Vol 4 No 3

Summer 2002

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

Another Puppy Mill Rescue ... and a Golden Bells Update!

GRRI's 2nd Annual Rescue Reunion

Pet Loss

Send Jagger to Orlando!

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

GRRI NEWS Archives

Another Puppy Mill Rescue:
Operation Remembering Our Own

We heard from many readers about the Operation Golden Bells  article in our last newsletter -- the amazing, successful effort to rescue more than 50 puppy mill Goldens in December -- and we have another puppy mill rescue story to report in this issue.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Golden rescue volunteers in the mid-west attended another puppy mill auction where a large number of Goldens were offered for sale.

The bidding at this auction was fast and furious in some cases, and young females fetched a huge premium  --  not surprising, as the competing bidders were other puppy millers. 

In the end, rescue volunteers came away with 12 Goldens  -- including 3 trios of young male littermates, a 6-year-old male, a 3-year-old female, and a 7-year-old female who had been bred so often she was simply worn out.    Most were fearful and filthy -- but thankfully, none were wounded or emaciated. 

After giving each of them a much needed bath, the volunteers snapped a few photos of their new charges. (Note:  Please give the slide show below a bit of time to load.)

Within a few days of the auction, all 12 Goldens had been transported by volunteers to Virginia and the custody of GRREAT, where their temperaments and health were assessed. 

The GRREAT rescue folks reported that most of the Goldens were generally fearful and reserved, as they had been from the beginning, though some were beginning to come out of their shells a bit.  And that as expected, the principal health issues were parasites, as well as the obvious need to have each of them altered.

A scant week later, 11 of the Goldens  (the overbred female remained with GRREAT) arrived at their final New York and New Jersey rescue group destinations  -- Peppertree,  GRROWLS, LIGRR, and yes, GRRI-NJ --  where they would receive foster and medical care and eventual placement in forever homes. 

GRRI-NJ took in two of the young males: Curly and Paulie, who arrived in NJ on May 31.

Only 4 1/2-months-old, Curly was one of three rescued brothers -- the other two being Mo and Larry of course! -- who were very bonded to each other.  People, however, were another story entirely.  These pups were playful with each other, but were very wary of humans.

When Curly arrived in NJ, he was actually in pretty good shape:  he needed to be neutered and had intestinal worms, but was thankfully heartworm negative; and a small bump on his chest proved to be only a temporary boo-boo.

Despite his wariness with people, his foster family, Erin and Matt Melcher, reported that Curly started showing his affectionate side right away, snuggling with them in the car and even giving kisses. 

And although he wasn't housebroken, from the beginning Curly made it through the night without any problems.  He also did surprisingly well on a leash and absolutely LOVED going for walks, all of which eased the housebreaking chores considerably. 

Thanks in large part to Erin and Matt's four other dogs -- Katie, Browning, Bristol, & Sylvie -- Curly also had a built-in canine family at his foster home, something that was very important given how bonded he'd been with his brothers.  They romped, played, tugged, rolled and cuddled together from the very first day.

Of course, Curly wasn't perfect:  He loved to counter surf, especially when it was time to feed the dogs.  For some reason, Curly just went nuts over dog food.  Maybe competition for food at the puppy mill had something to do with that ...  we'll never know for sure.

Still,  Curly had so many good qualities that it took only a week to find him a perfect forever family -- and the Wisniewskis were it.

Wendy & Mark Wisniewski and their young daughter, Isabel, had been waiting for a call from GRRI since March, when they'd applied and been approved for adoption. 

When they met Curly in early June, they fell for him instantly. And believe it or not, they already had an appropriately named black lab at home -- Stooge!   Curley was clearly destined for the Wisniewski family -- and no doubt worth the wait!!

We were so happy that the Wisniewskis brought Curly (and Stooge) to the GRRI Reunion so we could all see how well he's been doing. 

We'll have photos of Curly up soon!

Like Curly, Paulie was also part of a trio of very shy rescued brothers, but these guys were a bit older, clocking in at 6 1/2 months of age.  When Paulie arrived to us, he needed neutering and had a bit of an eye infection, but was otherwise in remarkably good shape for a puppy mill dog.

According to his foster Mom, Paulette Furino, Paulie adjusted readily to his foster home.  He got the hang of playing fetch and chasing balls -- all new experiences -- right away;  he took to Paulette's two dogs really well; and little by little, he was even learning to trust people. 

Only one thing about Paulie concerned Paulette:  Paulie never barked.  Then, about 5 days in, he was playing with her cat ... and out came a woof.    Whew!

Of course, Paulie did have some issues.   First of all, the poor guy had NO table manners;  he counter surfed big time.  And when he got excited about anything (and let's face it, there was lots to get excited about being in a real home for the first time in his life), he got mouthy.  But all that could be corrected with patience and consistency and training at a great forever home.

Michael and Nicole Lepore already had a 2 year old Golden named Maddie and were familiar with GRRI through a former volunteer.  So when they decided in March that it was time to add a new 4-legger to the family, they contacted us and applied to adopt.  Just a few months later, our volunteers called them about Paulie.  Their meeting went great, Maddie and Paulie were instant buddies, and the Lepore's happily took Paulie home.

We hope to have photos of Paulie soon!

A Golden Bells Update

Dora at the Reunion

Dora is looking happy as a could be, and according to her foster and forever Mom, Heather Vena, she is! 

Here's Heather's report:
loves to play.  She even plays at the dog park (which wasn't the story the first time we went).  She gets into her play stance as we walk past other dogs on the trail by my house.  She is the best walker in the household.  She has the loudest howl (yes, she howls).  

Dora isn't 100%, but what dog is?  None of mine are!  She will still have an occasional accident in the house and is petrified of loud trucks, especially the garbage truck.  Her whole body jitters and shakes every time the truck is near our house.

Dora shares the bed with my husband, myself, my two other dogs (Katie and Cali) and sometimes the two cats.  She still gives me a scratch in the face in the morning to wake me up.

She hasn't gained much weight since we got her, maybe 5 lbs.  She is definitely taller and healthier looking.  Just like many other Goldens, Dora has allergies and she is constantly licking or biting at her nipple and belly.  We're currently in the process of elimination for the allergies.

She absolutely loves to play and to chase squirrels.  Everyone that meets her falls in love with her.  She is a pretty calm dog, but loves to scratch your back or face to say hi.  She's a nut and I couldn't imagine her anywhere else but here with me.  I truly love my little "Dora the explorer," and I know she loves me!

Freedom, who was so sad and fearful when he came to us, is doing great too!  We caught up with him and his new family at the Reunion as well, and were delighted to see how he's thriving.

According to his adopters, Ann & Stewart Fellman, Freedom is making progress all the time.  He's still quite shy and can be reserved and fearful of new people. He's especially fearful of men in hats and  always cowers at the sight of them.  (Note:  This type of behavior is consistent with what we strongly suspect was a prior history of abuse.)

Thankfully, despite his past, Freedom's sweet, gentle and loving nature shines through, and as you can see below, today he's a happy, well loved dog!

Freedom and Family at the Reunion