golden tales masthead

From the President's desk

Golden retriever at desk in Oval OfficeAre you ready for some action?! We hope so because we have a lot of it coming up!

Now that the gorgeous Arizona weather we love has arrived, our calendar is filling up with events and programs for both members and pups. For the second year in a row, it is my pleasure to invite our members and their well socialized Goldens to a pool party at my home on November 12th. We are also looking for volunteers to staff our booth at a PACC911 Adopt-a-thon next month, which will be held in Phoenix. And did I mention the Fiesta Bowl Parade? Yes indeed, we have been invited back after stealing the show in last year’s parade. And trust me, we had a blast! Keep reading for details. 

You’ve probably heard that our international rescue team is back in action having just rescued 15 dogs from China in partnership with Goldens Without Borders. Our Director of Golden Rescue, Bob Wood, tells you all about it in our Newsworthy and Noteworthy segment. Thank you Bob and all who worked to make this inspiring airlift happen. 

Finally, I am proud to officially kick off our Annual Fundraising Campaign, which will take place exclusively online beginning next week through the end of the year. I believe this year’s theme “How to Save a Life” will touch your heart and inspire you to support our cause. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Thank you.  

Kelly Cook ~ President

Events and Happenings


swimming golden with toySaturday, November 12th from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
What could be more fun! Our President, Kelly Cook, invites RAGofAZ members to her home in Gilbert to meet the Board of Directors - and more importantly, to enjoy a Golden Pool Party. You can bring your Golden Retrievers decked out in their most fashionable swimsuits along with their favorite balls, throw toys, and towels. There will be delicious eats and drinks and there will be wet fur. Plan accordingly. Registration closes tonight so please sign up now, and location details will be emailed to you.




Saturday, December 17th
We could not be more thrilled! By popular demand, our Goldens (and humans) have been invited to make a return appearance in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote our cause and let all of Phoenix see why Golden Retrievers are the most intelligent and lovable breed of dogs. This year’s parade theme, “Legends Made Here,” certainly is serendipitous as we kick off our 25th Anniversary celebration. Our indomitable Director of Events, Becky Buck-Wetzel, is chairing the Parade Committee, and will be sharing details soon about participating in this extraordinary event. This belongs on your “don’t miss” list!





PACC911 logoSaturday, December 3rd 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
It will be a day for the rescue community to come together to promote the virtues of pet adoption and animal welfare. Volunteers are needed to man our RAGofAZ booth at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 6300 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, AZ 85012 starting at 10:00 AM. Feel free to bring your well socialized Goldens along with family and friends to chat with attendees and show off this most lovable breed of dogs. Please contact our Events Director, Becky Buck-Wetzel, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up.  



Chi Chi the Rescue Dog Following two spectacularly successful book signings at the Desert Ridge and Scottsdale locations of Barnes and Noble Booksellers, the good people of RAGofAZ are once again invited to join author Elizabeth Howell at two events coming up in December. You may recall that Elizabeth adopted Chi Chi, a quadriplegic Golden Retriever, from South Korea, and wrote an award-winning children’s book to celebrate Chi Chi’s courage and resilience as she learned to walk on specially designed prosthetics. Please mark your calendar now for December 4th (Desert Ridge B&N) and December 10th (Scottsdale B&N) ... time and details will follow. Your well socialized Golden Retrievers are invited to join you at these festive events. And yes, RAGofAZ receives a portion of the proceeds, so we’ll be raising funds for other dogs in need of rescue.



girl with golden retriever wearing vest

Big shout-out to Diane Weiss and our dedicated Tucson volunteers who staffed our booth at the recent SABHA Home and Garden Show! Our guests enjoyed meeting our friendly Golden Retrievers and learning all about our rescue program. This was a three-day event so our team really showed their stamina and staying power! Many thanks to everyone for their dedicated support.



Newsworthy and Noteworthy

Golden retriever with glasses reading newspaper

All the Golden news that's fit to print!


hand holding paw“How to Save a Life”
We are proud to announce the upcoming launch of our first exclusively online Annual Fundraising Campaign! The theme of our campaign is “How to Save a Life,” and will celebrate the rescue of six very special Golden Retrievers: Gaspar, Speedy, Penny, Hendrix, Melody, and Pearl. 
Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to each of these Goldens, who have all written poems to tell you their stories, no matter how tragic they may be. Through your "How To Save A Life" donations, we will raise funds to continue rescuing and caring for Goldens that have lost hope. We’ll even have an extraordinary opportunity to double your donation during Thanksgiving week with a Challenge Grant from Speedy (and a generous longtime supporter).  
Because in the end ... that is how you save a life.


15 golden retrievers from chinaIn partnership with the good people at Goldens Without Borders, we will soon welcome 15 Golden Retrievers who are winging their way to JFK Airport all the way from China! These five female and ten male dogs will be whipping out their passports and wagging through Customs before boarding a specially decked out “busmobile” for Las Vegas. Our Director of Golden Rescue, Bob Wood, is turning up the volume of his favorite song - On the Road Again - as he leads a caravan of transport volunteers on the long ride to Nevada. Believe it or not, our crackerjack Placement Team has already found forever homes for most of these puppers. Kudos also go out to our other team members on Intake, Home Visit, Transport, Vet Care, Follow-up, plus our Microchip and Adoption Managers! Under the leadership of the “Bobs” (Bob Wood and Bob Schillaci) you are seeing firsthand how teamwork makes the dream work!



carol with her dogs hunter and murphy

Elections have been completed, our virtual Annual Meeting has concluded, and your Board of Directors are hard at work! Almost everyone is returning after having already served a term or at least part of it. However, we bid farewell to the longest serving Officer ever - our Board Secretary, Carol Quinn, who has stepped down after more than a decade of service! On behalf of our Board and membership, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Carol for her loyalty and dedication. Our full Board of Directors is listed here.



Psst ... Heard Around the Dog Park

Golden retriever in sunglasses at park

Give us two minutes and we’ll give you a gaggle of quick hits, timely reminders, and fun facts!


Calendar cover with lucy• Our 2023 Hearts of Gold calendars have arrived, and once again, our Goldens have outdone themselves!  Somehow, all of our Cutest Goldens knew exactly how to strike a pose and regale us with their inspiring stories of rescue. The holidays are almost here, and this calendar makes the perfect hostess gift or stocking stock up now.  

 golden retriever standing proudly in front of american flagDoes your pup have 6-pack abs? Funny question, but according to a recent study working out your dog’s core can help soothe their stiff joints and avoid knee injuries.  After all your pups needs their mobility for all their favorite activities! Check out these three exercises for Fido that are easy and fun to learn, courtesy of integrative veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein.


children reading to golden retriever

• Did you know that reading to your dog is beneficial for humans and canines? It helps them feel engaged, content, and cared for. In fact, the sound of your voice creates a comforting and trusting environment for your pup - plus, reading will reduce stress for both of you! Give it a try ... just be sure your dog is in the mood and not overly distracted, use a cheerful higher pitched tone, and show that doggie some love while you read.  

• Psst ... Holiday gift wrap season will be here before you know it! After decades of gift wrapping at Barnes and Noble prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, it looks like our RAGofAZ gift wrappers and their dogs will be moving on this year. Planning for dates and sites is under way, and we’ll give you plenty of advance notice via e-blasts and social media. Gift wrapping is one of the most cherished programs of our calendar year so we’ll do our best to keep it going! More to come ...



Mark your Calendar

Dog holding calendarBecause you know you don't want to miss out!

• November 12, 2022: Golden Swim Party

• November 13, 2022: Annual Campaign “How to Save a Life” begins

• December 3, 2022: PACC911 Adoptathon-All Saints Episcopal Church

• December 4, 2022: Chi Chi the Rescue Dog Book Signing at B&N Desert Ridge

• December 10, 2022: Chi Chi the Rescue Dog Book Signing at B&N Scottsdale 

• December 17, 2022: Fiesta Bowl Parade


Waiting at the Bridge

rainbow path going over bridgeGone from this earth but living on in our hearts ... 

View a memorial to the beloved Goldens that have recently journeyed to Rainbow Bridge.

Visit a loving remembrance of dogs that have gone to the Bridge previously.