Finding Warm Homes for Cold Noses Since 1991!

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

Monthly Golden Health Question / Ear Infections

Chronic ear infections and Golden Retrievers. Sounds pretty familiar, right? It seems like no matter what time of of year it is, your poor Golden is a never-ending cyclone of scratching and clawing at those adorable ears of theirs --- with no end in sight.

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No worries! Dr. Shepherd and his wonderful staff at North Roswell Vet Clinic are on-duty with our monthly "Golden Health" blog question to respond to our GRRA supporters who have asked about ear infections and what they could try to do to help their furry best friend.

If this is a year round problem, the number one thing we think of is a food allergy and a prescription limited ingredient diet may make a difference.

There are some of these that you can find "over the counter" but we cannot guarantee they are not manufactured with non-limited ingredient diets. Always look at those dog food labels! They truly tell the tale. Seeing exactly what the leading ingredient is listed as is key in a lot of these types of infection cases.

It is safe to give dogs Benadryl at 1mg per pound but it is usually not effective for a long period of time and can make them drowsy. For short bouts in spring / fall seasons, it might however do the trick.

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You can try routine ear cleaning, especially if they are a swimmer in the summer months, but cleaning changes the flora of the ear and we do not recommend for any "normal" ears. That might make things worse before they make things better unfortunately.

Daily cleaning only removes the debris. It does not help the dog if there is a yeast or bacterial infection involved. That's a situation that needs to be checked-out by your Vet.

Allergies in dogs is a chronic problem that we see. There are very safe drugs now available to the veterinary world that your Vet could prescribe that help relieve allergies other than having to chose steroid options. Your Golden will feel better in no time!

Thanks so much, Dr. Shepherd. Do you have any basic Golden Retriever health questions that you'd like to ask the helpful staff at North Roswell Vet Clinic? Please submit a "Golden Health" blog comment on this GRRA Facebook post and we'll be happy to pass them along. Have a great Golden Health Day, everyone!

Monthly Good Goldens Question / Excessive Shyness

Thanks to everyone who submitted "Good Goldens" questions for Chris McLeod at our fabulous training partner --- The Canine Ranch in Canton, GA.

This month's "Good Goldens" question is regarding excessive shyness with a newly adopted Golden Retriever. Here are some great tips from Chris on what you can do to help out your adopted furry best friend.

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I recommend a three phase approach for shy dogs. First -- contrary to what a lot of dog trainers say online -- please don’t take cookies everywhere and ask a million people to touch your dog for a cookie. Instead, take your dog to a million places and let THEM learn that a million people will give them the space they need to learn to adapt to people at their own pace and time. Most dogs won’t eat when they’re stressed anyway, so simply go to as many places as possible and have a good time. Eventually, you both will!

Second, become more active with fun activities that engage the mind AND build confidence. Of course, at The Canine Ranch, we always recommend sports. Nose Work and Agility are our favorites for shy dogs because they seem to instill the most confidence quickly. But if you can’t go to a training center, just teach your shy dog tricks at home. The more they learn, the more confident they will become (just like kids).

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And third, remember not to touch them when they’re unsure or shying away from something. Touch is a reward, so you never want to reward an insecure dog. But our human nature wants us to go to that scared dog and stroke it to let them know that we’re a team and we’re “there for them”. The dog sees that body language differently than we do though, so it’s best instead to pick up the leash and go for a walk when the dog is in that low place and showing insecurity. Keep the mind moving forward and they’ll start to feel better about themselves in no time!

Thanks so much, Chris. Do you have any behavioral or training questions you'd like Chris McLeod at The Canine Ranch to answer for assistance with your adopted Golden Retriever? Please submit via GRRA Facebook comments on this post and we'll be happy to pass them along to her for you. Have a Good Golden Day, everyone!

Dog of the Month - Gracie


Hi, I’m Gracie! I’m a 3-year-old mix with cute curled ears and double dewclaws on my back paws. This makes me unique. I’m very comfortable spending time outside but love to snuggle inside too. I’m also very good at chasing a ball and love to be praised when I bring it back. My foster says I’m just a real sweet dog. I deserve someone who will spend time with me and teach me some commands.

If you are interested in adopting me, please contact GRRA. If you would like to adopt a Golden Retriever, please complete the online application.

Happy Tales - Lacey


My husband Rob and I have been married thirty-five years and have always had a furry canine family member. In May of 2015 our sweet beagle passed away and it just so happened that I stepped down from my sixteen year first grade teaching career that same month. So there I was, home alone. It was way too quiet at my house!

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta came into our lives over the summer when we began looking at their website. We started our adoption by filling out an online application. Next we were assigned sweet Jayme as our adoption consultant, and a GRRA volunteer, Paula, came to our home for a visit. I loved that she brought her own golden for this visit! We attended the Adoption Day Showcase which is the best way ever to spend an afternoon! You get to go around meeting and hugging a whole room full of golden retrievers! The hard part is, you want to take them ALL home with you!

We got to meet Lacey that day and eventually we got to adopt her! Lacey’s foster mom, Lori, was wonderful to work with, and we are so grateful she thought Lacey would be a good match for our family! Lacey was adopted in October and has been a busy girl since then. She recovered from heartworm treatment, had some surgery to be spayed, and had a little dental work done. On the fun side of things, Lacey has taken some classes with a trainer, and has enjoyed traveling with us lately. Lacey’s favorite toy is a tennis ball and she enjoys tromping through the creek at our house in the mountains. At home in Gwinnett County Lacey’s favorite activity is chasing the squirrels, rabbits, birds, and other small inhabitants of her big backyard! Her motto is: “If it moves in any form, shape, or fashion, it’s my business!”

Adopting Lacey was a great experience! She’s added a lot of love and fun to our lives! I’ve also noticed I get to hear from our son Adam more often. Texts and phone calls now begin with: “How’s Lacey?” Thank you so much GRRA for entrusting us with this beautiful family member! We’ll take good care of her!

Abby Manchester


Happy Tales - Jack



We lost our beloved Golden Retriever, Rocky, about three years ago to cancer at the young age of 7. We thought we would never have the heart to adopt another Golden ever again in his place. We were afraid we would constantly be comparing them and that it would not be fair to the brand new Golden.

We finally decided after some time that we should give another Golden Retriever a chance ---- and a new place to call home. And it was the best thing we ever did! Jack is absolutely the "king of the castle" and brings us so much joy and love.

GRRA made the entire adoption process so easy to navigate through. Everyone we dealt with at the organization was very encouraging and supportive. We cannot thank them enough.

I even asked later to volunteer with GRRA and now conduct pre-adoption home checks in my area as I fell in love with the organization and their mission.

Thanks again for our baby boy, Jack. We love him so.

Maggie Houston


Volunteer of the Month - Paula Rosenberg


Congratulations to Paula Rosenberg, the GRRA May Volunteer of the Month!

Paula, one of GRRA’s long-time volunteers, has been volunteering since 2000! After she moved to Atlanta, Paula wanted to get involved in the community by volunteering. She was also interested in adopting a dog and thought volunteering for GRRA might be a good way to see how the adoption process worked. She started at the Adoption Days as an applicant escort. Paula felt it was a great way to get to know the organization and the other volunteers. An added benefit, Paula said, was meeting all of the great goldens.


In addition to working at the Adoption Days, Paula does home checks. She said she enjoys doing them and sees her role as being “the eyes and ears for the fosters and organization” to make sure GRRA is finding just the right home for their goldens. After learning how to give allergy shots to one of her dogs, Paula was recruited to help Barry Levine with microchipping the GRRA dogs. Paula says it is worth the unhappy looks she sometimes receives from the dogs because it is very important for the dogs to be chipped to make sure they can be identified and their owners contacted if they ever get lost.


If you are reading this article in the GRRA newsletter, you can probably imagine the time and energy it takes to put the it together. Paula had the big job of being the GRRA Newsletter Editor for several years until recently when she rotated out of the position. Paula was awarded the VOM in large part to thank her for the time she has invested in the being the Editor the last few years. When she was asked how she felt to be chosen as the May Volunteer of the Month, she stated, “Whenever I see these VOM articles, everyone says they feel like they don’t deserve the award. I feel the same way. There are so many other volunteers who do so much more than I do! I’m just honored that folks appreciate my contribution to the cause.” We absolutely do, Paula!

Paula finds it particularly rewarding to see a golden happy and thriving in their forever home. She shared, “Going to the Rescue Romp is a great way to see these ‘happily-ever-afters.’ I like the feeling that I helped to make that happen. With such a great group of volunteers, when I can’t give GRRA my full attention, I know it keeps going. And, then when time permits, I am able to come back and give some more.”

Paula, like many other GRRA volunteers, has met and adopted her dogs through the organization. She stated, “I know, first hand, how wonderful it is to have these dogs in my life. Some come to me not entirely sure of things. It’s amazing when you finally see them let go and be goofy dogs for the first time. It makes my heart burst!”


Paula wanted to let other GRRA volunteers who may not have the time they used to have to volunteer that she can relate. She recommends to others to not let that be a deterrent in volunteering again. She explained, “If you can’t do your previous position, just ask what you can do with the time you do have. There is always something you can help with!” That is great advice that also applies to potential volunteers who may have limited time to spend volunteering. Please don’t let that stop you! You can apply to volunteer at and someone will contact you to help find a position that you will enjoy and fits the time you have to give. GRRA and our goldens can always use your help!

Chloe's Fundraising



Chloe may be the youngest fundraiser for GRRA. Her lemonade stand brought in over $38! She is in kindergarten, loves gymnastics, playing outside with friends and ART! Her dogs, Charley and Reesie, are her passion. She loves to snuggle with them, give treats to them, and take them for walks. Fourth-grade brother, Ben, feels the same love for Reesie and Charley, considering them a furry brother and sister.


An interview with Chloe

Nancy Baumann: What inspired you to raise money for GRRA?

Chloe Trussell: Because I love my dogs.

NB: How did you decide to have a lemonade stand?

CT: Because it was spring, and it was warm outside, and because I love lemonade.

NB: Who came to the lemonade stand?

CT: My friends came and bought lemonade and my neighbors did too.

NB: Did the customers know you were raising money for a special cause?

CT: Yes, we told them. I also wrote it on my sign.

NB: Is this the first time you raised money for a cause?

CT: No, I had another lemonade stand in the fall and gave the money to GRRA. I also did Jump Rope for Heart at my school and raised money for the American Heart Association.

NB: How old were you when you had the lemonade stand, and did your friends help you?

CT: I was 6, I turn 7 in October. Yes, my friends helped me. They are in kindergarten and first grade and live in my neighborhood.

NB: What do you want to do when you grow up?

CT: I want to work at a dog rescue.

NB: Do you own a Golden Retriever?

CT: Yes, I do. Charley is from GRRA and is two and a half. Reesie is from Adopt a Golden-Birmingham and is a little older than Charley. My parents had another Golden named Sadie but she died before I was born. They also had a bulldog, Ally, but she died when I was three.

Thank you, Chloe, for all your hard work!

Charlie finds his "furever" home


Fourteen-month-old Charlie (Yonah) picked the McGowan family for his "furever" home! Congratulations to all.


How to stop a Good Golden from excessive barking

Does your Golden Retriever constantly bark at anything and everything? Have you tried in the past to try to stop the behavior on your own but just couldn't seem to find the right approach that worked?

In this GRRA "Good Goldens" post, we've called upon our training partner Chris McLeod from The Canine Ranch ( in Canton, GA to personally assist us with her canine behavioral expertise regarding excessive barking and what you can do to help your adopted Golden be a Good Golden.

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This type of barking is typically an alert bark, so let’s address this by taking an example of a doorway.

The doorbell rings and the dog starts barking non-stop at the door. Go to the door and stand in front of the door with your back to the door. Step towards the dog and ask them to step away from the door area (I usually shoo with my hands as well).

If you have a rug or boundary that you can ask them to move back towards, pick that area as your goal, and make them move back maybe 3 or 4 feet. Just move them away from the door. The goal is to be quiet, not to sit or down - that’s for another day.

Once they’ve moved back, say your words, “Quiet” or “Enough” or “No Speak”. Use the same words, and only those words. Once they’re quiet for just a moment, say “Thank You” or “Good Dog” or something that you’ll say continuously.

Don’t open the door until the dog is quiet. Now the dog barks at the window - do the same there. Step in front, move towards the dog, and get them to move back.

The reason this exercise works is that we’re mimicking the way a dog would posture over a bone. Dogs recognize the body language of standing in front of something that we own or control.

By standing in front of something that is “alerting”, you’re letting the dog know that you now own that problem. You now “own” the window and all the noises that come from behind it as well.

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You can apply this same theory to any scenario, but don’t expect results outside until you see results inside. Dogs have less control of their emotions when there are more stimulus around, so they have to learn to control themselves with more things going on.

It would be unrealistic to expect them to control themselves with cars and bicycles going by if they can’t control themselves with a vacuum cleaner or a doorbell. Work from smaller distractions to bigger and harder distractions, always making sure that you reward for success (but not with cookies!).

Just reward with praise and affection. You’ll see a different in no time!

Do you have any training or behavioral issues regarding your GRRA Golden Retriever that you'd like to ask Chris McLeod from The Canine Ranch? Tell us on our GRRA Facebook page and we'll be happy to pass along your question. We're always here to help our adopting families. All you have to do is ask!

Happy Tales - Madison

VOM When I was about 8 years old, my family and I adopted a dog from the Dixie Golden Retriever Rescue here in town. Unfortunately, we had to put him down which was extremely sad.

When my husband and I started talking last year about adopting a dog again, I realized that the only dog I had ever loved was my Golden. So, I looked online for Golden Retriever Rescues and the first one I found was GRRA.

I had a lady contact me about a home visit and that weekend she came over. At first I thought about a younger dog, then she showed me a picture of Madison and I instantly fell in love! I patiently waited for the call from the Foster Mom.

Then one day I was at work and a random number popped-up on my phone. I ran to the back to answer it. And my prayers had been answered ---- it was Maddie's Foster! We set-up a meet and greet.

The day finally came and Maddie was coming for her home visit to see if my husband and I were a good match. At first, Madison was very shy and hid behind her Foster Mom, but then it happened...... She walked right over to me, laid down at my feet, and that was it. The Foster told me that we were the perfect match!

The Foster Mom and I decided that following Monday I would come and pick-up our new furbaby. That was the most amazing day of my life! VOM Since Madison has been living with us, she has become a completely different dog. She really loves her stuffed teddy bear, lots and lots of cuddles, and she especially loves to talk to us when we get up or get back home.

I will always use GRRA for any other dog I decide to adopt. But for now, Madison is the perfect furbaby to complete my family.

----- submitted by Kara Sornberger

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