A Little Background:
Steve was found in a Tucson canal back in August of 2014.
When he arrived at his foster’s home Steve could barely walk. The veterinarian recommended that he receive regular walks on rough ground so that he could use his muscles to strengthen his back end. Upon arrival at his foster’s he had serious atrophy on the right thigh muscle and even needed a ramp to get into the car. During the next few months the fosters really worked with Steve on therapy, meds, walking, naturopath doctoring, acupuncture and he made remarkable progress recuperating. The veterinarian was pleased with Steve’s improvement but he felt that it would be important for Steve to continue the therapy to keep him from needing to line up for hip dysplasia surgery.
It was now April and time for Steve to move to his new forever home. As you can see from the photographs Steve is a very tall Golden and he had gained much strength during his time at the fosters. The next move was another wonderful experience for Steve and as you will read it was a great gift for his new family.
“There are not enough words to express how much we love all of the Rescue A Golden staff and we give full gratitude to all of you for the blessing of “Steve” the Wonder Dog.
“He is a wonder indeed! With the severities of our family going on, Steve seemed to fit into every aspect of our daily life in so many ways. He has a way of melting the hearts of everyone he meets. Most likely you are asking why it is so? We make our daily one mile walks every morning and evening. Bob, my husband and I are very quiet neighbors and generally fly under the radar so to speak. Well, Steve has many neighborhood friends and leaves “cookies” in the mailbox for his friends as we go. He also remembers the Holidays and makes sure we tie a ribbon on them when it is a special time. He even has a black and white cat friend named “Bootsie” that watches for him every day and vice versa.
“The most interesting part is that he knows when things are not quite right here at home. Bob, my husband, is medically very ill and Steve sticks to him like glue. That is unless Bob is asleep, in the shower or out of the house, then he is right by me until Bob re-appears.
“Steve is for certain an incredible dog. There is no doubt he saved my husband Bob’s life on July 30th. Steve was going berserk in the house running around like crazy doing his best to get my attention. I quickly followed him asking what was wrong and he led me to Bob’s side. It was at that very moment I realized that Bob was in having a massive heart attack. Upon arrival at John C Lincoln DV Bob was directly admitted to the ICU and remained there for over a week. Then he was on to the PPCU wing for more treatment.
“Since Steve joined our family he has been in constant obedience training. Steve blew through all three levels with high grades and it has helped us become better parent stewards of this fine Golden Retriever. Next he continued to be AKC Registered for Canine Good Citizenship and Certified. Now he is certified with the National Registry of Service Animals due to Bob’s mobility issues with degenerative right hip disease. Also importantly Steve is pheromone trained, again, because of Bob’s ill health.
“While we were going to John C Lincoln D.V. hospital twice every day to see Bob, Steve became a hero to many. There was a gentleman three doors down from Bob that was extremely despondent and crying uncontrollably. Bob’s nurse came in and asked if she “could borrow us for a few minutes”? We went along and visited the patient. Instantly the man stopped crying because he confessed he was lonely and scared by being in the hospital. We made a point of visiting this patient every time we went in to see Bob. Over the course of four days this other patient gained confident within himself, along with the medical treatment that he was receiving from the nurses; he got better and went home.
“Across the hall from Bob, was a very sick woman who had flown in to Phoenix from Bombay India. Her son, daughter-in-law and grandson where there to stay with her every day. Only a week after arriving in Phoenix the elderly woman had suffered a heart attack. She had had by-pass heart surgery and at the time we met her and her family she had been in the same hospital room for over three months. This very small, frail woman refused to speak, would not move her hands, legs or feet. The staff had had to put in a feeding tube to sustain her wellbeing and life. The patient’s four-year-old grandson wanted us to visit with Steve.
As the days went by, the elderly patient slowly began to nod her head and respond to our presence. About a week later this woman, who had been so very sick, was sitting up, moving her legs and arms about so as to pet Steve and she even asked the daughter-in-law to braid her long silver hair. It was very satisfying to see her smile each day we visited. A day before Bob came home, the small frail older lady was transferred to Deer Valley Rehabilitation Facility for the next steps of her treatment and convalescing.
“With the remarkable experiences we had with Steve, we knew that there was another step for this Golden with the wonderful personality. We located a Therapy School and a delightful lady, who had been highly recommended to train Steve. Steve quickly passed through three levels of extensive examinations with very high marks. The result is that he is now fully nationally registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs Inc.
“Now we go to the Veterans Administration Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Center once a month to visit the veterans and spread some love to them. Some patients tear up when they see Steve coming. They love the visits more than you could imagine. It is tough for us to leave these veterans, when we see their happy and smiling faces that are the result of Steve’s visit.
“On Tuesday December 15th, out of the blue, we got a call from the Paradise Valley School District asking about Steve. It just so happens that Steve’s obedience teacher was in the district office with the Director of Paradise Valley Schools. Steve had been chosen to be the Ambassador of Cholla Elementary School for the disabled children in her school. Starting in January of 2016 Steve will be in full action with the children for the Visitation Program at Cholla Elementary School.
“We never, in a million thoughts, ever imagined how it would be to have a celebrity in our home. Clearly, “Steve the Wonder Dog” has become quite the light of our world and we will do everything it takes to make everyone’s life just a little bit better that we can. Rescue A Golden of Arizona, you all have a remarkable and wonderful organization. We ARE truly, and without a doubt, two of the happiest parents that could ever be. We are honored to know you all. Your support is superb not only to the Goldens, but the parents as well. How could we ever thank you for our new shining star…. Steve!
Our greatest appreciation.”
As a side note, Steve and his parents have been seen regularly volunteering at different locations of the Barnes and Noble Gift Wrap events around the Valley this November and December, along with supporting the PACC911 meeting at the Scottsdale Shea location that was held in November. Steve and his parents are certainly an inspiration to us all.