golden tales masthead 1st quarter 2021

President's Message

Kelly and JakeAfter less than 18 months on the Board of Directors as Vice President, I was humbled to be elected as President of Rescue A Golden of Arizona late last fall. I took over for Heather Marcom, who is still with us and serving as Director of Social Media. I am honored to continue to work with Heather and all of our volunteers on our shared mission, a mission many of you have supported year after year. 

Sitting in this chair is satisfying on a number of levels. I get to hear all about the families who adopt from us. I get to be a tiny part of the story of the dogs we get to save, and I get to partner with so many wonderful volunteers in doing what we do, “All for the Love of a Golden.”

It is challenging on some levels too. Doing dog rescue requires dogs in need of rescuing. And if your family has been looking for a dog to rescue in the last year or so, you know it is tough. 

People have been at home more over the last year than ever before, and nearly every dog I know is living its best life. At the same time, the strength of the economy over the past few years has translated to fewer Golden Retrievers needing to be rescued. 

There have been years (during challenging economic times) in the past where we have taken in more than 300 Golden Retrievers right here from Arizona. So far this year, we have only had one dog come to us from a family who could no longer take care of her. That’s good news! But it sure doesn’t feel like good news to all of the families waiting to rescue their next best friend.

Because we were blessed to be the recipient of The Soul Legacy, which you can read about in this edition of Golden Tales, we have been able to rescue more at-risk dogs from China, South Korea, Turkey, and Mexico. While we have been thrilled with how healthy and happy the International Golden Retrievers have been when they arrive, we generally know very little about them until they are here, and that makes it hard to know up-front if they are a good match for a particular family. Many of these dogs have lived on the streets in their home countries, so placing them in homes with smaller children, cats or other small animals may not be ideal.

We were able to place 83 Golden Retrievers with new families in 2020. Today we have more than 150 approved families on our waiting list, many of which were approved to adopt sometime last year. 

We would love to deliver a Golden Retriever in need of a home to every single family on our waiting list, but until the dogs need us to do that, we will remain grateful that so many Golden Retrievers in Arizona are in loving homes with families that adore them. And for those of you still waiting to add a rescue Golden to your family, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank you,

Kelly Cook
Rescue A Golden of Arizona


The best kind of giving is from the heart

Annual Campaign 2020We do what we do for the dogs, and for those who give them forever homes. But it is only possible because of the generosity of this community we are so blessed to serve. 

Since it began in 2012, our annual campaign has continued to grow, year after year, allowing us to rescue and care for more Golden Retrievers in need. Last year, against the backdrop of a global pandemic and a contentious political environment, our 2020 annual campaign was an incredible success. 

We are so humbled by and grateful for your continued support of our rescue efforts. Whether you gave a little or a lot, thank you. You are the reason we are able to continue to bring “All for the Love of a Golden” to life for families all over the state of Arizona. 

A Legacy named Soul

The Soul Legacy has allowed us to bring 27 Golden Retrievers from China and Turkey since last November. These are dogs that we would not have been able to help without incredible gift in memory of Soul, which was specifically earmarked for the rescue of Golden Retrievers from International locations. You can read Soul’s touching story here.

The 2021 Cutest Golden Contest -- It's not too late to join in the fun!

MiMi noseCould your Golden grace the pages of the 2022 Hearts of Gold Calendar? 
  • What: Enter the contest with a photo of your Golden for a donation of $10 and help defray the cost of medical care for our rescued Golden Retrievers
  • Where: Click here for details and to enter
  • When: Submissions due by 8PM on Sunday, March 28th; voting begins shortly after
While any Golden Retriever can enter, only those adopted through Rescue A Golden of Arizona or belonging to a current member of Rescue A Golden of Arizona can win a calendar page in our 2022 Hearts of Gold Calendar. The cover of the calendar is reserved for a winning RAGofAZ-rescued dog. If a Golden not meeting the criteria wins or places in the top 10, he or she will receive an embroidered RAGofAZ bandana and recognition in a future edition of Golden Tales, and his or her “pawrents” will receive a $50 gift card to PetsMart. 


Volunteer of the Quarter

Volunteer Spotlight Barbara KVolunteer Spotlight: Barbara Klink, Veterinary Team Liaison and Intake Team Volunteer

Discovering Goldens that are in need of rescuing and preparing them for their potential new adopters takes a village of talented people every step of the way. One of those important steps is to become the connection between the adopters and any possible veterinary help the Golden may need in order to become healthy and happy in their new home. 

One of those amazing people is Barbara Klink, who has done this critical work since 2009 in Tucson and has helped hundreds of Goldens and their families come together with the best possible future in mind. 

Recently, Barbara has worked diligently with one family, the O’Briens and their new Golden, Daniel as they experienced some health concerns soon after his arrival. The O’Briens contacted RAG to tell us that Barbara has been extremely responsive, calling them promptly, regularly, and organized Daniel’s care with knowledge and understanding. “Barbara has demonstrated great humanity and kept us informed all along the way. We would be lost without her support.”
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Valley Fever: No Fun from this Fungus

Vally Fever no funIf you have lived in Arizona any time at all, you have heard about Valley Fever. Valley Fever results from a fungus found in desert areas and is primarily found in the southwestern United States. 

Veterinarians and pharmacies in the Valley are seeing an increase in dogs diagnosed with Valley Fever this year. If you or your one of your dogs have had it, you know how scary it can be. 

The University of Arizona estimates that dog owners across our state spend at least $60 million each year between diagnosing, treating, and on follow-up care for their dogs with Valley Fever. Researchers estimate that about 70% of dogs who inhale Valley Fever spores control them quickly. These dogs are asymptomatic and probably immune to the disease afterwards, which is similar to what happens in people.
Symptoms to watch for vary and depend on whether your dog has primary or disseminated Valley Fever, which is much worse.
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Service dog named Bravery is newest member of Arizona Coyotes pack

Bravery-AZ CoyotesBravery, the new “Chief Howling Officer” for the Phoenix Coyotes is a very good boy — he knows 100 commands! We also hope he knows how handsome he is. 

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RAGofAZ Website Tip

Scooter with Monkey
A message from our Webmaster, Margie Karow

Looking for an older newsletter?

We now have a newsletter archive on our website for our mailings dating back to 2014. You can find previous issues of Golden Tales here, as well as all of our other newsletters. Just click the link near the top of any of our web pages. 


Rainbow Bridge

rainbow_dogGone but never forgotten . . . remember the beloved Goldens who have crossed to the Bridge recently but will live forever in the hearts of those who loved them. CLICK HERE

And CLICK HERE to see a remembrance including those Goldens that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge previously.