Helping Golden Retrievers and Their Owners in Central Texas
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How Can You Help a Golden?
Make atax deductible donationto GRR
Become amonthly donorand we’ll automatically charge your credit card
Volunteer – lots of exciting opportunities
Foster – helping a golden is rewarding
To volunteer or learn more, contact Sheliaat email@example.com
Newsletter Editor: Katie Ann Prescott
Gold Ribbon Rescue
PO Box 956
Austin, TX 78767
Ask a Vet: Oral Health for Pets FAQs Submitted by John Faught, DVM,Firehouse Animal Health Center
It is not uncommon for us to hear comments like, "But I have had pets for years, and I have never needed to get their teeth cleaned…”
In my years of practice, pet owners typically ask the following questions:
Question #1: Why is pet dentistry a relatively new part of veterinary medicine?
In short, I am not sure. Dentistry has been done on pets for years but more so to address active problems. We are now focusing more on prevention. Human dentistry has evolved into a cosmetically driven practice--straightening, whitening, etc. whereas the heart of dentistry has always been about creating good oral health and preventing disease. This is still the case regarding people or their four-legged companions.
Question #2: If I give my pet dental treats, do they still need their teeth cleaned?
Both pet and human oral care are not much different. Dental treats, mouthwashes, and importantly teeth brushing are extremely helpful in fighting off tarter, plaque, and oral disease. Human dentists recommend we brush multiple times each day but still recommend we have our teeth cleaned every 6-12 months. This is because even with all that brushing, problems may still develop. If we did just as well with our pets as we do for ourselves, there would still be enough reason to have the teeth cleaned periodically. The reality is, though, that unfortunately, pet-owners are not always able to do as much as they should to prevent disease.
Question #3: Is my pet too old for anesthesia?
I was taught that “age is not a disease." My grandmother had 2 total hip replacements at the age of 96! Age is a reason to further evaluate organ function and make sure there are not any medical concerns when using anesthesia. If we choose to forego anesthesia and consequently, the dental cleaning because of age or other reasons, we are making the choice to allow whatever problems and disease that are present in the mouth to continue and possibly worsen.
Question #4: Can my pets dental cleaning wait?
The one tool that veterinarians do not have at their disposal is a crystal ball. Waiting may allow mouth pain to linger, bacteria to spread, and inflammation to grow. This can lead to worsening and more complicated oral disease which may be more expensive and problematic to treat. The added risk is additional damage that may occur in other parts of the body from untreated oral disease, as well.
Question #5: Why does it cost so much?
The short answer here is because we want to make it as safe as possible. The costs associated with dental cleanings are the costs associated with preoperative lab work, safer drug protocols, monitoring equipment, IV fluids, antibiotics, and well-trained medical personnel. Though the use of anesthesia has been thoroughly debated, we cannot do an adequate job of dentistry without it. Therefore, because our goal is to minimize the risk by doing it safely, we cannot short cut the process solely to reduce cost.
Adopt a Golden: Howser #13-062
Volunteer Spotlight: Robin Early, Respite Coordinator & Foster Parent
How long have you been volunteering with GRR?
I have been a volunteer since Nov. 30, 2012 when we fostered
our precious Romeo, who came from a kill shelter in Edinburg.
What made you want to volunteer with GRR?
After fostering and adopting Romeo, I had a pretty good idea of
how GRR ran things, which I like to say is run like the military but
with tons of heart. The integrity and caring of this group was
modeled in every volunteer I came in contact with.
Also, I lost my two goldens of 13 years last year, and I wanted to be connected to the
golden retriever world in a way that would honor their memory.
What volunteer position do you hold?
I am the Respite Coordinator, but my favorite volunteer job is fostering. Each dog is
different and brings his own unique gift to me.
Explain the activities you participate in as you fulfill this position.
As the Respite Coordinator, I find a temporary home for foster dogs when their foster
parents go out of town.
As a foster parent (my favorite GRR position), GRR requires that you give the dog lots
of love and high quality food, but I also work with the foster dogs on basic manners,
leash walking, etc.
About how many hours do you typically spend volunteering in this position?
Fostering a dog like Leo (see story below) took several hours a day of working with
him and exercising him. Not all of our dogs are so much work.
What is your favorite part about volunteering in this position?
I have to say this (fostering) is one of the most rewarding things I've ever
done. To fall in love with a dog and have that love returned is one of the greatest
things on earth.
Describe a cute/funny/interesting story while volunteering in this position.
The most challenging (and rewarding) was a 2 year old dog I rescued from a kill
Shelter. He had a badly infected leg which was later amputated by the expert
Dr.Stried. Leonardo had a habit of nipping and sometimes biting when we were
putting on or removing his cone collar.
When removing his stitches, he even bit the vet tech coming out of anesthesia,
and he had to be quarantined for 10 days. We worked with a behaviorist that GRR
hired to correct his behavior and teach him some manners. He responded very
well as we worked with him for 2 months. He was the smartest in his class at basic
obedience school. He would rough house and play with Romeo 24/7.
He really wormed his way into our hearts—like the bad boyfriend who is so good
looking, smart, and cocky, you just can't stay away, hoping you can change him.
But this time we did change him—enough to get adopted by a loving, retired special
needs school teacher.
Since Leo has been adopted, we now have play dates occasionally when he will
come over to swim. Leo loves to swim, and the three legs are no impediment to
chasing Romeo around.
Give one piece of advice for volunteers interested in serving in this position.
If you're interested in fostering, being flexible and being able to devote some training
time is key.
What is one word that describes your experience while volunteering for GRR?
If I had to say one word that describes my experience with GRR it's "fulfilling.”
Where Are They Now?
Remember this guy? Perhaps one of the truest examples of a “rescue,” Leo found his forever home a few months back, and GRR wanted to celebrate how far this golden boy has come with a bit of help from his GRR family.
“Happy go lucky” Leonardo (#13-032) was found in a local shelter several months back with a severly damaged rear leg. Clearly an old injury, the doctor advised amputation. But throughout it all, Leo kept flashing that golden grin and wagging his feathery tail. As Leo recovered from his surgery, he seemed a little bit lost trying to adapt to his new life as a GRR pup; though Leo and foster brother Romeo became fast friends, he exhibited a bit of marking behavior in the house and he also would nip and sometimes bite when putting on or taking off his collar. After working with a behaviorist and taking him through obedience school, Leo graduated and was finally ready for adoption.
So when Karin Gabrielson, a retired schoolteacher met Leo, it was an instant connection. The two were meant to be.
Karin boasts: “Lovable Leonardo is such a celebrity in the neighborhood. Pedestrians and drivers slow down and call out,"Leo, Leo." With his blond waves, beautiful smile, and feathery tail with platinum highlights, he is as handsome as Di Caprio in The Great Gatsby! Many people don't even notice that he only has three legs.
Contrary to belief, he does not swim in circles. He is a strong swimmer and can swim straight forward. His favorites are his bed, his tennis balls, and a hoof to chew. He loves to pounce and play with the two older cats in the house. When they aren't as enthusiastic as he is, he nudges or licks them, and then plops his toy or ball at their feet.
Last week, Leo met a visiting, black and white "kitty" face to face or rather face to tail on our deck! The fragrance flavor at our house is SKUNK!
Leo does well with "sit" and "stay.” He is improving in not lunging after loud vehicles or moving animals. He needs to get over his defiant stance when told to "come" and must stop scaring away mailmen, suitors, guests, etc. with his shrill barking! He's a work in progress.
Leo is spunky, stubborn, and completely adorable. Gold Ribbon Rescue deserves a blue ribbon for matching him with me. A friend said that we even look alike! We are a family!”
What Makes Gold Ribbon Rescue Unique?
Submitted by Emily Tuczkowski and edited by Katie Ann Prescott
“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.” ― Deepak Chopra
In existence for fifteen years, Gold Ribbon Rescue’s goal has been to rescue and re-home as many Central Texas Golden Retrievers in need as possible.
And even though this area is home to many reputable rescue groups who are committed to saving dogs in need, some breed-specific and some not, the quality that makes GRR unique is our group’s intrepid dedication to every single Golden Retriever in need in the Central Texas area.
No matter how sick, how old, how beaten, how fearful, or how lost a dog may be, Gold Ribbon Rescue will readily accept a dog if he/she meets two requirements: the dog is a Golden Retriever and its temperament meets that of the Golden Retriever breed standard.
Our dedication involves so many aspects: a hotline team who takes the initial call about a Golden in need; an intake team who determines if the dog is a Golden (and if not, offers alternate options for placing the dog); a medical team who determines, based on any available past records, what medical needs the dog may have; a transport team who brings the dog from point A to point B; and a foster home team who manages to find room to squish one more dog in.
Maybe that’s where our uniqueness comes from – the incredible dedication of our “Johnny on the spot” team members as well as our Gold Ribbon Rescue supporters.
We have a foster home, who despite having two foster dogs already, mentions that “the house isn’t full enough yet, send me more.”
Devotion --We have a transport volunteer in our Waco area who has probably logged as many miles as any of our Space Shuttle missions.
Dedication--We have another transport volunteer in the San Marcos area who can claim “I’ve been Everywhere, Man.”
Commitment--We have an Intake team who, when we had so many incoming dogs without enough foster homes for them to go to, and no Golden Rescue group here in Texas with space, drove over a weekend to meet our sister Arizona Golden Rescue group in New Mexico to do a rescue transfer.
Perseverance--In the “Early Days,” we helped 100 dogs a year; now GRR doubles that number. And with that increase, our medical costs now span close to $100,000 a year.
So what else makes us unique?
Our supporters--Gold Ribbon Rescue operates as a 503c non-profit organization. No one earns a salary. And because we're all volunteers, the money received from adoptions, memberships and donations goes towards both our operating and veterinary costs.
Though it may seem that adoption fees alone could cover much of our financial needs—this simply is not the case. So our Membership fees and donations to the Extraordinary Golden Fund help to ease the burden of these costs.
To give you some idea of how busy this summer has been for GRR:
Julia, a loving and gentle 2 year old, rescued from the shelter, and in tow, her 6 mixed puppies. If GRR had declined their intake, the sweet family would most assuredly (if not adopted) been euthanized. We’re still looking for some adoptive homes for a few of the puppies…hint, hint.
Mary Ann, a beautiful, but skinny, long-eared redhead appeared on a kind gentleman’s front porch; it seemed as if she had finally found a place to rest after wandering for so long. After GRR took her in for a medical evaluation, the list of issues continued to spill over onto the next page. Her ears were so infected and calcified, she was unable to open her jaw wide enough to eat normally and was losing weight. Ear ablation surgery on the worst ear as well as injectable antibiotics are already improving her outlook on life. We’re hoping for continued improvement as she heals.
Timmy, an 8 month young puppy, surrendered by his owners due to his severe hip issues. Happy-go-lucky and full of energy he can’t yet fully expend, this pup deserves an abundant life, and GRR can help give it to him. He’s facing two major hip surgeries in a few short months.
Beau, the fifteen-year old veteran living with cancer: his owner couldn’t continue to care for him after a series of life changes. So GRR, of course, said, “Yes.” Though he was as happy as can be toting around his stuffie, his foster mom is exactly what makes GRR the best rescue organization in the state of Texas: “We knew that [he had cancer] going in, and we are prepared. We just want Beau’s last days to be as happy and pleasant as they can be. He does not appear to be in pain. He lives life day to day and that’s what we are doing, too. We just wish we’d known him as a youngster—but it’s an honor to know him now.” Unfortunately, GRR lost this sweet guy a few weeks ago; instead of passing away in a shelter, Beau was surrounded by a room full of love as he went off to the Rainbow Bridge.
Each of you are already a part of this intricate web of life: either you've adopted, fostered, or volunteered in years past. But it’s simple: the more money raised through memberships, the more Goldens we can serve.
If you have let your membership dues expire, please consider renewing your membership.
Every penny of your membership dues goes towards rescuing Golden Retrievers in need.
To become a member for the first time or renew a membership, click the link below to access the GRR Membership page.
Upcoming Events: Puppy Mill Awareness Day
On Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, GRR will be participating in the two day event known as Puppy Mill Awareness Day at Fiesta Gardens . The fun but informative festival will host a VIP Reception on Saturday and a festival on Sunday from 10 am-3 pm. Sunday’s event is free and includes guest speakers, live music, rescue groups (including GRR), vendors, food and drink carts, a survivor’s parade, and agility and training demos. Leashed and well-behaved dogs are welcome.
GRR’s own JJ Dallas, a puppy mill survivor will be one of the Canine Artists featured at the event.
According to the Puppy Mill Awareness Day Website: “A Puppy Mill is a commercial breeding operation wherein dogs and puppies are seen as profit & inventory as opposed to living, breathing beings. They're thrown into kennels given little to no medical care, attention or concern. Puppy Mill operators focus on the output (money).” They often falsify records & lie about the true lineage of the puppies to produce a higher market value.
Dogs who are raised in puppy mills live in horrific conditions: “cages stacked upon one another, feces & urine dripping down from one cage into another and the dogs within below. Mothers are constantly bred with no break in between litters to keep production moving. Dogs are confined 24/7 to their cages, sending many into a catatonic state or they are driven mad, throwing themselves into the sides of the cages seeking a way out. Others just spin hysterically in circles. Often times the kennels are housed with no protection from the elements. During the winter, puppies have frozen to death & during the summer, it has been witnessed some will actually cook on the hot wire kennels. Sadly, it has been noted that in many puppy mill raids the number of carcasses can outnumber the live animals in a puppy mill.”
Puppy Mill Awareness Day was created to raise awareness about the brutal realities of puppy mills. The event began in 2004, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has evolved to include many states across the nation, including Austin, Texas!
Please visit the Puppy Mill Awareness Day website for more information.