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!

Zoe 12-108
(Fostered in Grand Forks, ND)

Sponsored by:

Sherry DiBacco

For my beautiful butterfly! Love, Foster Mom For my beautiful butterfly! Love, Foster Mom

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.

"What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world
.....the butterfly knows is only the beginning"
Just over one week ago, I picked up a little girl who was scared to death.  She smelled terrible.  She wouldn't look at me, and she buried her nose so far into the corner of her kennel that when she breathed, she almost snorted.  It took her two days to come out of her kennel without urinating on the way out, shear terror filled her wide, golden eyes.  She had no idea that my extended hand was a friendly hand, that it held the key to a new life and a new beginning.  Her name is Zoe and she is free of the commercial breeding facility she has spent her entire 6 short months living in.  RAGOM rescued her and 28 other souls from a horrid existance, and they brought her to me.  How blessed am I that I am the one to help guide her and teach her about Trust and Love and Safety!

In the short time that our family has had Zoe, she has made amazing strides.  We have been able to move her from a large crate to a huge wire crate that is located in the middle of our living room so she will get used to the daily activities of a busy household.  Initially, she HATED it as it was far too open for her liking, so we covered it with a blanket to offer some privacy.  It is no longer covered and she is comfortable coming and going from it at will.  However, she is far more comfortable in it than out.  So, when she is out and we are home, we close the door to it so she can't retreat in it and hide. She sleeps in it at night and when we are gone.

Zoe has learned to respond to her name and will look at you.  She enjoys being outside, although she is on a 25' lead, so she runs circles around you.  Not sure what this is about, but from the sounds of the other fosters, this seems to be typical Puppy Mill behaviour.  She will do her business on a leash, but it takes her a while.  She is by no means housebroken yet, but she has made incredibley strides in the past few days, but it is a work in progress.

Zoe LOVES to be petted, and will come to me for attention.  This is the result of many hours of trust-building quiet time between us.  She has no problems allowing my husband to latch her to the leash and take her outside, but she is not comfortable yet with him approaching her for pets.  She is skittish of ALL new people, including my children.  She has shown no aggression at all towards humans, but once she figured out that the toys in the house were hers, she didn't appreciate my 9 month old resident puppy trying to take them away from her!  She will let out a growl, but has not attempted to bite.  I think she is overwhelmed sometimes by the exhuberance of the pup and isn't quite sure what to make of her.  Zoe is very eager to play with our other resident dog, a much older and quiet guy, but he shows no interest in her at all which I really think bugs her!  She will persist and bat at his tail and he'll growl at her and she will bow down.  Then she comes at him again, he growls again, she backs off, and the cycle repeats!  It's really quite interesting to watch!  On the other hand, you have the puppy who wants to play with her, but she is more interested in tormenting the older dog.  It is a funny little pack that we have here!  All that being said, Zoe MUST have another dog in her forever home.  She relies on them so much for comfort and learning.  A confident, older dog, to teach her how to be a dog is a must.

I can't tell you how pleased I am with the dog that Zoe is becoming!  The first time she rolled over and exposed her belly for a good rub-down just melted my heart!  Every day she comes a little bit more out of her shell.  To watch this sweet girl play and tease the other dogs is truely a beautiful thing and I feel so blessed to be able to witness her re-birth.  I can't imagine what she has been through, and what  it must have felt to her the first time she was touched with a loving hand!  She is becomming this beautiful butterfly, baby steps each day!
She still needs to be spayed, but her vaccinations are up-to-date.  She needs a booster on her distemper/parvo vaccine in another week or so.  It is because of the kindness and generosity of those of you who adopt and sponsor these amazing creatures, that we are able to do for them what we do.  Won't you consider making a donation or sponsoring  this sweet girl, it would be so very much appreciated?
Zoe has certain criteria in her forever home:
**a physical fence (due to the risk of escape)
**another fairly confident medium to large sized dog--she needs this for comfort and to have as a role model!
** no children under 10 years old in the home
**you must understand that introductions may always be required to be done slowly and at her comfort level
**she loves her kennel and I would hope that you would be willing to always have one set up in your home for her to always have a safe spot.  She is a Golden Retriever and needs to be with her people, not in the basement or back porch--enclosed or not.  She wants to be able to see you and hear you at all times!
This girl is special.  She has amazing potential and has blossomed these last few days!  I look forward each day to seeing what tricks she has up her sleeve to surprise me with!



Just a quick update with some beautiful photos that my friend Chester B. took for us this weekend.  Sometimes you don't need a lengthy write-up on your foster dogs' progress...sometimes a photo says it all!!


A pensive Zoe, perhaps wondering about her Forever Home

I could totally be your girl!!!

I can only imagine what nightmares Zoe has lived. 
Now, she can rest her head peacefully in Faith, Love, and Trust

Zoe enjoying some playtime

I love this picture!  It shows just how far Zoe has come in the two weeks that we have had her! 
She is LEADING the pack and having FUN!! 
I'm not sure she even knew that other dogs were for playing and learning from, but now that she does, she wants more and more! 

Please continue to follow Ms. Zoe bird, she loves all the attention!  She is scheduled to be spayed on Thursday so paws crossed her surgery is routine and uneventful!  If you are considering making a donation or sponsoring anyone, Zoe would be ever so appreciative and she may even send you a big Golden lick!!


Our Zoe-bird has blossomed so much in these last few weeks it's incredible!   She is such a beautiful dog, and each day that her confidence in this world grows, so does her personality and spirit!  We have mastered the art of taking treats, and she has even decided which ones she is willing to come up to me for and which ones she will turn her nose up at me for!  That expression "beggers can't be choosers" does not apply here!  :)
Yesterday was a milestone for us as we took an adventure and went for a walk!  She was very scared leaving the backyard to venture out front, but once we got to the driveway she was all about it!  I brought our resident dog along for support and the two of them walked very nicely side by side.  The "outside" environment was very interesting to Zoe and she stopped and sniffed everything, the telephone pole was the most exciting so figure there have probably been a few other dogs who have stopped there as well!  Cars driving by did not phase her or even a distant siren, she was just enjoying the exploration! 

Zoe also has determined that where the other dogs are is where she wants to be.  In the evening, I will be downstairs (we have a split level home, living room on main floor, family room down about 6 steps) and she sees me sitting on the floor petting the other two.  First she does this kinda "dance" as if to say "come back up here" then she gets brave and comes downstairs all on her own to join the group.  The other morning I was uptairs getting ready for work (again about 6 stairs) and the other two dogs were laying on the landing outside the bathroom and she could't stand being the only one in the living room, so up the stairs she came bounding!  She is still tentative about wandering, but she has got the hang of it and just needs to keep practicing!  Everything that Zoe has learned over these past few weeks has been courtesy of the resident dogs, so again, any future home for her must have a dog(s).  She is great with them and really imitates their behaviours.  I'm not totally confident a cat in the household would be a good idea...she met our cat for the first time the other night and was VERY curious about her.  I had her on a trailing leash so she couldn't get to the cat, but I'm not confident there wouldn't have been some fur flying had I not!

Zoe on the right, chillin' with resident Wilma (11-282)

Zoe LOVES her toys and if they are scattered about or even in the toy box, she will gather them and bring them into her kennel.  The kennel door is left open at all times for her to come and go as she wishes.  She is spending more and more time out of it than in these days.  Initially, we kept the door closed when we were home to prevent her from retreating into it all the time, but now we mostly leave it open and she makes herself comfortable wherever she wants.  She does not get on the furniture at all and we have not encouraged her to do so.  She is welcome to if she wanted, but has shown no desire so figure we'll let the adoptive family choose what they want to do.

Zoe is also getting comfortable enough that she will drink from the communal drinking bowl.  She is learning that she is part of a pack and part of the family and is welcome to the things/luxuries of the other dogs.  We continue to work on housebreaking and has shown vast improvemnt this week.  We are not accident free yet, but have had far fewer accidents.  It must be such a hard transition to go from never being let out of a kennel to free roam.  She is getting a routine down and learning about schedules and organized chaos (our house can be crazy at times with a pre-schooler and a teenager!)  She is still timid around the kids, but not fearful as in the beginning.  My 5 year old doesn't always get the "give Zoe her space" rule and she handles him exceptionally well.  She has no aggression at all, just not sure what to make of them.

Zoe was spayed last Thursday and is healing great.  She did fine at the vet clinic, allowed the techs to pet her and seemed to be handling the stress well.  She is getting more comfortable in the car, although I travel with her in a crate.
If you think you and Zoe would make a good family, please contact your placement advisor.  She will require some work, no doubt, but none of us are perfect and we all need someone to believe in us and nurture us to becoming the person we are meant to be.  As is Zoe, a beautiful diamond in the rough who just needs that special person who sees thru her timidness and is willing to bring out the shine in her!  Life is a journey and Zoe's started 3 weeks ago when she came to us a frightened, dirtly, little girl.  Today, she is emerging a beautiful spirit who has won over our hearts and will win over yours as well!


Dear Sherry,
Just over a month ago, I wasn't loved.  I was nobody and felt I wasn't even deserving enough of a name.  Today I am truly blessed.  I have a foster home in which I am loved and I have YOU, a complete stranger, who believes me to be worthy of a life filled with happiness.  Thank you for reading about me, for caring enough to generously sponsor me, and for believing that I am somebody and deserve all that I have.  You have made a difference in my life, and I am grateful!!  Thank you!!
With love and a very wet kiss,

"Love and kindness are never wasted

They always make a difference.

They bless the one who receives them,

       And they bless you, the Giver!"

    ~Barbara De Angelis


Where do I start with this update?  So much progress has occurred since our last update!  Firstly, Zoe & I would like to send a shout out to her sponsor Sherry, we so appreciate what you have done in her honor!  Thank you!
Zoe has become this beautiful creature that is all puppy!  No flip-flop or plastic action hero is safe in our household!  and as for sticks...they don't stand a chance!  So, as with all the other puppy fosters we have had, everyone in the household has learned to keep their stuff picked up and put away (yeah for mom's housework load!)  She loves to chew on her nylabones and other toys so we use distraction as a deterrent.  She knows the command "leave it" and will gladly hand over any inappropriate items as long as you replace it with another cool object. 
Zoe LOVES to go for her walks and walks very nicely on a leash.  In a few months, I would think she would make someone a fantastic running partner (running before full bone-growth development could cause damage to her, so waiting until she's at least a year old is best).  We walk every night and she does great.  She prefers to walk alongside our resident golden and they walk side-by-side, but if I walk her alone, she has a tendency to want to walk in front of me.  A gentle reminder of her place being next to me on the left and she falls right into place.
This girl is a cuddler!  She knows her name and loves to get belly rubs and scratches from me.  She is still timid with my husband and 16yr old son, but has fallen in love with our 5yr old and they play constantly.  She wants to be where you are at all times!  Earlier updates included her initial progress of going up and down stairs and I am happy to report that she flies up/down them now without even thinking about it!
Zoe sleeps in her large wire crate and is in it when we are gone.  Otherwise, the door is left open and she is free to come and go as she pleases.  We also feed her in her kennel as we have two other dogs and everyone eats everyone elses food and then I have no idea who ate what.  So, Zoe and the other resident golden eat in their kennel and the other one just eats.  They all share a water dish in the dining room and it is quite a site to see 3 dogs drooling water everywhere!
Last Tuesday was our first day of obedience training.  Because she is so slow to warm up to people, the more I can do to socialize her the better.  It was very good for her to be around other people who had dogs at the end of their leashes.  She is very dog friendly and I could tell it was comforting for her to sniff a dog that had a human attached to them.  She did great and has mastered the "sit" command.  At home we are working on the "come" command and just for fun, we are working on "shake".   I also took her to my son's LaCrosse game that is played outside at a local park.  We kept to ourselves until she was comfortable and then we walked around.  Again, she is slow to warm to people, but kids she loves!  I also bring her to work with me everyday.  Initially, she was out of her comfort zone, but now will eat and drink while there and is getting used to all the sites and sounds.  I travel with her in a crate in my SUV and she does well, albeit a lot of drooling!!  We continue to condition her to know that all good things come from car rides.  She is progressing well in the potty training department.  I would not consider her housebroken as she has yet to go to the door to tell us she has to go out.  She keeps her kennel clean & we are accident free for almost a week now, but again, I would consider this to be a work in progress.

Zoe hanging out at work with FM 
"Zoe" and her friends at work
("Sam" the Akbash, "Ari" the Rottweiller, and "Tiny" the American Bulldog)

This girl is soooooo ready to find her forever home!  She is easy to take care of and just needs to find that special home that wants to work with her so she is able to reach her fullest potential!  If you are hesitant about her timidness, that's understandable.  She may always be slow to warm up to new people and that may just be who she is.  Or, in the right family, she may bloom and blossum like a spring flower!  If her transformation over these last few weeks in our home is any indication of the dog she can be, I have no intention of assuming anything with her!  She has surprised us daily and shown us what true love is all about!

Zoe and her buddy reading bedtime stories

Zoe and Foster Mom being lazy on Sunday afternoon

Sleeping Beauty

It's a dog's life when you're as happy as this!

Pretty Girl Zoe-bird!

If you are interested in meeting this gem, please contact your placement advisor!  She is a sweetheart who wants and deserves a family who will understand her quirks and love her all the more for them!  In return, she will bond with you like no other and aim to please you every step of the way!




Well, the day I wasn't sure would ever happen, has happened.  Almost two months ago to the day, this terrified creature arrived in my home.  No "Golden" characteristics present as she was just too fearful to display any kind of personality.  Today, an angel appeared on my doorstep with one of her two goldens, and drove off with our sweet Zoe-bird!  Her transformation has been incredible!   I am so sad to see this little girl go, but I am so excited for her!  She will be living with an amazing woman who understands her quirks, and two fur-brothers who will be great "big-brothers" as well as 2 charismatic cats.  Life is a journey, that for Zoe, began on March 25 when she was rescued by RAGOM from a commercial breeder.  I had the privilege to help her start her journey, and now, Ms G will be able to fill in the rest of Zoe's story!  Thank you to RAGOM for saving her, Thank you to Sherry for believing in her and sponsoring her, and thank you to G for seeing the beauty in this sweet girl! 
Good Luck Zoe!!!
Love always,
FM Jessica & Family

Zoe (in front) with new brother and new mom!!!


From Zoe's forever family...

Our beautiful Zozo has come so far in a very short time. I didn't see too much of Zozo's tail when she first arrived - she was so apprehensive it was tucked tight between her legs. Then, the tail just hung behind her. It didn't seem to have a purpose or function for several months. Zozo's tail works now...just like it's supposed to!

Beautiful Zoe has stolen my heart. We continue to work on socialization and trust...she has made wonderful strides in her dealings with strangers

Most of all, thank you - and thanks to all the Ragom people - for your wonderful work. You are enabling miracles to take place...all I have to do is look at Zozo to realize that every day.