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!

Journey Grace
Journey Grace 15-185
(Fostered in Scandia, MN)

Sponsored by:

Jessica and Adam Erickson
"In memory of Timber and Calvin"


Happy Spring!  Happy Springtime Journey Grace! In loving memory of Lani, Summer and Brandy. From Cynthia Van Dyke


In addition to LOVE this dog has the following requirements:
Date Available  Fence Kid Friendly Another Dog Cat Friendly
 4/4/17 Optional  Yes Optional Yes 
This is the most recent information available; however, it may change as we learn more about the dog.

Please welcome Journey Grace back into RAGOM's care. Journey was returned to RAGOM through no fault of her own. We have been fostering her now for 2 weeks & she is an absolute doll!

Journey is currently unavailable due to her health issues. When Journey came to us we were told that she had good diabetic control but unfortunately that hasn't been the case since she's been with us. She has had several episodes of hypoglycemia which luckily we have caught quickly & were able to easily bring back up by giving her some molasses. However,  on Monday  that wasn't the daughter was home with a Journey & saw that she had a seizure. Journey was then brought to the Emergency vet & it was determined that her blood sugar levels had dropped dangerously low which in turn caused the seizure. They kept her overnight for monitoring & she then had an internal medicine consult in the morning. The current plan going forward is to cut her insulin dose in half & follow that up with a glucose curve in a week (she needs to be on a given dose for 5 to 7 days for the best interpretation of the results). The curve consists of giving her her morning insulin followed by checking her blood sugar level every 1 to 2 hours for 12 hours. That will help determine whether her daily dosage should be increased or decreased.

The other issue with Journey is that she has already developed cataracts. With diabetics dogs this is very common. She has an appointment scheduled next week by a specialist to see if & when they may need to be removed.

Journey is a beautiful girl. Even with all her issues she is a joy to have around. She loves, loves, loves to play with our gang of 4 male Goldens. I think she enjoys being the only girl & I certainly appreciate the extra estrogen in the house. She also gets along great with our 3 cats.

Please keep your fingers crossed that we can get Journey Grace feeling better quickly so she can find her forever home. It is so easy to fall head over heels in love with her!


Original Initial Bio:


I’d like to introduce Journey Grace, a beautiful English Cream 8-month-old Golden Retriever. Journey was a surprise Christmas present from a wife and adult children to their father. He had cancer and named her Journey for the “journey” that he was going through, and his wife added Grace to her name for God’s grace that was getting them through it all. She was loved dearly, and surrendering her was a heart-wrenching decision for the family.

Journey came into RAGOM with an excellent foundation. She has potty training under her belt—she has been accident free since she got here. Such a good girl!  She still has some puppy behaviors that we are working through, such as jumping up on people, being mouthy, grabbing and pulling on clothing. She catches on quickly to correction and LOVES it when we praise her when she is successful. She has not lived with other dogs or cats, nor has she had much exposure to them.  When she first got here she wasn’t real sure how to play with the resident dogs, and we’ve been working on doggy manners (ie at first she’d walk right over a dog to get from point A to point B). There have been some very appropriate gentle corrections on their part, and lots and lots of play, and this amazing lovely girl is emerging. Each day she seems more confident, poised and mature, and playful! Honestly, she is a quick study! The cat Tiggy loves her and thinks he has a new BFF. (See the picture below of Tiggy following her around (he thinks he is a dog), and with Charlie (Luke 15-070) our resident English Cream GR who is just two weeks older than Journey).   

This beautiful girl’s main long term challenge is she has diabetes.  She was with another foster for her first week (thank you Sue!).  When asked if I could watch Journey, I wasn’t sure how to do the necessary insulin injections. They are administered twice per day and I’ve learned that this is incredibly easy. This is a lifetime condition so any family interested in her will have to keep her managed. Other than that she is UTD on all her vaccinations and preventatives. She just needs to be spayed and then will be ready for her forever home.

Journey is so easy to have around and just a love. On walks, there is some pulling when she gets excited. I have been using an Easy Walk harness and that works well. She LOVES mealtime and is a good eater.  She marches right out and does her business when I take her out. Right now I have her sleeping in a crate at night, but I could easily see her shifting to a dog bed. Sometimes I encourage her to take some down time during the day, and I’ll put her in the crate. Other times I allow her to have free roam and she will just chill out on her own. She really takes her cues from the other dogs. Yesterday I was working (I work from home) and the dogs were taking naps. I didn’t know where Journey was and found her taking her nap on the bed. She was pretty content laying there too! Here she is with Charlie (in the middle) and foster alumni Duncan (14-417). Journey likes mellower dogs, and both of these boys are REALLY mellow and easy. You can see how relaxed she is with them :-).

I will update more as I get to know this lovely girl! If you are interested in meeting Journey, let your placement person know.


Journey has had a fantastic week. We put up a fence so she is able to play and run without the restrictions of a leash, and she is really loving that! She plays “catch me,” and when she gets really cranked up she zoomies around the yard with a smile on her face. It’s interesting to watch her play style evolve. She frequently checks in with whichever dog she is playing with, so there is a nice rhythm and pace to her playing. There is lots of wrestling and “bitey,” and she is learning how to play with toys with the other dogs (tuggy, squeaky balls, etc). In my first posting I said Journey prefers more mellow dogs. Not entirely true!! One of the resident dogs is a Border Collie mix and really active, and she LOVES playing with him.

Here is a video of her playing with Charlie:

Journey came into RAGOM a little underweight, and now she is just about at her normal weight. It is almost as if she is growing before my eyes and now is 2” taller than when she first came to our house. She is filling out and getting stronger with all that running and exercise. We also have been gradually shifting her from a prescription kibble diet to Fromm’s (A+ rated on our Food Grading sheet) with some veggies mixed in. Sometimes I have to look to see which English Cream it is, her or Charlie—they are just two weeks apart in age. Personality wise, she is getting more affectionate with each passing day. She often seeks me out and will come and lay beside me if I am on the couch. The other day I was sitting in a wing back chair and she squeezed in behind me to take a nap. It was a bit much but kind of funny at the same time.

Before Journey came into RAGOM she had a medical crisis, and that is how they discovered she has diabetes. She was stabilized before she came to us. We are taking her to a specialist this week for a thorough assessment and to make sure we have the best treatment approach for her condition. A couple of families have asked about the expense of caring for Journey. I’ll know more after we see the specialist and get a long-term diabetes management plan.

Things we’re working on:

  • Journey will sometimes chew inappropriate things. For example the other day I left a newspaper by the front door to take out to the recycling bin. She grabbed part of it and shredded it. She’s also grabbed a tee shirt of mine and chewed on that and tore it. I usually catch her right away “in the act,” and either take it away or trade her. She isn’t one to resource guard at all so it’s easy to redirect her.
  • If you don’t keep an eye on her sometimes she eats poop. She is pretty non-discriminating as to whose it is: hers, the other dog’s, deer poop. It’s all good stuff!
  • Generally she walks really well with the Easy Walk harness, but she still pulls if she is excited about something.
  • That’s about it for challenges we are working on. Her mouthing and jumping have gone down a ton. She’s a really good girl!

A perfect home for Journey:

  • A family who is committed to keeping her in optimal health physically with excellent diet, consistent exercise, and diabetes management.
  • She’ll be the best dog she can be if you take her to obedience training. She still has some puppy behaviors and training will help you work through those issues, and it will secure the bond you have with her. Any other kind of training too—agility, therapy dog. She loves it when I work with her.
  • She’ll thrive with regular social interaction with other dogs. She’d love to live with another dog, but she could also be an only dog if she has lots of opportunity to play with other dogs on a regular basis (ie doggy day care a couple of days a week, playing with neighbor or other family member dogs).
  • She loves meeting people too—so she’ll be an excellent companion for running short errands and going places with you. She rides really well in a car.

Journey is a sweetie!  She makes me smile even thinking about her.


Journey is doing really good! She had a very busy week with getting spayed, attending Goldzilla, and a trip to the vet specialist. Her spay surgery went well and she bounced right back with more energy than ever! She was not a happy camper when her activity was restricted right after her surgery. We are still taking it a little easy to allow her incision to fully heal. All in all, Journey continues to fill out and build muscle tone with being on a high quality diet and getting lots of exercise. You can feel her vitality—she is a healthy happy girl! 

Our annual RAGOM Goldzilla event was a blast for her. She loves people and other dogs, so she had a great time with all the stimulation. She (along with many other dogs) got a little pooped out toward the end from all that excitement! Thank you to all the families who visited with us and expressed interest in Journey. And thanks to the Goldzilla event organizers and team leads for doing such a fantastic job. 

Last but not least, we had a visit with the internal medicine vet specialist last week. The staff and Dr. Myers at Blue Pearl were wonderful.  They confirmed that Journey does have juvenile onset diabetes, and she will need to receive insulin injections for the rest of her life. They walked me through her care for the short term and long term. Generally dogs with diabetes live a full and normal life if their condition is thoughtfully managed. They don’t have the complications humans experience (neuropathies, circulation issues), but there can be urinary tract infections and cataracts, and this is more so the case if the dog’s condition is not managed.  Feeding a high quality diet and getting regular exercise are important, and maintaining a regular schedule for her insulin injections will be the key piece for managing her condition. In a couple of days we will be testing her blood glucose levels over a 12 hour period to get a more complete picture of where she is at, and from there the vet will prescribe a concentrated form of insulin. She said she’ll need a much smaller dosage, and the cost will be very reasonable. I had several people ask me what the cost is to care for Journey. I’ll know more after we do the glucose curve test and get her new prescription. The vet said these next 6 months will take extra monitoring to make sure Journey’s glucose levels are regulated because she is still growing. The adoptive family’s vet can help with that. Once she reaches her adult size, her insulin dose will change very little. The vet said her day-to-day care once she is fully grown will be like having her on automatic pilot. She also recommended annual follow-up visits as part of her long term maintenance plan. 

Little Journey Grace is a sweetie, but oh boy, she can be a spitfire too! Sometimes when we are going for a walk she’ll stop dead in her tracks and turn into a 500 pound immovable object.  If I talk to her she’ll get right back on track. Her new thing this past week is to grab the leash in her mouth when we are heading toward home. A couple of times I’ve corrected her and she’s made growly sounds. She isn’t being aggressive at all—just communicating with me and trying to get the last word in. She cracks me up. I’ll say, “No sassing” and she looks up at me smiling and I know we are on the same page. She can be very vocal! She is getting more mastery with commands. We’ve been working on shake, sit, sit and wait, down, and leave it. She is getting pretty good at these! We’ve started to do more work with recall, and I think she’ll be just fine in a home without a fence once she’s bonded with a family and if you’ve practiced with her. She has selective hearing though, so she'll need some reminders!


Journey is at a wonderful stage in her development. She is still puppy--for sure! She is at a great age to come into her life to form and train her to be the best dog she can be. She loves fun and playing with the other dogs, yet her mature and mellow side is coming through more and more every day. She is really good about taking time-outs and laying on a dog bed and quietly chewing on a bone. She just discovered a favorite spot—she’ll go into the bathroom and lay on the cool tile floor (next to the air conditioning vent) to take a nap. Let your placement person know if you are interested in this sweet girl! 


Journey has been doing really good! Physically she is at a perfect weight now, and she is sporting a sleek, athletic build. She can officially outrun resident Charlie when they are chasing each other. Her coat is soft and silky—somebody said it feels like a puppy’s fur. When she first got here her coat was thin and she was shedding like crazy. I think the high quality diet has done wonders for her. Her Golden feathering is coming in more and more each day too.  

I did a glucose curve test where blood samples were taken every 2 hours for a 12 hour period. This tests the blood glucose levels over a period of time to tell how she is responding to the insulin. The specialist said her glucose values were excellent, and she wants to keep Journey on Vetsulin because she is responding so well to it. We just reduced the dose slightly. So Journey is healthy and her diabetes is nicely regulated. Her new family will need to keep a close eye on her glucose levels though because her insulin requirements will change as she is still growing.

She has been here a little over a month now, and the pace has quieted down quite a bit. At first everything was new, and she is still young so the level of excitement was high. She is totally into our routine now, and she is great about chilling out when we make dinner, hang out and watch TV in the evenings, or taking a nap while I work. Her naughty puppy behaviors are just about nipped in the bud. She will still jump up on people when she is excited, and she’ll go into the bedroom and grab a lone Kleenez off of the bedstand that we haven’t thrown out yet. She drops it immediately or “gives” when we approach her to take it away. She hasn’t grabbed any clothing to chew on for a while now. She has been such a good girl in the house.

She LOVES playing with the other dogs. Every once in a while they get pretty cranked up and I need to step in to get them to settle down. Here she is with alumni foster Duncan (he’s blind) who is visiting while his mom and dad are in Norway. She is excellent with him:

She is getting her commands down better each day. Since the last update she has mastered leaving her food until I release her to eat (such a good girl!!). Here she is practicing “sit and stay” with the other dogs:

It’s not too hard to get Journey up and running to play or to go somewhere. She loves people and loves other dogs. When it is just us at home, that is where we really see her warmth and affection shine through. She is a little sweetheart.



"Welcome to the Golden Life." -Kathy and Hailie W

"In memory of Allie." -Sally P and Lynn

"In memory of all our dogs--we loved them all." -Jane E


It has been an absolute pleasure to be fostering Miss Journey Grace. What a beautiful & well behaved girl she is. A special thankyou to Jessica & Adam for sponsoring this lovely girl.

Journey had her visit with the eye doctor. What we found out was that her cataracts have developed very rapidly, with the left eye being worse than the right. He felt that while her vision on the left is  limited, she can still see well on the right.  While the specialist is recommending that the cataracts be removed soon (because if we wait too long they may be too difficult for him to get out) we need to get her diabetes under control first. In the mean time Journey was started on eye drops in preparation for her upcoming surgery.

Over the last couple weeks Journey & I also teamed up to do a couple glucose curves. This consisted of me repeatedly poking her & trying to get a few drops of repeatedly I mean every hour to 2 hours for 12 hours total on 2 separate days. While Journey cooperated nicely the information wasn't as helpful as the internist would have liked. Her levels were higher than he wanted & pretty inconsistent throughout the day. Thus while we were at her followup appointment he also drew a fructosamine level. This test was to determine how her blood sugar control was over a several week period...& the result was "fair", meaning could definitely be better but could also be worse. Thus the internist gave Journey the go ahead for her cataract surgery, but with another glucose curve to be done 5 to 7 days after her surgery. Hopefully I will be able to get the surgery scheduled in the upcoming week. Please keep Journey in your thoughts for a positive outcome. She is way too young to loose her sight.


Happy Valentine's Day, Journey Grace! Journey, you are such a beautiful girl, wish you a happy and healthy life!! Bing Happy Valentine's Day, Journey Grace! Journey, you are such a beautiful girl, wish you a happy and healthy life!! Bing



Journey had her cataracts removed on Tuesday & is recovering nicely now. She was not a happy camper for the first couple days after surgery. I've taken care of many fosters that have had many types of surgeries but Journey took 1st place in playing the sympathy card. She looked so miserable when she came home. Unfortunately they shaved around both of her eyes, plus the fact that she could only squint & that her vision was very blurry, & to top it off she had to wear the cone of shame....she truly was a sad sight, no pun intended!  Journey is doing much better now. Her eyes are fully open & look very clear. She takes her eye drops (3 drops, 4 times a day) & antibiotics (twice daily) like a champ. She does have to keep the cone on for another week though to make sure she doesn't scratch at her eyes. We've switched her to a softer cone & she doesn't seem to mind as much. She will be going back in this week for her followup & to check the pressure in her eyes & how well she is healing. Also in the health department, I am doing another glucose curve test today & will send those results to the internist to see if there are any changes to her insulin needed.

Journey remains a joy to have around. She is such a love bug. I have noticed that now that she's been on several car rides with us that she loves, loves, loves riding along. Whenever she sees or hears me getting ready to leave she runs to the front door with hopes of being my sidesick. She is so adorable!

Please consider making a donation to RAGOM in Journeys name if you are able to. Her surgery ( even after the vet gave us a large rescue discount) was still over $3000, not to mention the costs of her other medical bills.  Its through donations like yours that allows RAGOM to help dogs like Journey Grace live the golden life they deserve.


Journey Grace is doing absolutely fantastic. She had her followup appointment last week with the eye specialist & he said that while she still had some slight swelling in her eyes, her vision is clear & that she is healing nicely. She had to keep her cone of shame on for one more week & we finally got to toss it out yesterday....hallelujah!! She will still be on eye drops for another 3 weeks but we are tapering them down...we started out at 20 drops per day & now we are down to 3...another hallelujah!! She will have 1 more followup in 3 more weeks & then she'll be in the clear!
As far as Journeys diabetes goes we are also making good progress there. I did another 2 glucose curves since her surgery & while her levels are still a little higher than we would like them to be long term they are significantly better than when she first came to us. I think Journey is finally starting to feel better. Her drinking is normal & we haven't had anymore accidents ( because she had been drinking soooo much she was also peeing a ton & it was our fault that we weren't letting her out often enough). Her activity level is normal & she loves loves loves to play with our 3 boys.
After all the vet visits we've had I have discovered that a Journey also absolutely loves to ride in the car. She now stands by the door any time she sees me get my car keys out. She jumps right into the back seat of the car & really enjoys just looking out the window & watching the scenery roll by.
We will be going on vacation in a few days & Journey will be hanging her hat at another RAGOM volunteers house. I am so thankful for this wonderful organization & knowing that Journey will be in good hands & enjoying her time away too. I'm going to miss this sweet girl but she'll have fun making new friends while we're gone.


Mom, you woke me up....

Helping to bring the groceries in....

Looking pretty at the Meet & Greet

Look Mom , I fit!


Journey Grace has had a great couple of weeks. She got to go on a little vacation at another fosters house while we went on Spring Break. She had an awesome time & are so thankful for Connie G & her husband for hosting our sweet girl. Then last weekend she went on her first Meet & Greet. Once again Journey Grace was a perfect ambassador for RAGOM & made lots of new fiends.
This week found Journey having a followup visit with the eye specialist. He said that her eyes look great & the lens are very clear, meaning that her eyesight is great. Her eyes are still a bit red around the edges, of which he said is caused by a reaction to the sutures, which happens in about 50% of the cases. As the sutures continue to dissolve over the next couple weeks the redness should resolve. We are also continuing her eye drops for another 4 weeks. After that it will just be a 4 month followup appointment needed.
Journey absolutely loves, loves, loves riding in the car. I'm guessing that it doesn't hurt that fostermom is addicted to Starbucks & Journey has become addicted to the occasional pup cup as a treat as well. Whenever Journey sees me grab my keys or purse, she high tails it to the door & waits so patiently hoping that she gets to come along. She's so sweet!
We've also been puppy sitting this weekend for another RAGOM pup, 10 week old Jett. Journey has been having a fantastic time showing him the ropes & playing ever so gently with him. She is a natural with him. She is going to be so sad when he leaves on Tuesday.


Journey Grace has been a busy girl as of late.  I did a glucose curve on her a couple weeks ago and when we followed up with the internist he still wasn't very happy with the results. So Journey was changed to a different type of insulin.  The good news is that her most recent curve was much improved and she is doing fantastically. Even better news is that Journey Grace has been adopted by an awesome family. She now has a Mom & Dad to call her own and 3 fun kids to give lots and lots of slobbery kisses to. We miss Journey dearly but wish her the best in her new life. She hit the jackpot and we couldn't be happier for her!