Recent Rescue Letters


Finally getting a letter off to you on Fletch! He is wonderful! We have so much fun with him! His personality is unbelievable! The joy he has brought to our household is undescribable! We are always amazed at how intelligent he is. He understands exactly what we say! He loves to play catch! We wear out before he does! We discovered we can put his treat on his nose and he will sit there until we say "go" and he catches it in the air! He is the most loving and caring dog...he is with us no matter where we are in the house. He follows us like our shadows! My husband calls him "Momma's boy"! He definately is! I can't express enough how much we love him! I am so glad you suggested a senior dog. I probably never would have thought about that if you hadn't mentioned it. I am so thankful to you, otherwise we would have missed such a special addition!


Just wanted to give you a little update on JJ. He has made so much progress since we got him less than two months ago. Obedience training went well. The class used the positive methods approach which worked well for him. The trainer's website is I think you'd find it interesting. He has also learned the invisible fence, and the housebreaking has gone well too. He was pretty calm the first couple of weeks, then went through the "terrible twos" the third week. Since then, he has calmed down a lot. Everyone who meets him just loves him. He has the most endearing personality, and people always comment on how pretty he is. I think he's grown some, and his coat has gotten longer and changed texture some. He loves people as well as other dogs. He had a play date last Sunday with Jenny Fuller Henderson's 4 year old husky, and they had a wonderful time wearing each other out. Things aren't perfect with the cat yet but have improved. I think the cat really wants to be friends but just finds him a little overwhelming. I am attaching some cute pictures of the two of them together.


It is so hard to believe our puppies are three-years old already. Rosie definitely looks like Jack! Jack is so sweet and is definitely a cuddle bug. When he hears me in the morning he hides behind the kitchen curtain and then runs out to me like "here I am... surprise!" He does this every morning, and it makes my day. My little 17-month old grandson loves to come over and give Jack his treats so I am sure by next summer the two of them will be running around the backyard together. Jack still has problems with allergies but the allergy medicine seems to help.


Happy 3rd Birthday to our pups! Hope one and all are doing great. I've attached a pic of Rosie this fall..a beautiful dog on a beautiful day! She gives us joy and laughter every day. Maureen and Randy


4 mos. and 44 lbs. I passed puppy class, despite all the time-outs I had to take. My owner is still in disbelief. My sister was also in this class. She was one of the shepard looking pups. Her owners renamed her Leah too. And yes, I am still bigger than her too. Leash walking is my biggest challenge right now. And 9pm-10pm is my "wild hour" EVERY night despite late night walks and other activities to wear me out by my owners. Do I look independent and confident, because I am. I know I have grown and my legs are long because when I stand on my back legs my front paws fit comfortably on any counter or the kitchen table when I think no one is looking. I consider myself an opportunist.


Here's an update on Happy. He's doing very well. He's very responsive to commands and listens well. We need some work on a few things, but generally he's coming along quite well. He and Tommy have become fast friends and Happy gets along with Robbie's cockers, too. He's been to Witmer a few times and to Jester and Brown's Woods for hiking. He loves the woods and is quite the swimmer. He went right in the water both times we were in the woods. We're camping at my farm this weekend and I'm eager to see how he likes the pond. Tommy loves it and I assume Happy will, too. My brother has two labs who love to swim as well.

We're taking extra towels to keep wet dogs out of the tent. Happy is a big sweetheart and certainly enjoys cuddling. He and Tommy have slept in the bed together a lot. Last night they were back to back. Handy. I can pet them both at the same time. He and Tommy are avid ball players, although Happy's a bit of a ball hog. He can get three tennis balls in his mouth at once! No issues to report. He's a wonderful dog and I'm so glad he's come to live with us. Here are some pictures. Both boys had been in the creek in the Jester shots and so look a little wet around the edges. I tried to call you when we went to Jester last time, but didn't get an answer. What's your number again? I want to be sure I have the right one. I'll keep you posted and feel free to call anytime about the Happy boy. Thought you might enjoy seeing the new baby bison, too.

Star and Rosie

Rosie has now been with us for 14 months, grown from a 5 month old puppy that behaved like a puppy (didn't chew on shoes but did on socks, blankets, some chair legs and really nipped at me, but not Don) but now has learned those things are not appropriate. Toys still have to be indestructible. She loves to play fetch and she LOVES to run like a gazelle. She knows the exact limit of the underground fence. Long ago she graduated from a crate at night. Recently, she has graduated to being trustworthy enough to be left alone in the house for a couple of hours.

Rosie is very clever, quite intelligent, and watches carefully how things work. She mastered the "gate" Don made to restrict the two dogs in the kitchen/family room/sun porch area --- first the latch part, then how to move one end aside and then the other. She also taught Star! She also knows a lot of words and phrases being very good at picking up verbal information.

It's been about a year since Star join our home. She just turned 8 yrs old this week. She is doing so well now. Her coat, which was a bit rough and dry when she came, is now beautiful. Her tail, which was rubbed off to a stub at the end, is now full and fluffy. She had never been in a house before or see a TV and spent only a short time in foster care before she came to our home. Now she is dependable about going outside to the bathroom and is no longer mesmerized about the TV. Early on, she let us know that she didn't need to be in a crate a night. And it wasn't too much longer before she could be trusted to be left out of the crate when we were gone from home for a couple of hours. Perhaps the other big difference is that when Star came to us, she panted all the time and especially if exercising. Now she only pants when she is hot. We think she is much more fit than she used to be. Maybe because of good food, regular walks and a kid sister that keeps her moving.

We noticed quite a difference in the ability of Star to recognize words and phrases compared to Rosie but lately Star has been doing much better too. We decided that Star probably had very little verbal interaction with people as a kid. And likely dogs, just like people, pick up a language easiest when they are young. We tend to talk to our dogs in whole sentences as if they were people and not just commands. Maybe that's not the best way to communicate with dogs but they are such part of our family that it's just the way we do it. And they are now very good at picking up things from these complete sentences.

Rosie ,in particular pays attention to the TV if there are animals on the program... dogs, wolves, etc. She did NOT like walruses on a nature show and hid behind the chair.

They both walk really well on a leash. We go out every day. Rosie loves to be outside. Star thinks that's nuts! She has spent more than enough time out in the weather and much prefers to be right beside us, laying under the table or in the kitchen while we fix a meal or, best of all, down in Don's office or shop.

Rosie remains very slender (47 lbs) and narrow with a long body and legs. She really doesn't care that much about food (a disadvantage when training her since treats weren't a motivator). Star is at 57 lbs, down about 3 lbs since we got her. She is about 2" shorter than Rosie. She has a broader body but is at a good weight. (We wish our body weight was as good and one would think it could be if someone controlled our intake the same way as theirs!) Food is all important to Star while not at all important to Rosie. But Star is a survivor and Rose has never done without.

Rosie is a very gentle dog. Star has more trouble in remembering not to maul us when she want attention. I think she is still very hungry for love. Both were good with the grandkids (age 6 and 3 ) at Christmas time although it took a bit of adjustment on everyone's part. Both dogs definitely need to learn to NOT JUMP when someone comes in the door. It's our fault that we haven't trained them well in that area. WE are going to work on that now that the weather is getting warmer.

The two really love each other. And they both LOVE to sleep by the fire while we watch TV. I think they are both very happy.


We adopted Gage September 30, 2009. Over the past year there have been a few challenges but overall Gage has integrated into our family and circle of friends very well. In the past year he has successfully competed two classes at the Des Moines Obedience Training Center, is a member of the Des Moines Paws & Effect pet partner therapy organization, has been certified by Delta Society as a registered Pet Partner team member with Linda and is a member of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs Program (R.E.A.D.). He has interviewed with a non-profit board of directors to work as their Therapy Dog and is on their November agenda for approval. He has also been approved to work at ChildServe in Johnston, Iowa. We are all very excited about this opportunity for children with special needs and Gage,

We wonder given his attraction to young families if at one time Gage was a member of a family that loved him very much – most likely a family with children. He just loves to see and hear children and will gladly go "belly up" to get his belly rub. We also believe he had some obedience training and was gently groomed as he comes willingly, stands nicely for his brushing and bath (although it is a challenge to get him into the tub). If this scenario is true we feel sad for the family that lost this loving pet.

Gage has been to Florida and has experienced the sounds and smells of the Gulf of Mexico. He is an excellent traveling companion and rides well with his adoptive brother Hard Tack, a yellow Labrador that is approximately the same age as Gage. We thank the Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue for the work to bring good dogs and good people together.

The following is the business card that Gage gives to children with whom he works; the picture for the card is attached.

Linda and John

Rosie and Star

Rosie and Star are both doing great. They are good buddies. Sometimes they curl up together but more often they like to play together.

Rosie is nearly a year old now but of course still acts a lot like a puppy (yesterday she ate the top part of a zipper! She can leap over the highest of our hostas when she goes out the back door to chase after butterflies. She has a beautiful dark red coat which is nearly straight and very slick. She can be ever so sweet and gentle and loving and then such a little stinker! She is taller than Star by quite a bit and very long legged and thin through the body, not just through the waist but very narrow across her shoulders and hips. Food is not very important to her.

Star is a very happy dog. She always wants to be close to us (sometimes closer than we wish and would be happy to be a lap dog). She is kind of like a bull in a china shop though and her hugs are kind of like bear hugs. I think she never learned how to be gentle in hugging. She walks beautifully now on a leash.. doesn't pull at all. The tip of her tail is now covered with hair. Initially we noticed that she did not shed AT ALL which is certainly not typical for a GR but now she sheds a lot. We think she must have had a very short hair cut at some point. I know you said that she was filthy dirty when she was turned in. Her hair is much longer now and sheds like all Goldens. She feels very special when she goes over for a grooming. Star is very curly all over (more obvious since her hair is now longer) and quite a bit lighter colored than Rosie but probably just a medium copper color.

It's interesting... Star is highly motivated with food (like in obedience training class) but Rosie could care less about treats for motivation. The obedience teacher said she thought it was because Rosie had never been "without" and Star had been. Rosie eats slowly while Star is like a huge vacuum cleaner! I think she feels that you never know when the next meal might come while Rosie takes food for granted.

I think often of Butter... now Lily in her new home. I hope she is doing OK. She looked so frail and needed a lot of special attention while I think Star was more of a survivor under the same circumstances. But maybe Lily was just more futile and hence had more drain of continually producing puppies. In any event I am so thankful that the special home could be found for Lily with the woman that was anxious to dote on her. She deserved that.

Update on Hunter

You would not believe the great fun this dog is! He has absolutely brought a smile to my face, Emma's and the rest of the neighborhood and my friends. He is definetly a retriever...HE LOVES THE WATER!!!

We have worked on the rules of the shower here at home. One person/dog in the shower at a time. I shower first and he can only get in the shower when I am not in there. Depending on his burning desire to be in the water, his toddler brain takes over and he comes through the shower curtain like he did again yesterday. It is so funny you can't help but laugh when you are washing your hair and you are joined by a giant fur ball! He then stands right in the stream of water like he is taking a shower. I have never seen anything like it!

Yesterday was simply a complete water day. I take him out to my friend Jeny's house and she lives in the country with her husband and three kids. He loves to run in their yard and swim with the kids. Yesterday was the introduction to the Slip n' Slide. The attached pictures tell it all. We were absolutely cracking up watching him go down the slide and then stand at the end in the "pool" of water and drink.

He is mastering "leave it" and will drop just about anything in his mouth when I or anyone else say it. He doesn't chew on anything but Emma's legs, balls and marrow bones. He makes sure not to miss a meal and has learned to respect Emma's bowl and not eat out of hers. Initially I was going to rename him "Hoover" because he would come in and inhale both bowls before I even had the door shut. He has definetly learned his and hers.

Overall, life is great with him. They walk beautifully on the double leash together and compete constantly for pets from people passing by.

Hope you enjoy the pics.

Update on Henry

About 4 years ago, IGRR contacted us about a little golden they had rescued and thought would be a good fit for our family. His previous owner made him out to be a vicious animal who guarded food and toys. We decided to give him a try because it was becoming apparent that our dog, Thunder - also a rescue, was in desperate need of a little brother. The first night it was obvious that he was meant for us. He was gentle with our small child, loved to be petted, and most importantly was instantly trying to get Thunder to play with him. As you can see from the pictures, they are best buddies. Henry uses Thunder for a chew toy and a pillow whenever he can. Thunder taught Henry how to be a retriever and not a "chase me I have the ball"-er, and Henry taught Thunder how to play tug and not just "HERE! Take it and throw it!!"

Henry has an exceptional ability to look pathetic and has a very strange habit of whining and crying in the most shameless manner whenever someone comes to the house. I think he has figured out that it makes people feel sorry for him so they will pet him; he really hams it up and makes it sound like he is being murdered. He is convinced every human was put on this earth to pet him. Our four cats still rule over both dogs so the hierarchy has been maintained. We recently got our fourth cat, a kitten named Waffle, and he and Henry love to play together. Waffle chases Henry, then Henry chases Waffle under furniture where he mounts a swiping attack-then-retreat strategy. It is hysterical to watch.

Needless to say we love our Henry dog and he has made all the difference in the world to his brother, Thunder. Thank you so much IGRR!!

Update On Reba

I was thinking about you and was going to write to you today! Reba is fantastic! Nothing says "senior" about her other than her age. She has been redecorating the house and really making it her own. She didn't like the blinds over the big picture window in the front, so she made sure to tear them down. Fine by me, they had been there since the former owner of the house and the window really does look better without them! She has proven her own agility by balancing on the back of the couch, which is just about 4 inches wide. She also found a spot in the fence without barbs on top, so she has shown us how quickly and gracefully she can climb the fence and hop into the neighbor's fenced yard. Though she still paces, it usually just takes her from window to the next in guard-like fashion. When she needs to go outside, she makes sure to let us know. The cats are slowly getting used to her; neither one is scared, but they are being stubborn to make a point.

She is doing so well, Gaye! Thank you for all the love and guidance you gave her during those crucial few weeks after rescue. I will be following up with pictures soon.

Hope the agility trials went well!

Update on Manny

Manny has learned so very much over the past few weeks. We have still had many separation anxiety issues but continue to make progress, as he learns that we are coming back home. We now have him running and playing tennis ball fetch out in the "back forty" unleashed. He wanted to roam at first, but is now staying close to the other boys.

All in all.....Manny is a lover boy who just wants love.

Update on Stella

Good morning, wanted to pass along a photo of Stella, our new arrival and thank Patti for the help in getting her settled in. The kids just love her as do we, very sweet girl. She and her new springer spaniel companion Riley are slowly becoming buddies, the cat however hasn't come out of the basement yet! The organization should be commended for the work you do.

Thanks again.
Dave and Steph

Update on Gus

Well, it's been almost two months now and I wanted to give you an update on our beloved Max (you knew him as Gus.)

Maxwell (we call him Max) is a wonderful member of our family. As a matter of fact, it seems as though he's been with us forever. Transition into our home was without incident and he and his "brother" Midas are now inseparable.

Daily walks are good for all four of us, and there are many games of fetch always going on. We've been to four obedience lessons; Max keeps getting advanced to the next level, because he learns so quickly. We're now waiting for an advanced class to be formed and we'll be going back.

I've attached a couple of pictures for your enjoyment. Thanks so much for making it all possible!

Update on Jack

Hi everyone I just wanted to let you know how Jack is doing. He is adjusting VERY well! He is having alot of fun playing with his new sisters. He has done really well with being in our home too! We just love having him, he is he perfect addition to our home.

We couldn't ask for a better boy! I am attaching some pictures of him from this weekend, and we will keep you posted on his progress. Thanks so much for letting us adopt Jack, he is such a beautiful boy!!! and Daisy and Lily are having alot of fun with their new brother.


Update on Mollie

Here's our new family picture! I just can't thank you enough for bringing Mollie to our family! We truly feel like our family is complete for the first time since we lost our Jake more than 2 years ago. Mollie has been with us for 2 months now and I still can't look at her without smiling! We're so lucky to have her!

Eric, Jen, Ethan, Owen, Mollie & Ellie

Hello Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue Group.

I must apologize for not writing sooner. Not a day goes by that I do not feel that Faith was meant to be in our home. In November of 2007 it became necessary to put to sleep our wonderful 13 year old black lab. When we found the Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue website and I saw Faith I could barely contain my excitement. We were fortunate enough to be called back and that very same day we were in the car heading to Des Moines to meet Faith. The bond was instant. She put her paw on my leg and then my husband's. While she shows this affection to other people I like to think she chose us!

I cannot begin to describe the joy Faith has brought to me. She is so affectionate and gentle around my husband's younger grandsons. When "Pappa" told his grandsons we have "A big red dog", they were expecting to meet "Clifford". They soon realized She wasn't "Clifford" but Faith. They now get excited to see Faith.

She always greets us when we come home. There is nothing better than to see her wagging tail when I walk in the door. She is hilarious in that no matter where she is in the house, she has to run and get a toy before she greets us at the door. She loves to go for car rides and it is difficult for her to understand she cannot go as frequently now that the temperature is warmer. We have "girl" nights which consist if a long walk, a car ride, a special small snack after supper, a long belly rub, and finally a good brushing, during which she falls asleep.

She has adapted very well. While we are outside I do let her roam while I am doing yard work. I ALWAYS keep her in eye site as she is fond of deer, rabbits, & squirrels. We live in a timber area and these animals are very frequent visitors. She is doing very well at responding to her name and coming back when called. She loves to be outside with us. She helped to plant the flowers in the photo. Since she loves squirrels so much we got her very own squirrel as she is not allowed to run after them. All creatures in the yard are to be considered in the "safe zone". She follows me nearly everywhere.

I feel so blessed that we were chosen to the lucky parents to Faith. I tell her every day she is home forever and she will NEVER have to go to another home again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting us adopt Faith. From the start she had me wrapped around her sweet little paw.

Alane & Gary