Lonnie is a 10-year-old neutered male golden retriever who came to GRREAT (Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training) from a shelteron October 26th last year.  He went into a foster home who has another Golden and both dogs got along well.  The foster home reported no problems with Lonnie whatsoever during the several months he lived in their home.  He was adopted by a couple and returned to GRREAT on April 22nd.
The reason Lonnie was returned was because he started isolating himself from the adopters, he started growling if they tried to move him, and he became aggressive toward other unknown dogs while out on walks.  The transporter who picked Lonnie up to take him to an animal hospital ignored his warning growl when she tried to pull his leash out from under his leg and she was bitten, resulting in a few stitches to her hand.
The animal hospital where Lonnie was taken for boarding is the same animal hospital where he stayed for a few days after first coming into GRREAT last year.  The staff was shocked to hear about Lonnie’s behavior, as they remembered him as being very sweet, gentle, seeking out attention from people, and being an easy dog.  The vet who examined Lonnie determined that his issues were not behavioral, but medical and that he was in pain, either suffering from a slipped disc or a pinched nerve.  Despite his pain level and even prior to being started on two medications to help alleviate his discomfort, nobody at the animal hospital saw any negative behavior from him at all.  He was the same sweet boy they remembered and now that he’s on medications, he’s even sweeter!
Lonnie will need a raised food bowl and water bowl to avoidstress/strain while eating and drinking, as the vet thinks the issue is in his neck or upper spine.  The vet doesn’t feel he needs to be seen by a specialist at this time, as the two medications are controlling the pain he was experiencing.  We are recommending that Lonnie go to a home without other animals or with a calm/older female dog.
Lonnie has been in boarding for 10 weeks and despite this, he continues to do well and continues to seek out attention from staff members.  Living in boarding isn’t what we want for a senior, so please consider giving Lonnie a chance as your foster dog.


If you’re interested in finding out more about fostering, if you have questions about Lonnie, or if you’re available to foster him, please contact GRREAT’s Intake/Foster Home Coordinator, intake@grreat.org .