How Margarita Became a Part of Our Family

The rescue we volunteer for, GSP Rescue of NJ, covers all of New Jersey, parts of New York, and assist other recognized out-of-state GSP rescues in urgent situations. In addition to re-homing GSPs, they also work with owners to help them with any issues they may have with them.  In emergency situations, the rescue will also reach out to help English Pointers.

When an English Pointer rescue could not take a female English Pointer known as “Penelope,” she was on her way to being taken to a shelter when GSP Rescue of NJ offered to help.  Although the GSP Rescue of NJ was willing to help this poor girl who was found as a stray, our foster homes were full, and there was no one available to foster her.  Although we do not usually foster, we decided that we just couldn’t let this skinny pretty girl end up in a kill-shelter. On March 3, 2016, we committed to fostering Penelope so that she could begin her road to recovery.

She was transported to the rescue’s vet, and was examined.  Penelope was completely emaciated, appeared to have had many litters, had a tumor on her neck, tested positive for Anaplasmosis (a tick-borne disease) and severely damaged and rotted teeth.  She also had a cut on her tail and her belly.  While at the vet, she was supposed to have teeth extractions, a lumpectomy, and also be spayed.  The dental work took so long, that not all needed teeth could be pulled, and the lumpectomy and spay could not be performed due to the length of time she was under anesthesia.  She had a total of 6 teeth pulled during her first surgery.  The vet set her up with a future appointment for continuation of dental, her spay, and removal and biopsy of the lump on her neck.

On March 4, 2016, another GSP Rescue of NJ volunteer, Mandy, was nice enough to pick Penelope up from the vet and meet me half way to cut down on my 2 hour drive-time.

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Penelope was a great passenger, and rested calmly for her ride to our home.

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Once home, we introduced her to each of our fur-kids individually on lead by meeting out on the street and taking a short walk together.  After the initial greetings were over, we gave her some time to explore the yard on her own before we settled her down in a crate.

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File Apr 21, 9 12 22 PMIn just the first night and day that we spent with Penelope, we got her to sit for a treat, and sit-stay for a picture.  She did not appear to know basic commands, but was very food-driven and eager to please.  She did wonderfully in her crate, ate well, and slept soundly.

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We introduced her to our cat, Loki, and she seemed to be just fine with him.

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We also introduced her to fellow rescue friends Jen and Grace’s male English Pointer (Penelope LOVED him!) as well as our friends’ two GSP puppies.  She did amazing with all the dogs, and had a very fun-filled, exhausting day!



Penny had her second surgery scheduled for her lumpectomy, more teeth to be pulled, and her spay a few weeks later on March 29, 2016.  We fell more in love with her as each day passed! Just a few days before her spay, she went into heat, so the vet opted to put off her spay once again. Her lumpectomy and dental surgeries went well.

File Apr 21, 8 41 23 PMHer lumpectomy went well, and the biopsy came back that the lump was benign!

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Thirteen days later, when we got home from Penny’s suture removal, Brian asked me if I wanted  a glass of wine to celebrate.  I asked, “Celebrate what?”  Brian said, “Our newest family member!” After tears of joy, hugs, and celebration, we renamed her Señorita Margarita (Rita for short)!

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Rita’s third surgery was for her spay.  The good news is that her spay procedure went well. At the time of her spay, we opted to have an additional procedure called Gastropexy in order to avoid bloat (a common cause of death in pointers) in the future.

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Thank goodness we opted for that extra procedure, because it was during that part of the surgery that our vet discovered that Rita had lesions on her spleen as well as a separated spleen – commonly seen in a dog that has suffered blunt-force trauma from being kicked. Although this was heartbreaking news to hear, it was during this discovery that our vet also noticed a mass on her spleen. Had we not opted for this additional procedure, the mass as well as a part of her past would have gone undetected. An aspiration of the mass did not give enough information to determine a diagnosis, so Rita will have an ultrasound done in May to explore the mass and other organs to determine our course of action. She is recovering nicely from her spay and is being extra-spoiled. However, we ask that you please still keep her in your thoughts, as we do not yet know the complete outcome of the mass on her spleen. Thanks to all of you for your support and kindness through our fostering as well as our foster-failure of this angel!!