Happy 10th Birthday Alfie!

My wonderful little guy, Alfie, is 10-years-old today. But, he will always be my puppy puppy puppy boy.

Golden Retriever Alfie at 10 weeks of age

Golden Retriever Alfie at 10 weeks of age

Alfie enjoying himself during more current times . . .


Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: May 31st

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 out for pets accidentally trapped in student housing without food or water or intentionally abandoned by students moving out for the summer. Call the authorities.

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

Oh my, are these puppy orphans adorable!

May Orphans of the Month, Bogey and Caddie, are six-week-old Great Pyrenees mix puppies. They have the brighest blue eyes you will ever see and are extremely laid back for puppies. Bogey is the boy and is distinguishable by the black spot on his back and his crooked tail. Caddie is the girl and is smart and playful. Both will make a great addition to any home, and were snatched up very quickly by some very smart dog lovers.

So sad for Animal-Assisted Activities to be effected this way

Pet Therapy Dogs May Carry MRSA And Clostridium Difficile Between Patients

ScienceDaily (May 8, 2009) —  University of Guelph in Canada researchers investigated whether MRSA and C.difficile could be passed between pet therapy dogs and patients. The findings suggested that MRSA and C. difficile may have been transferred to the fur and paws of these canine visitors through patients handling or kissing the dogs, or through exposure to a contaminated healthcare environment.

This study was conducted amongst 26 pet therapy dog-handler teams between June – August 2007. Twelve teams visited acute care facilities and 14 visited long-term care facilities. Prior to each visit, the dog’s forepaws and their handlers’ hands were tested for MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and C.difficile. In addition, the investigator sanitized her hands, handled each dog, and then tested her hands for the same pathogens. Testing was repeated on departure from the facility. The dog-handler teams were observed at all times during the visits and all interactions with patients and staff were closely monitored.

None of the tested pathogens were found on the hands of the investigator or the handlers or the paws of the pet-therapy dogs prior to these visits. However, after visiting an acute care facility, one dog was found to have C.difficile on its paws. When the investigator’s hands were tested after handling another dog that had just visited a long-term care facility, MRSA was detected, suggesting the dog had acquired MRSA on its fur. The dog that acquired C.difficile had politely shaken paws with many of the patients. The dog found to have acquired MRSA on its fur, had been allowed onto patient’s beds and was seen to be repeatedly kissed by two patients.

Finding MRSA on the hands of the investigator who petted a dog after its visit to the long-term facility suggests that dogs that have picked up these pathogens can transfer them back to people. Even transient contamination presents a new avenue for transmission, not only for the pathogens evaluated in the study, but potentially for others such as influenza and norovirus.

The authors conclude that in order to contain the transmission of pathogens through contact with pet therapy animals, all patients and handlers should follow recommended hand sanitation procedures; as for the dogs, perhaps it’s time they learn how to clean themselves after contact with humans!

A Golden Lady needs our help – Updated 2x


LADY IS DOWN TO 134 POUNDS and is really doing well! She has tons of personality and is just one of those funny, sweet goofy goldens. She craves and loves all the attention she can get. She is able to lie on her side now and sorta get into the “belly rub position “( long way to go to be able to roll over on her back but definitely a step in the right direction) and when we comply with her request she just grins ear to ear with her tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth. She LOVES kids. One of our volunteers took her kids to see her and we have never seen her so excited and happy.

MAY 31 UPDATE: I was so thrilled to receive this email today from Adopt a Golden Atlanta’s founder, Lauren Genkinger.

We have received $260 from your volunteers in just a couple of days. Thank you!  She is immensely better and seems to feel much better. We know it is impossible and an allusion but it looks like all the weight has come off her face. She can now open her eyes completely which is a major improvement. Now that her eyes are actually open we discovered she has the longest, thickest eyelashes we have ever seen on any animal or human. They are so long they curl up like she has used an eyelash curler. She is a very sweet dog and will nudge you to death to keep you petting her. We are going to repeat all of her bloodwork this week to see what her medical improvement is. She can certainly move better and can make it outside now. We can tell she is so happy not to have to soil herself… she is getting her dignity back.

Golden Retriever Lady___________
My heart just about broke when I saw this sweet girl. She hardly even looks like a Golden Retriever given her current appearance. Here is her story from Adopt a Golden Atlanta.

Meet Lady, a sweet and beautiful 7-year-old girl. She is the dog we see all too often. She is the product of years of indifference by uncaring owners who now discard her as if she was worthless when they, in fact, brought her to this point. Right now Lady is very sad and not feeling too well. We tell her not to give up because even though she doesn’t know it she is one of the luckiest Goldens ever because she is now out of a home where she was neglected and her health was compromised for lack of receiving simple, medical care. We tell her this is not her fault.

Lady, like many dogs has low thyroid functioning. A diagnosis that can be managed with an inexpensive medication given on a daily basis. We don’t know how long medical care has been withheld from her but at this point the lack of it has caused multiple problems for her and borders on abusive treatment. First she is extremely overweight with an estimated 85 lbs. to lose to get to a normal weight. She weighs 147 lbs! If she was a human who was supposed to weigh 140 lbs, she would weigh 350 lbs and would be 210 lbs overweight. Her cholesterol level is 900 when it should be 180!

As a result of her obesity, her joints are painful and swollen and she can barely hobble short distances after caregivers help her to her feet. In addition, she has hip dysplasia which adds to her mobility problems. She has horrible ear infections that appear to have never been treated and can lead to permanent damage and/or deafness as well as pain. The skin on her belly is infected and burned presumably due to her inability to come to a standing position and thereby having to lie in her own urine and feces. In addition, her owners had her completely shaved and her coat is coarse and dry due to not only the thyroid problems but to poor nutrition.

Lady is a kind girl who seems to neither ask for or expect anything. She will rest her head in your hands and look at you as if just that simple gesture is unknown to her and then she’ll close her eyes as if she is just worn out. If you are standing nearby she waits with a resignation that can only be from being accustomed to being ignored and she will soon lie down because she cannot stand very long.

Her owner’s parting words were, “Well, she’s not much of a prize but maybe someone will want her!” Quite frankly, we have no tolerance for that kind of cruel attitude because Lady is worth far more than that and we definitely want her– and, we know that somewhere, a wonderful home is waiting for her. First, we have to plan her rehab program with our vet’s guidance and in time she will be just like Cinderella! We have promised her we won’t let her down! In the meantime a lot of fairy Godmothers are standing by to teach her that she is a princess and very special— something she has never experienced before. We have renamed her Lady because we want no part of her former life associated with her and we felt that it reflected just what she is- a real lady!

A lady who needs your help today. She will have to stay at the vet for 4-6 weeks under a strict diet and movement program. She will go on loads of medication. Once she sheds some of her weight and can move without 3 people guiding her, she will need to go to swim therapy — the only exercise her joints will be able to tolerate.

We have started a Lady fund to raise $2500. Please give to this girl and show her that people can be kind and have huge hearts. Lady will be looking for a forever family someday and we will keep you updated on her progress. Oh, and one more thing: when Lady was still able to sleep in her crate, the house cat would join her and sleep on top of Lady. Lady loves cats and other dogs. All we have left to say Lady is: Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

UPDATE WEEK 1: She is slightly better. She didn’t even look up, she doesn’t respond to her name and looks like she feels miserable. She was in her crate, lying down. Kept talking to her and petting her under her chin to force her to look up. Finally got her to look at me and sorta got a smile. She is so fat her eyes are just slits and we don’t know how well she sees. After much talking and petting, she struggled to her feet and painfully walked over, slowly wagging her tail,sat down and offered her paw. We don’t think she has ever experienced human kindness and still — the spirit of a Golden is there under many, many pounds and years and years of neglect. She is on pain meds , antibiotics for her skin infection, ear meds and thyroid meds. It will be at least 3 weeks before the thyroid meds have gotten to the proper level in her blood to influence her weight loss.


I just made a donation and will be closely watching to see how Lady does. She deserves so much more.

Please click here to make a donation.

We have received $260 from your volunteers in just a couple of days. Thank you!  I will be posting a new update on Lady shortly.