My name is Kara Clark and I’ve been a dog person all my life. We had German Shepherd Dogs when I was growing up and my dad trained and showed our Shepherds for obedience. I was born in Englewwod, NJ, but spent most of my life in Southern NJ…about 20 miles from Philadelphia and at the Jersey Shore. Of course, I’m a Bruce Springsteen fan! We moved to Florida in 1997 when my husband, Peter, changed jobs. I’ve known Peter since high school, but our lives went in different directions. We reconnected many years later and will celebrate our 20th anniversary in January. My son, Brian, lives in San Diego with his girlfriend and their Golden Retriever, Maeve. Aside from my dog habit, I love to go out with Peter on our sailboat and snorkel in the Keys. We like to travel whenever we can and usually make at least one trip to San Diego to visit Brian. I should also mention that I have been an elementary school teacher for 41 years, with no plans to retire…at least not yet.
I became involved in rescue about 15 years ago after reading an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about puppy mills. One of the rescue organizations prominently mentioned was Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. After researching them, we decided to adopt a dog as a companion to our elderly Golden, Alex. We applied, were interviewed and waited. We eventually were contacted by GRRI-NJ, a Golden rescue in northern NJ. The volunteer launched into the story and description of this badly abused 8 month female and Natalie entered our lives in December, 1995…her story is on the web site. Shortly after her adoption, we discovered that our beloved Alex had bone cancer and was helped to the Bridge in February, 1996. Since we had become accustomed to being a 2 dog family and Natalie seemed to miss the company of another dog, we adopted Sam in November, 1996. I became very interested in the whole idea of rescue after our experience with Natalie and Sam and wanted to be more than an interested by-stander. So for the next 2 years, I did Home Visits and interviews for DVGRR until we moved to Florida. A member of DVGRR gave me the names of rescue people to contact when we moved. That was when I became acquainted with Everglades Golden Retriever Club. Rescue was a committee of the breed club at that time.
Eventually, several of us rescue folks felt that it was time to form our own group. I was a founding member of what became Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. Over the years I have fostered (I can’t remember how many), transported and temperament tested many of the dogs that have passed through our program, as well as interviewed lots of perspective adopters. I was president of the first group we formed before EGRR and have served on the board.
Our household presently includes 3 Goldens. Fiona is an 8 year old female, Bru is a 17 month old female and Cooper is a 9 year old male. Cooper was EGRR’s second rescue!! I spend a lot of time training and showing the girls, while Coop prefers the security of his own home
The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the capacity for love that I have seen in these displaced pups and the excuses I have heard from owners surrendering dogs. Just when you think you’ve heard it all…