Vol 10 No 1

Winter 2008

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Features in this Issue:

Sofia's Story

2007 Annual Survey

Recent Adoptions

Thank You

Fond Farewells

Letters to GRRI-NJ

GRRI NEWS Archives

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Letters to GRRI-NJ

Hi Lynda,

Jersey asked me to send you a picture and say Happy Halloween!!!

Everything is going great and we are all enjoying having Jersey as part of our family.  We finished beginner obedience school with Jersey last week and will be signing up for the advanced class after the holidays.

We enjoy going to the dog park.  At the dog park we run, play fetch, and have even played on some of the agility equipment they have.  He likes to jump through the tire and over the hurdle.  Last week he actually climbed up the smaller ramp.  I finally met a dog that was faster than Jersey.  A young lady was at the dog park with an Italian Greyhound.  It was a miniature greyhound and was very fast.  She was actually teasing Jersey with a ball and would have to slow down to keep Jersey chasing her.  It was very fun to watch.

Hope all is well!!

Jersey and the Carkitto Family

Wow,..it sounds like Jersey is in training for the Olympics when he’s working out on the agility equipment!  Think he’s trying to tell you something?

Hi Eileen and Amy,

Hope all is well. Charlie turned one on the 29th of October (and Happy Anniversary Amy & Ken!) and I just wanted to let you know things are STILL going great.

We all went on a short extended-weekend vacation a couple of weeks ago on the Delaware shore - He LOVED the beach! We took the crate and he did fine overnight in a "strange" place... There was a lot of good hiking around and the weather was very good. Really tired Bess and Charlie out!

I am sure you have heard this a hundred times but it is hard to remember life before Charlie came to live with us. Now -- to have 2 great dogs every morning and every evening - Len and I are so glad that he's found his forever home with us!

He's getting better on the training front too - he can heel on command now, and is learning the down and stay. He's a quick learner - Bess "showed him" the down at the last class (she came over and "downed" when I gave him the command - it got a laugh!)

I have some pictures on my computer at home that I'll forward you - from the beach.

Take care,


Helen, thanks for the pictures. Charlie looks like he had a wonderful time at the beach.


Just wanted to give you an update on Liberty and send a few pictures.

He is doing great and is a happy boy!   Liberty had a good summer checking out the scenery from our shore condo deck; many evening walks throughout Monmouth Beach and meeting new friends!

Liberty really enjoys licking our Dannon or Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups!  He will sit and wait until we finish and then we give him the cup to finish the tasty flavors!  Ice cubes and Cheerios are favorites too!

UPS delivery and Liberty!  Should Liberty see a UPS or Fed Ex truck during our walk in the neighborhood, he will stop and sit to wait for the truck to stop by.  Fortunately the drivers are friendly and Liberty has even climbed into the UPS truck to say hello to the driver!  Too funny!

He still likes to grab our underwear, socks or towel.  Liberty sits in my lap with his chew bone at night.  Between Joe and I and Liberty, we all have to bids on the recliner!  Liberty usually wins out!

Our many walks are enjoyable and Liberty looks forward to them!  He walks nicely on his leash too, but we still need the halti.

Thanks to all of you at GRRI for the tremendous work and devotion for our goldens!

Best Wishes for the Holidays!

Irene, Joe and Liberty

Hi Irene, thanks so much for the update and the pictures. We always look forward to hearing from you.  Liberty is such a beautiful dog!

Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),

Thanks for that cute card. Foster is doing great. He has put on a little weight, now that the pool is closed, so he's got a little buddha belly. He & Boomer are great buds now, but Felix the cat is still his favorite. He's due for a trip to the groomer, so I'll take a photo for you once he's all spiffed up.

He cracks us up every day. Especially when he lays on his back and does "long dog"; he stretches his back legs out straight and his front legs are over his head.  He's probably 6 foot long! He's very happy, except for our new kitchen floor.  It's laminate, and because he walks on his toes, its slippery for him, so he TEARS across it to get it over with, and that makes matters worse. We may have to get him sneakers!

We may take him down to the beach this weekend, I don't think he has ever seen the ocean. Every dog I've ever had loves to run on the beach too, it must feel nice on their pads.

We're having a quiet holiday, just Chuck & I.

Any time you want to come by, when you are down here to visit your mom, let me know. Foster would remember you.

It looks like a lot of great dogs up for adoption at this time, Some people are crazy, giving them up, but if they didn't I wouldn't have had so many great pets.

You have a great holiday too. Hug Crazy Daisy, Jack & Harry!

Stephanie and Chuck Ryall

Wood laminate certainly is slippery.    How about putting some long rubber backed runners down on the kitchen floor so Foster has some traction!

Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom),

Thank you so much for the Thanksgiving card – it was great!  I gave Amber a hug for you.  Actually, I’ve been wanting to email you for the last couple of weeks.  You’re right, Amber has been with us a year so this is her second Thanksgiving.  Just about at the year mark (end of October) I noticed a change in her.  She wags her tail more now than she has in the past.  She will greet me at the door more times than not and the tail is wagging!  When she enters a room I’m in if I talk to her and then crouch down to talk to her face to face, she takes steps toward me wagging her tail.

If I interrupt her sleep while she’s on my bed during the day because I want to lay with her, pet her or both, she turns her head away from me with the clear message …

Not now!  When I open the door to go out or to come back in she maneuvers Kate out of the way so she goes first.  For the past year she has always let Kate be the leader.

The changes are small, but they say to me that she’s much more at home now than before.  It’s fascinating that it took a year – guess that’s what being homeless will do to you!  It will be interesting to see what changes this year brings.

I took her to Red Bank Vet Hospital with Kate in October.  Amber still has all those cysts and other bumps on her that I wanted looked at.  There was one that appeared non-cancerous but could be removed ($1,200 thank you very much).  Otherwise, the rest aren’t a concern.  Poor baby, she has so many.  Kate’s cancer is returning – third time in a year – no wonder it’s called aggressive.  I’m not going to operate this time so I’m trying some diet changes so I can feel like I’m doing something.

How about the Goldens in your house?  How are they getting along?  Any new foster dogs?  I check the website all the time and lust after those dogs!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Aw Donna, we’re sorry to hear about Kate’s cancer returning again.  Please give her and Amber hugs and kisses from all of us at GRRI. We love getting Amber updates and we pass them on to the shelter as well. She’s quite a success story.

Hi Lilli (GRRI foster mom),

Here are a few pictures of Rocky on his 1st year with us. Rocky is a happy pup and we are happy to have him in our home.  He has adjusted well to us and we have adjusted well to him. He's a perfect fit.

Thank you so much for bringing him to us.

Rich & Denise Weigand

Rich and Denise, thank YOU for adopting this sweet little guy!

Hi Lilli (GRRI foster mom),

Rocky is doing great with us. He did gain weight, immediately!  My vet says it's because he wasn't neutered that he was so thin.  He looked like a puppy when we got him.  Now he is about 75 lbs. and we still give him the diet you gave him - the kibble and vitamin powder with the yogurt and a little wet dog food.

He licks the bowl clean every time. We really have to watch his diet because he would eat all day if we let him!

He gets along with our other dog Brandy but is not good with dogs he sees on our walk.  He does the growl and gloms over the other dog without biting which I hear is a dominance thing.  I walk along a trail with small trees. I can see another dog coming so now I wrap his leash around the tree so when he barks and pulls, he doesn't pull me off my feet.  After the dog passes, he is calm and I take him off the leash again and he walks with me nice.

I wish I could train him to be nice next to strange dogs, but I doubt it.  He is fine if I bring him into someone's house with a dog and a strange dog can come into my house without a problem.  It's just meeting a strange dog on the outside when we go walking.

He is so good, he gives me a kiss when I ask.  Loves the car of course.  We are so glad we never got a fence. Hangs outside with my husband and I when we are in the yard.  He never ever wants to leave the yard. He's a Weigand dog.  He's our Rocky.


Denise, when you take Rocky for walks, bring some really tasty treats with you, and as you see another dog approaching, start having him focus his attention on you by singing a silly little song and rewarding him with treats until the other dog passes.  You may also want to cross the street to give yourself more distance so that he can focus more on you. Of course you’ll need to adjust his diet to account for all the additional calories he’ll be getting as a result of “stuffing the dog” but this is a very effective training technique that many obedience classes and behaviorists recommend.


I'm Leah. I'm an emergency nurse with Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center. I was working the overnight shift after Sofia had her femoral head operation. I was wondering how she was doing in her recovery.  She is such a sweet dog. She immediately caught my attention when I came in that night. I actually ended up spending a lot of the night sitting with her so she could sleep with someone by her side.  If you could give me an update whenever you get a free minute I would really appreciate it. I hope she's doing well. She really is a special soul.

Thank you,

Leah M Braun

Leah, thank you for taking such wonderful care of Sofia when she was in the hospital. We’re happy to report that she’s doing very well and is currently undergoing her 8 weeks of physical therapy which includes aqua therapy. Amy Jo, her foster mom, is providing a lot of TLC, massage and controlled exercise to help build up the muscle. We agree she’s a very special little dog.

Dear GRRI,

Please accept this donation for the continuation of your work.  I still cry every time of think of Eli, how I miss him, and how thankful I am to your organization to help find a home for him where he could get the attention he so deserves.  He is such a wonderful dog.  I hope he is doing well.  It is still the hardest thing I have had to do.  I hope he understands.

Thank you.


Sometimes life takes some funny turns and the best thing for the dog is to find it a new loving home.  Eli is doing wonderfully with his new family. His children love him and he’s quite spoiled.  Thank you so much for your support of our rescue efforts.

Dear GRRI, 

We are thrilled with the addition of Reese to our family. She has morphed into an absolutely beautiful, fun-loving, and well behaved member of our family.  All of us feel as though she has been here forever.  It's hard to remember what it was like without her.  My mother in law's boxer, Penny, also adores Reese (and Reese adores her of course) and they both get excited at the mere mention of each other's names.  Thank you for allowing us to adopt Reese.

The very happy Reese family,

Charlie, Beth, San, Emma, Betsy and Reese

Hi Reese family, we still get quite a laugh that the Reese family adopted “Reese”. Talk about something meant to be!  We’d love to see some pictures of her – hint hint!

Dear Olivia (GRRI foster mom),

Champ is getting comfortable with our schedule, and we are getting some hints about his prior life experiences.  While I was spending 2 hours at my desk doing household tasks, he definitely thought he should be the focus of my attention.  Today was the first day he really asked for attention.  In 15 minutes he had deposited 4 toys on top of the desk.  When I ignored the collection, he barked, once.  I finally built a fort around my desk, filled the kongs, hugged him for 15 minutes, and returned to "work".  He was annoyed with me, but he finally settled down.  Champ is a love and we are very thankful for him.  I have reserved from the Hunterdon County Library 3 books that GRRI recommended.  I should have them tomorrow.

We'll send pictures of him in VT, weather permitting, next week.


Bonnie, thanks so much for the photos. Champ looks fabulous!

Hi Pam (GRRI foster mom), 

We would like to wish you a Happy Holiday and let you that Max has been a good boy.  We are so happy to have him join our family.  He is still a hand full at times but we are getting along well.

Thank you again for taking care of Max while he was waiting to go to his forever home.

Best wishes,


Richard, thanks for the update. We’re happy to hear Max has settled in with you and that you’re not phased by his activity level!

Dear GRRI,

Three years ago today, Dolly's pups were born!

I wanted to send a quick note to let you know that Tazo celebrated in high style with cake, treats, presents, and a few inches of snow to romp around in. Of course his black Lab sister Sanibel was right by his side to share in his birthday celebration! He couldn't be happier (or more handsome!). Hoping all of Dolly's pups (and Dolly) are doing well.

Happy Holidays to all of you,

Kelly Blazejewski & Denise Holtz

Denise, thanks for the photos of Tazo. It’s hard to believe that 3 years has passed since Dolly gave birth to her beautiful pups on December 5th.  We love seeing pictures of the dogs they’ve grown up to be; we forward them on to Dolly’s “mom” so she can see too what beautiful offspring Dolly has produced.   Dolly is also doing really well.   We love this photo of her smiling for the camera.

Dear GRRI,

Maverick just got back from his first ever grooming in Chatham.  I told them what they may expect and to please not try to put him into a crate.  When I called, they told me he was "WONDERFUL" and let them do everything without a fuss and a muzzle.  He bites the brush here.

Anyway, his first official Christmas picture as Maverick Myers.  It wasn't easy!!!  Doesn't he look beautiful!!!  He smells good too!

Nancy Myers

Nancy, we agree…he is one beautiful – or should we say – handsome Golden!  Merry 1st Christmas Maverick…may you have many more!

Eileen (GRRI volunteer),

Thank you for the birthday wishes you sent me. Also thanks for the pictures of my mom, I look just like her. My birthday was fun but too short. Sammy & I got doggie cookies & cow bones. I attached some pictures. Don't mind the house, 2 sick humans home for three days and Mom & Dad are decorating for Christmas.


Shylow, you never disappoint. It just wouldn’t be your birthday without pictures of you standing on the table enjoying your birthday celebration!

Dear GRRI,

Capmark Finance Inc. is committed to recognizing the personal commitment of our employees and rewarding the organizations to which they so willingly give their time.

Elaine Furnari, an employee in our New York office, volunteered for your organization.  Enclosed is a check for $450.00 from Capmark as our donation for her volunteerism.


Suzanne Quigley
Community Initiatives Director

Suzanne, once again, thank you for recognizing Elaine’s volunteer efforts by making a donation to our organization.  We truly appreciate the support from Capmark Finance and Elaine’s volunteer time with us.

Dear GRRNJ, 

The holidays are here and almost gone and I wanted you to know how our Sophie is doing after we adopted her 5 years ago last August. When we lost our beloved Max 2-1/2 years ago, my children contacted a breeder and we had Bella who is now over 2 years old and Sophie's best friend. (Sophie was very depressed after she lost Max, her companion.) Here is our latest picture of the girls together.  Sophie is living the life!!!!! Sleeping at night on our bed and in the daytime on our couch in the living room. She is the most wonderful dog!!  She is the girl who gets Bella back to the house from the yard and then when she comes in she grooms BELLA so she looks her best!!

We are very blessed to have two wonderful dogs, thanks to you GRRNJ!!! Bella is the one who is lighter and Sophie is the reddish girl.  They love to go out and play!!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New year to everyone.

Robin and Herman Sklarin

Thank you so much for the adorable photo of the girls!  We love to hear how spoiled our dogs are!

Hi Judy (GRRI foster mom), 

Here’s a picture of Maverick on Dec 24 just before his afternoon walk.  With his bow he was the hit of the town and drew a lot of attention.  He strutted and knew he was beautiful.

We were able to get a picture of your toy before it became a double amputee.  Needless to say, he loved it.

The other is Maverick on his new bed….anytime day or night.

Happy New Year,

Nancy & Joe

Maverick looks wonderful!  We got a good laugh out of your comment about him destroying his plush toy. They’re all alike!

Dear GRRI,

The Avella family has some sad news.  Moses, whom we adopted in 2000, passed away on December 26 after a short illness.  He was with us for Christmas and we already miss him very much.  He led a wonderful life, living with a loving family and a small child that he thought was his puppy.  I can still remember first seeing his picture on the web site.  I thought he was not a very good looking dog, but my wife fell in love with him.  When we inquired, he had already been adopted, but they brought him back and so we welcomed him into the family.  We love and miss him, but he will always have a special place in our hearts.

Aristide and Andrea Avella

Aristide and Andrea, we were saddened to hear of Moses’ passing. It seems that no matter how long we have our wonderful pals, it’s never long enough.  May you all keep wonderful memories of him in your hearts where he will live on forever.

Hi Eileen, Amy and Linda (GRRI volunteers),

I hope the holiday season was good for everyone. It was a good one for us; especially happy since it's Charlie's first Christmas in his forever home. He's doing well. His latest follow up with Dr. Cho, the ophthalmologist, was last Thursday and things are progressing well. He had corneal ulcers diagnosed in his right eye last time around, and this time they are healing. We are back again to Dr. Cho in a month's time unless something comes up. He's really just about his old self again, jumping around and playing with Bess whenever he can. Training is also coming along too (see the attached "sit-stay").  At this point Len and I cannot remember life without Charlie.... he is SO much a part of the family now.  Enjoy the pictures, and again, thanks and Happy New Year to you all.

Helen & Len

Hi Helen, thanks for keeping us updated on Charlie’s progress. Let’s hope his ulcers and all his other optical “issues” are behind him now and he can go on to being the happy go lucky guy that we all know and love!

Hi Judy! (GRRI foster mom)

Again, Happy New Year!  It has definitely been a happy one for us with our newest addition to the family!  Cooper has adjusted so well, it's amazing.....I actually spent the last 2 days trying to figure out what's wrong with him that he spent part of his life in 3 homes and then wound up in rescue.  Then it occurred to me that there's nothing wrong with him, just the people that gave him up!  OK...I know that's a little harsh but he is an absolute angel and I couldn't fathom ever giving him away!

Thank you for your kind words about Chris & Jessica.  They really are very nice children and have really bonded with Cooper.  They have a deep respect for animals as they should!  and Cooper just LOVES them!

Thank you for making this whole process so wonderful and please thank everyone who I had contact with as well as the people behind the scenes that made this adoption possible.  You are all truly wonderful people to volunteer your time and efforts to all of these wonderful "angels from heaven" or as they are called in the human world, Golden Retrievers!

I will keep you up to date with Cooper's progress (especially regarding his slight "pudge" factor LOL) and send pictures as we take them!



Cooper looks so comfy sitting in front of that Christmas tree…like he’s lived with you his entire life!  We’re happy to hear that he’s settling in quickly;  he’s had enough tumult in his life.  Thank you for being his forever home!

Dear GRRI,

We have a feeling this never got to you.  Kip held still just long enough, but, as you can see, he wasn't exactly thrilled!  Our very best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Paula & Joel Harris

Thanks for re-sending Kip’s photo.  We agree, he doesn’t look too happy sporting his new antlers!

Dear Eileen (GRRI adoption coordinator),

Thank you for sending Champ's Home Again tag and further explanation on the notification procedure!

Champ is a gem and a true gift from God.  He already is used to the church office and he has visited a person struggling with chemo and was such a gentle dog.  Champ seemed to know to lean in and comfort.

He continues to make us laugh and to make us think.  It has been a while since we needed to project what an active dog may do.  So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for choosing us to become Champ's forever family.  We will continue to send pictures. The computer and digital cameras have made that easier.  We hope you had a blessed Christmas and we wish you a joy-filled 2008!

Bonnie & Mark Summer

Hi Bonnie, it sounds like Champ has all the makings of a therapy dog!  How wonderful that he’s able to help Mark in his church ministry by attending to the sick.

Dear Anne (GRRI foster mom),

We hope you had a nice holiday season.  We are coming up on our 1 year anniversary with Sasha - where did the time go?  She has settled in quite comfortably and gets along pretty well with her peers at the dog run.   She has one really good friend, Chauncey - you wouldn't believe how she gives up her frisbee for him! It's very cute.

Here are a few of her most recent photos.

Vicky, Fonda & Sash

Sasha looks wonderful Vicky!  We’re glad she has her special pal to play with at the dog park.