Golden Beginnings Success Stories
we began Golden Beginnings Golden
Retriever Rescue in 1999, we have
saved over 2,000 Goldens.
Christmas 2008 pictures
Well, Melvin spent his first night here at the house and he slept through the night on his new bed in our bedroom. As I suspected, the cats weren't all that pleased to see him. I think it going to take a few days for everyone to get used to each other. Melvin is such a sweetie. He'll sit with you as long as you keep petting him. In the middle of the night, he got up once and came over to me at the side of the bed. I tried to coax him up but he didn't want to, which was OK with Shirley. Also, I think he is missing Joanie and the dogs a little bit.
October 19, 2008 "Progress report"
Dear Joanie and Jennifer,
I think our boy is adapting real well to his new surroundings. He is the most loveable animal I have ever been around. While I'm typing this email he's laying her next to me in the TV room. Melvin and the cats seem to be getting along fine. The old cat just keeps his distance and the young cat has been buddying up to him. I think we are going to get Champ sometime near the end of November. Before that, I'm going to try to arrange for Melvin and I to visit him at Kelley's house.
November 28, 2008 "Melvin and Champ"
Joanie, Jennifer and Kelley,
Happy Thanksgiving Ladies! I know that you are all probably tired of getting updates from me but I'm just so happy with my two new boys and want to tell somebody. The boys have been together just less than a week and each day they seem to bond together a little closer. The old cat, who doesn't have any claws, attacked Champ the first night and Champ took off running to the other side of the house. Nobody got hurt, just a lot of hissing from the old cat and Champ yelped like he was shot, but the cat never touched him. Neither Champ or Melvin want to have anything to do with the cats and they both seem to give them their space. Confrontations occur when one of the dogs and the old cat happen to be going around a corner and come face to face. Another week or so and I think everyone will be settled in.
Champ is just as gentle as Melvin but is very skittish. He is afraid of men walking toward him and the second night home I was changing in my closet and took off my belt and Champ took off running. My guess is that, in his past life, a man whipped on him some. We are working every day to get him comfortable with us. I'm constantly on the floor with both of them but neither wants to rough house, they just want to lay by me and have me pet them. I took the two of them into our walk in shower this morning and gave them both a bath, Melvin just walked into the shower but Champ had to be encouraged some. Shirley and I took the boys for a short walk yesterday and Champ wanted to walk right next to Melvin the whole time.
December 23, 2008 "Happy Holidays"
I've attached a couple of pictures of the boys. Melvin is the one with the tennis ball and the new teeth! We have had the boys together now about a month and they are big buddies. Melvin has emerged as "the boss", believe it or not. They have been eating together for quite some time now and they are wrestling like old pals. Melvin is the most social animal that I have ever been around. Champ is still shy. Our bedroom is his comfort zone. I think its going to take a while, but we're patient so we'll eventually bring him around. Shirley takes them for a walk every day and they both just love it. When they see the leashes coming out they go nuts!
I'm so happy that these two guys found me! I hope to see you both at the next fund raising event!
News from Charlie FNA
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We’re really enjoying Charlie (changed his name from “Jolly”). He’s starting to get along well with our two older dogs, and is such a mellow fellow, especially for a puppy. We took him to the vet on Tuesday for his second set of puppy shots and another deworming. The vet and her assistants fell in love with Charlie, and said he was such a polite, handsome little guy. He currently weighs in at 21 pounds. He goes back for follow-up in 3-4 weeks, and our vet said she expects that at that time he’ll weigh about 35 pounds! We’ll be starting training in the next two weeks or so.
I'm attached a cute picture of Charlie we took after he tired us out!
News from Honey NKA
Hi Pam (GBGRR Volunteer),
I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas and happy 2009! I am attaching a picture of us with Cricket/Honey :) One of our friends took it this past weekend. She is so much fun. The name suits her - she leaps straight up into the air when she's excited. More like a kangaroo, actually. We're trying to break her of this habit, but it's very funny to watch!
Cricket goes back to the vet in a week, but I know she has already grown. She has adjusted nicely to our routines and she is a fantastic walker! I am so thankful she came along :)
News from Lucy, adopted
in May, 2007
I hope you're doing well! Just wanted to pass along our latest picture...the cold weather really perks Lucy's energy up! She needs 2 walks on days like today! She was so playful today she was 'dancing' around with me in the room then all of the sudden bounced up (for the first time ever) onto my bed! Like "Haha, aren't I cute?" I was so surprised she did it instead of scolding her (like I probably should have) I took pictures with my cell phone. Hopefully I haven't encouraged something! My cat got in on the act and I got a pretty cute and rare photo of them together, hard to do! Seconds after the picture, I think Lucy got bored or remembered she wasn't supposed to be up there and jumped down.
I hope all is well with you! Just thought you'd enjoy!
News from Joy, adopted
in October, 2008
Joy has taken our house by storm and everyone has fallen in love with her, especially our granddaughters. She follows me around, step-for-step, and is the sweetest dog ever. She gets along with her new brother, Gumbo (formerly Grant - 2005), and they are now almost inseparable. Joy still takes her thyroid medicine and has gotten really active and playful. She loves her new toys, but doesn't like to share them yet. She also loves her new doggy-door and hanging out by the pool - although she built up a lot of momentum and went swimming the other day - pretty chilly! Also, as you can see, both of them enjoy their naps, especially on the couch.
They both sleep in our bedroom in their beds and go to bed in the evening without being told. They let me know when it is time for breakfast or dinner, usually with cold noses.
These dogs are a gift - the love and smiles they bring are priceless! Thank you Ty, Mike, Cil and all the volunteers at Golden Beginnings for making them possible! You are all doing very special work with these remarkable creatures!
Norman and Paula
News from Finnegan
Finnegan and his new Irish pal Sheena posing for Christmas card pictures, and Finnegan with Mickey, one of his new people. Finny is our Christmas gift to each other this year, and he has been an endless source of entertainment. He wants to be petted and loved on all the time when he isn't playing with Sheena or getting into mischief.
News from Beau and
Here is an updated picture of Beau and Willie.
News from Riley
Here are some pictures. Since Riley is technically not allowed on the couches, the last one we call “I’m not on the couch, I’m sitting in Kyla’s lap!”
We are enjoying him so much. He is very quiet during the day when I am home with him, but gets SO excited when the girls get home from school. He has a funny way of “talking” to them. He likes to play jokes on us. Whenever he can, he steels one of the girls’ stuffed animals and carries it around. If I leave the house during the day and leave any of my pajamas or shoes out in my bedroom, I will find them lying out on the kitchen floor, never chewed up or destroyed in any way, just moved. I am keeping two of my mom’s basset hounds this week while she is out of town and he has been very good with them.
We are so happy to have him in the family! Thank you for leading him to us!
News from Buddy (FKA
Buddy has settled right in. He is a wonderful dog. We're all just crazy about him and he has a super-cute personality to go along with his super-cute face. He is mixed with something very long and lean and he can fold up those long legs and look pretty small. He loves to grab other dog's leashes in his mouth and it's hilarious!
I'm taking him to class at My Dog & Me even though he behaves really well for a guy who doesn't know any commands. I'm hoping to get him certified as a therapy dog eventually.
Thanks so much!
News from Haley and Emma
I'm acting like the proud mama and showing off pictures of my two GBGRR dogs, Haley (adopted in 2003) and Emma Sue (AKA Gracie) now almost 7 months.
Haley remains the sweetest and most patient dog of all time. Emma Sue, on the other hand, is happy being the alpha dog and has no patience whatsoever. She keeps me laughing and wears me out!
Thank you for all the time and effort that GBGRR invests to care for and place these beautiful animals. You have blessed so many families.
News from Ginger
Our little girl is doing SO well!! Our walks are about 1.5 miles and we have been jogging for about the first 8 minutes or so. I ran another thyroid test on her last Friday and the results actually came back on the high end of normal. I am going to keep her on the same thyroxine dose....the dose your doc had her on was low to begin with....its usually .10mg per 10 lbs twice a day so she should have had .9 2x a day. I guess she was borderline so they decided to put her on the low dose. Now for the GOOD NEWS!!!! She hopped on the scale yesterday and her weight was 84 lbs!!! YAY!!! I've been thinking about training her for therapy work. I've taken her to the nursing home to see my great aunt and the old folks love her!! Last night she showed her protective side when she thought a man was too close to us. It was dark when we walked and we were staying at James' apartment. The guy tried to approach us and his body language said something she didn't like. It was kinda scary because she meant business! I can't remember if I told you but her and the kitties are getting along really well. She sleeps on her bed beside mine and Houdini will curl up with her :) Hope all is well with you and your new foster! I will send pics soon!!
News from Sophie
I adopted Sophie (formerly known as Gretel) in February of 2002. I took a chance on Sophie and it has really paid off. When I first got Sophie, she would crawl to you. In the 6 years since I adopted her, she has blossomed into such an incredible dog! I am so proud of how far she’s come and I’m honored to have her in my life. She is so patient and sweet, even with my 3 year old son. She is a big sister to our 3 year old Lab Luke and doesn’t like to share her mommy’s attention, but she’s working on it! J She’s been a tremendous asset to our family and I can’t imagine my life without her.
Thank you to the team at GBGRR for all you do!
News from Brady
Brady is doing great. He is such a great addition to the family. It has been so fun watching him open up and show us his personality. When he first moved in, he really didn't play very much. Now he has this frog that is his new best friend forever. He loves to play and play and play. Allie takes him to the dog park every day and runs with him. Jim takes him to the farm all the time. He thinks he owns the place.
Thank you so much for making this possible for us !!!
Jim and Krissy
News from Louie
Kathy & Mike,
Thought I would send you a recent picture of Louie so you could see how he has grown. He is almost 6 months old (next week) and weighed in about 3 weeks ago at 63 pounds. We are sure that he is probably getting, or has reached, 70 pounds by now. He is a handful, especially since he was the most quiet of the litter, but he makes us laugh. He is a bundle of energy and wants to go all the time. We let him go to doggie day camp (gives his mom a break) every week so he can socialize with other dogs plus it wears him out. He learned at a very young age to ring a bell I put at the back door when he needed to go out and this has been wonderful. It is amazing how quickly he picks things up. He has completed puppy dog training and knows many commands.
He is great about doing them when there is a treat involved, but not so eager to perform when there is not a treat available. I just bought him an agility jump and we will start working on that. I don't want to set the bar too high and him get so good at it that he jumps the fence.....! We missed seeing you guys at the picnic this year. It was great seeing some of the other puppies from the litter. Ty and Louie looked so much alike. Hope you are both doing well.
Dana and Tony G.
News From Sam
Sam really enjoys getting into the water tub that we have in the back yard, after retrieving the ball several times. He is so funny….He is a clown most of the time and so good at minding. I started teaching him today to pick up the paper and bring it into the house. Sugar has scolded him a few times, but what is so funny is he kind of looks at her like ‘what’s your problem’. We get the biggest kick out of them…and we have nicknamed him ‘Samstein’ you know as in Einstein because he is so smart.
News from Alex
Hi my name is Alex and I just wanted to show off with my new mom Susan. After gaining a few pounds and going through heartworm treatment, I am doing great. I love to play ball with her but still need some work on giving my toy up. It is so much more fun playing keep away. Anyway, mom said we will work on that. She also said they have a swimming pool I can play in. What fun!!! Mom said she will send more pictures later so that everyone can see how we are doing.
News from Mayda and
Jackson (FKA Kamir)
Just wanted to give you an update on Mayda and Jackson (Kamir). We got Mayda (the blondie) back in February and Jackson (the red one) earlier this month, both from Golden Beginnings. Mayda is still a sweet, cuddly little girl. All she wants in life is to be loved and can never be close enough to you. Jack is pretty passive and is content with a pat or two, then wants to lay back down on the cool tile. He's constantly wagging his tail, even if he's bringing you something in his mouth like a tennis shoe, seat cushion, or eye glasses (working on that!), or getting in trouble for breaking out of his kennel like he did this week! He truly hates that thing. Luckily we were only gone about an hour and he only managed to get his mouth on a pen. As a pair, the two of them have quickly become best friends. They love to wrestle and play tug-of-war. They follow each other around the house and enjoy running figure 8's as they chase each other in the backyard around the shed and the deck. They both dislike water (you should see Mayda in the rain or trying to maneuver around the sprinkler. It's hilarious...and you can forget about the pool!) and are a little bit clueless when it comes to retrieving a ball. Jack will bring it back sometimes but Mayda likes to run after it, put it in her mouth, then drop it before running back to you as if saying "yay for me I can chase it!!" We love them both and are pleased that they get along so well with each other. The temperament of Golden Retrievers has far surpassed our expectations and we just couldn't be happier. I highly recommend this breed to anyone looking for the perfect dog! Thank you Glen and Cil for leading us to Mayda and Jack, and for everything all the volunteers do for the organization.
John and Lisa W.
News from Buster
Dear Everyone at Golden Beginnings,
I wanted to write and let you know how our Goldens are doing. We have three now. We wish we could have more! Suezy, whom we adopted in 2004 is the matriarch of the family. She is the queen of all she see's. Buster, whom we adopted in 2006 is the big love bug. He would rather be in your lab - all 80 pounds of him - than anything. Our newest, Alfie (adopted 2007), is a bundle of energy and he give Buster a run for his money. They are all very happy dogs and we love them more that anything. Here are a couple of pictures of Buster in his new bed, in Daddy's lap and playing with the puppy.
Thanks for all the work you do. I look forward each week to your website and seeing who has found a home.
Lisa and Jack W.
News from Blair
I am writing to thank Golden Beginnings for bringing Blair into our lives and especially to Nancy Hui for taking such good care of her as she transitioned from the shelter to her forever home. She is such a precious, sweet dog and has brought us so much joy already. We adopted her on June 1, 2008, just as she was finishing heartworm treatment. She was a little nervous at first, but settled into her new home quickly and has us all wrapped around her finger (except her 14 year old cat sister Chloe, who continues to maintain she's Queen of the House!). Chloe hissed at Blair a few times, which terrified her - she wouldn't walk past Chloe in the hallway even if doing so was necessary to get to her mom! But, Chloe and Blair have settled in to a good relationship now and Blair will find Chloe out back and try to corral her into the house when I ask "where's Chloe?" Blair continues her obsession with squirrels, even trying to climb trees to get a closer look! She loves her morning walks with her mom and her evening walks with her dad. One of her favorite parts of her walks, other than squirrel hunting, is finding a puddle to suddenly lay down in with no warning! She also loves her weekly "play date" at her Mimi's house, where she hangs out with Mimi and her chocolate lab cousin Savannah. Mimi has very few rules and spoils the girls to no end! I've enclosed a few pictures - as you can seek Blair LOVES her stuffed toys, especially her pheasant. She prances around the yard with him, catches him in the air, and loves rolling on her back and kicking her legs in the air, all with the pheasant in her mouth!
News from Riley
Just thought I would check in and see how you were doing and give you an update on Riley. He is still working his heart out and loving every minute. Also, at the National Narcotic Detection Dog Association Annual Conference in Jackson, MS in April this year Riley and I won first place in the private sector competition. It was based on the most finds in a 2 minute time period. You can go to the NNDDA website and you will see our names for the competition results. We held our own against the law enforcement standings but they don’t count that as official. Anyway, just thought you would get a kick out the info. Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. Please keep us in mind if you have any candidates for working dogs. Stay cool this summer.
News from Astro
We just wanted to update all the angels at Golden Beginning who brought Astro into our lives. It’s been three years since we were lucky enough to get our beloved Astro. His unconditional love and dedication makes him such a wonderful part of our family. Since coming into our home he now spends his days catching tennis balls which we hit to him with a tennis racquet, swimming in the pool and playing with his two golden sisters Goldie and Cali. We want to thank his foster family from The Woodlands for introducing him to us and bringing him into our lives.
All our thanks and love,
News from Bailey
Just wanted to update GBGRR about Bailey who we adopted this past Fall in Lufkin. As you can see by the pictures she is just enjoying the pool parties. She found her favorite pool toy and won't let it go. Her special puppy is now the biggest in the bunch and but he is still her baby. Even jump on her in the pool.
Ron and Jan
News from Maverick and
Its been a while and the Boys Barton and Mookie (Maverick) had to write and share a few photos. They told me that they wanted there photos on your page of GREAT homes to live in .. so as a good dad I have attached them.
Barton also wanted you to all know that he makes a few trips to the nursing homes with Dr. and helps her as a treatment dog. They all get to pet and love on him, which from what I've heard he eats it up.
They love the 40 acres they run with there border collie buddy Cowboy and love the lake then walk in and play. but they really like the little plastic pool at the side of the house.
News from Jack
Jack wanted to give everyone at GBGRR an update on how he's adjusting to his new forever home. Jack came to his forever home while he was finishing his heartworm treatment. Those first 3 weeks of confinement and no play-time with his new furry siblings was very hard for Jackie-boy. The day before the Golden Beginnings picnic, we received the good news that Jack is heartworm free, so the picnic was truly his debutante ball. He enjoyed cooling off, both in the drinking buckets and in the pond.
Boudreaux, Jack's border collie mix older brother, has become a younger dog with Jack around to keep him active. He loves to encourage Jack to chase him and Jack willingly obliges! Although neither of the boys likes sharing his toys, they have become fast friends. Jack also has two strange furry housemates called "cats." After receiving a few swats to the ear and eye, Jack quickly learned a healthy respect for the 20 pound tomcat. However, the 7 pound female still really, really looks - and sounds! - like a squeaky toy. Jack loves to lick her, maybe a little more aggressively than she'd prefer, but she has begun to sleep on top of his crate and venture in for kisses when Jack is sleepy and calm.
Thank you to everyone at Golden Beginnings, especially Jennifer, Aaron and Jim, for giving Jack and all of us a true Golden Beginning!
Angie & Adam S.
News from Katie
Update on Katelyn, now known as Katie Spaulding. We adopted Katie from you in November 2006. I can't tell you how much she has blessed our family. As you can see from some of her photos, she has grown to be a very happy dog. She loves to play with our other Golden, Olive, and is just all and all a wonderful dog. We love her so much. She's added years of life to us and to Olive. When we first adopted Katie, she would bolt at the first sign of escape; however, we quickly learned the magic word to stop her in her dead in her tracks... COOKIE! She loves to eat and has the poundage now to prove it. Thanks for everything.
Robert and Marisela S.
News from Keeley
I have a brag for one of our former GBGRR girls. Keeley, was pulled from a shelter in Louisiana & fostered with Stacy & Barbara ( I think) for a short time before finding her forever home. She was terribly thin & malnourished when we took her in. She was adopted by Lois W. & trained in agility. She still has some eyesight issues but is doing wonderful in agility. She has earned her MACH which is Master Agility Championship ... it's a big deal in agility. She also qualified to compete at the AKC National Agility Championship competition held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 219 dogs in the country qualified to compete in her class. Out of the 219 dogs, mostly border collies, our Keeley placed 47th !!!!! I am so very proud of her!!
News from Macy Pup Louie
Kathy (Macy and pups foster Mom),
I thought would send a couple pictures of Louie. He has really come out of his shell.....running all around the house and getting into everything he can find. He is a definite love though. We get plenty of laughs watching him. He kept trying to get on the couch so decided would put a little step stool in front of sofa and teach him to get up by himself. Well it only took 2 times and 2 treats for him to learn this. Now he just comes up whenever he wants.
Hope you are getting the chance to enjoy some peace and quiet now that all the puppies have gone to their new homes.
News from Muffin, now
known as Lucy
Muffin, now known as Lucy, went to her "forever home" early as her new mom Vivian agreed to foster her through heartworm treatment. The treatment was tough on her, but she's over it now and doing great. She loves her new brother Shasta the kitten-- they enjoy wrestling and cuddling together. She also loves hiking, camping, playing on the beach, and of course swimming-- water draws her like a magnet! She's lost a healthy amount of weight on fit'n'trim dog food, but still gets occasional treats-- tuna is her favorite food ever! Opening a can (to split with Shasta) starts a small riot.
Lucy and her new family are having a great time together and look forward to a long and happy future.
News from Yukon
Hi! We just wanted to tell you thank you again for allowing us to adopt Yukon. It has been almost three years since he came into our lives and he remains the CENTER of our home. We all ADORE him more than words can say. He truly completed our family. Before Yukon there was a piece missing that was filled when he came into our home.
He gets attention and love all day, someone is usually home with him, talking to him and loving on him the majority of the time. He loves to play ball in the open lot across from our house and go on walks around the neighborhood or at a local wooded park.
He is the world's BEST dog! He is SO well behaved and patient and sweet. He visits the kids classrooms and the teachers love to have him come because he is so calm with the children.
He does nothing wrong.... he does not counter surf (or even take food when my kids leave it down on the floor!) or go out the door without being told it is ok... he comes when he is called... he is simply the best.... we love him more than words can say...we all think our hearts might burst with the love we have for this sweet boy and every night we count him in the blessings bestowed on our family.
Thank you again!
Kristen, Ken, Mason &
News from Kramer
The highlight of his day is jumping into the pool. While he is not a swimmer yet, he loves to bask in the sun and cool water on the sundeck of the pool. He is very smart and has been learning lots of new commands at obedience school. He has even learned how to be confident when he goes on a walk. He has made such huge strides in learning about the world outside of our backyard. We also learned that he is very entertained by shadows on the floor. He spends much of his evening pouncing on shadows from fans, people moving, and especially his own shadow. We are constantly amused by his antics. He has truly lived up to being a typical velcro golden. He is my shadow all day, every day.
I can't believe it has already been 6 weeks! It seems like he has been a part of our family forever. We are so thankful that he came into our lives. Thank you so much for setting us up to meet him. He truly is the perfect addition to our family.
News from Annie
I just wanted to touch base and give you all an update on my Annie, (Sandi). Annie is doing wonderful, she has blossomed so much in the 51/2 months since I adopted her. At first she was shy and easily frightened, but now she has relaxed, and bonded with me so well. I think she knows she is safe and loved very much. She no longer jumps at sudden noises or movements, and the kitchen has now become a room she is not longer leery of entering. This is this relaxed calmness and contentment to her now. And I swear to you, she smiles at me, HONEST!! Annie has the most expressive face.
I'm not sure how she was treated in her past, but she has come a long way in a short time. She is definitely my Velcro girl, but that is just fine with me :). My family all adore her. When they come to visit she gets all the hugs and tummy rubs she wants.
I just want to say a heart felt "Thank You" for bringing this wonderful girl into my life. She has rought so much love and happiness to me.
Sometime in the future, closer to the summer I plan to adopt a second "Golden" so you will be hearing from me soon. Annie has gone to Doggie Day Camp so I could see how well she does with other dogs and she loves her time there, so I feel adopting a second Golden would be a positive for her.
Again, thank each one of you for the wonderful work you do, you are all very special people.
News from Allie
Just wanted to pass along a short update on Allie. She proudly wore her Mardi Gras costume and walked in the Krewe of Barkus Parade in Galveston on Sunday afternoon.
News from Cody
Just thought I'd send a New Year's note to let you all know that Cody is doing so well… it's like he's been part of the family for years!
Wishing you both a great and "Golden" New Year!
News from Max and Dakota
I just wanted to say a special thank you to Golden Beginnings for my two precious boys - today was Max's one year birthday of joining the family. When I picked my little red cutie up last year, I had no idea that my first foster was going to be my best "failure"- although I'm pretty sure Max, from the way he laid his head in my lap when we first met, knew he'd found his mommy. He and Dakota (his 2 year birthday is coming up!) bring such happiness to me, and always put a big smile on my face. Cil, thank you so much for finding Max for me, and thank you for letting me keep him!
I just can't imagine getting along without my dear pups, and I know that everyone else who has a Golden thinks the same thing - it just hit me again today how important helping these wonderful dogs is - not just for the sweethearts themselves, but for the tremendous joy they will bring to the family they complete!
Thanks for letting us be a part of it all!
Rachel, Dakota & Maxwell
News from Travis,
Travis is turning out to be loved by both our grandchildren Emma & Evan. He's quite a human in a lot of ways. He talks to my wife and she understands him, he doesn't run off, just a whistle and he comes right to you.
Have a good year,
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