A heartbroken Judi told us “I have just said goodbye to Mai. She was the loveliest, most gentle girl with a big
heart and I shall miss her very much.  She survived 21 months after she was first diagnosed with cancer and exceeded all
expectations - she was a real fighter.

It was a long journey for both of us and I think that it made it much harder in the end to admit defeat.  If Mai's story can give
hope to others, then perhaps all is not lost. 
I miss Mai so much, she was a big part of my life, we were always together.  I was so lucky to have Mai, she had been
through such a dreadful previous life and yet was so loving and forgiving. When she smiled, the sun came out and when
she was happy, it was the biggest reward in the world. Every day was a blessing.

Mai was the sweetest natured, most faithful, loving dog, with a heart as big as a barn door who overcame so much. She made
me realise what it is to love very deeply and to be loved so much. It was a privilege to have known her. Sadly, our time
together was too short"

Jackie added “I am remembering the first day that Mai arrived at my place with Steve, after she had been chasing Belinda's cat. I
remember when Steve brought her in and she went and hid straight under my bed. I left Siani, as she was then, in the capable
paws of Bridie, who showed her the way. 

She was petrified of people and always went under my bed when someone came to visit. So when Judi came, off she went
under the bed and she never saw her. Judi hadn`t actually come to see Mai but had come to visit us as we both found that
Judi`s holiday home was only 40mins away.

The 2nd time Judi came, Mai was a little more confident and, when Judi saw her, it was love at first sight. I think it was the 3rd time
that Judi wanted to take Mai home.

 That was 5yrs ago this month.

I felt so lucky that I got to see Mai a few times after Judi adopted her. Mai certainly blossomed into a lovely sweet natured girl,
friendly with all. She couldn`t have wished for a better Mummy if she had tried. 

Judi gave her all the love and understanding that a Mum could have given and did everything in her power to help her.  I just feel
very sorry that I haven`t been there for Judi through the tough time that she has endured, but I`d like to thank Judi soo much for all
that she has done and I`m sure that Mai is thanking her too.

All my love and healing thoughts are going out to Judi, some day I hope that I get to see Judi again as she is a very nice
and caring person”.

We had all been thinking about them both as we knew that Mai's time had finally come and we knew how terribly hard it was for
Judi but it is the one final act of love that we can show them and, as always, Judi listened to Mai and, gathering every ounce
of her strength, she did what she had to do for Mai.

We are all extremely sad but we can't thank Judi enough for going that extra mile for Mai and then some. We know Mai will always
be with Judi, both in her heart and in her wonderful memories.

Don't think of her as gone away--her journey's just begun
Life holds so many facets this earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting from the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
Think how she must be wishing that we could know today
How nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of her as living in the hearts of those she touched...
For nothing loved is ever lost--and she was loved so much.

Farewell, precious girl and fly high with all the other beautiful IRR angels.    

Rest your weary golden head and drift off into dreams
Frolic in the sunshine and bathe in God's moonbeams
Use the stars as stepping stones to take you to your peace
The pain of life forgotten now you have found release.

Without rain a flower folds, the petals drop and die
There was no way to save you, with nothing left to try
So we cry all the tears for you as we must let you go
To Heaven and God's garden to blossom and to grow.

The golden seed is planted, you'll be watered every day
The angels will tend all your needs as in their arms you lay
Your life will be amazing now and full of wondrous things.
Rest in peace, our dear, sweet Mai, go fly on angels wings.




Judi says "Today is Mai's 4th anniversary with me, we have duly celebrated the occasion with cake and candles.

 I didn't take the photos of the terrible trio. The one where Mai is in the middle at the back was taken at the vet's for their
Facebook page and the other of the three dogs side by side (Mai on the left, Ruby the very grey one in the middle and
Maple the dark one on the right) was taken by one of my wonderful dog sitters.

I can't believe how quickly the time has gone and how much Mai has changed from that poor little frightened soul, who got out
of the car and cowered in a heap on the driveway, to the sociable, friendly girl she is now.  We have been through so much
together and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. She is the most loving and charming Goldie and, I think as a result of all
the recent attention, has turned into quite a character. I'm a great believer in Fate and I'm sure it is that which brought us together".

It is only due to Judi's love and dedication to Mai that she is still with her as Mai was diagnosed with terminal cancer months
ago. It was a difficult decision whether to try Chemo as nobody wants their dog to suffer but, at the same time, we also want
to give our dogs the best chance possible. It has certainly worked extremely well for Mai.       
Judi told us "Chemo for dogs is not nearly as aggressive as the human version and all I noticed with Mai was that she was a bit
more lethargic, though only for the first month, but otherwise she remained very happy".

Having said that, Judi had to stop Mai's Chemo recently because she started to suffer from cystitis, which can happen in
about 1 in 3 dogs. She was put on several drugs to solve the problem and prevent the pain and discomfort.

Judi says "Mai is on Canine Cystaid for her cystitis which is a very concentrated Glucosamine (the price is very concentrated too!)
and she is also taking Oxybutinin as an antispasmodic and Tramadol to ease the pain, all of which seems to be working - thank goodness!

Mai's bloods were all fine and she is looking good. They have prescribed another Chemo drug, the possible side effect of which
is a reduction in white blood cells, so we'll wait and see". 
Chemo is expensive, but we think it is right to give our dogs a chance of an extended life if possible especially when they have
had such a dreadful start and deserve a bit of love and cherishing? 

Judi says "I would definitely do it again (cross fingers I never have to). Our relationship has changed and has turned into
something very special. She is a lovely girl and deserves all the help I can give her. These animals have been let down by
mankind so thank heavens there are people like IRR who are trying to redress the situation".


Judi tells us "Mai is quite a changed dog now. She was so shy and nervous at first that we wondered if we would ever get her
out of her "dark corner" but a little "tough love" got her out and she is now a very sociable young lady.  She is so happy
and rolls on her back rubbing her nose with joy. She loves to walk around the house with things in her mouth and her
bed is a treasure trove of acquired articles.

Mai even plays with other dogs, approaches strangers and has recently been encouraged into the sea to swim and fetch a ball! 
Best of all, I have started taking her to training class (I thought she might like the one-to-one experience) and she loves it. 
I'm so proud of her, because she was such a sad little thing and she has really bloomed.

 In addition, she is beautifully behaved in other people's houses and is a pleasure to take anywhere. I feel so lucky to have her.

I know one of the other Welsh dogs was even more psychologically damaged than Mai and I know, for sure, she
will have fallen on her paws too.

Wishing IRR every success. You do a fantastic job so there must be lots of happy Goldens and Golden owners out
there as a result of your work."


Siani is a very nervous Golden Retriever ex-breeder who is about 6 years old. She is the most beautiful golden colour but is rather thin, currently in foster in Norfolk. Siani will be spayed approximately 3 months after her season.


Jackie writes “Siani has had her first walk on the common with Bridie on a harness and a slip lead, just to be doubly safe. Amazingly she was very good, staying close to us both. She did do a couple of pirouettes, but soon settled.

We met a muscular lab boy and Siani pulled towards him with a very waggy tail!!

My neighbour Rae offered her a biscuit but she refused, although Bridie took
it quickly enough! Siani did let Rae stroke her and Bridie was
enjoying the fuss too.

Siani was easy to control and didn’t attempt to pull. A van went past but she didn’t crouch down so I gave her a lot of praise.


Siani has now started to follow me about so is obviously becoming less
afraid, although she still cowers away sometimes but not nearly as much as
when she first arrived.”



Siani (now Mai) has now gone to live with Judi in Essex


Once in the house Ruby our other dog showed Mai round and we made a dark den with a bed and her toys in the living room. At bedtime she wouldn't be persuaded upstairs, however she surprised us later by appearing upstairs to greet my mother. We got her into the bedroom and made a second den which she was happy to inhabit.

She has been going out twice daily with increasing confidence - a forest walk early (happily meeting human and canine friends) and a pavement walk later. I've been building up walks gradually from quiet and non-threatening to more urban and busy. They both love the High Road as there are so many take-aways and everyone appears to drop their chips etc. - it was like walking a pair of Dysons!

I've given up on the "V" shaped harness temporarily (2 dogs on one lead) as it was like maypole dancing! I'm now using two separate leads in which they take great delight in tying me up!!!

Mai is now very much present in the house: she and Ruby appear inseparable as they are always around wherever the action is. I now need to start very basic training. There is only one problem, which is her barking and growling if there is any noise during the night which we are hoping to overcome soon, otherwise things appear to be going fairly well.


I recently met up with Mai and I am so happy with the progress Mai has made in just 2 months. Ruby her new canine sister has helped Mai to come out of her shell enormously alongside Judy's patience and understanding, giving Mai the space that she needed to start trusting humans.


Just as Mai's socializing programme was nicely underway she came into season so was confined here for 3 weeks. Initially I saw this as a huge setback but in reality things were very different. Mai changed daily becoming more confident, happy and relaxed. We started some training which she enjoyed although having never interacted with people, the process is quite slow: she had to learn how to learn!

By the time she was able to go out things were very different. Mai stood very enthusiastically to have her lead put on too, no doubt hoping to discover the wonders of the “outside world” with Ruby. She walks beautifully on and off lead perfectly to heal, being a pleasure to walk. It was on this first post-season walk I felt confident enough to let her off lead well into Epping Forest, finding a large open space where I, heart in mouth, let her off. After her initial joy she was very happy to come back by my side - a pattern that has repeated itself ever since.

She responds well to other dogs, especially puppies, allowing herself to be stroked and fussed. I often go up to men asking them to cuddle her (Mai is slightly nervous around men and I want her to realise they are friendly): some have even offered to give me a hug too!

We visited Norfolk and I was able to let her off lead on the beach: she was wary of the water, although she loved the sands. There is a pine forest that runs alongside with sand dunes and high sand bars. Ruby loves to hunt in the woodland there and introduced Mai to the pleasures of chasing anything that moves! When we emerged from the woods I stopped for a moment discovering to my horror that Mai had disappeared. Then, in the far distance I spotted a “yella dawg”. I waved frantically and Mai did a fair impersonation of Omar Sharif in “Lawrence of Arabia” by coming toward me at full tilt full of joy in that she had found a ball!

We went to see Jackie's family and Mai was so delighted: there was no attempt to hide there as she had always done before. We had a great walk on the beach together and it was good to hear what Jackie thought of Mai’s progress. Jackie has been fantastically supportive during the time I've had Mai, and I’m always grateful for her input, help, advice, experience and knowledge.

Mai is a really happy dog now with a very waggy tail. She is far more accurate than an alarm clock by waking me up at 7am daily putting her front paws on the bed and her nose right in my face!

Mai's progress has been remarkable bearing in mind her initial extreme nervousness. I’d like to put this down to my talents as a dog owner, but it is almost entirely due to Ruby's calming confidence, having the most incredible “joie de vivre” in teaching Mai all about how to be a happy normal dog enjoying life so very much. IRR was so right in insisting Mai be placed with another friendly confident calm dog: I am sure that without Ruby’s influence, Mai would not have progressed this far.

It’s so great that IRR have people on hand like Jackie who are so very generous with their time, advice and help towards us 'Goldie Rescue Dog' carers!


2015 Irish Retriever Rescue