Carley 18-122

Carley 18-122Carley 18-122


Carley is a petite, young retired breeder mom with a beautiful gold, almost red coat. She can be playful and energetic but also enjoys a good nap or walk in the yard. She is just learning the joys of living in a house with her own dog bed and toys.

To understand why RAGOM will adhere to our requirements for Carley regarding children and another dog, please read about Retired Breeding Dogs.

At a Glance #18-122

Golden Retriever 4 years old
Female 50 lbs

Available as of March 9, 2019
Fostered in Iowa City, IA

Status: Adopt Me
Adoption fee: $400

Children ages 10+
Another dog REQUIRED
Not tested with cats
Physical fence required (no invisible fence)
Medium energy
Children ages 10+
Another dog REQUIRED
Not tested with cats
Physical fence required (no invisible fence)
Medium energy

Carley's Well-wishers

Diana F
"Something special for you!"


Carley is a petite, young retired breeder mom with a beautiful gold, almost red coat. She can be playful and energetic but also enjoys a good nap or walk in the yard. She is just learning the joys of living in a house with her own dog bed and toys.

To understand why RAGOM will adhere to our requirements for Carley regarding children and another dog, please read about Retired Breeding Dogs.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Carley/Red is settling nicely into the springtime routine of off and on again rain. She's not afraid of storms and doesn't mind going outside, even in the middle of a downpour if necessary. She is enjoying her time outside, particularly when she's joined by her pack-mates and she can convince one of the dogs to play and run with her.

Carley 18-122

She still startles easily and perhaps that's just going to be how things go for awhile. What has been great to watch is how playful she's become (particularly with our new foster puppy) and how affectionate she is with her people as well. 

Carley 18-122

She loves to snuggle now and enjoys a good cuddle on the couch. She wakes up each day thrilled to have the absolutely same breakfast - served in the same place and in the same bowl. Routine works best for Red, and that's ok with us!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Carley/Red is loving Spring -- she's out in the yard enjoying the smells and running big circles of joy. Red is still learning how to enjoy life but she's made great progress. She is still easily frightened, but recovers faster. She prefers eating in her safe spot but she now enjoys watching the dog food being dished out with the rest of the dogs.

She is learning the command sit, although she can easily be distracted if there is an unexpected noise. She is showing a new side of herself with our new fosters, actually helping them learn the routine and welcoming them to our household. It's taken a while to get to this point and it hasn't always been easy, but it has always been rewarding.  

Red still has a lot to learn and she needs an experienced family who has worked with dogs like Red to help her continue to feel safe and happy. She has moments of pure joy and then can easily panic and retreat to her safe spot. But even when she's uncertain and looks worried, she is still very gentle. And now her eyes have a soft expression and you can see she has learned what it's like to be happy. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Carley (we call her Red) has come a long way since she first came into our household. Her journey has been slow, but this morning when she jumped on the bed to snuggle I realized that although the progress may not happen in leaps and bounds, she is enjoying life and really learning how to be a dog.

When she first arrived, she was afraid of everything, and now she has learned the sounds and activities of household living. She has learned not to just accept being petted but to seek out people to give her attention, talk with her, and give her the ear rubs that she loves.

Of course, there are still bumps—she is still frightened by Foster Dad occasionally and also unexpected noise or motion. But now she spends 90% of her day with us, only occasionally going to her safe spot for a nap.

She plays with our pack and is still the first one to run to the door when she hears the call for “Outside.” She runs with abandon in the backyard when the weather permits and loves to chase and be chased by her favorite dog friends. She is the first one to wake up in the morning, always excited by her breakfast and then moves quickly to her morning nap.

Carley 18-122

I think the best way to sum it up is that Red (Carley) is learning to learn and is learning to trust. When she first figured out how to jump on the bed, she was very rigid and couldn't relax, but then she learned to settle into the bed and enjoy the coziness.

And now it's even better—she jumps on the bed, snuggles in, and leans against me so I can give her the attention she's learned to love, not just tolerate.

Red has a lot more to learn and she's not going to be the right dog for every family. But a family with a quiet household and that has experience helping dogs like Red will find that they are rewarded with lots of tiny dog kisses and the joy that comes from watching a dog grow and learn to trust.

Carley 18-122
Carley 18-122

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Carley has been taking it easy, enjoying her time playing with her dog buddies and loving her time outside. She doesn't seem to care about the temperatures—she's willing to go outside and run, run, run as often as you'll let her no matter what.

The one big change for Carley is that we have changed her medications, and it has made a truly significant difference for her. She gets one pill with breakfast and another with dinner, and she takes the readily in a slight disguise of cheese. We put them on top of her food and she wolfs them down.

We decided to try different medications because we felt Red (as we call her) was still too easily frightened and still spent too much time in her safe spot. We wanted her to be able to enjoy life more and that's just what's happening. With only three days on the new meds, we're seeing a more adventurous side of Red/Carley.

She was the first dog this morning to come up to my office to see what I was doing. This is something way different than before. She interacts with us more—way more—and I still use the word brave to describe her.

The difference is that it doesn't take her as long to try something new. She's in the room with us most of the time (she still enjoys a good nap in her safe spot upon occasion) and wants to be petted, wants to be groomed, and enjoys both of those activities immensely.

We've not been able to really teach Red/Carley any basic obedience commands up to now, but we think in a few more days that we'll be able to build that kind of relationship with her. She seems to be trusting us more, and expecting a bit more out of life, and we could not be happier for her.

We'll keep you posted as we get to know this brave girl even better!

Carley 18-122
Carley 18-122
Carley 18-122

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Little Miss Carley is really enjoying this cold weather -- she doesn't miss an opportunity to go outside and dashes out quickly to romp and run. The snow doesn't bother her, although she's much quicker to come inside now that the temperatures have dropped. She comes in each and every time now and she's much faster about it if you just turn your back to the door.  

Carley is still a bit frightened by foster dad -- his movements sometimes catch her by surprise and she still startles and runs to the safety of her bed. Even when she's playing with me or with the other dogs, she keeps a close eye on him.  

There are two things that Carley loves more than eating or playing, and that's being petted and being combed. She can stand still indefinitely for that kind of attention -- and I always accompany it with lots of praise and positive talk. 

It truly warms your heart to see the steps forward that she's taken, realizing that she still has a way to go before she can respond well to life in an active household with young children. Carley is going to need a family who can give her the calm attention she needs and who will coax her into trying new things. 

It's wonderful to watch her get ready to try something new -- she approaches the activity/task/toy very carefully, taking several steps forward and then turning away and then walking back again. She's a brave little girl who just needs time, patience and encouragement to be the dog she was meant to be. 

And, I have to tell the truth, we have been calling her 'Red' so often that she now responds to that name as often as she does to Carley. She learns all sorts of things, even things you didn't really intend!

I've included two pictures - the first is Carley (Red) watching me as I type this and the other is a picture of Carley (Red!) playing with some of our dogs after breakfast. She loves that time in the morning, it's her happy time each and every day!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

This is just a great time for Carley -- she's enjoying her time outside, loving her new chew toys and best of all -- she has a new buddy! She's made friends with our newest foster dog, Karla 18-233, and has welcomed her into our household. 

Carley has shown her new buddy all the best places in the yard and was Karla's buddy dog to help her master stairs. So great to see how Carley has connected with this foster.  

Carley has an amazing internal clock and is consistently the first dog up in the morning ready for the day. She's particularly happy in the morning and I think she looks forward to our routine massage time.  

Here are some pictures of her running in the backyard and showing Karla her best moves.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

This has been a great week for Carley -- she's enjoying herself, playing hard, napping hard, and best of all, really enjoying her people!

Here's what she's been up to:

Carley went to the vet to have her nails trimmed and she handled it very well - she went with a buddy dog and when it was her turn to go back for a nail trim she walked very confidently on her leash and gave the vet no problems at all. Carley was visibly relieved to get back to Foster Dad who was waiting for her and she eagerly went to the car. All good!

Carley now routinely comes back into the house each and every time without much to-do at all. If you've been following Carley, you know this is something she's struggled with and it's not an unusual issue for breeder dogs. 

This last week Carley turned the corner and she goes outside with a *lot* of enthusiasm and when it's time to come back in, she gladly follows her buddy dogs into the house. If her buddy dogs get inside too much ahead of Carley, we just send them back out to 'Go get Carley" and then everyone goes out and comes back in, typically with Carley in the middle of the pack. 

We've learned that Carley is most comfortable if we're not standing by the door, so we open the door, call for the dogs to come in, and then just walk into the kitchen, away from the door. 

100% of the time Carley comes inside without anything more difficult than an occasional re-try. We don't go outside and show her the leash anymore, that stage is behind us.

Carley is responding exceptionally well to a bit of doggie massage. We start by gently petting her and then move into a more deep massage which she totally loves. Somehow, I think this has really strengthened the bond between us and she now regularly comes to be petted and talked to. 

She still likes to eat in her dog bed away from the pack and she also likes quiet time in the evening - often going to bed early, around 8:00 pm. When it's really time to go to bed, we just call her with her favorite phrase "do you want to go outside?" and she wakes up and comes running.

Carley is almost ready for her own forever home. We would like to give her another week in this routine and then we'll update her status and hope to find an experienced family who can open their hearts to Carley as we have.  

She's the happiest alarm clock dog we've ever known! She still does the bouncy wake-up routine each morning, ready to go outside, have her breakfast and enjoy life.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

It's been quite a while since I shared an update about the lovely Miss Carley, and there's much to tell.

First, she has totally mastered the stairs -- while she was tentative before, she's all about going upstairs with me and sitting close by while I work. She's been known to go upstairs on her own, for no particular reason other than to nap in the sunshine.

Next, we've continued to work on getting her in and out the doors to the backyard. This was something she had mastered and then, for reasons unknown, she regressed a bit and we've been trying new strategies with her. 

Just this weekend we believe we've learned to think like Carley and we've been very successful. She's still very hesitant to walk back into the house but if we go in the backyard with a leash visibly in our hands and say "Let's go in the house" she typically will head to the house at a nice pace.

And then, when she's in the house we give her a quick reward (she loves cheese!) and make a big deal about the good behavior. This will give us a good foundation to build on.

Third, this girl walks like a dream on a leash. She is very watchful of where you're going and almost walks at heel, not lurching ahead or dragging behind. This is something she taught herself, we can't take any credit for it but we certainly do appreciate it!

She loves, loves, loves her buddy dogs -- she enjoys chase, doesn't really care about chasing a ball, just likes to chase around the yard with her dog friends.

Carley has developed a steady appetite and still enjoys her meal in bed. We were doing pretty good getting her to eat with the rest of the dogs but she's holding out to have quiet meals away from the pack. That's just fine with us -- we like seeing that she enjoys her meals and eats every last piece of dog food. She's also learned the special joy of pizza and Sunday waffles as well!

Carley is on some new meds that have really helped her enjoy life a bit. They're easy to give to her in a small piece of cheese and right now she does best if she gets meds in the morning and then again mid-afternoon. We're going to continue to work on the medication issue as we know it would be easiest for most households to give her medications at breakfast and dinner. 

We'll keep you updated -- but these particular medications have made such a difference in her. She's learned to appreciate being with her people and can stand perfectly still for the longest period of time while we pet and talk with her. Maybe the best description is that the medications have calmed her down and helped her build some trust in the world.

There's still more that Carley needs to master before she's going to be ready for her forever home. We need to work on the timing and dosage of her medications and we want to have her completely trained to come back into the house before she is adopted. She's made great progress and when she gives you a quick kiss, you know it's all worth it!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

It's been a while since we posted an update -- we went on vacation and Carley spent time in another RAGOM foster home for almost 3 weeks.  By all reports she was quiet and kept to herself.  She found a quiet spot in the bedroom and felt most comfortable in there, even encouraging the RAGOM temporary foster mom to feed her in bed.  Now that's a real vacation.

Carley did come back with a new experience and skill -- she's learned to walk up and down stairs.  Not with a lot of enthusiasm (yet), but she gets the job done.

She has also had more experience with cars and going for a ride, and we've learned that it's almost easy to take her someplace if you just take her dog buddy with her.

Carley is a small Golden but she will launch herself into the back of our SUV to follow her dog buddy - she does not want to be left behind.  That tells me the experience is good even if she's not totally relaxed about it.  Again, she does what she needs to and gets the job done.

Carley was very happy to get back to her routine with our dogs once we were all back together again.  I think she would have loved it if we would have fed her in the bedroom, but she's slowly getting back into her previous habits.

The one thing we're still struggling with is getting her back into the house after she's been outside to explore, sniff and take care of business.  She had been struggling a bit right before we left, did well at her temporary foster home, and then slipped back into this not-so-great habit when we returned.

We know she will work through this, as she's been successful before and I'm confident that she'll get past this.  With Carley there are always steps forward and some occasional steps backward!

She's a lovely girl and extremely gentle.  We'd like to think she missed us while we were away but I think really she missed running in the backyard more!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Carley has been enjoying summer - her very favorite activity is still playing in the yard with our resident dogs. She is at her happiest when she's sniffing and playing chase.

She's just starting to understand the concept of retrieving. She's good at chasing after the ball and sniffing it when it lands in the grass but she hasn't gone all the way to picking it up. She does really enjoy running after the ball though so that's a great start.

Carley has started medication to help reduce some of her anxiety, and it's starting to make a difference. We know there will be some adjusting to do to get this just right, but the medications are very cheap ($4/month) and she thinks the hot dog we hide them in each morning is the perfect way to start the day.

Miss Carley still enjoys a predictable routine, likes to get up at the same time each day, likes to eat the same food, likes playing and napping.

This summer routine has been really good for her. She's had a chance to go for rides in the car and she does very well in the car, particularly if one of the resident dogs goes with her -- that really makes all the difference in the world. Carley really isn't all that excited about getting into the car so we continue to work on that with her.

We know for certain that when it's time for Carley to find her forever home, her new family will need to have a playful, confident dog to be her buddy and mentor. We laugh at some of the things that Carley has learned this last month -- things that other dogs would have grown up knowing.

She now loves her dog bed; she has a favorite and is willing to share it. She likes her dog bed so much that we now make sure there's a bed for her out in the sunroom during the day, and she will pace a bit until we remember to put it out there for her. I think it's time to buy a permanent bed for the sunroom....

Life with a retired breeder dog is very rewarding; it's so great to see them learn new things, develop trust and enjoy the Golden life. Yet there are also times we need to remember that with progress there can also be challenges.

Right now, for reasons we're not sure about, Carley is back to being very cautious about coming back into the house after she's been outside. So this is our focus now, helping her regain her confidence and continue to master the fine art of household living!

Carley still has a perfect record in the house - she has not had a single accident and only barks if she hears a suspicious noise in the middle of the night.

She enjoys being combed, let's us look in her mouth, check her ears, and now takes treats from our hands although she's still pretty cautious about that.

Carley wakes up each morning with gusto and has developed a dance around the perimeter of the bed to encourage us to hurry up and get going with the day. She is just so darn happy!

She enjoys her toys and being with the pack but occasionally you can find her in the bedroom all by herself enjoying the solo delights of her new dog bed. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Carley has had an amazing week. In spite of being very unsure of her new surroundings, she has learned to:

  • Eat from a dog dish standing up instead of curled up in a ball on the floor. She now stands up and eats when the rest of the dogs eat and does it in fine style. No more picky eating for Carley!
  • Sleep on a dog bed. Her buddy Abbey showed her how the resident dogs do it, and she's decided that's a really good thing. She is now trying to figure out how to get up on the bed with her people. I give her a few more days to master it, as she's very determined!
  • Walk back into the house without hesitation. Several weeks ago, Carley mastered going outside, darting or walking through the door to get outside with the rest of the dogs. Coming back in was a bit more difficult for her, and she would wait for you to go into another room before she would enter the house. This week she decided that she could enter the house with the rest of the dogs, no big deal. We're all pretty darn pleased with this!
  • Wag her tail while being petted! She now responds to her name easily and approaches expecting that she'll be getting lots of pets and wags her tail during almost the entire event. She seems to luxuriate in the attention.

Next week I believe I'll be able to report that she's taking treats from my hand -- she's close this week, but not quite there. She will take a treat from my hand if my hand is on the floor. If I lift my hand off the floor, she's quite wary.  

Carley goes in to the vet to finish up her shots, and we're going to inquire about medication to help her be less anxious, just a bit, so she can continue gaining confidence. Please check in next week for an update! 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

We're very pleased to introduce you to Carley, a lovely smaller Golden who weighs 50 pounds and has beautiful dark gold—almost red—fur.

Carley is about 3 years old and learning the joys of household living after coming to RAGOM from a commercial breeder. She is still easily frightened and has a lot to learn, but what we've seen so far makes us confident that she's going to make someone a very good companion. 

Carley came with very little experience or knowledge about living with people or even interacting with other dogs, but she is one brave and courageous little girl. At first she was afraid of everything, but in three weeks she's already learned a lot of new things, all by observing our resident dogs. She has benefited greatly from consistent, positive reinforcement. 

It's too soon for Carley to find her forever home, as she has more skills to master and needs to get more comfortable with the normal rhythm of family life. In the meantime, she makes us smile daily; we'll keep you updated on all that she's doing.

Adopt Me: If you think Carley would be a good fit in your home, please review our adoption process. If you have already submitted an Inquiry for Application, email with Carley's name, RAGOM number (18-122), the name you submitted under, and a sentence or two explaining why you feel your home would be a good match.