We were all extremely sad to hear that adorable Bonnie had gone to Rainbow Bridge.
Considering all the original problems she had when she first came to IRR's attention, to
reach the age of 12yrs and keep in reasonably good health was not far short of a
miracle and a tribute to the care and devotion she received for the six years that
she remained in forever foster. She enjoyed a very happy life and she was adored
by Simon and family.

He told us " I had visited the vets the previous day as Bonnie had been very wobbly
on her back legs and he diagnosed that she had had a stroke. I considered his advice
and decided to try and see if an underlying cause could be identified so bloods were taken. Unfortunately, whilst waiting for the results, she severely declined and became
immobile, incontinent and was unable to hold her head up straight. This left us with
no alternative and I had to make that really tough decision.

Our beautiful Bonnie passed away peacefully on the 4th October at 4pm. She has
left a big hole in our lives and both myself and my son Tom will miss her very much".



In 2010 Bonnie was a beautiful 6 year old Golden Retriever who had come from a loving family environment but who, sadly, needed to be rehomed because of a change in family circumstances.

As part of our normal practice, Bonnie was spayed in Ireland and, during the operation, a large mammary tumour was discovered internally. It was decided that the only course of action was to remove it. Due to the ill health of our founder, it was impossible for her to be nursed back to health in Ireland so she had to be carefully transported to England and to the home of Simon and Julie where we knew she would be extremely well looked after.


Simon says " Bonnie arrived with us on 25th March in a very sorry state and her health rapidly deteriorated from there. Since her arrival we’ve made numerous visits to Richard Smith our local vet (who has been fantastic and deserves a mention) and there have been a couple of occasions where her life has hung in the balance. However, I’m pleased to say, that with lots of TLC, and in the early days this was round the clock, she is making a good recovery.

The ultimate cause of Bonnie’s poor recovery was an under active Thyroid which meant she was unable to fight the infection she picked up. As a result she will require medication (Thyroxin) for the rest of her life and this will need to be monitored with six monthly blood tests.

An additional complication, and probably the most worrying, to a full recovery is the chest X-rays that were taken whilst she was poorly and which showed several white dots on her lungs. The vet suspects, although he can’t be sure, that the mammary tumour was malignant and has spread around her body and these white dots are cancerous tumours on her lungs. Unfortunately, this cannot be treated and all we really can do is monitor the situation. Another X-ray would hopefully indicate if the cancer is spreading or whether it was part of the severe infection she had.

After all the bad news, there is, however, much good news.

Bonnie is a very easy going girl and has adapted to our hectic family life (2 adults, 3 children and 2 dogs) very well. Initially she would cry and even howl on occasion when we left her on her own but, as her confidence has grown, this behaviour has almost completely gone. Very occasionally she would whimper if either Julie or I leave the house to run an errand but, with a bit of fuss, it soon stopped. We have now left her on her own a few times and she appears to be quite settled and when we return there's been no destruction of the house and more often than not she’s asleep on the sofa. Whilst on the subject of sleeping, she is quite happy to settle on her bed in our sitting room to sleep at night. The sitting room is also her favourite place to chill out during the day and quite often we’ll find her on her duvet with all the toys she’s collected throughout the day spread around her.

Walking Bonnie is an absolute joy; she plods along quite happily on the lead and is superb off it. Bonnie is one of the very few foster dogs I’ve trusted off the lead and she has yet to let me down. She always stays within 15 yards of me and is very rarely distracted. Her recall is second to none and when crossing the road she will stay and if you place a hand on her back then she will lie down. She has been friendly towards every other dog she’s met on our walks and is always keen to meet and greet new dogs. She doesn’t seem to be interested in the local wildlife which ranges from squirrels to Canadian Geese. Her only failing when out and about is she is partial to lying in muddy puddles particularly if it’s a warm day (typical Golden Retriever).

We have noticed, when walking her, that she seems to be stiff in her hind legs and has an unusual gait but it doesn't seem to be anything serious and may just be an old injury.Around the house she is superb and is fully house trained. She is quite capable of getting up stairs but, unlike most dogs, she bunny hops up them, again this is probably due the stiffness in her hind quarters.

She has also discovered the comfort of the sofa and is quite keen to steal Freddie’s (ex-IRR rescue dog) prime spot, which he gracefully gives up. She absolutely adores soft cuddly toys which she’ll carry about in her mouth and once she’s bored with them they’ll end up in her bed. She’s also very good at getting affection by pushing our other dogs out of the way and, if that doesn’t work, then she will paw at our legs and stare at us forlornly which never fails!!!! Whilst she was recovering, her appetite was very poor but, now she is better, her appetite is normal for a GR....... ie a mobile dustbin.

She has been fantastic around our three children and I’m especially pleased with how gentle she is around our 3 year old son Thomas. Even when she was in obvious pain, recovering from her operations, she never once growled, barked or snarled at Thomas even when, on one occasion, he inadvertently climbed over her belly, much to our horror. Therefore, I have no concerns about her being around young children.

Bonnie is also the first dog I’ve pub tested and she passed with flying colours. I had her on the lead and she happily settled by me and accepted fuss as it was handed out as people passed.

Out of the 20 or so dogs we have fostered, Bonnie is in my top five favourite dogs and I would love to be in a position to keep her myself.  Although she has potential health problems that could lead to big bills in the future, her personality and temperament more than make up for this. She is all you would want from a dog , faithful, affectionate, friendly and a cuddle monster"


Bonnie's blood test results came back as normal, her thyroid levels are perfect and she is no longer anaemic so she now has a six month supply of thyroxin tablets. The vet also performed more chest X-rays on her, the results of which still show several worrying dots on her lungs which may be cancerous tumours but again they could be fibrosis. It's difficult for the vet to give an accurate diagnosis but, most importantly, they are not spreading. The X-ray also showed that she has got an enlarged heart but the vets says that this is nothing to really worry about.


Nobody is surprised but everyone is delighted to know that Bonnie is going to be staying with Simon and Julie and family as a forever foster dog. Because of her ongoing health problems, Simon will be setting up a  "Bonnie account" and we will be doing special fundraising events to raise extra money for her life-long care.


Simon says "I can’t quite believe it.... Bonnie has been with us for 3 months. The transformation from the sick girl that arrived at 5am on a cold March morning is miraculous to put it mildly. She has now fully recovered from her ordeal and to look at her you wouldn’t realise that she has cancer. Her coat is taking a long time to grow back where she was shaved for her operations but it is definitely slowly growing back. Also, she no longer has the bald patch on her spine, this being an indicator of an under-active thyroid which was picked up whilst she was being treated by the vet, so that is good news.

Bonnie is an absolute joy to look after and has such an enthusiasm for life; it can’t help but make you smile. As an example, when we go out for a walk whilst she’s on the lead she’ll quietly and gently walk by my side but as soon as I take the lead off she’ll race off like a greyhound out of the trap. 10 yards later she’ll come to a dead stop turn around and give me a cheeky look as if to say “I’m still as quick as these youngsters and don’t you forget it!!” After which, she’ll then mooch about just like any other dog.

Her appetite has improved dramatically and the days of me posting food through the gap in her teeth in order to get some food into her have long since gone. She is now a typical Golden Retriever dustbin and will try any food item once, that includes strawberries, lettuce, cucumber, apples and any other item that my three year old son Thomas decides he’s going to drop.

She gets on famously with our other dogs and tends to adopt the role of mother so when Freddie is playing with our current foster dog, Pippa, she’ll start telling them off by barking at them until they stop. She also tells me off when I’m preparing their food so I’ll get a couple of barks if she thinks I’m dawdling and again she’ll bark at me if she feels left out when I’m fussing the other dogs.

I've finally got a bank account set-up for Bonnie in the name Bonnie's Trust so, if anyone would like to do some fundraising to help IRR to take care of our wonderful forever foster girl, please contact me (Simon) at Simon_j2_moore@yahoo.co.uk

I’m looking forward to taking her to “The Rally in The Valley” event at Bridgnorth which is on the 17 th and 18th of July and where IRR will have a fund raising stall. I’ll be talking about the good work that IRR do and introducing people to Bonnie. It will be interesting to see how Bonnie reacts although, after being thoroughly pub tested, I think she’ll take it all in her stride. Unfortunately, we’ll only be there on the 17th due to other commitments on the 18th but it would great to see you there.

BONNIE UPDATE - 1st August 2010

Simon said. "I’m pleased to say that Bonnie remains in good health and so far we’ve seen no worrying symptoms of her cancer advancing. Also, she is responding well to the thyroid treatment and her bald spot has finally been replaced by fur.... Yippee!!! However, she has recently needed to see the vet regarding an ear and a bladder infection both of which have now cleared after treatment.

She’s proving to be a loveable dog and has made friends with everyone she’s met. A recent example was when we attended the IRR fund raising event at The Rally in the Valley where in my biased opinion she was the star of the day. She was happy to meet and greet everyone who came to the stall and accept fuss from young and old alike. I also took her lead off and allowed her to roam freely around the show. I’m pleased to report that she never strayed far from my side. In fact, she ended up being a fantastic ambassador for IRR because she spent most of the day lying in front of the IRR banner. I just wish the batteries on my camera hadn’t conked out as I would have had some superb photos of her.

We recently had a friend to stay and his 7 year old daughter Zoe fell in love with Bonnie, over the course of the weekend they were inseparable. We had a couple of tears from Zoe when the time came for her to go home but these soon dried once she realised that she wasn’t being re-homed. I quickly changed the subject when she asked why!!!

Bonnie is a clever girl and she has got my habits sussed so she knows exactly when it’s time for meals, walk and bed. If i’m late with either her meals or walks she starts to dropping hints by nudging me and following me about the house. As for medicine time she must have very acute hearing because as soon as I open the fridge and take the ham out she’s there sitting expectantly. She can even be sound asleep on the sofa but as soon as the fridge door starts to move she’s off the sofa like a greyhound out the traps......truly amazing.


All in all Bonnie is proving to be a superb dog and we have no regrets in being her forever foster family. The love and care we’ve put in has been returned by Bonnie with a 1000% interest and this is what makes being IRR fosterer such a joy."


Here is Bonnie proudly wearing her Pudsey Memorial Award Rosette that she won at the IRR Reunion on 18 Sept 2010. What a clever girl.



2016 Irish Retriever Rescue