When Guardian angel of rescue meets Guardian angel of owners
Lola came in to greyhound rescue in January 2016 age 2. She had been retired early. She was brought in along with Deacon.
As soon as this little girl jumped from the van, she lent against our legs & she looked up & almost sent a tingle down your spine is the way to describe her!
What a beautiful little lady! Petite, fine, with the usual muscle but such a pretty face.
After her trainer left Karen said to me... Wow! She is adorable! Now, we know they all are... Don't get us wrong but Lola just had something else about her.
She was calming in the kennels, all the other dogs loved her immediately, they all wanted to be around her... She was very spiritual I guess.
As far as being good, well, she never out a paw wrong! Only ever wanting to please.
Karen said to me she thought Lola should come into house as soon as we were able & become a fundraising dog & maybe train up for a PAT dog as she is perfect in every way..... She had fallen in love!!!!
Then...Lola had not been with us very long & along came a lovely email from a lady called Susan Wright, who wanted to adopt Bonnie.
Now, bonnie, another beauty, had only recently lost her kennel mate Harry, very suddenly & tragically at 4 years old due to an old racing injury. Bonnie had taken this bad & was needing special help & care as her & Harry were like an old married couple, being inseparable & were due to be re-homed together. She was not ready to go to a home just at that point & also, she really needed to go in a pair.
The other concern for us was that Susan had been recovering from a brain operation & was a little unsteady on her feet still, walking with a stick...
Whilst we were certain a greyhound would be the perfect help for Susan, it had to be the right on..... So Karen decided it had to be, beloved Lola!
Susan, who had already fallen in love with Bonnie at this time, went with Karens suggestion knowing that it had to be the right match for both of them (dog & owner) & heart cannot rule head... Plus Bonnie was not ready & a little more zoomie!!
This is the beginning of one of the most beautiful relationships between greyhound & owner....a relationship that was shattered with a sudden onset of illness that almost resulted in Susan losing her beloved Lola.
Lola & Susan, along with Susans, husband Ted, went for a short caravan break where Lola had an amazing time, enjoying her walks, new sights & new adventures with her mum.
On returning, a week or so later, Lola suddenly became extremely ill, with severe diarrhea with blood loss & Lola was screaming in pain. The pain & agony Lola was in, shocked Susan, who knowing in the back of her mind Lola was such a young dog, could not think what had struck Lola down like this?
All Lolas' joints had locked up...
Lola was in total agony, this 2 year old ex racer, a young girl with such a zest for life & such a fun loving explorer who loved her food, play & walks, couldn't move. This was not only a terrible situation, but Susan was aware straight away it was life threatening.
Susan rushed Lola to the vets & they treated Lola but the outlook at that point was not good. Susan thought she would lose this precious little lady.
Susan being the kindest & most generous, wonderful person she is, thought, no.... Having suffered serious illness herself with her brain operation & her husband also having had most of his bowel removed due to collitis, she was used to illness & that Lola was too important to her & Ted & no way was this going to happen...
She would do anything she could to save her little girls'life....no matter what!
Susan, she loved her so much. Lola trusted Susan & loved her back just the same.
And that is exactly what Susan did and has continued to do.
After weeks of extensive tests & hundreds (now thousands of pounds) spent on Lola, she was diagnosed with chronic severe colitis... Ironic as Ted had been through this, having most if his bowel removed. Susan knows how painful this was to have alone & so knew she needed to make her life better & pain free & for her to have a good quality of life. She was confident she could do this & as she looked into Lola's eyes, she knew this is what Lola also wanted.
Lola was also diagnosed with severe arthritis (caused by the flare up of the colitis).
Susan knew she needed to get both under control & try to keep them there but decided that veterinary medicines were not going to work alone & that Lola would need extra help.
That in mind she arrange for acupuncture, herbal cortaflex pills, a special diet, & more recently hydrotherapy, where Susan goes in with her!
She did not want Lola to be reliant on chemical drugs that could have a damaging effect on her organs at such a young age & make things much worse.
This lady has looked into everything.
Lola lost a dramatic amount of weight, almost half her body weight & it has been a struggle to build her up especially with what she can & cannot eat!
After a few setbacks with Lola's weight being up & down we are pleased to say that Lola is at a fantastic weight, 25kg & she is enjoying her food, walks & occasional zoomies.
She has to be careful & monitored & life will always be different but as Susan said, Lola was sent to her... It was meant to be. Both Susan & Ted have been through so much illness themselves so she could not have been in better, safer hands.
And, Susan would never have wanted to have been without Lola... She's her baby... Adores her as Lola does Susan...
Susan doesn't put the blame on anyone for Lola's illness.. She is not in anyway bitter.
I spoke to Susan early on in Lola's illness to offer help of which she refused as she just wants to continue to help us & more dogs here.
She does not blame the owner/trainer in any way for the illness but one thing Susan does say & would like to point out is that like many greyhounds, Lola is eager to please & she presumes that would have been the case in her short racing career. Yet Lola's character is to get worked up & upset & stressed as in a lot of greyhounds, as she is sensitive. The other major factor she feels was an issue is the suppression of her seasons for racing... As hormone imbalance has a devastating effect on Lola's condition. Just prior to Lola's illness she had her very first season which we have talking in detail about with Susan as we do feel this could have been the trigger in Lola's illness.
Lola was due to be spayed 3 months after her season but she not well enough to go through such an operation as this may set her back & none of us want that.
She will look at this on her vets advice in the near future but not at the risk of Lola.
We cannot thank Susan enough for everything she has done for Lola, the words ring through our ears when we said, Susan, if we had seen any signs of illness in the short time we had Lola here, we wouldn't have re-homed her...she would have lived her life out her... Susan replied... "I am so glad you didn't see it then & that it happened here.. As I wouldn't have my beautiful little Lola as we were meant to be together". Again.. Karen had made the perfect choice x
And in Karens words, we could not ask for a more precious owner! That lady that emailed to ask if we would consider her for a greyhound as she had seen 'Bonnies story' but she was worried about her age & the fact she'd had a brain operation & walked with a stick.
Well, Susan no longer needs her stick, and, we all know how pets help with any illness, providing it's the right match!
Karen had said from meeting Lola she was 'different' & a very special little greyhound. She went on to say, I don't know what it is about her but they come along once in a blue moon where they are just that extra special in there ways. She is 'spiritual' & she is here for a reason. X
That reason was Susan xxx
Thank you to Susan Wright -A true guardian angel xx not just to Lola but to us.
And thank you to Karen Schultz, who has helped & saved thousands of greyhounds over the past 40 years.