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.

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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:

http://landofpuregold.com/gottadance/freestyle.htm

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!

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Also, be sure to click here
for the page we’ve created for Ricochet.

ALFIE – Our *Golden* 11th Birthday Boy – Updated

A Baby Alfie

I’m so happy that Alfie is celebrating his 11th birthday today (you can see him from my first day with him on here: alfie.landofpuregold.com). I never made it this far, getting to 11, that is. Okay, not me, but my Alfie boy. He celebrated 11 years of happiness (I hope) today. Cancer took my other babies so I am holding out hope that Alfie will make it a bit longer.

But, I am definitely not greedy. There is plenty to be thankful for as there are a bazillion fabulous scenes that will hopefully play over and over in my head for some time to come.

I had never before done the party thing or even gotten a cake for my boy. But, I figured this was truly a momentous occasion. So, he had his first take of cake today. Now, I will never be left alone again when sneaking a piece for myself.

He has gotten so many special surprises. Just check out the organic Carrot Peanut Butter Bubba Rose Birthday Cake and the Mimi-Green Swiss Velvet Custom Name-Embroidered Collar.

The infamous window response to my calling out, "WHO'S THERE?"

Alfie has stolen my heart .... so I knew I needed to add a heart to his wonderful new collar.


Spoiled, you say?  Nah . . . . . . . . .


P.S.: Funny hubby Gary just asked why half the cake was still in the refrigerator. Surely, his birthday boy Alfie should have been given the entire cake to wolf down in 5 seconds flat. Major fail, of course.

P.P.S.: A fun clip of Alfie’s very first freestyle lesson with Carolyn Scott


Golden Alfie just loves watching the fish and frogs in the pond. His tail never stops wagging. Ever. And, the song, Sunny Skies, by James Taylor ( http://james-taylor.com ) is just perfect.

This is much harder than it looks.

This is the Southern Golden Retriever Display Team performing at CRUFTS 2010. I have seen them perform better than this but still am very impressed. In my own freestyle training years ago, we tried these team exercises. They are really, really tough.

The fact that a Golden was distracted by some previous scent in the arena was actually a bonus. The group continued with their performance, the dog finally after a few mishaps getting in step ….. making the piece that much more dear.

Frisbee …. a dog’s delight!

This is Deb Walz’s Golden Retriever Selka, or more formally, Sandhill’s Goldust Selka. A lover of the sport no matter what the season, he also enjoys dumping snow from his Frisbee onto his head! Now, that is what we call one thinking Golden! According to Deb, Selka is a joy to everyone who knows him and spends his time retrieving, working as a therapy dog or laying in Mom’s lap. You can learn more about the sport of Canine Frisbee here.

Frisbee is on my mind today since I just learned that Fred Morrison, once a World War II fighter pilot and inventor of what became known as the Frisbee, died this week at age 90. He referred to his early flying discs as “Whirlo-Way” and “Pluto Platter,” to capitalize on the flying saucer craze of the 1950s.

“It is impossible to fathom the impact Fred Morrison has had on the world through the invention of such a simple object know as the Frisbee,” said Kevin Givens, executive director of the World Flying Disc Federation.

Fred Morrison, Frisbee Inventor

I wonder if Fred knew how much his invention impacted the dog world. Canine Frisbee is enjoyed by casual enthusiasts and professional competitors alike. I love this Russian Golden’s skills and fine movement.

And, our favorite canine competitor and all-around sweet lady, Pam Martin, of Top Dog Dallas, is just wonderful at combining Frisbee with Canine Freestyle. Spy is one intense dude, that’s for sure. And, of course, super talented!

This is wrong on so many levels

Do not do this at home. This is not canine freestyle. Asking a large breed dog such as a Golden Retriever to move about on two feet is just so dangerous. It simply shows no respect for a Golden’s bone structure, and how hard such movement would be on the body. Overall, the dance moves are just ridiculous. Imitating human dance is not what freestyle is about. It is about incorporating a dog’s natural movement into a routine. And, don’t get me started on the costuming.

This video just turns the entire exercise and the sport into a comedy routine, which you can tell by the reactions. That is not what we want viewers to get out of this sport.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Btw, here is how Canine Freestyle is defined by the Musical Dog Sport Association (MDSA):

A dog sport in which training, teamwork, music and movement combine to create an artistic, choreographed performance highlighting the canine partner in a manner that celebrates the unique qualities of each individual dog. It is built upon the foundation of a positive working relationship of a dog and handler team.

I know a little bit about the sport, having trained and performed in it myself. And, of course, I’ve learned from the best, including that of the renowned Carolyn Scott.

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.”

Check out Golden Richochet! – Updated

UPDATE: Brand new videos with Richochet and Patrick!


Golden Ricki

We’ve been following Golden Retriever Richochet ‘Rip Curl Ricki’ and Patrick for a few months now. Today she did a demonstration at the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach, surfing tandem with Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old. Patrick was diagnosed quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a Golden Retriever named Kona.

Patrick also participates in an intense physical therapy program funded through Help Patrick Walk, which helps him build strength by exercising parts of his body he can’t move or control on his own. Since starting his therapy, Patrick has been able to do things he never thought he could.

The costs of training a service dog, and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in. Hopefully, she was able to raise lots for her pal Patrick today.

I hope Ricki also did well in the competition. Stay tuned as I have yet to hear from her mom, Judy.  Here is footage taken from the event today.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Come learn more about Golden Surfing Dogs & see more fun surfing videos here.

Golden to Collie . . . . Oh my!


Our favorite Golden lady, Carolyn Scott, has been grieving for some time since her beloved Rookie left her side almost 15 months ago. She had also lost her Golden Rescue boy, Maverick, to cancer and a beloved kitty. It was just Zita, her lovely standard Poodle, providing that much needed furlove, and Zita has been mighty ill as well.

Well, today I received a happy post. Of course, it began with the typical Texas greeting of “Howdy”.

Here are the pictures of my new dog.  I have re-named him “Cash”.  Isn’t he a cutie?  I adopted him from Collie Rescue. He is 5-months-old.

As of yesterday Laddie became “Cash Scott”. :  )

Cash is doing great! Randy loves the name since I have already been to Petsmart to buy him lots of toys and bones. :  )

I am thrilled for Carolyn, and not terribly mystified by her choice in breed. Rookie was truly that once-in-a-lifetime dog and it may be quite some time before she can cross back into the Golden arena.

My hubby Gary’s first dog was a Collie, named Laddie, no less. So, he was a touch less thrilled that Carolyn changed her boy’s name. Oh well.

Carolyn has also been a Collie lover from way back, her very first dog as a child being a Sable & White Collie boy named Rascal. She thought he was the smartest dog she had ever seen.

Auntie Rochelle is really upset with Carolyn’s choice of places to buy her new love’s toys and treats. Given all the cancer out there, and problems with a suspect food supply, we just can’t be too careful. I certainly am not with my Golden boy Alfie.

Please check out my page on Polluted Pets as a reminder . . . . while I bundle up a much-needed care package for Cash that will include organic toys, organic treats and free-range USDA chews.

Maybe, I can even get Carolyn to switch to Canine Life’s home-cooked organic puppy formulation for her sweetie. I have been using it for years and cannot imagine better peace of mind than that of knowing that he is getting the best of the best.

Patrick & Golden Retriever Ricochet ‘Ricki’ Ride the Waves . . .

The video below shows Golden Retriever Richochet ‘Rip Curl Ricki’ and Patrick in a August 20, 2009 CBS News clip. They were practicing in Del Mar for their big debut, and it was looking like the dog days of summer — the dog surfing days, anyway.

Golden Ricki

This newest project for Ricochet, however, presented a unique challenge: training to surf tandem with Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old. Patrick was diagnosed quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard. Ricki will be using this success in her upcoming surf competitions/fundraisers for Patrick.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a Golden Retriever named Kona.

Patrick also participates in an intense physical therapy program funded through Help Patrick Walk, which helps him build strength by exercising parts of his body he can’t move or control on his own. Since starting his therapy, Patrick has been able to do things he never thought he could.

The costs of training a service dog, and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in. Ricochet will be carving waves in San Diego for the next several weeks to prepare for the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar on September 13, 2009 as well as the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on October 11, where she hopes to share a wave with Patrick.

Ricki is the youngest surFUR on the San Diego Dog Surfing Association Team, and is also a member of the Golden SurFURS team, which is composed of all Golden Retrievers! Check out the many Golden SurFURS in the video below. It is a true delight.

Learn more about Golden Surfing Dogs & see more surfing videos here.

Meet Judy Fridono, Golden Lover & Trainer Extraordinaire

Judy Fridono

Judy Fridono

Judy Fridono, who I’ve featured at my Agricultural Golden Retriever Scent Detection Dog page and on a post with the adorable Halloween costumed Golden Rina, wanted me to publicize a fundraiser in which her Golden would be riding the waves tandem with Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old spinal cord injured adaptive surfer.

Well, that would be a cinch to merely reproduce Judy’s press release (check it out below). But, the work that she is doing is too fascinating to leave it at that. And, like myself (I have a mixed connective tissue disorder), her charitable endeavors began as a way to make a difference despite adversity.

Due to the pain and degenerative nature of  a juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis in late childhood, Judy was limited in her physical activities. Instead, she channeled her energy into charitable causes. She puppy raised for Canine Companions for Independence and completed (Bergin University’s) Assistance Dog Institute’s A.S. degree program, working with Dr. Bonnie Bergin, the incredible woman who initially originated the concept of the service dog.  Judy, who has trained dogs at several service dog organizations, is currently a service dog trainer for Paws’itive Teams, also active with her own service dog through their goal directed therapy program working with children.

Judy, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), is also the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Puppy Prodigies, a Neo-natal and Early Learning Program. Their objective is to provide their “prepped” puppies to owner-trainers, assistance dog, and other canine training organizations with the goal of decreasing the number of dogs that are released from programs due to temperament or behavior issues. As the wait for a service dog can be several years & the cost for training quite high ($25,000 per dog), it is shocking to realize that a fair percentage of dogs in training programs do not graduate. That is why Puppy Prodigies is such an important organization.

  • Puppy Prodigies focuses on critical stages of development starting at birth by providing the puppy with structured exercises and experiences such as early stimulation, conditioning, imprinting, habituation, socialization, environment enrichment, and training.  The purpose is to condition the puppies so they learn to learn!  Learn more Here: Early Learning Focus and Early Learning Program Highlights.
  • Puppy Prodigies provides these early trained puppies to organizations and others who need them, which includes but is not limited to assistance dog programs for their puppy raising/training initiatives, medical alert programs, seizure alert/response programs, social therapy programs, scent detection programs, and other career dog programs and individuals who are “owner training” their personal dog for assistance work.
  • Puppy Prodigies has a breeder collaboration program in which they work closely with breeders in a effort to produce exceptional puppies who are destined for a future in assistance work.
  • Puppy Prodigies whelps litters for other assistance dog programs, as well as breeders who are interested in our early learning program for their entire litter.
  • Puppy Prodigies provides continued support once the puppy is placed so that the early learning that was fostered is built upon throughout the puppy’s training journey.
  • Puppy Prodigies provides education and training opportunities to breeders, other assistance dog programs, trainers, etc, so they can provide their Neo-natal & Early Learning Program to their litters of puppies.
  • Puppy Prodigies charts the success of their efforts since the ultimate goal is to decrease the number of dogs who are released from programs due to temperament or behavior issues. This data also serves as a source of early canine behavior research for their work with other dog behavior professionals.

Judy, like many other Golden owners, has a website for her girl, “Rip Curl Ricki“. Born on January 25, 2008, the 9th puppy in a litter of 10, Ricki was raised as part of Puppy Prodigies with hopes of becoming a service dog. A little too interested in chasing birds and other small animals, her career path changed, and she became a SURFice dog! At 8 weeks of age, in addition to her service dog skills training, Ricki began surf dog training on a boogie board in a kiddie pool. Here is this sweet puppy girl learning how to surf  in a kiddie pool at the tender age of 11 to 13 weeks.

Given Judy’s physical limitations, Team Ricki was created to help with taking Ricki in the water to surf, attend practices, accompany her to contests, give surfing advice, help with fundraising, take pictures/video at events, and more. If you would like to get involved, unleash the fun, and be part of Team Ricki, please send an email to pawinspired@aol.com or call (707) 228-0679. Judy is really in need of a strong guy in the San Diego area who can take Ricki out in the water to practice and for competitions.

Ricki is the youngest surFUR on the San Diego Dog Surfing Association Team, and is also a member of the Golden SurFURS team, which is composed of all Golden Retrievers! Check out the Golden SurFURS below.

Although still a novice, now each time Ricki surfs in competitions, she has a personal mission called “Surfin’ for Paws-abilities” which raises money for charitable causes. I do hope you visit her site and check out this mission so that you can donate.

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Surf Dog Contest Winner Carves New Waves as She Tandem Surfs with 15-year-old Spinal Cord Injured Adaptive Surfer

Golden Retriever Ricki

Golden Retriever Ricki

SAN DIEGO, CA, August 14, 2009…”Rip Curl Ricki,” a local golden retriever surf contest winner, will be taking to the waves next Thursday, August 20, to learn a new skill: surfing tandem with Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old spinal cord injured adaptive surfer. “Ricochet” (as she is known on land) has been surfing since she was a puppy, and has always been part of surfing fundraising efforts for great causes. The newest project for Ricochet, however, presents a unique and exciting challenge: training to surf tandem with Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old. Patrick was diagnosed quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard.

In addition to accomplishing a tandem surf ride with a person with limited physical abilities (rarely, if ever done), Ricochet will use her surf training next week to prepare for upcoming surf competitions/fundraisers for Patrick.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a golden retriever named Kona.

Patrick also participates in an intense physical therapy program funded through Help Patrick Walk, which helps him build strength by exercising parts of his body he can’t move or control on his own. Since starting his therapy, Patrick has been able to do things he never thought he could.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years.

Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a golden retriever named Kona.

The costs of training a service dog, and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in. Ricochet will be carving waves in San Diego for the next several weeks to prepare for the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar on September 13, 2009 as well as the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on October 11, where she hopes to share a wave with Patrick.

A surfin' Patrick

A surfin' Patrick

Patrick is an official beneficiary for the Surf City Surf Dog contest, and the proceeds donated to Ricochet through her fundraising efforts will go directly to Paws’itive Teams, and Help Patrick Walk, for the sole purpose of easing the financial burden on Patrick and his family.

Note: If you’d like to volunteer, get involved, make a donation, or become a sponsor, send an email to pawinspired@aol.com, or call Judy Fridono at (707) 228-0679.

If you are lucky enough to be a Californian, do be sure to go out to see these fun competitions. It’s always fun for the surfers to hear their names chanted while they are carving out some waves (pom-poms optional!)

Sept 13, 2009 to benefit Patrick’s intense PT at Project walk
Ricki will be surfing in the large dog category of Del Mar’s Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon, surfing as many waves as she can catch in a 20 minute time-frame. She hopes to catch about 6-7 waves. The contest is judged/scored on the length of ride, and how many waves are caught.

Oct 11, 2009 to benefit Patrick’s Golden service dog Kona
Ricki will be surfing in the large dog category in Huntington Beach’s Surf City Surf Dog competition, surfing as many waves as she can catch in a 15 minute time-frame. She hopes to catch 5-6 waves. the contest is judged/scored on the length of ride.

Remember, you can donate for Patrick’s continuing physical therapy through the “Help Patrick Walk” fund which supports his ongoing treatment at Project Walk, and/or for his service dog Kona from Pawsitive Teams.

Just go to  “Surfin’ for Paws-abilities” or click on the Donate Now button.

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Come meet lots of Golden surfing dogs and learn more about this new fun sport that is taking root all over the nation.  Just click here.

SURF DOG CONTEST WINNER CARVES NEW WAVES AS SHE TANDEM SURFS WITH
15-YEAR-OLD SPINAL CORD INJURED ADAPTIVE SURFERSAN DIEGO, CA, August 14, 2009…”Rip Curl Ricki,” a local golden retriever surf contest winner, will be taking to the waves next Thursday, August 20, to learn a new skill: surfing tandem with Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old spinal cord injured adaptive surfer.  “Ricochet” (as she is known on land) has been surfing since she was a puppy, and has always been part of surfing fundraising efforts for great causes.  The newest project for Ricochet, however, presents a unique and exciting challenge: training to surf tandem with Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old.  Patrick was diagnosed quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard.In addition to accomplishing a tandem surf ride with a person with limited physical abilities (rarely, if ever done), Ricochet will use her surf training next week to prepare for upcoming surf competitions/fundraisers for Patrick.Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a golden retriever named Kona.

Patrick also participates in an intense physical therapy program funded through Help Patrick Walk, which helps him build strength by exercising parts of his body he can’t move or control on his own.  Since starting his therapy, Patrick has been able to do things he never thought he could.

The costs of training a service dog, and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in.
Ricochet will be carving waves in San Diego for the next several weeks to prepare for the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar on September 13, 2009 as well as the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on October 11, where she hopes to share a wave with Patrick.

Patrick is an official beneficiary for the Surf City Surf Dog contest, and the proceeds donated to Ricochet through her fundraising efforts will go directly to Paws’itive Teams, and Help Patrick Walk, for the sole purpose of easing the financial burden on Patrick and his family.

Golden Retriever Kobie stars in movie, Dog Gone

Golden star loves limelight
Kobie is part ham, all dog on the movie set

By THERESA HOGUE, Gazette-Times reporter

He may be a star, but Kobie the Golden retriever isn’t standoffish. In fact, he’s anxious to meet anyone offering a pat or a snuggle. The 7-year-old Corvallis dog has been in show business for a few years, and his biggest production so far, “Dog Gone,” just came out on DVD. But whether he’s the animal star of the show, or simply a background performer, there’s one thing Kobie loves: Being on set.

Here is a great commercial that Kobie starred in as well.

Come learn more about Kobie at our foundation’s site where we have detailed several Golden Retriever stars. Just click here.