New Arrivals from Mexico!

International Rescue Banner Freedom Flight

new arrivals

meet bruni

Bruni is 4-years-old and was housed with over 80 other dogs.
He is a bit shy but warms up with people once he gets to know them.

meet samantha

Samantha is 4-years-old and was saved from the streets. After she was rescued, she managed to escape and was loose for another month or so. Her right shoulder appears to have been dislocated many years ago and has healed, so she can still run and jump on it. She is very loveable and a fast learner.

meet guera

Guera was pregnant, but all of her pups were born sick and died because her owner threw her out on the street. Now she is a nice dog, and she overcame her loss. She gets along with dogs and cats and especially puppies. She is playful and sweet.

meet yoli

Yoli is 6-years-old and is a very sweet lady.  She is educated, obedient, and calm.  When she was rescued from the streets, she was malnourished, anemic and dehydrated.
Now she is in a very good condition and healthy.




For twenty years, RAGofAZ has been rescuing lost, abandoned, and displaced Golden Retrievers from our own communities here in Arizona. Now the call for rescue comes from across the ocean in China and South Korea, and from our neighbor to the south, Mexico. In partnership with dedicated international rescue organizations, RAGofAZ has saved dozens of Goldens who had been wandering the streets in search of food, and running in fear from abusers or certain death. We refuse to sit by and do nothing while these precious animals wait helplessly for rescue and reprieve. We fly these dogs to America where they receive medical care, life-saving surgery, nutritious food, and the warmth and love of a forever home at a cost of between $1,000 and $4,000.

Our work must continue. Will you help save the life of a desperate Golden Retriever by donating today? Any amount is deeply appreciated. Because hunger, illness, and despair know no language, no culture, and no boundary.

Please note: Your donation goes to the organization, not just to the dog you selected or to international dogs specifically.  All donations go into a central fund to help all dogs.

Before they begin their journey to America, all international dogs are placed with pre-approved families.  If you want to be considered to adopt future dogs, international and domestic, please submit an Application to Foster/Adopt found on the website, and someone will contact you.  If you are already approved, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

14 Oldest Golden Zoey

Golden Oldie: Zoey

14 Zoey Oldest 280

Zoey is a smart, loving, loyal companion who has completely captured our hearts!  We met her at age 8 at which time she needed a great deal of medical attention. 

Through expert veterinary care, she survived cancer. 

In her early years with us, she and her sister Red would swim with us in the pool, fetch, and play.  She is a true Golden and always willing to let her human sister dress her up or let mom put a party hat on her for another photo shoot.   She has been a cover girl on our community magazine, alongside her sister Red. 

As a member of our family, she comes on vacations with us to the mountains and to the beach.  This year we took her to San Diego and she truly smiled and enjoyed herself.  At age 14½ she walks slower, sleeps longer and snores like never before!  She knows our schedules and has us trained quite well!  She enjoys her “yums” and receiving love indiscriminately.  Somehow, she loves us more and more each day.

In her old age, she loves to rest on her spot on the couch where she can keep her eyes on us.  If we leave the room, she likes to follow.  Although hard to get up these days, she loves to be with her people. Zoey lives for pleasing and loving her people.  Showered with love and affection, she is a happy girl and we are so blessed to have her all these years.


13 Oldest Goldens Duey & Koso

Golden Oldies: Duo & Koso

13 Oldest Duey Koso 280

Duo & Koso, born 10/25/04,  were rescued from a Kosovo dog shelter in late 2006 by Stephanie Harding, a police officer working for the United Nations.

These two littermate English Cream Goldens were transported by her to the US so they might have a good home. A large RAGofAZ contingent met them at Sky Harbor airport with many local news stations on hand to record this historic international rescue. Stephanie's description of the scant resources for dog shelters in Kosovo led to many donations from RAGofAZ members and the public. She returned with enough money to improve the shelter and pay for some veterinary fees.

This beautiful male and female pair had suffered some abuse in their home country.  However, after medical evaluation with Dr Katie Donahue, the pair were adopted by fosters Cindy & Gary in Feb 2007 and were well on their way to becoming happy Goldens!

Today, the siblings remain completely emotionally bonded. Duey is the Queen with Koso, her doting Knight. They take a morning stroll around the block to visit their favorite sniffing places and are often found sleeping next to each other. They are still first class beggars who will follow their noses to anyone who has food.

Both dogs have been included in a study at UC Davis Veterinary School for their longevity in the hope that other Goldens might live longer, healthier lives. We have been so blessed to have these two in our family.  Thank you, RAGofAZ.


12 December Mia

December: Mia

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Mia was selected to be the perfect companion for our other rescue dog Moochie, and they are inseparable.  Mia definitely reinforces why her breed is called Golden Retriever, as she hardly ever is found without a ball in her mouth, and she can play toss and retrieve for hours. 

She has also taken on the name, Princess Mia. If her satin-covered pillow is not perfectly positioned on our bed when it’s time to sleep, she gives us that “excuse me?” look until we properly prepare her lair.  She also boxes out her brother as she demands to get 100% of our love and affection.

But there’s simply nothing better than having her precious head resting on your chest when you wake up in the morning.


11 November Chase

November: Chance

11 Nov Chance 280

Meet Chance, our beautiful Golden boy from South Korea. When he arrived at our home he was about 30lbs underweight; his coat was in horrible condition; he had scabs all over him from his past living conditions and later we would learn he was heartworm positive.

None of it mattered to us as it was love at first sight!  His eyes were filled with love, kindness and excitement and he immediately became part of our family. 

The first day he learned how to shake, sit, lay down and has since learned how to give a very impressive high five. He is extremely smart.  Chance loves to sleep on his back and always has a special toy in his mouth and one in his bed to curl up with at night.  His favorite past time is playing with his little brother George, a Shih Tzu, who sets Chance straight about who is the Alpha Dog in the family. 

Fast-forward a year and a half and Chance is now a healthy, heartworm negative Golden and is Mr. November. He shows his love by laying his head in your lap for some head and ear scratches. He loves to snuggle on the bed and is truly the loudest snorer of the family. Chance has been such an amazing addition to our family and we will be forever grateful to RAG of AZ for matching us with this amazing boy.


10 October Duchess

October: Duchess

10 Oct Duchess 280

Poor Duchess, she was not in very good shape when she came into rescue. She had already delivered several litters of puppies, was suffering from a variety of medical conditions, and did not appear to be very well socialized.

Fortunately, RAGofAZ placed her with an exceptionally experienced and dedicated foster who soon realized that Duchess could not see well.  She was evaluated by an eye specialist who determined that Duchess had cataracts in both eyes and severely compromised vision.  This problem was further exacerbated by a genetic condition that was causing the cataracts to grow even faster.

At the same time, Duchess is undergoing treatment for problems with her epiglottis which affects her ability to process food properly.  Despite these challenges, Duchess is gradually recovering, learning appropriate behaviors, and experiencing the touch of human kindness.

There must be a special place in Heaven for Golden fosters.


09 September Lucky

September: Lucky

09 Sept Lucky 280

Lucky’s rescue name suits him well.  As a stray, luck would have it that a phone call was placed to Rescue A Golden of Arizona who took him in and gave him all the medical attention he needed to get back on track.

Upon intake he had numerous ticks on him, serious ear infections and was in need of extensive dental work.  After diagnostics with multiple vet specialists he is now receiving treatments for his tick fever (Ehrlichia), chronic ear infections and eventually the dental work needed, when safe to do.

Through it all, he maintained his positive Golden attitude and approached every vet visit as an exciting outing.  He is happiest going for a spirited walk in the neighborhood, joyriding in the van, taking naps by the fireplace or just lounging in the backyard on his cot.  Lucky indeed.


08 August Ivy

August: Ivy

08 Aug Ivy 280

Words cannot describe how grateful we are to have our special girl Ivy as part of our family. Her arrival from Korea to the US was quite the journey, but we couldn’t have been more excited for her to arrive and to meet her!

Ivy was rescued from the dog meat trade in South Korea. She was put through a nightmare before she was even 4 months old. It saddens us to know what she has been through, but apart from her pain, we knew we were going to show her a life filled with freedom and unconditional love.

Upon her arrival, we were so hopeful she would fit into our family and get along well with our other Golden Retriever, Laker. When Ivy arrived, she was timid, scared, malnourished and not very trusting. None the less, we knew what she had been through, and went to bed that night praying that things would be better the next day. When we woke up the next morning, Ivy had already made so much progress. She was smiling, cuddly, and playful with all of us.

Ivy has developed into such a lovable, sassy, and happy girl. Her favorite things to do are play fetch, take walks, and wrestle her big brother Laker. Ivy and Laker are inseparable and love each other so much.  We believe Ivy was destined to become a part of our family. We needed her as much as she needed us! Ivy has become our 'Little Miss Thang' and we love her with all our heart!


07 July Mac

July: Mac

07 July Mac 280

Hi, my name is Macushla pronounced Ma Cush La, but just call me Mac. It means “my heart” in Irish.

People tell me I was born in Turkey but I'm not sure.

  I lived with a family for a while and then I didn’t.  I'm not sure why but one day I was on the streets. It was scary!  There were lots of other dogs out there too but only some were friendly. Eventually, I learned how to survive.  

Then some very nice people found me and took me back inside to a shelter. I had food and water, a nice place to sleep and people who took care of me. They gave me a bath and different medicines to make me healthy again.

Next thing I know, I’m on an airplane (whatever that is!) for a very long ride.  I had to stay in a crate but

there was another dog with me so I wasn't too scared.  After many hours I met more nice people who took me to my FOREVER family.

I now live in a house with two humans and two other dogs.  I have lots of soft beds(plus couches) to lay on, I get really good food and get lots of treats. I'm told I will learn how to swim soon. I love it here!


06 June Nash

June: Nash

06 June Nash 280

Hi! Nash here! June is my birthday month. My Mom rescued me when I was less than 7 weeks old from very questionable circumstances. I was way too young to be away from my birth Mom but my new Mom saved me.

Thank goodness that my new sister, Zoey (RAG of AZ) took over as my surrogate Mom and my big brother, Riley taught me the ropes! I am a very happy-go-lucky guy and I think everybody loves me! I feel and look happy all the time! Life is good! My favorite thing to do is eat! I do lots of 360’s all the way to my feeding bowl! I think I’m dizzy but my Mom makes me wait until she says “ok”. Then I can inhale my food. LOL. The other thing I like to do is go on runs with my family. I love to chase rabbits and cows, if I see them. Then of course, there is mud. I love mud and I can find it anywhere. Most recently, my Mom became a Foster Failure and adopted, Cami (RAG of AZ). I love my 2 sisters, brother, and my Mom!


05 May Buddy

May: Buddy

05 May Buddy 280

When we lost our beloved Jake (also a rescued Golden) we immediately applied to adopt again.  Buddy (formerly Baron) came to us as a puppy rescued from South Korea. 

He immediately was at home with his new “sister” puppy whom we also rescued (unexpectedly from a dumpster) - Charley Girl.

It was definitely meant to be as the two can now grow up together, each having a second chance. They are inseparable!! They play nonstop all day and sleep right next to each other at night.

Thank you Rescue a Golden of Arizona for not only giving Buddy a second chance, but for making our family complete.


04 April Chase

April: Chase

04 Apr Chase 280

In 2014 we lost our Golden, Hunter. Our other Golden Murphy was very sad. When he was ready, we found a cute little guy who we named Chase.  Chase was white except for some gold on his ears, weighed about 6 pounds and was as cute as could be!

Murphy, being a good big brother, hated that Chase had to be kenneled and they would lay nose to nose through the kennel wires, always touching.  We then decided to let Murphy teach him to be good and just used the X-pen to keep them confined.  They became “best buddies” and to this day they still lay together and sleep together.

One day while bathing Murphy, before his Therapy Dog gig at the hospital, Chase bounced right into the Jacuzzi. I worried he would freak out, but he just started swimming, and I realized I had another “water dog”.  Chase loves to swim or just float around the pool on his raft.  

Chase is a true “retriever”. He helps me with the laundry, picking up anything that drops on the floor. He picks out my shoes everyday and prefers my flip flops over normal shoes. He loves being helpful.

Chase attended obedience school and does quite well, but when one of his human or dog friends come over he “talks” for several minutes. 

Chase is a golden angel. He will bring joy to our family for years to come. And Murphy ……. he’s 10+ years young, thanks to Chase!


03 March Gabby

March: Gabby

03 Mar Gabby 280

Lovable, Low Key, Protective, Happy, a smile on her face, and still a Mom -- My Gabby.

After being given six months to live, my now seven- year-old GABBY is my best special needs friend who was almost 4 when I adopted her.

Gab is low energy, sleeps about fifteen hours a day, struggles to breathe at times, and anxiety and tiredness bring on reverse breathing. 

With all this, happy Gabby is here for me with a non-stop wagging tail and one of her soft toys in her

mouth.  She pumps me up when I am down, talks to me, hates water, loves to ride in the car, loves people and loves other friendly dogs,  and she cries when she cannot find me.    

Gabby is always happy to come home to her toys and to her happy place.  Every day, one by one, she takes about six toys from her rug to the outside for fresh air; every night I help her bring the toys back into the house onto her rug. 

You see, Gabby never got over being a three-year breeder.  She garners attention of adults and children;  her tail wags nonstop for everyone.  She is blessed to be a natural emotional support girl and Mom.


02 February Sophia

February: Sophia

02 Feb Sophia 280

Sophia’s bio dubbed her a “wild child”!  Abby is my original wild child.  A seven year old Border Collie/Golden mix; also a rescue.  What could I do but ask for this pup to complete my home.

Sophia is the first puppy I've had in 30 years!  And yes, I got razzed!  But February, being the month of love, lets me tell you about what a sweetheart she is.  And now I'm jazzed!

We're working on those puppy quirks.  I'm finding her “mostly” obedient.  She's willing and eager to please.  “Leave it!“ is our favorite command!  She's gentle and charming and funny.  She and Abby are best buds and she’s a favorite around town.  She's quiet and seldom barks; I'm puzzled as to how she got her moniker as a “wild” one.

She's losing her soft fluffy curls, which is how she got her name, Sophia.  There's a cartoon princess with soft brown curls, says my grandson.  She dances with my other grandson who’s five. They're quite pleased to have another pup close by. 

She rests on my feet or snoozes near me.  She follows me everywhere.  I have to watch my step or we might be tumbling.  She puts her toys away at night, though she'll destroy a soft one in under ten seconds!  She loves tomatoes and will sit in front of the pantry in hopes of getting a treat … or four!  She is teaching me patience!

This puppy - the goofball.   She's a joy - my Sophia.  She's a Golden!!


01 January Daisy

January: Daisy

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Daisy started life as an outdoor dog, living in a crate for the first year and a half. She was starved for affection and yearned for the security of a loving, forever home.

Daisy arrived in our home in the month of December and she became the best Christmas present ever. We already had a 3 year old golden Katy, who needed a sister or brother. Daisy was the perfect addition and our two golden girls quickly became best friends. Daisy is a sweet, healthy, loving and free-spirited girl and has brought much joy to our family. She loves to swim and ride in cars. Daisy has given us so much love and happiness through the years. Thank you RAG of AZ for bringing this lovely lady into our lives.


00 Cover Dog Graham

Introducing our 2020 Calendar Cover Dog


HOG 2020 Front Cover Graham 450

Graham was purchased from a breeder by a family who did not have time for him. They turned him in to the shelter at eight months old, stating he was “untrainable.” They thought that, at eight months, his “puppy stuff” would be over. In addition, the younger children would lie on him.


He immediately chose my eight year old German Shepherd, Shadow, as his buddy. Weeks later, he discovered that McGee was a Golden Retriever, and McGee is now his wrestle partner first thing in the morning, much to Shadow’s chagrin. McGee was never a morning person. Always one to share, Graham alternates his playing partners throughout the day. He happily plays by himself also, wrapping his Nyla bone in his blanket and chewing on it thru the flannel. When he exhausts himself, he goes to his crate for a snooze.

He has multiple activities, including getting the paper in the morning. He has occasional trips to day camp to play with new dogs. He takes classes and competes in Agility, Nose Work, Dock Diving, and Lure Coursing.

He enjoys water and is a natural swimmer. He does not care whether it’s a pool, the sprinkler, or a water dish. He loves chasing balls and toys, but butterflies are the best.

He can be startled at new things, although he is quite brave, and approaches at his own pace, learning that nothing will harm him. He is very smart, affectionate, and enjoys endless petting. He is an astonishingly happy boy.


International Rescue--where are they now? Mao Nui & Lexi

International Rescue Banner Where Are They Now with Lexi and Mia ver 2

From China

Mao Nui - Now Mia



Considered a "throw away dog" due to a bout of distemper that left her with permanent nerve damage to her left front leg, Mao Nui spent three years and three months in a shelter and was destined to live out her life in a shelter in central China. Mao Nui was not adoptable as she was not perfect… 

Today Mao Nui - now named Mia - spends her days chasing lizards and playing with her big sister Maddie in a big back yard. Mia is an inspiration as she enjoys all aspects of her new life in spite of her disability. She loves being an ambassadog for RAGofAZ, paying it forward so more goldens can have the "golden life".

Since arriving in the USA Mia has undergone arthroscopic surgery, stem cell treatments and monthly acupuncture to combat the damage from the distemper.

Each dog rescued is a life saved. Please help us continue our rescue mission. 



From Korea

Lexi Now Luna

Lexi Lexi2

Lexi was found struggling to survive after her owner dumped her near a South Korean factory. Local villagers fed her scraps as she scavenged for food. Though she learned to hide from strangers who meant her harm, this young Golden was surely doomed had it not been for the courageous rescuers who helped her begin her journey to America... 

Today Lexi – now renamed Luna – lives in comfort and safety with her family in Sahuarita, Arizona. At first, she was terrified of everything. With patience, love and training, she has recovered from her fears and learned to trust her beloved humans. Luna is now paying it forward as an “ambassadog” at RAGofAZ events to raise awareness and collect donations to help other dogs in need. In fact, this once starving and desperate animal will appear as Miss January in our 2019 Hearts of Gold calendar. Just watch her strike a pose!

Each dog rescued is a life saved. Please help us to continue our rescue mission. 



For twenty years, RAGofAZ has been rescuing lost, abandoned, and displaced Golden Retrievers from our own communities here in Arizona. Now the call for rescue comes from across the ocean in China and South Korea, and from our neighbor to the south, Mexico. In partnership with dedicated international rescue organizations, RAGofAZ has saved dozens of Goldens who had been wandering the streets in search of food, and running in fear from abusers or certain death. We refuse to sit by and do nothing while these precious animals wait helplessly for rescue and reprieve. We fly these dogs to America where they receive medical care, life-saving surgery, nutritious food, and the warmth and love of a forever home at a cost of between $1,000 and $4,000.

Our work must continue. Will you help save the life of a desperate Golden Retriever by donating today? Any amount is deeply appreciated. Because hunger, illness, and despair know no language, no culture, and no boundary.

Please note: Your donation goes to the organization, not just to the dog you selected or to international dogs specifically.  All donations go into a central fund to help all dogs.

Before they begin their journey to America, all international dogs are placed with pre-approved families.  If you want to be considered to adopt future dogs, international and domestic, please submit an Application to Foster/Adopt found on the website, and someone will contact you.  If you are already approved, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Teddy and Bonnie


Teddy and Bonnie

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Another Freedom Flight...Two More Goldens Are Safe

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Bora and Pamela Arrived Friday, August 24th


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Bora is a beautiful, 2-3-year-old Golden girl.  She is sweet and also very loving.  She wants reassurance that she is safe. 

Three-year-old Pamela was treated for Heartworm, but she is all clear and ready to begin her loving, American, Golden Life.



Each dog rescued is a life saved. Please help us continue our rescue mission.



Update and slideshow below!

Pamela and Bora arrived at LAX very stinky but undaunted.  We went to Petco where they both had a spa day.  Afterward, we headed for the hotel to spend the night.  Both girls were super.  Pamela woke me up at 4:00 am to potty followed by Bora.  Both are very good travelers.  
In Arizona, we met the team taking Pamela to her home.  She jumped right into their car and off they went.  Susan delivered Bora to her home.  Both families report that they are in love and both dogs are settling in well.
--Scottie McGowan

  International Rescue Coordinator


Bora and Pamela's Journey

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Before they begin their journey to America, all international dogs are placed with pre-approved families.  If you want to be considered to adopt future dogs, international and domestic, please submit an Application to Foster/Adopt found on the website, and someone will contact you.  If you are already approved, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Links of Gold 2017 Golf Tournament Online Auction

2017 LOG Maddie Logo

First time ever Rescue A Golden of Arizona Links of Gold Golf Tournament


Our annual Links of Gold Golf Tournament is RAGofAZ's biggest fundraiser of the year! For the first time, we are including an online auction to further our goal of raising funds to help place Golden Retrievers, not only from Arizona, but from countries around the world, in their forever homes.

Online bidding begins on Friday, September 1st and runs through 8 pm Friday, September 8th. At that time, the auction will carry over to our live event on September 9th. The bidding will continue at the event at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale. The highest bid will win the item. Anytime the system receives two bids that are the same, the first bid entered into the system wins. 

Click here to go to the auction. There's something for everyone! And you don't have to attend Links of Gold to participate in the auction (even though we would love it if you did!)

Links of Gold 2017 Golf Tournament Online Auction Items

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Special Sunny has found her forever home!

Sunny1Hi, there. I’m Sunny although I started off as “Savannah” and do I have a story to tell.

Ever since I was born 14 months ago I’ve had one terrible urinary infection after another. . . so it’s no surprise that I could not get the hang of housebreaking. The vet told my owner that I had a rare birth defect known as Ectopic Ureters. I thought “uh-oh girl…you ARE in trouble!” but it turns out to be just vet speak for “my ureters were in the wrong place.” Why can’t they speak English…or Dog? That explained why I was constantly leaking but still left me with some big time “plumbing problems.” Sadly my owners could not afford the cost of treating me so they called RAGofAZ and off I went to a new home.

Sunny2Over the course of two months I had 3 major operations and scarfed down a lot of pills to fight the infections. I did start to feel better though. As my ureters were being surgically attached one at a time I felt the sensation of a full bladder and I knew right what to do. Everyone was so happy when I squatted for the first time like a normal girl but it seemed pretty normal to me. But one problem remained—I was still a “leaker.”

Over the course of 5 months I had two wonderful foster homes and two potential adoptive homes but no one could figure out how to stop me from leaking. That was a big drawback for a lot of people and I wasn’t too happy about it myself. RAG did not give up on me, though. In those various homes I learned about a lot of things I never knew before: like there were other dogs and they wanted to play with me and, with my infections cleared up, I wanted to play with them! I also discovered something called a pool. Um, that’s me in the front. I got the tennis ball!

In an effort to figure out what was going on I went back to see my pal, Dr. Aguirre at Salt River Veterinary Specialists in Scottsdale. I listened while RAG and the Doc discussed me and couldn’t figure out why I leaked in the day but not at night. Truth be told, a little leaking can be common in young gals like me who had just been spayed. But I’m different. My internal plumbing is a little weird (trying to be discreet here). Doc took me in the back for an ultrasound test. When he came back he said everything looked good and he said that it all went back to the initial birth defect! I wasn’t leaking from my bladder after all. When I squatted down to pee most of it came out but some went the other way and got stuck until I ran around and shook it loose. So, thought my doc, let’s try a new approach. Right after I go potty we get someone to throw a tennis ball for me to chase and I will do my leaking outside instead of on the floor. Hey, I can do that! Shake it off, baby, shake it off, I can make this work.

Sunny3Don’t you know that the very next day RAG came up with a new mom for me and she brought a Golden sister to meet me and we hit it off. She likes to swim and my new house has a pool. That’s me in front and Snow White in back. She is a great friend. Now when I go out to pee my new mom sends Snow White out to play with me so all my leaking is done before I come in the house. Snow White told me that she is happy to make that “sacrifice” for me! I couldn’t be happier and I’m real glad that RAG didn’t give up on me. I’m too darned cute to give up on and I love my new Forever Home!

12 December Wilma

12December Wilma 280WILMA

Welcome to the season of wonder.

Our “Wild Wilma” came to us as a belated Christmas gift. She had spent her first three years as a “back-yard” dog where she’d bonded with a friendly Lab. However, both dogs were eventually surrendered to different rescues, which meant Wilma had to bid a sad farewell to her buddy.

RAGofAZ placed Wilma in a wonderful foster home, but no amount of love and attention seemed to assuage the loss of her beloved friend.

WilmaOutside resized xWilmaHoHoHo resized xShe sat outside cowering behind a planter and would not even come indoors. That’s when Freddie, our resident Golden Retriever, came to the rescue. Sensing that Wilma needed another dog who could calm her fears, the fosters asked us to bring Freddie to their home. Sure enough, the easygoing and unflappable Fred soon figured out how to be a pal to Wilma... the way only Goldens can. When Freddie jumped into our van to go home, Wilma hopped in with him, rode to our house and unpacked her bags. Now safe and secure once more, this holiday season finds Wilma and Fred lying by the Yule log as they gaze contentedly into each other’s eyes. You can almost hear them whisper “yabbadabba do!”

11 November Bella

11November Bella 280BELLA

Bella here…. Yes, I had a rough beginning, but now I’m living the Golden life with my best Golden buddy, Sedona, and my forever loving and caring Mom. I was discovered to have diabetes and Valley Fever when I was rescued. After many, many trips to the vet to check my blood sugar, everyone tells me I’m getting adjusted to these pricks, which is every time I eat, but that’s okay as long as I’m eating!

BellaLake2 resizedMy favorite thing in life, besides eating, is getting my daily dose of human love and attention. I love going to the Dog Park, walks in my new neighborhood... did I mention eating? ...and just hanging out with my best family ever! Thank you 

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Rescue A Golden for finding me and giving me the best dog life ever!

10 October Walter

10October Walter 280WALTER

People say I’m a VIP. I’m not sure why, or what that means, because my name is Walter, aka Sir Walter of Scottsdale. I’ve heard lots of other things: Loving, friendly, gentle, and old soul. Expressive eyes, too. Oh, and my favorite – big paws! I was rescued by RAGofAZ and went to my forever home in Scottsdale where I got new friends, Lilly, Teddy, Beau and Bailey.

WalterinGrass resized xWalterMouthOpen resized xNow, I get lots of brushing and massages, taco nights next door with Lilly, and spend mornings at Starbucks for puppacinos. Rabbits, birds, and cats are all around here and they look delicious; I think I was a hunter before I came here. I love people watching at our local steak house patio. They even gave me a bowl with my name on it! I bark for breakfast, for walks, and for bedtime. Just to be sure it’s not a dream, I nudge the side of bed in the middle of night to make sure my family is there and always get reassurance of our new pack…right by mom and dad’s side. It’s a Golden life now with chin scratches aplenty, watching mom cook, and watching hockey with dad. Turns out that being a VIP is the best thing that ever happened!

09 September Maddie

09September Maddie 280MADDIE

Maddie, her name means sweet, joyful, loving and a need to serve humanity. This truly describes my girl who was found abandoned and starving with six new mouths to feed. Thanks to some very special guardian angels and RAGofAZ, seven beautiful dogs are in loving homes.

Maddie soon earned the title of “Mom of the Year 2012” and her story quickly spread through the rescue community.

MaddiePawPointing resized rIn 2015 Maddie passed her AKC Good Canine Citizen test and became a Certified Therapy Dog with Paws For Friendship Inc. Maddie and I visit a rehabilitation facility and a memory care unit twice a month, where she shares her love and happiness with patients and staff.

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Maddie currently is the official Golden for the annual “Links of Gold” golf tournament, proudly representing RAGofAZ. On the day of the event she loves thanking all the golfers and diners who help make our annual fundraiser a huge success.

Her free time is filled with greeting all her friends in our neighborhood, playing with her best friend Bixler, a black lab and just being the joy of my life.

Thank you RAGofAZ for letting me adopt this beautiful lady.

08 August Sadie

08August Sadie 280SADIE

Here is my story... I first came to Rescue a Golden as a lost pup wandering in Goodyear, AZ. A nice lady took me home and posted fliers to try and find my family. Guess I was meant to go to a different family as some wonderful folks from RAGofAZ came to rescue me and help me find my new forever home.

SadieBackyard resized rSadieToy resized croppedThey called me “Pretty Girl” which was nice, but I was kind of in a sad state at the time. I had given birth to some pups, lost all the hair on my tail, and my eyes were dull and sad. A quick trip to the vet uncovered thyroid disease and with corrective medication I started to perk up. Soon my new mom came to see me and decided to call me Sadie. Mom says it was love at first sight; to her I was the “Prettiest Girl” in the world. My life is super now. I love to go on daily walks, run around the pool, and watch TV for hours with my pink pig toy in tow. Now my tail is full of feathers, my eyes are bright, and I am grateful to RAGofAZ for helping me find the best new forever home ever!!!

07 July Abby

07July Abby 280ABBY

Abby became part of our family, and seventh Golden, in December 2014. She had been a stray who followed some children home from school. However, that family was unable to keep her and contacted RAGofAZ. That was our lucky day, as we had been on the waiting list for a while.

The rescue called with a good match for us and wanted to schedule a meet and greet. We fell in love with Abby at first sight. As she walked to our front door, her fur all fluffed, she wore a cute holiday headband on her head and looked adorable.

AbbyPorch resizedAbbyBeach2 resizedAbby has since made the move with us from the desert to the Atlantic Ocean. She loves strolls along the beach, and walks around our neighborhood soliciting pets from everyone she meets.

Her gentle laid back demeanor endears her to the neighborhood kids who stop by our house to see if Abby can come out to play.

She is the love of our lives. Thanks RAGofAZ for allowing Abby to become part of our family.

06 June Lucy

06June Lucy 280LUCY

I’m Lucy and here’s my Golden story. I was surrendered to RAGofAZ by my first mom because she realized that she didn’t have time for me. She loved me enough to want me to have a good life. But because I was left alone a lot as a young dog, I don’t like to be by myself. Thank goodness my forever home already had a Golden named Makana.

LucyatTracks resized rLucyatLake resized rBut after a couple of years, Makana crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We were all sad. I had Dad and Mom, but no four-legged friend. Since I was so sad, Mom called RAGofAZ to see if there was another Golden that needed a forever home. That’s how we got Jasper! (You met him in January in this year’s calendar.)

Jasper and I do everything together. We walk Dad twice a day, play in the backyard, sleep side-by-side, and keep Mom nimble by spreading our toys all over the house. It’s a big job, but Jasper and I do it together. Thanks RAGofAZ, for my forever home and for Jasper.

05 May Teddy


Teddy’s story begins, sadly, at a shelter where he had been abandoned as a wobbly, weak senior with multiple medical challenges. A skinny, older, red Golden, Teddy came into rescue with Tick Fever, chronic and devastating nosebleeds, hypertension, kidney issues, hip dysplasia, and liver problems. He had lost half of his once thick coat . . . and seemed embarrassed by his patchy, scalped appearance.

TeddyUnderTree resized xAmazingly, however, when he arrived at our house, Teddy required no introduction. 

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He walked through the front door with his tail wagging and ran to greet our two Saint Bernards, Lady and Beaux. Small in comparison to his Saint siblings, Teddy could walk under Beaux, and did so regularly! Today, thanks to love and science, Teddy is doing well and proudly displays his beautiful reddish-gold coat. Once dragging his back paw due to hip pain, he now runs a mile a day and “bunny hops” when a leash comes out. He is a friend to all, which is to say Teddy never met a creature he didn’t love: birds, cats, rabbits, anything that breathes. Teddy clearly views himself as a Golden, not a Golden Retriever. And he was just what our home needed – thank you RAGofAZ!


04 April Bear & Lola

04April Bear Lola 280BEAR & LOLA

Bear & Lola came into our family in November 2016. They were a “Senior Golden Couple” who needed a good home and we were a family that needed some “Goldens.” We had been without a Golden Retriever for a year. It was incredible how much love Bear & Lola immediately brought into our household.

Unfortunately, Lola went to the Rainbow Bridge on April 4, 2017. We will miss Lola’s high-spirited personality, her playful howl and the way she made a grand entrance when walking down the stairs!

On the other hand, Bear is Bear – a cuddly Golden with a serene personality that enjoys his walks in the desert. He loves to chase the bunny rabbits and birds that come across his path. His favorite pastime is watching TV from his spot on the couch. 

BearTennisBalls resized

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Whenever an animal appears on TV, he immediately runs to the set – mesmerized by the images before him.

Life is so much better with a Golden Retriever and we are so happy that Bear has his forever home in our home!

03 March Gabby

03March Gabby 280GABBY

Gabby lived in a birthing cage for over three years and came into rescue in January 2016 as a special needs gal—a yeast infection, female issues, fleas, Ichthyosis, Giardia, and no current shots. She never walked on a leash, chewed a bone, or played with
a toy or ball, and was afraid to be alone.

Gabby today is a happy 5-year-old gal who cares and treats her small stuffed animals as her puppies. Every day she takes her stuffed animals one by one outside into the sunshine, and in the evening she brings them all back inside to her rug. 

GabbyToys resizedGabbyToys2 resizedHer tail wags in happiness; she is a friend to our neighbors, to their dogs, and brings smiles to everyone she greets. She loves to go for walks—taking her bear with her, loves car rides, and sits on the back seat like a small person looking out the window. Gabby is low key, needs a great deal of sleep, and needs a special diet to aid in digesting her food. Gabby has filled the “Golden emptiness” in our lives.

02 February Henley

02February Henley 280HENLEY

Henley is truly what rescue is about.

Henley came to us in February from El Paso where he was thrown from a moving car and a Good Samaritan took him to the shelter. Months later he had an emergency splenectomy and it was uncertain if he was going to pull through the surgery. 

Packed full of attitude, this resilient little boy is now on his third chance at life. We named him after a famous song writer as we figured Henley has lots of stories about his past. 

HenleyHeadshot resizedHenley is now in a safe place and is close to our other RAGofAZ rescue Sammi who continues to teach him the Golden life. After numerous tests for an anemic condition and blood cells not maturing, a group of University of Pennsylvania scientists are working on a case study of Henley. As of this writing, it is still unknown what ails this little boy, but he is still thriving, wags his entire body when he sees us, and is now at a healthy weight.

HenleyYard resized rThank you to the RAGofAZ team, for driving across state lines helping to get Henley out of a bad situation and into our hearts.




01 January Jasper

01January Jasper 280JASPER

My name is Jasper and I’m forever grateful to RAGofAZ. I was found by Pinal County Animal Control wandering in the desert with a pack of dogs. RAGofAZ came and rescued me. It was hard at my foster’s home. I’d never been in a car or a house, and the sound of the refrigerator scared me.

JasperLake2 resized rBut my foster Dad bought me my own blanket and helped me to relax.

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When RAGofAZ called and said they had a forever home for me, I didn’t know what to expect. Dad and Mom seemed okay. They named me Jasper, because Mom said that my golden eyes reminded her of the gemstone yellow jasper that is found in the desert. We’re both gems found in the desert!

But then I met Lucy! (You’ll meet Lucy later in June) We hit it off right from the start. Lucy taught me so much, like don’t chew the sofa cushions and that we get to sleep on our own beds. Now I have two beds so that I always have someplace soft to sleep. I also have my bestie, Lucy. Thanks, RAGofAZ!

00 Cover Dog Cody

Marked down to $7.50 each

blue button order now

Introducing our 2018 Calendar Cover Dog


Scroll down to read all about our monthly calendar dogs. There are lots of bonus photos on our website this year!

Click here to view a remembrance of our companion Goldens who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this year.

Click here for a sneak preview of our Golden Oldies.

Click here to see Goldens from across the globe placed by RAGofAZ into new loving homes! 

00Cover Cody


Last August we got the best 35th anniversary gift we could ask for. RAGofAZ had the “Phoenix Lost Dog” available for us if we were willing to provide him his forever home. Of course we said “YES” since we had lost our previous RAGofAZ Golden named King to cancer in May of 2016 and our house felt empty.

 CodyRunning resizedCodyRunning2 resizedThat night Cody was welcomed into our home and our hearts. It so happened to be the same night Michael Phelps competed in his final Olympic race, the relay. The last swimmer in that race to win Phelps that final gold was Cody Miller. Miller was born with a deformity causing his ribcage to grow abnormally limiting his lung capacity. He learned to swim to improve his breathing and became an Olympic medalist. Inspired by this “lost boy” who had overcome his early start to achieve greatness we decided to name our lost boy Cody. Cody has the spirit of a puppy, loves to play ball and smile out the window on car rides. Cody has a heart of gold and has lived up to his name.

How to Protect Pets from the Back-to-School Blues


Reprinted from Kristen Levine Pet Living at

Heading back to school is always an exciting time for families. New teachers, new friends, new routines, new things to learn! But for pets, watching their favorite human playmate run out the door to catch the bus can be “ruff.”

jackandzoesm3img 5822After a summer full of fun, frolic, adventures and non-stop interaction, cats and dogs can become depressed or anxious when suddenly left alone all day. Occasionally, some pets can also develop more extreme behaviors like loud meowing or barking, escape attempts, panting, drooling, and chewing on inappropriate items.

To help ease the transition, try incorporating some of these ideas into your new school routine:

Prep for School

If your child’s classes haven’t begun yet, start preparing your pet now. For a week or two leading up to the first bell, plan some activities away from home. On the first day, stay away for a couple of hours, then gradually increase the time you’re gone.

The Same Old Routine

Pets thrive on routine and a sudden change can be stressful and disorienting. Think about the parts of your pet’s current routine – meals, walks, training – that can stay the same, and try to stick to the established schedule.

New and Improved

For any routines that must be altered, replace them with new ones. For example, if you can no longer walk the dog in the morning because you’re driving your child to school…why not just take your pup along for the ride?

Boredom Busters

Imagine being all alone without anything to do all day long. You can’t even get yourself a snack even though the fridge is right there! After a few days or weeks of this, you might come up with some…ahem…creative ways to entertain yourself. Head boredom off at the pass by leaving your pet with interactive toys that engage his mind and body.

Daycare Days

If your pup is dog-friendly and well socialized, think about taking her to reputable doggie daycare a few times a week. She’ll get lots of physical and mental stimulation, along with plenty of attention from the staff.

Home Run

Not all dogs are social or love to hang out in big groups. And my cats Turdie and Olivia seem to think “kitty camp” is a terrible idea. Luckily, if your pet is a homebody, there are plenty of experienced dog walkers and cat cuddlers who are only too happy to drop by and entertain your furry family member while you’re away.

After School Special

Talk to your children about how much your pets miss them when they’re at school. Encourage them to spend some quality one-on-one time with their special buddy when they get home. This might mean playing together in the back yard, talking to them about what they learned, or curling up on the couch and doing homework or reading out loud with the pet by their side.

New Year, New Responsibilities

Including kids in pet-related chores is a great way to teach compassion and commitment. So with each new school year, give your child a little more responsibility when it comes to your pet. Make sure tasks are age-appropriate so that both kid and critter are set up for success!

Avoid the Dog Pounds

We’ve all heard of the Freshman 15 but what about the Fido 5? Even just one or two extra pounds can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s health. With school in session, chances are he’s not as active as he was during the summer. So take a second look at his diet and adjust meals and treats as necessary.

Class Act

Yes, you can teach an old (or young) dog new tricks! And why should kids have all the back-to-school fun, anyway? Fall is the perfect time to sign your pooch up for a new training class. Depending on where you live, you might find options that range from obedience to agility to canine choreography!

Why does my dog lick me?

Reprinted from WOOFipedia by the American Kennel Club

Golden LickingAs you might have noticed, dogs just love to lick humans! Why all this licking? Well, the behavior is deeply ingrained in a dog. It’s visible early on, when puppies will lick each other as a way of interacting and of grooming each other. They sometimes lick their moms as a way of asking for some milk. When dogs are in packs, they will lick a dominant dog to ask for permission to eat communal food. So sometimes your dog wants something when he licks you. But there are other reasons for this slobbery behavior. Sometimes your dog just wants your attention. At other times, he might lick you as a way of playing with you (instead of biting you, which is how he plays with other dogs). Some researchers say that licking is just another way that dogs explore their environments.  One thing’s for sure: The more you respond positively to your dog’s licks, the more likely he is to lick you. It sure is one way of getting your attention!

Savannah McRae 6/24/02 – 7/20/15

Shared by Denise McRae

Savannah7What can I say about Savannah? We all love our dogs beyond reason and so know our perception of them is colored by this lack of reason. Savannah burst into my home in approximately June 2003 as a foster. She was one years old and her former owner had bought her lot of toys, a stylish collar and raised eating bowls but was giving her up because Savannah wouldn’t let her “just sit quietly and read.” The owner thought Savannah was hyper. No; she was a puppy. She was bow-legged, pigeon toed and owned any room she entered. I was not looking for a second dog; I had a big beautiful boy, Fitz, who I adored. People came to meet her. She was too small, she was too red, she just wasn’t quite right. They all said “what about that one”, pointing to Fitz. No; he’s mine. I started meeting the prospective parents outside. Do you know what it’s like to not invite people into your home in Arizona in the summer? We were dying in the heat and they thought I was hiding something. I was; the big beautiful Golden. Finally, one family said she wasn’t very pretty. With outrage I said “she’s perfect.” And just like that, she was mine. I did clear it with Fitz and promise to love him just as much. Turned out, he couldn’t live without her. She always felt like she belonged, taking Fitz’s toys, food, whatever he had. He never minded and she never thought about it twice.

And she loved to run. I rented a house and Fitz could cross that yard in two bounds; I Savannah4needed a larger yard (although we made great use of the largest dog park in the country, it wasn’t the same.) So I bought the house I live in now just for the yard. The three of us would play ball and the heat would wear me out. So, Fitz and I would come in, and watch Savannah with her ice and water through the big slider. It was Savannah’s yard.

She’s ruled the roost with every dog I’ve fostered. But never in an overt way. Somehow they all let her go out the door first, take the ball that was being tossed. It was unspoken but understood. And then one day two years ago I noticed my other dog, Suzie, wasn’t letting Savannah out of the door first. Odd. Then just before Christmas I felt the lumps. I called Mary, our super Veterinarian and she came to see us. I’d read up on it by then and asked what she thought. Chemo for lymphoma was a reasonable option. Not doing anything was also a reasonable option. We chose action and she loved spending her day getting chemotherapy. Only Savannah.

With all of the big, beautiful, true to confirmation Goldens out there, somehow she was chosen for four photo shoots. It was all in the attitude. Other than the day of surgery (she blew her knee out chasing a ball) and the day I knew she was ready to say good-bye, she never had an unhappy day. She took the sunshine with her wherever she went. That sunshine will light her way to the Rainbow Bridge where I know that Fitz, who loved her the way I do, beyond reason, was waiting for her.

Pet Dental Care--It's more important than you think!

Contributed by Sarah Bashaw, DVM
El Dorado Animal Hospital, Fountain Hills, AZ

Dog with toothbrushWe all know how important good oral hygiene and dental care is for ourselves, but many pet owners don’t realize that it is equally important in our pets. Good oral hygiene and regular check-ups are essential in maintaining both oral and physical health, and to prevent pain and infection.

You may wonder if your pet needs dental care at all. There are some signs you may notice at home. Does your dog have “doggie breath?” Is it unpleasant for you to smell your dog when he’s panting, or is the odor from your cat when she’s grooming strong? These are possible signs of oral disease. Other symptoms might include heavy tartar on molars, bleeding gums or loose teeth. Most pets will not show signs of pain until the disease is very severe. If your pet is already exhibiting signs of pain or difficulty eating the disease process may be very advanced.

The first step in an oral health assessment is a visit to your veterinarian. An oral exam is performed in the exam room with your pet awake. Depending on the temperament of your pet, most of the teeth can be examined, but not all teeth and not every surface can be seen. After the initial assessment, your veterinarian will decide if further action is needed. If disease is detected, an anesthetized oral examination, assessment and treatment are the next step.

Anesthesia is safe in pets, and the side effects and risks are very low. It is required to use anesthesia to safely evaluate all the teeth, perform dental x-rays, and to clean under the gum line. Pets will not hold still like we will in a dental chair! General anesthesia is safest, as it allows protection of the airway with an endotracheal tube, and adjustment of the anesthesia can be easily achieved.

Once your pet’s oral examination is complete and disease is detected, treatment is done during the same anesthetic event. This might be as simple as a thorough cleaning both above and below the gum line, or if disease is severe your pet may require extractions or periodontal surgery. Your pet’s doctor will contact you during the procedure to discuss treatment options and advise you about what treatment needs to be performed.

- Dr. Sarah Bashaw has an interest in veterinary dentistry and has dedicated hours of post-doctoral hands-on and lecture training in the discipline. She recognizes the value to good oral health, and would be happy to discuss any concerns you might have about your pet’s dental care.

Dogs, Desert Toads don't mix


By Chris Brant, President, RAGofAZ

After the first heavy rain that we encountered when we moved to Fountain Hills in 1983 I observed a large toad in our backyard. He was many miles from the major water sources down in the Fountain Lake. I deposited the toad in a bucket and made a trip to the Fountain Hills Lake Park. Our new, found “friend” did not seem too interested in taking a swim.

It was quite a while later that I found out that the toad would have been quite happy to live beneath our backyard and would have only come out after heavy rains. I also found out that once we had Goldens roaming our property the likes of Bufo Toads were not the friendly pets in our midst that I had Bufo alvarius 1imagined back in 1983.

Dogs are at especial risk from Sonoran Desert (Bufo) Toads and can quickly exhibit potentially fatal symptoms of toad poisoning (excessive salivation or foaming at the mouth, head shaking, red or irritated gums, drunken gait, confusion, weakness or complete collapse, heart arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, and pawing at the mouth). Seizures and death can occur in dogs within 30 minutes from a Sonoran Desert Toad poisoning. Once toad poisoning symptoms appear, emergency veterinary care is needed, but if you observe your dog with a Sonoran Desert Toad, immediate first aid can help prevent toad poisoning from occurring in the first place: Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius)


One of our trainers, Jay Smith, is offering Toad Avoidance training classes through October. Please click here for details. 


Reprinted from The Fountain Hills Times:

 Dogs Desert Toads dont mix

El Paso--On the Road Again

On the Road Again


With Scottie McGowan, Assistant Transport Coordinator

It started with an urgent phone call. It was a plea from El Paso. Five Goldens needed homes.

Connie, the president of our sister rescue, the Golden Retriever Rescue of El Paso (GRREP), needed help with finding homes for 4 dogs in El Paso and one in Las Cruces, NM. It was the signal to alert The Golden Express to get on the road again.Map

There was a flurry of tasks and team interactions as we prepared to receive these Goldens. The Intake Team collected known information; the Placement Team quickly found foster homes; the Vet Team made appointments for anticipated medical care; the Transport Coordinator Team found local transporters to complete the delivery to fosters, I coordinated with Connie and the El Paso transporters and prepared the pile of paperwork. This was all accomplished within a small window of time prior to our leaving Arizona.

Tom and Ginny Williams were eager and ready for their first El Paso transport. In El Tom and Ginny El Paso1Paso, the three of us me at our hotel to discuss strategy for the transport and had a fabulous Texas steak dinner followed by a good night’s rest. We were ready to meet our new Goldens.

The next morning, we met Gracie, Sammy, Buddy, and Eddie who greeted us withEl Paso pups smiles and wagging tails unsuspecting that they were about to embark on a great adventure. Amidst lots of activity, we completed all of the paperwork and loaded the dogs. Gracie, Sammy, and Buddy rode with Tom & Ginny; Eddie rode with me; we began our long journey back to Arizona.

But we had one more pickup to make. We were to pick up a sweet, little blonde girlSkye El Paso Las Cruces with foster named Skye from her foster in Las Cruces, NM. Skye is a special interest girl because she is partially blind and will eventually be fully blind. It was imperative that we quickly get her into her forever home so she could learn her way around before that happens. Skye and her foster bid a teary farewell, she jumped into my dogmobile and met Eddie, and we continued our journey back to Arizona and home.

After one potty and food break, the next stop was my house in Tucson. Humans and canines stretched their legs before continuing the trip up north. Susan Quisenberry was at my house ready to take Skye home with her to foster and to take Buddy to meet up with Chris Brant who delivered him to his foster in Scottsdale. Tom & Ginny, fosters for Sammy and Gracie, continued their journey home. Eddie was staying in Tucson, so I loaded him back in the car and delivered him to his foster.

All have been adopted, but Gracie didn’t stay. Sadly, she was suffering from renal failure among other things and she was in a great deal of pain. We tried to save her but there was nothing we could do. Tom Williams was with her as she was mercifully helped to the Rainbow Bridge. Tom and Ginny were her adopters of record.

There were so many people from many teams scurrying to make this all happen. A special Tail Wag to everyone for helping these Goldens. We couldn’t do it without you.

In the future, we will be making more trips to El Paso to rescue more Goldens. Stay tuned for more adventures of transporters On the Road Again.

If you would like to get into the action and join one of our Golden teams, apply on our website;

Can Dogs Eat Grapes?


Reprinted from WOOFipedia by the American Kennel Club


Can dogs eats grapes? Absolutely not.

Grapes (and raisins) are toxic to dogs, and they should never be allowed to eat them.

GrapesWhy, you ask? Well, veterinarians aren't quite sure. But it has been proven that the fruit can cause kidney failure in dogs—a very serious condition that can be fatal. As little as one grape per pound of body weight is enough to cause an issue in some dogs.

Symptoms of kidney failure include vomiting, excessive drinking, and lethargy. Eventually, urine production halts and tremors start. C

Another weird fact about this toxicity: It occurs in certain dogs (but we’re not sure why some are affected and not others) and has never been seen in cats.

What do you do if your dog eats a grape or raisin? Call your veterinarian immediately sick dogand tell them the amount of grapes your dog ate and how much your dog weighs. If it just happened, they may suggest you bring him in to induce vomiting and offer activated charcoal. A dog demonstrating signs of kidney failure (mentioned above) should be taken to veterinarian right away—more intensive care may be required.

Now learn if dogs can eat apples here.

And see a list of safe vs. unsafe foods for pets here.

Can Dogs Eat Apples?


Reprinted from WOOFipedia by the American Kennel Club


Yes, dogs can eat apples. And most love 'em, too.

AppleApples are a great source of vitamin c, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus, and they’re a safe way to satisfy your pet’s sweet tooth (as opposed to chocolate and other doggy diet no-nos).

Two caveats: Do not feed the seeds to your dog as they contain cyanide, a toxic substance. (Some also advise keeping the stem from your pet, too.) Also, like in people, eating too many apples can cause a dog to have a bellyache and diarrhea, so serve them in moderation.

Find out if other foods are safe to feed your pet here.

Which Foods are Safe to Feed your Pets?


Reprinted from WOOFipedia by the American Kennel Club


Food Chart

Oliver--This is why we do what we do


Oliver IMG 0236 edited 3

We had a good time together since day one.

I heard he did not like other dogs, the vacuum cleaner and I guess atypical – afraid of the thunder and lightning.

The first morning we took our morning walk in his new neighborhood and meet some of the neighbors. Those with dogs hesitantly approached this 104 pound Golden Retriever immediately dropping down on his front paws and barking while creating a monsoon with his fast wagging tail. His favorite was Bentley. A little charmer of a white dog who would come across the street to meet him nose to nose and looking Oliver in the eye, lick his nose. He would then turn and totally ignore his pal.Oliver1

I would take out the Oreck and Oliver I found would just lay there with "the look" that said "you want to vacuum, go around me". One day while he laid on the tile floor I gently placed the running cleaner on him and he thought he died and went to heaven. He was air cooled and brushed up and down, nirvana. He really liked the Shop Vac.

Thunder and lightning would wake him up while still some distance away. How do they do that? He was heavy and being a senior this precluded his jumping up on the bed. Yes, I would give in and lift him up and cuddle and talk to him, but he would not want me to tell you that. It became easier to just put my pillow down and lie on the floor with him panting and dripping on me.

He was noticeably having more difficulty getting up as the vertebrae in his rear legs were weakening. No hip dysplasia or arthritis, just calcification and age. Prednisone was helping, but you could see the weakening over time. He just wanted to please and had a lot of heart.

Oliver went outside this morning, as I heard the flap of the doggy door, when he came in and lay in front of fan number 2 in the living room, I noticed a wet spot on his side. Further investigation determined a clean white lesion, about the size of a dime, surrounded by a slightly swollen area. I tried to think bug bite, but I knew better.

A visit to the Vet determined it was cancer and it would spread.

We all know they are our friend, companion, lover, partner and we are responsible for their well-being. As with everything else in life, there is a cost.

Today I paid the cost.

I know when Oliver walked to the bridge he received some renewal and a spring in his step. He went; tail wagging, across the bridge to see his friends who crossed before him. He will have tales of Oreck vacuum cleaners, friends who licked his nose, neighbors who would come by his yard walking or by car and honk for him to come out and say hello. He would tell of the wonderful cupcakes he got only on his birthday.

We were so fortunate Rescue a Golden of Arizona found us. Yes, I am sad, but know he came to a home where he was loved, taken care of and gave so much.

Oliver2I miss you Oliver.Oliver IMG 0236 500x375


12 December Teddie


12 Teddie 1066 m1 resized

There is so much to say about this girl--there is just not enough time or room.  We have been proud to share Teddie's life for 13.5 years when she rescued me and then got her very own special forever Dad four years ago.

 I am going to say I think my husband fell in love with her first but that is just my opinion :o)  Needless to say, they are inseparable too.

I was an active foster home for many goldens and had just turned over another puppy to a new forever home when I got "The Call.”  “The Call” was “we have a golden puppy that needs a home and the current owner said she will leave her in the parking lot if we don’t get her.”  As Rescue a Golden does no dog is left behind.  I got ready and met the intake volunteer at the Greyhound station within an hour.  My only thought was, "oh no another puppy couldn’t it be an older dog :o)."  
That was the thought.  I pulled into the parking lot and all I saw was this little head just rising above the window in my friend’s car.  I am not sure if I even parked my car first or just ran out of my car and could not wait to have that little puppy in my arms and said OMG.  Okay, so I am still the foster mom at this point.

The first couple weeks I had her she was a little uncertain of her surroundings.  She preferred sleeping under the bed instead of on the bed.  One day I walked in my room and she was cuddled up by my pillow looking very content. I thought how sweet.  I hopped up on the bed and cuddled with her only to have something fluttering down on my leg.  Yes, she is a retriever.  There was an injured bird that she brought in and put him under the covers and was actually watching over it. Needless to say we don’t have any birds. I had Teddie for a couple weeks and interviewed a few prospective parents and I just couldn’t let go.  She has this look that says, “hey I am home” and that was it. She found her forever home and tears come to my eyes as I think about all the years we have been blessed to be together.

So far this year we have made it to Canyon Point and Big Lake with Teddie and her golden siblings.  They all were able to run and they slow down so they can all frolic together. Teddie had the biggest smile on her face and a smile her dad and I will never forget.  God willing we are taking her on another couple trips back to the rim and White Mountains in the next two months.

 She comes alive in the mountains and we are so looking forward to giving her that joy.  Someday soon she may join her friends at the bridge but until then she will have one special moment after another knowing every day how much we love her.

 I just know that she rescued us and not the other way around.  We are blessed.

Cynthia Halunka

11 November Thunder & Lightning


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On October 4, 2010, Thunder and Lightning found their forever home.  It had been a difficult few months for these girls.  Their first owner had passed away, leaving them without a home. 

The next home they went to did not work out well - three dogs in the house were just too many.  Thunder and Lightning were at first very shy and unsure where they landed.  We fell into a nice routine of walking every morning-- something the girls needed to work their way into as they were a bit out of shape!  They love getting out early while there are lots of bunnies and quail running around on the streets.  Both are experts at the slow sneaking move to try and see if they can catch a bunny unaware.  Even though they never seem to get close enough, the game is still fun.  After about two months of living with us Lightning was up barking in the middle of the night.  Repeated requests to stop were not met.  We dragged ourselves out of bed to see what all the commotion was about.  Lightning had spotted a burglar stealing our patio furniture!!  What a good guard dog :) We feel very lucky to have been able to adopt these fabulous sisters.  They were wonderfully trained, love to cuddle and are the first dogs we have ever had that just lay down and WANT to be brushed!!

Peter & StacieTrompetter

10 October Pumpkin


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Hello! Pumpkin here! Before I was named Pumpkin (got this name because mom's birthday is in the fall), days under another name were a bit rough.  And although I do not and will not revisit those days, I still have to tell you my journey from being a number in the animal shelter to the 1st runner-up in the 2013 RAGofAZ Cutest Golden Contest.

In May 2012, I was found as a stray and brought to the animal shelter. Ring ring...the shelter contacted my owner by the tag I was wearing but to my huge disappointment, owner said it was great that I was off the street but I was no longer wanted. Luckily, a very nice lady with RAG found me there and decided I deserved better than being a number at the shelter. And life as Pumpkin was about to begin...

I went home with a young woman but they said she was only my foster...Well, I knew I didn't want to move, so I became a very good boy and learned the basic commands quickly to prove that I was worthy of staying. AND I DID IT! I never ended up packing my bags and though I was happy to stay, I still had a hard time trusting them 100% because I was so traumatized. After six months, I finally figured that I was home and safe and at last, was able to sleep with my eyes shut. Life as Pumpkin is great except for the once a month Meet & Greet that I attend. It is not that I do not enjoy doing it, it's just that I'm too cute and EVERYONE wants to meet me and pet me and sometimes I get tired afterwards. Since I have made appearances every month for the past year, I have no shame to call myself the official RAGofAZ West Valley Ambass-A-Dog! At the events, I put smiles to shoppers' faces, I entertain the children with my tricks and I comfort those who are sad as they tell stories about their beloved dogs.
I LOVE my life! I DO! And none was possible if it was not for RAGofAZ saving me and finding a good home for me!

Heather Yan

09 September Lady


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Lady’s story is a perfect example of the old adage that for every dog in need there is the perfect “forever” home out there somewhere. 

Little is known about Lady’s first eight years of life, but she was rescued by RAGofAZ and placed in a loving home in Tucson.  Lady was a fearful dog who did not tolerate other animals well, and would not accept the resident dog in her new home.  We had just applied to adopt, had no children or animals at home, and could offer Lady a quiet and calm environment.  The RAGofAZ placement people made it clear that we could probably never have another animal around Lady and we agreed to that.  Poor Lady---she panted with anxiety for many hours following her arrival at our house, and stayed glued to our family room rug except when she needed to go outside.  We didn’t even make eye contact for five hours.  Finally, she looked up at me and blinked in the way dogs do when they are acknowledging you.  Slowly I slid over on the rug and gently petted her.  After a few days she clearly was bonding with both Bob and me.  In fact, she became deeply attached to us, though still would not tolerate other people or dogs.  In time, even that began to change, as Lady learned that yes, people will come into our home and nothing bad will happen.  Finally, more than two and a half years after adopting Lady, we decided to try adopting another Golden from RAGofAZ.  
But that’s another story . . .    

Judi and Bob Schillaci


08 August Katy & Daisy


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My name is Daisy and the first year of my life wasn’t that great.  I was kept in a kennel, in a shed, outside, by myself.  Once I was ready to have babies, I was put on Craigslist to be sold to the highest bidder.

Then Rescue a Golden of AZ came and got me, and brought me to my family. 

I have an older sister named Katy, but we look and act like twins.  I was only 46 pounds when I came home a few years ago, and when I got home they had food out for me all the time.  I gained almost 20 pounds in six months – and now I look hot!

At first it was kind of weird, because I was allowed to roam around the house and I didn’t have to go into a cage.  My mom and dad tried to convince me that if I stopped moving or pacing I wasn’t going to be put in a cage.  My sister Katy taught me how to chill out and relax.  I love doing whatever Katy is doing.

Katy and I have four doggie beds, multiple couches, and mommy and daddy beds to sleep on.  I usually find out where Katy is sleeping, and then I lay down on top of her.  Katy and I have about 50 tennis balls at our house, but I only like to play with the tennis ball Katy has.  When Katy is interested in something in our backyard, I am too.  Being a younger sister is awesome.

During the last year mommy thought daddy and I needed to practice better manners, so she sent us to school.  I learned two things.  1. I don’t like the cats at PetSmart.  2. I love the birds at PetSmart – and I think they like me too from the way they reacted when I lunged at them.

Overall I am one lucky girl.  Thank you to all of the Rescue a Golden volunteers for everything you do.

Daisy, Katy & Kristi Rivera

07 July Buddy


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We adopted Buddy in February.  He had been the stud dog for a backyard breeder for the past nine years, and a divorce left him homeless.  We met him at a foster home and immediately accepted him into ours. 

He was initially frightened by his new surroundings and all the change and uncertainty in his life, but daily walks and tennis balls quickly changed his perceptions.  Some malignant skin cancers needed removal, and he had two surgeries soon after coming to our home, but he did well and was soon enjoying his walks again.  When summer came, he discovered the pool, and now his days consist of waking us up by rolling on the bed, followed by a long walk, which includes chasing tennis balls.  On returning home, he takes a swim, has breakfast, then goes to work with his Mom.  Much to his delight, the walk, swim, and food repeat themselves in the evening.  Last week, Buddy learned how to dive, and now does graceful dives into the pool at every opportunity.  Well, it's time to quit writing--Buddy just pushed away my keyboard and dropped a tennis ball in my lap.  I think I'll go play with my old friend...

Cindy Nelson

06 June Sampson


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Sampson, a nine year old Golden Retriever, came into rescue on April 21st from a situation where he had been living outside for all of his life.  Our transporters relayed him from northern Arizona to Paradise Valley to one of our very best and experienced foster homes. 

Sampson was very timid and fearful, but was starting to become more comfortable in his new home.  On Tuesday, April 23rd, a service person at the home inadvertently left one of the gates open.  While his foster mom was out with him, she could not make it to close the gate before Sampson took off up the hill behind her property.  His foster mom followed him, but he was able to elude her.  Sampson was spotted later that evening by one of the neighbors and, again, on Friday, by some of our volunteers.  Since then, despite concentrated efforts involving night vision equipment and dedicated, thoughtful searching, Sampson has continued to remain on the loose.

We have had dogs go missing in the past and most of the time, we do manage to find them.  Unfortunately, Sampson is not your typical Golden and is afraid of most people, especially men.  Trapping him is probably our best option (We were able to safely trap Russell last year).

Sampson, however, has proven to be elusive.  For a while he was travelling in the same area, but now seems to be moving about in wider circles.  Because of this, we have expanded our search area.  With funds donated specifically to be used to help recover Sampson, we have purchased cameras and have set them up in areas where Sampson has been sighted.  We have twice hired a tracker and her dogs to determine where Sampson has been.  This is exactly how we learned that his travel area has broadened.  Our volunteers and the tracker work for hours with dogs out in the heat trying to determine his location.

“Sampson’s Angels”, volunteers that have moved heaven and earth to try to recover him are still out in force---placing signs; speaking with area residents, police and service people; working with the tracker when necessary; baiting the areas near the cameras; checking the camera memory cards for sightings.  We follow up on every lead.  In the process, we have managed to help return other lost Golden Retrievers to their homes, but have not found Sampson.  Sampson is VERY fearful and if located, he should not be approached as he may well move farther out of his comfort zone.

If we determine that he is staying in one particular area and feeding in that location, we can try again with a trap.  In the meantime, we continue to post updates on our Facebook page and our volunteers do what they can to try to bring our lost boy back home.

05 May Molly & Rocky


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 Rocky came into our lives when we first saw him at a RAGofAZ anniversary for three rescued overweight goldens, a mother and her two daughters in 2012. 

Rocky was brought to the Tucson area by DJ and Judy so he could go to Jay’s Boot Camp for a month.  It was an instant love affair for Fritz.  He lay claim to Rocky immediately.  After Rocky’s time at Camp, Jay and Scottie brought Rocky to his new forever home with Fritz.  Rocky still had issues, and we worked with him, sometimes under very trying situations.  Rocky harbored a lot of anger, frustration, and anxiety, and was thin.  So Fritz fed him Taste of the Wild.  When Rocky went for his second Vet checkup, Fritz was so proud since he had filled out--only to be told by Dr. Behrens that Rocky was obese.  Six months later, Rocky has slimmed down; he is Fritz’s best “bud,” follows Fritz where ever he goes and cries like a baby when he cannot find him.  He has his own “Binky” that he sucks on every night—obviously with previous owners he severely lacked attention and never had any toys as a puppy.

Rocky’s best friend is Molly, our other rescued Golden who will be five going on two this year.  Both Molly and Rocky love to swim, no matter what the outside temperature might be; both love to play water ball; Molly is my alpha girl and is a fantastic wrestler.  Just ask Rocky--she can pin him any time she chooses.  Molly has a mind of her own.  She will give you those “eyes” and knows how to “work a crowd.”  Having been Molly’s mom since she was eight months old, she has finally matured, or as much as an active golden can.  She is my guard dog, my best friend, and always has at least one ball along with another toy in her mouth all the time.  Molly hates the words, “I am going on errands and you must watch the house,” knows when I am dressed to play golf, dressed to go work out, and dressed to take her for a walk, and knows “night time treat time” at 7 pm, and knows how to “talk back” when she does not approve of my saying “no.”  

Molly sorely misses Destiny who went to the Rainbow Bridge in January.  Molly was able to say her good byes to Destiny, so she does not look for her.  We can tell when she really misses Desi, as she will take Desi’s “Ducky” and shake the living daylights out of it.  Sometimes she gathers all of Desi’s toys in one corner and then lays on them.  

Our family is Blessed to have our Rescued Goldens—Rocky and Molly--in our lives and are grateful for RAGofAZ for rescuing them.

Barbara & Frederick Klink

04 April Maddie


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Say "hello" to Maddie, RAGofAZ Mom of the Year 2012. Maddie came into RAGofAZ in March of 2012 with six little bundles of joy in tow. She and her two day old puppies were found abandoned just days before the big snowstorm that struck northern Arizona in March 2012.

Thanks to some very caring folks, Maddie and her puppies were out of harm’s way. Thanks to RAGofAZ, they are now in loving homes.

The best word I can use to describe Maddie is "joyful." She is loving, gentle and very tender-hearted. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Her summer pastimes include chasing lizards and bird watching.  Winter brings the hope of a fresh snowfall. Tennis balls, walks and playing with her cousin Sadie are year-round passions. She goes shopping and to Starbucks with mom and to the bank with dad. Her dad sings her a song "You are my Maddie" every day. She loves the mail lady, the UPS man and all the events where she gets to be an ambassadog for RAGofAZ. Everyone is a friend in Maddie's eyes.

Someone thanked us for rescuing and adopting Maddie, but she rescued us right back. We had lost Molly just a month before and our home seemed so empty. Maddie is loved more than she may ever know. Maddie is our sunshine, and we plan to keep our sunshine around for many years to come.

Becky & Jerry Wetzel



03 March MeMe


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MeMe's relocation from Tucson had one superior perk. It would result in the gift of eye sight. That is a fitting reward for a young lady with a sweet and caring disposition who charmed everyone who cared for her.

Those attributes were not lost on the support group who, including the eye surgeon, joined in wondering what MeMe would be like after the surgery. That was answered in short order when I was told I could return her to activities outside the house. Our first exploration was on the lawn in front of my house, an area replete with rabbits.

Almost immediately she focused in on a rabbit about 25 feet away. As she sat there she cocked her head left and right in a quizzical way. She obviously had no memory of rabbits.

Almost every day that I took her out, she would go to the same spot, look at the place where her rabbit buddy had been. This ended about a week later when she decided that she needed closer inspection and she bolted off the lawn with me strung out at the end of the leash. The bunny understood the potential and has not been seen since.

Joe Ettinger

02 February Daisy Dukie


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Jake and I lost our best buddy Winston to the bridge November 17, 2011.  We were lost.  Judy and Dean encouraged me to take all that love I had for Winston and give it to a new fur kid.  Our vet suggested a puppy to bring back out Jake's young ten year old side.

I got the call in April for Daisy and she has been one of us since that day.  She was so fearful and afraid of every noise.   Daisy spent the first six months of her life in a backyard without much human interaction.  It took her a while, but now she is a fun-loving, crazy golden puppy.  That first night she was on the floor snuggling up to Jake.  She loves to swim, go for walks, go for rides, and sit in your lap for a snuggle.  Every morning she climbs up into my bed with one of her babies and makes a loud yawn.  Some days I find her in the back yard tossing tennis balls to herself.  I can't imagine life without her and her sweet smile.
Thank you RAGofAZ for helping Jake and me to heal after the loss of Winston.  You were so right; I needed to take all that love and give it to a Golden Rescue.
Caren Solberg

01 January Sunshine


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Sunshine, true to her name, brightens my world with her presence.  I can’t imagine how anyone could have surrendered her. 

She always seems happy and her tail wags when anyone comes into the house as she greets each person with a toy in her mouth.   Sunshine rarely barks and likes dogs and people whether we meet them when we are out for a walk or at the dog park.    She tilts her head from side to side when she doesn’t quite understand what is happening and runs in the opposite direction when she hears the vacuum cleaner or when it is time for medication, but if she hears the refrigerator door open or the treat box come out of the cabinet, she is there in a flash.  Although we have been together less than a year, we know each other so well.  Sunshine is where she belongs – with me.

Richard Kalpousos

00 Cover Dog Simba

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RAGofAZ Calendar

This huge “horse” of a dog was surrendered by a busy family who did not have time for him and could not give him all of the attention he needed. 

We had already adopted Lady from RAGofAZ several years earlier and were unsure if she would accept another dog because of her history of intolerance of other animals (and many people!).  RAGofAZ brought in a professional trainer to oversee the introductions, and sure enough Lady growled, barked, nipped and lunged at Simba.  For his part, Simba remained passive and obedient to the trainer’s commands.  Within one hour, the trainer had Lady and Simba lying quietly in the same room.  Within the next few days there was only an occasional minor kerfuffle, but the two dogs began to bond – and now they are inseparable!  Simba is the friendliest and sweetest Golden I’ve ever met, and he does indeed crave attention.  Every time we walk into the house, he runs and jumps with joy and brings us all of his toys to demonstrate his fervent devotion!  And every night I whisper in his ear “I’ll always have time for you.”

Judi and Bob Schillaci