering 20 lbs underweight.   The Humane Society of North Iowa immediately scheduled surgery to have her mutilated tail amputated and she was put on a high-protein diet.  Now, just two weeks after her arrival, she had successfully gained 6 lbs, her surgery is complete, her tail is healing nicely and she is ready to put the past behind her.

“Goldie’s story of survival shows us just how resilient this beautiful girl is,” said Sybil Soukup, Executive Director of the Humane Society.  “She endured three dismal weeks of neglect and abandonment confirming that pets are not disposable or something you leave behind when your life moves on.”

Once Goldie makes a full recovery the Humane Society of North Iowa hopes that she will be adopted and given a second chance at the life she truly deserves.  Goldie is a ten year old female Golden Retriever with a survivalist instinct, a forgiving spirit and a heart of pure gold.

The Humane Society of North Iowa is a non-profit organization that serves a 9 county area in North Iowa and operates a no-kill rescue shelter in Mason City.  In the past 25 years, HSNI has found loving homes for over 7000 abandoned, displaced, and neglected animals. For more information, please call the Humane Society of North Iowa at: 641-423-6241 or visit them online at: www.hsni.org.




Here's an updated photo of Goldie taken 4-19-13.  She weighs 59.4 lbs in this photo and had gained 13.4# since her arrival to our shelter!

Here’s an updated photo of Goldie taken 4-19-13. She weighs 59.4 lbs in this photo and had gained 13.4# since her arrival to our shelter!

Sadly, Goldie is STILL in our shelter! When her story first got out there, we had so much interest in her and we received applications from all over the country! However, Goldie has a quite a few restrictions as to what kind of home she can live in:
-she can’t live with other dogs (she sees them as “competition” to her food and water supply, not as potential buddies)
-she can’t live with cats (we think she sees them as toys and chases them relentlessly)
-she has lived outside her entire life…so house training is a likely issue.
-she’s 10 years old and is much closer to the end of her life rather than the beginning.

When her story first aired, we received about 50 applications. Over half of them were current dog owners that wanted to open their homes to Goldie. But since she can’t live with other dogs, this immediately eliminated them.

Some of the remaining applicants had cats. That eliminated them. Others didn’t want to deal with house training.

In the end, we had a handful of qualified applicants who came to meet her in person. But, all of them were expecting to come meet a 10 year old Golden Retriever who was old, tired, lethargic who would cuddle up on the couch with them, watch tv and be low maintenance. 

Instead, they met a 10 year old Golden Retriever who is HIGH energy, can play fetch for hours, likes to run and who definitely doesn’t act her age!!! None of the families who came to meet her thought she would fit into their lifestyles. We were disappointed, but appreciated the honesty.

Goldie is still in our care and is making improvements. If you’ll recall she came in weighing 46 lbs…. roughly 20 lbs. underweight. Today, she weighs close to 60 lbs. and is almost back to a normal weight. She continues to show us each day a little more that she is willing to trust humans again and proves just how forgiving and resilient our animal friends are. 

Goldie patiently waits for the loving forever home that will accept her for what she is and what she has become due to a lifetime of neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the humans that owned her previously. She hopes for a home that will provide her a consistent meal everyday and fresh clean water. A home where if she has an accident on the floor, she isn’t banished to an outdoor kennel in the yard and forgotten about for the rest of her days. A home where family members and children will play with her and make her feel like she is cherished and worthy of feeling loved. 

Until then, the Humane Society of North Iowa will continue to care for Goldie and make sure she is safe, well-fed, and that she is surrounded by love in our shelter.