Fire takes entire house, along with Goldens Buddy & Harley

kempner1.jpgLast month there was a tragic news story out of Texas that I missed (Firefighter: ‘We are truly blessed’).

And, while there were no human lives lost, a family with a firefighter dad, no less, lost a great deal …. for the fire took the lives of their much loved Goldens Harley & Buddy, along with their two cats.

The Copperas Cove Leader Press indicated the following:

For donations, contact the Killeen Fire Department at 501-7667, or drop off at the Central Fire Station at 201 N. 28th Street, Killeen. For questions contact Vanessa McGraw at 501-7667. Monetary donations in Copperas Cove can be made by contacting the on duty battalion Chief at the Central Fire Station, or calling 547-2514.

We learned about this tragedy from Dr. Mary Paluszek-Pirc, a longtime Golden friend. She sent out a message that quickly had me in tears and then in helper mode as I speedily packed up a box with special Golden gems to possibly help in easing some of the pain. This is what Mary wrote:

The power of golden prayer is wonderful… I would just love to ask a very special Christmas favor from a wonderful group of dog lovers.

About ten years ago when I adopted Miss Daisy from Golden Beginnings of Texas I was able to meet with Miss Daisy’s foster mom Julie. Julie was a foster family for Golden Beginnings for about 8 years and would like to go back to fostering one day. (She is currently enrolled in Paramedic training while working full-time and taking care of her family.) Over the years we have developed a deep special friendship not only with Julie but also her two children Ian and Heather and now her second husband Dennis. Tragedy struck their family on Wednesday, November 13th, when Julie’s house burnt to the ground. The family were not home, her husband was working at the firehouse, Julie was working on the ambulance service and her two children were at school. Unfortunately Harley and Buddy, her two beloved Goldens were unable to escape. The dogs now lie buried together on the hillside overlooking the fields they loved to frolic in. The family was left with the clothing on their backs. They are devastated.

Dale and I had ironically decided to spend a few days (15th wedding anniversary) with them in December. We are still planning on going to Texas to visit them, next week instead but on a bit of a different type of visit. I’ve been collecting clothing and items for them to help out, since insurance companies are fairly slow to pay, especially on a total loss. They have received little assistance from these insurances as of yet, even for temporary shelter, etc. This area has already been taxed to the max due to extensive flooding and several tornadoes this year.

If anyone could add this wonderful family to their Christmas card list to send them a few words of joy, it would be appreciated. The children, as well as the rest of the family are terribly saddened by the loss of Buddy and Harley.

High Desert tries to sponsor a Christmas Family each year and this is a very special family that we are definitely taking under our golden wings. Dale and I are Uncle Dale Sir and Aunt Mary Mamm to the kids. I’m tickled to have them as part of our extended family. As my mom puts it “I now have another daughter and am real proud!”

If you could drop a note we certainly would appreciate it.

Since this blog is very public, I hesitate to place the family’s contact information here. However, if you’d like to send a card with some Golden thoughts, just email me for the family’s current address.

My email is foundation(at)

Canine Rabies Challenge Studies Begin!

One of the most important vaccine research studies in veterinary medicine is underway at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison. Dr. Ronald Schultz, a leading authority on veterinary vaccines and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, has begun concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies to determine the long-term duration of immunity of the canine rabies vaccine, with the goal of extending the state-mandated interval for boosters. These will be the first long-term challenge studies on the canine rabies vaccine to be published in the United States.

Dr. Schultz comments that:

We are all very excited to start this study that will hopefully demonstrate that rabies vaccines can provide a minimum of 7 years of immunity.

This research is being financed by The Rabies Challenge Fund, a charitable trust founded by pet vaccine disclosure advocate Kris L. Christine of Maine, who serves as Co-Trustee with world-renowned veterinary research scientist and practicing clinician, Dr. W. Jean Dodds of Hemopet in California. The Rabies Challenge Fund recently met its goal of $177,000 to fund the studies’ first year budget with contributions from dog owners, canine groups, trainers, veterinarians, and small businesses. Annual budget goals of $150,000 for the studies must be met in the future.

Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM states:

This is the first time in my 43 years of involvement in veterinary issues that what started as a grass-roots effort to change an outmoded regulation affecting animals will be addressed scientifically by an acknowledged expert to benefit all canines in the future.

Scientific data published in 1992 by Michel Aubert and his research team demonstrated that dogs were immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, while Dr. Schultz’s serological studies documented antibody titer counts at levels known to confer immunity to rabies 7 years post-vaccination. This data strongly suggests that state laws requiring annual or triennial rabies boosters for dogs are redundant. Because the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions, it should not be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity. Adverse reactions such autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are linked to rabies vaccinations.

Study co-trustee Kris Christine adds:

Because the USDA does not require vaccine manufacturers to provide long-term duration of immunity studies documenting maximum effectiveness when licensing their products, concerned dog owners have contributed the money to fund this research themselves. We want to ensure that rabies immunization laws are based upon independent, long-term scientific data.

More information and regular updates on The Rabies Challenge Fund and the concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies it is financing can be found at