Success Stories

Featuring success stories from Heartland dogs and owners. Share your adoption success story today!

Sunny Day Thunder

In memory of my father, Robert A. Bell, who passed away March 15, 2016, adoptive home of Heartland’s “Holly.”

Sunny Day Thunder continues to be an AMAZING ambassador for rescue and for Heartland in particular.  Here is a photo of Sunny “working” as an unofficial therapy dog with my (now deceased) Father in a rehabilitation facility.  If it’s not clear, he has just about climbed up onto the bed with Dad, and flopped his head over into his lap.

John A. Bell


Paddington is the joy of our lives! He enjoys being as close as physically possible to his parents and requires a minimum 4 hours of cuddling per day. He loves chasing pigeons as they fly overhead and can sense squirrels from 3 miles away. He thrives living in outdoorsy Chattanooga, partaking in trail runs and dog park visits often. Adopting him has been the most rewarding decision we have ever made, as he is such a unique and wonderful character! Goldens are so intelligent and eager to please. I would not trade this dog for anything. Thank you for Paddington!

Amy Arnold & Chad Campbell

Maggie V & Teddy Bear

Maggie was our first senior golden that we adopted from Heartland. She was actually our 4th senior golden that we had adopted over the years. There is no other dog that can compare to the love and companionship that a senior golden shows to its forever home owners. We adopted her when she was 11 and she went over the rainbow bridge just shy of her 15th birthday. After Maggie we went a year, a very lonely empty year, without a senior golden in our home. We kept our eyes on the Heartland website and Teddy Bear, for some reason, just wasn’t getting adopted. We new we had to have him. He was scheduled to be flown to New England, but once on board, the flight had mechanical problems and was canceled. A month later, Teddy was transported north via the “Heartland Caravan System” and finally made it to us in New Hampshire. Teddy has been a loyal member of our family ever since, and that void that was missing in our household was quickly filled. We have now had Teddy since July 10th, 2011. His real age was not quite know, but our vet is putting him around 12/13 right now. He is comfortably sleeping besides me as I type and will follow me wherever I may go, as he is my steadfast loyal companion who keeps an incredible internal clock : ) Adopt a senior golden, the time with them may be short but it is most definitely sweet!!! Thank you Heartland Golden Rescue.

Sue Gauthier




2006 – It had been 6 months since our Ginger went to the Rainbow Bridge. I wasn’t sure about another dog, but after going to Goldstock, we realized how much we missed having a dog in our lives. It was shortly thereafter that Heartland posted pictures about an 8 year old Golden whose family no longer wanted her. As soon as I saw the photos, I knew where she belonged. And the process for adoption began.

Mel was not without issues. She had been an outside dog her entire life. She was afraid of men with beards. She was afraid of the car. She was even afraid to come inside. She was afraid to connect with humans.

Over the next 9 months, she gradually knew what family love was all about. Maybe for the first time in her life, she had a soft bed to sleep on. When thunderstorms came through, she had someone to hug her and tell her things would be okay. She had someone to go hiking with and explore new places. She finally knew the the touch of a hand could be gentle and loving.

Well, here it is 8-1/2 years later. She has now spent more than half her life with us. At 17, she has slowed down, but is the kindest, most loving dog ever! She still loves going for walks and rolling in the snow. I wouldn’t trade these years for anything! Here’s to you, Mel, and to Heartland for bringing us together!

Thank you, Heartland, for all you do.

Leslie and Nathan



When I lost my 13 year old golden, I missed her terribly but thought I would not miss cleaning the door glass and vacuuming dog hair constantly. After a year, I realized my life is not complete without a golden, even with associated messes. A friend introduced me to Heartland GRR and I found Scooby. When he came to live with us, he was a young, exuberant, and goofy dog – thus his name. His unbridled enthusiasm and energy may have been due in part to the fact that he had been confined for heartworm treatment for a month and he was so happy to be free. He was a talented counter surfer and strong enough to drag me on a leash. But eventually, after obedience training and lots of reinforcement, we learned to live happily together. He seemed so grateful and so wanted to please me, but of course, has done so much more. He is my loyal companion, exercise buddy, watchdog, squirrel chaser, floor sweeper, and bright spot in my life. He is also a therapy dog who provides unconditional love to patients in the nursing home and helps children who are struggling with reading. It’s hard to believe it has been 9 years since Scooby came to live with us and my sweet rambunctious pup is now a gentle old soul. We are bonded, he and I and I love him very much. Thank you to everyone at Heartland and Lenoir City Animal Clinic who helped make us a family.

Donna Losson

Heartland’s Busy Izzie CGC


Izzie made me a foster failure 7 times over! She was a hard nut to crack and when she came into the programme I felt she was going to be hard to place with her temperament problems and health issues. Fast forward a few years and she is a wonderful travelling companion, wrestling companion for Bentley and all round well adjusted girl. We occasionally have a few issues when other dogs challenge her, especially the little ones. Izzie is very much My Girl – Love you Miss Iz. The photo was taken on our trip to New Hampshire in September 2013

–Pauline Stevens