Golden Ribbon Rescue
February 2018

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Newsletter Editor:
Dorian Olsen

Technical Editor:
Jeroen Naus

Send comments or
suggestions to:

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

A Message from Our President...
Margo Biba

Dear Friends,

Is it just me, or have the past two months been abnormally busy? I knew I was in trouble the day I awoke at 2:30 a.m, obsessing about GRR tasks yet undone. I tossed and turned for an hour, before arising to work through the To Do list.

We bid a fond adieu to long-time board members Kathy Simmons and Emily Tuczkowski. No, they aren't leaving GRR but, due to family issues, they have stepped down from the GRR board. Their years of dedication and hard work are greatly appreciated: they did a stellar job for GRR. Happily, both Kathy and Emily will remain involved with GRR, as time permits.

Adoption Director, Dawn Hinckley, and Infrastructure/Communication lead, Dawn Marie Rae, will be joining the board. We specifically targeted both gals for their expertise, knowing that they will help GRR in coming years. Welcome!

Important reminders for all GRR adoptive families:
  • Please contact GRR asap if your GRR kiddo is lost. The best way to reach us quickly is to email our GRR hotline. GRR will help with hourly hotline checks and by providing instruction. We will also, as needed, post fliers and send out search parties.

  • Per your adoption contract, your GRR dog must always be indoors when you are away from home. For safety reasons and to prevent escapes, no leaving the doggies in the yard, please.

  • Per your adoption contract, if you cannot keep your GRR dog for any reason, the dog must come back to GRR. We are a safety net for our kiddos, life-long.

  • Please join our members-only Facebook page to post photos and updates of your GRR dogs. We currently have 2,450 members. Wow. The link to this page is GRR Facebook.

    As Ever,


    Click here for a look back at 2017, in video, by Candice Gourley.


    Letter From The Editor
    Dori Olsen

    Rusty Olsen

    Hello to you all!

    Many thanks to Candice Gourley for creating the beautiful logo for GRR's 20th anniversary and for her exquisite video on our 2017 successes. Be sure to click on the video above to see how much we helped Goldens (and others) in need. What a fantastic organization!

    Be sure to check out the Upcoming Events. There's a Valentine's Day party for the pupz at the Zoom Room on February 17th. And for all of our hardworking volunteers, who may need to decompress, take a look at the Compassion Fatigue Workshop, hosted by the Helotes Humane Society, on Sunday, February 25th.

    A huge thank you to everyone who contributes articles and photos for the newsletter. I think it is much more interesting when it is "your" newsletter. If anyone would like to contribute about an hour once a month to proofread the newsletter, that would be wonderful. It would be around the 25th of each month. I try very hard not to make mistakes, but that second set of eyes is gold! Please let me know if you're interested. And keep those articles coming!

    Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Have a great month.


    This month's Contributors:

    Becki Adler
    Paula Ellis
    Anita Briggs
    Robin Early
    Georgia Zwartjes
    Rebecca Breyfogle
    Jeroen Naus
    Dawn Marie Rae


    Gold Ribbon Rescue's 2018 Calendar! Now $10.00

    Our 2018 GRR calendar is still available. You can order yours here. They're great gifts for any occasion!


    Help Wanted

    Landlord Verification Volunteer
    Are you wanting to volunteer? The Adoption Team is looking for a volunteer that can complete the verification of permission from applicant landlords. Are you organized? Do you like to coordinate? Do you want to have a critical role in the adoption process? This volunteer role requires knowledge of GRR policies in general and the ability to use basic computer skills to enter the verification information into the GRR Relevant Tools Database and/or forms webpage. This position entails approximately 5-7 hours per week +/- depending on the number of applicants whose applications require verification. For more information or to volunteer, please contact GRR Adoption Director Dawn Hinckley.

    Newsletter contributor:
    1 hour/month. Contacting adoptive families and foster families for features, external subjects. Collect or write articles and solicit for photos. Time volunteered flexible. As little as 1 hour a month depending on how much you want to do. Please contact Dori Olsen.

    Foster Coordinator Lead:
    Assign foster coordinators (FC) to new foster and FPA (foster pend adopt) families. Ensure FCs have the materials they need and track information. Time requirement is 3-5 hours per week. For more information, please contact Michelle Goldberg.

    GRR Website Content Coordinator:
    Must have Drupal, HTML, CSS and FTP skills to manage timely updates to our website re: fundraisers, events and general content changes. Approximately 5 hours per week depending on current campaigns. Please contact Dawn Marie Rae for more details.

    Respite Volunteers needed:
    A wonderful service we offer to our foster families is to find temporary short-term respite for their foster dogs while travelling or away from home. We are in need of more respite families to help out with keeping foster dogs short- term. This is a great way to provide socialization for your dog, try out fostering, enjoy playing with and caring for a short-term foster. In some cases, we've even had respite dogs end up being adopted by the respite family, if they are not already spoken for. Volunteers must have gone through the regular adoption/foster screening process, including a home visit. Please contact Robin Early if interested.


    Upcoming Events

    Valentine's Day Party at the Zoom Room
    Join us for fun at the Valentine's Day Party at the Zoom Room on February 17th. Click here for details and to RSVP. This event is limited to 45 dogs with no more than two from a family. See you there!

    February 17th 5pm - 7pm
    Zoom Room Dog Training
    7739 Northcross Drive, Suite H
    Austin, TX 78757

    Compassion Fatigue Workshop for Animal Rescue Workers
    "This free workshop is open to all volunteers and staff who work in an animal rescue environment. Whether this is part of your job, or just your passion, we are all prone to "burn out". This workshop will help you with coping skills and strategies as well as give time to issues you have dealt with and how you have managed them." This workshop is hosted by the Helotes Humane Society and is facilitated by Leslie J. Hoy of Triangle Consulting, a well-qualified expert on the topic. Click here for details and to RSVP.

    February 25, 2018
    2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Helotes Lions Club
    14690 Bandera Rd., Helotes, Texas 78023

    Volunteer Training
    Looking to get more involved with GRR? We are always in need of more volunteers in different areas. Join us on March 17 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Austin Animal Center for our first Volunteer training session of the year! We will be discussing the different areas to volunteer in and teach you what you need to know for the areas you’re interested in! There will also be a golden retriever present at training as a demonstration! RSVP to Shannon Bennett.

    March 17, 2018
    1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Austin Animal Center.
    7201 Levander Loop Bldg A,
    Austin, TX 78702

    Amplify Austin
    March 1-2
    Stay tuned for more details!


    Check Out Randalls Good Neighbor Program!

    Randalls believes in working together with their customers to support programs that improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. They are committed to assisting non-profit organizations that are important to their customers and families. They offer their customers a way to direct their donation dollars to their favorite church, school or other non-profit organization. Since the program began in the fall of 1996, Randalls/Tom Thumb has donated nearly $48 million to over 8000 participating organizations.

    Through their Good Neighbor Program, organizations sign up to have an exclusive account number. Members of an organization can then link the account number to their Remarkable card. You can link your favorite participating charity to your Remarkable card by completing a Good Neighbor Charity Addition/Deletion Form. The more people who link their card to the organization's account number, the more money the organization will raise. GRR has established an account with Randalls for donation purposes and our account number is 8583.

    If you haven't done so already, please link your Randalls card to GRR. We appreciate their support. We appreciate YOUR support!


    Where are They Now? - Joy 17-110
    Gwen Stovall

    Please forgive me GRR, but it wasn’t love at first sight with our recent adoptee, Joy.

    My husband and I have adopted a few 4-year old Goldens over the years. We were fortunate enough to share ten years with our last girl, Gracie. The kids, Samuel and Zachary, were born during that time, which meant Gracie was a part of their baby pictures, and somehow graciously stayed with us through their newborn, toddler and young kiddo-lives. Sweet Gracie had the patience (and later mild hearing loss) that allowed her to endure and even enjoy the presence of kids. Ergo all dogs like kids – right?

    Six months after Gracie’s death, the family decided we were ready for a new pup. My family explored many dog adoption options before she came along some nine months later. Actually, we explored so many adoptions that I could probably write a few books: How Not to Adopt a Dog, Are We Sure We Want a Rescue? and Would a Fish Work Instead? I’ll save those stories for a later time; that is, if GRR ever allows me to write another article.

    When Joy met the kiddos for the first time, I felt like she was trying to will herself into invisibility by hiding far enough under the table. She had clearly perfected the wallflower pose and was hoping to be overlooked. However, the kids vibrated with enthusiasm to hug and pet Joy, which Joy wanted none of it. After the initial high of adoption wore off, my husband and I realized we had some work to do.

    Since then, we’ve created the We love Joy and She loves Us! plan. Joy prefers not to be around kids: well, the kids now feed Joy. If she wants to eat as soon as the food goes into the bowl, she has to tolerate Zachary (and his loud stomping feet), because that’s who has the food. Joy prefers to pee on the rug: well, Joy now has a cheering squad every time she pees outside. Joy prefers solitary moments in the house: well, the kids now entice Joy outside with lots of treats and sweet voices, so that she may take part in the kid ruckus, too. Joy enjoys the outside: well, now the kids have to as well, even on cold days! The kiddos and Joy are walking companions.

    Albeit forced at first, these interactions between Joy and the kiddos have laid the groundwork for a relationship. And, after just a few weeks, we could see the results. Joy gets a serious case of the wiggles when the kiddos wake up. Joy begins to pace by the door right before the kids arrive home from school. Joy will even lay patiently with my kiddo Samuel as he tries to teach her to give him a hug.

    Joy isn’t the only one that has learned some new tricks. Samuel takes Joy to doggie classes every Wednesday night and, anyone who’s taken a doggie class will tell you, it’s as much about training the human as it is about training the doggie. Samuel has found his calm, Bob Ross-like voice and now practices a boatload of patience when working with Joy. The two of them really enjoy their 10-minute daily training sessions, as well as the hour long weekly classes. In all trueness, we’re still working through some of the kinks – my son just asked, “did you include the part about her having poop on her butt?” But, we’ve developed some best practices and have set the groundwork.

    I’m reminded of a conversation I recently had with a really good friend, who wants “love at first sight” before she adopts her next dog. In reflecting back, I can certainly understand my friend’s plans, but my recent experiences have validated my “it doesn’t have to be love at first sight” approach. Maybe we’re experiencing unconditional love. Maybe we’re just learning how to love again. Either way – we’re building a lasting relationship and bond with our new doggie, who is an absolute Joy!


    It's Tax Time!

    Tax Deductibility reminder

    As a 501(c)(3), GRR is a "qualified organization". The IRS allows you to claim the following deductions as charitable contributions, if you itemize: Mileage for every mile you travel for GRR purposes: vet appointments, transport, home visits, etc. Direct expenses such as food, medical supplies and other items for a foster dog. Money spent on envelopes, postage, containers for supplies, baggies for supplies, membership fees, dues, etc.

    From publication 526: "You may be able to deduct membership fees or dues you pay to a qualified organization. However, you can deduct only the amount that is more than the value of the benefits you receive." GRR always recommends that you talk with your tax consultant/adviser on all deductions. See publication 526 here.


    We Did It!

    We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday. Gold Ribbon Rescue sends its heartfelt thanks to you all for your contributions to our Tree of Hope in 2017! Thanks to you, Gold Ribbon Rescue received $14,610! Then, a great supporter donated the money to take us right up to our $15,000 goal!

    Thank you all again.


    Cold Laser Therapy - Bailey 10-023
    Georgia Zwartjes

    I’m a believer! My 12 year-old Bailey (10-023) has had four cold laser therapy treatments and there is definite improvement in his condition. His back legs rarely give out on our two and a half mile walks. Before treatment he had been falling at least two to four times per walk. There is a 25% reduction in the crossing of his back legs when he walks. He raises his back leg to pee without falling about 90% of the time. Before treatment, he would topple over or not lift his leg about 70% of the time. His eye seepage has diminished by about 50%.

    Bailey has always been happy to go for walks, but now he dances around me like he used to when I’m putting on his leash. He also climbs four steps that he has been avoiding for the past year. He seems much more energetic on walks and seldom lags behind our other Golden like he used to.

    Bailey gets seizure meds four times a day. This makes it really difficult to board him. He’s on three different seizure meds, plus an arthritis med and a hepatic support due to receiving so many seizure meds. He needs his first dose between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.and his last dose is at 11:00 p.m.. Not many kennels have someone on staff all night. He hasn’t had a seizure in five years so it’s entirely worth everything!

    Here is Bailey 10-023 getting his treatment by Dr. Emily Oliver.

    He is such a big beautiful guy. This was his 4th treatment. He saw some results after his first treatment and he has continued to improve. He doesn’t look or act like he’s twelve years old at all.


    How Old is Your Dog?


    5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Active This Winter

    While cold, dreary weather is great for snuggling on the couch, it can put a damper on your fur buddy’s outdoor exercise routine. Check out these tips to help your pets stay active during the winter months.

    1. Create an indoor play area

    If you have a spare room, basement or garage, you can easily transform it into a doggie playroom for the winter. First, clear a space large enough for your pooch to romp by removing unnecessary objects or pushing them up against walls. If it’s not already carpeted, put down an area rug or some artificial turf so your dog won’t lose his footing on a slippery surface. Once complete, you’ll have a cozy indoor space for games like tug-of-war and fetch with soft toys!
    A cat tree will create a fun place for your kitty to play while the weather outside is frightful. Cats love high places that give them a prime spot to watch over their environment, and cat trees also provide lots of small spaces to hide and relax. They’re also made of a material that cats enjoy scratching, which will help keep your furniture safe from destruction.

    2. Play Hide and Seek

    Try hiding healthy treats throughout the house and encouraging your dog to find them. You can also play with friends and family members by having them hide, giving your dog a piece of their clothing to sniff, and then having him hunt for the missing person. Have them call out from time to time to help your pooch if he’s having trouble. This game will exercise your dog’s body and brain while helping to heighten his sense of smell in the process!

    You can get cats in on the fun by hiding small portions of food around the house in bowls or feeding toys. It’s actually healthier for them to eat several small meals over the course of the day, and studies have shown that animals enjoy their food more when they have to work for it. Hiding toys is another fun way to keep them active as well. However, before beginning any new feeding schedules be sure to check with your veterinarian.

    3. Visit dog-friendly indoor locales.

    In parts of the country with rough winter weather, long, leisurely strolls are unpleasant at best and impossible at worst. Instead, to fight off cabin fever and get some short bursts of exercise, try visiting a local pet store to pick out a new treat or stopping by a dog-friendly coffee shop to enjoy a beverage. If your pooch has buddies in the area, you and the other pet parents could even take turns hosting indoor play dates!

    4. Teach new tricks (or practice old ones).

    Tricks like sitting up, shaking hands and rolling over aren’t just cool ways for your dog to show how smart he is, they’re also great exercise! Sitting up and rolling over help build core muscles and are great for balance and stability. And shaking hands gives your dog’s shoulder muscles a nice, healthy stretch. Once your dog has mastered the trick, you can work his way up to sets of 10 reps for a solid workout!

    Believe it or not, cats can learn tricks like sit, fetch, come and stay too! Pick a new trick and practice for a few minutes each day until your cat has it down pat, being sure to use healthy treats for both encouragement and rewards. If tricks are old hat for your kitty, then practice them each day for a dose of healthy exercise.

    5. Schedule a day at doggie daycare.

    If the weather is too miserable for the dog park, find a reputable doggie daycare facility in your area with an indoor playroom and drop your pooch off for a few hours at a time over the winter months to give him time to romp and socialize. Try checking with your veterinarian for recommendations, and be sure to visit the facility first to make sure it’s a good fit for your fur buddy!


    Thoughts, Prayers and Remembrance

    Our Rainbow Bridge: (December 2017 and January 2018)
    Rest in peace, our friends and companions.

    Pattie (Goldie)
    Katie Belle


    Free Hugs!


    An Unexpected Gift
    Rebecca Freyfogle

    During the Christmas time of year, the spirit of love for Goldens flows at the Gold Ribbon Rescue annual fund raiser. As a new owner of a Golden Retriever puppy, I bid on an auction item and got the book, The Golden Retriever, by Jeffrey Pepper. The book went with me on my Christmas trip to visit my family in Colorado.

    This book presents the history on Goldens, how the breed standards began and show ring pointers. It has lots of information, but book was written in the 1960s and I wanted to learn something more up to date. Be careful what you wish for: life will give you the unexpected gift.

    I was returning home from Denver to Austin on New Year’s Day and my flight was at 7:30 a.m. This meant waking up at 3:30 a.m. to leave the hotel by 4:00 a.m., then drive to the airport by 5:00 a.m. in order to check in for my flight by 6:00 a.m. I was waiting at the airport, expecting to sleep on the flight back, when Southwest called my flight. My Golden Retriever book fell out of my backpack onto the floor and a nice couple picked up the book, and asked if it was mine. I said yes, and then they told me their dog was on the back cover. We had so much to talk about! They saved me a seat next to them on the flight back so I got to sit with Dottie and Joe Mikeska. We talked about dog food, fish oil, breeding, Waterloo Retriever Club, puppy training and dog treats. Dottie started as a dog trainer; then she and her husband graduated from Texas A & M with degrees in veterinary medicine. I learned so much from this Golden Retriever - loving couple.

    The book was donated at the Holiday Party by Pam Phillips. Thank you Pam! Your donation was indeed an unexpected gift!

    Dottie, at the Denver Airport, holding the book with her dog’s photo.


    Another One Bites the Dust
    Courtesy of Harvey - 17-103


    Don't Adopt Me If...
    Dawn Marie Rae

    Don’t adopt me if…
    • You think I’m just an accessory to your life – I’m not a purse.
    • You think I am a status symbol – I don’t care how much money you have.
    • You think I’m an ‘until dog’ – I want to be a forever dog.
    • You think I’m too old – but you saved my life!

    Don’t adopt me if…
    • You don’t let me decompress – I’ve been moved from place to place to get here and I'm so confused.
    • You aren’t gentle and patient – I just came from a shelter and it was terrifying.
    • You can’t give me time to learn to trust you – you’re new to me and I’m scared of everything.
    • You think I look horrible – I just don’t feel good and no one took care of me. I just need to heal.
    • You can’t help me learn your routine – there’s a lot going on in your house and I have never lived in a house before.
    • You’ll be gone all day – It will just make me sad and lonely.

    I am terrified and scared when I come to your house. I’ve been in a big, noisy place with other sad dogs or my family had to let me go for some reason that I don’t understand.  I may not feel good or I may never have slept on a nice bed in a warm house or eaten food that’s good for me. No one took the time to train me or play with me, but I want to learn and I love to play.

    I have a personality and I have a heart. I need your companionship and your love. It’s all I’ll ever ask of you.

    And I will love you forever.


    Where are They Now? - Scooby 17-031
    Anita Briggs

    After sending super-seniors Honey and Bailey ahead to the bridge at the end of November, the house was WAY too quiet. Every time we left home, Ferris (11-159) looked at us as if to ask “You’re leaving me here ALONE?”. Well, enter Super Scooby Dooby Do, with lightning tail wags, enthusiastic kisses, and superb retrieving. We are so thrilled Scooby spent Christmas with us as a foster and his adoption was finalized just before New Year’s. We and Scooby are learning more about each other every day. Scooby’s manners improve hourly, it seems, as he works on basic training and leash walking. Scooby and Ferris are getting along wonderfully, chasing each other in the yard, enjoying a good nap, or rough-housing in a round of bitey-face. Scooby has already met many of the neighbor dogs for walks or when our youngest is pet sitting. Scooby has put himself in charge of evening and morning rounds, saying goodnight and good morning to each of the kids. He’s discovered that we aren’t terribly serious about the “no dogs on the furniture” rule. After his harrowing journey to GRR, a little extra comfort doesn’t seem like much for him to ask of us, and he is a wonderful snuggler!

    We are thankful for all of the healing love and care that Scooby has received through GRR on his way to us. Candice Gourley was so kind to transfer over Scooby’s Embark genetic testing and account information to us. One fascinating tidbit Embark shared with us about Scooby is that his beautiful eye color comes from a unique expression of the blue-eyed gene. All the more mesmerizing to ask for treats and belly rubs!

    We’re delighted with Scooby as an addition to our family. We look forward to years of tennis ball throwing and scratching his soft, sweet head!


    GRR Monthly Status Report: December 24 - January 23
    Paula Ellis

    Came into care:14-011 Brixie, 14-012 Zoey, 17-148 Boo, 17-149 Lincoln, 18-001 Isabella, 18-002 Tippy, 18-003 Dax, 18-004 Charlie, 18-005 Miranda, 18-006 Kix, 18-007 Charlie R, 18-008 Buddy, 18-009 Aurora, 18-010 Holly Dolly, 18-011 Gia

    Adopted:17-138 Riley, 17-129 Dakota, 17-031 Scooby, 17-132 Oakley

    Currently in Foster Care: - 23 available/available soon, 14 foster pending adoptions, 9 permanent fosters


    No, We Didn't Get in the Mud!!!


    Who's the Boss?

    This is a fun quiz to help you determine your dog’s personality. You must take the test on the website to get the answers, but the questions are included here. Get ready to find out your dog's personality based on personality tests and famous archetypes. You know you’ve always wondered!

    My boy Rusty is “The Boss.” Big surprise. This is the dog that flunked the Canine Good Citizen test. But he’s going back through training! Hah! We’ll see who’s “The Boss!” Time to Play!

      What toy does your dog go for first?

      • Tennis ball, duh.
      • Shhh, she's sleeping.
      • Whatever makes the most noise!!!
      • A complex puzzle toy.

      Describe Your Dog’s Walking Style

      • Zig-zagging all across the sidewalk, occasionally yanking you into a tree.
      • Walk? WE RUN!!!
      • In a perfect "heel" right by your side.
      • Sniff. Every. Single. Thing.

      You say “sit.” Your dog…

      • Hovers in a crouch for two seconds then SPRINGS up to lick your face.
      • Promptly sits. Is this a trick question?
      • Spins in a circle and barks.
      • Sighs, grumbles, and very slowly lowers her butt to the floor.

      Bedtime! Where does your dog sleep?

      • On a dog bed in the living room.
      • Curled up in your arms.
      • Splayed across the bed so there’s barely room for you to perch at the edge.
      • On the bed at your feet, not touching you.

      Which Tom Hanks best matches your dog's personality? Don't overthink this one. The photos are on

      What does your dog do when you're not home?

      • Work on their novel.
      • Sleep. Snore. Drool. Repeat.
      • Roll around on your pillow.
      • Carry your dirty socks around until you get home.

      How does your dog let you know that they need to “go out.”

      • They run around excitedly.
      • They just sort of...go.
      • They ring a bell.
      • They stare at you until you figure it out.

      When meeting new people, your dog:

      • Jumps all over them like the Energizer puppy.
      • Stays on the bed or by your side, patiently waiting for a pet.
      • Has a definite personal space bubble and makes sure everybody knows it.
      • Promptly sniffs their behind to get their credentials.

      You just arrived at the dog park. It’s time to:

      • Spend approximately an hour sniffing Every.Single.Rock.
      • Run like the wind!
      • Assess the scene with lots of sniffing and polite tail wagging.
      • Go find the troublemakers and get into a barking party.

      You stubbed your toe and you might have yelled a little about it. Your dog:

      • Howls along!
      • Is too busy chewing something (or digging a hole) to notice.
      • Rushes over to give you plenty of licks and head nudges.
      • Found a cozy spot on the couch and keeps on snoozing.


      Happy Valentine's Day to Y'all!