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Golden Beginnings Success Stories

Since we began Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue in 1999, we have saved over 3,500 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


Prince (formerly known as Kenyon)

Dear Golden Beginnings,

Tuscany Heights Elementary in San Antonio, Texas participated in the 1st annual "Sweets and Treats" event in May - a fundraiser for Pet Partners. Pet Partners is a national organization that trains and certifies therapy animal teams that visit in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

Since there are rules regarding non-nutritional food items during the school day, our school decided to focus on treats for our four-legged friends. Prince, who I adopted from Golden Beginnings in June 2012, has been visiting the school as part of our speech therapy program for 2 years.

We invited any students who wanted to participate to talk on our morning announcements before 5/17, bake or bag homemade dog or cat treats for our event, or to help at our table on 5/17. We had fifteen 3rd to 5th grade students help with our event.

I have 3 children - 2 attended Tuscany Heights last year. We made t-shirts personalized with Prince's picture for the event.

We raised $100 in donations to send to Pet Partners. We hope this money helps train more therapy teams! I just wanted to share an update about one of your pups who found a forever home, and a home away from home - at a school of over 800 children who love him!

Aileen Holeman
Tuscany Heights Speech-language Pathologist and Pet Partner handler
San Antonio, Texas
July 2015


Every few years I reach out to you to let you know how my Falcon is doing. We're in Oregon now, and will likely not be moving again since this is where I call home.

I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing he has been in my life. He's been with me for 13 years and he's finally beginning to show the signs of age that I'm sure will one day, overcome him.

Brian, Josiah and Falcon
July 2015



We adopted Murphy from GBGRR in July 2013 and Hudson 5 or 6 years ago. We miss Hudson and often talk about what a joy he was. He would have made a wonderful therapy dog because he was so calm and gentle. I wish we could have had the opportunity to make that dream come true for him. Over the years I have had many people ask where we got such amazing dogs and I am always happy to say, "Golden Beginnings!"

I have been taking Murphy to visit relatives at nursing homes in Richmond and Katy for the past year. He has made such a difference to the residents that I decided to make him official so I could spread the "fur joy" to more people.

I wanted to share some Golden good news with you all. Murphy is officially a therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International! He passed his exam last Saturday with ease!!! The only part that was a challenge was separating from "momma" for three minutes sight unseen-well that is just hard for any Golden, but he did it! He didn't taste any of the delicious booby traps they had laid out despite one of them being CHEESE! There was a Siberian Husky that failed by eating and then snapped at any dog that got near the bowl after that. Murphy was an absolute PRO--AMAZING! He even lay down with his back to the aggressive dog to make a point that HE was working and didn't have time for such nonsense.

He has a natural sense about people and can tell if they want to pet him or not. He has become a real favorite and all the residents are always disappointed when I don't bring him with me. When we walk in everyone cheers, "Murphy!" He stays right by my side but when people indicate they want to pet him, we walk over and Murphy just lays his head in their lap until they quit petting him or it is time to visit someone else. Nothing excites him and he naturally walks up very slowly with his head humbly down to meet people. When we are on a walk and neighbor's dogs are snapping and snarling a foot away through a wrought iron fence, he is totally oblivious to them. He is so eager to please and automatically knows to be gentle in any situation.

Murphy has drawn out many of the residents that don't ever talk to anyone at the nursing home. I am most proud of a couple retired marines that never come out except at night when everyone else has gone to bed already. We were sitting in the dining room one evening visiting with my aunt when one guy spotted Murphy with his head in my aunt's lap. He inched closer and closer till he finally told my husband that he just had to pet that dog! He even showed us his tattoo of his old bulldog that he really missed. We have spent many nights since then talking about the war. He has a Purple Heart award and says that Nixon called him a hero since he was shot defending our country, but says the real heroes are the guys that gave their lives for our country. Now he visits with us regardless of if we have our dog with us or not, but he always ends our visit with, "Y'all come back---but bring that dog!"

I have been to Brazosview & Heritage Park Nursing Home many times and am always friendly to everyone, but it wasn't till I started bringing Murphy that many residents had any interest in visiting with me! Murphy is a gentle old soul and seems to feel a kinship with people going through rough times. My kiddos are 10 and 12 and know that Murphy has a need to comfort people. He always knows if they are sad or hurt and just goes to be with them without any words.

Last year we had 12 Girl Scouts over for a pre-camping sleepover (trial run) at my house and some of them were a bit apprehensive about being away from home. After they were bedded down in their sleeping bags, one girl was particularly nervous since this was her first sleepover. I called Murphy over and he snuggled in tight next to her and stayed all night with her wrapped around him. He actually had about 6 girls wedged in close petting him on all sides till they fell asleep.

Murphy even starred in a fashion show that evening. The girls dressed him up in a variety of hats, sunglasses and even a green wig with a purple witch hat! The next day it was nice to hear them telling their parents what a wonderful time they all had-THANKS TO MURPHY!

Murphy has a special gift and I feel like I am honoring him by sharing it. He delights in hugging people and hearing their stories! I just wanted to share a peek into our life and let you all know how happy you have made all of us. Thank you for opening your homes and hearts to such special dogs!

Warm Regards,
Kay, Jim, Jacob & Jilly G.
March 2015