Golden Tales Summer 2023

Golden Tales Summer 2023

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Rescue a Golden of Arizona

Golden Tales Masthead Summer 2023

From the President's desk

Golden retriever at desk in Oval Office

Welcome to the season of sunning, swimming, and ... well, sweating. But never mind the heat, I have loads of hot news for you.

After months of preparation, we are proud to announce the introduction of our brand new website! It launched late last month, and it’s big, bold, and beautiful with a sleek and modern vibe. We’ve spotlighted it as our lead article in “Newsworthy and Noteworthy” but feel free to click here if you just can’t wait to see it.

Next up ... our 25th Anniversary Celebration! Don and I are honored to host this milestone event at our home on November 18, 2023 for you and your Golden Retrievers - and I suspect those pups will be checking out our pool. Keep reading for more details, and take note of other upcoming events in “Mark Your Calendar.”

I will close with your cuteness overload for the day ... more puppies! Our puppy mill rescue dog, Alina, delivered ten beautiful healthy little golden nuggets in May, and last month they journeyed to their forever homes. Congratulations to the new adopters, and especially to all the volunteers who continue to work so selflessly on behalf of every Golden Retriever in need of rescue and respite. Our heartfelt thanks also goes out to Alina’s adopter, Kass Black, who has officially joined our “Call the Midwives” club.

See you at our 25th Anniversary Celebration (and don’t forget your towel!)

Kelly Cook, President


Events and Happenings


dog pool partyNovember 18th is the date, Kelly’s pool is the place, and this is a chance you won’t want to waste!

We are celebrating 25 years of rescue with a terrific event for you and your Goldens! We wanted to include our four-legged friends at our party so we’re keeping things informal and fun. We’ll be flying our rescue colors of teal and gold with festive decorations like balloon arches and banners. Here’s what you need to know about this milestone event:

  • Date and Time: Saturday, November 18, 2023 from 11A-2P
  • Venue: Don and Kelly Cook’s home and pool in Gilbert
  • Dogs Allowed: Yes, Goldens only please
  • Attire: Wet. Bring towels
  • Menu: Brand new and delicious! Come and be surprised
  • Drinks: Iced tea, lemonade, water; BYOB okay but please drink responsibly
  • Entertainment: Still in the works ... trivia games, doggie photo booth
  • Raffle: Of course! We’ll have fewer raffle baskets but more fabulous than ever
  • Special Raffle: Wait till you see this extraordinary bronze sculpture!

You’ll hear more about this can’t-miss event through e-blasts and social media as the date approaches.


woofstockThe Prescott Valley Civic Center was the place to be on June 10th for all things canine! Our dedicated volunteers and their pets turned out to represent Rescue A Golden of Arizona with their usual pride and enthusiasm. There were dozens of dogs available for adoption from other rescues and shelters, and we’re sure many deserving animals found their forever homes. We had great fun participating in contests that included best trick/talent, best-looking dog and even ugliest dog! In addition there were excellent demos, book signings, the always popular photo booth, and some tasty treats from food trucks and other vendors. Many thanks to our intrepid Director of Events, Becky Buck-Wetzel, and to our hard-working volunteers!

Newsworthy and Noteworthy


Golden retriever with glasses reading newspaper




More than one year ago, Webmaster Margie Karow and Vice President Mike Rennie began their research in anticipation of converting to a new WordPress website for RAGofAZ. On July 25th, the big launch finally happened and we could not be more thrilled! Not only does the website have a dramatic new look, it has outstanding easy-to-use navigation tools, lots of need-to-know information, and eye-catching graphics. Whether you are seeking to apply to adopt a dog, surrender a dog, volunteer for our organization, or find out about upcoming events, you will love how everything is organized and displayed. Check out the new website here, and spend a few minutes exploring. We think you’ll agree that this website now reflects the leadership role of RAGofAZ as the premier Golden Retriever Rescue in the state of Arizona! And may we add, kudos and thanks to Mike and especially “Magic Margie” for their extraordinary efforts and successful execution of this massive project.



girl scouts 2

Two board members, accompanied by their four-footed supportgirl scouts staff, headed out on May 11th to offer information and help to a Girl Scout troop in Peoria as they worked to earn their Pet Care badges. Needless to say, Golden Retriever Echo was the star of the show as he coached the girls on how to shower a dog with gentle scratches, belly rubs, and lots of love. The Brownies sorted dog treats into small bags to be used in welcome kits, and created lovely Golden portraits with colorful crayons. Directors Stephanie Corns and Bob Woods also spoke about the importance of organization and teamwork, and explained how RAGofAZ has saved dogs from Arizona, Ohio, Mexico, and even China. Then, to Stephanie’s and Bob’s surprise, the troop presented them with a donation check of $550.00, funds they had raised through cookie sales. We hope these photos reflect how much fun was had by all during this enjoyable and meaningful visit. Special thanks to Echo for putting up with all that attention and taking it like a “trooper.”



Penny Mia Becky Dr HeinFor Dr. Emily Hein, the arrival of a deathly ill Golden Retriever named Penny is not an event she will soon forget. In early May of 2022, Director of Golden Operations, Bob Schillaci, responded to a desperate plea from an owner who felt his two-year old dog was dying. She was lethargic and had lost the use of her rear legs ... she seemed beyond help. The owner tearfully surrendered Penny to RAGofAZ since he was unable to afford the expensive care his dog would need to have a chance at survival. Bob S carried this poor creature to Surprise Animal Hospital (SAH) where Dr. Hein and her team sprang into action. It was determined that Penny was very sick with several medical issues but the primary threat was Valley Fever. Since SAH is not a 24-hour facility, Dr. Hein gently packed Penny into her car and took her home to carry on with her care. This continued for a number of days and thankfully Penny began to improve. She even rode with Dr. Hein to Prescott to visit the veterinarian’s mom for the weekend and was soon gingerly walking on all four legs again.

Penny the Miracle DogPenny’s remarkable recovery proceeded at an encouraging rate after she was adopted by our board member Becky Buck-Wetzel who took her into the care of Dr. Delia McDonald at Harmony Veterinary Care in Prescott. As the one-year anniversary of Penny’s amazing rescue story approached, Becky, Penny and her Golden sister Mia decided to pay Dr. Hein a surprise visit. On May 4, 2023, Dr. Hein entered the waiting room for her next patient only to find Becky, Bob Schillaci, and Miss Mia standing there with Penny ready to greet her. The reunion was an exciting and happy one, as Penny showed off her extraordinary energy and playful personality. She seemed to know that Dr. Hein had truly been her rescuer, and that the unfailing dedication and care that she and Dr. McDonald had given her was the reason she was sitting there wagging her tail non-stop.

Here’s to veterinarian heroes like Dr. Emily Hein and Dr. Delia McDonald who have dedicated their lives to saving deserving animals like our beloved Penny. Thank you.


Psst ... Heard Around the Dog Park

Golden retriever in sunglasses at park

Give us two minutes and we’ll give you a gaggle of quick hits, timely reminders, and fun facts!



For “Team Bob” (Directors of Golden Rescue and Golden Operations Bob Wood and Bob Schillaci), it was yet another moment of “I can’t believe we’re here again.” The previous year had brought two litters of Golden puppies to RAGofAZ - first from Pearl and then from Sasha - a total of 18 little ones. Puppy lovers around the state lined up to be selected as one of the lucky adopters, and these pups are now living large in their forever homes as they grow and thrive.

Puppies1In March of this year, RAGofAZ rescued three more puppy mill dogs in partnership with GRIN (Golden Retrievers In Need of Ohio). On a rainy chilly day our volunteers transported these frightened animals to their new homes. Before long, it became apparent that the one-year old purple charlieIMG 0165female, Alina, was in a “puppy way.” On May 17th, ten healthy Golden nuggets made their way into the world, and wiggled their way to their mom for comfort and sustenance. Alina proved to be a devoted mother and by mid-July these precious fluff-balls were on their way to their new lives. No sadness or struggling in a puppy mill for these cuties thanks to the combined efforts of GRIN and RAGofAZ. Kudos to our Woofline, Intake, Home Visit, Placement, Transport, Vet Care, and Behavioral Teams for their dedicated efforts to ensure that every pup found his or her way to the perfect home ... and to Alina’s adopter, Kass Black, who remained smiling and unflappable throughout the months of caring for this new mom and her babies.

Teamwork makes the dream work!


KodyKODY’S BIG IDEA - A Special Memory by Judi Schillaci

Bruce and Nancy Palmer have been among my favorite members and donors over the last decade. When I joined the board in 2011, one of the first stories I read in Golden Tales was titled Koins1"Kody's Big Idea." It featured a photo of this gorgeous red Golden Retriever named Kody seated next to a huge jar filled with "Kody’s Koins." Kody wrote a fabulous note telling how he got this big idea all by himself to save all his leftover koins for a year and then donate them to Rescue A Golden of AZ. Every year I looked forward to Kody's letters and photos of him with his jar full of koins. One year, Kody’s letter did not arrive. He had made his journey to the Bridge after living a long and happy life. Bruce and Nancy were shattered, and so was I. Now Nancy and Bruce have resurrected the tradition of "Kody's Koins" in his honor because the Amazon Smile program has been discontinued and they wanted to find another fun way to support us. So just like before, they save their “koins” all year long and donate that amount to RAGofAZ. I would like to personally thank Nancy and Bruce Palmer not only for their many years of loyal support, but also for giving me a memory of a special Golden Retriever that I never met ... and never will forget. RIP Kody, I miss you.


VoteEvery year is an important election year here at RAGofAZ because Officers and Directors commit to serving for two years when they are elected to our Board. Terms are staggered every other year to ensure stability and consistency in leadership and governance. This year, four positions are up for a two-year term beginning October 14, 2023: Vice President, Treasurer, Director of Golden Operations, and Director of Events. Details about these positions and how to volunteer as a candidate will be emailed soon, but for more information please contact Kathy Mutch at

Mark your Calendar

Dog holding calendar


• Dogtoberfest in Prescott - October 1, 2023

• SAHBA Home and Garden show in Tucson - October 6, 7, 8, 2023

• Annual Membership Meeting via Zoom - October 14, 2023

• 25th Anniversary Celebration at Kelly’s Pool - November 18, 2023

• Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade (pending acceptance by 9/1/23) - December 16, 2023

Waiting at the Bridge

rainbow bridgeGone from this earth but living on in our hearts ... 

View a memorial to the beloved Goldens that have recently journeyed to Rainbow Bridge.

Visit a loving remembrance of dogs that have gone to the Bridge previously.


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clipart golden simple drawing TY


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