Dog and Cat Rescuer Suzanne Grindle Visits Rockwood

We’re amazed at how our social media presence connects us with some of the best people.

In 2018, Suzanne Grindle heard about a last-minute cabin cancellation at Rockwood from her friend, who saw it posted on Facebook. She jumped at the opportunity and came to Rockwood for the first time with her husband, Brian Goecke, and a few of her dogs.

They came each year after that first trip.


“I love it here,” Suzanne told us. “It’s a nice, relaxed atmosphere. You can pursue any activity you want. And it’s quiet,” she said.

Sadly, Brian passed away earlier this year. They’d planned a fall trip on the Gunflint Trail so Suzanne came up for a short retreat last weekend with four well-trained dogs: Chili, Sheldon, Sunny, and Beanie. 

And she booked a return trip for next year.

Suzanne is Co-founder of The Rescue Pack, an animal rescue group in Minneapolis. The four dogs with her this weekend are all rescues and well-trained for recall. Although she didn’t want to canoe with the four of them, she did take them hiking.

“From the cabin on the lake, you walk 100 yards, and you’re on trails in the woods,” Suzanne said. She reports that on a hike yesterday with her dogs, they spotted a bluish-colored grouse, and the well-trained dogs did not chase it.  

Suzanne is a research scientist by training. She’s an animal lover and animal welfare advocate by disposition. 

Shelly the wilderness pug

In 2007, she started working in animal rescue. A practical and compassionate trainer, she teaches dogs good household behavior to help transition them into forever homes.

In her bio on The Rescue Pack website, Suzanne writes, “I believe that to help as many pets as possible, we need a community of animal advocates who can work together as a pack in communities with too many dogs and cats, as well as here at home to help people enjoy their furry friends through play, education, and socialization.”   

Suzanne finds the cabins here at Rockwood cozy, comfortable, and pleasant. She likes that she can canoe on Poplar Lake right from her cabin and rent a power boat if desired. 

She thinks the world of Carl Madsen, one of the four owners here at Rockwood. As for the service, she said, “Anything I’ve asked for, they’ve done it.”

Next year, the trip will likely include two-legged friends and her dogs. “My friends must be able to swim, paddle, and not get lost in the woods,” she said.  “I tell them to ‘Stay on the trail.’”

Suzanne likes that Rockwood is easy to get to and find on the Gunflint Trail.

But most importantly for her, Rockwood is a dog-friendly Northwoods experience. 

“Being pet-friendly at Rockwood makes all the difference,” Suzanne said. “It’s the single thing that would draw me back.”

The dog-friendly Carl Madsen and the rest of Rockwood look forward to seeing Suzanne, Chili, Sheldon, Sunny, and Beanie next year. 

And we thank Suzanne for her tireless efforts to rescue and rehome dogs and cats in these trying times for pets.