Vol 5 No 4

Fall 2003

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

2003 Rescue Parade

GRRI's 3rd Annual Rescue Reunion

Holiday Gifts

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

GRRI NEWS Archives

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Letters to GRRI


Dear GRRI,

Hi from Sandy Coffey.  Here is an update and picture of Max, adopted February 2003. 

It's been five months since the adoption and I am happy to say that even though Max's training has been slow going, he is finally learning and has found  his place in our home.

When I saw Max's picture on the GRRI website I knew I just had to have him. His cute little face was calling out to me.

I had lost my Golden Retriever, Amber, two years ago, and was longing for another Golden.  I toyed with the idea of a puppy but after looking on the internet at different dog sites I decided that adoption was the way to go.  So many beautiful dogs but so few good homes.

Upon looking at the Petfinder site I found the GRRI site and there was Max  I quickly filled out an application and sent an email telling GRRI of the wonderful home I could provide for Max.  I was told that since I didn't have an approved application already on file, Max would probably be gone by the time I was approved.

As I waited to be approved I checked the website every day to see if Max was still there. He was.

At last, I was approved and received a call from Max's foster home and was told to come and meet him.  He greeted me with open arms. He was your typical Golden, full of energy and looking to be petted. It was love at first sight. I knew then that this union was meant to be.  Home Max came to Pennsylvania and I'm happy to say that he loves it here.

His new sister, my German Shepherd, AK, is happy to have a new companion after the loss of her best friend, Amber.  AK is a changed dog.  She used to sleep all day and now she is alert, always watching Max and wanting to get into the action with him.

As for Max, he is happy to have a backyard to run and play in with his new toys or just sit and watch the birds fly by. He also loves to go for walks with his new dad and loves to go to the dog park where he can meet other dogs and chase rabbits.

It took a couple of months for Max to settle in but he is finally content with his new life and his forever home.

Thank you again, GRRI, for letting us have Max.
Sandy & Tim Coffey

Dear Sandy & Tim -- Thanks for the update!  For some dogs, it can take some time  to settle into new surroundings and routines, but it sounds like Max is doing just great now!


Marine Sgt. O'Hara McFadden -- Happy Halloween!



Just thought I'd write and let you know how Lucky is doing. Yesterday was his one year Birthaversary. He has been with us an entire year and it has been wonderful. He is a very affectionate dog and loves to be petted. He also likes hugging and kissing. He has made best friends with our youngest (3 yrs old) Buddy. They play and wrestle all the time. Our oldest Golden (almost 11) Misty will cuddle with him when he is mellow.

He has been a great addition to our family. Adopting him has been one of the most rewarding events in our lives. It is wonderful to see the expression of joy in his face.

Thank You again. If there is anything I could ever do to help please let me know.

Sylvia & Philip Mogerman

Dear Sylvia & Philip -- Thanks for bringing Lucky into your lives, and for joining GRRI as volunteers!


Dear GRRI,

Just wanted to let you know that Charlie is doing just fine.  He is a bit crazy and is certainly keeping all of us on our toes especially Montana.  They play a lot together now.  Chasing each other around the house and just generally rough housing.  Charlie still barks a lot at everything. A little annoying at 6 am but I'm sure he will stop that in time.  He seems to do everything you told us he would, except he really hasn't chewed anything yet, knock on wood.  He did do a little counter surfing the other morning much to our surprise, but we learned and he hasn't done it again.  Of course we haven't left anything on the counter of interest either.  He is getting better on the leash when we take him for walks.  All of the neighbors love him.

We are scheduling a play date with Jeanne and her 2 crazies.
We'll keep in touch.

Jeff & Julie McCurdy

Dear Jeff & Julie -- Sounds like you got yourself a classic Goofball Golden in Charlie, but nothing a lot of time, patience, training and love won't cure.  Please keep us posted!


Dear GRRI:

We were fortunate enough to adopt Doc in May 2002. Since the day we brought him home he's brought so much joy and laughter to our lives. While we were a little hesitant about bringing another dog into our home, now we couldn't be happier and know it was the absolute best thing to do.

Doc and his brother, Gordon (a Golden-Lab mix) get along very well. They keep each other company all day and guard the house together when we're not home.

Doc LOVES to be out in the yard and if he could he'd stay out there and chase squirrels and birds all day.  He is such an affectionate little boy and although he is afraid of certain things (loud noises, the vacuum) he knows we love him dearly and that he is  safe with us. He also graduated from obedience school and while he could still use more work (we both could actually), we are very proud of him for making it through.

We would also like to say a very special thank you to the Ungers, Doc's foster family. They were so kind to him and gave him all the love and  attention he was so desperately seeking for so long.

We just want to thank you again for allowing us to adopt Doc.

Paula & Paul Zecca & Gordon

Dear Paula & Paul --  Doc looks very happy with his buddy Gordon.   Thanks for giving him such loving home!


Dearest Golden Retriever Rescue,

 On July 13th, 2003, Larry (my husband) and Savyer (our "other" son) adopted "SPANKY', into our Loving home. 

When we arrived at his foster mom's home, it was as if he had been with us from a small puppy. 

We just wanted you to know that he was terribly overweight and thanks to you and his foster Mom, Michele and good veterinary care on your organization's end, he was given to us on a reduced fat diet and along with our follow-up, tons of exercise and  walking and playing with his 1+ old brother constantly, he has lost 12 pounds and "our" vet, said as of yesterday, he is in great health and need only to lose another 8 pounds.

He is the sweetest boy ever, filled with love, obedient and a great "big" brother and the best son a Mommy and Daddy could ever ask for.

Kudos to you and your organization, I sing your praises every chance I get , to anyone, whether it be a client or stranger or family member.  We would adopt  a hundred of these, what we consider to be the sweetest animals on God's good earth.  We are always saying, we are going to sell our ranch home, and buy acres of property far out, and adopt them all! 

The Gambino family wish to thank you and all of your devoted volunteers - God Bless each and every one of you, and know that you haven't heard the last of us yet !  ha  ha - If the day ever comes that we can have those acres of land, be prepared for a  major phone call , with a request for every gender, every age  you have.

Thank you so very much,
Terry, Larry, Spanky & Savyer
 "The Gambino Family"

Dear Terry & Larry -- Thanks for your very nice note!  We can tell Spanky has found a wonderful life with you!


Hi all,

Just thought I'd send along a picture of Kevin, our new baby getting to know Clyde, our Golden. 

It's been an adjustment for Clyde, but they're beginning to become fast friends, especially since Kevin recently started eating cereal and has sticky hands for Clyde to lick.

Jenn & Pete Sonn

Dear Jenn & Pete -- Thanks for the priceless photo!!!


Dear GRRI,

I was so saddened to hear about the passing of Joann Smith.  Several months ago I sent a check to GRRI in Joann's memory.  I am inquiring if you did receive it and put it towards that fund?

Also, a friend of mine just lost her 11 yr old Golden she bought from Lovejoy Breeders in Hampden, NJ.  She has been trying to contact the breeder and is unable to reach them.  She thinks that perhaps Carol and Lee have moved or passed away.  I remember seeing a link to their website from your website.  Do you have any information on Lovejoy Kennels?  Also, do you recommend any responsible Golden Retriever Breeders in the area?  I did refer my friends to GRRI but they are interested in getting a 7 week old pup.  They have done this three times before. Thank you for your attention.

Peggy Grow

P.S.  Our Daisy is now approximately 4 1/2 yrs old and we LOVE her to death.  We got a new addition who is now 16 weeks old.  We are raising Nate for The Seeing Eye.  He is a cross between a Black Lab and a Golden (do you think he's fabulous or what???).  We will have him for 16 mos and then he will go  back to The Seeing Eye to be trained as a guide dog for the blind.  Daisy now has a play mate/companion and they are wonderful together!!

Dear Peggy -- First, thank you so much for your donation to the Joann Smith Fund.  And our apologies for our delay in acknowledging it.  We had a little gap in our paperwork processing due to several volunteer transitions, but we want to assure you that every donation we receive is important to us and very much appreciated.  We're also especially pleased that so many have chosen to donate in memory of Joann, who did so much for GRRI in her role working with prospective adopters.  Again, thank you.

As for Daisy, we're so pleased to hear how much you love her. 

And last but not least, congratulations and all the best with Nate, your Seeing Eye puppy.  What an extraordinary gift you're giving in being a Puppy Raiser!  We'd LOVE a photo of Daisy and Nate together if you get a chance.



We adopted Baxter February 24th of this year and he has been a gift sent from heaven.  As the months progress Baxter is becoming more and more a therapy dog as he makes the rounds with me daily to take care of whatever cats we need to tend to for the neighbors while they are on vacation.  He loves "going to work" and is the most gentle dog whom I would trust in a circle of 12 infants.

My question is this.  Is there a place or organization where I can go with Baxter to get Therapy Certification.  I have owned Golden's for 14 years now and I have this feeling Baxter wants to help others.  He is showing this every day and if that is his calling I want to do everything possible to lead him in the right direction and accompany him to the different  organizations, nursing homes, etc.  Please let me know how I can proceed.

I am attaching a picture of Baxter.  He is the greatest blessing in our home.

Thank you,
Sam Celia

Dear Sam -- What an adorable photo!  Yes, there are a variety of local organizations that you can contact who will help you assess and train Baxter for therapy work.  You can find an article about the topic in our Winter 2000 Issue.


Dear GRRI.

I am just so thrilled.  Could not ask for a better girl.  Can't believe she is almost 12 -- she has the energy and abilities of a 5 or 6 year old.  Maybe her small size is an advantage.  Do you think she is a mix? 

I love this girl.  We walk, at a fast pace, about a mile plus each day.  She adores other dogs, children and all people.  She is stable -- and taking her into shopping centers, dog friendly stores, etc.

 She still has collar issues so we work on a harness.  We are over the issues of sticks or large items held over the head that could be used to hit.

She went today for our first pet therapy dog visit -- was great and gentle with the people, she was fine on an elevator and various flights of stairs.  She was fine with wheelchairs, canes, crutches, mobilized carts -- manners class will help her on the leave it command as she is possessed with food.  She is super smart, loving and trying so hard.  I just love her and she is going to be one super therapy dog. 

I am also looking into disaster relief training.  This is not search and rescue where dogs are at risk -- just a dog that is capable of going right in, with owner, when help is needed. 

Now tell me about Sam as Rosie is alone here.  Many doggie friends but not one to live with.  Do you think it is too soon?  Roise and I are off to visit family in Ct. this weekend -- football games, soccer games and all kinds of functions going on.  She will have a handsome black lab to be with her on our many adventures.

Adele Hood

Dear Adele -- Thanks so much for giving senior Golden Rosie a loving home, not to mention a few very important jobs!  Sounds like she will be very well suited to her therapy work.

As for adopting another Golden from us ... we recommend adopters give their new Goldens time to adjust before adding another new dog to the household. 

Keep us posted on Rosie's progress.  Old Gold Shines Brightest!


Dear GRRI,

Not sure if we ever thanked GRRI for helping us find the "child" of our family, Buddy Reiter.  Buddy was rescued 4 years ago this Thanksgiving and was a tough customer.  Since then he has become the love of our life.

Buddy's name should have been Shadow since you cannot take a step without Buddy following.  He rules the roost and is a constant 90 pound lap dog.  Since we are in our fifties and have no little kids around, Buddy is our baby.  He is still spry and loves to be petted.  He is my third Golden.


We thank GRRI and the "boot camp" in Farmingdale NJ for getting Buddy on the road to loveability and the brief training he had a St. Hubert's in Madison NJ.  Thanks to all.

Dave & Debbie Reiter

Dear Dave & Debbie -- As you know from personal experience, sometimes these dogs can be a ton of work, a fact many don't realize given the breed's reputation.   Thanks for not giving up on Buddy and being so committed to getting him on the right road! 


Dear Friends,

Enclosed is my donation to the Golden Re-Triever Rescue of NJ in the amount of $250.  This donation was suggested by Jackie Wagner of Gold Love Goldens,  Newton, NJ.  I am adopting Jackie's 7-yr old Golden Retriever, Priscilla, and we agreed that I would make this donation as "payment".  We hope that this will enable you to help a homeless Golden to have a new chance.


Reverend Margaret Crowl

Dear Reverend Crowl -- What a lovely gesture!  Our thanks for your generous donation, and our thanks to Jackie as well, for supporting us in this very special way.  All the best with Priscilla!


Dear GRRI,

Seth and I wanted to let you know that Sandy and Samantha just became Pet Therapists.  They both passed the Good Citizen Training, and now they are certified by Therapy Dogs International.  We were soooo  proud of both of them.

Sandy has come such a long way since we got her.  She  is even mushier that ever.  She loves attention!  She is the back pocket dog  that I really wanted.  So, now she and her sister will be spreading their love and assisting people who really need it.  We plan on taking them to children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, and rehab centers.  Sandy is such a  natural. 

Just wanted to keep you posted…we know you love to hear about the dogs that
you place!

Laurissa & Seth Berkman

Dear Laurissa & Seth  -- We DO love hearing about the dogs we place, and we adore the photo you sent, too.  Our congratulations on your pet therapy progress! 


Dear GRRI,

Thanks so much for the invite to join you all for the golden parade.  I know Scooby would love to see his foster family so much.  They where so great to him. 

He wants everyone to know what a happy boy he is and how much we love him.  Will send pictures real soon.  We are sorry that do to health problems I can not travel that far, so we have to decline the invitation.  Have a wonderful time and know how much we THANK ALL OF YOU  for the love of our life.

Best wishes to all
Jackie, Jerry & Scooby Doo Johnson

Dear Jackie & Jerry - Thank YOU for giving Scooby a new chance at life!


Dear GRRI,

Thank you for your nice note and invitation -  but we were booked up and so did not answer your original invite. Sorry about that! We are unable to call up the attachments you sent us - Web tv is great for internet and e-mail but does not do other things too well. I do not know why, possibly because we do not have windows etc.

"Cassie" continues to become a very important member of our household.  She is a very shy dog and backs away from anyone new at the door - a big phony, as she barks like she is a real toughy!  She is a sweetheart though. She loves to ride in the car. But is a house dog and only goes out into the yard to stay if Art or I are there doing things. Does like people once she gets to know them and is friendly with children and other dogs. She had a baby squirrel in the yard the other day and when we told her not to hurt it, she sat there and sniffed and watched!!

Sorry we cannot join you - sure you will have great fun and we look forward to hearing all about the day. Know it will be Golden, all the way.

Betty, Art & Cassie Edler. too!

Dear Betty & Art -- Glad to hear how well Cassie is fitting in!  Hope to see all of you at the GRRI reunion next year.


Parker "Bozo" Osman  -- Happy Halloween!


Dear GRRI,

I received your updated newsletter the other day and saw that you changed your policy on adopting. My wife and I were wondering since we adopted a dog from you named Andy, and we are from Pennsylvania, whether we would be able to adopt out of state in the future with your new policy.


By the way Andy is doing great and so is his new Sheltie buddy that we adopted at Christmas. They are the closet buddies, they do everything together, except swim. The Sheltie is not crazy over water. Take care and hope that there is a reunion this year, so that we can see everyone and have a good time together.


Ray Rupert

Dear Ray -- Thanks for the adorable photo of Andy.

As for your question, GRRI recently instituted home visits as part of the pre-adoption process.  We believe it's an important step that helps us ensure a better match of dog and family, and we're pleased to report that it's helping us do just that.

On the flip side, it means it's difficult (in some cases, impossible) for us to cover the geography we once did with potential adopters.  So we've had to limit  our scope to New Jersey, Westchester, Rockland and Staten Island, where our volunteers are located.  

That said, as a former adopter, please do contact us when you're ready to adopt again ... and we'll do whatever we can to help.



Here's a picture of Gordon taken a few weeks ago. Saturday was his 3rd

Take care,
Ian & Charmaine Ochshorn

Dear Gordon -- Happy Birthday!


Dear GRRI,

My name is Sue Baris. My uncle, Henry Kreiss, owned Sam and loved him to  death (over fed him also).  When my uncle became hospitalized, we were unable to care for Sam.  Debbie DeLucca from Wayne Township Animal Control was wonderful and so helpful.  I understand GRRI now has Sam.  He is a wonderful Teddy Bear who was much loved and cared for. My uncle passed away in early October so there  was no chance we could bring him home.

I hope he is well and loved.  I know it isn't much but we would like to make a donation in my Uncle's name as well as Debbie DeLucca for being so caring and helpful.

If possible could you let me know how Sam is doing. 

Warmest  regards,
Sue Baris

Dear Sue -- Thank you so much for your donation, and our condolences about your uncle.  We want to assure you that Sam is being lovingly cared for in a wonderful GRRI foster home, getting necessary medical care, and has a family interested in adopting him. He's in excellent hands, and we're very glad we could help.


Dear GRRI,

Well, we had hoped for a younger boy, since we only had the pleasure of having Malibu for 4 1/2 years, but Harley acts like a pup! It's hard to believe that he's going to be 10 in January! We are hoping that we can  teach this old dog some new tricks, but until then, he is certainly teaching some old owners new tricks!

He LIVES for food. We've never seen anything like it. Last night on our walk, he must have picked up an apple on the ground, which we were not even aware of until we got home. He sat in the middle of the floor and we thought he was playing with a ball until we realized it was an apple. Unfortunately, he DOES NOT let you take precious things out of his mouth. We can hold a bone while giving it to him, we can put our hand in his bowl, but he does not share when he is the first one to have something. This is one of the new tricks we have to teach him. Thank goodness it was only an apple. He will TRADE something for food, but last night he had room for both the apple AND dog biscuit at the same time. That's the bad stuff.

The good stuff is that he is very sweet. Loves  getting brushed, having his paws groomed, having his belly rubbed, even >having his ears cleaned. He actually PLAYS by himself. (Nugget and Malibu never did). Harley throws a ball up with his mouth and chases it! He rolls around and his legs go like crazy when he gets on his back. It's so cute to watch. This morning after his normal routine, he went up to Tom's office and barked him downstairs so he could have a walk. He totally knows how to demand what he wants. This afternoon he is coming to my office with me. He loves the attention and they love him. Will fill you in on more in my  next e-mail.

Hello to all of you and thanks again for finding us Harley. His former owners  all e-mail us regularly to make sure that he is o.k. They're really happy that he has a good home and has adjusted well.

 Paula Hoffman Ford

Dear Paula, Thanks for opening your hearts to a beautiful senior.  We're so pleased we were able to help you and Harley find each other.


Good evening,

Just to let you know, Sandi, who we adopted on Saturday, has made herself at home here. Our cat Toby (also a rescue) is tolerating her, Sandi's size being the only intimidating factor. Sandi's response to him is virtual indifference. She is a real sweetheart and a beautiful lady; well behaved and very affectionate.

She is a great match for our family, and our experience w/GRRI has been excellent.

Thank you for all the work you do, our appreciation to Teresa, and thanks for letting us provide a "Forever Home" for Sandi.


Bob & Nancy Collins

Dear Bob & Nancy -- All the best with Sandi and may you have many happy years together!


Dear GRRI,

We wanted to thank you for Molson!  We just love him and couldn't be more pleased!  We are already looking forward to adopting through you again.

We have had Molson 10 days now and he is doing GREAT !  He is doing well on his medication for Lyme and looks like a happy healthy 8-yer old Golden.  We are so proud of him and the love we feel is indescribable. 

We want to thank you for choosing us for Molson.  When we first saw him on your web site he was our first choice.  When the call came and his foster mom said we have a dog you might like to meet, we were so excited.  When she told us his name was Molson we were ecstatic!  When I went to work and told everyone we got our dog, my friend said "is it the one you wanted?  Micalob (like the beer). I had to laugh and then I said yes, Molson.

We have enjoyed trading emails with Shayne Murray. We thank her for her time and support.  We feel like new parents even though we had 2 previous Goldens.  There is still so much to learn. We wanted to take him to the Noah's Ark Howl n Hike walk today to meet your volunteers and to show him off but Shayne recommended we don't.  We were disappointed but we thank her for the information.

We have read through your Adoption Manual.  Every time I read the poems I cry.  They are wonderful!  The article on "perfect Goldens Wanted" is so true.  We were worried about adoptiing an older golden but now that we have him we feel we did get a perfect Golden.  You can tell he reviously had a wonderful home and was well trained, happy and loved.  We feel sorry for his previous gamily having to give him up;  I couldn't imagine he is so wonderful. It must have been a horrible decision.  We are so thankful we decided not to buy a puppy and looked into adoption. Our main reason for adoption was our hearts went out to all the homeless animals. They all deserve a home!

Three of our friends just got new puppies. They are wild, loveable little monsters. Who can resist a cute puppy?  But I don't think they realized the time and patience that go along with them.  When we told all of our friends and family we wanted an older and special needs they thought we were crazy.  I now look at them and I look at Molson - I think they were crazy.

I also liked the poem "The meaning of rescue".  I would like to frame it and put Molson's picture next to it. The last line "But I do come with baggage. Will you still want me?"  The day we brought Molson home his foster mom said "For any reason you feel it won't work out, I would love to take him back; we  just love him and don't mind having him here with us".  We got in the car and my husband said "we would never return him, no matter what."  We made a commitment forever and forever he will be with us!

The first night we made dinner he wanted to jump up and counter surf.  My husband looked at me and said if that's all he does, that's good.  We now just don't leave food on the counter. It has taught our kids to eat at the table only. So you see he has helped us in return.  We are very proud of him and are blessed beyond belief. He is truly a perfect Golden!

A special thanks to your Adoption Coordinator, Eileen McFadden, for perfectly matching our application with the perfect dog.  We feel he is exactly what we asked for. Having two small children, naturally we were concerned but had faith with GRRI to place the appropriate dog with us....just as you did!

Thanks again for everything. We just hope we will make you and Molson proud of us as we are truly proud of him.

Keep up the good work!

Christine, Mark, Brooke & Amanda Wakefoose

Dear Christine & family, Thanks for the very kind words about our volunteers!  And all the best with Molson!!