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Golden Beginnings Success Stories

Since we began Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue in 1999, we have saved over 2,000 Goldens.

This was possible only because of the dedication and commitment of our foster homes and volunteers who have given so much to help this beautiful breed.

Like any good cause, it takes money to succeed. We couldn't have done it without the continuing generosity of our sponsors.

Finally, we are grateful for those of you who have (through adoption) given our dogs a new beginning.....
a "Golden Beginning".

Here are a few Success Stories that we would like to share with you:

2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


News from Savannah (formerly known as Lori)

Leon and I proudly share with our GBGRR friends that our beautiful little Savannah graduated from Obedience School on November 22, 2009. The first class of the 8 class series, was a little disappointing, but not unexpected, as she remained hidden under my stool during the whole class, panting and drooling. With each class, she became more calm and responsive and showed her true Golden intelligence. What a huge step this has been for our timid little girl!

When we brought her home in September, it took Savannah a couple of weeks to become accustomed to us and our weird schedule; however, with each day she appears happier, more trusting and playful. She loves her new Golden sister, Shiloh, and they play with each other for endless hours and sleep side-by-side on our bed at night. (Well, where else should Goldens sleep?!)

Each night when I come home from work, Savannah, along with our other two canine children, enthusiastically greets me at the door with toothy smiles, hugs and kisses. She loves to lay by me on the couch at night while I watch television and loves to play tug-of-war with Shiloh. They also engage in frequent high-speed chases around our back yard with tails high and wagging. What a beautiful sight it is!

I firmly believe the turning point in our relationship with Savannah for both Leon and I was when we learned to physically get down to her level, either squatting or sitting on the floor, as much as possible when we talk to her. She eagerly responds and enjoys the hugs and praise she receives. We love her SO much.

Thanks for our sweet Savannah!!!
Pat C. 11/30/2009


News from Driller (formerly known as Samson)

Driller (as it stands now...) has been a total joy. He is so mellow and a pleasure to be around. Still working on keeping him calm when visitors or other dogs show up.

Now, for the fun stuff. He's already carried in the paper once. On our walk today, he did very well sitting when I would stop. I would hold up one finger and he sits. Than, I would snap for him to heel. I love using hand signals, because sometimes you want to control your dog with eye contact and hand signals when other people are around. He's doing a fantastic job. So smart and easy to train.

You know he's getting comfortable here now because we're getting the "puppy runs"...when they just go crazy running, running...because they're sooo happy! LOL! We took him for a ride in our Becak and he loved it! He sat so proudly beside me with one paw in my lap. The pictures here was as he was getting out. Maybe, he needs a hat too. I never have to look for him really. I jump up when I realize I don't hear his collar jingling...and he's right at my feet. Great dog, I love him dearly already. Okay, must get back to unpacking, I don't think I'll ever finish!

Linda G



Thanks to Robin and all of you who had a hand in our adopting Yogi at the picnic yesterday.

The Brintons with Yogi's foster family at the 2009 GB 10th Anniversary Picnic

Of course, it's only been 20 hours, but so far, Yogi has been a delight. He is golden affectionate, and is a good boy. Plus, he's gorgeous. I said I wanted a doofy boy, and Yogi fills the bill. He stands in water bowls (much to Donia's, prissy 9 year old Lab girl, dismay), and he has no concept of his big body. If you're lying down, he will walk on you, and lay down right on top of you to get some lovin'. He likes hugs, kisses and belly rubs for as long as you'll give them. This morning I called him to me (in the house) and he came golden bounding, tail wagging, to me with a gwroo gwroo (deep sounding). He is adorable, sweet, affectionate, and doofy. He is a true golden boy. As his web page says, he's just about perfect. We are doing a lot of smiling and laughing around here. And, the girls like him. They seem to know that he is still a puppy, and they cut him some slack for that so far. He likes the toy/bone box, and has to have multiple bones around him so that he can trade off. Last night he got up on the bed for some bedtime snuggles, but when we rolled over to go to sleep, he got off and slept the night by the side of the bed as Matt (foster dad) said he would. We have a small china hutch with a mirror over it. Nancy found Yogi with his front feet on the hutch admiring himself in the mirror. He likes to lie on the kitchen floor and look out at the lake. I think the linoleum is cooler plus he'd like to get in the lake. But he's going to have to have some obedience training before that happens.

Yesterday the picnic was a lot of fun. It was our first. I loved the senior's parade. What a great turn-out. Jennifer did a great job of running the parade and I really enjoyed the bios about the dogs. I had a great time meeting so many of the dogs I've read about on the website, and those who are just loved family members of adopters, rescuers, and volunteers. Plus, it was nice to be able to put faces to the names of GBGRR staff/volunteers.

Our thanks to all of you who make GBGRR the wonderful organization it is. I'm sure there are many adopters that feel the same way Nancy and I do about y'all. We are delighted that we've been able to adopt two wonderful companions because of you. This organization is really at least a cut above other breed specific rescue groups. GBGRR may not have a better heart, but it has a bigger heart. I'm sure any golden rescue group would have rescued Yogi. He's young, healthy loving, and gorgeous. Wendy was a different story. I do not believe that there is any breed specific organization in the area that would have taken our Wendy in except GBGRR. If you remember, she had terrible mange from the tip of her nose to the end of her tail, (Cil couldn't tell what type of retriever she was) infected eyes and ears, broken rear foot, and other flea induced skin infections. She was a pathetic mess. But, her tail was still wagging and she was loving. It took TLC and lots of attention, over a six month period, from Cil H. and Kathleen N. to bring Wendy back to the healthy, loving, wonderful girl she is today. And, she's a Lab not a golden and GBGRR still rescued her. We just love you guys.

Thanks again for everything. Our lives are much richer because of each of you!

News from Jake

Jake continues to do just great. I took him to the beach on Saturday afternoon where he met a few dogs to play with and had a grand time chasing birds. He has also had a play date with our neighbor dog Asia and they had great fun. I tried to take some photos of him with Lucky, the rabbit last night, but neither one would hold still very long. They are getting along well and Jake has made friends with the two younger cats. He's still working on Octavian (the cat I call Satan), but I don't hold out much hope there... Satan hates everyone except Michael. He's been coming to work with me and doing well here too.

Alexandra I.

News from Lanie

I wanted to give you an update on Lanie and tell you what a perfect fit she is for Mom. We picked her up from Jeff (foster dad) on Saturday morning and took her to Mom's ranch. She enjoyed the trip and Marc and I were amazed that when she hopped out of the car, she went straight up the sidewalk and sat by the door, waiting fur us to catch up. She greeted Mom like she was a long lost friend. We spent the afternoon helping her explore the area around the house. Before we left she was galloping with glee when her name was called.

She follows Mom everywhere she goes. When the caregiver came on Saturday night, she barked and growled and Mom had to hold her back. It may sound strange to you, but this was exactly what we and Mom wanted to hear. We were surprised how quickly she bonded with Mom and the ranch. Mom closed Lanie off in the area where her bed is located (Mom's bathroom...it's HUGE). until the caregiver got settled in her room for the night. Mom said Lanie "patrolled" all night long. Lanie liked last night's caregiver (different woman), who took her for a run on a leash. Yesterday afternoon, Lanie met the cows for the first time. Mom had let her out for a walk and a potty break, and when Lanie saw the cows, shs raced toward them and chased them away from the pond. Mom ran down to the pasture with her leash, called Lanie and she came to her and waited while Mom put the leash on and brought her back to the house.

Mom's showing good judgement with Lanie and Lanie shows every indication of REALLY loving being at the ranch. Mom's not sure how to teach her to leave the cattle alone, but she's going to ask the vet this morning. She's called their local vet first thing this morning and has an appointment at 11 to have her tested and get a refill on her thyroid meds.

Lanie is exactly what my Mom needed. Mom told me she was making sure Lanie had plenty of walking time outside, which means that Mom is, too. Lanie's protectiveness of Mom is exactly what Mom needs to feel secure at the ranch and Lanie seems to naturally take to her new responsibility. I think Mom is safe where she is at the ranch, but the difference is that she now feels safe. She dotes on Lanie and since my step-father's death in June, this is the first time she's had somone who needs her to care for them.

I can't say thank you enough to Golden Beginnings, particularly you and Jeff Paul, for helping us find the perfect companion for my Mom. I go there every other weekend and will take photos of Lanie "settled in" on the next trip. to share with you.

Thanks, again,

News from Peaches fka Hannah

We brought Peaches (formerly known as Hannah, Tucker’s sister) home and she was part of our family immediately! Skipper (the blond) loves her dearly and plays very gently with his little sister. Peaches is a very confident, outgoing, little girl and is always up for new adventures. She loves to play tug-of-war with Skipper and she is very good on a leash.


Peaches also can shake, sit, lay down, leave it, take it, stay and we’re working on speak. We love Peaches very much and look forward to the upcoming picnic! Enjoy the pictures!

Branon and Heather Dempsey


News from Sassy

Good afternoon! I just wanted to give an update on our wonderful little girl, Sassy, or Sassafrass as we've come to call her! She had a slight ear infection which has since been taken care of with the meds to help prevent anything further. She's a whopping 68 lbs. now and has filled out beautifully with her coat coming in at a beautiful red with tips of gold. She continues to be such an integral part of our family that we hate to leave her alone at any time. She now sleeps in the family room on her rug with her Bruce the Moose, Penny the Pig and Snowflake the bear all at one time!! We only use the crate when we travel to our lake house in Austin and then only if she needs to.

She's such a sassy little thing! She loves playing tug with any one of her three stuffed animals and mostly just loves to lay down with Matthew & Emma and be rubbed and loved on by them. She has grown to like watching John Wayne movies with us!

We can't wait to show her off at the next event. You'll be surprised at what a wonderful part of our family she's become. We can't even imagine what life would be like without her. Even Lola our cat has come to terms and will sleep on the window sill above Sassy's bed at night!

Thank ya'll so much her!!


News from Tucker

I wanted to send updated pictures of Tucker as he progresses. He is doing WONDERFULLY! He fits into the family as though he’s always been ours. We could not have asked for a better dog!

Thanks so much for all you did to save his life and make him a part of ours. We are truly blessed to have him

Michele, Chris, Casey & Connor G.

News from Artie and Cotton

For all of you who met Artie and Cotton when they first came in to GBGRR will love the new pictures! Artie is now Sedona - after the red cliffs of Sedona, AZ. Cotton is now Dakota - after the blond sandstone in the Dakota sandstone layer of the Grand Canyon. Sedona is in excess of 50 pounds and much taller - he can't stand under Dakota any more as he did at the Meet and Greet in June. He is getting over his puppy chewing gradually. Good thing we kept millions of toys for him to chew on. Dakota is about 85 pounds and the heartworm treatment seems to be successful. He has another month of keeping it cool after the second treatment in August and our challenge is to keep him comparatively calm. He has really blossomed socially and he has a very fun and funny personality. Sedona just wants to have fun, fun, fun. We are planning on attending the picnic in November

Don B

News from Wendy

We are ecstatic to have Wendy join our family. We've been impatiently waiting 6 weeks for her to complete her heartworm treatment. When she came to visit us a month ago, she made herself right at home and seemed very comfortable here. She and Donia (our 9 year old yellow/white lab) got along very well with no issues. Wendy got into Donia's toy box and played with some Woobies. Then she got out a couple of sterile bones and had some good chews. Kathleen N. (foster mom) said she doesn't play with toys at home much, and there are a ton of them there, and she doesn't chew bones. We think Wendy just felt at home here. We visited Wendy at Kathleen's twice, so we were not strangers at the exchange on Saturday September 12th.

Nancy and I had filled out an application with a lab rescue group I started looking at other rescue groups that were online. I found GBGRR. We lost our wonderful golden doofy boy at 11 at the end of February, so it was fun to see all those wonderful faces. I sent an email to the GBGRR website asking for an update on Sophie, Wendy, and Frydek as their stories tugged at me. Mike P. wrote right back with the information I requested. Corresponding, I realized that Mike was fostering Sophie/Piper and I asked if I could come down to see her. Of course, Mike said "come on down" which we did, and a friendship began. We were still looking for a lab, but the few we met didn't make us want to take them home. We met some of you at Reliant and enjoyed our time at the booth. By that time we knew Wendy was a lab, liked her looks (our type of lab) and had made arrangements to meet her the weekend after Reliant. At Reliant, we met Barley. We both liked him, but Mike told us that someone else had asked to meet him and would probably take him. We told him that if he didn't get taken, we'd like to be considered. On the drive back to Livingston we talked about Barley, but as much as we both liked him, we still wanted me meet Wendy. The conflict was resolved the next day when Mike called to say Barley was adopted. We were both a little disappointed, but happy for Barley. We were both also relieved.

I believe we first met Wendy the next Saturday. Wendy, Dublin, and Kathleen met us at the door. Wendy came right over to me. Kathleen said she was usually shy with men at first which made me feel special. I put my hand on her head and thought "you're going home with us unless something dramatic comes up." We sat and pet both dogs for a short while, and Nancy looked at me and asked "is she going to be a member of our family?" I responded "yup!" It was "love at first sight." She is very smart, very pretty, has a great personality, and I've got a ton of pictures to show off. I will post some soon. As I said, we are delighted to have her as part of our family.

From my first request for information to picking Wendy up to come home Saturday, everything with GBGRR has been enjoyable, friendly, and easy. We can't thank you at GBGRR adequately for what you do for unfortunate dogs, and for providing us such a wonderful companion. It seems that GBGRR takes on dogs regardless of their condition. My hat's off to GBGRR and all of you that make it so great. Thanks again. We hope to see you at some of the events. We live in Livingston so it is difficult for us to be as involved as we'd like. So far all we've been able to do is donate to some of the rescues medical expenses. Hopefully, we will be able to volunteer at some of the events that we can attend.

RB & Nancy B. Donia & Wendy


News from Mason , fka Soldier

Just wanted to give you an update on Mason, also known as Soldier, but not to us. He has become a wonderful dog and member of our family. I thought I would just give you a couple of quick updates on how he is as a dog.

  • He has become a member of our family for sure. He loves playing with the boys especially anything that involves a ball. We take him on night walks every night and the entire walk he carries a ball in his mouth. Before we take a walk we say "Ball Mason" and he runs to his basket, grabs a ball, and is ready to go.
  • He has found out he loves water, at first he did not. We gradually introduced him to it and now he is swimming like a fish with the family. He wont jump in if were not in but once we are he is right in the middle of things.
  • He listens very well. If we say "Crate" he gets up, walks into his crate by himself and eats his food.
  • He has a couple of dogs he has become friends with and enjoys playing with when we are all outside taking walks. His favorite new friend is Max and they love to take walks together.
  • I know one of his issues was barking, we have never heard him bark once.
  • When Cindy takes him to the vet he does not want to leave her side.
  • For Labor Day we took him hiking on trails and he loves that.
  • I know Mason came with a reputation as a bit of a bad boy but he is a great example of a dog that needed love, attention, and a family to become a part of. Just wanted you to know he is doing GREAT!

John and Cindy D.


News from Rusty

Rusty is doing great. After the initial weeks of adjustment, he has settled in nicely. He is much more comfortable with us and knows we are his family. He has quite the personality. Loves to play fetch. Before going outside, he always has to run and get a ball for someone to throw to him. Loves to be pet, and scratched, and loved on.

Now that the boys are back in school, Rusty spends his day in the house and is doing great, just like you told us. We put up a gate so he cannot go back to the bedrooms, but he has the kitchen and living room for roaming around and sleeping. Our house keeper comes by every two weeks, and he does great with her when we are not there (he just likes to have someone to play with him).

He doesn't bark too much. Usually at unfamiliar noises or an occasional dog walking by. He's got a good bark, which I like for security. But if you give him some love, he is your best friend.

Going for walks is getting better. At first, he would only walk past our house if Lance was with him. Now, with some coaxing, I can get him to go around the block. If the entire family is with him, he will go wherever we go. We take longs walks on the weekend over to the bayou. We let him run with us. A good work out for all of us and he is dog tired when we get home.

He is still a bit skittish around things that are unfamiliar. I was walking him around the block the other day, and he had to stop walking because there was a plastic shopping bag floating along the side walk. He would not start walking again until the bag was in the street.

Rusty makes us smile every day and we are so glad we have him.



News from Hudson

He is such a joy to have as part of our family. His favorite thing is to put the kids to bed and after we are sure they are snoring we sneak out. When the kiddos are wrapped around him, he actually smiles from ear to ear! He has made lots of friends that he sees everyday at the dog park. Lana, Tasha, and Maddie are his best friends.

He is so eager to please that he learned to retrieve balls just by watching other dogs. I threw a couple balls to another dog and he wanted me to be proud of him too. He has the true golden heart and is kind and gentle to everyone he meets. His coat has filled in and he is quite beautiful! We were talking the other day and wondering if he has really changed or are we just that in love with him that we think he is the most stunning dog. Just like kids, you always think yours are the most handsome in the class! Ha Ha! J We still are very careful with cameras, but he is not as shy as he used to be. J Maybe I can sneak a picture for you.

The big Pohla bear looking Golden Retriever named Cheney comes for the weekend every couple months and this is quite a special treat for him. The boys are like a couple of long lost brothers. That is a whole lot of fur. We had to get two “furminator” brushes so they could each be brushed by one of the kids at the same time! If not one is bumping the other out of the way for their turn to be brushed.






Warm Regards,
Kay G.


News from Ellie

Ellie is wonderful! She loves the girls and loves to follow them around and wants to be outside with them when they are outside and inside when they are inside.

She is wonderful.

Denice S.

News from Gidget formerly Foxy

I wanted to give an update on Gidget, previously Foxy! She is our little Princess. Gidget is doing so well, accidents in the house are far fewer as we continue to work on housebreaking, she loves hunting the morning doves, running, playing in the water, TV, mom’s fountains and Toby’s tail! It is better than rawhide although Toby does not always agree!

She is growing leaps and bounds and starting to get her golden feathers!

Kim T.






News from Abby & Champ

I thought I would provide everyone an update on Abby & Champ.

We decided to allow Abby to keep her name since she answers so well to it so she won't become Mellie after all. Abby and Champ get along so well and it seems that we are moving past the loss of Melvin now. Every night Shirley and I watch TV in bed before turning off the lights and almost every night Abby is on the bed next to me and Champ is laying on the bottom of the bed between the two of us. When the lights go out both move to their own beds on the floor. Abby is a very loving dog and we couldn't be happier with our selection.

Melvin, Champ and Abby have brought so much happiness to our house over the past year and we are so glad to have found GBGRR. At some point, we may consider volunteering to foster but we're just not quite ready yet.

I will send some pictures in the near future and hope to see you all at the next fund raising event.

Bob E.


Gertrude, formerly known as Sparkle

My earliest dog memories are of summer dog days lying in the cool green grass of my backyard in New York with our beautiful red Golden Retriever, Ginger. Memories at age 4 consist of soft brown eyes, fur I could bury my face in, patience to lie perfectly still as long as petting was involved, and plenty of wet kisses. Ginger also left me with my earliest trauma, the afternoon she was hit by a car while following my sister across the street. She didn’t come home to me that day, but my love of the Golden Ones stayed.

Over the years of our marriage, my husband and I have adopted three rescue Shar Pei dogs, in succession. We took in the first, when her owners were no longer able to care for her, and we were hooked by these dogs’ loyalties, their odd ways – the way they dart about and snort. Our two children, 10 and 14, are avid musical theatre actors. Thus our latest Shar Pei rescue was named after a character in a favorite musical. She is Mayzie, the showy bird with the Amayzing tail in Seussical the Musical. Mayzie is relatively unwrinkled. If it weren’t for her curly tail, snorting and darting, we would question her claims to the Shar Pei throne.

Yet alas, Mayzie was all alone. Just like Horton the Who in the field of clover. We had always been a one-dog kind of family.

One day this spring, I shared with my children my vision that perhaps we were a two-dog family. Just perhaps, Mayzie needed a friend. There were conditions attached. The new dog would have to be a Golden like my treasured Ginger, she would have to be a rescue, and she would have to be named Gertrude. Gertrude is the loyal friend in Seussical. She is the bird with the two-feathered tail, who takes great pains to grow an exceptionally long and cumbersome tail to attract the attention of the one she loves – only to learn he already loves what is inside of her.

Days later, my children and I made an unexplained trip to Old Town Spring, parked our car, turned a corner, and found our Gertrude. Or rather Gertrude found us. Golden Beginnings had set up a tent showing off its rescue dogs – beautiful, large, playful dogs needing homes.

I turned to my son and said, “How many days ago did I tell you about Gertrude?”.
“Three,” he replied.
"Well,” I said to the rescue volunteers, “these are all beautiful dogs. But we have a Shar Pei, and we’d need a companion who is a bit smaller and calmer.”
“I know the one. Follow me,” she said, and led us up the steps of a gray weathered porch where a beautiful face looked up at us. She put her face into my son’s hands. She was coming home.
“She is part Shar Pei!” I cried. Her face had more wrinkles than our Shar Pei, and her tongue was mottled with pink and black. But she had soft brown Golden eyes.
“Yes, we think so,” our Golden angel volunteer replied.

Her rescue name was Sparkles, but from that day on, she was Gertrude to us. She had lost most of her fur from a yeast infection, and it was growing back. She was heavy heartworm positive. We took her home as a foster until she was well enough for us to adopt her.

We brought Gertrude home to an elated Mayzie, who could not believe her luck that we had brought her such a wonderful dog companion. Gertrude’s favorite pastime is sleeping and lounging. Her second became her evening walks on the golf course behind our house with her family and her sister, Mayzie.

Her fur returned; she was spayed and underwent two months of heartworm treatment. During her recovery time, she began to limp and her eye watered. Her doctors determined she had bilateral hip dysplasia, which required surgery on both her hips. As for her eyes, that problem was passed down from her Shar Pei parent; these dogs often require eye tucks to prevent irritation caused from wrinkles.

Six weeks after we took Gertrude into our home, she had finished her heartworm treatment, and she came home to us once more, the beautiful fur on her hindquarters shaven, after surgery on both hips and an eye lift. At first she wanted to continue the sleeping and lounging regimen, and because of the weakness in her hips would have nothing to do with walking. This changed when she rejoined Mayzie. Mayzie became her personal trainer; they walk on a double lead, and Mayzie is the pace dog. Gertrude would do her best to keep up.

Gertrude has had a long journey to health. We are grateful to Golden Beginnings for rescuing her, loving her, and caring for her until she could find us. Her fur is growing back now. She watches for lizards and frogs in our garden, and puts Mayzie in a panic as she begins to reestablish her dominance following her weakened state. Her walking has returned to normal, but without the limp. As a result of her eye lift, we can see more of her soulful eyes.

Now she looks forward to her evening runs on the golf course.

My family quickly fell in love with our Gertrude. She has a calming presence. She demands that each of us be still from the busy-ness we create around us and take care of ourselves – by petting her. Even if we imperceptibly move our hand, it is enough. It’s a prescription for our own well being. If I am sitting at my computer too long, she will bump my hand with her nose until I stop. I get annoyed at first, but I’ll finish what I’m doing and obey. She’s right. What I’m doing at that moment is not as important as what she needs me to do for myself. I’ve read about therapy dogs who heal and calm patients who have experienced health or emotional trauma. I have never experienced this myself in a dog until I met my Golden.

In my work as a healer, I‘ve studied the healing properties of crystals. There is a type of quartz called the Golden Healer, known for enabling communication over a long distance, including between worlds, and empowering healing at all levels. Gertrude is our Golden Healer. She called to us over great distance to be her family. Not for the purpose that we could heal and take care of her, but so she could heal us.

I have to stop now. Gertrude is bumping my hand.

Margaret Nardecchia


Gus, formerly known as Guthrie


My husband and I adopted a dog from you in October of 2006. He was called Guthrie then but we call him Gus.
We live in Crosby now and he has a great place to run and pay. We also have two other animals - a boy cat named Jack and a girl cat named Jill. Gus and Jill are the best of friends. They play together and Jill loves to snuggle with him in the grass.

We are fortunate enough to live in an area where deer and other wildlife come right into our yard. Gus is very sweet to all that enter (except for the squirrels). He just lays down in the yard and watches them as they eat or pass by. There is a lab who lives behind us and he's so in love with that dog.

We had a small adjustment period but overall our experience has been good. I just cannot imagine my life without my "kiddos". Thank you for all you do for animals.

Amy Schellenberg


News from Cody

Cody was a Trieven Kennel hunting dog, trained for a year, in Lovell, WY., and was purchased by a Houstonian at a year old. Then, he had a series of grand mal seizures that left him brain damaged and emotionally damaged. He came to GBGRR and went into foster care for 5 months.

We adopted him in May, 2006, and moved him to Boise, ID., with us in June, 2006. He was suffering from severe anxiety, panic attacks, and other negative behaviors, like eating the HOUSE and everything in it. He ate remote controls, eye glasses, BAGS of dog food (at one time), underwear, shoes, steaks off our plates, etc. Emotionally, he was not easily comforted or able to bond. Sometimes, we wondered what had we done!

But after a year, the panic attacks subsided and the desire to eat inedible began to wane. He decided that just maybe life was going to be OK. Just maybe he found a HOME. We began to see a new doggie emerge.

Today, Cody is happy and carefree at almost 6 years old. He loves the snow in winter on the mountain trails and the cold river in the summer for swimming and retrieving. He loves his brother Austin, a rescued Yellow Lab, and his sister Gracie, a rescued Golden-Border collie mix.

Cody's heart is full of love and kindness to all others. He is obedient and faithful. He is even normal, now, with many fewer symptoms of brain damage. much of that was emotional trauma, we think. who would want to leave a ranch in Wyoming and move to a kennel in Katy in the heat?

We love Cody-Cody, our sweet boy. Thank you for giving him a new chance to have a life, and a BIG thank you to Nick and Kristen who fostered him lovingly for months.

Love to GBGRR!!
Susan and Warem Hubbard
Cody, Austin and Grace
Boise, IDAHO

News from Maxi, formerly known as Charlie

Charlie (now Maximilien or Maxi for his friends!) is doing excellent !! Him and our female Golden, Cosmo, are really best buddies and enjoy lots of playing and tug-of-war with toys. We had few dogs in an out of the house these last couple of months, and Maxi seems to have overcome his dog-aggressive behavior, which is excellent news for all of us !

I have attached a picture of Cosmo and Maxi in the pool with a buddy of theirs (Maxi is the middle one)

Thank you,


News from Tex, Jake and Zoe

Greetings from the Texas Hill Country!

It has been almost a year and a half since we adopted Tex, AKA “Mr. Majestic” and Jake, AKA “Adorable One”, and I should have sent a note sooner but life has changed since we adopted our two boys. We lost two dogs within six months to cancer which left Zoe, AKA the “Couch Diva or Princess” depending on her attitude at the time, the only dog. I didn’t understand it at first but after some research I figured out that Zoe was suffering from depression. It was hard to see her so upset and I felt so helpless because nothing I did seemed to help UNTIL we brought home THE BOYS! She was so happy and excited to see them and every day with them is just as exciting as the first.

Tex is still attached to his ball. He has 3 red balls that are the same but only one of them is the ball of choice. We can’t tell the difference in the balls but he can. He likes to push it under the couch so he can get us to get it out for him. The excitement of seeing his ball come out from under the couch is pure joy for him. We have a broom stick under there to make it easy. On occasion he has manipulated the broom stick to get his ball out himself! Tex loves belly rubs and snuggling on the couch. Tex would rather stay inside with us than go outside with Zoe and chase the squirrels.

Jake could care less about balls UNLESS he wants to pester his brother. Once he has the ball he comes to us and gets between our legs for protection! Jake loves going outside with Zoe and chase the squirrels and the deer. We have as many as 70 deer in the back every evening and he loves to see them run. Jake loves attention of any kind. He loves to lay on the couch with us, or just to lay his head in our lap.

Both of the boys love going in the car. We recently purchased a new vehicle which we call the GUV which stands for the Golden Utility Vehicle. We make trips to our place in Bastrop for the weekend and they just think it is awesome. We take them to the Nature Center for long walks on the weekends and then let them cool off in the Cibolo Creek. Every time we go out the front door, they check all the cars and the truck to see if there is a door or window open so they can go. Sometimes, we just take them for a ride around the block because they love it so much!

Recently, we have been letting them go to the barn with us in the evening when it is time to close up the chicken coop. Yes, we have chickens and only one time did we see a golden run across the yard with a chicken in his mouth and fortunately, the chicken was unharmed. It’s taken some time but recently we have been able to take them with us to the barn and they leave the chickens alone! We have baby chickens under lights in the garage and both of the boys check on them every time we go outside. Not once have them offered to hurt them!

They love the miniature horses and especially the babies when they are running and playing. They like to rub noses with them through the fence and give them an occasional lick!

We are so blessed to have Tex and Jake and can’t imagine our life without them. They are so precious to us and we love them very much and so does Zoe. A special thank you to Tex and Jake’s foster mom Kelly for allowing us the opportunity to adopt these two precious boys.

Robin and Gary McQueen


News from Pink, one of LuLu's Pups


News from Lucy, formerly known as Muffin

Hi! *wagwagwag*,

Just wanted to let you know how I'm doing now that I've been in my forever home a year and a half. Mom and I have been having lots of fun adventures this spring. We went camping on the beach on Matagorda Island, where I had a blast chasing my ball into the waves and trying to dig up crabs. I wanted to live there forever in our tent, but Mom said it would be too expensive to get food delivered every day. Food is Very Important. We also went out and played in the bluebonnets with our friends, and we went on a canoe trip where I learned about staying still in the boat so it wouldn't tip. In a couple of weeks we're going on a Really Long Car Ride to Tennessee. I've never been there but it sounds cool! I've learned to get excited whenever Mom goes into her special gear closet and starts pulling stuff out... usually it means we're about to go do something awesome.

In between adventures I like to play with my kitty brother Shasta, chew my Nylabone, watch shows on Animal Planet, and go for walks near our house where there have been a lot of deer lately. Life is good!



News from Saya

This is Saya whom we adopted in 2000 and is now turning 11 in May. As I saw GBGRR was celebrating 10 years, I realized we were one of the lucky ones to be gifted by our group early on. As you can see, Saya now has a sister Lucy the Pug and we are not living in Seattle. The puppies are enjoying the sun on one of our first sunny spring days.

Just had to update you on our wonderful girl and thank you for all of the joy she has brought us over the years.

Peggy Sherlin

News from LuLu, formerly known as Cassie

LuLu wants everyone at Golden Beginnings that she has fully recovered from her skin allergies and wants to brag about her full lustrous burnt orange coat.

Her skin and coat are a reflection of how much she has changed in the six months since I picked her up. She seemingly gets more and more energy and has me worried as to whether I will be able to keep up with her. She doesn't like to fetch, so she takes me on loooooong walks. Now that spring is here, I hope to get her to taking interested in swimming. She hasn't shown any desire to go swimming, but she does like to splash around which is a vast improvement from her first introduction to Town Lake. I am betting that she will love the water once she realizes that she is not getting a bath!!!

She has a boyfriend that I foster on weekends. The Texas Hearing and Service Dogs organization here in Austin allows the dogs in training to go to a foster home on the weekends - to give them a break from the stress of being in a kennel. I could sit and watch Duke (a small Yellow lab) and LuLu for hours.

Once again, I want to thank everyone at Golden Beginnings for all of the hard work you do. And especially to Mike Patterson for placing LuLu with me although I live in Austin, and to Jeff Paul for fostering her through her tough times.


Bill K.

News from Leo

Just to let you know, Leo is one great dog, no problems to report, he loves sleeping with Claudia, they both love it, he never leaves her bed until morning. He and the girls did a lot of swimming until this cold front and he loves it. They jump in and he jumps right in behind them. No problems with the other dogs (Doberman, Airedale and Silky Terrier). They all play together and Leo is getting especially close to our Airedale, Bentley."

Jeff D.

News from Tatum

Today is Tatum's second birthday. We went to the beach yesterday where she got to roll on a dead bird of some kind. She said it was the birthday present ever!

Gina C.

News from Louie, a Macy and Toby puppy

Kathy (Macy and Pups Foster Mom),

I was saddened to learn about Macy crossing over to the Rainbow Bridge. I know that both you and Mike were saddened by this news also. I saw on the website the picture of Toby and thought I would send Louie's 1st birthday picture. Our latest adoptee Lizzy is at his side. Louie just weighed in at 87 lbs., which was down from the 90 lbs. he previously weighed. Had to cut him back on food even though his doctor said he was just right.

Thanks for all you and Mike did for Macy and her puppies. I know everyone who adopted one of the puppies appreciate all your efforts.

Dana Gazelle

News from Koa, a Macy and Toby puppy

Koa Medeiros would like to wish his seven brothers and sisters a very HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY!!! It was one year ago today Macy and Toby had a beautiful litter of eight puppies, assisted by Kathy Harvey and Cil Henson. Today at PetSmart he weighed in at 85.3 lbs and hasn't even STARTED filling in yet...he's all legs, is rapidly catching up with big brother Louie, and looks just like his daddy.

Lynn Medeiros


News from Ranger, formerly known as Bruno

Just wanted to send some pictures of Ranger (previously Bruno). He's settled in just fine and is beginning to bond with his new sister. They act just like brother and sister. Sometimes I find them laying right next to each other and other times they pester each other until one gets mad and says enough is enough! We've just started working on some training seeing Ranger needs to learn some manners. He likes to be right in your face if you have any food and he refuses to lay down unless he wants to. We really want to thank you for allowing us to add Ranger to our family. He's such a loving and sweet guy.

Megan and Sean Hall

News from Buck, formerly known as Redford


Sorry it has taken so long to get you some pictures of Buck (Redford). As you can see from the photos, he is quite comfortable in his new setting.

Whether it is lounging on our furniture, running in the woods next to our house, chewing on dog bones, walking with Jennie or being loved on for countless hours in the day, he truly has found a new "home". He does get quite sad when Jennie leaves (she is his favorite). Perhaps there are some feelings of abandonment which he is dealing with, but when Jennie returns he usually gets lots of love. Thank you to Golden Beginnings. Another success story to share with your extended Golden Retriever family!

The Thompsons


News from Marley

Just wanted to send you some pictures and let you know Marley is doing great! He is definitely the sweetest and smartest dog I have ever met! We all absolutely adore him! I can't believe how easygoing he is and how well he gets along with everyone, including Chrissy and Miskey (the yorkie and the cat).

Thank you so much for all you did for him. He was the best Christmas present ever!

Linda S.

News from Ginger

Ginger had a great trip to Missouri and once again adapted quite well to the life of a country dog with no leashes or fences. But, she seemed really happy to be back in Houston last night and to see her friends next door. She spends each day with the next door neighbor who has 3 dogs. Ginger truly is a wonderful dog – I am so glad you let me adopt her. This picture was taken in Missouri with Ginger's stepsisters - Shasta and Tahoe (2 Rescue Goldens) and Ginger (she is the one with her head on my knee).

Jim C.