Golden Ribbon Rescue
October 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

The Gold Ribbon Rescue newsletter is published monthly. Articles reflect the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily reflect GRR policy. Gold Ribbon Rescue and its Editor(s) seek to publish accurate material, but neither assumes responsibility in the event of a claim of loss or damage resulting from publication.

A Message From Our President...
Margo Biba

Dear Friends,

Whew, it's been a crazy month!

  • #18-082 Avery had ELEVEN beautiful mixed breed puppies on Labor Day, and they are growing like weeds. Avery informed us that she was completely uninterested in being a mother, so a handful of dedicated foster parents stepped in, fostering and bottle feeding the little sweethearts. The pups will be ready for adoption in late October - submit your application now.
  • ##18-094 Cagney and her littermate 18-095 Lacey each had something very wrong with one eye. Dr. Barnes suspects that their mother had an infection while pregnant, causing congenital eye defects. Since the eyes were not visual and were causing problems, Cagney’s painful eye was removed and she is doing well. She looks adorable, as if she is winking. Lacey’s surgery is scheduled for October 10th.
  • #18-096 Troy tangled with a rattlesnake, and he lost the battle. The rattlesnake bit Troy right between the eyes. Foster mom Chris zoomed to the emergency hospital, where Troy was given two doses of anti-venom, plus strong pain meds and supportive care. Troy survived, and all is well.
  • #18-098 Mac was run over by a truck, sustaining lots of damage: dislocated hips, broken ankle, damaged scrotum, road rash. GRR volunteers zipped to the shelter near the Mexican border, nabbing Mac just before he was to be euthanized. Austin surgeon, Steve Kerpsack performed Mac's complex repairs; what a miracle that Mac's life could be saved.
Lynne Wisby is GRR's new medical coordinator for San Antonio and surrounding areas. Due to the high workload, we've found that splitting medical coordination into 3 distinct geographical territories works beautifully:
  • Carey Gunthert covers downtown Austin and northward.
  • I cover South Austin.
  • Lynne now covers San Marcos, San Antonio and surrounding areas.

I'll see you at GRR's Hearts of Gold Gala in Lakeway on October 6th. It will be an exciting evening of fun and camaraderie, with delicious food and adult beverages, as we raise funds for the foster dogs' medical care.

Donated dogfood: Treasurer Tim's dining room and my front room are still overflowing with donated dogfood, via Tomlinson's pet store. We are so lucky to have this food for our foster dogs! If you currently have a foster dog, or have fostered repeatedly in the past, email me. We'll get the food to a volunteer near you for pick up.

As Ever,

Questions or comments for the Board of Directors?
We value your input as members and volunteers. Please send a note to and include Questions For The Board in the subject line. We hope to hear from you!


Letter From the Editor
Dori Olsen

Rusty Olsen

Hello to you all!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be going to the 20th anniversary Hearts of Gold Gala on October 6th! I went last year and it was wonderful meeting all of the folks that I only knew by name. I would love to meet you too, so please consider coming. A 20th anniversary only comes around once!

Halloween is right around the corner so be sure to send photos of your costumed babies and we'll run them in the November issue of the newsletter. Send them to the newsletter editor so that we can all share in the fun!

We have wonderful photos of the Lunchables litter in this issue. Many, many thanks to the foster families for providing the photos and thanks, especially, to Jeroen Naus for the talented way that he put them in the newsletter, on very short notice!

Happy Halloween!


This Month's Contributors

Emily Tuczkowski
Dr. Ron Stried
Judy Sebesta
Jeroen Naus
Chrissy Hammond
Rick Gilpin
Paula Ellis
Robin Early


Upcoming Events

Paint Your Dog With Painting With a Twist (PWAT) - San Antonio

Come out and paint your dog with us and give back to GRR! PWAT gives back up to 50% of the proceeds based on attendance. Seating is limited and your reservation must be made at least 2 days prior to the event. You’ll receive instructions for submitting a photo of your dog, which is due by September 30th.

Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The Alley on Bitters, 555 W Bitters, San Antonio, TX 78216
Price: $55.00 per seat

Sign up here!

The Hearts of Gold Gala - Celebrating Gold Ribbon Rescue’s 20th Anniversary

Come and celebrate....mingle with other Golden lovers, share our successes, enjoy a scrumptious dinner, bid on fabulous auction items and support our Goldens as we focus on the next 20 years.

Our fabulous Hearts of Gold Gala has several getaways and live auction items available including trips to Seattle, Asheville and an amazing country ranch/home outside of Brenham, TX. There are non-travel items available to bid on as well.

We look forward to seeing each of you at this premier event.

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: Lakeway Center, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway, TX 78734

Click here to get more information about our sponsors, to see the fabulous menu and to purchase your tickets!

Howloween Fest @ DogBoy's!

Let’s get festive!
Come out to loads of fun, a costume contest and much more at Dog Boys Ranch…!

Dogs must be well behaved and current on vaccines. If you’re interested in volunteering for this event please contact Michelle Goldberg.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Location: DogBoy's Dog Ranch, 2615 Crystal Bend Drive, Pflugerville, TX 78660
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Limit of 2 dogs per family, $15.00 per dog
Click here to register on our home page under Events.


Meet the Adorable Lunchables

The Lunchables were born to Mama Avery (18-082) on, appropriately enough, Labor Day. Avery delivered 11 beautiful, healthy puppies and is currently enjoying alone time with DogBoy's trainer, Amanda Ott, to help Avery decompress in peace and quiet and allow her raging hormones to subside. She is doing well and is playing with other pups and enjoying outings.

The 11 baby Lunchables are currently with foster families Michelle Goldberg and Bob Benson, Sandy and Steve Nelle and Jo and Ron Kautz. Huge thanks to these three families for taking in the babies and losing a lot of sleep in the interim, I'm sure. The puppies are all extremely healthy and growing like weeds. They will be available for adoption around the end of October. Many, many thanks to the foster families for the most current photos. Huge thanks also to previous fosters Candice Gourley, Margaret Nahas Fitzgerald and Rob and Lainey Garcia! Enjoy the pics!

#18-088 Apple (female), #18-090 Capri (female), #18-084 Cheeto (male), #18-093 Chex (male),
#18-083 Fig (female), #18-086 Hamm (male), #18-091 Lettuce (female), #18-092 Mayo (male),
#18-089 Patch (male), #18-087 Pringles (male), #18-085 Ruffles (female)


The 2018 Hearts of Gold Gala
Emily Tuczkowski

OK, someone has it all wrong. Supposedly, a 20th anniversary calls for gifts of Platinum. Silly rabbits, they should know a 20th anniversary is all GOLDEN! Come join us celebrate our 20 years ... seats are still available.

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Location: The Lakeway Center
105 Cross Creek, Lakeway, TX 78734
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Cocktails and appetizers
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Dinner, program and live auction
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Music and conversation
Reservations: $75 per person, $500 per table of eight
RSVP: Hearts of Gold Gala


Dr. Dodd’s Pet Health Resource

Pumpkin: Why is it such a popular treatment for diarrhea?

A recent search of the term “pumpkin diarrhea pets” on Google (aka “Dr. Google”) returned more than 485,000 results. Of course I did not check all of them, but the ones on the first few pages extolled the virtues of pumpkin for treating diarrhea, predominantly in dogs and cats. Not surprisingly, I often receive this question, “My dog/cat has diarrhea. Should I give him/her pumpkin as a binder?” Let’s take a closer look at pumpkin, why it is used for management of diarrhea, and whether it might make sense for your companion animal.

Before we begin, however, please be aware that if your pet is experiencing diarrhea, a veterinarian should first determine if an underlying medical condition exists. Pets, just like humans, get diarrhea for many reasons; you should first know what you are dealing with before you attempt to manage it. Severe diarrhea can also result in dehydration and loss of electrolytes, potentially serious issues that may require medical intervention such as intravenous fluids and electrolyte balancing solutions to resolve.

Once your veterinarian gives the “all-clear” to manage your pet’s diarrhea more naturally, you can consider whether pumpkin is a viable alternative.

What is pumpkin?

Have you ever thought about what a pumpkin is – other than something we carve into Jack-O-Lanterns at Halloween or bake into luscious pies at Thanksgiving? Pumpkins are actually a fruit in the squash family. Like many fruits, pumpkins contain high amounts of fiber, which is important to digestive health.

What is fiber?

Soluble fiber: As the name implies, soluble fiber is “soluble”, or breaks down, in water. Soluble fiber absorbs water from the digestive tract, forming a gel-like substance that slows down the digestive process. Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, psyllium – and pumpkin.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and tends to speed up the passage of food through the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and certain vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes.(Vorvick, 2012; University of Maryland, 2011; Mayo Clinic, 2012)

Continue reading

Contributed by Dr. Ron Stried, GRR Medical Director


Are You Golden?


Judy Sebesta

Installment #4 The Best Laid Plans…

I’m not much of a poetry buff, but I always have appreciated “To a Mouse,” by 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns. Legend has it that, still holding his plough, he composed his apology to a mouse whose nest he had accidentally destroyed with it. He expresses a lot of profound truth about our relationships with all God’s creatures, great and small: how our actions, however unthinking, can impact them; how all are important links in nature’s “social union”; and how much there is to admire in animals’ hard work and “living in the moment.” The most famous line of the poem – “the best laid plans of mice and men go often askew” – seems particularly applicable to life these days with my GRR Hudson (18-046).

As you have read in my previous columns, since Hud came to me, there have been two clear priorities: 1) help him lose weight and 2) work on controlling his ball obsession. Through both I hope I can ensure that he will fulfill his potential and live his best golden life. However, more pressing issues related to his health have somewhat thwarted my efforts on both counts.

First, in late July the sweet boy developed a swelling in one of his paws. The vet suspected a thorn or piece of spear grass but because on first examination couldn’t find anything, decided to try a conservative treatment of antibiotics at first, which I appreciated. But, as I imagine many of you know, paw injuries can be difficult to treat. We all know how hard it is to keep a dog off his feet, and when one is as large as Hudson, there is a lot of pressure on the paws! Unfortunately, his paw got worse and he had to have surgery to remove the infected tissue.

Just when his paw had nearly healed (and he was finally out of the dreaded cone/donut of shame), Hudson’s anal glands became infected. A classic symptom is chewing on the tail, and when jaws are as big as Hud’s, a lot of damage can occur in short order (which was the span of just one night). Fortunately, a few days of strong antibiotics and – yet again – the cone seem to have cleared up that condition quickly.

Training largely has been suspended and more limited activity has slowed the weight loss. But thanks to his limited diet he still has lost over 10 pounds! And I think that he has learned to trust me, meaning he listens better, making his ball obsession already slightly more controllable. As the weather cools, our walks are becoming longer and we are resuming training. And I revel in the small moments that seem like big victories with a rescue, like when he looks at me adoringly, a new toy in his mouth, as if to thank me. Or like yesterday morning when, for the first time, Hudson climbed up on the sofa with me and put his head in my lap. Maybe, sometimes, it’s okay if even the best laid plans go askew.




Sweet Memories, Happy Memories

How Much Do Dogs Really Remember?

Living with a dog, you may think they have a pretty good memories. After all, a dog who’s been through obedience training remembers commands and hand signals. And I know from years of dog walks that my pups seem to have a good memory for place (i.e., they always know which fences are the most fun to bark at and which shops will give them treats).

But do dog memories work the same way as humans? The answer is no, not really, but sometimes. Read on to learn how your dog’s memory works, and find links to research and more info.

Associative memory helps dogs remember their favorite things.

When you think about going for a walk, you probably remember specific walks you’ve taken in the past. You may reflect in your mind’s eye on a particular path, or recall the time it rained while you were out for a stroll. Dogs don’t really think that way— research shows, in fact, that they have very little direct recall.

Instead, dogs have associative memory. Dogs remember people, places, and experiences based on associations they have with them.

For example, my dogs “remember” walks because of their association with my walking shoes. Every time I pull out those shoes, even if I’m just going outside without the dogs, they get excited as if they’re about to take a walk. You can change your dog’s associative memories over time. In fact, that’s a big part of training!

Think about how you introduce your dog to new people. If you invite someone over and have them give your dog positive attention and treats, your dog will associate that person with positive attention and treats. They may not “remember” your guests the same way you remember them, but they will form associations.

Do dogs remember bad experiences?

Although dogs don’t have the same kind of memory as we do, they can form negative associations that we may interpret as “bad memories.” For example, does your dog act fearful in the waiting room at the vet’s office? If she’s had a negative experience at the vet, she may not remember exactly what scared her so much, but she associates the waiting room with that fear. You can help dogs overcome negative associations by replacing them with positive experiences. For example, take a few “fun” field trips to the vet’s office where no exam takes place. Unfortunately, the stronger the association, the harder it is to change the memory.

Does my dog remember meeting me?

You probably remember the first day your dog came home to live with you. But does your dog remember when they met you for the first time? The short answer is, they probably don’t. But that doesn’t mean they don’t remember you.

Dogs may have some type of episodic memory, or the ability to remember specific events in the past. A recent study suggests this is possible. However, the same study shows that there are real limits to that type of memory for dogs. So your dog is probably not able to reflect back on your first moments together in the same way you do. However, their associative memories mean that they know who you are, and they know they like you! They are also strongly affected by smell, as detailed in the latest book by canine cognition expert Alexandra Horowitz. Indeed, a dog’s sense of smell helps them recognize and “remember” you.

Come on. I know my dog remembers specific events!

Just because dogs lack episodic memory doesn’t mean they can’t remember anything that ever happened to them. It’s just that the vocabulary around animal memory is necessarily different than that around human memory.

Episodic memory has to do with the “sense of self.” Our memories contribute to how we understand ourselves and our experiences in the world. But because dogs aren’t verbal, it’s very hard for humans to understand whether they have a similar sense of self.

However, recent studies show that dogs may have episodic-like memories. In a 2016 study conducted at the Family Dog Project at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, researchers found that dogs can remember events they witness (in this case, an action performed by a trainer). However, as far as researchers can tell, they don’t retain those memories for very long. So dogs may have short-term, episodic memory, but their associative memories stick with them longer.

Don’t worry, your dog won’t forget you.

Your dog might not remember every single thing you do together. She probably doesn’t have fond memories of puppyhood. But she might remember watching you leave the house this morning, and her strong positive association with you mean she’ll celebrate when you get home tonight.

Your dog’s positive associations with you, your home, and her favorite doggy friends mean that she’s constantly “remembering” your life together, and celebrating the good stuff in it. Even if dogs don’t have fond memories of the past, their recognition of the present is a good reminder to live in the moment and enjoy every experience you have together.


Leave It!


Dear Goldie
Dawn Marie Rae

Dear Goldie,

The dogs you advise always have behavior issues – and silly ones at that. Basically, all of them just need to go to class and learn how to be better dogs. I’m writing to say that I absolutely do not have behavior issues. I’m a healthy, well-adjusted Golden who lives with a wonderful family that I just adore.

I want to ask you why my Mom gets so bent out of shape when I make a dive for those lumps in the grass. See, my sister, Mabel, gets prescription food from a can that smells soooo good. All I get is the dry stuff – and I’m getting really tired of being a second-class citizen of this household.

But those lumps Mabel leaves in the grass are beyond delicious. It makes me want to just outright steal her food, so I can get TWO helpings. She would kill me though. When I sniff her butt, that’s all I need to know. The search is on. Oh, the wonder of it all.

Mom goes ballistic when I do this though. She yells so much that I think she’s barking in delight, too. Alas, she is not. You HAVE to help me out here.

- Well-adjusted in Wimberly

Dear Adjusted,
I get that you go for these aromatic dining trips. It’s got to be the highlight of your day – a dessert to top off your main course.

Mabel gets that food because she doesn’t always feel good and it helps her to eat properly. You, on the other hand, are grossing your Mom out. Humans don’t do this, but then, they don’t think their poop smells so good.

Ask Mom to change up your diet, add some goodies like beans or pumpkin, so that you don’t get bored. Mom can also add meat tenderizer or lemon to Mabel’s food. You will no longer think her butt is all that yummy.

- Goldie

Note to Mom: Repeat as often as necessary.
Note to other Goldens: There is no class available anywhere on this earth for this silly Golden.


How Dogs Learn
Contributed by Robin Early

Dogs learn in two ways: by association (emotional response) and by consequence (doing things). An example of associative learning is dogs’ reaction to the sight of a food bowl: fits of joy. They have learned that this bowl predicts mealtime. We can use dogs’ associations to teach them things. For instance, new puppies don’t care about leashes. But clip on the leash and take a puppy for a walk, and soon she figures out the leash means fun and… bingo. Puppy loves leashes. The reverse is also true. You can teach a dog to hate or fear leashes by repeatedly using them to give corrections or tie her up outside on her own. What does this mean? Everything you do around your dog influences the associations she makes.

As for learning by consequence, imagine luring your dog into a sit with your hand. Then you rummage around for the treat. When you deliver the treat five seconds later, the impact is lost, because your dog has sniffed the ground and looked left. As far as your dog knows, she got the treat for looking left. You may eventually teach your dog to sit, or you might end up with a dog that sits and looks left. What does this mean? That we need precision and immediacy to effectively train dogs.

Because of how dogs learn, they see the world in two ways: safe/good-for-me vs. dangerous/bad, and what works vs. what doesn’t. The safe vs. dangerous outlook comes from learning by association. When dogs are punished for peeing on the carpet, they don’t learn inside/outside—they learn that it isn’t safe to pee in front of you. The works vs. doesn’t work outlook on life comes from learning by consequence. All dogs try staring at the refrigerator to get it to open and give up when it doesn’t work. They also try staring at people at the dinner table—and because it works once in a while, they keep doing it. Dogs do what is safe and what works. Be patient with your dog and careful about what you pay attention to and what you ignore, and you will soon have a relaxed, happy, and well-trained four-legged friend.


GRR Monthly Status Report: August 25 - September 24

Came into care: 18-083 - 18-093 Lunchables Litter, 18-094 Cagney, 18-095 Lacey, 18-096 Troy, 18-097 Bliss, 18-098 Mac, 18-099 Cardiff, 18100 Kinsley

Adopted: 18-066 Riley, 17-155 Riley, 18-081 Maybree, 18-074 Juliette

Currently in Foster Care: 41 Dogs - 29 available/available soon, 6 foster pending adoptions, 6 permanent fosters


Thoughts, Prayers and Remembrance

Our Rainbow Bridge: September 2018
Rest in peace, our friends and companions.

Mica (15-163)
Jackson (13-047)
Cinnamon (16-105)
Sally (08-081)
Sonia (07-010)


GRR 2019 Calendar

Our 2019 calendar is available for pre-order now for $24.95. You won't want to miss this edition because of all of our Goldens that will be spotlighted on their special days. It's a Golden Fest! Order your GRR 2019 Calendar here.


Help Wanted

Website Dog Story Authors:
Write upbeat, enticing stories about newly rescued dogs and obtain photos for the GRR website using foster reports and contact with the foster. Approximately 2-3 hours per assignment. Desired turnaround time is 3 to 4 days from date of assignment. This is a critical position that enhances the chances of each dog for adoption. Please contact Barbara Tankey for more information.

Respite Volunteers needed:
We are in need of more respite families to help out with keeping foster dogs on a short-term basis while the fosters are traveling and/or are on vacation. This is a great way to provide socialization for your dog, try out fostering, enjoy playing with and caring for a short-term foster. Volunteers must have gone through the regular adoption/foster screening process, including a home visit. Please contact Robin Early if interested.

GRR Website Content Coordinator:
Must have Drupal, HTML, CSS, JavaScript 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.


Meet Our Preferred Partners!

Click here to view our preferred partners that help us with our mission to save our beautiful Goldens. We are truly grateful for their relationships and support. We thank them for all they do for GRR everyday, all the time!


GRR Facebook Group

At the request of the GRR Facebook Group, we're beginning a list of dog-friendly stores, so if you have an establishment to add to the list, please send an email to the newsletter editor.

It would be a good idea to call ahead to the store that you're interested in, just to be sure that dogs are allowed at their location. Some establishments may be subject to mall requirements that do not allow animals.


  • Macy's
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe's
  • Tuesday Morning
  • Home Goods
  • TJ Maxx
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Tomlinsons
  • Tractor Supply Co.
  • Thom's Market (Central Austin)
  • Estilo Boutique (Central Austin)
  • Hemline (2nd Street District, Austin)
  • Luxe Apothetique (2nd Street District, Austin)
  • Tarrytown Pharmacy (Central Austin)
  • Free People

We will keep an ongoing list at the end of the newsletter. FYI: The BringFido website gives you more information for hotels and restaurants in your specified area.

Thanks to Shannon Bennett and the Facebook group for this great suggestion!