Vol 5 No 2

Spring 2003

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

Perfect Goldens Wanted!

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

GRRI NEWS Archives

Perfect Goldens Wanted!

Dear GRRI,

We've seen all the Goldens on TV, and we want to adopt one just like those!  Perfectly trained, please, and in excellent health, of course, and young, so we can be guaranteed a long life together.  We know you must have many such dogs that you need to find homes for, and we'd like to be the generous family that agrees to take one of them off your hands.  Please call us tonight so we can make arrangements to pick up a dog tomorrow.  Thank you!

The letter above is fiction ... well, sort of!

The truth is, we regularly hear from people with those very expectations.  They imagine that contacting a Golden Retriever rescue group assures them of finding a perfect Golden right away.   And they are more than a little surprised when we tell them the REAL truth:  That our Goldens are FAR from perfect, and that there are wait times to adopt.

Are there wonderful, well trained, young, healthy dogs who enter rescue solely due to unforeseen family circumstances?  Yes, absolutely -- but rarely.

Overwhelmingly, dogs enter rescue as a consequence of neglect. 

Perhaps the neglect has been of a somewhat benign nature -- he's been  well fed and vetted, but has never gotten proper training or attention.  So he pulls and he jumps and he barks and he digs -- until his family decides enough is enough and calls rescue to find him a new home.

Perhaps he was a Christmas puppy from the pet store.  Once cute and cuddly, he's now an untrained, unruly 1-year-old bundle of constantly shedding energy -- and the family, realizing their errors in judgment, calls rescue to find him a new home.

Perhaps he's an older dog of 9 or 10 or 11-years-old, never much trouble until his person fell in love with someone who wasn't a dog lover.  Now he spends his days (and nights) barking out of loneliness in the laundry room, until the couple calls rescue to find him a new home.

Perhaps the neglect has been more  severe -- he's been tied up in a garage all day, every day, with little food or water and no vet care.  Completely unsocialized, unbearably thin, with a severely matted coat, nails that go on for days, and rampant ear and skin infections, he's also fearful of many things and knows nothing about living in a home with people or other pets.  One day his family decides to use the garage for a new car instead, and calls rescue to find him a new home.

Perhaps his former life is a mystery.  He's landed in a shelter, so sick, tired, emaciated and filthy that it's too much work for him to wag his tail and show visitors what a great dog he might be.   So no one claims him, until rescue does.

Every day, GRRI volunteers help dogs like these.  THESE are the dogs in rescue. 

Thankfully, rescue volunteers aren't the only ones capable of seeing beyond the imperfections and catching glimpse of the potential in these dogs -- GRRI and other rescue groups like it are fortunate to have a generous waiting list of qualified, committed adopters ready, willing and eager to do the same.