How did you decide to rescue? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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How did you decide to rescue?

Hello all! We are planning on getting our first Golden and have been torn between rescuing an adult or getting a puppy from a breeder. Can anyone offer their thoughts or how they decided? I am so torn!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 12:37 PM
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I started off by fostering for a rescue group, we already had three dogs, but decided we had room for one more, and that giving a dog in need a temporary safe place, food, love and laying a foundation for what they need to learn, while they were seeking a forever home was something that just felt 'right' in my heart. I fell in love with each and every one of the beautiful souls that left their paw prints on my heart, they were so hard to let go. When the time was right, 'the' one came along, stole my heart on sight, couldn't let him go, and I a decided to give him his forever family, that was 2008 and he is still with me, has been such an amazing journey. A few years later, we added another rescued dog, and can honestly say it has been an amazing journey, no regrets, wouldn't change a thing! They can and do make wonderful best friends, partners in life. When the time comes I will adopt another rescue, they do truly 'steal your heart' and deserve a second chance, a forever home.


'Don't pity the rescue dog. Adopt one. And be proud to have their greatness by your side.'
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 01:10 PM
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I use to help (Volunteer) with a GR Rescue in my State that is no longer operating.
I started out by answering their email acct., then did several other things because I was the only Volunteer in my County. The GR Rescue covered/served the area I lived in. I assisted with Intake, did shelter pulls, home visits, dog evaluations, temporary fostering, and also some transport. I also covered for the Adoption Coordinator when she was on vacation, I conducted the phone interviews.

I adopted my Bridge girl from this group when she was 2. I wanted a young adult. I also adopted my current boy from my County Humane Society at the age 2, he is now 8.


My first Golden lived to be 15.5, got him as a pup. He was the last pup I've had. I wanted a puppy but I couldn't get my husband on board with one, that was another determining factor. So I decided to adopt a young adult.

Basically you know what you are getting. I adopted my current boy from my County Humane Society. He has been the easiest dog I've ever had. He was turned in as a stray, but he had to have belonged to someone at some point in time because he knew basic commands, was house trained, never has needed to be crated. He was ready to go-all I had to do was enjoy him.

All Goldens available for adoption through a GR Rescue have been evaluated for temperament, behavioral problems, have received a thorough Intake exam, received all their shots, are spayed/neutered, and if they have any medical problems, are treated for whatever it is even if it requires surgery. They are not available for adoption until medically cleared.

Most of the dogs in GR Rescues may have belonged to someone or a family at some point in time and due to life changes, were surrendered to the group. I live in an area that has a very large Military Base, sometimes dogs are surrendered because of the owner's deployment as an example.

If you are considering adopting, check Petfinder.com, Goldens in shelters and Rescue Groups are listed on there.

Here is the link to the National GR Rescue Committee, click on your State, a list of Groups come up. If there is more than one, select the one closest to where you live. Each Group has an area they serve. Their contact info with their website is provided. Visit the website to view their Adoption process and requirements, view available dogs. You may be able to submit an Adoption Application via their website also.

National Rescue Committee of the Golden Retriever Club of America

Some GR Rescues get puppies, but not very often and when they do, they are adopted very quickly.

Good luck in your decision and search.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 02:03 PM
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A large beautiful black lab walked up to the front door and laid down.. no decision involved :-) From this point on we always rescued.

After many golden rescues I decided to treat myself to a golden puppy for my 60th birthday. So I began the search. I contacted the GR club in Dallas and wouldn't you know the president was expecting to breed a litter in a few months. So I made the 2.5 hr drive to "interview" breeder and the soon to be bred momma dog. I left with a year old pup that didn't meet their breeding program.

Three months later the breeder contacted me asking if I would also take the momma dog I had interviewed, she was 3. And then there was two. I had more fun with the 1yr old and got involved with competition obedience. Both girls were already house trained, no land sharks or bad behaviors at all.

I lost one of those dogs and this time purchased a puppy. I'm retired and had plenty of time to devote to this puppy. I've also got years of training behind me so didn't mind all the extra work a golden puppy requires.

A golden puppy requires more work than any puppy I have ever owned so if you are pressed for time or energy, the rescue could be a better choice. I enjoy the puppy hood but not sure I would have done it if I were still working.

I have had some really terrific rescues of many breeds and you will bond just as much as if you purchased a puppy. You already know the personality and size as well as temperament. You will already know if they like kids or not. There are quite a few perks to a rescue. Shots, spay/neuter & sometimes microchip are usually included in the much lower price.

You just need to decide which choice works best for you and your situation.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 02:36 PM
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After our Sammy died second week of December back in 2007...

We had one boy who was almost 12 and were facing a huge void left by our Sammy (that would be like me losing my Jacks today).... my one sister especially was in deepest darkest grief. Keep in mind she had spent about 5 years in depression as it was over a devastating miscarriage + her other child had health problems.

I was so intent on helping her that I was literally promising that the puppy I was prepping for could be hers. Means Jacks nearly was her dog. She fell apart about that because to her getting another golden puppy was like replacing Sammy. This had me even looking into other breeds for her sake.

Keep in mind she lived nearby (about 15 minutes away), but since she was a SAHM and her little girl had health problems (liver issues leading to eating problems), she spent most of her time at our house. So we would have been more or less keeping the puppy the same way we kept Sammy for her when she married and moved away, but it would have been her dog just to help her feel better. Then she was saying she did not want a puppy....

Ended up looking into adopting an adult dog from various rescues. Golden Retrievers were not an option because of the rescue requirements (fenced yard, etc). Ended up going on Petfinder... and found our Arthur (rough collie). 2.5 year old surrendered by owners who were moving from a big home with a lot of land to a little apartment out east. Husband lost his job and they had no choice in the matter. This was the husband's dog and he was devastated. This was a loved and spoiled dog. Never was a "rescue" situation.

The dog remained in the owner's home for about 3 months while the foster for the rescue was engaged to help locate a new home. The dog was neutered at this time and never actually ended up in the foster's home until December.

The foster left it up to Arthur to pick his home. We were not the first to come and see him, but other people were turned away because he was reserved about them or avoided them. My sister was the very first person who he "recognized" the instant she walked in the foster's home. Arthur practically jumped into her arms. And he worshiped my niece from the first. It was a perfect match.

Arthur is not registered, but we received his pedigree from the prior owners through the foster. Both parents were AKC champions and going 10+ generations back there was not a single dog without a CH title on him. He was and still is a most perfect dog.

He lives with my family during the day and goes home with my sister (who went back to work) at night. I'm away from home this week, but talking to my mom at lunch, she was raving to me about Arth who is almost 12 now. The goldens drive my mom nuts because they are higher energy and active - and fill any room they are in. Arth is quiet and sweet. Follows her around without being pushy about it. He's as happy sleeping on the bed with her during daytime naps as he is hanging out with the goldens.

I'm probably going into too much detail here, but I'm saying that there are certain cases where adopting a dog from a rescue might be exactly what you are looking for at a particular time.

My sister went from refusing to even consider having a dog in her new house before she met Arthur to completely insisting on him coming to live with her. This allowed me to go ahead and connect with Jacks' breeder.

Arthur came home in Jan 2008... and Jacks came home at the end of February.

To this day, Arthur has raised two rambunctious golden retrievers and hopefully will have a hand in raising a third (fingers crossed).... and he's been a treasure. There have been health issues, but nothing we couldn't handle.

I completely recommend that people who are looking for the "perfect" dog consider adoption. And don't narrow yourself too much to one specific breed if you are adopting. If the idea of bringing a puppy home is not something you are enthusiastic about... widen the horizons a little. Sometimes you will have better luck in adopting a different breed. Sometimes the perfect dog that people really want - is found in a different breed.

My sister loves goldens as much as I do.... she worships my Jacks who she completely compares to Sammy now that he's getting into the "angel years". But she has said time and again that she doesn't completely think that goldens are the best dog for all homes. To her they are too hyper and to big and too rough and tumble. She likes the softer, quieter, and calmer type of dog that she has had in Arthur. And of course, adopting an adult meant they had a dog who was crate trained, leash trained, and even more or less trained (although a lot of stuff had to be undone and trained correctly). That is the advantage in adopting.

The advantage in buying a puppy from a breeder is plentiful. There are those of us who aside from the anxieties over joints and teeth and tail sets and whatever else... absolutely love the first experiences and development time. You start with a clean slate. Everything is new and fresh. It's not that different from what we are experiencing with my newest niece - my other sister's first baby. Because we are enjoying her long distance, the developmental stages are that much more stunning as my niece progresses. She's 7 months old and just about at the point where she wants to be "upright" and is working on standing up so she can start walking (her mom, my sister, started walking at 8 months so the munchkin is right on schedule). She's got the idea of pushing herself up off her hands or pulling herself up against furniture. Puppies, you get to see the same exciting developmental stages and each point is just brilliant. You enjoy every step along the way.

I personally will always have golden retrievers. At least 2. But adoption does not mean you are going to bring home a dog that you can never trust or who is going to be damaged goods. Adoption doesn't always mean the same thing as rescue.


Last edited by Megora; 06-07-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 02:53 PM
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We looked into rescue groups but many if not all of them have an extensive list of requirements, such as a fenced in yard, which we don't have because we rent. A lot of the dogs at the golden rescues we looked into were actually golden mixes, and we wanted one that looked fully like a golden retriever. Finally, all of that aside (those were just minor things to us) we wanted a puppy. We wanted to be able to raise it from its early stages and bring it up in our house. I truly admire people who rescue and I always planned on it, but it just wasn't in our cards for several reasons. Where we live, the SPCA only has a few dogs at a time and they are usually adult/senior dogs. Even the younger ones typically are not allowed to go to homes with other pets or children. I'll take this as a good sign that a lot of people in our area rescue, but it really limited our options.

All of that said, it wasn't until AFTER we paid our deposit on Foster and were about to bring him home that I stumbled upon this forum and a lot of reading material about choosing a good breeder. Unfortunately Foster's breeder is definitely not who we would choose with the knowledge that we have now, but he is a healthy and happy boy and we know better now for the future.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your feedback! I really enjoy reading the various stories and how you came across your dog. My heart has been open to rescue in addition to the idea of a puppy. Of course there are benefits of both. We were approved by one of the Adopt a Golden rescue organization. Anyone who has experience with them knows they are extremely strict so I felt honored just to be approved after the application process.The only problem is they only have a couple dogs at a time. They are also extremely strict, many times requiring the owner to be home all day with the dog and many other things.

I only want the best for the dog and I know things work out how they are supposed to. I have just been a little disappointed in the process.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 12:51 AM
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I got my first dog as an adult when I was 19 and he was from a shelter, one that didn't really screen (we're talking 20+ years ago). He was a beagle and such a jerk! I thought he was a jerk because I did not train him as a puppy; I didn't know better. I thought I needed a "clean slate". Soooo...I tried to get a puppy a few years later in Boston and was denied because I was a renter. That led me to find a breeder in the back of Dog Fancy magazine (the web wasn't much of a thing back then) who was thankfully a great breeder. My boyfriend bought him for me and I then got into rescue with the organization that denied me in the first place and, go figure, went onto foster dozens of dogs in my rental. While I wad fostering, I met a lot of really nice dogs, several of which I would have kept in a heartbeat. I would rescue an older dog in the future, maybe if I was for some reason down to one dog and not ready for another puppy for several years.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 06:55 AM
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Smooch

We adopted our Golden Ret. from Golden Opportunites Rescue in Northern Illinois when she was about 16 mos. old.
We had a 5 month old Samoyed puppy and they adored one another from the start.
Rescue dogs give you more than you will ever give them.
When Smooch died, we adopted a male Golden Ret. from this forum, his family was looking for a new home for him.
Tucker is a wonderful boy. He was about two years old and our Samoyed, Tonka, was about a year old. Again, they loved one another from the beginning. They did play rough at first, but then they calmed down some!

Tucker, Tonka, and Karen

SNOBEAR at the Bridge
Dec. 23, 1999-March 27, 2010


SMOOCH at the Bridge.
Feb. 14, 1999-Dec. 7, 2010
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by goldenlove7 View Post
Thanks everyone for your feedback! I really enjoy reading the various stories and how you came across your dog. My heart has been open to rescue in addition to the idea of a puppy. Of course there are benefits of both. We were approved by one of the Adopt a Golden rescue organization. Anyone who has experience with them knows they are extremely strict so I felt honored just to be approved after the application process.The only problem is they only have a couple dogs at a time. They are also extremely strict, many times requiring the owner to be home all day with the dog and many other things.

I only want the best for the dog and I know things work out how they are supposed to. I have just been a little disappointed in the process.
I completely understand your frustration with the process. I felt quite rejected by all of the GR rescue groups when we decided to find a golden about 15 years ago due to their inflexibility on the fenced in yard issue and probably because we both worked full time. I appreciate now that they have the best interest of the dogs in mind and don't know us personally so they have to have a screening process.

We had been owned by many, many dogs over the years of various breeds and mixes, but totally love goldens. We absolutely "lucked" into finding Buddy who had been rescued by a Lhasa Apso breeder after he was found a wandering stray. Buddy was the quintessential "best dog ever" and I was devastated after losing him suddenly to hemangio at 9-1/2 years of age.

We decided to purchase a puppy after about a year, and another 6 months of breeder research and disappointment when several hoped for breeding's didn't take we were blessed to bring home Duffy in Oct. 2014.
Golden puppies are whirling dervishes of boundless energy that will sometimes have you pulling your hair out while melting your heart with their adorableness. Somehow we survived and managed to arrive at a pretty well trained adorable goofball that he is today.

Exactly one month ago we became rescuers of Zoe after her owner passed away and she was left behind at the house. We don't know an accurate history on her but we can assume that her owner neglected to keep her on heart worm prevention because she tested positive on her initial checkup. We have some issues with her to work out, but she's stolen our hearts and we are committed to providing her forever home.
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