We have set our first goal

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, December 29, 2015 6:27 PM

Kevin and I are big supporters of dog rescue. All three of our dogs have been rescued. Maguire from the Agoura Animal Shelter, Cooper from Labs & Buddies, and Riley from Southern Arizona Golden Retriever Rescue. In the past, our support has been through contributions rather than volunteer work. When Maguire died, we donated his food, his bed and his toys to rescue. I’ve done some pro bono writing for several groups including Best Friends, and we’ve built several websites for groups in Washington State. We donated Justin’s car to an animal rescue group in New York (where his car was) and I’ve donated money. Each month, I give to several groups. It’s my chosen type of charity. 

We were so impressed with the Golden Retriever rescue group here in Tucson that we immediately wanted to get more involved. We went to their Gala Fundraiser and I tried to take Riley to one of the many Meet ‘n Greets they have at local PetSmarts. It didn’t go well. He nipped at a small child and we were asked, albeit nicely, to leave. We did, with our tails between our legs.

He may have had a good reason to nip at the little boy. He was surrendered by a family with a swarm of small boys and we suspect they tortured him in only the way small boys can. Pulling his tail, jumping on him, raising their hands over his head to hit him if he didn’t do what they wanted. We weren’t the only ones that suspected this; the rescue group agreed with us. The family that surrendered him said it was because he snapped at one of their boys when the boy either jumped or fell on him when Riley was sleeping. These were the kind of people that would get rid of the dog rather than teach their kid that what he did was wrong. Fine with us because we have him instead.

But he’s difficult to teach. He’s rambunctious, nutty, with too much energy. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that he’s not yet two. His birthday is January 1. Part of that can also be attributed to how he spent the first 15 months of his life. And part of if can be attributed to us. We’ve tried to train but we’ve had only moderate success and we’re not always consistent. We admit this and want to do better. 

This past Christmas season, we volunteered to do gift wrapping for the group at one of the local Barnes & Nobles. I ended up going four times. Kevin went with me once and Bobbi went with me once. It’s a great way to raise money because people can get their books wrapped and pet the dogs. Petting the dogs leads to big donations. The goal this year was to raise $12,000. I got an email this morning that we had actually raised $13,218. Much of that can be attributed to the dogs. They work hard, wearing donation vests and putting on their best holiday cute, complete with Santa hats or jingle bell collars. It’s hard to resist a golden retriever anyway, let alone one dressed up for the holidays and asking for donations.

Because of Riley’s temperament and because of the PetSmart incident, we weren’t able to take him. So Kevin and I have set a goal: be able to take him with us when we volunteer next year. This will entail a big commitment by all three of us. I need to get in touch with the trainer we use, Carey, and set up more regular appointments. We’ve been doing it just every now and again and then we tend to fall behind on homework. We need to be better at that part, too, the homework. He can be nutty but he can’t be dangerous. We can’t worry about people petting him and him getting so Rileyed up that we have another incident. We want to be incident-free. I think we can do it, if we all work at it.  

I think this because our dog is as cute as any of the other dogs who were good enough to participate. He could raise a bunch to help rescue more of his goofy kind and that would be worth celebrating out loud.

Comments (1) -

12/30/2015 7:42:38 PM #

Oh my gosh... He's cute....(she said with 3 cats).... You can DO IT!... All of you.....xoxo

Pam United States

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