Finding Warm Homes for Cold Noses Since 1991!

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

Volunteer of the Month - Melinda Lahmers

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Put your paws together for Melinda Lahmers, our April GRRA™ Volunteer of the Month! Melinda and her family have had Golden Retrievers for 30 years. She currently has her eighth and ninth goldens - a puppy named Gibbs and 3-year old Cooper. Melinda's long history with the breed is why she always looks for "everything golden" and happened upon GRRA's Facebook page back in October 2015. Social media is a wonderful thing as it brings us awesome supporters and dedicated volunteers. Melinda contacted GRRA right away and quickly became an Adoption Consultant. Melinda has enjoyed her time being an Adoption Consultant (AC). "You get to meet a lot of different people. You get to hear their stories. There has been a few times that I've cried along with them...you always empathize with an applicant when they've lost pets," she shares. However, they are always hopeful that they will find another perfect golden. For those who want to explore being an AC, here are Melinda's responsibilities. It starts when she is assigned an applicant and she contacts them within 24 hours. A telephone interview is set up and GRRA has a set of questions to get to know the applicant's history with dogs and their home situation a little bit better. Next, she arranges for a home checker in their area to dive deeper into the applicants' home environment. Finally, after approval, the fun part begins and applicants start searching for adoptees that they are interested in. If a particular dog and family seem compatible, Melinda forwards the foster the applicant's application, telephone interview, and home check. She always makes it a point to remain in constant contact with the foster and family to ensure all information is being exchanged and follow ups are made. Melinda would like to venture out to other roles, potentially doing home checks or helping out with GRRA's largest fundraiser, the Rescue Romp. Around three dozen applicants have had the pleasure of working with Melinda over the last year and a half. GRRA wants to commend Melinda for always being willing to take on extra applicants since we are lucky to have so many people interested in adopting our wonderful dogs. Throughout her time as an AC Melinda says, "My most memorable experience is anytime my applicants are chosen to adopt. It's like winning the lottery...their excitement is contagious!" With her long history of owning goldens, Melinda says, "It is so hard seeing these dogs that are homeless...if I can help them find another loving home, I will try." Melinda's thoroughness and positive attitude definitely helps the sometimes stressful process of matchmaking our dogs to potential fur-ever homes. GRRA would like to thank you, Melinda, for being the friendly "face" of the organization to our applicants!

Volunteer of the Month - Denny Beresford

VOM Volunteer of the month? Surely not me as there are so many others who contribute much more to the day to day success of GRRA. But rather than simply declining an undeserved honor I decided that I would accept the recognition – on behalf of all of the GRRA Finance Team!

Serving as a Director and Treasurer of GRRA for the past three and a half years has been made possible only by the strong support of the large group of highly qualified individuals who provide all of the business record keeping that allows our dog-facing volunteers to do their job properly. In alphabetical order, the current Finance Team consists of:

Cathie Andress – processing of PayPal transactions and transfers to our bank account
Sherry Blanton – thank you notes for donations
Tina Hudgins – accounting records postings and bank reconciliations
Louise Sghiatti – processing checks for payments to vets and other GRRA expenses
Carol Shipley – picking up mail at our PO box, making cash deposits, and preparing grant applications
Natalie Shpigel – preparation of annual dog calendar and paper membership-renewal newsletter
Meredith Ussery – Salesforce entries for donations, etc.

Some of these Team members contribute in other ways to GRRA's success such as Carol's frequent fostering activities. And while all of the Team members should receive equal recognition, one is "more equal than others." That's my Assistant Treasurer and right hand person, Kate Lipchiz.

Kate was Treasurer before me and patiently trained me to assume my duties (I'm still in training over three years later!). More important, she's stayed involved with the Team to help recruit new members, train them in their new assignments, and always be available to answer questions no matter how large or small. She also digs in to help with many of the specific finance activities such as overseeing the accounting records postings and working with Natalie on the annual dog calendar and paper newsletter. With her great knowledge of GRRA's history, she has truly bailed me out several times when specific issues seemed to pose impossible challenges. In short, I couldn't have done the Treasurer job without Kate's significant behind the scenes help.

Thanks to all of the Finance Team and particular thanks to Kate!

I first became aware of GRRA many years ago when my wife and I were looking to adopt a Golden after the death of one of ours. At that time we lucked into a private adoption so we didn't need to complete the GRRA process. But I stayed in touch, made a few donations, and read the regular newsletter. When I saw that a new Treasurer was needed, I thought that was an area where I could help with my accounting background.

Last year we were able to adopt Baylee from GRRA – a now nearly four year-old mix of Golden Retriever and Collie with a little Great Pyrenees tossed in! Thanks George Ellis and Susan Swartz for your work in bringing Baylee to us. Baylee is still a work in process as he doesn't have the same warm and friendly behavior of a typical Golden – but he's getting better. And after all, our adopting him is what GRRA is all about – providing a forever home for a deserving dog and growing to love one another over time.

Thanks to GRRA for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve.

Volunteer of the Month - Shannon Hamilton

VOM Let’s start the New Year by toasting one of GRRA™’s newer volunteers, Shannon Hamilton. Having a background in marketing and event planning, Shannon joined our organization a little over a year ago thanks to our 2016 Director of Volunteer Recruitment, Christie Bell, who works in the same company. Knowing Shannon has much experience in event planning and, of course, is a dog lover, Christie asked if she would be interested in becoming the new Director of Fundraising for 2016, with a primary focus of coordinating the GRRA Rescue Romp. Shannon happily volunteered and her adventure began.

In her role as Fundraising Director, Shannon spent the first part of her year planning the department’s budget and creating fundraising goals which included continuing current GRRA activities.

Of course coordinating the Romp is a primary focus in her role; however, Shannon also brainstormed and proposed new fundraising ideas for our organization. One important accomplishment was completing the project to redesign the GRRA t-shirts. Make sure to grab one soon!

GRRA’s Rescue romp is our much anticipated and largest annual fundraiser as many of you know. We always want to thank our previous Romp coordinator, Susan Swartz, for her many years of planning. Our 2016 Rescue Romp was another huge success!

This year our Rescue Romp was held at the Canine Ranch in Canton, GA. The Canine Ranch is a specialty training, boarding, and dog sports facility that was built on a philosophy of providing a fun and enriching atmosphere for both dogs and humans. Shannon explains, “We were trying to find places where if you did not have a dog there would be other activities to keep you busy.”

Not only did volunteers, adopters, and other supporters of GRRA get to hang out with wonderful Goldens, there were activities to try that were new to most dogs there like dock diving, lure chasing, and agility. Plus there was Canine Good Citizen Testing, an off-leash area, raffle prizes, and furry family portraits. “My favorite part was seeing the dock diving, watching all the dogs try it out especially ones that had never done it before,” Shannon says. She also added, “I really enjoyed seeing all of the Romp committee’s hard work come to fruition, and seeing all of the volunteers’ hard work being recognized was great.”

Shannon had a wonderful time this year as Director of Fundraising. Shannon shares her motivation for volunteering with GRRA, “I love dogs! I’ve seen so many adopted dogs bring so much joy and love into people’s lives. Finding wonderful homes for these dogs is an awesome feeling.” Shannon would like to personally thank the following Romp committee members for their help in organizing a "paw-some" event:

Melinda Bryant
Christie Bell
August Simon
Leah Smith
Susan Swartz
Janelle Zabresky
Megan Jahnke
Kristy Miller
Amy DeCesare

We applaud you, Shannon, for taking on such an important and challenging role of fundraising for our organization. Thank you for all of your hard work!

Volunteer of the Month - Carol Cain

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Congratulations to Carol Cain, the October Volunteer of the Month! Carol is a foster that has also has chipped in performing other important tasks, such as transports, dog walking and training. After being told she was the October Volunteer of the Month, Carol said, “I am totally surprised and flattered to be the Volunteer of the Month. It is an honor I don’t take lightly and I share with my husband, Bob, and our two “boys” (dogs), Simpson and Hank.”

Carol started volunteering in GRRA in January of 2015. After talking with someone who was a foster, Carol became interested in the possibility of becoming a foster too. Previously, Carol and Bob raised service puppies for both Guiding Eyes for the Blind and Canine Companions for Independence so they had a good idea of what was involved in fostering. She and Bob discussed it and they decided that Carol’s love of dogs and her flexible schedule would be a perfect fit for fostering.

At that time, Simpson was their only dog. He was one of the service puppies they raised that wasn’t able to finish the complete service dog program. He was wonderful with the service puppies so they figured he would do well with the foster dogs. The entire Cain family jumped in to volunteer with GRRA and they haven’t looked back! In fact, they added another family member, Hank, a GRRA golden, to their pack in 2015. Both Simpson and Hank are great foster brothers to the GRRA dogs that come through their house.

Carol was recently involved in an incredible GRRA success story starring Aimee, a dog that had been adopted and returned more than once. Aimee had multiple issues including reported dog aggression, so she couldn’t be placed immediately in a foster home.

A great team of volunteers worked to help Aimee become adoptable. Carol made the commitment to go pick Aimee up from the boarding facility every day and bring her back to her neighborhood to walk her and to work on her training. Aimee was quite overweight and this activity, along with a change in her diet, started her on a remarkable weight loss program. That was the beginning of the journey Aimee took and there were other volunteers and trainers that continued working to ensure Aimee would find a loving, permanent home.

Carol is quick to give credit to those people saying, “It is easy to forget there are so many people involved with these dogs. When all of the pieces fall into place and the team is able to get what is needed for the dog; be it medical intervention, training, etc. to ensure every dog has a chance of being successful, it makes it all worth while. Aimee was the personification of this.”

Carol shared the great news that Aimee is now off of her medications, is socialized and happily living in her forever home with her “Dad” that is committed to continuing her training. It is very rewarding to Carol to play a part in helping find the right person/family for the GRRA dogs.

As you can tell, Carol is passionate about dogs saying, “We are their advocates. It is my goal to help them get what they need, build on that to ensure that they get the home, family and love they deserve. There is such a need for fosters so my goal is to try to get more dog loving people committed to helping provide Goldens temporary homes.”

Thank you, Carol, for time and dedication to GRRA and to helping Goldens in need. We truly appreciate all you do.

-Submitted by Victoria Hastie

*If reading Carol’s story has inspired you to volunteer or to find out more about fostering, please email volunteer@grra.com and a GRRA volunteer will be happy to talk with you. *

Volunteer of the Month - Sherry Blanton

Congratulations to Sherry Blanton, the September GRRA Volunteer of the Month! Sherry volunteers as a member of the Voicemail Team. As a voicemail team member, she checks the GRRA voicemail and responds to the calls directly or sends the information to the appropriate volunteer who can respond to the caller. She monitors the GRRA voicemail all but approximately 6 hours per week which demonstrates her dedication to the GRRA and its Goldens.

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In addition to being on the Voicemail Team, Sherry writes condolence notes to volunteers and adopters who have lost their Goldens. She began volunteering about 10 years ago after her beloved Golden, Maddie, passed away and she wanted to do something to help other Goldens.

She joined the Voicemail Team and started working with Deb Jacobs, the Voicemail Coordinator. While working together over the years to help improve the quality of lives for Goldens, they have formed a wonderful friendship. Sherry not only treasures her time spent volunteering for GRRA helping Goldens in need, but also the friendships she now has because of volunteering.

When Sherry was asked about how she felt about being chosen to be Volunteer of the Month, she stated, “I am honored. Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta has such a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers that it is truly special to be singled out for a job that I really love doing. I am accepting this award for all of the volunteers who believe deeply in what we do – finding great forever homes for our orphan Golden Retrievers.”

Sherry approaches her job on the Voicemail Team in a professional and compassionate manner. She describes the voicemail position: “For many people the response to their voicemail is the first contact with our organization. It is important that we represent GRRA in the best way we can. We do a bit of everything: talk to owners of lost dogs and finders of lost dogs, console owners whose pets have passed away or distraught owners who must surrender a dog. It is important for us to keep up with GRRA’s volunteers and activities to connect our callers to the right volunteer and then make certain that each caller’s questions or needs are resolved.” With such a great attitude, it is not a surprise that the feedback to Sherry’s work on the Voicemail Team has been so positive.

Sherry also writes condolence notes on behalf of GRRA when she is informed of a death of an adopter’s or volunteer’s Golden. For many dog lovers, this task might be too difficult to do. However, as sad as it is, Sherry has a positive outlook about this important job she performs. She stated, “It is very meaningful for people to receive a condolence note as it lets them know that as an organization GRRA cares and understands their sorrow.” Each and every dog owner knows how heartbreaking it is to lose a beloved animal and it is a true gift if GRRA can help bring some comfort to someone during a difficult time. GRRA is fortunate to have such a caring volunteer such as Sherry perform this task.

When asked what keeps her motivated to continue volunteering for GRRA after almost a decade, Sherry said that it is her love of Goldens. She explained further, “The important work that we do for the Goldens makes my volunteer time with GRRA a really important part of my life.”

Sherry, we are glad you feel that way and we thank you for all you have done and continue to do for GRRA and our Goldens!

-Submitted by Victoria Hastie

Volunteer of the Month - Jayme Pendergast

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Congratulations to Jayme Pendergast, the GRRA August Volunteer of the Month! Jayme got involved in GRRA in 2014 after moving to Atlanta with her family from North Carolina. She had a young son, Brooks, and was still in the process of finding a job and thought it would be a good time to get involved with a Golden Retriever rescue group, something she wanted to do as a Golden Retriever lover and owner. After being told she was the August Volunteer of the Month, Jayme said, “I am honored! There are many great GRRA volunteers.”

Jayme’s husband introduced her to the wonders of being a Golden Retriever owner when they were dating and he brought home a Golden Retriever puppy. Jayme shared, “I was busy with graduate school and my husband traveled a lot for his job so I knew I would take care of the dog. I basically fell in love the minute I held Chuck! 9 years later we still have Chuck and he makes us so happy. In fact, he made us so happy we added another Golden, Alan, to our family 4 years later! We love them both so much and so does our 2 year old Brooks.”

Jayme started volunteering with GRRA as an Adoption Consultant and at Adoption Days. She now has taken on more responsibility, by assigning applicants to the Adoption Consultants so they can begin helping people find great Goldens and the Goldens can find their forever homes. Jayme also serves as a resource for the Adoption Consultants as they work with their applicants. Those who have adopted through GRRA know what an important role their Adoption Consultant played in their adoptions and Jayme’s role behind the scenes is vitally important as well.

In addition to her role on the Adoption Consultant team, Jayme also is on the voicemail team. She returns calls from people who leave messages on the GRRA message line.

In our busy world where free time is rare, there has to be a good reason to spend so much time volunteering for GRRA. When asked what she enjoys most about it, Jayme stated, “I love the senior Goldens and love watching them find the perfect, loving retirement home. Seeing pictures of the dogs we are helping keeps me going. I have a heart for Goldens and I know that they all deserve a loving home.”

We certainly agree with that sentiment! Jayme, thank you for your time and dedication to GRRA and to helping Goldens in need.

Submitted by Victoria Hastie

*There are many individual reasons that inspire GRRA Adoption Consultants and make this volunteer job so rewarding. Currently, GRRA is looking for additional Adoption Consultants. For more information about how you can make a difference in a Golden retriever’s life by volunteering for GRRA, please email volunteer@grra.com. *

Volunteer of the Month - Victoria Hastie

I am so thrilled to have a chance to write about one of my favorite GRRA™ volunteers since she was the first person I ever met when I was an adoption applicant. Please say congratulations to our July Volunteer of the Month, Victoria Hastie.

Victoria has been volunteering with GRRA since 2008 when she moved to Atlanta from Florida. Prior to her move to Atlanta, Victoria was involved with rescue groups in Florida for 5 years.

The Hastie’s have a soft spot for senior Goldens and have adopted two seniors from GRRA – Murphy in 2009 and Buddy in October 2012. Recently they wanted to try their hand in adopting a younger whippersnapper, so they adopted 4 ½ year old Cody and he joins their lab mix, Cali.

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Victoria started fostering for GRRA in January 2016, and since then she fostered three dogs – Sam, Bernie, and Emma. We have had many foster volunteers spotlighted in these articles as they are such an important part of providing insight into our dogs’ personality. There are so many variables and topics included in foster evaluations that need to be “tested” even if a foster does not have cats, other dogs, or children. Victoria explains that sometimes special trips can be made to a pet store where they have a cat room or a vet’s office to see how the dogs may react. Family members and their children can visit the home to see the dog’s reaction to new people.

A trickier situation is of course our heartworm positive dogs and keeping them in a calm environment until their treatment is over. Victoria always tries to give detailed evaluations to make matching her foster dogs to applicants easier. A fellow adoption consultant nominated Victoria for also providing superior communication which helps adoptions consultants stay in the loop on where their applicants are in her decision making process.

Our group is so blessed to have a volunteer like Victoria as she has performed just about every role on our volunteer roles list with much success! Up until last year, Victoria was a member of the Board Team for GRRA as Volunteer Coordinator. While taking on the busy role as a board member, she was also an Adoption Consultant for seven years. You can still find Victoria working adoption days, performing home checks, providing transports, doing intakes, and contributing monthly to the Golden Bark newsletter as a fellow Volunteer of the Month article author.

Victoria also serves as a Volunteer Facilitator that interviews prospective volunteers interested in becoming involved with GRRA and getting them plugged into an appropriate volunteer role. GRRA is looking for additional foster families. The more foster families there are, the more Goldens that can be saved. We also are looking for great adoption consultants who can play matchmakers for applicants and adoptees. For more information about how you can make a difference in a Golden Retriever’s life by fostering for GRRA, please email volunteer@grra.com.

It’s always hard to choose one memorable experience being a GRRA volunteer. For Victoria, her highlights are when her past adopters stay in touch with her and send texts, pictures, and holiday cards reminding her of how happy our goldens are with their forever families.

That is why we do what we do, and thank you, Victoria, for all that you have done and continue to do for GRRA!

- Submitted by Natalie Shpigel

Volunteer of the Month - Erik Anderson

VOM Congratulations to Erik Anderson, the June GRRA Volunteer of the Month! Erik has been around Golden Retrievers his entire life and loves the breed. Last year, he was looking at some Golden Retriever information online and found GRRA’s website. He decided it would be great to volunteer and help find homes for wonderful Golden Retrievers in need of forever families.

Erik has done just that since he became a GRRA foster last year. To date, he has fostered and found terrific homes for 13 Golden Retrievers! In addition to fostering, Erik also serves as a mentor to new fosters. Even though he is busy with those volunteer jobs, his family, and working as a System Administrator for JM family Enterprises, Erik is looking for other ways to become more involved with GRRA. Thank you, Erik!

When Erik was asked how felt about being named the June Volunteer of the Month, he said, “It's a great honor. There are many volunteers that deserve this and I'm humbled to be chosen.”

Erik enjoys fostering because he loves finding the perfect family for each of his Golden fosters. Seeing a dog have a second chance with a family that will love and care for them is what makes the fostering experience worthwhile to him. When asked about his most rewarding experience with GRRA, Erik explained, “It was fostering Daphne who was a 10-year-old Golden girl who had been left outside for all of her life chained up and neglected. It took a while for her to become comfortable being an inside dog and to trust us. Once the bond was made she became the great princess I knew she could be. After getting her through her heartworm treatment, we found her a perfect home with a Golden brother; her own pool to swim in and her new adopted dad was a vet to boot. I couldn't have asked for a better family for her.” Daphne’s fortunes have certainly changed for the better thanks to GRRA, Erik and her adopter! She deserves this amazing life.

Erik, like many other GRRA volunteers, has assistance from his family that helps make his volunteering possible. Erik is thankful for his loving and supportive wife, Lori, as well as his three wonderful children: Nathan, Andy and Amber. Of course, Erik’s family also includes fur children. The Andersen’s have a GRRA Golden, Reagan, a rescued lab, a rescue Dachshund and a miniature Pomeranian.

Thank you, Erik, for all you are doing to find GRRA Goldens loving, forever homes! Thank you also to Lori and the Andersen children for helping out with the fostering! We appreciate all you do.

*There are many other stories such as Eric and Daphne’s that inspire GRRA fosters and make this volunteer job so rewarding. Currently, GRRA is looking for additional foster families. The more foster families there are, the more Goldens that can be saved. For more information about how you can make a difference in a Golden Retriever’s life by fostering for GRRA, please email volunteer@grra.com. *

Volunteer of the Month - Lori Podolski

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Our GRRA™’s May Volunteer of the Month, Lori Podolski, has had Golden family members for the last 25 years. “I loved the breed so much I wanted to do something for them and with them,” the native of Ontario, Canada remembers. That is when Lori started volunteering for Golden Retrievers in Need (GRIN) in Columbus, OH. After moving to Atlanta, she continued her journey donating her time to GRRA in November 2014.

The first role that Lori tackled was becoming an Adoption Consultant (AC). “We read about our adoptables, interview our applicants and look for a match,” Lori explains. “We’re basically matchmakers…I’ve always liked matchmaking for humans, but I’ve had better success rates for retrievers and families,” she laughs.

After interviewing applicants, ACs also arrange for their home check to be performed. Finally, when an applicant is approved the matchmaking can begin. If a particular dog and family seem compatible, the AC forwards the foster the applicant’s application, telephone interview, and home check.

Lori’s most memorable experience has been through adoption consulting, “Getting that match…between retriever and family, that’s what it is.” Lori can feel the applicants’ emotion and love for dogs and it never gets old to help families find their new family member. In the last 1 ½ years, Lori has helped place around 20 dogs.
More recently, Lori was asked to broaden her AC duties and help on the administration side. All online applications come in through Salesforce as leads, and Lori converts them to applicants. Once this happens then the applicants can be assigned to ACs. Lori also answers questions coming in from Petfinder and sends welcome letters to new applicants.

Currently, Lori has two furry four-legged children – Mya, a Golden retriever, and Ollie, a Great Pyrenees. In the last year, they have enjoyed the company of two foster sisters, Lacey and Lydia. Lacey was with Lori for four months since she had heartworms. She was adopted in October and Lori is still in contact with the adopting family. Ms. Lydia was a sweet senior who had some issues due to the fact that her arthritis conditions were not being treated properly. But once Lori cleaned her up and got her on proper medication, Lydia was a Golden girl again. “I took her adoption day, and they were fighting over her!” she proudly says.

Interestingly, Lori was drawn to the organization because of our website. “It is done so incredibly well…it’s very well organized and attracted me first,” she says. Lori then gives praise to GRRA’s dedicated volunteers and amazing applicants. And we are proud to have you, Lori, as one of those volunteers. Thank you for all you do!

- Submitted by Natalie Shpigel

Volunteer of the Month - Karen Page

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Congratulations to Karen Page, the GRRA April Volunteer of the Month!

A true Golden lover throughout her entire life, Karen became involved with GRRA after retiring in 2014 from a 30+-year career in sales and marketing. She explains, “With my new found free time, I wanted to reach out to a local volunteer group that I knew I would be passionate about. I have always had Golden Retrievers in my life since I was 7 years old, so I thought this would be a great fit for me. I was already a fan of this particular breed, not only for their beauty and intelligence, but also for their absolute sweetness, loyalty, and unconditional love. I reached out to GRRA regarding available opportunities and remember very clearly appreciating their overall approach to the entire adoption process. I began as an official GRRA volunteer in December of 2014.”

Initially, Karen was a member of the home check team. She enjoyed that job and decided when she saw there was a need for a “Happy Tales” Coordinator; she would assist with that as well.

Last November, she was approached to take on the new role of Post Adoption Coordinator. She jumped at the opportunity to help in creating a role that consisted of reaching out to recent adopters and to be an ongoing resource of support and assistance to new adopters to ensure they, as well as their new canine family members, were thriving.

As if she weren’t busy enough, Karen joined the GRRA Marketing Committee in February as a Blogger for the newsletter. Look for her upcoming monthly blog posts that will cover a full range of interesting topics such as ‘traveling with your Golden’, ‘health concerns and medical issues for Goldens’, ‘taking care of senior Goldens’, and ‘behavioral / training tips for adopted Goldens.’ Karen has certainly jumped into volunteering with GRRA with both feet and for that, we are grateful!

In our busy world where free time is rare, there has to be a good reason to spend so much time volunteering for GRRA. Karen had several that she shared with us, “Each and every time I get to meet a possible new adoption family on a home check visit or any phone call I make when I get to speak directly to someone who has given a GRRA Golden a forever home and is completely over the moon about their brand new furry family member -personally those are all the best moments for me. Just seeing the faces of people sharing their past dog stories with me in their living room or hearing over the phone how excited someone is about adopting their new Golden is extremely rewarding. I'm truly lucky that I get to see a little bit of both ends of the adoption process -from start to finish.” She continued, “I absolutely love all of the volunteer activities I do with GRRA. Goldens needs happy forever homes to thrive in and I get an opportunity every week to help with that very objective. These dogs are really 'people' dogs at their core. It's important that we continue to find as many warm and nurturing families out there that want to adopt these sweet and loving beings. I'm just pleased to be able to assist with that goal in some small way. All Goldens deserve a second chance at a long, healthy life.” That is well said, Karen!

If you are a regular reader of the monthly Volunteer of the Month articles in the newsletter, you may have noticed that the dedicated volunteers given this award often express surprise as well as point out that there are many other deserving GRRA volunteers. It speaks volumes about the wonderful group of volunteers GRRA has that so many different people could be the Volunteer of the Month. When Karen was asked how she felt to be chosen as the April Volunteer of the Month, she shared similar sentiments, “I feel both thrilled and humbled to be chosen as the GRRA Volunteer of the Month. I know within this amazing organization that there are many, many volunteers that go "above and beyond" their duties on a daily basis, so I am pleased to be recognized in this very special way. Every single person I've worked with at GRRA has been completely gracious, kind, and extremely focused on the collective goal of ensuring each adoption is a happy and successful experience for both the adopting family as well as the Golden Retriever.”

Thank you, Karen, for being the exact type of volunteer that you described. We are fortunate to have you on the volunteer team!

  • Submitted by Victoria Hastie

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