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July 11, 2017

When Dr. Gayln Snair first read about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, she had no idea that a special golden retriever was about to enter her life and bring her into the study as both study veterinarian and participant owner.

Molly was born on July 14, 2011. Her early life was anything but easy. Molly was brought to Dr. Snair barely alive by a man who was left in charge of Molly’s pregnant mother by her owners who were out of the country. He didn’t have the resources to care for the mother or her puppies, allowing Dr. Snair to provide minimal care in spite of her suspicion that the puppies had parvovirus infection and her recommendation for more aggressive care. Three days after Dr. Snair first saw the sick puppies, the man called Dr. Snair to ask her how long it would take for the puppies to die, and would they suffer if he put them into a sack in an irrigation ditch.

Dr. Snair jumped into action, taking the puppies and their mother into her clinic. With the help of her dedicated staff members (who volunteered their time) and donations from Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon, the team worked tirelessly to save the puppies. Their hearts broke when they lost four puppies in 36 hours. However, one tenacious female puppy clung to life, in spite of significant complications from parvovirus infection. The pup required several plasma transfusions; her intravenous catheters failed on a daily basis, and her skin sloughed off on one side secondary to protein loss. Dr. Snair made the heart-breaking decision to euthanize the puppy and end her suffering.

“I lifted her up to look her in the face, and her little tail started wagging,” said Dr. Snair. Resolved to press on, Dr. Snair told her technicians, “Okay… put another IV catheter in her, pull a blood sample, and let’s get her started on another plasma transfusion.” The technicians nicknamed the pup, “Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

When Gold Bond Rescue came to pick up the mom and puppies to foster, Molly still required care, including further surgery to repair the defect in her skin. Urged on by her staff, Dr. Snair adopted Molly as her own.
Molly joined a large and active family. Dr. Snair and her husband have four children and two grandchildren, and over the years golden retrievers, bulldogs, horses and a cat – many of them rescues. Molly loves to play, especially with balls and sticks– she is a golden after all! She loves to be with the kids, at the clinic, running their 10 acres, or simply lying in a lap or at someone’s feet. “She is such a loving girl and loves life!!” said Dr. Snair.

We are honored to have Dr. Snair and Molly as participants in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. It is through the dedication and hearts of the dogs, owners and veterinarians that this study is made possible.