November 2013

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     Helping Golden Retrievers and Their Owners in Central Texas


November 2013

Join Us:  Upcoming Events


Dec 22 – Holiday Brunch


For more information about GRR events, email Michelle at





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Support GRR

Shop at Randall's and donate to GRR with no cost to you. Let us show you how!

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Purchase Synflex for Humans and Synflex for Pets: a product to effectively manage osteoarthritis, aid in rehabilitating damaged cartilage, promote healthy joints, and reduce inflammation.

Purchase Flint River Ranch Premium Pet Food: One of the best rated dog & cat foods on the market Delivered to your home (use  ID: 2hw2).









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How Can You Help a Golden?

Make a tax deductible donation to GRR

Become a monthly donor and we'll automatically charge your credit card

Volunteer – lots of exciting opportunities

Foster – helping a golden is rewarding

Contact Sheila at






















Gold Ribbon Rescue

PO Box 956

Austin, TX  78767

512 659-4653




















GRR Newsletter Editor: Katie Ann Prescott



























The War on Fleas         


Submitted by Sarah C. Chude, DVM of Converse Animal Hospital


Flea  noun \flē\ : a nasty little blood-sucking critter that causes headaches and misery wherever it goes. 


Fleas are all over this country, but especially down here in the South they are a perennial pestilence that requires our eternal vigilance.  Why is it that one tiny flea on your pet can mean months of extermination efforts?  It all comes down to the life cycle of Mrs. Flea. 


First, Mrs. Flea finds herself a cozy new forever home on Fluffy and gets down to the serious business of eating and laying eggs.  Over her entire lifespan, Mrs. Flea may lay up to 5000 tiny eggs, which then fall off Fluffy wherever Fluffy goes.  If Fluffy goes inside, the eggs are now inside.  If Fluffy sleeps in his owner's bed, the eggs are in the bed.  Over the next two days to two weeks, the eggs hatch and out come little flea larvae.  These larvae hate light, so they burrow into anything available to escape.  Carpets, bedding, upholstery, even the cracks in hardwood floors can harbor flea larvae.  Then the larvae spin themselves cocoons called pupae and hang out to finish developing into an adult.  Once conditions are right, the pupae hatch out as adult fleas that are ravenous for a blood meal, starting the cycle over again. 


Now, we can kill the adults, the eggs, and the larvae, but it would practically take a nuclear bomb to kill off the pupae.  Since pupae can lie dormant for months, it complicates the flea problem significantly.  Ideally, every pet would be on effective flea medication every month, all year round.  That way, every time a Mrs. Flea hopped on and bit Fluffy, she would dieÉ before laying eggs and sending the cycle spinning around again.  Ask your vet which flea products are most effective in your area.  If an infestation is already present, it takes months of concerted effort to completely get rid of the problem. 


Inside the home, vacuum everything thoroughly; carpets, baseboards, furniture, everything.  Then, throw away the bag!  The warmth and vibration of the vacuum cleaner can trigger fleas to hatch and come crawling back out of the vacuum.  Wash everything washable. has a product that is safe and effective for indoor flea control. 


Outdoors, keep grass short and underbrush to a minimum.  Block off the area under the deck, shed, or house since the cool dirt in those locations tend to harbor fleas.  Ensure pets have a different clean, cool, well ventilated area to rest.  Organic garden centers will have a yard spray product with the active ingredient spinosad.  Follow the directions on the container for safe usage.  Focus treatment efforts within 3 feet of the house, shaded areas, and the fenceline.


One final note: garlic is ineffective as a flea control agent and is toxic to dogs.  Please do not feed garlic to your pets.


Have a flea-free day!


Donations Needed for Holiday Party Silent Auction


Gold Ribbon Rescue's 13th annual Holiday Party and Champagne Brunch will be held on Sunday, December 22, 2013, and we need your help.  Every year, GRR hosts a silent auction to benefit goldens currently in our care.   


If you are able to help, GRR still needs items to add to our silent auction.  Here are a few donation ideas:


-       wine baskets

-       golf items

-       gifts cards to restaurants

-       themed gift baskets

-       sports items

-       e-readers

-       salon treatments


Specialty items unique to Austin and its surrounding areas, such as paddle-board lessons and Lady Bird Lake party boat tickets, tend to be big hits as well.


Please contact Michelle Goldberg at with donation items for GRR's Holiday Party silent auction.

Senior Goldens: Diamonds in the Rough


Submitted by GRR volunteer and senior adopter AJ Harper


It was finally time to open the house to another golden.  There were just so many, so which were we to choose?  We had gone the puppy route twice, but the second was nowhere close to the ease of our first. This puppy had me wondering, "What in the world did we get this time? What were we thinking? Whew!"


With endless bounds of energy for two years, and no stopping in sight, I thought, "Hmm, is that what we need right now?" Despite our 6-year-old golden Shiner, who interacts with happily with puppy Rosie, playing tug of war and chasing balls, we were afraid the increased energy level might be a bit over the top.


As a foster mom, we had many seniors come through our doors who later went to families who fell in mushy love. But only one of those golden oldies touched my heart so much that I regretted our decision to let him leave for a very long time. It was Asher, and he was such a love.  He went on to an amazing family, but it haunted me that I lost him to someone else.


Enter Ari, now Honey.  With her head hung low with zero self-assurance, she would slink away into her space, and I would have to look for her always. Though she had a few issues, none were insurmountable.  GRR addressed each and every one anyway.  We contemplated, "Should we take a chance on her?  She is at least 8—how much time will we have with her?"  Still, there was something about her – with such a calm and sweet disposition, she also had that Asher quality.


So fast forward to today.  All those fears no longer weigh on us. Romping with the others, our Honey eagerly stands in the pack waiting for her raw carrots or green beans.  Though they were never apart of what she ate before she got here, she has learned from the others how yummy they are. Nice crunch too!  She has her favorite toys, but they need to be soft for her. This took Honey awhile to figure out, but when she did – stand back!  She can de-fluff a woobie in seconds with the best of them!


Her soft gurgle when she greets you at the door with the others and the wiggle of excitement melts my heart.  She exudes a sense of calmness and peace and nothing bothers her. She is eager to engage in any event but never initiates a second of negativity while little Rosie (our pup) is quite the opposite—she is the house thief, stealing the woobies from all the dogs. 


Honey will stroll in regally and take her seat regardless of commotion.  Always loving, always waiting for the next touch which is forever present in our family.  Touching her brings immediate calm, peace, and fulfillment.  We have come such a long way together.  If we had let her go to be adopted by someone else, that family would have been so lucky.  But we decided to keep this luck for ourselves this time.  No more regrets that I let that special dog go just because she was a senior. I can't imagine how she could be more perfect in every way. 


Our wish for her is that each day is as good or better than the next.  Oh, and those issues I worried about when we first got her, no one would know by looking at her. And all are easily controlled.


Many adopters tend to avoid seniors due to the fear of not having the dog for very long.  Though this may be the case for seniors, another golden adopter friend shared that his four-year-old puppy passed just recently.  You just never know.  If I let that stop me from adopting, I would never have adopted in the first place. 


As for the one we let get away? Asher had a wonderful life for five more years with his adoptive family. After he passed, they went on to embrace a pair of seniors because they learned from the start how special these gems are.  Compared to the non-stop attention-seeking puppy, seniors bring so much more to a family than their younger counterparts. I'm so glad we didn't let anything stop us from adopting Honey—most especially age.  Oh, what we would have missed.


GRR has many seniors currently in our care.  Please visit the GRR web page to see if you can give one of these seniors his or her forever home.

Volunteer Spotlight: Donna Larson

How long have you been volunteering with GRR?

 I have been volunteering with GRR for around 5 years I think.  It could be longer!


What made you want to volunteer with GRR?

We lost a Golden to cancer, and adopted through GRR.  We were so impressed with the organization that we started volunteering with them.


What volunteer position do you hold?

I've held many positions over the years!  Currently I am volunteering as the adoption director.


Explain the activities you participate in as you fulfill this position.

I read all of the applications that come in and coordinate their phone interviews.  Once the home visits are done, I get their applications to the matchmakers so they can find their new family member!


About how many hours do you typically spend volunteering in this position?

I spend around three hours a day on GRR. 


What is your favorite part about volunteering in this position?

It's very rewarding to be able to work with the families who are applying; it's a wonderful feeling to be able to help them get their new family member. I feel so blessed to be able to work with my fellow volunteers in GRR, they are all so dedicated to these dogs.


Describe a cute/funny/interesting story while volunteering in this position.

I've seen many families who have applied, wanting a particular dog.  When they discover that dog isn't available, they are initially disappointed.  We end up getting e-mails back from these families, after they've adopted a different dog, thanking us for matching them to the perfect fit for their family.  It's a thorough process to adopt through GRR, but it's because we want to get the right fit the first time. 


Give one piece of advice for volunteers interested in serving in this position.

You want to help every family who applies find a dog, but you have to try to remain objective so you do what's best for both the family and for the dog.  We have a tremendous commitment to these dogs, and their welfare is always our first concern. 


What is one word that describes your experience while volunteering for GRR?

Amazing, rewarding, fulfilling, heart warming - one word alone can't describe it! I learn so very much from every dog who comes through our rescue.  So many of them have come from terrible conditions, and yet they greet us with open hearts, ready to love and to be loved. It is so rewarding to see them get a second chance at life.  It's also heartwarming to see the number of people who choose to adopt through a rescue group, knowing that they are going to make a difference in the life of a dog. 

GRR Calendars Now on Sale


Don't forget the 2014-2015 Gold Ribbon Rescue Calendars are now on sale.  Calendars are $23.95 and include shipping and handling.  All proceeds go towards supporting goldens currently in our care.


To purchase a calendar for yourself or for a loved one (it would make a great stocking stuffer!), visit GRR's boutique page.



Where Are They Now?

Contributed by the Pollock family and Carey Gunthert, GRR Volunteer


When he first came in in late 2012, Poppin had a half-bald tail,

no undercoat, and a shaved patch from a festered hot spot.

Poppin's original owners said he preferred to be outside. He

had been kept outside in their small backyard with little

interaction. He was intact at the age of 6-7 with a ball

obsession, flea allergies, hot spots, and insecurity outside of

his little square of the world.


Within two weeks of foster care, after he learned about life as

an inside dog, well, a different dog started to appear. He was

quickly house-trained (within the first week) and learned all of his

basic obedience within two weeks. He was so excited by dinner

time he would dance around in circles and then immediately

dive into the crate with such abandon for his meal he left

divots in the walls.


He even started to figure out he'd still get love, pets and treats even if he didn't have a ball in

his mouth! Learning to play was also a great achievement. Poppin and his foster sibling,

Gracie, would play tug for hours. At Splash, Paddle and Roll, he went swimming for the first

time and was so exhausted by the end we had to lift him into the car.


When Poppin was adopted on Jan 4, 2013, the Pollock family was so pleased with the work foster parents, Carey & Dennis, did with their golden boy. He was a very happy pup when they got him. On their adoption visit, Poppin greeted the Pollocks at the front door. Once inside, Nancy sat on the floor to greet Poppin, and he immediately plopped down, and turned over on his back (almost in her lap) for a belly rub! It didn't matter to Poppin that he was quite a large boy at that time. And of course, that simple move had Nancy in his paws from the get-go.


The Pollock family was warned that Poppin had OBD disease.  Never heard of it?  Well, maybe you have: OBD is short for Obsessive Ball Disorder. How true that is for this golden boy. Poppin loves to play catch, especially with tennis balls. This is more evident as he has learned to grasp the ball in his big jaws, toss the ball in the air himself, and catch the ball before it hits the ground.  Look out, Hollywood—he may just be the next Air Bud! Gentle as can be, he also will play ball with their grandchildren .... by chasing after thrown balls non-stop.  Inside the house, he rolls the ball on the floor, nudging it along with his nose—just to get the grandkids' attention.  It's obvious he's awesome with the Pollocks' grandchildren, even in their infancy.


Poppin loves riding in the family's vehicles—especially when Bob goes on errands. As soon as the vehicle is put in drive, Poppin settles in as Bob's navigator until their destination is reached.


Poppin is also a very disciplined golden who is at ease at heading into new and strange environments—and the family is looking into enrolling him into therapy dog classes. He minds very well and just plain wants to go where you go.


Within the year of adopting Poppin, the Pollocks fostered and later adopted two golden females, Morgan & Sable. Poppin welcomed them happily with lots of kisses and open paws.  He's quite the big lover boy!


Poppin has also learned to walk with ease on a leash, but he generally leads with the girls doing their best to catch up.


Poppin's come a long way from the scruffy boy GRR first picked up in 2012 (see first photo).  Now with a lush coat and wide smile, Poppin is a tremendous representative of GRR.


If you would like to have your dog featured in the "Where Are They Now" column, write up a brief story like Poppin's and send to

A Big Four Paws for GRR at Dogtoberfest 2013

Gold Ribbon Rescue had a great day with their booth at Dogtoberfest.  Though it was quite chilly in the morning, the customers came out early to see what GRR had to offer.  Selling a whopping 49 dog blankets hand crafted by Kathy Simmons, calendars, other miscellaneous items, and donations, GRR pocketed $2,192 in addition to benefiting from the total profits made by Dogtoberfest. Though the final calculation hasn't been totaled yet, each benefiting group last year was given $4,000.  It will likely end up that GRR will earn approximately $6,000 for one day—the proceeds will go to the Extraordinary Golden Fund, for those special goldens in need of some special medical help.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers who were involved with making this event such a great success: Sheila Thomas, Suzy Scott, Carey and Dennis Gunthert, Pam Phillips, Susan Reda, Kathy and Gary Regan, Lisa Savage, Lisa Westergard, Arlen Zander, Carol Blackwell, Paulette Lance, Mary Palmer, Tim Tierney, Gail March, Kathy Simmons, and Michelle Goldberg.

GRR SwimFest 2013: Solid Gold(en)

SwimFest 2013 which was held at the Quarry this year could not have been a more amazing time for all. 


A big thanks to both Rudy's BBQ and Upper Crust Bakery for their donations of tacos and pastries.


While the goldens romped around, splashing in the water, and soaking up the sun, Dr. Stried gave an impressive and informative speech on the dangers of heartworms and how this devastating disease can be prevented.  

All parties left exhausted—those with and without tails—after such a fun day meeting new people and new pups. 


A special thanks goes to Gail March for her generous donation and Michelle Goldberg for organizing another well-run event for GRR.









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