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!

Dorie 12-103
(Fostered in Eden Prairie, MN)

Sponsored by:

Barb and Ken K.
"In memory of Cassie 07-424"


This dog came into RAGOM from a commercial breeder and has not been adequately socialized to humans. RAGOM requires that any adoptive homes contain a physical fence (due to the risk of escape); another fairly confident medium to large sized dog to role model from (everything is new and scary for them); no children under 10 years old in the home (normal kid behavior scares these dogs). Our goal is to find the forever family for these dogs and our experience leads us to use these criteria.

March 29, 2012

Dorie 12-103 is one of the young females that was rescued over the weekend from the Missouri commercial breeding kennel. At the tender age of 1-1/2 she has already whelped at least one litter of pups. She was still producing milk when we met her on Sunday. She is on antibiotics so she doesn’t develop mastitis and Rimadyl for the engorged pain. We are watching to make sure she doesn’t get an infection and she appears to be drying up which is good news. I’m very happy to report that she does eat with some canned food added to her kibble. I add the antibiotic and pain meds to the canned food and she is eating the pills, thank heavens. She’s very petite and skinny after whelping and nursing pups. We’ll be working at putting some meat on her bones. She also drinks water, which is the first milestone we watch for with these scared dogs.

She is very skittish and when not resting in her kennel, she paces and watches to see where the humans are to make sure she is out of reach. We leave a trailing leash on her so we can safely catch her and she is limited to only two rooms of the house. For the past couple of days, I have been stepping on the leash so she has to stop, I sit on the floor, scoot over to her and scratch her neck and ears. She’s starting to get used to my doing this. She doesn’t relax yet when being petted, but her eyes don’t look as fearful as they did at first as she’s learning that I’m not hurting her. Dogs from commercial breeding kennels are very scared of people, new places and objects because they’ve never been anywhere, seen anything or had any human socialization. Her job has been to live in a kennel run and produce puppies to be sold to brokers who sell to the pet stores. We can’t get back the socialization that she missed as a puppy and while she will eventually get better and become someone’s loved pet, she’ll always be more skittish than your house-raised dog. But, she can learn, she can go to obedience training some day, develop self-confidence and grow into the dog that she was meant to be.

We have ventured outside a few times wearing multiple leashes and equipment. She is so skittish that if she were to slip her collar, I’d never catch her in my fenced in backyard. To keep her safe, she wears a halter with a long lead and a rope slip leash with additional leashes attached to make it longer. I hold on to both leashes as we walk around the backyard. She isn’t relaxed with me following behind attached to her and the leashes. She hasn’t been comfortable enough to do her bathroom duties while leashed to me outside. It’s more like she’s pacing and sniffing and can’t figure out why I’m always 15 feet behind her. She keeps moving to get away and I keep following. After a while, I reel myself up to her, sit down and again scratch her chin and ears. She has met the other 6 dogs in her foster home, done the dog sniff and greet, but hasn’t yet started following them around or playing with them.

I want to thank Devon who took the beautiful picture of her headshot in the crate on Sunday. My cell phone picture of her in our lower level isn’t a good picture, but I wanted to try to show a standing up picture and she is very unnerved by the phone pointing at her. She’s a very gentle, scared girl. More to come as she starts to settle in.


Dorie wants to give a huge hug and thank you to her sponsors, Ken and Barb!  

I read back through her original bio to remind myself where she was two short weeks ago.  She has made some great progress in some areas, and not so much in others.    She now goes outside 4 to 5 times a day.  She stands still while I put on her harness and we have graduated from the long leash to a shorter rope so its not so heavy for her to pull behind her.  I hook the harness to the collar so she can’t jump out of it.  She lets me get close enough to her outside to step on the rope.  I reel myself up to her, turn around and she follows me back into the house.  She seems to enjoy being outside and the past couple of days has played for a few minutes with a couple of the dogs here.  As soon as she sees a human, however, she stops dog playing and goes back to standing still and watching or pacing.  

I decided to leave her outside of her kennel one night to let her decide where she wanted to sleep.  The kennel door was open in case she wanted to wander in there.  About 2:00 am. I was awakened by howling.  At first, I thought it was part of a dream, but after a few minutes, I realized I was awake and the howling was coming from Dorie.  I’ve not heard her bark, but now I’ve heard her howl.  I put her in her kennel and she slept the rest of the night quietly.  Since that night, I put her in her kennel before we go to bed.

My husband likes to lie on the couch in the evenings and watch tv.  Dorie has learned that quite often he has treats and she’ll also come up to him to be petted when he’s laying quietly.  She’s even gotten up on the couch a few times and laid at his feet.  

She’s taking baby steps and getting used to the routine.  She’s no longer lactating and doesn’t need any medications.  The next big step will be to venture to the vet’s office for her spay surgery.  We haven’t tried going for walks outside of the fenced in yard yet.  She is very sweet and gentle and does best in a quiet, relaxed environment.


Dorie continues to be her sweet, gentle, skittish self.  We’ve gotten into a routine that works pretty well, but we’ve sort of stalemated at going forward from here.  Her routine is to sleep on the couch in the lower level at night.  Go outside with a long rope attached to her harness in the morning.  She still doesn’t follow the other dogs back in the house.  She runs around just out of reach of the rope for a while.  I stand still and watch her figuring she’s getting plenty of exercise running in very big circles.   When I decide it’s time to come in, I can call her name, make a little hand motion and she usually stops so I can approach the rope and step on it.  Once I have the rope in hand, she follows along very willingly behind me into the house.  

Last night I was lying on the couch watching a movie with popcorn.  Dorie does like her treats, but only if you are lying or sitting on the couch.  She’ll walk right up and take a piece of popcorn out of your hand repeatedly.  But, if I move over to another place and hand her a piece of popcorn, she won’t take it.   She also likes to be petted when you are on the couch or crawling on the floor. She’ll walk over slowly and come up to be petted.  But again, standing or sitting somewhere else and she’s more hesitant.  She’s giving me a good excuse for spending a lot of time lying on the couch. 

Every once in a while when Dorie thinks you aren’t looking at her, she’ll go upstairs in search of a sock or underwear.  If she finds something she brings it back downstairs and puts it in her pile on the floor.  I moved her collection into her kennel one night and she took them all back out and put them back on the floor where she had them.   For whatever reason we seem to have a lot of socks that don’t match, so I went through the laundry room and picked out a bunch of socks that don’t match and placed them around for her to find for her collection.  She does know to go to the toy box to take out toys when she wants something.

We’re hoping to schedule her for her spay this week now that she is no longer lactating.   We haven’t tried going in the car or going for walks, so this will be a new experience for her.


Foster mom finally bought a new camera so we can start doing more timely updates and pictures on our sweet Dorie.   As you can see, she is a very pretty, adorable, little female.  She is also as sweet and gentle as she looks.

Dorie is now spayed and will never again have puppies.  She did pretty well at the vet’s office.  We carried her into the office in her kennel.  I was too nervous to risk losing her if we tried walking in.  We brought along one of our resident dogs as a support dog and once inside, we let Dorie out of her kennel.  When it was time to walk into the backroom to be prepped for surgery, she followed the resident dog and walked past a bunch of people into the backroom.  She was a bit freaked out the next morning when the staff tried taking her outside on a sliplead.  She isn’t crazy about having her neck pulled.  She does much better on her harness that we use with her at home.

Dorie is getting braver with us.  She loves her treats and has realized that if she doesn’t come up for a treat when her name is called, another dog will eat it.   She loves chicken and popcorn.  I sit on the couch and call each dog’s name (there are five here).   The first few times were so cute because I’d call Allie – give her a treat, Spirit – give her a treat, Dorie – hold out a treat and Dorie would look at the treat, look at me, but not come forward.  Allie would eat her treat.  After a few times of that, when it got to Dorie’s turn, I’d call her name – she’d look at the treat, look at me, look at the other dogs, and nose her way up so she could get her treat.  Now, she rarely misses her turn.

I made the mistake of getting a little too comfortable with her.   We still use a trailing leash on her in the house, but I don’t think we’d need to.  She lets us walk up to her without bolting and really enjoys being petted.  In fact if you are lying on the couch or sitting on the couch, she’ll walk over and nudge you to be petted.  With this improvement, I thought it would be fun for her to get to go outside with just a couple of trailing leashes attached to each other instead of her long rope so she could run and play.  Ha.  She enjoyed it, yes.  But, she also figured out real quickly just how far away from me she needed to stay so I couldn’t pick up the leashes and walk her back into the house.  An hour of me lying on the ground surrounded by popcorn which she would sneak up and eat, but kept the leash out of arm’s reach, I’d pretty much given up thinking we’d both be sleeping outside for the night.  There are some negatives to having ¾ acres fenced.  You can’t catch a dog that doesn’t want to be caught.  My husband decided at midnight that he would put up some wire fence to cut off a section of the yard so the yard would be smaller and she’d have less room to run.  We had the back door open and his pounding on stakes to hold the wire fence, scared her.  She was running and running around the backyard and I was so worried she would decide to go up and over the fence.  Thankfully, she didn’t, and instead ran into the house to get away from the pounding.  Mission accomplished and lesson learned.  

Until I can easily get to her outside in my fenced yard, I don’t feel comfortable taking her on walks outside of the fenced yard for fear that if she ever slipped her harness, I’d not be able to catch her.  We’re starting to go on walks inside the fence.  She’s an absolutely delightful, very sweet girl and will need a very patient, gentle home with a fenced in yard, another dog, and people that want to help a scared dog learn to live the Golden life.


We now have three puppies (Benny 12-223, Gus 12-224 and Albert 12-225) at Dorie’s foster home and she LOVES them. We were all outside today and she was playbowing and jumping around. Puppies weren’t quite sure what they were supposed to do about it, but Dorie was sure happy. Her tail was wagging the whole time. It’s fun to see the puppy in her come out. I took a number of puppy toys outside for the puppies to play with and Dorie picked each one up and carried it to a spot she picked out and surrounded herself with the toys. She does that in the house too. She builds her own little spot with blankets and toys.


Dorie is more relaxed in her foster home now. She likes to be petted and have her ears scratched. She has even come up to me when I’m sitting down outside. She’s not spending her time outside running in frantic circles and can instead be found closer to the house and relaxing. She’s made some big strides over the past couple of weeks. We were going to go to the RAGOM event today but decided to stay home and play with puppies. Amazing to me, Dorie does not appear to be scared of loud noises at all. My husband likes to watch westerns and Dorie lies on the couch and doesn’t appear bothered by all the gunshots. He’s also been working on the house and the noise of saws, hammering, etc. don’t seem to phase her at all. She’s a very sweet, gentle soul that is starting to blossom.


It’s been a while since I updated Dorie.  We’ve had the three male black lab/GR mix puppies here and we’ve all been sort of busy.  Dorie really enjoys the puppies.  Two of the puppies have gone to their new homes and she and Gus have become friends.  I think she’ll miss him when he goes to his new home.   We’ve had a breakthrough with Dorie.  She now will come in the house by herself.  The drawback is that one has to leave the door open and she wanders in on her own schedule and with the heat, air conditioning the outside isn’t really an option.   There have been a few times that we have forgotten to put on her rope, she’s loose in the backyard and she comes back in.  Yay.  Good job Dorie.  She also is approaching new people for pets as long as the people are sitting.   She gets the zoomies and runs as fast as she can around the backyard, throws toys up in the air and plays with them and plays tug with little Gus.  It is so fun to watch her enjoy being a dog.


The puppies have all gone home and Dorie lost her playmates. She now has a new playmate. Lindsey 07-256 is also fostered here and she and Dorie have become good friends. They enjoy running around the back yard together. They have also both learned that the branches on the neighbor’s pear tree grow over the fence into our yard and drop pears. You can find both girls under the branches feasting on the downed pears.

We were sitting outside today cleaning the ears of one of the resident dogs with cleaner and qtips. Ear cleaning is not a favorite pastime of my resident dog and after a while Dorie decided to help her out. She quietly walked over, leaned down, picked up the box of qtips and took off with them. By the time I got to her, the qtips were flying as she was shaking the container and my resident dog very happily ran off in a different direction. Ear cleaning was done for the day.

Dorie continues to be a very gentle, sweet dog. In the evenings, you can find her cuddled up on the couch with my husband. If you would like to meet Dorie, please tell your placement advisor.


Dorie is a very special girl and today she met a very special family.  The family has two dogs, a fenced in yard and a mom and dad that understand the patience that is required to help Dorie learn to trust humans and not be so scared.  The adopters are previous RAGOM adopters of a puppy mill girl that recently passed away from cancer.  Mom is very gentle and will be able to spend lots of time to let Dorie know that she has nothing to fear.  Dad will continue what foster dad has been doing of lots of treats and pets.  And finally, Dorie will have a dog in her house that will play with her.  She jumps around my old dogs and play bows and gets no reaction.  We’ve had two sets of puppies here while we’ve had Dorie and she’s loved playing with them, but a dog more her size will be so much more fun.  Dorie will be adopted next Saturday.


Dorie has moved to her new home and she is one very lucky girl.  She is doing extremely well in only two short days.  We drove her to her new home to help with her transition and it was so fun to watch her be so brave.  She walked around the living room and met her new fur sisters again.  Her new mom and dad and human sisters are all very gentle, patient people that have fallen head over heels for her.  Her new home is on a lake and yesterday, she ventured into the lake with her new dog sister.  She is going to be so happy and we are thrilled that her new home is so perfect for her. 


Hi everyone!

Dorie 12-103 now named Ava is such a sweet little girl! Ava is our second puppy mill girl we have adopted from Ragom. Our Rosey, who passed away last July would of wanted us to help another one like her.

Every step Ava makes is huge! She is very happy and her confidence is growing. We start every morning with our one mile walk. She can't wait to go. She runs around the house with her favorite squeaky ball in anticipation of her adventure! She almost jumps into her harness. We have passed many hurdles. Ava comes in and out of the house without coaxing her. She used to run from us in the yard, now she comes up to us and, lets us hug her! She loves to play, we have made a routine that around 4:30 PM {before dark in the winter} I would throw the ball for her. She has a clock in her head - when it gets around that time she starts squeaking her ball. If she is outside she will wait on the front step for me to come out. If I'm not home, someone else fills in!

She has gained weight. We feel muscles instead of her boney little frame. Ava loves to pile her toys from one room to another. She entertains the other dogs watching her! Ava now goes up and down the steps freely. We tell her nite nite and many times she is ahead of us and her fur sisters. She is very cuddly, sometimes she crawls up on the bed between us, and just snuggles in. We already have our Gracey who sleeps at the end of the bed. She is pretty sneaky!

I have included some pictures of Ava. As you can see she loves her other sisters!

She house trained very fast. I can't remember when she had her last accident. Ava also has been out of the fenced in yard and stayed with us! We love her very much .Thank-you for all that you do, our little Ava was saved because of you! She is a very special little girl. Adopting a puppy mill dog is very rewarding. It is heart warming to see all of her progress. Her long tail wags all he time, we have even caught her smiling! We will continue to help her become the strong, happy, carefree Golden that she deserves. She is our joy! Our Adrian has allot of fishing and swimming skills to pass on to her!

Thank-you again! Thank-you also to Konnie and Leon, her foster parents, for taking such good care of Ava until we found her. You kept her safe and loved!

Diane and John
Adrian,Gracey and Ava