NOTE: Looking for a possible adopter for Maggie with experience or the willingness to learn about her condition! Serious inquiries only please!! 
Maggie is ready for her forever home! No one on our adoption waitlist is willing or equipped to adopt this special girl. We are looking for an experienced adopter that understands her condition or is willing to learn. This condition is not curable and she will depend on her family to keep her healthy.
Let’s all help Maggie find her special forever home!
Maggie is a sweet, gentle English Cream Golden Retriever and was surrendered to GRRoW after being diagnosed with mega-esophagus (ME). She was only 2 ½ years old and was purchased by a breeder to specifically make gorgeous pups. Once Maggie was diagnosed with ME the breeder was told that it was not a good idea to breed her because it could make her ME worse. She was then surrendered to GRRoW, since she could not produce pups. She will be 3 on July 22, 2020 and has been with her current foster family since the beginning of January 2020.
Mega-esophagus (ME) is an incurable condition that keeps dogs from being able to get food to go all the way down their esophagus. ME is basically a “floppy” esophagus. The esophagus is a tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. A normal esophagus moves food to the stomach with wave-like contractions called peristalsis. An ME dog’s esophagus loses its muscle tone, becomes enlarged, and can develop pockets where food can become trapped.Since the esophagus does not function normally, food sits in the esophagus and doesn’t make its way to the stomach. With proper management, ME dogs can live long and healthy lives!
The most important management technique for ME is Vertical Feeding. Since the esophagus isn’t working correctly in an ME dog, gravity is needed to get food to the stomach. GRRoW ordered Maggie a special chair called a Bailey Chair. After each feeding, Maggie must remain upright in the chair for at least 10-30 minutes. This is important because inhalation of foreign material into the lungs can cause another, more dangerous, side effect of Mega-esophagus, Aspiration Pneumonia (AP).
Other things that are important in caring for a dog with ME are: food consistency, hydration, smaller more frequent meals, a neck hug and medications. You can find all the information regarding ME at http://caninemegaesophagusinfo.com/index.php/whatisme/
Now a little bit about Maggie! Maggie is an extremely laid back, calm girl. She loves walks and just being outside. Currently Maggie is taken for two half mile walks each day. She cannot overdo with play or exercise. She does love to sniff at every tree. In the past 6 weeks she has discovered squirrels and birds and is very interested in them. She doesn’t pull or try to chase them but intently watches them.
She has had interactions with teens and older adults but in her prior home she did well with cats and small children when she was a puppy. She loves people-both men and women and she enjoys all attention. She has not had any close contacts with other pets since being in foster care but she seems to want to play when seeing dogs on walks-tail wagging etc. She does not like dogs who are growling and barking at her. Her previous owner had several dogs and she got along well with all of them.
Maggie is eager to please and does not have any bad habits. Sweet is the word most often used to describe Maggie from everyone – the vet, neighbors, family, friends, etc. Her foster describes her as the nicest, calmest dog she has ever met.
Hopefully this doesn’t sound like a lot of work because once you get used to a schedule with her it works out very well. Her Bailey chair has made a world of difference in her health and the time it takes to care for her.
Current age: Almost 3 yrs old ● Current weight: 60 pounds
Dogs Current Status: With foster ● Location: Appleton, WI
Contact info: GRRoW Foster Coordinator (615) 477-0145 / valerie.paterson@grrow.org
Time-frame needed to find a home: She is ready for a forever home now.
Medical information (spay/neuter, chipped, other health conditions if any, etc):
Dental (done at time of spay)
Up-to-date with vaccinations and preventatives
How was ME diagnosed:
X-rays or barium swallow: Both
Meds currently taken: Sildenafil (Viagra) & Omeprazole (Prilosec OTC)
Food brands and consistency (meatballs, milkshake, pureed, etc):
Food–Maggie is only fed when she is in her Bailey chair. She eats Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Lamb and Oat Formula dry dog food. She is fed 3 cups of food per day. This three cups amount is ground up in a food processor and then moistened into a slurry. If it becomes more solid, then water can be added to moisten it more. She is fed one of three ways–A meatball sized amount of food is fed to her by hand. She is gentle and doesn’t try to bite the hand that is feeding her. I usually feed her this way. Second way is putting tablespoon sized portions slowly into her Bailey chair dish. The third way is to put her food in ice-cube trays and give her one cube-sized portion at a time. She needs to be fed meatball sized portions so she doesn’t eat too swiftly. Eating too fast will cause mega esophagus issues. Her food is fed with her medicine and Knox blocks.
Fed how many times per day in what position and time frame: Eats 2-3 times per day (3 cups total)

Uses a Bailey Chair: Stays in chair for 15 to 30 minutes after eating

Hydration method and consistency (Knox Blocks, SubQ, Thick It, etc): Knox Blocks-Because of the
mega esophagus issues Maggie cannot have water to drink. She receives her fluids one of two ways. Knox blocks or small ice chips. Both of which are given to her with her meal. Recipe for Knox blocks is 1 cup unsalted or low sodium chicken broth mixed with between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of unflavored Knox gelatin. Mix together. Add 3 cups of boiling water. Mix well. Pour into 9 x 13 cake pan. Chill until firm. Cut in 6 strips the length of pan. Cut these strips into small squares. I feed her one lengthwise strip per meal and break up the squares into smaller pieces as I feed her. During the summer she may need more ice chips to keep her hydrated.
Items that will go to the new home:
Bailey chair
Health records
Neck Hug
Exercise preferred (if any) and level (high, moderate, low): Low-Moderate
Great with kids (in prior home)
Great with cats (in prior home)
Good with other dogs (in prior home)
Leash trained
Crate trained – sleeps in it only at night always with her neck hug on.
The commands that Maggie knows are as follows: Come, sit, kennel, ,house (meaning we need to go inside), and chair (meaning she should get in her Bailey chair). We are working on “leave it”. When wanting her to kennel you have to say her name before saying kennel.
If Interested in learning more about Maggie please contact the GRRoW Foster Coordinator (Valerie Paterson) at: valerie.paterson@grrow.org or you can send a private message on FaceBook. When responding please include your telephone # so that the Foster Coordinator can reach out to you directly.
NOTE: This is a special adoption and all interested parties will start with a conversation with the Foster Coordinator.
Adoption Process
  • Be at least 23 years of age

  • No children under 6 years of age living in your home

  • We primarily adopt goldens to families living within Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and the southern most counties of Wisconsin

  • If you do not own your residence or live in a condo, you will need a letter from your landlord or property management company

  • Provide excellent vet care for your dog(s)

  • Do not use an invisible fence

  • Are not over your town/county's pet limit

  • Have the knowledge and agreement of all adults living in the household

  • Be prepared to make a lifetime commitment

  • QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR POLICIES? All your answers in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

If interested please fill out our online adoption application form; please make sure you fill in every required field/question or your submission will not go through. Please note that we take time to learn as much as we can about each dog in our care and our bios are our current observations; we are unable to make any guarantees on the future health or temperament of your adopted dog. Most dogs in our care come with unknown pre-rescue history and as such breed and age estimates are an educated guess.

Available Goldens for Adoption