This quarter we’re celebrating Scottie McGowan. Scottie is one of our most tenured volunteers and has held many different roles over the last 14 years including her current role as Director of Golden Rescue. Many of you may recognize her work as the leader who pulls all of our International Rescue efforts together. You can find her driving her mini-van (with a huge vinyl sticker of a Golden on the side!) back and forth from LAX picking up dogs or flying to Mexico to bring back a bunch of Goldens in crates heading to their new homes in AZ. Her energy is endless and her enthusiasm is infectious. We would not be able to save as many dogs as we do without her. Thank you, Scottie, for all you do!
1. How long have you been a volunteer with RAGofAZ?
2. What volunteer positions have you held and what role(s) are you currently in?
• Meet and Greet volunteer since 2005
• Intake Team since March, 2009
• Transport Team Member since May, 2009
• Transport Coordinator Team since 2009
• Foster since November, 2010
• Home Visit Team since November, 2010
• Assistant Transport Team Coordinator in April, 2011
• Southern Director, K9 Operations
• Board Member since November, 2011
• Rescue to Rescue Transfer Coordinator Since 2013
• Director of Golden Rescue since November, 2015
• International Rescue Coordinator November, 2016
• Currently, Director of Golden Rescue, International Rescue Coordinator, Trainer for long distance transporters moving international dogs from LAX, and McCarron International Airports to Phoenix since 2017
2. In what part of AZ do you reside?
A. In southeast Tucson in Rita Ranch.
3. Tell us a little bit about your family, including any current pets.
A. I was assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 1997. Ken retired from the USAF in 1993; I retired in 2003. Between us we have 4 grown children, 5 grandchildren, and two Goldens. Ken, my sweetheart of 26 years, supports all aspects of rescue. Twelve-year-old Jake and nine-year-old Morgan rule the roost. Ken is their chef, landscaper, and pharmacist; I am their groomer, chauffer, and social director.
4. Tell us a little bit about any past/current rescued Goldens (from us or otherwise).
A. We purchased six-week-old Abbey from a backyard breeder. Five years later,
we discovered rescue, became foster failures and adopted our first RAGofAZ Golden,
Chad. Little did we know that Chad was destined to change our whole life’s path. He went to the Bridge after only six years from a brain tumor, and we learned the devasting heartbreak of losing a beloved Golden, it wouldn’t be the last. We adopted Crystal in 2009, Jake in 2011, and Morgan in 2012. We learned what “All for the Love of A Golden” means. Crystal went to the Bridge in 2014. We are still grieving her loss.
5. Tell us a bit about why you wanted to volunteer with us.
A. We were invited to bring Abbey and Chad to meet and greets and doggy socials. It sounded like a good way to meet people and socialize our dogs. We discovered what RAGofAZ is all about; we met so many adopted dogs and their dedicated families. Our dogs became Ambassadogs to help rescue more dogs in need, and I found I couldn’t say no to participate in all things Golden. Then I learned about the amazingly synchronized teams that make it all happen, and I was hooked.
6. What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had so far as a volunteer with us?
A. Every dog has a story and being part of their journey to a new life is very rewarding. But, developing an international program that embodies the meaning of rescue brings tears every day. To see the before pictures of dirty, skinny dogs at meat markets or on the street fighting for survival, then seeing them cleaned, fed, and with loving families is most rewarding.
7. What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t volunteered with us before but may be thinking about it?
A. When you have a Golden in your life, resistance is futile. But even without a dog, there are many ways you can help secure a second chance for a Golden. Every volunteer makes a difference even it’s only for a couple of hours. The benefits are lots of tail wags, sloppy kisses, the knowledge that you help save and improve Golden lives, life-long friendships, and maybe a Golden or two.
8. What else would you like us to know about you and your volunteering?
A. There is a magnet that says, “Who Rescued Who?” It rings so true. I wrestle with clinical depression and found that Goldens are the very best antidepressants. I am so blessed to belong to this organization and to be able to be a part of the mission to save Golden lives.