Dennis and Joanne
"You've taken care of your babies and given them a good start in life. Now it's time for you to start your own Golden life!!!"
"In memory of Hattie Pie, who went to the Rainbow Bridge exactly one year ago, because she would want Ava to have a chance at the kind of life she had."
|A portion of Ava's medical care was paid for by a generous grant from the Golden Retriever Foundation's April Fund|
Hello everyone! This is Ava. She is 2yrs 9mo (dob 06-14-2009). She came to RAGOM from Missouri, along with 28 other dogs and eight of them are her babies.
She is a beautiful girl but has had a rough start to life and was a baby making machine. Granted her babies are beautiful. That was not a life she was meant to live!
It is now time for her to enjoy life. Every day is a new experience with her. We love having her and watching her grow in her new world of freedom.
She will not be ready for adoption until she has been spayed and has learned more social skills.
Spring has sprung! Hopefully in time Ava will be able to appreciate all that the new seasons bring.
Ava has now moved to a new foster home. Her life once again has changed. No more puppies for her now but this change did not come without some more anxiety for Ava. It was a long ride to her new foster home and she arrived there with a messy kennel. Not pleasant but totally expected. Her safe place, like all mill dogs, is her kennel. She drags behind her 2 long leashes attached so that we can get her in from outside. When you open her door to let her out of her kennel she goes full tilt. The first time we let her out we did not have the patio door open and she ran right into it. We now know to make sure that door is open because there is no stopping her. The frightened look on her face would break your heart.
We had to take a trip to the vet last weekend. She was biting at her tail relentlessly. She shows some signs of allergies (itching, pink feet, pink and somewhat hairless under her tail) so she is transitioning over to a grain free food. She finally is eating pretty regularly but she is so skinny you can see her ribs. She’s petite but she gives it new meaning. She developed diarrhea from the new food so she is now on boiled hamburger and rice and the transition will happen even more slowly.
She really loves her foster brother Oliver and I can see now why these dogs need to be in a home with another large breed dog, a physical fence, and no kids under 10. Without Oliver she would be clueless as to what to do. She is such a flight risk that without a fence, you really risk her getting loose and never getting her back. At this point it is hard to say how she would do with kids. She is very skittish but may get better as time goes on.
I’m hoping that Ava acquires a lot of followers and that each of you who watches her can appreciate her progress as she learns to enjoy life. She is such a dear and I know that some day with a lot of love and patience she is going to be a dream dog with a really sweet personality. If you have the means we certainly would appreciate someone to sponsor her. How can you resist that face? Hopefully we can get her allergies under control with food but you never know. She is so deserving and we promise you frequent updates. For those of you that would like to help but cannot afford to sponsor her, we would love to see her covered in spring icons. I told her Spring has Sprung and good things are coming her way. Let’s start with some fun stuff like butterflies, chicks and bunnies. She looks good in pastels!
Hello. Now that I've been in my foster home for a while, I thought I'd give this update thing a whirl.
My name is Princess Avery of Stonebridge but my friends call me Ava. Or Avery. Or Peanut. I've been told that, having escaped the horrors of a puppy mill, my name symbolizes what's in store for me from this point forward. I hope it does cuz I would very much like to live like a princess!
I would like to thank my sponsors for their generous donations. I know that without your support I wouldn't be here so thank you Dennis and Joanne for your gift. If I had any babies left I'd give you one. And thank you too to Hattie Pie for being so lovable that your memory is inspirational.
I have to say things are going pretty well for me here. I'm less scared than I was when I first came. My BFF Oliver has helped a lot. We play endlessly. He wrestles with me, plays tug and chase with me, and chews on bones with me. He served as my buffer with the humans here but even that's gotten better. I used to accept pets only if Oliver was in the middle but now I'll accept pets when it's just me. Mostly. I still get scared sometimes if someone moves fast. Oliver has helped me learn that it's not so scary to be away from my safe spot. Here's a movie of him being my mentor. He has a big butt, doesn't he? Hahaha.
Outside, I am one happy girl. I love to run and toss toys around and do a little gardening (the good kind. You know, pulling off dead sticks that the humans would pull off anyway). I hold my head and my tail high and I prance around like I own the joint.
I had to make a trip to the vet last week because my stomach was upset. That was scary! I was a brave girl though and let the vet examine me and give me fluids. No one's really sure why I got sick but I've bounced back on a diet of boiled hamburger and rice and I'm slowly transitioning to a new limited ingredient, grain free food. That's to hopefully mitigate any allergic issues I may be having cuz I've been kinda itchy. I have to go back to the vet next week to be spayed. Wish me luck!! Paws crossed that I can be a brave girl again cuz it makes my humans pop buttons with pride.
I have a ways to go still on my socialization before I'm ready for adoption but my humans are confident that I'm up to the task. Tune in next week for a new episode of Life with Ava. And thanks again to my sponsors!
Hi. Ava here with another update on me :-) I'm getting braver and braver by the day. I got through my spay surgery and I didn't even have to wear a cone. I'm finally off leash restriction so I can run and play and wrestle. Yay me! I could just be paranoid but I get the feeling the resident dog liked it better the other way. Too bad! Here's a movie of me enjoying one of his toys. It didn't survive. I think he saw that coming.
I had to go back to the vet this week because I got a cyst between my toes. It wasn't my first one and they're likely allergy related so I'm on a limited ingredient food and we've changed from Benadryl to Zyrtec to see if we can get ahead of them. We also found out at the vet that I've gained more than 5 pounds. My ribs don't poke out anymore. I'm sure we can attribute that to a regimen of breakfasts, lunches, suppers, and second suppers. In addition to these things, my other accomplishments include:
- venturing out of the family room/kitchen area into the dining room and living room (albeit tentatively)
- routinely walking to the far side of the kitchen for water rather than drinking from the bowl in my kennel
- letting humans touch me when they're standing (not always though, and not if there is more than one in the room)
- accepting that the moment I poop, there will be a human there to pick it up so that I don't have to feel compelled to take care of it myself
- letting a human brush me (twice!)
- letting a human soak my foot in anti-bacterial solution
- eating my meals outside of my kennel (with a watchful eye)
- letting a human touch my collar without freaking out
- putting my own personal stamp on the corner of the coffee table. (Now the table is 'distressed' :-)
- laying down in spots other than my safe corner, including laying down NEXT TO A HUMAN
Some things that are still a work in progress include:
- coming in from outside without someone leading me in by my leash
- not starting out each day like we're at square one. I still dart out of my kennel to get as far away as possible.
- letting humans mess with my collar so that a leash can be clipped on and off me at will
- always accepting treats
- belly rubs
All in all, I'm proud to say I've come a long way from the scared little girl I was. Dennis and Mary, I can't produce a puppy anymore to give you as a thank you gift for your sponsorship but I might be able to get you some face time with one from my last batch! And Hattie Pie...you're missed more than you can possibly know.
It's me! Aivee! I've made so much progress since my last update I don't even know where to begin! Life for me gets better and better with each passing day. I no longer have to be led by my leash into the house and sometimes I go in even before my BFF Oliver! I now LOVE to get petted by the humans that are around here. Not any other humans though. We're still working on that. I let my Foster Mom cut my nails again and, while I didn't love it, I didn't hold a grudge this time. She can brush me too. We're still working on clipping and unclipping my leash from my collar. When I master that without freaking out, I won't have to trail it anymore. And, my allergies are all cleared up now that I’m on a limited ingredient food. Yay! So that’s all the good stuff. Now I must, in the interest of full disclosure, reveal that I had an accident in the house this week. That’s the first one in a long, long time though.
Aren’t I simply adorable? My once green teeth are now pearly white and my fur is just lovely!!
Sometimes, usually after I've had a case of the zoomies, Oliver and I chill in the grass and chew on sticks while we tell each other stories. It looks like this:
Hey Oliver! Did you hear the one about the collie that walked into the bar?
The bartender said, “So…why the long face?”
Hahahaha. I crack him up.
I still have some things to work on (like car rides, strangers, eating when the humans aren’t sitting perfectly still, etc.) but, all in all, I am a pretty happy girl. My humans love me to pieces and they kiss on me all the time. Not so much after I stole the eye glasses and chewed on them but otherwise all the time.
P.S. I want to thank Dennis & Mary again for their generous sponsorship and, to Hattie Pie, your mom misses you.
I guess it’s time to update my blog! Let me start by saying my humans are quite proud of me. While I’m still not ready for adoption, I’ve come a long, long ways from the scared little girl I once was. I’m so brave I’m even naughty once in a while. Here are some of my milestones:
- I let my Foster Mom attach and detach a leash on my collar several times a day now and I only run a little ways away before I sit to have it done
- The humans no longer have to sit perfectly still while I eat. They can’t be near me though.
- I rolled over for a belly rub. It was awesome!!! Who knew??
- I sniffed the human who lives next door. AND I took a treat from her.
- I let my Foster Mom put a gentle leader harness on me and walk me around the back yard
- I still panic at the site of the brush but I settle down once I’m getting brushed. Same with nail trims.
- I flirt. I’m told I am oh-so-cute in the mornings.
Some things that are still works in progress include:
- Car rides
- Leaving my sheltered world. I still only live in two rooms of the house and the backyard. We’re gonna venture out this week though and walk around the big, scary cul de sac.
Here are some other things my Foster Mom thinks would be relevant to prospective adopters:
- I like to wake anywhere between 3:00 am and 4:30 am. I cry because I’m bored/lonely/hungry. You can try to ignore me but I’ve been told it’s tough. I have the run of the house at night so there are things I could find to do but I’d like some company in the wee hours of the morning
- I LOVE LOVE LOVE to shred. This means I shred all my toys, some rugs, weed barrier, etc. Oh, and I shredded the day lilies a little. Okay, a lot. I have some tuff stuff fabric toys that are sturdy so that helps with my shredding obsession. I see there is now a stock pile of them in the toy box. Good call.
- I have a really, really high prey drive. The resident dog and I tag team a search-and-destroy mission each morning. Alas, we’d be way more successful if Foster Mom didn’t stomp around on the deck before she let us out.
- I like to eat poop. My own poop, rabbit poop…I like poop. I will not, however, eat the resident dog’s poop. A girl’s gotta draw the line.
Here’s me being cute.
Once again, I want to thank my sponsors. I’m forever grateful. Tune in next week for more Adventures of Princess Avery of Stonebridge.
I see that I'm long overdue on updating my page and, frankly, I don't even know where to start! That scared little girl I was in my previous updates is a thing of the past! I have a boatload of confidence now and my humans have started calling me Little Miss Personality because I'm so adorable. I go in most rooms in the house now and I've even slept on the bed a few times! We go for walks every night and I get excited when I see my harness come out. I no longer have to trail a leash because I've learned 'sit' and I'll do it happily for a treat.
Some other things you should know are that I love love love to play with other dogs. The resident dog here doesn't play nearly enough for my taste. I have a lot of energy to burn so my forever home should have an active dog who's ready to wrestle. If I could burn off more of this energy it would be easy for me to sleep all night instead of waking up at the crack of dawn. I will be a world class cuddler too once I've learned to trust you.
Might you be my forever family? If you're active, have at least one confident dog that likes to play, have a fenced yard and no kids (RAGOM rules for puppy mill survivors) and are looking for a cute, funny, peanut of a girl, pick me! I'll make you proud.
It's me! Ava! I would like to report on the progress I've made here at my foster home. It's a lot so get comfy!
First of all, I would like someone to tell me how I ever got a good night's sleep on a dog bed. Oh my gosh the human bed is soooo much better. It's my new favorite thing. Every time my humans go upstairs I follow so closely they have to be careful not to hit me with their heels. The bed here is too high for lil ol' me to jump on by myself so I put my front paws up there and give my humans my most adorable face. Of course they cave and give me a little boost and then I get so excited I get the zoomies! And the best part is I sleep all night long now. When the alarm goes off, I get all cuddly and lay my head on my foster mom's shoulder. I get to lay on the bed some more while the humans get ready for work. Then I sleep in my kennel til the first human comes home. A typical night includes supper (I eat in the kitchen now and the humans can do whatever they like during my meal time. I'm not scared!) and then a walk thru the hood. I'm so comfortable on walks now that I actually sniff stuff :-). I don't, however, do anything else. I save that for my own backyard. After our walk my Foster Mom sits on the floor and I put my feet in her lap and we snuggle. Then she rolls me over and gives me a belly rub. Sometimes we spoon. THE BEST!!!
One of my most favorite things is dog play. The resident dog doesn't like it nearly as much as I do but every once in a while I can get him to do something with me. Here's me and him playing with our new toy. Now my buddy, Sam, on the other hand, loves to roughouse so we play alot! He lives next door and when he comes over we run and wrestle and chase until we drop. Then we chew on sticks.
I'm not afraid of very much anymore although I admint I'm still a little afraid of strangers. I no longer tremble though, I just steer clear. It could be because all strangers that come into the house get the spiel ("puppymill-dog-scared-don't- talk-loud-don't-make-direct-eye-contact") but I like to think it's because I've gotten braver. I'm also still afraid of the car. We haven't tried it lately but I might be more inclined to like it if the destination were somewhere fun. I can't do things like dog park while I'm in foster care so perhaps when I'm in my forever home I can overcome this obstacle more quickly. I've also started going in all the rooms in the house now, too. On both levels! I no longer have to be in sight of my safe spot in the family room. Sudden movements and noises still scare me but that will get better as I gain more confidence and trust.
My humans have decided that I have what it takes to become an almost normal dog if my forever home would continue to help me overcome my few remaining fears. Might that be you?
Do you like my new picture? My Foster Mom says my scarf brings out the color in my eyes. I think she could be right.
I want to say thank you to my puppy mill sister, Betty, for buying the icon on my webpage. Wasn't that nice of her? Maybe she gets to have a paper route in her forever home. I know she got really lucky with her humans. I gotta say I'm starting to think humans maybe aren't so bad after all. Dennis and Joanne were nice enough to sponsor me and they don't even know me. And I got help from the Golden Retriever Foundation, too.
Things are going good for me here. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the snow. I could play outside for hours. I just love it when Sam, the Golden Rretriever from next door, comes over cuz we wrestle hard. My humans say I've gotten so brave that I'm oh-so-close to being like a non-puppy mill dog. I'm really just a happy girl who loves to chew on peanut butter filled bones, go for walks, and cuddle with my peeps. I still get a little shy with strangers but when it's just the humans I know here, I'm perfectly comfortable. There have been lots of different humans in and out of here this past week while my Foster Mom is on vacation and I haven't freaked out at all. I just lay quietly in my corner and watch the goings-on.
I was hoping I would get to spend this Christmas with my brand new family, but alas, it's not to be. I'm not discouraged, though. I know there's a family out there that will be able to look past my puppy mill past and fall in love with adorable, loveable me. I'll wait.
From one Missouri girl to another-I'm so proud of how far you've come! Love, Betty 12-101
In loving memory of Betty Driscoll from Doug, JoDee and Chablis
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as I did. I'd like to send a heartfelt thank you to my four-legged foster cousins. They were so nice! I got a whole bunch of toys and bones and scarves and collars.
I'm still making progress here in my foster home. My Foster Mom has been home for a couple weeks so we've spent lots of time together. We take walks and play on the floor with the resident dog. And we cuddle. Sometimes we have grooming sessions and I get brushed and get my nails trimmed. I don't mind at all. In fact, I like it!
Here's a new picture of me. This scarf matches the collar I'm wearing. How cute is that!
Happy Valentine’s Day!! I have no idea what that is, but I’m thrilled to have a valentine on my page! Thank you, Mr Greg Murphy, for thinking of me! I got a new winter icon too, so I would like to thank Doug, JoDee, and Chablis for their generous donation in memory of Betty. And I’m still forever grateful to Dennis and Joanne for their sponsorship. I am a lucky, lucky dog to have so many human friends who want to help me overcome my fears.
I’m still hanging out in foster care. My humans are so proud of me because of all the progress I’ve made. Me thinks they even L-O-V-E me. Seriously, who wouldn’t? I’m so adorable sometimes even I can’t stand it. My new trick is to sneak upstairs to the resident dog’s stash of plush toys and steal one. Then, I run back down to the family room where I squeak, squeak, squeak it, and then, I whip it around the room for a while. When the humans quit paying attention to me, I shred it. Ha!
The other day I had a play date with a fellow volunteer’s dogs. Here’s the video. That’s me in the red scarf. As you can see, they pretty much ignored me. I have no idea why. I tried and tried but they just ran around me. My Foster Mom said I was like the kid that doesn’t get picked for the team. I think she felt worse than I did. She gave me lots of loving after my company left. Other than that, things are pretty much the same here. We go for lots of walks unless the weather is bad, I’m still a world class cuddler at bedtime, and the car is still scary for me cuz we haven’t worked on that yet. We’re going to, though, as soon as the weather warms up. I’m not looking forward to it.
Thanks for reading about me!
Don’t you just love life? I do. I want RAGOM to know how grateful I am that they rescued me because I had no idea things could be like this! I’m learning more and more about what life can be outside of a puppy mill, and I like it!
We have a new routine when we go for walks now. We used to walk out the front door and I got pretty used to that, but now we have to go out through the garage. That means I have to walk all the way across the kitchen, into the oh-so-small laundry room, and out into the doesn’t-have-much light garage. Kinda scary!! I’ve done it a few times now and it’s getting easier. We started out with my Foster Mom putting my leash on me in the family room and walking me through all those other rooms. She won’t do that anymore. Now she stands by the laundry room with my leash and makes me walk over there by myself. The first time she did that, I stood my ground in the family room. But she started walking out without me!! I hightailed it across that floor so fast I blew the papers off the counter. Sometimes you just have to put your big girl collar on! Walks are my second favorite thing, so there was no way I was gonna get left behind. In case you’re curious, bedtime with my human is my very favorite thing. My third favorite thing is getting kissed. I just LOVE kisses. If you throw in a belly scratch, I’ll be yours forever. I like to give kisses too. My Foster Mom gets a kiss on her chin every morning when I hear her eyes open.
I still have playdates with the neighbor dog and we have a blast. They have a new grandpuppy so he came over too. I walked right up to his humans like I wasn’t scared at all. They were surprised to hear I came from a puppy mill because they thought I looked so brave. Me!
I’m getting more and more time out of my kennel when the humans are gone too. I haven’t done anything naughty. I like it best, though, when everyone’s home. We have our little routine that includes the humans watching TV and me throwing the kong around or chewing on a bone. Unless, of course, there’s a dog show on TV. Then I make a better door than a window.
Happy Valentine's Day, Ava! From Gregory
It’s Ava here with an update. Things continue to go well for me in foster care. I really wish, though, that I had my own forever home. If you’re frightened by my puppy mill past, you shouldn’t be. I’ve come a long way from the scared little girl I was last March. I’m happy all the time and I love to get pets and kisses from the humans. I also love to sit in my Foster Mom’s lap when we’re all on the floor. Honestly, if you saw me in my foster home, you would think I’m a typical Golden Retriever. I play, I watch TV, I cuddle. I even assist in the wiping of my feet by lifting my paws. Sometimes I hold one up even if my Foster Mom opts to start with the resident dog’s feet.
Here is a list of things I will need from you as my new forever family:
- Must have at least one large, confident dog.
- Must have a physical fence.
- Must have a quiet household with no small children (I will never like sudden movements).
- Must be prepared to deal with my allergies (I’m currently on a limited ingredient diet and take a Zyrtec a day to combat them).
- Must be willing to love me up often.
- Must provide some shred toys and be willing to fill a kong nightly. (I will amuse you with my Kong Antics.
- Must provide a dog bed or two for lounging. And, I really like to sleep in bed with the humans, so if you could accommodate that, that would be great! I don’t get on the other furniture in my foster home, but if that’s allowed in your house, that would be great too!
- Must continue my acclimation into the real worl.
Here’s a video that highlights my last year. You can see how far I’ve come. Thanks for putting it together, Macy!!
I promise if you take a chance on me, you won’t regret it. I will love you to the moon and back.
It’s me, Aivee, with my monthly update. I had my spring wellness exam and everything is A-OK. The vet tech was the same one I saw last year and she didn’t even recognize me! She said, “Who is this beautiful, confident girl”? I let her give me a distemper shot and look at the allergy flare-up on my foot, and I let the vet look in my ears, eyes, and mouth. They all loved me. I have to take some antibiotics for my foot and lose two pounds. What?? I’m sure she was kidding. My humans told me they think my weight is just fine. They even rewarded me for my bravery with a new kind of treat called carrots. I think carrots must be an acquired taste.
Other than that, things are still going really well for me here in my foster home. I continue to demand…I mean, request repeated hugs and kisses, and I remain a world-class bedtime cuddler.
Did you see I’m going to make my meet-n-greet debut on June 15? I’m so excited! My humans told me I’m going to have to put on my big girl collar, but I think I’m up to the task. I might be a little nervous when I get there, so I hope no one holds that against me. I hope I see you there!
Guess what I did? I went to a meet ‘n greet! My foster family was so proud there were buttons poppin’ all over the place. It was my birthday too, so I got presents from my friends, Clohe, Suzy, Chablis, and my puppy mill pal, Betty. I am one lucky girl.
Here’s me with my cool name tag.
I’m starting to take more car rides now. I don’t tremble as much and I even settle down enough to take in the sights sometimes. We’re gonna work on that some more and everyone is confident that I will learn to love the car like I’ve learned to love other stuff such as hugs, grooming sessions, and sleeping with the humans. I also really love when my foster mom comes outside and plays with us. I get so excited that I get the zoomies. After a couple of laps around the yard, I stick close to her side as she pulls weeds or waters stuff. When she sits on the step, I squeeze in as close as I can get so I ace out the resident dog and hog all the pets. Hahaha.
Some other relevant facts about lil ol’ me are:
- I’m housebroken.
- I rarely bark. Not even when the doorbell rings.
- I like to assist in shrub management.
- I’m an excellent walker.
- I eat my poop if it’s not picked up right away. Always have, always will.
- I shred stuffed toys. I can’t help it.
- I love all the dogs I’ve ever met.
- I know ‘sit.’
- I dawdle when I eat.
- I will chase every squirrel, bunny or bird that comes into the yard.
Sloppy kisses to my donors: Dennis and Joanne, Greg Murphy, The Golden Retriever Foundation, Doug, JoDee & Chablis, and Betty Lou!
Ava will be attending the meet-and-greet on July 28th.
It’s me, Ava, with an update from my foster home. I had a big outing last week to the dermatologist. Everyone was hoping I could get off of my limited-ingredient food and my daily zyrtec and go with allergy shots instead, but alas, it isn’t to be. I was a brave girl, though, and I rode in the back seat with just resident dog Oliver and no humans back there at all! I did great!
There really isn’t much new to report for me. I continue to be a happy, happy girl and I get braver all the time. I’m still a little afraid of the humans we encounter on our walks, but not as afraid as I used to be. If they don’t look at me while they hold their hand out, I’ll sniff it. And I’ll sniff their little dog too!
The resident dog and I have become quite the hunters. We tag team it. We were so successful last week that we each got a bird at the same time and the human didn’t know who to chase first. Hahaha. Sadly, now there’s a big plywood barricade protecting the bush with the bird’s nest so we’re back to watching for pesky wabbits.
In case you’d like a glimpse into my life, it goes something like this:
- Wake up next to the human, give chin kisses, stretch.
- Go outside to check my pmail, update my status, and look for vermin.
- Back in the house for breakfast and my allergy pill.
- Hang out loose in the house and snooze.
- One of my humans comes home to let us out then we hang out loose in the house and snooze some more.
- We all go for a walk around the hood where I sniff everything but pee on nothing.
- Supper time.
- Play time in the backyard where I get the zoomies, roll around on my back, and annoy the resident dog.
- We all go for a walk around the hood where I sniff everything but pee on nothing.
- TV watching time where I get lots of pets and hugs while I amuse myself with a toy, bone or Kong.
- Bed time where I snuggle til morning.
And here is a picture of adorable me!
MY TRANSFORMATION IN PICTURES
Before, I was all
But then I was like
And that turned into
And now I'm totally
Thanks to Devon for capturing the very essence that is lovable, huggable, squeezable ME!
I have news! My Foster Mom said that she gave the adopting public more than a year to scoop me up but no one did so I am officially home! My new mom wants you all to know that, while my acclimation period may have been a struggle, I have become the most loving, trusting dog ever. I make my mom laugh every single day. So, while you’re reading those bios of the other puppy mill dogs, consider this: my life began the day I got rescued and no one is more aware of that than me. I will be forever grateful and my mom can tell by the way I look at her that I love her more than life itself. Will I ever be normal? What’s normal? I ask you. My mom says she’s never had a dog that didn’t have personality quirks or medical issues, including the one that came from a breeder so we say normal schmormal! I know that my mom wouldn’t trade me for all the ‘normal’ dogs in the world.