Another punishing blow…

I am back here talking about Golden Retriever Robin, Police K-9 detection & SAR dog (aka Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder). I have posted here, here, here, and here about this very special guy, who has an aggressive form of cancer and is now fighting for his life.

Mary’s latest news is not good, Robin’s cancer having metastasized to the right mandibular lymph node:

I have heard that grief has several stages, one of which is denial. I find myself repeating that while the statistics are grim, Robin is no ordinary dog. He does not know that this will be the fight of his life, and it will be a prohibitively expensive process. Somehow in my struggle, I find myself taking momentary comfort in believing that somehow, this whole thing will be a big error and that Robin isn’t really sick. But, as soon as I sell out and feel that few seconds of comfort, reality comes back and drives a blade between my ribs and reminds me that Robin is in the cross-hairs.

Right now Robin and I are involved in a battle for his life, even though he is not yet showing signs of his illness. Robin’s type of cancer can have a variable prognosis, and Cornell has informed me that the initial treatment for his lymph node removal and radiation will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $8,500 to $10,000. If subsequent treatment is required, the costs will escalate from there. We are desperately trying to raise enough money to save him, and we need your help. Whether it be fundraising ideas, or personal donations, every little bit will help.

Please get over to grants.landofpuregold.com/robin.htm to learn more and help in this fight.

Here’s Golden Robin (BISS Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder OS SDHF CGC TDI) and breeder/owner/handler Mary MacQueen receiving their AKC ACE award in the law enforcement division at the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba Invitational in Long Beach California.

And, here’s Robin doing his thing (drug detection).

He does it all … Update on Police K9/SAR Dog Robin

Golden Retriever Robin leading the parade

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her boy Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog). We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy. And, we wrote about Robin earlier this week when I learned of his Cutaneous Epithelioltropic Lymphoma diagnosis and their being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department due to budget disputes.

Robin’s story was featured yesterday and today in The Salamanca Press, a paper that has been following his work in the community for several years now.

FREWSBURG — Less than a week after owner Mary MacQueen learned her dog, Robin, had been diagnosed with a malignant form of skin cancer, the pair visited Cornell University to run additional tests. After several tests — including chest x-rays, ultrasounds, blood work and urinalysis — the diagnosis was confirmed: Robin has Cutaneous Epitheliotropic Lymphoma.

Although MacQueen doesn’t expect to hear the complete results from the test for about a week, she does know Robin will at least have to undergo 16 days worth of radiation as well as another surgery procedure to followup one which removed a minor bump on Robin’s rib cage earlier in the month.

Depending on what the results determine, Robin may also need to have chemotherapy conducted.

MacQueen said the radiation is expected to cost at least $6,000, and she has been accepting donations online from friends, family members and fellow dog lovers. She said she wants to help not only Robin, but to raise awareness for the disease in general.

“What I am looking at now is a bigger plan than just Robin,” she said. “He is such a great ‘spokesdog’ for the things dogs are capable of. No matter what the future holds, maybe it will raise some additional awareness for the disease.”

Come over to grants.landofpuregold.com/robin.htm to learn about Robin’s strong work ethic, this week still doing a drug demonstration for elementary school children. And, see how much we have now raised for his care at Cornell.

Be sure to spread the word about Robin’s story (you can use this short address as well:  http://bit.ly/4robin

Can you help Police K9/SAR Dog Robin?

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009]. This is an incredible feat and we are so proud that Mary MacQueen and her Golden Robin are the recipients. We came to know about Mary’s exceptional work in 2002 when she shared the story of Golden Working Dog-in-Training Buddy, and continue to be amazed by her strong work ethic. We initially blogged about Robin a little over a year ago.

Robin also is the recipient of the 2010 Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Gold Standard Award. This award is presented to honor a Golden who performs honorable, heroic acts or who enriches, inspires or contributes to the lives of individuals and communities.

Eight-year-old Golden Retriever Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro’s Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC, Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog) and Mary MacQueen have worked for the Salamanca Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, and assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in Western New York State. In 2009 alone, Robin had been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets.

Robin and Mary’s work with the Cattaraugus County, NY Sheriff’s Office included jail & vehicle searches, school searches, and searches during community festivals. Robin, the second narcotics certified K-9 in Cattaraugus County, is their first to be allowed to search people/students due to his easy going temperament and passive “sit” alert when he locates drugs.

Mary MacQueen and Robin also assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug task force and Kinzua Search Dogs, a non-profit, all volunteer group that endeavors to locate missing persons. Based in southwestern New York, Kinzua Search Dogs conducts searches in New York State as well as Pennsylvania.

Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin is also a therapy dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Champion of Record, and the recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Show Dog Hall of Fame title.

When Robin’s busy schedule allows, he also leads local parades, visits hospitals and nursing homes, and makes trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. They say during community events and fundraisers that he can often be seen carrying a donation basket or lunch box filled with candy for the kids.

BUT, MARY’S EMAIL TO ME  YESTERDAY DID NOT BRING GOOD NEWS
On October 18, 2010 we received a very sad email from Mary about her special boy Robin, his being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer on October 15th, two days after his eighth birthday.

Needless to say, I am still reeling from this horrible news. I have our first Oncology appointment on Wednesday at 11AM at Cornell University. They said it is an all day appointment filled with blood work, scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays. The original mass removal was done by my vet, but the histopathology was done at Cornell, so there was probably little room for error in the diagnosis which was Cutaneous Epithelialtropic Lymphoma. They said it was in the early stages for this aggressive form of cancer, so we are confident that this is the ONE special dog who will beat this disease!

While there is never a good time to get a cancer diagnosis, the situation has been compounded by Mary and Robin being laid off from the Salamanca Police Department on Oct 11th due to the Seneca Casino/NY state disputes.

Robin’s medical bills are not covered by his police department, and the treatment will be both extensive and expensive. Please help us save this dog who has given so much of his life for his community. Make a tax-deductible donation today …. designating it solely for Robin’s care. The money will be directly applied to his care at Cornell University

TO DONATE, JUST CLICK HERE.

And, please spread the word by having folks come to http://bit.ly/4robin

Golden Retriever Riley: The Real (Iconic) Hero of 9/11

New York, N.Y. (Sept. 15, 2001) -- Golden Retriever SAR dog, Riley, is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center. The twin towers of the center were destroyed in a Sept. 11 terrorist attack. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres.

This one photo has never left my mind, heart, or soul as the images
from such a tragic day tend to be indelibly marked.

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The post below originally appeared on May 28, 2007, sad news from Riley’s dad, Chris Selfridge, prompting many heavy hearts. Although I never got to meet Riley, I loved him as did so many other folks who had been glued to their television sets after the attack on the twin towers.

On 2/26/10, Riley passed away. He was our family pet, my friend and partner. Riley was 13 in November. He lived a good life and taught me many lessons during his time with me. He will be greatly missed. I love you Bub!

Dog book author, Susan McCullough, has included Riley in her upcoming book on Golden Retrievers and learned more about his final days.

While Riley had aced a physical this past December, a mass was found in his abdomen on February 20. Surgery to remove the mass took place on February 24, but Riley died two days later.

Chris and I exchanged email last fall when I was writing my book about Golden Retrievers and wanted to feature Riley as a representative of the breed. At that point, Riley was still enjoying chasing Frisbees and had helped to welcome a new puppy into the family. He clearly was enjoying his retirement from SAR work.

I am so glad Riley was able to be by his family’s side for a little over 13 years. Cancer has kept me from having a Golden Retriever beyond the age of 11. These special souls live their lives so intensely, never tiring of seeing our faces or simply the joy of going for a walk or getting a treat. I don’t think we could ever appreciate life or live it as well as they do. So, while it seems like they have such short lives, I think they live far longer than we do when it comes to happiness and fulfillment.

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May 28, 2007 Post

I have a page at the foundation site on our Disaster Search and Rescue Goldens. It details a great book, Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs. The book details the stories of 77 handlers and their Search and Rescue dogs who responded at the World Trade Center & Pentagon following the September 11th attacks. It shows a photo of Dissaster SAR Golden, Riley.

Riley is one of the most famous dogs of Sept. 11 because of a photo taken of him at the World Trade Center site a few days after the attacks. In the photo, Riley is in a basket being sent over a 60-foot-deep canyon to search the rubble of the North Tower. “Normally when we send a dog, the handler goes with him,” said Riley’s trainer, Chris Selfridge. “This time we decided it was more practical to just send the dog.”

I also recently learned of video being available of Golden Riley through SAR worker and author extraordinaire, Susannah Charleson. She is most familiar with this apparatus on Riley as she has trained in activities with similar gear with her SAR Golden Puzzle.

It is wonderful to actually have footage of the Golden Retriever who really DID work at the World Trade Center (separating him from those preposterous claims made by Scott Shields).

Riley is now retired, and suffers from various skin problems and the like due to his time at Ground Zero.

Meet Payton: SAR Pup-in-Training

I just love this little guy. Meet Robin Stanifer with Golden Retriever Payton, her search and rescue dog. They are working from a motorboat on a pond in the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana to track scent during a Department of Homeland Security Search and Rescue Conference training exercise held June 4. (U.S. Army photo by John Crosby)

Learn more about Golden SAR dogs here.

Golden lovin’ & savin’ Sam Connelly made my day!

A Serious Golden Retriever Salsa ready for her next important mission

Sam Connelly became known to the Land of PureGold when she won Fourth Place in our Treasured Golden Bonds Storywriting Contest, with: Emilee, The Throw Away Dog. Sam also provided us with a wonderful tracking tale: Darla Lost and Found. An experienced Search & Rescue professional, Sam recently formed her own company, Pure Gold Pet Trackers, the team consisting of Sam and her Golden Retrievers, Salsa & Brando.

Working dog teams (including scent dogs for SAR, tracking & trailing; substance detection dogs for agriculture, explosives, human remains, etc.) do their jobs under the most hazardous environmental conditions to help find the lost, bring help to the injured, and so much more. So, finding a cost-effective and safe product to make their lives easier would genuinely be a great help.

For whatever reason, Sam happened onto my website within a week of my adding Liquid Net for Pets, a new, natural flea, tick & insect repellent product. She ordered two bottles. And, this is what happened . . . .

[June 6, 2009] It has been such a horrible year for ticks. I have had numerous searches in Virginia where my Golden Salsa and I were bitten so badly that I look like I just got over the worst case of chicken pox. We’re positive for Lyme Disease, but at the moment our bodies are successfully fighting off the disease and we are without symptoms.
I just feel bad for Salsa because her fur is so thick and fluffy that the ticks are just all over her as soon as she goes through the first field of tall grass. We had one search in Ashburn, VA where I pulled nearly 100 ticks off of her after only three hours of tracking. It was disgusting. When I ran my hand down her front legs they felt like washboards from all of the ticks. She has been on Frontline Plus and then I switched to K9 Advantix and neither has stopped the ticks. The only comfort is that any ticks I miss will die as soon as they bite her. I would love something that actually repels them and can be used on both of us. So I’m really looking forward to trying Liquid Net for Pets Ultimate Flea, Tick & Insect Repellent. And, BELIEVE ME, if it works as well as it says, I will be letting you know.

[Ten days later] I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The two Liquid Net for Pets bottles I just purchased are gifts for rescue managers that I work with who spend a lot of time out chasing lost foster dogs in Virginia—which has got to be one of the most tick-ridden places I have ever searched. I can put Liquid Net for Pets on my face (I’m allergic to EVERYTHING and most repellents cause me to break out in a rash), in my hair, on my clothes, on my DOG (which is so fantastic because I worry about causing her to not be able to smell when I use chemicals on her), and my gear.

Last night we were tracking a little Italian Greyhound down in Richmond that got away from a boarding kennel. We were in woods and in a field with grass and weeds that were up to our chests and when we got home there wasn’t a tick on either of us! The owner of the dog who has been looking for her little dog for two weeks now— and has been plagued with ticks every time she goes anywhere off of paved areas — called me this morning and begged me to send her the link for the spray, because she didn’t have any ticks either this time. This is a wonderful product and I will be recommending it to everyone I know. Thanks for introducing this to us. I’m going to take a picture of Salsa wearing her tracking harness sitting next to the bottle! — Sam Connelly

In the video below Sam demonstrates two pet tracking techniques, air scent tracking and straight tracking.

Go visit Sam’s website, Pure Gold Pet Trackers, to pick up some GReat tips on how to keep your pets safe, and on what to do if they get lost.

And, be sure to get some Liquid Net for Pets for your treasured dogs and yourself as well, this strength perfect for adults as you can tell by Sam’s immersing her whole body in it [ingredients shown below].

  • Citronella Oil – essential oil derived form different species of ‘lemon grass’, a natural animal and insect repellent.
  • Cedarwood Oil – fragrant natural insect repellent. Cedar has been used for centuries to repel various insects, and is regarded for it’s fresh clean scent.
  • Lemon-grass Oil – derived from tall perennial grass, lemon grass oil has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent.
  • Geraniol – an extract of thyme, a natural insect repellent with a sweet, fresh and spicy scent
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – naturally occurring wetting and thickening agent. Commonly used in toothpaste, shaving cream, bubble baths and other health and beauty products.
  • Peppermint Oil – natural insect repellent, produces a wonderful scent, and a pleasant cooling on the skin.
  • Eugenol – an essential oil from clove and cinnamon. Natural insect repellent, and used as an artificial vanilla flavoring and scent.
  • Lime juice and zest of limes are highly valued for their floral aroma and acidity.
  • Wintergreen – natural insect repellent, produces a wonderful scent, and a pleasant cooling on the skin.
  • Water essential to all known forms of life and is known as the universal solvent. Used to dissolve and mix active ingredients to allow them to be readily applied.

The fun continues.

While one is locked away, the other one plays? Who can say? But, sadly their nonprofit (yea, right) Bear Search and Rescue Foundation’s website still appears online and asks for money. Go figure.

My question, who really will pay? (The taxpayers, of course. What a stupid question.)

To learn more about this saga from its beginnings, just go to TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness.

And, to see the series of blog posts on this pitiful man and his sister, just click here.

Cherishing the moments

Brady and Deana, together, enjoying the ocean

Brady and Deana, together, enjoying the ocean

A man with Alzheimer’s wanders from his home, a hiker goes missing, a trapped family desperately tries to escape flood waters. The National Association for Search & Rescue indicates that the ability to save a life is often dependent upon how quickly the person can be found and accessed. But, providing enough well-equipped and well-trained search and rescue professionals is a daunting task.

Deana Hudgins, President of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc., a non-profit all volunteer response unit, recently shared her story with us, detailing the work of her SAR Golden boys, Brady and Chase. Sadly, Brady, a talented boy whose specialties included Live Finds and Area Search, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in June 2008. And, we just learned today from Deana that he lost his battle to this horrific disease in November.

I am truly grateful to have had Brady in my life and I am fortunate to have gotten the chance to take Brady to the beach in Florida in September. He had a great time running and playing. He was even well enough to play the day before he passed away. Brady has taught me so much about love, loyalty and happiness. I hope to honor him by continuing to dedicate myself to K9 Search and Rescue. Brady was a fantastic ambassador for search and rescue and the Ohio Search Dog Association.

Go experience a wonderful photo montage that shows this Golden family’s celebration of life. Just click here.

Training Golden Retriever Avalanche Dogs

This Alpine Meadows video features search and rescue dog training in conjunction with the Placer County Sherriff Search and Rescue, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Tahoe Dog Team. It was a real carnival for the Golden Retrievers and other breed dogs with helicopter rides, treasure hunts in the snow and non-stop games all designed to train them to sniff out and save buried avalanche victims.

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Learn more about Search & Rescue Dogs here at our foundation website.

Thank SAR Golden Retriever Trulee for Climber’s Dramatic Rescue!

Greg Varney of the King County Search Dogs team feeds and praises his golden retriever, Trulee, who followed the scent of a granola bar to climber Derek Mamoyac in rough terrain at the 6,000-foot level of Mount Adams. Photo by Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian

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CHECK OUT 2 GREAT VIDEOS (NEWS REPORT & MSNBC INTERVIEW) WITH GREG & TRULEE!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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An amazing tale of survival

Jill Bartlett and other rescuers spoke glowingly of Mamoyac after he was found alive after five frigid days and nights on the mountain. “He was in very good shape for what he went through,” she told The Oregonian.

As she and several other rescuers waited with him before he was flown from the mountain, he told them he ate centipedes and other bugs after running out of food early in the week. He drank water from creeks.

He was wearing water-resistant pants, insulated boots and gloves but was still very cold. “We put all our coats on him, and he was still shivering,” Bartlett said. “We asked him, ‘Are you warm? and he said ‘yeah.’ ”

Mamoyac was found by the team of Greg Varney with his search dog, Trulee, a golden retriever, and navigator, Ron Buermann, who kept them on course. Mamoyac told rescuers that his climbing trip turned bad as he was descending after reaching Piker’s Peak at 11,657 feet, below the mountain’s summit. He stepped in some snow he thought was solid, but it gave way.

Bartlett said the climber broke his right ankle tumbling down the mountain. He spent nearly four days crawling and dragging his feet through the snow, trying to drag himself off the mountain. When his knees hurt too much to crawl, he said he would turn around and scoot backward.

“We get happy endings, but not at the end of a five-day search,” rescuer Varney said.

Well, this is pretty cool.

After spending five lonely days as the subject of a search, Mamoyac’s mother says, her son has decided what he wants to do with his life. He plans to pursue a career in search and rescue.

Hopefully, he can talk to Greg Varney about that as he is the Operations Leader for King County Search Dogs.

He is working quite hard as Golden Retriever Trulee is qualified in trailing, airscent and cadaver searches.

Is this dog abuser & convicted felon still on the take?

li.jpgScott Shields and his sister, Patty Shields, appeared before US District Judge Robert Sweet yesterday on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. The sentencing recommendations (seen here) had Scott Shields sentenced to 8 months in prison–then 3 years supervised release–with a requirement to make restitution of all the money plus an additional $300 and submit to mental health counseling. His sister Patty was sentenced to 12 months and one day, plus all that noted for Scott. The recommendations were followed for the most part, except that Patty’s sentence was reduced to 8 months.

In addition, the court decided to allow each felon to serve their sentences separately. Scott must report to Fort Dix, NJ’s Federal Minimum Security (country club type) Prison on November 12, 2008 to begin his time. And, during that time, Patty will remain free for the next 8 months, not needing to report for her prison sentence until Scott comes out. Unfortunately, that means she will be free to continue stealing monies through their bogus non-profit foundation. Obviously, the court had no comprehension of the fact that Scott and his sister have stolen far more money through the foundation than he did from FEMA and the Red Cross.

Many folks have been fighting for years for Scott to be investigated regarding his foundation monies, but to no avail. Many have filled out complaint forms with the state of NY regarding his foundation, but there has been no response. That is by far the bigger issue here as it allows both him and his sister to continue their criminal ways. Scott should be barred from ever being in a first responder role or in having such a nonprofit entity. How this can be achieved, however, is beyond my available knowledge.

It was interesting to see that within the ruling it was noted that Scott had a criminal record and that his current actions were so consistent with his con artist ways. Specifically, on April 25, 1990, Scott had been arrested on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, and on October 24, 1990, was sentenced to 3 years probation and 6 months home confinement, as well as being required to make a $147,804 restitution and special assessment, in the US District Court for Connecticut.

Not only does it seem like Scott is continuing to get away with murder, but it is amazing to see the lack of media reporting on him and his purported good deeds through his foundation. It is hard to accept but I guess he’s gotten away with misappropriating hundreds of thousands from his nonprofit foundation, and via SSA disability and Workman’s Compensation with respect to his supposed Ground Zero injuries. It is sad to see the lack of response from the state of NY.

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It is hard to believe that it is already two years since I wrote the article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness. In that article, I admitted to being taken in by this con-artist. I gave him a presence at my website, and collected over a thousand dollars for him (and his Golden Retriever Bear) through a raffle. But, that was not the true grievous aspect to my dealings with Shields.

Sadly, I learned that Scott was trying to build onto his 15 minutes of fame, but at the expense of his purportedly beloved Bear. Here was an animal who was quite senior in years at 12 years of age. An animal who had been injured by the dangerous metal debris on the pile. An animal that was used to either spending his summer days indoors in an air conditioned home or enjoying the cooling breezes off the Connecticut waters on Scott’s boat. But, tragically, now Bear was forced to walk the hot asphalt streets of the city day in and day out. Scott and Bear would venture out in the morning and continue until nighttime. Always dressed in his mock rescue outfit, embellished with numerous patches, with Bear sporting a bright orange rescue vest, Scott would seek out the folks who often frequented the area streets.

I was shocked to learn about what Bear was now being asked to endure, despite observers relating their own concerns about this to Scott. However, this fell on deaf ears despite the fact that Bear was reportedly now beginning to show outward signs of physical decline. So, I searched out veterinary health professionals in NYC that could possibly provide services for Bear. How excited I was when I learned of a woman who had a facility within blocks of Scott’s city residence, a facility that could provide hydrotherapy sessions for Bear. And, because Bear had been at Ground Zero, he would be given these quite expensive therapy appointments (over $100 per 30 minute session) at no charge. Excitedly, I relayed the great news to Scott, assuming that he would not delay in setting up appointments for Bear. Knowing how Bear loved the water, I thought this would be just perfect for him.

But, who could have predicted what happened next? Who knew that the reality of who Scott really was would finally hit home? You see, I was later contacted by the hydrotherapist who indicated that Scott had not come in for his scheduled appointments and no matter how often they were rescheduled for him, he just always failed to show. Obviously taking a huge financial loss in keeping these hours open for Scott, she finally had to sever this generous offer.

I contacted Scott who was unable to deny any of this. The man who was so concerned about his wonderful Bear just didn’t want to take the time away from parading up and down the streets. I guess it just wasn’t that important in the scheme of things. Such blatant disregard and neglect was beyond my comprehension, and I felt humiliated about having presented his story as an honest one. And although I removed every mention of Scott Shields and Bear from my site in the summer of 2002, the stench still remained.

DEATH SPRINGS ETERNAL
I continued to be updated about Scott’s sordid story, learning that Bear died on September 23, 2002, at almost 13 years of age. The proceedings following his death were filmed, as was his funeral. And, while it is not on film, and certainly only hearsay, I heard that Scott’s sister incongruously asked, “What do we do now? He’s dead.”

In my naiveté I could not even begin to fathom what was to be set in motion. I thought Scott would pocket the memories from his small brush with fame, and go on his way. But, just the opposite occurred. This silly man’s claims of having the most celebrated dog were actually being taken seriously. And, it appeared that the prodigious firm of Proskauer Rose LLP was also taken in by this man—despite his repeated evictions, poor business practices & bankruptcy—affording him even more credibility in their formation of his foundation in Bear’s memory.

Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty generating mainstream interest in this story, and Scott has caused irreparable damage to the typically unheralded Search & Rescue heroes who are always there for us at devastating urban disasters …. such as that at Ground Zero following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And, he has continued to take money from unsuspecting folks as he touts his purported heroic deeds at trade shows, elementary & middle schools, Boy Scout Group meetings, and more.

Besides his theft of government funds, mail fraud & conspiracy to defraud the US after receiving almost $50,000 from FEMA and the American Red Cross, Scott Shields has collected years of disability for his purported Ground Zero injuries. Funny, how despite a claim of breaking both knees and an ankle, that he was doing just fine about a month later while walking behind Hilary Clinton in the October 8, 2001 Columbus Day parade.

Lt Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine teams in 2001, had 25 teams on the site round the clock for nine long months, scraping through the pulverized concrete. Scott Shields was down at Ground Zero for a little over a day, but managed to spin his experience into an epic. And, always on the look-out for the next big disaster, he further tried to benefit from the Katrina disaster.

Shields claimed 847 live rescues, evacuating under 6000 people, and that 11,000 people are alive today because of his group. Yet, rescuers who were there indicated the following: “His numbers exceed the entire 82nd Airborne’s numbers including the Superdome evacuation. So even if he took credit for all of their hard work, his numbers are still an aberration. … Scott was escorted out of LA and was on the water only ONE DAY. I spoke to the Chief and Superintendent of NOPD. They told me they never heard of Scott and there was NO WAY he rescued 5,000 or 11,000. … In those pictures, if you look, he is in shorts and just shoes, looks like he is on vacation while everyone else has knee pads on and is working, and that was just at camp.”

I have learned that the true heroes out there are not easily found. They do not do this job for the fanfare. They do not have media agents working on getting them mentioned in endless news articles. They are not obsessed with gaining notoriety. In fact, they’d rather not be in the spotlight. Rather, they struggle and train and work hard because they can, because they know they can help a fellow human being. These folks are a gifted bunch, and we do depend on their spirit of giving . . . for that time when it may be our lives hanging in the balance.

Self-Proclaimed 9/11 Hero Scott Shields Sentenced

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SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THIS POST HERE.

Scott will appear before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007) on Tuesday, September 14, 2008. My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event.

The sentencing recommendations, however, have already been made (and most likely agreed upon). I have reproduced the 17 page (pdf) finding which folks can see by clicking here.

Essentially, Scott Shields was sentenced to 8 months in prison, then 3 years supervised release, and is required to make restitution of all the money plus an additional $300, as well as submit to mental health counseling. His sister Patty was sentenced to 12 months and one day, plus all that noted for Scott.

The ruling also noted that on April 25, 1990, Scott had been arrested on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, and on October 24, 1990, was sentenced to 3 years probation and 6 months home confinement, as well as being required to make a $147,804 restitution and special assessment, in the US District Court for Connecticut. I guess once a conman, always a conman.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the even greater sum of money that Scott has misappropriated from his nonprofit foundation. Nor, is there any mention of the monies taken, over several years, via SSA disability and Workman’s Compensation with respect to his supposed Ground Zero injuries.

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It is hard to believe that it is already two years since I wrote the article, TRADING IN ON TRAGEDY FOR FAME: Succumbing to the Lure of Truthiness. Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty generating mainstream interest in this story, and Scott has caused irreparable damage to the typically unheralded Search & Rescue heroes who are always there for us at devastating urban disasters …. such as that at Ground Zero following the infamous 9/11 attacks. And, he has continued to take money from unsuspecting folks as he touts his purported heroic deeds at trade shows, elementary & middle schools, Boy Scout Group meetings, and more.

Besides his theft of government funds, mail fraud & conspiracy to defraud the US after receiving almost $50,000 from FEMA and the American Red Cross, Scott Shields has collected years of disability for his purported Ground Zero injuries. Funny, how despite a claim of breaking both knees and an ankle, that he was doing just fine about a month later while walking behind Hilary Clinton in the October 8, 2001 Columbus Day parade.

Lt Dan Donadio, head of the NYPD’s canine teams in 2001, had 25 teams on the site round the clock for nine long months, scraping through the pulverized concrete. Scott Shields was down at Ground Zero for a little over a day, but managed to spin his experience into an epic. And, always on the look-out for the next big disaster, he further tried to benefit from the Katrina disaster.

Shields claimed 847 live rescues, evacuating under 6000 people, and that 11,000 people are alive today because of his group. Yet, rescuers who were there indicated the following: “His numbers exceed the entire 82nd Airborne’s numbers including the Superdome evacuation. So even if he took credit for all of their hard work, his numbers are still an aberration. … Scott was escorted out of LA and was on the water only ONE DAY. I spoke to the Chief and Superintendent of NOPD. They told me they never heard of Scott and there was NO WAY he rescued 5,000 or 11,000. … In those pictures, if you look, he is in shorts and just shoes, looks like he is on vacation while everyone else has knee pads on and is working, and that was just at camp.”

I have learned that the true heroes out there are not easily found. They do not do this job for the fanfare. They do not have media agents working on getting them mentioned in endless news articles. They are not obsessed with gaining notoriety. In fact, they’d rather not be in the spotlight. Rather, they struggle and train and work hard because they can, because they know they can help a fellow human being. These folks are a gifted bunch, and we do depend on their spirit of giving . . . for that time when it may be our lives hanging in the balance.

New Hemangiosarcoma Research

SAR Brady (certifications: NAPWDA Area Search, NASAR SAR TECH II, NASAR Canine SAR TECH II, Canine Good Citizen

This is Brady, one of the dogs that we are following and who has received a grant from our foundation to help with his hemangiosarcoma’s treatment costs.

A new study jointly conducted by Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute may one day help both canines and humans with this form of cancer.

Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Cancer Institute who discovered the targeted therapy drug Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), is teaming up with OSU veterinary oncologist and researcher Stuart Helfand, D.V.M. Dr. Helfand was one of the first to discover abnormalities in hemangiosarcoma growth pathways similar to those responsible for CML in humans.

Hemangiosarcomas strike all dog breeds, but is more often noted in German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. It is a rapidly growing, highly invasive cancer. Thanks to this grant, the Druker Laboratory is now studying a cell line developed in Helfand’s laboratory from a German Shepherd that died of this sarcoma. The researchers want to see what drugs can be developed to treat this disease. In turn, this research may ultimately benefit people with similar cancers.

Meet Live Find Golden Harley

Harley looks like one happy Search & Rescue Golden!

Gainesville Fire Rescue welcomes new search dog
By HEATHER RIGGS, Special to The Gainesville Sun

Gainesville Fire Rescue has a fluffy addition to its team.

Harley, a 60-pound golden retriever, recently became fully trained and certified as a “live find” dog. His task is to help search for people trapped under collapsed structures and rubble.

Harley, a 60-pound golden retriever, recently became fully trained and certified as a “live find” dog. His task is to help search for people trapped under collapsed structures and rubble. He is the first GFR search dog, although the agency had an arson dog several years ago, said Harley’s owner, Preston Attebery, a GFR paramedic and firefighter.

Attebery said he chose to train Harley as a search dog because he felt the skills they would learn together would be best suited for the line of work they will do.

For the last 18 months, Attebery has been teaching Harley various techniques, ranging from basic obedience to agility training. Harley can climb ladders, walk across beams, teeter-totter and go through tunnels. He has also learned a bark alert to let Attebery know he has found someone.

Shortly after turning 2 years old, Harley received official certification as a search dog. He and Attebery are now part of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 8 Team, a group of professionals from Alachua, Marion, Ocala and Gainesville prepared for special types of rescue and disaster recovery.

Harley is the only certified pup in the region, although a number of Florida agencies, including Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami-Dade, have such dogs.

SAR Brady’s Story – Helping a wonderful Golden in need

Golden Chase looks pretty happy working here on the water, even though he believes it is all a fascinating game. We learned about SAR Goldens Brady and Chase from their handler, Deana Hudgins, President of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc. (OSDA), a non-profit all volunteer response unit that primarily provides qualified K9 search teams to assist in locating missing persons.

They also are educating agencies and the general public about the use and benefits of such teams in search and rescue missions.

OSDA has assisted with search operations in Ohio and in neighboring states, including searches for Alzheimer patients, mentally handicapped individuals who have wondered away from hospitals or their homes, and missing or abducted children. They have additionally worked on operations involving victims of drowning, violent crime, plane crashes, and various types of natural or man-made disasters.

Each team member/handler supplies their own field packs for the dogs in a “ready to go” status. The field packs contain change of clothing, cyalume sticks, flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, dog supplies, water bowl, power bars, food, maps and a compass, GPS and other necessities. Team members also maintain a fully equipped trailer for use on search missions including rope rescue equipment to support search operations.

This photo shows Deana with her two incredible boys, (right to left) Brady and Chase. Brady’s specialties include Live Finds and Area Search, while Chase’s skill specialties are Human Remains Detection and Air Scenting. Brady’s certifications include: NAPWDA Area Search, NASAR SAR TECH II, NASAR Canine SAR TECH II, and Canine Good Citizen Certification. Chase’s certifications include: NASAR SAR TECH II, Water HRD— Southern Tier Police K9 Assocation, NASAR Canine Human Remains Detection-Land (III), and Canine Good Citizen Certification.

Sadly, we learned about this hard-working family, when in June 2008, an application arrived for one of our Working Dog Cancer Treatment Grants.

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This is Deana’s story about her guy Brady:

Brady is my baby, my partner, my loyal and loving companion. He is the first dog I trained for search and rescue. He was born on February 15, 2002 in Rootstown, Ohio at Gangway Kennel. He was the only boy in a litter of five. He came home on April 18, 2002 and began his search and rescue training immediately.

We are members of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc. (OSDA). We train as a team twice a week and respond, free of charge, twenty four hours a day to requests from polices, fire and emergency management agencies to assist in the search for lost and missing people throughout Ohio and around the country.

In April of 2003 Brady received his first search and rescue certification from the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) in Area Search. He has been recertified by NAPWDA in Area Search every April since, including April 13, 2008.

Brady was certified as an Area Search Canine SAR Tech III by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) in 2004 and an Area Search Canine SAR Tech II in 2007. Brady has loved to work from the first day I taught him puppy run-aways, the building block for area search canines. Brady’s overwhelming love of people of all ages, races and abilities has made him an outstanding search and rescue dog.

He is OSDA’s star when it comes to PR events and demonstrations. Long after the other dogs on the team have tired out Brady is still eager to meet and greet anyone who comes near our booth in the hopes that they will stop and pet him for a while. Brady assists me with dozens of demonstrations each year including the Ohio Child Abduction Response Team (CART) training for law enforcement agencies around the state.

I have been truly blessed to have Brady in my life. He has brought so much joy, love and happiness to my life. He has been a forgiving partner as we have navigated through the learning process of the K9 Search and Rescue world. He has also taught me so much about being present in the moment of our lives and the lives of our loved ones every day.

My teammates have been a huge support system for me during this process. We have some fantastic people and dogs who happily go to work whenever called and willingly put themselves in harms way to help return the missing to their families. K9 Search and Rescue has become my calling and I have been so blessed to have had Brady share this journey from the start.

I have been devastated by his diagnosis. I pray that I am making the right decisions in his care and treatment and that I can help him have the longest healthiest life possible. I was caught completely off guard by the diagnosis since he was showing absolutely no signs of feeling ill in any way. He was working, playing and living day to day like normal. I took him in to be checked because he had a small mass behind his shoulder blade about 2 cm wide. I, along with my regular vet, the oncologist and the surgeon, were totally unprepared for the diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.

Brady had surgery to remove the mass on May 23, 2008 and the margins came back clear however radiographs and CT scans have picked up lesions in his lungs that may be metastatic disease but at this time they are too small to tell for sure. He had is first chemo treatment on June 9. He has been receiving weekly CBCs to monitor his blood. Brady has handled the chemo very well with no evident side effects.

To look at Brady you would never know he was sick, and for that I am eternally grateful. He runs and plays with Chase, his 4-year-old full brother who is also a search and rescue K9, every day. We have pool parties in the back yard and walk about three miles each night.

Brady still licks his bowl clean after every meal which he devours in less than a minute and he has really been enjoying all of his medicine and supplements since I give it to him in hot dogs three times a day.

I am praying for a miracle for Brady and trying to enjoy every day he is feeling well. I am more than willing accept the financial debt that comes with maintaining the health and well being of both Brady and Chase, but the bills for Brady’s surgery, tests and treatment have been overwhelming. I can’t thank you enough for your donation it will definitely help ease the burden.

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Brady just went back for his second chemotherapy treatment on July 3, 2008. He is working with Dr. Lisa Fulton, an excellent Veterinary Oncologist. Deana believes he still seems to be doing well. And, she has promised to keep us up-to-date on his progress.

Making a Difference
Please help support our cancer treatment program with the purchase of cards. This first card, hopefully leading off a series of cards honoring our wonderful working dogs, was inspired by SAR Golden Brady.

The design below is featured on oversized 5¼” x 7¼” quality classic ivory linen cards, which are a hefty 80-pound weight. The set includes matching 70-pound ivory linen envelopes along with 10 glossy puppy stickers. Just click here to order!

Convicted Felon Scott Shields outsmarts the system again

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SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Sentencing for convicted federal felon Scott Shields WAS slated for June 27, 2008 at 4pm. Scott was to appear before US District Judge Robert Sweet in courtroom 18c (United States Courthouse: 500 Pearl St., Room 1920, New York, NY 10007).

Well, that is no longer the case. From shortly after 9/11 to now October 14, 2008, the man will remain free on bond as he awaits sentencing.

For some unidentified reason, Scott’s attorney has been terminated and now a new attorney (Joel Stein) has been assigned. As a consequence, the sentencing date has been moved to October 14, 2008. Sadly, it seems like closure will never come.

My disability keeps me homebound much of the time so I’d love to hear from anyone who believes they may be in the courtroom for this long-awaited event. This is the preliminary control date for sentencing so I will be trying to confirm the final date when it does become available. I will not be surprised if it takes place even later than the end of June.

Obviously, those wheels of justice, turn very, very slowly. And, you know what that means? Through his bogus nonprofit foundation, Scott is left for almost 3 months to swindle more folks, tell his lies to more innocent children, and whatever else he does to support himself in his expensive Princeton townhouse (despite not working one day since before 9/11).

Please, just imagine how much money he has taken in through his foundation to have allowed such a lifestyle all this time. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

You can catch up on this Golden Retriever abusing con-artist by clicking here.

National Service Dog Eye Exam Day

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) in association with Pet Health Systems, will host an unprecedented event in veterinary medicine the week of May 12, 2008. Over 140 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists will provide FREE eye exams to America’s Service Dogs. Pet Health Systems will provide a FREE lifestyle assessment, a biochemical profile, and complete blood count through their Pet Wellness Report and primary care veterinarians. It is anticipated that through these efforts Service Dog Health can be improved and potential disease averted.

Qualifying Service Dog groups include: guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, detection dogs, and search & rescue dogs. Dogs must be active ‘working dogs’ that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program to qualify. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Essentially the dogs need to have some sort of certification and/or training paperwork to prove their status as a working Service Dog to participate in this year’s program.


Click on the image above to see a video about this special event

Click here for the steps to participate and to Register

Golden Retriever Abuser Scott Shields … 3rd Boob down

SEE IMPORTANT OCTOBER 15, 2008 UPDATE HERE.

Okay, I just could not resist. I just received a pdf copy of an article that cannot be found online but that made the Late City Final Edition of the New York Post on March 30th. It was written by Philip Recchia, a reporter who broke the news initially in an article from September 25, 2006: FRAUD PROBE HOUNDS RESCUER.

I simply love the title: From hero to heel: 9/11 ‘fraud’ ripped off 50G and the photo caption that so aptly defines Shields as a “Ground Zero liar.”

Click on the reduced photo below to get the full take on how this article appeared this past Sunday, March 30th, and why I call this blog entry “3rd Boob down”.

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Memorial for Government Police K-9 Golden Retriever Austin

We recently brought you the story of Golden Austin, and now have updated information about a “Celebration of Life” memorial that will be held in Austin, TX on March 6th.

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imageWhen the AKC has announced the winners of the first Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2000, Golden Retriever Austin, owned by Officer Jim Minton, of Austin, Texas, was their Search and Rescue recipient.

A classic Cinderella story: A bedraggled stray is turned in to the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program and, after a few twists of fate, becomes an honored search-and-rescue dog. Austin’s inspiring story culminates in his work at the site of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse that killed 12 people and injured 27 others.

According to his handler, Officer Jim Minton, Austin was one important working Golden.

Austin has been on overseas assignments three times and one trip involved us being evacuated out of the region by the U. S. Customs and DEA air wing. This was after thugs had placed a $30,000 price tag on Austin to kill or kidnap him. This is nothing unusual. Drug dogs working the border often face the very same threat.

tog.jpg

Austin himself was found and rescued as a puppy from the woods east of Houston, Texas, by hunters. He was then turned over to a Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program , where Texas Hearing and Service Dogs purchased him and provided testing and training before donating him to the Austin Police Department in January 1999. Austin has since been trained to rescue people. On

October 28, 2000 Mayor Kirk Watson proclaimed that date “K-9 Austin Day” for the City of Austin. On November 11, 2000 Austin was inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

Austin was certified in Tracking, Cadaver, and Chemical Biological Detection. After Jim retired from the Austin Police Department, where Austin was on the job from 1999 to 2004, he and Austin began working at the Federal Level specializing in Chemical-Biological Detection (2004-2008). Jim Minton, a Senior Law Enforcement K-9 Handler/Instructor and Senior K-9 Chemical-Biological Specialist for U.S. Govt. and U.S. Military Response only.

aaafc.jpg

A Very Sad Ending
Police K-9 Austin died on February 16, 2008 in his loving handler’s arms. He had been rushed into emergency surgery due to having developed bloat, and managed to survive the procedure. However, shortly after waking up his vitals deteriorated and as Jim so desolately said:

Austin looked at me, wide awake and alert, took a deep breath, exhaled, laid his head down, I kissed him, monitors started sounding, and Austin left this cruel world.

Jim has indicated that there will be a special police K-9 memorial service for this 10-11 year old hero. And, he shared this heartfelt message with me on February 21st:

Rochelle, thank you so much for the kind words. I don’t know how much more of this excruciating pain I can endure. I know other people hurt just like I am when they loose a Golden. So I’m not doing the “poor me” thing. But Dammmmm this is killing me. He and I were together for more than 10 years nearly 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

I’m sure Greg and Carrie haven’t told you, but they have been absolutely totally 100% percent sweethearts. They trusted me enough to allow their Golden “Pippy” to come home with me the night of the day Austin died. Pippy slept in bed with me and was spoiled rotten for nearly 24 hours. The only stipulation was, I had to bring her home the next day. I called the next afternoon and tried to convince Greg that they said just bring her back next year! LOL But he was too slick and caught on! (Actually my friend called for me) My voice would not work from my crying so much.) I must tell you, I had already planned on staying in a hotel room that night because the pain was just too much when I tried to go home. However, Carrie and Greg being considerate and giving as they are, allowed me to sleep in my own bed with a very loving Golden.

This was so sudden and unexpected. Running and playing just 24 hours prior to his death. I must tell you, At one time, 3 veterinarians and 7 vet techs were working on Austin all at one time. They fought to save his life for nearly 18 solid hours. You can only imagine the tremendous invoice! No big deal as I say. It’s only money. They were given unlimited financial authority and CPR was authorized during surgery of needed.

I just found out today that the U. S. Department of Defense is sending a flag that was flying in a war zone in Iraq the day Austin died. A couple of guys I helped with on some special training just prior to their deployment managed to make this happen. They both petted on Austin throughout the entire 2 weeks of training. Another flag is coming from a U. S. Embassy overseas where we were assigned for a short time on a specific assignment. In short, Austin has a following. Hell, I should have run fro President when he was around. But, even though it’s getting exciting, it does NOT bring my baby home.

You can learn more about Austin’s story at his page at our foundation’s site. Just click here.

Honoring SAR and Chemical-Biological Detection Golden Retriever Austin

imageWhen the AKC has announced the winners of the first Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2000, Golden Retriever Austin, owned by Officer Jim Minton, of Austin, Texas, was their Search and Rescue recipient.

A classic Cinderella story: A bedraggled stray is turned in to the Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program and, after a few twists of fate, becomes an honored search-and-rescue dog. Austin’s inspiring story culminates in his work at the site of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse that killed 12 people and injured 27 others.

According to his handler, Officer Jim Minton, Austin was one important working Golden.

Austin has been on overseas assignments three times and one trip involved us being evacuated out of the region by the U. S. Customs and DEA air wing. This was after thugs had placed a $30,000 price tag on Austin to kill or kidnap him. This is nothing unusual. Drug dogs working the border often face the very same threat.

tog.jpg

Austin himself was found and rescued as a puppy from the woods east of Houston, Texas, by hunters. He was then turned over to a Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program , where Texas Hearing and Service Dogs purchased him and provided testing and training before donating him to the Austin Police Department in January 1999. Austin has since been trained to rescue people. On

October 28, 2000 Mayor Kirk Watson proclaimed that date “K-9 Austin Day” for the City of Austin. On November 11, 2000 Austin was inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

Austin was certified in Tracking, Cadaver, and Chemical Biological Detection. After Jim retired from the Austin Police Department, where Austin was on the job from 1999 to 2004, he and Austin began working at the Federal Level specializing in Chemical-Biological Detection (2004-2008). Jim Minton, a Senior Law Enforcement K-9 Handler/Instructor and Senior K-9 Chemical-Biological Specialist for U.S. Govt. and U.S. Military Response only.

aaafc.jpg

A Very Sad Ending
Police K-9 Austin died on February 16, 2008 in his loving handler’s arms. He had been rushed into emergency surgery due to having developed bloat, and managed to survive the procedure. However, shortly after waking up his vitals deteriorated and as Jim so desolately said:

Austin looked at me, wide awake and alert, took a deep breath, exhaled, laid his head down, I kissed him, monitors started sounding, and Austin left this cruel world.

Jim has indicated that there will be a special police K-9 memorial service for this 10-11 year old hero. And, he shared this heartfelt message with me on February 21st:

Rochelle, thank you so much for the kind words. I don’t know how much more of this excruciating pain I can endure. I know other people hurt just like I am when they loose a Golden. So I’m not doing the “poor me” thing. But Dammmmm this is killing me. He and I were together for more than 10 years nearly 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

I’m sure Greg and Carrie haven’t told you, but they have been absolutely totally 100% percent sweethearts. They trusted me enough to allow their Golden “Pippy” to come home with me the night of the day Austin died. Pippy slept in bed with me and was spoiled rotten for nearly 24 hours. The only stipulation was, I had to bring her home the next day. I called the next afternoon and tried to convince Greg that they said just bring her back next year! LOL But he was too slick and caught on! (Actually my friend called for me) My voice would not work from my crying so much.) I must tell you, I had already planned on staying in a hotel room that night because the pain was just too much when I tried to go home. However, Carrie and Greg being considerate and giving as they are, allowed me to sleep in my own bed with a very loving Golden.

This was so sudden and unexpected. Running and playing just 24 hours prior to his death. I must tell you, At one time, 3 veterinarians and 7 vet techs were working on Austin all at one time. They fought to save his life for nearly 18 solid hours. You can only imagine the tremendous invoice! No big deal as I say. It’s only money. They were given unlimited financial authority and CPR was authorized during surgery of needed.

I just found out today that the U. S. Department of Defense is sending a flag that was flying in a war zone in Iraq the day Austin died. A couple of guys I helped with on some special training just prior to their deployment managed to make this happen. They both petted on Austin throughout the entire 2 weeks of training. Another flag is coming from a U. S. Embassy overseas where we were assigned for a short time on a specific assignment. In short, Austin has a following. Hell, I should have run fro President when he was around. But, even though it’s getting exciting, it does NOT bring my baby home.

You can learn more about Austin’s story at his page at our foundation’s site. Just click here.

Pet Detectives

Click on image to enlarge!The area of search and rescue that involves dogs finding lost companion animals has received much more publicity of late.

We have provided several wonderful links at our foundation’s site and love this great book by Kat Albrecht.

The Lost Pet Chronicles – Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective details the adventures of a K-9 cop turned pet detective. This is the remarkable story of Kat Albrecht, the nation’s first law-enforcement-based pet detective. Her experiences are astonishing, revealing time-tested methods that could one day help you find a lost pet. Using investigative techniques such as probability theory, behavioral profiling, and searches with scent-detection dogs, Kat has helped more than 1800 pet owners locate lost dogs, cats, snakes, turtles, and horses. Along the way, she has faced one-of-a-kind challenges and unexpected roadblocks, but they’ve always been balanced by the unique joys of reuniting missing pets with their owners.

Click here to check out this cool video on some folks dedicating their careers to helping pet owners find their lost companion animals.

Can Golden Retriever Kinsey truly see your soul?

We just learned about a wonderful story of Golden Kinsey from Golden pal Denise. Denise is so funny. I asked her how her furkids were doing and this was her lol response (I definitely need some photos of this):

My Barley is doing fine with typical teenager behavior. The poor kitties will be better when he’s not so energetic and doesn’t want to use them as woobies!

kinsey´s journalKinsey, a member of Code 3 Associates, has her own journal. However, it is under construction right now. We have emailed her mom, Nan Stuart, to find out more about this special girl.

To learn more about the wonders of our Goldens, please check out our foundation’s site on
1. Super Sleuth Sniffers
2. Animal Assisted Therapists

But, she is currently showcased in the October issue of Ladies Home Journal Magazine. It is a very touching article.

Click here for a pdf copy of the article.

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On Oct. 18., 2006, hundreds of animal lovers attended the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Praise for Pets event to celebrate the special bond humans and animals share and to raise funds to benefit the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation. The 2007 event will be taking place in November so Kinsey is considered one of their current winners. She actually was their Service Award Winner, their giving canine awards in the categories for Heroes and Human / Animal Bond.

 

Our next award winner is Kinsey – an 11-year-old Golden Retriever with a bigger following than your favorite movie star. Kinsey, owned by Nan Stuart, is well regarded among thousands of animal control and humane society personnel, veterinarians, firefighters, law enforcement officers and other public safety individuals, as well as hotel staff and other people met along the way. Kinsey is a canine ambassador for Code 3 Associates, Inc which is an organization that provides quality training to public safety personnel and provides disaster relief for animals. She has helped train over 3,000 students in various aspects of animal cruelty investigations as well as technical animal rescue work.

Kinsey is also certified in Swift Water Rescue, Ice Rescue, is nationally certified for Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities as a Delta Pet Partner, and doubles as a service dog for her owner’s father, a stroke victim. She not only performs rescues on ice and in water, she also can serve as a victim to teach animal control or other rescue personnel how to rescue an animal. She understands how to be cooperative with her rescuer or how not to help, but remains immobile as an injured animal would be. In fact, if the person rescuing her does not handle her correctly, she cries as if being hurt (all the while winking at Nan knowingly).

Her intuition is uncanny in that she seems to always know who needs her most. During a class she kept going to a gentleman and finally went outside with him. Nan subsequently discovered he was blind and that Kinsey was serving as his guide. This past year she also spent 4 weeks in the hospital with Nan’s father as he suffered a stroke, was diagnosed with colon cancer and endured cancer surgery. Kinsey remained with her “patient” nearly around the clock and filled a void of his recently lost dog enabling him to recover from his trauma.

Kinsey is certainly an extraordinary example of the way companion animals can have such a tremendous impact on our lives.