Golden Ribbon Rescue
July 2017

Shop on Amazon with this special link and donate to GRR at the same time.

How Can You Help a

Make a
tax deductible donation
to GRR

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


Newsletter Editor:
Dawn Marie Rae

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,

Summer is here, along with thunderstorms and fireworks. At our house, that means #11-094 Wheeler will spiral into a panic, destroying woodwork, couches, and mattresses. Here are a few tried and true ways of helping dogs cope:

  • Thundershirts help ~60% of storm phobic dogs by fitting tightly on the body, similar to how one swaddles a baby.
  • Through A Dog’s Ear, music played on CD, helps the dog relax; available on Amazon.
  • Turn on indoor and outdoor lights and the TV during nighttime storms, and ride it out with your pal.
After a slow start to 2017, GRR intakes have increased significantly in the past month. Currently, we are on target to bring in ~160 dogs in 2017, as compared to 128 in 2016. Since we have such a Cracker Jack team of volunteers, my goal is around 180 per year. That seems to be the amount of dogs that we can manage without feeling overwhelmed.

Be aware that there is a new strain of Canine Influenza which is highly contagious. We are hearing reports of cases at vet clinics just north of Austin. It appears to have moved in from the East Coast, and reportedly all unvaccinated dogs that are exposed to it, become ill. The strain of the flu is “H3N2.” It may be prudent to avoid places such as dog parks. Should you and your veterinarian determine that vaccination is appropriate, specifically request a vaccine which is effective against H3N2. This vaccination requires a booster in ~3 weeks to be effective. We are including this vaccination for all of our new dogs. See an article about this below.

Enjoy the newsletter!

As Ever,

Fluke and Riley - a foundational Yoga pose!
In this issue:
  • Canine Flu is here in Texas
  • Where Am I? Welcoming your new dog
  • Your dog and asphalt
  • Gorgeous photos of the Seuss litter by Candice Gourley and Dana Scott
  • Confessions of a first-time foster

Happy 4th of July! - Abby

This month's contributing writers:

Jen Micyk
Jeroen Naus
Amy Craig
Dori Olsen
Carol Blackwell
Candice Gourley
Dana Scott
Thanks to all of you - Dawn Marie


Upcoming Events

Kritter and company

  • The GRR 2018 Calendar Auction is still in progress; Gold Ribbon Rescue invites you to join in the bidding to nab a month of your Golden's photos in our 2018 GRR Calendar, beginning Now, for November's calendar page! An outright bid of $500 buys you the month page and starts bidding for the next month. November and December will not have a buy it now option and will go to the highest bidder. October did not sell, and will be re-listed after the December page. Click here to make your bid, pre-order your calendar and/or submit a special day in memoriam or celebration.

  • Mark your calendars for our Golden Gala 2017 October 29th!


    GRR Monthly Status Report: June 1 through June 25 2017

    Came into care: 17-054 Maggie, 17-055 Riley, 17-056 Teddy, 17-057 Remi, 17-058 Nala, 17-059 Wiggins, 17-060 Thelma, 17-061 Louise, 17-062 Annie, 17-063 Brutus, 17-064 Bungus, 17-065 Cindy Lou, 17-066 Knox, 17-067 Mayzie, 17-068 Zizzy, 17-069 Teddie, 17-070 Tobin, 17-071 Pipa, 17-072 Natalie, 17-073 Merle

    Adopted:17-036 Woods, 17-054 Maggie, 17-055 Riley, 17-057 Remi, 17-069 Teddie

    Currently in Foster Care: 37 - 18 available/available soon, 9 foster pend adoptions, 10 permanent fosters

    Happy July 4th from Mr. Jack!


    Diary of a First-time Foster
    Dori Olsen

    Winchester with Emma in his new home!

    I get THE email! There is a young dog coming in and do I want to foster him? OF COURSE!! The excitement and then the worry. Do I remember enough about young dogs? What do I feed him? What is a martingale collar? What kind of bed should I get? Toys – must get toys! You would think that I was a first time dog owner when I’ve actually had two Goldens spanning 25 years. But this is different. This isn’t MY dog and I have been entrusted with his care and welfare.

    The big day comes and I collect Winchester from the vet. He is handsome with his collar of shame after his boy surgery. He looks at me like “What, another new person?” But he comes with me nicely. It is obvious he hadn’t had much experience in cars. He is pacing and thoroughly enjoys “back seat driving” as he has his paws on the console and his cone is blocking the rear view mirror on the trip from Austin to Helotes. Treats thrown over the seat into the back helped!

    Day two – Winchester started smiling today. He’s starting to feel at home and his activity level is becoming apparent. He’s on restricted activity but you can tell he just wants to RUN! He’s getting walks on the leash around the back yard and is thoroughly enjoying the leaves on the ground and the squirrels. So far, he knows “quiet” and “no”. “Sit” isn’t in his vocabulary along with “down.” “Stay” No way! He tried a little anticipatory counter surfing but there was nothing there to score. He pulls on his leash and is stealthy as a ninja. He doesn’t know what toys are for and just looks at the ball when I roll it to him. I adore him! We’re both going to school when he gets off restriction.

    One and a Half Weeks: Yesterday a terrible evil spirit invaded sweet Winchester. He was barking incessantly, took a new white pillow into the back yard and rolled it in the dirt, counter surfed and knocked an entire lasagna onto the kitchen floor and ate half of it before I could stop him. He chewed up a pair of sandals, spread his stuffed animals complete with stuffing from the front door to all over the back yard. Sigh! He’s learning to live in a house but tons of training ahead. The good news? He rode in the car calmly from Helotes to San Marcos, he’s not pulling so badly on his leash and he’s becoming friendly with the neighborhood dogs.

    Two and Half Weeks –The evil spirt is alive and well and living in Winchester. He is now gnawing on me like I’m a bone and when I ignore him or tell him to stop, he gives a low growl and barks. He is playing tug of war with my sweatshirt (with me in it) and circles the backyard like there’s a demon after him. Where has my sweet boy gone? Alan gave me many training tips and I tried what I thought was a simple one – using a smelly treat to get him to sit. I put the smelly treat under his nose, arc it up over his head and his rear will automatically go into a “sit” position. Yeah, right.

    But he has learned to ride nicely in the car, take treats gently, snuggle with people, play with (and demolish) stuffed animals and other toys, chase tennis balls and knows (unless you aren’t looking) that there is a boundary to the kitchen. The success rate may not be perfect but it’s quite a lot for this boy.

    4 Weeks – Crash and burn. Winchester is moving to a new foster home where his fosters are very experienced in both fostering and training. My sweet boy is moving on and will get the tools and training that he needs to find his perfect family. I just wish it were with me. Would I do it again? Absolutely!!! Even though it didn’t work out with this baby, it was a wonderful experience and it’s an awesome feeling that you’ve helped a homeless dog move along the path to his forever home.

    Editor's note: Winchester has since been adopted and is very happy in his new home with his new bud Emma!


    Cases of 'highly contagious' dog flu more than triple in Texas
    Mariah Medina with KSAT San Antonio June 15 2017

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The number of dog flu cases in Texas has more than tripled in two weeks, new data from the Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory shows.

    On Thursday, TVMDL said Texas is up to seven cases of dog flu - four in Harris County, two in Hood County and one in Travis County.
    The numbers come after the laboratory reported two cases of dog flu in early June.

    Florida and Georgia experienced an outbreak of the virus earlier this year. In all seven Texas cases, the dogs tested positive for H3N2, the same strain of the virus found in Florida and Georgia.

    "Virtually all dogs exposed become infected with the virus," experts at the Texas A&M laboratory said, but not all dogs show symptoms. The report said approximately 80 percent of dogs infected with the virus show symptoms such as high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy.

    Dog owners can vaccinate their furry friends to protect against both strains of dog flu: H3N8 and H3N2.

    The virus can be spread from dog to dog, contaminated food bowls and contaminated surfaces.

    While the Texas A&M lab does not offer a test for the virus, pet owners can contact their pet's veterinarian and request a sample be taken and sent to TVMDL.

    More information on dog flu can be found here at Texas A&M's Veterinary Laboratory publication on the subject.


    Volunteer Spotlight: Colleen Vergari
    Jeroen Naus and Colleen Vergari

    In this edition of the volunteer spotlight we get to know Colleen Vergari a little better> She recently became our new Transport Coordinator. She's taking over from Bob Pollock, who we would also like to thank for all of his contributions through the years.

    How did you learn about Gold Ribbon Rescue?
    We have two Goldens, Rylie (7 years) and Piper (5 months). When we moved to Austin from New Jersey in 2016, I found the Facebook page first as a way to connect with other Golden families. When I saw they needed help with transport, I thought I would be able to help because my schedule is pretty flexible. I've been with GRR for almost a year now, and a couple of months with transport.

    Riley and Piper

    What are the main responsibilities of the Transport team?
    We need a lot of people on the transport team because the need can be far and wide. We coordinate transportation from shelters, to and from the vet, to and from foster homes and from owners who are surrendering their Golden.

    What are some of the biggest challenges?
    Our biggest challenge is coordinating schedules for multiple people and dogs at the same time, and sometimes at the last minute. We are lucky to have some really great volunteers who are available and flexible when we need them and they know things can change quickly. Our volunteers are so important! We are fortunate to have such a large group of people who want to help.

    How do you become a member of the transportation team?
    I use the Facebook page a lot for transport requests. If you would like to help with transport and aren't on the list or haven't heard from me, feel free to call or email me - 415-342-0851 or

    What do you like most about being a GRR volunteer?
    I've met so many great people and dogs through GRR! Our dogs have stayed with other GRR friends when we've been gone and I'm grateful to have found such a nice group of people.


    Adopt, Don't Shop!
    Amy Craig with Sassy and Bentley

    We’ve all heard it. We know it’s the right thing to do. All rescues depend on people like you to give safe, loving, forever homes to rescued dogs. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you bring a rescued dog into your home.

    • You may not be getting a purebred dog – While we do our best to determine whether the dog is full Golden Retriever, sometimes we can be wrong. Most of the dogs that we take in are at least mostly Golden, and all of them are fabulous companions!
    • You must have a fenced yard and plan to keep the dog indoors - GRR screens each dog they take in to the best of their ability. They also screen potential adopters, to make sure your home and environment are safe for a dog. We know the heartbreak of the loss of a dog because of escape. We work with each adopter to ensure it works out well for both you and the dog.
    • Some dogs may need additional training to help him learn more appropriate behaviors. Many rescued dogs come out of abusive/neglectful environments. Some have habits or behaviors that were developed because they were not properly trained. We have a team of volunteers to help you work with your new dog to help him become the model canine citizen, but it takes time, patience and commitment. This is an important element to consider when you want to adopt a rescue dog.
    • Dogs cost money – Dogs are rescued so they can have a better life. This includes making sure they are free from heartworms, fleas, as well as having regular veterinary checkups to ensure optimal health. You will also want to buy toys for your fur baby to play with and grooming supplies for their beautiful coats. Dogs make some of the best companions, and it’s our job, as their human, to keep them in tip top health.
    • Not all dogs get along with other dogs/cat/people – While many dogs love people and other dogs, some just don’t. Some dogs want to be the only dog in the house. Others NEED other dogs around to feel safe. Some don’t do well with cats. We’ve even had a few that didn’t do well with men. When we first bring in a dog, the foster family will evaluate the dog to see how he behaves around their family. If the foster family has cats, other dogs, or children, they will help us know fairly well how the dog behaves. GRR works very hard to make sure each dog is perfectly matched with their furever homes. But sometimes it just doesn’t work. GRR has a great return policy that includes finding a different dog for you and your family.
    • PUPPIES!! – So you want a puppy? Some prefer the idea of “starting fresh” with a young puppy. However, puppies require much more time, training, and structure in order to become the amazing canine citizen we all know they can be. We sometimes get very young puppies, but more often we get puppies between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. These dogs generally have lots of energy and are often in dire need of training and positive direction. This means almost full- time attention for these babies. But it all pays off in the end!

    Adopt, don’t shop! We have so many wonderful dogs waiting for their “furever” home. Will it be yours?


    New Feature: Bonding, Behaviors and Training
    Carol Blackwell

    "Where Am I? Who Are These Dogs? Who Are All These People?????" - Welcoming A Rescue Dog Into Your Home

    Brodie and Shadow

    Multi-Dog Homes: So many of our adopters already have a dog at home. We tell you to keep them separated for at least 3-5 days (trainers say 21 days). I think many of our adopters wonder why we say 3-5 days. Here is the reasoning behind that request...

    The new dog needs to build a relationship with YOU. Dogs will always gravitate to other dogs, unless trained otherwise, because dogs speak the same language.

    It should also be noted that when bringing a new dog into the house, we think the new dog and the resident dog(s) will be BFF’s from the get go. That is unrealistic. Think of bringing a new dog into the home with your resident dog. It’s like telling a person “here’s your new husband, good luck!” It’s basically an arranged marriage. I can say for sure I wouldn’t go for that.

    Your new dog says, "New place, new people, new dogs! What do they expect of me? What are the house rules? What door do I go out to potty? Where do I eat?"

    If you keep the dogs separated for the first few days (which means putting up the resident dog(s) when you take the new dog out), show the new dog what you want. This is the beginning of building a relationship with YOU.

    It can be as easy as baby gating the new dog in a laundry room, extra bedroom or bathroom with a sheet thrown over the baby gate. What if they jump the baby gate? Get 2 gates and stack them. You throw the sheet or blanket over the baby gate so they can’t make eye contact with any dog. They need to make eye contact with YOU. You can also crate them if they are used to a crate and cover the crate. Every time you let the new dog out, they think you are the greatest thing since yummy dog treats.

    Now I know many will say “I didn't follow these guidelines and everything went fine”. Trainers and the GRR Training Team will tell you “You’ve been VERY lucky”. The new dog is already overwhelmed and anxious, fights often ensue and your resident dog is now unsure of his role in the pack.

    You think your dog is bonded to you more than the other dogs? Do a little experiment. Bring one of your resident dogs inside and when the other dog(s) run up to greet you; do they greet you or the other dog(s) first?

    I know it sounds hard to keep the dogs separate. Remember it’s not for a lifetime. You owe it to the new dog to give them 5 days out of their whole life to make a better relationship with YOU.

    In this day of automatic watering, automatic feeders and even automatic play toys that you can activate from your office through your phone, ask yourself, why does the dog need me at all?

    Single Dog homes: Bringing a new dog into your home utilizes some of the same concepts. Give them space to adjust, show them which door is used for going outside (take them on lead), show them where their food and water bowls will be. Show them their bed in the family room and in your bedroom. Don’t take it for granted that the new dog coming in will automatically know where all of these things are. Reward good behavior, if your dog lays someplace that you like or find acceptable, praise them. Rewarded behavior will repeat that behavior.

    In both scenarios, your dog(s) are looking for direction and guidance from YOU, and need to be praised when they understand what is expected of them.

    Note: Content in part taken from GRR's Welcoming a Rescue Dog seminar June 10th with trainer Shari Elkins, CPDT-KA of the The Canine Center.


    Tails & Trails… discovering Austin’s outdoors with my Golden gal!
    Jen Micyk and Kerbey


    Walnut Creek Trail - starting at Govalle Park
    5200 Bolm Rd. Austin, Texas

    I’m always amazed at the fact that I’ve lived in Austin for 12 years now and continue to discover new gifts around town. This latest gift I have to share with you is a true gem. And while it’s a great place to visit any time, I highly recommend it for those too rare days when we’ve been getting some rain and the ground is too wet to head out on a dirt trail.

    Ever heard of Southern Walnut Creek Trail? I hadn’t until recently, but I’m sure glad I found it. Southern Walnut Creek Trail is an amazing paved trail (deemed a ‘nature lover’s delight” on the site) on the east side of town extending all the way from Govalle Park off of Airport Blvd up to Decker Lake. It’s over 7 miles of smooth pavement that only crosses vehicle traffic a handful of times. Of course you could just jaunt down your local sidewalk if it’s too wet out, but sometimes it’s nice to venture out and get in some new scenery. This trail winds through green spaces, over bridges, has a pretty intense hill partway through, and is used by walkers, runners, and cyclist. There are a few different trailheads you can use including the YMCA at 51st and 183, and the Austin Tennis Center off Johnny Morris Rd. Next time we get some rain I hope to meet you and your Golden out on the pavement. It’s great to have the chance to feel like you’re out in nature without having to get your feet and paws all muddy!


    Help Wanted

    Backup - Website Dog Profile Lead
    Time: 2-8 hours a week, depending on the number of dogs in the system.

    • Some experience working within a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal - as a user not a developer. We would help you with the details.
    • Be able to crop, size and manipulate the photos so that they fit well on the dog's page.
    • Have good writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.
    • Be able to tell an entertaining story that would make someone want to adopt that particular dog.
    • Have good organizational skills.

    Backup - External Facebook Content Lead

    Creativity, grammatical skills, ability to use photo manipulation software. Some knowledge of fundraising principles. Most of all, passion for GRR and an interest in helping to tell the stories of its Goldens.

    Video producer
    Knowledgeable of at least one application to produce videos from existing dog profiles and photos.

    Contact Dawn Marie Rae for more details.


    Where Are They Now? Dallas 17-002
    Amy Craig

    Christmas Eve, 2016, Miss Dallas 17-002 jumped the fence out of her owner’s yard and was hit by a car. She was only a year old. Her owners took her to their vet, where they tried conservative treatment. It wasn’t long before her owners learned from their vet that this precious pup would need a fairly significant hip surgery. Dallas was lovingly surrendered to GRR, because they simply could not afford the surgery.

    Dallas was taken to Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital where she had a pin placed in her hip. After her hospital stay, she stayed with a GRR foster through 6 long weeks of rehab. (forever for a 1 year-old puppy who has to stay quiet!). During this time, Rachelle and Bull Ellington were inquiring about this lovely lady, but were told to hang tight for a bit until GRR could learn a bit more about who she really is... once she is all healed from her surgery and the “real” Dallas comes out!

    Once cleared for play, Dallas went to Jackie McGrath’s house; a valuable GRR foster who just happens to be a dog trainer! Jackie and her husband helped Dallas learn how to “be friends” with other dogs, and got her started with more structured basic training. She also learned a few fun games!

    Dallas was then introduced to the patiently waiting Ellington family. She was very interested in Annie, their 9-year-old Golden/Shepherd mix, and licked their cat, Miss Monroe. After two visits, GRR decided the South Austin family would be a good forever home for Dallas. The Ellingtons knew she would need ongoing training, love and play, which according to them, has been quite a joy! She’s a Frisbee, stick, ball, rope, and sometimes mud retriever. Dallas will soon be a “student” at Dog Joy.

    While at Jackie's, her foster Dad taught her the “hose game”. You know, the one while watering your plants, a true Texas waterdog can’t help but leap through it to cool off and “help”. So this very energetic pup gets added exercise nightly as Rachelle and Bull water their yard. “We have fun putting different animal noises on TV to see how she reacts. And it’s always hilarious as she walks behind the wall trying to find the mystery animal. Ears perked, head cocked in wonder, she looks at us like we’re crazy for not helping her investigate. Needless to say, Dallas would not be as happy and healthy if it weren’t for the kindhearted people at GRR. The time and money spent to help her has allowed us an exciting new addition of love to receive and give.”

    The Ellingtons did consider changing her name to a more “girlie” name, but her fancy white “socks” and lovely long tail hairs were like the spangled tassels on the Dallas Cheerleaders... so the name stuck. She also gets called Dilly Dally, Little D, Noddy Poochini (when she’s naughty).


    The Truth About Asphalt
    Pooch and Claws

    "The pads of a dogs feet are not any thicker than our feet so if it feels hot to your bare feet then it’s just as hot to your dog."

    1. As a basic ‘rule of paw’-If the pavement feels too hot for your barefoot, it is too hot for Fido’s.
    2. Pressing your own bare hands and feet on the pavement for at least 7-8 seconds is a recommended strategy to assess heat level.
    3. If the 7-8 second test yields a comfortable temperature, it is still critical to consider other factors to assess safety accurately.
    4. The air temperature is NOT an accurate reflection of ground temperature at all!
    5. Asphalt and other ground surfaces retain heat and this temperature rises exponentially as heat and sun exposure continues. (See chart above).
    6. Furthermore, the time of day is very relevant!
    7. Asphalt soaks up the heat all day and can only cool down at a certain rate and only when the sun retreats- so pavement that was deemed safe for a walk at 9 am may differ greatly at high noon and into the early evening.
    If you want to take an outing with your dog in the summer think water! Even non water dogs still like to run along the edge and get their doggie tootsies wet and your feet will like it better too.


    Pet Sitters and Poker Faces...

    Evi, Boomer, Ryan and Regan

    If you'd like to contact these great guys to sit and play with your babies, contact Regan
    and Ryan here.


    The Litter Seuss...Or The Seussicals!
    Photos Courtesy of Candice Gourley and Dana Scott

    17-062 Annie, female yellow
    17-063 Brutus, male royal blue
    17-064 Bungus, male dark green
    17-065 Cindy Lou who, female yellow-orange
    17-066 Knox, male orange
    17-067 Mayzie, female light blue
    17-068 Zizzy, female pink

    Check out this adorable video from Candice Gourley.


    In Loving Memory - Muffin
    Meagan Gonzalez Noble

    Our sweet Muffin crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully at home this afternoon. She fought the cancer as long as she could, but as of this weekend couldn't really walk on her own and was visibly in pain. She was the sweetest dog in the world, gentle with children and cats, and it was reported she "mothered" all the new dogs at A to Z Dog Ranch during her last visit. But she also had a spunky side, barking at German Shepherds that looked at her sideways, and pulling violently on her leash when she wanted to sniff something. She was such a sweet, calming presence in our home, the favorite dog of our cat and toddler, and she will be dearly missed.


    In Loving Memory: Wiggins 17-059
    Candice Gourley

    June 9 2017: It is with deep sadness - and gratitude - that I need to let you know that Mr Wiggins, a Gold Ribbon Rescue Golden (17-059) joined the angels at just before 9 this morning. I was cuddling and rocking him, and he gave some deep breaths and then slipped into memory.

    Although we tried to revive him with CPR, it was unsuccessful. His labs also came back showing that he had gotten so much worse.

    I am sure that many of you mourn this news. But know that puppies are the most vulnerable, and do not have the immune mechanisms to fight the overwhelming infections he had. Had Wiggins not bravely decided to step forward to his next adventure, we would have had to make that decision for him. Perhaps that was his gift to GRR - his way of saying "thank you, but now I must go."

    For my part, I am grateful because God granted me a beautiful little puppy. Puppies are magical creatures, filled with sunshine and light. Now, Wiggins runs with the unicorns, elves and faeries, where all those with the gift of light play. How honored I am to call my own another of these beautiful souls. How honored I am that I was there with him, cuddling and telling him I love him, as he stepped to the next world.

    Wiggins, my sweet, I kissed your head and nose, and wished for that for a lifetime. But the now must hold me through, because I know that I am yours and you are mine throughout eternity. You are loved, your name is recorded on my heart and soul, and I will see you again.


    In Loving Memory - Boomer
    Susan Dumas

    Boomer 13-084 was euthanized on Friday, June 2, 2017 because of lumbosacral arthritis. I do believe that his comfort was extended an extra six months or so by laser treatment of the spine and hips. His foster parents and I believe he was the perfect dog! Boomer is missed by Mylee (15-096) and by Hannah, who willingly and frequently served as Boomer's pillow.


    Thoughts, Prayers and Remembrance

    Our Rainbow Bridge: (since June 1 2017)

    Rest in peace, our friends and companions...

    Thelma 17-060
    Ginger 17-038
    Wiggins 17-059

    If you would like to submit a memorial of your dog, click here.

    Rest in peace sweet Ginger.