Remembering Therapy Golden Retriever Cody


Roy Gross, from Suffolk County SPCA, just shared a very special article written about his boy in the Fall 2007 issue of Florida Dog Magazine.

Cody actually was a great help to the folks working at ground zero at the World Trade Center. We have some Goldens detailed at our site who did such a great job there.

You can read the article and learn more about Goldens working in this way here at the foundation’s site.



Remembering Therapy Golden Retriever Brea

CHS loses dedicated volunteer
By Natalie J. Ostgaard, City Editor

BriAnna Kappelhof lays on the floor of Crookston High School
Guidance Counselor Jackie Robertson’s office with Brea.
(Natalie J. Ostgaard, Photographer, 2005 photo)

Crookston High School lost a dedicated volunteer Thursday when Brea, the therapy dog who’d been a mainstay at the school for nearly six years, passed away. “She was just in school earlier in the week,” said Jackie Robertson, the CHS guidance counselor Brea has been a constant companion to since starting with the school right after 9/11. “So she was a fighter to the end.”

Although Jeanie Andringa, owner of Golden Breeze Kennels and co-proprietor of the “Paws Helping Hands” program, was actually Brea’s owner, both women have said Robertson probably spent more hours with her than anyone else over the years.

Brea had slowed down considerably in recent months, Robertson said, but they assumed it was because of her age. She was a senior citizen, after all, at 12 1/2 years.

Andringa called Robertson Tuesday to say Brea wouldn’t be in school that day as she just didn’t seem to feel well. A visit to the veterinarian determined she had an inoperable cancerous mass and that her lungs were filled with fluid. It would only be a matter of time, but Robertson was hoping she’d stick around a little while longer.

“I’d spent several hours with her, went home, and then Jeanie called me back,” she explained. “We had to let her go so she wouldn’t have to suffer. Her death was quick, peaceful and painless.” “She was a tough old bird,” Andringa added. “She never let on that she was sick.” Golden retrievers generally have a life expectancy between 11 and 14 years, so Brea lived about as long as she could, she said. She never had puppies, as she was spayed at a young age.

CHS Principal Richard Koop made the sad announcement at school Friday so the students would hear firsthand about Brea. “This just shows how much respect she earned there,” Andringa said. “It was the highest compliment for her, to have the principal, who’s quite busy with other things, personally make the announcement.”

Andringa went on to say she and her husband, Mike, very much appreciate the support the school has given the therapeutic dog program through the years, which started with her dog, Lad. Brea has been at the schools the longest, although Easton, another of Andringa’s golden retrievers, has been a fixture at Highland for a few years now.

Brea’s passing leaves CHS without a certified therapy dog to help calm even the most agitated students and assist them in their educational ventures. But Andringa said Bella, a golden retriever owned by Jeff and Melissa Perrault, has been training for the job in anticipation of Brea’s retirement and would be coming to the school this spring or early next fall.

A litter of pups born to Andringa’s dog Kizmet 14 weeks ago also brought a surprising turn for the therapy dog program. Although she intended to sell them all, after taking her to the schools a few times, it was decided that one particular little girl, Gracie, would someday carry on the torch for Brea.

“She’s already very in to tune to the school, the students,” she said. “I’m able to bring her without her chewing on the kids. It’s just her personality. She’s going to be great.”

A tribute . . . Robertson wrote this tribute to Brea:

Please let me tell you about my angel, my healer, my hero.

Six years ago, Jeanie and Mike Andringa introduced me to this beautiful six-year-old golden retriever and asked me if I would ever want to have her in my office as a certified therapy dog. The next day, Brea pranced into the school, tail wagging and eager to come to work. Her unconditional love, undying devotion and limitless loyalty towards the students and staff brought out the kindness in everybody.

Miraculous things happened when Brea was around. She instinctively sensed someone’s pain and hurt and her customary response would be to lay by them waiting to, perhaps, be patted on her head, or better yet, received a hug. Brea never discriminated. It didn’t matter to her the color of your skin or if you were rich or poor. There was always enough warmth and gentleness to go around. She was a reservoir of comfort and love.

I am filled with deep gratitude to Jeanie and Mike for so unselfishly sharing this beautiful dog with me for all these years and for giving me the gift to be with Brea at the end. I got to say good bye. I got to tell her how much I loved her. I got to kiss her soft fur one last time. As painful as it was, I knew it was time to let go. Her work here was complete. Our trusted friend touched the lives of those who knew her. I miss her.

My life has forever been changed because Brea was in it.

Remembering Golden Retriever SAR Dog Dusty

Dusty has been featured at our site since shortly after the 9/11 attacks. So, it is especially sad to learn of her tragic death.

Here are two wonderful articles, each with a video clip showing Dusty on the job.

Sacramento Metro Fire Mourns Loss Of Rescue Dog
CBS13, John Iander Reporting

Click here for video

(CBS13) SACRAMENTO Tomorrow, fire fighters around the nation say “goodbye” to one of their own. One who has four legs. “Dusty”, Sacramento’s famous search and rescue dog was killed two weeks ago.

These are tough days for Metro Fire Captain Randy Gross. wo weeks ago, he lost his partner, Dusty, his twelve year old golden retriever. The same search and rescue dog that worked with him on 9/11 hunting for survivors of the World Trade Center attacks. The best way to describe her is unwavering dedication and commitment. That was what she was all about. I wish we all could live her life like she did,” he says.

As randy showed CBS13 a scrap book of Dusty’s pictures, the phone kept ringing with calls of condolence. Dusty was full of energy and courage. Climbing ladders, no problem. Riding in helicopters, loved it. Searching for survivors in oily, muddy gunk – Dusty never flinched.

No one here at station 62 can understand how dusty got through a fence, ran out onto Bradshaw Road and was stuck by a car.

On Tuesday, dusty will be honored and remembered as a dog that kept making headlines. The first one ever to close a day’s trading at the New York Stock Exchange. The dog that met the president not once, but twice. The lover that became everyone’s friend, of course a cheese puff snack didn’t hurt.

Randy played with Dusty’s play toy for a moment, swallowed hard and told CBS13’s John Iander he will not get another search dog. Dusty was it.

Search Dog Remembered for Dedication
By Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Internet News Producer

A Look at Dusty’s Life Video

Dusty, one of the most photographed rescue dogs during 9/11 will be remembered Tuesday for her search and rescue efforts.

Dusty was struck by a vehicle on March 12 in front of Sacramento Fire Station number 62. She suffered severe trauma and passed away the following day.

Along with her handler and partner, Captain Randy Gross, she looked for survivors during rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and after Hurricane Katrina. She served the nation and the community in a lot of ways,” Gross said. “She has been there in case disaster strikes, and she has been across the nation to help find survivors when disaster strikes. And to have a tool like that ready and to go to work immediately in our community is very important and not many communities have.”

Dusty was the first dog to be trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for the Urban Search and Rescue program. Gross had recently announced Dusty’s retirement at a search dog event in Seaside, Monterey County, on March 10. She was to become Gross’ family dog.

“She loved to search, and that was her world and that what she loved doing,” Gross said. “As we watched her search at every training once a week for the past 10 years you could see the enjoyment and watched as she got old and a little arthritis in her back. She didn’t slow down. She just pushed her way through the pain. She loved doing it so much. It’s tough to see her go after she done what she had done and wanting her to retire. She lived her life to the fullest.”

Dusty’s memorial service will be held Tuesday at the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael.

Remembering Golden Retriever – Jake the Diamond Dog


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

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

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

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

Golden Retriever Dylan, Denver’s Flying Dog Remembered

Rob Marshall is Denver, Colorado’s FOX 31 helicopter pilot/reporter, sporting much experience and an unblemished record for safety. Amazingly, he has taken his Golden Dylan, in the air, every morning for the last 10 years, speaking about their spending time together 24-7.

Dylan’s love of snow and mountains belies the fact that he was born in the marshlands of Charleston, SC. Dylan got his first taste of flying in LA and took to it right away. He has also starred in several commercials for Raley’s and his friendly personality, intelligence, good looks and manners won him many admirers. Dylan’s other interests include swimming, boating, hiking, chasing squirrels and collecting plastic water bottles for recycling.

Sadly, the Fox station announced today that Denver’s only Flying Dog has left for The Bridge. Recently, Rob had to make the difficult decision to put his friend to sleep. Dylan had been fighting health problems during the past year, that began with a diagnosis of bone cancer and subsequent amputation. And, while he seemed to be progressing in his rehabilitation, he developed problems in his spine that caused him difficulty in lifting his back end.


Learn more through these two extensive and quite moving TV videos, as well as a gallery of photos of handsome Dylan.

Remembering Dylan, Denver’s Only Flying Dog

Rob Marshall Shares Memories about Dylan

Photos: Dylan, The Flying Dog


The following are a series of videos with Rob and Dylan that show the last year’s trials and tribulations and more.

Denver’s Only Flying Dog Recovering from Surgery

Fox 31’s Dylan Recovering From Surgery

Denver’s Only Flying Dog Recovering at Home

Flying Dog, Polar Bear Share a Moment

Dylan Doing Well, Hoping to Fly Again Soon

Denver’s Famous Flying Dog is Back in the Chopper Again

Dylan Enters Rehabilitation

Dylan Continues on the Road to Recovery

Dylan the Flying Dog is Doing Great!

Dylan and Deckers

Dylan the Flying Dog’s Battle With Cancer

Therapy Golden Harley

If you have not been keeping up with our site news or with Harley’s Page then you will have missed the sad news of his having earned his wings and passage to The Bridge a few days ago.

Please do visit his page to see some special messages from his mom, Andrea, and for a link to a wonderful photo album that shows Harley with his furry family members through the years.

The Helping Harley Fund will now be expanded to address the financial needs of other afflicted and needy working dogs. And, Andrea will be helping on the committee to direct those future funds. She is so appreciative of the fund being named in Harley’s memory.For those folks who may want to send a card of sympathy, they can be sent to:

Andrea Hanssen
P.O. Box 780524
San Antonio Texas 78278

Dave always seemed something more than a dog

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a furry friend
By Susan Frick Carlman

He never whimpered, not even a little.

Even on his last night among us, he wagged his tail with tangible sincerity and gobbled up the bits of shared pizza crust. In retrospect, as my ever-rational spouse pointed out, that was probably more habit than genuine hunger at work. He had stopped eating his regular food several days earlier.

It was just last spring when we first realized something wasn’t right with our good, old golden retriever. He couldn’t do the morning power walks anymore, and his breath had become shallow. A blood test showed sharply elevated liver enzymes – a development that suggested an array of possibilities, none of them good. We figured we’d sit tight and let him let us know when to do something more.

When we took him in again just before Halloween, we discovered he had dropped 13 pounds since the blood test. An X-ray showed a huge mass clinging to his spleen. It wouldn’t be long. He would let us know when, the vet assured us.

Heck, he’s 12, we reminded ourselves, determined not to succumb to sorrow over an event we had known was coming for a dozen years. Pretty old for a dog.

But like many of his species, Dave always seemed something more than a dog. He was muse and companion, soother and empathizer, foot warmer and always a worthy opponent in a friendly staring contest. Like any good dog. And of course, he never declined the pursuit of an errant tennis ball – even though, oddly, he never really got the hang of giving it back. Just a mental block, I guess.

There’s more . . . .