Vol 9 No 2

Spring 2007

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

Is Your Garden Good or Evil?

Top 10 Poisonous Plants

Toxic Plants

Close Encounter of the Wrong Kind

When Is Warm Too Warm

Thank You

Fond Farewells

Letters to GRRI-NJ

GRRI NEWS Archives

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Letters to GRRI-NJ

Hi Eileen (GRRI volunteer),

Thought you would like an update on Sasha.  Well, it's been 3 weeks now and she is part of the family. We are still working on her pulling on the leash, but I hope to get her in obedience class soon. She is doing very well as far as socializing with other dogs. She has been to dog parks from Staten Island to Manhattan to a great one in Waveny Park in CT.  There have been no incidents with her being aggressive to dogs when it comes to her tennis balls, she even lets some of them take it right from under her nose.  That was a big relief!  She is also a big hit at the park when people see her run after the ball and effortlessly leap way up in the air to catch it. Also, it turns out she is a grinner. When I come home she gets all excited and grins like crazy, very cute.  She is as sweet as she can be.

Hope all is well with you.  I read the newsletter, when is the next Woofstock? That looks like fun. Let me know.



Vicky, thanks for the photo….Sasha looks great!  We’re so happy to hear that she’s settled in with you and Fonda and that she’s enjoying her playtime at the dog parks.  She certainly is a well traveled little girl!  Our next reunion is set for Saturday, September 29th.  Invitations will be going out during the latter part of the summer.

Hi Lilli (GRRI volunteer),

Rocky is well and happy; he has become part of our family.  He stays near Rich all the time, he's his dog. He enjoys his walks and likes to run. Here are some pictures we took on our old train trail, about a 2-1/2 mile walk.

We are following the diet you fed Rocky, we took him to the vet for a check up and she said he's fine and his coat is excellent.

Thanks for your continued interest in Rocky we'll try to keep you informed.

Rich, Denise & Rocky

Denise, Rocky looks absolutely wonderful.  We’re always so pleased to see our dogs looking happy and healthy.  He’s come a long way from the malnourished Golden who came into our program last year.  Please keep sending us pictures and updates; we’re very interested in knowing how our fur kids are doing.

Hi Judy (GRRI volunteer),

My launch went well, and I did my second party up your way (Berkeley Heights) this weekend.  Foster was wearing his tuxedo collar (I call it his ChippenDog costume) and greeted everyone with that big tongue hanging out.

We pet sit 2 Golden puppies once or twice a month now, and Foster is thrilled, but then he’s pooped when they leave. Plus they want to play all night and he retires early now.

He loves to roll in the little bit of snow we have this year, I guess he figures it’s just another form of water, which he loves. I’ll try to catch it on camera, or maybe when he just gets on his back in front of the fire, and plays with a toy upside down. I think he’s a happy dog!

Well I hope you are well and all your furballs are happy & healthy.  Boomer has on his winter weight, but otherwise, acts like a puppy. Felix the cat now lays right on Foster, they are “buds”.

I’ll have another party here in the summer, when it can be held outdoors, and I’ll let you know. If you are ever visiting in Toms River, just come by. I know he’d remember you.

See you


Stef, we’d love to see a picture of Foster in his ChippenDog collar!

Dear Folks at Golden Rescue,

Back in August you helped with my very difficult decision to surrender Eli Francis to find a new home.  It continues to bring me to tears but I know it was the right choice.  I thank you for finding a home for him that could give him the time and attention he deserves.  While I am not able to make large donations it is important to me that you know the blessing your organization is.  I check the website every once in a while to see if he will show up under adoption success stories or something - I miss his face.  I do miss him but thank you for helping with what was best.

Please accept this small donation toward the wonderful work you do.


Kathryn King

Kathyrn, thank you for your generosity.  Every donation that we receive helps us help another wonderful Golden like Eli.  We are truly grateful for it.  Eli is doing wonderfully.  He’s happy and receiving a lot of love and attention – and giving as much as he’s getting.

Eileen (GRRI volunteer),

Just a note to let you know Brady is doing well!  No seizures!  He is back to his normal happy self and is once again steady on his feet.  He is once again able to jump for cookies!  He goes for a check-up at the hospital this Thursday with the doggy neuro vet, so if there is anything new to report I will let you know.

Thanks again for helping us out and for being there when I needed to talk.  People who don't have a real love for dogs just do not understand, making many of my friends useless in times of dog crisis.


Wendy, what terrific news! We were all so upset to hear that Brady had been hospitalized.  There were a lot of volunteers saying prayers and sending positive thoughts for this sweet guy. Let’s hope he remains seizure free for a long time to come.

Eileen & Terry (GRRI volunteers),

Just a note to let you know Brady visited the Neuro Vet yesterday and all I got was "He looks good" and "We'll take some blood and check his levels of phenol barb and do a chemistry panel".  The labs will be available to us next week.  My daughter is going into a profitable career, although I am sure her bedside manner will be much better. She even made a comment about how this hospital treats families.   While I love the care he got, and value the Vet specialties that are available to our pets, I wish Vets would understand, I mean really understand that they are more than just pets.  Not all do. But I digress.

In my opinion he is doing extremely well and I did not have to have a Vet validate it.  I know my kids well.  He is eating well, and now thinks he can jump up to "surf" countertops and dresser tops.  NOTHING is safe in this house with Brady around!  He cracks me up.  I'm just elated that he has the stamina and physical ability to jump.  He comes off the steroids this coming week, so we'll see what happens.  I am praying the seizures do not return.  Pease keep the little guy in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks again for your prayers and thoughts.  I will keep you posted as time passes.


Wendy, thanks for your latest update and picture.  He looks absolutely wonderful.  How can you not love those “powdered sugar” faces!  Thank you for keeping us so well informed about this special guy.

Hi Olivia (GRRI volunteer),

You must have ESP!!!  I was just thinking about you and how I should get in touch to give you an update on Louie.  He is doing great!!

We have had him to our vet several times trying to control his skin issues.   We think between his improved diet and several medications we have conquered the skin problems.  Everyday he begins to look more and more like a beautiful Golden with a lovely shade of golden color.  His face is even getting more golden color and less white.  He has put on some weight, almost 70lbs now which the vet said is good.  Louie and the cat still have not made friends.  He growls and tries to eat her whenever he can.  She’s good at staying out of his way!  We absolutely love Louie.  He has wormed his way into our hearts and we can't imagine not having him in our family.  He loves to ride, so every weekend we take him with us to run all our errands.  It is actually difficult to leave the house without him.  I would say the one thing he doesn't like is being left home.  He is trying to convince Paul that he should go to work with him!!!  Paul is thinking it over!!!  If you are ever up in our neck of the woods please come by and see for yourself how wonderful Louie is doing.  Many thanks for letting us have this perfectly beautiful, loving dog.


Dana, you have no idea how glad we are that you and Paul adopted Louie. His story broke our hearts and we were so happy we were able to get him out of his former home and into one where he is cherished as a member of the family.  We’re sorry he’s not bonding with your cat.  Have you tried DAP Pheromones? http://healthypetscom.stores.yahoo.net/dapdogappher.html

If you access this website through our GRRI shopping partners link, GRRI will receive a commission on the sale.

Dear GRRI,

Please accept the enclosed donation in memory of Nash Valerio. He was a best friend to Joni & Tom Valerio and to me.


Albina Pasko (Joni's Mom)

Albina, thank you so much for your donation.  We were so sorry to hear this sad news.  The money will be placed in our Joann Smith Memorial Fund and will be used to help provide extraordinary medical care to our rescue Goldens.  We will also notify Joni and Tom of your generous donation.

Hi Eileen (GRRI volunteer),

How are you? How is "The Gang"? Shylow is doing fantastic. He is such a wonderful dog.  He listens so well, a little too well sometimes.  My oldest son (who I had to straighten out) was teaching Shylow bad things. Bad things such as "Ups" which means to jump on people.  And "Dig" which means to start digging. And last but not least, eat off of the table.  But everyone is back in their proper places and Shylow has since forgotten his bad learning. Anyway, Shylow has been playing with his cousin Sunny or as I call him "Wizzer".  Sunny is a 3 month old Cockapoo and belongs to my niece. Sunny spends the weekends with us and keeps Shylow very occupied.  The problem is when Sunny leaves, Shylow is so sad. This brings me to the subject of Sam. We are ready to adopt another Golden. After looking at and researching different types of dogs we have come to the conclusion that you cannot top a Golden.  We are very interested in Sam.  Is he still available? Can we meet him? If we can, can we bring Shylow?

Vincent Sbraga

Hi Vince, Thanks for the pictures of Shylow and his cousin…they’re adorable together! We love it when our former adopters come back for another dog. That means we’re doing something right! Once you submit a new adoption application we can start looking for a new pal for Shylow.

Hi Judy (GRRI volunteer),

How are you?  Did your latest foster find a home?

I have some funny Amber stories that I thought you might get a kick out of.  She’s fine – all adjusted to the routines of life here.  We’re all kind of over the top about her.

Remember how she would be so excited to meet someone new?  She would jump up, wag her tail and all that?  She only does that with new people.  When any of us come home we get a warm welcome – she always will come down from upstairs for a greeting but never jumps.  It’s not even always real exuberant.  She went to say hello to our neighbor Charlie who is always dressed in jeans.  However, he was going out to brunch and dressed up … you guessed it …she jumps up to say hello – ugh!

Here’s another funny thing – I don’t think she’s a car happy girl.  When she gets in my car it’s like she’s 100 years old and it takes forever.  Mind you, this is the dog that will kill herself chasing down a tennis ball in my living room.  One of my neighbors (who Amber doesn’t know) had her SUV car door open.  Amber spots it, trots on over and jumps in … jumps right in!!!  What is that about ????!!!!  She’s done that to our neighbor Charlie as well (poor Charlie!).

She’s healthy, allergies under control with medication and despite what I described above, happy.  I don’t think Amber ran away from her last home – she had to have been left somewhere.  She’s just not a runner or wanderer.  When I have the two dogs in the backyard the one I worry about is Kate – Amber always stays close to home.

She still sleeps on the quilt from your house.

Hope all is well.


Donna, thanks so much for the continuing updates on Amber.  The folks from the shelter that we pulled her from STILL ask about her. She quickly becomes a favorite with everyone she meets!  Give her some hugs and kisses from all of the folks at the SPCA and us too.

Hi Ladies (GRRI volunteers Elizabeth Gleason & Shayne Murray),

I know you will be really happy to hear that we have a new BABY!! Tom and I looked at each other a month ago and decided we needed to start our search. I looked on the website over that weekend and saw a gorgeous 7 year old, but you know what happened last time we took a 7 year old. That Monday I just looked in the paper and there was a family selling their 6 month old light boy. I went down to look at him that same day, and he was a doll.  We actually did not pick him up until this week, because we had a vacation planned and the family said they would keep him until we returned. So we now have a SEVEN MONTH OLD!!!  (Guess what his Mother's name is??? MALIBU Sandy Beaches!!!)) It was a young family with a 3 year old son and 1 1/2 year old daughter and they just could not take care of the children and dog too. He has been well cared for and he's amazing. I'm including just one photo, but I'll take more and send them later. Please wish us luck-you've all been so supportive of us over the years and I wanted to share our good news with all of you.


Paula & Tom, congratulations to all of you!  We wish you a long, happy, healthy life with Dash.  Of course the only thing better than one Golden is two.  Keep checking our website.  We’d love to have you adopt from us again once Dash has settled in.


About 7 years ago we had the wonderful opportunity to rescue Sandy (formerly known as Sammy). He instantly became a member of our family. It is with great sadness that I must inform you that we had to put down Sandy yesterday. He was treated by his vet for the past several days for what was thought to be a tick-borne illness, however he was not responding to treatment. Yesterday we went to one of the top internists in NJ to attempt to get a clear diagnosis. During the evaluation, it was determined that Sandy had cancer throughout most of his internal organs, most importantly his liver. The specialist advised that was nothing that could be done for Sandy. I was afforded a lengthy visit with my best friend. It was very difficult to say goodbye, but that past 7 years will never be forgotten. I want to thank your organization for connecting us with Sandy and for that I am eternally grateful. We still have another golden in the house who we consider a rescue, since we adopted him at three months old from a pet store in the mall. He wasn't cute to sell anymore, but he was cute to us and we have provided him with a great home.

Thanks again for all you do and maybe I will be contacting you in the future regarding another golden.


Mike Obremski

Mike, please accept our sincere condolences. It seems that no matter how long we have our wonderful pals, it’s never long enough, and we’re never ready when it’s their time to cross over.  We’ll be here when you decide it’s time to adopt your new best friend.

Eileen & Terry (GRRI volunteers),

Just a note to let you both know Brady is doing well.  No seizures!  He is truly very active and has gotten "counter surfing" down to an art!  His loss of strength in his back legs is no longer a problem!  He was even spotted 'fast walking', no running in the backyard.  =)  His recent labs were all great!  He is still on the steroids and will be for a while, and his phenol barb levels are great.  And he still continues to charm me.


Wendy, thanks for continuing to send us this wonderful news!!!  And believe it or not, YAY to him for having the rear leg strength to counter surf.  Thank goodness his hindquarters weakness was temporary.

Dear GRRI,

Thanks for doing such a great job for our Goldens.

Kate Malony & Phelan 

Kate, thanks for thinking of us. Your generous donation will enable us to help a lot of these wonderful dogs.   Hugs and pets to Phelan!

Dear GRRI,

Please accept this donation in memory of my very special granddog, Sparky Walter.  He was such a treasure and is greatly missed.  Sparky loved going to all the rescue events with Linda and Rich and I always enjoyed the stories they told me afterwards…it made me laugh hearing about his little acts of “mischief”, like his habit of raiding goody bags in search of biscuits or when he helped himself to two sandwiches at one of the reunions!

I hope this contribution can help one of the needy Goldens in your care.  Thank you for the wonderful work you all do helping these incredible dogs.


Rita Keynton (“Grammy”)

“Grammy” Rita, on behalf of all the wonderful dogs we have in rescue right now, I want to thank you for your donation.  Sparky was indeed a special guy and we all miss him.  While he had a wonderful 13 years with Linda and Rich, it’s never long enough.  We’re hoping that when the time is right, they’ll bring another Golden into their lives in celebration of Sparky’s life.


Enclosed you will find a donation from my mom, Katalin Fogel.  Mom is 87 years old and living in an assisted living facility in Freehold, NJ.  She used to light the Sabbath candles on Friday nights but is no longer able to because she is legally blind.  She asked that a donation be made to a charity in her name and of course I chose GRRI-NJ.  I believe that the Joann Smith Memorial Fund, which helps our special needs Goldens, would be an appropriate placement for this donation.


Peggy Shoen

Peggy, thank you for choosing OUR charity to be the recipient of your moms' generosity.  The Joann Smith Memorial Fund is the perfect place to use her money.

Hello Terry (GRRI volunteer & foster mom),

Just reporting in — Sonny is doing well — really well.  It’s rather interesting that he has picked up some of Mandy’s “old habits:” sits by the same door when he want to go out, is marking out the same parts of the yard that were Mandy’s “bathroom haunts,” (that one I really understand), but there are some other interesting little quirks he has that mimic Mandy — it’s almost as if she were here giving directions.

As you know he loves the rides in the car; he has taken to barking when left in the car, but if we come back and pet him a couple of times, he won’t bark as we walk away again.  Of course, leaving him in the car will cease soon as the weather warms.

At first he was “glued/Velcro-ed” to me, but he seems to have realized that Bill, too, is a good guy and buddy and now seems equally content to be in the company of either one of us.  One of his delightful habits is, when Bill has had him out for a walk or an errand, to come running to find me wherever I am just to say they are home.

His presence is all about: toys strewn and hair in every corner; we are very happy about it all.

Sonny has met the vet — Bill stopped to weigh him.  We’ll take him soon in to get his records established and to get an appropriate/acceptable rabies vaccination certificate for his dog license (the borough clerk thought something other than what we have would be in order).  We have waited just a bit to do this, so that he feels safe with us before visiting the vet for anything more than weigh-in and meeting and greeting  (for treats, of course).

Thanks again; we are delighted/thrilled that he is with us.


Charlotte, we’re thrilled that Sonny has made himself right at home with you both.  We’d love to see some new pictures of him (hint, hint!)  As for his proof of rabies vaccination, we’ve written a letter to your town administrator stating that he is indeed vaccinated and that we delete the previous owner information on the certificate and vet records to maintain the confidentiality of our intake process.

Dear GRRI,

The enclosed donation is made in loving celebration of Sparky's life.  He was our greatest joy and will live forever in our hearts.  Sparky enriched our lives in ways we could have never imagined when we first brought him home as a 7-1/2 week old puppy.  Now almost 14 years later we grieve his loss and find comfort in the countless memories we have of our sweet boy.

Sparky was a wonderful ambassador for the breed and we know he'd want this money to be used to help give other Goldens a new beginning.

Linda & Rich

Linda & Rich, we all share in your grief over Sparky’s passing.  May you both find comfort in all your memories, and enjoy looking at all your wonderful photographs and videos celebrating his life.  Thank you for your very generous donation to the Joann Smith Memorial Fund in celebration of Sparky’s life.


Please accept my enclosed donation in memory of a loving Golden, Spirit.  He radiated love up until his death.  I hope this gives some comfort to his family.


Denise Ingalls King

Denise, we appreciate your donation in loving memory of Spirit.  His family will be notified of your generosity and we will express our deepest condolences for their loss.

Dear GRRI Friend,

Please accept this donation to honor the memory of Spirit.

Thank you.

Monica Biondi

Monica, thank you for your donation in honor of Spirit.  Bonnie will be notified of your donation to support our rescue efforts.   

Dear Amy & Terry (GRRI volunteers),

Hi I just wanted to send you both pictures of Boomer playing in the snow and a picture of him hanging out with his new brother and sister (Bailey & Sabrina).  He is doing so well and we just love him more and more each day!!!


Valerie, thanks so much for the pictures!

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you at this time to say "THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH" for bringing our newest joy into our lives.  We adopted Brianna from you on February 11th.  She is an unbelievable dog and we are madly in love with her.  I speak on behalf of my husband David and my Yellow Lab, Bailey.  Two of our children have not really spent more than a few minutes with her, as they are both away at college and the remaining 3 children do not live with us but are around all the time and they are in love with her as well.  She warmed her way into our hearts almost immediately.  She is well mannered, well behaved, mushy cuddly and truly delicious (as Goldens tend to be).

We lost our Golden last February and I just couldn't bring myself to get another one, because I missed her so much so we got a Yellow Lab, who is also fantastic and delicious.  But, as you well know, that "Golden" void was so great that I just couldn't help myself.  I can ramble on and on but I won't.

I also want to acknowledge the in depth research and background check your organization does prior to adoption.  I was very impressed and taken with all that was involved in this "rescue" process.

In any event, thank you so much!!!!!   We feel truly fortunate to have gotten this wonderful girl in our lives.

Best regards,

Kathy Fiume 

Hi Kathy, Brianna is a special little girl, isn’t she?  We have to agree, life isn’t complete without a Golden in the house!  And thank you for your kind words about our organization!

Dear Terry (GRRI foster home),

Just a quick note to let you know that Sonny is doing fine.

He is still the “Velcro” dog, but quite happy to be with one or the other of us.  When one of us is out, he lies by the door that we usually use for “coming and going” until that person returns.  He has also figured out that he can lie in the hall between the TV room and my office and keep an eye on both of us.  He is a bit “naughty” about jumping up to say hello, but we’ll work this out with time although the gentle genuineness of his greeting makes being strict about this a struggle.

He has learned that the UPS man is a VERY GOOD friend; he recognizes the UPS truck when we are on walks about town and gets very excited with hopes that the driver is “the” good guy — of the several drivers that work this area.

He has been to our vet, had all his records checked, his teeth checked, and in general made friends with all the personnel — to the extent that any dog makes friends with a veterinary establishment.  There was no problem with getting his license based on the immunization records and letter that we had.

Are you curious to know where he sleeps?  We confess — on the bed, not just at the foot of the bed, but between us.  He does get too warm with this, so gets off the bed for a while for cooling off and then gets back on creeping up between us to put his head on the pillows.  The nice bed that we got for him was for naught.

In short, we adore him.  From our perspective, there couldn’t have been a more perfect match for us.  We hope that he somehow feels in his wonderful heart that he is “home” for good.

I’ll try to send some pictures; alas my camera has been acting up.  But it is on the list.

Hope you both are well.


Charlotte Foster


Hi Charlotte, thanks for the positive update on Sonny.   We just KNOW that Sonny is very happy with you.  Terry could see how he instantly bonded with you on his adoption day!  We’d love to continue to receive updates.

Dear Maverick (GRRI Available Golden),

You will find a family who will love you and have the patience you need to last in your forever home. The same thing happened to me 8 months ago. I was only 11 weeks old when I was given away but my new family has had 3 other Goldens in the past and understands my wild ways. Thankfully they understand because I would be looking for a new home by now! Everyone wants that wonderful, sweet, and adorable older Golden they see in everyone else’s house and they get this wild, high energy, chewing, jumping, mouthing and uncontrollable 65 to 75 pound puppy. (Puppy at heart till I'm 2 to 3 years old) Just last week I left my mark on my sisters arm and I swear I was only playing and I only nip my other sister when she turns her back when I want her to play. I chewed my moms dresser when her back was turned well it did looked like a bone, really it did!! Oh yea and there was the Molding in the kitchen when mom was cooking But really that was all! I will try harder tomorrow!

My family and I have been going to school every week and I am learning a lot! I know all my obedience commands - every single one!!! Yay For Me!!! So I didn't understand why my teacher told my parents to place me in another home. My Dad told her NOT AN OPTION! We have not been back! Just because I can't control my self sometimes but I promise I am trying, really, really I am. I am so glad they love me My mom says everyday (when I forget those things I learned in school) "KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE!"  She knows I will be a good boy when I grow up. We now go to a new puppy school where they tell my Mom how wonderful I am and what a good dog they have. Mom drops me off 2 days a week for daycare and I get to play with lots of dogs. The first day I was scared but I went any way.  There were 26 dogs in this one room and I played for 2 hours chewing and biting and I didn't get into trouble. I am so tired when I get home I don’t jump on daddy when he comes home. I get 2 new bones every week from school so I don’t chew the house or toys - well we won't talk about the toys, a guy has to have a little fun! I don't nip the kids if I go to daycare. But this week it snowed and I missed my play date and I got a little mouthy. I heard mom tell dad it's the best $7 hour she has ever spent! So you see Maverick you just need someone to promise "I will take you and keep you no matter what I do." Mom always says isn't he darling and Dad says yeah just darling and we all get a big laugh out of it! I just don't get the joke. Oh well!  Gotta go - Mom and Dad’s bed is waiting for me. Can you tell me why Mom won’t let me chew my bone at 2 AM?  Its like what's the big deal!

Good luck!

Copper Wakefoose

Copper, we promise that we will find Maverick the same kind of loving, understanding home that we found for you.  Because as you know, puppies will be puppies!


For my ninth birthday party I decided to have the people who were coming to my house for the party give checks for the misplaced Golden Retrievers.  I have a Golden Retriever of my own and love him very much and I want other dogs to have the same opportunity.  I also learned that misplaced dogs are ones that are given up, do not have a family. and the ones people should really take care of and love.  For the goodie bags I put in a piece of paper telling them why they gave the money.  Everyone loved the party and it was the best one I ever had too!  I'm SO HAPPY that I did something for the dogs because I love them.  Especially Golden Retrievers!


Elise Bossert

Dear Elise, what a wonderful, generous thing to do for your birthday!  We are going to use your money to help a Golden Retriever named Patrick.  Patrick was a stray dog that was taken to an animal shelter in Northern New Jersey.  He had a very bad ear infection and needed to go to a veterinarian for treatment right away.  Your birthday money helped to pay for his care.  We attached a picture of him so that you can see what he looks like.  Isn’t he handsome?  He’s going to be feeling a lot better because of you.   Thank you!