Vol 11 No 3


Summer 2009

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Features in this Issue:

I Went On Vacation!

Thank You

Recent Adoptions

Fond Farewells

Letters to GRRI-NJ

GRRI NEWS Archives

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Tales of Gold

Letters to GRRI-NJ

Hi, Eileen (GRRI adoption coordinator),  

Solo had his 11th birthday on Monday and, in his honor, I would like to send a donation in honor of his wonderful foster mother, Judy Lilien.  Although I know you will use it wisely no matter what, I’d be especially pleased if you could use it for medical costs for rescues since GRRI was so generous about taking care of Solo’s medical needs when he was brought in.

Solo is a charming boy, and our life would not be complete without him.  I adore him and his goofy, lopsided smile (his tongue hangs out to the side since the growth in his gum was removed last spring, along with his lower canine and an additional tooth or two).


Thank you so much for your generous donation, Cheryl. We will indeed put it to very good use.  As I told you, we had an emergency intake of a sweet 2-year-old that we had adopted to a couple last year.  Your donation in honor of Judy was used towards Susie’s medical bill.  Judy was also notified of your donation.

Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),

She stood up!
Sounds kinda funny that "she stood up" is the highlight of our day but you, knowing Spice, can understand our excitement that "She stood up!"
So woo hoo...I did bribe her though.  She hasn't a little warm burger meat ....mmmmm.... and then another bite a few feet away and "Look!  She has legs!"
She is sweet, sweet, sweet.  She follows us with her eyes.  I think she thinks we'll just continue to lie on the floor with her all day, every day forever and ever.
Luke thought of a sweet name for her...Jersey…as in “Jersey Girl”.  She's not in Pennsylvania (or wherever) anymore. She's in Jersey and she's home!  We'll try that and see if she likes it.
Obviously, she misses you and Jack. : ( Hopefully she'll show us her legs again soon.
Talk to you soon Judy,
Nancy and Matt and Luke and Nick and "Spice-AKA: Sweet-Jersey-Girl"

Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),

I've attached a few photos of us playing ball this afternoon.

We were exhausted!  I'd throw the ball, Nick would bring it back, Belle would watch.
Hmmmmm, looks like fun.
I'd throw the ball, Matt would go fetch it, Belle would watch.
Hmmmm, he runs fast for an old guy!

Matt would throw the ball, I'd retrieve it, Belle would watch.
Wow, she's not bad at fetching herself.

Phew...we wore ourselves out. LOL.  As you can see, Belle had a lovely time relaxing in the sun!
Nancy, Matt, Luke and Nick and our boss, Belle


Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),

SHE WALKS!  And...she walks and wags IN THE HOUSE! LOL
When I came home for lunch today - she followed me right into the kitchen when I said "Do you want to go out?" Awwwwwwwwww  She is still nervous, but came to the door, I put her leash on and out we went. She did it two other times since then! She has her indoor legs!

I sat in front of her bed a little while her a massage. Every time I stopped she crept closer and closer and before long she was in my lap. Literally, in my lap. It was funny and sweet.

Tonight she saw a tennis ball outside and P O U N C E ! ! !
I'll start teaching her to sit soon; she has no clue how to sit. When I tell her to sit she looks at me like I'm nuts.  A puppy in a big dog body.
She's wonderful and we all love her to pieces.

Oh, my vet called my cell phone today out of the blue. He said "Congratulations! When do I get to meet her?" He's a great guy and was really excited for us and Belle and he can't wait to meet her. As soon as she is more confident I will bring her in for a well visit. He has a rescue Great Dane who he brings to work every day.
I asked him about the Natural Balance food and he said he has no objections and in fact, has many people who prefer it and use it. Well, the people don't prefer it - their pets do. LOL
I'll talk to you later.
Hugs to you and Jack and the gang. 

The Belle Brigade

We got quite a chuckle out of reading these updates, Nancy.  Guess she didn’t like Jersey Girl since you’re now calling her Belle. It sounds like she’s the “belle of the ball” in your house.  We just love the pictures. You all clearly love her, what a difference from the puppy mill farm she came from.

Hi Terry (GRRI foster mom),

How are you?  Have you taken on another foster Golden?

We're doing very well here and Becky is blending in so nicely!  She's acquired a number of nicknames already, HER favorite being "Thumper" (because her tail wags so hard against doors, walls, furniture, legs...)!!! 

She’s become such an affectionate girl...she loves to snuggle.  She plays so well with Sophie and Bear, though Bear plays longer with her because she's younger.  She copies a lot of the things that Bear does, too, which can be quite comical because Bear is our constant comedian.  Becky is still scared of the dark (outside) but realizes that the faster she pees, the faster she can go back inside. I'm always right there with her talking to her with my calmest voice - I hope it helps her.  She still spooks easily but is beginning to realize that it's just silly sometimes.  For example, earlier today I dropped a chip clip on the kitchen floor.  It rattled when it hit, which sent "Spooky" (another endearment!) skittering off.  Three seconds later, she turned back to investigate, stole the chip clip off the floor and made off for the bed (which turns into a big playpen each morning with at least a dozen toys, balls and bones on top of the comforter, thanks to Becky)!  She's quite the character.  If Bear has her "sillies" (rolling on her back and growling), Becky occasionally has to have her "sillies" now too!  She did try to become the Alpha dog over Bear (via humping) but Bear put her in her place with a snarl and let her know that that wasn't about to happen.  Poor Sophie has always been the submissive, but she knows and accepts it. 

We'll be stating to go up to our trailer in the Catskills for weekends in less than a month so that'll be a new and interesting experience for Becky...I'm sure she'll do well.  It seems that if she sees that Sophie and Bear are "cool with it" (whatever the situation may be) then it must be okay!  Now that the warmer weather is allowing for longer times outside, we'll be taking more photos - I'll send you some within the next few weeks.  We'll be dropping you a line soon again and I'm sorry it's been so long since the last. 

We're so happy that Becky's showing such a happy, playful, affectionate and relaxed side - she can finally be the puppy she probably wasn't allowed to be because I'm sure that her breeding began with her first heat and didn't let up for, what, 4 years...litter after litter.   We're so lucky to have 3 very happy fur kids - our babies!!! 

Love and hugs,

Lisa and Bill, Sophie, Becky and Bear  :)

Thanks for such a wonderful update, Lisa.  We agree, Becky probably didn’t have a “puppy hood” at all. She’s come such a long way, starting with Terry, and now continuing with you and Bill.  This is what rescue is all about.

Hi Jody (GRRI foster mom),

Thanks for your email, and it is good to hear from you.

Maggie is doing great, thanks, and is still as happy and playful as ever. Corey and I think this is due, in large part, to all of the love you guys gave her during her time of transition, and we will never forget how much you helped her. I have attached a couple of photos of her in 'her' chair.

She really enjoys her walks and especially the weekend excursions to Jockey Hollow NP or Loantaka Brook Reservation. She loves splashing in the streams, and a couple of times she almost pulled one of us into the water with her!  And she likes meeting other dogs. This is a good change for her, since she used to be very protective and defensive when she would see another dog coming toward us or across the street. But tomorrow is the big test, as she begins her training course at St Hubert’s, and she will have 7 other doggie classmates every Monday night for the next 8 weeks!

In January she had her first vet exam with Dr. Hirshenson who pronounced her in excellent health. Of course, his staff immediately fell in love with her!

Jody, if you guys are ever going to be in our area, please let us know, and definitely come by for a visit - besides, we still owe you dinner!

All the best to you and Anthony,

Lucille, Corey, and Maggie

PS: When we checked the GRRI website to see our photo, we were amazed to see the picture of Gerry and Lisa Heilmann right below ours - we have known them for 20 years, what a coincidence!

Maggie Dwyer

Maggie looks wonderful…what a happy girl!  This is such a great update!

Hello Shayne and GRRI volunteers,

Attached are some pictures of Marco, our GRRI Golden adopted in November 2005. We wanted to let you know that he is doing very well, and he continues to be a much loved member of our family. Marco is 11 now, and he recently started having some difficulty getting up from lying down and he seemed a little stiff when walking. Our vet examined Marco and took some x-rays. The vet says that Marco has spinal arthritis. He takes medication for that twice a day now, and he's feeling much better and moving more easily. He still loves his walks, and comes on occasional weekend trips with us in our camper. He is always a favorite of folks at the campground.

The first picture shows Marco with his toy duck that he got for Christmas. In the other picture, Marco is enjoying a nap on the sofa with his "sister" Shannon. We long ago abandoned efforts to keep them off the sofa, which is navy blue and shows every hair. The next sofa we get will be a nice shade of golden retriever.

Thank you again for rescuing Marco from the shelter, and for choosing us to be his family.


Donna Brower

Marco Brower Marco Brower

Thank you so much for the photos.  We’re sorry to hear he’s developing arthritis.  Are you giving him Glucosamine and Chondroitin?

Dear Fellow Golden Lovers,


It is with incredible sadness that we regret to inform you that a member of our family has left us.  Madison (tag #02-022) developed a hemangiosarcoma in her spleen with metastasis to her other viscera.  Sadly, since this showed no symptoms until she became lethargic because of the bleeding into her abdominal cavity we were unable to act in time to save her.  


Of course everyone thinks that their dog is the greatest (and probably more so with Goldie owners).  We just need to convey to you what a special gift she was and how she enriched our lives for the too short six plus years she was our companion, friend and a cherished member of our family.  In all our decades of owning many dogs, including other Goldies, it was never our good fortune to have such a loving creature grace our lives.


Sincerely, with heavy hearts,


William Campbell Hunter, Jr., D. MH.


We’re so sorry to hear of Madison’s passing.  Thank you for notifying us.  Our sincere condolences to you and to Linda.

Hi Shayne (GRRI volunteer),

We were down at our shore condo over the weekend again.  Liberty had a great time on the beach.  He also had a nice nap afterwards!


Liberty Kennedy

Lucky Liberty to be enjoying the beach already!

Hi Eileen (GRRI adoption coordinator),

Can you tell I love taking pictures? I thought this was a cute picture of Glenda checking out the Easter eggs that the girls colored.  For some odd reason lately she has been climbing up on the kitchen table.  We love her anyway.  Happy Spring- Hope all is well.


Cindy & Glenda Adams

Glenda Adams

Cindy, thanks so much for sending such wonderful pictures.  This is my absolute favorite!  Glenda is quite a character.


Hi, I just made a donation to GRRI’s memorial site in Lady's name.  We adopted Lady in March 2001.  She was 3 at the time. GRRI matched us up with the most perfect dog that walked the face of this planet.

Unfortunately we lost Lady to lung cancer last November 2008.  She would have been 11 Feb.1, 2009.

As I write this email to you I am crying thinking about how much I miss her.  She was my best friend and is irreplaceable.  Lady was my shadow.  There wasn’t anywhere I went without Lady by my side.  She followed me around the house.  We would take car rides together, walk to the school bus stop to pick up the kids together or just sit on the front porch in the morning sun together.  I feel like I have lost my soul mate.  She was an amazing dog.  I really tried to keep up with her health knowing that Goldens get cancer but the damn cancer was so progressive and quick that when I found out about it, it was too late.  She was gone within two months of the diagnosis.  I am attaching pictures of our Lady.  I have to thank GRRI for giving us the most amazing dog that we could have ever asked for and thank you for all the years of love we received from her.  I would love to adopt another Golden from GRRI but I am terrified of falling in love with another Golden only to lose it to cancer.  Again, Lady is irreplaceable and I am still hurting from her loss.  It is difficult for me to come home and not have her there waiting at the door for me.  Sometimes I open the door still expecting her to be there.  My only solace is that I know she is with me now everywhere I go.  I know that when I am in the supermarket, of course she couldn’t go there with me, that she is actually with me in spirit.
Again, thank you for the many years of joy she gave us.

Dawna Diamante

Lady Diamante

Dawna, we’re so sorry to hear of Lady’s passing.  Losing a beloved companion can leave such a large void in our lives. When you’re ready, we’d be happy to find a new Golden for you to love and pamper.

Good morning.

I just finished reading your newsletter, especially the story regarding Susie, and had to write. What a sad and heartbreaking story it started out as but most definitely a wonderful and most joyous ending. Best wishes to the family that has adopted Susie. I'm sure Susie will have a great life with all the love, attention and fun. In return she will give you the best of herself – kisses, companionship, laughs and cuddle time.  As I read this story I thought to myself that GRRI-NJ is by far the best rescue group I have ever heard of. Your volunteers are #1 in our eyes and hearts. This group goes above and beyond in their rescuing. We have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of your fellow volunteers at the reunions we've attended. Applause, applause to them as well as a big thank you to the forever families that have adopted. Again the adoptions could not take place if not for the volunteers in your organization.  Thank you for being there to rescue the Goldens that need help. I don't want to even think of where they would be without your help.

We have adopted two from GRRI-NJ and are so thankful that we were able to have them in our lives. Lacey, our senior, was our pride and joy. She was our princess. She gave us so much love, we could only spoil her to make sure her last years were the best. Lacey knew she was loved. She's gone 3 years but her picture is still on the wall. Tyler (Ty) was adopted 3 years ago this July from GRRI. He is now 6-1/2 but still acts like a puppy. He is just so happy, especially running around the backyard with his brother Toby. They are inseparable as shown in the pictures enclosed. (Toby on the left. Tyler on the right).  It's like Tyler has been with us forever. I can't put into words the love we have for him. I was away for a week, while John stayed home to take care of Toby & Tyler. When I walked in the door Tyler got to me first and I was given the best kiss he has ever given. He is definitely a momma's boy. Toby was adopted (private adoption) at 7 months old. He is now 5-1/2 years old. He's daddy's boy. Each day life is so much better having both Toby and Tyler in our lives. I tell everyone when they hear we have 2 Goldens, "Life is good with a Golden, it's even better with two and we wouldn't have it any other way."

Enclosed is a check for Susie's Medical Fund or wherever it may be needed. From our hearts we thank you and all that you do.

Best regards,

John, Chris, Toby & Tyler Meyer

Toby & Tyler Meyer

Chris, thank you so much for your donation and your kind words.  We’re very proud of the volunteers in our group and we’re thankful that we are able to help dogs like Susie because of our generous supporters like you.  Susie is doing well; her physical wounds are healed and we’re working on her emotional ones. It will take some time but she’s going to be just fine.  She won’t be “ready” to attend the reunion in September but hopefully next year you’ll be able to meet her.

Hi Friends at GRRI,

I just received the latest newsletter, which I always love reading.  It made me realize that I have not sent you a picture of Daisy in a very long time!  We adopted her in August, 2000.  Although we will never really know her true age, we just celebrated her 10th birthday on March 15.  Daisy is an incredible dog.  She has been very busy these past 6 years helping our family raise Seeing Eye puppies.  We currently have our 5th puppy that will probably be leaving us in September to begin his formal harness training.  Each time a puppy comes in the house, Daisy looks at me as if to say "and he's staying for how long?"  We also have a 4 year old Yellow Lab, so Daisy has her choice of who to play with, or not.  She and I are a certified Therapy team as of June, 2008.  We visit a local nursing home monthly.

Attached is a picture taken summer of 2008.  Although our Labs will not stay out of the water, my lady Daisy will get her feet and head wet but not swim!  It doesn't matter; she loves to run around the pool!

Everyday I am so grateful to have Daisy.  Thank you for helping us find this wonderful sweet dog.

Peggy & Steve Grow
Morristown, NJ

Daisy Grow

Thanks for the update and pictures, Peggy!

Amy Jo (GRRI foster mom),

I wanted to send you some pictures.  Clancy is in "hog" heaven; "everything is right with the world".  He now plays ball (but doesn't give the ball back to you yet).  As you will see on the pictures he has toys also.  He loves his frog.  After our walk to do his business, I let him loose and he runs to the house, turns around and then when I call him back he runs back and sits at my feet.  He's a good boy.  He wakes me up some mornings by staring at me, and when I move he jumps on the bed to tell me to get up.  This morning I didn't get up so he lay down beside me, then an hour later he stood up in the bed and stared me awake. (5:30-6:30am)

Clancy Miller

What a character he is.  We can just picture him laying there staring at you!

Dear GRRI,

I recently was found to be in a position to use the services of the "Golden Retriever Rescue" organization.  I would like to take this time to tell you what a complete pleasure it was to deal with the people who volunteer their services to this organization.

The trauma of losing my job over a year ago and being forced to sell my home and move in with relatives where I would not be able to bring my 4-1/2-year-old Golden Retriever "Sassy" was softened by the rescue service.  I had contemplated trying to find a home for her on my own and through friends but heard about the Golden Retriever Rescue and went on line to find out what was involved.

Within 24 hours I received a phone call from Pat DeSarno who interviewed me extensively about the circumstances that led me to my decision to use their services.  I was asked every possible question about my dog from temperament to health and habits including any past health issues and how she lived with me in my home.  Then I filled out a contract which also covered many of the same questions in the phone interview.

I then sent all of the records I had for Sassy and also sent all of the records from the Vet that treated her from the time I purchased her to date.  Within a week, two volunteers came to my home to evaluate Sassy and spent time to get a feel for her along with another Retriever to see how she would relate to other dogs.  They took Sassy with them that day to a "foster" home where she will live with a family and other dogs until the appropriate home can be found for her.

I must write to say that my mood went from feeling a painful surrender of my beloved pet to being secure and actually happy to see that she will be going to a situation that will make her extremely loved, wanted and happy to be with a family that will love and enjoy her as much as I have for the past 4 years.

I can not praise this organization or its volunteers enough.  The service that they provide is immeasurable and I hope some day in the future to contribute to their cause, either by volunteering myself or donating in any way possible to the organization.  There is such a need for the service that they perform, especially during these economic times that the country is going through.  If this service was not available, what would happen to many other dogs that people love dearly but can no longer care for?

I thank everyone involved once again.

Owner’s name withheld for privacy reasons

Thank you so much for your letter.  Rest assured that Sassy is in a wonderful home and is a cherished member of her new family.

Dear GRRI,

I turned 14 last week, and my mom's birthday was the week before. (She's younger than me in your years!)  We decided, instead of buying ourselves gifts this year, to send this small gift to you. Mom says that every day we both wake up is a great gift anyway. And the truth is I can get mom to give me anything I want anyway.  At least that's one thing that gets easier with age.  And I am still a puppy in my heart.

Love and doggie kisses,


Sydney Ianarelli

Hi Sydney, Happy Birthday to you and to your mom.  Thank you so much for your donation.  May you have many more happy years together.

Dear Anne (GRRI foster mom) and all our friends at GRRI,

Thought you would like to hear how Rusty is settling in.  It has been three months since we picked him up from Anne and we feel like we have had him forever.  As you can see he has made himself right at home and is quite comfortable.  He loves his walks and always carries his leash with him.  The cat is finally getting used to having this huge dog looking down at her!  And he is so good with our 96-year-old mom. Rusty sits with her with such patience and love.  Rusty and I are attending obedience class just so he can brush up on his commands.  He is, of course, at the head of the class.  Thank you so much for bringing us together.  


Rusty Croft

Way to go Rusty…make us all proud at GRRI. We love hearing that our Goldens are at the top of their class!


This letter is quite overdue!  In the late fall of 2008 my husband and I decided we should add another golden to our family.  At that time we had one very sweet (very spoiled) 3-1/2-year-old Sadie Mae whom had been a member of our family since the age of about 8 weeks. 

Not quite knowing what to expect or how long the process would take, we completed an application and proceeded forward with the phone interview, house visit, etc.  Not long after our house visit by Lynda did we receive a call regarding 9-month-old Emma.  Since I work from home and we have no small children to worry about, we decided to take a chance on this “mouthy” girl and our adoption was granted on December 12, 2008. 

It was a bit of a challenge at first introducing a new dog, being overly protective of Sadie May, never having been around a mouthy dog, etc. However, with Lynda’s guidance on a daily basis (which turned into weekly training), we have been able to work with Emma who is now rarely mouthy and very responsive when corrected.  She and Sadie May have become best buds.  We look forward to enrolling both Emma and Sadie May in a CGC class this fall.

Emma is so smart, a stitch to watch in play, rides great in the car, looks forward to our daily walks, and loves our trips to Maine.  Ironically she is not a big fan of water and/or the pool.

We express our sincerest thanks to Lynda - she is AWESOME!  GRRI-NJ is very fortunate to have her as a volunteer and thank you, GRRI-NJ, for taking in Goldens like Emma who needed a chance to learn to be a Golden and find their forever homes.  I have attached a few pictures.


Celeste, Joe, Sadie May & Emma Tamburello

Emma & Sadie Tamburello

Thanks for the update, Celeste.  We agree - Lynda is awesome.  Unfortunately she is no longer volunteering with us but we know that she’s still helping other dogs in need with the Castle of Dreams rescue.

Hi Shayne (GRRI volunteer),

It's been 3 months now since we adopted Carter.  It was a rough start.  This boy had no training and seemed immune to many commands and types of training. He learned quickly that the counters were no place for him, and the basics: sit, down, stay…but the mouthing continued. He was a puppy in an 80-lb body!

It was frustrating, since we have experience with many types of dogs, and this guy just didn’t seem to get it.  We found some dog behaviorists from Red Bank who really turned things around for us. 

Urban Dawgs has been amazingly helpful in turning Carter into an upstanding member of our forever family.  He now even goes to Doggie Day Care twice a week to socialize with other dogs, and to help exhaust that endless puppy energy.

So, I’ve attached a few pictures of Mr. Carter.  One is from May 14th, his 1st birthday.  This boy poses willingly, but always looks put out when I dress him for the holiday!  There is also one of him on my oldest son’s bed…Carter spends as much time as possible with my oldest. 

Carter has finally learned to respect my youngest son, even though he’s much smaller.  Carter took most of his nipping/mouthing out on my youngest, and I’m so blessed that Urban Dawgs was able to show us a different, gentler way to correct that behavior.  The mouthing has finally disappeared. 

Carter is a very smart boy, undoubtedly a bit hand shy when we adopted him.  Now he has no aversion to hands, and takes as much petting as we can give him!  I'll be sure to send a photo of Carter and the entire family, since I understand that Lynda's camera failed when she took it of us, back in February.  We'll keep in touch!

Thank you, GRRI-NJ, 

Ginny Sisolak

Carter Sisolak

Hi Ginny, Carter was probably the most challenging dog we’ve taken into rescue in a long time.  Just trying to get his sutures to remain in place after his neutering took 3 trips to the vet and finally, boarding for a week ‘til he was healed enough that if he did pull them out – again – he wouldn’t require additional surgery.  We’re thrilled that you stuck with it and worked with him. He was definitely a diamond in the rough.

Hi Shayne! (GRRI volunteer)

I just want you and everyone involved to know that Ginger is settling in beautifully.  We are so glad that we waited and took another look at her.  She is so sweet and so beautiful.  She and Pinot are doing fine together. I think Pinot is still wondering why we had to get another dog, but Ginger howls if left alone and Pinot comes to get me every time so I can reassure Ginger we are still here. She is a welcome addition to our family.  She has met a number of the grandchildren and is very gentle.  I took her to the vet today, just so they could meet her and get to know her and her issues.  The vet was amazed at how quickly and well she has bonded to me.  She's a smart dog and knows a good thing.

Thank you to you and all of the members who do so much for these wonderful dogs. 



Roni, THANK YOU and Vince for adopting another special needs Golden from us.  We agree, Ginger is the perfect match for you and is such a sweet, wonderful girl.  We’re thrilled that you gave her a chance!


Just an update on our Kassie.  It is hard to believe that we have had her almost 6 months. She is a real lover and extremely active - getting into everything.  She is playful and insists on carrying my 12-year-old around by his ankle. She also spends her days chasing rabbits and squirrels, chewing sticks, plants and just about everything else she can find!! Above all she is so loving.  She gives hugs and kisses and is funny!! Enclosed is a portrait I had done of her last week - as you can see, she is a real beauty.

Bless all of you.


Kassie Paskin

Hi Wendy, it sounds like Kassie is a very busy little girl.  Thanks so much for sharing her portrait with us…she is a beautiful girl.