President's Message


I’m sure we all are waiting to see how 2017 will be in comparison to 2016. Well, get ready for a ride or a disappointment.

One thing I do know, 2016 was a year we lost a devastating number of dogs. Last year, we received notification from eighty-five owners that their dogs had crossed the Bridge. Eight of those dogs were non-RAGofAZ dogs. During the last month, we lost sixteen! Seventy four of the dogs were seniors, but the youngest was three (due to aggression). Yes, cancer was the main cause (36), unknown (17), old age (8), just too many at the Bridge. It saddens my heart. Let’s pray that 2017 is much better.

Congratulations to our Director of Fundraising, Becky Buck-Wetzel, and all our wonderful volunteers, for a successful Barnes & Noble gift wrapping event. RAGofAZ collected a total of $7,441.54. Considering we had fewer locations and this year our number of dates were reduced, we had a very successful gift wrap season. We have already secured our dates for Arrowhead for 2017, with 6 dates instead of the 4 we had this year. Dates for Happy Valley, Scottsdale and Dana Park will be set up at a later date. A huge thank you goes out to all our volunteers and their Goldens who came out to support gift wrap 2016.

Included in this month’s Golden Tales is a success story about Teddy. This is a heart-warming tale of Teddy’s struggles with medical issues and the wonderful care supplied by Sarah and Dan. Have your tissues ready.

We have an upcoming event on January 28th at Steele Indian School Park, in association with PACC 911. The Annual Doggie Street Festival runs from 10AM to 4PM, This is an Adopt-A-Thon and Pet Celebration. You just can’t miss this event, dogs, music, eats, vet tips, pet products and special guests. RAGofAZ will have a booth; look for our canopy and signs. We need volunteers and their dogs to meet and greet all the attendees. To help, email Kay Dettling, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Coming up next month is our Karsten's Bark in the Park. It will be Sunday, February 12th, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at Tempe's Kiwanis Park. Pre-register early, by February 8th, to save some money. This event is for all our members and their dogs. We always have a great time, plenty of food, raffle prizes and lots of fun. As always, we need lots of volunteers to make this a sucessful event. If you adopted a dog in 2016, make sure you come to join in the celebration. Sign up, volunteer and be there. More information is available on the website. To help, email Kay Dettling, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A reminder to all our readers, if you have an idea for something you would like to see in Golden Tales, or if you want to write a story about your rescue dog, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

That's all for now.


Oren Bishop
President, Rescue a Golden of Arizona

RAGofAZ Website Tips

pictureA message from our webmaster, Margie Karow

Looking for an older story on our website?

Just scroll down to the “Archived Articles” link near the bottom of any of our website pages. You’ll find issues of Golden Tales dating back several years, Hearts of Gold calendar dog stories from previous years, and lots more.

You can also use the search bar in the upper right corner of any page. Just enter what you’re searching for, hit enter, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it.



Tucson Goldens go to the Home Show

pictureGoldens at Home at the Tucson Home Show

By Scottie McGowan
Director of Golden Rescue
Twelve Goldens and one Flat Coat Retriever with wagging tails woofed in the new year by wooing shoppers at the Arizona State Home Show in Tucson on January 6-8.  They stole the show.  Lots of info given out; lots of donations collected.  We have already started receiving applications for home visits.  Some dogs kept eyeing the beds at the mattress company across from us.  At the end of the show on Sunday, they let Morgan and Maddie get up on a bed.  Immediately, they made themselves comfortable.  Now they want to retire from RAG to become mattress testers.
Many thanks to our volunteers and ambassadogs: 

Earlene Olson with Toby and 15 year old Casey
Shannon Gleckler with June and Cash
Dina Dalton with Toby
Dan & Carol Swango with Luke
Diane and Andy Straley with Dillon making his ambassadog debut
Oren & Mary Bishop with Izzy and Finnegan
Scottie McGowan with Morgan
Becky Wetzel with Maddie
Debbie Troudt with Henley and Sammi

For photos, click here.

In Loving Memory of Robert Dettling

pictureIn loving memory of Robert Dettling, husband of Kay Dettling, who left our world on January 3, 2017. Bob was truly a lover of Golden Retrievers and dedicated to our organization. Bob was always there, helping as best he could at all events, no matter what pain he was in or how his medical issues affected his life. He will be missed and his strength will always be admired. Life threw him lots of curves, but he never stopped battling. Bob is now free of pain and crossed the Bridge and re-united with his beautiful Golden, Steve the wonder dog. Steve had saved Bob’s life twice, but wasn’t here to do it again. Bob will be missed but always remembered.

Teddy's Tale

picture... Or … How We Got the Gold Back

as told by Sarah Gieszl, Teddy’s rescue​

Flashback to January 2015: Dan and I excitedly moved into our first home. Scooter, my best friend and wonderful 8-year-old Golden Retriever, was as gleeful as we were with the move. He immediately “owned” the back yard with fetching tennis balls. Our first order of business wasn’t the typical, “What color should we paint the kitchen?” Instead, we started filling out adoption forms for another Golden.

Anyone who has adopted a dog knows the process. First, check online for available dogs; second, fill out an application; third, pass a home check; four, wait … wait; five, repeat the steps until the call finally comes and you hear the three magic words, “We have a Golden.” read more


Karsten's 2017 Bark in the Park

pictureCome join us for this family and dog friendly event! This is our way to celebrate our new adoptees, remember those dogs we’ve lost, and thank all our volunteers for their dedication and hard work.

WhereKiwanis Park in Tempe, at Ruben Romero Ramada, the southern section.
When: Sunday, February 12th, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 
Cost: $10.00 per person by Feb. 8th; $15.00 per person at the door; kids 12 & under are free. 

Schedule of events :
•    11:00 -- 12:00 Check in and registration
•    12:00 --1:00 Lunch 
•    1:30 -- Rainbow Bridge Ceremony
•    2:00 -- Rescue Ceremony 
•    2:30 -- Raffles Drawings (must be present to win) 

You and your Golden can help tGen's Valley Fever research

pictureValley Fever P.A.W.S

Valley fever is caused by a fungus that is found only in North and South America. In the environment the fungi grow in soil, and can be inhaled by mammals, including people and dogs. Other than exceptional circumstances, valley fever is not transmissible. Valley fever symptoms are similar to other illnesses and this complicates diagnosis. The number of reported human cases of valley fever in the US, including Arizona and California, has steadily increased over the last decade with approximately 17,000 cases reported in 2012.
Awareness of valley fever is low, especially outside southern Arizona and California's Central Valley. This results in lengthy time to diagnosis, and delayed or unnecessary treatment (antibacterial/antiviral) resulting in increased health care cost and patient stress. Disease burden in the US is increasing and the geographic range is expanding, so public and clinical outreach is critical.

It is known that disease manifestations of valley fever are highly variable. Some infections are asymptomatic, whereas other infections result in patient mortality. We hypothesize that there is a host genetic basis to valley fever susceptibility. To answer this question, we will use genetic information from our pet dogs to understand the following question: Is dog breed correlated with the possibility of developing a severe disease?

You can help be part of the solution to solving this mystery! 

For information on how, click here.

Rainbow Bridge

Gone 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.


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