Category: “ARTICLES”

Dog Bite Prevention PSA

Children – a dog’s view … please watch:

Fostering a Golden

What Fostering Is All About
– by Bill Hyde, ECGRR

No dog rescue can exist without the dedicated volunteers that provide foster homes .. a very special place for those we rescue while they await placement in their forever home.

Who fosters?
Families that foster are just like yours!  They share a love for these wonderful creatures and offer them the care and attention they need to prepare them to meet their new forever families.  In many cases, the foster home is actually the first time the golden has actually experienced a caring and loving environment.    Some foster homes have other animals as part of their family and others don’t.

As a foster home, you provide the food, a safe place and love to the rescued golden. ECGRR pays for any pre-approved medical treatments and medications if needed. A foster dog may stay with you from a few days to a few months.  The average is around 2-3 weeks.  Should you have a vacation or trip planned during the time you are providing for a foster … don’t worry … we’ll find a place for him/her to stay while you are away!

When you foster one of our rescued dogs, we ask that you treat him/her just as you would treat your own dog … like a member of the family.  Getting to know your foster dog is very important since your observations and insight will help us in the forever home placement decision.  Each golden has its own unique personality and our goal is a placement with the best matched family.

The Down and Dirty
Something I always make clear to any potential foster home – some of the dogs we rescue do not always come into our organization in the best condition.  Most have been rescued as strays or from animal control/shelter facilities.  They may desperately need a bath or need special attention for cuts and scratches.  There is the possibility of having to deal with a period of recovery time after needed surgery (i.e. spaying or neutering).  On the emotional end, being in a shelter or control facility can be stressful for any dog.  He/she will need some time, along with your understanding and assurance, to adapt to your home.

Here’s the upside: You will experience a wonderfully warm feeling that is hard to describe as you tend to a recently rescued golden’s emotional and physical needs.  They are like a sponge and will absorb all the love you can spare.  Seeing them recover to their full potential is very rewarding!

NOTE: We have some Successful Foster Parent Tips that you’ll find helpful

On occasion a particular foster dog may not fit in with your family situation.  Some dogs may not get along very well with children, or cats, or with dogs of the same gender.  This is not to scare you off from fostering, but to simply advise you of the reality.   Should this be the case, just let us know and we’ll move him to another home.    Like people, goldens come in all shapes, sizes and personalities.  We’d rather keep you in the foster program (there is always another golden around the corner) than lose you because of a bad foster match.

We fully understand that some  families interested in fostering may possibly have restrictions such as only older dogs, or only males, etc.  That is great with us – just let us know of your preferences ….   We’re just happy to have you as a foster!

Oops – Can We Keep Him or Her?

This does happen – the foster has become such a part of your family and you just can’t let go.  Standard adoption procedures apply, including adoption contract and donation.  Since goldens tend to be great when a foster is staying at their house, we do hope you will still continue to foster.

My Fostering Experience
My wife and I have been involved with ECGRR for several years.  While we do not foster on a regular basis, a number of goldens have stayed with us and our own two goldens (plus two cats!).  Most fosters have been great house guests and caring for them has been a wonderful experience.  On several occasions, an extra special golden has graced us with his/her presence and it has been especially hard to say goodbye when it came time to pass on the leash to the next foster or his/her forever home.   The thought that helps is this: the golden we just cared for is heading off to a loving, caring family and we now have room for the next golden that needs to be rescued.

Are you ready to join us? If so, CLICK HERE

Successful Foster Parent Tips

How To Become a Successful Foster Parent

Some great tips for fostering:

– If you have your own resident dog(s), take him/them to your veterinarian for a thorough check-up and update his/their vaccinations, particularly bordatella (for kennel cough) prior to introducing your foster dog. If you have foster dogs on a continuous basis, routine deworming of resident dogs is recommended (every 6 to 12 months).

– Invest in a dog crate or ask the rescue if it can provide you with one. Crates are invaluable tools for potty-training, and keeping the foster dog and your valuables safe when you’re not around to supervise. If you’ve never used a crate, you might review the information provided here.

– Decide, as a family, what the foster dog will/won’t be allowed to do and enforce the rules from the beginning. Does the foster dog have access to the entire house? Is the foster dog allowed on the couch? On the bed? Where will the foster dog sleep?

– Feed the best quality dog food you can afford. Rescue dogs have experienced a lot of stress and many enter rescue showing signs of poor nutrition and food allergies. A quality kibble can reduce food allergies, bring back coat luster and feeds the mind as well as the body. Find out What’s Really in Pet Food.

– Keep dogs separated at meal times and avoid free-feeding. This eliminates the possibility of fighting over food and helps you monitor if and how much the foster dog is eating.

– Pick up and prevent access to all toys, bones, balls and chewies, initially. This eliminates the possibility of fighting over possessions. In a few days, once the dogs have adjusted to each other, you can slowly introduce toys. It is recommended that bones and other high-value items NOT be introduced.

– Pick up and dispose of dog waste daily. This reduces the spread of disease and parasites.

– Keep in mind, most dogs are on their best behavior for the first week. It can take up to a month for a dog to show his/her true personality.

– Learn as much as you can about pet care. Before you bring your foster Golden home, learn as much as you can about caring for that dog. Read about feeding, grooming, and training. Study the warning signs that may indicate the animal needs veterinary attention.

– Make your home pet-friendly. Before you bring your foster dog home, make sure you “pet proof” your home. For example, remove poisonous plants and protect furnishings.

– Recognize your limits. Fostering requires time and energy — both emotional and physical. Don’t overextend yourself by fostering animals too frequently; you may burn yourself out.

– Enjoy being a foster parent. Although fostering takes time and commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You are temporarily providing a needy animal with a loving home environment and helping that animal become more suitable for adoption into a responsible, lifelong home.

NOTE: Read Becoming A Foster Parent for a great article in PF format about the general fostering of pets.

A Senior Poem

Everyone loves puppies, but puppies do grow up.

A Senior PoemAuthor unknown 

One by one, they file past my cage
Too old, too worn, too broken, no way
Way past his time, he can’t run and play
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way

A little old man, arthritic and sore
It seems I am not wanted anymore
I once had a home, I once had a bed
A place that was warm, and where I was fed

Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong
I got in their way; my attitude was wrong

Whatever excuse they made in their head
Can’t justify how they left me for dead
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day
The younger dogs all get adopted away

When I had almost come to the end of my rope
You saw my face, and I finally had hope
You saw through the grey and the legs bent with age
And felt that I still had life beyond this cage

You took me home, gave me food and a bed
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head
We snuggle and play and you talk to me low
You love me so dearly, you want me to know

I may have lived most of my life with another
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger
And I promise to return all the love I can give
To you, my dear person, as long as I live

I may be with you for a week or for years
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave
I know you will cry and your heart it will grieve

And when I arrive at the Bridge all brand new
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you
And I will brag to all that will hear
Of the person who made my last days oh, so dear

Golden Retriever’s – not for everyone!


Though initially Golden Retrievers may seem to be the ideal pet, there are disadvantages to owning an animal of this type. Below are many areas that need thought and consideration before you buy adopt!

A Golden Retriever is NOT the perfect pet for everyone!

Size – Goldens are medium to large sized animals. The standard size for males range from 23 – 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh proportionally from 65-75 pounds. Females stand around 21.5 – 22.5 inches and weigh 55-65 pounds. They normally possess extremely active tails making clean sweeps of coffee and end tables. Quite simply they need room. Uncluttered houses are a must!

Exercise – Goldens were developed as a sporting breed able to handle a day’s hunting routinely. They need to have hard consistent exercise daily (20-30 minutes twice a day is usually sufficient) or they may have difficulty adjusting to the “calm house pet” role expected by most owners. A fenced in yard is especially important in providing the dog enough exercise. As a sporting dog they are easily distracted by birds, animals or moving objects; they must be kept leashed when being exercised outside of a fenced yard to keep them from running away.

Shedding – They are a long-coated breed and shed their coats a minimum of twice a year, however in Florida they tend to shed moderately all year long. Because of the coat, grooming every other day is to your advantage. If you require a fastidiously kept house – Don’t get a golden. You will always have dog hair around, especially in rugs, on furniture, and OH YES, occasionally even in your food. Oh – and you will have to vacuum much more often than before – or little furballs will accumulate along your baseboards!

Health & Care – Goldens are known to be prone to skin problems – allergies as well as dry and brittle coats. Additionally, they have varying degrees of problems with hip dysplasia and eye defects. Feeding one medium-sized dog for a year will run you between $250 -$400 depending upon type of food and additional supplementation. Goldens must be fed a high quality premium food to prevent costly skin problems – which means you will not be able to buy your food at the grocery or discount store – and will have to make a special trip to the pet supply store. Veterinary expenses for annual checkups and shots will cost around $75 a year, plus any additional vet care your dog may require through the year. This would include a yearly heartworm test and monthly heartworm preventative, costing around $100 a year. If you do not give your dog heartworm preventative, it will probably contract the parasite and must be treated which costs between $300 – $700; if your dog is not treated, it will die. Topical flea preventative medications, which are very effective, cost around $100 a year. There are other expenses such as toys, collars and leashes, brushes, shampoos, toys and nylabones for chewing.

Neatness – Goldens are easily housebroken and make great housedogs. They tend to be messy drinkers, dripping water on the floor after they take their drink. Many goldens slobber and when they beg for food they can drool up a storm!

Training – Many wish to make their Goldens into good canine citizens. A good beginner’s obedience class costs between $50 – $100 plus the cost of any special equipment. Moreover, Goldens tend to be sensitive or soft in many training situations. They must be handled carefully with a loving, firm, but nonetheless gentle hand.

Velcro Dogs – Goldens are faithful companions. They are usually always by your side, many will follow you from room to room. They will lie in the kitchen while you cook and at your feet while you watch TV. If you don’t want that much togetherness, a golden isn’t for you!

Small Children – People automatically assume Goldens are the perfect dog for a family with children. Golden puppies quickly grow up to be rambunctious, strong bundles of energy that easily can play too rough with young children, especially when they are 6 months to two years of age. We don’t normally recommend Goldens for families with children under the age of 8.

Guard Dogs – As protective guard dogs Goldens are LOUSY!!! Though they may bark and growl defensively, when it comes down to brass tacks – they’d as soon kiss the intruder and show him the jewels as corner him with an I’ll rip you to shreds snarl.

Outside Dogs – Goldens make poor outside dogs. They develop skin problems and flea allergies if kept outside. They frequently develop thunderstorm anxiety. As sporting dogs they are easily able to dig out of a fence or sometimes climb over it when left outside for long periods of time unsupervised because they want to be with people. They also are frequent targets for theft if left outside in a backyard when the owner is away from home. Goldens are very social and pack oriented; they frequently develop behavior problems when they are kept separated from their families. A happy golden is an inside dog. In fact, most dogs are this way and do better as inside dogs.

Addictive – Very few people own only one Golden, we simply find them habit forming and contrary to popular opinion, they are not cheaper by the dozen!

Adapted from an article published by the Golden Retriever Club of America,
copyright GRCA/1980 compiled by Liz Watford

Why Adopt A Rescue Golden?

Reasons To Adopt A Rescue Dog
By Patricia Campbell

Faith02101memorialOf course the number one reason to adopt is to provide a loving home to a dog that has either never had one, or can no longer be cared for by a wonderful owner.  Many dogs that come to rescue just need a bit of guidance and a stable environment.

Training. Most rescue dogs have spent time in a family environment, have received the benefit of some basic obedience, and have learned the basics of house manners.  Can you expect a perfectly trained dog? Probably not, but the foundation has been laid and is usually quite easy to build on. 

Temperament and Behavior.  Most Rescue Organizations do some form of temperament testing before agreeing to accept the dog into their program.  Foster families have the opportunity to continue to observe temperament before the dog becomes available for adoption.  Good behaviors, and behaviors that need work are known, and the adoptive home can make an informed decision as to what they feel they are able to cope with. Not all rescue dogs are problem dogs.

Veterinary Care.  Rescue dogs, if old enough, have already been spayed or neutered, are current on shots, have been Heartworm tested and treated if necessary.  While some health issues can arise after adoption, many are recognized and treated during initial physicals and while in foster care.  Known health problems are freely disclosed, and can be discussed prior to adoption.

Image04Bonding.  Rescue dogs tend to form very strong bonds.  Abused and neglected dogs when treated with kindness and respect blossom into loving and loyal companions.  Skittish or timid dogs grow more confident, and with confidence, become more outgoing, and affectionate. Given a home where they can learn to love and be loved, where affection

And attention are combined with consistent training, rescue dogs can and do become the most wonderful of pets.

Matchmaking.  A Rescue organizations primary goal is place their dogs in what will be there “forever” home.  The group and the foster home can help guide you in choosing a dog that fits your life-style.  Active dogs are placed with active families, if you’re desire is a “couch-potato, foot warmer” type, they will strive to make sure that you adopt that “just-right” dog.

Continued caring.  With many rescue dogs there is a period of adjustment.  Rescue groups continue to care long after the dog has been placed.  Should you encounter problems help is usually just a phone call away.  If the problem is insurmountable, most groups will have a return clause written into their adoption contract. 

Housebreaking.  Most rescue dogs are housebroken.  If this area still needs work, an older dog can be much easier to housebreak than a puppy.  Older dogs have more control, and more eager to please their owner by eliminating in the appropriate place.  An older dog can be far more trustworthy with being left alone while you are at work.  It is wise to remember that even the most fastidious of dogs can have an occasional accident.

No Size, Weight or Color Surprises.  When adopting an adult dog, there is no question of how large the dog will get what color it will be, or what the dog’s appearance will be.

For the most part, what you see is what you get.  In some cases, with improved nutrition, and care, coat conditions will improve and color may change slightly.

Opening your heart and home to a dog in need can be a most rewarding experience. 

Before you purchase, please take a moment to consider some of the wonderful dogs available for adoption.


Reprint permission of this article is from The National Rescue Committee is a committee of the Golden Retriever Club of America. Questions or comments? contact the NRC Committee.

Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Senior Golden

13867902219530Consider adopting a senior.  There are advantages!  Here are just a few …

1. Live to Love! Golden Oldies are so true to their breed-being kind and giving love. They are grateful for this second chance for happiness with a new loving family and home.

2.  Obedient! Golden Oldies have learned what NO means and contrary to common belief, older dogs CAN learn new “tricks”, particularly since they are more focused and have longer attention spans.

3.  Been There, Done That! Many Golden Oldies have already been socialized to other animals and situations.

4.  Mellow Yellow! Golden Oldies give you some space for yourself during the day, because they don’t make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

5.  Potty Trained! Most Golden Oldies are housebroken.

6.  Mature! Golden Oldies are not teething and therefore won’t chew up your brand new shoes, antique furniture or favorite photo album.

7.  Adaptable! Golden Oldies tend to adapt more easily to household changes, such as visiting guests and being alone for longer periods of time.

8.  An Open Book! With Golden Oldies, what you see is what you get-most of the dog’s health and behavioral history is already known.

9.  Nighttime is for Sleeping! Golden Oldies let you get a good night’s sleep because they are accustomed to human schedules and don’t require nighttime feedings, comforting or bathroom breaks.

10.  Best Friends! Golden Oldies are instant companions-ready for hiking, car trips, good conversation, and cuddling.

Is That An “Outside” Dog?

Many potential adopters ask “Is this an ‘Outside’ dog?” Our answer is, “Not anymore.”  We attempt to place dogs with people who understand the need of a dog to be a part of the family.  One of our requirements is that any dog we place will reside indoors.

Goldens will develop a host of physical problems from residing outside.   These include skin, ear and eye problems along with joint discomfort as they get older.    Besides the physical issues, keeping one of these wonderful animals outside impacts their emotional well-being.

Even thousands of years ago when man and all animals lived “outside”, there was a cave or den for shelter, and man and dogs lived in small groups or “packs” .  The truth is, times have changed but we and the dogs haven’t. Both humans and dogs are “pack” animals; we do not tend to be solitary. Domesticated, companion dogs no longer have packs of other dogs to live with, so dogs now need to be members of human families or packs. Furthermore, both people and dogs are “den” animals. This is the reason that dogs can be housebroken. Dogs want shelter in a safe, secure den – your home – and they want their den to be clean.

Obviously, dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their families. But to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things you can do to him. Such a life goes against a dog’s two most basic instincts: the pack and the den. If you have any doubts about these ideas, think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen tied up alone outside. Dogs trying desperately to get their human families’ attention, and then just giving up to become hyperactive, listless, fearful, or vicious when the stress of enforced solitude becomes too much to cope with. The rationale given by people who permanently keep their dogs outside is that they will spend time with the pet outside. Even the most well-meaning pet owner does not spend significant time outside, particularly when it is raining or cold. Consequently, under the best of circumstances for the outside dog, a bowl of food and water hastily shoved before him, a quick pat given, and his owner, his WORLD is gone, leaving the animal to spend another 22 or 23 hours alone.

A dog brings you the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love, and joyful companionship. Unless you can responsibly accept a dog’s offer of these great gifts, please do not get a dog. If you already have a dog, perhaps this article will help you to see things from his point of view, and possibly motivate you to change your relationship with him. A sad, lonely, bewildered dog, kept outside, wondering why he cannot be with his family, brings only sadness and unhappiness to the world.

Spaying And Neutering

(The following is from the Feb ’06 Newsletter)

What is involved in spaying and neutering?

Spaying and neutering are the everyday terms for the surgical sterilization of a pet, neutering for the male, spaying for the female.

Both spaying and neutering must be done only by a licensed veterinarian.  In general the procedures can be performed at six months of age, in the last few years early spay and neutering has been accepted as early as 8 weeks by many veterinary groups.  Please check with your local veterinarian for his or her recommendations.

Spaying involves the removal of the female’s entire reproductive system:  The uterus fallopian tubes, and ovaries are removed from a small incision in the abdomen some veterinarians require you to return in about 10 days so the stitches can be removed, other will use stitches that can be absorbed into the body.   Recovery in general is a fast process, taking only 2 or 3 days, during which time you should limit, your dog’s activities (no jumping or rough housing).  Most owners will notice very little difference in their female’s personality.

In neutering, the male’s testicles are removed through an incision just in front of the scrotum; self-absorbing stitches are the norm in this relatively minor surgery.  Your veterinarian will inform you if your pet needs any special post-operative care.

Many pet owners are surprised to see that their dog doesn’t look neutered at first, since the scrotum remains in place and may be somewhat swollen.  The loose skin will   gradually shrink away after a few weeks.

Behavioral changes can be dramatic in some neutered males.  Many hormone linked behavior such as mounting, and dominance related aggression will diminish in a vast percentage of young adult males.  In older pets the behavioral changes are generally less noticeable.  If your pet is neutered before it is six months of age sex-linked behaviors may never even occur.

Spaying and neutering are among the most common medical procedures in the United States and Canada, and carry very little risk for y our pet.  Your veterinarian will discuss your roll in the process to ensure that any complications that do develop are dealt with properly.

Some benefits of spaying and neutering …

A neutered male is:

* Less likely to roam, less likely to fight, less likely to potty in your house, and less likely to bite.  Most dog bites typically come from a young un-neutered male.

* Less likely to be involved in a dogfight.  Aggressive dogs and cats find the presence of other un-neutered animals as a challenge for their territory.  If you have a large dog he maybe lucky enough to get away with only a few scratches, if the dog is smaller you may not be so lucky.

* Spared from testicular caner, and or prostate cancer.
The results for females may not match up to those of a male but the health benefits more than make up for it.

A spayed female is:

* Safe from Breast cancer if you spay her before her first heat.

* Will not spot your carpets with her bi-yearly bleeding caused from going into heat.

* Protected from other reproductive system cancers.

* Not an attraction for other male dogs.

If you have a topic or questions we can answer in our upcomming newsletters send us an email to

Please remember to visit our site at


Pet Lovers Tips and Trends

Shaving Your Golden

Thinking About Shaving Your Golden Retriever?  In A Word–Don’t!
(article courtesy of Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc)
Some people mistakenly believe that shaving or severely clipping their golden is a wonderful way to keep the dog cool and comfortable in warm weather. What they don’t realize is that they’re actually putting the dog at greater risk of health problems like skin cancer. Here’s why:

A golden’s coat is made up of two parts — the long and smooth outercoat and the soft and fuzzy undercoat. These two layers work together to protect the skin from sun, heat, cold and moisture. The fur acts as an insulator BOTH against the heat and cold.

When you shave your golden, you remove all of that natural  protection that he or she was born with, thereby exposing the dog to the sun’s harmful rays, a risk of overheating in the summer, and more. Because they were bred to retrieve water fowl, the golden’s  coat also acts as a water repellant and is designed so that dirt and debris brush off easily.

We’ve also had applicants think that shaving their golden would help protect it against fleas and ticks, would reduce shedding and eliminate hot spots – ALL UNTRUE! The golden will still shed, fleas and ticks are better controlled with a spot-on preventive such as FrontLine, and hot spots can be controlled with a premium diet and supplements. Simply put, there is NO good reason to shave your golden on a regular basis, and you are actually harming your dog if  you do so.

Grooming Your Golden

(article courtesy of Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc)
Golden retrievers do require basic grooming. They shed, but basic maintenance will significantly reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house. Regular brushing with a quality bristle brush, along with regular use of an undercoat rake will significantly reduce shedding, which will make you and your golden very happy.
The only areas of hair that require grooming are the nails, ears, tail and feet.

Nails: The golden’s nails should be clipped regularly. Long nails
are uncomfortable for the dog and for anyone they might jump on.
Check the nails and trim them regularly by carefully snipping the
tip with a pair of dog nail clippers or a mini Dremel tool. If you
are lucky enough to have a dog with clear nails, you will be able
to see the quick. Do not cut too close, and keep styptic powder on
hand in the event you do clip the quick. It is a good practice to
trim the nails weekly taking off small amounts each time.
Feet: Using an ordinary pair of grooming shears, trim the hair
around the pads, keeping the length even with the pads. Goldens
tend to grow “slippers” – fuzzy hair that protrudes from the top
and sides of the feet. Keeping this hair trimmed will reduce
matting and keep the dog from tracking in sand and dirt. The look
that you want to create is that of a cat’s paw.

Ears: The ears will require some general grooming on the inside
and outside. The hair on the inside of the ear should be kept thin
with the use of thinning shears and grooming shears. Hair covering
the outer part of the ear and along the edges should also be kept
neat. Ear cleaning is a basic requirement in keeping your golden
healthy. Golden retrievers have a tendency to get ear infections
if they are not cleaned regularly. Clean the ears weekly with a
quality ear cleansing solution.

Tail: The golden retriever’s tail should be groomed to look like a
fan when extended. The best way is to twist the end, put your
thumb just below the end of the tail bone and trim the end near
your thumb. Then, working from the end, carefully form a fan
toward the base of the tail.

            Surely if God could look like something of this world that we could
all see and relate to, it would more than likely be a Golden
            — Debra Marlin, Yellowdog