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!

Leia 12-105
(Fostered in Inver Grove Heights, MN)

Sponsored by:

Sharon and Todd Sens (and Milo!)
"In honor of the incredible effort by RAGOM and the volunteers who made the Missouri rescue possible"


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 31, 2012

Please welcome Leia to the RAGOM family; she is one of the 29 dogs that came from a commercial breeder in Missouri. She is an 11 month old pure bred Golden Retriever, she is a very light colored girl, and she is a small golden weighing 42 lbs. She has a small black birth mark on her cheek, I thought it was grease and tried to wash it off.

She has been in my home for five days. She is a beautiful girl. Tonight as I write this update for her she came over to me and laid next to me, placed her paw on my leg and fell asleep. What a sweet girl.

She has been to the vet and is in good health, her only problem is she has an ear infection. She is very shy and afraid of loud noises and fast movement. She is coming around, she loves to follow the other dogs in the house. I am working on teaching her to come and to respond to her name, she is doing pretty good at that, she will take treats and food from my hand and when I have some food in my hand and say Leia come she will come right to me. Leia is going to have to get use to people and life in the house before she will be able to find her forever home.

Things she will need in her forever home:

  • She will need a confident large breed dog to help her learn.
  • She will need a fenced in yard.
  • She will need to be in a home that does not have small children; children should be 10 or older.

We're gratified to be able to change the lives of so many Golden Retrievers, but this rescue will have a significant impact on our budget. Please help these dogs—and the rest of the dogs that will come into RAGOM this year—by making a tax-deductible donation. You can donate online, or send a check to Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, Suite 120, 5800 Baker Road, Minnetonka, MN 55345. As always, we thank you for your help!


Leia is doing pretty well. She is still afraid of people and is doing a lot of pacing but it is much less then her first week. She is keeping her crate clean and is sleeping through the night. She is eating twice a day and will do that outside of her crate. She will seek out the water dish. She is going outside to do her business, if I don't keep a eye on her in the house she will go inside. We are working on that. She will come to me and take treats out of my hand but if I reach out to her she will run away. When we sit down in the evening to watch tv she will come and lay next to me and chew on a bone or take a nap. She has come a long way in her two weeks here. Her behaviors are very normal for a puppy mill dog. Because she is so young I hope she will overcome them sooner than later.

Leia loves to play with my resident dog Baylee. We were all sitting on the floor watching tv and the dogs were chewing bones, Leia went up to Baylee and smelled her bone and then ran away. She they came back very slowly and very gently took Baylee's bone and ran away. She came over to me laid down and started to chew, I think she was hoping I was going to protect her so Baylee would not take it back.

Leia and I would like to thank Sharon and Todd!! It is so great to have such wonderful people who care so much. Leia is getting great care and a chance at a golden life and that is possible because of people like you. Leia sends hug and kisses.


Leia went for her first walk outside of the fenced in yard. She did great!!! She was a bit scared but she stayed right next to me and walked very well. She would run into my leg once in a while, she would dart away from trash cans and fire hydrants and when people would approach us she would hide behind me and lay on the ground. She was not afraid of the cars driving by. We had lots of compliments on how beautiful she is. What a good girl. Stay tuned as her adventures continue.


Leia is doing great after having her spay surgery. She is a very healthy girl and gets more comfortable with her new surroundings every day. Leia took her first trip to the lake this past weekend. She loved it. She did great in the car on the way there, it is a long drive and she had no problems on the way. We do crate the dogs on the drive; it takes us about 4 hours. She was fine with the new surroundings and we kept her routine the same. She played outside and stayed close to me. She is always willing to follow me when I call her. I used a 25 foot rope on her when she was outside. She was free to explore without the worries of escape. On the ride home she did get car sick. I am not sure what happened, we did feed her right before we left. Next time I will hold off feeding her.

Leia is looking for her forever home. She is still shy and afraid of things but has come a long way in a short time. If you would like to meet her she will be at Highland Park PETCO this Saturday from 11:00 – 12:30. She would love to meet you.


Leia spent part of the day at PETCO. She met a lot of nice people and did very well with all of the attention. We got to meet a very special person today, it was Leia’s sponsor. It was so nice to meet her and put a face to her name. Sharon, Thanks for coming out to meet Leia, she is so lucky to have someone who cares about her so much.

It always amazes me that there are so many people who read the RAGOM dog stories and know so much about our dogs when we take them to the meet and greet events! We talked with so many great people today who care about these dogs so much and are willing to do whatever it takes to make their homes acceptable so they can adopt a special dog with special needs.

Leia is one of those special dogs, she will need a home with a fenced in yard, another confident dog to show her the way and no small children. Most importantly she needs Love!!!

Thanks RAGOM fans for all you do!!


Just a quick update, Leia is doing great. She spent another weekend at the lake and had a great time. She rides very well in the car, no car sickness on the way there but did get sick on the way home. I am going to try not feeding her in the morning when we have to drive home. She had lots of fun playing outside all day. Nothing better than a good game of tag, a game of tug of war and when you’re done take a rest by the fire and chew up a few sticks. Leia really likes the lake and her best gal pal Baylee!!

Leia is doing better at going in and out of the house. She will go out with no troubles and will come in most of the time. Sometimes I have to hook her leash on her to bring her in. When she is outside she is leash free, in our fenced in back yard, she will run and play and come up on the deck to come in. She is also learning to sit for her treats. She loves her treats and will take them nicely from my hand. I see the happy young dog behavior come out a little more each day. To see her tail wagging and a smile on her face is such a great feeling to have when you know what this dog had to live through her first year of life.

Leia is still looking for her forever home, she is a joy to have and a very wonderful dog. If you would like to meet Leia please contact your placement adviser. She is waiting to hear from you.


Leia gave me the most wonderful Mother’s Day gift, when I went to get her out of her crate she wagged her tail with excitement, that’s the first time she has done that!!! She has done that when she is out and running around but not in the morning when I get her up. That’s another step forward for her.

Leia had a big weekend at the lake. She had some dog visitors; she had a lot of fun with them. She loves to play and run and is always in the middle of the pack. She was playing with a very big dog a Great Dane named Tipsy and a Husky named Sadie, she did very good with both. She really liked Tipsy and was always wondering what she was doing.

She even got a little close to my son, but not to close. She did a few drive by smells and that was enough for her.

She also learned that when you walk on the dock if you’re not careful you will get wet. Leia did fall off the dock two times. We did learn she does know how to swim.

When her company went home she went up on the porch and took a nice long nap, it's hard work playing with friends!!

I did not feed her too much on the morning we drove home, she did pretty good she made it all the way home without getting sick. Just as I opened her kennel door to let her out she threw up just a bit. So maybe she will outgrow this as she spends more time on the road. She does not get carsick on short trips around town.

Leia is a wonderful dog that is learning more every day, she is a joy to foster and would fit into any home. If you would like to meet her contact your placement advisor.


Leia is doing great; she is still shy around new people. We are still working on her going in and out of the house on her own. Sometimes she will do it and other times she will need me to take her collar and lead her. She is like my little shadow. She follows me around the house and when I sit down she will lay at my feet. When we are outside she will lie under my chair and watch the world go by. She is a very quiet dog, she does very little barking.

I put the pool out for the dogs this past weekend and she was very curious of the water but she would not go in. She watched from the outside edge and leaned in for a few drinks.

We will be heading out of town for a week's vacation, Leia loves to go to the cabin she has a lot of fun running and playing with the other dogs. I will update with some new pictures when we get back.


Leia had a great time on vacation. She is doing so much better on the car ride, we left for the lake on Friday at 4:30 in rush hour traffic, it is a three and a half hour drive if there is no traffic. She made the drive without any car sickness. Saturday early in the morning we found out that we had a new grandbaby born so we got back into the truck and came back home again, no car sickness and she had eaten right before we left. We visited with our new grandbaby and then got back in the truck and drove back to the lake. That was a lot of driving in 24 hours. Leia did not get sick. I think she has outgrown that.

Leia played outside a lot, she loves to run and follow my resident dog. When we are at the lake Leia is on a 25 foot trailing leash. She stays close to us and does not wander off. I get a little nervous when they are running and chasing each other, Leia likes to run in the woods and brush and she is one fast dog. When she gets zooming around she is like a rocket. She also is getting the hang of fetch, I toss the ball and she will run to get it, if she gets there first she will grab the ball come close to me and start tossing the ball up and jumping on it. When I tell her to leave it she will do that sometimes. She is making progress. If she doesn’t get to it first she will run back next to the dog that gets it, she will also try and get the ball out of that dogs mouth.

Leia is also doing better at going in and out of the house when we are at home. She is going out without a leash on, I will ask her to go outside and tell her to come with me and she is following me to the door. When it is time to come in I open the door and call her in and she will race in the door. Before we went on vacation I would have to clip her leash on her to bring her inside. She is not giving me signals when she has to go out, I let her out often and she is keeping her crate clean. When she is not in her crate I keep her tethered to me so she is not having accidents in the house.

Leia is a very sweet dog, she is shy when you first meet her. She is very quiet and does not bark very often. The only time that she does bark is when she is in her crate and she wants to go outside. We found that out on vacation. At home the dogs go in their crate at 9:00pm that is their bed time and I get them up at 6:30am. We did not do that at the lake and she would let out one bark at about 7:00am, she wanted to go out and do her business. So I would get up and let her out, no sleeping in for me. After two days of that I started letting the dogs out before we went to bed at 12 or 1am and that worked out much better. She was quiet until I let them out at 9:00am.

If you would like to meet Leia she will be at the Twin Cities Pride Festival this Sunday June 24th from 12-2 at Loring Park in Minneapolis, come out and see her and lots of other golden's.


Leia is doing great, she is becoming more comfortable at home every day. She loves to run and chase my resident dog. They get along so well. She is also a very calm dog. She will run and play outside and when she comes in she is very content to lie in her crate or to come and lie next to me and chew on a bone.

Leia had a very busy weekend. She went to the Pride Festival in Minneapolis on Sunday. She was a little scared but did a great job considering how many people were there. It was hot and she was very tired by the time we got to the car. I think it took her about two minutes and she was out cold.

Leia is going to have a busy week. We will be having another RAGOM dog come and stay with us while her foster family goes on vacation. Journey 12-111 is a puppy mill dog that came into RAGOM with Leia. It will be interesting to see how they react to each other.

Leia is looking for her forever home, if you would like to meet her she would love to meet you. contact your placement advisor.



I wanted to give a quick update before we head to the lake for the 4th of July celebrations. Leia is doing so great in my home. She is happy and is finally putting on some weight, she doesn't look like a starving dog anymore.

Leia gets so excited when I get her leash out, she knows what that means!!! We are going for a walk!!! I tried out the gentle leader on Leia, she did a wonderful job. She did not pull at all and she only pawed at the nose strap a few times. That is the most amazing invention. She is walking like a champion now.

Leia gets along with all dogs that she meets. she loves to play. she is getting more relaxed inside the house and she will follow me wherever I go, I turn around and there she is. She will nudge my leg to make sure she gets a pet! She is going in and outside without any help.

Leia is still looking for her forever home. Come out and meet her, you will not be sorry. She is a wonderful girl.


Leia is doing very good !!! She had a great time at the lake, she loves it there. She was also fine with all the fireworks and the storms that passed by. She is a wonderful dog. She has started to wag her tail more often and is excited to see me when I come home.

Leia will be staying with another foster family this week while we spend a week in Canada doing some fishing. I dropped her off last night and I already miss her. I'm sure she will be fine. I will update how she is doing when we get back. If you would like to meet Leia please contact your placement advisor.


Leia is doing great! she is such a joy to foster. She spent a week with a different foster family while we were on vacation, all good reports for her. She was a good girl.

She has had some families come to see her about adoption. She is very shy with new people and just wants to hide behind me, so I decided to try and do a video of her playing in her comfort zone. She is a very happy playful dog that will need time to get use to her new family. She still gets scared sometimes. We let her experience what is scaring her and then we move on we do not baby her or draw much attention to what is causing her fear. She gets over it quickly and moves on to something else. She is a young dog and is very cautious of things. She has started to wander around the house a bit more. She goes down the hall into the office, that is where foster dad is in the evenings watching tv or playing video games. Leia will walk up to him and smell him or lick his feet, turn around and run away then do it all over again. She likes when you sit on the floor with her. She likes to go for walks and to play fetch with the ball.

Leia is still looking for her forever home. She needs a home with another dog a fenced in yard and no young children. If you would like to meet her please contact your placement adviser.

The picture is of Leia sleeping in her crate. She is on her back all stretched out legs in the air. She sleeps like this most of the time. She is so cute.


Just a quick update about Leia. she had a great time at the Petco meet and great, she was very good and was not as shy as in the past. Thanks to all the RAGOM fans who came out to see the dogs!

Leia is still doing great at home, she will be heading up to the lake for a week of water, running with the other dogs and a lot of stick chewing. We will update when we get back.

Here is a picture of Leia and resident Baylee, they are the best of friends. They are waiting for some popcorn to come there way! Boy do they LOVE popcorn.


Leia is doing great!!! She had a lot of fun on our last trip to the lake. We had some company, a chocolate lab. She liked to tease Leia with the tennis ball. Leia did not seem to mind. She has gotten very attached to the tennis ball. She has become a good retriever bringing the ball back and dropping it close to where we are playing. She has also become good at finding the lost balls in the woods. She has a good nose on her. I have a video of Leia and Kona playing, at the end you can see Leia take off, she is following Kona down to the lake. The dogs love the water and jumping off the dock. Leia does not jump off the dock, she goes in from shore and of course she goes in at the mucky spot. This is what she looked like when she came back from the water.

Leia is looking for a home that will give her time to get use to them. She is shy around new people and is timid if approached too quickly. She needs a home with another medium to large size dog, a fenced in yard and no children under the age of ten. She has a lot of love to give, she is very sweet and playful when she gets to know you. If you have a Heart and a Home Leia would fit into let your placement advisor know. We would Love to meet you.


Leia will be at GOLDZILLA she would love to meet you!!!

Leia continues to do well in our home. She has a lot of fun running and playing with our resident dog.

This is a note I received from the family that adopted Heidi, one of the puppy mill dogs that came in with Leia.

I was looking through the available dogs and saw that Leia is still not adopted. She was one of the dogs we were originally looking at but interviewed with Heidi first. We decided to adopt Heidi even though we never even touched her as she too was very skittish around new people. I have been emailing Heidi’s progress to her foster mom and included the following to her. "Please pass along some information from us to Leia's foster mom so that maybe she might want to pass along some info to any potential adoptive parents. We are truly very happy with Heidi. She is still scared of things, but is getting better all the time. Our resident dog is her best friend. It took her a little while to settle in as with any dog. She took to FM first and is not used to a male figure quite yet, but making baby steps all the time. After 5 weeks, she has made great progress and will be in our home forever! Feel free to also let that FM know of all the previous emails we have sent telling of her progress. I truly believe that Leia will come around too, just needs the right adoptive parents and another dog in her forever home. We would love to adopt Leia if we could, but already have 2 dogs. I’d really like for Leia to have a forever home like Heidi, so if anyone wants to contact us, feel free to give them our phone number."

RAGOM has some awesome adoptive families, I’m sure there is one out there for Leia. If you think you could be that family please contact your placement adviser or come out to GOLDZILLA and meet her.


Leia and I are looking forward to seeing all her fans tomorrow at GOLDZILLA!!! She has been busy today getting ready. She will be there most of the day. She will be in the RAGOM Showcase tent from 10:00-12:00. She will also be in the foster parade from 1:30-2:00 Come out and meet some great dogs and have a fun time in the park. Hope to see you there!!!


Leia continues to do well in our home, she is looking for her forever home. She will need a home with a medium to large size dog, a fenced in yard and no children under the age of 10.

Leia has been busy going to meet and greets and meeting a lot of very nice families. This weekend we were at Petco, Leia would like to thank the nice lady that brought her a ghost cookie. She enjoyed it very much! This wonderful woman does not have the right kind of home that Leia needs but she still cares for this dog so much that she comes out to see her and bring her a very special treat. Thank you so much for the care and love you show to the RAGOM dogs.

Here are a few pictures to enjoy!!! Leia getting ready for Goldzilla, one at Goldzilla and one of her living the golden life! She has discovered that a dog bed if pretty darn comfortable. If you would like to meet Leia contact your placement advisor.


Leia is doing great! She continues to learn new things, her newest thing is she gets so excited when she sees me she jumps up and down and over my resident dog and then she lets out a few barks! It is so sweet. On our last trip to the lake Leia enjoyed the fall leaves, jumping in them and looking for her ball. We would toss the ball into the pile of leafs and she would jump in and tunnel down and come up with the ball every time.

Leia will be at a meet and greet this Saturday at Chuck and Don's in Roseville. She will be there from 11-2, so come out and meet her.


I am happy to announce that Leia has found her forever home. She has gone to live with her new family today. I am going to miss this very sweet girl. We would like to thank all the people that helped Leia get to her new life, of freedom. She has come a very long way in the past seven months, she is a happy playful dog with a wonderful future ahead of her. A big thank you to her sponsors, it's people like you that let us do what we do.