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!

Piper 12-116
(Fostered in New Ulm, MN)

Sponsored by:

Stichez, Madison, and Priya


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.


Future Forever Family

100 Anywhere Fun
Golden Life, MN

Re: Adoption

To Whom it May Concern:

Let me introduce myself. My name is Piper, and I am a 21 month old pure bred Golden Retriever. I recently learned about your opening for a feisty, four legged fur butt, and believe I have the qualifications you require for this position. I am a beautiful, blond 50 pound female and my brown eyes are made for melting hearts.  My professional goals are to provide a family with all the love and loyalty that I have to give. Please refer to my resume for details about my education, past achievements and vocational interests.


  • Graduated from the School of Hard Knocks on March 25th of 2012.
  • Currently enrolled in the Foster Mom (FM) Educational Program. This program is designed to help me learn how to live in a home and interact with both 2 and 4 legged creatures. Current subjects include, eating and drinking on a regular basis, learning to do number one and two in the garage, allowing FM to touch me both in and out of the kennel, crating upon demand, and visiting other parts of the house without marking or doing number two wherever I please.
  • Future subjects include allowing myself to be held on a leash, visiting the outside world to do take care of my daily physical needs, learning how to play and reducing the indoor zoomies to a manageable speed.

Past Achievements:

  • Allowing FM to pet me while crated. I stay in the back of the kennel, but that crazy lady just crawls right in and insists on petting me until my legs go out and my eyes close.
  • Listening attentively while FM reads to me every night. She sure puts me to sleep with those crazy Spanish stories she reads out loud. I have no idea what she is saying but her voice is soothing.
  • Settling down in the living room with FM and RD instead of zooming everywhere. I still don’t want to get too close to them, they might try and pet me or lick me, but I like being in the same room with them.
  • Surviving my first vet visit, albeit with a sedative so they could clean out my poor infected ears and give me a much needed bath. FM says I smell and feel so much better. My vet says other than my ears I am pretty healthy. FM was so stressed about getting me to the vet that she forgot my fecal, but she will drop one off soon. Vet is confident I am safe to have my spay, so FM will be scheduling that very soon.

Avocational Interests:

  • Zooming around the house at top speed and jumping end tables in a single bound
  • Dumping my food bowl upside down.
  • Stealing FMs socks and keeping them in my crate.
  • Dancing around FM just out of petting range.
  • Watching the world go by out the windows.

If you think my qualifications are a match for your opening, please contact your placement advisor. I would be happy to schedule an interview at your convenience.


Piper 12-116



Piper has sponsors! Thank you, thank you, thank you Madison and Priya Stichez
Dear Forever Family,
This letter is in follow up to my initial inquiry for your open position for a new dog. I have not heard from you yet, so I want to give you some additional information that I hope will entice you to consider me as a much needed addition for your household. Please refer to the following updates to my resume.
Educational Achievements:
FM’s Curriculum for Dog Excellence continues to push my comfort zones. She now closes off my crate for long periods during the day, so I am forced to spend time out in the living room with her and RD. While I still prefer sleeping next to a wall and corner, I am learning to be very relaxed, and lay right down  while out there. For the past two nights, she has left my crate open and allowed me to wander and find my own sleeping space. While I explored her room thoroughly several times, and absconded with dirty underwear, socks and other miscellaneous items, I finally settled down in said special corner in the living room. I have also discovered the joy of treats. While still too nervous to take them from FMS hand, I do watch while FM throws them to me and gobble them right down. Other accomplishments include, minimal accidents in the living room, only a few in the kitchen, and only when FM doesn’t pay attention to my signals, or doesn’t get home on time for lunch. I manage to make it to the garage for most of my physical needs. My appetite is great, and I love, love, love, my kibble and meat treats. Finally, I still zoom past FM instead of letting her pet me, but over the weekend, I decided to give petting a try, and stood still in the kitchen several times for some loving. I think I am finally beginning to trust how much FM loves me.
Health Updates: My second trip to the vet was very stressful, turns out, I don’t like the car much, nor do I trust all those other two legged creatures. I had to be sedated, again, for a recheck of my ears, and given another bath. Vet says my ears are better, but still not cleared up, and we have found a new pump antiobiotic which makes it much easier for FM to get the stuff into my ears. I also started some anti-anxiety medicine a few days ago, so FM really hopes this helps bring my stress levels down. My spay is scheduled for next week, and once that is done, I can be cleared for adoption.
Future Plans: The next phase of my training is to actually get me outside. Since FM doesn’t have a gated yard, she bought me a big 12 foot kennel that will attach to the back wall of the garage. She has a little door that I see RD use, so I think I will give that a try. FM says she should have the kennel up tonight so, I may get my first visit outside yet tonight. I can’t wait to try it. I see that funny little RD go in and out all the time and I think it looks like great fun!
In summary, Future Forever Family, I promise to work so very hard to become a loving and loyal companion. Please consider me for your position!



Piper has moved to a new foster home since her other Mom will be traveling often. Thank you and Happy Mother's Day to Ann for getting her off to a good start!

Piper has been here a week and is settling into the routine. I have only let her outside on a tie out since she was very scared and I was afraid I couldn't catch her trailing leashes. Yesterday, she went out without a tie out and since has been fine. She follows the dogs back into the house as long as I am out of view of the door. This has helped tremendously with the potty training! She has a long way to go in that department but I know she will get it eventually.

It is soooo very fun to see her run and play with the other dogs out in the yard. She is a very playful puppy, if she can engage a dog! If not, she is content to chew on regular dog chew toys or my shoes--whatever is closest. She is crated when I am away and I have not had the dog walker let her out midday. I will have him give that a try this coming week. She doesn't keep her crate clean yet.

Piper still runs when I approach but will sit close by. If I step on her leash she will freeze. I sit on the floor every day and give her a massage. It is so amazing to see her relax after a couple of minutes. She is learning that human touch can be very nice. She sleeps in the bedroom with the rest of us on a dog bed. Have not heard a peep out of her since she arrived.  

Piper gives a big shout out to Stichez, Madison and Priya for their sponsorship! It is wonderful to know that there are other people that care about giving her the Golden life she so deserves. Please stay tuned for more baby steps.


From Day 1 in our home, Piper has found the dog beds. She hangs out in them when we are just relaxing and sleeps in one at night. I can't believe how resilient these dogs are! Piper has progressed in so many areas this past week. It just brings tears to your eyes and let's you know that you will continue to foster more dogs just to get the reward. So what has she done this past week?

  • She goes in and out for my dog walker
  • Piper has kept her crate clean (first bullet definitely helps with this!)
  • She took a treat from my hand!!! **tears**
  • She came up behind me and nudged my hand--twice!! ***more tears**

OK, so those are baby steps but it is SO BIG for Miss Piper and me! 

Piper romps in the yard with my residents and I need to get pictures of that. She loves to chew on hard toys and also to carry soft things around. She does occasionally pick the wrong thing to chew but is easily distracted by a soft 'ah, ah'. This morning I got a scare when I saw my resident boy Skye and Piper checking out the neighbors yard. The handle on the gate had pulled out of the wood with the strong winds last night and the door was wide open. I walked over and got Skye and Piper followed right along. Whew! It just goes to show you that even a fenced yard in good repair is not a guarantee of safety. I was so very pleased that she had no desire to just run away. She knows this is her home now even if it is temporary. Piper will still move away when I walk in her direction but does not skitter--just moves. I can't wait for the day she comes right up to me for pets. We are close, I can tell because when the other dogs are getting loved up she moves within reach. I hope to report on that soon!

Puppy mill dogs are a project--that's for sure. But you cannot imagine the reward that comes from achievements along the way. All from being shown a little love and kindness. If you have ever considered fostering a rescued dog and your life and home is ready for, I can promise you love beyond belief. In the meantime, consider adopting Piper :)


Well, Piper is getting pretty comfortable with herself here. Recently she started getting up at 4 a.m. and finding something to chew on. First it was a chew toy and that was too noisy for sleep. So that went away. Then it was a shirt left out--nice hole. Everything is picked up now. I will leave her a Kong tonight to see if that satisfies her and doesn't wake us up.  All of the dogs are gated in the bedroom at night. Since Piper is getting up so early, she has relieved herself in the master bathroom the past two mornings. Stinker! I hate to give in and let her out that early otherwise the behavior will continue and she won't learn that we adults get to sleep until the alarm goes off :) So we will try closing the bathroom door tonight to see if that helps. Most dogs don't like to soil where they sleep so hoping that is the case with Piper! Hard to know with a puppy mill girl who had few options in her prior life. Otherwise, she doesn't have accidents in the house.

Piper routinely comes up to touch my outstretched hand now and I am hopeful that it won't be long before she allows me to pet her when she comes up. She is a funny girl about her crate! She likes to go in to sit but she doesn't like the plastic tray. She somehow throws it out every day and lays on the wire bottom. There is a rug under the crate so it must not be that uncomfortable. I can't put a blanket in there since she likes to chew cloth.

With the holiday weekend, Piper will be meeting several members of my family who will be staying overnight. I am sure she will be a bit stressed but also hope that she will find some joy.

Enjoy the pictures! You gotta admit she is a beauty!! Notice that she has a leash clasp but no leash in one of the pictures. Yes--she chewed it off last night. Silly girl.

Life is good

Isn't she beautiful?


Well, Piper has had a couple of big adventures the past week or so. The holiday weekend with family visiting was very scary for her and probably too much at one time for where she currently is in her socialization. She stayed pretty tucked away in the bedroom on the dog bed. I also have a new dog walker which took a while for her to get used to. 

This last weekend though, she did well going up to stay with a friend whose dogs she knows. Even though it was strange home for her, she knew the people and dogs. Piper had a blast playing with Moose and Heidi 12-115. I am waiting for Heidi's foster mom to send pictures. It was wonderful to see her so joyous! She and Heidi flew around the yard chasing each other. Piper wrestled with Moose and Heidi almost non-stop when we were outside. She is very fast! Piper also LOVED the doggie swimming pool! Oh that was fun for her!! She would stand in it and paw at the water, drinking and splashing. It was hard for the other dogs to get their share of pool time :)

Piper did nicely on the car ride up to the Cities but was nauseous and vomited a small amount. I had to lift her into the car coming and going. I have started tethering her to me since she is a little more comfortable with my presence. I am hoping that will help with her comfort level. She follows me everywhere regardless but if I turn around she moves away. If I am working in a room she will follow and lie in the room--going from room to room with me. Outside she follows me too. Everyday I spend time giving her a massage and she relaxes after about one minute. Then closes her eyes and leans into my hand. 

I won't be able to say she is ready for adoption until she willingly comes to me on a routine basis, I think. Slowly with patience and love....



Piper is such a happy girl despite her worries about humans! It is always a joy to home and see her so happy to see me and giving kisses to my hand. She runs right outside and tears around the yard after my dogs. Piper loves to wrestle with my old girl Scout. Scout is also teaching her to hunt rabbits. So far they haven't gotten any but it doesn't stop them from trying :)

Piper gives big wet kisses to Stichez, Madison and Priya for sponsoring her!! We can't do this work without your support.


Piper is making slow progress in learning that humans are OK. She stayed with a fellow volunteer who is fostering Willow 12-112 for several days this past week and was much more comfortable than previous trips away from home. She still prefers that humans not approach her but will approach for a kiss. Piper follows me everywhere and lies in a dog bed or her open crate depending on which room we are in. She is only closed in the crate when I am away. Piper has started to find her own 'toys'. Usually it is a piece of clothing but today she chewed up my booklight while I was out mowing. I have learned not to give her access to clothes so I guess she is finding different fun now. At least she is having fun! These pups have never had toys in their life so it is still joyous to see it. When I catch her with something all I have to do is call her name and she backs away from it. Then I can give her something that is OK to chew. I think it will take a while for her to get it. No hurry though. Patience is what she needs as she learns.


Piper had some major breakthroughs the past week or so! She now stays for pets and is no longer trailing a leash!! Woot-woot!! She calmly comes into the house with me standing by the door and doesn't skitter away when I approach. It has been such a rewarding week for me and Piper!

She has a bit more trouble when my Mom came down for the weekend but settled down and stayed in the same room. The funny thing is--whenever Mom left the room, Piper would follow a little ways to see where she went. But then scurried back to her dog bed--her safe place. She is fine for my dog walker too--comes in and out without dashing. I guess Mom has to come more often for Piper to feel comfortable with her.

I think she will be ready for her forever home soon. I know it will take some time for her to feel safe with her new family. I think about half of the puppy mill girls that came in from MO with Piper, have moved to their forever families and are adjusting fine. I know the same will be true for my sweet, young girl. There is a perfect family out there for her! She can stay here as long as it takes them to find her.


Piper has some good news to share! She loves her foster mom and is becoming what I call a 'hand hog' :) She comes to me and pushes her nose on for pets! It is so wonderful and difficult to explain what this means to a dog like Piper that has not had life experiences where she would trust and know humans bring good things. It means even more to her foster mom!! We can all tell Piper that she will only have love, shelter, love, good food and MORE love for the rest of her life.

Piper is a beautiful 2 year old with pearly white teeth, beautiful feathers and a shiny coat. I know when the right family meets her, they will fall in love. It will be a challenge to earn her trust and love but I can guarantee that it will come. Likely sooner than it took her this first time as now she knows what is possible and how good it feels. Oh how good it feels to us humans! I have to say that she is still not coming up to other people that she sees irregularly but she is MUCH closer in her approach to them and even follows them through the house.

An odd thing happened around the 4th of July for Miss Piper. I wish I could read her mind. After more than 3 months being crated, she started busting out. Her crate is right in the main living area where the rest of the dogs spend the day laying around. She is let out midday with the other 3 when my dog walker comes. I secured the crate door better and the next day she bent the wire with her head, opened a space about 4-5 inches wide and scooted out. Her face and forehead bore the brunt of that with skin scraped off and open areas. The whole thing is a mystery to me. She is not afraid of fireworks and we don't have many where we live. Nothing else about our routine changed. She can't be left out on free roam because she likes to chew things--remote controls, clothes, shoes, etc.

So I gated her in the mudroom with my Skye boy. That is his safe place and where he spends the day. He welcomed her and shared his chew toys. But she busted through the metal gate and again damaged her face. Now I was starting to worry about separation anxiety. She has been on an anti anxiety drug for a couple of months as most of these PM dogs have been. I double gated the mudroom and she did not get through--nor did it seem like she tried. Both gates were in place. I placed a motion detector camera to see what was going on during the day. Nothing--just showed the dog walker coming and going. Both she and Skye appeared to have slept all day. So it really is a mystery to me.

I am weaning her off of the anti-anxiety meds now and she is doing fine. Her face is healing. We had visitors last weekend including her friend from MO Heidi 12-115. They had a blast chasing and wrestling with each other. So very fun to see both of them enjoying a dogs life!

Thanks so much to Piper's sponsors Stichez, Madison and Priya! Piper would give you kisses too if you were here long enough :)

Wrestling with Heidi 12-115


Piper is soooo FUN these days! She is really coming out of her shell and enjoying life. My friend and her dogs were down again this past weekend and Piper took treats from Barb and came up for pets!! Such progress for my sweet girl. She had a blast playing with Heidi 12-115 again. They are best buds and spent quite a bit of time doggie-wrestling and chasing each other around the yard. And she LOVES the kiddie pool :) Very heartwarming to see her acting 'normal'.

We got some video of her in the pool and chasing Heidi. Click here to view

Miss Piper is ready for her forever home! The move will be an adjustment but I am sure it won't take as long for her to come around. If you think that might be your family, please contact


Foster mom told me to write my own update because I am so much braver now. I don't jump up to run every time she moves my way. I go up to people I know for treats and lovin's. I know it took me a while to trust people but once I do I am all theirs! I adore my foster mom and follow her everywhere she goes in case she wants to pet me. I give her hand a little nudge if she forgets. I know she is happy that I finally figured out I should be doing my business outside. Well, come on, I could go anywhere, anytime in my former life! I didn't get it at first. But now I always go outside.

I love to run after my doggie friends! Scout and I chase the rabbits out of the yard. I think rabbits are pretty dumb cuz they haven't figured out we don't like them in our yard! I want to get one of those little furry things!! Foster mom says if we didn't have a fence, I would be running around the countryside chasing after them. I confess, I probably would :)

My friend Heidi 12-115 is with her forever family now and I am happy for her! But sad for me :( I will miss her. I wish my forever family would find me too! I know it will be scary to move to a new place but foster mom says they will love me as much as she does and will always be kind to me. I think I would like to try that. Foster mom says I am a project and that scares some people. But really--once I love you, I am very loyal! So, if you think I might work for your pack and your family, I will go home with you. I am sorry that it might be a bit before I can give you kisses but if you are anything like foster mom and my other human friends, I promise to figure it out.


We spent last weekend at Heidi 12-115's former foster home. I think Piper missed her! But she is now coming up to Barb for pets and treats. I know it sounds like such a small thing. It is hard to imagine the rewarding feeling that comes when this next step is taken by a fearful dog. We were all so thrilled!

Piper had a blast rough-housing with Moose and having him chase her around the yard. She also loves to prance and splash in the swimming pool. Funny thing--she will try to pick it up and carry it around the yard! She really is a happy girl when she forgets her fears.

I made the mistake of leaving her out with free roam when I ran some errands for 20 mintues last week. She has been fine most times but this time she must have been bored! I came home to a living room full of torn up magazines and book covers scattered around the living room :(

Well, hey--she is making up for the puppy fun she missed in her first two years of life. Nothing that isn't replaceable. Her favorite chew things appear to be my clothes. I have learned to keep my laundry put away.

We are working on changing her internal alarm clock. Currently it is set for 4:30a and nothing has altered that. I am working on getting her to cue off of the alarm on my alarm clock and moving that time slowly towards 5:30a. A much more reasonable time! Will let you all know of our progress.

Piper is a loving playful girl that needs some special attention in her new home to feel safe. It will take a commitment and some time and lots of love and patience but she is so worth it!


Piper  has some very exciting news! Someone has been watching her story for quite a while now. Turns out Piper looks much like her current Golden when she was younger. Judy and Winnie are coming to meet Piper next week! Paws crossed.....stay tuned.

Skye, do you see my new family yet?


Piper came into RAGOM never having known the love a human can share. Never knowing how wonderful a loving hand could feel. Never knowing the freedom of a large open space. She was the most fearful pup I have ever fostered. Although she has a long way to go to relax and trust, and although she will never be a 'normal' dog, she has come so FAR! Far enough to give back the love she was getting and far enough to move on to her forever home. Miss Piper was adopted a week ago by a repeat RAGOM adopter. Judy and Winnie took Piper home and she is slowly settling in. Piper looks like the spitting image of Miss Winnie when she was younger too. Piper has new noises to learn, new routines to learn, new people and dogs to love. Her new mom is doing an AWESOME job taking it slow and being patient. Piper is further along with her than I eve thought she would be! Great job, Judy! Thank you for giving Piper the loving home she needed.