Rescue a Golden of Arizona

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Volunteer Spotlight: Margie Karow, Webmaster

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Every great team has someone they couldn’t do without, and Rescue A Golden is no different. This quarter, we are thrilled to shine the RAG spotlight on Margie Karow. Margie works tirelessly for the rescue, often behind the scenes, and often seven days a week.

Margie has been keeping our website going for years – she’s a whiz. If not for her, we would have lost the entire site last year. She took it upon herself to research new host vendors and was able to work with them to transition everything seamlessly. Margie also manages our member communications, including formatting and sending emails to thousands of people. She’s instrumental to our quarterly newsletter process, and manages all of our distribution lists. Margie is a big part of so many things we do, including the annual calendar, fundraising campaigns and the Cutest Golden Contest.

But, it’s not just about what Margie does, it’s how she does it. She is the most caring person. Margie is always available and responds so quickly to every little thing we ask of her. She’s “all in” on Rescue A Golden and we’d be lost without her.

With all the work she does, you’re probably thinking she needs an assistant! Well, she got one earlier this year when she and her husband John adopted DaSan (now MiMi) from China.

Please tell us why you volunteer for Rescue A Golden of Arizona (RAG). 

Margie: I’ve been a member of RAG almost since the beginning in 1998. That’s when my husband, John, and I got our first Golden puppy, Sadie, who was a gift from friends. My two kids, Brian and Allison, absolutely adored this dog, we all did. I had only recently become aware of rescue groups in general and knew there was an urgent need for volunteers, so I just jumped on board.

What kinds of volunteer jobs have you had during your years as a RAG volunteer?

Margie: Well, I’ve worn many hats during my volunteer career, and like it says on our logo, I do it all for the love of a Golden … from approving applications (I received the faxed ones!) to serving on the Vet Care Team when it had only two members, to taking on the role of Vet Care Coordinator, and eventually becoming the Webmaster. I also served on the Links of Gold Golf Committee and volunteered at Gift Wrap and other events year after year. And I’m a longtime member of the Annual Campaign Committee where I collaborate with a small team to develop the messaging and graphics of the appeal, prepare the website, and deliver our marketing plan through weekly e-blasts and other media. Frankly, I can’t imagine not volunteering with RAG! I love playing even a small role in helping these beautiful sweet dogs find their forever homes.

You’ve been our webmaster for a number of years. Tell us about that.

Margie: As Webmaster, I maintain and update the website, and also edit and send out our e-blasts and newsletters. I knew absolutely nothing about what went on behind the scenes of website management when I started assisting our “webmaster emeritus” Dean Mills, but he was an excellent teacher. Eventually, I inherited the position when Dean was ready to step back. The most challenging part of the job came when we moved to a new web host last fall. There were many sleepless nights for a couple of weeks until it was finally up and running … but it was all worth it, of course. I have to say, the program I enjoy the most as Webmaster is running the Cutest Golden Contest and working with the Calendar Committee to produce our annual Hearts of Gold calendars. The photos really are adorable, and the final vote night is very exciting!

Have you adopted a Golden Retriever from RAG since you began your volunteering career?

Margie: Oh yes!  We adopted our beautiful Scooter from RAG in 2007 following Sadie’s passing.  We loved Scooter so much, and after he went to the Bridge last year we felt we just were not ready for another dog.  But … when we learned that a group of dogs from China were “coming to America” this past January, we decided to open our hearts to another Golden.  And we were fortunate to be able to adopt sweet little MiMi.

You’ve dedicated so much of your time to RAG’s rescue efforts – what do you like to do in your free time?

Margie: I love aerobic dance classes, reading, and playing the piano. As soon as I sit down to play, MiMi comes over and lies down at my feet and squeaks her ball in time to the music. Seriously, she is my very own little metronome!

Volunteer of the Quarter: Bob Wood, Director of Golden Rescue

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Congratulations to Bob Wood, Rescue A Golden of Arizona Volunteer of the Quarter and an incredible leader! Bob and his wife joined RAG of AZ three years ago as members of the Transport Team.

Today Bob serves as Director of Golden Rescue. He leads RAG’s International rescue efforts along with the Home Visit team and the Transport team. He formed a partnership with Goldens without Borders a couple of years ago to help RAG of AZ save more dogs in unfortunate situations from other countries.

Over the last eight months, Bob has also become the face of the rescue for our new volunteers. But to Bob, bringing new members onto the team doesn’t mean simply signing them up. It means showing them the ropes, spending time with them, and ensuring they have the “right seat on the bus” and that they are comfortable in their new roles, and that they have a great first experience with our organization. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering for RAG, Bob would love to talk to you about what we do, and how we do it.

Bob served in the United States Air Force (thank you for your service!) and had a fascinating career. He is retired now, but you wouldn’t know it. He is often the first to raise his hand on almost everything.

Bob has driven close to 4,000 miles for Rescue A Golden in 2021 alone, and he’d drive another 4,000 before year-end if it meant saving a Golden Retriever or helping a family get united with one. Bob fosters dogs too. Whether for a few weeks or a few hours, he and his family say yes, and their Golden girl Echo is “all in” when it comes to helping her “pawrents” help dogs in transition.

To sum it up… that line from the Ghostbusters theme song, “Who you gonna call…. GHOSTBUSTERS” If you replace the word Ghostbusters with Bob Wood… that is how we feel about Bob Wood and his contributions to Rescue A Golden of Arizona.

December: Meet Parker

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Life is Golden

After losing our golden retriever Daisy after almost 16 years, we were not sure if we would ever be ready for a new furry friend. However, we did know that we wanted to help a golden in need and give them a great life. So, we took the first step and signed up with Rescue A Golden of AZ.

After eight months and five days before Christmas we got the call of a golden in need of a forever family. His name was Parker and he needed a new home as soon as possible. Well, let’s just say, it was a shock for us and we were hesitant at first, a boy dog, twice the size of Daisy and with medical issues (seizures). Would he be a good fit with our seven month old son? This was a lot for us to take on, but it was what we signed up for and after four months of fostering him we couldn’t see our lives without him. The love and bond that our son Chase and his “Clifford” share is unlike any other. Parker had found his forever home! We want to send a big thank you to Rescue A Golden of AZ and all of your amazing volunteers who made the process so easy and cared for Parker and us along the way. This rescue means a lot to us and will forever have a place in our hearts.

November: Meet Penny

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Hi, my name is Penny. I came into RAG of AZ in the first week of May 2022. When I arrived I had a serious problem, I couldn’t walk. I was taken to a very nice veterinarian and after labs and x-rays, it was determined that I had a mass on my spine. I was given pain and anti-inflammatory medication and the next day I was up on all fours! My back legs were wobbly, but I was walking again!

The tests showed I had valley fever and the mass was a valley fever lesion. I was put on Fluconazole and I started feeling better and wagging my tail. My mom says that when I wag my tail my whole back end wiggles, so she sometimes calls me “wigglebutt”. I am one of the Special Needs Goldens in the calendar, which I don’t understand because I think all Goldens are special.

I have a new sister Mia, who came all the way from China. I can’t speak Chinese, but it doesn’t matter, we are getting along great. I love tennis balls and chasing the bunnies in the back yard. I went to my first official RAG event and met lots of other Goldens, it was so much fun. Mom said there will be more events in our future. Woo! Hoo! as I love being with people and meeting new friends.

Thank you RAG of AZ for rescuing me, saving my life and finding me the perfect forever home.

October: Meet Zoey

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Zoey came to Kate, Gary, Aimee and Alex after the loss of their RAG of AZ Golden, Kira and her sister Shadow. Kira and Shadow were loving companions, have been missed and as a family, we never thought we could find the same kind of love again.

Then, we met Zoey. When I first picked her up as a puppy, she snuggled into my shoulder and seemed to choose me. Zoey is a breath of fresh air. She is a strong, loving dog and seems to understand most things we are trying to communicate. She loves us and her “baby” that she carries with her everywhere and sleeps with at night. Her “baby” was her heartbeat sleeping companion that she slept with as a puppy to comfort her and is in the current photo with Zoey.

We are so happy to have been able to share love with such wonderful pups and thank our good fortune every day!

September: Meet Abby

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Howdy y’all!

I’m Abby, Ms. September. Mom calls me her Abbster, the Nagster, cuz I luv to walk and of course, she tags along. Our WoofTrax walking steps go to RAGofAZ.

I’m also her ‘wild child’. Dunno why, I just like to cavort and play! Now I can run wild on the plains of Texas! We moved here with Mom’s family; 2 boys that think I’m swell, 2 kitties (they’re ‘ok’) and our FMP, the T Dogg!

Tigger is our ‘Favorite Male Pupp’. I’m getting him to walk more, but he’s kinda old at 14. I’m just a kid at 10 years.

I am kinda bossy, I guess. That’s the Border Collie in me. Don’t trespass on my property or I’ll bark! Protective. Yeah. That’s it…. But I’m also a Golden, so y’all gotta know and agree, I’m sweet, gentle and loving too. Even strangers come up to me when we’re out and want to stroke me. If I know them, I might even roll over for a belly rub! Ooooh, Yes!

Well, it’s almost bedtime. I’d better scruff up ole Walter (that’s my blankie, named after another Golden, who also slept on him) then plop on Charlene (a most comfy stuffed puppy that’s bigger ‘n me!) I need to get some shuteye. A well rested pupp can sure have fun in life! I feel the Luv.

Y’all take care now. Slurps and tail wags to all my AZ Golden buds. Adios! –Abby

August: Meet Flynn

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Hi, my name is Flynn and I was born on February 11, 2020. I came to my forever home 8 weeks later and six months after my family’s other beloved Golden Retriever crossed the Rainbow Bridge. My mom says I saved her broken heart and immediately brought such joy and happiness into the home. One look into my copper-colored eyes and you can’t help but fall in love with me.

My family was set to travel to Ireland for the first time that summer, but things got crazy that year and their trip was canceled. I became the perfect addition and was given a fine Irish name.

I am a huge love bug and like to lay in everyone’s lap and snuggle. Sometimes I forget I am not little anymore! I have an obsession with tennis balls and pushing them under the couch and will play fetch for hours if you let me. My absolute favorite thing to do is swim in the pool and I swim everyday all year long. I look forward to our family’s many trips to our beach house in Port Aransas, Tx and love the salt, sand, and surf. I have been traveling by car with my family to Texas since I was four months old and have become quite the pro at the sixteen hour drive and mom says I’m the best boy. The ocean is always calling my name and nothing better than frolicking on the beach all day.

Friends and family say I bring joy, endless snuggles, and amusement to everyone I meet. They are always telling me I am so special and loved and I feel like the luckiest boy in the world!

July: Meet Levi

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Meet Levi!! Not only is he handsome but the personality on this guy is endless. He loves the camera, dressing up, doing tricks and can balance over 25 treats on his nose if mom stacks them right! Perhaps that’s why he has over 20K followers on his Instagram @life_of_mr_levi.

From the moment we brought him home at 8 weeks old we knew he was special. Completely opposite from all our previous Goldens, Levi wasn’t interested in swimming or obsessively fetching balls. However, he was extremely observant and interested in learning. I knew this guy needed a job!

We started training and socializing right away. He loved his classes, especially when the instructor used him as an example, so he could show off his skills. At 6 months old he had earned his AKC S.T.A.R Puppy, Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine, Urban CGC and Introduction to Therapy Dog.

Still much too young to do therapy work we kept him busy and discovered he had many other interests. Levi engaged in Barn Hunt, Agility, Rally and his personal favorite Lure courses! He loves chasing a trash bag on a string so much we would take him to every dog festival in town that had a lure course. He even earned an AKC Fast CAT Novice ribbon!

Levi passed certification for Therapy Dog work at 2 yrs old and has been mending and stealing hearts ever since. Witnessing the pure joy, endless smiles and comfort he brings to others is truly a blessing.

June: Meet Lola

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Lola was one of seven beautiful puppies born into Rescue in May 2007.

While Lola spent her “puppyhood” in Arizona, we made the move to San Francisco a year later, where she quickly fell in love with chasing balls along the many sandy California beaches, making new friends at all the dog-friendly establishments (knowing which ones always had treats), and playing ball or lounging in the sunshine at Dolores Park (her favorite hangout!).

About 6 years later, we moved to Seattle. Lola loved the new environment – lots of hiking trails, new parks, and many more new friends. Lola is also well traveled – she’s been on several road trips – traversing over 9 west coast states and provinces, including trips to British Columbia, Yellowstone National Park, and several trips back to Arizona and the California coast.

Lola celebrated her 15th birthday on May 21, 2022 with a “quinceañera” – her friends – people and dogs alike – came by to celebrate in our home. Unfortunately, not too long after, Lola crossed the Rainbow Bridge, her aging body no longer able to keep up with her bright spirit. We were truly blessed to have had her in our lives for as long as we did, and wish the same for all Golden families.

May: Meet Tripp & Tucker

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Meet Tripp and Tucker, both from Rescue a Golden.

Tripp came to us in 2020 as a very young pup. His mother and all her pups were born with congenital cataracts and are mostly blind. He wasn’t with us long before we discovered he also had Parvo and had to be hospitalized for 4 days.

It was a bumpy road but thankfully he overcame that. Tripp is a very sweet boy but due to his vision impairment, also very timid. We hoped as he’d grow he’d be able to have eye surgery, but the specialist determined he’s not a candidate.

Unfortunately his senior housemate (Boxer mix, Wyatt) passed away suddenly in June of 2021 and Tripp became more nervous and very depressed. We knew we had to find him a companion. Soon after, the rescue called asking if we were interested in another special needs pup, Rhett (renamed Tucker). He was surrendered from a breeder due to leg edema. Despite lots of testing, no reason was ever found. Ironically enough, Tucker also had his share of eye issues- he developed cataracts suddenly when he was 10 months old so he needed surgery quickly. He has already bounced back and his vision has returned fully. He is happy and healthy. As he’s been active and growing, the edema has improved too.

We are so grateful for Rescue A Golden of AZ for placing these boys with us. They are best buds!

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