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Saci is a four-year-old male golden retriever. He lived in a beautiful home, ate quality food and received extensive veterinary care. However, Saci was missing the one thing he desired most in this world; affection and attention. The family members who placed him with us would not touch him because he "smelled". He suffered from severe allergies and had been receiving allergy shots. His owners did not believe in changing his food or giving him medicated baths, so we were called to place him since they no longer wanted the cost or responsibility for him.

My nine-year-old daughter and I went to evaluate him on a rainy Tuesday afernoon in September. We had the pleasure of meeting one of the sweetest golden retrievers who have ever entered our program. He absorbed the affection we offered him like a sponge. However, he repeatedly moved away to scratch at his inflamed skin and to rub his swollen muzzle along the carpet. Despite his obvious discomfort, he was clearly delighted to be schmoozed by us. It was then that I felt his right ear. He had a hematoma the size of two golf balls. When I asked his owner how long Saci had had this hematoma, she had no idea what I was talking about because she didn't even know he had had it. He was admitted to our veterinary hospital within forty-eight hours.

For nearly four weeks, Saci was treated with antibiotics and medicated baths to help him relieve his skin conditions. In addition, a prescription dog food was found that Saci was not allergic to. The surgery to relieve the hematoma was delayed for weeks because of his poor physical condition. Throughout his treatment he remained the sweet wonderful dog I had met. A wonderful family adopted Saci in late October. With the help of our vet and the total commitment of his adoptive family, Saci has become a beautiful, healthy dog.

Saci also suffered from entropian, which is an eye condition in which the eyelashes turn inward toward the eye, and are constantly irritating the eyeball. That surgery was postponed until February when Saci was in better physical condition to withstand further surgery. We are happy to report it was a complete success.

It is 'special needs' goldens who need our help the most. In fact, some rescue groups of other breeds refuse to accept a dog unless that dog is young, beautiful and healthy. We believe every golden retriever deserves to be helped, but this policy comes with a high price tag. Please help us to help any other "Saci" who needs us.