Kitty loves her some Golden puppy

These videos (part 1 & 2) of 7-week-old Golden Retriever puppy Blake being loved, licked or bathed (whichever way you see it) by young kitty Al-e are simply delicious. Actually having these opposite breeds beginning home life together is the best way to guarantee a great relationship. Just check out the research on that here.

Ut oh, Oprah’s done it again – Updated 3x

Oprah endorsed, Angel At The Fence

Oprah endorsed, Angel At The Fence

Remember, Oprah’s past debacle related to promoting a supposed memoir that turned out to instead be fiction? Well, it has happened once again.

It relates to a Holocaust memoir written by Herman Rosenblat, who says he married the young girl who had daily tossed him apples over the fence when he was a boy in a concentration camp.

Here is the latest from the AP.

“Berkley Books is canceling publication of Angel at the Fence after receiving new information from Herman Rosenblat’s agent, Andrea Hurst,” the publisher said in a statement. “Berkley will demand that the author and the agent return all money that they have received for this work.”

A couple of days earlier, Berkley had offered a qualified defense of the book, saying it was a work of memory, a story whose truth was known only to the author.

Rosenblat, 79, a resident of the Miami area, was virtually unknown to the general public until the 1990s when he began speaking of how he came to know his wife, Roma Radzicky. According to Rosenblat and his wife, he was a prisoner at a sub-camp of Buchenwald in Nazi Germany and she a young Jewish girl whose family was pretending to be Christian and lived nearby.

For months, they would meet on opposite sides of a barbed-wire fence, where she would sneak him apples and bread. Rosenblat was then transferred to another camp and the two lost touch, until the 1950s, when they were reunited by accident — on a blind date — in New York. They soon married and earlier this year celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Herman and Roma Rosenblat

The Rosenblats were interviewed twice over the years by Winfrey, who has called their romance “the single greatest love story … we’ve ever told on the air.” They have inspired a children’s book and a feature film adaptation is scheduled to begin next year.

Unlike such fake Holocaust memoirists as Misha Defonseca (“Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years”) and Benjamin Wilkomirski (“Fragments”), Rosenblat is indeed a survivor and records prove that he was at the Buchenwald camp.

But scholars doubted his story, noting that the layout of the sub-camp made such an encounter at the fence virtually unthinkable (They would have met right by an SS barracks). A recent article in The New Republic quoted friends and family members who were outraged by Rosenblat, so much so that one of his brothers stopped speaking to him.

The cancellation is sure to outrage survivors and scholars, who have worried that Rosenblat would encourage Holocaust deniers, and likely revive the debate over why publishers don’t fact check books. Even after such fabrications as James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces,” another Winfrey favorite, publishers have said that with more than 100,000 books coming out each year, fact-checking is too time-consuming and too expensive.

The New Republic (TNR) actually exposed the hoax and has done the seminal reporting about this entire saga. And, Gabriel Sherman just wrote the following after talking with Harris Salomon, who is producing the $25 million film adaptation of Herman Rosenblat’s story

“It’s unfortunate he told a lie,” Salomon told me. “The man is tragically flawed, but his story had value.” Until this evening, Salomon had been a wholehearted defender of Herman’s story. But he said he spoke to Herman and learned that his story is a fake. Salomon said he had no knowledge of Herman’s fabrication, and is angry that Herman lied to him, to his agent, Andrea Hurst, and to the publisher. “Obviously, this is a surprise to me. Obviously, I am extremely angry. He let me down professionally and personally. We get used to dealing with people of all stripes in this business. This is the business and the society we live in today, that allows people to lie, but also feeds off people lying and asking for forgiveness.”

Salomon said he thinks there is only one way for Herman to bring closure to his story. He asked Herman to go back on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with his wife, Roma, and tell his true story and explain why he invented his tale. He said Herman has agreed to appear on “Oprah” if her producers will have him. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” could not be reached for comment tonight.

“This is the one thing I want Herman to do,” Salomon said. “I told Herman I want him to go back on the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ and apologize to Oprah. Apologize to me, to Andrea Hurst, his agent, to Penguin, the American people, and the memory of his mother and father and all the people who died in the Holocaust.”

You can learn more about the sad progression of this tale by reading the (TNR) articles below:

UPDATE
The following (TNR) articles from
Gabriel Sherman show how folks are trying to move forward on all of this (yet Oprah’s reaction is noticeably absent):

UPDATE 2
It is mighty interesting that Oprah’s people have not yet come out with a statement. Of course, many of us dog folks may instead be caught up with her dog-themed show today.

I have had friends growing up who were the children of holocaust survivors, and sadly they all showed some of the wounds passed down by their parents. Such unspeakable evil is not easily erased and the troubled habits and day-to-day functioning of these survivors has not permeated the literature. Or, at least, I have not sought it out, even though as a psychologist, it is easy to understand the ramifications.

Thus, the first article below is probably the most telling of this entire saga. It comes from the author’s son and shows how behaviors adapted in childhood (by both his mom & dad who were only 9 & 12 years of age when the story was said to originate) remained. It also gives more credence to the fact that the subsequent trauma from a shooting & robbery incident helped in forming the basis for construction of the contrived tale.

I am not as much disappointed in the Rosenblats’ as I am with the media who are continually looking for the next best story to bring folks to their door.

UPDATE 3
Again, it is quite telling that Oprah’s people have not yet come out with a statement. And, the fallout continues as Lerner Books is now pulling Angel Girl, the children’s book version of the story.

The publisher of Herman Rosenblat’s children’s book, Angel Girl, has now pulled the book from stores and is offering refunds for people who had bought it. In September, Minneapolis-based Lerner Books released Angel Girl, a kids’ book written by popular author Laurie Friedman. The book was based on the story of Roma throwing young Herman apples over the fence of a concentration camp. Friedman told Publishers Weekly:

“I, like many others, am disappointed and upset to now learn of Herman’s fabrications.” Adam Lerner, president and publisher of Lerner Publishing Group, said, “We have been misled by the Rosenblats, who gave us and our author what we believed to be an authentic and moving account of their lives.”

Merry Christmas from Bailey the Unknown Reindeer

I’ve posted about Bailey before but just could not resist doing so again. This dog is simply incredible. What an athlete and from his expression, one funny dude. His dad wrote the following about this clip.

I shot this video on VHS-C in my backyard, near Ward, Colorado (8,700′ elevation) during a blizzard in the late 1990’s; a local weatherman said it was the most measurable snow (if memory serves, it was 54″ in 48 hours) from the least amount of moisture ever.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Dec 27th

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: Watch and listen for stray dogs and cats that could go missing while traveling with their families, or be frightened by holiday fireworks. Call the authorities. 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

Dog Shoplifter on the Lam

I hate that this dog took a rawhide bone as these things are the WORST thing you can give a dog. But, I do take my hat off to his intelligence.

My pharmacist hubby, Gary, told me a story of a dog shoplifter from a ways back. A man and his dog often shopped in the pharmacy, which, of course, carried assorted merchandise including dog toys. Well, one day Gary saw just the dog in the store without his human. He went up to the dog toy aisle and took one toy, and than ran like the wind and out the door. A bit later the owner and dog returned, the owner apologizing for the theft.

He told Gary that his dog had had his eye on a specific toy for a while, and that was the one that he lifted. Gary told the man that it was okay and that he’d treat him to it. But, the owner said he had been meaning to buy it anyway, and he paid for it. Gary said the entire pharmacy was hysterical laughing watching it all go down. I can just imagine.

Ya gotta listen closely to catch all the insanity

From JibJab . . .

It must be December – snow is falling, children are writing letters to Santa and we’re dragging 2008 through the mud in our all-singing, all-dancing, all-out year-in-review. Baby New Year ’08 takes you on a tour of all of the good, bad, and worse the past year had to offer, all at breakneck speed. We’re giving society a primo wedgie – everyone watch, point and laugh!

Giving Hanukkah equal time

Who knew that my visit to The Daily Beast would net such wealth about the holiday. I learned that in honor of the holiday of Hanukkah, a new song just came out. It’s sung by the brother of Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat) and Y-Love, a black Jewish rapper.

I learned about the song after reading a cool posting from Benyamin Cohen entitled, Jesus Made Me a Better Jew. There I learned about his new book, My Jesus Year: A Rabbi’s Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith.

I visited his blog to learn more. This is how the book is described:

One day a Georgia-born son of an Orthodox rabbi discovers that his enthusiasm for Judaism is flagging. He observes the Sabbath, he goes to synagogue, and he even flies to New York on weekends for a series of “speed dates” with nice, eligible Jewish girls. But, something is missing. Looking out of his window and across the street at one of the hundreds of churches in Atlanta, he asks, “What would it be like to be a Christian?”

So begins Benyamin Cohen’s hilarious journey that is My Jesus Year—part memoir, part spiritual quest, and part anthropologist’s mission. Among Cohen’s many adventures (and misadventures), he finds himself in some rather unlikely places: jumping into the mosh-pit at a Christian rock concert, seeing his face projected on the giant JumboTron of an African-American megachurch, visiting a potential convert with two young Mormon missionaries, attending a Christian “professional wrestling” match, and waking up early for a sunrise Easter service on top of Stone Mountain—a Confederate memorial and former base of operations for the KKK.

During his year-long exploration, Cohen sees the best and the worst of Christianity—from megachurches to storefront churches; from crass commercialization of religion to the simple, moving faith of the humble believer; from the profound to the profane to the just plain laughable. Throughout, he keeps an open heart and mind, a good sense of humor, and takes what he learns from Christianity to reflect on his own faith and relationship to G-d. By year’s end, to Cohen’s surprise, his search for universal answers and truths in the Bible Belt actually make him a better Jew.

One need not be Jewish, Christian or even a seeker to enjoy this wonderful loop around the Bible Belt. Cohen writes that what he learned from the year’s spiritual journey was that there are many paths people take to find faith in G-d and there are more similarities than differences in various religions.

Meet Service Golden-in-training Blythe

Puppy Girl Blythe

Puppy Girl Blythe

Seven 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. 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.

Pat created a new website, Life Barks, to sell all her wares, all helping to benefit CCI. And, since Tavi has left for CCI College, Pat has now gotten a new puppy to begin the rearing and training process. But, this time Pat requested a little girl. And, she has set up The Bark Blog to let us all share in Blythe’s many adventures in maturing from puppy to service dog.

I could not ever remember Pat training a little girl as it has always been boys that she has received these many years. I had always had male dogs and my sweet Darcy was our first female. But she was so spunky and filled with attitude, which I adored. And, she was known for loving her toys huge to thrash and then lie on in victory. So I asked her about that.

I thought I’d try a girl for a change. These last couple of guys have been handfuls! Loving handfuls mind you, but I thought a little mellow girl would be a nice change of pace. NOT! This one has spunk! And attitude, hence the blog. Blythe and I are new at blogging, but we will get the hang of it. I’m in New Mexico for a day or two, but when I return, I’ll send you some cute first day pictures. I had gotten all these girl toys … soft animals, even a cashmere camel. She went for the biggest ball in the house and drags around the biggest bone she can find.  I love her already!

I will certainly be staying tuned to the musings of Blythe at her new blog. Obviously, this was a “B” litter. CCI always picks a letter and then all the dogs have to have names that begin with that letter. Boy, have I seen some crazy names when some less-used letters are used. Here is Golden Blythe’s first blog entry:

Hi Everyone! Well, as you can see, I’ve arrived in Arizona! Not sure where Arizona is, but this place has a bunch of trees and a great big brother named Teddy. He seems really nice and was excited to see me. I’ve never seen so many toys either. My mom says that sleeping through the night is a good thing… duh… I will have to remind her that Golden dreams help with sleepless nights. I had my first puppy class yesterday and learned that people give you “special treats” if you do something right. I wonder if that will work for our new president? My mom says that president Bush would have needed a bunch of “special treats”. Not sure what she means by that, but will take her word for it. That’s it for now. A big shout out to all my brothers and my sister Bella out there. Hope you have as great a place to live as I do! Talk to all of you soon!

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Dec 22nd

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: Watch for tracks in the snow or mud leading to occupied dog houses. If you don’t see footprints, the dog is not being fed or watered. Call the authorities. 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

Maybe a Golden Retriever at the White House

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden is getting another puppy, in addition to the puppy shown above. In an exclusive interview to air Sunday morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Joe Biden said they are getting another pup from a pound so that his German Shepherd pup will have some companionship.

“I’ve had German Shepherds since I was a kid and I’ve actually trained them and shown them in the past,” Biden said. “So I wanted a German Shepherd and we’re going to get a pound dog, which my wife wants, that is hopefully a Golden [Retriever].  …  The good news about the vice president’s residence is that there’s a big fence around several acres.”

The Bumpass Hounds

Part of the Bumpass Hounds Gang

Part of the Bumpass Hounds Gang

I do not know how Bill Stevens does it, but he sure does have his hands full . . . with one HUGE fur family. The Bumpass Hounds are made up of 6 Golden Retrievers, 1 Yellow Labrador Retriever, 2 Landseer Newfoundland Dogs, 2 Maine Coon Cats & an American Long Hair Tortie Cat. And, I see that he also has a Foster Golden aboard, as he is a true friend to rescue.

Some of Bill’s family came from Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Santuary in Delray, WV. and he has just put out a plea for the tremendous work that they do, especially for senior and special need Goldens. I have just gone and made a donation, but I am sure that they can use many more. Here is Bill’s heartfelt message.

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON PLEASE SPONSOR A SENIOR OR SPECIAL NEEDS GOLDEN. Become an Angel to Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Santuary – PLEASE GIVE ONE DOLLAR IF YOU CAN

So many Senior and Special Needs Goldens do not find “forever homes”. Many of these dogs have above average medical needs and costs, are maintained on “special” diets, or have other extraordinary needs. Your donations can be targeted towards a particular Senior or Special needs Golden Retriever. As a sponsor, you will receive updates about your “special” Golden, and will be mentioned in our quarterly newsletter as the dog’s sponsor. We also accept Paypal donations, please use the donation button to the right. Please keep in mind that we are a non-profit organization and that your donation is fully tax-deductible. Please just write the Golden’s name in the memo line of your check or notes section when using PayPal for sponsoring a Golden Retriever.