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Rolo’s Story

*An update from Rolo’s carers August 2022*

“Our special girl, Rolo, passed away this month and we miss her terribly.  It was a shock to us all even though we knew she would never have a long life. She battled her illness to the end but it just became too much for her. As she passed over the rainbow bridge she had a lot of cuddles and kisses and knew she was loved more than anything.  She was in her own home and I’m sure she chose that.  She had been back and forth to vets so much in her life she didn’t want to end her days there. It is so true when they say, if the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives, dogs would outlive us all.  That is never more true than Rolo.”

Rest in peace, Rolo 💙


In this week’s blog, we meet Rolo, a beautiful girl who was treated at The Ralph last month by the Internal Medicine team. This blog is written by Rolo’s carers who wanted to share Rolo’s story. We have included a brief introduction to explain Rolo’s condition. All other content has been written by Michele, Monica and Sylvia who are Rolo’s proud carers.


Rolo was referred to the Internal Medicine department at The Ralph last month for further investigations. She had previously had pneumonia and presented with signs of chronic diarrhoea and vomiting. These had become worse in the fortnight prior to referral.

Rolo was very unwell when she arrived at The Ralph and needed stabilisation. Subsequent investigations included blood tests, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy and biopsies. Results showed that she had a very thickened tongue, a dilated oesophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach) and a hernia affecting part of her stomach. She was started on treatment with antacids, antibiotics and immunosuppressive medications.  She gained weight and became happier with more energy. Treatment is ongoing but Magda, our Head of Internal Medicine, is happy that Rolo is responding well.

Rolo’s story

Rolo came to us as a very timid little puppy that didn’t want to play with our other dogs, but, had a very keen interest in cats! They could not roam around the garden without their “little shadow” in tow.

Rolo as a puppy

Whilst she was growing up it became very apparent that she was never going to be the perfect GSD (German Shepherd) that everyone seems to want. She had a wonky ear, weird mouth and a left eye that didn’t seem quite right. We didn’t worry about these things and we got used to people commenting about her unique look. One lady even informed us we should either return her or tape her ear up to make it look better. I’m glad to say we didn’t take up either of these options.

For nearly three years we went through life with our weird dog and everything was just great. We got her her own kitten that she could look after and so Pablo came into our life’s and Rolo had a new best friend.

Best friends!

As 2018 was drawing to a close Rolo started to become very ill. She had numerous visits to the vets but they just couldn’t seem to get to the bottom of what was wrong with her and day by day she went further and further downhill. All over Christmas and into the start of 2019 she steadily got worse and, in fact, she became extremely ill. It got to the point where our vets said they couldn’t continue to treat her and she would have to be referred to a specialist vets.

When we walked into The Ralph we feared this would be the worst day of our life as Rolo had almost given up. The staff were very understanding and made sure Rolo was put in a quiet room, to lessen her stress level, and to make her a little more comfortable whilst we waited to see our vet.

Then we met Magda. She was very frank and up front that, indeed, Rolo was very ill. She explained to us fully what she would have to do to give Rolo the best chance and that she was her main concern. She had to cope with three very emotional women, as Rolo is lucky enough to have three mums! We cried our way through the appointment but Magda reassured us she would do all she could for our baby. We left her at The Ralph with heavy hearts but knew she was in the best possible place.

Twenty-four hours later we visited Rolo, and to say a miracle had happened would be an understatement. Rolo greeted us with a wagging tail, something we hadn’t seen for a few months, and even wanted hugs and kisses. Rolo was at The Ralph for four days and when we picked her up she was like new. She still has a long road to travel and will never be the perfect GSD but we would never want her any other way. Pablo has his playmate back, although I think he was enjoying the quieter Rolo as he didn’t have to run quite as fast to get away from her.

Magda and her team have been the most caring and professional people I think we have every met. They have cared for Rolo and understood that she is a member of our family and not just a pet dog. We received regular updates from the team on her medication, regularity of appointments she would have to attend and they also kept our usual vet up to date with all the information. I could not recommend The Ralph highly enough. It is not a place that you would want to visit willingly, as you must have a sick animal to be there, but you’re definitely in the right place if you want honest and concise information about how to treat your pet’s illness.

Rolo is better than she has ever been and I know we’re very lucky to have her back in our family. She loves going to The Ralph and everyone always makes such a fuss of her.

Rolo playing on Margate beach (a recent photo!)

Thank you again to all the team at The Ralph and Rolo sends you a very big sloppy kiss as you’ve given her back her life.

Michele, Monica and Sylvia (Rolo’s proud mums)

One reply to “Rolo’s Story”

  1. Dawn says:

    I think she is beautiful and all her Mums are hero’s to never give up on her

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