Latest newsletter with easy prize giveaways!

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. And, that means getting out my foundation’s quarterly newsletter.

You don’t want to miss it. There’s a NEW giveaway with 3 folks each winning a prize valued at $20 …. simply by answering a mystery question and posting the answer at our foundation’s Facebook page.

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


A Labor of Love … 17 Golden babies, oh my!

Ruth Bonneville, Winnipeg Free Press, Sept 09, 2010 Local - Eight day old golden retriever pups snuggle together Thursday afternoon after feeding from their mom, Giselle who may have broken a world record by having the most pups in one litter. Photo by RUTH.BONNEVILLE@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Canadian pal, Donna Barnes, mom to Golden Retriever Bailey, just wrote to me about a very special litter.

Hi Rochelle, I thought you might be interested in the recent litter here in Winnipeg. Might be a record # of babes for a golden. This is a breeder who my parents got their golden boy from a few years back.

A groomer and breeder from Winnipeg is trying to keep a low profile after her Golden delivered 17 pups last week. Good luck with that! That number actually shares a record for highest number in a single litter as registered by the Canadian Kennel Club.

The record largest litter, as noted by the Guinness World Records, was an amazing 24 from a Neapolitan Bull Mastiff in England.

Dog breeders Damian Ward and his girlfriend Anne Kellegher had only been expecting 2-year-old Tia to give birth to a maximum of 10 puppies — not two dozen. But when Tia grew so big that she could barely move, the couple took her to the veterinarian, who decided that an immediate caesarean was vital. Two hours later, Tia had given birth to a record-breaking 24 puppies. Unfortunately, four of the puppies were too weak and died but the remaining 20 are thriving.

Thankfully, ALL 17 puppers in this Golden litter, are thriving and gaining weight, and getting lots of wonderful care from their momma Giselle.

Giselle feeds some of her puppies, who were born last Wednesday. Photo by RUTH.BONNEVILLE@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

The C-section hasn’t hurt Giselle’s ability to nurse her pups, but her owners try to make it easier for her. “We help her lie down and get on her side.” And they keep her well-fed so she can nourish her pups. “She has home-cooked chicken, carrots, rice, sweet potatoes and garlic, and cheese and eggs.”

Giselle’s nursing half of her pups every two hours with Dinah bottle-feeding the other half of the litter. Then they switch at two-hour intervals. “It’s very time-consuming.” But well worth it, said the owner. “She’s looking really well and she’s doing well.” The pups are kept under heat lamps and are starting to move around. …

“The fun part is in four or five weeks when the pups go loose,” and run around the house. “That’s going to be really fun to see.”

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So proud of our famous pal, Suzi

One of my bestest Golden Retriever pals is Suzi Beber, also a much valued board member of our Land of PureGold Foundation. More importantly, though, she is the creator of the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, through the University of Guelph’s Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital’s Pet Trust, so providing an important educational resource in the areas of canine cancer treatment options, nutrition, and complementary therapies.

I cannot imagine life without Suzi as her professional insights have guided my path for many years now. And, her knowledge in alternative medicine, as she assists veterinarians in the care of companion animals with complex medical needs, has greatly benefited the information that I am able to share with folks.

Suzi is quite a talent, this illustration to the right one of her “Cancer Breaks” artistic hockey trading cards. It graces the cover of the July/August Vancouver Island, BC edition of Canada’s Rising Women Magazine.

Check out the wonderful Rising Women Artist Bio below.

Taking a Break from Cancer…Suzi Beber spent the first part of her adult life teaching and making sure that she really savored life’s “awfully big adventure” by living it to the fullest, which included an incredible summer on Baffin Island in the Eastern Arctic with Tommy, her partner of 30 years. But everything changed… when a routine surgery took a detour.

Each of us has been touched by cancer. Suzi’s “healing helper”, her Golden Retriever “Blues”, was stolen by cancer at only 6 years old. Suzi made a pact that she would turn her love and loss into a new passion and mission, thus founding in the Spring of 2001, The Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund, which is a part of the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust.

Suzi and Tommy moved to Vancouver Island in 2003, where the moderate climate is kinder to Suzi’s ongoing health issues. They now share their world of gardens with three Golden Retrievers – generations of offspring from Blue.

Suzi’s “Cancer Breaks” artistic works are one of a kind, and are only the size of a hockey trading card. Each represents a precious person or pet whose life has been touched by cancer. “Cancer Breaks” are miniature worlds done in pen and ink and are sacred spaces where hope is the medicine and love is the cure for cancer. Suzi’s intricate work has been described as being reminiscent of a stained glass window or delicate needlepoint. Her “Hey, Veronica!” women honour those fighting breast cancer. Proceeds from the sale of all Suzi’s artwork fund cancer treatment and research.

It is said that the people in one’s life are like the pillars on one’s porch you see life through. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it is just enough to know they’re standing by. Langston Hughes wrote that “a life without dreams is a broken winged bird.” Suzi says, “I am a very, very lucky person. My dreams are overflowing and there are so many wonderful people and golden spirits to help me fly. Smiling Blue Skies® has raised over $600,000 for comparative cancer research, and offers 24/7 support to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.”

To learn about Suzi and the Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Resource Centre, visit Together, we can reach beyond the bluest skies and brightest stars, to take a bite out of cancer, on behalf of the precious people and pets in our lives.

Rising Women Magazine

Love the trick …. and the cause

On May 1st, the Arthritis Walk for People and Pets in Illionois’ Baker Lake raised an estimated $15,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.They also held an “American Fido” prize competition where dogs could perform their best tricks.

Speed up to the 1-minute mark on the video to see a funny Golden Retriever girl’s trick. “Her owners brought a display of balloons out and laid it on the ground several yards in front of her. Her enthusiasm was evident as she waited for the signal, then ran at the balloons, jumping on them and biting them until each one was popped.”

Golden Retriever Ike puts me to shame

Chris Smith's Golden Ike, who has walked with his owner more than 5,000 miles

I am so ashamed.

Oakwood resident, Chris Smith, has two milestones to celebrate. As he turns 50 on May 10, he also celebrates the fact that he has walked more than 5,000 miles with his trusty golden retriever, Ike (who just turned 9) and his neighbor, Sue Montesano. The trio started walking together in early 2003 and they haven’t stopped since. They walk three miles a day, seven days a week.

Wounded veterans take case for service dogs to Capitol Hill

For Iraqi war vet Luiz Montalvan, Golden Retriever Tuesday can pick up a dropped cane, even sense when he needs his medications. Wounded veterans and their service dogs were on Capitol Hill recently hoping to get more support for service dog programs. Vodpod videos no longer available.

Learn more about Psychiatric Service Dogs here.

Rooting for a Golden Alfie relative – Updated 3x

Ch Verdoro White Chocolate Chunk ("Scotti")

A relative of our English type Golden Retriever Alfie is competing at Westminster. The sporting dogs, which includes Golden Retrievers, compete tomorrow night so I sure am looking forward to seeing Scotti in action.

This gorgeous boy, Ch Verdoro White Chocolate Chunk (Scotti), was bred by Susan Houtz & Ann Greenbank.

It is Scotti’s sire, Can CH Haydene Commador OS (Fred), who is in both pedigrees.

Fred is the sire to Scotti, but the grand-sire or granddad to Alfie.


Click on this attentive Golden below to see the video of all the 37 Goldens competing last year at Westminster.


Here are 40 Goldens competing in the ring:

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Ch Toasty's Treasure Island ("Treasure") - 08, 09 & 10 Westminster BOB & 08 National BOB Winner

The 2010 winner for the Golden group is Ch Toasty’s Treasure Island, a sweetheart who has amazingly won at Westminster for 3 years running. She also won at the GRCA Nationals in 2008. Yet, it is disappointing that she could not go on to take the sporting group.

What is also amazing is that those 3 puppers above in my masthead are from a litter of this winning darling girl’s grand-sire. Those 3 puppies were so fat and so cute and their dad, Hubbell (Ch. MY Sky Watcher SDHF, OS) has been influential in many pedigrees.

I have an online veterinarian pal on the inside at the show. Janet Tobiassen DVM, of Guide to Veterinary Medicine, is having a wonderful time meeting various dogs. I sent her on a mission to find Scotti but so far she has not had any luck as I do not have access to the handler’s name. I am still hoping, though, that she may see him. In the meantime, she shared this gorgeous photo from the show. The Goldens are in the ring today at 2:30pm. Scotti will be the number 34 Golden. I’m hoping Dr. Janet will be in the audience. We won’t get to see the Goldens in the ring on TV but a video online will hopefully be posted later tonight.

Gorgeous Golden at 2010 Westminster Show. Photo by Dr. Janet Tobiassen

Golden Retriever Rescue Jake … what a boy!

Don Hamer, 67, of Mill Creek affectionately warms and dries his dog, Jake, after the 4-year-old golden retriever finished playing in the water at Martha Lake Park in Lynnwood on Tuesday. Jake is a lot more than a pet. Hamer, who has epilepsy, believes Jake is capable of warning him of a seizure up to 45 minutes before it happens. Dan Bates / The Herald

I just love this story about Don Hamer and his rescued Golden boy Jake. Jake knows he was a lucky guy to be adopted, and is attached like glue to his dad. Don learned that the hard way when he returned from a trip without him. Poor Jake had scraped the fur off of 2 legs and barked himself hoarse.

Hamer, a soft-spoken, wiry 66-year-old retiree, says he adopted Jake in Albany, N.Y., Hamer’s former home, when the dog was 4 weeks old in late 2005. A friend told Hamer about a nearby adoption fair featuring dogs rescued from Gulf Coast states after Hurricane Katrina. That 2005 storm displaced thousands of people and separated pets from their owners in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Arriving at the adoption event, Hamer says he saw hundreds of malnourished and sickly dogs packed into shipping containers. He remembers seeing seven golden retriever pups and their mother. One of the pups was separated from the others. “I saw his mother had pushed him out of the litter,” he said. “She wouldn’t let him nurse.” He adopted the dog that day, nursed him to health and named him Jake.

The issue of seizure prediction, however, remains a cloudy one as most report that dogs with this ability have only developed it over time, the talent actually discovered accidentally. In 1998, Roger Reep, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of physiological sciences at the University of Florida, surveyed 77 people between the ages of 30 and 60 who had epilepsy. The survey asked about their quality of life, medical status, attitudes toward pets, ownership of dogs, and their pets’ behavior prior to and during a seizure.

Only 3 out of the 31 felt that their dogs seemed to know when they were going to have a seizure (10 percent). Another 28 percent said their dogs stayed with them when they had a seizure. According to his research, the behavior seems to occur spontaneously and may occur in as many as one in ten situations when the owner is having at least one seizure per month. Dr. Reep concluded that reports of seizure-alerting behavior in dogs should be viewed as credible, but with caution.

Learn more about these types of assistance dogs here.

Update on Guardian & Hero, Golden Retriever Angel

It was not the story I wanted to be greeted with at the beginning of a new year, but it does look like there will be a happy Golden ending for Angel . . . despite defending her human *brother* from an attacking cougar.

Go read the incredible story here, Angel representing the 86th Golden Retriever hero story showcased at our foundation site. And, if you have time, be sure to check out some of the other incredible tales. So many are truly amazing.

Angel had more more injuries than first believed, as these Goldens seem to demonstrate a quite high tolerance to pain.It was scary to hear about her having a fractured skull and needing extensive surgery.

At only 18 months of age, she is really still a puppy, so I really hope she makes it through …. both physically and emotionally. Her updated medical status is provided in the Today Show update below.

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Golden Retriever Angel – a true guardian angel

It was not the story I wanted to be greeted with at the beginning of a new year, but it does look like there will be a happy Golden ending for Angel . . . despite defending her human *brother* from an attacking cougar.

Go read the incredible story here, Angel representing the 86th Golden Retriever hero story showcased at our foundation site.

If you have time, be sure to check out some of the other incredible tales. So many are truly amazing.

Please note: In order to hear the broadcast below, click on the sound icon. Then, move the volume bar up in order to hear the report. The sound cannot be heard unless this is done.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Golden Retriever Ricochet’s Surfin’ Santa Paws Toy Drive

Since the doggie surf season has ended, Golden Retriever Ricki has traded her life jacket for a Santa jacket, and transformed herself into a Surfin’ Santa Paws! Her newest fundraiser is a toy drive for the holidays! She adores children and couldn’t think of a better way to combine her love for kids and the holidays.

What about donating a toy, or cash donation toward the purchase of toy(s) for that hard to buy for person on your Christmas list?  Or donate in memory of, or in honor of someone/a pet?

This year, with the threat of the H1N1 virus, most hospitals are limiting the number of visitors patients can have, and in some cases only allow parents to visit their children, so not even siblings can visit.  Some new toys would be a welcome sight to these children.

The drive benefits Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Hurley’s Living The Dream Foundation, and CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County.

You can learn lots more about how to participate by clicking here.

Meet 3-legged Golden Retriever Mully

Golden Mully with her Favorite Red Ball

Mulligan or “Mully” is now a part of my Rags to Riches rescue story contest. She is the 28th entry. I am only taking 30 entries, and 10 winners will share a $600+ prize contest. Damn good odds, wouldn’t you say?

Come enter and also check out Mully’s story: Fly Way Home.

Just click here.

A GReat way to support Goldens in need

The second annual, FULL-COLOR-THROUGHOUT, 2010 Golden Retriever Puppy Mill Rescue Team Calendar featuring Goldens rescued from puppy mills all around the country is now available! This calendar like last year’s, was produced by the award-winning producer of the 2008 Dog Writers Association of America’s best dog-themed calendar in the country! And, this year, the calendars are only $12 each!

Just go to to order.

Draw the Dog . . . so creatively delicious!

Oh my, just discovered the site,, today …. even though the incredible ex-Disney animator, Jim George, has been at it since September. The cartoon above is one of his newest, but the fun is also in seeing it created before your eyes. You can do that here.

Also be sure to check out the Golden cartoon, He’ll Be Fine, which was inspired by Golden Hutchie of Northern California. Whoa . . . talk about Separation Anxiety visualized!

Remembering a Gentle Man with a Golden Heart

Ed Eames and his wife, Toni, with Golden guide dogs, Latrell & Keebler

Sadly, the Assistance Dog Movement has lost one of our greatest champions. IAADP’s President, Co-founder, Ed Eames, Ph.D. passed away on October 25, 2009. It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since meeting Ed and his lovely wife, Toni. Although Toni has been blind since birth, Ed lost his sight at age 42. He very much relied on Toni’s skills and access, and along with her deep love for him, this allowed him to flourish in his second, non-sighted life.

An adjunct professor at CA State University-Fresno, Ed spent his career teaching and doing anthropology research at NY’s Baruch College and previously at Temple University. His doctorate was earned at Cornell University with his research based in India.

Ed obtained his initial guide dog from the Seeing Eye and met Toni in 1985 while writing his first book about the assistance dog field, A Guide to Guide Dog Schools. She joined him as wife and co-author of that project. Their second book, Partners in Independence: A Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled, was drawn from their award-winning column of the same name, published for ten years in Dog World Magazine.

Ed is the kind of person who has exemplified the adage, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.And, it was Ed’s enormous heart and sweet manner and concern for others that endeared him to so many. It was simply impossible to resist this man’s charms once you met him. He just had that kind of effect on folks . . . . and dogs as well.

Ed was a true Golden Retriever lover and one knew that any Golden in the Eames household was one lucky dog. We all know how special our first entry into the Golden world can be, and Ed’s relationship with Kirby, his first Golden Retriever guide dog, was quite unique. Here is Dr. Eames with his Kirby, a Golden who amazingly went on to earn an AKC Companion Dog Excellent title.

However, Kirby’s claim to fame occurred when bone cancer necessitated the amputation of his left front leg, yet did not keep him from continuing his guide dog work. The telling of this courageous story, Kirby, My Miracle Worker, earned Ed a Maxwell award from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Go to my site to learn more about Ed’s story.

Service dog reject Ricochet becomes surfer dude

Golden Retriever Richochet and Patrick Ivison. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

You can learn more about Richochet in our previous blogging and at our foundation’s site on Golden Surf Dogs.

Golden Ricki

Richochet’s story made it bigtime, the Associated Press doing a fabulous article and video. And, she has been an incredible fundraiser, donations in for almost $9000.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ricochet is a service dog dropout. It’s not that she wasn’t dog enough. To the contrary, there was way too much dog in her.

Her undoing? Chasing birds. But she’s found redemption in the ocean, surfing to raise money for a quadriplegic teen.

Ricochet, a 19-month-old golden retriever, lives with Judy Fridono in Escondido, about 25 miles north of San Diego. The two set out to raise $7,000 to help Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old who was just a year old when he was run over by a car.

They exceeded that goal when Ricochet competed in the inaugural Surf City Surf Dog Contest in Huntington Beach, bringing her summer fundraising total to more than $8,200, Fridono said. The playful surfer dog came in second in the large dog finals Sunday, even with a special bootie she wore after tearing a paw pad while racing around the beach a few days before the contest.

Ricochet plans to continue hanging 20 and raising money to help with Ivison’s physical therapy. Insurance pays for one hour of therapy every week, but the San Diego high school sophomore needs six.

Dog and dog owner hope to eventually help someone else after Ivison.

Ricochet had nearly nine months of service dog training behind her when her bird problem developed at the beach one day. Fridono was brokenhearted.

“I didn’t want her to just become a pet dog,” she said. “So rather than focus on what she couldn’t do, we focused on what she could do. And that was surfing.”

Ricochet had worked with a boogie board in the puppy pool during service dog training and developed remarkable balance. So she was spayed and Rip Curl Ricki — her surfer girl nickname — was born. She entered her first surfing contest in June, then Fridono set up “Surfin’ for Paws-abilities,” the fundraising drive.

Ivison had been surfing adaptively for about seven years, so it seemed natural that they would meet and team up. He said he couldn’t ride the adaptive surfboard, which is built for two people, without Ricochet.

“She acts as that second person. She knows how to balance, too. She leans back and turns the board and it’s pretty cool to watch.”

Why am I not surprised? (Updated)

Hard to believe that I have 35 postings already in my ‘Scott Shields Fraud’ Category. For those unfamiliar with this scam artist, just go here (Trading in on Tragedy for Fame: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness) to get the original story.

Scott is no longer behind bars, and surprisingly, it took him no time at all to break the terms of his probation. He was not to leave the state of New Jersey, and was specifically told not to venture into New York City, especially to the Ground Zero area.

But, that is just what he did, a friend of mine almost having a heart attack when he saw him 2 weeks ago at Engine Co. 10 Ladder Co. 10. on the remembrance of 9-11, no less.

Of course, he was busy telling his stories about being the big hero at Ground Zero, lapping up all the attention by having Golden Retriever Theo with him. My friend was able to get photos with his cell phone and then contacted Scott’s probation officer. She was none too pleased.

I’ve learned that Scott has plead guilty to breaking probation, as I am sure he realizes he is screwed due to his continual lying and scamming. I will surely keep folks updated as to the outcome of this breach.

Specifically, Scott is on supervised release for three years, following his prison sentence. No travel is allowed outside the district of New Jersey for the first 60 days. Scott violated his supervised release by traveling to NYC on 9/11. Reportedly, he has admitted to being there and violating his supervised release. After his 60 days (possibly longer now), Scott will have to ask permission to leave the district. I seriously doubt his probation officer will allow him out of the district to defraud the public. So whatever permission he gets may be under false pretenses.

These photos show that Scott just cannot commit to the straight and narrow, continuing to wear rescue-themed costumes and put a rescue vest on his untrained, dog-aggressive Theo. Talk about keeping a low profile . . .

Do stay tuned. I will have more to add on this continuing 8 year saga in a couple of weeks. The wheels of justice turn very slowly and I do not want to give Scott an up on the case by publishing specific information here. When I have heard that his probation officer is okay with me sharing his status, I will do so.


According to self-proclaimed Ground Zero hero, Scott Shields, his Golden Retriever “Bear was the first Search and Rescue Dog inside the World Trade Center. He found the most live people.”

But, wait for it . . . . . . . THERE WERE NO LIVE FINDS MADE BY A DOG.

Of course, that doesn’t stop Scott from telling the lie over and over and over again to whatever patsy he can find.

Sure needed Golden Burt’s story to brighten this sad day

Golden Retriever Burton "Burt"

I just received a funny, quite doggy tale from Scotty Richardson. Scotty actually submitted a prize-winning entry, Goldens ─ Behind Bars, in our very first contest here at the Land of PureGold.  Scotty currently [9/2009] has four Golden Retrievers, and they have all worked up a storm, doing some mighty fine therapy dog work. You must check out his canine comedian tale, “Burton, Killer Watchdog!

Burton is a rescue, or a placement depending on whom is asked. He came to us at 18 months with—issues. With our other “used dogs” we’ve always been able to get them over their quirks. But not Burt. We love him dearly, but Burton was sent to us from on high as a trial. Burton is nearly 9 now, and there is no sign of mellowing.

Burton picked up a habit from our dearly departed “Fecal Gourmet”; Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue got gourmet status from only eating her own turf tacos. Never the other dogs. Perhaps she was afraid of germs? Burton is not nearly as discriminating but twice as sneaky. Mostly he cleans up after Porkchop. This is partly because Porkchop does the “old dog defecation” meaning she has to walk as she poops, leaving a 30 foot trail of little turdlets difficult to find in the grass. A couple of times I’ve watched Burt, hoping to scare him s***less, literally.

Keep reading the tale of Burton here.

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I just received a funny, quite doggy tale from Scotty Richardson. Scotty actually submitted a prize-winning entry, Goldens ─ Behind Bars, in our very first contest here at the Land of PureGold.  Scotty currently [9/2009] has four Goldens, and they have all worked up a storm, doing some fine therapy dog work. You must check out his canine comedian tale, “Burton, Killer Watchdog!”

Burton is a rescue, or a placement depending on whom is asked. He came to us at 18 months with—issues. With our other “used dogs” we’ve always been able to get them over their quirks. But not Burt. We love him dearly, but Burton was sent to us from on high as a trial. Burton is nearly 9 now, and there is no sign of mellowing.

Burton picked up a habit from our dearly departed “Fecal Gourmet”; Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue got gourmet status from only eating her own turf tacos. Never the other dogs. Perhaps she was afraid of germs? Burton is not nearly as discriminating but twice as sneaky. Mostly he cleans up after Porkchop. This is partly because Porkchop does the “old dog defecation” meaning she has to walk as she poops, leaving a 30 foot trail of little turdlets difficult to find in the grass. A couple of times I’ve watched Burt, hoping to scare him s***less, literally.

2 Goldens who survived: A 9-11 Story … & Update

Goldens Hope & Darwin

Eight years ago I featured a story at my site about two Golden Retrievers who survived very traumatic beginnings, and then were met again with tragedy. But, thankfully special love from some truly Golden folks continued to follow them wherever they went.

Nan Schramm told the tale and brought it full circle today with a sad update about her two loves, Hope and Darwin, who will soon be resting together once again.

September 11, 2001 began as a typical one for my husband and me at our apartment one and a half blocks south of the World Trade Center. We awoke to a beautiful, sunny, cloudless fall day and walked our two Goldens, Hope and Darwin.

Hope had been through a hair-raising rescue up near Albany New York as a puppy. She, her littermates, and their mother were found starving to death in a backyard-breeding nightmare.

All of them were rescued by Golden Rescue Operated With Love Statewide and “Hope” was christened thusly, as she was not expected to live through the night. Needless to say, she defied all odds and when we adopted her as an eight-week-old puppy, she had enough spunk for the whole litter.

We got our Darwin from Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue. He had been found wandering Long Island, New York, with no hair. After getting his thyroid in check, he blossomed into the most beautiful male Golden I have ever seen.

On September 11th, they were given their breakfast and fresh water and off we both went to work. All the windows, which faced North into the towers, in our 17th floor apartment were left open. My husband, Eric, who often times worked from home went to his office in midtown. I usually walked to work to my office near Wall Street, but had an early client meeting in the Bronx, north of Manhattan, so off I went.

Read the rest of the story and updates here . . .

Golden Retriever Rescue Sam . . . The continuing saga

August 20 to 23, 2009 Update

Golden Sam & Foster Brother Jessie

(23rd) Sam is doing great!! His energy is increasing daily!! He is eating better since we switched his food to something he likes!

We went on a short walk today and he got to see his four puppy friends! It was very difficult to keep him calm through that and he was very mad that he was not allowed to play. He has not lost his personality at all. He still makes us laugh every day. Now that he feels better, his curiosity about life seems to have increased.

– – – – – – – – –

(20th) Sam is HOME! We’re not sure who was more excited; Sam to see his foster parents, or them to see Sam! Sam is feeling good! He will continue medications and then should be weaned from them in 2-3 weeks. If all is well after that time, he will be transitioned to a fairly normal diet. Like many of us, he will require Pepcid from now on, but from where he’s been and where he’s headed, that is easy!!

Now the work begins as he is monitored for signs of complications and trying to keep a one year old dog, that has been kenneled up, from running, playing and jumping on things!

August 18, 2009 Update

Sam’s surgery has been completed and he is in recovery. His liver shunt was, indeed, inside the liver and was the largest this Doctor had seen. He is hopeful that Sam’s liver develops more blood vessels over the next couple of days. His liver pressure was at the high end of normal, so he was given an aspirin to slow clotting at the site of the coil.

He will be monitored 24-7 for the next two days and we will find out the next step then! Let’s hope Sam continues to recover well. He had no seizures, etc. that can be early complications, which is a good start. If all proceeds well, he will be released Thursday to return to his foster home.

August 3, 2009 Update
I just learned that enough money has been raised so that Sam can have his surgery, which has now been scheduled for next week. Here is what has been reported at his blog:

A big thanks to all of you who made donations to enable GRRACE to provide surgery for Sam! We are all very thankful for your generosity, kind thoughts and prayers!

Sam is holding his own. He has good days and bad days. He spent the night at the vet’s office last week receiving IV fluids which helped perk him up a bit. They also changed his antibiotics which has reduced his vomiting to become less than a daily experience.

On his good days, he plays like any other young golden boy. He is quite social and spent a few hours with his foster Golden brother at doggy day care for the experience and playtime and we’re happy to report he did great and really enjoyed himself! On his bad days, he doesn’t have much appetite and has bouts of vomiting. Through the good and bad, he remains a happy, loving boy.

The surgeon at MSU has his prior vet records and we plan for his surgery to be scheduled the week of August 10. He will spend a few days at their animal hospital while he recovers and will be closely monitored. We will keep this site updated with his progress! Please keep Sam in your thoughts and prayers!

When I read this latest rescue story, my heart just about broke. I really hope folks can pitch in so that he can have the life-saving surgery that is needed. I know my check is in the mail. Here is his story from Golden Retriever Rescue and Community Education, Inc. (GRRACE) in Indianapolis, Indiana

Sam is a special needs Golden boy that is just over a year old. He has spent most of his life in the shelter; adopted and then returned due to a liver condition called PSS (Portosystemic Shunt) that his adopter could not afford to correct. There was something special about Sam that the shelter immediately recognized, so GRRACE was called instead of having Sam euthanized.

Sam’s body cannot filter toxins out of his blood. He takes daily medications, which help control (not cure) his condition, but the medications make him feel sick. He cannot eat protein so he cannot build muscle properly which decreases his energy level and endurance.

Sam needs to have surgery to correct the PSS. Once surgery is completed, he can live a happy, healthy life. His surgery must be completed as close to one year of age as possible, so time is of the essence. The cost for surgery with pre and post surgical care will be about $3,000.

Sam is a true golden personality. He loves everyone he meets; dogs, cats and most of all PEOPLE! He is a very smart boy who loves walks, car rides and his big basket of toys! When he’s out on his walks he will actually sit down if he sees another dog or person approach, in the hopes they will pet him and play. He is also the biggest cuddler his foster parents have ever met! If you sit down close to Sam, you’d better plan on him taking up residency in your lap!

Sam is just a lovable, sweet, happy boy who we would like to provide the opportunity to live the happy, healthy life he so deserves.