End Of Year Holiday Letter
“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.” — Phil Pastoret
Dear Golden Bond Rescue Supporters,
There is a Chinese saying which goes “May you live in interesting times.” Well, most of us would agree that 2020 has been way too interesting, what with the Covid-19 pandemic, fires, political drama, protests, hurricanes, etc. Now that all the dramas are calming down (we hope) and a vaccine is in the near future (again we hope), we can dream of a life that will become a bit boring. You might think with all that has happened over the past several months, Golden Bond Rescue (GBR) volunteers would be hunkered down in our homes – but you’d be wrong! Dogs need rescuing no matter what is happening outside their doggy-worlds. We even managed to rescue and transport to the USA two goldens from South Korea, 33 from China, and two from Mexico (not goldens), as well as 49 local goldens. Because of the COVID-19, we suspended accepting adoption applications as well as conducting home visits, but luckily, we had a huge list of approved applicants willing to wait until that special dog arrived. Before introducing you to our End Of Year featured dogs (Harley, Cairo, Freedom and Eron), let’s take a quick look at what has been happening within GBR’s international rescue work.
Our International Work
Our last group of flight volunteer-escorted goldens from China touched down on February 2nd. Just days after that, the airlines canceled all our prearranged flights, and the transport of goldens from China and South Korea came to a screeching halt. GBR partnered with eight other golden rescues to try to bring over 72 goldens from China on a chartered flight. The project went from bad to worse until we eventually gave up on the chartered flight and managed to bring over the dogs in groups of 15-20 via China Air Cargo. GBR volunteers welcomed our 15 goldens at the LAX cargo terminal in late October. For those volunteers who spent several sleepless nights getting those 15 ramped up goldens from LAX to Portland, the trip was not only exhausting but exhilarating. Another 18 dogs (including four Newfoundland puppies and two golden puppies) arrived on Air China Cargo at LAX in late November.
Although flying the dogs as cargo is not ideal, it is the lesser of two evils when we considered what could happen to them in China. Flying dogs as cargo requires hiring a shipping agent in China as well as a shipping broker in the United States. Both these agents are necessary when working with both countries’ Customs. Bringing the dogs over via cargo is much more expensive than bringing them as “checked baggage.” The cargo cost, including the agents’ fees, is around $3,000 per dog. We know! We gasped, too. It took months of negotiating with the agent in China and the airlines to get the $3,000 price. (As an FYI, when volunteers can fly to China, stay several days, and return with five goldens as checked baggage rather than freight, the “per dog” cost drops to about $1,500 per dog. Thus, all of us hope we can return sooner than later to flying over there to bring dogs back — it saves us so much money.) At this time, GBR has approximately 125 goldens waiting for their turn to find their forever American homes.
We also have around 12 goldens waiting in South Korea. One brave volunteer flew to South Korea and managed to convince the government not to quarantine her for 14 days before letting her return to Seattle with two goldens.
Our Wyoming Rescues
At one time, we thought our 15 charter flight goldens mentioned above would be landing in Chicago. Five volunteers loaded up the GBR van and headed east to Chicago. They got as far as Cheyenne, WY only to find out that the flight had been canceled. Determined not to come back empty handed, they took four dogs (none were goldens) from a shelter in Cheyenne and two dogs (again not goldens) from a shelter in Gillette, WY. You’ll meet one of those dogs, Harley, a bit later. (Shortly after the COVID lock down, we had canvassed our foster homes asking if any of them would consider fostering non-goldens. Since the vast majority of them raised their hands asking to participate, the volunteers in Wyoming decided not to return empty handed.)
Meet Four of Our 2020 Rescues
As in past years, we’d like to introduce you to a few of the dogs your generous support has enabled us to help. Your donations from last year’s End of Year Letter, plus those given throughout 2020, allowed us to transport 33 dogs from China via cargo, two from South Korea, two from Mexico and 49 local goldens. These four are just a very small sampling of how we spend the money you donate to us. Here are our featured dogs: Harley from Gillette, Wyoming; Eron from South Korea; Freedom from Washington; and Cairo from China (you’d think with a name like Cairo, she would be from Egypt, but no).
Harley is a five-year old mix of basset hound and Jack Russell terrier. He was one of the dogs brought back by the Chicago Team as they headed home and stopped in Gillette, WY. Harley (original name Zipper) was a stray with another dog found running the streets of Gillette. His companion was adopted quickly; however, Harley was destined to stay in the shelter because he was afraid of men. It took Harley about two weeks of living with his foster dad before he realized guys just “ain’t so bad”. His foster home has become his forever family. Some of his favorite things are pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. This picture was taken at his very first experience visiting the Oregon Coast. We think his face tells you how he felt.
Cairo is the oldest of the goldens who arrived in LAX on a China Air cargo flight in late October. The crate time for these dogs was grueling: three hours pre-flight prep time + three hours flight to Taiwan + a six-hour layover + 12 hours flight time + two hours waiting for USA Customs clearance = 26 hours of crate time. Not only was Cairo the oldest (about seven years old), she was by far the most scared. Where the other 14 came bounding out of their crates, she wouldn’t budge until the volunteers opened the crate door and left her alone. She is now living with her forever dad who reports that she is extremely hand-shy, which leads us to believe she was terribly abused. During the drive North, GBR volunteers on “poop duty” noticed lots of white plastic in her poop. After only being at her foster-to-adopt home for 24-hours, she was rushed to emergency surgery to have the following items removed from her stomach: 6” of leash, pieces of collar, two metal buckles and various pieces of plastic and fabric. She was also diagnosed with a severe infection on her rear feet between the toes. We’re confident that with time filled with love and understanding, Cairo will completely unpack her mental luggage and know human hands bring good things, and that her new dad will always be there for her.
Freedom is our featured local golden. He is a 1.5-year old who was living with his owner in Fall City, WA. Sadly, his owner died and her (owner) daughter’s son is dreadfully afraid of dogs, so she was unable to give Freedom a home. He is just what you would expect of a golden who has had no cares in his life: rambunctious, fun loving, happy and a glutton for attention. You might be wondering why we chose to feature a golden who has been well loved and cared for. We feel it’s important for you to know that not all rescued goldens are in need of rescuing because of neglect or abuse. Some of them come from homes whose owners have died or the family has experienced financial problems or an owner was injured. When we’re asked to help find a new forever home for this type of “rescue,” we like to place them in a foster-to-adopt home.
Our last but not least featured golden is Eron (pronounced Erin) who is a six-month old golden puppy still living in South Korea. We hope to have Eron on a Korean Airlines cargo flight in early December. Eron was found in a park with the lower portion of his right rear leg missing. He was very malnourished and his leg was so infected, we thought he would not survive long enough for surgery. After spending several days in a South Korean emergency clinic on IV antibiotics, survive he did! GBR paid for the surgery to have the remaining portion of his leg below the knee removed. We can only assume Eron got his leg caught in a wild animal trap that locals set especially for trapping stray dogs in neighborhood parks.
Bra$$ Tack$ Time
As you read this, you may be thinking something like, “Boy, here they go asking for money again.” Well, the reason we keep asking for money is simply because we keep needing money. Rescuing international goldens has now become even more expensive because of needing to rely on bring them over as cargo. The cargo flight itself is $3,000 per dog but add onto that their care while in China, which includes getting them in good physical condition and vaccinated so they can make the long flight to America. Even with good care in China, all the dogs, when they arrive, require vaccination boosters, blood tests, physicals, and a host of other medical procedures. So, if you can dig deep again (or for the first time), and help us with a tax deductible, year-end donation, we will be most grateful. If you can’t, we still thank you ever so much for your support of our organization and its work.
Once you make your End of Year donation, Golden Bond Rescue, like other non-profits, would love it if you would consider becoming an ongoing monthly donor. We have a suggestion for you: Think about how much you spend on a guilty pleasure, such as Starbucks coffee or fast-food meals, and make that amount your monthly donation. You’ll probably be surprised by how small this number is, so we have another suggestion for you: round it up — way up!! Just as a guideline, let’s say the number you came up with is $7.45; just round it on up to $10. Or, if the number is $13.59, round that baby on up to a nice even $20. (Have you noticed how we’re trying to make the math easy for you?!)
Seriously, we would be most appreciative if you would consider making monthly contributions. You can do this in a couple of ways:
- Most banks have free automatic bill paying. This can be done online or by asking your bank for help. Just tell them the amount you want sent monthly and provide our mailing address: Golden Bond Rescue, PO Box 25391, Portland, OR 97298.
- Use the Donate Now button located on our Home page, select “PayPal/Credit Card” payment, enter the amount you want to donate monthly, check the “make this a monthly donation” box, and finally click either the “donate with debit or credit card” or “Pay Pal” button.
- Payroll deductions: You can ask your employer or retirement institution to deduct a certain amount every month and automatically send it to GBR. If you do this, please check to see if your employer has a matching donation program.
Ta da, you no longer have to think about it!
How to Donate Now
Below are several methods of making your End of Year donation. Choose the one that best fits your donation “style” – better yet – try them all!
- Send a check to: Golden Bond Rescue, PO Box 25391, Portland, OR 97298
- Donate via a credit card: Click on the “Donate Now” bone button on our Home page and click on PayPal/Credit Card and follow the instructions.
- Donate via Venmo (@goldenbondrescue): Click on the “Donate Now” bone button on our Home page and click on Venmo.
- Mail us a VISA or MasterCard gift card to: Golden Bond Rescue, PO Box 25391, Portland, OR 97298. We’ll use it to purchase food, beds, leashes, treats, etc., when we need those items.
As always, we truly appreciate every one of you who have donated, volunteered, and supported GBR over the past three-plus decades. Without all of you, GBR would not be where it is today and, more importantly, the 3,400+ dogs you’ve helped us rescue over the years would not have found forever homes.
Here’s wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.
Golden Bond Rescue
“Handle every situation like a dog. If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.” – author unknown