Don’t know who is funnier: Golden Porkchop or her Dad

I just added the funniest tale to my Foundation site’s Golden Oldies section. The author, Scotty Richardson, who has done much therapy dog work, actually submitted a prize-winning entry, Goldens ─ Behind Bars, in our very first contest here at the Land of PureGold. Here is the beginning of Golden Retriever Porkchop’s story:

No, this is not a eulogy. Although Porkchop, now 14 years young, recently suffered a nasty infection. We did fear for her life. Antibiotics cleared up the problem, and we’re happy to report Porkchop is back to being perverse. A true curmudgeon!!

I don’t like eulogies. Make me feel bad. Usually means somebody died. Plus they’re generally inaccurate. All of a sudden somebody you thought was a real S. O. B. is characterized as another Ghandi or Mother Theresa. If you thought so tell the individual before they’re tossing dirt in their faces. Or not. You could just go with the S. O. B. and tell them how you REALLY feel. So I’m writing this instead. A**tribute** to a truly Golden character! Before she qualifies for Sainthood!

Porkchop is the result of a gaggle of loose women gathered—uhhhh—strike that—a loosely organized group of women aptly named “The Divas” getting together for some fun in Texas. One of this group brought along a couple of Goldens to join in the fun at the hotel. Porkchop was one of them. From that first meeting with Porkchop, my bride, Michael knew there was something different and alluring about Porkchop. This was confirmed the first night when Porkchop endeared herself to an unnamed Diva. You see, Porkchop has this little game she plays with—herself. She grabs a tennis ball, jumps up on a bed or couch and balances the tennis ball as close to the edge as possible. She then nudges the ball with her nose **ever** so gently, until the ball becomes a victim of my old enemy, gravity, and tumbles off the edge. Next, reflexes take over. The point of Porkchop’s penultimate polo is to catch the ball before it hits the floor. Hence, a 70-pound dog lunges off the bed attempting to catch said ball. The act of lunging and leaping is cute, unless you’re the hapless Diva upon whose bed Porkchop has chosen to play with herself. Did I say play with herself? That didn’t come out right.

And, here’s the rest of the story . . .

Celebrating Golden Caylee’s 18th Birthday!!


Carolyn Scott, world famous freestyler, recently provided a freestyle workshop and fun match at the GRCA 2007 Nationals. And, she was lucky enough to meet a 17+-year-old Miss Caylee. Well, today, Carolyn shared a letter and some “Queen for a Day” birthday photos that she received last month from Janet Peacock, Caylee’s mom.

Carolyn, it was very nice to meet you at the National and to talk briefly about Rookie. You were interested in my senior girl (Caylee) who was 17+ at the National. She had a super time at the National, but was very tired and didn’t do much for about a week after we got home.

We had a birthday party for her eighteenth birthday and had a nice time. She kept circling the room going from person to person hoping for handouts and wearing herself out. I thought you might like to see some pictures from her party.

Hope you and Rookie are doing fine and have a Happy Thanksgiving.



Supposed Golden Retriever loving 9-11 hero finally exposed



This photo shows an almost 12-year-old “Bear” during his 1 1/2 days on the pile at the World Trade Center’s Ground Zero. Old Scott and his old dog Bear were asked to leave then by Lt. Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine unit, due to their not being qualified.

It should be noted that dogs of this age would never be allowed into an urban disaster site, given the inherent danger of the situation. Urban Search & Rescue dogs must have specialized agility training and continually train to remain in working shape. They are typically retired as they approach 8 to 9 years of age.

The entire ugly tale can be found here:
TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness.

But, the saga continues as evidenced in this July 15th New York Post article from Brad Hamilton and Ginger Otis, 9/11 ‘HERO’ CHARGED IN 40G SCAM

A self-proclaimed Ground Zero hero who says he and his golden retriever rescued victims from the World Trade Center rubble has been charged with fraud for allegedly ripping off $40,000 in federal relief funds. Scott Shields could face up to 35 years in jail after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him and his sister last month for allegedly swiping rental-assistance money from FEMA and other agencies.

Shields showed up in the days after the attack, accompanied by Bear, his cancer-stricken canine, but the dog was too sick to do any real work, and he two were on hand only for “a couple of days,” according to a former NYPD officer.

That part is not quite right. Bear was not cancer-stricken when he initially went onto the pile for two days in September 2001, and thereby “too sick to do any real work”. He was untrained and almost 12 years of age. No untrained dog would have been allowed into a situation that required advanced agility skills. And, certainly no working dog in urban search and rescue is on active status at such a senior age.

“There’s something wrong with the guy,” said Lt. Dan Denadio, who as head of the NYPD’s K-9 unit spent nine months at Ground Zero. “I don’t know how he got so far.”

Shields claims he and Bear “made the only live finds” at the site. “Nonsense,” Denadio said.

After his brief stint on the pile, Shields, who had resided in Greenwich, Conn., moved into an apartment across from the site – a swanky $3,182-a-month pad on Rector Place – and got one check for $16,443.50 from FEMA to pay for it, records show.

Shields collected thousands in additional rental assistance, the indictment says.

This copy of the felony indictment clearly displays the depth of the case that the US has against this brother and sister team. Although my legal knowledge is extremely limited, the 3 detailed counts of the indictment seem quite extensive and well documented. I can see by looking up the actual violations (through Title 18, Sections 641, 1341, 2) why the punishments are so steep.

Further court documents from Pacer indicate that Scott was arrested on March 20, 2007 and was freed on $50,000 bail with travel restricted to NY, NJ, PA, CT, NH & VA. Sadly, he is still traveling the circuit of dog, boat & security show events–providing presentations to both children and adults and peddling his version of the truth.

The last addition to Scott’s case file shows a Memo Endorsement that was reviewed by the court on June 18th, and so entered and approved on July 2, 2007. It seems that bail conditions were modified to include a mental health assessment and mental health counseling.

The trial is set for November 5, 2007, Federal Judge Robert W. Sweet hearing the case of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. SCOTT SHIELDS, and PATRICIA SHIELDS, Defendants.

Retired Therapy Golden Retriever Jaymie back in the limelight

Dog shines as Sandy in musical
By Severo Avila, Rome News-Tribune Staff Writer

As talented as Armuchee Middle School actors might be, they’ll have to take a back seat to a more seasoned performer. When the students take the stage for their production of “Annie Jr.” on April 26 and 27, they’ll be sharing the spotlight with Jaymie, a retired therapy dog who is already used to the applause of an audience.

Jaymie and owner Cyndy Douan are donating their time to the middle school musical in which the pooch plays “Sandy,” the lovable stray befriended by the title character, Annie.

Armuchee Middle School Choral Director Ann Burgess contacted her veterinarian when she realized she needed a well-trained dog in the production. “And they steered her to me because of the training I’d done with their clients’ dogs,” said Douan, who owns Georgia Dog Gym, a facility for training show and pet dogs in agility, obedience and other skills.

Douan had the perfect dog for the part. Her 13-year-old golden retriever Jaymie had been trained in obedience and was a therapy dog. She had done agility and trick training and was familiar with stage work.

“And she basically has been retired for the past two years,” Douan said. “But she loves to perform and loves being around people. She really perked up around the children, so I think she’s really enjoying being a part of this production.”

There’s more . . . .

Golden Retriever Jake: 17-year-old protector


For artist, 90, a life well spent
By Garth Wade, Star-Gazette

Lena Lewis Rieppel sits among her artwork in her country home near Mansfield protected by Jake, a king-sized golden retriever. It is a magical place inside and out.

Lena’s walls are filled with paintings she created over a life that reached 90 years last week. One drawing shows the mailman aboard the horse-drawn wagon he used to deliver her family’s mail when she was a young girl. Another is the violin her grandfather made for her.

And there’s Lena’s husband, Paul, tending the fire. Paul vowed he’d live to 95, and he did. He celebrated his 95th birthday last Christmas and died nine days later. Their marriage lasted 68 years and produced five kids who added 21 grandchildren who added 23 great-grandchildren.

Lena’s constant companion these days is 17-year-old Jake, a massive golden retriever with hurting hips and a powerful love for her. Lesser loves are cookies and the aspirin that eases his pain. Lena spent three days in the hospital recently. Jake waited by her bed until she came home.

Jake gently placed himself between her chair and mine when I stopped by a week ago. I got the message.

There’s more . . . .

Golden Retriever Katie turns 19!

I have been telling my Goldens for years that I would be satisfied if they could just stay bymyside 19 years. But, sadly, I have not made it past 10. So, you can imagine how jealous I am of this lovely lass.
Katie just finished her cake for birthday number 19 in this photo!

She turned 19 on January 24th, born on that date in 1988.

Her dad says she is still very healthy except for some arthritis in her lower spine. And, Katie has always been able to walk/run fine until about 6 months ago.

Go learn more about this Golden sweetie here.

Celebrating 18-year-old Bear: A Golden Retriever Burger Fan

The following story just touched my heart. To save a baby just tossed in the garbage, and then have him be so wonderful and live a grand 18 years just says it all. And, it comes on a very tough day for me as it is the 1year anniversary of my Golden girl Darcy leaving my side. As you would suspect, it is not a good day for me. It seems I’ve made very little progress on dealing with her special presence being absent. I guess that is why I have the song “Don’t Give Up” accompanying her slide show at the link above.

Burger fan Bear
By Lea Kuhn, The Herald News

As a woman walked by a garbage dumpster outside the old Hillcrest Theatre more than 18 years ago, she heard a faint crying sound. It was a bitter, cold night in November. The woman called police, thinking it might be a baby. After arriving, police found it was a 6-week-old golden retriever puppy sealed in a bag.

A friend of the person who had found the puppy mentioned the story to Janice Burns, who had just lost the beloved family pet, Brutus, the previous July. She and her husband, Jim, decided to take in the little fella and give him a home for Thanksgiving, Jan said. They named the little ball of fur Teddy Bear, because he looked like one, but they just called him “Bear” for short.

Bear loved McDonald’s hamburgers, so much so that the family was sure he could see the golden arches long before they’d get to them. He grew up with Mandy, a mixed breed. He and Mandy would camp outside McDonald’s in the truck while Jim and Jan were eating inside. They’d wait patiently in the front seat, and to passersby looked like a couple of cronies with fur coats. They knew their patience would pay big dividends.

Bear went on many vacations with the family to their home in Wisconsin. He circled the same path every time to do his ’rounds’ and check in on the families who were staying on the same cul-de-sac, Jan said.

During those weekend jaunts, he liked to sit on the back of the pontoon boat. He also enjoyed standing on the back seat of the speed boat. Once during a ride they hit a bump, and the next thing they knew, Bear was in the water. He was dazed, but none the worse for wear. Bear also relished jumping off the dock and into the water to play fetch with a ball.

Jim drives a truck for his job, and sometimes Bear would be able to tag along for a ride. He never knew why he was going, but if it was important enough for him to earn the front seat, he was proud. On occasion, Jan would try to move in on his prize and claim the front seat. Bear would return her action with an incredulous look that said, “Where do you think you’re going?” Jan said, laughing.

The family has a fenced yard, and often the mailman would visit Bear in the backyard. Bear would bark like crazy until someone opened the gate, then anyone could pet him — mailman included — and he would quit barking. But as soon as the gate was shut again, he’d go back to maniacal barking.

Three years ago Bear suffered a stroke, but he recovered quickly. The Burns placed a light on his collar so they could locate him at night at their home in Wisconsin or the one in Lockport.

There’s more . . . .