This is the blog post I have been waiting all year to write.
If you have been following the blog since the early spring you would have known about a very special pooch who has become very dear to my heart.
When I first heard of Trooper’s story I tried to ignore it. I turned the channel, refused to read the news article. I didn’t want to hear about how someone could be so terrible and neglect this poor little dog. A few days went by and I couldn’t stop thinking of him. I finally saw the photos and I broke down sobbing.
Backstory from the BCSPCA website:
An emaciated golden retriever named Trooper brought tears to the eyes of staff at the BC SPCA’s Maple Ridge Branch on February 28, 2010.
The adult male dog, whose matted fur was covered in dirt, mud and feces, was dropped off at the shelter by a man who said he found the dog near the intersection of 237th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road.
Senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said she’s never seen an animal that emaciated in her entire 30-year career with the not-for-profit society.
“I thought I had seen everything, but clearly I was wrong,” said Drever. “This dog had literally wasted away — I’m not sure how he even had the strength to stand.”
A typical male golden retriever should weigh between 30 and 34 kilograms; Trooper weighed 11 kilograms (24 pounds) when he was brought into the BC SPCA branch. He put on nearly two kilograms in first three days.
“He actually weighed less than his bag of dog food, at the time” says Drever.
The gentle, friendly dog was orginally fostered by a shelter staff member. To get his body used to eating again, Trooper was fed small amounts of food six times a day. Drever suspected it would be months before he would be given a clean bill of health.
In the meantime, the SPCA is appealing to the public for information that would help identify Trooper’s owner. The dog was wearing a choke chain when he arrived at the shelter, but there were no marks around his neck to indicate long-term pressure, as there would be on a dog chained up all the time.”
I felt the need to do something. ANYTHING to help out this little guy. I organized the Pooches in the Park Fundraiser for March 28th. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be such an amazing success. The response was unreal. Over $2,000 was raised for the Maple Ridge SPCA. I still want to thank everyone who came out and made it such a success!
I’ve often thought about Trooper and how he’s been doing. And I was over the moon when his Mom Athena called me a while back to organize a family photo session with the little star. It was soooooo good to see him again. Bouncing around, being the puppy he never got to be. He looks so absolutely handsome, the transformation is so amazing. He’s now a healthy 73 lbs, and looks phenomenal!
Thanks so much for letting me hang out with the pooch again Hayward family. I can’t wait to hear aobut his first real Christmas 🙂