Here are some recent testimonials from adoptive families who were so thrilled with Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue (GGLRR) that they took the time to tell us in writing. Feel free to express your appreciation to the many volunteers at GGLRR helping with your Lab adoption. If you want to share your story with other prospective owners, just send it to our web manager or your GGLRR Rescue Representative. Enjoy reading these happy ending stories for these lucky Labs and their forever families!
I adopted Gioia from GGLRR in 2004. I had six glorious years with her until she went over the rainbow bridge (cancer). Gioia means joy in Italian, and she epitomized it. She fetched her tennis ball in the morning of the very same day we had to say goodbye.
As you can see, she loved her toys. At the end of the day she would go around the house and carry each one to her bed, arrange them around her in preparation for a good night's sleep.
Click to Watch Shadow do his tricks!
Shadow (previously Rick) is doing amazing! We have almost had him for two years, and he is much more obedient than when we first adopted him. The only problem is that he loves jumping our six foot fence. ;) Other than that he is a great dog.
He had never swam when we first adopted him. It was comical the first time we took him to a lake. First, he stuck his paw in tentatively, and then jumped in! Now he loves swimming and the beach. He could stay there all day.
He is really smart, and now knows almost seventy tricks, as well as some agility. We are so lucky to have him!
Thanks for the check in and I apologize for not getting back to you two earlier. Louie has turned out to be the perfect dog for us. Our girls thought he needed a middle name and chose Gibson. So, Louie Gibson easily slipped into our family and seems as happy to have us and we are to have him. It's hard to believe we're coming up on 8 months already. He's got a lot of energy and requires two walks a day and some play time. He gets very excited sometimes and has the funniest habit of putting himself in a 'time out' until he calms himself down. He typically runs to a spot in another room and sits for a few minutes to calm down, then rejoins the action. I've never heard of dog doing this.
Louie is currently taking some training classes with us. He is an extremely intelligent guy and picks up commands very quickly. He also seems to have a large vocabulary. Of course, he's top of the class. The social interactions at class have been great for him as he still has a tendency to not like the looks of certain dogs, particularly pitbulls, though has begun to be very interested in others. Because we're not sure how he'll react depending which dogs are around, we've avoided the local dog park and have just befriended individual dogs around the neighborhood. You'll find a picture from last weekend attached.
We thought we would update you with our rescue of Frisco, previously Casino. We're still working on his allergies with steroids and shots. He continues to be a high energy dog, everything he does is with GUSTO but with daily walks and chasing our yellow lab at the dog park we keep him in check.
With the hard work of my wife Frisco passed his test given by SF SPCA for Canine Good Citizen. She hopes to involve him with a children's reading program. He likes to sit in a chair and listen to you talk to him.
John and Buck
"Dog Days at Lake Tahoe"
A pic of our "Very Special" boy now named "Rio". His adopted name was Klaus & from birth , it was Charro. We couldn't be happier!!
Ron & Bev
We adopted Tarzan (a 6 year old choc lab boy) last November. He had been owner surrendered and was being fostered in Orinda. As soon as we laid eyes on him we were smitten and knew he was our puppy. Shortly after we adopted him, he started lunging at strangers and barking. Then he bit me and someone on the street. We were completely freaked out and knew we couldn't keep Percy (nee Tarzan) if this continued. You and GGLR were amazing. We started training in January and this stretched on for 4 months! It was a hard time for us because we had always showered affection on our pets, but Beth (the trainer) told us this wouldn't be good for Percy. So we showed our love through giving him exercise, training, and STRUCTURE! For many months being Percy's moms felt like a burden. He wore a muzzle through April. We also got a lot of negative reactions from neighbors, family and friends in regards to how we were training Percy. People objected to the prong and e-collar. My dad was scared of him when he wore his muzzle (which doesn't make much sense!). Not an auspicious start. Through it all though, we knew he was our baby. Before we met Percy, we had a number of false starts adopting other dogs, and though this sounds funny, what seemed to be missing was that uncontrollable spark of connection. For us this meant that no matter how annoying, aggressive, or cumbersome the dog we adopted was, our hearts loved him so completely that we could deal with the drama. Well needless to say, Percy sparked that connection in our hearts from the first. Now we have been his moms for almost a year. He is a different dog. He is relaxed, gentle and playful. We are more in love with him than ever. We even take him off leash (though not in the neighborhood). He makes our lives so much richer. What first felt like a burden (giving him an hour and a half of exercise daily) now feels like routine that helps the whole families anxiety. We are forever indebted to GGLR and Beth Peterson for your guidance through that trying time. Some amazing things about Percy: he never reacts to our cats- try as they might he refuses to acknowledge them; he is bonkers for fruit- on walks we have to run through "fruit zones" so he doesn't scarf up 15 apples in 30 seconds- plums and avocados are his favorites; he has huge ears that he holds straight out to the sides when he is excited or running; he loves little kids and is very gentle with them; even off leash he doesn't range far away from us; he is filled with love. Thank you so much for your support in our adoption. I'm sorry we didn't check in sooner. Feel free to use any part of this message in your newsletter.
Love, Lucy, MacKenzie, and Percy
Diesel is a youthful bundle of a dog. We call him Diesel, D or Double D. He is about 50 pounds right now at 5 & 1/2 months. He has seen the vet for all his appointments, finished his neutering, been chipped, and has even started his obedience training. Seems mostly lab, but the brown has really come out on his legs and chest. Definitely has some German Shepherd tendencies. He has a new white spot on his tail that my wife swears was covered in black ink to get us to take him. Ha!ha!ha!
He sleeps in a kennel every night. He is really great at sit, wait, stay and down. Come, eh... about 60-70%. He loves the field next to our house and gets to walk it every night. Loves other dogs, not so sure about the cows. He walks amazingly well on his leash.
Diesel hasn't figured out the retriever part yet, still working on that. Not so keen on water either, but swims just fine when he's in. Maybe this will be something we work on as he grows up.
He is very energetic and playful. Distractions and exhaustion are a must. He has such a childlike and playful personality. Never will understand why the pervious owners gave him up. Glad they did, he is an amazing dog for us. Our favorite time is morning coffee when he just chills next to us on his blanket. He has a real mellow streak in him.
Thank you GGLR. If we ever think about another dog, we will definitely look you guys up.
Adam and Debbi Black ...and Diesel
"Princess" is Lily now and has been a great addition to our family. Our vet says she has ":drive" and that is an understatement! She goes for walks every morning and to the park to play fetch most evenings. She is my best mountain biking partner, can do 12 mile runs and come home and still wants to play. Lily has a sweet disposition, loves to ride in the truck, settling in for long trips. We just went on our second vacation with her and when we got back she still wanted to be camping and sat by the truck waiting to go again. She never tries to get out, will hang out and follow us wherever we go. She loves water and finds any mud puddle she can to cool off when at the park or out biking.Everyone at the park point and laugh because she looks so happy rolling around in the mud and when we get home loves to be washed off with the hose. We think she found the perfect fit moving in with us and can't imagine being without her
Rich and Cinde Davis
We love Molly like crazy! She was shy when we first met her. Now, Molly is truly the most affectionate creature I have ever known -- she cuddles both my husband and me as much as possible. I work from home as an attorney and she sleeps by my side most mornings while I work, though she steals away to a sunbeam in the living room for the afternoon shift. While she may be the world's laziest paralegal, she is a great personal trainer and pushes me to hike with her whenever I get a break. She is also a world-class swimmer and loves nothing more than fetching balls in the Bay. Thanks for everything you do to get these wonderful dogs into the loving homes that they deserve. Here is a recent picture of Molly in Redwood Regional Park.
We go to the beach every Saturday morning, and Millie totally knows what time it is and can barely keep her head on. She LOVES the beach! She could care less about the other dogs, but will do anything to catch a tennis ball, including launching herself out into the ocean. She is a total water dog! In fact, she gets so full of sand that we stop by the river on our way home for a little more ball time and to scrub her and Ruthie clean of sand before we get home. She has calmed down a lot, sleeps in the crate no problem, and has a steel lined stomach! She and Ruthie LOVE each other, and play constantly. The only remnants of her heartworm seem to be that she gets out of breath easily and overheats really fast, so we have to monitor her at the beach and make her take breaks so she doesn't get too out of breath. Otherwise, she is super healthy and gets lots of compliments at the beach! She is a ball of muscle, and since we've been giving her fish oil and glucosamine/chondroitin pills, her coat is amazing and she doesn't show any signs of her arthritis, except that when she gets really excited her right arm shakes! We've worked on training a lot and she is eager to please, we're still working on leash walking and not licking people to death, but otherwise things are good. We've been working on our house and Millie is totally scared of power tools, unlike Ruthie who loves the air hose and vacuum cleaner. Millie used to stiffen up when we'd try to wrestle with her but now she trusts us and loves tussling on the floor. She and Ruthie both love to be out in front of our house when we're working, the first thing they do is go to the end of the driveway to see if our neighbors cats are taunting them from the road. Millie loves to stand in our front yard and stare at the juniper bushes, and then dive in to try to catch the alligator lizards that are rustling around. She loves our chickens and knows that she can't have them for dinner, but still will follow them around the yard to see what they will do next.
She still does her teeth snapping thing, both when she is really excited and when she wants you to pay attention to her. Apparently, that is her way of talking to us! She will snap her teeth back at you if you say "Shnap shnap Millie!" She never does it to try to bite, its just her thing. She seems to be a country dog at heart, when we go out of town my in-laws dog sit and they are up in the mountains, Millie will spend hours standing by the sliding glass window just watching the great outdoors. She'll chase squirrels but always comes back!
I could go on and on... email if you want more news!
All in all, things are going great, we can't imagine life without Millie!
Ali Chapin Kele
Shadow (6 years old next month, adopted almost 3 years ago) and our aptly named Sonic (2.5 years, adopted 1 year ago) are both doing very well. Shadow has taken on the look of a maturing Lab. complete with distinguished grey hairs, and a preference of a long afternoon nap (although he's quick to bolt off the sofa if there's food in the offing or if our walking shoes make an appearance). Sonic is still a high energy pup with a big heart who can't wait to get out for his walks or play ball. Both dogs are happy, healthy and very much loved. Attached is a picture of the two boys taken at the end of the Alameda Creek Trail near our house this morning. As you can see they're quite happy; they were also quite disgusting at the time after wading through the nasty, muddy creek. I tried to get a better picture but black dogs in constant motion are hard to capture.
Thanks for all the wonderful work you do,
Kevin, Cole, Alan, Vanessa, Shadow & Sonic (plus the cats who boss the dogs around)
Things here are wonderful and the girls have just brought so much love and happiness to our lives – you have no idea.
“The Girls” come with us everywhere … on vacations, out to dinner, etc… Everyone always comments on how well-behaved and happy they are. It’s really a wonderful life that we have together. Since coming home with us last May, Lola has been on multiple vacations with us and her ‘sister’ Marley who is also a previous GGLRR dog. We’ve been down to Carmel a couple of times and rented a house on the beach with a fenced in yard up in Mendocino last summer and this summer as well. We took endless walks on the beach and just watched as both the girls discovered something new along the way and then chased each other along the water’s edge while splashing around. On a daily basis, they never cease to make us laugh and smile. Marley may be having a quiet moment relaxing in the back yard on the comfy lawn when Lola comes and surprises her with a puppy punch as if to say “come on, let’s play”. Marley may find Lola snoring on the couch while she shoves a toy in Lola’s face as if to say “I’ve got your toy, chase me!”. We’ve had a lot of friends and family visit this past year and everyone has just fallen in love with the girls. Our nieces had some very special moments with them while they visited us … one of which was negotiating who was going to sleep with which of the girls (super cute)! All of these are truly cherished memories that couldn’t be possible without your help!! Lola’s 10th birthday is coming up so that is our main focus right now … we’re trying to decide what to do to celebrate.
Anyways, it’s a wonderful life here with our two adopted girls and honestly, we couldn’t ask for a life filled with more love than the life we have with them.
Ron & Barb Jankowski
It's been just over a year since we rescued our beloved Duke. Our family fell madly in love with Duke when we met him. He was so gentle and eager to please that our 10 year old son immediately convinced us that he was the dog for our family, and he was right! Plus, we couldn't' resist his adorable overbite and big feet. We knew he would fit right in. He loves to play fetch with a ball or stick and enjoys a good game of tug-of-war. He sleeps on his bed in the house and waits so patiently for us to wake in order to feed him and let him out. He loves splashing in our fountain on a hot day, and his favorite thing to do is ride in the car. We have taken him to the dog park a several times and he plays well with his four legged friends. Duke is our second rescue from GGLRR and we are so grateful to all the volunteers and fosters who are so dedicated in finding good homes for our beloved Labs.
The O'Donnell Family
Todd, Megan, Emma, Kyle and Duke
Me and Jake are doing well. He's been part of my family for a little over a year and a half (January 15, 2012). After a few financial set- backs (new seat belts for the truck, new eye glass's, not to mention an unending supply of both designated and undesignated chew toys and a little issue with being a runner, we have made it over the hill. Jake is an active boy. He's with me 95% of the time. Don't want to imagine what it would be like if he was left to his own devices. We have recently discovered Bishop Ranch Wilderness Open Space, so 3 or 4 mornings a week we hike 2 or 3 miles off leash and have a great time. He makes my day! My room mate has a guide dog breeding canine so evenings and when I'm away Jake is entertained. I told you early on that I knew how to bond with canines and I would still say that. But I don't think I would imply that it is as easy to do as I did before. That being said Jake ( The dog with a smile on his face) is my best buddy. Thanks for helping Jake find his forever home.
Attached are a few photos of Oso. And just a quick update, Oso is just amazing. In the beginning he was frustrated (understandable considering all that he went through) and did take it out on getting into the trash (he’s smart, he learned how to open cabinets to get to the trash) but after he settled in, all of that stopped. Oso is of course your traditional lab and is all about food. In fact, we caught him taking a peach off of the tree (yes, off of the tree), plums and apples (needless to say we had to fence the fruit trees off from him – first dog we’ve had to do this with J ). He ended up having to take a little trip to the vet because of the peach pit but thankfully it passed! He has so much personality and is such a joy. He makes us laugh every day. Oh and funny, he likes to sing. If we have music on and sing he joins in. Funniest thing ever! Oso is truly Jerry’s best friend. Oso follows him around everywhere and Jerry absolutely loves it. He likes to cuddle on my feet and of course he’s all about belly rub (I had to attach a picture of how silly he is with his tummy rubs).
There is not one day that goes by where my husband, our 7 year old daughter and our 3 year old daughter, or I haven't said, out loud to Higgy, that we are the luckiest family on earth to have him in our lives. There is not one day that goes by where he isn't loved, kissed, and adored. There is not one day that goes by that he doesn't inspire a sense of wonder in us that he is as loving, devoted, and happy. He inspires us all to be the best person we can.
We have taken Higgy on our vacations to Lake Tahoe, to Santa Cruz, and to Marin. He has been able to swim in several heated swimming pools and we try to take him swimming regularly to strengthen his back legs. Our favorite moment this summer was taking him swimming in a pool and having him swim around our family as the kids were diving for coins. He wanted to play the game too and tried to dive to get his ball. He truly sees himself as one of the kids and wants to be right there with them.
This dog loves kids. I grew up with labs and we have had several labs before Higgy. His love and affection for kids goes beyond the regular loyal devotion labs are known for, he truly longs for the kids when they are away. After our vacation in Tahoe, he moaned when they returned to camps and school. Really, he moaned and whined when they left that morning. Higgy knows when it is time to pick up the kids and will come and get me in my home office to make sure I don't forget. Now that school is back in session, he walks with us to the bus stop and has become the neighborhood mascot. All the kids love him and he loves them. Our 3 yr old goes to a pre-school and his internal clock knows when she will be coming home. I can find him laying by the gate about 15 minutes before she gets home.
We don't know much about Higgy's previous life. He was in pretty rough physical shape when he was found. Thank you to Liz and the Foster Parents for nuturing him back to stable health. Although we don't know his history, one thing is very, very clear from the way he connects with kids, particularly young girls, he was deeply loved by a child in his previous life. That child helped shaped Higgy into the best family dog we have ever known. We are so very grateful to have in our lives. He is truly the greatest blessing.
We couldn't be happier with Diego. Diego just turned a year old and he is about 90 pounds. He is a big boy and our vet says he will keep growing for another year so he is probably going to be an even bigger boy. We spent the last 6 months in training and we will soon be moving towards having Diego on a harness a lot of the time and off leash. Around the house and in the neighborhood, Diego is usually off leash now. He takes directions very well. It is almost habit for him now to stop at the corner of the sidewalk before crossing the street. What a smart pup! We are very proud doggy parents. We get lots of compliments when we are out in public with Diego on how beautiful he is to how well behaved he is and just how terrific his character is. Diego loves to play with children and plays well with even the little kids with one of us right there showing him how to be gentle. Diego loves to play with dogs and he plays with a variety of dogs. Diego just learned how to tussle around with dogs (from a boxer in the neighborhood) and he loves it. Unfortunately, he wants to tussle with every dog he plays with including the very small dogs so he is now learning that he cannot play rough with all dogs. He is a lot of fun though and we absolutely adore him.
It is hard to believe how our lives were before Jessica and I were lucky enough to adopt Paige. My wife (Jessica) and I had long wanted a dog, but had been living in a rather small apartment and traveling a good amount for work. When we finally moved to Mill Valley, with a little more space, we knew it was time for a new family member.
Jessica had heard about the amazing work that GGLRR does from her work colleague, Nikki Freed, who volunteers with GGLRR and had adopted their puppy Cooper from GGLRR as well. While we hadn’t originally considered a rescue, after visiting the website and reading about the incredible work the organization does to find new homes for labs that need a second chance, and seeing the adorable photos, Jessica found Paige in short order. She quickly sent me an e-mail that “She’s the one”, and a couple days later we made the trip from Marin County down to Mountain View to meet Paige.
When we first knocked on the door Paige was SO excited, she jumped up like a kangaroo waiting to say hello. After spending time with Paige in her foster home and taking her for a walk at the local park she settled down, and I knew she was going to be joining our family. On the drive home, Jessica asked me on several occasions if she had to wait until we made it all the way home before calling Debbi to move forward with the adoption. Little did Jessica know that I was already head over heels about Paige and was even more anxious to move the process forward.
Jessica always methodical in her planning for every occasion hopped on-line and started making a list of must haves for Paige - collar, id tag, leash, bed (although we LOVE Paige she isn't allowed in our bed), water bowl, food bowl, treats, toys, hair brush, health insurance, and the list goes on. She may have gone a bit overboard as Paige’s trainer commented “wow, you have really invested in beds” after seeing the three different beds for different areas of the house. Little does he know that Jessica is plotting to get a new car so Paige has more room on our drives to the local dog park. Fast forward a few weeks and Paige started to settle into her new home and quickly became our new best friend and love! She is fantastic around children and when they try to cuddle her, chase her around the house or pull her tail she just gives them a big wet kiss. We are very lucky that she has already had so much training, but she still has a bit of work to do with her anxiety when we leave and occasionally when she is on leash and meets another dog. With that being said she is making progress every day! Also, she still jumps like a kangaroo outside the gate when her dog walker comes or we come back from work, but somehow she never jumps on us and it is such a quirky, lovable trait that we may never try to change it.
We were lucky enough to adopt Paige almost two months ago, and we have enjoyed every minute since she joined our family. Thank you so much for allowing us to adopt Paige and improving our lives in the process.
Jess & Jeff
I've been with Bob for a year now, and he's coming along quite well! I've been able to train him to do all sorts of things--like feed me when I want to eat, make sure I have plenty of water, let me out to the backyard when I need to poop or pee, rub my belly just the way I like, and take me out for long walks so I can sniff all sorts of things. He also plays fun games with me all the time and takes me often to the park, where I get to run around with my pals--chihuahuas, Great Danes and everything in between! Overall, life is very good :-) Of course, Bob isn't perfect: he still takes me to the vet occasionally and also bathes me at the local pet store (yuck!), but overall I can't complain--after all, he is only human!
It's hard to believe that we adopted Otis a year ago today. I still remember meeting him for the first time - after the excitement of greeting us was over, he hopped right up onto the couch between us and put his head in my lap. That was pretty much it for us.
Still, we asked a lot of questions and wanted to be sure he'd be the right fit. I don't think we could have found a better match! In addition to his wonderful temperament, he's a huge hunk of love - which was definitely on our list of criteria. He's also a crazy fast ball fetcher, expert hiker, dutiful running buddy, and fruit lover. He'll do almost anything for a turkey meatball, and even more if you throw a ball into the water so he can swim for it. But more importantly, he also loves a good snuggle which suits us just fine.
Each day he seems to get softer and sweeter and more wonderful as he's settled into our family. We are ever so grateful for his foster mom Evie and to Kathleen at GGLR who helped us make this wonderful connection. Here's to many sweet years ahead!
Mary, Brandon & Otis
I'm finding it hard to find the words to express how happy Greta makes everyone in our family. She is just such a joy!We all totally adore her. You couldn't find a more calm, gentle, loving dog. Everyone who comes into contact with her cant resist her personality. I live my life at a slower pace, everywhere we go people stop to pet her and want to hear about her. We took her camping and she loved it, slept between me and my Son, came back looking more like a black lab (combination of rolling in the dust and swimming in the lake).She loves her 3 mile walk in the morning and going to the doggy park. Every night she checks we are all in bed before sleeping in my Sons room and every morning she wakes us with a sloppy kiss.
I cant really say much about the separation anxiety as has been with some one all the time. She is happy to come in the car with me when I run errands, picks the kids up from school, comes to the coffee shop, watches over me while I work. I will start leaving her for 10 minutes at a time from next week just to get her used to the idea.
Thank you a million times over for all the hard work you do to find loving home for gorgeous dogs like Greta. We love her very, very much.
Donna , Rob, Joe and Evie
Since adopting Rocky last fall, we couldn't be happier with the new addition to our family. My husband was the instigator in making us a dog family. I thought that I'd never want a pet. I thought it would be too much work. I thought I would hate picking up after them. I thought that "dog people" were a special breed of people, and that I did not possess the gene. Now I tell everyone that Rocky was sent to our family to make me into a genuine dog person. After just a short while, I was completely in love with our new furry son. My heart could burst just looking at him. We couldn't have asked for a sweeter and more well-behaved dog. Rocky is a lover, and truly adores his people. A close second would be food, followed immediately by tennis balls. I can't begin to describe the joy he has brought to our home. Between walks, snuggles, endless games of fetch, and his inexplicable tendency to avoid chasing our chickens, we have truly found the perfect match. Attached are some photo submissions for the calendar. They were taken on trails here in Contra Costa County, as well as one we took at an outdoor cafe (he'll even sit for lunch!). We hope you'll like them as much as we do. We can't thank you enough for truly changing our lives.
Ginelle and Eric Rasch
Ike serendipitously came into our lives. It was just one of those meant-to-be kinda things. We were not actively looking for another dog, as we were still getting over the rather sudden passing of one of our two dogs this past fall from cancer. Time does heal from a loss for us humans, but our remaining dog was starting to show the signs of missing having a friend.
Ike's foster mom is a friend at work, and she told me about Ike when he came to stay with her. The more she talked about this gentle, sweet dog, the more I thought he might be right for us. We met him at an adoption fair, and all it took was one deep look into those soulful eyes to convince me he needed to become part of our family. Since then he hasn't stopped staring into our eyes (and crawling into our laps) to thank us for taking him home. He is truly happy to be part of the family. Having had so much time alone in his past, he honestly has a look on his face that says, "pinch me so I know I'm not dreaming that I can live here and be invited into the family room and up onto the coach and into your lap!" He's getting along great with our little dog, Bo, who is only a 14 pound Cavalier. Ike, who loves to play a mean game of tug of war, seems to know he outweighs Bo by 70+ pounds, and shifts into gentle mode when tugging with his new little brother. Ike is working, ahem, on walking politely on the leash and not bolting out the door. Oh and there is an occasional pass through the kitchen standing on his hind legs looking for goodies left out on the counter. But as he realizes that this is his new home for good, I think we can worry less about his escaping, and worry more about just how much of an 80 pound Lab can honestly fit in a person's lap. Thank you, Golden Gate Lab Rescue for bringing this wonderful guy into our lives.
Cherie, Tom, Zack and Zoe
Stanley came into our lives at the end of April of 2013. My husband and I were ready to add a dog to our family, and started looking into adopting. I met Stanley at the adoption fair in Walnut Creek in mid April. I instantly fell in love with him. I went looking for a 2-year old lab, but when I saw Stan lying in his pen, white-faced and looking up at me with those droopy eyes, I knew that he was our dog. I just knew. I called my husband to come down and meet him, and as soon as we took him out for a stroll around the pet store, there was no turning back. Stanley had won us over, 110%. We worked with GGLR for the next few weeks to make sure he was a good fit (which OF COURSE we knew he would be). I picked him up from the foster home April 29th, and he's been by my side ever since. He accompanies me to work every day, and my patients (I work as a physical therapist), love him too. They always greet him before me, and hug him throughout their treatments. My husband, who is one of the coaches for the St. Mary's Women's Volleyball team, brings him to work on days when I am out of town or in meetings. Stan is the unofficial mascot for the Gaels, and he follows the team into the locker room, comes to practice with them, and sits in the office for team meetings. They even take him for weekend sleepovers when Brent and I go out for a weekend alone.
When we got Stan, he was overweight, weak in the hind legs, and a little sluggish. Now, he's dropped about 10 pounds, and goes on 3-4 mile hikes no problem! We take him swimming in a local lake, and he loves to run in the water and bring us his favorite tennis ball or stick. He parades around the house and my office with his favorite rawhide bone, showing it off to all who will see. He has brought us so much joy, and we are so grateful for his companionship and love.
My husband and I often joke that we can never have another dog, since Stan has spoiled us. No dog will ever live up to him. Thank you GGLR for bringing us together, and we are forever grateful!
Brent, Marcy, and Stanley Crouch
I just wanted to give you a quick update on Howie.
He really is a wonderful dog, he has all the characteristics that a real lab should have and he makes a wonderful family dog, he has definitely found his forever home with our family.
I was amazed by just how quickly he adjusted to our home and became part of the family. As you predicted I am his "no.1 person" - he just loves to be my shadow; but he has a huge heart with enough room for everyone, and is happy to return any love and attention anyone gives him. We all adore him, he is such a sweet, gentle, loving boy. He is really well behaved, his only bad habit is he loves balls to bits (literally !) so we have to keep balls away from him to avoid them being destroyed. He loves walks, water, playing fetch (those he does need some encouragement to actually let go of a ball !) and just being with his people, he has also become very good friends with our cat Buddy and they regularly play together or just hang out.
He is a wonderful family dog, totally trustworthy with the kids, both Patrick and Niamh love to work with him on his commands and he will now respond very well to Patrick's commands and even pretty well to Niamh's. He knows his basic commands very well and we are gradually adding new ones to his repertoire (I teach him first and once he is responding well to me the kids are then allowed to practice the new command with him).
He really is a special dog and we feel very blessed to have him part of our family. I'm attaching a couple of pictures so you can see how well he has settled in and how happy he is,
Lucy is 2 years old today, and thanks to GGLRR she has pretty much a happy beginning, middle, AND ending story. Lucy was born in a Motel 6 but was quickly rescued by GGLRR along with her eight brothers and sisters. Injured in the litter and rejected by her mother, this "little girl" was nursed back to recovery by dedicated GGLRR volunteers and rejoined her littermates. None the worse for the wear at 8 weeks old, she was quickly adopted into her forever home (but with gorgeous and good natured golden-lab mix puppies like these, there was never any doubt they would all be scooped up quickly.)
Thanks to so much TLC early on, Lucy is quite a people-person. Lucy immediately took to the high-tech San Francisco start-up world where she comes to the office just about every day to help amuse and lower the blood pressure of co-workers. Lucy often enjoys starting or ending her day with an off-leash romp at Fort Funston, where she has made dozens of long-time friends of the dog but mostly human variety all on her own. After hearing so many comments like "what a beautiful dog," "what a sweet dog," "she's so soft," and "she should be a therapy dog" we decided to do something about it.
Lucy has become a real over-achiever. Earlier this year Lucy became a certified ASPCA Animal Assisted Therapy dog. She likes to visit nursing homes, senior centers, hospitals, and even stressed-out law students studying for exams. She smoothly passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen test on the first try, without even going through formal training. She also has her own Twitter @LucyDogPupdate where we recount her adventures.
Not sacrificing beauty for brains, Lucy is also a real head-turner! Never one to shy away from the camera lens, in her first week home she was spotted by a blogger and featured on the "Dogs of SF" website, and she is proud to appear as "Miss August" in this year's GGLRR calendar.
-- Laura, John, and Lucy (formerly known as Little Girl)
I saw Chloey on your site and read her story, I new right away that Chloey was the dog who was to be part of our family. After meeting her at the Foster home there was a bond right away. The Foster care person saw the bond and made the decision that I and Chloey were a good match. That turned out to be so true. I have had Chloey over a month now and the bond has grown stronger, she is a perfect match for me and my family. Everyday she grows more and more confident and her personality is blooming.........she is the sweetest dog and with an abundance of sweet and charming personality. We go to the beach together, the dog park and walk the many nature trails that are in the area here. I am so glad I saw her on their site and their choice to let Chloey be my forever dog.
I wanted to give everyone an update about Oreo.
I'm cc'ing Debbi, as we spoke extensively on the phone, and I received really good advice from you!
What can we say? He's a wonderful dog! He is the sweetest boy, and has seemed to fit right in with our family. Our girls adore him (thank you, Debbi, for suggesting that we get a more mature dog--for our girls' first).
We took him to the vet today. She said he is healthy, and wants us to maintain his current weight of 70 lbs. She checked his ears. The infection is no longer there, but he did manage to scratch himself in his right ear, so we will keep it clean and continue to apply the ointment. She did note that his right canine was missing (we hadn't noticed) but it had healed just fine. Does anyone know how that happened?
He is now on heart worm and flea medication, his microchip was scanned, and the vet is awaiting Oreo's papers to update their information. We will continue to monitor his weight and keep him healthy and active.
The vet was amazed at how well he behaved!!! Kudos to Beth for working with him so diligently! We, Ash and I, were surprised at how at ease he was at the vet's. The only time he showed some anxiety was when he stepped on the scale. Otherwise, he was his usual Oreo self--curious and curious...:)
We continue to walk him twice a day, in addition to practicing commands, and playing ball. The transition into our home was seamless for Oreo, and we think it's because Beth prepared us well, in addition to giving us some food and supplies to make things go more smoothly.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to adopt such a loving dog.
Kala & Ash Patel
I just wanted to let you know that we are having a great time with Charlie (Cafecito has been renamed). He has been a great addition to our family. He loves to play with Riley, our 6 year old yellow lab. Attached is a picture of the boys playing at the beach. Such happy dogs.
Thanks so much for helping us to adopt Charlie.
Haley is doing great. We have worked with a trainer and she is super responsive to voice commands. She loves running and we are teaching her to play fetch with a ball, next up swimming! And we can't wait to take her to her first snow this winter!
She still is food obsessed and likes to get into trouble (she is mad for our chickens), but we are working on that. Overall, she is a total sweetie and a great addition to our family!
Dear Liz and GGLRR, July 3, 2012 was a special day because that was when Ernie joined our family. We named him Ernest (Ernie for short) because that is his true personality. It took a while to find him and after a few inquiries about other dogs, we were finally invited to meet him at the K9 Country Club in Petaluma. When we first saw him in person, we weren’t expecting him to look so muscular and tough. Maybe that was why he was named Pacino in his former life and had not been adopted for about 6-7 months. But once we got to engage with him, we saw he was such a lovey boy! He was friendly, excited, and affectionate and in fact, knocked me over a bit with wet kisses. He was comfortable with my young daughters and sociable with all the other dogs there. When Liz said this was going to work, we were so happy and now after a year, we’re so thankful that Ernie wasn’t adopted before and grateful for the care that GGLRR provided him all those months, including the very thoughtful and practical matching process. We’re especially thankful that before he came home with us, he was fostered by Beth Peterson, who trained and prepared him for living in a family home. Liz and Beth helped us get additional dog training, which was such a valuable learning experience for us and Ernie. Thank you, Beth, for teaching us. We worked with other trainers in the past, but no one understood and explained dog psychology like you and with such positive results. He already had a friendly demeanor but with your guidance, he developed into a real confident, cooperative, good boy. Our family and friends marvel at how well he gets along with our many dog friends, how sweet and gentle he is with people young and old, and how fit and solid he is. He looks so cute playing and hanging out with his neighborhood buddies, most of whom are labs of every color. We’ve also learned that he snores loudly, sleeps on his back with his legs up, sounds like a horse when he runs, and thinks he’s a lap dog – 78.5 lbs. of a lap dog! Needless to say, he’s brought us much joy and we’re happy he’s part of our family.
Ernie’s Forever Family
From the first day we brought Maddie and Molly home it felt as though they were always a part of our lives. We had family over that afternoon and they could not believe how comfortable and relaxed they both were. When my brother, his wife, and my nephew walked in that afternoon Maddie and Molly greeted them at the door tails wagging and after a few sniffs and licks they joined the family in the living room and settled back down on their beds. They were in heaven when my nephew gave them each a Bully stick. They are getting to know all the neighborhood dogs and even the wildlife. The other day we had some wild turkeys that came to say "Hello" in the front yard - well - Maddie and Molly decided they wanted to get better acquainted and when my husband's cousin came over they made a beeline past him through the front door and ran up the hill to make some new friends. Our hearts stopped and within minutes they were back at the front door! They are doing very well in obedience class - we are so proud of them! They have definitely found their forever home in our house and in our hearts!!!
Jim & Kathy
Drake is simply the best dog we could have ever hoped for! He is a perfect fit for our family. He is so gentle with our girls, is learning how to fetch, and definitely has made himself comfortable on the couch! We are looking forward to many happy years with Drake in our family.
Thanks for this great opportunity!
While she has an independent streak in her likely from her days as a stray, Luna has settled in very nicely with us. She has maintained her happy and playful disposition from the day we met her and she picked us. Luna loves to visit the dog park and off leash she is playful and agile. Debbie B did a great job during and after the adoption, and we are Luna's forever family.
Thank you GGLRR!
It is hard to believe that two months have passed since Lucky came to live with me. I am so happy to have him.
He has adjusted really well and enjoys hanging out in the backyard after our walks. We have been exploring all the trails around our home and I am pretty sure he has sniffed every inch! My friends also love him and he loves all the attention.
Thank you again for Lucky and have a wonderful summer.
Through a friend, I was introduced to the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue and specifically, to an 8 year old female chocolate lab. I began the adoption process and now am a happy new "mother'. We are constant companions, bonding easily and quickly. I have no doubt that she and I are absolutely right for each other and I know I will love her the rest of her life..and beyond.
We picked up our chocolate lab on Feb 14th. My wife refers to him as her 70lbs of chocolate she received on Valentines day. His name was Casino and we changed it to Frisco, he didn't seem to know his name anyway. He's 7 years old, looks like he's 10 and acts like a 2 year old puppy. We also have an 8 year old female yellow lab. After 3 months they have finally begun to play and bond. I'm retired and spend most of the day with the dogs. Frisco puts a smile on our faces and we laugh out loud daily. He likes to take personal items of ours to his bed, such as shoes, socks, shirts, coats, lunch bag etc when he is left alone. He doesn't damage them. He likes to sit at our kitchen table. He will sit there for 10-15 minutes at a time. If you leave your chair he will sit in it like he belongs there. He once fell asleep and fell off the chair. Frisco is constantly by our side with what looks like a smile on his face. My wife has always said that a rescued dog appreciates a 2nd chance. We have had many dogs over the years and Frisco is one of the happiest. When we adopted Frisco we knew he had serious skin allergies. He's on a special diet. He's still on steroids, 1 per day. He's not itching to the point of hot spots but still quite a bit and constantly when we try to stop steroids completely. Thanks again for your hard work and dedication to helping Labs. It is greatly appreciated!
Buck and John Caine
Rudy is a very happy dog and has adjusted to our routine extremely well.
Nancy is taking him to an obedience class to socialize Rudy with other dogs and to have Rudy get used to his Halti. Most of the time Rudy will walk with a slack leash.
He has gotten to know most of our neighbors and their dogs. Looks forward to his 2-3 walks per day. Currently he weighs 85 lbs and now has a waist. Our grandson says he looks like he is wearing a fur coat that is too big for him. (There is some loose skin left over from his heavier days.)
He is a wonderful companion for us.
Thank you for rescuing him!
Vern & Nancy Tucker
Buster, aka Rigby (his new name!) is doing wonderfully! He has blossomed into the social butterfly of the neighborhood, and has several local dog friends that he loves to see on our greenway. We go either hiking or to the dog park with him every weekend, and he is such a joy. We really can't even remember what life was like without him! He is our constant companion, and is just unfolding into a happy, loyal best friend. Every week we see new milestones, and it's such a remarkable journey.
He has also made tremendous progress with his nervousness. He only shakes in more extreme settings now, such as a vet visit (we got his teeth cleaned). We've been working with him on the leash obedience, and he now minds well even on a flat collar, and is well behaved off-leash at the dog park. He and our cat coexist without issue, which is wonderful. He learns a couple new tricks a week - he is so smart, it's unreal! I feel like we just lucked into a dog who is a perfect fit for our family.
I've attached a couple of pictures from a recent hiking trip. We couldn't be more thrilled with our adoption - thank you so much for letting us take this sweet guy home!
Whitney and Phil
Bo is awesome!! He has almost graduated from puppy training. He is a fab hiker and gets in 3-5 miles per day. We are so lucky to have found him.
Thanks for checking in Michelle and fam.
We love Casino! He makes us laugh. He likes to sit in chairs. I've enclosed a few photos. He drags blankets, towels, and clothing into his bed. He has not bonded with our other dog as we had hoped they would. He is a good boy, very affectionate. We are hoping to manage his allergies without steroids. We have him on a prescription food (Hill's ZD) and we bathe him often with a medicated shampoo. Our main concern is his bladder control. Sometimes he wets his bed. We put a towel on the couch because he has leaked there also. He is not urinating on purpose. We take him out frequently and tell him to go potty. It seems that he holds it. Since we do not have grass or bushes in front, just cement and brick, we take him for a short walk around midnight, just before bed. This seems to help. Thanks for all you do for GGLRR!!
John, Kathy (aka Buck), Cali, Casino, and Mighty Joe (the cat)
We lost our Max last year. It was a difficult time and we missed having a really big dog in the house. Since I couldn’t save my Max, perhaps I could save others. So with the support of my husband, I started fostering for GGLRR. I knew I could care for them just like they were my own, but could I handle the emotion of letting them go after I bonded with them? A resounding YES!
First there was Finney, the 7-year old black beauty who would lean and melt like butter every time you petted her. Coffee, the big gruffly 10-year old chocolate that bunny hopped and had a thunderous snore. Abby, the sweet and mischievous black 7-year old who looked at you with those innocent eyes and then counter surfed. Dugan, the 18-month old gorgeous chocolate lab who caught a cough (and my heart) and then got pneumonia, but I nursed him back to good health. I helped to save just a few. Each one found a wonderful family. Each one filled my heart with joy. There’s no greater reward.
We all want to find that “perfect” dog. I think we would have travelled across the country to find the perfect dog for us. But is perfect really possible? What is perfect?
Perfect is when you see the dog the very first time and just instantly know he’s the one. Perfect is when you just can’t stop smiling every time you see him. Perfect is when playing ball with him brings you joy. Perfect is knowing that you saved him. Perfect is knowing that he saved you.
Yes, I found my perfect dog with GGLRR. Meet Dugan, my 18-month old chocolate lab.
Jennie & Baren
I just wanted to give you an update on Guinness. As you may not remember we rescued him in May of 2011 shortly after we lost our 12 yo girl Shamrock. May 7th we will have had him for 2 years...here is his update!
This is the sweetest most handsome soulful boy I've ever met!
Each day my boys and I are greeted with little nibbles...his signature display of affection. What can I say we are all completely smitten with him. For the first 4 months or so he woke up like clock work at 4:05am. It was impossible to get angry with him because he was so happy and excited to start the day. I ended up feeding him at this hour - probably reinforcing the behavior. Nonetheless, I eventually decided to crate him because he was getting in to the garbage if allowed free reign of the house at night. We continued with the crate at night for several months but eventually I needed him in bed with me!!! He ended up transitioning well to this and he now shares the nights between my boys room in the early part of the evening (happily leashed to the bunkbed) and our room in the later part of the night were we are sure to keep our door closed.
I am happy to report that Guinness has finally become "our" dog this past summer. We have a creek behind our house with a gate thru the back fence for easy access. I am pleased to report that I can take him out to the back creek and he actually comes back. For the first month or so Guinness did get a good run like I could tell he needed - of course I took him out jogging everyday but I could tell by his athletic build he needed much more. I summoned up the courage to get on my bike with him next to me...I discovered I was able to be "safe" on the bike as long as I kept him behind the front tire. And wow you should see him RUN - amazing. He is such a good looking animal. So for many months we did this in the mornings and evenings. This was a tough year having to exercise him on leash but i did it happily and eventually outlasted him and he is now finally coming back when taken off the leash. This allows us both the freedom to let him explore off leash and has been wonderful. You should see him run up and down the creek beds and thru the water. Often times all I can see is his happy brown wagging tail...love that dog. I hope that you are all doing well. I cannot thank you enough for bringing this amazing creature into our lives. Saying that we adore him is the biggest understatement ever!
You are all making the world a better place and I for one very much appreciate you.
Regan, Terry, Trey, Dane & Guinness (and Callie his white lab girlfriend)
All is going perfectly well here. We adopted Annie, a senior chocolate, 2 months ago and she's settled in beautifully with us and our other 2 labs.
It took us a little while to find Claire but it was worth the wait! She is so sweet and likes to follow us around the house. Our two year old daughter calls Claire her best friend, and it has only been a month since we adopted her. Claire has made friends with the labs on our block and one of them likes to give her a toy when we walk by his house. Here are a couple of pictures of Claire falling asleep with a toy in her mouth and lounging outside with our daughter. She has been a wonderful addition to our family and grateful for everyone at GGLR for helping us find her.
We successfully adopted a beautiful yellow lab from GGLRR about 2 1/2 years ago. He was not MY first lab but the first for our family and was perfect. Below you see a picture of Jerry in Tahoe on the beach with our 3 children. The two years we had him were perfect but, unfortunately, he died of bone cancer last fall. The trouble with love is that it hurts when they are gone! Some time has passed and we are ready, again, to find a new lab. Our ideal age is 3-4, we have an active lifestyle and he/she will come with us to baseball, soccer, weekends away, etc. I will go ahead and fill in a pre-adoption form but also please just keep us in mind as you run across new dogs.
Annie is doing great and is, as you know, just a giant cuddle bug. I can't see how any family would give her up, she's such a good and pretty easy dog! She has some mild anxiety (likely from being in a new home) which we're treating with Reconcile and consistent training. And of course she has the normal elderly issues like poor liver function, etc., but she's down to 69 pounds (from her original 84) and surely that feels better for her. I give her 8 pills a day to keep her healthy and comfortable, but she takes them all easily in her food and tolerates them well. Annie is a normal almost-12-year-old, very happy, sweet dog!! She loves to snuggle on the floor, and she's best buddies with my puppy, JoJo ... where one goes, the other follows. They are "thick as thieves," as my husband says, and love to walk together and nap all day long together.
Hello you two! I thought I would send an update on Hank, who has now been with us 1 1/2 years. As I've related before, he is the best! He's warm, loveable, loving with family and friends and makes everyone who comes to our home feel special.
When we picked up Hank in Monterey, we knew he had some fatty tumors and that was perfectly okay with us. As time has progressed, he has developed arthritis which sometimes limits his walks, but he can always manage to jump around, being excited to know he is going for his neighborhood stroll.
Along with the fatty tumors, he has now developed hard tumors; cancer. His disposition has not changed a bit, although, he does have his "down" days and it pains us to see the saddened look on his face, because we know he would rather be playing in the yard or inside. Fortunately, these times are not yet the norm.
We are so grateful to have him with us. He gives us so much love and licks and he still does his best to get up on our bed come nighty-nite time!
Anyway, I thought you would like to know what's happening here. We are hopeful he will still have a long time with us. As with all of us, we take life a day at a time, happy to be with each other.
We have meaning to checking with you for a while, so I am so glad that you contacted us. Molly is fantastic! And we both love her dearly. As when she first came home, Molly's tail is always wagging -- so much so that her tail muscle is huge! She is a super affectionate girl who loves to be the center of attention. Good thing we can indulge that! Since I work from home, she spends most mornings laying beside my desk while I work. In the afternoon, she likes to bask in the sun in living room. She goes for a walk or a hike almost every afternoon, but Molly's passion is fetching balls in the surf. Her favorite beaches are Albany Bulb and Point Isabel, but she gets the occasional trip to Dhillon Beach, Chrissy Field and Big River Beach in Mendocino.The attached picture was taken on Dhillon Beach.
Our Bella is the sweetest little black lab. We couldn't have hand picked better. She has blended with our family so well. She was a little rough at first with the dog we already had, but her and Buster have become best of friends. She's decided she's his protector, and she follows him where ever he goes. Here are a couple pics of her first Snow Day that we took this weekend. She is a great traveller and likes to go everywhere.
I thought I'd check in with you and give you an update. Max is doing really good. I have been working with him every day and he is getting lots of exercise in the form of hikes and dog park trips. He goes for walks on a leash and is easy going. He likes to play fetch and gives the ball right back to you. He is good with other dogs at the park and has become a very well liked dog to have around. Everyone smiles when they see him come around due in part to his excellent behavior and his easy going manner. He sure has a lot of energy but redirects very quickly. We sure are glad we adopted him and he became a member of our family.
Hard to get a good shot of three constantly moving targets! But we all love Daisy and she is the perfect dog got our family!
I can’t believe it’s been 2 years this January since we brought Bob home. He is doing great. He fits in perfectly with our family and I couldn’t imagine life without him. I am attaching a picture from our walk yesterday. We climbed on a playset at the park and my hubby snapped a pic.
Kind of sums it up. We are very happy.
Thanks again for bringing us together!
And Morgan and Benny and Bob.
We adopted George in Feb. 2009 and Yes the adoption is successful!
George makes sure that my husband and I get our daily walks, me AM and my husband PM.
George is the class clown and he goes to "Doggie Day care" for 1/2 day on Fridays and everyone knows his name. George did not have the best doggie social skills when we first got him so taking him to "Doggie Day care" once a week at the Los Gatos Dog and Cat hospital has been a real benefit.
MY teenagers just adore George and he is family.
Thank you for all your time and effort on helping find homes for all these dogs. George is sure a treasure.
Nicole and I adopted "Big Foot" from GGLR/you in Petaluma 2 years ago this coming March. Thought I'd send this pic to you and say Happy New Years from Cooper in N Las Vegas on an early morning trail run.
I hope you, and your golf game, are doing well.
I can't believe we have had Sadie going on three years (this Mother's Day - 2013) and how we have been so blessed to have her in our lives. Except for airplanes, she goes everywhere with us. She loves the ranch, loves the motorhome, loves jeep rides, her daily walks (she snores), I love how she reminds me if I am late for a treat or I am not on time with her cuddling or belly rubs. She has enriched our lives immensley. Looking back over all the critters (from horses to dogs) we have had over the years it seem like rescue animals are the most appreciative. I am not sure if this is a figment of my imagination, but it seems that way. Sadie still has trouble sometimes making it outdoors to do her business, but even when she can't we always look at each other and recognize she tries.
Once again, with words and a small donation we want to thank you for your work and all you do to bring safe and loving homes to these little guys and gals that give back times over the purest form of unconditional love.
Thanks for checking in. Our two GGLRR Labs (Shadow and Sonic) are doing well. We adopted Shadow (5 years old) two years ago and he's so much part of the family that we couldn't imagine life without him. He's a wonderfully sweet, mellow Lab. (with a slightly mischievous side). Sonic (almost 2 years old) came to us at the end of August. He's a very strong, loving, active, young Lab. who needs lots and lots of exercise. Luckily for us all he gets lots and lots of exercise and so is a happy, mellow boy at home. He's still a work in progress and we're still learning new things about him (like he probably had never been exposed to those blow-up holiday lawn ornaments - the first few times he passed our neighbor's waving Santa he almost lost his life. We also found out that he's not the best patient at the vet's office) but he is a wonderful addition to our family and overall a very good boy especially considering his age. Kathleen has been wonderful during and after we adopted Sonic. She's emailed me great suggestion for training Sonic and passed along a few good training articles.
Attached is a picture of our boys (Sonic in the foreground and Shadow behind, waiting for my husband to throw the ball for them. Yes that's slobber all over both dogs muzzles).
Have a very happy New Year, and thank you so much for helping us find such wonderful dogs,
Kevin, Cole, Alan & Vanessa McDonnell.