A boy and his GIANT toys

Is our going on 11-year-old Golden boy a cutie or what? Hard to believe it’s the same boy as the one in the cute puppy face photo featured on the right.

I never tire of giving him presents, which typically last forever as he is not the aggressive tear apart and shred type of dog. Alfie would rather carry his plush woobies to calm himself when some scary sound is making him apprehensive. And, he loves using them as pillows as well, which is pretty darn smart. These toys, which as you can see, dwarf him, are not organic. But, that is okay. For older dogs who are trained to be gentle with their belongings, toys like are safe. And, these seem to last forever. The duck toy is one easily thrown in the wash and I’ve had it for over 10 years.

But, the toy on top, a GIANT ladybug is new. It is made by the same company that makes the duck, and is simply marvelous as well. Check them out here.

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The company also makes cotton quilted beds, that can be thrown in the washer and dryer just like a quilt, and last forever just like the toys. They are simply great to use in crates or on wood floors so that your dog has a more comfy place to settle. The Bamboo design fabric, one of many choices, is our personal favorite. I’m sure you can figure out why.

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Golden Retriever Holiday Specials

With the Land of PureGold being the World’s largest Golden Retriever site, it seems fitting to provide some special holiday goodies for our Golden visitors. You certainly do not want any mad friends, furry or otherwise, who are disappointed when they do not receive any special presents. Quantities are very limited so do not delay if you see something you like!

Please remember that all purchases support our nonprofit’s mission of supplying cancer treatment grants for working dogs and supporting research in comparative oncology, the study of cancers that occur similarly in people and companion animals. Also, given these tough economic times, donations are near non-existent, so we really depend on your purchases to continue doing our important work.

FREE glossy puppy stickers!

In February 2004, we photographed this unbelievably adorable chubby litter of three 5½-week-old Golden Retriever pups. They were simply too sweet for words. With our special message, we believe these stickers are that much more irresistible. These bright 4 inch wide x 1½ inch high Photo Gloss oval stickers are just great to put on all of your gift packaging or on the backs of letters as a type of seal. Folks get a set for free with all purchases from our Holiday Gift Store page.


Free
Keepsake Pawprints Holiday Ornament Kit with $50 purchases

For a limited time only, we’d like to make some folks’ holidays very special. Make a purchase of $50 or more from our Holiday Gift page and you will be able to adorn your wonderful holiday setting with a timeless pawprint of the most cherished member of the family. [Please note that quantities are very limited for this special holiday offer.]

This kit allows you to make a 5½ inch paw impression ornament with no mixing, baking, or mess. It includes everything you need to create your own treasured ornament. And, it is actually great for cats and children too. The kit includes: Plastic shaping ring, wooden rolling pin, plastic straw hole puncher, elegant satin holiday ribbons, air drying non-toxic impression material, and easy to follow instructions. ($18 value)

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For a listing of all of our Foundation’s store specials, go here.

New finds from a Master Woodcarver

In 1987 Master Woodcarver, Michael Park, opened his own studio in Pennsylvania—instilling his love of dogs in all of his work. And, there, he carves among the company of his four dogs and a team of craftspeople to create beautiful renditions of countless breeds. For close to 100 breeds, he has items such as bookends, letter openers, card holders, lamps, mirrors, signs, leash holders, snow globes, and ornaments.

We are very excited, however, about his new styling that depicts dogs in their natural gait. And, we love the new items such as Bird Feeders & Houses, Garden & Welcome Stakes, Welcome Signs, Wall Clocks, and Weathervanes. He has begun crafting these and they are available in 22 breeds so far (Aussie, Basset, Beagle, Bernese Mt. Dog, Boxer, Cavalier, Doxies, English Springer, Golden, Lab, Mastiff, Norfolk & Norwich Terriers, Pekingese, Pug, Rottweiler, Schnauzers, Scottie & Sheltie).

I’ve just ordered a Golden Bird House and Garden Stake and can’t wait for them to arrive. Check out some of his newest Golden Retriever items below. And, get on over to our Michael Park page to check out your breed offerings. Our donations are down to the pitiful level, so I have to depend on store sales to keep my nonprofit Land of PureGold Foundation afloat.

Golden Retriever Garden Stake

Golden Retriever Garden Stake

Golden Retriever Bird Feeder

Golden Retriever Bird Feeder

Golden Retriever Wall Clock

Golden Retriever Wall Clock

PupStarts . . . finally Beginnings done Right

I recently learned about a loss in our Land of PureGold Foundation family, a loss for Marti Brown, one of our wonderful Board Members. Sadly, she lost her Golden Angel Carly girl to cancer on January 18, 2009. This is the new puppy in Marti’s life and she is committed to providing her an organic, chemical-free, eco-friendly environment.

Of course, I already helped by sending some of our favorite, healthy, moo tube chews from USDA & FDA approved free-ranging, grass-fed beef. There is NO irradiation; NO hormones, no antibiotics, no steroids to the beef; NO chemical processing; NO preservatives or nitrates; NO fillers, additives or added flavors; NO smoking or basting; and, NO colors or dye, so won’t stain carpet

Here at the Land of PureGold, I often come to meet people after life has gone wrong, their dogs diagnosed with major health conditions or cancer. It is a sad, sad time for sure, and I am sending out far more sympathy cards than you can imagine. But, just like with us 2-legged folks, Prevention is the Best Defense. Besides giving our dogs the healthy basics of life such as good food, clean filtered water, regular exercise and grooming, we can do many other things to keep them well. These include providing regular exams, scheduling biannual exams for dogs 8 years and older, having frequent oral exams, and paying close attention to changes in eating and bowel habits.

Surveys show that cancer is the leading cause of death in the Golden Retriever breed, Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma leading the list. This has brought the Golden’s average lifespan down to 10½ years. While we believe they should be long-lived (12-16 years) and healthy and active during most of this time, no screening test for cancer is currently available. One approach is for breeders to select bitches from lines where more than 75% of the dogs in the pedigree lived to at least 11 (longer than the golden average). Breeders can also research the cause of death on as many dogs in the pedigree *and their siblings* as possible, and additionally breed to older males who have already reached the average age. Unfortunately, this is seldom done as many want to breed to today’s top-winning dogs. Rather, we need to be breeding to their sires.

Although there are no statistical studies that prove you can prevent cancer in at-risk dogs, “common sense and clinical experience make a strong case for avoiding anything that exposes an animal to known carcinogens or weakens the immune system,” says Stacey Hershman, DVM, a holistic house-call veterinarian in Rockland County, New York. Just like their human companions, dogs live longer, healthier lives when they eat organic foods, get enough exercise, breathe clean air, drink clean filtered water, and stay away from harmful substances. They also are helped by supplements, food-source antioxidants, and free-range, antibiotic-free, and chemical-free proteins.

We have selected our favorite must-have products and developed 3 fun and attractive collections to get folks off to the best start with new pups or adopted dogs.

  1. One collection is focused on keeping our chewers busy and satisfied: PupStarts Chews.
  2. A second collection stresses our need to reward desired behaviors: PupStarts Rewards.
  3. The final collection helps in boosting a healthy immune response in your dog: PupStarts Boosts.

We actually use EVERY ITEM that has been included in these collections. It surely impacts our daily lives and we could not imagine not having them help to create the best in health and training.

Each collection includes a SimplyFido Limited Edition 100% Organic & Dye-Free Character Plush Bone Toy. Our dogs are always chewing or sucking on something. From puppyhood, they, like babies, love to put things in their mouths. Given the prevalence of oral cancers, we wondered if their dog toys were safe and non-toxic. Do I want my dog chewing on toys that have PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a toxic chemical) in the plastic? Do I want him ingesting processed materials or those made using pesticides and growth hormones? I don’t think so. That is why the collections include this fabulous toy.

This 9 inch long toy’s fabric and stuffing are grown without pesticides or herbicides, preventing your dog from ingesting toxic materials. Organically grown, the fibers are unbleached, untreated, and unprocessed. The company uses their unique PureWaterWash™ process to achieve their charming colors. The untreated cotton is then woven and color-brightened through Mother Nature’s own plants and minerals. Beige comes from a Chestnut Bur, red from the Madder Root, yellow from a Gardenia Seed, and grey from the mineral Charcoal The fabric is then triple-washed in pure water to set the color. As a result, each toy has its own unique appearance and color variance.

The collections also include your choice of a gorgeous Pawprints Scrapbook or Pawprints Journal to capture your furkid’s many special moments. Collecting your dog’s most expressive and fun photos and sticking them in a scrapbook is a wonderful way to celebrate your special bond. You can also use special embellishments to make your Pawprints scrapbook or journal attractive, adorning it with ribbons, first collars, baby teeth, and more. You can note progress in dog training classes, note accomplishments, and record difficulties as well. You would otherwise forget about these over time, but scrapbooking your dog will keep these memories for a lifetime.

Our 3 theme assortments are each arranged in a whimsical bone-shaped wire basket that measures 10″ L x 6″ W x 3″ H and includes a useful handle. This elegant shiny basket is simply perfect for holding dog wares and is a true keepsake storage container. This gift can be bought to treat yourself right (which is really important) or to present to a fellow dog lover—a special gift note card provided if requested with your order.

All of these collections are beautifully shrink wrapped and topped with a bow. A detailed brochure additionally accompanies each collection, providing insightful information about the contents and why each item was included.

These collections are great for yourself or to give as a gift. They are equally fabulous for a young pup or a newly adopted adult dog coming into your family.

Why Puppies Do That: A Collection of Curious Puppy Behaviors
Why do puppies sometimes lie on their backs when approached? Why do they sleep in a pile? Why do puppies have that special “puppy smell”? Why are some puppies runts? Few things can cause as much head scratching as the peculiar behavior and characteristics of a new puppy, and this book aims to answer all of the questions new dog owners wonder about their new little charge.

Illustrated with pencil drawings, Why Puppies Do That is lighthearted, informative, and as fun as a new puppy. The author, Tom Davis, has been living with and writing about dogs for 30 years. He has written several Golden books and is an editor for several magazines including Sporting Classics and Pointing Dog Journal. Regular Price: $13.95 but only $10 with a PupStarts Basket purchase!

Come check them out here.

USDA & FDA approved

Freebo – Golden news & a $700 free music/book deal! -UPDATED 3x

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Some time back I found out about the talented musician and performer, Freebo, and his Golden Retriever Garbo. Of course, I fell in love with him when I found out he had dedicated the CD, DOG PEOPLE, to her.

I lost touch with Freebo for a couple of years, and when we caught up with each other he thought I knew that Garbo had left for The Bridge. I didn’t know, but I was happy to hear that she had been able to share her joy of living for almost 15 years.

He told me of his newest Golden girl, Harlow, and I just learned Harlow became a momma (I can’t wait to see the photos).

Harlow, our beautiful 2 year old Golden Retriever and direct descendant of Garbo, had a litter of 8 puppies on August 2nd. Their eyes are not yet open, but they are growing by the minute. Harlow has been an incredible mom, instinctually knew what to do, nurses the pups diligently, and still finds time and energy to play with her humans. My wife Laurie was there for the birth, helped Harlow with all details, and was thrilled with the whole process.

Freebo has been very busy and his latest CD is just wonderful. I have created a special page for him at the Foundation and it includes sound clips from all his CDs, including dog lovers’ favorites from his DOG PEOPLE CD. We just learned that WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE, a song from his Before the Separation CD, has been nominated for a 2008 Posi Award in the “Most Uniting” category (the award show is tonite!). The Posi Awards are all about music that has a positive message.

Freebo also told me about Teri Hawkins, who on Tuesday, Sept 16th, is releasing her new book, Life Retold. Everyone who buys the book THAT DAY from Amazon (just click on the link here) will receive 30 downloadable CDs, including Freebo’s “BEFORE THE SEPARATION” CD, as well as other free audio books.

Go check out the actual artists and writers featured in this incredible free package by clicking here.

In short, it’s $700 worth of free books and CDs for simply buying Teri’s book for $17. But, the book MUST BE ORDERED ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH.

When you place your order, Life Retold might display as “Temporarily out of stock”. Don’t worry, I’ve been assured that there will be NO DELAY in receiving your book. After you get your order confirmation, which will include your order number, you need to GO HERE and enter that number into a special form to claim your $700 bonus gift package. After you fill out the form, you’ll be taken to the bonus page to download your goodies. I CANNOT WAIT!

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UPDATE: I got the book and just finished downloading a gazillion songs. Whoa do I have some serious listening to do.

UPDATE 2: I just heard from Freebo and what GReat news he had for me. Check it out:

Looks like we’re going to keep one of the 2 girls whom we named “Hepburn”…..”Harlow” & “Hepburn”! Pretty cool, huh? It is an amazing litter, not a dud in the bunch…all excellent dogs.

Last night at the awards show, I won the award for BEST SONG IN THE UNITING CATEGORY. It was like The Grammys…..”And the winner is….FREEBO for “We Are All One People”. I was the most surprised person in the theater!

Time to go to bed….it’s 4:30 AM and I need to get up in a few hours.

UPDATE 3: What a small world. Teri Hawkins just contacted me, and I should not be surprised, but she is a Golden person. Of course, I told her I just had to see a photo of her Golden love and that I would want to share it with everyone here. It turns out her boy looks like my Ollie.

Here is Teri’s note that accompanied the photo below of her charming dude, Maxer:

Here is my Maxer. – He is a beauty in appearance but a silly pig pen in life…so I sent you a picture of his real self. He is talking to you can you hear him?

Through their Eyes Photo Contest – Winners Announced!

We have just announced our winners in our very special Through their Eyes – Celebration of Life Photo Contest. There were over 120 entries from 60 separate entrants and just too much GOLD to not select several winners and honorable mentions. Below, are some of the outstanding entries from our top two winners, Graham Morgan of Wales and David Mason of Florence, OR.

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Grand Prize Winner: Graham Morgan, Wales

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Grand Prize Winner: Graham Morgan, Wales

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Second Place Winner: David Mason, Florence, OR

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Second Place Winner: David Mason, Florence, OR

Everyone is getting a gorgeous jacketed award and prizes for themselves and their dogs through an incredible $1000 prize package! Now, that’s what I call a contest lol.

First, go check out all the entries (here, here, and here). Then, go and celebrate our winners.

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And, finally please show your support for our nonprofit foundation by experiencing the wonder of a MOST UNIQUE CARD COLLECTION based on many of the winning photographs.