LUCY (was Laika)


It is with a heavy heart that Carol and Colin told us of the passing of their beloved
 Lucy on 3.5.2016. Towards the end, she developed quite a few problems but she
was 15yrs and a real testament to the love and devotion of her amazing adopters.
Carol said "the seven years we had her went very quickly". We can only send
our love to them both and our heartfelt thanks for giving this very special girl a long
and happy, totally wonderful life.

In 2009, Laika (now Lucy) was a beautiful young looking 8-year-old Golden Retriever.
Due to a change in family circumstances, brought about by illness and time
constraints, her owner found it impossible to properly exercise and care for her and
give her the love and attention that she needed. She was therefore handed into the
care of IRR and was fostered by Maria and her family in Cheshire.

It was quickly discovered that Lucy had severe hip problems and had probably been in
pain for, at least, a year. For IRR to be able to help her, a lot of fundraising was
undertaken but, as has always been the case throughout the years, the wonderful
IRR supporters made sure that Lucy could have the operation she so desperately
needed.  She also found a fabulous home with Carol and Colin in Salisbury and they
nursed her through her weeks of post op rehabilitation.
They went that extra mile and more for her.


Lucy has now gone to her forever foster home but desperately needs a hip operation to get her out of the pain that she has probably been in for at least a year.

To help her we need to raise at least £3,000 for her operation and aftercare so any amount of money raised, however small, will make all the difference.

Would you prepared to host a coffee morning or cheese and wine party or do something similar on her behalf? You can have fun and help this absolutely adorable girl at the same time.
If you would like to help, please could you email Pauline at

A big thank you in advance from Lucy to all of you who rally round and take part in the fundraising efforts we are suggesting on her behalf. There is no way we could allow her to follow in the very sad footsteps of her namesake (Laika, the very tragic, first dog in space).


Laika was a very well behaved lady last night, she watched me walk upstairs with a very waggy tail. I heard two little whimpers and then nothing until Jasper decided at 3 in the morning to go downstairs and bark so I let all 3 out for a wee and then they all went back to sleep again.

This morning we were greeted with the waggiest tail and she rolled over to have her tummy tickled, she had breakfast, and went outside to explore the out of bounds to dogs garden. We felt she would be ok and she was.

She is 35kgs so quite heavy for her frame but I am sure she will start to lose it as I have cut her food portions significantly and there won't be any treats other than occasional liver ones that I make.

This lady is grateful for anything she is so easy to please and where the grumpiness seems to have gone I really don't know - she is so happy. I can't see a problem with cats as she is quite happy just to sit, lie and snooze in the evening and I doubt at the moment anyway she is fast enough to catch one.

Laika loves children, well my 4 year old grandson Ethan. Well, Laika cried and sat down with a sad face and Ethan went over to her and without me knowing stroked her through the gate, so we opened it and let her out and she totally adored him and vice versa.

UPDATE 7/4/09

It was great fun on Sunday, Jasper and Henry share a birthday and it was a day of toys and treats. Here I am with my toy which is in one million pieces now (Jasper to blame) then I got so tired and had to have a sleep.

Here I am with Jasper, foster mum says we look like book ends! Anyway, I don't mind what I look like, I felt lovely as just had a massage and then a comfy warm bottle on me - bliss!


I am very happy in my new home, as you can see from the photos!
I love playing ball, love my walks, love my meal times and LOVE MY DAD! I am a lot happier around my 2nd mum now and she can stroke me and give me cuddles. I am not at all bothered about my little brothers & sisters & they have accepted me really well. There are some other furry things called cats so they say but I don't bat an eyelid at those, mummy & daddy say I am SO good.

I am still a little unsure about my big sister Caron, sometimes I let her stroke me, sometimes I growl and give her the 'look'. She spent a lot of time with me today stroking me so I thought I would be nice at the end and gave her my paw!

I met a lovely elderly lady yesterday and she thought I was gorg! Then a little boy came along & started stroking me whilst I was out with my Dad. I am so very happy here.

Lots of love Lucy

(Daddy kept calling me Lucy by accident because I reminded him of a Goldie they lost so they changed my name! I respond to it well)

Click here to see Lucy's montage


Lucy went to see Nick Thompson (Holistic Vet) in Bath but, sadly, he confirmed that an op was the only way forward in her case. However, he is going to provide all her homeopathic / herbal back-up whilst Lynne Jones will provide her Flower Essences.

Both Nick and Lucy's vets in Salisbury, Fiona & Howard recommended Ian McQueen as the best person to help Lucy, as he is one of the top orthopaedic surgeons in the country. Fortunately for us, he is in Devizes, Wiltshire.


Lucy has now seen Ian Mcqueen and he is very hopeful of a successful outcome for her.

Her operation will be in 3 to 4 weeks time but, in the meantime, he wants her to build up her fitness and muscle tone by going swimming, which is absolutely no problem for his carers, who had already offered to take her regularly anyway. They have already bought her a giant crate to restrict her movement post-op and they have started getting her used to it so she will be happy to be in there. Lucy needs to be very restricted on movement for about 8 weeks to ensure a successful outcome. The wait for her op gives her plenty of time to get well used to her new big crate for her convalescence. He was quite happy with her weight as she has lost a few kilos now thanks to Maria and now Colin & Carol.

Ian McQueen is doing a complete replacement of the bad hip but he did say the other one isn't great and, worst case scenario, may need attention at some time in the future. However, he hopes, post op, once she is regularly and properly exercised, this will not be necessary. He checked out all her other joints and they seem OK. Her back has been taking a bit too much strain, so isn't perfect, but that should, at least, not get any worse once she has had her operation and could even improve.
He wasn't happy with the amount she is limping and is giving her drugs to help with this so she will be having homeopathic help to weather the potential side effects of this as well as for her post op care.

We are being given a huge charity discount so the operation will cost between £3,000 and £3,500 instead of in excess of £4,000. Today's bill for consultation and X-rays was a very reasonable £225 as there were lots of crucial measurements involved. We are very grateful for the kindness being shown to Lucy and us.

Needless to say, as with everyone who meets her, Ian McQueen thinks Lucy is absolutely delightful.


Many, many thanks to the following people who have already helped or have pledged help to our lovely Lucy:-

BAILEY (in loving memory of his very special owners GEOFF & JEAN HUNT who passed away within 4 days of one another. "Until we meet again")

Gramma's have pledged to donate £1.00 towards Lucy's operation
for every Joining Hands in Health Bracelet sold.

CHRISTINE HEATH in memory of her beloved EMMA

COST OF OPERATION - £3,752.66p.

TOTAL SPENT AS AT 3.9.09 - £5,179

TOTAL COLLECTED AS AT 14.06.09 - £4,960


It's Lucy here. I just wanted to say a huge thankyou & send big kisses to you all

I am amazed at how people are very kindly doing all sorts of things to help me........making and selling things like lovely cards, doing car boots sales, doing sponsored slims and holding parties and my doggy friends are doing sponsored down stays and sending savings from their money boxes to help me.

Uncle Ian was lovely and I am not bothered about having an operation as it would be great not to be in pain any more. My Mummy & Daddy's vets, Fiona & Howard are really nice too and, of course, think I am adorable...............well who wouldn't?

I am also under the care of my lovely Uncle Nick (for complementary treatments) and Aunty Lynne (who does my flower essences). Uncle Nick is really brilliant and only charged IRR half price for my consultation with him, bless him. They both think I am rather gorgeous too.

Mummy and Daddy are absolutely brilliant and really lovely to me as are all my little brothers and sisters (canine and feline). Daddy and Mummy have bought me a huge crate as a special den so I can be in the lounge with them after my op as I mustn't be able to jump up, which, I'm afraid, I enjoy doing. I won't be allowed to sleep on the couch, which I also love to do, either cos of my naughty hip. Mummy & Daddy are going to take turns to sleep downstairs with me so I don't feel lonely
or scared & my little doggy friends are going to keep me company too so I will be absolutely fine.

I don't think I will get bored as I have plenty of company, with Mummy & Daddy at home all day and when I left Aunty Maria's, they gave me some lovely vet bed with paws on it to lie on and a really pretty purple kong which I have filled with frozen yoghurt to keep me quietly occupied.............. so how good is that?

Aunty Pauline and Aunty Di will keep you posted on my progress.

Huge hugs to everyone
luv Lucy xxx


Hi all
Just wanted to let you know how my first day at hydro went!...

Well don't mean to be big headed but... like a duck to water!!!

I loved every minute of it. Mummy & Daddy were a bit worried I may not like it but I proved them wrong.

I happily let Daddy put the life jacket on me and I walked up the ramp nice and slow. First of all Jayne (that's the hydro lady) put me on a harness in the pool so she could control me in case I tried to jump out or in case I stayed in the middle meaning they would have to get wet to get me out!

I was on the harness for a little while then they got me out for a rest then Jayne said I could go back in without a harness as I was SSSSSSSSOOOOOOOO good. Daddy walked me up the ramp and I knew straight away that I had to walk down the ramp into the water. Daddy was walking around the pool (it's a big pool) and I was swimming around the edge, Jayne says I'm a natural, well I know this! I had a shower after and a good power dry.

The best bit ever though is I was using my bad leg the same as my other legs, I didn't leave it dangling (like some lame dogs do) - I used ALL four legs & swam very well. - this is the link to the hydrotherapy pool if you wanted to take a look. I really enjoyed it today and already have another three sessions booked up.

See my montage and the video clip below for some shots of me in action.

Lots of love


Lucy went into the vets on 2.6.09 to be bathed and prepared for her operation. As you can see, it looks like the vet got a bit 'carried away' whilst shaving her hair off; poor girl looks like a large lowchen! (the lion dog) but, of course, this was to minimise infection. She then had to stay in overnight and had her operation on 3.6.09.

She came through her operation well and had to stay in overnight again but she wasn't a happy bunny and shouted for her dad. Needless to say, she was delighted to be reunited with her dad and mum the next morning and it was difficult to stop her from jumping all over them.....not the best thing after a hip operation!!!

She went to see her own vet on 1.6.09 and he was very pleased with her progress. The wound itself looks good with no problems and she is already weight bearing on all four legs. We had been a bit concerned that her knee was facing outwards but this is, apparently, normal in the early recovery of a hip op and, with each day that passes, this appears to be correcting itself.

Our biggest concern has been that Lucy is getting frustrated & every time her lead is put on for her to go into the garden she thinks its time for proper walkies and, of course, she gets disappointed. She has her Kong and other toys to keep her happy but she really missed her proper walks and her swimming.

She is also quite grumpy at the moment but she is still uncomfortable and in some pain which is to be expected after such a major operation. Fortunately, her little brothers and sisters are not bouncy dogs and they don't bother her at all but she is a bit growly towards them at the moment and she hates it when her mum and dad leave the room. They are ignoring her barks, cries and growls and are giving her praise when she is quiet but it is taking a little while for her to accept that she is in the pen for her own good. They have let her out a few times to just chill in the lounge when they are there but she does seem to be finding it hard to relax.

She now has some new painkillers as well as antibiotics from her own vet. We are hoping, once the painkillers kick in properly, that she will be more relaxed. She also has more herbal remedies from her Homeopathic Vet to help her.


A very kind benefactor has paid £3,000 towards Lucy's op which has left us only the balance of £752.66p to find for the operation plus the previous shortfall of approximately £76 and her current vets' bills.

We are waiting to hear what has been collected from the sponsored down stay done by several IRR dogs and their other doggy friends who are all members of Shelley's Four Paws One Direction class and we also have monies raised by Ron for his sponsored archery marathon to come too.

Lucy will, of course, eventually need hydrotherapy and medication will be ongoing for a while but things are starting to look very good for Lucy now.


Hi everybody

I just wanted to thank you all for being so kind and sending money to help me with my operation and recuperation.

I am doing really well and the vet says my side is healing nicely now despite my trying to wash it myself given half a chance. It has been very sore but is heaps better now but don't tell dad or I might not get as much sympathy

I still get a wee bit grumpy with my brothers and sisters sometimes as I am longing to go out for lovely walks but my dad is doing everything to stop me getting bored and I am trying very hard to be good. Daddy has a clicker and he is going to teach me little tricks. I also have a spinner thingy that Aunty Pauline's Danny bought me (from his down stay sponsor money) which is great fun. He also bought me some bones which can be stuffed with exciting yummy foods to keep me busy and also a nice soft comfy collar which is heaps better than that nasty big plastic thing which banged and clattered and frightened me and all the other dogs too.

One of my special human friends has told me about when her doggy was poorly like me and she had big pants made out of a pair of old long johns to stop her licking her wounds which sound like fun so I might ask mummy to make some for me too. She had a white pair and a pink pair and her mummy tied them around her tummy with some loose elastic. Her mummy thinks she actually liked wearing them and never minded when she needed to change them. She also used to listen to lovely relaxing classical music to make her feel better. I think, just like me, she was a very lucky dog to have such a wonderful, caring mummy. Emma sounds lovely and, apparently, looked a lot like me but, sadly, she has now gone to be an angel at the place called Rainbow Bridge.

Mummy and daddy have been everso kind and were sleeping downstairs with me to begin with but I am being a big, brave girl now and, once I have gone to sleep, they creep quietly upstairs. They think I don't know they have gone but I do, of course, but I am pretty chilled and really don't mind.

I can't wait to be able to go swimming again. It will be great to be able to splish splosh in the water and have great fun with my daddy again but I know I have to be patient for a few more weeks yet:((((

Anyway better go as I can hear a human coming and I need to wipe my pawprints off the keyboard.

I won't be able to speak to you now for another couple of weeks so, hopefully, I will be heaps and heaps better by then.

luv & kisses, woofs and licks & huge hugs
Lucy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Hi everyone, it's Lucy here

First a very big thankyou to everyone who has been supporting me. Daddy tells me we have a few pennies in hand now which is great but please don't stop thinking of clever ways to raise money for me as IRR have some vet visits to pay for aswell as swimming which I will be able to start again really soon. How good is that? ..................whooooppeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

I have just been back to see my local vet and he is very pleased with me so I can now go for short walks good is that? On 29 July, I will be going back to see Uncle Ian and we are all pretty sure he will be delighted with my progress and will say I can start my swimming again. I just can't wait now!!!!

I would like to say a special very big thankyou to my wonderful mummy and daddy for looking after me so well and making my confinement as happy as they possibly could. I would like to give them a very big hug too as they are feeling very sad at the moment because our very lovely Lady has gone to Rainbow Bridge.

I will ask Aunty Caron to take some new pics of me very soon

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me for 29th

Much love

Lucy xxxxxxx


Lucy went back to see her surgeon, Ian McQueen, on 29.7.09 and he was absolutely delighted with her progress. He has advised against swimming, much as she loves it, as she could slip on the wet floor and undo all the good work but she can now gradually increase her walks and, much to her delight, she is now allowed back on her favourite place.................the sofa between her mum and dad. 

Many thanks to Colin and Carol for their total devotion to her. We know the first few weeks were hell trying to keep her quiet but, thanks to you and all your hard work, Lucy is set to make an amazing recovery. Thanks again to all the kind people whose donations made this all happen for her.


 Lucy’s mum and dad very kindly invited Auntie Pauline and Aunty Diane to visit them to see how Lucy was getting on. We couldn’t believe how well she was doing - you wouldn’t think she has had a major op. We both brought stuffed toys for her and she was running around squeaking away, rolling on her back and just looking adorable. Apart from a very slight limp she appears to be fighting fit happily jumping on the sofa for a photo session with Mum and Dad then offering her tummy for a tickle.

Lucy is obviously very happy and content which has been so instrumental in her speedy recovery. Dad confirmed he was now taking her out for two short walks a day which she is managing fine. In fact she gets so excited when she goes out he is thinking of getting a Gentle Leader head collar as she can now pull him along. You would not believe she is 8 - she has a face of a 2 year old and despite being on restrictive exercise she has managed to achieve her ideal weight of 28kgs!

Sadly all too soon it was time to leave but as we were giving Lucy goodbye kisses and cuddles she whispered she hoped to see us and all her IRR supporters at the reunion next month.



Dear friends... Here I am enjoying my new life with my lovely Mummy & Daddy. My operation scar has healed very well, you can hardly tell I ever had an operation! I go out for several walks a day now with Daddy & I am getting better on the lead. I continue to build up the muscle in right leg & will be starting hydrotherapy again soon.

I'm not as 'bouncy' as I was when I first came here, Mummy & Daddy teaching me to calm down!!

I still get very upset when Daddy is not around (if he is in another room!) I can hear him though & wait for him to return! Mummy tries to distract me but I'm not interested - I'm Daddies girl!

I'm very happy here & would like to thank EVERYBODY who helped pay for my operation & treatment. My new family & I are very grateful to you all.

I look forward to many happy years with my new family & friends.

Thanks again to all my friends & supporters.

Lots of love

Lucy boo!



Hi everybody

Lucy-boo here! I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
All going well at my new home, I have recovered very well from my operation thanks to the love and commitment of my new mom & dad. I would just like to thank all the people who donated money for my operation, I owe you all a BIG hug. I am doing very well and am very happy.

Here are a few pics to update you. I managed to leave my daddies side (for a second) to have a photo with my mom for a change! I love my walks and Daddy takes me out 4 times a day, I am continuing with hydrotherapy because I love it so much.


MARCH 2010 UPDATE FROM LUCY BOO (assisted by Caron) 

Hello. Guess who?! Lucy Boo here, just thought I would send you an email to let you know how I am doing, clever aren't I!

 All is well, I'm very happy, I love my walks, like my naps! I still get a little 'loud' when out on walks if we see another dog, it depends if I like the look of the dog or not!  

Daddy takes me to shop every day to get his paper so I am very good with traffic now & it doesn't really bother me unless it's a really loud lorry!   I became a bit obsessed with tennis balls so now I am only allowed to play with them at controlled times which is ok I suppose!

I love my hydrotherapy & last week I swam with my Auntie Caron's Lab Tia.  I wasn't 100% happy that Tia was in the pool with me but I reckon, if we continue with it, I may get used to it. Tia is a softy & she knows I don't really like her so she keeps her distance from me in the pool (very big pool).  

I am getting better indoors when I can see people outside. I do still bark but not as much as I used to, cant see what the problem is anyway, I am only telling Daddy there's somebody out there!! 

See you all at the Reunion! 

Take care, much love 

Lucy boo  xx 


Just thought I would get my big (human) sis Caron to send you some recent photos. I'm doing really well & I'm very happy! As you can see, I still totally adore my daddy:)

All the best

love Lucy - boo   xxxxxxxxxxx


As you will see, Lucy looks great, gorgeous as ever, nice & slim, fit & healthy & still Daddy's little girl

�2009 Irish Retriever Rescue UK