Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota: RAGOM is a 501(c)(3) organization, rescuing Golden Retrievers and re-homing them through adoption since 1985. Serving Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Adopted Dogs

I've been Adopted!

Basil 11-306
(Fostered in Lakeville, MN)

Sponsored by:

Dave, Sharon, Lisa, and Maddie Lunde
"In memory of our sweet golden girl Sophie"


Best wishes to Basil! From Megan and Bailey

Please welcome sweet little Basil to RAGOM! A huge thank you to Rona and Kathy for bringing her to MN! Basil is a 4 year old (b. 5/5/07) female Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel mix - she looks like a small Golden with long Cocker ears. She's just a tiny little girl - she probably only weighs 35-40 lbs - and is a light gold color with a white stripe on her head and some white on her muzzle. Basil and her kennel mates Sahara and India were rescued by a good samaritan in South Dakota from a breeder that was going out of business. Thankfully, her days as a momma are over as she was spayed recently, as well as microchipped and brought up to date on her vaccinations.

Basil was a very scared little girl when she first came to our house and would creep around on her belly. She is settling in slowly, but she is still pretty shy. She likes her crate and has a couple other safe spots around the house. She is getting more and more brave and will come out now and then and follow me around. I've even seen her wag her tail a few times now! In the picture below, you can see in her eyes that she isn't sure yet if she's safe, so I look forward to the moment that we can instead see the joy in her eyes, the look that says she knows she's safe forever and is happy in her skin (or fur!).

Basil likes to go on walks and will walk very nicely right by my side. She also likes to lounge around and relax - that's my kind of girl! She hasn't picked up any toys yet or played at all with my dogs, but hopefully she will as she gets more comfortable. I think Basil will do well in a pretty quiet home - one with no children and not a lot of activity. She would probably like to have another dog in the home, but one that is fairly mellow and low key - a dog that will teach her and help her to gain confidence but will also give her her space when she needs it. Typically, dogs that are shy or fearful do better in homes with physical fences because of their tendency to bolt when something scares them. Basil seems to register more on the "freeze" side of the Flight or Freeze scale so far, but a fenced yard would probably be a good thing for her, just to be on the safe side. She will need a family that is patient and committed to helping her feel safe and loved. Let us know if you think you could be that person for Basil!

I will write more as I get to know this girl better and I hope to have some smiling pictures of her soon!


Basil made huge strides this past week!  And when I say huge, I mean HUGE!  She is coming out of her crate or from under the bed more readily now and follows us around (well, she follows me around - she's still not too sure about my husband!).  Her tail is wagging more and more and she is even SMILING from time to time!  Still not the full-blown twinkle eyes smile, but we'll take what we can get!  She's eating better (and gets pretty excited to eat!) and was actually brave enough to get on her tiptoes to smell what was on the counter once - I can't believe I'm proud of her for being a little naughty!  (I didn't let her know that of course, just told her to get down and she listened.)  And - get this! - she has even picked up resident dog Bella's pink Little Princess Nylabone and chewed on it a couple times!

And the biggest surprise of all - we had company over a few nights ago and I was a bit nervous that poor Basil would hide upstairs all night and maybe regress a little, but no, she stayed down with all of us!  I left her plenty of opportunities to escape, but she chose to stay!  Good girl Basie!  She was still a bit shy of course and we instructed our guests to give her some space first and then approach slowly, but by the end of the night she was cautiously letting everyone pet her! 

Basil is such a sweet girl that would love a quiet home with a family that is devoted to helping her grow and learn that she will always be safe and loved for the rest of her life!  Let your placement advisor know if you think you are that person!

Here are a few new pictures of Basil:

Cracking a smile!


Do you think Bella will notice that I stole her nylabone?

Look at how cute my ears are when I run - they flop out just like Dumbo's!


Basil made some more progress this week:

Last Saturday, we went out into the backyard and she actually rolled onto her back so I could scratch her belly!  That's a BIG first!  Yay Basil!

Then on Monday, we went to the vet.  Basil was all up to date on her shots when she came in, so I didn't have to venture out with her right away, which was good.  She was due for a booster (or so I thought, but it turned out she didn't need it) and a round of heartworm and flea/tick preventative so I brought her in.  When I first picked up Basil, we had a really hard time getting her to go in the car.  I think we spent a good 20 minutes trying to coax her into the backseat, and even then, we could only get her into the floor in the back.  So I was a little nervous that going to the vet was going to be traumatic for her, but she jumped right in the back and up on to the seat!  She weighed a whole 40 lbs and since she didn't end up needing the booster, it was pretty low-key for her and all we ended up doing was applying a little Frontline and eating a Heartgard treat.  She did spend most of the time hiding under the bench in the exam room though, but I can't blame her for being a little nervous at a new place meeting new people.

Today, we went back to the vet, but this time it was for foster brother Riley 11-358.  I thought I'd bring Basil along since she did so well the other day.   Interestingly enough, she did better today and I think it was because she had another dog there with her showing her the ropes!  She didn't hide under the bench quite as much and was barely nervous at all!  Because of this, I definitely think Basil needs to go to a home with another well-adjusted dog.  While she doesn't necessarily play or interact with the other dogs a whole lot (although hopefully she will someday!), she does watch them to see how they react and what they're doing and they boost her confidence level.

Basil also got a pretty new collar this week!  You can see in the earlier pictures, she's wearing a big bulky blue collar that hung so low because it was too big.   Now we got her a pretty pink collar that is much more flattering to her little feminine figure!  (And it fits her a lot better.)  She's really quite adorable in it.  Oh who are we kidding, she's adorable no matter what collar she's wearing!

Basil is a very cute little girl and her pictures really don't do her justice.  And she is such a sweetie that is just looking for a wonderful home that will love her forever and be patient with her as she learns to love and trust you.  While she might take a little more time than the "typical" dog to adjust to you and your home, the reward of watching her blossom into a well adjusted dog will be so worth it.  She's been here for almost a month now and the progress she's made in that time is amazing, so I can only imagine the progress she will make in her forever home.  I am quite confident that she will make some lucky family very happy when they find her - she is just a joy to foster.

Here are a couple new pictures of Basil:

Smiling with twinkle eyes!

Napping by the fireplace

Please let your placement advisor know if you are interested in meeting Basil!


Basil continues to do well in foster care. She's just as cute as a button when she gets excited about something! She does this little happy dance and makes these grunting noises and she flops her ears out - so adorable! She gets most excited about food and about seeing me. Problem is, she likes me so much, she doesn't want me to leave and she's starting to display some anxiety when we leave so we are working on desensitizing her to this.

She's also discovered the joys of nylabones and Kongs with peanut butter in them! I still can't get her to play with any balls or stuffed toys yet though - she just looks at them and at me like "What do you want me to do with that mom?" Oh well, she'll learn in time. She does like her walks though and will roll around in a spot that she thinks smells perfumey. She saw a rabbit the other day and was very curious about that - I'm sure she'd have chased it down if I had let her! She's still wary of people we meet on walks though, particularly men, but I think she's improving.

She continues to make a little bit of progress each day. I've been trying to get her to jump up on the couch and sit next to me and I can tell she wants to, but is afraid. The other day, I was trying to entice her up and foster brother Riley 11-358 jumped up so she jumped up right next to him! I think she surprised herself even because she jumped back down almost immediately. But hey - that was progress!

Basil got a bath the other day and she's so soft and smells so pretty now! She let me clip her nails too. She's still a bit afraid to let me brush her though.

Basil's ideal home would look like this:

  • Another well adjusted dog to help show her the ropes and build her confidence.
  • No small or rambunctious kids - Basil needs a fairly quiet, low key home.
  • A fenced yard to keep her safe since she gets spooked sometimes and bolts to escape the "threat".
  • Someone who isn't gone for long periods of time.
  • Someone who is very patient with her and understands that it will take time for her to learn to trust you and get comfortable with you.

Let us know if you think you fit that bill! Basil is waiting to meet you!


Basil will be at the Petco in Apple Valley on Sunday 12/18 from 1:30 - 3:00 pm. Come meet this sweet girl - I bet you'll fall in love!


I apologize it's been so long since we've updated Basil's page! I guess I am just enjoying life with this sweet little girl so much I forget to take a break and share about her!

Our sweet Basil is doing well. She is definitely more confident when around other dogs. I've been taking her to work with me some and I can tell she's much more shy there where there aren't any other dogs than when she's at home. I took her to a volunteer meeting a while back and was afraid that she would be too nervous with all that was going on but she did really well, I think because there were other dogs there. She is gaining more confidence every day and blossoming into the girl she deserves to be. She still has a ways to go, and she will probably never be as confident as a lot of other dogs, but even in the 6 short months she's been here, she's made so much progress already. She will come up onto the bed and snuggle with me a little bit and will sometimes come up on the couch with me. At Christmas time, she picked up some of the Christmas toys and destuffed a couple. She loves to chew on the nylabones and even squeaked a tennis ball the other day (albeit a very brief two squeaks and then she dropped it)! And she LOVES to roll around outside in the grass or snow! She is a champion snow angel (or grass angel since there's hardly been any snow this winter)! It is so fun to see her gallop around the backyard with the other dogs and wag her tail like mad! She still doesn't play with the other dogs but she likes to be around them. These things definitely reaffirm my belief that she needs to go to a home with another dog and with a fenced yard.

Basil went through a period where she was showing a lot of anxiety when we would leave. We had initially been crating her in a plastic crate because at first, she would go right in there and stay there. It was her safe spot. But then she started spending the whole time chewing on it until her gums bled and drooling so much she would be soaking wet. So we tried leaving her loose in the bedroom with the other dogs and she scratched doors and woodwork, chewed a hole in the sheets and mattress, and destroyed pencils, remotes, paper, clothes, blankets, you name it. So we tried a wire crate, hoping she would do better if she could see out of it better than in the plastic crate, but she bent and snapped the wires and escaped and went on a rampage tearing things up again. It was to the point I was afraid to leave her alone. Then one day, we had to leave her alone for a couple hours and since she'd destroyed the wire crate, I thought I'd try crating her with foster brother Pringles 11-401. They get along fine and Pringles is a gentle soul, so I hoped they would be fine in there together, but I feared the worst. I was afraid I'd come home and find that one of them had killed the other. To my pleasant surprise, we came home and there was absolutely ZERO evidence that Basil had done any chewing, drooling, or any signs that she'd been anxious or in distress! I was cautiously optimistic, so I tried it again a few more times, each time increasing the length of time just a little, and each time there has been no sign of chewing or distress! She will even go into the crate willingly now! Now that that has gone well, I've started trying crating her with a different dog to see if she just needs the company of another dog or if it has to be Pringles. The first time I crated her with our dog Bella in the medium sized crate and when I came home, I could tell that Basil had been drooling and stressed out. So the next time, I put the two of them into the crate she normally shares with Pringles, and everything went fine. I will continue to test this theory, but I think Basil just needs to be crated with another dog, and then she's fine. This means she'll need a home with a well-adjusted gentle dog that likes to be crated and will share his/her space with another dog.

Basil is absolutely ADORABLE when she gets excited! It just tickles me to see her so happy when she does her happy dance like she's tap-dancing and grunting or when she runs around outside galloping! She is the cutest little thing (she's only 38 lbs!) and we are falling in love with her (it's not hard!) so she really should find her forever home sooner, rather than later! She's getting attached to me (she follows me everywhere like a shadow - so much so that I trip over her sometimes!) and I want her to get attached to YOU! Yes, Basil has some issues and baggage (she's still pretty shy around strangers, particularly men), but so do I and my husband married me! I promise that whoever adopts Basil will forget all about her baggage when they see all the love she will give you once she starts to trust you! Please contact your placement advisor or email if you have another well-adjusted crate-able dog, a fenced yard, and no small children, and would like to meet sweet Basil!

Here are a few pictures of our little girl:

A rare moment of Basil lounging on the couch

Testing out her new bed (before Pringles destuffed it!)

Keeping me company while I take a bath!


Here's a neat story for you about Basil's progress: 

Yesterday, in the beautiful 60-degrees-in-March weather, I took the dogs for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and ran into a neighbor that I happened to run into on a previous walk right after Basil came to my home. In the first walk, this neighbor commented how scared Basil was and how she creeped along the ground like everything in life was scary to her, and how sad that was. This time, she said she was amazed with the progress Basil has made and how different and how HAPPY she looked! She said it was so adorable how Basil was walking tall and proud, wagging her tail, happy to be out enjoying the warm weather with her foster mom and foster brother and sister!

Now if that doesn't just make you grin from ear to ear, I don't know what will! What a proud foster mom I was (and am)!


Basil will be at Chuck and Don's Highland Park celebrating St. Patrick's Day from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm! She would love to be celebrating finding her forever home with you too! Come meet sweet Basie!


Basil continues to be a joy to foster. She gets the zoomies when we get home because she's so happy to see us! It is incredibly rewarding to see that, compared to the shy little girl she was when she came here 6 months ago! She is now a happy girl that loves her walks and is just waiting to meet you!

Basil really is a very easy dog to have around. She just has a few needs (fenced yard, no kids, and another dog that she can be crated with), but if you can meet those, she will be a wonderful addition to your family!

Here are a few new cute pictures of Basil:

Living the good life!

Snuggling with foster brother Pringles 11-401!

Huh? What's that you say?
I'm a good girl and you want to give me a treat?

Snoozing with the new puppy!


Basil showed a little of the spaniel in her this week. We were out for a walk and there was a squirrel ahead of us on the path. She perked up and wanted to get a closer look. But interestingly enough, as we "chased" it (on leash, of course), rather than watching it's movements and following it, her nose went to the ground like a scent dog and she followed it's scent like a tracking dog! It reminded me of a cartoon where the dog is walking with it's nose attached to the ground bobbing up and down with each sniff. It was really quite cute!

Another new thing Basil did this week - and this one really warmed my heart. Basil has her "safe spots" around the house that she goes to and hangs out in those spots a lot. She comes out to be with me more and more, but she still often doubles back to her safe spot to check in from time to time. She probably always will to some degree. Well, one day this week, she was hanging out in one of her safe spots (under the desk by my feet) and I crawled over to snuggle with our resident dog Bella on her dog bed. I was laying on the floor kind of curled up and after a few minutes, Basil came over and tucked herself into my arms so she was snuggled up next to me like a teddy bear! What a sweet girl!

Basil has also started picking up toys recently! She plays with them a little or carries them around in her mouth and then shreds them to pieces. And then lays down next to her "kill" and takes a nap!

I really can't believe that I don't have people knocking on my door to adopt her! I know she's not perfect and she has a few special requirements, but she is such a sweet little cutie with a great personality! She really would fit in well in a quiet household, maybe a retired couple who likes to go for walks and then come in and relax, another middle aged or senior dog to hang out with, a few bones to chew on, a fenced yard to run around and roll in the grass... She deserves to have a good life from here on out and I promised her I would find it for her! Please contact your placement advisor if you think you might be her soulmate!

In the meantime, here's a cute picture I took of her recently, riding in the car in the backseat. What a pretty smile!


Sweet Basil is celebrating her GOLDEN birthday today! She turned 5 years old on 5/5!

Before anything else, Basil would like to give a HUGE shout out to her buddies Riley (former foster brother Riley 11-358) and Teddy and major thanks to them for the Spring Fling carrot! She feels so special and can't wait for a play date in their private dog park! Happy spring to you two (and your mom and dad) also!

Basil has had a good month - she continues to come out of her shell and grow more and more each day. Here are some examples:

She now plays with toys on a regular basis! This is a milestone! For the longest time, she would only pick up a bone but would look at other toys like "what on earth are those and what am I supposed to do with them?" Now, after watching the resident dogs constantly playing with them, she decided to join in and boy is she enjoying them! She just LOVES to carry the soft toys around in her mouth and then rip them apart into little pieces!

We have been going to some of the adoption events to help her get used to new faces and new places and she is taking it in stride. They are a little overwhelming for her and she spends a good chunk of the time hiding behind me or under my chair, but she is getting more and more brave and will cautiously sniff people's hands and let them pet her. She very briefly approached another volunteer on her own once too! Of course, treats also help :) If you come to meet her at an event, know that her behavior there is typical of how she reacts in new situations with new people, but it is not typical of her behavior at home with the people she knows and trusts. Here are a couple pictures of Basil at some recent events (thanks to Devon TT and Angie M for the photos!):

Basil is starting to let the "kid" in her come out now and then! In the 7.5 months she's been with us, she has never once played with the other dogs. She definitely needs them around to build her confidence, but she won't actually play with them. We have three young dogs (puppy, 1 yr, and 2 yrs old) so they are a constant rough and tumble, roll around, gnashing teeth ZOO, and she just watches. The other day - albeit VERY briefly, like a millisecond - Basil appeared to have MAYBE started giving chase to the puppy! It was so quick, I can't even be sure that's what it was, but hey, I'm still going to call it progress! And just last night, I went to run a couple errands and was gone for only about an hour, but I came back and she was so darn excited she got the zoomies and started galloping around down the stairs and outside and ran in a few circles! When she ran back inside, she was running so fast, she went sliding across the floor and tripped over herself, but she just got right up with the biggest smile on her face! Which, of course, puts an even bigger smile on my face when I see that and think of how just 7 months ago, she wouldn't even smile at all and creeped along the ground afraid of everything!

Another happening that is a sign of progress: when puppy mill dogs first come to a new place, we always have to be extremely careful of making sure they are securely leashed. You've probably read several of the stories of the Missouri bunch that was rescued a little over a month ago and noticed that many of them were wearing two collars and trailed leashes even in the house and fenced yards. That's because puppy mill dogs will bolt if something scares them and since they don't know or trust people yet, they won't come back. As they get more comfortable and learn to trust their humans, they can be given a little more freedom - they should still always be leashed outside the house and fenced yard of course in case something does scare them, but we no longer have to wear two collars or keep the leash on inside the house or fenced yard. This is where Basil is at. Yesterday, I took Basil to work with me and as we were leaving, I was unlocking the car door and I thought I was pressing the "unlock" button on the key fob, but I accidentally hit the "panic" button. Well as you can imagine, that surprised Basil (surprised me too!) and freaked her out, and she snapped the leash out of my hands. She practically leaped in the air and 5 feet away, then cowered with her tail between her legs. Now, thankfully, we were in a pretty remote area so I wasn't too worried about the immediate danger of other cars and I had the treat pouch attached to my hip, so I just spoke to her softly and offered her some treats and she came right back to me. I tell you this story, not because I think she has good recall and doesn't need a fence, but because it shows that she has learned to trust me. If this had happened 7 months ago, (although 7 months ago I would have been more careful not to let something like that happen), she probably wouldn't have come back to me, not even for a treat. The fear would have been too strong for a treat to entice her to come to someone she doesn't know and trust. But now, she has learned that there are people she can trust, that I will always be there for her, and that she can always come to me even if something makes her afraid. That's not to say that she immediately wasn't afraid anymore, she was still shaking for a few minutes, but she came to me for comfort. That's sure progress.

And perhaps one of the biggest signs of progress - she is learning to be in the crate by herself! We started her on an anti-anxiety med that helps calm her down a bit and "take the edge off" and have been working on getting her used to being crated by herself. First, we started by putting all the dogs in separate crates next to each other, while I sat down nearby so Basil could see me. I read on the iPad right in front of Basil so that she could still see me and periodically gave her treats so that she would get comfortable in the crate by herself. Once she was okay with that, I would go about my usual routine and leave for a bit, never making a big deal about my departure or return. I started small (2 minutes) and gradually increased the time I was gone as she was comfortable. That hour I mentioned earlier that I was gone, she was crated by herself, so she's making progress! We still crate her with another dog if we have to be gone for a longer period, but this is a good sign that hopefully she will eventually be able to be crated by herself (or maybe she will be okay with free roam eventually, but I haven't tried that yet). She will still need a home that can crate her with another dog, as I would expect that she may regress when she moves to a new home and her adoptive family will probably need to start over working with her on this, but I promise that I will work with her adoptive family long after the adoption to help you with this process so that she can acclimate into her new home.

A couple weeks ago, a very nice lady drove all the way from Iowa with her dog to come meet Basil! On paper, it was a great match and I was very excited that Basil might have found her forever home. They met and all went well, but the "spark" just wasn't there and we decided it wasn't the right fit. I think both of us were bummed out at first, but it was the right decision, and that just means that there is someone out there that is a PERFECT fit! Could it be you? Let your placement advisor know if you would like to meet Basil! She's waiting!


Happy Spring Basil! Love, Riley and Teddy Happy Spring Basil! Love, Riley and Teddy


Hi everyone, it's me, Basil! Foster Mom said she was having trouble thinking of what to say and was getting seriously delinquent in sending in an update about me, so I figured I should step in and say something. I'm doing really well and I like it here, but I'm still waiting to meet my someone special, so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about me and about what you, my perfect Forever Home, would be like. So here goes:

About Me

  • I'm just a small little girl! I weigh a svelte 38 lbs and my 5 month old purebred golden retriever foster brother is already bigger than me! In fact, we were about the same size when he was 17-18 weeks old! Here's a picture of me and him - this picture was taken when he was 12 weeks old and you can see that I'm not much bigger than him!

  • I'm a pretty girl with a pretty smile! Yes, you read that right, I SMILE! If you go back to the top and read my Foster Mom's first update, she noted that I did not smile at all and I had very sad eyes. But now I smile and wag my tail a lot, and I'm generally a pretty happy girl!
  • I like to play with toys now too! Another one of those things I used to not do - heck, I didn't used to even know what toys were! Now, if you give me a soft toy, I will carry it around proudly and then do my very best to tear it up into tiny little pieces. I love Nylabones and marrow bones and am very good at making sure I get every trace of peanut butter out of the Kong. I even pick up tennis balls on occasion. Here are a couple pictures of me with my toys:
  • I love love LOVE to eat! I get so excited to eat (food or treats!) that I do a little happy dance where I tap dance my feet a little and flop my ears out and make a happy grunting noise! (Foster Mom says it is adorable!) Sometimes I get so excited, I forget my manners and get a little pushy or jumpy, but I usually sit quickly when Foster Mom reminds me ("usually" being the operative word here!). I really lose my manners though and jump all over the place when Mom gets out my favorite summertime treat - yogurt pops! They're really easy to make and I'll give you the recipe so you can make them for me when I come to live with you: you just put plain nonfat yogurt in an ice cube tray and freeze! Mom says they're a little messy though so that's why they're a "summertime" treat, because they're best eaten outside! I go crazy for those!
  • I'm a brave girl (most of the time, anyway!). Foster Mom got out the kiddie pool on a hot day recently, and of the four dogs at this crazy house, I was the only one to go in willingly! Pringles ran away when he saw the pool and the hose come out (silly scaredy cat!) and Bella and Koa just watched from afar, but as soon as Foster Mom stepped into the pool, I followed her in. I got in and sat down, then I layed down and it sure felt good! Then I started "digging" in the pool and the water went flying everywhere! Foster Mom laughed and said she wished she had the camera handy!
  • Even though I'm brave, I'm still shy sometimes too. I've come along way from when I first got here, but I'm still not 100% sure that everyone can be trusted. After all, of my 5 years, I spent the first 4 1/2 without much socialization with other people, so new people are still a little scary. I'm sure I will only get better, but I will probably always be a little shy around new people. I'm not shy with Foster Mom anymore though, because I trust her and I know that she isn't going to scare me or hurt me. So when I meet you, you have to understand that I will probably not instantly be your best friend - I will probably be shy around you at first, but once I get to know you better, I'll open up and become your best friend when I start to trust you. Foster Mom says she hasn't quite figured it out, but I seem to warm up quicker to some people and not so much to others.
  • I don't like to dwell on my flaws, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention my one weakness - I get a little nervous if I have to be home alone. I'm fine with it if I'm crated with another dog though. I'm working on this though, so don't let it scare you away! I can be trained, as long as you have some patience with me!
  • Other than the one flaw mentioned above, I'm a pretty low maintenance easy dog. I will let you bathe me and groom me without protest. I have a nice silky coat and really, I don't need to be brushed as often as some goldens. I do like to roll in "perfume" outside occasionally though, but who doesn't :) And I am happy to match my energy level to yours - when you want to walk, I'll trot along next to you (and by "next to you", I mean somewhere on the same sidewalk as you! I don't pull at all, but I like to zig-zag back and forth to catch all the good scents!); when you want to nap or watch TV, I'll nap or watch TV with you. I might even jump on the couch and snuggle up next to you sometimes!

About You

  • You must have another dog. I can't live without another dog. I grew up with lots of dogs and not much people interaction, so they make me feel safer and more comfortable, especially when you're not home. Your dog should be fairly self confident - I'm hoping to borrow a little of your dog's confidence and learn from him/her! Living in a home with people is still relatively new to me in the grand scheme of life, so I look to other dogs for guidance. I'm really not picky though about what kind of dog you have - I like boys and girls equally and I can tolerate obnoxious behaviors pretty well (goodness knows I have plenty of practice with that here at my foster home!). But if your dog wants to play with me all the time, she or he will be disappointed, because I don't really play with other dogs, I just like to coexist with them.
  • I would really prefer that you weren't gone a lot, because that makes me a little nervous. Ideally, you will be retired and can stay home with me a lot! We can hang out all day and go for walks and be best friends! It'll be so perfect! Plus, if you're retired and home a lot, my one flaw (see above) pretty much becomes a non-issue! But if you must go to work, I would prefer you didn't work long days. 
  • You should have a fenced yard to keep me safe. I love to run around the yard and fly from one side to the other, looking out for critters and fireflies! I don't mind the leash for walks, but a girl's gotta have some time to explore without being tied down, right?!
  • I would rather you didn't have small kids at your house. They make too much noise and move too suddenly for me and that makes me nervous. I am fine with them on brief occasions though.
  • It would be great if you had experience with puppy mill dogs like me, but not necessary. Patience will be necessary though - I won't be a move in ready dog, I will take some time to adjust to your home. But when I do adjust, boy will you LOVE me!

If you would like to meet me, let your placement advisor know and they'll put you in touch with my Foster Mom. But don't wait too long - I'm just DYING to meet you!

Love, Basil

Ps. Here is a picture of me relaxing in the sun in my new dog bed - just imagine yourself laying next to me enjoying the GOLDEN life!

Basil heard this song on the radio the other day and decided she wanted to change the lyrics a little and sing it for you:

Hey, I haven't met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So adopt me maybe!

Basil is waiting for your call! She would love to meet you and see if you are The One! Contact your Placement Advisor if you would like to meet her and they will put you in touch!



Basil will be at the Petco in Apple Valley on Sunday 7/29 from 12-3. Come visit with her - she would LOVE to meet you!


Hi guys, Basil here!

Last week Foster Mom (FM) took me to another one of those meet-and-greet events at Petco (thanks to everyone that came to pet me!). FM was talking to another RAGOM volunteer about my little issues with being alone and they were talking about trying something called a Thundershirt. I guess it's this tight wrap-like shirt that's supposed to help ease anxieties. So they got one out and tried it on me right there in the store. FM and the nice lady (who I am now going to call Auntie Jan!) thought I was extremely cute in it and that I seemed to be a little braver with it on, so Auntie Jan surpised FM and bought it for me! She wouldn't let FM pay her for it and said it was her donation! Wow, thank you so much Auntie Jan!

So FM has been trying it on me at home, but I'm sneaky and sometimes I try to take it off when she's not looking! I just grab the velcro and RRRRip! So she is mostly just starting with me wearing it when she is home to get me used to it, because she's afraid I'll tear it off in the crate when she's gone and chew it up. But she says I need to keep trying it out because we need to help me get over my anxieties about being alone to help improve my chances of getting adopted, and I sure do want to find my Furever Home! So here's a pic of me modeling my new gear:

geez, mom--PLEASE??

So if anyone wants to have a cute little girl like me in a skin-tight dog shirt come to live with you, let your placement advisor know! I will be eternally grateful and promise to do my best to be brave when you aren't home!


It's hard to get a good picture of sweet Basie girl smiling because when I bend down to take the picture, she comes over to me for attention. But I finally got a couple good pictures of her pretty smile. Look at how cute she is:


How can you resist that smile?! It will melt your heart! Email your placement advisor if you are interested in Basil and she will give you a lifetime of pretty smiles!



Oh my goodness, I'm blushing! Foster Mom told me that someone has sponsored me! Little old ME! Aw shucks, can you believe it?! I would like to send out HUGE thanks and blow kisses to Dave, Sharon, Lisa, and Maddie Lunde - you are very special people! I'm sure your sweet Sophie girl was a great pupper like me and was lucky to have you!

I have been in my foster home for a little over 11 months now, and I am finally starting to come around to Foster Dad! He's always been just a little more scary then Foster Mom so I generally give him a wide berth around the house. I still do, but I'm starting to realize that maybe, just maybe, he might not be as scary as I thought! I will take treats from him now and I will sometimes come up to him when he calls me and give him some kisses, but only if he's not making direct eye contact with me. Maybe he's not so bad after all - the jury is still deliberating a little on that one, but things are starting to look in his favor!

I'm also getting a little braver around strangers. Okay, maybe not total strangers, but strangers that I've met lots of times but don't live with me. Today, I actually went AHEAD of Foster Mom to greet the lady at her work! That's a first for me! And I didn't even have any of my foster fur-buddies with me!

I have also decided that I like toys now too. A lot. Almost as much as I love my food! And that's a LOT! I like to carry the toys around in my mouth and yesterday, for the first time ever, I brought Foster Mom a bone as a present for her when she came home from work! She was so happy, and that made me happy too!

Let's face it, I'm not perfect, and I'm a work in progress. Slow progress sometimes. I spent the first 4.5 years of my life in a bad place, and that's like 30 some human years, so sometimes it's hard to unlearn old habits. But the good news is that with someone I can trust, I am willing to learn and grow. Even after almost a year, I still have lots of firsts, as you can see above, and I will continue to have firsts for a while. Foster Mom has taught me how to love and be loved, and I would love to share that with YOU! Please let me know if you can be my person and we can grow old together!


9/16/12: Today marks one year since Basil came into my care. One year since Basil has been in a home instead of a puppy mill. One year since Basil has received regular love, affection, attention, and medical care. One year of freedom.

And oh, what a difference a year makes!

She came to me a very scared little girl. It took a half hour to convince her to get into my car with me. Once at my house, she hid in her crate to stay away from us and she crept on her belly with fear. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't look at us, she didn't want to come near us, and she had a constant look of fear in her eyes.

Slowly, she came to accept her new surroundings and she began to eat. She stopped creeping along the ground. Eventually, she learned that we were okay people and that we weren't going to hurt her. And that we gave her food every day, twice a day! Then she started to learn that we actually loved her and that she could trust us!

Now, Basil is so ecstatic to eat that she tap dances and jumps for joy and can't contain her excitement! She approaches us for attention and affection (me more than my husband still), so much so that sometimes she is even a little obnoxious and pushy when she wants me to pet her! She plays with toys and she runs around the yard - sometimes she gets the zoomies so fast she looks like she barely touches the ground! She smiles, her eyes sparkle, she wags her tail, she holds her head high, and she is a HAPPY girl!

To look back and see this transformation - it makes my heart smile! To see what she has overcome, warms my heart and gives me inspiration. She is a survivor - she spent the first 4.5 years of her life in an unloving place where she was forced to have who knows how many litters of puppies so she could make a profit for her breeders and was never shown any love, but still, she was brave enough to start to forget her past and move forward with her life. She faced her fears and allowed herself to move past them and start to accept the unknown. When shown love and patience, she came to embrace her new life. She's not perfect, and she will never be a "normal" dog, but she's a heckuva lot closer to that than she was a year ago!

Today also marks one year since she has begun looking for a Forever Home. She is very happy in her foster home and we are more than happy to have her here and love her to pieces until she finds her special new family that she can spend the rest of her life with. But the longer she stays here, the more attached she gets, and I would really love her to be attaching herself to her Forever Family!

We realize that Basil has a special set of needs in her Forever Family: she needs a home without any kids (and won't be having any more kids, though occasional visits are fine), with a fenced yard, with another confident dog(s) that are okay with the fact that Basil will happily coexist with them but won't play with them, and people that are not gone a lot (and/or can crate her with another dog when they do leave). She needs someone with experience with rescue dogs, preferably someone who understands the puppy mill dog, and has a lot of patience. She needs someone who is willing to adopt the "less adoptable" dog. Because these needs severely limit the people that qualify for her, we would like to make a special plea: if you know someone who might fit most or all of this description, please pass Basil's story on to them and ask them to consider contacting us. We would love to talk to them.

Special thanks to Dave, Sharon, Lisa, and Maddie Lunde (and their sweet Sophie) and to Riley and Teddy for their support! You have made it possible for Basil to live in freedom, to live the Golden Life in a loving foster home while she waits for her Forever Home! We are so thankful for your donations!

Before: 9/16/11

After: 9/16/12


Basil will be at Goldzilla and we would LOVE for you to come meet her! We will be at the foster tent from 9:30 - 10:00 am and in the foster parade. Please stop by and say hi and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about her.


To my admirers and followers --

Hi there! Basil here - Foster Mom is seriously delinquent in writing an update about me so I figure if you want something done, just do it yourself, right?! So here I am, writing my own update. 

I like it in my foster home - there are other dogs here to keep me company. I don't play with them, but I like to have them nearby so I feel more confident. I get a little nervous if I'm by myself, and they make me more comfortable. I love Foster Mom - she is the moon and stars to me! She is my Person - I like having someone I can trust. She says that I need to learn to like other people just as much though so I'm trying. I'm starting to like Foster Dad a little more, I will even come to him for pets sometimes, mostly just if he's on the bed. And if he's petting the other dogs, I will sometimes try to get in there for pets too. But only if he's not looking right at me or paying too close attention to me. I'm still much more reserved around him though and am a completely different dog when he's home than if I'm just with Foster Mom. I have no problem taking treats from Foster Dad though - I LOVE treats! I get so excited for treats! Or any kind of food really - I grunt and do a little dance if I think I am going to get some food or a treat! I like nylabones and elk antlers a lot too, and toys. I still sleep under the bed at night, but the other night, I slept on the bed next to Foster Mom for about half the night! She was so happy about that! I like to go for walks, but I also really like having a fenced yard - I like to do zoomies around the yard and run really fast! And I LOVE to roll in the grass! And lately I've decided I like to start digging furiously like I'm going somewhere, but I'm learning that outside fun time ends if I start doing that, unfortunately. Foster Mom doesn't like that habit and says we need to "nip that one in the butt", whatever that means. In my defense though, I can sit really quickly and have a really good recall!

Oh I almost forgot! Foster Mom took me to an event a few weeks ago and my special guardian angel sponsor Lisa Lunde came to visit me! She was so nice! She said that my other sponsors, Dave and Sharon and Maddie, say hi too - so hello back to you too and thanks again for sponsoring me! I also got to go to Goldzilla and Foster Mom was so proud of me because she said I was very brave and did a very good job greeting all my fans and admirers! I liked it because I got to go in the lake for a little bit! I have ZERO fear of the water and I don't even hesitate to go in - unlike my foster brother Pringles (he's kind of silly sometimes)!

I am still looking for my Forever Home. I would love to live with someone who has a lot of time to devote to ME! Someone who can become my new Person that I can trust and and be my moon, stars, AND sun! I don't much like being alone, so it would be great if you have another dog you can crate me with - then I don't mind you leaving. It would also be really great if you had a lake or something you could take me to - I like water! Not a requirement though - just on my "wish" list! A girl can dream right?!

Well, it's time for me to go now. I have a busy schedule of laying around the house planned so I should probably get to it. Thanks for chatting with me, talk to you soon!



PS. I will bug Foster Mom to try to send in some new pictures of me soon so you can see how cute I am lately!

PPS. Hey lookey there! I'm so special I have a blue paw print at the top of my page from Megan and Bailey! Wowee, thanks guys! You sure know how to make a gal feel loved! :) 


Basil is a very expressive little girl. She makes funny noises, she tap dances, she moves her ears and cocks her head... So I decided to try and capture some of her expressions to hopefully convey a little sense of what she is like. Without further ado, here are...

The Many "Looks" of Basil, Part I:

The "Give it BACK" look

The "Man it's been a long day and I'm soooooo tired" look

The "Do you HAVE to go?" look

The "I'll have some Cheetos too please" look

The "It's cold out here, can I come in now?" look

Stay tuned for part II coming up soon!


The Many "Looks" of Basil, Part II:

The "Good Morning" look

The "Mine!" look

The lazy Sunday afternoon melting into the couch "Do I hafta get up?" look

The "Who's Here?" look

The "Enough with the pictures already" look

Missing are the "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Years" looks - I wasn't able to get pics of those, but Basil wishes everyone a Happy Holidays anyway! Her New Years resolution for 2013 is to find that elusive Furever Home! If you've read her story and think you might be a good fit for her, please let your placement advisor know!


Well, this is it. This is the update I've both been looking forward to and dreading writing all at the same time. After one year, four months, and four days (but who's counting?!) in foster care with me, Basil has found her very own Furever Home! This was a very emotional day for me - I had come to love this sweet little girl as my own and it was very hard to let her go. I felt like I was giving away one of my own resident dogs, not adopting out a foster dog! My own selfishness kicked in several times and I said to my husband (more than once!) that we should just adopt her ourselves. Believe me, we seriously considered it numerous times throughout the last year, as she fit in very well with our pack, but I always knew deep in my heart that there was someone out there that would be an even better fit in the long run.

And I was right. Mary and Carl are that better fit. They have a fenced yard for her to run around in safely and two other wonderful dogs, Tryg and Kai - rescues themselves who are confident and playful, just the kinds of dogs Basil needs so that she can watch them and learn from them. Mary and Carl are retired so they are home a lot and they have the capability and willingness to help Basil learn to be alone for shorter periods. And they were so excited to adopt her, they had already bought her a new bed and a new collar with a tag with her name on it!

Dropping Basil off last week, I had all these fears that because she is a shy girl, that she would be very nervous and scared at first in her new home, that she would feel like I had abandoned her. After all, we had become the only people she knew and trusted, the only people that had been nice to her, given her a home to live in and toys to play with, and shown her love. And now, I had taken that away from her and placed her in a new home that is scary to her. I worried that she wouldn't understand that I wasn't abandoning her and that the people I've sent her to live with are trustworthy people that will come to love her as much as I do and that she will in turn come to love and trust them like she does me. She had attached herself to me so much so that I worried that she would have a really hard time without me; I was even afraid that she might not be able to adjust to a home without me. But, as it turned out, I wasn't giving Basil enough credit. First reports were that yes, she was a little nervous at first and watched the door after I left, but that she has been settling in and adjusting very well - even better than I had thought or hoped.

Basil's is a true Rags to Riches, Fairy Tale story really, in the truest sense of the term. She came to me a bruised and battered little girl (metaphorically, not literally), having been used as a baby-making machine in a puppy mill, and she was scared and didn't trust anyone. But she was strong - a survivor - and she slowly made progress and blossomed into a much more confident little girl and has now found herself the greatest possible home. I really could not have picked a better home for her. I know in my heart that Mary and Carl are wonderful people who will give her the best possible Furever Home that she could ever ask for. Like I said, I had come to love this little girl like my own, and I knew that that was going to be the only way I could let her go.

This is the hard part - and the joyous part - of fostering. They come to us and leave major impressions on our hearts and then we have to let them go. It's always hard with each and every dog, but some are harder than others. For me anyway, the ones that stay with us longer and the ones that require the most "reform" are the ones that are the hardest to let go. I imagine it must feel a little like when a parent raises their child and that child leaves the nest. But that is what fostering is all about - helping reform an emotionally bruised dog that needs your love temporarily until you find their Furever Home that will take the reins for you and help that dog along the rest of the way. I've done my part with Basil and now it is Mary and Carl's turn to take care of her and love her. And there is no doubt in my mind that they will!

Good luck sweet Basie - I love you little peanut and I will miss you always but I'm glad you've found such a wonderful Furever Home with Mary and Carl, and Tryg and Kai! I am so proud of you and how far you've come! Thank you for trusting me when you were scared! I will always think of you when I see the hole in my mattress and the claw marks on my door! :) Hugs and kisses from your Foster Mom!