How High the Price

This song by John Tams is quite haunting when paired with images from D-Day, the invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944.

How High the Price

How deep the water
That makes widows out of wives
For this is not fish you’re eating
This is men’s lives…

All clouds the sky
The boats are leaving
One last goodbye
Dark waters call us on
The Northern Sea
Knows well the sound of grieving
How slight the fate
We put our trust upon

Then go we must
No longer can we tarry
The water’s wide
Yet we must go and try
And like a bird on a silvery morning
Home to your side we will chance to fly

And the water shines like patent leather
We search for signs upon this lifeless ground
The reckoning sky calls down some heavy weather
We’ve come for fish, and fish need must be found

Then go we must
No longer can we tarry
The water’s wide
Yet we must go and try
And like a bird on a silvery morning
Home to your side we will chance to fly

And we ride the flood and trust to glory
Some planks of wood no thicker than your thumb
It’s all that keeps the telling of our story
From being lost or maybe being won

Then go we must
No longer can we tarry
The water’s wide
Yet we must go and try
And like a bird on a silvery morning
Home to your side we will chance to fly

All clouds the sky
The boats are leaving
One last goodbye
Dark waters call us on
The Northern Sea
Knows well the sound of grieving
How slight the fate
We put our trust upon

Then go we must
No longer can we tarry
The water’s wide
Yet we must go and try
And like a bird on a silvery morning
Home to your side we will chance to fly

Home to your side we will chance to fly.


ALFIE – Our *Golden* 11th Birthday Boy – Updated

A Baby Alfie

I’m so happy that Alfie is celebrating his 11th birthday today (you can see him from my first day with him on here: I never made it this far, getting to 11, that is. Okay, not me, but my Alfie boy. He celebrated 11 years of happiness (I hope) today. Cancer took my other babies so I am holding out hope that Alfie will make it a bit longer.

But, I am definitely not greedy. There is plenty to be thankful for as there are a bazillion fabulous scenes that will hopefully play over and over in my head for some time to come.

I had never before done the party thing or even gotten a cake for my boy. But, I figured this was truly a momentous occasion. So, he had his first take of cake today. Now, I will never be left alone again when sneaking a piece for myself.

He has gotten so many special surprises. Just check out the organic Carrot Peanut Butter Bubba Rose Birthday Cake and the Mimi-Green Swiss Velvet Custom Name-Embroidered Collar.

The infamous window response to my calling out, "WHO'S THERE?"

Alfie has stolen my heart .... so I knew I needed to add a heart to his wonderful new collar.

Spoiled, you say?  Nah . . . . . . . . .

P.S.: Funny hubby Gary just asked why half the cake was still in the refrigerator. Surely, his birthday boy Alfie should have been given the entire cake to wolf down in 5 seconds flat. Major fail, of course.

P.P.S.: A fun clip of Alfie’s very first freestyle lesson with Carolyn Scott

Golden Alfie just loves watching the fish and frogs in the pond. His tail never stops wagging. Ever. And, the song, Sunny Skies, by James Taylor ( ) is just perfect.

If only Glenn could live next door . . .

Glenn Ross, of Vurv Design

I am in love with Glenn Ross …. his talent, that is. He is a contemporary designer and minimalist (just like me). He loves simple and clean lines, and I’d have him design everything in my home if I could (can someone lend me a million bucks). Of course, figuring out how to get him to move from his beautiful home in Coquitlam, British Columbia may be the killer.

I have added his incredible line to my site. Since Glenn creates every piece by hand, you can expect the pricing to be higher. But, his conscientiousness and concern for the environment is exceptional, so I consider a purchase from him a win-win.

And, then when you add in the fact that any profit from my foundation store goes right back to helping dogs with their cancer treatment, it then becomes a win-win-win proposition.

We are in love with his feeders and his super wall mounting kit that allows them to double as plant sconces (as shown here).

Glenn actually thinks of everything in his design elements. The fact that wall-mounted feeders can easily be removed for cleaning (because we know that slobber and food clings to everything due to the habits of our furkids) is a pet lover’s dream.

I love Glenn’s story about his daughter trying to snuggle into his prototype Pet Bed Pod when it was being developed.

And, while his storage Treasure Chest was developed with his two daughters in mind, we immediately knew it would be a fabulous storage box for our furkids as well.

Check it out here:

HTML clipboardCoquitlam, British Columbia.

Patriot Service Dogs ….. *Golden* Justice for All

Could anyone ever find the words equal to the powerful message in this photo? I don’t think so. (Be sure to click on the photo, and then again, to see a glorious supersized version.)

Tim Shelton, director of the American Legion Riders Florida Chapter 137, and Justice, a 5-month old Golden puppy who is being trained by Patroit Service Dogs. This chapter held a bike show event, raising funds to sponsor dogs for disabled veterans. (The Florida Times-Union, Don Burk)

Learn more about Patriot Service Dogs and Golden Retriever Justice’s progress here.

And, go to sitstaysoothe.htm to learn more about the work our special canine angels are doing for those in the military.

Dog Beach Boogie

North Beach, affectionately called Dog Beach by dog owners, is located in Del Mar, California (near San Diego) and stretches nearly one half mile. Dogs can be off leash after Labor Day through June 14th but must be leashed June 15th through Labor Day. Owners must pick up after their dogs at all times.

A reunion like none other

In the African jungle, conservationist Damian Aspinall searches for Kwibi, a lowland gorilla he hasn’t seen for 5 years. Kwibi grew up with Damian at his Howletts Wild Animal Park in England. When he was five, he was released into the forests of Gabon, West Africa as part of conservation program to re-introduce gorillas back into the wild.

This is much harder than it looks.

This is the Southern Golden Retriever Display Team performing at CRUFTS 2010. I have seen them perform better than this but still am very impressed. In my own freestyle training years ago, we tried these team exercises. They are really, really tough.

The fact that a Golden was distracted by some previous scent in the arena was actually a bonus. The group continued with their performance, the dog finally after a few mishaps getting in step ….. making the piece that much more dear.

Leads them through parade route to safety

Joel Armstrong, a cool Washington state banker, helped a family of ducks reach the local river.

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For the past 35 days, Armstrong watched as a mother duck nested on a ledge outside his office window, which is two blocks from the Spokane River in Washington state. On Saturday morning, Armstrong arrived in town for the annual Lilac Festival parade. Seeing the newly hatched ducklings nervously pacing back and forth on the ledge, he knew they were stuck. Their mother stood waiting below, but the jump off the ledge was too far for the ducklings.

Armstrong hasn’t played baseball since grade school, but he stepped up to the plate ready to help. Standing below the ledge, he caught each duckling as they leapt into his waiting hands below. By the time it was over, a crowd had gathered for the parade. To the sound of cheers and applause, the mother duck led her ducklings to water.

Golden Retrievers Rosey & Dimpsey have Car Trouble

Jeff Goodman is an award winning cameraman and director who is based in Bristol and Cornwall. Working globally, he has over 30 years experience in Wildlife, Underwater, Aerial and Sound Sync Lighting Camera work. But, now he and his wife have decided to provide films featuring their two Golden Retrievers, Rosey and Dimpsey.

This latest adventure features these sweet sisters driving home but having difficulties as their car develops a terrible noise.

There’s not too much cuter than this

Endangered Fennec Hare Born at Korea Zoo

ZooBorns always provides those awww moments.

The birth of one of the world’s rarest creatures was celebrated this week at North Korea’s Pyongyang People’s Zoo. The Fennec Hare is on the brink of extinction with only a handful remaining in captivity. Once found throughout the Iperian Steppe, but now critically endangered, the Fennec hare relies on its acute auditory sense to evade predators and detect its favored prey, the D. carota beetle.

A great recipe … but so bittersweet

I just received the most glorious sugar-free, gluten-free, organic birthday cake recipe. It was sent for my Bone Appetit Recipe Contest.

It was sent by Sharon Wachsler who made it for her Gadget’s ninth, and last, birthday. Gadget worked with Sharon for seven years, trained via positive methods such as the clicker, and provided a critical function for increased independence despite her disabilities.

Sadly, Gadget was diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma in May 2009 and then with a Mast Cell Tumor in September 2009 (which sadly took his life on 11/19/09). A Working Dog Grant from our foundation was utilized for some of Gadget’s chemotherapy treatments.

That means that tomorrow, I will be mailing Sharon a FREE full-sized $9 bag of SuperTreats Pro-Digestive 100% Fruit Chews!

Dr. Nancy Kay …. a fitting tribute, indeed

I recently heard from veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Kay, and was so glad she sent us a copy of her seminal book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.

These days, it seems impossible to keep up with all the great books debuting in our ever expanding realm of the dog. Already in its third printing, the book was honored in 2009 by the Dog Writers Association of America and her Speaking for Spot Blog (which is fabulous btw) won a Best Blog Award as well. Wanting to become a veterinarian for just about as long as she can remember, Dr. Kay graduated from the Cornell College of Vet. Medicine, her residency completed at the Univ of CA-Davis in Internal Medicine.

Currently a board certified internist at the Rohnert Park, CA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center, Dr Kay additionally founded and helps facilitate the Animal Care Center Pet Support Group. Of course, you know just how important she is when you see the fitting tribute received from Bruce and Jim at Draw the Dog.

We love how Dr. Kay helps you come to grips with a cancer diagnosis, and explains the tough choices that are bound to follow. Plus, you’ll find an alphabetical listing of the most common symptoms experienced by dogs and the questions your vet is sure to ask when you report them—not to mention hundreds of prevalent diseases and related points you should be certain to clarify before leaving your vet’s office with a treatment plan in hand. A labor of love, this book was fueled by her passion to teach people how to be effective medical advocates for their four-legged best friends. Gone are the days of simply following doc’s orders―today’s dog lovers are confronted with health-care decision-making on many levels. Have you ever wondered . . .

  • How do I find a vet that feels just right for me and my dog?
  • What are the important questions I should be asking my vet?
  • How will I be able to afford my dog’s health care? Is pet insurance the way to go?
  • Does my dog truly need all those vaccines listed on the reminder postcard?
  • Does my dog really need the surgery or procedure that has been recommended?
  • Are there other options I should be considering?
  • When is it appropriate to get a second opinion? Where should I go to get one and how can I avoid offending my vet?
  • Should I take my dog to see a specialist?
  • Should I consider treating my dog’s cancer?
    Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing this for him or for me?
  • Is my dog ready to say goodbye? Am I ready to let him go? What are my choices when it comes to the euthanasia process?

If you’ve struggled with these questions, you’ve come to just the right place! Dr. Kay and Speaking for Spot will help you answer all of these questions and many more. With warmth, candor, and humor cultivated over 20-plus years of working with dogs and their human companions Dr. Kay provides an insider’s guide to navigating the potentially overwhelming, confusing, and expensive world of veterinary medicine. The result is everything you need to know in one fabulous, fully illustrated book. Speaking for Spot is the consummate guide on how to be your best friend’s medical advocate!

We’ve loved Betty White for a long time

Betty and Golden Retriever Pontiac

BETTY WHITE, an American actress, comedian and former television host with a career spanning over sixty-five years, is also a well-known advocate for animals and president emeritus and trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation). She had a Golden Retriever named Kitta, a former Guide Dog “who had bum hips”, and now has a Golden named Pontiac.

“He’s a career-change dog,” says White of her pet who was trained as a guide dog but couldn’t actually work in the field. “I lost my last fellow when he was 10 years old, and Guide Dogs for the Blind heard about it. They called and said they had another golden, so I went up to their facilities to meet him — and now he’s mine!

Here is Betty with Pontiac making a statement about our most important topic, Canine Cancer. And, what follows is the wicked funny Betty (from her debut Saturday Night Live hosting job) that we have all come to love.

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Betty is actually part of my site, at one of the most visited areas. It is where I feature those authors, TV personalities, movie actors, artists, and sports stars …. who are all owned (or previously owned) by Golden Retrievers! There are actually over 160 celebrities in this special Golden club.

Betty wrote [Nov 2001] about how her Golden boy Kitta helped her recover from hip surgery. Here is what she had to say:

“As well as we think we know the pets we live with, they still manage to surprise us now and then. It’s especially nice when the surprise turns out to be a pleasant one.

My three animal friends are my family in every sense of the word, and we are in total communication at all times. Self-appointed queen of the group is Panda, a black and white Shih Tzu, 11 years old, who came from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. She had been picked up in a cruelty case and impounded until the case came to trial. Panda has earned the right to be as spoiled as she is. Bob Cat is a beautiful Himalayan with huge blue eyes who found me seven years ago and, like the man who came to dinner, never left. He has no idea that he is of the feline persuasion and follows me everywhere with dog-like devotion. Unfortunately, his idea of “Sit-Stay” is on my chest.

Betty and KittaThen there is my golden boy, Kitta, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever. He was puppy-raised in Alaska (kitta means “forward” in the Inuit language) but didn’t make it into the formal Guide Dogs for the Blind program because his hips didn’t quite measure up to the requirements for those hard-working dogs. Privately, I like to think it was because we were meant to be together.

Kitta is fine, but a few months ago, I was the one who needed hip replacement surgery. As someone who for 30 years has worked with the Morris Animal Foundation (an animal health organization that funds studies into specific health problems of all animals), I have seen enough canine X-rays to recognize the problem area. When my doctor showed me my pictures, my reaction was, ‘I’ve got hip dysplasia — can I go to my veterinarian?”

While hip replacement is something we would all just as soon skip, they really have it down to a routine procedure these days. However, even under optimum conditions, there is a five-day hospital stay involved and a few weeks of slightly limited activity once you get home. My bedroom was off-limits as I couldn’t go up stairs, so I arranged to set up headquarters in the playroom — separate from the house and with no steps to manage.

The day I came home from the hospital, I was walking but with the aid of a walker. I went directly out to the playroom, got safely ensconced, then had my furry friends brought out one at a time for their greeting. First Panda, then Bob, and finally Kitta — on a leash so he couldn’t get too carried away in his enthusiasm.

I took the big golden head in my hands and, nose-to-nose, proceeded to explain the situation in detail: “Sorry, Kitta dear, but Mom’s going to be real dumb company for a while . . . .” He sat motionless as he listened, just swaying slightly because of his intensely wagging tail. I unhooked the leash, and he sank down but within reach of my hand.

From that moment on, Kitta was on duty. When I would get up to move around, he was at my side but didn’t move any faster than I could go with the walker. His idea, not mine. Later, when I graduated to a cane, his pace adjusted but only up to what I could manage, and his back was within arm’s reach at all times.

The hospital sends a tool home with you called a “grabber” — a long stick with a handle that lets you pick up whatever you drop without bending over. Handy tool, that is. But I didn’t need it. All I had to say to my golden friend was “Fetch it up,” and whatever it was would be handed to me. One day, I got myself into a place in the rose garden where even with my cane I couldn’t get back to smooth ground. I reached for Kitta’s help, grabbed hold of some loose skin at his shoulders, and he literally pulled me back where I belonged.

Most animals are creatures of habit and don’t appreciate change in their routine. Surprisingly, Panda — and even Bob — adapted to the altered daily pattern without complaint, bless them, but Kitta’s reaction was something else. Remember, this was a dog that had never been trained to be a caretaker. He had only gone through puppy socialization, which simply meant being taken to various public places and learning to mind his manners. Where did this instinctive nursing behavior come from? I didn’t ask questions; I just deeply appreciated it.

Continuing to improve, I was soon driving, we all moved back upstairs, and before long, everything was back to normal. Another surprise was yet to come: The day I put the cane away for good — the very day — my nurturing helpmate changed back into my regular fun-loving playmate, and my Kitta was his old self again, begging for a tennis ball game without a care in the world.

If possible, however, we are both just a little closer than before.”

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