I could not resist …. what a cutie!

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More Howl-o-ween fun!

Oh my, what must these Goldens be thinking about this nonsense.

Oh my, what must these Goldens be thinking about this nonsense.

What a Ladybug: 8-month-old Golden Retriever Maeve

This is really “princess” Maeve. According to her Mom Katie, it took almost a month to get her to wear this ladybug costume. It started with one-minute sessions, no less, and she still would not wear the antenna!

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A Crabby Golden Retriever Luke

A Crabby Golden Retriever Luke

This next fun (partially costumed) event came to me from my Golden pal, Geoff.

A New Jersey Golden rescue he is involved with, Shore Hearts Golden Retriever Rescue, set a new record at the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival. Their “Puppy Kissing Booth” took in over $800.

Pro-kisser Joey did most of the work but she needed breaks and a talented Bullpen filled in.

Click here to see a wonderful Photo Slide Show. It is filled with Goldens, Poodles, and Golden Doodles! Geoff was surely very busy at this event between looking after his Golden Sam and Doodle Bandit, and taking so many marvelous photos to capture the event.

Golden Retriever Joey at work!

Golden Retriever Joey at work!

Oh my goodness . . .

Me thinks Golden Retriever Retro looks a little pooped .... contemplating her huge 16 baby brood. This GReat photo is by By Allan Jung/Daily News Staff.

This is twice the normal litter and Golden Retriever Retro’s c-section had to be moved up because she was growing more and more uncomfortable due to increased weight and leg swelling. But, she is now doing just fine and records have been set all around, the veterinarian never having delivered such a huge litter.

The 10 males and six females weighed in between 13 and 14 ounces, a little shy of the normal golden puppy weight of 17 ounces, said Martin. “One little girl was smaller, at eight ounces. She’s a screamer and a fighter and will push all her big brothers around.”

Calendar Beauties: Ryan and Service Golden/Lab Java

Chris Kittredge, a fabulous professional photographer, who does some work for CCI. She shot many photos for this year’s CCI calendar as well as being the editor. My Golden Retriever CCI puppy raising pal, Pat Lawson, sent me the scoop on the team that graces the front cover of the 2009 calendar which is now on sale.

The photo on the front cover is of a local graduate team, Ryan and Holly Cottor and their service dog, ‘Java’. This is such a neat story. Ryan was diagnosed with SMA when he was only a baby. They were told that he would not live to be 2. We were introduced to Ryan and his family at a local CCI event when he was 5.

He had invented an imaginary CCI dog because CCI does not allow kids to apply for a CCI dog until they are 7. Holly told us at a golf tournament luncheon that they were just hoping that he would live long enough to apply.

Well last year, when Ryan turned 7 they applied and received ‘Java,’ a Golden Retriever / Lab Cross, about 9 months later. This year, Ryan celebrated his 8th birthday. He is the inspiration of our group here in Phoenix. As you can imagine, when Holly and Ryan and Java give their story to groups and gatherings, there is not a dry eye in the house. But, Ryan, being the little guy that he is, will not have it. He keeps saying, “Aw Mom, no crying!” We should all be so reminded every day….

“Borat” really made this voting video fun!

To the very end, Sacha Baron Cohen was hysterical.

Five More Friends

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Snoop Dogg, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller, Will Smith, Steven Spielberg, Justin Timberlake, along with Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, Zach Braff, Colin Farrell, Neil Patrick Harris, Scarlett Johansson, Shia LeBeouf, Tobey Maguire, Ryan Reynolds, and Jason Segal, are featured in a second of a series of public service announcements to encourage American youth to vote in partnership with Google, YouTube, Declare Yourself, and MySpace. The non-partisan PSAs, produced by DiCaprios Appian Way, were created to engage and inspire young people to vote and participate in the upcoming election.

Finally, a newspaper reports on this Ground Zero Liar & Felon

li.jpgSept. 11 fraud nets jail term for man
W. Windsor resident lied to obtain FEMA assistance
BY KEVIN SHEA, The Times of Trenton News, October 17, 2008

Scott Shields, the West Windsor man whose dramatic stories of rescuing victims in New York following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and in New Orleans after Hurricane Ka trina have largely been debunked, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining government money.

Shields also was sentenced to three years of supervised release once he is freed from prison, and he and his sister Patricia Shields, a co- defendant in the case who received the same sentence, will also have to pay back nearly $50,000 in money they had sent to them by federal agencies in 2002.

The sentence was handed down Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The siblings had been indicted on three counts: theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Scott Shields’ lawyer, Joel M. Stein, declined to comment yesterday on the sentencing.

Shields and his sister received $38,906 from the Federal Emer gency Management Agency and $10,553 from the American Red Cross after making false claims to the agencies in 2002 that they lived near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

They actually lived in Greenwich, Conn., at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and the FEMA money was meant for rental or mortgage assistance to people who lived near the World Trade Center site.

And while the Shieldses later moved to Lower Manhattan following the attacks, the Red Cross assistance money was meant for victims who lived below Canal Street at the time of the attacks.

Court papers show the Shields siblings did not move to Lower Manhattan until October 2001.

Moreover, court records show the Shieldses were evicted from their Connecticut residence for nonpayment of rent, never used any of the FEMA money for their Manhattan apartment, and that they were “entirely delinquent” in rent from the time they moved in until they were evicted from that residence as well.

Scott Shields later moved to West Windsor.

Shields, who gave himself the rank of “captain,” had wowed the media and the public with his dramatic tales of mass rescues in New Orleans in 2005, and of his heroic K-9 work with his beloved dog Bear after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some of the stories appeared in The Times.

The stories about Bear, who Shields said died in 2003 due to 9/11 injuries, led to the creation of a charitable foundation in the dog’s name and a book about his ex ploits as well. But the accounts eventually were called into question by many authorities and animal rescue specialists.

For example, Shields had claimed he and Bear found the most victims during the rescue efforts following 9/11.

But in 2007, retired New York City Police Lt. Dan Donadio, a former K9 officer whose teams led the Ground Zero recovery efforts, said he told Shields to leave the site during the initial hours of the recovery effort because Bear was not a trained rescue dog and might mislead emergency workers.

For background, see my comprehensive article and indexing of 30 blog postings/stories.

Golden Service Dog-in-Training Tavi leaving for CCI College

Golden Retriever Service Dog-in-Training Tavi

Six months ago I posted about Golden Retriever Tavi, a CCI Service Dog-in-Training being raised by Pat Lawson (she’s trained nearly 20!). Pat is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of CCI. She is always fundraising for CCI and putting on golf tournaments is her specialty. Tavi is shown above at a golf tournament he helped Pat run for CCI. Such a silly boy, fooling around at a tee box marker!

At winter time, all the Goldens at Pat’s enjoy these wonderful organic navel oranges. She has a mini grove in Arizona where the oranges are growing at the base of the San Tan mountains, in soil that promotes incredible sweetness. We love ’em and believe that organics are great for every 2-legged & 4-legged family member.

Well, it’s that time for Tavi to leave for CCI College. This is the funny post that Pat just wrote about our orange-loving pup.

Sadly, Tavi the orange lover will be going off to CCI College before they are ready. We bought him a “store” orange… And he took a few bites and left it sitting on the ground. Seems he is an “orange snob”! :0) He has been lurking around the trees, even sampling a green orange or two that has fallen. Poor guy. Where ever he ends up, I’ll have to keep him supplied with his favorite food of all time, San Tan Sweet Oranges.

Golden Retriever Service Dog Midas saves his human’s life!

Service Golden Retriever Midas and Mom,

Service Golden Retriever Midas and Mom, Myrna

For years I have collected tales of Golden heroes, currently with almost 90 in my incredible collection. I never tire of learning about a new story that underlies my convictions about the intimate bond that only a dog can have with his or her beloved person.

This story of Service Golden Retriever Midas is an especially wonderful one. Midas was pretty heroic, almost from day one, when he was paired in 2001 with his human companion, Myrna. But, now almost 7 years later, he has proven just how crucial he is.

Myrna has Muscular Dystrophy and only has movement in her wrist and toes. She cannot lift her arm to scratch her face. She cannot pick up her arm if it falls off her armrest.

Here is a video news report from WPBF’s Cathleen O’Toole who details how Midas helped his human companion keep breathing.

And, here is Myrna’s story about getting this special boy.

Greetings. My name is Myrna and my companion’s name is My Midas. He became my hero just about a month after we became partners after team training at New Horizons Service Dogs.

It was early in the morning, about 5 a.m. After getting ready to start our daily routine and go to work, Midas and I said good-bye to my husband and son. We went out the door of our apartment, to the hallway, then to the sidewalk that takes us to the parking lot, where we wait for the special transportation to pick us up and take us to my place of employment. Since this is something that we have been doing for a month, I hold the leash in my hand while we are outside. I was not aware that during the night the maintenance people had dug up part of the sidewalk leaving it uneven.

Suddenly I felt the front tire of my wheelchair sink, and because of the limited mobility in my hands I was not able to prevent what came next. The front of the wheelchair sank in the hole, and it tilted forward. I ended up in the grass face down with a 300-pound power wheelchair on top of my back. For a moment I felt that my world was about to come to an end. I could not distinguish from the darkness of the morning or from the accident. I tried to call for help, but my voice was not loud enough for anyone to hear me.

At that moment Midas somehow got the leash out of my hand, and came to me and licked me in my face, sort of making sure that I was alive. I was able to tell him, “Midas, we are in trouble. Get help.”

I had no idea if he knew what I was talking about. I was just sort of talking to myself, trying to think how I got to the ground. Midas licked me one more time and left. He went back to my apartment door, got up on his back legs and started making growling noises and scratching the door. My husband was getting our son ready for school when he heard the noise. He was curious about the reason Midas was back at the door when he knew we should be out front waiting for our van pick up. He opened the door and saw Midas growling and running back and forth, sort of telling him to follow.

My husband ran outside and found me on the ground. Midas came to where I was and sat near me until my husband was able to unbuckle the seat belt and get the wheelchair off my back and then pick me up from the ground. I had bruised ribs and a bump on my forehead, but if Midas had not been there, it could have been hours before anyone noticed that I was injured. Because of his actions my injuries were less than they would have been. He kissed me twice to make sure that I stayed alert. He really might have saved my life that day.

Midas received an honorary Heroic Certificate for his bravery and for finding help for me from the Red Cross. New Horizons Service Dogs not only provided me with a lifetime partner to help me with my daily needs, but also they have given me the opportunity to expand my horizons and become active and productive member of our community again. Since I received Midas, my life has changed drastically. I have gone from being homebound and very dependent on physical assistance, with frequent panic attacks to a very independent, outgoing and active member of our community. Midas has given me a way to return to real life.

Be sure to visit the Land of PureGold Foundation for almost 90 more heroic tales.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: October 26th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Listen for pets trapped inside as households head south for the winter. Check garages and sheds. Be a Good Samaritan for Animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

The Guide Dog Experience …. with Golden Retriever Jerry

Want to see how tough it is to learn to walk with a Guide Dog? Check this out. This video was filmed at the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park. Richard Michael explains about the ‘Guide Dog Experience’

Golden Retriever Jerry does a wonderful job, don’t you think?

Learn more about these smart dudes here.

I’m sorry, but this is really too funny.

There’s a parrot (named Smokey) out there who chants the Barack Obama slogan ‘Yes we can!’ and barks. CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports.

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Houdini is a 1-year-old Quaker Parrot who is Barack Obama’s #1 Supporter. He starts off warming up then says “Go Obama Go” … “Obama for President”… “Houdini Needs Change”… “Vote for Obama”… “Yes We Can”… “Go Obama Go”

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Couldn't get any cuter than this

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

New research at Tel Aviv University, the first of its kind in the world, has found a new recipe for success. According to the study, if the cat is adopted before the dog and if they are introduced when still young (less than 6 months for kittens, a year for dogs), there is a high probability that your two pets will get along swimmingly. Results from the research were recently reported in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Professor Terkel, Tel Aviv University

Professor Terkel, Tel Aviv Univ

“This is the first time anyone has done scientific research on pets living in the same home,” says Prof. Joseph Terkel, from the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University. “It’s especially relevant to the one-third of Americans who own a pet and are thinking about adopting a second one of the opposite species.”

Talk Like a Dog
After interviewing almost 200 pet owners who own both a cat and a dog, then videotaping and analyzing the animals’ behavior, TAU researchers concluded that cats and dogs can cohabitate happily if certain conditions are met. Prof. Terkel and his graduate student Neta-li Feuerstein found that two-thirds of the homes they surveyed reported a positive relationship between their cat and dog.

But it wasn’t all sweetness and light (or, for that matter, bones and catnip). There was a reported indifference between the cat and dog in 25% of the homes, while aggression and fighting were observed in 10% of the homes.

One reason for the fighting might have been crossed inter-species signals. Cats and dogs may not have been able to read each other’s body cues. For instance, cats tend to lash their tails about when mad, while dogs growl and arch their backs. A cat purrs when happy, while a dog wags its tail. A cat’s averted head signals aggression, while in a dog the same head position signals submission.

In homes where cat/dog détente existed, Prof. Terkel observed a surprising behavior. “We found that cats and dogs are learning how to talk each other’s language. It was a surprise that cats can learn how to talk ‘Dog’ and vice versa.”

What’s especially interesting, Prof. Terkel remarks, is that both cats and dogs have appeared to evolve beyond their instincts. They can learn to read each other’s body signals, suggesting that the two species may have more in common than was previously suspected.

Peacemaking Pets Can Be a Model for People
Once familiar with each others’ presence and body language, cats and dogs can play together, greet each other nose-to-nose, and enjoy sleeping together on the couch. They can easily share the same water bowl and in some cases groom each other. The far-reaching implications of this Tel Aviv University research on cats and dogs may extend beyond pets — to people who don’t get along, including neighbours, colleagues at work, and even world superpowers.

“If cats and dogs can learn to get along,” concludes Prof. Terkel, “surely people have a good chance.”

For the most Golden Retriever Obsessed among us

Now, who could resist this bracelet? I really think it is the most gorgeous Golden Retriever bracelet I have ever seen. I simply love it …… even if the price is out of sight.

This solid, 14K Gold, Golden Retriever Hinge Bracelet with Diamond Collar Accent is from Esquivel & Fees, a wonderful company from Houston. They actually made me a bracelet from a photo of my own Golden Darcy, and it turned out to be such a treasure.

The Inside dimension of this bracelet is 7 inches, and the collar is hand set with 28 SI Quality Genuine Diamonds. This bracelet has a hinge on one side and on the other side there is a double locking clasp.

So, ladies, start saving or begging lol.

Golden Retriever Cleo for President

2008 Whag Party Convention

The 2008 Whag Party Convention was held in Golden, Colorado, August 25 through 28, coinciding with the Democratic Convention in nearby Denver. While Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech in hot and smelly Mile High Stadium (renamed Invesco Field by, no doubt, rich Republicans), Cleo delivered hers in the cool mountain air at Red Rocks Amphitheater in nearby Morrison, CO. Cleo chose Red Rocks to emphasize her firmly held belief that America was a better place when everthing wasn’t named after a corporate logo. In her speech, Cleo called on John McCain to repudiate persistent rumors that, if elected, McCain will attack the national debt by selling Exxon Mobil the right to rename the United States.

While Democrats were laying out secluded “Free Speech Zones” and going over security measures for their convention in Denver, Whag Party officials unveiled a time honored, but largely forgotten, approach to dissent and security at their convention. “Anyone who had a gripe just raised their hand, and the chairdog called on them to say whatever they wished,” the officials said. “Cleo will run the country as best she knows how, but it never hurts to listen to those who may disagree with you,” said a campaign spokesman. Although several hundred thousand protesters showed up at the convention, they all changed their minds and bought Cleo 2008 bumper stickers for their cars and bicycles after they met Cleo and heard her speech.

There were no lavish parties sponsored by special interests at the Whag convention, because Cleo thinks they are silly and boring, and she doesn’t much like people who think a dog’s friendship would ever be for sale to the highest bidder. Instead, Whag Delegates gathered in a local park before Cleo’s speech, where Cleo led her supporters in singing Kumbaya, accompanied by several supporters who brought their guitars to the convention. After speech, Cleo went home and slept on her couch.

A poll taken after the convention showed Cleo still trailing Barack Obama and John McCain, but gaining ground. Cleo said that the polls didn’t bother her because, frankly, most of her supporters have better things to do than talk on the phone all day. “If you want to help the campaign,” Cleo said, “skip the polls and send an email to CNN or Fox or whoever your favorite media outlet is and suggest they go to www.goldenbarker.com.”

Operation Baghdad Pups: Pup Ratchet Now Safe in US!

UPDATE 2:

Ratchet has arrived at Dulles International Airport after a lengthy effort to reunite the pooch with the U.S. soldier who adopted him.

Ratchet arrived from Amsterdam on Monday a day after leaving Baghdad. The black dog wearing a red, white and blue bandanna jumped out of his crate, looked around and quickly flopped down on the floor in baggage claim. He’ll spend two nights in a kennel before flying to Minneapolis.

Army Spc. Gwen Beberg says she couldn’t have made it through her 13-month deployment without the dog she and another soldier rescued.

An animal rescue group brought Ratchet to the U.S. after the military said it could not be responsible for the dog’s transportation.

Here is new video from the BBC showing this special guy on his way home.

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UPDATE: Last week we detailed this special tale about puppy Ratchet. Well, this special pup just got a reprieve from the U.S. military and could be headed for Minnesota by the weekend. Some US Senators and about 50,000 petition-signing dog lovers prompted the military to agree to release Ratchet, the Iraqi pup an Army sergeant is trying to get to her Minnesota home. But, due to a slow release on the part of the military, Ratchet missed the flight that would have gotten him out of Baghdad. Luckily, Operation Baghdad Pups will be trying again as they make a special trip back to Iraq this Sunday to try to retrieve him.

Thanks to Mary Jane Smetanka of The Star Tribune who is continuing to cover this touching story.

Sgt. Gwen Beberg, who adopted Ratchet as a tiny 4-week-old pup after fellow soldiers in Baghdad rescued him from a pile of burning trash, sent her mother a short e-mail Wednesday when she heard the news.

“I AM THRILLED THAT RATCHET IS GOING HOME,” she wrote.

But Beberg’s mother, Pat, said she won’t relax until the dog is in the hands of Operation Baghdad Pups. The branch of SPCA International, which was founded a year ago and relies on donations to rescue dogs and cats adopted by American military personnel in Iraq, has flown more than 50 dogs and cats to the United States. “It’s wonderful,” Pat Beberg said. “But until he’s in the hands of the Operation Baghdad Pups people, we still have to be a little reserved and cautious.”

Gwen Beberg has described the puppy as a comfort during a rough year in Iraq. She is supposed to return to the United States next month, and she tried to get Ratchet to her parents’ home in Spring Lake Park before she was transferred to a new base in Iraq last week. But a superior officer confiscated the dog on the way to the airport. Military regulations prohibit soldiers from adopting pets in Iraq.

Pat Beberg learned that Ratchet’s departure from Iraq had been cleared when Sen. Amy Klobuchar called her cell phone as she was driving to the dentist. She hopes Ratchet’s case might get the military to reconsider its policy against pets. “I want to make sure that other soldiers do not encounter this,” Beberg said. “[Gwen] is using a puppy to handle stress. Isn’t that so much better than popping a handful of pills?”

Ratchet’s case has ignited a firestorm of interest on the Internet. By Wednesday afternoon, petitions demanding clemency for the dog had been signed by more than 50,000 people around the world, and the pup’s story was posted on almost 27,000 websites. Supporters called congressional offices and Army headquarters this week demanding that something be done to save the dog. The offices of Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., also pushed for the dog’s release.

Northwest Airlines has offered to fly Ratchet from Kuwait to Minneapolis. Beberg’s parents would keep Ratchet until Beberg leaves the Army early next year.

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Such a sad tale.

A mutt named Ratchet has helped Gwen Beberg survive Iraq. Now, will Ratchet survive?

Army Sgt. Gwen Beberg isn’t having an easy year in Iraq. When the Spring Lake Park native bonded with an abandoned puppy found whimpering in a burning trash heap in Baghdad, she wanted to make sure the black-and-white mutt named Ratchet made it home with her.

On Oct. 1, Beberg placed 6-month-old Ratchet on an Army convoy to the Baghdad airport, where he was to be flown to her parents’ home in Minnesota by a rescue group called Operation Baghdad Pups. But the dog was taken away by an Army officer before it reached the airplane. Beberg’s family and Operation Baghdad Pups officials now fear Ratchet will be shot.

Beberg’s sorrow has become an international cause célèbre, with online petitions signed by almost 8,000 people worldwide, bloggers taking up Ratchet’s plight and a story in a London newspaper.

Beberg, who is scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of this month, also has signed one of the Internet petitions.

Sgt. Gwen Beberg befriended puppy Ratchet while serving in Iraq. The U.S. military confiscated Ratchet as Sgt. Beberg prepared to fly home from Baghdad Airport. Operation Baghdad Pups, a program run by SPCA International, is pleading with the U.S. Army to allow Ratchet to fly out of the country – amid fears the dog awaits almost certain death if left behind.

Gwen’s mom, Pat, has been trying everything to get Ratchet home safely, noting how much this would do for her daughter’s mental health.

“There are a lot of ways of being scarred other than the physical,” Pat Beberg said. “My daughter has had a really tough time over there, living in those circumstances, and the dog has been just a godsend to her.”

Pat Beberg has called the offices of Rep. Keith Ellison and Sen. Amy Klobuchar for help, but it’s not clear what will happen. She also said it is not clear where Ratchet is, but he apparently is still alive.

“We’re all sending e-mails back and forth,” she said. “Everyone is working on this. I know the military has its rules, but I think it could be some very positive PR if they were to revise and review that ruling … The military is very concerned about post-traumatic stress and high rates of suicide. When my daughter called here a week ago, she had trouble talking on the phone. She’s devastated.”

Go learn more about Operation Baghdad Pups, a quite special organization.

Terri Crisp, program director of Operation Baghdad Pups, said the group has gotten 56 dogs and cats that had been adopted by military personnel out of Iraq. As a part of SPCA International, the group uses donations to fly the animals to the U.S. on commercial and private airlines. On Oct. 1, the group had flown to Baghdad to get Ratchet and 14 other animals after suspending operations during the heat of summer. Crisp said the group has tried to keep a low profile so there’s no “ruckus” over the Army’s no-pet rule.

“There are commanding officers there who are animal lovers and recognize that these animals make a difference,” Crisp said. “We’ve had high-ranking officials bring out animals themselves.”

Ratchet, she said, has been the only animal confiscated once the evacuation process had begun, but at least 36 other animals that soldiers were trying to get out of Iraq have been destroyed.

“To me, it’s totally senseless, because they took away something that could help soldiers, and this just causes more trauma for them,” Crisp said.

Golden Winners of Dean Koontz Super Dog Contest

Dean Koontz recently held a “Super Dog” Contest, which ended September 15th. With so many wonderful entries, though, he had to do what I often do with my contests …. choose more winners!

The top 5 entrants each received a set of five limited, signed, and numbered collector’s editions of Dean’s books, a value of more than $1,000 plus a signed copy of Trixie’s new book, BLISS TO YOU. If you do not have this book, you must go and order a copy right away. It is just incredible. I have all of Trixie’s books but this one is definitely my favorite.

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.

And, check this out. You can read an excerpt online at Dean Koontz’s site. Just click here and enjoy!

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Okay, back to the contest. Of the top 5 winners, 2 were Golden Retriever folks (yea). The tales are both wonderful.

Joyce Adams and Golden Retriever Hannah Belle (Phoenix, AZ)
Hannah arrived in Arizona from Tennessee, wrapped in an anxiety vest – heavily medicated to keep her under control.  EVERYTHING terrified this beauty. Her first 8 years were spent on a puppy mill in Tennessee. She was used only for producing puppies, litter after litter, under horrid conditions. She captured my heart.  Hannah taught me patience – my reward was watching her blossom and live her remaining years happy and loved unconditionally, as it should be.

Deborah Holstein and Golden Retriever Bari (Sacramento, CA)
Bari is a gentle soul whose super hero gift appeared to be boundless love for her family, until the day she approached me with a small wet breathing object gently tucked in her mouth. She handed this precious bundle to us and led us to a nest of feral kittens – three now treasured members of my mom’s family. She continues to rescue small helpless baby animals asking only for peanut butter as her reward.