Golden Alfie’s summertime views

My third newsletter has lots of fun and serious articles. You do not want to miss it. REALLY. Just click here. I only briefly talk about my hubby’s summertime obsessions, one being his garden. We are the only folks for miles around with such a garden, a huge organic garden that is unbelievable.

Check out the new raised beds and Inspector Alfie. I’ve also included some fun photos of Alfie at the pond. He really loves stalking the frogs, but we have to watch him as he has been known to catch a couple.

Be sure to click on the photos for supersized views!

Alfie outside our fenced garden (wood with deer fence attached to top)

Alf hanging out at the sugar snap peas, early in the season

One of the 3 raised beds showing early romaine & lettuce growth

Lots more growth from the early planting

Alfie at the pond

Alfie just checking it all out at the pond area


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: 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 ( ) is just perfect.

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.


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.

Missing my sweet Golden Darcy

Friendship Darcy Makena AX AXJ CGC—or Darcy Girl as I often called her—is no longer by my side. She lost her battle to fibrosarcoma on February 12, 2006, and honestly, I haven’t been the same since.

This is the adorable image that fills the screens of two 21-inch flat screen computer monitors that sit on my desk. It is a photo that I took of an 8-week-old sweet but spunky, mind-of-her-own, haughty, loved by all, beauty of a girl. It is the most appealing Golden Retriever photo I have ever seen, bar none. And, it will probably always be that way.

I try to remember this image instead of the look of the cancer that took her life and literally ate away at her beautiful face and well-being from the inside out. And, I know I need to be thankful for the time I was able to share, with a soul so sweet, that it shined from the inside out.

I just entered this photo in Luke’s 2 Dogs, 2,000 Miles 2010 Cancer “Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” Calendar Contest. The contest honors and recognizes dogs who have been touched by cancer. Luke is actually walking from Austin to Boston with his two Pyrenees Mountain dogs, Hudson and Murphy, to bring attention to canine cancer.

You can support this organization and honor my Darcy with your vote at the same time. Just click here.

She couldn’t resist him.

Golden Retriever Alfie & Feral Rescue Kitty Cindy

I recently gave Alfie a much needed bath and decided to try a new shampoo-conditioner combination. Many years ago I attended a professional grooming workshop with one of the top handlers in the country. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and learned that weekend that every piece of equipment I owned and method I was using was wrong wrong wrong. So, I listened and went out and bought sheers that cost $200 plus a pair and lots more. I actually have an electric table in my basement that is cherished given my having difficulties with both my overall strength and pain in my hands doing repetitive movements. And, I had all the recommended grooming shampoos, sprays, conditioners, you name it. But, none of them are organic or truly sensitive in their formulas. So, I decided to try some products from a new eco-friendly line, and brought on Aroma Paws, a product line launched in 2008.

I have been delighted with the products and it wasn’t until a recent bathing that I got the best, most un-biased recommendation, of just how truly wonderful they were.

I am not too-much into fragrances so I have found combining the hypo-allergenic shampoo with one of the fragrances gives me just a touch of scent. So far, the honeysuckle jasmine dry skin formula is my favorite, and Kitty Cindy loves it as well. Let me tell you how I know.

Cindy (small 6-pounder) is not too enamored with Alfie (60-pounder), and essentially only tolerates his presence, demonstrably jealous of the attention he receives. But, when Gary and I decide to watch a movie in our big screen tv room where there is a 2-seat small couch, she must be there along with Alfie who squeezes between us.

Last week, I had just finished a 3-hour grooming session with the boy using my Aroma Paws 2-shampoo combo. Alfie bound upstairs and I slowly and painfully trudged up as well. After using this shampoo, I have noticed that the texture of Alfie’s fur is just like silk. It is just so soft and luxurious that Gary and I cannot keep our hands off of him after a bath. Alfie always has a great sheen, but I owe that to the 6000 units of pure Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil that he gets daily. But, it is the shampoo that gives him the most delicious soft scent and the glorious feel.

Well, we decided to watch a movie after this long grooming session and therefore the pileup commenced on our small viewing sofa. I think this was the first time that Cindy was so close to Alfie after a bathing. Well, all of a sudden she began sniffing him. She pushed her nose back and forth from his paws up his legs to his chest. And, then she took her head and burrowed it into his fur. I almost could not see it any longer as it was almost covered entirely by Alfie’s fur. You could honestly tell that she was mesmerized by him. She could not seem to get enough and continued this behavior for a while. Poor Alfie did not know what to make of it since she is perpetually slapping him silly over one perceived injustice after another. So, he froze and just let her proceed. I only wish I had tried to get it on film, but it never would have captured the sensory experience that you needed to capture via smell and touch.

Honestly, I would love to hear from other folks after using this shampoo. I don’t typically get too excited about products like this but anyone who would have experienced this Kitty-Golden session would be similarly convinced.

I carry several of the products in the line at the site, 100% of our profits, of course, going towards the grants that we provide for cancer treatment. The two products that I combined and used on Alfie are from those shown below:

Aroma Paws Luxury Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo & Conditioner in One
This hypoallergenic & fragrance free formula is a blend of Organic Honey, Colloidal Oatmeal & Pro Vitamin B5. It was designed for dogs with sensitive skin and allergies to the dyes and chemicals found in many pet grooming lines. This chemical-free shampoo is pH Balanced, Eco-Friendly, and Bio-Degradable. It contains NO dyes, NO parabens, NO alcohol, NO salt & NO phosphates.

Instead, the shampoo contains:
Aloe Leaf Extract to relieve itching of sensitive or irritated skin; soothe bug bites.
Chamomile Flower to restore the pH balance to your dog’s skin & coat.
Sweet Almond Oil to soften the skin.
Organic Honey which is an antioxidant and natural antimicrobial.
Green Tea Leaf Extract which is a natural antioxidant.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Earth Derived Cleansers (from Coconut, Palm & Corn), Glycerin, Panthenol, Colloidal Oatmeal, Pure Honey, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Extracts of: Apple Fruit, Lime Flower, Beet Root, Aloe Leaf, Chamomile Flower, Cucumber, Pine Tree Root, & Dandelion, Cellulose Gum, Palm Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Blend of Botanical & Essential Oils

Aroma Paws Fragrance Shampoo & Conditioner in One

Aroma Paws Shampoo & Conditioner is blended with Green Tea Leaf Extract for a shiny coat, Aloe Leaf Extract to soothe skin, and Sweet Almond & Coconut Oils to relieve dryness and detangle. Their all natural, CHEMICAL FREE cleansing agents will safely, gently and naturally cleanse your dog’s skin and coat.

These chemical-free shampoos are pH Balanced, Eco-Friendly, and Bio-Degradable. They contain  NO dyes, NO parabens, NO alcohol, NO salt & NO phosphates.

The ingredients for these fragrance shampoos are: Purified Water, Earth Derived Cleansers (from Coconut, Palm & Corn), Glycerin, Panthenol, Colloidal Oatmeal, Pure Honey, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Extracts of: Apple Fruit, Lime Flower, Beet Root, Aloe Leaf, Chamomile Flower, Cucumber, Pine Tree Root, & Dandelion, Cellulose Gum, Palm Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Blend of Botanical & Essential Oils

These shampoo formulas all have the same base ingredients, only differing in the blend of botanical and essential oils that give each its own special properties.

LAVENDER CHAMOMILE Anti-itch & Hot Spot Relief Formula: contains French Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Eucalyptus. French Lavender Oil is a relaxant and skin soother. Roman Chamomile helps restore the pH balance to your dog’s skin and coat. Ylang Ylang Oil softens the skin. And, Eucalyptus Oil naturally refreshes and cleans the skin.

HONEYSUCKLE JASMINE Dry Skin & Dandruff Relief Formula: contains Honeysuckle, Indian Jasmine, and Sweet Violet.  Honeysuckle Soil is a natural emollient. Indian Jasmine Oil is a mood elevator and antiseptic. And, Sweet Violet Oil helps to reduce insomnia and stress.

COCONUT PAPAYA Sensitive Skin Formula: contains Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Hawaiian Papaya, Seagrass, and Seaweed Extract. Coconut Oil is a natural moisturizer. Papaya Extract conditions the skin and coat. Vanilla Bean Oil is a soothing, stress reliever. Seagrass Extract purifies the skin and increases circulation. Seaweed Extract is an anti-inflammatory.

A Family Tradition

Every year my sweetheart slaves over the aisles of card marts, endeavoring to find the perfect card. Of course, it is always Golden. But, this year he outdid himself. It was Golden (for our Alfie) and kitty-respecting (for our Cindy) and mushy as well. Oh, and I almost forgot, he always provides his and the furkids’ signatures . . . (be sure to click on the card to see)

Click on this card to see the mush & drawings within!

Click on this card to see the mush & signatures within!


A Golden holiday card tradition

It is very tough on Gary at holidays because he must always try and find a new Golden card that I have not seen. He goes from store to store on the quest, even though I have told him he is being silly, as any card will do. The next fun part of getting cards from Gary is how he signs them. Sometimes he draws different shaped paws to signify cat or dog next to the names of our furkids. But, it is the ordering of names that is the most intriguing. Poor honey, he keeps putting himself last, even though he is truly not at the bottom of the totem pole.


(outside of card with a glittering heart that was so sweet)



i is a cat lover 2

Our very own Cinderella!We rescued our feral kitty Cindy 16 years ago and only recently has she decided to become my new bff. So, now I must figure out how to be sure she lives into her 20’s. Cindy is still a pistol, I must say, but now must be with her mom or dad 24-7, needing to lay and cuddle and purr on us whenever she can.

So, in that vein, please enjoy this precious video, I’m Never Gonna Let You Go!

Poor Alfie


Poor, poor Alfie. There is a tornado warning for my area in Owings Mills. It is storming like crazy and Alfie just gets so upset. He doesn’t tremble as Darcy did, but he paces and tries to stick like glue to our sides, or hide under my desk. And, he carries around his hedgehog, which is a very clear sign that he needs some security. Now, he’s panting too. But, I can’t blame him. It is incredibly loud as the storm is right on top of us at this point.

I personally HATE birthdays … but Golden Alfie loves ’em!

Folks who know me know that I never want to reveal my age and never ever ever celebrate a birthday. Hubby Gary knows to tread softly on those 24-hour periods that unfortunately rears its ugly head every 365 days … just like clockwork lol. He buys me a Golden Retriever themed card and just hopes for the best as I recover from the funk of having another year go by and yet there being so much more that I still want to get done.


But today is my pond boy’s birthday. I call Alfie my pond boy because he lives for seeing his beloved fish and frogs that live in our pond. Darcy was never a huge fan but this little guy adores the pond and cannot contain himself each morning when daddy Gary says,”Let’s go feed the fish!” He can’t run to the back door fast enough and when let out he has no time to do his business. He has to see his pals first, of course.

I keep telling Alfie not to have birthdays, but he goes ahead and has them anyway. And, I am thrilled that he is a big-boy 8 today! He is being spoiled the entire day, right now chewing on an organic raw bone that I’ve taken out of the freezer. He will be getting an ostrich fillet and bison steak tonight with asparagus from our organic garden.

Here he is below enjoying the pond, his tail wagging the entire time. I do not have video of him really settling in at the pond, but he actually lies himself down with his elbows on the stone rim and the rest of his body stretched out behind him. I guess he figures he needs to be as comfortable as possible as he watches who knows what. He puts his face right up to the water’s surface and dips a little bit in so that he can be up close and personal. It is just too funny. We just have to be sure he doesn’t get carried away as he is really fascinated with the frogs which he has sadly actually caught. Thank goodness we got the frog out of his soft mouth, but I can imagine that frog probably needed therapy after that experience.

I hope you can share in Alfie’s pure joy, because there is nothing better than experiencing the world through our beloved dogs’ eyes.

Golden friend Bryna just wrote to me and I told her I had to share her note here. I just said I didn’t want Alfie to know how much he was missing from the sound of all the luxury her Goldens were afforded.

Terrific birthday footage. Nice to have upbeat news! I tell the story that after Bear came into our lives in 1998 I traded the sports car for an SUV and my husband got a station wagon. Then we bought Bear 15 acres on the water in the woods. Then we got a sister for Bear, who is named Luna. Then we built a house on the land for Luna and Bear. I just finished putting a garden in, and as soon as I watered the newly turned earth, both Luna and Bear plopped down for a nap. What else should I buy them? There’s only one thing better than a Golden. Two of them.

Golden Retriever Mailbox Sagas


This is a photo of the stone mailbox that I had built in front of our home. It is really very special as it incorporates one of my favorite puppy photos of our lovely Darcy girl. It took years to build because we had various stone masons working or not working on it, as in taking our money and then never showing up to complete the work …. or the dude who wasn’t a mason but who thought he could build the mailbox … oh my, it was so hideous that we had him knock it down asap out of embarrassment. Needless to say, this creation is going absolutely nowhere. Our house could be blown down in a hurricane and I suspect that this stone masterpiece wouldn’t budge. Of course, no other owner of the house will ever appreciate its Golden meaning.


We also have this huge Golden ceramic piece from a garden center sitting near the front of our house (Darcy smelling its aromatic contents) that weighs a ton. I can’t imagine how anyone would whisk that away either.

I bring all of this up because of an article that I saw today detailing a woman’s stolen mailbox, a very special one that had in a fashion memorialized her previous Golden.

Beloved mailbox stolen
By Lindsay Tice, Sun Journal Staff Writer

GREENE – Laurie Garrity was devastated when her young golden retriever, Ivy, suddenly died a year-and-a-half ago.

Garrity grieved for more than a year before she was willing to get another dog. When a friend handcrafted a golden retriever mailbox in honor of Ivy this winter, Garrity felt she could finally remember her beloved dog without so much pain.

Then, last weekend, less than a week after she put it up, someone stole the mailbox.

“It was like losing Ivy all over again,” she said. “I cried all day Saturday.”

But ‘Big Brother’ said the air at Ground Zero was safe

Judge Slams Ex-EPA Chief Over Sept. 11
By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK – A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.

U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts refused to grant Whitman immunity against a class-action lawsuit brought in 2004 by residents, students and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who said they were exposed to hazardous materials from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

“No reasonable person would have thought that telling thousands of people that it was safe to return to lower Manhattan, while knowing that such return could pose long-term health risks and other dire consequences, was conduct sanctioned by our laws,” the judge said.

She called Whitman’s actions “conscience-shocking,” saying the EPA chief knew that the fall of the twin towers released tons of hazardous materials into the air. A call to a spokeswoman for Whitman was not immediately returned.

The judge let the lawsuit proceed against the EPA and Whitman, permitting the plaintiffs to try to prove that the agency and its administrator endangered their health. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and reimbursement for cleanup costs and asks the court to order that a medical monitoring fund be set up to track the health of those exposed to trade center dust.

In her ruling, Batts noted that the EPA and Whitman said repeatedly — beginning just two days after the attack — that the air appeared safe to breathe. The EPA’s internal watchdog later found that the agency, at the urging of White House officials, gave misleading assurances.

Quoting a ruling in an earlier case, the judge said a public official cannot be held personally liable for putting the public in harm’s way unless the conduct was so egregious as “to shock the contemporary conscience.” Given her role in protecting the health and environment for Americans, Whitman’s reassurances after Sept. 11 were “without question conscience-shocking,” Batts said.


It was not surprising to learn that the former EPA Chief recently refused to testify before a congressional subcommittee on post-9/11 air quality. But, I sure did get a kick out of Congressional Chairman Nadler’s response:

It is my fervent hope that the former EPA employees, and in particular Ms. Whitman, will willingly cooperate with the Subcommittee’s inquiry. And moreover, I would strongly urge the Administration to encourage her appearance, given her absolutely central role in these matters, so that the American people may finally hear her direct answers to lingering, unanswered questions about the federal government’s failed response to the environmental aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. That is the only way to get to the truth and do right by the heroes and victims of 9/11. And it is the only way we can ensure that our federal government is prepared to protect the health and safety of Americans should, G-d forbid, anything like this happen again in the future.

The real surprise came a mere three days later, when in a turnaround, Whitman agreed to testify at the house inquiry. It will actually mark her First-Ever Congressional Appearance on a Hearing Dedicated Solely to EPA’s Response to the NYC WTC Attacks. I am just embarrassed for all the heroes and victims of 9/11 that such an inquiry took so many years to come about. I guess that is what happens when ‘Big Brother’ feels his actions are unassailable.


It is what we DON’T yet know about the long-term effects of the air quality at the World Trade Center site that is so frightening. So many put their lives on the line and are now suffering lingering illnesses. And, many of our beloved dogs worked the site, in both disaster and therapy roles. This environmental issue is especially significant given my own history. Let me explain. . . . . .

Many folks ask how I have been able to create and run this huge Land of PureGold site. Well, I’ve been at it since 1997, but the main reason is that I am on a disability retirement and only do very limited private practice and school psychology consultant work now, although I used to work fulltime as a school psychologist in a public system, teach graduate school, and work extensively in private practice. In the Harford County Public School System in Maryland, I worked in a small, non-ventilated, non-windowed office at Edgewood Middle School for eight years. It was consumed by mold and despite continual complaints, nothing was done.

My secretary and fellow psychologists suffered from respiratory problems constantly, and my secretary and I both had unexplained, spontaneous nose bleeds as well. My health deteriorated to the point that I was unable to drive to work without falling asleep at the wheel. I now suffer from a multitude of disorders (mixed connective tissue disease, extreme environmental allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome) and remain at home a good deal of the time.

By the way, that office I worked in. Well, after I went out on disability and the problems increased, the parents started complaining due to their children having increased breathing problems and asthma attacks. And, guess what? The school was closed and major abatement needed to be done with those men in the protective suits having to clean up the contamination. And, where was the worst concentration found? Yup, my office. That’s where the STACHYBOTRYS MOLD, plus others, was highest. Stachybotrys is that mold that has been featured on numerous news magazine shows, as it usually sends folks running from homes, and then needing to rebuild as their old homes cannot be salvaged.

Because my own health problems and disability are a function of air quality issues, I have had a particular interest in the health of the responders at Ground Zero. In fact, I have cataloged hundreds of pivotal articles related to this issue since October 2001.

As five years have now gone by since the attacks, we
have now begun to get a picture of how dangerous Big Brother can be when ‘he’ decides what it is we should and should not be told. The ramifications are far-reaching, especially given the following news video detailing a study about the effect of the damage on babies exposed to the toxins in utero.

Watch it please.

Toxins From 9/11 May Have Caused Developmental Problems In Children

A New Addition to the Family!

Well, it’s been a very exciting time in my family these days. And, while this is not Golden-oriented, I thought folks would still want to share in the joy.

I have a very small family, and with my illness that keeps me at home much of the time, I get to see them so seldom these days. But, due to the miracle of teh internets as they say and email and photo sharing sites, I am able to vicariously share in the wondrous times and celebrations.

My sister Bonnie has just become a grandmother (for the first time which makes it that much more exciting), her daughter Brette having just given birth to a son this past Monday, February 26th. At 21″ and weighing in at 9lbs and 3oz, he was definitely ready to join us. His name is Hunter Daniel and he already has a canine (Bernese Mountain Dog) brother named Kody who is definitely intrigued by his presence. This is what my niece, Brette, had to say about their budding relationship:

Kody kissed him today while we were changing his clothes. It was very sweet. At first he ignored him and I but he is getting use to the idea of having a baby brother. They will grow to love each other, I can see it now.

I am hoping to see the baby soon so that I can deliver some gifts and love in person and do some loving on him myself. But, in the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos. The first shows the handsome doc holding the prize; the next is Mom Brette in the operating room; and, the final one is my joyful sister holding her very first grandson.




A Golden Retriever (of course) Valentine’s Day!

Every year my sweetie hunts down a Golden themed card for me for the holiday. It always takes him a few stores, and he is always so concerned if he cannot discover one . . . especially one that I have not seen before. But, he always manages to pull it out.

So, do you wanna see the card I got today for Valentine’s Day? It was so very, very glittery and sweet . . . even if it is not a happy holiday this year given the anniversary of Darcy’s leaving us for the bridge.

And, I noticed right away that the tell-tale sign of any card I receive from my sweetie was missing. There were no hand-drawn paws representing each of our furkids. I asked my sweetie about that and was so touched by his reply. He said that it was sad holiday this year without Darcy and that was just his way of showing that diminished spirit.

But, never mind that. Go see the card and the tiny piece of new music from Carly Simon that I picked to go with it. Just click here.

Can someone please throw me a pity party?

I am going to attempt to come up for some air before going back to work, something my husband does not get since he keeps telling me I am not being paid for anything I do, ha ha.

I have been attempting, despite a disability that these days keeps me home-bound more than I’d like to admit, to revamp my 1000 page site, additionally adding some special product lines that I adore. I have managed in a few weeks time to get to a few hundred pages, but as you would suspect, that’s nothing when you look at the number I need to handle.

The foundation makes very little from my store, as I only carry a few items, and some are quite pricey. Honestly, the store is not there to make money, per se. It is merely a way for me to detail many of those items I personally love and can’t do without, and my desire to share that knowledge with others. Some of the items are really ‘out there’ as some people would say, but, for me, it’s a plus just if I can get folks to read about them and possibly consider why they may be helpful.

With so much on my plate, I have been unable to get to my blog as much as I had in the past, and I miss that. I love searching every day for news to provide cheer.

I am being contacted by more cancer research scientists as they have begun to notice my determination in getting out a high level of valuable information. And, I hope you are reading some of the wonderful articles at my comprehensive sub-site on cancer. It’s importance, of course, made it the first thing I tackled when I began my revision. Do look at the new screening test (tiny blood sample is all that’s needed) for lymphoma, something I already did for my guy Alfie. It is a test similar to that of the PSA for men with respectto prostate cancer, but better as it uses multiple markers. And, it should be done annually or bi-annually depending on specific variables.

I am making more of the information at the site user-friendly, creating PDF documents from lengthy articles and material. That way you can print out pages and keep for later reading or a resource file. I have also taken the article that I wrote for the 2003 Golden Retriever Annual and produced a 53-page PDF document. Do not ask me how much time that little idea cost me.

I will obviously be changing over pages, from my old look to my new, sleek, professional look and sound (much less music, which you can now control), for several months. However, the fun stuff can still be accessed . And, you may see some of your own Goldens in the slide shows that define my new sections, photos that will constantly change to keep folks interested. These slide shows can be seen at:

Live and Learn
Love and Laugh

Loyalty at Work

Being Cancer Aware

Golden Brick Road

Okay, now comes the really fun part to all of this craziness. I am due to bring in a new little puppy girl the first week of February, almost 1 year since Darcy left my side. I have to admit that I am still grieving very deeply over Darcy, as she was the best girlfriend anyone could possibly have. She had such attitude, which Gary says came from her mom, ha ha. But, she was so sweet as well. Oh, how I miss her personality, her intelligence, her mothering & soothing when I’d be ill. I am crying just writing about it.

But, I must move on, if more for the sake of others, and little Alfie, who has gotten way too spoiled and too solitary. I am concerned about how he will take to the new intrusion, as he is turning 8 in May, so I am now busy trying to get more info on how to handle the transition. What I really want is a gifted behaviorist willing to take up residence in my house …. free of charge, of course. I guess I tend to dream big lol.

I was hoping I’d have someone help me to get to Midland, Texas to get my new baby, as traveling is very tough, and traveling alone is …. well, you can imagine. But, no one can get off work to tag along. So, I’ve tried to schedule all kinds of help and I am staying over in Texas to give myself more time to do everything. I am going to Texas on Tuesday February 6th and returning Wednesday. The plane has a connecting flight in Dallas, so on Wednesday evening during a 2-hour layover I will get to meet some rescue folks that I’ve only loved and respected by phone and online. Of course, they will not be interested in me. They’ll only be interested in getting some of that all-powerful puppy breath.

I won’t be arriving back home until 1:30am so that should be interesting as well. But, I will have all my crates in various locations of the house set up and all ready to go ….. hopefully. Right now, I’ve got to get busy preparing my ingredients (pureeing & storing) and baking & freezing up muffin batches for the home-cooked Canine Life (West Coast & East Coast) meals that only befits such little princesses.

Although I am the one responsible for all the training, housebreaking, cooking, grooming chores, guess who got to pick out the name for our baby? Well, I’ve got to throw the poor guy a bone. He merely gets carry-out while my dogs get home-cooked, all-organic meals. Thank goodness I love his choice. He selected the name Olivia, after our all-time favorite name of Oliver. I probably will call the new Princess Livey, pronounced Live — ee, the emphasis certainly on the word ‘live’. And, when calling my little one, I can say, “O – Livey!” Livey’s middle name will be Reba, the name of her very special mom.

Baby Olivia will be similar to Alfie, in that she will be a cross between American and English lines. Her daddy is actually an import from Australia, but it was some special English kids in his pedigree that made him such a find. Of course, I’d be thrilled if she could have Alfie’s youthfulness, puppy attitude, and almost 24-7 tail-wagging (just look at him and he wags, or if you hear boom boom boom, it’s Alfie’s tail going back and forth as he is lying somewhere in the house–don’t ask me what he is thinking about, but it must be good because his tail never stops).

There are no photos yet but that shall come. I just need to get out my camera and brush up on my skills. That, and a million other things I need to do to get ready. So, please understand if the site gets somewhat messy and emails are not answered as quickly and my blog is not updated nearly as often. I have a special window of opportunity that I cannot let go by, my clicker at the ready in anticipation.

Woo Hoo! Alfie’s Okay!


We just got a call from our veterinarian and the biopsy showed a benign growth. It is called an epulis. He had one 3 years ago that was in the front of his mouth near his large canine tooth. Extensive skin grafting surgery was necessary to allow him to retain the tooth. The vet indicates it will most probably grow back. This one that he just had removed was at the back of the mouth.

An epulis is a firm mass involving the gingival tissue or periodontal ligament, which is the structure that holds the tooth in place. Epulides are the most common benign oral tumors in dogs.

The photo above shows Alfie one evening at his favorite haunt, our frog and koi-filled pond.

No word yet – Updated

UPDATE: I went to get my baby and he pulled the girl down the hall to get to me. But, he was so disoriented from the anesthesia. I took him outside and he pished for the longest time and then could not get into my car without me lifting his back end. He laid down on the back seat all the way home and then had trouble getting out of the car and seemed ill at odds as to where he was. It was so spooky. I had to encourage him to do the stairs, which he did manage.

I decided to get comfortable and go lay with him on a small sofa of ours. He just looked at me so mournfully as I whispered to him and stroked his fur. He fell asleep for a bit and then awakened but kept gazing at me with a look he has never shown before. I only wish I could explain it better. But, it seemed to be telling me that he was comforted by my trying to soothe him.

It is after 9pm and I just ventured upstairs to get a robe (it’s freezing in my house since I keep the temperature at 60-63) and Alfie followed. He does seem more alert, much more so than before. He definitely had no loss of appetite, busily eating 3 of his homemade organic dinner muffins. I soaked them in water, though, knowing that his mouth has to be sore due to the cutting around his upper back teeth and roof of his mouth. I also asked for pain medication as Gary wanted him to have that. It was not given initially but after my request, the girl came back with a bottle. They cannot tell us, but there is no way he isn’t in discomfort.

My computer time is obviously very limited as I watch after him. The biopsy will not be back for 10-14 days but I am hoping it is benign, like his last growth. I will have to let the doctor know that he really reacted strongly to the anesthesia. It was very scary but I think he is okay now. Daddy Gary is due home soon so we shall see how he reacts then.

Thanks everyone for your words of concern. You certainly know first-hand the kinds of things that I am going through right now. Sadly, we all have to experience the good times and the bad.

Now, back to my little guy, who one woman at the vet’s office said, oh my, how old is your puppy? I love when folks do that. Makes me think my boy is gonna be with me for many years to come.


Well, I am anxiously awaiting the news of how Alfie is doing, and going nuts waiting. The house is just too quiet and certainly not a home, without a Golden in it. Amazing how spoiled these special souls make us.