Riley's Story

RileyTake a good look at this stately dog.  With that massive head and body, is she not a beauty!  You have just met Riley, a three year old Newfoundland. 

She was picked up by a local animal pound.  (Unfortunately we do not know how she came to live in the streets.)  She was kept for the mandatory stray hold of five days.  She was then posted on that city’s website.  Her write-up read that the city workers had noted her lameness and she might have a leg injury.  That next day, a rescue group visited the shelter and took Riley for a walk.  She had an obvious limp that caused her a lot of pain.

RileyWith her sweet temperament and placid disposition, Riley was “sprung” from the city pound and taken immediately to a private veterinary clinic.   The radiographs confirmed that she has an old ACL tear.  She also tested positive for heartworms.  The orthopedic surgeon quoted a discounted price of $2000 for her surgery.  She requires a TPLO, which is layman’s language for the repair of a ruptured knee ligament.  This cost does not include anesthesia, X-rays, antibiotics, IV fluids, blood work, pain medication and hospital boarding which is another $1000.  Additionally, the heartworm treatment for a 127 pound dog will be pricey.

Her foster mom says that this loving, gentle dog has a way of looking at you, with her big brown eyes that melts your heart.  Riley enjoys lying in the middle of the kitchen floor so you have to walk around her in order to get to the other side as she is too big to step over.  One of her favorite things is to ride in the car and does not want to get out when the trip is over.  She will wait forever for her foster mom to come back and take her for another drive.  How can such a sweet dog be denied a surgery that would help her live a full, pain free life? 

rileyRiley’s torn ACL, her heartworm disease and her coat being so matted, that she had to be shaved, only point to the neglect and abandonment she endured in her prior life.  We hope that by providing the treatment she needs and giving her the love she deserves, that she will live the rest of her life as a healthy, happy dog in a happy home. Joyful endings don’t always come cheap.  This is a difficult financial set-back for this rescue group.  

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Update on Riley - 6/15/10

I am certain that everyone who contributed to Riley’s care is interested in her progress. 

She remained at the veterinary clinic two days, post her TPLO surgery.  She was treated for her heartworm illness as well.  When she returned home, her foster mom reported that Riley was extremely tired and slept for two more days.  She barely had any appetite, so she was spoon fed.  A bowl of water was placed under her chin so she would drink.  She would slowly lap the water from her bowl and then look up, meaning it was time to take the bowl away.

She has a therapy program she adheres to several times a day.  Riley does not seem to mind the mini leg massages followed by passive range of motion exercises.  She is capable of getting up and going to the door when she needs to potty.  She has been weight bearing on her leg and foot.  She has six to eight weeks more of recovery time from this surgery.  During that period she is required to rest to give time for the leg to heal.

The last email I received from her foster mom said that Riley had suffered a set-back.  The latest xrays showed that she has a fissure on the crest of her right tibia.  This means that Riley will be crated for the next six weeks.  Hopefully, her leg will mend without requiring surgery.  Join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

Because Riley’s story touched so many hearts, Animals3 was able to pay a portion of that care.  Your generous support made a big difference for Riley.  She can now look at a fresh start in life.

Update on Riley, now Buella - 5/5/11

Riley, now called Buella, is pictured below with her family a year after surgery.