I received this heartfelt message
from Holly & Ryan (in Canada) on December 30, 2005 about
her guy Bentley:
dear 3 year old male Golden Bentley has partially torn
his ACL in his right hind leg. He was extremely sore and
unable to go up stairs for just about a week, and now he
seems to want to play and is fine on stairs ... plus he
is back to sneaking up on our bed!! Although he is still
guarding his right
leg at different times. Yesterday we
took him into the clinic just to make sure he was okay,
and the vet gave us this bad news. We don't know what we
My husband & Bentley are also very actively involved in
search & rescue training (the photo above was taken
of a young Bentley beginning his training) so he is extremely active and
wants to work all the time! We did a search the day
before we went into the clinic and he worked hard and
didn't show any signs of pain during the search (now
that we know of his injury we feel terrible for taking
him out on the search to put extra strain on his knee).
They were scheduled to certify this Spring; but with
this injury, sadly this will likely not be possible.
Do we leave him, restrict
play for a few weeks and hope he gets better? We have
started him on Glucosamine & Condroitin pills once
daily. Or will that just make it worse until it
eventually completely tears and lead to permanent
arthritis? Or should we do the $2200 TPLO surgery right
If anyone has any advice or has had the same
thing happen to their Golden could they PLEASE contact us as SOON AS POSSIBLE.
We LOVE him sooooo much and it's hard to see him sad because we won't let him
run & play. Thank you in advance very much for ALL your advice & comments. We
just need any kind of advice you can offer so PLEASE let us know. THANK YOU!
— Ryan, Holly &
Follow-up Message Received January 1, 2006
I am totally shocked and amazed at how quickly I have
gotten responses, thanks to you!!! I was shocked and
amazed when I woke up the morning after I emailed you,
to find 11 messages already!!! People are so kind! I
have already had 21 different people email us and we are
so thankful for ALL their comments. A few have even sent
us outlines for physical therapy routines that they have
used (or are using) for their Goldens. When this injury
happened we were in the midst of moving, so he was quite
stressed out. One person emailed us saying they were in
the middle of moving and their Golden hadn't had much
exercise, so they took him to play with another dog and
that is when he tore his ACL. This is exactly how it
happened to Bentley.
We are now FINALLY up at our
new home for good, so hopefully he will settle in well. We are restricting him
to a small area and building a ramp for him outside. We have moved to Southern
Alberta, Canada. Being closer to a large city should help us out with our
treatment options. Thank you 100 TIMES OVER for taking the time to send out my
original message, especially when you have so much going on in your family life.
I hope your husband will continue to improve and sweet Darcy can beat her
cancer. — Ryan, Holly &
Wonderful Message Received January 5, 2006
We have some FANTASTIC new about Bentley! 30 people
e-mailed me about Bentley (because of you) and that
really helped us understand ACL injuries and what other
people have gone through. We wanted to make the most
educated decision we could for Bentley's sake.
the common suggestion was to not rely on your regular
vet's diagnosis, go to an orthopedic specialist. This we
We found a man in Airdrie,
Alberta who comes highly recommended and boy are we ever
glad we went to him!! He knows our vets in our "old"
home town very well, because he travels to many
different clinics performing TPLO surgeries, and he has
worked with them for many years. When Bentley and I
first arrived he said is trusts that vet, and if she
diagnosed a partially torn ACL the he trusts them, but
for the next about 25 minutes he had me take Bentley
outside and walk around to see how he moves and checked
him out. He was great and took his time with Bentley and
explaining to me. He said he was not convinced he had
ACL problems. So we left Bentley at the clinic for the
afternoon to be sedated and x-rays on his spine, hips
When my husband picked Bentley up, again the doctor took
his time explaining. He found that Bentley's knees are
actually in perfect condition and he has great muscle
tone. But he found his hips never fully developed and
they must have popped out when playing with the other
dog and that strain is what has been bothering him. So
he has given us some medication to give Bentley and
suggested that we can start walks, playing and allowing
him around the house again. We just need to take it
easier than normal, and not go back to full rough
playing again. And we can even start search & rescue
training again slowly. We will probably take a couple
more weeks off, but the good news is we can apply for
certification in April now!!
Thank you very much for
taking your time to help us with this Rochelle. We
appreciate it more than you'll ever know. I was
completely blown away when so many people shared their
stories with us, after all we are just some strangers.
Truly amazing! It took me a few hours, but last night I
wrote personalized thank you messages to each person
that e-mailed us. And this morning, already, 12 people
have replied saying congrats and thanks for letting them
know what happened with Bentley. I think anything a
Golden touches must turn to gold, because these people
have been just wonderful to us!!! I just can't put it
into words how much this has meant to us!
Thanks AGAIN Rochelle for your help. And I LOVE your
website. I first found it a couple years ago and did the
Doggie IQ Test.
Bentley's name is on one of your lists there! I did that test before we started SAR,
I'd be interested how he'd do now, considering he did
well a couple years ago. Thanks Again! All the best
to you & your family in the New Year!
— Ryan, Holly &
Message Received May 21, 2006
I just wanted to fill you in on our Golden boy Bentley.
I wrote in about a possible ACL injury that turned out
to be a hip injury instead. The response from you and
the 30+ others that gave us advise still amazes us to
Bentley took his RCMP Civilian Search & Rescue test two
weeks ago and passed all five areas: large area search,
live victim search, ditch search, agility and obedience!
Thinking back to his injury in January, we are amazed at
how well he has recovered. We have minimized his play
with other large dogs and still continue to do some
physio activities at home. He continues to please and
We had to test in the Region we originally started
training in (before we moved), and now that we live up
by Calgary, Alberta, Ryan and Bentley will only be
called out for searches in the southern region. The RCMP
here do not like to use civilian search dogs. They
choose to only use their own, which I find very sad.
Ryan has gone through two years of training and courses
(as well as Bentley), so it's not like this is something
we have taken lightly. We are hoping that they will
change their minds as more of us are certified up here,
and show them that we are serious about working and
The photo was taken after Bentley's approximately
three-hour testing! He was sooo exhausted. We had to
wake him up to get this photo. Thanks again Rochelle.