Darcy (foreground) came to us with a past clouded in mystery. She was found as a stray and even though she wanted to trust us, she still wasn't sure she could count on people to be kind all the time. Well, we showed her! Nine months later, she plays with toys, does daily walks with impeccable leash manners, glides up and down the stairs confidently, sleeps in bed with us, loves road trips, and best of all, comes over, rests her head in our laps, and gazes up at us. It's almost as if she's saying, "So, where have you been all my life?" We can't take all the credit for this turnaround – Benson, our gregarious Golden, helped show her the ropes (and really is the one who taught her how to do stairs). To anyone who is a little shaky about taking in a dog with an uncertain past who bears signs of being mistreated – take the plunge. Open your heart, give generous scoops of love, be patient, and know that the wonderful people at DVGRR have your back.
Suzanne & Mitchell Nelson
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This is a picture of Molly (right) with her little sister, Daisy. We brought Molly home on February 27, 2011. She walked into our house, found one of Daisy's toys, and proceeded to play. She was totally comfortable with her new family and surroundings. She is an absolute angel. Molly and Daisy are great together and we have seen Molly's energy improve. She has lost a few pounds and is always smiling. I can't say enough about the amazing efforts of DVGRR. From the medical and behavioral evaluations to the premium food fed to all the dogs, it is an outstanding organization. Molly came with thyroid disease, which had been undiagnosed before she arrived at the Golden Gateway. Her recent bloodwork shows that her thyroid is now functioning normally. We were also told that she had seizures and we are tracking those to determine if she will need medication. So far, she has had three, but returns to normal soon after the episode. Molly was a gift. We are grateful to give such a deserving girl a happy life. Thank you DVGRR! You definitely found the right match for our family.
Dawn & Jay Karlyn
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My original intention was to pick up my Yankee Candle order from DVGRR, not another dog! But what the heck, while I was there I might as well check out the inventory.
Olivia is a 7-year-old puppy mill breeder dog, and will be the third Golden we have been fortunate enough to bring into our home via DVGRR. The other two are Buddy Bear 06-093, now "Woody," and Sebastian a WONDERFUL 14-year-old we had in hospice care for a year. In addition to Woody, we have two other canine members ofthe family: Carmen a beautiful 7-year-old Golden, and Sunny, a 5-year-old Labrador, who is also a "rescue." We call them the "three blondes."'. Now there will be a fourth!
We were diligent in doing our "breeder dog" homework, so were well prepared for any behaviors Olivia might exhibit. She was clearly terrified on the drive home, even though I had brought beautiful Carmen along to keep her company....poor Carmen, she's so well adjusted, and just could not understand why Olivia didn't want to look out the windows and wave at everyone going by! I stopped at the bank "drive thru" and there was one horrifying moment when I thought Olivia was going to escape through my window. I had to act fast! Carmen was questioning the delinquent arrival of her biscuit from the mysterious bank tube, while Olivia was thrashing around behind my seat….the bank teller wanted to know if I wanted more biscuits? Not today, thank you!
Needless to say, we made it home and Olivia's behaviors have been no worse then expected, and perhaps actually better than expected. I give the DVGRR so much credit for the nurturing and preparation given to this darling Golden so her introduction into the real world could be a success! I also credit my husband Scott, and our three other wonderful dogs that all form part of the family unit. They have willingly accepted Oliva as one of their own the moment she placed her first paw inside our house. Yes, there have been a few "spats," but they are short lived and no one seems to hold a grudge. She's been with us a little over a month now, and celebrated her first Christmas as a liberated, free spirit…joyful and triumphant! Happy New Year Olivia, and many more to follow!
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I don't think it gets any sweeter than our Golden Retriever, Jack. I don't know the full story of where Jack came from, or how he ended up at the wonderful DVGRR, but we are so happy that he did, because it paved the path to him adopting us!! We love him more than anything. He is a fantastic boy. The best words to describe Jack are loving, caring, sweet, and FUN! When he walked into our home on that October day almost five years ago, it was as if he had lived with us all of his life. He loves his older fur sister Abbey and his little fur brother Elvis. You can often find Jack curled up with one of his favorite stuffed animals or chasing Elvis around the house. Jack has a way of bringing happiness wherever he goes. Children love him, and he loves them. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing Jack's face light up when he gets a new stuffed animal, a "cookie", or when one of us comes home from work. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for Jack to come home to us!
Sarah McKilip & Russ Curtier
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"You don't throw away a whole life just 'cause he's banged up a little."
-from the movie Seabiscuit 2005
A message from Max:
Hey!...My name is Max (#04-152) and that picture of me was taken at a softball complex with some of my new friends - players, parents, umpires, and especially the people who work in the food stand. (Thanks for the hot dog, guys!) They all seem to want to come over and pet me. Life is pretty good.
Of course, it wasn't always this way. I had a family before this, but after a hurricane in Florida, I found myself in a couple of different shelters. That was a tough few months. The folks that took care of us were nice, but it's not like having your own family. Then one day some folks came to see me at DVGRR, and I knew this would be great from the first minute we met. The people were nice and they introduced me to my (soon-to be) younger brother Harley. We played chase the tennis ball, tug-o-war, and 'bitey-face" for almost an hour before going home together.
...and an update from his Humans:
It's been almost six years now since Max adopted us in 2004. Described as a "3H Dog" (Healthy, Happy and High-Energy), Max has been keeping himself busy. He loves to run next to me on my bike several times a week and also enjoys camping, swimming and running in the snow. He has earned his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications and is a member of the "Paw Partners" program at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. Max has made over 150 Pet Therapy visits since he was certified and is still going strong! I think we'll keep him!
Steve & Bonnie Jackson
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DVGRR Golden 08-201
How do you spend your entire life in a cage and come out 4 years later loving people? I have no idea, you’ll have to ask Katie that question. She won’t answer you though, she’ll just look at you with those deep, brown eyes, asking why you haven’t started petting her yet!
Katie had a rough time of it in October of 2008 - seized by Animal Control in the “Almost Heaven” raid (a large puppy-mill) on 10/01/2008. Emaciated, matted and covered in feces, Katie went from never being out of a cage to being poked, prodded, given all her shots, spayed, had a non-malignant lump removed, teeth cleaned, and shaved down - all this in just her first few days of “freedom”!
This former breeder dog is now an integral member of our pack (Max 04-152 and Harley). She’s soooo smart-in the first 2 days Katie learned how to “heel” nearly flawlessly! And, of course, once you learn how to heel on a walk, it a cinch to learn to heel next to a bike! I’ll never forget the look of surprise and joy on her face when she realized that she was allowed to run as fast as she could - she just started running faster and faster while looking up at me with a huge “golden” grin!
Although Katie did not know how to run so well in a straight line at first (she was better at running in small circles), she quickly learned to run next to my bike with Max (2004-152) for trips as long as 5 miles!
Katie was able to pass the Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International tests only 103 days after her adoption! She also passed her advances course and was certified to be a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia along with Max.
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