Sunday, November 2, 2008

Annual Meeting

Today Bella and I had to stay home while the humans went off to have fun. They reported back to us about the meeting. They elected new officers to help keep Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR) working for the next two years. 345 dogs have been rescued this year, with two months to go. We will easily go past 400 by the end of the year. At any given time 150-300 volunteers are working to receive dogs, assess them, assign them to foster families, screen forever homes and match them to the perfect dog. Thank you letters are written, data bases maintained, health charts and records are filed away, telephone calls answered, health problems treated, dog food delivered, all so that unwanted dogs can have a new and loving forever home. What a team!

After the business meeting, our favorite Veterinarian, Dr. Carpenter, was brought in to talk to the volunteers about dog health. So many dogs go through the system and little is known about their health histories. Many dogs are surrendered because they have a health problem and the owner does not want to bother with helping them. GRRR teaches its foster families so they can respond when a health or behaviour problem develops. The Veterinarian spent several hours giving volunteers and foster parents instruction on how to spot problems, how to respond and how to find help within the GRRR system.

The topics included food, allergic reactions to food, food additives and supplements, diarrhea causes, bowel diseases, food and environmental allergies, and their treatments. Then ear cleaning was covered, one of the more common problems with Golden's. They talked about Thyroid problems, how to spot thyroid imbalances, and when to seek help.

Weight and obesity is a problem with many of the surrender dogs, overfeeding is a response by an inattentive owner that thinks food or treats can replace spending quality time with their dog. How to balance the daily food intake against the activity level was discussed. Many joint problems are caused by over weight conditions. New dogs that enter our care need to have their activity level increased gradually to prevent them from stressing their joints if they have had an inactive life. Joint problems can be caused by genetics, athletic stress or obesity. Of the three causes, the ones the foster family can help prevent are obesity and over stressing. Chasing Frisbees and tennis balls is good exercise, if the activity level is increased slowly.

Dangerous foods were discussed. Foster homes have to be careful that inappropriate foods are not left where they can be reached by a new and very inquisitive house guest. Some of the items that are overlooked are grapes and raisins, chocolate, caffeine, most nuts, anti-freeze in even tiny amounts, and medications. Dogs don't read medication labels very clearly, they often do not follow dosage instructions. It is very easy to confuse your medications with theirs, keep both out of reach.

Foster families were told what to watch for in lumps, bumps, tumors and sores.. Epilepsy and seizures were covered. Worms, parasites, fleas and other problems were discussed.

Gastric Torsion or twisted stomach was discussed, because it can occur rapidly, it was included as part of the discussion of when to seek emergency treatment. If the stomach swells, get help. Check the gums, if they are pale or bluish it is an indication of lack of oxygen or internal bleeding, time to call in the emergency team in either case.

The humans were impressed with the amount of help available to them when they take in a foster dog. They left feeling much better about their ability to respond to a crisis and the amount of help available for the dogs and the families that care for them.

I am still angry that they did not let dogs attend the meeting, my nose told me there had been two dogs there. The humans said the dogs were there to meet prospective families.

I feel good that GRRR cares enough to make sure their foster families and volunteers have received thorough instruction in training and in health care. We don't like being homeless, but it is nice to know that we get the best care we can get on our way to our forever homes.

Thanks, Golden Retriever Rescue, for taking such good care of all of our homeless friends.

You too can help by clicking on the link to the left and leave a donation on pay-pal. So many dogs, so few homes.

Mogley G. Retriever


  1. The meeting sounds like it was really good and I am sorry I couldn't go; I would have learned a lot! Unfortunately, I have had experience with some of those issues with previous dogs I have had; gastric torsion, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid problems, tumors; unfortunately our beautiful goldens are extra vulnerable to many of these (allergies too!). It's good to stay on top of these issues and be informed!

    Will you be getting any new fosters at your house in the future, Mogley?


  2. You all are so organized! That's a lot of doggies saved. Thanks so much for your grrreat work!!

    love & wags,

  3. The more I hear you talk about GRRR, the more deep respect I have for those folks who run it and volunteer within it. Sounds like a world-class organization, run by the best.

    You and your humans are super-lucky Mogley!

  4. Heya Mogley,
    That's great report about the meeting. We made our Dad read it and wants us to ask you if it's OK for him to let us use it in our blog cause it's got lots of really good and important information in it. He doesn't want us to steal it, just to borrow it. Thank DOG that there are Vets like Dr. Carpenter to help out the rescue folks. Our vet, Dr. Witter, has been given our Dad free advice about our current foster dog Sophie. If it's OK to use your text just leave a comment on our blog, thanks.
    - The Bumpass Hounds