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Meet Ray – PEDIGREE Foundation’s 2021 Rescue Dog of the Year

Portrait of Ray

Every dog deserves a loving home – and the right home can be found for every dog! Ray is proof – from being seen as “aggressive” at the shelter, he went on to become a talented and beloved part of Parkersburg Country Club. His transformation story is why we chose him as the 2021 Rescue Dog of the year.

Ray started his rescue journey at Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, where he’d been surrendered as just a one-year-old pup.

He was anxious and bored, and would bark loudly whenever anyone approached his kennel. Shelter volunteers thought he was aggressive because he would bite at the leash when being walked.

But then Ginger came along. Having volunteered for years and knowing dogs well, she recognized that Ray might not be aggressive – he might actually be extra smart!

Ginger had seen situations like Ray’s, where dogs are taken in as a puppy but then not trained – meaning that by a year old, they are large and liable to act like a bull in a china shop.

She also knew that sometimes very smart dogs struggle when kenneled for long periods of time, because they can’t get the active exercise and mental stimulation they need.

So, when Pat Maher came in looking for a dog he could take to work with him at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna, West Virginia, Ginger recognized a wonderful opportunity. Pat saw it too! He had lots of dog experience and could tell Ray might be a perfect fit for him and for his work.

The rest, as they say, is history. Here’s his success story from Ray’s perspective:

Ray looking happily at the camera

“I began working at the Parkersburg Country Club (PCC) about four years ago as a goose dog with the Greens department. Pretty quickly, I was able to get the goose problem under control. Now in my fourth season with the club, we only have to deal with geese in the offseason.

“In the summer months, it’s my job to check the pressure of every irrigation head that comes on. It’s a daunting task, but I love it. Every one that comes on, I run to it and put my face in front of it to make sure it is still putting out around 100 psi.

Ray playing in the sprinkler

“I have enjoyed the past four years and look forward to many more. If I keep getting treats, and the irrigation keeps coming on, I am not sure what more I could ask for!

“As far as my goals for PCC, I am currently working on making sure all squirrels remain in the trees where they belong and keeping deer off the property. My co-workers do not like it when they run across the greens.

Ray sitting in a golf cart

“Taking this job at PCC was by far the best decision Ive ever made. Im glad the club allows me to be here with my dad.”

Says Pat, “Ray is a great dog and lives a life most people would envy. I believe he’d spent a lot of time at the shelter when I adopted him. But I can assure you he lives his best life now. He goes to work every day at the golf course and receives tons of attention and treats from golfers and employees.”

Ray licking his mouth after a treat

Stories like Ray’s are why we do what we do at PEDIGREE Foundation. We look forward to a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well, and loved.

We’re so happy Ray found his forever home and a job he loves, and we’re grateful to Humane Society of the Ohio Valley and all the shelters and rescues that help dogs like Ray. We wish him a very happy life full of joyful irrigation testing and plenty of room to run.

Please help us help other dogs in need! Donate here.

Plus, keep an eye on DogsRuleStore.com. A commemorative plush dog in Ray’s honor will be available by the end of the year, and all proceeds go to help dogs find loving homes.

plus dog that looks like Ray