Finding Warm Homes for Cold Noses Since 1991!

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

Happy Tales - Butterball


It was a beautiful crisp and clear Sunday afternoon, and my parents told my brother and I that we were going to visit one of my Dad’s colleagues. Little did I know that we were actually going to meet Butterball for the very first time ---- a 6 month old beautiful purebred Golden Retriever who was ready for adoption by GRRA.

As we drove into the driveway, I could see in the distance the wagging tails of two Golden Retrievers. I was so excited to play with them because I love animals ---- particularly dogs and especially Goldens.

Butterball greeted my brother and I with a ball in his mouth and I could feel that he genuinely wanted to meet us. I asked if we could play with him. After 10 minutes of playing ball with him, my dad said “Do you want to take him home?” and after the question sunk in, I burst out in tears as I was overcome by a flood of emotions. I realized the visit was really to see if we were going to take home a dog.


Immediately after our visit, we shopped for a dog bed, toys (especially tennis balls!), and food. My mind raced about where he’d sleep, what we’d do with him, and how much fun we’d have with him. I hadn’t had a pet since I was about 4 years old. About 10 years ago, our beloved Golden Retriever Tucker passed away. That was a dark and sad period in my young life.

Just two days after our visit, Butterball walked into our home, and I felt that our family was considered complete.

As I reflect on this, I am so grateful that GRRA gave us this amazing opportunity to rescue a beautiful animal. What I’ve learned from Butterball (and Tucker, too) is that dogs give us unconditional love. And because of them, it makes the world a better place.

I hope that more people would consider rescuing dogs as all dogs (and all animals) deserve a peaceful and loving home. Frankly, isn’t that what we all want ---- to love and be loved?

I may only be 15 years old, but what I want is more love, compassion, and peace in the world. For that reason, a few years ago I founded Hannah4Change, which is a platform for change. I focus on animal issues as well as issues that affect our planet. Rescuing Butterball aligns with my beliefs that it is much better to adopt and rescue an animal than to buy from pet stores, breeders, and “puppy mills”.

Again, thank you to GRRA for changing Butterball’s life as well as ours.

Written by Hannah Testa


Happy Tales - Jenna


Last summer, we received a call from a friend who is very active in animal rescue that a 5-week-old Golden Retriever mix puppy was left at a shelter. She asked if we could foster the puppy for a couple of weeks until transport could be arranged with Susie Schaffer with GRRA. That was the start of our journey......

Jenna didn't have all of her baby teeth when she arrived and she came with her very own baby blanket. My granddaughter Rachel, who was just 10 at the time, immediately fell in love with her. I explained that we were just taking care of Jenna and were going to take her to GRRA in 2 weeks. She said she understood, as we all did.


It didn't take 2 weeks. More like less than 30 minutes and Jenna had us all wrapped around her little paw! We tried to be strong ----- live up to our original plan of getting another furry family member down the road sometime. Sadly, we had just lost 2 dogs within 5 months of each other. They were 14 and 15 years old.

Finally, the day came when we had to make the trip to take Jenna to see Susie. It was so hard, but we agreed that it was the best thing for Jenna. Yes, I signed the paperwork. Yes, I was sure. Yes, I was strong. Until on the way home. My granddaughter and I cried and cried. She said to me, "Nana, I NEVER want to do this again."

We immediately decided to start the official adoption process with GRRA. Everyone with the organization was so very helpful and understanding.

We went to Atlanta and picked her up. It was a complete surprise to Rachel. When she saw Jenna, she cried, "Jenna, you're HOME! You're back!" And Jenna was all over Rachel, too.

Jenna and Rachel have completed both Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 Training. Eventually, they hope to complete the AKC Canine "Good Citizen" Program.


Jenna is healthy, happy, loves to play, never meets a stranger, funny, and has her family just about where she wants them. There is nothing better than hearing a squeak from a toy and then the pitter patter of 4 little paws running down the hallway.

We are eternally grateful that Jenna has her Furever Home with us. A special thanks to all of the GRRA folks who helped bring Jenna back to where she belongs.

Thank you, GRRA!

Rachel, Barbara, and Floyd Payne

Happy Tales - Jackson


We had just lost our 16-year-old Golden, Max. We were completely heartbroken. After some grieving, we decided to try and get another Golden because Max was our absolute love.

We contacted GRRA, completed the application, and attended one of their monthly adoption events.. It was at that event that we fell in love with the very first Golden we met! His name was Jackson.

We knew this was the dog for us. Some of the volunteers we had worked with told us many people had shown an interest at adoption day in this sweet and beautiful dog. He was clearly very special indeed. We were initially discouraged, but we didn't give up hope at all. We made sure everyone at GRRA knew we were interested in Jackson. The GRRA volunteers continued to stay in contact with our family and encouraged us to stay patient.

Finally, Kim (Jackson's foster mom) contacted us and Jackson was ours. WOW! What a great day that was!

We brought Jackson home and let me tell you ----- he is a fantastic Golden. He has doggie playtime once a week, a walk or run every single day, and is completely spoiled rotten.


Thanks to GRRA ---- we have a GREAT dog!

Jerry NIx

Happy Tales - Daisy


In November 2015, we adopted Daisy. Our "pet family" consisted of 2-year-old golden, Rigby, and 4-year-old Ringo the cat. But we felt Rigby needed a fellow canine companion. With an already established "pet family", we were realistic about accommodating everyone's needs. That is why we chose to work with Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta.


We had two dogs visit our house and also met a dog at a foster family's home. Unfortunately we had issues with either of the dogs meshing with Rigby or not being gentle with Ringo. We continued to search the website, and reviewed emails our adoption coordinator sent to us. Finally, we went to the monthly GRRA day event at Petco. This is how we found our Daisy!!


When she visited our home with foster "dad", Erick, everything just meshed. She has been our "ball of energy", a running partner, Rigby's best friend, and has provided us a lot of joy.

Thank you to Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta for bringing us our precious little Daisy.

Jenna Howard

Happy Tales - Sadie and Barkley


I love adopting senior dogs! Sadie and Barkley are 12 and 11 and just the sweetest, most lovable animals.

The first week I had them, I kept losing Barkley! I couldn’t find him at times even in my small home. Come to find out he loves to be under things. Whether it’s a table or chair, he loves to hide so he can assess the whole room!


Sadie has become my official greeter. I own my own gift shop so I am able to take them to work with me every day. Sadie has made greeting the customers HER job. She lays near the door and when someone comes in, she will get up and go over and greet them. She loves it so much and my customers do, too. Plus, the kids love to sit on the floor with her and pet her until she falls asleep on them.

Adjusting to life with Sadie and Barkley has been super easy. All dogs that are rescued come with the unknown. Sadie and Barkley have their issues. I was told Sadie couldn’t go up and down stairs. But after trying different medications, she now is running, playing, and easily going up and down stairs.

Barkley had some dental issues. After having a tooth pulled, he is a completely different dog. No longer living with pain! He is happy, cuddlilee (is that even a word?) and just so happy.

I feel very blessed to have these two gorgeous animals as part of my family! My cat, Hermes, even loves them too!

Donna Hacker

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

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



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


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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