Following the *Golden* Brick Road

The Land of PureGold Foundation Store items typify our organic, eco-friendly, chemical-free view of wellness and prevention, allowing you to shop for what truly matters — health, home, happiness and healing.

Be sure to learn about how we are polluting our pets and what can be done to minimize the damage. Visit the Specials & New Arrivals pages for our latest finds, sales, bonus gifts, and items with Free Shipping.

And, remember, it is only through your purchases that we are able to fund cancer treatment for working dogs.

COMING SOON just 4 our locals! — We’ve decided to carry some unique frozen items such as raw bones, frozen yogurt, and goat’s milk for both dogs & cats. This is for pickup only for those accessible to our Owings Mills, MD location. Other products that we stock (some supplements, chews, treats, books, cards, apparel, toys) will also be available. What a great way to save on shipping costs and catch Golden Mom Rochelle using her favorite products, such as the MUST HAVE YardPup & Paw Pooper Scooper.

Please CONTACT US if you may be interested so that we can gauge interest.

All grown up before you know it

Pretty Girl Katly

Pretty Girl Katly

On January 20, 2009, I learned about a loss in our Land of PureGold Foundation family. Marti Brown, one of our wonderful Board Members, lost her Golden Angel Carly girl to cancer. But, 4 months later Golden Katly became the newest family member. A real pistol, Marty says that Katly is the smartest Golden that she has ever had. Boy, she looks so grown up in this latest photo.

Golden Katly all grown up

Check out her astute observations of that the paw-covered pouch in the care package that Mom just received from our Foundation Store. It contains our cinnamon-enticing Healing Honey Heart cookies.

Whoa, what is that enticing smell?

 

True Giants …. Curing humans & their animal companions

The Land of PureGold Foundation became a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit corporation in February 2005. The formation of our organization followed a period of 8 years that the Landofpuregold.com had been a presence on the web, supporting and engaging in various charitable endeavors and providing numerous educational activities to promote the human-canine bond.

One of our goals is to raise monies for research in comparative oncology, which is the study of cancers that occur similarly in companion animals and humans. Another, is to support and disseminate information on canine cancers; and, to educate and promote interest in research of those cancers in companion animals that share a similarity to the cancers that afflict children.

Given the tough economic times and the limited resources of such a small non-profit, fundraising has been difficult. But, we decided to bite the bullet and provide $20,000 to Dr. Jaime Modiano for one of his exciting comparative oncology research projects. The funding went to Minnesota Medical Foundation’s Comparative Oncology Research Fund for the following:

PROJECT TITLE: Discovery and Characterization of Heritable and Somatic Cancer Mutations in Golden Retrievers (this project also involves Hemangiosarcoma)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Dr. Jaime Modiano (Veterinary Clinical Sciences), Dr. Jim Cerhan (Mayo Clinic), Dr. Matthew Breen (North Carolina State University), Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh (Broad Institute)

PROJECT GOALS: We propose to identify and characterize heritable (genetic) traits that contribute to risk and progression of hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma in golden retrievers. This project is developed as a partnership between the GRF and the Investigators, Drs. Modiano, Breen and Lindblad-Toh. The goal to “make a major impact” carries some risk, but in this project, risk is mitigated by the financial commitment from the GRF and MAF, as well as by the investigators’ entrepreneurial spirit, the extensive preliminary data from their laboratories, and their collective expertise applying state-of-the-art genome-wide technologies to cancer investigation. Our long-term goals are (1) to institute simple, straightforward tests to allow assessment of the specific genetic risk carried by an individual dog and thereby to allow breeders to develop strategies that will slowly reduce the incidence of hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma in golden retrievers, while retaining the positive phenotypes of the breed, and (2) to develop effective diagnostics, risk reduction, and treatment strategies for hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma that will benefit not only golden retrievers and other dogs, but also humans with these diseases.

Dr. Modiano is a true treasure. Our back-and-forth correspondences have exemplified both his wisdom and patience, prized traits for successful researchers such as himself. Dr. Modiano is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s V.M.D.-Ph.D. Program. Graduates with this or D.V.M.-Ph.D. degrees go on to careers in translational research, thus qualified to develop and do research in animal models, compare basic biology across animals, and translate research findings to different species including humans.

Jaime Modiano is one of the graduates who elected to focus on academic research. After completing the V.M.D.-Ph.D. program at Penn, Modiano went to Colorado State University for a residency in pathology. At the end of his residency, he realized that “you can’t go into science with just a Ph.D. and clinical training. I really needed to do a postdoc.” He joined the lab of Erwin Gelfand at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (now National Jewish Health) to do research on T-cell activation, the subject of his Ph.D. research. He soon realized, however, that his residency training in pathology and his research interest in immunology didn’t mesh well professionally.

“My research in immunology was so disconnected from [my clinical work] that I had to make a choice because I wasn’t being excellent at either aspect of my career,” Modiano says. He decided to stick with research and joined the staff of the University of Colorado–affiliated AMC Cancer Research Center while serving as an associate professor of immunology at the School of Medicine of the University of Colorado, Denver. “It was kind of fun being at a medical school and known as the weird guy who worked with dogs,” says Modiano, who is now a professor of comparative oncology at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center, where his research focuses on immunology, cancer cell biology, cancer genetics, and applications of gene therapy. …

Irrespective of the path that their careers have taken, D.V.M.-Ph.D.s have opportunities to make significant contributions to biomedical research, for the benefit of both humans and animals. This becomes apparent in diseases such as cancer: Dogs and cats suffer from naturally occurring cancers similar to human cancers. Unlike rodent models, which are developed from inbred strains of mice kept in controlled environments, companion animals, like humans, are genetically diverse and are exposed to many of the same environmental influences as their owners are. …

A critical barrier to using companion animals in preclinical research is organizing those studies. It’s a problem that Chand Khanna recognized when he arrived at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1997 to do a postdoc. “I came with the intent to study molecular biology techniques,” says Khanna, a D.V.M-Ph.D. who is now a senior scientist in NCI’s pediatric oncology branch. “But I also came with the veterinarian perspective, and as I talked to people, I realized there was an opportunity to answer questions in dogs with cancer that can’t be answered in either humans or mice. And that is critical for the development of new drugs.”

To that end, Khanna created the Comparative Oncology Program within NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. By linking together veterinary scientists at research centers across the country and in Canada, the studies completed through the program’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium provide valuable information needed to design human clinical trials.

Khanna believes companion animals will play an ever-increasing role in biomedical research on cancer and other diseases. As such, he believes there is an obvious role for dual-degree veterinarians. Penn’s Volk agrees: “For me and most of my colleagues, … we are thrilled to make a difference for our animal patients,” Volk says. “But really, there is an opportunity with appropriate animal models to make a huge difference for the human community as well.”

So proud of our famous pal, Suzi

One of my bestest Golden Retriever pals is Suzi Beber, also a much valued board member of our Land of PureGold Foundation. More importantly, though, she is the creator of the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, through the University of Guelph’s Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital’s Pet Trust, so providing an important educational resource in the areas of canine cancer treatment options, nutrition, and complementary therapies.

I cannot imagine life without Suzi as her professional insights have guided my path for many years now. And, her knowledge in alternative medicine, as she assists veterinarians in the care of companion animals with complex medical needs, has greatly benefited the information that I am able to share with folks.

Suzi is quite a talent, this illustration to the right one of her “Cancer Breaks” artistic hockey trading cards. It graces the cover of the July/August Vancouver Island, BC edition of Canada’s Rising Women Magazine.

Check out the wonderful Rising Women Artist Bio below.

Taking a Break from Cancer…Suzi Beber spent the first part of her adult life teaching and making sure that she really savored life’s “awfully big adventure” by living it to the fullest, which included an incredible summer on Baffin Island in the Eastern Arctic with Tommy, her partner of 30 years. But everything changed… when a routine surgery took a detour.

Each of us has been touched by cancer. Suzi’s “healing helper”, her Golden Retriever “Blues”, was stolen by cancer at only 6 years old. Suzi made a pact that she would turn her love and loss into a new passion and mission, thus founding in the Spring of 2001, The Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund, which is a part of the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust.

Suzi and Tommy moved to Vancouver Island in 2003, where the moderate climate is kinder to Suzi’s ongoing health issues. They now share their world of gardens with three Golden Retrievers – generations of offspring from Blue.

Suzi’s “Cancer Breaks” artistic works are one of a kind, and are only the size of a hockey trading card. Each represents a precious person or pet whose life has been touched by cancer. “Cancer Breaks” are miniature worlds done in pen and ink and are sacred spaces where hope is the medicine and love is the cure for cancer. Suzi’s intricate work has been described as being reminiscent of a stained glass window or delicate needlepoint. Her “Hey, Veronica!” women honour those fighting breast cancer. Proceeds from the sale of all Suzi’s artwork fund cancer treatment and research.

It is said that the people in one’s life are like the pillars on one’s porch you see life through. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it is just enough to know they’re standing by. Langston Hughes wrote that “a life without dreams is a broken winged bird.” Suzi says, “I am a very, very lucky person. My dreams are overflowing and there are so many wonderful people and golden spirits to help me fly. Smiling Blue Skies® has raised over $600,000 for comparative cancer research, and offers 24/7 support to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.”

To learn about Suzi and the Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Resource Centre, visit www.smilingblueskies.com. Together, we can reach beyond the bluest skies and brightest stars, to take a bite out of cancer, on behalf of the precious people and pets in our lives.

Rising Women Magazine

WAG MORE, worry less.

Just added this to my foundation store’s cafe press offerings. “WAG MORE, worry less” is a healthy coping skill that we can learn from our furry companions. You are supporting canine cancer funding for working dogs with a purchase of bags or apparel with this cool new design.

  • Check it out on bags, housewares, and light-colored apparel for the entire family by clicking here.
  • Check it out on women’s, men’s & children’s dark-colored t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts & aprons by clicking here.

Writing in a vacuum

My third newsletter has lots of fun and serious articles. You do not want to miss it. REALLY.

But, besides a handful of people, no one has bothered to check it out (yes, webstats are great things until you find out no one is paying anything you say any mind). It’s kinda like contests I put together to GIVE STUFF AWAY that no one bothers to enter …. oh my :0)

Maybe for the next issue I need to hide a secret word or image somewhere in the issue and tell folks the first person to find it wins something.

My spirits were buoyed, though, when I received this post from a Golden breeder (with some English Golden Alfie relatives no less).

Dear Rochelle, You could not have described more perfectly your newsletter: “Sometimes laughter, sometimes tears. But always food for the soul.” I laughed at the start, and I cried at the end—and yes, so much food for my soul.   Thank you for sharing it! — Sincerely, Felice Haggerty www.gazngoldenretrievers.com

I also read a lovely thank-you by a hurtin’ Kelley Baldwin, just having lost her Golden girl Chaser on June 19th. But, she may not count since she was one of the wonderful authors who contributed articles for the issue.

Through the wonders of social media a few months ago, I met the founder of Land of PureGold Foundation. The foundation promotes the human-canine bond and responsible pet ownership, and also funds cancer research and treatments for working dogs for animal-assistance therapy, search and rescue, etc.

Rochelle first contacted me after reading one of my columns, which featured my Chaser. She wanted to reprint it in Pet Talk, her foundation’s newsletter. Of course, I said YES! Just a few short weeks later, she returned the favor by providing us with a great resource – http://www.tripawds.com/ – after learning about Chaser’s osteosarcoma diagnosis.

As if Rochelle hadn’t helped us enough…she continues to amaze me. In this month’s foundation newsletter, she included a two-page feature on my Chaser. Others will read about her journey and her life. It is ways like this my Chaser will live on. You can read it here (pages 7-8).

I love Kelley’s Life Like Mine blog, as her writing is always so spot on. She needs to be writing for some comedy shows. She really is that good. And, I was thrilled to see at her blog another tribute to Chaser, just stumbled upon by her hubby.

Even after she’s gone, our Chaser continues to surprise us. … It’s the website for the Veterinary Speciality and Emergency Center. We took Chaser there for her eye exams. I guess they decided she was beautiful too.

We always joked she could have been a movie star. However, it was enough she was a star in our hearts.

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

A Baby Alfie

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

If only Glenn could live next door . . .

Glenn Ross, of Vurv Design

I am in love with Glenn Ross …. his talent, that is. He is a contemporary designer and minimalist (just like me). He loves simple and clean lines, and I’d have him design everything in my home if I could (can someone lend me a million bucks). Of course, figuring out how to get him to move from his beautiful home in Coquitlam, British Columbia may be the killer.

I have added his incredible line to my site. Since Glenn creates every piece by hand, you can expect the pricing to be higher. But, his conscientiousness and concern for the environment is exceptional, so I consider a purchase from him a win-win.

And, then when you add in the fact that any profit from my foundation store goes right back to helping dogs with their cancer treatment, it then becomes a win-win-win proposition.

We are in love with his feeders and his super wall mounting kit that allows them to double as plant sconces (as shown here).

Glenn actually thinks of everything in his design elements. The fact that wall-mounted feeders can easily be removed for cleaning (because we know that slobber and food clings to everything due to the habits of our furkids) is a pet lover’s dream.

I love Glenn’s story about his daughter trying to snuggle into his prototype Pet Bed Pod when it was being developed.

And, while his storage Treasure Chest was developed with his two daughters in mind, we immediately knew it would be a fabulous storage box for our furkids as well.

Check it out here: store.landofpuregold.com/vurv.htm.

HTML clipboardCoquitlam, British Columbia.

Golden comedians … is there anything better? – Updated

I have a page at my foundation’s site that celebrates the fun our Golden Retriever comedians provide us. There are more than 30 stories and yours could be there as well. Check it out here. There you would meet puppy girl Flame (now close to 13 years of age), who came to mind when I saw a funny video today about “Rusty The Wrecker”.

Beverly, of Aim-Hi Golden Retrievers in Alaska, sent in this hilarious picture many years ago. This is Flame, BIS Am-Can CH Aim Hi’s Candle in the Wind, at 9 weeks of age. You’d never know her parents were champions (Ch. Chuckanut’s Brasstime “Banjo” & Ch. Aim-Hi’s First Addition “Addi”). From 5 weeks of age, Flame has loved this CAT toy. Despite 2 baskets of dog toys, she had to stick her head in this toy. Beverly says, “She would try and grab the smaller ball which was suspended by thick elastic in the middle.” Flame finally got the small ball loose, entertaining herself by trying to grab the ball on the outside! Beverly says, “She was and still is a real character. When she got older she could still get her head through, and since she was quite a chewer, I let her keep playing with it. I thought it would keep her entertained and keep her from doing damage to other things.” But, Flame still managed to pick things up in her mouth with this thing stuck on her head!

Flame might think she’s a cat, loving to run into the cat tunnel & roll around inside of it. Beverly says, “We have a Siamese cat called Bob & I really think Flame thought he was one of her littermates! He was about her size then. I caught her charging against the babygate at 7 weeks, trying to fly over it to go upstairs just like Bob. She persevered until she knocked it over slightly and scrambled over the top. I never had a puppy so active, agile and inquisitive!”

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Now, meet “Rusty The Wrecker”, a Golden Retriever who likes to destroy anything he can get his paws on. I think you will quickly understand why I thought of Flame when seeing his dilemma.

UPDATE
It seems like Rusty has been up to no good again. Now, it seems like he was drinking out of the toilet, managing to come away wearing the toilet insert (for his toddler human sibling).

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD!


Well, just finished my 2nd issue of our Foundation’s Newsletter. It is actually over 2x longer than the 1st issue and packed with some great finds. There is an absolutely fabulous MUST-HAVE article on mushrooms with recipes galore, and reviews of two great new food books from veterinarians.

Please let me know what you think. REALLY.

Just click here.

A boy and his GIANT toys

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

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

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

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

Golden Retriever Holiday Specials

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

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

FREE glossy puppy stickers!

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


Free
Keepsake Pawprints Holiday Ornament Kit with $50 purchases

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

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

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

Golden Alfie loves his Mugoh Mat!

We have used the same Mugoh Mat for well over a year now with our Golden guy Alfie, wanting to be sure we put it through the paces before sharing it with our supporters. But, our vote is in and we say, DO IT! Let your dogs dry their own paws in 3 Steps or 3 Seconds with a super absorbent Mugoh Mat. It is absolutely the fastest, easiest way to eliminate wet paw prints on your floor.

Mugoh Mats absorb moisture instantly. Made entirely of natural, 100% biodegradable materials, dogs quickly accept them as comfortable to walk on. A soft, super absorbent 2-ply paper towel for the ruffles and burlap (jute) is used for the backing. A natural latex rubber is used to hold the ruffles in place and as a gripping feature on back of the mat. Hand crafted in Oregon, the mats are well constructed and will last for several weeks or up to four months, under normal use from one dog. We’ve used the same one for several months with our Golden guy Alfie.

The soft ruffles on these mats have the same absorbency as the best paper towels or tissue and suck up water from paws on contact. After being wet, the Mugoh Mat will normally dry in a couple of hours. It is disposable and for best effectiveness should be replaced when it becomes frayed or matted. EEco Pet uses only pure, all natural latex rubber that has no chemical additives and virtually no odor. This is important for dog’s sensitive noses. The mat is an ample 28 inches x 34 inches.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The handsome boy at the top of the page is our old Golden dude Alfie. Yup, old is right, as he is 10½ years of age here. But, never too old to learn new tricks. That’s him on our original Mugoh Mat that we place at the front door after we’ve let him out to do his business. It is great for getting those wet paws after romping on morning dew covered leaves, or after trudging through wet muck from rain or snow.

We have the mat folded up and off to the side so that it does not get worn, and simply put it out once Alfie has gone out. Then, it is all ready for his return. We simply open the door and he knows to go onto the mat and do his “Stand-Stay” command (which is simple to teach btw). Ten seconds later we release him with an “Okay!” and he’s thrilled as he knows a treat is usually coming. That is why he is smiling so sweetly here. He knows this is a fun game.

We only wish you could see the 4 drenched ovals that he leaves behind on the mat, which just does such a great job at sucking out that moisture. We fold the mat in half and put it off to the side so that it is not walked on needlessly, and it dries very quickly.

While this may not be the greatest for repeat sales, we have to admit that this mat is the original one we got to test out the product . . . and has lasted well over a year so far. It’s only had one 60-pound boy’s use, though, so we can’t say how long it will last with a multi-dog home. But, we do know that following our steps, it will last for quite some time.

Come and learn lots more here!

Rags to Riches Contest . . . The Story of Dina

A Rescued Dina with her Human Sibling Max

To thank the wonderful folks who provide intake, fostering, and adopting, I have created a $625 prize-filled Rags to Riches Contest.

I want those stories that capture a dog’s ‘rags to wags’ transformation—and am awarding an amazing 1/3 of the entries with prizes! The photo here comes from our most recent, 22nd entry, “Dina”.

We are taking only 30 entries so don’t delay in getting in your story. You can enter here: http://bit.ly/1uLnbY

Her kid’s favorite bedtime story, Dina was written by Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT as soup for her soul.

Dina was a stray and my first rescue dog. She is the dog who changed the direction of my life. Her story is so interwoven with mine, it is hard to tell where her story ends and mine begins. Her story is my story too. Dina took me down the path of dog training, rescue, pet therapy, and stupid pet tricks. So many trainers I know became trainers because their dogs were difficult, but I became a trainer because my dog was wonderful. Dina took me places I had never been before. She was a once in life time dog, my heart.

In the spring of 1989 I was scurrying home from work to my apartment in East Boston to take Rollo, my wild child German Shepherd mix out to play at the little city park that the neighborhood dogs called their own. As I came up to the top of the hill, I spotted a small black and white Border Collie acting skittish and running back and forth clearly lost and in distress. From a distance I could tell she was in need of a meal, had no ID tags around her neck, and that she smelled faintly of skunk. She would not come to me and I hurried home for Rollo, hoping that if I had another dog with me she would let me catch her.

Minutes later when I returned with Rollo they were best friends at first site. The two took off in a flash to play herding dog games. The dog who would soon be my Dina darted, bolted, turned on a dime and she and Rollo romped until their tongues hung out of their heads with joy. When Rollo and I left for home, the little dog followed us, just out of reach. When I opened the front door, she flew up the three flights of stairs up to my apartment like she owned the place. After filling herself with food and water, she promptly fell asleep with her head on my lap on the living room floor and she never once ducked from my touch again.

When my boyfriend got home he took one look at her and said “no way”, so I took her for a walk around our neighborhood to see if anyone recognized her. Our next door neighbor, an older Italian woman came out of her house and exclaimed, “I know that doggie. She come-a evare day sam-a time. You gotta let her loose so she can go-a home. That soma bodies doggie. That nota your dogie.” On that day I bowed to the pressures of my boyfriend and neighbor, but if I had a do over I would never do what I did, which is set her free and shoosh her away.

I unhooked her leash.

“Go home” I insisted with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

The dog and I sized each other up. That moment is frozen in my mind. With no thanks to me, Dina was in for a happy ending, but at the moment, she didn’t leave.

Read the rest of Dina’s story and the other entries here.

Rescue is a great and really noble way to obtain a canine companion. First, it allows you to give a dog a great home. And, it often allows you to avoid the pains of puppyhood by adopting an adult dog. But, it takes a special person to try and repair the bad times that rescue dogs have often experienced. For this reason, rescue adoptions are often very serious business. That is, you must prove that you have the time to make the necessary commitment. You also must show that you are a kind and caring individual who can provide intelligently for this needy guy’s or gal’s health needs. To thank our many important rescuers and adopters, we have created this special rescue story contest.

We are looking for irresistible tales that capture your dog’s wonderful ‘rags to wags’ transformation. You know, those truly compelling stories that reside only in the heart. Folks need to communicate just why their rescue dog deserves to be King or Queen for the Day. Please join us in our fun new contest, Cece Kent’s gorgeous Cambridge Collar & matching Cambridge Lead — a set valued at $180 — awarded to our grand prize winner. Cece Kent’s dog fashion line offers a fine touch of elegance, with this gift truly befitting a lucky canine king or queen. Other wonderful prizes from our Foundation Store round out the total $500+ prize package for our top ten tales. Click here to see our entries as they arrive.

Golden Retriever Roxy at the Rim

Isn’t Golden Roxy adorable? Here she is with her BMBPET Springtime Cork/Bamboo Leash (her matching collar is covered in the photo by all that luxurious fur). Roxy’s mom, Lisa Collins, is a Grand Canyon Park Ranger, so we got this ultra cool photo of Roxy at the canyon rim.

These sets encompass form, function and beauty while keeping to sustainable materials and organic dyes to create a truly unique product. Springtime is a cork overlay with bamboo fabric design. The cork overlay is decorated with a beautiful purple and pink flower design and the bamboo fabric is a lovely tan. This is one of our most favorite designs in the line given its vibrant colors.

We’ve got lots of cool green items at our foundation store. And, it keeps our foundation going and able to provide monies to working dogs for their cancer treatment.

Just love our Mugoh Mat for wet paws!

We have used the Mugoh Mat for over a year now with our Golden guy Alfie, wanting to be sure we put it through the paces before sharing it with our supporters. But, our vote is in and we say, DO IT! Let your dogs dry their own paws in 3 Steps or 3 Seconds with a super absorbent Mugoh Mat. It is absolutely the fastest, easiest way to eliminate wet paw prints on your floor.

Mugoh Mats absorb moisture instantly. Made entirely of natural, 100% biodegradable materials, dogs quickly accept them as comfortable to walk on. A soft, super absorbent 2-ply paper towel for the ruffles and burlap (jute) is used for the backing. A natural latex rubber is used to hold the ruffles in place and as a gripping feature on back of the mat. Hand crafted in Oregon, the mats are well constructed and will last for several weeks or up to four months, under normal use from one dog. We’ve used the same one for several months with our Golden guy Alfie.

The soft ruffles on these mats have the same absorbency as the best paper towels or tissue and suck up water from paws on contact. After being wet, the Mugoh Mat will normally dry in a couple of hours. It is disposable and for best effectiveness should be replaced when it becomes frayed or matted. EEco Pet uses only pure, all natural latex rubber that has no chemical additives and virtually no odor. This is important for dog’s sensitive noses. The mat is an ample 28 inches x 34 inches.

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Come and learn lots more here!

Meet our Grand Prize *Golden* Winner!

Golden Retriever Tally & Best Friend Keller

“Keller and Golden Tally (Goldiva’s Tangled Up In Blue CGC) are the world’s best playmates. All they need is a simple stick to have a blast as long as they’re together.” — Photographer Laura Jill Simmons.

It doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Come check out all the winners in our prize-packed contest.

Pure Golden Love

Two-year-old Golden Retriever Lily loves Kelsie to pieces


“The dog was created specially for children. He is the g-d of frolic.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

I absolutely adore this photo. Just look at how much love is in evidence between these two. I met Lily a couple years ago, and she is just the most demure and gentle dog you could ever meet.

It is an entry in my Kids and Paws Photo Contest, and comes from big Golden Retriever rescue supporter, Chandler Rudd (Kelsie is his granddaughter). But, amazingly it has NO votes at all! That is unbelievable, and in my opinion, just unacceptable. Come on guys, I need your votes on all the wonderful entries. You can vote for Lily by going here, or you can check out all 42 current entries by clicking here.

Our goal is to have 800 votes cast before awarding our $600+ prize package between the top 6 vote-getters. Currently, there are 531 total votes cast, so we are not too far away from this goal.

Of course, you too, can also still submit an entry in my Kids and Paws – Furever Love Photo Contest. The entries can incorporate any breed dog and any aged youngster (ages 0 to 18), so featuring a bond between the two.

And, remember, my nonprofit foundation’s contest will benefit not only the winning participants but 100% of the proceedings will go toward funding cancer treatment for our working dogs.

Kids and Paws – Furever Love Photo Contest

“The dog was created specially for children. He is the g-d of frolic.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

Now, get on over and submit an entry in my Kids and Paws – Furever Love Photo Contest . It costs nothing to enter and there is a HUGE $600 prize package. The entries can incorporate any breed dog and any aged youngster (ages 0 to 18), so featuring a bond between the two.

And, remember, my foundation’s contest will benefit not only the winning participants but 100% of the proceedings will go toward funding cancer treatment for our working dogs.

Okay, let’s get real now.

This is just crazy. I’ve been running a fun Kids and Paws – Furever Love Photo Contest for a bit now and am thoroughly bewildered at the lack of votes for some of the incredible entries. For instance, all of the fabulous entries below have 0 votes. Zero, none, zip, nada.

This is Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Abby, and Kiersten, who have been buddies since birth. Here they are sharing bath time.

Black Lab mix Kira and Katherine are enjoying the warm weather and also a quiet moment together.

Senior Golden Maddie and 6-year-old Brianna Johnso are enjoying a day of swimming in the pool.

Sweet 3-year-old Dylan was off to take a nap and next thing Mom knew, her four legged and two legged son were spooning. They are best of friends, Golden Diesel a loving big brother.

Go vote on these entries or go here to check out the other 38 that we have so far. And, remember, my foundation’s contest will benefit not only the winning participants but 100% of the proceedings will go toward funding cancer treatment for our working dogs.

You can also submit an entry. It costs nothing to enter and there is a HUGE $600 prize package. The entries can incorporate any breed dog and any aged youngster (ages 0 to 18), so featuring a bond between the two. Just click here to enter.

A Special Golden Supporter

Mary Jane feeding ice cream to Gus following a surgery

Mary Jane feeding ice cream to Gus following a surgery

I was sad to learn recently about the illness of Mary Jane Rizzella, a Golden lover and loyal supporter of all things Golden, including that of my nonprofit foundation and its mission.

A fighter to the core, Mary Jane was not one to go down with about a battle. But, today, I was informed, cancer sadly claimed another unlucky soul.

Here is Mary Jane feeding her beloved Gus after one of his own cancer surgeries. She did so much to extend this lovely boy’s life, adding on a few quality years for sure. And, she provided his story of hope for others. Just click here to read this special tale.

I surely hope that these two are together once again, giving comfort to one other.

Golden Tally . . . what a charmer!

This is Entry 14 from my Kids and Paws – Furever Love Photo Contest. Golden Retriever Tally and pal Keller are currently in the lead with 86 votes, but there is one challenger nipping at their heels.

Keller and Golden Tally (Goldiva's Tangled Up In Blue CGC) are the world's best playmates.

Go vote on these entries or check out the other 37 that we have so far. And, remember, my foundation’s contest will benefit not only the winning participants but 100% of the proceedings will go toward funding cancer treatment for our working dogs.

You can also submit an entry. It costs nothing to enter and there is a HUGE $600 prize package. They can incorporate any breed dog and any aged youngster (ages 0 to 18), so featuring a bond between the two. Just click here to enter.

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.