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

Rest in Peace

Rocket 12-091
(Fostered in Annandale, MN)

Sponsor Rocket

Sponsored by:

Mary and Carl Schroeder

Rocket has landed in Fargo and he is a sweetie. He is a 10 year old golden retriever mix who had been living in an outdoor kennel so he is adjusting to living in a house and learning all the rules.

He gets along great with granddog Riley and since they are both older there is not a lot of playing although they did have one game of tug. He doesn't seem to be interested in toys- I suppose he never had any. He will run after a ball but doesn't bring it back. Sometimes he likes to try to hide it under some rocks or leaves. He walks pretty well on a leash and loves to be outside.

He got along great with our grandchildren ages 3 and 6 and seems to really like kids. It was reported that he also liked newborn lambs at his previous home.

We took him to the vet yesterday for his wellness check, got shots updated and microchip in. The Vet checked his back hips for range of motion. Her reply was WOW are you sure you are 10. Checking the other hip she looked at him and said "now you are just showing off". We thought he was 10 going on 2 but that confirmed it. Being 10 there were some abnormal reading in his blood profile. We will look forward to the results of that. He is now on ear drops for a yeast infection and an antibiotic for lymes that showed up on his blood test. We will have him retested later to see if it is working. Once those things are cleared up he will be scheduled for neutering and they are also planning to remove a lump from his front leg at the same time.

When he first came he was content to be by himself watching the world go by out the front door. Today all of a sudden he became a velcro dog and wants to be right next to us all the time. At night he sleeps in a crate at the end of our bed and goes in there fine with a treat.




Rocket continues to settle into our environment. When he first came we had some marking incidents. They have disappeared. He does not have good recall so that's something we will have to work on and should become easier now that he is catching on to what the word "treat" means. He is done with the ear drops - yeaaah - but still is on the antibiotic.

He is busy exploring our yard and learning how to play with toys. I don't think he had much experience with a lot things in his prior life. When he finds something of high value he hides it. Instead of digging a hole he puts the item on top of the ground and covers it with leaves or rocks.

He was at the lake for the first time this weekend. Didn't even go into the water! I wonder if he knows Goldens are suppose to love water.


Rocket continues to settle in to our routine. He sleeps in a crate at night at the foot of our bed with no problems. Goes in easy when enticed with a treat.

He is a quiet dog. The only time he verbalizes is when he is scratching himself. He rolls on his back and talks to himself through a series of growls, whines, moans, groans and little barks. No idea where he picked that up from. I think he has gained some weight since he has been with us. He will go back to the vet when he is done with his antibiotics so we will get a update then.

The picture shows Rocket burying bones above ground. No need to dig for him.

He is not a Velcro dog like so many goldens. He sometimes likes to be with us and other times is content to nap in the next room. Sometimes he seems to prefer laying in the garage instead of coming in the house. He will come in for a dog treat. I suppose he is used to spending a lot of time alone since he lived in an outdoor kennel before coming to RAGOM. We can leave him for several hours and he is fine - no chewing, no accidents in the house. When granddog Riley comes over he likes to stay close to him and follows him around. I think his favorite thing might be car rides followed closely by walks in the park. We are trying to teach him a few words like “ride” , “treat” and “sit”.


Great news- Rocket has a sponsor! Thank you so much to Mary and Carl- without the generous donations of our wonderful sponsors RAGOM would not be able to help so many dogs. Rocket has a few medical issues we are working on so the support is greatly appreciated. We told Rocket he has a sponsor and he didn’t seem that impressed, but foster mom and dad sure are!

This week we decided to take down the crate and give him free roam at night. The crate is very large, but he seemed so restless in there. We would hear him scratching on the bottom and hitting the sides when he laid down so we just put it away. He is fine all night and seems to like sleeping in the downstairs bathroom most of the time. He will stay in our room for a while, but not all night.

Rocket had a big adventure yesterday when somehow the gate was left open and he got out of the fenced yard. I figured he would go to the park- his favorite place. I drove around the park until I spotted him happily marking and sniffing away. I just went up to him and told him we were going for a ride and he jumped in the car.

He is still on the antibiotics and loves them on a peanut butter cracker. Foster dad is working on grooming and doing a little at a time. He still has a thick winter coat.


It was a busy week for Rocket. There was a rummage sale going on here so lots of people and kids around. The big challenge was making sure one of the kids didn’t leave the kitchen door open so Rocket could get into the garage and take off, but we made it. He even got to meet Annie, a RAGOM dog that our neighbors adopted a few years ago. On Sunday we had a RAGOM new volunteer training session here so Rocket was able to help us welcome Patti, Verna and Lee, our newest volunteers. They all thought he was wonderful He is now done with the antibiotics and will have a re check of his lab work on Thursday so we are hoping for good news. We are going to the lake for a week so it will be interesting to see how that goes. Granddog Riley will come with us, too so Rocket will have someone to play with.


One of the fun things about being a foster is getting to see dogs experience things for the first time. Sometimes it is a experience they should have had as a puppy but never did. We are at our lake place for the week. The first couple of times I led Rockie to the lake he did not know what the water was or what is was for. He never even tried to go in. The next time he decided to try to take a drink. A small wave washed over his nose and he ran from the shore afraid of what happened. The next time he ventured in up to his belly and realized it is part of his nature to be a water dog. He comes out happy like he has just conquered something. Next step swimming.

He was back to the vet before we left for more blood work. More to come on the results.


Some of Rocket’s blood work has improved so that is good news. His urine is showing blood so he is back on an antibiotic that will hopefully clear that up. Rocky is happy about the antibiotics because that means peanut butter crackers 3 times a day. The vet wants some lab work repeated in a few months, also.

Foster dad got a surprise while rototilling the garden- dog toys flying in the air. Yes, Rocky had buried them in the garden. We knew he hid a few in the landscape rocks, but didn’t see him putting some in the garden. He has really changed since he has been here. When he first came we had to coax and bribe him to come in the house, but now he follows us in and out with no problem. Still loves car rides and walks. We are going to the lake today and he likes the water more all the time.

Thank you Joanne and Dennis for the Easter egg and to Mary and Carl for sponsoring Rocket. We appreciate the support of our wonderful donors.


From Dennis and Joanne From Dennis and Joanne


Rocky finally is losing his thick winter coat and it seems there is no end to it. We brushed him outside and it looked like it snowed in the back yard. A few birds collected some hair for their nests but there was a lot left. He looks like he lost 10 pounds. I think he will feel better this summer. His latest urine test is still not totally normal so he may be back on medications soon.

We got him a new squeaky hamburger toy and he always gets so excited when he hears it, but he can’t seem to figure out how to make it squeak. One thing we have found out about him is that he seems to be afraid of the grill. At home and at the lake whenever we are outside grilling he wants to be inside and won’t come near the grill. When we are not using it he walks right by it with no problem. He also does not like loud things like lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners or thunder. When he hears that he likes to go in the bathroom. He doesn’t pant or pace, just wants to be in the bathroom. At the lake he has decided the walk in closet should be his bedroom so we finally moved his blanket in there. Sometimes he will go up there by himself for a nap during the day.


Rocky has officially become a lake dog since he went on a boat ride and had 2 lake baths. Oh yeah, and found a dead fish to roll on- hence the second lake bath. He loves being at the lake because there are so many people and dogs to keep him busy. He does not like loud noises so the fireworks and motorcycles going past the house bother him. He has a few safe places to go to and a little reassurance from us helps a lot. He continues on the benazapril, weight is stable and seems happy and healthy right now. Thanks again to his wonderful sponsors for their support.


Rocky has found out that gardens are fun. He loves peas the most but will also eat carrots and beans and cucumbers if they are peeled. He did not care for the pineapple that was dropped on the floor. Our tomatoes are getting nibbled on by something but I don’t think it’s Rocket.

His last urine test was about the same. He continues to be active, happy and a good eater. The weather has been perfect for his favorite activity which is laying by the fence and watching the people and dogs go by. He never barks unless Riley is there and barks first. He just likes to run along the fence watching the dogs and then he goes back and marks everything. Rocky seems like he is content to be by himself sometimes and then other times he wants to crawl on our lap - not much middle ground.

Not much new to report on him, but wanted to say thanks again to the wonderful sponsors.


Rocket has moved from Fargo ND to Annandale Mn.

I picked up Rocket on Saturday 9/15/2012. He rode very well and seems to be a very normal dog. He does have the energy of a much younger dog.

He met my resident Golden, Ziggy with no problems. Rocket hadn't been kitty tested before but had been on a farm with baby lambs and did great with them so just a little precaution with meeting house kitty, Itsey and house kitten Tiger. No problem there at all. Met the outside kitties with no problems.

Rocket did have a problem with wanting to mark or pee in the house the first couple days. Thankfully we got that straightened out. He doesn't seem to have any other bad habits. Rocket was nervous the first couple days and nights like most new foster dogs are. He panted, paced , drank lots of water and had to go outside many times. By the 3rd day he started to settle in and calm down.

I called my vet, Dr Sarah on Monday morning for a appointment for her to meet and evaluate Rocket's condition. If you read the previous updates, you know Rocket has some Renal problems he was being treated for.

Dr Sarah checked Rocket out and looked over his vet records. She thought another blood test now to check up on things would be a good idea. I got that approved and blood drawn the next day for the test and went back on Thursday to meet with Dr Sarah about the results.

I was very optimistic and hopeful that the liver and kidney functions were stable now. Sadly that was not the case at all. Rocket's kidneys are still failing. To use Dr. Sarah's words, "She would be very surprised if he makes it another 6 months and should be considered hospice care from now on".

I knew this was a possibility when I took Rocket as a foster but it still was pretty tough to swallow. If you would meet Rocket now, you would never know there is anything wrong with him. I am honored to be the one to be Rocket's caretaker for the rest of his time before he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. I've done this before, with dogs and other pets but never knew this far ahead. It will be a tough time ahead but Rocket will be loved every step of the way.

On a positive note, I have gotten Rocket to walk much better on a leash. We walk 4 or more miles a day. He pulled like a locomotive when he first came here. His recall is improving. Still working on "sit" and better meeting other dogs skills.

I'd like to thank Rocket's sponsors and encourage more people to sponsor Rocket or any other RAGOM dog. Without you, none of this would be possible.

Rocket 12-091 will be at Goldzilla on 9/22/2012 and would be very happy to meet YOU.


Been a while, so a lot of catching up to do since last update.

I took Rocket and Resident Ziggy to Goldzilla. It did not go too well with Rocket. He pulled like a locomotive all day long there. He also got in a couple fights with other dogs because he is horrible at intros. Ziggy was ok but not thrilled around so many people and dogs. We were all glad to get home after that.

I had taken another foster dog the day before Goldzilla. His name is Duke. He was 6 years old mostly Yellow Lab. He got along great with Rocket even though he had a ton of energy. Rocket would play chase with him some.

A few weeks later I took a temp foster dog named Rusty. Rusty is around a 1 year old Golden Retriever and really has a lot of energy. Rust and Duke would play chase for over a hour then Rocket would wrestle with Rusty. After a couple hours they would all be pretty tired.

Duke was adopted 3 days after Rusty came here, so I permanent fostered Rusty. Rocket and Rust get along great and wrestle pretty often.

I took another temp foster dog named Jake. He is close to Rusty's age so Rocket got a bit of a break for 3 days while Jake was here.

Rocket continues to do very well and is still not showing that his kidneys are failing. He is getting a special diet of prescription dog food and a couple medications to help support his weakening kidneys. The food and meds are pretty expensive, so any help you could give by donating or sponsoring Rocket would be very much appreciated. Thank You to all of you that support RAGOM and make caring for these dog possible.


Since last update Rocket has a new foster sister. Allie 12-374 met Rocket with no problems. Allie was kind of shy with Rusty and Rocket the first week or more which was good because she had spay surgery and needed to take it easy for a while.

Rocket is losing his summer coat of fur. From the amounts on the floors and carpet I would think he would be bald by now. His winter coat is slow at growing in but he doesn't seem to get cold outside even at near zero temps.

We still walk around 3 miles a day and Rocket is very anxious to go. He starts pestering me by nudging my elbow more than a half hour before we normally go. Rocket dances around the kitchen while I'm getting ready to go for the walk.

Rocket still likes to wrestle with Rusty and sometimes with Allie. He will play a little "Chase" with Rusty and Allie but can't keep up with the 2 youngsters.

The last few nights Rocket has decided that he wanted to sleep in the bed with me, Ziggy and Allie. Kind of strange that he just started doing this. He comes to me several times a day for petting and scratches. He usually gets at least 1 massage every day also.

Rocket continues to eat good and has put on a few more pounds even! I did switch brands of prescription dog food. He is still not showing any signs of the kidney failure.

Rocket had a pretty special Thanksgiving. He and all the other dogs here had turkey, squash and vegetables  I will try to make this a very special Christmas for him also.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you Rocket fans and Thank You for your support.



From Stichez, Madison and Priya From Stichez, Madison and Priya

Merry Christmas to the Golden Seniors! From Anonymous Merry Christmas to the Golden Seniors! From Anonymous

From Sharron, Abby 08-218 and Buddy 11-371 From Sharron, Abby 08-218 and Buddy 11-371

To Rocket: From one of your Transport drivers, wishing you all the best!" To Rocket from one of your Transport drivers-wishing you all the best!


Happy New Year Rocket fans, Rocket here, FD[foster dad] thought I should do a update this time.

First off, Thank You very much Stichez,Madison,and Priya and Shannon, Abby08-218, and Buddy11-371 for your donations for me. Foster Dad and I are very grateful.

My foster brother Rusty got adopted before Christmas. Now I have to wrestle with Allie. She plays a bit rough for me but I still play for a while.

FD made me and my foster sisters beef stew for Christmas Dinner!  It was great! FD thought I was going to eat my metal bowl to get the last of it out. We all got rawhide bones also. I try to steal the other dogs rawhides if they would set them down. The other dogs didn't think that was very funny.  We got a couple of new toys for Christmas but I'm really not interested in them.

I got a new foster brother last week. His name is Shep. FD said he came from a puppy mill. He is pretty scared of most things here yet. We had a little scuffle the other day because I tried to steal the bone that Shep had by where he lays. I had to have a time out to calm down. We get along fine now. FD said Shep has to have hip surgery soon. I guess that means I'll get a little less attention for a while until Shep gets healing good. FD has praised me for being nice to Shep other than the scuffle. I wish I could teach Shep that there is nothing to be afraid of now.

That's about all for now. Thanks again to all my sponsors and all the people that support RAGOM.



Hi Rocket followers, Rocket here again,
Since my last update I see that one of my transporters has donated on my behalf. Thank You for all your help now and for bringing me to my new life.

My FS[foster sister] Allie got adopted so FD took my FB[foster brother ] Shep as a perm foster. Shep is getting slightly less scared in the house and much better outside. I try to initiate play with him but I think he doesn't know how to play. FD says I need to keep working on him and that the day Shep learns how to play will be a very happy day. Shep lets me come up to his crate now , so I think we might be friends now. He used to bark at me if I got too close.

I have a new FB ! His Name is Sonny 13-033. He's just a little older than me but has had a pretty tough life lately. He was near starved to death and dumped in a grocery store parking lot back in November. Thankfully he was picked up and brought to a shelter. He is still very skinny and is pretty easy to knock over so I can't play rough with him. Sonny and I walk over 3 miles every morning with FD. I got to come with when FD took Sonny for his wellness check at the vet's office. I got to meet Dr Becky for the 1st time. I turned on the charm so she gave me a treat!

FD says I am showing no signs of kidney failure yet. The special meds and prescription food are helping me stay "normal" for longer than expected. I'm very thankful to RAGOM and my sponsors for helping make this the best part of my life
Thanks for checking in on me,
Rocket 12-091 



Rocket here again,

Not a lot of changes since last time I updated. I still have the same foster brothers and resident foster sister. I like all of them. I'm getting friendlier with the cats and kittens. I'll let them cuddle with me some now. I didn't used to let them do that. I still bark at them if they try to eat out of my food bowl when I'm eating.

I still love my walks every day. I'd like to go further than the 3 miles but FB[foster brother] Sonny gets pretty tired FD[foster dad] won't take me and Sonny when it is very cold and windy. We do go if it's only cold.  I love the snow and all the fresh scents it brings. The walks are the real highlight of my day.

I keep working on playing with FB Shep. One of these days he will figure it out. I'm very patient and don't press him too hard. It will be fun to have another dog that plays some day. FD is trying to get me to go get Shep when it's time to go outside. Shep doesn't come on his own yet all the time. We are still working on that.

I've been hoping for a special meal again like we got for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do get some home made soup some times. I eat my prescription dog food pretty good if FD puts a little canned dog food and warm chicken broth on it . The prescription dog food and the medication I'm getting to keep my kidneys working is pretty costly. If you could make a donation, to help with that, it would be great.

I'm starting to become a lap dog. When FD sits in the recliner, I hop up in his lap. I get lots of pets and rubs. I'll even fall asleep some times.

FD says I have to get a bath soon. He says I'm starting to smell a bit "doggy" whatever that is supposed to mean. FD says my hairy feet need to be trimmed again also.  He says I have very hairy feet that grow fast. The good part is that I don't get big ice balls between my pads when the hair is short. I have ticklish feet so it is tough to get them trimmed.

Well, that's about all for now. Thanks for checking in on me and your support.

Rocket 12-091



Hi Rocket followers, FD here.

Rocket continues to be a real joy to foster. We seem to grow closer all the time. Rocket now spends more than 2 hours a day laying in my lap when I sit in the recliner. He loves the pets, scratches and massage while he lays there. This guy has nudged his way into my heart.

If you have read Rocket's story, you know his kidneys are failing. He has shown no real symptoms since I started fostering him back in September. That is now starting to change. Rocket has been losing weight [8 lbs] and his appetite is fading. I took him to the vet last week for a blood test to see how far the kidney failure had progressed. Sadly it hadn't slowed and soon his quality of life will decline rapidly. It is days or maybe weeks at this point.

When Rocket's quality of life drops and suffering begin I will be faced with helping him cross the Rainbow Bridge. This is the toughest part of owning a dog but even tougher if you are fostering a dog.

For now my job is to keep Rocket happy and try to make these last days and weeks his best if possible. We will continue to walk as long as he is willing and He will be riding along on any trips that he can. These are the things he loves most besides being near me. A lot of lap time and treats too.

Thanks for checking in on Rocket 12-091



Hi folks, Rocket here again,


As FD explained on the last update, I'm starting to feel the effects of the kidney failure. I have lost most of my appetite but FD keeps making me very good food to try to get me to eat. He's cooking chicken breasts for me last night and today. I can't resist them.  I've thrown up a couple times but don't lose all my meals.

My energy level is slowly getting lower. FD has started making our walks shorter. Yesterday Moe, the neighbor’s beagle mix, came out when we were going by, so we stopped to visit. I wanted to play but Moe wasn't sure about playing with a dog as big as me.  I still smile and wag my tail when I meet people or dogs.  FD has taken me along for rides and let me hang my head out the window. There are so many good smells.

While I'm still feeling pretty good I want to thank RAGOM and all those who support RAGOM for helping me live the Golden Life in my last year and months. Hard to say how it would have been without you there for me.  Soon I will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge and will be re-united with my foster brother Sonny and now RAGOM brother Buddy along with many other great dogs. I know when I leave there will be many broken hearts and lots of tears shed. I can't imagine any better send off than what I will have with all the love that has been given to me unconditionally. I thank all of you for that.

Rocket 12-091



Hi Rocket followers, Rocket here,

I'm feeling a bit better than I was with the last update.FD says I'm the energizer bunny. I keep going and going. As mentioned previously I have lost some of my energy so my daily walks are shorter. That is still the highlight of my day.

I still don't have much of an appetite but FD keeps trying different things to get me to eat. Now I get boiled hamburger and rice with some canned dog food mixed in. If FD tops it with some homemade soup or hot dish I'll usually gobble it right up. Of course I'll never turn down a biscuit.

FD has been taking me and FS Ziggy for more rides. I love rides. I just don't understand why I can't go with FD every time he leaves. I still get a couple hours of lap time a day with FD. He gives me scratches and a rub down. Could it get any better?

We got a new house guest yesterday. Annabelle is here while her fosters take a vacation. She's a very nice girl. She was a bit nervous at first but has settled in now.

That's about all for now. Thanks for checking in on me.

Rocket 12-091




Hello again Rocket followers, FD here,

Sadly, Rocket is no longer with me. Rocket crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Friday 5/17/2013. He was surrounded by love from me ,another RAGOM family member and the great people of Annandale Vet Clinic.

The gleam had left Rocket's eyes and everything seemed to be a struggle. It was time to say "Good Bye" to my best friend and companion. In the short 8 months I fostered Rocket, he had won my heart and gave me all of his unconditional love. He had also been a great foster brother to my resident dog, cats, kittens and all other foster brothers and sisters that came and went while he was here. Looking back, it seems he knew this was going to be his forever home.

Of course, there is much that I am missing now. His silly rubbing his head and ears, while his butt was in the air and "talking," his nudging my arm while I sat at the computer, the coming up for ear scratches and pets, the dancing on the kitchen floor with excitement, the stealing toys or bones from the other dogs, the excited face meeting me at the door when I came in [even if I had only been outside 2 minutes], the jumping up in my lap when I was sitting in the recliner and staying for hours, all the interest in everything when we went for walks or rides and his always being near me and happy. There were just so many things about Rocket to love that it's hard to list them all. I am so lucky to be the one that got to spend time with and foster, this great dog.

I must thank all the sponsors, donors, RAGOM and all the other volunteers that make this all possible. Your support is second to none. The support and kindness of the doctors [Dr. Sarah and Dr. Becky] and all the staff at Annandale Vet Clinic was outstanding. Thanks to all of you!

So long, best friend Rocket 12-091
FD Barry