2008 Rescue Letters
HI, My name is Vincent.
I am almost 8 years old. I was given up to the Clinton Humane Society in April 2005 and in May, I took a long trip to Des Moines and met my new foster family, the Keys. They had two other dogs who I really liked playing with. I lived with them for almost 2 weeks when one day a family came to visit me. I was on my best behavior and was very gentle around the 7 month old baby. He really liked me. They spent a few hours with me and took me home with them.
So I made a long trip back to Clinton and that's where I've been ever since. I love my new family so much. They take me out on the boat in the summer and I can swim in the river. I also like it when we go for long walks and when they play fetch with me. My family says "Vincent has been a great addition to our family. He has such a loving gentle heart and such a great personality. He gets along so well with our son, now 2 and our new cat, "Meow". We want to Thank IGRR so much for all they do for great dogs like Vincent. He has brought a lot of fun and joy to our home.
Jason, Tracy and Jackson
Libbie, adopted 1 1/2 years ago by Chris, Linda and Elinor
Libbie's family says, Libbie is doing wonderfully since we adopted her a year and half ago. She's now 8 and we feel like we've had her forever. She's lost some weight from the 110 pounds she was when we got her, which is good, but she's a big-boned girl and the ver says she will never weigh under 90 pounds. She loves food and is a terrible begger, but we are good tough parents... most of the time. She is a quiet, only giving out a few big "woofs" when the doorbell rings or a stranger walks near the house.
She likes to go outside frequently, but only for short periods. When she goes for walks, she trots along gaily with a beautiful show-dog gait, drawing compliments from passers-byes. Using a gentle-leader, our 8 year old daughter can walk and run with Libbie easily, even though Libbie outsizes her by 30 pounds. Then, Libbie soon wants to go back home and find a soft place to rest her old bones.
She's spoiled, and she's allowed to nap on the family room couch, though she sheepishly curls up when she's on it, as thought she knows she's pushing her luck. she's a real house dog. The cats have adapted to Libbie's presence, no longer hiss at her and will even nap next to her, but Libbie is still a little timid around them. If a cat is blocking the doorway, Libbie will sit and wait for them to move. She seems to have no idea she could send those cats scrambling for cover if she'd just give them a bark. She's too sweet to do such a thing though.
Retrieving is in her blood, and she likes to fetch and carry toys around gently in her mouth. Her favorite toy is a plush duck that quacks when she softly gnaws on at. She's a big baby and she is loved dearly. Here's a couple pictures of our girl.
Chris, Linda and Elinor
Sydney - living up north in Minnesota with Dyke
I adopted Sydney, in November 2005, after driving to Iowa searching for the "just right" rescue Golden to adopt. I had 4 earlier versions - a golden in the house since 1965. Annie had died the summer before at 15, my first experience with a puppy mill dog that had been beaten as well. I stopped to meet another golden available for adoption - fine dog but there was "no spark' between us. So, On I went to Des Moines in the late and dark of early winter. Sydney was being fostered by Linda, along with a houseful of other dogs and at least one cat. Sydney had gained several pounds in her two months with LInda but was still extremely shy about new people. It took her almost 20 minutes to cross the room to me - all 10 feet - and I had the dog biscuits( and she had a food drive). But she came and kind of snuggled in when she got comfortable and I seemed to feel some spark.
Linda had sent me pictures beforehand, thinking that somehow my application and her dog made some kind of match. I'd loved the gleam in Sydney's eyes, even in pictures, and it was there in real life as well. Then she decided to play with the other dogs and shortly was challenging the obvious alpha male and showing considerable spunk in doing it. Puppy mill moms(Sydney had had 3 litters in 18 months) are often much more comfortable with other dogs than with people because they have spent much or most of their time caged with dogs. I took her for a short leashed walk outside and poor Sydney tried to turn inside out to get away from a young woman walking down the street toward us. She did find walking, but the shadowed, unknown person really got to her. And so it got later and later.
I finally realized that I'd better leave if I werer to survive the five hour drive home. To take the dog with me or not? My instinct said this was the dog, but what a short courtship! What a commitment! But we piled Sydney in the back seat with a blanket, a stuffed animal and a chew bone and set off north. I played public radio the whole way(wanted to introduce"culture" in case she'd missed it). and didn't stop until I hit the driveway. And that's when the fun started!
Sydney wouldn't leave the backseat. Turned out she didn't know how to jump down from something and wouldn't try. So I lifted her out. We spent the next hour in the front yard(2:30am) offering the opportunity to pee - which by then she must havehad to do. NO dice. What I hadn't learned with my previous puppy miller was that most of them won't pee or poop on leash, or even anywhere off the leash where you or anyone can see them. So we finally headed indoors - carrying her upthe long deck stairs because she didn't know who to do steps and how way too many legs for such a complicated maneuver.
A quiet night on the dog bed next to our bed and more chances at the lawn in the morning. Finally, some 18 hours later, she picked the middle of the living room carpet. Never have I driven to Home Depot so fast or with such a sense of mission.. By this time I'd guessed that a fenced secton of yard with a private corner would be the salvation of our relationship. By six that night we had one in place and the tensions relaxed all around. We have learned lots more in our first year:
1 Here's what a tennis ball is for - she'd never seen one. Her favorite now is one with the cover chewed off by a visiting golden with just the rubber left. Must feel good on the gums when she chews it.
2. Fluffy Toys are for play but not for dismemberment
3. Leather Gloves are not fluffy toys and are not for Sydney
4. Premium dog food grows an amazing amoutn of fur - she only had about a half inch when I met her and her tail looked like a muskrat.
5. Here's what lakes are for. That meant I had to go in first (early June up north) so show her all about swimming, now she loves it.
6. Loud Sudden Noises can be warning of danger but they also just happen and you have to roll with it.
7. Thunderstorms and fireworks are okay
8. Readily available food should be left where itis unless Dad gives it to me. The expression on her face as she attempted to get past me on a dead run with newly grilled steak in her mouth was priceless.
9. Islands up north are where both leash and collar comes off and you can go anywhere, anytime you want. With two resident Goldens to show her the secret places, Sydney was in Dog Heaven.
10. Obedience class was a wonder for her.
11. Actually catching a squirrel and having it in your mouth is icky.
We are now in our second year and I am thrilled and thrilled for Sydney. The life-time wallflower has really blossomed. Sydney meets and greets several people each day and almost as many dogs on our long walks. Sydney and I now volunteer for RAGOM, our area rescue group and visit about one family a week who want to adopt a golden of their own. There are usually children and often other dogs to play with. Sydney is so calm and reserved that next year we're looking into hospital visiting - she might be just right for that. It's been great for us.
REX - A Very Blessed little Boy
Here's a couple of pictures of Rex. We adopted Rex 18 months ago from IGRR. He was a very neglected big bear, kept in a kennel the majority of his first 6 years, and came with a severe case of heartworm, cancerous growth removed from this tail and a heart murmur. He also had never seem the inside of a house. Well, what a big old doll.
He has the run of the house along with Lucy, our other Golden and Gracie the cat. He is the biggest baby of all, follows me around like a shadow. Very well behaved, and very playful. He loves going after a tennis ball, he would chase it until he dropped over if allowed. He is in perfect health, no signs of the past problems. We live on 12 acres and all of us love tromping through the fields. He loves trying to catch the deer but sadly he is not quite fast enough. He has been a blessing to us.