I LOVE LUCY

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It has been such a sad couple of weeks here at the Land of PureGold Foundation as we have lost so many furry friends to The Bridge.

Lucy had been ill for a while now due to having had a stroke about six months ago. But, when she suffered an additional stroke just recently, her little body was just not able to take on the additional setback. And, while we were expecting this sad announcement knowing how limited Lucy’s options now were, it made it no easier to know that her physical being had now left us. This is the letter that Deb Haggerty wrote last night at one of the Golden forums:

Chandler just called and Lucy spent the day with he and Dee getting lots of treats and lots of love. They looked at all options, and with breaking hearts Lucy went to Rainbow Bridge about 30 minutes ago. Lucy had a life full of love and the constant devotion of Chan and Dee. All of our goldens are special, but Lucy was the picture of rescue for so many of us. Helen and all the bridge kids will be there to welcome Lucy and show her the field of tennis balls just for her. We love you Lucy and you will always be in our hearts.

Golden Lucy has a special place in my heart as she does for so many other folks. She has been the poster child for rescue and the joy that can come from treating every life with potential and worth saving. And, Lucy went on to help so many others through her Therapy Dog work.

You can learn her special story of being rescued by Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue as a young abandoned puppy here.

During the week of February 15, 1997, a puppy was found in the North End of Middletown, Connecticut. Two reports were given. One was that the pup was found dumped on a doorstep, in a basket. The other was that she was found in a dumpster. That pup was Lucy, then named Precious. She was taken to Pieper-Olson Vet Clinic, in Middletown, where it was learned that she was paralyzed from the waist down.

I came to know Lucy when her dad, Chandler Rudd, sent in the most heartfelt essay for my Treasured Golden Bonds Storywriting Contest. It was the winning story, entitled “Her Name is Lucy.”

“Her name is Lucy,” I said as I pushed her closer to the boy. “Hi Lucy” replied the boy. “May I pat her?” “She would like that” I told him. I moved Lucy’s stroller closer to him so he could reach out and touch her. He stroked her head and allowed her to smell his hand. “She is so soft” he breathed. “Why is she in the stroller? Is she handicapped?” “Yes” I told him, “She has Spina Bifida” “Oh my G-d! So do I!” he cried. So began an amazing relationship between a young handicapped boy and his canine equivalent, a special four year old Golden Retriever named Lucy.

Please remember Lucy as you watch her during happier times in this video that I took of her at the 2005 Golden Retriever Club of America Nationals.

Elijah: Carrying on the Service Golden Retriever Tradition

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It grows harder and harder when I learn about another Golden succumbing to cancer. It is especially heart breaking when you realize the limited amount of time these wonderful souls are getting to remain by our sides. My goodness, Service Golden ABEL was barely seven years of age. Such a sweet, sweet boy. … Here is the incredibly sad post that I received 2 months ago from his mom, Alice, at almost 2am:

We had to put Abel to sleep today. He had gotten sick a couple of weeks ago but had seemed to be okay until last night. We ended up at the vet this morning and then were sent to the Specialty Vet in Seattle. Tests showed he had a large mass in his heart and a large mass in his abdomen that were both bleeding and were a very fast growing cancer. He could not even come home with us from Seattle because he was continuing to bleed.

Abel and I have not been separated since we got him at 8 weeks of age. He has been my constant companion and gave me the security to be alone at home or to go out alone. He was the sweetest most loving friend anyone could have. Our hearts are breaking as we try to understand.

But, today is a day for new beginning . . . well for Alice, that is. She just wrote to me again:

We picked up an 18lb! 8-week-old Golden today who we hope to train as my new service dog. We are naming him Elijah’s Whisper as in the Bible story when G-d whispered to Elijah when he felt he couldn’t take anymore. I think we will call him Jolly.

Jolly has some big pawprints to fill but with Alice’s having raised several Service Goldens for CCI, I think she is certainly up to the challenge. As you can see in the photo below, she will have to be to get past the “oh my goodness he is too precious to do anything with him but cuddle!”

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Little Elijah actually came to Alice from Brigadoon Youth and Service Dog Programs, one of the many groups included in my Nationwide Assistance Dog Group & Training Listing.

Learn more about the wonders that our Service Goldens bestow here at the foundation.

 

Golden Retrievers . . . Baseball . . . Some say Bliss!

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This post is inspired by my Golden pal and GReat supporter, Bob Johnson, a retired police chief from Aurora, Illinois. The man lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. I can’t watch it anymore because my home team (Orioles) is just too sucky these last few years. It has been downhill for a while now, and since Cal Ripken, Jr. left, it has been pitiful. It all began when Peter Angelos (a lawyer no less) became the owner. But, let’s not get started on that rant.

We actually have two Goldens featured at the site have truly given baseball games the edge in their respective cities: Chase and Diamond Dog Jake.

I saw an article today from Seattle’s Go To (sports) Guy, another Golden lover we have detailed at the foundation site. He wanted to hear from folks who had named their dogs after the famous Ken Griffey, Jr., so providing him with a 4 Paws Salute. I am gathering Ken must be earning his keep these days over in Seattle. Lots of owners wrote in about their different breed dogs. But, of course, I was only interested in the “Golden” guy named for Griffey.

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In 1994, “The Kid” gave us all hope and inspired a city to believe in the M’s. I was in second grade and learning to love watching baseball in the Kingdome. On my 8th birthday my parents gave me a 6-week-old golden retriever. I picked out the biggest and coolest male puppy in the litter.

On the way home, we talked about what to name him. My mom blurted out “Griffey” for my favorite baseball player. It stuck and I became the happiest 8-year-old in Seattle.

I grew up with both Griffeys being a big part of my life, one at the ballpark hitting home runs, and one at home being my best friend.

For 11 years I shared many great moments with my Griffey as we grew up together, him chasing down fly balls in Discovery Park and me chasing them down in center field for Seattle Prep.

He was a great member of our family. — Brett Phillips, Williamsburg, Va.

Golden Retriever Oliver saves owner’s life – alerting to carbon monoxide

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In this great photo by Daryl Sullivan, of The Daily Times, is Jason and Debbie McCall with their seventeen-month-old tennis ball loving Golden, Oliver. Still only a pup, this special dudesaved Jason’s life on a camping trip, thankfully waking him up when the carbon dioxide detector in Jason’s camper went off.

Oliver is actually the 68th Golden hero story that we have learned about over the years! And, of course, we love that name and that he is a tennis ball nut, given our first and most special love having that same name and disposition.

All 68 of these tales of heroism are showcased at our foundation’s site. They are so heart-lifting given the stresses of our world. Go check ’em out!

Golden Retriever Mr. Woofy Intimidated by Screen Kitty

This video clip is a scream. I just love love love it when a dog turned his or her head at an unexpected event, sound, etc. This is what the mom of Mr. Woofy says about the clip:

I was watching browsing YouTube on my macbook while lying on my bed with my sleeping dog, when I loaded this clip he bolted upright and started looking for the “angry kitty”. He’s an odd dog, he gets REALLY excited when he sees or hears a cat, but as soon as they come towards him he runs behind my legs while still barking and happily wagging his tail.

Mom is a 20-something Korean female from Melbourne, Australia, the apple of her eye being a 6-year-old Golden named Mr. Woofy.

In the following clip, Mr. Woofy is still on the prowl for the angry kitty, but alas, he still cannot find it!

Angels Explained by Children

This is one of the new cards offered by the foundation. It is one of many whimsical choices, each a true piece of art.

It goes very well with this list that I recently received from Michelle Keating, a Golden SAR pal.

Angels Explained by Children

  • I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold. — Gregory, 5
  • Everybody’s got it all wrong. Angels don’t wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it. — Olive, 9
  • It’s not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven, then there’s still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes. — Matthew, 9
  • Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else. — Mitchell, 7
  • My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science. — Henry, 8
  • Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!. — Jack, 6
  • Angels talk all the way while they’re flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead. — Daniel, 9
  • When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there’s a tornado. — Reagan, 10
  • Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter. — Sara, 6
  • Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who’s a very good carpenter. — Jared, 8
  • All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn’t go for it. — Antonio, 9
  • My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth. — Katelynn, 9
  • Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don’t make the animals get better, they help the child get over it. — Vicki, 8
  • What I don’t get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. — Sarah, 7

Remembering Ground Zero Therapy Golden Retriever Cody

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This photo shows Suffolk County SPCA Mascot Cody with his human companion, SPCA Chief Roy Gross at Ground Zero. Cody left his side two weeks ago, 12-years-old at the time. But, it was comforting to hear that a day before his death, he joyfully rode in the hutch on his dad’s Harley to the beach, played some ball, and took a fun swim.

We have a special page at the foundation site that celebrates the efforts of those Therapy Goldens at Ground Zero.

It was nice to see in this article that they contacted Dan Donadio, as he was so critical to the canine efforts at Ground Zero. Dan and I continue to stay in contact with each other as he provided me with such critical information about the true heroes on the pile.

Ground Zero therapy dog has died
By LAURA RIVERA, Newsday

For two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, forlorn rescue workers could find an unswerving friend near the smoldering ruins of Ground Zero. Cody asked no questions. Instead, he wagged his tail and gave his paw to people seeking some warmth.”What Cody did at Ground Zero was remarkable,” said Roy Gross, his owner and chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Workers couldn’t speak from the anguish. They would drop to their knees, start petting him and cry. Cody knew he had a job to do.”

After Sept. 11, the county SPCA dispatched its mobile animal hospital to tend to the search and rescue dogs that labored over the pile of debris. But Cody had a different mission: comforting afflicted police officers, firefighters and onlookers in the turbulent days that followed.Daniel Donadio, commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s canine unit at the time of the attacks, said the hospital helped sustain his unit’s 34 dogs and the officers who partnered with them as they searched the rubble for human remains. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “Those animals had a soothing effect on people — just to interact with the dogs and be comforted by them.”

Those wishing to make donations to the Cody Foundation should contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.

Therapy Golden Retriever Maggie Surviving her Cancer

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Maggie of Shrewsbury Paws is shown here getting a bath before visiting patients (photo by Bill Polo of The Boston Globe). She continues to be holding her own despite a mass cell tumor in her snout, and was filmed yesterday by WBZ SHREWSBURY.

Check out the video and so much more about Maggie’s important work at our foundation site.

Teddy, a Chapel Singing Golden Retriever Guide Dog

This is just the coolest story. I asked my Golden pal Graham, who resides in Wales, if he could check this out and see Teddy in action. Boy, I’d love to see video of him in action humming away. Graham has informed me that the chapel is 1 1/2 hours away from him but that he’d try to get out there possibly in a couple of weeks. I will keep folks updated on this special tale.

This photo shows Teddy at the chapel, obviously concentrating on the service. In the BBC News article, Guide dog leads chapel’s singing, I’ve learned that Teddy is being looked after by a carer because his owner is currently ill and unable to do so.

“Everywhere I go he goes,” she said. He just used to put his head down and sleep but then one day started to join in – I did not know where to look.” But she said other members of the congregation seemed quite happy with the extra voice so he has continued attending on Sundays ever since.

“It’s not every hymn – its the faster ones and the higher ones he joins in,” added Mrs Rees

“He’s a lovely working guide dog and I will be very sorry to see him go when he returns to his owner.” Chapel organist Jim Jones said the congregation would also miss him. I was playing one Sunday and then all of a sudden he started. We are only a small chapel – usually there are less than 20 of us – but they are all singing a bit louder so they can be heard over Teddy.”

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Canine chapelgoer in tune with the hymns
icWales, Jun 14 2007

Wearing a dog collar to chapel and turning heads every Sunday with his singing voice has become a habit for Teddy. But the dark-eyed singer with the gruff voice and shaggy coat also happens to be a respected guide dog.

Canine chapelgoer Teddy has become something of a celebrity at the regular Sunday services at the Rehoboth Chapel, in Llanelli, south Wales. Since first being taken to chapel three months ago by his trainer Nona Rees, the five-year-old golden retriever has even marked out his own pew.

His singing voice is considered to be so fine that organist Jim Jones chooses songs every week that he knows will suit him. “I’ve noticed that he likes the pacier modern hymns, he tends to ignore the slower traditional Welsh ones,” said Mr Jones, who is also a local councillor.

“He comes in every Sunday afternoon and sits at the base of his own pew and when a song comes up that he likes he really gets going. “He lies down and seems to hum along with the hymns he likes.

“The first time I heard it I wondered what it was. But he doesn’t howl or bark – it is a high pitched noise which seems to be in tune with the song. “I find it pleasant and I actually try to choose at least one modern tune with him in mind every Sunday. “We are a small congregation and he is no bother at all. If he is a little loud sometimes the rest have to sing louder themselves, which is a help to me.”

He added: “He is usually very quiet and all in all one of the better behaved members of the congregation.”

Golden Retriever Mealy Bug Detectors

This is Golden Ros sniffing mealybug pheromones on a Napa Valley grapevine. We love seeing our Goldens using their intelligent sniffers to help in our lives. This is just one of the applications in scent detection. You can learn about many more working fields related to the olfactory sense at my “Sniffers” page at the foundation site. Just remember, to our dogs, the whole world is a smell.

And, to see a cool video of Golden Ros and her buddies on the job, just click here where you can also learn more about Agriculture Detection Dogs.

Dogs With a Nose For Mealybugs Go To Work in Napa – Challenge Is to Sniff Out Pests Ruining the Grapes; Ros Passes the Smell Test
By JIM CARLTON, Wall Street Journal

RUTHERFORD, Calif. — On a recent afternoon here at the Honig Vineyard and Winery, dog trainer Edwina Ryska wandered through a tangle of grapevines with her golden retriever Ros. “Go search!” Ms. Ryska told the year-old pup.

Ros bounded off, her nose in the air, looking for bugs hoping to mate.

Love is in the air in Napa, and it’s Ros’s job to sniff it out. With her siblings — Rigo, Richardson and Rousek — she was bred and trained to use a special new talent to find vine mealybugs that are having sex.

Mealybugs — cream-colored, oval-shaped critters so small that dozens can fit in a square inch — have become a big problem for the California wine industry. The rapidly reproducing insects, often accompanied by an army of ants to protect them, feed on vines and ruin grapes by leaving heavy excretions of mold-forming honeydew. Over the past 13 years, the bugs have spread north from Southern California into the Napa-Sonoma wine country, forcing vintners to spend as much as $30 million a year trying to eradicate them. But the bugs are notoriously difficult to pin down; hundreds cram together to hide under bark and roots.

That makes dogs like Ros a potentially important new weapon in the fight to protect vineyard grapes. Trained to detect the scent of female mealybugs in heat, the dogs point and bark when they smell mealybugs on a grapevine. Workers can then cut away the infected vine limb before it contaminates the rest of the crop.

“It’s one of those cool ideas in science that if it takes off, it would be fantastic,” says Kent Daane, an agriculture researcher for the University of California at Berkeley.

The dogs aren’t proven bug sleuths yet. Ros and her siblings were bred only last year as part of an ambitious experiment for Honig and some other local Napa wineries. The pups will need at least another year to be fully field-worthy, their handlers say. The test “has a long way to go,” says Mr. Daane.

Still, the dogs intrigue many in wine country because mealybugs are such a tenacious foe. Once the bugs’ telltale honeydew can be seen on the grapes, whole sections of a vineyard have often been infested. Between 30,000 and 40,000 acres of California grapes are currently infested with vine mealybugs first discovered in the state in 1994, with annual damages of $3 million to $5 million, state officials estimate. Researchers hypothesize that the bug entered the U.S. illegally on some Israeli vine cuttings in the early 1990s and then started spreading.

“It’s like the war on terror,” says Ross Smith, a pest-control adviser in Napa Valley. “These guys are trying to attack our way of life, and we need to find and neutralize them.”

In early 2005, Michael Honig, president of the family-owned Honig Vineyard, and a group of local vintners concluded that early detection was key and decided to train dogs to sniff out the bugs. Theorizing that a dog’s keen sense of smell could work as well as insecticides without causing any of the environmental fallout, they contacted the nearby Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, which trains companion dogs for paraplegics and other disabled people.

“We knew about dogs being able to sniff out drugs and bombs, so we wondered if they could be trained to sniff out a vineyard pest,” says Mr. Honig, 45 years old, whose family has owned his 70-acre vineyard since 1964. While mealybugs haven’t attacked his property, Mr. Honig says, “We wanted to be proactive.” He and some other vintners contributed about $50,000 to pay for testing the theory.

At the institute, workers began exposing a litter of seven-week-old golden retriever pups in late 2005 to a synthetic version of the mealybug smell. Mr. Honig says retrievers were chosen because the breed does well working with humans as guide dogs and in other capacities. “Theirs is the best breed for detective work,” he says.

To help brand the odor in the dogs’ memory, the female mealybugs’ pheromones were planted in bowls of dog food. Because the smell is too faint for the human nose to detect, nobody was certain the puppies would be able to smell the mealybugs.

There’s lots more in this informative article . . . .

Poor Alfie

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Poor, poor Alfie. There is a tornado warning for my area in Owings Mills. It is storming like crazy and Alfie just gets so upset. He doesn’t tremble as Darcy did, but he paces and tries to stick like glue to our sides, or hide under my desk. And, he carries around his hedgehog, which is a very clear sign that he needs some security. Now, he’s panting too. But, I can’t blame him. It is incredibly loud as the storm is right on top of us at this point.

What is wrong with this man?

What person in Florida lets their dog swim in a river that is so murky you can only imagine what lies underneath? When I initially saw this article about a man’s Golden being snatched by an alligator, I was shocked.

You go watch the video and tell me what you think.

He is one lucky man that his Golden girl survived. I only hope he realizes he needs to be thinking more intelligently about her care.

Golden Retriever Sunshine’s Rescue from a Puppy Mill

This San Francisco Chronicle article from Christie Keith is heartbreaking.

I was standing in the heat of a San Jose veterinary hospital parking lot on Memorial Day when the van pulled in. They’d been on the road for over 24 hours, transporting 49 dogs from Oklahoma to California.

One of the dogs, a small female golden retriever, trembled in the van, refusing to be tugged, pulled, cajoled or tempted out. She was finally carried out in the arms of one of the vets, who set her, shaking, on the ground.

“Hey, Sunshine,” crooned Pat Lynch from Norcal Golden Retriever Rescue. “Don’t worry, everything’s going to be OK.”

Seeing a golden retriever so scared of people that she shakes is sobering for anyone familiar with the breed’s usually happy-go-lucky, ball-chasing, people-loving nature. But Sunshine had reason to be afraid: Until that day, she’d spent her entire life inside a wire cage, pumping out puppies for the puppy-mill trade.

But then again, all good things must come to an end…. Updated!

Yesterday I talked about discovering that there could be a Golden aspect to David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos. David’s real family name is DeCesare, the same as one of my favorite and funny Golden friends. Nick DeCesare, a past president of the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club, and now its agility chairperson. I did try to find out if there was any connection and was thrilled to get this email from Nick this morning:

Rochelle, I am also a big fan of the Soprano’s so I’m a little down today. Last night’s final episode was a winner but I’m still depressed that the show is over. David and I are distantly related. I correspond with him occasionally. I was hoping to get a part in the series but I was too old to play the part of Christopher, too young to be Junior Soprano, the wrong sex to be Janice, and too thin to be “Big Pussy” Bompensero. I thought I might get the part of Paulie Gaultiere but I just couldn’t get the New Jersey accent right. I was offered the role of the horse, “Pie-Oh-My”, but I really looked ridiculous in a horse costume and I had to get someone else to be the horse’s rear end, and no one wants to be a horse’s ass. — Nick

P.S. I really think David should come out of the closet and use his real name and be proud of it. Chase sounds like the name of an English butler.

See, I told you Nick was a hoot. It must run in the DeCesare family.

Here are photos of two of Nick’s wonderful Golden family, Lance and Killie, who Darcy and I used to train with in agility

Lance

Meet SR Kiowa’s Jackson Fer-De-Lance CDX JH AX AXJ WCX. Lance is one sweet and goofy guy. If only Nick could keep him from going to retrieve his lead before finishing the course. He just can’t wait to get it to then carry it off gloriously in his soft retriever mouth. The group depends greatly on Nick, who is our resident obstacle carrier, fixer and even creator.

Killie

This is SR Kiowa’s Killian Red CD SH AX AXJ WCX. Killie is a Golden pistol who is lightning in the ring. Harnessing all of this energy though is really something for her mom. Thank goodness for Golden love!

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I cannot deny it. I am a Soprano’s fan bigtime. This photo of a rained upon Harley sums up my feelings that the end is just a few hours away. (His mom, Marge Mares, had brought black plastic bags for everyone, even Harley, to watch the Grand Floral Parade).

David Chase set out to create a show that he believed was to last one solitary season. Instead, it has become the most talked about series in television history. And, while many believe it is primarily about the mob, David has said this: “Actually, it’s based on my own family dynamic — a guy who is in therapy because his mother is driving him crazy. I am fascinated by David’s sense of humor:

Chase populated “The Sopranos” with needy, greedy, treacherous and psychopathic people. In six seasons of episodes spread over eight years, Chase has explored therapy, family relations, race, marriage, homosexuality, suicide, depression and the criminal mind.

“I’ve always thought of it as a comedy,” he said … and he’s not joking.

Chase finds humor in almost everything from a mob hit to a seduction. His characters are always complaining. “Everybody on that show bitches and complains to the other person. And no one’s got it as bad as each character; everyone is the victim,” Chase said. “I just found that amusing.”

He added, “A fair amount of it is a personal account of what I know about life. The mother Livia was kind of based on my mother. Some of the family dynamics are based on my family.”

Check out this cool trivia about the series. I love that Chase’s mom’s name was Livia, but boy she must be steaming at how she is being portrayed.

Another piece of trivia that I only recently discovered may have a Golden connection. David Chase’s real family name is DeCesare. One of my favorite and funny Golden friends is Nick DeCesare, a past president of the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club, and now its agility chairperson. I will have to find out if there is any connection.

Dangers of Heat Stroke: Remembering Golden Retriever Charlie

This gorgeous guy is Charlie. It was such a sad day when I learned about his loss due to heat stroke. Go learn his tale as it is an important one for all dog lovers to know. And, then be sure to follow these important dog summer safety tips. It could save a very precious life.

Dog Summer Safety Tips

! Dogs should not be left in parked cars! Hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

! Dogs should not ride un-tethered in back of trucks standing on hot metal. If they need to be transported, they should be in carriers or kennels.

! Dogs should not ride in your lap in the front seat. Special leashes can keep dogs safe in the passenger or back seat, check with your local dog store.

! Don’t leave your dog standing on hot asphalt, sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during hot times to a minimum. AND, steer clear of any areas you think may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.

! Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your dog that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

! Heavy metal chains are not good for securing your dog, which can conduct heat and severely injure your dog.

! Watch dogs around bodies of water, not all dogs are great swimmers. Many apartment complexes have pools, which can be very dangerous for dogs. Even those dogs who can swim may not be able to get out of a pool that has high sides. Ensure that your dog knows how to get out by the stairs should s/he fall into the pool. Dogs may also drink the chemical-heavy pool water, so keep track of your dog at all times if you’re near a swimming pool.

! Dogs should have access to fresh water, food and shelter at all times. This is a must! Never leave your dogs without water for any length of time, and always bring water with you on long walks or car trips.

! Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

! Provide shade for your dogs if they’ll be spending time out of doors. Temperatures in the shade can be up to 10 to 15 degrees cooler than temperatures in the sun. Dogs do not sweat; they can only release body heat by panting, which is not an efficient cooling method.

! Watch your dogs carefully when playing in warm weather as they have difficulty releasing body heat. S/he may be so enthusiastic about playing or exercising that they continue to do so even when they are already overheating. Your dog’s physical limits may be different from mental ones, so you need to refrain from over-exercising or over-stimulating your dog, particularly in hot weather.

! Identification tags are critical – make sure your dog has one, especially with the summer holidays ahead. Should your dog be spooked by fireworks or firecrackers, you’ll stand a better chance of your dog being returned because you loved them enough to provide an I.D. tag.

! If your dog becomes overheated, you must lower the body temperature immediately. Move your dog into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the body to gradually lower the temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to your dog’s head, neck, and chest only. Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Administering electrolytes can also aid the rehydration process. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian for assistance.

Some signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, increased pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your dog is dehydrated, its skin will lose elasticity and “tent,” or remain in place, if you pull it away from the body. Under normal conditions, the skin should move back immediately. Dehydration slows the rate of return. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry nose and gums, sunken eyes, delayed capillary refill time (the time it takes the gums to become pink again after applying pleasure). If your dog shows these symptoms, you will probably want to take it to a veterinarian immediately. Severe cases of dehydration often require the administration of intravenous fluids.


Have a Safe Happy Summer!

Paris …. for once it is not a pretty picture

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The OJ chase like press coverage today was impossible to escape. Yet, truly seeing the whole picture is tough here because of the persona that accompanies Paris. I have seen youngsters like her in the school system who were never exposed to stress during their adolescence and simply never developed the coping skills that you would have expected. I do not believe her upbringing allowed her to have the maturity that you would expect from a young adult. I see her as a child, and a child being carted off to jail and deprived of comforts and a sense of security would be devastated. And, the additional symptomatology that resulted from her not being allowed to take her psychotropic medications, whatever they may be (even though pharmacist hubby Gary thinks he has a pretty good idea), could result in suicidal ideation which is quite dangerous.

I am sure that the prison officials were scared sh*#less by what they were being told by various mental health personnel.

I am not going to diagnose Paris or speculate on the level of her emotional disarray. But, the difference between her and other persons in the system is that they are far more seasoned than Paris could ever be.

Paris got into her this dilemma because she was not able to be adult and mature enough to handle the simple parts of life that merely dictate right from wrong. It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize authority and understand that being told not to drive and to sign up for classes means just that. But, she has never learned how to be responsible for herself. It is honestly very sad, especially since there are many young people out there who aspire to be her and have her life.

She does need a little reality therapy, though, and to be away from mom and her bevy of helpers and enablers. She does need to personally take responsibility for her previous actions. It is the best way for her to see that she can indeed stand on her own two feet … without any outside assistance. If that means being allowed her medications and remaining in the mental health facility within the prison, well then, so be it. It may actually be therapeutic. Mommy and Daddy and various lawyers winning the appeal and getting Paris out will not help her one bit in understanding and accepting her part in this bizarre saga.

I heard that even before she entered jail that there was some kind of deal brewing so that she would get out after a few days. Of course, if that was true, she never really did too much thinking about the realities of what she would be facing after entering the prison system.

Just look at her childlike innocence as she read a polite and prepared-for-her statement to the press, followed by ordering cupcakes (from her favorite sweet store) for the paparazzi once getting home to begin her time under house arrest. Just a child … a very limited, sad little child who then abruptly had her psychological cushion snatched from beneath her … handcuffed and carted back to jail. Is it any wonder it was just too much for her child-mind to get around?

Hats off to the parents for doing a heck of a child rearing job. They did as good a job as Barbara and George accomplished with their idiot son.

Dogs are as smart as we thought

Dogs Copy Other Dogs’ Actions Selectively, The Way Humans Do

Science Daily — A distinguishing feature of human intelligence is our ability to understand the goals and intentions of others. This ability develops gradually during infancy, and the extent to which it is present in other animals is an intriguing question.

New research by Friederike Range and Ludwig Huber, of the University of Vienna, and Zsofia Viranyi, of the Eötvös University in Budapest, reveals striking similarities between humans and dogs in the way they imitate the actions of others. The phenomenon under investigation is known as “selective imitation” and implies that dogs–like human infants–do not simply copy an action they observe, but adjust the extent to which they imitate to the circumstances of the action.

Go here to learn more . . . .

Acts of Golden kindness

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Being appreciated means so much.

Cliff Conrad wrote with a belated thank you to the woman who stopped her car on M-22 in heavy traffic just south of Lakeview Hills Road early in April and held his golden retriever, Amy, until he got there.

“In the excitement of the moment, I did not tell her how grateful I was,” Cliff wrote. “Amy and I have been together for nearly 13 years. I was mad at myself for leaving her unattended and was thinking only of her safety. I am sorry for being thoughtless about another person’s kindness. In the future I will definitely ‘pay it forward’ if I see a pet on the highway.”

Woofstock Festival this weekend in Toronto

You lucky guys in Toronto have an amazing event this weekend at the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. Front Street will be closed from Jarvis to Yonge so that there is space for all the wonderful events for Woofstock.

Woofstock is the largest outdoor festival for dogs. It is FREE admission with great entertainment and a consumer show with over 200 companies represented.

On June 3rd, to kick off the event, the King Edward Hotel hosted high tea for dogs who have survived cancer, or are currently battling the disease, and their owners. Dogs were pampered and it was certainly a blast. One of the attendees was Golden Retriever Duffy.

Duffy, a golden retriever, is another success story. The day after he served as the ringbearer in his owners’ wedding, the couple noticed he was limping. The cause turned out to be cancer in his front left leg and he was given only a ten percent chance of living for one more year. After surgery to remove the affected leg, Duffy was depressed for the first couple of weeks. But now, three years later, he’s motoring along. “He can do anything a four-legged dog could do,” says Tara, one of his two owners.

Golden Retriever Gunner’s smile cheering many

This GReat photo from Maura J. Halpern of The Arizona Republic, shows a beaming Gunner. Each Wednesday, Gunner and his mom, Wendy, bring joy to hospital patients. Gunner is actually one of an amazing 70+ dogs making 50,000 annual therapy visits to Banner hospitals around the Valley.

Be sure to check out this cool video of Gunner spreading good cheer.

What else are they going to find in pet food?

teacher.gifWhile many folks have moved on, falsely believing that the food crisis for both people and companion animals has ended or is being addressed, please think again. It has been brushed off of the front pages and people’s minds simply because there is too much in our world to actually grab a hold of these days. With so many scandals and injustices bombarding us daily, many have reached their saturation point. And, that is when our brains say we need to take a break so that our sanity is preserved.

But, chemicals that are not allowed to be used for items that are ingested continue to be found in pet food, animal feed for human consumption, tooth paste, exotic fish food . . . you name it. And, now even the medication acetaminophen (which is deadly to cats) has been found in pet food samples.

Sadly, we have not gotten to the bottom of this crisis and its ugly tendrils keep growing. I am not trusting any processed food, for myself or my Golden guy Alfie. I am only trusting organic products but even that standard is being weakened by our government’s caring more about corporate interests than ours.

Check out the latest about this mess here:

Texas lab finds pain medicine in pet food

Trashing Organic Standards (series of articles from Kirk James Murphy, M.D.)

Golden Retriever Isabella … Learning the hard way

This is Isabella (Patricia Gay photo) being warned about the dangers of chasing little woodchucks. This is the second tale of a Golden needing rescue. They simply cannot resist catching little creatures, whatever they may be.

This poor furkid was stuck overnight under a shed, as detailed by The Weston Forum in Connecticut.

Around 11 p.m., Ms. Babcock tried to go to sleep, but it was difficult. “I love my dog like I love my children and just couldn’t sleep,” she said. The next morning, the search resumed and Ms. Babcock’s father, Alan Warner, joined in and combed nearby woods. Mr. Harper returned as well.

Shortly after noon, a worker arrived to clean the family’s in-ground swimming pool. He said he heard cries by the shed where pool equipment was stored. Mr. Harper ran down to the shed and saw a black nose and two front paws sticking out from a tiny crawl space underneath. Isabella was stuck in the space between the bottom of the shed and the ground. She could barely emit soft, muffled cries and whimpers.

Read on for the rest of the story . . . .