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!

Emerald 12-107
(Fostered in Moorhead, MN)

Sponsored by:

Jennifer & Jeremy D.
"In memory of our Golden Retriever, Cyder"

From Dennis and Joanne From Dennis and Joanne


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.

Introducing Emerald 12-107.

We welcomed Emerald (Emma for short) on Sunday, March 25th, 2012. She had an exhausting journey, but arrived safe and sound.

Emma doesn't trust humans. In fact, she's terrified of us two-legged people. Who could blame her? This is typical behavior for a gal like her, and we are giving her lots of patience and love. With time, she'll come around, but again, time, patience, and love are key. She will always be a bit skittish in unfamiliar situations, but she will make a wonderful companion, and will eventually learn to be a confident Golden gal.

Emma loves, loves, loves other dogs. Our resident Golden Retriever, Rudy and our foster Molly 12-073 have been a blessing to her. They are responsible for getting her to eat, come out of hiding, eat, drink, play, and use the stairs. They have also been great about showing her where to use the bathroom.

Emma sleeps in her crate - her safe place - and is now going in and out of her crate on her own (we leave the door to her crate open when we are home). Last night, she snuggled in with foster Molly and resident Rudy on the couch. This is a big deal, as I was sitting on the floor next to the couch and she visited the big dogs on her own. Yay, Emma!

Emma, Molly, Rudy


We went to the vet today, and Emma is very healthy. She is UTD (up to date on vaccinations), except for Bordatella, which will be administered when she gets spayed on April 25th.

It's clear that we have a puppy in the house. Nothing is safe from her little puppy jaws. We have replaced shoes and socks with appropriate chew toys, and she is enjoying them. We are heartened when she comes out to play and explore.

Emma is really the sweetest pup. I can't reiterate enough how much patience and gentle care she needs. She will not be ready for adoption until she's healed from her spay surgery and feeling more comfortable with people.

More updates soon. I"ll post better pictures when she's not so shy.


Emma has made great strides in the last week. She pounces around the yard, gets the zoomies, and plays with toys and thinks tug of war with our resident as well as our neighbor dog is super fun. She's still pretty skittish, but the change in her is amazing. She doesn't hide from us anymore, and even follows me around at her "safe" distance. She's curious about what we're doing, and really loves our resident Golden Retriever, Rudy. Since Emma was unsure of how much fun playing ball can be, my husband drilled a hole through a tennis ball and hung it from a tree at her level, thinking that it might help her play a bit, without us scaring her by pressuring her...sure enough, it was a hit! She spent at least 30 minutes yesterday batting at it, chasing it, and tugging on it. It was so much fun to see. Since then, she has chased a ball that I've thrown for her, and had a great time exploring the house inside and out. We've seen a lot of tail wagging, and while humans still frighten her, she will gently sniff us, take treats from our hands, give gentle kisses, and even let us pet her softly sometimes. She responds very well to her name, both Emerald or Emma.

Emma is so busy,
it's hard to take her picture

Emma was seeking comfort with resident Rudy.
Look at her little paw entwined with his.

The puppy in her is beginning to emerge. She plays hard, and then takes a nap. She also likes to steal things. Last night, I was sorting socks, and she quietly came over, grabbed a sock from the basket and proudly pranced back to her crate. Later, when she was playing with resident Rudy, I went to retrieve said sock from her crate and discovered two more socks, two wash cloths from the kitchen,one of my son's matchbox cars and a dollar bill. All of these items had been on counters or tables, so it's clear she's been counter surfing when I'm not paying attention. Nothing was chewed in the slightest, but she loves treasures, and was pretty sneaky about her hoarding. I have since "puppy proofed" completely, including adding another baby gate to the kitchen entrance.. We have several toy baskets with appropriate items around the house and she has taken on a great love of emptying them out and "sneaking" them into her crate (we're on to her now!). Emma has even started taking her naps outside of her crate when I'm home with her, but is secure in her crate at night and when we're away. Her crate is her safe place, and she goes in and out willingly on her own.

Emma found her voice and will howl (yes, howl, so cute) and bark when excited, happy, or scared.

I'm learning more and more about these special rescues every day. I don't know how long it will be before she's ready for adoption, but I can tell you that you will fall in love with this sweetheart She, and other RAGOM dogs sure could use a sponsor, so if you can help, it would be very much appreciated. For more information, click here .

I'm off to hide the shoes. If I can't find them, I'll just look in her crate.

Emma really loves her crate.  She has lots of room to move around and loves to collect her toys in it.


Wonderful, wonderful news to share! Jennifer, Jeremy, and late Golden Retriever, Cyder, decided to sponser Emerald (Emma) in Cyder's memory. We couldn't be happier. I had tears of joy when I heard the news. Thank you, Jennifer and Jeremy, and Cyder, who's running like the wind at Rainbow Bridge. We are thrilled. It's people like you that make RAGOM possible. THANK YOU!!!!

Emma is doing wonderfully. As I type this, she's exhausted. We spent the day outside and played, and played and PLAYED! I tried to take pictures, but my memory card was full, and frankly, she was having so much fun that I just didn't take the time to clear my camera. More pictures and videos to come soon.

My brother-in-law (and fellow dog lover) came over today and can't believe the changes in Emma over the last three weeks. He was excited to see her interested in playing, and the fact that she is confident enough to bark, play and have fun with unfamiliar people is super progress.

Emma is still a hoarder, which makes us laugh. Last night, during the last potty break of the evening, I was hiding Easter eggs in the back yard for our young son. Emma trotted happily behind me. When I tucked her in for the night, I discovered that she had an egg "hidden" under her paws. She didn't chew it, but it was clear that she thought she was pretty smart. She looked a bit sad when I traded her the egg with a treat, but she gave it back willingly with no problems. When we're outside, she likes to find absolutely anything she can, and then make a pile of her "treasures" in a certain corner of the fence. In the house, she does the same, only she hides her "gold" in her crate. We continue to give her free roam in the house, except for when we're away or sleeping, and then she rests in her crate. She goes in and out of her crate on her own, and if something frightens her, she knows where her safe place is.

Emma LOVES to be petted, and will slowly walk up to me for pets. When I start petting her, her tail just goes crazy with excitement, which is a huge improvement from her first weeks here, when her tail was hidden between her legs and her nose wouldn't peek out from the back corner of her crate. She's still a bit skittish around my husband, but I think that's because I'm home all day with her while he's at work, so she's not as used to him as she is to me. Craig (my husband), takes time every morning and every evening (several short stints) to speak softly and gently pet her so that she gets used to him. He also put one of his t-shirts in her crate so she learns his scent. He was pretty excited today when he was rewarded with a couple of sniffs and gentle licks.

Emma will be ready to be adopted after she recovers from her spay, which takes place on April 25th.

Emma's needs:

  1. A physical fence.
  2. No children under ten years old.
  3. A medium to large breed, confident dog who will accept her and show her the ropes.
  4. A committed family that has patience and will help her learn the Golden life.
  5. Love, patience, love, and patience.
If you would love this sweet, sweet gal to pieces, have a physical fence, no children under ten, have another large breed, confident dog, and lots and lots of patience, this is your girl, please, contact your placement advisor. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks again to Jennifer and Jeremy - we will keep you posted! You are fantastic.

Again, more pictures and videos to come soon! Stay tuned for Emma progress!


Hi all!

Emerald is a completely different dog than when she first arrived 3 weeks ago. Here are some things you will want to know if interested in adopting sweet Emma:

  1. Emma loves our four year old son and thinks chasing him in the back yard is fantastically fun (although, she will need a home with children over 10 years, as well as a physical fence and another medium to large size confident dog).
  2. Counter surfing is a favorite activity of hers. The good news is, she's brave enough to sniff and investigate. The bad news is, well, she counter surfs. She takes re-direction very well, though.
  3. She loves other dogs.
  4. She loves toys, and thinks chasing tennis balls is super!
  5. She is still a bit skittish, especially around men, but warms up with patience and time.
  6. We haven't had her on the Gentle Leader yet. I'm too scared that she'll bolt, but I hope to work with her this week, starting in the back yard.
  7. She plays in our fenced in back yard and loves to be outside. She's never shown signs of trying to get out.
  8. She loves food. I mean, loves food.
  9. Emma likes to snuggle with us, especially on the couch (I know, this probably isn't good training, but she's very polite - she also loves her crate and her dog bed).
  10. She has had free roam of the house at night for 2 nights, and no accidents. During the day and when we're home, the door to her crate is open and she can go in and out as she pleases.
  11. Emma likes to chew on kleenexes, socks, and underwear - she's a sneaky one! :)
  12. She's just a peanut - only 40 lbs. - but a sweet peanut!

Emma simply amazes us. Yes, new people and situations frighten her, but certainly not as much as when she arrived. Her tail wags and wags (instead of being hidden between her legs) and she has the cutest grin. One thing we've noticed is that she barks when someone comes in or out of the fence gate. We think this behavior might have something to do with her original upbringing.

Emma still likes to "hoard" anything she can find, but she isn't destructive. She just makes piles of her posessions, whether in a corner of the yard or her crate.

We love this girl, and you will too! Contact your placement advisor if interested in Emma.

Many, many more thanks to her sponsors - Jennifer and Jeremy.


I admit that I let Emma's updates get away from me. I apologize!

Emma's progress is fantastic. Even though she's been very comfortable with myself and my four-year-old son, she's been really skittish around my husband (and men in general). This has all changed, though. She now will walk over to my husband, sniff him, and snuggle in for pets. She even likes to rest next to him on the couch. This is a huge improvement!

Emma is such a sweet, sweet girl. When she went for her spay surgery last week, everyone at the vet's office fell in love with her.

Speaking of her surgery, all went well. The vet is concerned about her weight, though, - she's only 33 lbs. She could certainly gain a few pounds, so we've increased the amount of her high-quality puppy chow, at the vet's direction.

Despite our best efforts, Emma hates any sort of lead...we've tried the Gentle leader, a Martingale, and a flat leash, and she's not comfortable at all. Because of this, we haven't taken her out of the fenced in back yard, for her own safety. We'll keep working with her and praising her with lots of snuggles and treats!

Emma sleeps well in her crate at night, and still likes to hoard her toys in it. She's a funny, sweet, and loving girl, and fostering her is a joy. If you would like to meet her, please contact your placement advisor.

Stay tuned for more Emma updates - I promise at least one a week.

Emma loves sticks.

Emma playing in the sandbox with the neighbor dog.
They're best friends.


Emma has had a fantastic week.  Other than being frightened by new people - she barks - she is a perfectly normal, happy puppy.  She loves, loves, loves to be petted and scratched, and doesn't hesitate anymore when she needs some love and attention.  She also loves to be brushed.

We're working with the leash, and while she's getting better, she has a long way to go.

Emma likes to be "up high".  For instance, we have a mini trampoline - about six inches off the ground - and she loves to lay on it and chew on Nylabones.  We also have a child-sized picnic table, and it's one of her favorite places to perch and watch the world go by. 

She still occasionally counter surfs, but we're working on it, and she's gotten much better.  She does not respect baby gates, but goes in her crate at night without a problem.  No accidents in several weeks, likely due to her sleeping in her crate and being let out first thing in the morning.

We are so pleased to have a spring token in honor of Emma.  Many thanks to Dennis and Joanne!  You guys are wonderful!

We love her so much, and you will, too!  Contact your placement advisor if you would like to meet sweet Emma (Emerald 12-107).



We are surpised that we haven't had interest expressed in adopting Emma. She is very, very sweet. That said, her puppy self is shining through, now that she's 100% comfortable with us. In fact, it's like she's a delayed puppy!

At close to nine months, she's very active. She likes to dig out our son's toys (much to his relief, lost toys that he forgot about), snuggle with socks and shoes, and by far, her favorite, counter surfing. This girl just isn't afraid of anything anymore, and she's quite the sweet handful. She responds very well to commands of "no", "stop", and "down". She doesn't jump on people, rather, she gives lots of Golden kisses. She barks when someone comes to the door, and detests the sound of our truck starting, but calms down quickly and easily. She has adapted to the neighbors, and no longer barks at them. Emma doesn't have any storm anxiety.

We put a body harness on Emma early this week, and so far, so good. She seems to actually be comfortable. She also still wears her trailing leash, even though she is in a fenced in back yard. She does really well, though, she does look confused. We give her a ton of praise and treats (but don't worry, not TOO many). We are going to take her to the lake tomorrow, transporting her in her crate, with a fifty foot lead attached to her harness. I'm nervous, but excited to have her visit a new environment. We would never put this girl in danger. We are pretty smitten.

Emma still finds her crate really comfortable, and prefers to sleep in it at night. We haven't had an accident in the house for about a month.

This girl is one smart cookie, and despite her non-traditional beginning, she is very brave. She's a handful, but well worth it. Trust me, she's one of the nicest dogs we've had the pleasure of knowing.

I'll post some lake pictures on Monday, when we return.

Happy weekend!


We are completely surprised, but EXTREMELY pleased to report about Emma's first weekend at the lake.  I guess I tend to worry too much...

Our family spends almost every weekend at the lake, as do so many of us "Minnesotans".  We were concerned about Emma's welfare at our family lake, since there is not a fence.  Turns out, she did just fine.  In fact, she acted as though we had brought her to heaven.

I digress.  Emma, as you know, hasn't been so great on the leash.  So, several weeks ago we purchased a harness.  She took to it like a fish in water (no pun intended) and seemed very comfortable.  She still lets us put it on her and doesn't seem to be bothered by it a all.  Anyway, little by little, we worked with her on the leash and harness.  Still, we were worried about her safety and comfort level, so when we left for the lake on Friday, prepared to drive back to Moorhead if necessary. We transported her in her crate (her comfort zone) with a 50 foot trailing leash attached to her harness. When we arrived, we carried her crate to a tree that was a safe distance from anything dangerous, but near to us, tied the leash around the tree, and opened the door to her crate.  Our resident GR, Rudy, was right by her side the entire time.  After about five minutes, while we were unloading the truck, we quickly realized that she was right at our heels. We still can't figure out how she escaped her lead and harness. Not to worry, though!  She enjoyed herself immensely, never left our sides, and if she did venture a bit farther than our comfort level, she came right back with a gentle voice and a soft whistle.

While she did enjoy being with us on the dock, she wasn't quite ready to venture into the water.  We could tell that she was curious, and wanted to go for a swim, but we didn't push her.  Swimming is her decision, and when she's comfortable, she'll do it on her own.

As far as she's concerned, Emma made huge leaps and bounds.  Think of her sheltered backgroud - when she came to us in March, we never could have imagined that she would turn into such a happy girl just a few months later.  She loved playing with the neighbor dog, chasing the frizbee and tennis balls, and watching our Rudy dig rocks out of the lake.  She was so tired today, that on the way home, she actually treated us with a few snores (much to Rudy's chagrin).

Emma needs an older, large, and confident dog, and lots of patience.  Because she's a rescue from a commercial breeder, she will need a physical fence and no kids under ten.  Although, she is absolutely amazing around our four year old and the two infants that I care for daily.  She loves to be petted, brushed and snuggled with.  Contact your placement advisor if you would like to meet her.  And, hurry!  Pretty soon, I'll be a foster failure!  :)


Greetings! I hope your summer is off to a great start.

Emma continues to thrive.  We are working on simple commands such as "no", "sit", "stay" and "shhh".  She loves to learn and does so very quickly! 
Emma has no storm anxiety, which is actually helping out our resident Golden Retriever with his storm anxiety - it continues to amaze me what dogs can teach one another.
Since Emma has come out of her shell, our home has never been cleaner.  We found that anything and everything is fair game in Emma's mind, so we can't leave anything at all out.  Even our four year old is finally putting his things away (thanks, girl!).  Yesterday, I caught Emma chewing on a battery (I got it away from her in time - no harm done).  I was beginning to think that she had learned to open drawers, because I couldn't figure out where she found it, but then I discovered the missing remote control hidden in a pile of toys in her crate.  She's very, very good about "trading" inappropriate items for appropriate items, and has no agression issues.  She shares very well with our resident GR, as well as the neighbor dog.
Stay tuned for more Emma updates.  We plan to take her to the lake again this weekend, where she will have a 50 ft. lead on her at all times, to ensure safety.
Happy summer!


Emma has had a super week.

We took her to the lake again, and she sported a harness with a 30 foot lead attached. We also had a 10 foot lead attached to her flat collar, just in case. She was super, except, that again, as tight as we had her harness (without choking her), she slipped it. We also had a 10 foot leash attached to her second collar, just in case. She's a houdini, this one. That said, she has superb recall, and we didn't have to worry once, escpecially with the second lead on. We did put her harness back on and she didn't mind a bit. We know she loves to explore, but she has never left our resident GR, Rudy's side (RAGOM knows what they teach). That said, we still have a trailing leash attached when we aren't fenced in.

Emma went into the water! She followed our resident Rudy in. Although she was quite shy, resident Rudy talked her into it. At first, she sort of rolled over, but when she found her feet, she stood for quite some time. We were sitting on the dock, just letting her get used to things. Finally, after about 20 minutes of soft encouragment from us, and Rudy circling and showing the way, she started to wade a bit. It was so cute! She didn't swim, but walked around and she seemed to enjoy the cool water on her body. After that, she had a spa treatment of combing and brushing to avoid mats.

Emma gives the sweetest golden kisses - so gentle - and really just wants to be near you. You will love her! Here is a picture of her in the recliner:


Happy Independence Day!


It's been a while, and I apologize for the delay in Emma updates.

We went to our lake for two weeks, and Emma absolutely thrived. She discovered how much fun water is (all on her own, while watching our resident GR, Rudy), and spent most of her time swimming and chasing sunnies. It was hilarious to watch, and made my heart melt each time she galloped across the shore. She has found the Golden life and is relishing in it. When she got brave enough to swim out to the end of the dock, she was so overjoyed that she swam around for at least a half an hour. We just giggled and encouraged her. I'm so mad at myself, because while I brought my camera, I forgot my memory card. Next time at the lake, in two weeks, I will have pictures to share.

Emma has great recall, but she does bark at people that she hasn't met. Once they greet her a time or two, she's just fine. She has no issues, other than hoarding toys, which is fine with us. She just makes a big pile, and doesn't get upset when Rudy takes them away. She loves ice cube treats, Nyla Bones, and any plush toy. Shoes are still a problem, most especially my husband's - he has smelly feet - but she trades easily. She's really a very sweet girl.

Emma doesn't take off at the lake, though she's attached to a 50 foot lead for safety. She chews through her leashes and harness - this one is a houdini! Good thing her recall is great. She won't leave Rudy, so another confident dog is a must. She needs an experienced owner who has the time and ability to train her. Her counter surfing is now at a minimum, and we haven't had a potty accident in months.

Other than that, I have nothing new to report. Emma is on the slim side, but very healthy, and she's up to date on shots, FL, and HG.

She's just waiting for a loving home!


We have great news! On Friday, August 3rd, Emma is going to meet a family that is interested in adopting her. We are so excited for her and them. I've had phone conversations and shared emails with them, and they sound wonderful. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Emma finds her forever home next week.


Emma left for her forever home. We are very happy for her! She has a foster brother (another RAGOM guy) and a foster sister. She connected immediately with both dogs, but had the most fun playing with Charlie, her new big brother. Both are still puppies, so they will be very busy and have a blast together. It was great fun to watch them romp and play in the lake.

Best to you, J. family! We know you will have lots of fun with sweet Emma.

Emma, we are so proud of the progress that you made while you were with us. You had a pretty rough start in life, but you surprised us all by making leaps and bounds. From not wanting to leave your crate, to running all over at the lake, you really worked hard to learn to live the Golden Life. You will thrive in your new home, I just know it. See you later, sweet girl, you will be missed.