One of the many reasons I love Rosie

As a special educator before becoming a school psychologist, I have been in love with children for a long time. I have always felt it a big responsibility to be their advocate as there is nothing more precious in our lives than family.

I believe my background allows me the ability to clearly see those people who have their hearts in the right place. And, Rosie surely does. She uses her wealth to help children, to inform others about various disorders, and so much more.

At her blog today, she posted a video clip of her most favorite segment from The View. If people cannot see her humanity, well, what can I say. It is just a loss for them.

I, too, love broadway’s shows and music, so this clip was wonderful to see. It was also fitting that I should see it on the day I have been going crazy with respect to Alfie’s birthday, as it is the song from Rent that has to do with pieces of time.

I personally HATE birthdays … but Golden Alfie loves ’em!

Folks who know me know that I never want to reveal my age and never ever ever celebrate a birthday. Hubby Gary knows to tread softly on those 24-hour periods that unfortunately rears its ugly head every 365 days … just like clockwork lol. He buys me a Golden Retriever themed card and just hopes for the best as I recover from the funk of having another year go by and yet there being so much more that I still want to get done.

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But today is my pond boy’s birthday. I call Alfie my pond boy because he lives for seeing his beloved fish and frogs that live in our pond. Darcy was never a huge fan but this little guy adores the pond and cannot contain himself each morning when daddy Gary says,”Let’s go feed the fish!” He can’t run to the back door fast enough and when let out he has no time to do his business. He has to see his pals first, of course.

I keep telling Alfie not to have birthdays, but he goes ahead and has them anyway. And, I am thrilled that he is a big-boy 8 today! He is being spoiled the entire day, right now chewing on an organic raw bone that I’ve taken out of the freezer. He will be getting an ostrich fillet and bison steak tonight with asparagus from our organic garden.

Here he is below enjoying the pond, his tail wagging the entire time. I do not have video of him really settling in at the pond, but he actually lies himself down with his elbows on the stone rim and the rest of his body stretched out behind him. I guess he figures he needs to be as comfortable as possible as he watches who knows what. He puts his face right up to the water’s surface and dips a little bit in so that he can be up close and personal. It is just too funny. We just have to be sure he doesn’t get carried away as he is really fascinated with the frogs which he has sadly actually caught. Thank goodness we got the frog out of his soft mouth, but I can imagine that frog probably needed therapy after that experience.

I hope you can share in Alfie’s pure joy, because there is nothing better than experiencing the world through our beloved dogs’ eyes.

Golden friend Bryna just wrote to me and I told her I had to share her note here. I just said I didn’t want Alfie to know how much he was missing from the sound of all the luxury her Goldens were afforded.

Terrific birthday footage. Nice to have upbeat news! I tell the story that after Bear came into our lives in 1998 I traded the sports car for an SUV and my husband got a station wagon. Then we bought Bear 15 acres on the water in the woods. Then we got a sister for Bear, who is named Luna. Then we built a house on the land for Luna and Bear. I just finished putting a garden in, and as soon as I watered the newly turned earth, both Luna and Bear plopped down for a nap. What else should I buy them? There’s only one thing better than a Golden. Two of them.

Crazy Stories, for sure . . . but definitely true

Okay, so I am a little nuts today since I have been trying to think dog given Alfie’s birthday. So, just look at this crazy, light-hearted news. Sure is better than the gloom and doom of the war, government corruption, useless federal agencies such as the FDA and FEMA, yadda yadda yadda.

Don’t be mad at me, Lily (my Golden Aussie pal from Brisbane) but I could not resist this article.

Pig runs home
Queensland Newspapers

A STRAY pig and dog that were best mates and ran away together yesterday have been reunited with their owner. It is understood the pig, which escaped from a chook pen after being rescued yesterday and fed apples, transversed the local terrain and ran to its home, a property about 40 acres away in Rochedale South.

The owner of the pig and the boxer dog, named Kosta after champion boxer Kosta Tzu, later picked up the dog. RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty yesterday said the pig and the boxer dog had formed a close friendship since escaping – they played together, ran together, jumped on each other, and were inseparable.

”The pig was carrying on like a pork chop and the dog was happy to be with the pig,” Mr Beatty said.

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Doggie vending machine comes to White Rock Lake Dog Park
BY MARC LEE, Pegasus News

DALLAS — White Rock Lake Dog Park has to be the top dog park in Dallas, with areas for big and small dogs, access to the lake, and a large population of supportive and savvy dog owners.

And now, a doggie vending machine, too.
What is the world coming to when even dogs get their own vending machines?

You can’t miss it: It’s the bright red machine built inside a faux dog-house, parked next to the message board at the entrance of the park. Here’s where to get your chew toys, balls, pick-up bags, leashes, collars — all the things dogs carelessly forget when dashing off to the park. Prices are good, running from $1 to $5, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the park.

The Dog Nut

I am obviously nuts today celebrating for Alfie’s birthday. This is a puppy photo of him from a dog show, with a very adorable admirer.
Here is another dog lover. Called the Dog Nut, “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon spends a fortune helping stray canines to a better life. He talks to Morley Safer about his dog shelter and the show that makes it possible. They take dogs from shelters and train them to be assistance dogs for the disabled. Very cool.

Click here to see this cool 60 minutes video interview.

Lucky for our FDA Chief that he’s not working in China

Well, for all those dog and cat folks who have lost their beloved companion animals to this hideous situation, that just keeps on and on …. check it out! I think even baby Hunter is surprised by this one!

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China ex-food and drug safety chief sentenced to death
By Lindsay Beck, Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – China sentenced the former head of its food and drugs agency to death for corruption on Tuesday in a surprise judgment as the government sought to contain a wave of scandals over health safety.

Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, was convicted on charges of taking bribes and dereliction of duty, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

There’s more to the story . . .

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And, just in case you thought the scare was over with the recalled pet foods, please think again. They are still finding problems and melamine in unrecalled foods.

Veterinarian Dr. Matt Humason says “We began asking questions…we found the dogs all ate the same food from the same store at the same time… so we sent a sample to get it tested and it came back positive with melamine.”

All four dogs ate Nutra Nuggets brand food.

A sample was sent to a lab at UC Davis and [the pet owner’s] fears were confirmed. “All I’m trying to get people to do is notify the people and let them know we may have problem. Unfortunately I feel Costco has been very hesitant to do that.”

And, if you thought that the human food supply was okay, please please please think again, as it is not. Melamine is not an approved additive for feed and now we learn that US companies (just like those in China) are adding melamine to their feed products for foods for our consumption. Just look at this FDA release.

And, catfish meant for human consumption submitted by Arkansas to the FDA tested positive for melamine as well.

Read this Associated Press article about safety problems extending beyond pet food to tainted toothpaste and deadly fish …. and weep.

But, we should trust the pet food companies to self-monitor and we should trust the government to get moving on making our food supply safe for us. Sure, we should. It’s just more of that …. move along, there’s nothing to see here.

Remembering Town Hall Golden Retriever Dylan

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Is this photo not wonderful? It shows Dylan at a groundbreaking ceremony.

Dylan mourned as town loses official dog: Retriever had many duties
By M. Elizabeth Roman TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

ASHBY— The 14-year-old was an actor, a venerated town official and a companion for the sick and elderly for most of his life. But after a long illness, Dylan, a golden retriever, died Saturday. He left a unique legacy that officials say will not be forgotten.

Dylan was appointed Town Hall Dog by the Ashby Board of Selectmen in 2000. The only dog ever named to the post, he follows a rare tradition set by Bum, a Saint Bernard and spaniel mix that became the official city dog of San Diego in the late 1800s. Rockford, Ala., population 450, lost its official town dog, Fred, in 2002.

There’s more . . . . 

Do we love our dogs too much?

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I don’t think so. Check out this article and let me know what you think.

In the United States, 63 percent of households include a pet (up 7 percent since 1988), and pet lovers spent $38.5 billion on their pets in 2006 (up from $21 billion a decade earlier). Americans now spend several billion dollars more on dog and cat food than they do on baby food. And the pet healthcare industry is booming.

So, what’s behind the increased affinity for animals? It’s partly due to the growing share of people choosing pets over children.

Hey, where’s my support for a job well done?

I need your help with our nominations in the Blogger’s Choice Awards. While they are merely a contest of recognition, it is a GReat way to get the message out about the foundation’s work.

You can only vote for us once, in each of our 2 nominated categories. It is embarrassing that votes are displayed on the Awards Site in real-time, so you can see who’s leading within each category at any moment! I say that because of the pitiful amount of votes I’ve garnered despite being on the web for 10 years and receiving thousands of visits daily to our Foundation’s site.

It may be due to the fact that you have to set up an account in order to vote. But, is it too much to ask given the hours spent daily working on this Golden Paradise in the sky?

Cheer up my guy, Alfie, shown here with his beloved duckie. He’s sad ‘cuz his mom’s so disappointed about all of this.

Click here to vote for us in Best Charity Blog

Click here to vote for us in Best Animal Blog

Katrina + FEMA = Continued Disaster

This is a sad way to begin the week after a holiday weekend. It is truly tragic that the folks in Louisiana are still suffering so due to the after effects from Hurricane Katrina. With so much oversight needed, who knows how long it will take for injustices to be righted. The toxic trailers provided, which folks have been living in for going on 2 years, are causing children to become sick. Go watch this TV video clip that shows how they are being subjected to “prolonged exposure to fumes from the toxic chemical formaldehyde used in construction of thousands of FEMA travel trailers.”

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Now, I’ve learned that in Katrina’s wake, many owners are simply unable to care for their animals . . . so a homeless situation and crisis is again in place.

Hank, a strapping purebred golden retriever, is typical of the second wave of pet problems here in the 21 months since Hurricane Katrina hit.

The first crisis was those lost, abandoned or killed in the storm and its immediate aftermath. Now there are pets like Hank, who stayed with his New Orleans East owners for the first 10 months after Katrina, which submerged their home in 7 feet of water.

After moving several times and struggling to rebuild their lives, Hank’s owners realized they could no longer cope with owning a dog. So they surrendered Hank to Animal Rescue New Orleans, or ARNO, a grass-roots group that cares for animals that were left behind or separated from their owners.

The dog bounded with joy as ARNO shelter coordinator Robin Beaulieu entered his pen one recent afternoon. Hank flipped onto his back for a tummy rub. He loves to be petted and groomed,” Beaulieu said. The dog has lived at ARNO for the last eight months while he waits to find a new home.

Animal advocates say many pet owners living in trailers and tight on cash while they rebuild their flood-damaged homes opt to give up their animals because they don’t have space or can no longer afford to keep them. So many people out there need help with their pets,” said Charlotte Bass Lilly, ARNO’s executive director.

Beaulieu estimated that the number of families surrendering their pets to shelters had gone up between 45% and 60% since Katrina. ARNO was founded shortly after the storm.

Go read the entire LA Times article. It’s an eye-opener.

Golden Retriever Riley: The Real Canine Hero from 9/11 – Updated

I have a page at the foundation site on our Disaster Search and Rescue Goldens. It details a great book, Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs. The book details the stories of 77 handlers and their Search and Rescue dogs who responded at the World Trade Center & Pentagon following the September 11th attacks. It shows a photo of Dissaster SAR Golden, Riley.

Riley is one of the most famous dogs of Sept. 11 because of a photo taken of him at the World Trade Center site a few days after the attacks. In the photo, Riley is in a basket being sent over a 60-foot-deep canyon to search the rubble of the North Tower. “Normally when we send a dog, the handler goes with him,” said Riley’s trainer, Chris Selfridge. “This time we decided it was more practical to just send the dog.

I also recently learned of video being available of Golden Riley through SAR worker and author extraordinaire, Susannah Charleson. She is most familiar with this apparatus on Riley as she has trained in activities with similar gear with her SAR Golden Puzzle.

It is wonderful to actually have footage of the Golden Retriever who really DID work at the World Trade Center (separating him from those preposterous claims made by Scott Shields).

Riley is now retired, and suffers from various skin problems and the like due to his time at Ground Zero.

Feb 26, 2010 Update
So sorry to hear this from
Riley’s dad, Chris Selfridge.

On 2/26/10, Riley passed away. He was our family pet, my friend and partner. He will be greatly missed. I love you Bub!

Showing GOLDEN Pride in our Military: Enjoy our Flash Presentation!

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Be sure to check out our Golden Retriever flash slide show that honors our brave men and woman in the military. Currently, there are 35 glorious photos from Golden Retriever lovers all over the country. If you have one to add, we would love to add your beloved Golden “red white & blue” themed photo to the mix. Just watch the show to see what kind of quality we are looking for. And, send the photos in high resolution to me at foundation@landofpuregold.com .

CLICK HERE FOR THE SHOW!

 

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Helping Golden Retrievers Buddy & Scout

As horrible as the war can be on family life, it has been additionally painful to hear about what can happen to beloved dogs due to deployments and the lack of support or monies to have them cared for. So, it was heartwarming to hear about this wonderful organization, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, especially on a holiday that honors those in military service. This incredible group finds loving foster homes for beloved companion animal family members while military personnel are away from home on deployment.

Check out this article to see how Derek Brown’s two golden retriever puppies, Buddy and Scout, who are brothers, were so lovingly cared for and waiting for him when he returned.

A doggone deal for soldiers
By Lora Pabst, Star Tribune

Derek Brown’s two golden retriever puppies, Buddy and Scout, are brothers, and he couldn’t bear to split them up when he left Duluth for six months for a National Guard security deployment on the U.S. border with Mexico. Like many Minnesotans who face military deployment, Brown wanted his pets to be waiting for him when he returned, but he didn’t want to burden his family with their care. He couldn’t afford a kennel, either.

“For military people, that can be a big burden financially,” said Brown, a senior airman in the 148th Fighter Wing in the Duluth Air Force National Guard. “With a kennel, you just never know what kind of care you’re going to get.” …

Brown had no idea that the foster family who volunteered to take in his dogs would stay in his life even after he returned from his deployment in February.Lynda Ludwig, of Chaska, cared for the nearly identical 18-month-old dogs. Originally, she had to put a black collar on Buddy and a red one on Scout to tell them apart. Now she’s close enough to them that they feel like her own, she said.

Since Brown returned from his deployment in Arizona, he brings his dogs to visit Ludwig. She is even dog-sitting while he goes on vacation. “The pets are a part of home,” Ludwig said. “It’s so important to have them there waiting for you.”

Sally White, of Burnsville, started the Minnesota chapter last June because she knew there were people out there like her who wanted to support troops “beyond a yellow ribbon bumper sticker.” With a son in the Marines and a background in animal rescue, she knew this was a service that was lacking in Minnesota. “So many of our military have to give up their pets,” she said. “There are no alternatives.”

Golden Retriever Beamer just could not resist

Never a video camera when you need one. I was amazed that 16! firefighters responded to this dog call, in fact, due to Golden Beamer’s quest to get personal with a woodchuck. You will have to read the story to learn what happened to one traumatized little critter.

The story reminds me of the poor critters (frogs, gecco lizards, you name it) that could not get away and have wound up in my Goldens’ soft mouths, thankfully to be removed, but now probably in need of psychological counseling lol.

A golden retrieve for rescue crew
By Tim Wagner, Beacon News Staff Writer

AURORA — The Aurora Township Fire Department hauled out the jaws of life Sunday to help retrieve a golden retriever. At about 12:30 p.m. on an otherwise-quiet Mother’s Day, homeowners in the 1200 block of Gates Street called in reference to their golden retriever, Beamer, getting trapped beneath the concrete steps on their back porch.

Go read on to find out what happened . . .

Golden Retriever Custer: Drug-Sniffing Wonder

This is Golden Custer, a Drug Sniffing wonder. You can learn more about him and about drug detection at our foundation site.

Dogs searching for contraband at Lahainaluna – The random “sniffs” occur only in public areas of the campus
By Kelsey Fortey, Lahainaluna High School

Custer, a golden retriever being used as a drug dog at Lahainaluna High School, awaits orders to search from owner Whitney White.

Golden Retriever Tonka inspires first steps

What a great story this is, so instructive about how important the brain is and how it needs protection, such as when bike riding, etc. Do yourself a favor and read the entire thing, and then read it to your kids or let them check it out as well

School prinicpal and son teach a valuable lesson
By Terri Miles, Amity Observer Editor

. . . Before he came home, Austin was in the hospital for an entire year. After four months in a coma he was sent to Newington Children’s Hospital. While there, Austin underwent all types of therapy, but, according to his mother, really responded to the therapy dogs that were brought in.

“The nurses offered to find a therapy dog for him to bring home. I agreed, not thinking anything would ever come of it,” Murray said. His parents, who were told Austin would never walk again, bought a motorized wheel chair and altered their home so it was accessible.

After a full day of activities, the nurses came out of the hospital with a four-month-old puppy, Tonka, who was trained by monks in Massachusetts to work with the disabled. Murray said she was a little apprehensive about the dog at first, but found him to be a blessing in disguise. One day Austin was sitting in his wheelchair in the front room of the house, playing Nintendo games when Tonka began barking at him. “It was like he was egging him on,” Murray said.

When no one came to let the dog out, Austin decided to do it himself. “He stood up and took a couple of steps and then fell down, but those were the first steps he ever took and it’s because of Tonka,” Murray said. “Austin learned how to walk and we gave the wheelchair to someone who needed it.”

Golden Retriever abandoned at pet salon in NJ

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What is wrong with people? How do you bring in a dog for grooming and make up a name, and contact information and then go on your way? And, the boy they left, who is believed to be around 7, is described as a real marshmallow. I am fuming. I have contacted who I know with respect to an evaluator for one of the NJ Golden Rescues and contacted the emergency hotline. This sweetheart looks like he’d make some family very happy.

He is at Lisa’s Pet Salon on Clifton Avenue in NJ. Call 973-340-4288 and ask about the abandoned Golden, who they are calling Charlie.

The article in the NJ Herald Newspaper can be referenced by clicking here.

Hoping Golden Retriever Sienna’s Mom makes it through

Golden Retriever Sienna was taken to the wonderful Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for treatment. So, I am hoping she will be okay.

But, her incredibly brave mom needs for all of us to be sending our positive thoughts. I would like Sienna to be able to have her mom back with her again.

Woman In Critical Condition, Saved Dog From Ditch
Associated Press

LOVELAND, Colo. A woman was in critical condition Thursday after jumping into a ditch to save her golden retriever, who survived.

The woman, whose name was not released, was at Mckee Medical Center in critical condition, a spokeswoman told the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald.

Loveland Fire and Rescue Department investigator Ty Drage said the woman and a friend were horseback riding when the dog, Sienna, went into the ditch. After helping the dog up the slope of the bank, the woman was swept away in the fast-moving water.

“Her face was down in the water,” said Sally Sakala, who spotted the woman in the ditch during the search. Rescuers pulled the woman out and rushed her to the hospital.

Kiska: An Incredible Golden Retriever Hero

We have detailed over 60 Golden Retrievers at our page: Heroes Among Us: Our Golden Retriever Life-Savers. I simply love hearing of new tales to add, as I never tire of learning of more wonders to validate my belief in the integral importance of the human-canine bond.

Of course, Golden Kiska, will become the newest hero to be honored, saving his owner’s (Todd Fitzgerald) life by coming between him and a grizzly bear, thus allowing him to run to a nearby home. It marks the second time Kiska has acted heroically. A few years ago Fitzgerald’s son and friends were snowboarding in their yard when a moose came by and charged the boys, all of whom were constrained by their feet being strapped into their snowboards.

Just as the moose was about to stomp one of the boys who was on the ground, a barking Kiska appeared and held the moose at bay, even as the moose was pawing at him, before it wandered off without doing any harm. A neighbor witnessed the whole thing, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald credits Kiska with saving his life this time.

“If my dog had not tied up that bear for the few seconds, I don’t know what would have happened,” said Fitzgerald. “I think the dog saved my life.”

Learn more about the story . . .

Golden Retriever Mailbox Sagas

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This is a photo of the stone mailbox that I had built in front of our home. It is really very special as it incorporates one of my favorite puppy photos of our lovely Darcy girl. It took years to build because we had various stone masons working or not working on it, as in taking our money and then never showing up to complete the work …. or the dude who wasn’t a mason but who thought he could build the mailbox … oh my, it was so hideous that we had him knock it down asap out of embarrassment. Needless to say, this creation is going absolutely nowhere. Our house could be blown down in a hurricane and I suspect that this stone masterpiece wouldn’t budge. Of course, no other owner of the house will ever appreciate its Golden meaning.

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We also have this huge Golden ceramic piece from a garden center sitting near the front of our house (Darcy smelling its aromatic contents) that weighs a ton. I can’t imagine how anyone would whisk that away either.
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I bring all of this up because of an article that I saw today detailing a woman’s stolen mailbox, a very special one that had in a fashion memorialized her previous Golden.

Beloved mailbox stolen
By Lindsay Tice, Sun Journal Staff Writer

GREENE – Laurie Garrity was devastated when her young golden retriever, Ivy, suddenly died a year-and-a-half ago.

Garrity grieved for more than a year before she was willing to get another dog. When a friend handcrafted a golden retriever mailbox in honor of Ivy this winter, Garrity felt she could finally remember her beloved dog without so much pain.

Then, last weekend, less than a week after she put it up, someone stole the mailbox.

“It was like losing Ivy all over again,” she said. “I cried all day Saturday.”

Golden Retriever Jessie Nurturing 2 Bunny Newborns

I tell you, I needed a story like this. Between all of the loss of so many beloved Goldens and all the loss from a war that makes no sense, and a country that seems to be losing all sense of purpose, I find escape in looking at the simplicity of family and a maternal sense of duty.

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A maternal instinct: Golden retriever nurtures two newborn bunnies
By DAVENE JEFFREY, Chronicle Herald Staff Reporter, Nova Scotia

Jessie, a South Shore golden retriever, has become a media darling. Ever since the seven-year-old canine adopted three baby bunnies, she’s been in the spotlight.

“It’s nerve-racking,” said Janette Fisher of Hunts Point as she rhymed off a list of media outlets who have been to her home near Liverpool to witness the female dog mothering tiny rabbits. Most of the neighbourhood children, including a local Beaver troop, have tramped through her house as well to visit the animals.

The unusual story began about a week and a half ago, when Mrs. Fisher’s husband Marty took Jessie for a walk in woods near their hunting camp in Port Joli.

“One by one, she brought them out of the woods,” Mrs. Fisher said during an interview in her home Wednesday. “I had to get her out of there or she might have brought more,” said Mr. Fisher.

There’s more to this touching tale . . . .

Remembering Golden Retriever Sophie

The following was featured at our blog on April 3oth, 2007.

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Lysee, a long time Land of PureGold visitor, recently contacted me about her sweet 9 year-old Sophie. She recently made it through surgery where they removed her cancerous spleen and blood from her stomach. Sophie is one the mend with no visible cancer in her organs but chemotherapy was recommended as well. The chemotherapy could give her far more months, but it would involve 6 treatments, 1 every 3 weeks.

Of course, the big question is whether to put Sophie through more treatment. We had a similar situation with our Darcy and knew that we had to limit what we did for her because of her aversion to going to the vet and being away from her family and home.

Lysee has come to a similar decision as Sophie is enjoying her good days now. She is happy, playing, eating, loving, kissing, and more at home with her family and ‘her new puppy’ Abby ( 13 weeks).

Don’t you just love the above photo of Sophie and her little Abby playing together?

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A Sad Update to Sophie’s Story

On May 23, 2007, we received the following glowing tribute for Sophie from Lysee and Mark Kierstein:

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We opted not to do the chemo and thank g-d Sophie had the 6 wonderful weeks…..

The stars shine a bit dimmer this evening as if to pay tribute to the light that comes from within. The energy of the seas eases, at least for a day, to give respect to one who loved it so. Even the wind pauses to pay homage.The world is not the same.

Our beloved Sophie is gone.

For ten years she shared her life with us and for that we are blessed. Sophie epitomized everything that is good in the world. She was kind, gentle, loving and loyal. Traits we all aspire to in our own lives. From endless chasing of a Frisbee to swimming in the pool to finding that patch of ice to sit on, she was always ready to play. It was her job and she did it well.

Sophie had a real job as well. She was the official mascot for All Promotions and modeled the apparel and other items on the website. Her most important job was more than that . . . she was, and still is, a friend. In the truest sense of the word.

Sophie talked to us all the time. She told is when she was hungry (most of the time), when she needed to play, when she needed a hug, when she needed a belly scratch, and when she had enough. Sophie also understood as well. She always knew when we needed to play and when we needed a hug. She gave out kisses and “shmuggles” to all who needed them.

We learned to read only part of the newspaper. Sophie brought in the paper fine, and then had the urge to shred it into a million wet pieces. Everyday. The newspaper routine was usually a prelude to a Golden Moment. For those not familiar with Golden Moments, they occur when a loveable overgrown puppy has so much energy and playfulness built up inside that is explodes into a short but intense flurry of activity. We knew they were coming and never ceased to be amazed at how Sophie remained a puppy her whole life. Her greatest pleasure was driving in the convertible with her ears blowing in the wind.

Sophie came to us as a puppy and brought joy and love to everyone she met. If a stranger walked by, the tail was wagging. Her greeting to all was a smile and a swish of the tail. There wasn’t anyone she met that didn’t like ordidn’t like her. Her personality was contagious and her love for all boundless.

Sophie was the greatest member of a family that we could ask for. She was gentle with children when they would tug on her ears or put fingers in her mouth. She would play hard but never rough, she was strong but knew her own strength and always loved being with family. She would even put Abby’s head in her mouth but not hurt her, with her chin quivering so gently.

We mourn her passing but celebrate her life. She was a gift. We were lucky enough to have her share her life with us and hope that someday we, as human beings, can be as pure of spirit and heart as our beloved Sophie.

C’mon Sophie, let’s go . . . Last Call.

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