Thursday, October 4, 2007

Volunteer Appreciation Party

My human reported back from the Golden Retriever Rescue Volunteer Thank-You Party. I should still be mad that they did not include dogs in the party, but I will forgive and forget. It proves how big of a dog I am. He told me to tell you what makes us so special.

We have a new format for our meetings. Mary began by standing up and announcing, “Hi, I’m Mary, and I am a Golden-a-holic. The rest of us responded with “Hi, Mary”. Then Mary explained, “It has been four hours since I took a stray Golden Retriever home with me. I have 14 dogs at home now, I am trying to taper off from the 18 dog-a-day habit I once had.” Then one by one the rest of the rescue team stood up and told their stories.

Golden Retrievers, bet you can’t take just one!

The Golden Retriever Rescue group has grown with many new faces present. During introductions around the room it became obvious that the 30 or so humans accounted for about 50 Golden Retrievers. Many of the volunteers were fostering several Goldens in their homes, keeping them out of the kennels that we call “Doggy Jail”. Several people drove long distances to pick up unwanted dogs that were being turned in to the rescue, from Denver to Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Utah, returning them to be placed in new homes. We rescue many breeds besides just Goldens, helping wherever we can. We have received the dogs from several puppy mills that have been closed down which gives us many puppies to place.

A very special thanks went out to the volunteers that go by the kennels and take dogs out for a romp in the park and even take them for a day hike in the mountains. The people at the party said “thank you”, but if the dogs had been there, there would have been a special “thank you”, doggy style with licks and wags. Can you imagine how much the dogs appreciate the chance to get out of the chain link cages to go run with a human friend, even for only an hour? So a big sloppy doggy thank you from me as well.

We all had damp eyes when they announced that Poo Bear had suffered a stroke. Poo Bear is a 9-year-old Golden that is blind, she was found on a street, abandoned. Her story is an amazing tale of perseverance and of how much love a dog can bring. Poo had a halter just like a Seeing Eye dog; only her halter was for the human to guide her. Poo played with the other dogs, ran and tumbled when she fell in holes, or hit a tree, but she still ran and played with her friends. I met Poo at the picnic and she was a wonderful, loving dog. She is now unable to walk following her stroke, but she is still man’s best friend. Her foster parents deserve an extra lick and wag when I see them again, they gave Poo a loving home and a second chance at life.

Wonderful dogs end up in rescue for a lot of reasons; none of the reasons are their own. Sometimes an owner has to go to a nursing home and an old, loved Golden friend ends up needing a new home, or a death leaves a family grieving and a dog homeless. One dog that is up for adoption was out on a walk with his human when the human suffered a heart attack and died, leaving a bewildered dog standing in the street. The military transfers families and a beloved, well-mannered Golden has to live in a kennel until a new home can be found. Allergies or illness have forced people to surrender their best friends. Often the people who have surrendered the Golden call to find out if it has a good new home, and they follow up with training tips and favorite toys. The Golden is bewildered by being sent away from his best friends. He behaved well, did not chew up furniture, always fetched the ball when it was thrown, did not bark and walked politely on a leash, then he finds himself alone in a tiny chain link run. The foster families provide stability and a new, loving home while a “forever home” is found. Thanks again for taking us in. We just wish there were more of you.

Thanks to all of the volunteers that made 306 placements possible so far this year, from a Golden Retriever that was rescued! Go to to read more about adopting, becoming a volunteer or to donate. There are still 40 dogs needing homes, and more coming in every day. Please help!
PS: My human must like what I wrote tonight, he gave me a long tummy scratch!

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