May 2014

Golden Ribbon Rescue
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May 17, 2014:
Austin Animal Center
from 1-4 pm

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Gold Ribbon Rescue
PO Box 956
Austin, TX 78767
512 659-4653

Dog Introductions: The Ins and Outs
by Cheryl Croft

The integration of a new dog into the home, whether it’s a foster or a permanent situation, needs to be handled with the least amount of stress on the humans and both the resident and incoming dogs. The timeframe for introducing dogs can be an hour or minutes, a day, several days or even weeks but taking some time to integrate and introduce dogs saves time, heartache and possibly a dog’s life.

So, you bring a new dog into your home and it just doesn’t go as planned. Not going as planned can range from growling, showing of teeth, to an all-out dog fight with injuries to dogs and/or humans. The best plan for introductions gone awry is a preventive plan. A plan requires each of us to take into account these three issues which will play a huge part in a success transition: 1. knowledge about your own dog(s) 2. knowledge of what you’re willing to do and 3. being aware of the possible state of mind of the foster/new dog.

  • The first on the list is knowing your own dog. We love our dogs and we love them as we love our human family. In fact, we consider our dog(s) part of the family. We know our dog likes to carry items around in his mouth. We know he steals (and we think it’s kind of cute) from the other dog or cat, but they don’t mind. We love playing ball. All the dogs have their toys where they can get them. Your dog has full access to the house and yard, just like the rest of the family. We take our dog on walks, meet other dogs at the dog park or on walks and, of course, since we have goldens, unless the other dog is not friendly, we’ve never had a problem. The resident dog gets along with others in the home and seems to get along with other dogs, although few of those dogs come into the home.
  • Secondly, know yourself. What are you willing to do? Having a foster/new dog in the home may mean putting away all the toys an/or not playing with all the dogs together, not feeding all the dogs together, not taking the foster to the dog park, having to separate dogs, having to watch behavior of not only your dogs, but the foster.
  • Lastly, you are bringing in a dog that, more than likely (if a foster), has lived in a neglected state, emotionally and/or physically. A few of the incoming dogs have come from loving, gentle homes, but the majority come in scared, un-socialized, untrained and/or starved for attention/love, food and medical care. Abandonment and trust issues abound. This dog may have come from a shelter or the streets, both of which can be very scary, so your foster/new dog may also be frightened. He doesn’t know you are kind, loving and want to provide - at least not yet.

Keep in mind these three variables and then determine your plan. There is no textbook or one way, to introduce dogs, but, there are some guidelines which will help ensure a positive introduction between dogs. I always err on side of safety. I want a calm, peaceful introduction. Whenever I introduce dogs, I always think about what I would do if it doesn’t go well. What is my Plan B? Read plan Bread Plan B:10-step Guidelines for Effective Dog introductions on our website.

Adopting a Senior Gem
Written by Susan Dumas, GRR Adopter

Over the last 15 years, I’ve been blessed to have had five golden retrievers in my life. The first two were 8-week-old golden fuzz balls when they joined our family, littermates, sources of incredible joy. They also required lots of work on my part, from general puppy care through advanced obedience training, and needed plenty of exercise as they grew into adulthood.

However, in recent years, I’ve chosen to adopt three adult rescue golden retrievers, and currently have two seniors that I’ve adopted from GRR in the past year-and-a-half, Libby and Boomer. I’ll never understand why so many wonderful goldens are abandoned each year and left to fend for themselves, but their numbers are great. And so are they! At nearly 8 and 10 years of age, my two seniors are full of energy, and are equally happy to lay around the house or chase a tennis ball across the yard. They both love car rides – Libby’s favorite destination is the vet’s office where they always make ! a big fuss over her, and Boomer’s is anywhere the car goes! They’re my constant companions, and have shown me just how much love is out there waiting to be given a home, regardless of age.

Click the link to see all of our seniors available for adoption.

Spring, Our Golden Survivor

With Spring, we associate a fresh, new life: when worms begin to emerge from the earth, ladybugs land on screen doors, green buds appear, birds chirp, and flowers begin to bloom. After the long and dark hours of Winter, Spring indicates re-birth and rejuvenation.
And the same is true for GRR’s Spring: a golden who has endured more than any human should. Though she may have had a tough life, she has shown us that despite all hardship, there’s always Spring to be thankful for.

When Spring first arrived in GRR’s care, she had been diagnosed with cancer, needing to have her mammary glands removed. Then came the worry that she also had possible lung cancer until a re-check at the vet determined she was cancer free. A series of ear infections as well as removal of bad teeth in November were next. GRR’s vet later removed shotgun pellets from her backside—as she was probably target practice for the neighborhood kids. Though there are still more pellets floating under the skin, at present, they are not causing her any irritation. Through all of this, Spring maintains an eternal sweetness, a beautiful spirit, and a happy attitude.

In the words of her foster mom, “Spring is outgoing in a reserved sort of way. There is a friend who comes to visit us and spends the weekend from time to time. She uses a walker to get around, and when she comes, Spring is attached to her like glue. There is something Spring finds extra special about this woman.”

Spring's favorite spot in the house is to look out the front windows for the pesky squirrels and stray cats, excited to watch the comings and goings of the wildlife around her. While outside, she absolutely adores her ball, opting to chase after it until you’re ready to surrender. She’s now getting two walks a day and enjoying every minute of them—she can’t help but get excited at all the sights and smells.

Another favorite pastime is for Spring to lay under the dining table if anyone is sitting there. She simply wants to be close to you and is quite definitely a "Velcro Girl". If you plop down on the couch, you can depend on Spring finding her way over to you—jumping up and draping her body over your lap for a hug.

At night, she won’t get too far—opting to sleep on a fleece dog pallet right next to her foster mom’s bed. She usually sleeps through the night and unlike her foster brother, Truman, who wakes up ready to greet another day, Spring is slower to get up and get going. It's like she needs a snooze button to wake her and let her know when breakfast is ready.

Spring’s foster mom feels the perfect family would be one who will understand her medical history and the trauma she’s been through—but one who would love her for her golden spirit and joy. Through all the pain she’s endured, Spring continues to smile that golden smile and wag her golden tail. She’s our golden survivor.

Volunteer Spotlight: Rob Garcia

How long have you been volunteering with GRR?
I have been working with GRR for approximately 3 1/2 yrs. I began my GRR rescue career after retirement.

What made you want to volunteer with GRR?
Margo made me! Bob Dallas who was the Intake Supply volunteer was moving out of the area, and Margo asked if I would take his position. I, of course, jumped at the chance. It was an exciting time!

What volunteer position do you hold?
I am the intake supply volunteer. I then added the transport volunteer duties to help in the transport of rescues.

Explain the activities you participate in as you fulfill this position.
Arriving rescues require initial supplies such as a GRR tag, collar, Frontline flea preventative, HeartGard Plus heartworm preventative, a fancy GRR bandana, a HomeAgain microchip (if the rescue is not chipped). At times, other medication is provided as needed. As a transport volunteer, I help in transporting rescues between the animal shelter and the vetting veterinarian. At times, I also transport the dog from the vetting vet to the foster family.

About how many hours do you typically spend volunteering in this position?
The number of hours vary, depending on how many rescues are on our "radar." Usually from 2 hrs to 5 hrs, including monitoring emails and transporting. This is not every day. Some days the cobwebs begin to appear from lack of rescues.

What is your favorite part about volunteering in this position?
My favorite part is transporting the rescue, as I get to interact not only with the rescue, but the GREAT people volunteering. We are a different breed. Almost golden!

Describe a cute/funny/interesting story while volunteering in this position.
Once during a long transport from San Marcos to our Forest Creek vet in Round Rock, a young female rescue went from window to window in my SUV—barking the entire time! I thought she was upset with the traffic…I know I was! She was driving me crazy. Nothing I said would stop the barking. At our destination, I found out she was barking at her own reflection on the windows.

Give one piece of advice for volunteers interested in serving in this position.
Be prepared for the great bonding with rescues, amazing volunteers and the loving staff of the many veterinarians we meet.

What is one word that describes your experience while volunteering for GRR?
It was been a great feeling of accomplishment of saving some poor soul from a life on the street.

Where Are They Now?
Submitted by Bill and Evi Kruyer

We adopted Bagel (Diamond) back in Oct 2013. She and Biskit and we (Bill and Evi) have been a hit since day one. Biskit is our other golden. She and Bagel are about the same age (Biskit will be 2 in June). Biskit is also small for a golden and only a bit bigger than Bagel. They are best buds since we got Bagel. Bagel loves the backyard as we have a lot of squirrels and birds, keeping the two goldens busy for hours on end. If Bagel is outside, she's chasing and stalking squirrels, sunning or chewing on a bone. The whole back of our house is large windows, reaching almost to the floor. If she's inside, Bagel is often darting back and forth from one window to another, watching squirrels outside (squirrel TV we call it).

Biskit and Bagel play together and wrestle very well and often. And they love to go riding in the CRV and to the park nearby. Both dogs are real chowhounds and eat together, side-by-side. And they sleep side-by-side sharing two doggie beds. Biskit has a beautiful, classic golden coat. Bagel has grown a very lush coat, too.

She had a rough beginning, coming to GRR with a fractured front leg, but her days are very golden now. Life is good for Bagel. Life is good for our family. Bagel is HOME!


If you would like to have your dog featured in the “Where Are They Now” column, write up a brief story like Bagel’s and send to

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