Another punishing blow…

I am back here talking about Golden Retriever Robin, Police K-9 detection & SAR dog (aka Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder). I have posted here, here, here, and here about this very special guy, who has an aggressive form of cancer and is now fighting for his life.

Mary’s latest news is not good, Robin’s cancer having metastasized to the right mandibular lymph node:

I have heard that grief has several stages, one of which is denial. I find myself repeating that while the statistics are grim, Robin is no ordinary dog. He does not know that this will be the fight of his life, and it will be a prohibitively expensive process. Somehow in my struggle, I find myself taking momentary comfort in believing that somehow, this whole thing will be a big error and that Robin isn’t really sick. But, as soon as I sell out and feel that few seconds of comfort, reality comes back and drives a blade between my ribs and reminds me that Robin is in the cross-hairs.

Right now Robin and I are involved in a battle for his life, even though he is not yet showing signs of his illness. Robin’s type of cancer can have a variable prognosis, and Cornell has informed me that the initial treatment for his lymph node removal and radiation will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $8,500 to $10,000. If subsequent treatment is required, the costs will escalate from there. We are desperately trying to raise enough money to save him, and we need your help. Whether it be fundraising ideas, or personal donations, every little bit will help.

Please get over to grants.landofpuregold.com/robin.htm to learn more and help in this fight.

Here’s Golden Robin (BISS Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder OS SDHF CGC TDI) and breeder/owner/handler Mary MacQueen receiving their AKC ACE award in the law enforcement division at the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba Invitational in Long Beach California.

And, here’s Robin doing his thing (drug detection).

Dr. Clair . . . what a character!

I first blogged about veterinarian, Dr. Clair Thompson, in April 2010, as he was preparing for his Golden Retriever Whitney’s delivery (turned out to be 11 healthy puppers). He and his veterinarian wife (Dr. Sammie Thompson) run East Stroudsburg Veterinary Hospital, and at the time, had three Goldens and one English Mastiff.

This New Year’s Eve video of his Golden, Whitney, was entitled: “Is this Animal Cruelty”.

Well, he’s now back with Buddy, the terrible terrier. Buddy is now in his 4th home, having bitten everyone in each home up until now. Dr Clair is treadmill training Buddy to wear him out and give him needed exercise. And, good news. Buddy is working to become a PAWS-itive Therapy Dog and has already paid two visits to Pocono Medical Center doing PAWS-itive therapy.

I don’t understand how we ended up in this place.

That is how Mary MacQueen begins her moving article, Personal Reflections:

I don’t understand how we ended up in this place. Not my partner! Not my hero! Not my friend! I keep rehashing all of this over in my head and just can’t seem to grasp it.

You see, Robin, my Police K-9 detection dog (aka Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder) and I are sitting in the waiting room of Cornell University’s Small animal Hospital, 200 miles from home, waiting to see an ONCOLOGIST!   …

Read more from Mary’s article at Golden Retriever Robin’s page: grants.landofpuregold.com/robin.htm .

What Happened to Hemp?

What Happened to Hemp? Blame DuPont, Says Joe Baegant. Such a wonderful substance that we are starting to see in lots of healthier products (hemp seed, hemp seed oil, etc.) for our dogs.

Check out Vote Hemp, a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no use as a recreational drug.

I needed this today

My Golden pal Toni Eames just sent me this wise, definitely funny, message from Woody Allen:

In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!

He does it all … Update on Police K9/SAR Dog Robin

Golden Retriever Robin leading the parade

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her boy Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog). We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy. And, we wrote about Robin earlier this week when I learned of his Cutaneous Epithelioltropic Lymphoma diagnosis and their being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department due to budget disputes.

Robin’s story was featured yesterday and today in The Salamanca Press, a paper that has been following his work in the community for several years now.

FREWSBURG — Less than a week after owner Mary MacQueen learned her dog, Robin, had been diagnosed with a malignant form of skin cancer, the pair visited Cornell University to run additional tests. After several tests — including chest x-rays, ultrasounds, blood work and urinalysis — the diagnosis was confirmed: Robin has Cutaneous Epitheliotropic Lymphoma.

Although MacQueen doesn’t expect to hear the complete results from the test for about a week, she does know Robin will at least have to undergo 16 days worth of radiation as well as another surgery procedure to followup one which removed a minor bump on Robin’s rib cage earlier in the month.

Depending on what the results determine, Robin may also need to have chemotherapy conducted.

MacQueen said the radiation is expected to cost at least $6,000, and she has been accepting donations online from friends, family members and fellow dog lovers. She said she wants to help not only Robin, but to raise awareness for the disease in general.

“What I am looking at now is a bigger plan than just Robin,” she said. “He is such a great ‘spokesdog’ for the things dogs are capable of. No matter what the future holds, maybe it will raise some additional awareness for the disease.”

Come over to grants.landofpuregold.com/robin.htm to learn about Robin’s strong work ethic, this week still doing a drug demonstration for elementary school children. And, see how much we have now raised for his care at Cornell.

Be sure to spread the word about Robin’s story (you can use this short address as well:  http://bit.ly/4robin

Golden Retriever Tanner is a trip

OMG, but Golden Retriever Tanner is just so much like my first Golden boy Ollie. Ollie loves to rip up paper. Just loved it. He would get a piece of tissue or paper towel or paper roller tubes and just leave a huge pile of tiny little pieces. And, he’d be so proud of himself. He also loves his tennis balls, and he would work so hard at picking up as many as he could at one time. He got to four and that was already 3 more than I would have liked.

Well, Tanner LOVES cardboard . . . . loves ripping it up, that is. And, his dad says the video below shows him with 5 balls. That is hard to see, though, as that 5th one must be in the back of his mouth, which is incredibly dangerous (do check out this safety warning).

BIG and tiny. Truly amazing.

Ellie with her kitty baby, Angie

This story is everywhere, and rightfully so. Ellie has adopted little kitty Angie. A soft meowing outside her Atlanta home two weeks ago has most certainly created a major rift in cyberspace. And, it has turned a dog-loving, allergic-to-cats home, into an inter-species realm. This photo is from Ellie’s Facebook page . . . and yes, be sure to get on over there to make a friend request so that you can keep up with how the story progresses.

Camille and Mari Ryan Heschmeyer say their dog Ellie has taken “ownership” of this tiny abandoned kitten after she found her in the back yard. Now, she has become Mom, now lactating and nursing her and never letting her out of her watchful site. Yes, allergies or not, little kitty Angie is there to stay.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Eleanor Jane (Ellie for short) thinks Ellen needs her and Miss Angie on her show. I’m sure it won’t be long.

Yes, a $7 Homemade Pizza Oven!

Economy Bites is a great online cooking show and blog. They recently had an episode that showed how to convert your oven into a brick oven pizza machine. Scott Wiener, of Scott’s Pizza Tours is adorably funny. Loved the fresh ingredients. Maybe I will try it. What do you think?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

INGREDIENTS
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb fresh mozzarella
1 large bunch Basil
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Dough (adapted from www.pizzaschool.com):
21-oz all purpose flour
14.3 oz water
0.5 oz salt
0.25 oz yeast

***You need 14 unglazed ceramic tiles for this recipe

Night before
Mix dough ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, then place it in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a wash-cloth and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours. When done rising, split dough into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and set in airtight container in refrigerator overnight. Remove 2 hours before baking.

Day of
1. Rinse and dry tiles.

2. Set top oven rack on top oven rung. Set bottom rack about 6 inches below. Place 6 tiles upside-down in the middle of the top rack, it will form a big rectangle. Set 4 tiles on bottom rack so they form a square. On either side of the oven, place 2 tiles so they’re at a diagonal facing inward. You’ve now made your pizza stone!

3. Turn oven to 500 degrees and give it about an hour to get hot.

4. Fill a bowl with tepid water and lightly wash Basil leaves. Blot them on a paper towel.

5. Slice about 10 slices of Mozzarella very thin and blot them with a paper towel to get rid of moisture.

6. Flour the back of a plate or cookie sheet and use it as a base to stretch out your dough.

7. Place cheese on dough then add a few spoonfuls of tomato. Grate a little Parmesan cheese on top.

8. To move the pizza to the oven: slide the pizza into the oven on top of the 4 tiles on the bottom rack. Bake pizza about 15 minutes or until it’s golden and bubbly.

9. Garnish pizza with ripped up basil and olive oil.

Can you help Police K9/SAR Dog Robin?

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her Golden Robin are the recipients. We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy, and continue to be amazed by her strong work ethic. We initially blogged about Robin a little over a year ago.

Robin also is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Gold Standard Award. This award is presented to honor a Golden who performs honorable, heroic acts or who enriches, inspires or contributes to the lives of individuals and communities.

Eight-year-old Golden Retriever Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC, Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog) and Mary MacQueen have worked for the Salamanca Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, and assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in Western New York State. In 2009 alone, Robin had been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets.

Robin and Mary’s work with the Cattaraugus County, NY Sheriff’s Office included jail & vehicle searches, school searches, and searches during community festivals. Robin, the second narcotics certified K-9 in Cattaraugus County, is their first to be allowed to search people/students due to his easy going temperament and passive “sit” alert when he locates drugs.

Mary MacQueen and Robin also assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug task force and Kinzua Search Dogs, a non-profit, all volunteer group that endeavors to locate missing persons. Based in southwestern New York, Kinzua Search Dogs conducts searches in New York State as well as Pennsylvania.

Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin is also a therapy dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Champion of Record, and the recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Show Dog Hall of Fame title.

When Robin’s busy schedule allows, he also leads local parades, visits hospitals and nursing homes, and makes trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. They say during community events and fundraisers that he can often be seen carrying a donation basket or lunch box filled with candy for the kids.

BUT, MARY’S EMAIL TO ME  YESTERDAY DID NOT BRING GOOD NEWS
On October 18, 2010 we received a very sad email from Mary about her special boy Robin, his being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer on October 15th, two days after his eighth birthday.

Needless to say, I am still reeling from this horrible news. I have our first Oncology appointment on Wednesday at 11AM at Cornell University. They said it is an all day appointment filled with blood work, scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays. The original mass removal was done by my vet, but the histopathology was done at Cornell, so there was probably little room for error in the diagnosis which was Cutaneous Epithelialtropic Lymphoma. They said it was in the early stages for this aggressive form of cancer, so we are confident that this is the ONE special dog who will beat this disease!

While there is never a good time to get a cancer diagnosis, the situation has been compounded by Mary and Robin being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department on Oct 11th due to the Seneca Casino/NY state disputes.

Robin’s medical bills are not covered by his police department, and the treatment will be both extensive and expensive. Please help us save this dog who has given so much of his life for his community. Make a tax-deductible donation today …. designating it solely for Robin’s care. The money will be directly applied to his care at Cornell University

TO DONATE, JUST CLICK HERE.

And, please spread the word by having folks come to http://bit.ly/4robin