Rescued MARCH 2014
“Just a short time ago I came out of a safe warm place inside my mom and into a strange new world. I have brothers and sisters who can run and jump. But when I try and play I have to hop because one of my legs isn’t working. I like toys and I want to explore this new world but it’s hard to keep up. My brother and sisters are going to new homes. When will I have a new home?”
Little Leilani was born with a rare birth defect. She was most likely supposed to be one of identical twins, but instead the embryo did not split entirely and Leilani ended up with one back leg that had double parts, all of which were deformed. Most breeders would have destroyed Leilani at birth. After all, there is no profit in a deformed puppy.
Leilani was one of the very few lucky ones. Her mom’s owner, a compassionate and responsible breeder, felt Leilani deserved a chance at life. She contacted Arizona Golden Retriever Connection to see if a rescue organization would be willing to give Leilani that chance. Enter Brenda and Lisa, two longtime members of AZGRC and Golden lovers extraordinaire. They both looked past the deformed leg and pronounced limp, and saw a feisty Golden Retriever puppy who wanted to live life to the fullest.
With the approval of the AZGRC Board, Leilani was examined by veterinary orthopedic specialists and surgery was scheduled in an attempt to save Leilani’s leg. Unfortunately, there were too many things wrong and the leg had to be amputated. However Leilani had AZGRC volunteers and her special foster moms, Lisa and Brenda, on her side.
Here is what Leilani says today. “Last week I went to a place with lots of sand to dig in and a whole lot of water to swim in! I had so much fun with big brother and sister, Brophy and Nola. Even though they have four legs, I can still swim just like they can and I can even run faster. That’s because Mom Lisa and Mom Brenda make sure I do my special “tripawd” exercises. I have lots of friends that I visit and come visit with me. Sometimes, I even let them play with my toys…but not too much. After all, I’m a very special princess…at least that’s what my mom says!”
Thanks to a caring breeder, a “village” of volunteers, and two loving and patient foster (now forever) moms, Leilani will spend lots of years doing all the things a happy, energetic Golden loves to do, only with three legs instead of four!
As a special note, Leilani has been chosen to participate in the Morris Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. This study, the largest of its kind, follows selected purebred Golden Retrievers throughout their lives for the purpose of finding the cause and perhaps the cure of cancers so common in the Golden Retriever. Perhaps, someday Leilani will be part of the group of Goldens that helps bring a new understanding to cancer in Golden Retrievers and maybe even to find a cure! That wouldn’t be half bad for a broken puppy! (To learn more about the Morris Foundation, visitwww.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org and www.CanineLifetimeHealth.org