Surf dog Ricochet . . . biker dog-in-training!

Ricochet met her Facebook friend, Therapy Dog Emma Zen. She is the ambassadress for biker dogs. Richochet got to ride on Emma’s mom’s (Debra Jo’s) motorcyle. From the smile on her face, you will surely be able to tell how much she loved it.


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!

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.”

Meet Foul ball champ, Golden Retriever Dozer

Dozer the foul ball retrieving dog receives a nacho chip for bringing back a ball baseball game at Roughrider Stadium in Gillette. Dozer has been a fixture at the stadium since he began fetching the balls two years ago. — News-Record photo by Nathan Payne

Golden Dozer, the foul ball retriever, is receiving a nacho chip for bringing back a ball baseball game at Roughrider Stadium in Gillette. He loves the job and has naturally been a fixture at the stadium since he began fetching the balls two years ago. — News-Record photo by Nathan Payne

Dozer is a ball hound. Literally.

The 7-year-old Golden Retriever has forged his baseball skills into a popular distraction at the Gillette American Legion AA baseball games.

He’s known statewide, at least by some baseball fans, for his retrieval of foul balls.

At the sound of a hit, he’ll lift his head and watch, waiting to see if it will sail outside the playing field. If it’s a foul ball, he’s off and running. He sometimes catches the ball on the bounce.

And he’s always the first to arrive.

Enough so, that some officials have asked to have the four-legged phenom taken out of away game ballparks so kids have a chance to snag the foul balls and reap the rewards for turning them in.

Dozer has been plying his entertaining trade for years. He’ll snag the foul and wait patiently for his treat after he returns the ball to the concession stand. Last year, owner Rick Hutchison trained Dozer to stretch and place his front paws on the concession stand, and put the ball down on the counter.

His payment often comes in the form of a piece of hot dog, a nacho chip, or even a portion of a hot dog bun. “He’s very motivated by food,” one fan pointed out at a recent game.

Read more about this wonder boy . . .

Baseball Golden Retriever Chase becoming dad

chasec.jpg The Trenton Thunder, the Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced that the team’s Golden batboy, Chase, is going to be the father of a litter of puppies. Chase and Cynazar Cyndarella are expecting the litter to be born at the end of this month.

Chase That Golden Thunder has been entertaining fans at Waterfront Park for the past 5 seasons. During the games, Chase is the Thunder Batboy during the first inning, he also brings water to the umpires, catches Frisbees in the outfield and meets with fans both on the field and in the stands. This 7-year-old boy has been featured on many news networks and his story has been published in media across the country.

During the Thunder off-season, Chase visits schools as part of the NJEA Boomer’s Book Buddies Campaign. He is the star of his own school assemblies for children in Kindergarten and First Grade called “It’s You Turn With Chase”. This upcoming season will mark Chase’s third year as the “Official Spokesdog” for Lambert-Kay, manufacturers of the “Fresh ‘n Clean” line of pet care and grooming products.

Learn more about Chase at our Foundation site, where we have been covering his story and that of other Golden performers for many years now. Just click here.


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Golden Retriever Casting Call!

We have loads of stars at our foundation site, like Ikea above, who is leaving for home with a sample of his work.

This message comes from Debbie Pinthus: International Association of Canine Professionals Pro 1393,WLAOTC

An independent production company in Hollywood, CA is seeking a Golden Retriever for an upcoming 5 day film shoot. The basic premise of the production is a grandfather character sitting in a chair reading fairy tales out loud. The setting is a home library with a fireplace, Grandpa’s trusty dog by his side. The Golden needs to have a down stay (lying by the chair) sit, speak, and be able to put a paw or two on the actor’s knee (shake). If the Golden knows additional tricks, they could possibly be added. This is a paying job, to be shot in late February. It will be shot in a small, quiet studio, not a large noisy location.

If you and your Golden are interested, please e-mail and put Golden Retriever in the subject line.

Golden Retriever Chase is quite a star!

Chase and his pals

Chase is a dude that we have been following at our foundation’s site for a few years now. He is part of the Trenton Thunder family, a Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. A seven-year-old Golden Retriever [2007], Chase loves to catch Frisbees, play fetch, and play with kids. He was trained by the owner of Golden Jake the Diamond Dog, Jeff Marchal. Jake had become a national entertainment act and appeared at Waterfront Park since the Thunder’s inaugural season in 1994.

Check out this cool video we just discovered of our special guy!

Golden Retriever Jake, the Diamond Dog


The current Jake, a 4-year-old dude whose real name is actually Homer, is now in his second season as the diamond dog. His predecessor died in March at the age of 14.

Kane County Cougars’ pitcher Derrick Gordon said he was a fan of Jake’s antics, though “he … brings umpires water when they don’t deserve it.”

  1. Click here to see an awesome movie clip of Jake in action.

  2. Go see a great audio-slide show that features this special boy. Enjoy!

Golden Retriever Dave the Math Dog — performing again


We have had many posts here about Golden Retriever Dave, the Math Dog (here and here and here and here and here).

Well, Frank, Dave’s dad just emailed us about his latest appearance. You can see a video clip of him performing by clicking here.


And, here’s the news article:

Dog-Gone Math Whiz Click For Video!

QUINCY – A super-star dog helps fundraise for the Golden Lions Club. This golden retreiver does much more than sit and roll-over. “Dave the Math Dog” knows numbers.

Dave the math dog can do almost anything with numbers. Frank Ferris, the dog’s owner says, “He can add, subtract, multiply, divide. He can do square roots, exponents, algebra. He knows how old he is. What month, what day he was born.” The gifted retreiver performs all over the country. His trainer says math comes easy for Dave who uses his paw to count out the answers.

Dave is 8 years old. He’s been doing math for two and a half years. Dave knows numbers in 20 different languages. Ferris can’t explain why Dave understands numbers. But he says its great to see students interested in math.

Ferris says, “Calculations are very important and we just like to keep kids motivated in math because it is such an important subject.” Audience members agree. They say it’s quite a treat to see Dave perform.

“I loved it. It was great.” “I could never do that stuff and I thought it was really awesome that a dog could do that.” The math dog has fans of all ages. They say Dave keeps everyone counting.

Golden Retriever Murphy … reminding us of our Ollie


We have had many posts here about Golden Retriever Dave, the Math Dog (here and here and here and here and here).


Well, we recently learned that Dave sired a litter, and the family kept a puppy. Named Murphy, he is already showing himself to be quite the smart one.

He reminds us of our first Golden Ollie, who was always observing and then doing things that amazed folks far and wide. One of the first things Ollie did was to figure out how to fresh water rather than the stale, warm water from his bowl. He had watched his dad, Gary, in the bathroom get water buy pulling up on the faucet fixture. And, he had learned how to jump up onto the counter so that he could drink the flowing water right from the tap.

Ollie was obviously unable to manipulate the fixture himself as it was too far back on the wall for him to reach to even attempt pulling it up with his mouth. But, he figured out that if he urgently tapped on the faucet, that someone would come running and figure out that he wanted the water turned on. And, that is what he did on his own one day to our amazement.

What was really funny was how he decided that everyone should understand him and his desires. We found that out one day when a workman was busy doing some repair work at our house. I will never forget when he came to tell us that he thought Ollie wanted some water, as he had seen him tapping away on the faucet in our downstairs bathroom. Ollie figured out that all of the faucets were the same and would tap on the one closest to him, of course.

Now that I see the story about Dave’s son, Murphy, I only wish I had a faucet that was turned on by turning, as that skill was one Ollie had down pat. His tapping behavior, however, was the one that he used most of the time. It warmed my heart how he would be outside with Darcy and he’d know that she wanted to come in, even if he did not want to do so. I’d hear ‘tap tap tap’ at the door. Upon opening it, Darcy would run on in, but Ollie would opt to stay outside on the porch. What a gentleman he was to let us know Darcy wanted us. Sadly, when Ollie died, Darcy was initially so lost without him. He actually did some of her talking by relaying her desires, and now she had to speak up for herself. Amazingly, she learned rather quickly that if she barked at the door that someone would come let her in. And, like her mentor, Darcy now did this alerting behavior for both herself and Alfie.


Now, back to Murphy’s story. Frank (Dave’s dad) tells us that when Dave wants a drink he stands at the tub and he or his wife turns on the water. It seems that Murph (at only 4 months of age) is now turning on the water in the bath tub.

Dave won’t turn on the water. He waits until someone turns it on for him. One day Mom heard the water running but couldn’t figure out who had turned it on. After two days, she finally caught Murphy in the act … turning on the water in the bath tub.

Check it out here.

Florist Worker Golden Retriever Cheyenne … following in Charlie’s pawprints

May 15, 2000 was a very special day for our Golden family. We had our Book Signing Party for the adorable book, Gas Station Charlie: A True Story about a Real Dog, written by Karen Grassmuck Kraushaar, with photography by Doris Kays Kraushaar. This book details a very special Golden guy. Imagine filling up your tank at the local gas station and having a beautiful, friendly dog comes to collect your money. Cash or credit, Charlie took care of it all, with a wagging tail and eager smile that brightened everyone’s day. This Golden boy lived in Saline, Michigan and helped Rick and Harry Parsons at the Marathon station on Michigan Avenue.

Our party had its proceeds benefiting Golden Retriever Rescue. How really thrilling it was to meet both authors (Karen and Doris Kraushaar) of this wonderful Golden book.

We had Darcy and Alfie as our Golden Goodwill Ambassadors, helping to welcome folks to this fun event. And, hubby Gary, with my favorite Golden sweatshirt on, was helping lots as well!


The following story about Cheyenne brought back fond memories of Charlie.


Faithful employee takes pay in doggy treats
By Melissa Capone and Steven Dietz (photo), VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH

Cheyenne is the hardest worker at McCullough’s Florist Shop in Harrison. She gets the mail every day at 10 a.m., takes cash, credit and checks from the customers, and greets them at the door.

Cheyenne is a 6-year-old golden retriever. Since the age of 2, Cheyenne has been the faithful, fun-loving employee of her owner, Cindy McCullough. McCullough has owned the shop for eight years, but it has been in her family for 75 years. It was originally owned by her grandfather.

About four years ago, Cheyenne began taking pieces of paper from an employee’s desk and bringing them to Cindy. After that, the dog began taking printed paper off the printer and delivering it to her owner.

Pretty soon, Cheyenne was retrieving the mail, and taking “pieces of paper” — money — from the customers. She brings checks and credit cards to her owner, too. In return for her services, Cheyenne gets a treat from Cindy every time she brings her money.

“She’s so well-trained,” McCullough said. “She won’t touch any of the flowers or stuffed animals in the shop unless we give them to her.”

She said Cheyenne looks forward to holidays and prom time. “She gets so excited when kids come in to the store, and when we’re very busy,” McCullough said.

There’s more . . . .

Remembering Golden Retriever – Jake the Diamond Dog


Jake the Diamond Dog is a tradition that spans canine generations. The original Jake, right, carried a bat as his successor learned the trade.

The above photo is a bittersweet one, with the mentioning of Jake’s successor learning the trade. That is because Jake suffered a stroke on March 18, 2007 and died the next day. Fourteen years old at the time, he was best known for performing at Louisville Bats games.

“My new dog has taken over,” said owner Jeff Marchal of Harrod, Ohio, “but it’s not Jake.” (The canine will keep the same moniker as his predecessor.) “I thought I was big, I thought I was tough, but I’ll tell you what, it’s been a rough road,” Marchal said.

Come learn more about Jake the Diamond Dog — a special guy who worked the ballfields and the nursing homes & hospitals doing visitations.

Golden Retriever Surfer Saint on Video!

Surf’s Up: Dog Hits The Waves Of Morro Bay
NBC11 has video of a dog named Saint who apparently likes to surf.

We caught up with Saint and his owner, Kat Yeung, at Morro Bay Thursday.

Saint is a 2 1/2 year old golden retriever. He loves to guide people to shore when they go swimming. He also like to surf. He’s been doing it since he was about 6 months old.

Yeung said when she starts loading up the car for a surf trip, Saint plops himself at the car door. Yeung said she uses a personal floation device to keep Saint safe. She also fixes a leash to his vest and to the board so that when Saint wipes out, the board is nearby.

Yeung said the surf has to be just right in order for Saint to catch a wave on his own.

There’s more plus raw footage video of this Golden guy in action . . . .

Another Gas Station Charlie?

Furry friend helps out at Yellow Dog Coffee Co.

Dave Gurny and Susan White offer service with a smile at their new coffee drive-through. Their employee, Murphy O’Brien, offers service with a wag of his tail. Murphy, a nine-month-old golden retriever, has been trained to carry customers’ dollars from their car to the cash register in exchange for a treat. “People love it,” White said. “They bring their animals in to meet him and give him bones.”

Dave is one busy dude


Dave the Math Dog visits Dexter students

A special visitor in Dexter left students thankful there were no snow cancellations.

Dave the Math Dog, who has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, sporting his personalized blue bandana and followed by his two sons performed for students from both Southwest and Central Elementary schools Monday morning.

The special assembly brought in over 1,000 students and faculty members to see some of Dave’s out of the ordinary pet tricks.

Dave is a seven-year-old Golden Retriever owned and trained by Frank and Debbie Ferris of Lerna, Ill. But, Dave does more than just sit and roll over, he can do mathematics, understands sign language and understands numbers in five different languages. “When Dave was about five, my wife was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about the things dogs take in from their surroundings,” Frank Ferris said. “After the show she sat down and asked him seven or eight times how many fingers she was holding up and he never missed once.”

That’s when, Ferris said, they decided there was something special in Dave that they should share with others.

Now Ferris and Dave travel around and give motivational presentations to young students encouraging them to stick with mathematics. “Before today our biggest audience was 720 students in Ripley, Tenn. last year,” he said of the size of Monday’s audience.

How all of this works is Ferris writes a problem on a small dry erase board, he then shows it to the dog. Dave then uses his paw to count out the right answers. And they aren’t all small problems.

Twelve-year-old Jennifer Aslin, who worked as Ferris’ assistant during the show, walked around and took random numbers from students and then wrote the problems out on the board. She would then take the board to Frank who would ask Dave the problem. Dave answered problems ranging from the most basic addition all the way up to problems involving exponents and square roots.

Ferris said he really has no explanation for how or why Dave understands math, and he seemed to even have the staff and administration stumped as to how he does it.