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Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

2018 GRRA Calendar Contest

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta (GRRA) is looking for photos of happy, fun-Golden Retrievers for the 2018 calendar contest. Simply enter your dog by following the guidelines below and he or she will appear in the calendar - guaranteed! All participants will automatically receive one copy of the calendar per entry. Twelve dogs will be selected as Dogs of the Month and one lucky winner will be the 2018 Cover Dog. ALL other photos will be used throughout the calendar. Please note that only dogs adopted from GRRA are eligible for the Dog of the Month and Cover Dog slots.

We are working on a shortened timeline for calendar entries this year, so DON'T DELAY. Please send your entries in by August 25, 2017!

All proceeds directly benefit Golden Retrievers in need!


I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille.

General Guidelines

  • You may submit up to two photos per entry; the photos can be of the same dog or more than one dog. One photo per entry will be chosen and used in the calendar.
  • You will receive one copy of the 2018 GRRA calendar per entry.

Entry Fees

  • $25 per entry (includes one copy of calendar).
  • $25 for each subsequent entry (includes one copy of calendar).

Payment Type

Payment can be submitted online via PayPal:

Payment can also be mailed to:

GRRA c/o Calendar Contest
P.O. Box 7743
Atlanta, GA 30357

Emailed entries will not be official until the entry fee is received.



  • Must include a Golden or a Labrador Retriever.
  • May include more than one dog in the photo.
  • Must not include humans in the photo.

Please include the following per photo:

  • Dog's name
  • Dog's current age
  • Whether he or she was adopted from GRRA

One dog will be chosen for the Cover Dog and “interview”. Only photos with adequate to high resolution quality will be considered. All dogs in the cover photo must have been adopted from GRRA. Past GRRA calendar participants are preferred.

Copyrighted photos will not be accepted.

Digital Photos

  • Due to loss of quality during scanning, high-resolution digital photos are preferred.
  • Digital photos should be saved in the highest resolution and in .jpg or .gif format and emailed to
  • Please include your PayPal confirmation number in the email with your photos.

Hint for a great picture: For a 4" x 6" print, the image resolution should be 640 x 480 pixels minimum and 300 dpi.


All entries must be received by midnight August 25, 2017.


  • Judging will be done by representatives of GRRA based on content and quality.
  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • The calendar will be unveiled at the November adoption day.

GRRA reserves the right to edit, crop, and caption photos as needed. All photos become property of GRRA and may be used for promotional purposes.

Dog of the Month - Gaines


Hi! My name is Gaines. I am a 5 year-old boy who was rescued from a puppy mill. No one cared for me so my coat was matted and had to be shaved. I didn't know about leashes or riding in cars. But thanks to the kind people at GRRA, I am now growing a brand new coat, learning to enjoy walks, meeting people and even riding in cars. I do like older children who will be patient with me as I am still a bit afraid of sudden and quick movements. I can't believe I am actually going to get to be part of a family-finally!



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 - Bella


After much discussion and enthusiasm from our children Jack (7) and Ella (5), we decided to fill out an adoption application with GRRA. We first met with Taylor who was so informative and supportive about the adoption process! She sent us lots of precious pups to take a look at. But when she sent us information on Bella, we all knew we found a match.

We spoke with Bella's foster dad Barry and set up a time to meet her. It was love at first sight! She was the sweetest girl and we were all crazy about her from our first walk!


When Bella first came to live with us, she was 20 pounds underweight and a little shy. Her first two nights with us she slept in a bed in between my husband and I. Now, she is at her ideal weight and has found her voice.

She plays daily in the backyard with our children ---- running and greeting our neighbors as they walk by. When we walk in the neighborhood or go to the dog park, she's always so friendly though she doesn't stray too far from us.

She's hiked Blue Ridge Mountain, played in the sand at Rosemary Beach, and even splashed around a bit in the water --- although she was a little afraid of the ocean. :)


She loves to go see family in Charleston, SC and is a great traveler. She is such a wonderful addition to our family and we consider her to be such a blessing!

Beth Louer

Monthly Good Goldens Question / Thunderphobia

This month's "Good Goldens" blog question comes from a GRRA supporter asking for helpful tips on how to assist an adopted Golden Retriever who has severe Thunderphobia issues.

With the uptick in spring storms lately, we could all use some guidance on how to bring some calm and relief to our furry Golden friends who have this fear.

We once again have called upon the professional expertise of Chris McLeod from The Canine Ranch in Canton, GA to lend her take on canine thunderphobia and what we as concerned dog owners can do about it at home --- before and during these types of storms.

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Thunderstorms are a hard topic to discuss for so many reasons. Not only are the dogs hearing the thunder and seeing the rain, but they’re also feeling the change in atmospheric pressure in ways that we probably can’t even begin to understand.

Remember --- we know that dogs can sense pregnancy at 6 weeks, predict heart attacks, cancer, death, low blood sugar, and so many other things about our bodies that we really don’t fully understand yet. For those dogs that are “tuned-in” so to speak, a loud thunderstorm can be a pretty traumatic event for them.

My suggestions for clients always begin with understanding your dog's home environment. First --- make sure your dog has a safe haven to go to. Even if you don’t crate your dog every day, continue to provide the opportunity to crate by leaving one available to them. Most dogs will continue to go to their crate and see it as their “bedroom” as long as you use it as a positive place.

This is a great security blanket during a time of stress (like during severe thunderstorms for example), and especially if your dog has to be away from home. Even if you board your dog --- most kennels will accommodate a crate in the room if your dog is thunderphobic since they know that it will help your dog in times of stress.

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Next, make sure you’re not increasing your dog’s stress by stroking or touching your dog during this fear period. Remember, touch is a reward. And although you want to stroke your dog’s worries away during that bad storm, what you’re actually doing is reinforcing that the dog had a right to be worried in the first place. Touch IS a reward --- and dogs repeat what is rewarded. If you stroke a dog that is fearful, you will simply be feeding the fear. Instead, let them learn to deal with the fear on their own in their safe haven (like their crate).

You can also try a device known as a ThunderShirt. It’s based on the premise that you put pressure on key points of the body to create calmness --- similar to swaddling an infant to keep them from being upset. Not all dogs see results with a ThunderShirt, but some do.

And finally, if your dog has Thunderphobia bad enough you should definitely seek the advice of a Veterinarian. Sadly, there comes a time for some dogs when anxiety turns to complete terror, and for me that’s when I feel it’s only fair to seek medical help.

There’s no sense forcing your dog to endure terror just to get through a storm when you can alleviate it with a very safe medicine --- similar to if you were terrified of flying or if you always got seasick when going on cruises. Medical relief is available for dogs and should be discussed with your Golden's Vet for options to make them feel calmer during terrible spring / summer storms.

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Thanks so much, Chris! GREAT information as always. Do you have a training / behavioral question that you would like to ask Chris McLeod from The Canine Ranch? Please post it here and we'll be happy to submit for our next GRRA blog topic. Have a Good Golden Day, everyone!

Monthly Golden Health Question / Excessive Paw Licking

This month's "Golden Health" blog question comes from a GRRA supporter who wanted to know about how to combat their adopted Golden's excessive paw licking. Those of us with Goldens in our home unfortunately know this challenge well. Dr. Shepherd from North Roswell Vet Clinic is here to help us with suggestions.

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First off, how to tell a bored dog vs. a dog that has allergies is key. When a dog has an OCD problem, they usually only lick or groom the front paws and NOT the back. Sometimes, it's just one foot. When you notice they are chewing and licking all four paws, that is usually an allergy problem.

Normal foot or paw grooming is probably one to two times per day. If an OCD problem is in play, sometimes these guys --- if they are non-stop on the grooming --- need to be seen by a Vet because they can create a wet area that cannot dry out and can get infected and create a bacterial dermatitis (hot spot). Redness in-between the pads can also be a sign of allergies.

If this does seem to be a boredom or OCD problem issue with your adopted Golden, then finding something to occupy their time or giving them something to do is your best bet. Longer walks, more time in the dog park, something to chew on, etc. are different ways to combat this.

If it seems to be allergies, the best thing to do is to get them to the Vet (Goldens are sadly notorious for allergy issues). Most of their allergies are inhalation, but unlike humans who show inhalation allergies with watery eyes, sneezing, etc. they show it in their skin in itching and scratching and chewing.

Most allergies have a threshold and it takes some juggling to figure out how to get them below that threshold that allows them to be more comfortable where they are not itching, scratching, and chewing themselves.

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One thing that can help is changes in food. Selected protein diets are wonderful for this. Unfortunately, any selected protein diets that you can buy over the counter are not closely monitored. They are often made on the same assembly line as the regular foods. This is why the prescription brands are a much better way to go and those can only be purchased with a prescription from your Vet.

Food allergies for the dog come from the protein source not the grain source, so going "grain free" is a myth out there that many people fall for. Grain free does not help a food allergy problem.

Also, if it is a food allergy problem that foot licking is usually year round where as if it is an inhalation allergy, it tends to be more seasonal (spring and fall) and the foot chewing sometimes slows down in other seasons (even though there isn't much break in Georgia!).

Allergies are tough to combat and it is definitely a balancing act. The takeaway here is there is no cure --- there is only treatment.

Thanks for the helpful information, Dr. Shepherd! Do you have a "Golden Health" issue you are battling with your adopted Golden Retriever? Want to ask Dr. Shepherd from North Roswell Vet Clinic about a specific challenge you are currently facing? Please post your question here in the comments and we'll be glad to pass along for you. Happy Golden Health, everyone!

Monthly Good Goldens Question / Eating harmful objects

This month's "Good Goldens" blog question comes from a GRRA supporter curious about how to stop their adopted Golden from constantly chewing / ingesting harmful objects such as rocks, sticks, plastic items, cans, etc. that are potentially dangerous to a dog's health.

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Once again, we've called upon the professional expertise of our canine training and behavioral partner Chris McLeod of The Canine Ranch in Canton, GA to address this specific concern and give everyone some advice to successfully keep your Golden from hurting themselves by eating an unsafe object in or around your home.

First off, I would highly suggest checking with your Veterinarian since there may be an underlying medical condition that could be causing this condition. However, if the Golden gets a clean bill of health, my first suggestion is usually to change your protein source in your dog food.

Sometimes your dog may be having a small reaction to the protein source or the AMOUNT of protein they’re receiving in the food they ingest. I remember being surprised to learn that a dog food distributor once told us he wouldn’t even sell a particular version of one brand of dog food because the protein was SO high that it made dogs spin in circles (literally).

My second suggestion would be to change brands of foods as well. Sometimes we get lucky and it’s that simple --- you never know.

So, what if we’re not lucky? We may need to learn to modify their environment by keeping these items constantly out of reach --- by making sure that the dog doesn’t have access to them and that you have complete control over the dog’s choices.

If you have a great relationship with your dog, they’ll actually go against their nature to please you. My Border Collie dropped on command after breaking her leg when she was racing back to me from across the pasture (when every step was causing her more pain - it was awful). She was screeching in pain and trying to get back to me from an acre away and I screamed at her to "DOWN" and she instantly plopped into a down even though she wanted nothing more than to be at my side that instant. You can achieve a "LEAVE IT" with rocks, sticks, and other harmful objects if you work at it over time with your adopted Golden Retriever.

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Another option is to increase exercise for your Golden --- not just physically but mentally, too. I suggest that you consider for dogs the parallel for children --- Would you send your child to school for 8 hours of recess and 1 hour of education? No! So, let’s consider how we can mentally AND physically engage these wonderful creatures so that they are engaged with us and the world and not finding ways to engage themselves out of boredom or being idle.

If your world is already overcrowded with activities, another thing to maybe consider here is teaching at-home scent games with a Kong filled with different types of smells (starting with peanut butter and branching out from there). Make it easy to find the Kong in the beginning and then slowly make it harder to find. You’ll soon have a K-9 sniffing detective on your hands and perhaps a bit of relief from some of the bad eating habits they've picked up in the past.

Thanks so much, Chris! Wonderfully helpful information as always. Do you have a "Good Goldens" blog question you'd like to ask Chris McLeod from The Canine Ranch? Any training or behavioral issues you need some suggestions about regarding your adopted Golden? Please feel free to comment on this link and we'll be happy to pass along to her for you. We will post the answer in our next monthly blog. Have a Good Golden Day, everyone!

Help a Face and Friend that You Have to Love

Meet Zebediah. That’s really too formal of a name for this boy who prefers to be called Zeb. Zeb is a good boy who is near perfect – he loves his family, other dogs and cats. Zeb is also unabashedly a real snuggle bunny.


Unfortunately for Zeb and his loving family, he developed an internal blockage which required surgery. Because his family couldn’t afford the necessary surgery, they tearfully surrendered Zeb to GRRA.

The good and the bad is that GRRA is committed to helping this five year old “pup” who has so much to give back. After 3 surgeries in less than a week, Zeb was sore, scared, and ready to go to a foster home to get some TLC. He doesn’t like to be alone and only desires to lie near his people.


GRRA has promised Zeb that we’ll take care of him and we need your help. The 3 urgent surgeries was a result of an infection that was resistant to anti-biotics causing his surgical wound to open. He was put on new meds and doing great.

We couldn’t turn away this gentle boy with the soulful eyes and his surgeries when his hospital charges have added up to over $6,000.00. We know the love people have for Goldens, especially those that need your help. Won’t you please consider donating to Zeb’s surgery and care? No amount is too small and 100% of donations will go toward his bills and care. Thank you from all of us a GRRA.


Please consider donating directly to Zeb’s medical expenses
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Happy Tales - Bear


After several months of researching for the “perfect” dog to fit our needs as 2 full-time employed empty nesters, we settled on Goldens. We had heard of Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta (GRRA) and decided to complete the application to get our first Golden.

We searched the website for dog after dog and then finally picked him from the picture. We could just tell Bear was the dog for us! We attended a GRRA dog adoption at the pet store where we finally got to meet him.

After going through the application process, we all agreed to a home visit with the foster parents bringing Bear to our home. He was like a 90 lb. baby --- full of energy and quite excitable.

The decision was made that we were chosen to be the proud owners of Bear. We promptly left and went straight to the pet store to get the necessary items --- food, brush, leash, treats, toys, etc..

Once at our home, Bear immediately bonded with us. Bear goes to work with Dan every day. The clients love him as well as the staff and neighbors at the office. Dan calls him "our Marketing Tool" in that he's actually received a few new clients just because we have a Golden as they are clearly loved by so many.


Bear will literally stand next to Dan when he's talking and will lean his head on Dan's leg. Bear follows Dan around from room to room and lies under his desk or behind his chair at the office.

I run Bear outside the office most days with two Frisbees . We cannot give him tennis balls anymore as he is completely obsessed with them and will not let them out of his sight!

We are surprised as to how much Bear prefers to be an inside dog as we previously had a dog that loved being outdoors all the time. Goldens just want to be with their people.

All he wants is the attention of everyone and for them to pet him non-stop. If you do stop petting him when Bear is not ready for you to stop, he uses his head to get up under your arm and urges you to continue petting him.

Bear also LOVES the water. We have taken him to a few lakes where he can wade or swim around, and he thoroughly enjoys it.

The whole experience of adopting a Golden with GRRA was very pleasant. All of the staff was helpful and easy to work with. The adoption process was expedient and everything came together in the end!

There is no doubt that Bear is the best dog we have ever had. We are sold on Golden Retrievers! Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to love and care for him.

Sharie and Dan Williams



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!

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