Meet Hope, the Golden Retriever with Cerebellar Hypoplasia
Last week we enjoyed a memorable and inspiring trip to Horse Creek Stable Bed & Breakfast in the mountains of Blue Ridge, GA. I came across this place purely by chance a few months back. I was searching the cerebellar hypoplasia hashtag on Twitter, looking for cute photos or videos of fellow CH kitties. Though I did find some cute kitties, I also found a post by Horse Creek Stable about Hope, a golden retriever with cerebellar hypoplasia.
I did some more digging and discovered that Horse Creek Stable B&B is a rescue animal sanctuary, and many of their resident rescues are special-needs animals. Hope is one of them. Then when I discovered that this farm of my dreams was only a short three hour drive from us, I knew we had to visit at our first opportunity.
We’ve met so many wonderful friends online that have CH cats and dogs, but I had never met another CH animal in person before. Getting to meet and hang out with Hope was by far one of the biggest highlights of our trip.
Meeting Hope for the First Time
We arrived at Horse Creek Stable on a Sunday late afternoon. After meeting the wonderful couple that owns and runs the farm and B&B, the first thing I asked was, “Can Hope come out to play?!” They said she had had a big day out on the lake swimming (hydrotherapy), but that she could come out after she finished eating dinner.
It wasn’t long before the most adorably clumsy and happy-go-lucky dog came bounding through the yard over to us. Just like with Sophie, I was immediately taken by Hope’s positive, loving, and joyful spirit. She wobbles, falls over, and doesn’t have the easiest time getting around, but none of that matters to her. All that matters to Hope is love and play. I watched her tumble and face plant countless times, but each time she got right back up with a big smile on her face and continued on her way.
During this first visit with Hope, her mom and dad took her down the hill in front of their home and then we all called her name to encourage her to run back up on her own. This is a daily exercise that they do with her to help build up her leg strength. As we all called her name, you could see her eyes light up and that look of pure determination as she ran up the hill.
The coolest part? She made it all the way up without falling over once! Her mom and dad were so thrilled, as they told us that this was Hope’s best performance yet. Getting to witness that moment was truly heartwarming and awe-inspiring. I know too well the feeling of watching Sophie accomplish something big for the first time. Getting to see that happen for Hope and the Aradi family was such a treat. And thankfully I caught it all on video!
The Aradis told us Hope’s back story, which shares a lot of similarities with Sophie’s, and I’m sure lots of other CH animals too. Hope was born to a breeder who, after a couple of months, noticed that something wasn’t quite right with her. She then took her to the vet, who diagnosed her with cerebellar hypoplasia. Upon learning this, the breeder asked that Hope be euthanized. Thankfully the vet knew better and asked if he could take Hope and turn her over to Adopt a Golden Atlanta. The breeder agreed, and the Aradis took in Hope as a forever foster.
Hope is now 9 months old and has already made huge improvements thanks to the Aradi’s care, encouragement, and love. She used to need a wheelchair to walk, but now she can walk on her own. She used to need help going to the bathroom because she couldn’t stand up on her own, but not anymore. And now she can run across their yard in one go! I can’t wait to see what else she accomplishes as time goes on!
Hope is a shining example of the fact that animals with cerebellar hypoplasia can live full and happy lives. CH cats and dogs have such carefree attitudes and the strongest spirits of determination and positivity. They can and will accomplish anything they put their minds to. We could all learn a lesson or two from Hope, Sophie, and all special-needs animals.
A video of Hope made by Lester and Diane Aradi. Click here to view on YouTube.
To meet Hope, you’ll need to take a trip to Horse Creek Stable Bed & Breakfast. We highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.