Adopted: Rufus

My name is Rufus and I am an awesomely handsome, loving, playful, fluffy, fuzzy dog!

    Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd/Chow
  • Gender: Male, neutered
  • Age: 4 years old
  • Size: 55 lbs
  • Good with…
  • People? Yes!
  • Dogs? Yes!
  • Cats? Yes!
  • Kids? 12+ years
  • Bonus: Completely housebroken!


I arrived for the first time in the CDR foster program 2 years ago (at age 2), after my owners split up. Those folks had kept me in a small fenced in outdoor kennel and gave me almost no attention, care, or training, which had been a very sad life for a happy, exuberant, loving, and active dog like me. Luckily, a lovely semi-retired couple adopted me from CDR and that’s where I have been for the past 2 years. They loved me a lot, took me to fun clicker training classes, got me a needed hip surgery, and helped me with all of the physical rehab that goes with that. Recently though, a grandchild arrived (and more are planned), and I’m a bit too exuberant and playful than is ideal for a little baby or toddler. Since they are doing a lot of grand-babysitting, everyone decided that a new home would be the best plan for all.

I moved to a new terrific CDR foster home in early May, and have made a fabulous adjustment. Though I miss my old owners, I love my new foster parents a lot already and am over the moon for their female Golden Retriever, who is now my best friend in the whole world!


I am a lover, first and foremost; and I truly love being near my people. I have a great foster mom and foster dad now, and like them both very much. Mom is my primary caretaker and am very content as long as I know where she is! When we are outside and she is working in the garden, I am super content on my lead, just sitting there with my head up, watching every move she makes!

I love affection and petting! I am happy to let you pet me until your arm falls off (seriously), and when you stop, I might bump my butt up against you to ask you to keep on petting! My favorite places to be petted are my belly, head and ears—they love to be rubbed. I also looooove hip massages, which is good, because it’s part of my physical therapy (see medical section for details)!

I love being active! I like to run fast, and will quickly understand any play routine you can think of. I love going for leashed hikes and walks and love running around in the fenced (either hard or invisible) yard! I know that “Rufus, this way!” means to follow mom on the path or hiking trail (I’m always on leash), and have been fantastic at learning all of the new routines of my foster home. I am very curious when outside, and am a good mouser! I have a great nose and hearing and really love hearing all of the buzzing and chirping and scuffling life around me when we’re outside!

I love playing with the female Golden Retriever (her name is Baby) in my foster home soooooo much. We play together a lot and it makes us both very, very happy. We wrestle and play tug-of-war with toys, and love to go explore things together. I always keep an eye on where she is and she does the same for me. We share toys really nicely now that we know and trust each other– I even let her take a Nylabone out of my mouth the other day! I might not be cool with any dog doing that, but she is my best friend so I don’t mind!

I am quite smart. I am great at all the basic commands like Sit and Wait and Stay and Down and Shake and High-Five. My former owner took me to some clicker training classes and we had so much fun, and my foster parents know great positive training too so are teaching me as well! I’m very food motivated, so training me with positive methods is fun and successful. I’m not great at recall when we’re outside, because there are so many smells and sounds and sights that interest me, but we’re working on it.

In addition to my very sweet, loving, affectionate side, and my athletic and active side, I also have a very chill side. Once exercised, I am happy to lounge around either indoors or out, watching whatever you are doing, and am an excellent nighttime sleeper (very quiet) and even enjoy sleeping in! As soon as I hear my foster mom and my doggy sister get up though, I am ready for action!

I would love to have an adoptive home where there is another dog for a playmate.

I love my people very much!

Favorite Activities:

  • I love, love, love going for car rides! But I really want to have a window down partway so I can stick my nose out. If you forget, I will remind you to put it down, please (bark-bark!)!
  • Going for leashed walks! Especially on trails! I take a couple of short walks (around a mile) every day. My favorite place to walk is Upper Buttermilk Falls, but I really enjoy all of the beautiful trails around Ithaca. I am good on leash!
  • Getting attention, affection, and massage! I would LOVE someone interested in doing positive training/clicker training with me. I bet I would make you proud! I shake, stay, high 5, and go down. I am now working on retrieving!
  • Chewing on Bones and Kongs! At night I enjoy chewing on my treat filled Kong and gnawing on my Nylabone. My toys have to be built pretty rugged, because I am a strong chewer (but not anything that I am not supposed to chew). I have a cool squeaky bear that I have had for a year now, and I am very proud of myself that I have not torn him up! He’s my buddy!
  • Running in a safely fenced yard off-leash!! I have a large yard now with an invisible fence.


I love people deeply. I’m probably a little bit too energetic to live in a home with little kids, but would be fine with older kids.

I love other nice dogs, especially sweet, playful female dogs, and everyone thinks I should only go to a home with another friendly, playful dog. I might be uncomfortable with a dominant male dog, so should probably avoid homes with those.

I am great with cats!


I had FHO (femoral head osteotomy) hip surgery followed by several months of physical therapy 2 years ago. The surgery was successful, but they tell me that it’s best if for the rest of my life, I do moderate (rather than intense) daily exercise (i.e, shorter walks, not runs or long hikes), and take joint supplements and fish oil every day. I will no doubt get arthritis in that joint when I’m older, so keeping my weight just right, and keeping me on supplements and not doing “weekend warrior” intensive outdoor exercise is my program!


I am a wonderful (and very handsome) young guy who is full of joy and love and exuberance and affection! I would like to be adopted by someone who has a good amount of time to spend with me and has the training skills to help me refine my manners and give me a calm, supportive and consistent environment, as well as lots of affection. I’d love a dog sibling!

If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca , Syracuse, Binghamton, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers.

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