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

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!

So happy to help Service Dog Gadget

Meet Sharon Wachsler and her Bouvier des Flandres Service Dog, Gadget [9/2009]. Gadget, who is with his partner 24/7, was trained by Sharon to do the following:

  1. Open and shut doors
  2. Turn lights on and off
  3. Retrieve items
  4. Carry necessities
  5. Answer the phone (getting the phone when it rings)
  6. Brace on command, stiffening body to play the Rock of Gibraltar, to steady Sharon after she get up or after Gadget pulls her to her feet
  7. Alert to the stove timer
  8. Alert to people that they are needed to help Sharon in some way

Gadget has worked with Sharon for seven years, trained via positive methods such as the clicker, and provides 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. Our foundation’s Cancer Treatment Grant will hopefully give Sharon a little bit of relief, being utilized for Gadget’s chemotherapy treatments.

Check out the following videos that show Gadget and Sharon working together.

Cherishing the moments

Brady and Deana, together, enjoying the ocean

Brady and Deana, together, enjoying the ocean

A man with Alzheimer’s wanders from his home, a hiker goes missing, a trapped family desperately tries to escape flood waters. The National Association for Search & Rescue indicates that the ability to save a life is often dependent upon how quickly the person can be found and accessed. But, providing enough well-equipped and well-trained search and rescue professionals is a daunting task.

Deana Hudgins, President of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc., a non-profit all volunteer response unit, recently shared her story with us, detailing the work of her SAR Golden boys, Brady and Chase. Sadly, Brady, a talented boy whose specialties included Live Finds and Area Search, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in June 2008. And, we just learned today from Deana that he lost his battle to this horrific disease in November.

I am truly grateful to have had Brady in my life and I am fortunate to have gotten the chance to take Brady to the beach in Florida in September. He had a great time running and playing. He was even well enough to play the day before he passed away. Brady has taught me so much about love, loyalty and happiness. I hope to honor him by continuing to dedicate myself to K9 Search and Rescue. Brady was a fantastic ambassador for search and rescue and the Ohio Search Dog Association.

Go experience a wonderful photo montage that shows this Golden family’s celebration of life. Just click here.

New Hemangiosarcoma Research

SAR Brady (certifications: NAPWDA Area Search, NASAR SAR TECH II, NASAR Canine SAR TECH II, Canine Good Citizen

This is Brady, one of the dogs that we are following and who has received a grant from our foundation to help with his hemangiosarcoma’s treatment costs.

A new study jointly conducted by Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute may one day help both canines and humans with this form of cancer.

Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Cancer Institute who discovered the targeted therapy drug Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), is teaming up with OSU veterinary oncologist and researcher Stuart Helfand, D.V.M. Dr. Helfand was one of the first to discover abnormalities in hemangiosarcoma growth pathways similar to those responsible for CML in humans.

Hemangiosarcomas strike all dog breeds, but is more often noted in German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. It is a rapidly growing, highly invasive cancer. Thanks to this grant, the Druker Laboratory is now studying a cell line developed in Helfand’s laboratory from a German Shepherd that died of this sarcoma. The researchers want to see what drugs can be developed to treat this disease. In turn, this research may ultimately benefit people with similar cancers.