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GoldenGram - March 2021
Greetings Golden Lover!

Spring is officially here! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and our Goldens are yearning for beach trips and other outdoor adventures (as are their humans)!

We hope you're enjoying our e-newsletter, GoldenGram. You may know that NGRR also publishes a print newsletter twice a year. It has many more great stories of Goldens rescued through NGRR, as well as an advice column "Dear Abby-Gold" and other interesting articles. You can view the brand-new Spring 2021 edition shown here and all our prior print newsletters online.

In the meantime, we have some tips to help keep your pets safe since it is Pet Poison Prevention Month, as well as a training tip. And of course, we have an adoption success story. We hope you enjoy these articles!
Update on COVID and Adoption Applications

As you may know, after the shelter-in-place orders were put in place last year, we closed adoption applications in May 2020 for volunteer safety and because we had very few Goldens and many more applicants.
Since January, NGRR has had a few more Goldens come into our care, which makes us cautiously optimistic that there will be more Goldens to place with adopting families than there were last year. NGRR is planning to reopen adoption applications on April 1. As restrictions ease, please be patient as we continue to adhere to socially distanced, mask-wearing encounters, preferably outdoors. Please also be aware that the wait time for an available Golden may be several months or more, so your patience is greatly appreciated.

We are hopeful to be announcing some in-person, outdoor meetups for our Golden friends in the coming months – stay tuned, and send Daisy a note (see last article) if you have suggestions of locations or times for a meetup! 
We continue to accept Goldens and Golden mixes as surrenders. If your beloved Golden is considered a bonded pair with a non-Golden, we will welcome the pair as well.

If you know of any families having to make the difficult decision to rehome their Golden, please tell them about NGRR and let them know of our continued commitment to placing surrendered Goldens in loving homes. Goldens that join the NGRR family are placed in loving foster homes where they remain a part of the family until we can find their forever home.
Our Willie (A pandemic success story)

--Thanks to Larry and Sharon Coogan for sharing this story

First and foremost, we are the lucky ones. We had lost our Tenaya (NGRR Rescue - 2016) in February 2020, and I contacted Cynthia Stevenson (our area coordinator) in July saying we decided to rescue/adopt again (we had rescued/ adopted two Goldens from NGRR - Tenaya and Bella in 2007). With COVID, available adoptions were almost nil. 
In late August, NGRR was contacted by Contra Costa Animal Services regarding a 9-year-old Golden who was being surrendered by his family. NGRR Super Foster Carole Mason picked him up. He didn't have any veterinary records. Carole and Cynthia (Super Area Coordinator) “cleaned” Willie (Wilfred) up and took him to the vet. He had a skin infection and was put on antibiotics.
Cynthia reached out to us, as we were looking for a senior Golden. Sharon and I met at Carole's home with Cynthia to see how Willie and our 10-year-old Daisy (a Schnoodle) interacted. Well, they were great. So, Willie joined our family on September 10, 2020. Between antibiotics, baths, brushings, diet changes, and a place to call home, he's thriving.
After several months, he is well aware of 9AM and 6PM mealtimes. He has walked in the Truckee River and through the Truckee train tunnels, and he has viewed the shores of Emerald Bay (he was a hit with the staff at Homewood Marina). He is VERY friendly with people and other dogs. He enjoys car rides (and will help navigate on the console from time to time) and walks. Carole said he just wanted to be a part of a family, and we are pleased he chose us.
Protecting our Furry Friends: Pet Poison Prevention Month

Can you name the top 10 pet toxins? Most people can’t, and every year, thousands of our pets come in contact with these toxins. We love our pets (especially Golden Retrievers) and there are many everyday items that every household has that are toxic to your pets. Each year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) works to provide important and sometimes lifesaving information along with safety guides to pet parents. Below are the top 10 most commonly reported pet toxins. What do you have in your house, garage, and yard?
  1. Over the counter (OTC) medications are the most common group of toxicants pets ingested in 2019, making up almost 20% of the calls received by APCC. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, joint rubs, and herbal supplements all fall within this category. These are commonly found in homes and stored in purses and backpacks.
  2. Human prescription medications are right behind OTC medications at 17% of cases. Cardiac, ADHD, thyroid, and antidepressant medications make up a significant number of these cases.
  3. Food is third, making up 12% of cases, with xylitol (artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, toothpaste, and more), grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and protein bars the most common.
  4. Chocolate is fourth with almost 11% of the APCC cases. This sweet treat for humans can cause our fur babies a lot of trouble. 67 calls to the APCC in 2019 were for pets eating chocolate.
  5. Veterinary Products make up 9% of cases. Chewable medications are tasty, and some dogs will eat the entire container! These should be treated like prescription medications.
  6. Household items make up almost 8% of cases. Home improvement projects can expose pets to potential toxins like paint, adhesives, and spackle.
  7. Rodenticide exposure cases have increased and moved up to seventh place, with 7% of cases. Some mouse and rat baits can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures, and even death.
  8. Plants make up 6% of cases, with most involving cats and lily exposure.
  9. Insecticide exposure accounted for 5% of cases. This dropped from 2018, as there are now safe alternatives and better handling of these types of products.
  10. Garden products are holding steady at tenth, making up 2% of the cases. Many pets find fertilizers (especially organic products) irresistible. Make sure your pets are not helping when you are working on the lawn or garden with herbicides and soil enhancements.

With any potential dangers and toxins, it is important to keep things out of paws’ reach. While accidents do happen, the less accessible any of the items are, the less likely your pet is to get in them. To learn more, visit the ASPCA website and search animal poisons.

The phone # for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435.
Snacks, Rewards, and Other Food for Thought

By Julie Bond, animal behaviorist and Founder of Pet Education and Training Services. Julie specializes in the treatment of pet behavior issues and has a master's degree in animal behavior from UC Davis.

Treats are a commodity, and dogs are willing to work for rewards just like anybody else. While it is true that not all treats are created equal, the value of a treat is determined by the dog. Some dogs love cheerios, and others lettuce, carrots, or strawberries. All of these food items are rewarding for the dogs who enjoy them. There are dogs who will work for kibble at home, but need something higher in value out in public, and that's fine too. Their preferred currency can change based on their circumstances.

So, what about dogs who won't take treats in public? Those dogs, by and large, are anxious. Anxious dogs are distracted and overwhelmed, so they may not take a treat in public. Watch and work to reduce the dog's anxiety, and they should happily take treats. Simple training treats that smell like bacon could be a hit. If your dog "isn't interested in eating," then figure out what's making them anxious. Changing treats, trying limited ingredient treats, etc. can help you begin figuring out what works to motivate and reinforce your dog.

Don't hesitate to use treats as rewards, to redirect your dog, and to make those interactive puzzle feeder toys more enjoyable. Just be aware of the calories your dog receives in those treats and adjust their meals (or increase their exercise) accordingly. To learn more, visit Julie's blog.
Need a gift for a friend (or your pup)?

Have you checked out the NGRR Store? We have some fun new items – beautiful NGRR bandanas in 3 new colors, several greeting card options, and more! When you purchase an item at our Store, it helps us provide veterinary care to Goldens in need - all supporting our mission to find loving homes for our doggies!
Looking for a new way to donate or want to volunteer with NGRR?

We have two new donation options to share. You can sign up for AmazonSmile and choose NGRR as the organization that receives a portion of your purchases. You can donate a used vehicle to NGRR through the CARS program.

As an all-volunteer organization, NGRR is always looking for volunteers! If you would like to help us, fill out an application on our website and tell us what you’d like to do. We particularly need people to reach out to veterinarians and shelters in counties across Northern CA to let them know that NGRR is an available resource to help injured, sick, surrendered, or abandoned Goldens and Golden mixes. 
Connect with NGRR on Social Media
There's apparently a lot to catch up on! We’d love to connect with you on social media! Check us out on Facebook and Instagram (links below).
Daisy wants to hear
from you!
Talk to Us - Send Daisy A Note!

While she’s dreaming of more spring flowers and summer adventures, Daisy would like to hear from you. Please send her a note if you have an idea for a summer or fall 2021 meetup. Let us know what you’d like to do and where you would like to meet – we’d love to hear your ideas! Daisy would also enjoy seeing pictures and stories of NGRR dogs you've adopted! We look forward to hearing from you.
Look for our next GoldenGram the third week of May. In the meantime, we’re sending our best wishes for beautiful weather and continued health!

Your friends at NGRR
Phone: (650) 665-0964
Address: 405 El Camino Real, Suite 420
Menlo Park, CA 94025-5240