The story of Rosie the Golden Retriever & how a single moment not only changed everything – it saved her life...

After seven long years, Rosie's entire existence had been dedicated to creating life rather than truly living it. She & her sibling, Maximus, had been raised as breeding dogs, & it was the only life they'd ever known.

As she faced the beginning of her twilight years, Rosie longed for a taste of freedom. A haven where she could rest & relax beside a family who adored her – not the endless litters of puppies she could create.

Instead, when her retirement finally came, Rosie found herself cast aside along with her brother & sent to the local pound.

It was here that SCAR met Rosie for the first time.

The pound had reached out to our team, hoping to transfer the siblings into our care so that we could find them loving homes. We were happy to help & arranged to collect them as soon as possible.

The day we were due to collect the pair, they were scheduled for surgery at the pound in the morning to be desexed. When the afternoon rolled around, & we were on our way, Rosie & Maximus appeared to be recovering smoothly...

We were shocked by how friendly Rosie & Maximus were as they wandered happily out to greet us for the first time! Rosie's big, gentle eyes took in everything as she blessed us with a radiant smile that lit up her entire face. Meanwhile, Maximus huffed & puffed with excitement, his tail one endless wag after another.

Seemingly undaunted by all they had endured, these two goldens were the friendliest pair of sweethearts we had ever met, & they maintained that outgoing, excited energy all the way back to SCAR.

To help with their post-surgery recovery back at SCAR, Animal Attendant Sarah settled Rose & Maximus into separate enclosures full of comfy beds & blankets. Sarah closely watched Rosie & Maximus as they rested throughout the day; however, during her afternoon check-in on Rosie, Sarah noticed a subtle shift in the golden girl's demeanour.


To anyone else, Rosie may have appeared as though she was acclimating to her new surroundings in the shelter.

Tucked into a tiny ball, staring blankly at the floor, Rosie seemed shut down & shy. However, Sarah had witnessed Rosie's bubbly confidence throughout the afternoon & felt this sudden change had to be caused by something else entirely.

Maximus stood by his door as if to confirm her suspicions, tail still wagging as he beamed happily in Sarah's direction. But a blank stillness now obscured the sunny smile that had illuminated Rosie's face earlier.

Slowly & quietly approaching Rosie, Sarah found a few drops of blood in her enclosure. Concerned that she might have disrupted her surgical site when moving, Sarah meticulously examined the area. However, she could see no signs of trauma, either at the surgery site or anywhere else on Rosie's body.

The desexing procedure can be particularly intense for female dogs, which may have been why Rosie was subdued. Regardless, Sarah couldn't dismiss the nagging feeling Rosie's abrupt change gave her.

Still concerned about the blood she'd noticed, Sarah wanted to ensure Rosie stayed calm & comfortable overnight. So, she decided to bring Rosie home with her so she could monitor her health & wellbeing.

Sometimes, a single moment like this one is all it takes.
The potential heartbreak we might have faced had Sarah ignored her instincts that day will always remain unknown. And for Rosie's sake, we're glad.

Rosie grew increasingly quiet that night at Sarah's. When Sarah took Rosie outside for fresh air, she noticed more drops of scattered blood on the deck where Rosie had been wandering. Still unable to locate the source of Rosie's bleeding, Sarah continued to monitor Rosie closely. However, when Sarah brought Rosie's dinner outside later, a disturbing discovery awaited her.

One that had Sarah frantically reaching for her phone to call our vet team within seconds.

Rosie was staring up at Sarah, her eyes drooping drowsily from the middle of the deck. All around her were the sizable splashes of her blood - a stark change to the mere speckles that had been there only moments before..

Sarah rushed over to Rosie's side as she connected with our team on the phone. Explaining to our vets what she was seeing, Sarah searched for the cause of this sudden haemorrhaging &, this time, she found it.

Following the matted blood that covered Rosie's tail & between her legs, Sarah realised that the bleeding was coming from Rosie's vulva – a clear sign that Rosie was haemorrhaging internally.

Recognising the severity of the situation & guided by our team, Sarah & her partner carefully gathered the exhausted Rosie & hurried to the Animal Referral Hospital in Essendon to seek emergency assistance.

Upon admission to the ICU, Rosie underwent fluid therapy to stabilise her condition, & a series of tests were conducted to pinpoint the underlying cause of the bleeding.

Once in emergency surgery, it was found that she was suffering from a severe complication from her recent desexing surgery, leading to acute internal bleeding, which, if left untreated, would have been life-threatening.

We couldn't believe it. After suffering seven long years of continuous breeding, the surgery that was meant to give Rosie her freedom - had almost claimed her life. It was no one's fault – sometimes surgical complications can happen, but she was so lucky that it was found before it was too late. She knew something wasn't right, & she couldn't ignore it.

After a long & stressful night, Rosie recovered well from her second surgery.

Over the next few days, as Rosie recovered, she remained quiet & withdrawn. Our friends at Hills Pet Nutrition helped us to support Rosie's recovery by providing her with a nutritious diet - Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+.

Specifically designed to help her heart & kidneys while she continued her cocktail of pain relief & antibiotics, mealtimes became Rosie's favourites. She wolfed down every bite with joy, & Sarah watched as some of Rosie's energy & spark began to return.

One day soon after, while Sarah was drinking her coffee, Rosie wandered over & offered Sarah her paw. Gently stroking it, Sarah watched as a sweet, goofy smile flashed across Rosie's face. And Sarah's heart swelled at the tiny comfort she had provided.

Each day, Sarah would help Rosie learn new things about the world she'd never experienced, like lying in the sun, enjoying the sun on her greying face.

However, the magic of playtime truly broke the storm that had settled over Rosie's heart!

She'd spend hours bringing Sarah her ball with a silly grin, & she could play tug with her rope toys for hours & never get bored.

Soon, it was time for Rosie to finally find what she'd been waiting for all her life - A loving family just for her.

Alex & David fell for Rosie the moment they saw her infectious smile on her adoption profile, & when they met her face to face, there was no way they were leaving without her.

"Rosie is such a special dog & has adjusted well to life with us," says Alex. "She insists on spending Saturday afternoons by the window in her favourite spot where she can watch the world go by, & she loves going for a swim!
We cannot thank Sarah & the team at SCAR enough for the amazing job they've done with this special smiley girl! She is an absolute angel, & we are so in love with her."

In a single moment of care & determination, Sarah was able to help Rosie through one of the scariest times of her life. Holding Rosie's paw through the darkness, Sarah guided her back to the 'rosy' personality that helped her family fall in love with her.

And that's what we do here at SCAR.

We rise up when it matters most to advocate for animals in need. To help them one step at a time towards the happy life they all deserve.

Here at Second Chance Animal Rescue, we provide thousands of homeless, vulnerable, sick and injured animals just like Rosie with the essential care and support they need to find their loving homes each year.

Your support makes this possible!

By making a donation today, you will help us to continue our life-saving work, ensuring that every animal gets the care they require in order to find the loving home they deserve.

Because it only takes a moment to make a real difference in their lives.

Donate Now


Searching for a unique four-legged friend, just like Rosie?

There are plenty of animals searching for their loving homes on our website right now!

Check Them Out and Adopt A Pet Today