Vol 5 No 3

Summer 2003

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

Upcoming Events

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

GRRI NEWS Archives

Letters to GRRI


Dear GRRI,

Things are going very well.  Sandy is great and healthy.  Her  last blood test came back all clear, and we have to go again in the summer for a follow up.

Sammi and Sandy play like crazy.  I think they really love each other.  We  need to take some new pictures to update you.  Sandy goes to training once a week and she is really smart and wants to please us.  We are working hard on not jumping on the counters etc.  She is so good at the "stay" command.  We are soooo lucky to have her in our life.  She is the perfect dog for us.  She loves to cuddle all the time and we have at least one cuddle session every night before bedtime and a ton on the weekends.

Thanks so much for bringing her to our lives.

Here is an updated picture of Samantha and Sandy together (Sandy is on the right). Sandy is doing very well in her new home. She has settled right in and is a wonderful addition to our family.  Both she and Samantha do agility training once a week which they both love. Sandy is a natural! She is totally healthy and her coat has returned to normal... and let me tell you,
it's beautiful!


Thank you for placing Sandy with us. We love her to death... can't even remember what life was like before...

Seth & Laurissa Berkman

Dear Seth & Laurissa, Thanks for the great update. They look like two peas in a pod!


Dear GRRI,

Thank you so much for forming this organization.   We recently had given Britney to your foster care.   It was not easy giving Britney up for adoption, but after meeting the foster parents, we were very much relieved to know they loved dogs and understood the needs of Britney.

We are very grateful you have placed Britney in a good home where she can live the rest of her years in a home suitable for her.

Kim & Chris Tryon

Dear Kim & Chris, Your note meant a lot to us.  Thank you.


Dear GRRI,

We put Remmie to sleep this week.  The cancer was spreading, he had a large exposed wound from the cancer, and any exertion took his breath away.  The oncologist veterinarian had said chemo and radiation would only give him a couple more months and that just did not seem worth the discomfort to him.  But he still loved treats and rides in the car!

We miss him badly but know it was time to let him go.

Thank you for letting us share his life.
Pat & Frank Lawyer

Dear Pat & Frank, Thanks for doing all you could for Remmie, and for making the kind decision to let him go.  We know its never any easy decision.  Our condolences on your loss.


Dear GRRI,

Just wanted to say thanks for Cody and of course Tucker.

So far the three boys are getting along fine and Maggie just stays out of the way, and keeps saying those boys are nuts.

Tucker left Cody middle Pal right

John & Barb Ready

Dear John & Barb, Thanks for the adorable photo!


Dear GRRI,

Please find our enclosed check for adopting our new Golden furbaby, Sandy!  She's the greatest...we love and adore her. I know she's feeling likewise!  The Thompson's must be fabulous foster parents because Sandy has adjusted so very well, especially toward our 8 rescued kitties!!!  She's so very eager to learn and please us ... so typical of a Golden!  Thanks for all your do, from the bottom of my heart, and Sandy's too!  

Take Care,
Nancy Read

Dear Nancy, Glad to hear you're loving Sandy. Please send us some pictures soon!


Dear GRRI,

Rusty is doing great!  He gets along wonderfully with Amber.  The two are always together.  He is sleeping thru the night without any problem.  House training is going well, he has not had an accident in 2 days.  I have attached a couple of pictures also. 

Thank you,

Dear Chris, Rusty looks very happy!


Dear GRRI,

Cody is sleeping beside me as I type this letter.  He chases rabbits and protects the house in his dreams.  We just got back from a week next to the ocean.  Cody thinks the ocean is his great big pond, so we never let him off the leash.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have Cody in our lives!  After 2 years, we are still running into funny quirks that must have prior history, but he totally trusts us now.  He so loves children!!  Babies are OK, especially if they share their food.

Cody's health is very good.  As long as I'm not too soft about giving him goodies, his weight is "perfect".  The allergies will always be with him, but he rarely needs medicene.  Hot spots are no longer a challenge - Cody loves his cone!  The hot spots occur with no obvious reason and they appear infrequently.  He loves his runs in the orchard and his walks to a rural village near us.  He'd walk all day if allowed.

Mark is able to take Cody to the church office a couple times a week.  Cody naps under the parish administrator's desk while there.  This summer, the administrator may contact GRRI for adoption info.

We hope all of you at GRRI are having a good year!

Bonnie & Mark Summer

Dear Bonnie & Mark, GRRI is having a great year, thanks to adopters like you!


Dear GRRI,

Please accept the enclosed donation in memory of Tia Swartz. She was the first Golden I'd ever met and we loved her from the day she came home with our friends, Ron and Bev. She was so warm and friendly and full of life, she was the reason I have a Golden of my own now.

Tia was one of the lucky ones, she grew up in a warm and loving family but unfortunately as she got older she developed a weak heart so recently she passed away.

I've been following your web page and newsletter. You have pulled together a lot of really wonderful people to help these Goldens in great need and I want to pass along my thanks for a job well done.

 Glen Little

Dear Glen, Thanks so much for the kind words, the lovely photo, and your generous donation!


Dear GRRI,

I am a member of Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue in South Florida, but that's not why I'm writing.  In December of 1995, we adopted a Golden female from your organization with the help of Bea Villa.  Well, we lost out sweet girl on March 10th and I have attached her story, as well as a picture. Those of you who have been involved in rescue a while will most likely remember Natalie's story.  I'm not entirely sure that I have all the early facts straight, because I was relying on second and sometime 3rd hand information.  But it doesn't matter.  Natalie was the best and I hope you have room to post this on your web site. 

She was truly one of a kind and my family and I will forever be grateful to GRRI-NJ for putting Natalie into our lives.

The Clark family
Kara, Peter and Brian and Furkids Fiona, Cooper and Maeve

A Tribute to Our Natalie

A little over 3 weeks ago, Peter and I had to make one of the most difficult decisions ever.  We decided that it was time to send our beloved Natalie to the Rainbow Bridge.  She was a trooper until the end and she touched the lives of everyone who knew her.

Life was never easy for Natalie.  She was rescued from Animal Control in Patterson, NJ at the age of 6 months.  The story we got was that her previous owner was a drug dealer who had been arrested and Natalie had been left abandoned in his yard.  Her savior was a woman named Eva Bates, a member of a Pit Bull rescue in North Jersey.  When I spoke to Eva on the phone, she said that she didn’t usually bother with Goldens in Animal Control because “everybody wants the Goldens.”  But she said that when she saw Natalie, she was in such terrible condition, she didn’t think she would survive another 24 hours.  So Eva “sprung” her and contacted the folks at Golden Re-triever Rescue, Inc. in Northern NJ.  They picked Natalie up and transported her immediately to a vet where she remained for nearly 2 months.  It was there that they determined that Natalie had some sort of neuromuscular disorder, but couldn’t pinpoint it and that she had traces of cocaine in her bloodstream!  The kennel help named her Daisy and as she got stronger, began taking turns taking her home with them at night.  Eventually, she was strong enough to be put up for adoption, although she had muscle tremors and difficulty walking.   

We had applied to several Golden rescues and were thrilled when Bea Villa, Natalie’s foster mom, called and said that she might have a dog for us.  She told us Natalie’s story and we decided immediately to take her, sight unseen.  Peter, Brian and I drove over an hour to Bea’s home on a snowy Saturday, one week before Christmas and when we saw Natalie, it was love at first sight.  She reminded us of Bambi trying to walk on the ice…so thin and wobbly.   

The rest, as they say, is history.  Natalie grew stronger and eventually was able to walk fairly well…even run and a happier pup you never saw.  She even became a certified Therapy Dog and made weekly visits to a nursing home.  Several other dogs entered our family over the years and Natalie became the undisputed matriarch of our little pack.  Then about 3 years ago, she lost the use of her hind legs for no apparent reason.  Again, none of the vets we consulted were able to pinpoint the problem.  But that didn’t stop her!  She learned to scoot around like a seal and we got her a cart for outdoor excursions. 

Toward the 2nd week in March, Natalie’s health took a sudden turn for the worse.  She became listless, lethargic and then refused to eat.  The vet’s x-rays show that she had developed a condition called mega esophagus, in which the esophagus loses muscle tone, making swallowing nearly impossible.  Ironically, it was this development that determined what her physical problems had most likely been all along.  A neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis.  All of that aside, her quality of life had diminished and there was nothing else that we or anyone else could do to change that.  So on Monday, March 10th, Natalie went peacefully to the Bridge surrounded by the people who loved her most. 

We will miss you, Nat-the-Cat.

Kara and Peter Clark  

Dear Kara, Peter & Brian, Thanks for giving this special girl the special home she needed.  Our condolences on your loss ...


Dear GRRI,

Honey passed away a week ago - Tues., March 18th at the Veterinary Referral Center in Totowa, N.J. We adopted her in November, 1998 and the unconditional love she gave us is beyond compare to anything one ever imagined. I don't know if you remember us but we were asked to write a short story and supply a picture of Honey when we adopted her and we sent you two pictures - one with my husband, Walter Smith, and one with our grandson in the snow in our backyard. Both of these were put on your website along with our adoption story. Honey was our third golden - the first adopted one.

Honey had been diagnosed with cancer this past year and unfortunately it progressed at a rapid rate.

I wanted you to know that my husband Walter passed away in Feb., 2000 with cancer and since that time Honey was at my side constantly. In fact, she was at Walter's funeral at the Vandermay Funeral Parlor. To this day everyone is amazed at how wonderful Honey was. Honey also visited many nursing and rehab centers bring smiles to all she came in contact with. She was also a favorite at my grandaughter's grade school - Packanack Elementary School and I still receive inquiries as to where she might be.

It is very difficult to lose someone who has become part of your family and she was as dear as a child if not more so to us. I wanted you to know that the Veterinary Referral Center (an animal hospital) had called to ask permission to use Honey's picture on their web site one week before she passed away. The way they had gotten a picture of Honey was in 2001 Honey was there as an outpatient for a stomach ailment which they cured - she didn't have to stay overnight. Anyway, I thought you might like to get a look at Honey with her doctor on their web site. Honey is holding her favorite white teddy bear. Their web site is:

I would appreciate hearing from you when you have a minute. Thanks for making our lives richer through adopting Honey.

Marge Smith

Dear Marge, Honey was a very lucky dog to be so loved by your family.  Our condolences on your loss.


Dear GRRI,

Lady is a wonderful Golden and companion.  She has no bad habits and has adapted very well to our country home.  We are both retired so she is with us all the time.

We have enjoyed learning her likes and dislikes this past year and a half.  She loves riding in the car and goes with us everywhere.  Lady doesn't play with toys but loves her tennis balls.  We also discovered she likes to chew on ice cubes and rocks.

One funny story to tell is that she used to run to the back door when she heard a doorbell ring on the tv.  We don't have a doorbell but now she knows to run if she hears a knock at our door.

I would tell anyone thinking about adopting a Golden to consider a senior Golden.  It has been a very positive experience for us.

We are very grateful that GRRI and Maureen Heitman (Lady's foster mom) chose us to enjoy Lady's senior years.

Jim & Lois Wiggins

Dear Jim & Lois, Those of us who've brought those white faces into our homes and hearts agree -- there's nothing quite as wonderful as adopting a senior!  Hugs to Lady!


Dear GRRI,

I just wanted to thank your wonderful organization for the recent adoption of our family pet Arlo.  Arlo had been a part of our family for almost five years and due to special circumstances we had to give him up. It was a very difficult decision for our family and your organization made it much easier.  Knowing that he went to a wonderful family eased our minds a great deal. All of the people that we dealt with at GRRI were great especially Kathy O'Connell and Avery Fenro (please excuse the spelling). We really appreciate the time that you put in and the careful screening that you do!

We sincerely hope that Arlo is doing well in his new home and please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Thanks again,
Patty Ford & Family

Dear Patty, Thanks so much for your nice note. We're glad we could help.


Dear GRRI,

More pictures... Cody (Buddy) has the blue collar. Took him for a follow up visit to the vet today. He lost 5 pounds! Casey lost weight, too. Cody is a joy. He and Casey spend a lot of time in the backyard and on the front porch as you can see in the pictures. They are having a blast! I am so glad that this has worked out so well. The children actually taught Cody how to get up the stairs to the second floor so he is rarely alone.


Thank you so much for such a great match.

Jeanne Cappiello

Dear Jeanne, We're so happy to hear how well things are going!


Dear GRRI,

We thought you might like to know how Gordon is. He is wonderful.  After an initial few days of uncertainty from our other 2 dogs (Tasha, our lab and Abbie, our beagle) they are now getting along fabulously!

Tasha and Gordon are now inseparable and spend literally hours a day playing with one another.  He has put on some weight - probably about 20  or so pounds and is really athletic looking, far from his skinny appearance initially.

Gordie's such a sweet, loving dog and much more laid back and relaxed than what we had thought he would be.  He follows us around the house at times, and then is more than content to sit out on the screen porch looking around.  He is very curious and loves to sit and watch things, people, etc.  He loves to play and wants to be the center of attention - we are teaching him that he cannot always be that, however. 

We are truly fortunate to have him in our lives.

We have attached a couple of pics. They are a little dark but we'll be sending more. We've got to get one of all 3 of them lying on top of one another - it's really cute. You are doing wonderful work. Keep it up as these animals really need people like you.

Take care for now,
Ian & Charmine Ochshorn

Dear Ian & Charmaine, Looks like Gordie's made himself right at home!


Dear GRRI,

Hopefully the attached picture comes thru ok.  It was taken at work by one of  my employees.  Lucy must now have a collection of about 12 tennis balls between work and home.   It's now been two weeks and I think Lucy is pretty happy here.  We still  haven't taken her off her leash - but she seems pretty comfortable.  She  has  complete run of the house now.  I'm not too worried about her  chewing anything.  She had her first visit to the vet and they love her.  She's very healthy  other than her allergies.    The still seem to be flaring up.  The vet gave her  some pills - but they really don't seem to be helping.  So I think we are going to start changing her food to see what happens.  But she seems very happy and it's like she's always been here.  She's been to  a couple of Sarah's lacrosse games and her team loves her.  She's definitely  a popular dog.

Well I hope you are enjoying you holiday weekend and we'll keep you posted.

Gayle & Larry Musser

Dear Gayle & Larry, Lucky for Lucy! A golden can NEVER have too many tennis balls!


Dear GRRI,

My name is Cassandra Edler but you can call me Cassie.  I live in Island Heights, NJ and have a big yard to run in (and lots of squirrels to chase!)  My folks are Betty and Art Edler and they love me -- and I love them.  I try to be a good dog but I goof up sometimes -- and get nice treats as a reward!  They have a funny doggie door for me to use to go in and out.  BUT it whacked me in the rear end, so at the moment, I won't use it!  I have a feeling they'll coax me to do it any day now!

I've already gone on a trip to NH to see their son and met his dog, a funny little Yorkie Poo.  He kept running underneath me!  But we had such a good time he even gave me a neat green ball with a bell inside.

I've only lived with the Edler's since the 18th of March but this is where I'm going to stay.  They're having a 5th birthday party for me on August 12th -- come on over if you can.

I'm enclosing a picture they took of me and thought this way you'd know me if we happened to meet.

May you have as many Golden Moments as you've made possible for US!!!

Cassie & Betty & Art Edler

Dear Cassie (and Betty & Art, too), Sounds like you've found a great new home.  Hope you give that doggie door another try!


Dear GRRI,

As you can tell, Brodie is NOT SPOILED at all.  Here he relaxes on the couch with Simba. 

He and Simba are the best of friends.  At nighttime, Brodie and Simba sleep on our bed, on my side of course, at my feet.  Every morning I wake up sandwiched between my husband and Brodie.  Brodie is a loving and affectionate dog and we love him tremendously.  I am positive that he has kept our other Golden, Casey, young at heart.  Case is 12 years old and both our other Goldens had died at 10 years old from Cancer.

Thanks!  Lisa & Walter Ferenc

PS  We also have 4 horses and 5 goats.  Brodie has a special relationship with our young 2 year old paint horse, Dakota.  Brodie runs up to the fence to Dakota and they go nose to nose.  Dakota is presently at our friends barn being trained, and Brodie does miss him!

Dear Lisa & Walter, Just what we love to see -- another NOT spoiled GRRI Golden!


Dear GRRI,

We can't believe its been a year that we have our Zoe.  She has settled into our family very well.  She and our Sheltie, Atom, are good friends and co-workers.  They share the job of sentinel at our front door; as well as sharing a good game of hide and seek, except Zoe is not so sure she should find Daddy or just chase Atom.  She's still not so fond of baths as she is one of the few Goldens who doesn't like water but Atom is trying to show her how much fun it is to help wash the cars.  Zoe and Atom will often release energy in a game of wrestling after which they kiss!  Zoe loves a good almost daily long walk and she remembers dog friendly house after only one meeting.  But I'm still trying to explain to her that just because someone says hello, does not necessarily mean he or she wants a hug around the neck.

Zoe has gotten very good on car rides and appreciates errands, but prefers car rides with a real destination: the Jersey shore or our friends' country house in Pennsylvania at the top of the list.  She had lots of fun this past winter playing in a total of 49" of snow, and has learned to slow down if Mom is trying to navigate icy patches ... most of the time.

Zoe is very loving and very enthusiastic about life, but when she's tired she sleeps deeply and will sometimes excuse herself from company if it gets too late.

Even our cats are getting used to her enthusiasm.  Chessie will stand his ground and it seems Zoe doesn't know what to do.  She snorts and rubs her nose and acts silly; Anastasia finds that just ignoring her sometimes works.

All in all, our Zoe is finding her niche in our family and has brought her own love and fun loving personality as a contribution.  We consider ourselves lucky to have her as a member of our family.

Enclosed is your follow up form and a picture of Zoe playing soccer while Atom guards the front door.

Laura & Walt Maraldo

Dear Laura & Walt, We guess soccer balls don't last too long around your house!


Dear GRRI,

We just want to thank you with this special card for finding Astro such a good home.  It really means alot to me and Nicole my daughter.  Keep up the good work and may God bless you and the GRRI-NJ.  

Dwayne &  Nicole

Dear Dwayne & Nicole, It isn't very often that we get notes like yours, though recently we've gotten several.  They really mean so much to us.  Thank you!


Dear GRRI,

Kobe, or "B" as he is known, continues to be a constant source of joy and laughter in our lives.  He is such a typical goofy golden.  His tail is always wagging, even when he's pretending to be asleep.  He smiles and talks, but rarely barks, even when the other dogs do.

Kobe loves to swim in our pool, and stays in the water as long as someone else is swimming, sometimes all day!  He climbs up on a raft and takes a nap when he gets tired.  His favorite game is "Toypedo," catching a rubber torpedo that travels underwater in the pool.  This summer, he taught himself how to dive in order to retriever it off the bottom.  He can stay underwater for 15 seconds at a time!  Needless to say, we have gotten used to the smell of wet dog in this house.

Kobe also loves to ride in the car.  He is able to jump into the back of our Suburban (an amazing feat for a dog who was once paralyzed!) but we've so far been unable to find any kind of barrier that will keep him off the driver's lap.  Why can't he just stick his head out the window like a normal dog?  He also loves to go for walks and pulls my son Mike on his skateboard around our neighborhood.

His favorite past time is tearing apart every toy we buy for him in less than one minute.  Then, he carries the white stuffing around in his mouth for days.  He's more of a golden receiver than retriever; he will gladly chase anything you throw, but doesn't like to give it back until it is covered with dog saliva and dirt.  His favorite treat is pig ears, or "puppy crack" as we refer to it in our house.  Grapes, carrots and ice cubes, as well as anything else edible left on the kitchen counter are also favorite snacks.

At night, Kobe sleep in a twin sized bed with my 6 foot 4 inch son, Tom.  In the morning, he waits in bed until Tom has finished showering and getting dressed, the carries the dirty clothes (he especially likes teenage-boy dirty socks) downstairs to the laundry room before he goes outside.  His favorite place to nap during the day is half in the kitchen, halfway outside on the patio.

The enclosed picture is with his GR sister, Kona (on right).

Tracy Arthur
GRRI Volunteer and Adopting Mom

Dear Tracy, Kobe sounds like quite a character!


Dear GRRI,

I would first like to thank you for all your hard work.  It really pays off.  Now I would like to thank you for letting us adopt Toby.  We adopted her in December 2002 and have had her for 6 months.  She is a charm!  We love her with all our hearts!

For the first few months she kept mostly to herself, only acting affectionately when we approached her.  But she has always (from day one) loved her brother, Casey.  They had a few disagreements at first.  Casey had to let her know who was the boss and Toby stood her ground.  They quickly resolved their problems and are now very attached.  (And by the way, Toby is now the boss!)

Gradually she came around and is now very attached to us humans.  I know that she was alone a lot in her first home and mostly caged, so we attributed her aloofness to her past circumstances.

Since then we got rid of the cage (she hated it) and she has full run of the house with Casey all the time.  She has never destroyed anything in the house when we are at work, nor has she ever had an accident.  She is very well trained but sometimes gets confused due to our ignorance about what commands she knows.  Sometimes we try a few different words and when she hears one that she knows she immediately responds.  Except when she is digging and we say "Toby Come!"

She has a fenced in backyard and we spend quite a bit of time out there.  She loves to be outside.  She goes for a 2 mile walk every night and is always welcome at Grammy's to run in her large fenced in yard.  This summer we are going swimming in Grammy's pool.  I don't know if she ever went swimming before but I'm sure it is going to be a treat for her.  Her brother swims very well, hopefully he will teach her! 

When she came to us she was overweight and a food hound.  We put her on a natural dog food and with this and all the exercise she gets the weight came right off!  Her vet is very proud of her!  She still is a food hound, though, and if we keep food too close to the end of the counter she will help herself if we walk out of the room.

She has her own bed right next to Casey's, but her favorite place to sleep is on the couch or recliner


She is such a sweetie and knows just what expression she needs to use to con Mom to come on our bed (she knows this doesn't work with Dad).  She loves to cuddle and give kisses and that's just fine with us!  She even kisses her brother!  And now Casey gives more kisses too!

Her tail is always wagging and she has a great disposition.  One thing we had to do though is put away all the soft squishy toys because she became very protective of them and would snap at her brother if he even walked near them.  She would let us touch them and take them from her but not Casey's.  All the other toys they play with together and their favorite is Tug of War.  Enclosed are some pictures of her and her brother, her laying on our bed while I am getting reedy for work and one in her new bed.  She is truly part of our family and will be with us for the rest of her life!

Joann & Kevin Rew
PS Hope our small donation helps!

Dear Joanne & Kevin, We see she likes to snooze in your bed too (smart dog!)  Thanks very much for the photos AND for your donation


Dear GRRI,

I am sorry to write and let you know that our wonderful golden, Max (first known as "Kelly"), adopted from you guys in Nov. 2000, has gone to the rainbow bridge last night on June 15, 2003. Age was catching up with him, being a senior golden, and he began to have liver problems as well as  a host of other ones that crept up quite suddenly, but not unexpectedly given his age.

He was in no pain, and went very, very peacefully.

Max came to live with us in November 2000, after being rescued by your group and volunteer Eileen McFadden. He had been tied up to a pole outside a New York trash dump, and turned into a shelter, where Eileen rescued him.

He brought us much joy and happiness, and we'll be forever grateful for the three years we had with him. He came so far in three years, and was full of love even though he had a bad past before we got him. We knew, adopting a senior golden, that each day was a blessing, and we had many many days filled with love, happiness, and a wonderful life!

Thank you for everything!
Brandii & Rob Lacey

Dear Brandii & Rob, Thanks for giving this sweet senior some wonderful golden years.  Those white faces are real treasures.  Our condolences on your loss.


Dear GRRI,

It has been wonderful having Sophie and we celebrated the 4th of July in style!!! They are a wonderful pair and we do enjoy her.  Sophie likes to eat carpeting and chew on furniture so we have had to make some  adjustments ...  but her first love is the frisbee and we are getting lots of muscles because she  never stops bringing it back for another throw!! 

Thanks to you for making our family so complete.. We will see you at the parade in September.

Robin & Herman Sklarin

Dear Robin & Herman, Glad to see what a festive holiday you had with Sophie and your white face, Max!