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!