Labrador Retriever Rescue
June 2020 Newsletter
What's Inside

GGL RR's First Ever VIRTUAL Pet Fair!
Saturday, June 13, @ 11:00am (PST)


What: GGLRR Virtual Pet Fair
When: June 13, 2020 @ 11:00am (PST)
Where: Zoom Webinar (details below)


Register in advance for this webinar: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
By Stephanie Gibeault, MSc, CPDT
Mar 16, 2020 |

When I was a child, I never ate an ice cream cone without giving the final bite to my dog. He loved sharing my cold treats, but I didn't realize it wasn't the best choice for his health. Ice cream can be hard for dogs to digest because milk and cream are the base of most ice cream recipes. And for some dogs, the lactose in dairy can cause stomach upset and other digestive issues like gas or diarrhea. Not to mention that too many sweet treats can lead to weight gain.

But, that doesn't mean your dog has to be left out of your icy, sweet treat. Instead of leaving your dog out of the frozen fun at the dinner table, family picnic or trip to the beach, here are some recipes for ice cream alternatives that your dog is sure to lap up with joy. Feed these treats in moderation, adjust your dog's everyday food calories accordingly, and feel free to modify the recipes with other dog-safe foods.

Hide and Seek Ice Cubes
Any dog-safe tasty liquid can be turned into a frozen treat. Simply pour into an ice cube tray and freeze so your dog can have a cube or two whenever you like. Consider your dog's taste buds and try something meat-flavored like no-salt-added beef or chicken broth. For an extra-special indulgence, create hide and seek treats. First, only fill the trays halfway before freezing the liquid. Once frozen, place a small treat like a blueberry or piece of freeze-dried liver in the middle of the cube then fill the rest of the tray with the remaining liquid. Once the entire cube is frozen, there will be a tasty surprise waiting inside when your dog licks or chomps the ice.

For a longer-lasting treat, consider filling your dog's hollow rubber toy. (Just be sure to block all the openings but one before pouring in the liquid. You can use a hard treat like a cookie as a cork or plug holes with peanut butter.) After filling, stand the toy upright in the freezer until the liquid is ice. Not only will the chilly toy cool down your dog on a hot day, but the work it takes to get every last drop of broth will keep your dog occupied for longer than other types of treats, plus provide welcome mental stimulation.

Soft Serve Treats
For an ice cream alternative with the same texture and consistency as the real thing, try blending frozen fruit with plain, unsweetened yogurt. Watermelon is safe for dogs and most love it, so it makes a perfect choice for this recipe. Cantaloupe chunks are another excellent option. Be sure to remove the rind from either melon, and always feed sweet fruit treats in moderation, taking the calories they provide into account with your dog's regular diet.

First, cut the fruit into bite-size chunks, removing any seeds as you go. Then place the fruit in the freezer for at least four hours until frozen. If you spread out the chunks on a cookie sheet or in a freezer bag it will prevent them from freezing into a single clump. Once the fruit is frozen, place it in a food processor or blender with about ΒΌ cup of plain, unsweetened yogurt for every 2 cups of fruit. Blend until smooth, tweaking the amount of fruit and yogurt until you have the thickness you would like. Place in a bowl, on top of your dog's dinner, or stuff in a hollow rubber toy and serve right away. (For more of a challenge, stuff this mixture inside a hollow rubber toy, then pop it back in the freezer to solidify.)

Feeding frozen yogurt may seem no different than feeding your dog ice cream. However, unless they suffer from lactose intolerance, plai n yogurt is safe to eat for most dogs. It's usually better tolerated than ice cream, plus the bacterial cultures in yogurt are great for intestinal health. Just be sure to choose plain yogurt without any added flavors, fruit, sugars, natural sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners. Read the label carefully to be sure the product does not contain toxic Xylitol. If your dog doesn't handle yogurt well, consider other options like lactose-free, dairy-based yogurt or dairy-free yogurt made from plant products. Coconut milk can also be used if liquid is needed to thin out a recipe. Always read the label to avoid any unsafe additives or ingredients.

Frozen Pupsicles on a Stick
For a frozen fruit smoothie on a stick, make bananas the foundation of your dog's treat. Slice a few bananas then freeze the pieces for several hours. Next, mix the fruit with a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt in a food processor until you have a smooth base with the thickness of a milkshake. Now you can blend in whatever mix-ins your dog would love. Consider bacon bits for a meaty treat, frozen strawberries and blueberries for a red, white, and blue celebration, pumpkin puree, or even water-packed tuna for some surfside fun. When all the ingredients are blended together, pour into ice pop molds or paper cups, insert a "stick" in the middle and freeze.

To release the pupsicles from the molds, let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes or run warm water over the mold for a few seconds. If you use paper cups, simply peel the paper off before serving. If you have a toy breed, try mini water cups instead of full-size drinking cups.

For the pupsicle sticks, you have many options. You can use bone-shaped dog biscuits, salmon skin rolls, bully sticks, or any other stick-shaped, edible chew. For a safe yet non-edible stick, consider nylon chew bones. The stick will give your dog something to hold on to while licking and ch ewing the pupsicle. Plus, chewing the stick will provide even more fun for your dog when the smoothie is gone.

Cold and Sticky
Peanut butter is safe for dogs and unsalted, no-sugar-added varieties are a great addition to frozen dog treats, so long as you read the label to confirm there's no Xylitol listed. The stickiness of the peanut butter gives recipes a thick, ice-cream-like texture. Mix a small amount with plain yogurt and fruit, or blend it with mashed bananas to add extra flavor and density to the final treat. If the peanut butter is too thick for the blender, warm it first or add some liquid such as meat broth to the mix.

You can also make peanut butter the star ingredient. Simply layer peanut butter in the bottom half of ice cube trays, ice pop molds, or paper cups. Then top off with a layer of yogurt or meat broth and freeze. Pop the layered frozen treat out of the tray or mold or peel off the paper cup before serving. For fun icy treats, consider using silicone baking molds in exciting shapes like dog bones or dinosaurs. The peanut butter should slide right out of the mold once it's frozen, and your dog will love cooling down with a cold and sticky treat.

13-year-old neutered male Black Lab/Mastiff mix, 92 lbs. 
Koda is a great dog and a gentle giant.  He has two wonderful sides to himself; mild mannered Clark Kent and active Captain Adventure!  He is content to hang out at home, keep an attentive eye on you, chew on a bone, study the squirrels in the yard, or nap, but he is ready at a moment's notice to explore the world with you.  We believe Koda is a bit under socialized with other dogs so his adopter will have to use care in meeting other dogs; he does great with older mellow dogs; has shown to be a bit snarky towards younger and smaller dogs.  We envision his adopter will give him a couple walks each day, followed by lots of lounging around.

Koda has had a growth removed (biopsy revealed it to be a malignant trichoepithelioma), but the vet feels she got all of the growth.  He is now on a special diet and medicine (Enalapril) to address a urine protein and blood albumin issue.  He is neutered, current on vaccinations, heartworm negative, and microchipped.  Koda is located in Oakland.

Contact Rescue Rep Dave, 415-686-4248, 

Plants that are Poisonous to Dogs


As Spring has sprung, there are now many flowers and plants in full bloom.  While our dogs enjoy sniffing and eating many of these, there are quite a few plants that - while beautiful - are quite poisonous to dogs.

Some plants can produce mild GI symptoms in your pooch; however, there are others that can cause serious health problems such as liver damage.  Here is a link to a  Complete Guide to Poisonous Plants for Dogs , which includes a visual field guide, a list of Top 10 Most Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs, and a Complete List of Extremely Poisonous Plants for Dogs.

Call for Photos for the GGLRR 2021 Calendar!
   We are now accepting photos for the 2021 GGLRR Calendar, with lucky Labs to be chosen to grace the pages of the calendar, while raising much needed funds for GGLRR.

If you would like a photo of your Lab(s) to be considered as one of the photos in GGLRR's 2021 Calendar, please send submissions through September 1, 2020 including:
  • Photo(s) per guidelines below;
  • Your name and the dog's name;
  • The month/year the dog was adopted from GGLRR;and,
  • Email to GGLRR at

Photo Guidelines: 

* The calendar is an annual fundraiser for GGLRR, and we feature Labs that have been adopted through GGLRR.
 * Photos with multiple dogs are welcome, but all dogs shown in the photo must be from GGLRR.
* We encourage people to use settings showing the fun people have with their Labs in beautiful Northern California settings (beach, mountains, hiking trails, Golden Gate bridge, etc).
* You may include as many GGLRR-adopted Labs in the photo as you want, but please no people, text, or copywritten backgrounds.
* Professional photographs will be accepted if submitted by the photographer who can provide GGLRR permission for unlimited usage of the photo as listed with the submission.
* Please do not use watermarks or other text since photo info and credits will be added consistently on the calendar.
* Each owner may submit up to 6 photos of the same Lab.
* Please submit as high of resolution as your camera permits (8 megapixel or higher preferred).
* Photos should only be sent in .jpg or .png format.

We only accept submissions from the dog owner and by emailing the photo, you are giving GGLRR permission to use the photo for the calendar or our website.
Check us out while shopping online!  
We are now part of Amazon Smile's program online. Anything you buy on Amazon, you can also buy on Amazon Smile and a small portion of your purchase will be donated to GGLRR. Just go to Amazon Smile and designate "Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc" as your selected charity. It's so easy to do and it would mean a lot to the Labs.  
GGLRR also has an Amazon Wish List! 
If you are on Amazon and want to buy something for the Labs, please check out our WishList!



"Now that we've had Lucy for a whole week now, I thought I'd give you all a quick update on how she's doing. She really seems happy and she has brought our family together. Our kids are actually bickering less and they're taking a very active role in helping out with her. She loves us and constantly wants to be around the kids. She's a handful but we love it!

We're starting to settle into a schedule, I think the kids really wear her out because she takes really long naps! But she is completely unfazed with our loud and active household. She's so smart and we are so appreciative of the early work that you all did with her. She is still following the commands "sit" and "wait" and she's doing well with "come" "leave it" and "down" too. Lucy is also starting to understand the concept of fetch, which has been really helpful to expel some of her energy! She's still sleeping in her crate and loves the room of the big girl crate we set up for her.

She's enjoying exploring our house and yard. She's interested in the dogs she hears next door, but she never barks. We've only heard her bark once since she's been here.

Thanks again to all of you, we are really happy with our good girl."

Victoria, Dustin, Everett & Makenzie


"Bear is just great!  Of course he has proven that he is not 100% perfect (e.g. he is a skillful counter-surfer, so I have had to become a skillful counter-cleaner-offer!) but he is a delight.  He is bright, energetic, friendly and a world class cuddler ... He has gained a little weight (as advised by his vet) - now at a good 63 lbs (started at 58) and definitely likes his food.  He jumps when I fill his bowl with kibble.  Seriously, he JUMPS about 3 feet in the air.  This guy is spring-loaded!  He also does great with my dog walker and is a welcome member of her "pack!" .... He is a charming, goofy little fellow.  And such a handsome little dude with his cinnamon colored coat with matching nose, toenails and eyes.  Truly a beautiful boy and I just adore him!  I am so lucky to have found such a great little guy!"

Maureen and Mr. Handsome Bear!


Jake (formerly Guardian)

10-year-old Jake was a stray we pulled from Stanislaus Animal Services Agency in Modesto.  He had quite a medical journey with us.  He underwent an emergency splenectomy several days after he joined us, as Dr. Gilman removed a 7-lb tumor attached to his spleen in an epic 80-minute operation.  A few weeks later, once the 40+ staples along his abdomen (from his splenectomy) were removed, he suffered a perineal hernia which required emergent care at SAGE Dublin followed by an incredible hernia operation by Dr. Baine (who also neutered Jake while he was in there).  Phew!  Nothing phased Jake though and he re-bounded fabulously under his foster's wonderful and extensive care.

Hooray for Jake!  He is now one happy and appreciative dog, having found his forever home this month (see photo)!



Shyler was an owner-surrender from a busy grad student in Oakland.
From Shyler's adopters the day after they got him:  "Shyler slept most of the way home.  I took him for a walk around the block and then showed him the house and yard.  He took food from me, hesitantly at first but he finished.  We watched a movie and Shyler sat by Ted.  He decided to sleep in the living room last night.  He got on his bed today.  He likes being outside and near us.  Absolutely NO problem with the bunny.  Daisy [the bunny] seemed more interested in him; she was sort of like "oh, I remember this type of creature."  We've had some nice walks.  Seth and Miriam [their kids] met him via Zoom with a thumbs up.  We'll teach him how to use the dog door so he can go in and out.  Thank you all.  He has been great!  We look forward to getting to know him better, as he gets to know us better."

Sarah and Ted

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