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

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Just love this *side* command

Here are two video clips from a recent training session with Duke and two other dogs. He was very good! We worked on basics as the other two dogs were an added distraction, but he was ultimately very focused. =) Duke is a one year old, Golden Retriever, in training to be a service dog. His training can be followed on Facebook at: facebook.com/dukeintraining .The other two dogs are Puppy (a chihuahua) and Ginger (a poodle mix). Puppy knows a few more behaviors than just sit, including “side” which he happily demonstrated in the video. Ginger is new to training with multiple dogs and was quite good at focusing..

Golden Duke comes from Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs, Inc. (TLCAD), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established in 1998. It is dedicated to the training of service dogs for those with limited abilities in the county of San Diego.

TLCAD, just one of the hundreds of the fine service dog organizations located worldwide, is included in our foundation’s listing found here.

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.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT!

Puppy Girl Blythe

In December 2008 I posted about Blythe. She was being trained by my Golden pal Pat who is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of CCI. Pat has probably trained over 20 furkids at this point, which is pretty amazing.

I could not ever remember Pat training a little girl as it has always been boys that she has received these many years. I had always had male dogs and my sweet Darcy was our first female. But she was so spunky and filled with attitude, which I adored. And, she was known for loving her toys huge to thrash and then lie on in victory. So I asked her about that.

I thought I’d try a girl for a change. These last couple of guys have been handfuls! Loving handfuls mind you, but I thought a little mellow girl would be a nice change of pace. NOT! This one has spunk! And attitude, hence the blog. Blythe and I are new at blogging, but we will get the hang of it. I’m in New Mexico for a day or two, but when I return, I’ll send you some cute first day pictures. I had gotten all these girl toys … soft animals, even a cashmere camel. She went for the biggest ball in the house and drags around the biggest bone she can find. I love her already!

Well, I just got a post from Pat today, Blythe having left for service dog college, as they call it. She has a new pupper to raise . . . and it’s back to males. Here is Pioneer from his first day with Pat. I’m sure you’d agree that he is simply too precious for words.

Love these Golden Retriever Avalanche Dogs-in-Training

Recently, I shared a video of Brendan Mcgraw and his Golden Retriever Coomba. Coomba is a ski patrol avalance dog in training.

Well, I’m back with more Avalanche Dog puppy training. Check out Coomba and Jackson, Golden Retriever puppies currently training to be ski patrol avalanche dogs. Both dogs (and handlers) will be doing their official test in a few weeks. Once the test is complete the dogs will be given a cross to go on their vest, and be part of Heavenly Resort’s avalanche rescue team.

Wishing good luck to Brendan, Coomba, Jeremy and Jackson on their upcoming tests.

Awaiting 3′ of snow like us? Relax with Golden Coomba!

Well, we are waiting for the blizzard conditions and predictions of up to three feet of snow. Poor little Golden Alfie is not going to like it. But, I wouldn’t like it either with my tush exposed on the snow trying to do my business.

So, chill out with Brendan Mcgraw and his Golden Retriever Coomba. Coomba is a ski patrol avalance dog in training. This short video, with an almost 1-year-old Coomba, comes at the end of his first season on the mountain. Boy, is he something!

Golden Service Pup-in-training . . . oh my

What is it about Golden pups in assistance dog vests that is so irresistible? Watch 12-week-old Kirby training. He is a  Georgia Canines for Independence pup learning how to work with the wheelchair in public.

Georgia Canines for Independence is a 501-c-3 nonprofit that provides animal therapy and trained service dogs to make life more fulfilling and independent for children and adults with physical disabilities. It is one of the many groups included in our foundation’s Nationwide Assistance Dog Group & Training Listing.

Embarrassed to admit this but . . .

In the last 2 months, I have bought at least 20 boxes of oranges from my Golden pal, Pat. And, it is a painful type of purchase because most of the oranges are juiced and then placed in freezer bags to be thawed throughout the entire year. I cannot remember how many bags I made from last year but they were so welcome and enjoyed, that’s for sure. I love that they are organic and pure goodness. There are not that many safe and good foods left, and oranges like these just cannot be beat.

Right now I have 5 boxes sitting in the hallway waiting to be juiced. Gary tried one yesterday and said it was the sweetest yet, just like sugar. It was what I call a ‘baby’ orange as it was really small. The sizes are always mixed that I get from Pat but the taste never varies. They are just incredibly delicious. Pat just emailed me this morning about the season now coming to an end due to warmer weather making it necessary to get the oranges off of the trees a bit earlier than usual. So I went and ordered another 5 boxes. That means I have to now go and spend many, many hours juicing, which is very hard on my hands due to carpal tunnel syndrome and my connective tissue disease. But, as they say, no pain, no gain.

So, do get over to Life Barks to place your order. I make nothing on this deal folks. I simply want to pass on a truly Golden find. And, check out Pat’s other goodies that she is selling to help support her wonderful service dog work.

Pat just took on a new Golden girl to train for CCI service dog work. And, she has set up a blog at Life Barks to let folks share in the process. Here is a fun entry from the blog today.

Dear President Obama,
Since you seem to be really good at researching other President’s great lines, (by the way, loved your speech), How about this one: 

Golden Service Pup-in-Training Blythe

Walk Softly And Carry a Big Stick! I’m thinking that in the not too distant future you’re gonna need that stick!  Anyway, I wanted to comment about your dilemma about which puppy to get for your girls.  LABRADOODLE?  PORTUGUESE WATER DOG?

First off… what exactly is a “Doodle”?  I get the Labr apart, and even then, my short haired counter part wouldn’t be a good choice because they are far too “busy” for a place as elegant as the White House.  (you did see Marley and Me right?)

Secondly, I’m a big fan of good old American Named Dogs… there is something so wrong about anything that begins with Portuguese.  I mean what’s next, Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepherd, Afghan Hound, Australian Shepherd, French Bulldog…you get the idea.

Clearly the best choice for your family is the elegant, faithful, beautiful, loyal, trustworthy, (did I  say beautiful already?), Golden Retriever.  There is no other choice that comes close really.  Even our name suggests elegance.  As for people with allergies, I’m pretty certain that there would be a lot of bathing going on in the White House to get rid of most of the dander that builds up.  A girl’s gotta stay clean.  Think about future family photos… Now picture that funny looking water dog or the odd doodle dog.  Now picture your beautiful family and a Golden with long flowing gorgeous hair.  No contest really.  And cute growing up?  Nothing cuter than a Golden Puppy, if I do say so myself.

Here is a picture of me and my big brother Teddy:

We would be happy to come to the White House so you can see first hand how one of our kind would fit in.  Just send info on when Air Force 1 is available to pick us up.  We will be waiting….

Golden Retriever Paws for Purple Hearts – Video Update

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We originally brought you this story in October 2007. Pictured above is Golden Gabe with his latest idea of how to help our veterans. Here at age 12, he was still making such an incredible contribution. Learn more about Paws for Purple Hearts by checking out the wonderful Fall 2007 newsletter from Dr. Bonnie Bergin’s esteemed Assistance Dog Institute.

under.jpgBergin University’s Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) program is the only one of it kind in the world. Building on the time-honored tradition of veterans helping veterans, Paws for Purple Hearts engages servicemen diagnosed with PTSD in a mission to train service dogs as part of their rehabilitative therapy. Training service dogs provides a way for veterans with PTSD to practice emotional regulation and give their days focus and purpose. The dogs help to facilitate social relationships with members of the community since a critical element of training is properly socializing the puppies and practicing their training skills in public.

Paws for Purple Hearts replaces the brotherhood of the military unit in the field with the brotherhood of shared purpose and caring for their fellow injured soldiers.

The service dogs are trained to assist in activities of daily living by opening doors, retrieving dropped items and pulling wheelchairs. These are just a few of the many benefits that a service dog provides. Plus the dog also offers unconditional love and acceptance. The service dog accompanies their partner everywhere – home, work, anywhere their lives take them. In many cases, service dogs perform tasks that were previously performed by an attendant or family member; thus reducing the veteran’s dependence on other people.

Dr. Bonita Bergin invented the concept of the Service Dog to assist people with mobility impairments in 1975. At that time she founded Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), the first nonprofit to train and place Service Dogs. After leaving CCI In 1991, Dr. Bergin founded the Assistance Dog Institute.

Under Dr. Bergin’s leadership, ADI continues to break new ground in “Helping Dogs Help People” – founding the only college offering Master of Science and Associate of Science degrees in dog studies, creating the High School Assistance Dog program for at-risk teens, and researching how to teach dogs to read and how to train pups as young as three weeks.

The Assistance Dog Institute is doing such pivotal research work in the training of assistance dogs. I believe the future of this critical field lies in the new information that is being gleaned through the Institute.

Tonight Brian Williams did a MSNBC TV report on Paws for Purple Hearts.  Just click on the image below to see this wonderful program in action.

Golden Service Dog-in-Training Tavi leaving for CCI College

Golden Retriever Service Dog-in-Training Tavi

Six months ago I posted about Golden Retriever Tavi, a CCI Service Dog-in-Training being raised by Pat Lawson (she’s trained nearly 20!). Pat is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of CCI. She is always fundraising for CCI and putting on golf tournaments is her specialty. Tavi is shown above at a golf tournament he helped Pat run for CCI. Such a silly boy, fooling around at a tee box marker!

At winter time, all the Goldens at Pat’s enjoy these wonderful organic navel oranges. She has a mini grove in Arizona where the oranges are growing at the base of the San Tan mountains, in soil that promotes incredible sweetness. We love ’em and believe that organics are great for every 2-legged & 4-legged family member.

Well, it’s that time for Tavi to leave for CCI College. This is the funny post that Pat just wrote about our orange-loving pup.

Sadly, Tavi the orange lover will be going off to CCI College before they are ready. We bought him a “store” orange… And he took a few bites and left it sitting on the ground. Seems he is an “orange snob”! :0) He has been lurking around the trees, even sampling a green orange or two that has fallen. Poor guy. Where ever he ends up, I’ll have to keep him supplied with his favorite food of all time, San Tan Sweet Oranges.

Golden Retriever Lami … More than just a companion


Golden Lami, a five-year-old Southwest Service Dog, is in training with her new owner, 17-year-old Victoria Cassaday.

Victoria was born with arthrogryposis, a disability that targets the muscles and bones causing them to grow inwards. Victoria has undergone 13 surgeries and is able to walk, but some tasks are still difficult.

Click here to see a wonderful tv news video of these toy in action!

Service Team: Joey & Golden Retriever Hogan

Hogan is a three-year-old Golden Retriever who is working on making Joey Murello’s life a little easier. Murello said that the bond built between the two goes deeper than a working relationship. Joey suffers from Friedreich’s Ataxia which severely limits her mobility.

Click here to see a news video of them in action.

How our puppy raisers are able to do it ……

pat-bear-graduation-web2.jpgPat Lawson is a Golden lover after my own heart. Currently a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence, she has raised nearly 20 puppies for various service dog organizations. Pat is shown here with her second CCI puppy “Bear” who graduated as a Skilled Companion in August of 2005. A while back she entered in our Labor of Love Photo Contest with a photo that showcased her first CCI puppy Raymond, who graduated in February 2003.

Golden Service Dog Raymond

Below please find a note sent to me by my CCI puppy’s new partner in life. I took this photo moments after meeting LaVonne and being reacquainted with ‘Raymond’ after his six months of formal CCI training. In the 12+ years of raising service puppies, I have never seen such a perfect match like LaVonne and Raymond. Raymond was a very special puppy to raise and had a romance with everyone who met him. It is true . . . Everybody Does Love Raymond! — Pat

Thank you for raising Raymond and training him so well and especially for giving him up—I love him so much I was willing to accept any dog they gave me but I fell in love with only Raymond the first day. They gave me different dogs in the AM and Raymond in the afternoon. There was such a difference—a magic between Raymond and me. He seemed so happy with me and followed my commands more quickly and easily. He’d turn his head toward me and look at me with those beautiful eyes and my heart melted—and still does. Working together just seemed more natural and easier with Raymond. At the beginning of the first week they gave me five different dogs to work with but by the middle, two (Raymond & Jomar)—and on Friday we could write the reasons we wanted a particular dog knowing it was still the trainer’s decision. I selected Raymond stating I felt a special connection that made our working together more effective. I am so thankful they felt the same way. Now when I look at the impromptu pictures taken during training—I can see a real sparkle and love in my face when working with Raymond.

The second week was terrifying as we were told no dog assignment was for sure, that they could change dog assignments at any time and we also had to pass all written and practical tests on Friday. The fear of losing a dog you already love made that last week very difficult and scary. I guess I should have had more self confidence but with the decision in someone else’s hands, not mine, I feared a broken heart if I did not get to take Raymond home Friday afternoon. I was told I had one of the highest scores ever on the written test, passed the practical and that I would be coming back in six weeks for one whole day to finalize the public certification with the rest of the class. Upon hearing that I was taking Raymond home, I cried with joy and relief. We quickly left the room and I invited Raymond up to my lap and we had the biggest hugging, loving, tearful exchange that was one of the most emotional times of my life. We were finally a team and we were going home together! — LaVonne

Pat just let me know about a very special video, with this special message:

This video features a young boy and his new CCI dog. It is all about why I can say goodbye to my great puppies once they are ready to go back to advanced training.

A Golden Retriever Orange Peeler

Tavi is a CCI Service Dog-in-Training [April 2008] being raised by Pat Lawson (she’s trained nearly 20!). Pat is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of CCI. All the Goldens at Pat’s enjoy these wonderful organic navel oranges. She has a mini grove in Arizona where the oranges are growing at the base of the San Tan mountains, in soil that promotes incredible sweetness. Go here to order them yearly at winter time. We love ’em and believe that organics are great for every 2-legged & 4-legged family member. Click here to learn more about the importance of organics.

Hospice Therapy Golden Retriever Annie …. Now at work!

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Three months ago I brought you the wonderful story about Annie and her wonderful trainer, Jo. This is Annie working with trainer Jo Brosius. A Golden who was rescued after being dumped on a farm, she will live at a new Hospice as their resident therapy dog. It is an incredible tale of a dog who needed much help, both physically and behaviorally, but who is now, such a lady and ready to continue on her special mission.

Well, Jo just contacted me with this lovely update.

Rochelle! I came across your site when searching for articles about goldens used in therapy, and noticed you had posted an article about me and Annie, a sweet golden girl I trained for a Hospice here in Kentucky. Your background is incredible, and no doubt with your psychology background you understand all the value these wonderful dogs can add to our lives. Annie is one of 6 goldens I have rescued and trained – one for a lady in a wheelchair, three for hospital work, one as a companion to a developmentally disabled girl, and Annie. Sadly, one of the dogs I trained succumbed to cancer a year after his training :(, but while he was with me, he made a lot of patients happy.

It may interest you to know Annie started seeing patients last week and is doing beautifully! She’s a good girl and is helping a lot of patients and their families. A follow up article was done in the Richmond Register on Monday, April 7th. Thanks for spreading the word about these wonderful dogs!

Here is Annie now in her first job as the therapy dog for the new Hospice Care Plus in-patient center. She is shown here getting acquainted with Dr. Hanan Budeiri, left, the center’s medical director, and Gail McGillis, Hospice Care Plus chief executive. The facility accepted its first patient last Friday.

Annie is allowed to roam the hallways, but is trained not to enter a room unless invited. To demonstrate her training, Annie sat at the threshold of a room Friday and waited patiently until she was beckoned.

“The patient’s face really brightened when he saw Annie and got to pet her,” said Dr. Hanan Budeiri, the facility’s medical director. “He and his wife really loved having Annie come in to visit. I think she will bring a lot of joy and comfort to our patients.”

Annie wears a jacket that reads, “Ask to pet me. I’m friendly.”

Pat Lawson’s Golden mission

pat-bear-graduation-web2.jpgPat is a Golden lover after my own heart. She has raised nearly 20 puppies for various service dog organizations. Pat is shown here with her second CCI puppy “Bear” who graduated as a Skilled Companion in August of 2005.

Pat, currently Public Relations & Golf Tournament Director, is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of Canine Companions for Independence, named CCI’s Southwest Region volunteer of the year for 2005.

Pat has been very active at the Land of PureGold, having entered many of our fun photo and writing contests

She actually entered one of our first photo contests, Goldens Bymyside, and this photo below, entitled Dog Pile, is one of our favorites. It was entered in our Sweet Golden Smiles Contest

Chandler, Teddy & Miller

Pat also entered in our Labor of Love Photo Contest with a photo that showcased her first CCI puppy Raymond, who graduated in February 2003.

Golden Service Dog Raymond

Below please find a note sent to me by my CCI puppy’s new partner in life. I took this photo moments after meeting LaVonne and being reacquainted with ‘Raymond’ after his six months of formal CCI training. In the 12+ years of raising service puppies, I have never seen such a perfect match like LaVonne and Raymond. Raymond was a very special puppy to raise and had a romance with everyone who met him. It is true . . . Everybody Does Love Raymond!
— Pat

Thank you for raising Raymond and training him so well and especially for giving him up—I love him so much I was willing to accept any dog they gave me but I fell in love with only Raymond the first day. They gave me different dogs in the AM and Raymond in the afternoon. There was such a difference—a magic between Raymond and me. He seemed so happy with me and followed my commands more quickly and easily. He’d turn his head toward me and look at me with those beautiful eyes and my heart melted—and still does. Working together just seemed more natural and easier with Raymond. At the beginning of the first week they gave me five different dogs to work with but by the middle, two (Raymond & Jomar)—and on Friday we could write the reasons we wanted a particular dog knowing it was still the trainer’s decision. I selected Raymond stating I felt a special connection that made our working together more effective. I am so thankful they felt the same way. Now when I look at the impromptu pictures taken during training—I can see a real sparkle and love in my face when working with Raymond.

The second week was terrifying as we were told no dog assignment was for sure, that they could change dog assignments at any time and we also had to pass all written and practical tests on Friday. The fear of losing a dog you already love made that last week very difficult and scary. I guess I should have had more self confidence but with the decision in someone else’s hands, not mine, I feared a broken heart if I did not get to take Raymond home Friday afternoon. I was told I had one of the highest scores ever on the written test, passed the practical and that I would be coming back in six weeks for one whole day to finalize the public certification with the rest of the class. Upon hearing that I was taking Raymond home, I cried with joy and relief. We quickly left the room and I invited Raymond up to my lap and we had the biggest hugging, loving, tearful exchange that was one of the most emotional times of my life. We were finally a team and we were going home together!
— LaVonne

Pat also entered a very special essay in our Healing Power of Gold Writing Contest a few years back. You can check it out here.

My latest GReat photo from Pat came last month. It shows two more wonders that she has trained. I am sure you will love it as much as I do.

teddytavi.jpg
3-year-old Teddy and 4-month-old Tavi

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Kayla and Golden Retriever Mollie


Kayla works with Mollie at her home and below rewards her for her efforts.
Photos by Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin

 

Kayla loves to work with her Golden girl Mollie on areas such as obedience, agility, and showmanship, competing with her in local 4-H Fairs.

And, recently through her 4-H organization, she helped train a Leader Dog for the Blind.

Kayla reminds me of Vicki Miller, a youngster that we followed at our foundation’s site for a few years.

Vicki Miller did great puppy raising work for The Seeing Eye, an organization that is located in Morristown, NJ. At the age of 9, she found out about 4-H’s Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program, then beginning this work in 1993. Vicki says she will always be a 4-Her at heart, having represented Pennsylvania at the National 4-H Congress and getting to attend a 4-H Japanese Exchange trip.