Duke’s happy ending …. but now Casey needs your help

I just got this post from Renee Duke, Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida (GRRMF) Jacksonville Coordinator.

Golden Retriever Rescue Duke .... Before

You had posted one of our dogs, Duke, on your web site late last year. Duke weighed 39 pounds and was severely malnourished. I fostered him and you sent him some treats. I wanted to send you an updated picture of him. You would not believe the difference. He is doing very well now.

Golden Retriever Rescue Duke .... After!

A wonderful happy ending for Duke, who could not be cheered by that.

Golden Retriever Rescue Casey

But, of course, Renee had another special story to share about Casey, one of the rescue’s newest intakes. Casey has megaesophogus and I am just amazed at the ingenuity of his foster mom, Char, who made him a chair so that he can eat in a vertical position. He looks so cute in his chair!

Casey has had a long and winding journey through his short life. At 7 years old, his previous owner said she no longer could take care of his medical needs. He had mast-cell cancer and “occasional stomach irritation.”

GRRMF’s mission is to help golden retrievers in need. And Casey certainly needed us! Our first order of business was to have the tumor on his leg surgically removed. The surgery was a success, and Casey is now cancer-free. One down …

Next, his foster mom Char noticed that he did, indeed, have some stomach problems. He seemed very hungry and was thin, but he’d often not be able to keep his food down after eating. An x-ray revealed a condition called “megaesophagus” – or ME for short. In layman’s terms, Casey’s esophagus is not formed properly, so instead of doing its job of transporting the food from Casey’s mouth to his stomach, it tends to back up, causing him to regurgitate.

Casey waits patiently in his chair for his dinner

Luckily, Casey’s condition can be managed and there is hope that he can live out a normal life with a little bit of adjustment to his diet and after-meal behavior. Enter the “Bailey Chair.” Named after the dog it was originally invented for (who is now 10 and doing fine), the chair provides a way for dogs like Casey to eat and then remain upright until the food can pass from the esophagus into the stomach, usually about 20 minutes.

The rescue is looking for a very special home for Casey. He may need some extra attention in the feeding department, but he is in every way a loving and wonderful golden soul. And if adopted, he even comes with his own chair!

Casey naps in his chair after dinner

Read about GRRMF’s application process and download an application. If you can’t adopt right now, why not help care for Casey making a donation today? Adoption fees don’t cover all costs, and your donations are needed so we can help more Goldens like Casey.

GRREAT Rescue Golden Retriever Ginger needs a forever home

Oh my, Ginger is such a darling. Someone needs to give her a forever home. She is available through my home-town rescue, GRREAT.

Ginger is a pretty, red 3-year-old who is smart, very loving, affectionate, loves to cuddle, and loves to play. She has lots of young-Golden energy and plays very well with other dogs and is a quick learner. She has won the respect of our other Golden which until now was impossible. She is a good little girl and seeks a forever home with a Mummy who has time for her. She likes to run around our fenced in yard and even makes up games for herself. She likes a lot of soft toys. She would be better suited to a family that can spend a half hour in the park rather than just walks around the block. She has learned a lot since joining our home and loves to swim with other dogs. She is a happy little girl and only has a few little moments when she will find something plastic and chew, but few and far between and always when you are home. With enough exercise she is as good as gold in the house so we recommend a family with a fenced yard where she can be the center of attention. Her family will be one that really wants a one on one relationship with a very special beautiful Golden that will create memories in your heart for years to come.

Golden Retriever Lami … More than just a companion


Golden Lami, a five-year-old Southwest Service Dog, is in training with her new owner, 17-year-old Victoria Cassaday.

Victoria was born with arthrogryposis, a disability that targets the muscles and bones causing them to grow inwards. Victoria has undergone 13 surgeries and is able to walk, but some tasks are still difficult.

Click here to see a wonderful tv news video of these toy in action!

Meet 6-year-old Tucker Johnson

How exciting it was to learn of a new Golden Celeb Parent …. even if she is only 16 years old. Shawn Johnson, the reigning world all-around gymnastics champion, is a big animal lover. During study halls, she often walks animal shelter dogs as part of her school’s volunteer program. She has two tabby cats, Max and Vern, who were adopted from a local shelter, and Golden Retriever Tucker.

Shawn is only 4′ 9″, which would make me seem like a giant at my huge height of 4′ 11″. But, that big Golden boy must be able to knock her over when he jumps up, as Alfie easily puts his paws on my shoulders when he stands up on his back legs. I will certainly be hoping this sweet Iowan does well tonight, and becomes the next Nadia or Mary Lou of the Gymnastics world. From what I have read, she is just a wonderful, well-grounded young lady. Check out this from a recent interview.

Where did you get your pet?
We found him in the paper needing a home because his previous owners were having a baby and were needing to give him up. He was only a few months old and was a perfect match when we met him. We met the family in Nevada, Iowa (about an hour drive), and in about 30 minutes were already headed home with him.

What is your dog’s favorite thing to do?
My dog loves going on walks or just playing around. We sometimes even play like hide and go seek, but he always seems to win.

What have you trained Tucker to do?
I’ve taught my dog to do a lot of tricks (shake, sit, lay down, jump, etc.) and what always seems to work the best with him is being patient and loving. He always responds well to little treats or attention for a reward.

Does your dog help you train?
I always take him with me when I go running or ride my bike, but what he loves the most is when I do stationary exercises like sit ups or stretching because he thinks licking my face and wrestling with me gets me working harder and helps motivate me.

What is your favorite thing about Tucker?
He just loves me for me. He always there to greet me when I get home, cuddle with me whenever I need it, and is always wagging his tail and wanting to play while wearing his big doggy smile.

What’s something that always brightens your mood?

My animals always brighten my day. If I had a hard practice or am just not feeling great, my pets always seem to make me smile when I get home. I have a golden retriever named Tucker. Tucker is the perfect workout companion. I always take him with me when I go running or ride my bike, but what he loves the most is when I do stationary exercises like sit ups or stretching because he thinks licking my face and wrestling with me gets me working harder and helps motivate me.

Lucky Number 8 – born 8-08-08 at 8:08, weighing . . .

In Chinese culture, lucky numbers are based on words that sound similar to other Chinese words. The number 8 is among those believed to have auspicious meanings because its name sounds similar to words that have positive meanings. It is thus fitting that China first hosts the Olympics and begins the opening ceremonies on 8-08-08 at 8pm.

Now, we have 2 very lucky babies — born at the eighth minute of the eighth hour of the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the millennium, and weighing eight pounds & eight ounces.

08 a.m. today -- August 8, 2008 -- and weighs 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Photo by Courtney Sargent/The Gazette

Sister Chloe Shumacher (left), 11, and father Chad Riniker of Lisbon look at their new brother and son, Xander Riniker, who was born at St. Luke’s Women and Children’s Health Center in Cedar Rapids at 8:08 a.m. today -- August 8, 2008 -- and weighs 8 pounds, 8 ounces. Photo by Courtney Sargent/The Gazette

Baby Number 1

Chad and Heather Riniker of Lisbon thought the coincidence couldn’t get any greater when their son was born at 8:08 a.m. today — 8/8/08.Then his birth weight was announced: 8 pounds, 8 ounces.

“They called the time and everyone said, ‘wow, 8:08 a.m.,’” said Chad Riniker, 34. “Then they put him on the scale … it worked well with the theme, I guess.”

Xander (pronounced “Zander”) Jace Riniker was scheduled to be born at St. Luke’s Hospital by Caesarean section at 7:30 a.m. today, but an emergency C-section before Heather Riniker’s delivery pushed back the schedule.

“I have no idea what the odds of that would be,” Chad, a quality assurance manager at LimoLink in Marion, said of the coincidence. “I would guess slim.” The child isn’t their eighth — Heather, 31, has two children from a previous marriage and they have two together — but he is the eighth grandchild for Heather’s parents, Lesa and Ken Bulman of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Check out the story in the following news video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Baby Number 2

08 a.m. this morning at Lake Region Hospital and weighing eight pounds, eight ounces.

Lindsay and Joe Hauer of Fergus Falls are the parents of Hailey Jo Hauer, born at 8:08 a.m. this morning at Lake Region Hospital and weighing eight pounds, eight ounces. Photo by Lauren Radomski

Talk about a memorable birthday: A Fergus Falls family is welcoming a baby girl born at 8:08 a.m. on the eighth day of August, weighing in at eight pounds, eight ounces.

Lindsay Hauer’s cesarean section was scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday morning at Lake Region Hospital and began right on the dot. When hospital staff told her the time of her daughter’s birth, Hauer thought they were pulling her leg. “I thought they were just joking,” she said. “I didn’t believe them when they told me.” “The time was to the minute,” said Hauer’s husband, Joe.

Imagine Hauer’s surprise when, still in the operating room, she received a call from staff in the hospital’s birthing suite, where Hailey Jo Hauer was being measured and weighed.

“I had the scale on grams at first,” said Jenny Harstad, Hauer’s nurse. Based on the baby’s weight in grams, Harstad estimated Hailey would weigh-in within the eight-pound range. She later joked she’d hoped to find significance in the baby’s length as well. “I was trying to shrink her down to 18 inches,” Harstad said. Instead, Hailey measured 19.5 inches.

Back in the operating room, hospital staff resolved to buy lottery tickets later in the day. “My anesthesiologist said to me, ‘Do you realize this is once in a million? This will not happen anywhere else,’” Hauer said.

A Golden Retriever Freestyling Family!


We just discovered another Golden Freestyle Champion, 11-year-old Golden Retriever Vera and her partner Cassandra Harman of Cassandra’s Canines, from Caledonia, Ontario.

Cassandra Hartman says her Goldens feel the music and can improvise their own dance moves. (Photo by J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail). That sounds just like our favorite boy, Rookie.

Hartman and Vera recently won best in show against 100 other duos at a recent doggie dancing competition in Rhode Island, and they are off to the Netherlands in the fall for the first worldwide contest. A professionally-trained dancer and choreographer, it is adorable to see all of her dogs named for dancers.

Cassandra has an incredible Golden Retriever gang, that includes ….
OTCh. Dovergold Debbie Reynolds RXMCL,W-FDX/MF, W-BMFD-MF, CGN
Skylon Jazzin’ Vera Ellen CDX, RVMCL, W-FDX/MF, W-BMFD-MF, CGN
Windrows Gwen Verdon (obedience and freestyle bound!)
Windrows It’s Showtime Fosse PIT (puppy in training) CTI (chief treat inhaler)

Check out Cassandra dancing with Vera Ellen by clicking here.

Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life

Bestselling author Dean Koontz says that his dog, Trixie, changed his life and made him a better, happier person. A 68-pound dog who lived close to the ground, Trixie certainly did cast a long shadow. She first became known outside of her own house (dog-house, that is) as a guest blogger on Dean’s website, signing off every entry Life is Good, Bliss to You. Now, in this warm and funny book–as told to Dean Koontz–Trixie once again shares her inspiring outlook on life and reveals the eight steps that anyone can take to achieve not merely happiness, but bliss.

Packed with dog wisdom, both poignant and funny, this charming and heartfelt book gives the reader much food for thought–which might not be as tasty as a bowl of kibble but is nonetheless nourishing.

This must-have book (I’m sure since I have all the other books by Trixie) will be released on September 16, 2008. But, you can CLICK HERE AND PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

You can also get this publication as a CD Audiobook.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trixie is Dean Koontz’s forever super dog, but we know there are more super dogs out there! It’s time to brag about why your dog should win Trixie’s Super Dog prize. Email trixiecontest@deankoontz.com your short story or poem in 75 words (or less) about a heroic virtue of your canine companion. Feel free to send a photo as well.

Trixie’s Super Dog Contest Prizes!

The contest began on August 1, 2008 and will end on September 15, 2008. The winners will be announced on October 1, 2008. You can find the official rules by clicking here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
BTW, if you’d like to affix a flag to your favorite furkids, you can do so here. It is a nifty program provided by CCI. Just click here and enjoy!

Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), an organization that since 1975 has been providing highly-trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge, is Dean Koontz’s favorite charity. The Oceanside, California, campus of CCI was years ago named the Dean and Gerda Koontz Campus. CCI has now renamed that facility the Dean, Gerda, and Trixie Koontz Campus. And, Dean’s friends at the Assistance Dog Institute, in Santa Rose, California, another worthwhile organization, will award Trixie Koontz scholarships to students in their bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can learn more about assistance dogs at our foundation site by clicking here.

Golden Retriever Trixie Koontz’s Super Dog Contest

Trixie is Dean Koontz’s forever super dog, but we know there are more super dogs out there! It’s time to brag about why your dog should win Trixie’s Super Dog prize. Email trixiecontest@deankoontz.com your short story or poem in 75 words (or less) about a heroic virtue of your canine companion. Feel free to send a photo as well.

Trixie’s Super Dog Contest Prizes!

The contest began on August 1, 2008 and will end on September 15, 2008. The winners will be announced on October 1, 2008. You can find the official rules by clicking here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
BTW, if you’d like to affix a flag to your favorite furkids, you can do so here. It is a nifty program provided by CCI. Just click here and enjoy!

Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), an organization that since 1975 has been providing highly-trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge, is Dean Koontz’s favorite charity. The Oceanside, California, campus of CCI was years ago named the Dean and Gerda Koontz Campus. CCI has now renamed that facility the Dean, Gerda, and Trixie Koontz Campus. And, Dean’s friends at the Assistance Dog Institute, in Santa Rose, California, another worthwhile organization, will award Trixie Koontz scholarships to students in their bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can learn more about assistance dogs at our foundation site by clicking here.