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Sandy GH-979

With sadness, I must report that we lost our GoldHeart rescue Sandy GH-979 in February 2022.

Sandy came to us as a foster in February 2016, just a few days after we had become an approved GoldHeart foster family. Sandy was at Animal Control in Philadelphia, picked up as a stray, and needing to be transferred to a rescue so she could receive the care she needed. As the GoldHeart volunteer was on her way to Philadelphia to pick Sandy up, she called and asked if we were ready (as in, within the next hour or so!) to start our journey as foster parents. With somewhat nervous apprehension, we said yes, and sure enough, Sandy arrived at our house about an hour later!

Sandy was approximately 8 years old when we took her in and her coat was solid mats from years of neglect and no care. She had ear infections and fungal infections and a severe phobia of anyone touching her paws! She was somewhat skittish and really just wanted to crawl off into a back corner of the house and be left alone. Her disposition was sweet and gentle when we interacted with her, but whatever her history had been before coming to GoldHeart, it was apparent she had a mistrust of humans and how they would treat her.

Within the first couple of weeks of having Sandy with us, she received vet care and meds, got a bath and a grooming, and we discovered a beautiful little golden dog underneath all those mats! With gentle coaxing and at-her-pace interaction with our family of humans, Sandy became more and more comfortable coming out to be a part of our family on her own. She was learning to trust us and figuring out that we were kind and caring humans!

When Sandy had regained her health and was ready to be put up for official adoption with GoldHeart, we decided that we just couldn’t give her up, and we became failed fosters at our very first attempt at fostering! We adopted Sandy later that month and she became our little Valentine girl, with us declaring her birthday to be Feb 14.

Sandy spent six beautiful years with us and enriched our lives with her sweet personality and cute antics. She was acutely alert and responsive and we always said that if we had been able to have her as a puppy, she would have made an amazing agility dog. She was so smart, and so willing to learn and to please.

Sandy passed away in February 2022, just a week beyond her 14th birthday. She lived a good life and shared so much happiness with our family. 14 years is an amazing milestone for a Golden and we are so glad we got to share the best years of her life. We love you Sandy. Rest easy, sweet girl.

Sarah McIlvaine

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