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The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For! TROOPER!

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 🙂






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Stephanie - Carol-Ann – YOU DID SUCH AN AWESOME JOB! I am sitting here in my office in tears over-joyed at how happy, healthy and handsome he turned out to be! What a great job done by all.

JennM - CA your post has me with tears in my eyes! What a great update and I”m SO HAPPY to see him looking so healthy and happy with his new family

Michelle - Carol-Ann, you are so kind-hearted. You’ve brought tears to my eyes! I love the photos! The transformation is astounding! What a lucky family and lucky pup!

Pat Latendresse - Carol-Ann what a transformation he is so handsome! ( Trooper was handsome before too ) and I too was in tears how well he has turned out long live Trooper!!!!!!

Shirley - Wow – what a happy ending for Trooper. He looks fabulous – your pictures are beautiful, Carol-Ann. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

maggie - what a wonderful transformation from a bag of bones to a gloriously healthy dog well done you I cry as i write this maggie

Diane Hallman - Words cannot describe the feelings of joy I have when seeing pics of healthy Trooper. He is one beautiful pup, and your photographs are beautiful. It is clear you have an abundance of love for animals. Thankyou for sharing.

Lauren - This is amazing! Carol-Ann you have a heart of gold !!! He looks splendid.

Stacey - He looks like a new man!! I really hope you can do Pooches in the Park each year, this is such a great fundraiser and sadly there are many more animals in Troopers position that need (y)our help as well. Thanks for keeping us up to date on this handsome fella!

merium - How fabulous he looks! Beautiful photos!

Kenzie - I would not consider myself an animal lover although we do have a dog for the kids. This post though had me in tears. What an amazing story. You totally captured the beauty of that animal. Amazing!

Jacquie - Carol-Ann these are beautiful!!!!!! I remember this story and it broke my heart, everything you and Trooper’s family have done is amazing! <3

Solana - Wow! That first picture broke my heart, it is so amazing to see his transformation and how happy he is with his new family!

Wendii - I can’t believe how healthy he looks!!

Tiffany - What an amazing transformation! I am so glad that he has a loving family now. Beautiful photos!

Ashley-troopers sister - Thanks for doing such a fantastic job at our family photo day carol-ann, you are sooo talented!

Trisha - Absolutely gorgeous photos!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Barking Mad – For Suzie, Poker, Nona and the rest of the Whistler 100. « Carol-Ann Photography Blog - […] And if you follow the blog you’d see some beautiful pooches from the fundraiser for Trooper, Trooper’s amazing ‘look at me now!’ post, and Paisley’s birthday […]

sue - Carol Ann..what a lovely happy ending to a very tragic beginning..we have a golden retreiver who turned two this past Halloween…love him to bits..and when Trooper’s story came out it brought us to tears to think that this poor little puppy had such an awful start!..we would think how lucky our ‘golden boy’ was!!..Cheers to you and your fine photography!!!..

Vancity Vendor: Carol-Ann Photography | Vancouver Wedding Photographer | Vancity Bride - […] Another topic dear to my heart is animal welfare.  Having a Fur-Baby of my own, I have been outraged far too often in the past few years about the horrific animal cruelty cases in the area.  The Murdered Sled Dogs, Trooper the emaciated golden retriever starved nearly to death in Maple Ridge… When I saw him on the news I knew I had to spring into action.  I organized a photo fundraiser at a dog park in Maple Ridge for a few weeks later, and we had an amazing turn out.  Over $2,000 was raised for the SPCA to cover the mounting vet bills for Trooper.  I am so happy to report that he is doing way better than expected, and is an abosolute doll.” Read more about Trooper and his fundraiser on her blog. […]

Brad Hayward - Trooper's Dad - Carol-Ann you are a very talented photographer. We appreciate you sharing Trooper’s story. Our family is very fortunate to have Trooper in our lives. He is definitely an inspiration to us.

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