Vol 4 No 1

Winter 2002

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

GRRI's Rescue Parade

Helping the WTC Disaster Search & Rescue Teams

Holiday Shopping with GRRI

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

On-line GRRI News Archives GRRI News Index Page


Letters to GRRI

Dear GRRI,

I wanted to follow up with you regarding Angel, the sweet 6-year-old female golden retriever we adopted a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of GRRI. Only a few weeks before, we lost our Dusty, another golden retriever who was nearing the ripe old age of 16. Here's a picture of Angel:

When Angel first came home with us, she was timid, even scared. Now she's always at our heels. At first we could not feed her by hand; now she has discovered biscuits, and takes a whole large Milk Bone in her mouth. Then, mouth full, she tries to intercept a small biscuit as we give it to our dachshund, Dasher. Dash likes to curl up alongside Angel, and our two girls sleep side-by-side.

My wife and I are walking on air. Our hearts are full. Thank you for putting us together with Angel. Janet says Dusty sent Angel from heaven. But she still believes in Santa Claus. This much I know: Christmas came  early this year. Thank you!

Steve Weiss
Janet Loprano

Dear Steve & Janet -- thanks for such a touching note. We can tell your Angel has fallen into excellent hands!

Dear GRRI,

I just wanted to write and tell you how happy we are with the golden we adopted through GRRI.

We had put in an application before going on vacation in July for a golden we had found on the website. We did not hear anything while we were gone, nor anything after our return. We were convinced that we were not fated to get a golden. Then the phone call came. 

I almost didn't call back.  Never the less I didn't want to be rude so I made the call.  Well when I was told there was a litter of 9 week old golden babies up for adoption I nearly cried.

I quickly called my fiancé' on the road and told him. "Call them back right now and tell them Yes!" The very next afternoon we were on our way to Newfoundland, NJ. When we got there and Judy let out those beautiful babies, Cruiser came running right to me. I could barely hold back the tears as memories of Jenny, my childhood best friend/golden retriever came flooding back. I could see Jenny in Cruisers face. It was her come back to me and I knew it.

I quickly sent Sean to the truck to get the collar and leash we had already purchased on the way to "just look" at the pups. We filled out all the paperwork and talk a bit with Judy and the other adopters there then headed home.

That was 3 weeks ago. Cruiser has now adapted to his new home and his big brother Chip (our 9 month old chocolate lab) and his kitty sister Lizzie (our 6 year old Calico). He loves run around the yard and bark at the squirrels. The two pups always find something to get into while inside as well. Lizzie has even allowed Cruiser to take naps with her on our bed.

GRRI has made me the happiest girl alive. Cruiser is an absolute blessing and we feel honored to have him in our lives.

Thank you all so much!

Angela Urbeck

Dear Angela & Sean  -- We know sometimes it can seem like forever to potential adopters who are waiting for that all important phone call, but we're so glad you were patient -- and called us back. Cruiser is obviously leading a very tough life ... thanks for the adorable pictures! 

Dear Folks:

We thoroughly enjoyed the Fall Newsletter and all of us hope to attend the Golden Retriever event October 7th. Cody survived our 2 week vacation without him. We tried to pay adult rate for him at the cottage in Maine, with no luck. Two sets of friends filled in and all were happy. He spent 10 days at our home with the church musician, and 6 days with friends who live in a protected neighborhood. Cody visits the neighborhood from time to time, and we now know why he gained a  little weight. I wish it was as easy to put a human on a diet as it is a dog!

Cody actually stopped chewing on his right paw!!! He now appears to be having an allergic reaction to ragweed? His vet will look into the problem tomorrow. Cody has such a good reputation at the vet office that they call him "Codster" and go an extra mile for him. We'll let you know what the newest allergy is.

Cody is now attending the church's youth group meetings, and is now allowing his belly to be rubbed. What an angel dog!!!

While we haven't been able to get people to adopt goldens yet, we have definitely gotten people to go through similar rescue groups for other breeds.

Hope all is well. We felt privileged to meet Reilly Veiga and his family. He had a wonderful, caring family to spend his earthly life with.

Bonnie and Mark Summer

Dear Bonnie & Mark -- All of us who knew Reilly and his family felt the very same way. Please be sure to give the Codster a tummy rub from us, and good luck on the allergies front! 

Hi Folks,

As promised, here are some photos of Bailey and Ripley. Bailey has been such a wonderful addition to our clan. Ripley took to him from the first day (of course Ripley takes to anyone or any dog - he is Mr. Friendly)

It's been two months with Bailey and he has come a long way. The day we picked him up [from his surrenderer], he was a mess - nasty ear infections, matted fur down to his skin, SMELLY (whew!!) and, believe it or not, over weight.  Obviously, a dog living outside with not a lot of love. Some antibiotics, shaving sheers and tons of exercise later, Bailey is a handsome 80lb. guy.

Bailey is also learning how to be a dog. When we first picked him up, Bailey sort of just hung around, walked in a straight line on the lead and wasn't sure what was going to happen to him next. Now, I'm happy to report, Bailey has graduated from basic obedience class, Bailey and Ripley wrestle constantly, he fetches ANYTHING, sniffs and explores like puppies should. He has had all sorts of new adventures - swims in the ocean and the pool, hikes in the woods, new dog friends at the local dog park and a few dips in the lake (he LOVES to swim).

One last major hurdle and Bailey will be living the life. We were aware that Bailey had some sort of accident some time in the past where his leg was broken. When we had Bailey checked out by our Vet, we learned that his back leg, hip joint and pelvis were all crushed and never repaired. Hence Bailey's limited mobility and appearance of being a lot older than his 20 months.

On September 19th, Bailey will be going for surgery for a brand new hip. We are confident that this will relieve him of the constant discomfort that we're sure he is in and will finally let him do all those activities that his determined little face tells us he wants to do but his body won't cooperate. That is if the Vets let him leave the hospital - you see, Bailey, with his charm, has turned everyone's heart to mush at Red Bank Vet Hospital.

We'll let you know how he's doing as the 'bionic golden retriever' later this month.


Gail and Barry Dalton

Dear Gail & Barry -- please do let us know how bionic Bailey fared after his surgery.  We're sure all that swimming will come in handy as a part of his recovery, and we wish him a speedy one!

Dear GRRI,

We adopted Cody from GRRI-NJ last summer -- Cody has been the most wonderful, special dog I could EVER imagine -- He has taken care of ME, and can only be described as a sweet, gentle, loving soul.

I am writing to inform you that my husband and I were forced to make the decision to have Cody euthanized, after being suddenly diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disorder. We tried treatment and gave Cody every benefit we could, but he grew more anemic, and weaker and weaker, with a very bleak prognosis. I held Cody as he died. He was very peaceful. I miss him terribly.

We wanted you to know and would ask that you please write back or call us if you need any additional info -- I still have photographs of Cody on my desk I was going to mail to Eileen McFadden, showing her how beautiful Cody was -- She was so helpful in our adoption, I will be eternally grateful Cody was ours for a short time. If possible, please express my gratitude to Eileen for seeing to it that we could love Cody, and if possible, I'll still send her the photos if she can supply an address.

He was a VERY special dog. With appreciation and sadness,

Kathy and David Harris

Dear Kathy & David  -- our sincere condolences to you, and thanks so much for letting us know.  Please email us as we would love to have some pictures.

Dear GRRI,

We adopted Romeo (aka Remello) back in August 2001. The Slamp's were the foster family. Romeo (3 yrs old) came to us from Brooklyn New York and had to adjust to a shelter then move to a Staten Island foster home then to the Slamp's in Hadden Heights and then to our home in Deptford.

I think Romeo is finally settling in. He still keeps following me around everywhere - even the bathroom. He is sleeping in the master bedroom with us or in the upstairs hallway between our room and our son's room. It appears that he likes to keep tabs on us all. I am taking him for his daily walks in the morning and evening. He loves apples. I'm told that carrots are good for them so I will have to try that. I know he doesn't like broccoli stalks.

Romeo has become more gentle with taking food or toys from someone's hand. It is still a battle to take anything out of his mouth! He still believes it's a a game. Tennis balls are still his favorite toy. And he does love to give kisses!

He and our kitten (6 months old) are getting along just fine. I am sending a photo of them both. They even look alike! We plan on getting him dressed for Halloween. I'll send a photo if he cooperates.

Thank you for all that you all do. GRRI of New Jersey are great matchmakers. We found our perfect match!


Barbara D. Turner

Dear Barbara -- we sure hope Romeo let you dress him up for Howloween ... send pictures, please!

Dear GRRI,    

My name is Brenda Colangelo I recently adopted Leisha from your rescue.  I  would like to share a very nice story with you. 

My dog Speedy (Basset Hound) was put down four years ago due to age and illness.  He was with my family for twelve years.  After his death I wanted another one.  I now know that I am very grateful to my husband for not letting me bring another dog home.  I am very sentimental about things and I believed the best thing was to have another dog.  My husband was always against it and I got mad many times.  Everyone in my family knew that I wanted a dog.  For some reason
all animals love me and I return the feeling.  Two years ago I took home two orange kittens for my two youngest children. Their names are Happy and Pumpkin.  My cats are very outgoing and sometimes very strange but I love them. 

I  went to my mother-in-laws house one Sunday about 6 weeks ago and saw a large beautiful dog only to assume she was babysitting with the other two she had.  When she came home she told me it was her dog.  That dog is Lady.  She lost her owner in the WTC disaster and she got the dog through one of your volunteers, Pat Pinches.  From the time I saw that dog I asked my mother to give her to me.  She wouldn't and now I understand why. 

Two weeks ago my phone rang and a person was asking for my husband who goes to bed early because he works early hours.  When I asked who was calling she told me her name was Pat from your group  and I was suspicious and kept questioning her.  I thought that my mother was going to give me Lady with the consent from your group.  Only to find out that my husband had contacted you as a surprise for my birthday which is November 6.  Pat had a dog in mind for us, and when I kept after her, she revealed to me the history of my Leisha. 

I was so overwhelmed with my husbands gesture and the feeling I had that night I do not think I could put into words.  We are married fourteen years and this is the best present he could have ever given me. 

We drove out to Pa. the next day, and listened to her foster mom Pam Patton and read the medical records she supplied me with. I was so in love with her before I received the medical records and if you do not know,  I am the Director of Food Services for the Bergen County Nursing Home in Rockleigh,  I read many medical reports.  When I read my Leisha's I was in tears.  No form of any life should have been put through that.  The records date back to July of this year and the amount of blood work and health care is amazing.  The love she got from Pam is beyond.  I thank you, your group and your many volunteers because I know she would not be here right now.

On a happier note,  my Leisha has been with me and my family eleven days, the fist two days I got scared because I wasn't getting through.  From the second night she came back to life.  She is like a puppy in so many ways, my husband takes her for long walks in the morning and I take her at night. During the day she is in the yard with me and we now have a routine with different balls that we play every day.  She knows when its time to get brushed every night and she knows when I clean her ears.  My cats are coming around and I knew they would.  I know I am getting lengthy but there is just so much I want to say.  I heard my dog bark the other day and I was just as excited as when my children took their first step.

Leisha is to me the most beautiful present I could ever have gotten because she came from my husband and he knew this was the perfect time and also I always made it very clear that I did not want a puppy and being a part of the Health Dept., I wanted a dog that needed love that was very hard to place.  And I got her.

Leisha has been to the Vet, and I know in my heart she has many good years in her now that she has been given the life that she deserved from day one.  I have been in touch with Pam and Pat because I feel like a new mother and also to assure them that she has a great home.  I love her so much and believe me I know the feeling is mutual more to me but also with my whole family.  With each day she acts more and more like a normal happy dog.  I can only hope she really forgets the life she had.  And with each and every day just finds everything like a new adventure as a

Her physical appearance has changed dramatically.  She no longer looks as if she was crying.  Her hair is growing back she is vibrant and I will not send a picture for at least a month because I want you all to see the real Leisha.  In closing (I hope I didn't bore you to tears)  Leisha went trick-or -treating tonight with her new mom and her young friend Michelle.

Please contact me any time,

Brenda Colangelo

Dear Brenda -- Leisha's history (formerly Leeshay) broke all of our hearts -- and all of us at GRRI are very grateful to those dedicated GRRI volunteers who brought her back from the brink, and into your loving home.  We can't wait to see those new pictures you promised!

Dear Fellow GRRI Volunteers,

A few weeks back I had decided to have a Yard Sale with the proceeds to benefit our group for Veterinary expenses. With all that was going on at the WTC, I questioned myself if I should still hold the sale (Sept. 16th) or not. I decided to go with it when Judy [GRRI President] and a few others decided that we would donate the money to The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

Well on Sunday I sat with a Yard full of items for sale and barely anyone showed up. I was very disappointed because I had put so much hard work into it.

But then, while shopping for goodies, a group of young girls asked me about the flier I had made up about where the money was being donated. They asked if they could take one home.

A short while later right before I was about to give up for the day, they came back with big grins on their faces. They asked me how much money I had raised today. I explained to them that I hadn't counted it yet but not much. Then one by one, each one of the five girls held out their hands to me filled with money! 

These sweet girls had gone around the neighborhood and down to the soccer field to sell bottled water and raised $50.00 to give to me! It was a beautiful sunny day and these girls could have easily spent it playing but decided instead to help me raise money for a good cause.

With all that has been going on in the world, I felt that each one of these girls should be recognized and thanked. Their parents should be proud! With the help of these terrific girls, we donated a total of $172 to The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation! Thank you girls! 

Danielle age 9 
Jennifer age 9
Christina age 10
Chelsea age 12
Jessica age 12

All of Wayne, New Jersey


Jeanne Urna

Dear Danielle, Jennifer, Christina, Chelsea, and Jessica  -- From all of us at GRRI, Thank YOU so much for what you did!

And to Jeanne ... thanks so much for all the work you did for GRRI as our Fund-raising Chairperson, not to mention our very best -- and prize winning -- photographer!

The DiMarzio Family poses with the hand crafted Golden drawn sleigh they won at the Goldstock Auction.  Thanks again, Lois for your VERY generous bidding, and to Marta and Harry Alfred for crafting and donating the sleigh to benefit GRRI!

Dear GRRI,

Bagel and Biscuit continue to thrive, and we LOVE them! 

Linda Petrino

Dear Linda -- Bagel and Biscuit look very loved -- and very happy!  Thanks so much for the great photo!