2006-03-31 / News

Canine American brings joy to Life Care Center

By Tammie Maddock

GoldieGoldie Goldie inspires and loves the residents and patients at Life Care Center of Columbia. Goldie understands pain.

When this golden retriever was rescued from the animal shelter on Shop Road by Lori Smith, she was tattered and torn, but her spirit was not broken. Smith, the center's rehab services manager and devout animal lover, knew Goldie would be a perfect addition to the center's Eden Care program.

Smith took her home and immediately began to work her into the routine at Life Care Center. Within two weeks, Goldie was a well-known face among patients, staff, and visitors. She brought smiles, laughter, and lots of energy. She also fit in with the other animals in the center.

After a while, Goldie's right hind leg became an obvious source of pain, and Smith and her staff worked with veterinarians to help the canine companion who had won their hearts.

Doctors at the N.C. State Veterinary School ran tests and found out Goldie was only four years old, and that the bones in her leg were injured due to repeated beatings incurred during her first few months of life. They could repair the damage with a hip replacement.

The surgery went well, and Goldie was back at Life Care Center serving as an inspiration to patients and residents who had undergone similar hip replacement procedures. She went through physical therapy with them, and with lots of work and love, they healed together. But Goldie has developed an infection around the replaced hip and is once again unable to use her leg. Veterinarians have determined the only way to save her life is to remove her right hind leg. The surgery has been scheduled for April 7.

The residents and staff of Life Care Center are hopeful that generous Columbians whose contributions made Goldie's first surgery a reality will once again come to the aid of their beloved friend.

Anyone interested in making a donation to Goldie's surgery fund may call Lori Smith at Life Care Center of Columbia at 865-1999 or mail contributions to Goldie's Surgery Fund c/o Life Care Center of Columbia, 2514 Faraway Drive, Columbia, SC 29223.

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