Meet Golden Retriever Honey

Josh Woodward “Swansong” Music Video With Lyrics

I never thought I’d see the day
I thought that I had finally moved along
And I had let you go so long ago, so long
This is not, this is not where I belong

So I wait for this shallow itch to pass
And I wait, yeah I wait Hey hey, I’m ok I don’t need this anyway, I’m fine What’s yours and mine Oh oh, I don’t know What I was ever hoping I would find But it’s time for me to leave this all behind

I don’t regret a single thing
I couldn’t say it didn’t feel alright
But I don’t want to stay and I don’t want to fight
All alone, with my foolish appetite

So I wait for this shallow itch to pass
And I wait, yeah I wait Hey hey, I’m ok I don’t need this anyway, I’m fine What’s yours and mine Oh oh, I don’t know What I was ever hoping I would find But it’s time for me to leave this all behind

I don’t have the heart to give away to you again
I don’t have the stomach for it, no one ever wins
We had our fun but I have sung this song to you before
Here’s my last refrain [Chorus x 2]


Golden Retriever Amber: Serious vs. Smile & lots more

I have blogged about Malaysia’s Amber-Mae before but had to put up this latest video as there was 1 part that just made me smile inside. Be sure to watch very carefully as Amber’s mom, Melissa-Jane, gets her to show two opposite emotions: serious and happy (by smiling).

Amber definitely knows what’s coming and loves making Mom happy. She loves the game so much that on her last time to show serious you can see just how hard it is for her not to smile instead. It is just too cute.

Be on the lookout for the hug Chloe trick. That’s a first. I just love this trick. What a nice video. All the dogs in the background are so well behaved as well, just letting Amber do all the work.

I also love the one Golden who seems out of it resting, but is quick enough to snatch one of Amber’s reward treats.

Meet Golden Retrievers Tango and Disco

So fascinating to see K9 Musical Freestyle Training begin at a mere 8 weeks of age. Just amazing what Linda Farr is doing with this little guy.


Here’s Linda with Golden Retriever Disco, doing a nursing home demonstration. These are much harder than you can imagine. The space that you typically have is very confining so you need to be very creative in what you can safely perform.

You can learn more about freestyle training here:

Just love this *side* command

Here are two video clips from a recent training session with Duke and two other dogs. He was very good! We worked on basics as the other two dogs were an added distraction, but he was ultimately very focused. =) Duke is a one year old, Golden Retriever, in training to be a service dog. His training can be followed on Facebook at: .The other two dogs are Puppy (a chihuahua) and Ginger (a poodle mix). Puppy knows a few more behaviors than just sit, including “side” which he happily demonstrated in the video. Ginger is new to training with multiple dogs and was quite good at focusing..

Golden Duke comes from Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established in 1998. It is dedicated to the training of service dogs for those with limited abilities in the county of San Diego.

TLCAD, just one of the hundreds of the fine service dog organizations located worldwide, is included in our foundation’s listing found here.

YES, we are what we eat.

We just love Saturday Night Love’s *ads*. Funny, how they are picking up on the sad state of our food supply. So, before getting the true scoop on nutrition and diet, check out this poignant video on what NOT TO BE SERVING TO OUR DOGS (initially posted in Oct 2009)!

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This is closer to the truth than you can imagine.

Check out lots of incredible information on diet plans, some from veterinarians (
Dr. Gregory Ogilvie and Dr. Demian Dressler) and Cornell University. There are 3 SUPER PDF documents for you to print out, with over 100 pages of material in fact. Just click here.

I home cook an organic diet and have done so for several years now. I add all organic ingredients to an organic pre-mix that is actually used for dogs with cancer. I feel it is a good preventative to use this formula as I really like the amount of antioxidants. I do not sell the food (I do not sell any food at my store) but know the person who developed it, and she does extensive work with veterinarians and dogs with chronic health issues.

The CANINE LIFE PRE-MIX FORMULATION FOR CANCER contains: Organic milled whole brown rice, Organic chick peas, Organic whole oats, calcium, carob, Acadian sea kelp, green tea, turmeric, oregano, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, ginger, and garlic.

Canine Life: Home-Baked & Organic

Canine Life: Home-Baked & Organic

This is a true home-cooked diet, each recipe making muffins or squares. The baking time is extremely short as there is nothing to rise here, it is merely to cook together so that any bacteria is removed from the raw ingredients. Three cups of this purchased pre-mix (above) is added to the following ingredients that I provide from home: organic broccoli, organic egg with shell, organic red apple, organic blueberries, organic pure cranberry juice, organic safflower oil, organic ground chicken with skin, and organic chicken livers. The ingredients, such as the organic chicken livers, organic red apple and organic broccoli, are pureed or chopped fine via a (Cuisinart) food processor. And, the organic chicken (I use organic thighs) with skin (no bones) is ground up via a meat grinder attachment on my food processor. You can learn about it here at my foundation’s site.

Golden Retriever Ronan back with more tricks

On September 28th, I shared the story of  RONAN: Golden puppy bowling cheater. To remind folks, here was the description of the scene in the video (shown again below):

My brother challenged me to teach my 8 month old Golden Retriever puppy, Ronan, to bowl….. now if only I could keep him from cheating! I laugh every time I watch this…. so I had to share.


Well, Ronan’s mom just wrote to me, with news of her Golden boy’s latest achievement.

In September 2010, I was informed by youtube that you posted a video of my puppy, Ronan, learning to bowl on your website. Wanted to send you another video of my boy that will make you smile. Ronan has been such a blessing in my life, as he was a gift when I had my hip replaced for the 2nd time at age 39. I lost my job due to my health issues and Ronan has been such a light in my day to day life…. that I wanted to share his “grin” with you as I’m reading that you have health struggles too. Hope you get some relief soon.  Hugs- Colleen



And, just in case you are wondering (since I must admit I was), the bottle is a plush dog toy that makes a beer pouring noise when you squeeze it.

The Kitchen Remodel from Hell

Well, I’ve not been posting too much in the last few weeks as life sometimes gets so busy and so complicated and so, so messy. But, there are always obligations. So, I did manage to get out my foundation’s quarterly newsletter.

You don’t want to miss it. You will learn about my kitchen remodel, which after 3 months, has not gotten that far.  And, I have a book review of Stephen Huneck’s final book as well as a wonderful article from Suzi Beber on Slow Cooking for your Dog.

Just click here and you can print out your own full-color issue.

If you haven’t seen Dr. Greg Martinez slow-cooking for his dog family, in addition to eating the same out of the pot with them, you haven’t lived. Honestly, I’ve watched it a few times and enjoy it more each time. Dr. Greg is too funny and writes to tell me of his latest concoctions, all based on what goodies they have on special at the supermarket.

Do check out the good doctor’s great book, Dog Dish Diet, which I gave a Thumbs Up Review to in one of my previous newsletter issues.

And, for some of his latest gems and great advice, please enjoy a copy of his latest electric publication, Canine Crock Pot Cuisine.

They’re baaaack!!!

pat-bear-graduation-web2.jpgI’ve often posted about my special Golden puppy raiser pal, Pat Lawson, a Golden lover after my own heart. She has raised over 20 puppies for various service dog organizations. Pat is shown here with her second CCI puppy “Bear” who graduated as a Skilled Companion in August of 2005.

Pat has a mini-grove of organically grown navel oranges that are sweet as sugar. The oranges are growing at the base of the San Tan mountains, in soil that promotes incredible sweetness. In the last 4 years I have bought well over 100 boxes of organic oranges.

Golden Alfie loves them as well, and the fact that they are totally organic, is just the icing on the cake.

I received this glowing letter last year from a fan of Pat’s oranges.

Many thanks for your blog post for Arizona Navel Oranges. I placed holiday orders based on your recommendation and emailed Pat Lawson for additional information. Pat gave me a call back that day and I had a lovely chat with her. Well, I received our packages yesterday, 12/16, and her oranges are the BEST.

I’m just “tickled-orange” to find such a terrific organic product from a small farmer who is also such a lovely woman.
Thanks again,
Lynn Beall

These delicious wonders only began shipping Monday and last only until February … which means you better not delay if you want to experience the joy yourself. Just go to and be sure to let Pat know Rochelle sent you. She always loves making new doggie friends.

Here is Golden Tavi, who Pat raised some time ago. He was so used to Pat’s oranges that when he was bought a “store” orange he only took a few bites before leaving it sitting on the ground. Pat says that wherever he ends up, she will have to keep him supplied with his favorite food of all time, San Tan Sweet Oranges.

Check out Tavi below demolishing one of Mom’s oranges.

Don’t delay, get on over to TODAY!

It gets better . . .

Dogs don’t judge. They provide unconditional love & support. They think you’re amazing, just the way you are! If you’re being bullied, or not living up to someone else’s expectations, check out this video where you will be immediately accepted and loved for who you are by a young Golden Retriever who has been where you are!

Ricochet gets bullied… she had expectations placed on her & she didn’t live up to them.  Disappointment, sadness & frustration resulted. But, it got better, and she wants you to know, you can do it too! Just stay true to yourself & rise above the bullies and expectations because IT GETS BETTER!

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Also, be sure to click here
for the page we’ve created for Ricochet.

Golden Gracie goes viral: A Soldier’s Joyful Reunion

It all started in September 2005. This was the day (now) Captain Andrew Schmidt came back from a 5 month tour in Kandahar. It turns out Golden Retriever Gracie had been in an Alexandria, VA shelter for 4 months and was literally days away from being euthanized when the Schmidt family adopted her.

The video got renewed hits after a remembrance collage had been created, which included Gracie’s warm homecoming for her dad. And, the family was invited onto the Today Show.

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Andy did not feel he got to say all he wanted to when he appeared on the Today Show, and has provided many updates to his Youtube site.

UPDATE: (11-13-2009) – This is crazy. I posted this years ago along with three other clips of wife in Haiti for my parents to see (Jen does medical missions in Haiti and runs a clinic in Cap Haitien). They still have like 400 hits a piece. This clip had like 30,000 hits two days ago. I’m not quite sure where this attention is all coming from. [EDIT: It appears to have started at]. Oh, and it was filmed by my wife Jen in our front yard in Springfield, VA.. Gracie is six now. She’s asleep at my feet as I’m typing this.

UPDATE (11-14-2009). O-kaaaaay. This is getting crazy. They ran this on the Today Show today. I’m not a public person … this is getting a little intimidating.
I’m glad that this clip of Gracie has made so many people happy. If it makes you smile, it’s a good thing. But please remember the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. My buddy Steve Taylor who is in Iraq wrote me to say that it bummed him out, because it reminded him of how much he missed his dog …

FINAL UPDATE (11-15-2009) Again, thanks for everyone’s kind words. Yes, we did a short (2-min) spot in the Today Show this morning. They were nice, but I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say about my friends deployed or the many Guardsmen overseas right now. But it went well (do a Google for Capt. Andrew Schmidt to see it).
We were contacted by another news outlet, but we declined. We’re 17 minutes into our 15 minutes of fame. We’re private people, and these things can get out of hand. For one, I am a staff officer in the Air Guard (even though I am past enlisted) … there are tens of thousands of combat arms soldiers and Marines on their third+ 12 month deployment down range; I’m only gearing up for my second. I don’t want to be made a symbol for something that I don’t deserve to be. You have to be careful, because you have no control when you go on TV unless you are very, very savvy (I am not). Or you get crazy and end up building a UFO weather balloon in your back yard.

FINAL FINAL UPDATE (11-16-2009) — I forgot to say this earlier, but if you ever want to get a dog, go to the pound. Pound dogs will always appreciate what you did for them. Save a life, adopt a mutt. Mixed breeds rule. Gracie was on doggie death row — she had been there for four months — when we got her. She was days away, and she’s been the best dog and a vital part of our family for the past five years. It’s funny that a little dog that was found abandoned in a pen in West Virginia, completely neglected, could put a smile on so many faces.

FINAL, FINAL, FINAL UPDATE (11-18-2009) I wanted to point out two things that have happened as a result of this. First, Kong Toys, which makes those wonderful little rubber dog toys with the peanut butter, reached out to me so that they could send a basket to Gracie (spoiled). That’s nice, but I give the plug because they asked for my friend Steve’s parent’s contact info so that they could send a ton of stuff to them to help them look after his dog Maxine, since he’s overseas. We had some talks about how we could build a program where when Guardsmen get deployed the company can do something for the pets left behind. Hopefully more to follow that.

Second, I reached out to the Alexandria, VA, animal shelter to let them now that Gracie is one of theirs. They saved her in 2004. They were elated — those people have a tough job, and if it picks up their morale, then great. I also told them that they could use it in any way for marketing or promotion purposes, full rights. Hopefully more to follow on that as well.

Finally, I don’t want to be a jerk on this, but I see that a lot of people are ripping this video and posting it as their own because it’s viral. Then they sell ads on it. Not cool. Linking is fine, but saying that it’s your own is not. You have to fill out a form with Google claiming it as your intellectual property. If you see this somewhere else (usually with a title like “Dog goes crazy”), then I didn’t post it. [Not everyone who has reposted this had had bad intentions, BTW. Some are cool people who wanted to publicize it. But some are thieves. I know, that’s clear as mud].

Hero Dogs for Veterans

Adorable 12-week-old Golden Retriever Maverick is being trained through Hero Dogs, Inc., a fabulous new group from my own state of Maryland that provides service dogs to military veterans or active members of the U.S. armed forces. They train dogs to meet those multiple challenges inherent to mobility, hearing, and/or psychiatric disorders. (Be sure to check them out and the many other service dog groups across the globe.)

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The concept of the Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) has received an increased emphasis in the media, their status elevated due to the concerns regarding the huge numbers of war veterans suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as Traumatic Brain Injury due to the use of the improvised explosive device (IED). Some estimates show greater than one third of vets returning home from war in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from PTSD, this article on declining morale of US troops in Afghanistan revealing the significant societal impact:

Think tank RAND report in 2008 had revealed 300,000 veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan had been diagnosed with severe depression or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It said more soldiers were going AWOL to find treatment from PTSD. RAND further reveals that rates of PTSD and traumatic brain injury among troops taking part in war on terror have been excessively high, with a third of returning troops reporting psychic problems and 18.5% of all returning service personnel battling either PTSD or depression. Marine suicides doubled between 2006 and 2007; army suicides are at highest rate since records were kept in 1980. There has been 80% increase in desertions since 2003. Over 150 GIs refused service while about 250 war resisters are taking refuge in Canada. 1700 strong GI resistance is gaining momentum. The veterans have signed up for anti-war Oath Keepers (an association of serving military officers, reserves, National Guard, veterans, fire fighters). Longer war drags on more resistance from within ranks. Hundreds of letters have been written to Obama by serving and retired servicemen, urging him to bring back US troops. Long absence from homes is escalating divorce rates. …

Mental state of those on duty on scattered posts is worst since they feel scared. Many suffer from mental disorders. Sleeplessness and bouts of anger are common. Many are found broken down and weeping since the faceless enemy frustrates them. Seeing their comrades blown up shatters them. They feel irritated that in their bid to help the population by giving them humanitarian assistance, they do not cooperate and often lie and tend to protect Taliban. Recent rules of engagement to minimize civilian casualties are seen as fighting with one arm tied behind backs. Most demoralizing thing is that soldiers are not getting killed in combat actions but by roadside bombs on routine journeys. In 2009, most casualties were from IEDs and still are. All combat missions are accepted with a heavy heart. There is no sense of pride or accomplishment in them. None want to die or get crippled. All they desire is complete their tenure and return home safely in one piece.

Here is so much more . . . .

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 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.

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.