Trick or Treat says Hamish!


Sheila & Bob’s Eager Golden Hamish


Golden Gilbert Desperate for a New Life

Dog Who Can’t Cry Desperate for a New Life
K9 Magazine

dogstrust-gilbert.jpgThe staff at Dogs Trust Roden Rehoming Centre are desperate to find a home for Gilbert, a 13 year old Golden Retriever who has been at the Rehoming Centre in Telford since the end of April.Gilbert has had a stroke in the past and now has problems with the left side of face – his left eye does not produce tears and his nose is always dry.

Despite this, and his age, he really looks forward to his run across the fields and spending time with children too. Gilbert came to Dogs Trust after his owner sadly passed away – he is looking for a home where he can get lots of cuddles and some canine company as he loves to play with other dogs.

Sadly, Gilbert is just one of 20 older dogs currently being cared for by the staff at Dogs Trust Roden Rehoming Centre. There are many reasons why older dogs come to Dogs Trust, but unfortunately the staff fear that it might be because their owners are casting them aside to make way for a younger puppy.

Louise Campbell, Dogs Trust Roden Rehoming Centre Manager, says,

“Gilbert simply is a lovely gentleman. He is an older dog but still enjoys life and even though he needs a touch of Vaseline on his nose to keep it wet, he is just like any other happy dog; he has a wagging tail for everyone. He is looking for some love and affection but will give so much more in return. We hope his perfect partner is out there.”


Golden Freedom Needs a Home

St Tammany Parish Humane Society Pet of the Week
By Community Reports


The St. Tammany Parish Humane Society has several animals looking for loving homes. Each cat or dog adopted comes spayed/neutered, microchipped, current on all shots, 1 year’s flea control and heartworm tested and treated. A kennel is included for one month if necessary for training.

Adoption fees are $125.00 for cats, $150.00 for dogs all inclusive. (If more than one pet is adopted at a time, then the fee is negotiable.) Adoption applications can be obtained at the shelter, online at, or

The St. Tammany Parish Humane Society is located at 20384 Harrison Ave., Covington, La. 70433. For more information call (985) 892-PETS (985-892-7387).

This is a full service vet clinic with low cost spay/neuter fees.

Tues-Fri – 8:30 – 5:00
Wed till 7:00 by appt. only
Sat 8:30-4:00

Getting a Cancer Diagnosis

When your pet has cancer
By William H. Sokolic, Courier-Post Staff


It began with wheezing. Then snorting. Ian and Melissa Harned were convinced their golden retriever, Shaymus, suffered from allergies or a respiratory ailment.

They were wrong. It was lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. “We were devastated,” said Melissa, 34.

Indeed, hearing the dreaded “C word’ shocks pet owners. But each year, veterinarians diagnose some six million dogs and an equal number of cats with cancer, according to guesstimates.”We’ve done such a good job helping animals live longer, that as a whole, cancer is becoming the number one cause of death in dogs and cats,” said Dr. Ian Driben of Driben Animal Hospital in Moorestown. He cares for Shaymus.

“We see cancer cases on a weekly basis,” said Dr. Patricia Fisher of the Garden State Animal Hospital in Cherry Hill.

The actual numbers are difficult to pinpoint. Cancer in humans must be reported to health agencies. Not so with pets, said Dr. Philip J. Bergman, an oncologist and head of the Donaldson-Atwood Cancer Clinic & Flaherty Comparative Oncology Laboratory in New York. “We have to go on clinical hunches and studies,” he said.

“I never thought about a dog getting cancer,” said Wilbur Wamsley, a violin maker from Cherry Hill. Not until his golden retriever, Indy, was diagnosed in the late 1990s. Indy, not even 5 years old at the time, started throwing up every morning.

“I thought dogs eat things. Maybe he swallowed part of a toy,” Wamsley, 53, said. An X-ray at Fisher’s office showed an enlarged spleen pushing into the dog’s stomach. “He had a pretty nasty cancer,” Wamsley said. “He was given four to five months to live.”

One vet advised putting him down. But Wamsley and his wife, Hirono, a professional violinist, rejected the idea. Indy went under the knife and had chemotherapy. He went into remission, but the cancer returned, this time in the liver. More surgery and more chemo followed. The dog lost some hair and suffered one bout of nausea, but seemed back to his old self, Wamsley said.


. . .

How breeding and cancer relate
By William H. Sokolic, Courier-Post Staff

The impact of breeding on the development of cancer is a difficult one to assess, experts say. Inappropriate breeding may lead to genetic abnormalities that result in an increased likelihood of developing cancer, said Dr. Ruthanne Chun, assistant professor of clinical oncology at Kansas State University.

While breeding practices aim to preserve preferred traits, they may also predispose many dog breeds to genetic disorders, including cancer, says the National Institutes of Health.

Inbreeding may select the bad as well as the good, said Dr. Patricia Fisher of the Garden State Animal Hospital in Cherry Hill. “Yet, it’s difficult for breeders to know which dogs to breed and which not to breed,” said Dr. Karin Sorenmo, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Most cancers we see are in animals middle age and older, with multiple genes involved. It’s not so simple to say, “I found a gene and won’t breed this dog,’ ” she said.

That may be doable in the future now that canine gene sequences are mapped out, she said. “The vast majority of others are multifactorial. You may get a bad gene, but that would not cause cancer, but food, environment, etc., all come together to cause changes in the genetic code,” said Dr. Philip J. Bergman, an oncologist and head of the Donaldson-Atwood Cancer Clinic & Flaherty Comparative Oncology Laboratory in New York.

Read more……

Golden Dress-Ups!

Meet Riley, Rhonda’s little ‘Golden’ Candy Corn!

I have some new cool Halloween photos that will continue to be posted thru the holiday. If you have something that you think is absolutely too wonderful not to share, send it my way (blog at landofpuregold dot com).

Halloween Funnies!

We have a funny Halloween treat for everyone, thanks to Sandy, a new Golden pal from California. She had some costume fun with her new English Golden puppy boy Duncan (who looks allot like our guy Alfie).

He surely will let you know exactly what he thinks of this coming holiday. And, trust me, it’s not very pretty lol.

Just CLICK HERE and don’t laugh too hard or you will surely hurt Duncan’s feelings. I hope you like the music choice as well. Hopefully, it will fit the mood.

Mom tells me that the dressing up was to practice for an upcoming parade at an assisted-living facility. Now, I’d really like to get some video of that event!

What a Journey

I hope everyone likes the new digs here. I took the leap and moved the blog from Google’s blogger. They host millions of blogs and, honestly, I believe they have simply taken on too much to handle efficiently. Blogger was going down every other day and many folks indicated having difficulty posting comments. So, I made the switch.Wordpress really has far more features and now all of my posts have category tags so that folks can eaily find all the posts and articles on areas of particular interest. Just peruse the huge category list and you will find the news just to your liking.

Please do let me know how you like it over here so that my hundreds of hours of work don’t feel unappreciated.

Making a Golden Impact

Service Dogs positively impacting children’s lives
By Mike Christopherson, Crookston Daily Times Managing Editor

Few dispute the calming effect that animals can have on people. Simply taking a moment to pet a dog or a cat can lower a person’s blood pressure, experts say. So it’s no surprise that Jeanie Andringa’s golden retriever Service Dogs are having a positive impact on local young people in the schools. What is surprising, though, is just how much impact the dogs have, and how much they’re capable of.Speaking to the Crookston School Board this week, with one of her dogs, Easton, sitting alert at her feet, Andringa, of Golden Breeze Kennels, said her dogs are helping children with a variety of special needs reach their educational goals through Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy. The program, known as “Paws Helping Hands,” was recently taken over by the Service Dogs for America organization, and Andringa said the result has been more comprehensive programming and more resources that combine to help the dogs help more kids.

Her dogs currently in the program – the most experienced, Brea, 12, and Kismet, 3, join Easton, 4 – work predominantly at Crookston High School and Highland School. But Andringa wants to increase their presence at other schools, too, both in Crookston and elsewhere. Her dogs’ work dates back six years in the local schools. With Brea getting up there in age and nearing retirement, Jeff and Melissa Perreault have purchased a new golden retriever, Bella, that’s currently being trained as a Service Dog.

The dogs have made the biggest impact on autistic children, Andringa said. They’ve also helped other kids overcome certain fears – including fears of dogs – while other kids undergoing physical therapy have benefited from having a dog around. Kids looking to improve their peer social skills have found the dogs to be valuable practice partners. “Dogs have a way of easing kids’ minds more than adults do,” Andringa explained. “We find a lot of situations where the kids are having so much fun they don’t realize they’re actually being taught something, that they’re learning something.”

Kismet is being trained as a search and rescue dog. Seventh grade students who excelled in the classroom were rewarded with field trips to help “lay tracks” that served as training grounds for Kismet, Andringa explained. When Crookston resident Harry Smith disappeared late in the summer, she said Kismet helped in the search to find him. (His body was eventually found in the Red Lake River.) “He (Kismet) did a great job and worked very hard, and it was great to see the pride on the kids’ faces when we told them that they had helped him learn,” Andringa said. “These are seventh-graders, so they’re at the age where they’re too cool for everything. But I think it meant something to them.”

Then there’s Reid Nimens. The son of Jay and Cyndy Nimens of Crookston, he has special needs and suffers from seizures now and then. He’ll be getting a golden retriever Service Dog, Remi, this fall that will be trained in seizure awareness. Remi will serve as Reid’s seizure alert/response dog, Andringa explained.


A Brave Golden Sydney

National week recognizes vet technicians’ importance
By Mike Enright, The Minnesota Daily

Sydney is one brave 10-year-old. Her friendly demeanor and constant enthusiasm mask her serious illness. But beneath her happy exterior, the golden retriever suffers from lymphoma.

Diagnosed in September 2005, Sydney underwent six months of chemotherapy treatment, successfully sending the cancer into remission. Recently, the lymphoma has returned, and veterinarians must use new drugs to try and suppress it once again.

“The cancer has been resistant so far,” said Jody Larson, a veterinary technician in the oncology department at the University’s Veterinary Medical Center on the St. Paul campus. Larson, who has treated Sydney since the dog first arrived at center, is one of 118 University technicians who are being honored this week as part of National Veterinary Technician Week.

Pat Berzins, the center’s operations director, said vet techs play an integral part in providing care.

“They free up time for the doctors to spend time on patient care,” Berzins said. “(Techs) do just about everything needed to keep doctors moving.”

Dr. Roberto Novo, a University veterinary surgeon, said he couldn’t do his work without help from the techs.


Golden Kilo Taking Bite Out of Crime

County drug dogs work hard to take bite out of crime in Jackson County
By Melissa Lore / Independent Reporter

Three drug dogs currently serve Jackson County under three separate departments. These dogs work very hard for their handlers and enjoy doing their job. They recently conducted a search at Newport High School as part of their training.Newport School District Resource Officer Pat McGee is responsible for the training that the dogs receive. He and his dog Gwendolyn (Gwennie), a Belgian Malinois, ensure the safety of the school system and occasionally sweep through the halls checking lockers for drugs or paraphernalia.

To prepare the training, McGee placed several baggies containing varieties of drugs, including Afghani marijuana, black tar heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstacy throughout the halls and classrooms of the Tech Science building and in school vehicles.


Service Golden Oakley … Down Under

Assistance Dogs Australia

Ten-year-old Daniel Michel of Heathcote, NSW, was born with a physical disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy that has restricted him to a wheelchair all his young life. But two years ago he received a birthday present that changed his life completely. It was Oakley, a Golden Retriever, specially trained to enhance Daniel’s quality of life while providing companionship and love.”The unconditional love that dogs give does a lot to someone’s psyche,” said Daniel’s mother, Susan. “They give so much comfort. Oakley is a patient, nice dog. It’s in his nature.” Single mother of two other children — Ben, 8, and Jesse, 4 — Susan got Oakley from Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA), a non-profit organisation established in 1996 to help enhance the quality of life and improve the level of independence of people with physical disabilities. She said Daniel was on an 18-month waiting list to receive a companion dog, but luckily got a call two weeks later with news of Oakley. She found out Daniel could have a companion dog when she volunteered for ADA as a foster puppy raiser.

“I didn’t know if getting a dog was the right thing to do so we decided to try it out,” she said. An exercise therapist at Sylvan Val School, a school for handicapped children in Kirrawee, Susan soon realised that dogs can be wonderful therapy for children with physical and intellectual disabilities. “Communication can be difficult with handicapped children. Dogs don’t talk so it’s easy. There’s no pressure,” she said.

For Daniel, four-year-old Oakley has given him more confidence when answering questions in public about why he is in a wheelchair. “Daniel is used to it,” said Susan, “but since Oakley came, he takes away the questions. People admire Oakley and want to pat him and Daniel shows off by showing tricks. He is now trying to train Oakley to press traffic lights.”

She said Oakley has helped Daniel to become an outgoing and confident boy as Oakley gives him security, not only because he is a big dog but because he has a big heart as well. “He’s made a big difference in all our lives,” she said. “I can leave Daniel alone with Oakley. He listens to commands, keeps Daniel company, cuddles him and barks on command.”

Daniel agreed, saying Oakley even barks at him when he is supposed to be studying! Oakley also accompanies Daniel to and from school. “He’s the most popular dog at school,” he said.

Learn more…..

Mom is Golden’s Best Friend

Mom is dogs’ best friend
By Paula Maxwell, Community Press Contributor

INDIAN HILL — When Debbie Patterson and her family adopted an abused and abandoned golden retriever three years ago, no one, including Patterson, knew she would soon be helping other dogs like “Rascal” find happy homes. Like many Indian Hill mothers, volunteerism is an important part of Patterson’s life as an active wife and mother of two middle school-aged kids. It was her love of dogs that attracted her to GRRAND (Golden Retriever Rescue and Adoption of Needy Dogs).Patterson said she had grown up with dogs and had a golden before. She wanted another one, but not a puppy. She had heard about GRRAND and the many dogs awaiting adoption. That seemed to fit the niche. The all-volunteer non-profit organization seeks to relocate abandoned dogs to foster homes and eventually permanent adoptive homes. Since 1996, it has placed more than 1,800 dogs in the Louisville metro, Lexington and Cincinnati area.

Rascal, a warm and friendly golden, blended well into the Patterson family, joining Patterson and her husband, Dan, daughter Ellen and son Ryan, along with their 5-year-old West Highland terrier, Bailey. Patterson’s positive experience led her to volunteer, helping the organization with fundraising activities. Earlier this year, she became the local transportation coordinator for GRRAND. “There is a desperate need for foster and adoptive homes,” Patterson said. “Over 90 percent of these dogs can be rehabilitated. In most cases it just takes time for them to trust someone.”

Patterson is one of 40 volunteer transporters in greater Cincinnati who help take an average of four to five goldens per month to foster and permanent homes. During the first half of 2006 GRAND took 113 dogs into the rescue program. The organization placed 120 dogs during the same time frame.

Recently, the Holly Hill Road resident recruited an Indian Hill friend, Cindy Standley, and her daughter, Anne, as primary caretakers to foster a golden retriever awaiting adoption. Their foster experience occurred this summer involving two-year old “Zander,” an extremely shy dog whom GRRAND suspected may have been kept in a crate much of the time. “He was really like a puppy. He was very loving, but he was unfamiliar with the world,” Cindy Standley said. “Cars, crowds, noises — everything seemed new to him. He needed gradual socialization.”

Zander readily adapted to life on Tupelo Road with the entire Standley family, including Cindy’s husband, Jeff , son Andrew, and their brown Lab, Dew.

Anne Standley, a high school sophomore at Seven Hills said she loved the experience of helping the dog. Time spent with foster care also counts as community service credit for school. It took just two weeks with the Standleys before Zander was adopted by a woman from Saylor Park. Her own golden retriever had recently died. He had been her companion since her husband’s death, 10 years earlier.

It was difficult to see him go, but Cindy and Anne have since contacted the new owner and learned the match was a good one with dog and owner happily bonded. They plan to foster another golden this month after learning many are in kennels awaiting placement in foster homes.


Therapy Golden Arrow — Right on the Mark

Four-legged friend brings smiles to those who need one most
By John Sharify, KOMO-TV

SEATTLE – Arrow knows the drill. Every week, the golden retriever comes to the Ronald McDonald House and waits. The 2-year-old waits for the kids. Waits to be adored. Nina Brown brings him for the kids battling life-threatening diseases.Five-year-old Kevin John has leukemia. This part of the day is sometimes the one bright spot in the day. He’s been at Ronald McDonald House eight months.

“Comforting feeling for him,” says his mom Janice John. “The kids wait for us at the door when they know Arrow is coming,” says Nina Brown.

Natalie Cunningham loves Arrow, and can’t stop petting him. The 7-year-old has been at Ronald McDonald House five months battling brain cancer. I asked her: “Is your favorite part of the dog the tail?” She laughs: “yes!”


Hugs, Not Drugs with Golden Soraya

Drug-free is theme at Lincoln, Edison
By Hilary Simmons/Journal Staff Writer

MACOMB – One of the themes for this year’s Red Ribbon Week is “I’ve got better things to do than drugs.” During this week, kids across the nation commit themselves to living drug-free lives. Lincoln and Edison schools are celebrating the week with different activities for each day. Tuesday was “hugs not drugs” day at Lincoln School. Students were allowed to bring stuffed animals to school.Nancy Chu took time out of her day to give a demonstration on the benefits of volunteering with her 8-year-old Golden retriever, Soraya. Chu and Soraya are members of Delta Society. Soraya, originally trained as a service dog but found her calling with Chu as a visiting dog instead. Wearing a celebratory red ribbon on her green Delta Society work vest in honor of the week, Soraya helped show the kids all the fun activities they would be missing out on if they weren’t drug-free.


The 10 Golden Commandments

The 10 Golden Commandments

Remember when you bring me into your life….

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you get me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.

3. Place your trust in me.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, entertainment and friends. I only have you.

5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.

6. Be aware that… however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.

7. Please don’t hit me. I can’t hit back, but I can bite and scratch and I really don’t want to do that.

8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right foods or I’ve been out in the sun too long or my heart is getting old and weak.

9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for me if you are there.

Let Golden Freedom Bring It!

Let Freedom bring it
By Catherine E. Toth, The Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer

WAHIAWA — Melanie Johnson couldn’t move. She lay on the floor of her hallway, next to her wheelchair, and waited. This is what she always does whenever she falls from her wheelchair, when it tips over or she loses her balance. She lies there and waits for someone to come home. Sometimes that takes hours.On Wednesday she fell again, this time backward. She hit her head on the tile floor, her legs twisted, the wind knocked out of her. No one was home. Except for Freedom, an 80-pound purebred golden retriever trained for such situations.

On command, he brought Melanie Johnson the cordless phone from the living room, then greeted the firefighters who responded to her 911 call. In between, Freedom sat by her side. “It took a few tries. He brought me all his toys first,” Melanie Johnson said with a laugh. “He’s really a special dog.”


A Golden Boo-Boo

Set Straight in San Antone
By Jamie Reidy, The Huffington Post

There are better places than San Antonio Airport to get stuck on a layover, places with more than three “restaurants,” more than two electrical outlets per terminal, more than zero electrical outlets conveniently located next to chairs. But those airports might not provide a much needed pause for perspective like San Antonio’s did for me this weekend.The plane that was supposed to take me from San Antonio to O’Hare was en route from Chicago, scheduled to arrive at 1:15 pm. However, it diverted to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to refuel. This made me nervous. Are pilots just like drivers, cruising around until they find the lowest fuel prices and then swerving across three flight patterns to fill up? Assuming that gas does not cost less in the state capitol – I mean, if there’s a city in Texas where gas is gonna cost less, it’d be President Bush’s “hometown” of Crawford – does that mean the pilot had been flying on fumes? San Antonio is only an 90-mile drive from Austin, yet this aviator couldn’t make it that far? If so, is that same Chuck Yeager flying me to Chicago?

As I wait, an airport employee makes an announcement. “Three Skycaps with three wheelchairs please report to Gate 12.” Do you have to tip an indoor Skycap, just like you do their colleagues on the check-in curb? If so, is it two bucks per wheelchair, just like it’s two bucks per bag? I wonder if unaware septuagenarians routinely end up in the wrong city because they fail to tip the guy pushing them.

A large number of soldiers wander about the terminal in their desert fatigues. Judging from the conversations, few of them are headed home. It’s been at least six months since I bought an airport meal for a soldier or Marine; I used to do so frequently. These men and women don’t seem to stand out as much to me as they once did. Have I grown numb to their presence? To their sacrifices?

I watch a unique couple walk toward me, as I stand next to the random wall where my laptop is recharging. Both people are in their late-forties, and she holds onto a gorgeous Golden Retriever guide dog. They pass me, and then, after some muted discussion, walk back toward the restrooms. From the corner of my eye, I see the husband usher his wife into…the men’s room. It couldn’t be, I think. I step back from my laptop for a second to get a better look at the signage. I’m right; the guy sent his wife and her guide dog into the wrong bathroom! I hustle over to him.

“Excuse me, sir, I don’t mean to bother you, but, uh, do you know you just sent her into the men’s room?” Hubby Dearest looks at me like I asked for a donation to the Hari Krishna’s. He starts to speak as he turns toward the entrances. “No, I didn…” His voice trails off as his face blanches. He draws his hand to his mouth and pauses. “Oh, shit.”

I feel bad enough for him that I suppress my laugh. He starts and stops, then does it again, as though miming a classic song by The Clash. Finally, he looks at me, shrugs and runs into the bathroom. It takes all my self-control not to follow him. I know that, once inside, nothing could stop me from pulling out my cell phone and taking a picture of the scene: a stall door, a pair of flats and four golden paws.

The guy exits ten seconds later. Alone. We make eye contact, and he exhales deeply. “Too late?” I ask unnecessarily. He nods and approaches. “This,” he says with a sheepish grin, “Is a story we’re going to tell for a while.” Sir, you have no idea. His wife comes out a few moments later, laughing heartily. With one hand holding her dog, she threads the other arm through her husband’s and gives him a squeeze. I cannot believe how gracefully she handled that, how she managed to see the humor in a humiliating situation.


Golden Morgan Hanging up his Leash

Courthouse canine hangs up his leash
By Peggy Wright, Daily Record

MORRISTOWN –There’s Morgan Fairchild and Morgan Freeman and JP Morgan. Then, there’s simply Morgan, who has carved out a celebrity niche of his own at the Morris County Courthouse. Morgan over the past 10 years has distinguished himself at the courthouse as unusually helpful and loyal, and some can’t resist hugging or patting his back when they meet him in the halls. But like many faithful workers, Morgan retired. His last day was Wednesday, and his best friend — Morris County senior probation officer Larry Christie — organized a pizza party.Christie, a 39-year-old Kenvil resident who uses a wheelchair because he has muscular dystrophy, has a decade-long bond with Morgan. A 12-year-old Golden Retriever, Morgan has made Christie’s life simpler by performing tasks that non-handicapped people do without thinking. Morgan came to Christie in December 1994 as a service dog trained by the Massachusetts-based National Education for Assistance Dog Services, or NEADS.

Morgan has carried Christie’s files, handed him his portable phone and keys, flipped light switches on and off, and picked objects off the floor, but more subtly, given Christie a finer sense of his own identity.

“The biggest thing in Morgan’s time is that he took the handicap away from me. People see Morgan instead of the wheelchair. I think Morgan also has impacted more people in the courthouse than anyone I can ever imagine,” Christie said.

Morgan was retired Wednesday because at 12, he is slowing down and losing weight. He receives acupuncture treatments for arthritis. The plan is for Morgan to move in with Christie’s sister, Cathy Burd, in Roxbury, and for Christie to receive training in the next few weeks at NEADS headquarters in West Boylston, Mass., with a 2-year-old replacement service dog named Monty, a Labrador Retriever. Monty’s debut at work with Christie in the courthouse is set for Oct. 4.

“I want Morgan to live a happy, healthy long life,” Christie said. And well-wishers at Morgan’s retirement party in a suite in the probation department had the same sentiment.


If Something Happens to you, What Happens to Me?

Planning for Your Dog – If Something Happens to you, What Happens to Me?
By a Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue volunteer

In 1995, an elderly woman who lived alone passed away in her home. Her death went undetected until a kindly neighbor went in to check on her and found her dead, her Golden by her side. No one knew what to do with the dog, so the animal control officer was called and the devoted ten-year-old Golden was taken to the local shelter. Fortunately, because it was a Golden and an old one at that, the shelter staff member called YGRR. It was not until the dog was in transit with YGRR volunteers that someone remembered an “elderly lady adopter who lived alone” in that town. The transportation volunteer immediately rolled the dog over and searched beneath his long hair looking for a YGRR tattoo. And there it was. By sheer luck, “Max, YGRR #768” had come back to us. He was readopted within the week by a single woman who had recently lost both her husband and her previous dog. Max settled into his new home happily.Prince Valiant (Val) YGRR #1717, whose gorgeous face welcomes you to this Web site, was orphaned by the sudden death of his owner on New Year’s Eve, 1995. Although he had been greatly loved (very greatly — he weighed 140 pounds!) Val quickly became little more than an unwanted burden when his owner died. The owner’s son was literally on the way to the local shelter with Val when a neighbor intervened and offered to contact YGRR. Quick action by local YGRR volunteers allowed Val to be boarded at a local kennel and admitted to the YGRR program.

But it doesn’t always work out that easily. Recently, a friend of mine died after a long hospitalization, leaving behind an 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel and two middle aged Siamese cats. She had referenced her pets in her will, but her instructions were not specific. Her next of kin, an elderly brother, was distraught, did not want the responsibility of finding homes for the animals and told neighbors to take them to the pound. Through rapid intervention by caring friends, the Cocker was eventually placed with Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England (click here to go to the YGRR All Breed Rescue list) and the cats were placed with Buddy Dog, a no kill shelter. All quickly found new homes.

Perhaps, you’re thinking, none of this would happen to you. Your son, your cousin, or your friend “Tom” would take your golden. Are you sure? lt may be true that “Tom” has always liked “Goldie” and gives her lots of pets when he stops by to visit. But would he really want full responsibility for Goldie’s care in the event something happened to you? After all, “Tom” lives in an apartment and with his frequent late nights at the office, he couldn’t take her on those long walks she enjoys. And “Tom’s” wife is a fastidious housekeeper. She might not like Goldie’s shedding.


Ut Oh! Dogs Cheating on Tests!

Dogs ‘cheated’ on famous intelligence test
By Erica Harrison, Cosmos Online

SYDNEY, 5 September 2006: Chimpanzees and two-year-old children are as clever as each other but dogs are not as smart as previously thought, according to a new Australian study.Emma Collier-Baker, a psychologist at the University of Queensland, added tighter controls to a famous logic experiment in which a desired object – food or a toy – is transferred from a small container into one of three boxes.

Subjects then try to identify the box containing the object by pointing at it or walking over to it. This task, devised by developmental psychologist Jean Piaget in the 1930s, tests the ability to ‘think’ about an object that is not visible.

Several decades of research have revealed that great apes (including chimpanzees) perform the task as well as two-year-old children, while other animals such as monkeys, dolphins and cats consistently fail the task.

“Dogs were a surprising exception, repeatedly passing the task in several studies in the 1990s. However, our study – involving 35 dogs of various breeds – showed they were using other simple cues to find the object and not ‘thinking’ or using logic after all,” Collier-Baker said.