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Fall 2019

Volunteer Member in the Spotlight • Volunteering at SEVA GRREAT • Titers or Vaccinations?

Contents GRREAT Times is a quarterly publication of SEVA GRREAT, Inc., an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to finding homes for homeless Golden Retrievers.

3 .. President’s Message

For more information, call our Hotline at 757-827-8561 or visit our web site at To contact the newsletter editor with suggestions, comments, or send materials and photos for inclusion, send an e-mail to, or write Attn.: Newsletter Editor, PO Box 8014, Yorktown, VA 23693.

4 .. Adoptions


SEVA GRREAT disclaims all responsibility for omissions or errors.

When you submit your pictures for publication in print, please submit an original digital image of no less than 300 dpi. If you aren’t sure of the dpi, send the original and we’ll check the possibility for use. We can make pictures smaller but we can not make them larger. Don’t worry about the file size; if you can send it, we can receive it. If you can’t send it, let us know. We’ll show you a way that it can be sent. Email to:

in the Spotlight

8 .. Volunteering at SEVA GRREAT

Submitting Stories and Photos We have decided to make “homecoming” a feature in each newsletter to feature dogs that have been adopted from us over the years. Send us a picture (identify everyone in it, please) with your dog’s name, when you adopted it, your name and a few words or more about your dog. Full length stories are welcomed, too!

6 .. Volunteer Member

10 .. Feeling at Home


11 .. 2020 is here “already” 12 .. Homecoming 14 .. Titers or Vaccinations?


18 .. Quips & Quotes 19 .. What Do You Say To Your Dog?


20 .. Rainbow Bridge 22 .. Contributions 23 .. Membership, Donation

& Volunteer Form

On The Cover: 2

From the month of November in our 2019 calendar, that’s Link letting us know that the new SEVA GRREAT 2020 calendar will be available starting in October 2019.

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

Mark Your Calendar

President’s Message

October 19 Homecoming Picnic Newport News October 26 Paws at the River Yorktown November 2 Residents’ Event The Chesapeake, Newport News November 10 Charity Brunch at the Shaved Duck Virginia Beach Check our website for updates and exact locations and times of events. Check back a week before the event to confirm.

Facebook: Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education, and Training! Website:

GRREAT ADS GRREAT Times is now offering advertising space. Rates per issue for various size ads are: Full Page = $150 1/2 Page = $100 1/3 Page = $75 1/6 Page = $50 A discounted rate for multiple issue placement is available Email requests, size and specification questions to Every effort will be made to put your ad in the desired issue. GRREAT Times is published quarterly the second week of January, April, July, and October. Deadline for submitting an AD is the 1st of the month prior to the publication date.


What It Is All About

appy Fall, SEVA GRREAT supporters. After my lengthy message last quarter, the “first dogs” and I pledge to keep this one much shorter. The first item of great news is this should be the last of my “ramblings” for a while, which I’m sure is a relief to you all! As I said when I first “introduced myself” in 2011, I have absolutely NO idea how I ended up serving as President of this amazing organization. For the past 9 years (7 as president and 2 as VP), I have worked with the best volunteers and board members EVER. Your compassion and dedication are unparalleled – we have accomplished so many awesome things, and I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements. If I try to list them all, I will surely leave something out and don’t want that to happen. Suffice it to say that we have risen to the challenge and adjusted to the changing “climate” of Golden Retriever Rescue - fewer intakes overall, sicker goldens coming in, broadening our reach internationally, etc. We couldn’t have done that without our amazing supporters. We continue to try and balance all of that – adhering to our primary mission of rescuing goldens in need while being mindful of our available resources (both financial and volunteers). We are “fortunate” to have more waiting families than available goldens – that makes it tough for our waiting families, but best for our goldens that more and more may have “special needs.”

To date in 2019, we have rescued 55 goldens (36 international and 19 “locals”) This is “ahead” of last year’s pace, minus the unexpected influx of puppies we had last summer. And thanks to our fund raising efforts, we are catching up again financially and have also had 46 successful adoptions so far. That is “what it is all about.” I know we’ve been talking about if for several years, but now is the time that we need you even more! Due to expiring “term limits” and the number of board members that have been “doubling up” on recent duties, we desperately need to recruit more board members to keep our mission going. We don’t want to suspend operations or scare anyone off – we just need to encourage even more participation from those that share our passion for the goldens we love so much. Watch your email and/or the website and Facebook page for updates. We will be recruiting for key board positions and look forward to new participation/interest. Feel free to reach out to any of us with questions. Don’t be afraid to jump in as I once did – it will be one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences you could possibly imagine!


You can now get a PDF file of GRREAT Times magazine instead of receiving a hard copy by mail. Just contact Jacob Kay at

FALL 2019









Li Ming/Bailey



Roux Messi – Mike & Roxanne Cassasa

Harry/Bear – Patricia & Charles Thomas

Barbie – Mary Connell

Li Ming/Bailey – Penny & Mike Crampton

Max – Don & Kathy Ingersoll Sophie – Barb & George Talley Bentley – Pat & John Donaldson


Cessi/Macy – Shannon & Dan Stell Meghan/Emmy – Kathy & John Vargas Roux – Jim Stepanek & Trey Morrison

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.



Wang Wang/Louie

Meng Meng/Jenny/Penny




Bei Bei/Fiona McDougal


Lidya/Lilly – Rachel & Craig Joy

Arya – Kristi & Brad Gersten

Pasha – Kristi & James Packer

Meng Meng/Jenny/Penny – Joe & Deb Morris

Gabi – Kevin & Tammi Amick Wang Wang/Louie – Albert Fleer & Kara Trittler Dali/Theo – Jameson & Lauren Gregg

Bei Bei/Fiona McDougal – Judy Dyer Balkiz – Kristin & Mike Robertsr Lucky/Finn – Donna & Jack Roggmann


Fall 2019


SEVA GRREAT Volunteer Member in

Susan Beckman


here do you live?   Suffolk, VA

What do you do for a living? I work in healthcare IT as an application coordinator, working with software for the electronic medical record system. I’m fortunate to work 5 minutes from home which allows for lunchtime trips home to check on the pups. Tell us about your family.   I have been married to my wonderful husband, Butch, for 19 years. I have an adult son who lives nearby. How are you involved as a volunteer for SEVA GRREAT? I am a home evaluator and a foster. At this point, I have fostered two sweet girls from Turkey (Dixie and Rita), and also one of the first China dogs, a handsome boy that we named Louie. Tell us about your current Golden(s) and/or other “furry family members.”. We currently have a four year old Golden, Jordy, and a 5 year old mix, Vinny. We got Jordy from a breeder in 2015 during a slow spell with SEVA GRREAT when there weren’t many dogs available and we were suffering from the loss of our two previous Goldens within 5 months of each other. Shortly after getting Jordy, we were thrilled to adopt Vinny from SEVA GRREAT. He may be a mix, but he is truly GOLDEN at heart. What other Goldens/pets have you loved in the past? My first pet as an adult was my cockatiel, Homer. Homer lived for 23 years and his special talent was whistling the theme from the movie “The Bridge Over the River Kwai.” We got our first Golden, Rascal, in 2003 when he was a year old. He had been posted on the bulletin board at our vet by someone who was 6

selling him for $100.00 because he was “too wild.” Imagine that….a one year old Golden with no obedience training that was a little crazy! Rascal became the best dog that ever was. (I know everyone has had one of those). In 2014, we decided to add a second Golden to our family and adopted Jake from SEVA GRREAT. Jake was a sweet three-year-old who even livened up our aging Rascal. Unfortunately, Jake was soon diagnosed with lymphoma, and we lost both Rascal and Jake just a few months apart. The SEVA GRREAT family was so supportive throughout Jake’s illness and I will never forget that. Do you have any hobbies/special interests? My husband and I are avid Green Bay Packer fans. Our typical game day starts with putting Packer collars on our boys and they watch the games with us. Well, maybe Jordy is more interested in the tailgate food . . . but I like to think he enjoys the game. Vinny is named for Vince Lombardi and Jordy is for our favorite wide receiver, Jordy Nelson. We enjoy camping and hiking with our pups. They love going places with us and we take them whenever we travel, as much as possible. We have also found a few pet-friendly bed & breakfasts that allow us to vacation together. SEVA GRREAT Member since? I have been a member since adopting Jake in 2014. What is your favorite Golden memory or funniest thing you have done with your dog?   Throughout the years, there are so many funny stories. The first that comes to mind is one December day when I walked in the kitchen to find Jordy’s legs speckled with something red. I immediately had a moment of panic and

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

started looking for injuries and the source of the blood. When I found nothing, I realized that my tube of red frosting for my Christmas cookies was missing. He had not only eaten the frosting, but the entire plastic tube as well. The only evidence was the spots of red on his legs, and maybe the satisfied yet guilty look on his face. A favorite memory for Vinny might not be the night he brought me a rabbit at bedtime. I more prefer watching him at his favorite pastime of stealing toys from Jordy and taking them under the bed where Jordy can’t fit. Do you talk to your pets, and what do you talk about? I suppose I have the regular conversations that everyone has with their dogs, telling them to be good boys when I leave and asking them about their day when I get home. Of course, there are some key words that have to be used carefully such as “walk,” “treat,” and “ball,” How do you celebrate your dog’s birthday or other holidays? Does your dog dress up? We don’t dress up our dogs except for the Packer collars. However, Jordy would wear anything for food, while Vinny refuses to wear anything and looks at me as though I’m crazy if I try to put him in a costume for the Toyland Parade in Yorktown. Do you have a favorite SEVA GRREAT story/memory? My favorite recent memory is the membership meeting at Sandbridge this year. It was such fun to see all of the Goldens frolicking in the sand and surf. Describe the perfect day with your Golden(s)/other pets.  I would say the perfect day would be waking up in our tent with Jordy and Vinny snuggled with us. Then, we spend the day enjoying

the Spotlight

nature, hiking on trails or around the lake, and letting Jordy swim and fetch sticks while Vinny loves staying on dry land and sniffing out squirrels and rabbits. What keeps you involved with SEVA GRREAT? I stay involved with SEVA GRREAT because of

the people who make the organization what it is . . . a group who will do anything f or any dog to care for them and find them a good home. There are many dogs through the years that come to mind. Most recently, I think of all that has been done for Domino, Maxwell and Boomer. Not all of the stories have happy endings, but the love that is

shown to them will always warm my heart. Another reason for staying involved, as both home evaluator and foster, is to see the excitement of families as they find and adopt their new family member. When they find out that a dog has picked them, the joy in their faces makes it such a rewarding experience. Fall 2019


Volunteering at SEVA GRREAT

by Sharon Leeman


ike most volunteer organizations, we always need people to help out. Tell us what you enjoy doing or what skills you have, and we’ll suggest a way you can do it with SEVA GRREAT. You can do as much or as little as you like. Many volunteers start by doing a one-time event like working the booth at a festival selling merchandise and answering questions about the rescue. A bonus -- we almost always have Goldens available at our events -- unless it is in a venue that does not permit dogs. Another opportunity is to meet an individual, often at a vet’s office, and do the surrender paperwork for a family who is giving up a dog. This task requires sensitivity as give-up families are often emotional. You can also volunteer to transport a dog. This might be the dog that was surrendered by a family, pulled


from a shelter, or one of the international dogs coming into Dulles or JFK Airports who need to be transported back to our area. Sometimes transports are done in segments if the two end points are a distance apart. Transport means picking the dog up in one location and usually taking them to one of our participating vets so they can have their intake exam. In a foster-based rescue like ours, where there is no physical shelter, there is always a need for foster homes. If we don’t have a foster home, we either have to say no to the dog or place them in boarding. Foster care can range from a few weeks for a healthy dog, to a few months for a dog that needs medical care, or even longer in the case of our forever fosters. Sometimes foster care is needed to cover the primary foster’s vacation or business travel and can be as short as a week or 10 days. Some

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

foster dogs will acclimate into your home like they’ve always been there, and then there are the ones who really need you because they need some love, consistency and basic training. Another ongoing need is for home evaluators (HEs) to visit prospective foster or adoptive homes. Home evaluators learn to do what they do by shadowing an experienced HE to learn how a visit is done. A new HE can have an experienced HE go with them on their own visits for support until they are comfortable going on their own. It usually doesn’t take more than one or two visits.Once you approve a family interested in adopting, your role changes from evaluator to advocate. You will speak with the foster family on behalf of your family when they are interested in adopting a particular dog. The foster knows the dog best and the HE knows the family best. Discussions between the two

Interested in Volunteering? It’s Easy! Just fill out the volunteer portion of the application on the inside back cover of this magazine.

helps the rescue find the right fit for each dog, and that’s what it is all about.

stuff our annual Christmas card among other things.

If you like to write, you can submit an article to GRREAT Times to be considered for publication. We’re proud of our magazine and every issue we look for interesting topics and information for our readers. If you have ideas for fundraising, we welcome you to work with our fundraising committee; as you’ve probably noticed, we never stop fundraising -- without a regular influx of donations, we can’t afford to rescue dogs. We are always looking for new ideas to raise money and would welcome someone to organize an event.

One of the biggest needs we have is for individuals willing to join the Board of Directors. Ideally, all of the positions on the board would have -- not only the voting board member -- but an assistant coordinator who is learning the ropes and filling in when needed. If you want to be on the voting board, starting as an assistant is an easy way to prepare and learn about the rescue in greater detail. It’s exciting. Many people don’t realize what it takes to run the rescue, but it runs very much like any other small business. It provides the opportunity to decide direction and focus but also provides a lot of learning opportunities as well. Serving on the Board could be a real advantage to anyone looking to build their resume, just because we are all-volunteer

There are volunteers who write thank-you notes, send sympathy cards, pick up and distribute mail, distribute calendars to various locations, solicit calendar sponsorships, and

does not mean that we don’t build business skills. The Board consists of four elected officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and Directors/Coordinators appointed by the officers. The Coordinators are in charge of the functional areas (Intake, Foster, Adoption, Membership, Volunteers). There are also Board Members at Large with functional assignments (currently Medical and Fundraising). There are also non-voting board members who edit the magazine and calendar, keep us supplied with merchandise, organize events, and keep both the website and Facebook page running. Having volunteers in any or all of these areas is advantageous to the rescue. Doing one job or several is common. Shared work makes the load lighter and manageable for all. Come join us! See what we have to offer.

Fall 2019


Feeling at Home After So Many Changes T

his is Cooper, formerly named Dabbie, who came to us as a foster two weeks ago and life as we know it has changed yet again. About two months ago, we lost our Max, a big, beautiful senior boy who came to us through SEVA about four years ago. At the time he was almost 9 years old, had arthritis and various lumps and bumps and we wanted to give him the very best quality of life in his twilight years. We could have never realized at the time how much more he would give to us. Love, laughing, big snuggles and wet kisses filled our days. He lived for another four, happy years until his beautiful golden body could not carry him anymore and he let us know that it was time to say goodbye. Our hearts were still raw and hurting, but we knew there was room in our lives for another senior boy or girl. When we received a call


By Cathy Hoyt from Sharon Leeman and Debbie Morris about Cooper, we just knew we had to take him home. Cooper is one of the Turkey dogs who came to the United States at the beginning of 2019. After circumstances changed in his previous foster situation, he needed a new foster home. He came to us with several health issues that were not obvious when he came to the states. We are totally committed to resolve, or at the very least, we know we can help him to become the best he can be. Since coming to our home, he has blended in with our family beautifully. He and our golden retriever Charlie and our sweet kitty Finnigan are quickly becoming pals and bonding over play time, swimming and walks together. Cooper’s mobility was quite limited when he came to us but is slowly improving every day because of a change in medication and lots of outside play time. He is obsessed with our chipmunks and

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

waits very patiently at the corner of our back yard for them to show their little heads. I swear they taunt him! He loves playtime with his toys inside as well and already has favorites, especially Clifford, the big red dog. I often wonder what his life was like on the streets in Turkey, but I do know those days are gone and he will be so much better here surrounded by dedicated family, great health care and this wonderful organization that spends so much of their time and resources making sure these beautiful goldens have a better life. Once again, we have been blessed beyond measure and I know our Max is looking down saying thank you for making room in your hearts for another boy who needs your care, but most of all your unconditional love.

2020 is here “already” We’re talking about SEVA GRREAT’s 2020 Calendar

2020 Calen dar

Rescued G o

lden Retrie vers

www.adop tagolden (757)827-8 .com 561

You can order the 2020 SEVA GRREAT calendar from our website,, or find it at many veterinary locations and our upcoming public events.

“First Team Toyota supports GRREAT! LookinG FoR A cAR? comE sEE us AT: 3400 Western Branch Blvd, chesapeake, VA 23321 Phone: 877-331-5419 •

Fall 2019


Homecoming Share your pictures and stories by sending them to They will be featured in coming newsletters, right here under Homecoming.

Blaze, aka, the world’s sweetest dog, loved by Joanne Even, spent a few days with me. 

–Quan Li

Owen was part of a litter of puppies that entered rescue last spring. His family adopted him in July. Here’s what his mom has to say about him: “Owen, our crazy boy, has been a source of comedy and comfort for our boy O’Connor since the passing of our boy Sebastian! These two are great friends!!!” So many of our adopted dogs are part of multi-golden families. Once you’ve had one, you can’t resist a second... and so on, and so on.


Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

Lulu was born into the rescue and we adopted her at 10 months. Red, her older brother needed a feisty play friend and he picked her out and it was love at first sight. She is my shadow, loves her Brother and loves to tease him more. She is very gentle and learned all her tricks from watching her super smart big brother. She is my joy and peace and would be a great duck hunter if given the opportunity. She is our petite princess.


We have some wonderful new pictures of Louie. He is doing well with his forever mom and dad and getting to meet some more extended family too. He enjoys hanging out on his balcony watching the world go by. Love those shades, Louie. Stay cool, man!

Mike and I celebrated 1 year with Brewer on August 19,2019! He was one of the puppies from the 2 litters that SEVA GRREAT rescued on August 19, 2018. We officially adopted him on September 22, 2018. He arrived in our home coincidentally on Mike’s birthday. His name, Brewer, was chosen because of my Mike’s hobby of home brewing beer and because he grew up near the AnheuserBusch Brewery in St. Louis, MO! 

This is Zeke (formerly known as Reef). Daniel Weber adopted him from Seva Grreat around 7 years ago! Now he has quite the family -- a mom named Chelsea, a 3 year old little girl to play with, and a pitbull sister. He loves riding in the Jeep, swimming, and playing ball. Last year his doggie sister Belle was very sick and needed a blood transfusion, and Zeke stepped up and donated his blood to help her get through the night. We adore him!

–Lee Anne Lamkin

Left to right: Bailey 9, rescue Molly1, rescue Winston 4.

–Dave Knoll

This is Eva (former Turkey dog Aida) who was adopted two years ago already. Here’s what her mom has to say: “We adopted her on July 6, 2017. I don’t know much about her back story - I wish I knew more. She is the friendliest and sweetest dog and she is the cure for loneliness or a bad mood! We love this organization! Thank you for all you do.”

Summer 2019


Titers or Vaccinations?

(Or, is your dog really “due” for vaccinations?) by Beth Rodgers, Ph.D.


e forewarned, this is a long entry, but I want you to have sufficient information to be an informed partner in decision making with your vet about what is best for your dog. While I hope you will take the time to read this so you understand the current recommendations, I have provided a summary at the end of this post. Spoiler alert: I have been getting titers rather than repeated core vaccines for my goldens for more than 20 years, which is as long as I’ve been able to find veterinarians who were willing to do that. I was living in Wisconsin early in this time frame and, with one of the best veterinary immunologists in the country not too far away, I may have had earlier access than many to titer testing as an option. Still, I had to make a lot of calls to find a vet who shared my viewpoint. OK, now I’ve given away the ending to some extent, but there are many angles to this topic, so please keep reading. Health care decisions about your dog need to be based on informed discussions, not quick sound bites that came from the internet.  

How immunity and vaccines work. Let’s start with a very simplistic overview of how vaccines work (my immunologist colleagues will cringe, but they’ll get over it). Vaccines are created with actual disease-causing bacteria or viruses that have been altered so that they do not cause the disease with which they are associated. Vaccines come in a variety of forms; you may have heard the terms “killed virus,” or “modified live virus,” both of which describe the way a disease-causing organism in a vaccine is altered so it does not make your dog ill.  When a vaccination 14

is given, one of the things that happens is the lymphatic system produces antibodies to fight off the invading organism in the vaccine. The antibodies remain in the body for a time, sometimes a very long time, and are primed to attack that virus or bacterium should it be encountered in the future. There are a number of complex and interacting mechanisms that are involved in the immune response and different types of immunity, but antibodies generally are the first line of defense and the one involved with the titer testing we will be discussing. So I’ll leave it at that. 

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

Sometimes more than one injection of the vaccine is needed to generate sufficient antibody response. This is the case with “puppy shots” and also the reason that follow-up or “booster” injections sometimes are recommended after the initial injections. Some animals do not respond completely to the vaccine and develop weak or limited immunity, though this is uncommon.     How long is my dog immune after a vaccination? For many vaccines, immunity may develop that can last for several years or, in many cases, much longer. The type

of original vaccine as well as the animal’s response will affect the duration of immunity (DOI). For some, it may last only about one year, which is why the Bordetella vaccine and a few others are recommended for annual revaccination.  Dr. Ronald Schulz of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the leading researchers in the area of veterinary vaccines and an author on the recent guidelines created by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), has done extensive research on the duration of immunity achieved with initial core vaccines. His research, going as far back as the 1970s and using the best techniques for studies of this type, has demonstrated repeatedly that the core vaccines provide immunity on average for 7 years or longer and, in some cases, immunity from initial vaccination may last for the life of the dog. Core vaccines are the ones considered to be critical to the health of the dog and are recommended for all dogs. They include only the following at present: • Modified Live Virus (MLV) or recombinant Canine Distemper • MLV Parvovirus • MLV Adenovirus-2 • MLV Parainfluenza Virus • Rabies Adenovirus is related to canine hepatitis, so you may know the combination vaccine as the DAPP or DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza). All other vaccines are considered Noncore, or to be given only if individual circumstances warrant based on a balanced consideration of risk and benefit. Risk includes how likely the dog is to encounter the disease organism based on environment or behavior, the risk to the dog if it contracts the disease, and whether the protective effects of the vaccine warrant the risk of the vaccine administration. Risk assessment might also include whether the disease can be avoided in other ways, for example, through minimizing

exposure or using other means of prevention. In 2003, with evidence increasingly showing that the prevailing standard for yearly revaccination was not necessary, the major veterinary and animal hospital associations revised their guidelines to recommend a 3 year interval for re-vaccination. The 3-year interval was a compromise position based on a number of considerations, not based on evidence that immune status lasted only 3 years. Since that time, the recommendation has evolved so that the guidelines now read that the interval between vaccination administrations should be a minimum of 3 years, in other words, as a general principle, a dog should not be vaccinated with core vaccines any more often than every three years. As stated in the current guidelines of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, “above all, it must be remembered that even a 3-year license is a minimum DOI [duration of immunity] for core vaccines and for most core vaccines the true DOI is likely to be considerably longer, if not lifelong, for the majority of vaccine recipients.” What to do when your dog is“due” for vaccination (after initial vaccination series is complete)?   Immunity does not fall off precipitously on the vaccination “due” date. In addition, there is all that evidence that shows that for many vaccinations immunity lasts much longer than three years, often for the life of the dog. That leaves us with several options: assume the dog continues to have satisfactory immunity and do not obtain additional vaccinations (might be ok, but we have no way of knowing so there is risk to your dog with this option), booster the vaccinations just to be sure (might ensure immunity but there are risks to your dog of unnecessary vaccinations), or do serum titers that provide a measure of current immunity (evidence supports this as best practice). Revaccination, if not needed, is of no benefit to the dog; a dog with sufficient immunity does not become more immune, so it is at minimum a waste of money and may be harmful because of possible negative effects of vaccination. An adverse response to vaccine can occur with

Shelley Kuglin 757-813-0021

Rescue Hotline 757-827-8561 Press For 1 If you think you have found one of our Goldens based on the SEVA GRREAT tag or microchip. 2 To leave a message for the President 3 To give up a Golden Retriever or get more info on our intake process 4 For Information on Golden Days and other events. 5 To check on the status of an adoption or foster application. 6 For all other questions.

Fall 2019


an array of symptoms and severity that ranges from mild to life threatening. While this is relatively uncommon, it does occur. Animals that are immunocompromised or have other health problems may be more likely to experience adverse reactions and this response also is more common in certain breeds and smaller dogs. There is some evidence that the risk of adverse effects might increase with repeated vaccinations. Vaccines trigger a complex immune response and the outcome of this repeated triggering of the immune system may have detrimental health effects ranging from short term lethargy to serious autoimmune disorders. There is a need for more research in this area although both research and anecdotal reports show that there is at minimum some risk associated with vaccines.  The titer option. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on guess work or just hoping for the best to protect our dogs. Research has shown repeatedly that antibody titers are a good measure of immune status following the initial core vaccination series. (Initial titers sometimes are done after that series to ensure that the dog responded appropriately to the vaccines as there are a small number of dogs who are “non-responders”). The AAHA guidelines note that “a ‘positive’ antibody test result [for the core vaccines] generally does correlate well with protective (sterile) immunity in dogs. This applies to not only laboratorybased testing procedures (quantitative testing) but to in-clinic point-of-care (qualitative testing) antibody kits as well.” One deterrent to titer testing had been the fact that it was more expensive, especially with samples sent to a laboratory for testing. As more people have sought titer testing in lieu of repeated vaccinations, and more veterinarians are receptive to this approach, prices have come down and new options are available, including the tests that veterinarians can perform in their own clinics.  The WSAVA guidelines describe titer testing as the better practice compared to repeat vaccination: “The [Vaccination Guidelines 16

Group] recognizes that at present such serological testing might be relatively expensive. However, the principles of ‘evidence based veterinary medicine’ suggest that testing for antibody status (for either puppies or adult dogs) should be better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this would be ‘safe and cost less’.” Titers currently are available for all of the core vaccines. Titers should be monitored regularly to determine when revaccination might be indicated. Most people who use titers to monitor immune status repeat these with the yearly exam. The best interval can be determined by your veterinarian in discussion with you about your dog’s lifestyle and it also will vary depending on the specific vaccine administered previously to your dog. The rabies vaccination exception.  Unfortunately, we are faced with one exception to this decision making process due to the legal requirement for rabies vaccination. Rabies titers are available but few, if any, localities have changed their laws to match best practice for rabies vaccination.  Some local governments have a process to apply for an exception with exceptions being considered if the dig is debilitated or otherwise compromised such that the vaccination is likely to be harmful to the dog. These exceptions require approval by a local health officer and may be difficult to obtain.  Rules vary by locality.  In the event of a bite incident, the dog who is not up to date with rabies vaccination, even if only a few days past the due date, could face dire consequences, a risk that is greater than the risk of contracting rabies if the vaccination becomes past due.  So the rabies vaccine is needed when local laws dictate to protect the dog from legal ramifications if not the disease itself.  At least the rabies vaccination schedule has been changed to a 3 year interval, and the particular vaccine is of less burden on the immune system than some other vaccine types.   Further effort to extend that timeline or to gain acceptance for rabies titers will help alleviate this burden on our dogs.  

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

Summary – Current best practice The current best practices regarding vaccines and your dog, supported by decades of quality evidence and as expressed in the guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, support the following: 1.  Ensure baseline immunity through proper administration of core vaccine initial series.  For puppies, this involves administration, on the proper schedule, of the recommended “puppy shots” and booster. For adult dogs with unknown vaccine history, there are a couple of different options depending on what is known and the veterinarian’s approach.  2. If finances allow, conduct a titer test to determine responsiveness to the initial vaccines. A blood sample taken about 4 weeks after the last vaccines in the series can be analyzed to determine that the dog is showing

the desired immune response. The incidence of non-responders is quite low, so this is not essential, but if you want to be really certain that immunity has been established, this option is available. This may be particularly useful if the plan is to do titers in the future. 3. Avoid unnecessary vaccinations, including re-vaccination and non-core vaccines that are not indicated by your dog’s individual situation. Consider carefully with regard to the dog’s lifestyle and risk whether any of the noncore vaccines are needed.  Balance the benefits of protection against the risk of the disease, both in terms of the risk of your dog contracting the disease and also the seriousness of the disease if your dog becomes ill.    4. Perform serologic (titer) testing at intervals to determine maintenance of immunity. Revaccinate only when titers indicate booster is necessary (generally before it falls into the negative range) or if changes in the dog’s risk status warrant.   5. If titers are not an option, then minimize vaccination by at least having your dog vaccinated no more frequently than necessary and with only the vaccines appropriate for your dog. Discuss with your vet the best management approach for your dog based on the dog’s lifestyle. Wishing you and your dog the best of health!  

Links for more reading are provided below. I welcome your questions and comments.  American AnimalHospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Guidelines, 2/3/18    AAHA CanineVaccination Guidelines, Antibody testing vs vaccination   World SmallAnimal Veterinary Association Vaccination Guidelines  More about Dr.Schultz’s research

Do you have a SEVA GRREAT dog? We would love to see what you are doing. Our alumni seem to be having very exciting lives. Share your pictures, including captions, by sending them to They will be featured in the next newsletter under Homecoming. And if you have a story to tell, we and the other Golden lovers would enjoy reading about it. So, send those stories with your photos also. We love pictures of newly adopted dogs with their new families, too!

Fall 2019


Quips & Quotes s, l i a f e s l e l l a n e Wh sic turn up the mu

The 5 Second Rule

Before walking yo ur dog: Place the back of your hand on the asphalt. If you can’t hold it there for 5 second s, it’s too hot to go for a walk.

. g o d r u o y h t i w and dance Heimlich for


Sweep fro m to side to side se e if you can dislod ge the obje ct


Head facing down like a wheelbarro w

Peanut Butter Alert Reminder


A “sharp b lo your pet’s w” between shoulder blades mig ht do the tr ick


Compress th abdomen e up with yo by pushing ur fist

A new type of peanut butter (and other nut butters) is being sold with less sugar, but now includes xylitol as a sweetner. That is what is used in sugarless gum and it can be deadly to dogs. Many people use peanut butter as a dog treat, or to fill a Kong, or disguise medications. If they use the type with xylitol, it could be very dangerous. 18

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.


What Do You Say To Your Dog? How Do You Say It? by Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs and Your Dog’s Diner


any days, I wonder how I got to be so crazy. Many more days, I love the crazy. Because spending so much time with my dogs has been worth every sacrifice made. Because I spend most of my time with my dogs, I observe and see things about them that most dog parents would not because of working outside the home. And I don’t take this privilege for granted! I see their individual personalities more vividly. I see how they contribute so much to my life. I sense more of a communication gap being bridged between us because we have more time that is focused on each other. And because of this, simply talking to my dogs in “baby talk” or “dog talk” all of a sudden really didn’t seem appropriate to me. One day, I woke up and I realized that perhaps the best way of speaking to them was to do so like I would any other person. Any other person that I loved. Any other person that I respected. And the respect part is what I feel is lost with so many dog parents. And I saw that this past week at the dog park. Many. Times. We were waiting to get into the dog park when a couple approached with two dogs. When they got out of their car, they were already screaming at them to slow down. As they approached the gate, they were yelling at them to sit. As they made them sit before they entered, they told them over and over how bad they were for not listening. One of their dogs growled and the other simply just couldn’t do what they were asking. Finally, they let them inside the park and said that they gave up. They seemed upset, and the dogs ran as fast as they could inside. They were so happy to be free and apparently at a favorite place. I don’t think for a moment that these dog parents meant any harm. But I do think that in fact, if they had

been observers, perhaps they would have changed their tone and their way of speaking to their dogs. As we played inside the park, another dog parent yelled for their dog not to swim in the lake. I think everyone could have heard her miles away. And I thought, as I chased Digby trying to hump yet another unsuspecting playmate, what was the best way for us to communicate effectively with our dogs? I am not a trainer and I don’t want to be. I have no degree in anything related to dogs! My on the job training however has proven to me one thing. It matters what we say to our dogs. It matters how we say it. I am not sure when dog parents decided that berating, yelling or treating their dogs inferior was ok. It is not ok. Treating any living thing without respect not only is detrimental to that individual’s well being and self esteem, but it is not effective. Can we stop? Can we be quiet for a moment and think? Imagine that moment when your dog drags you head first down a muddy mountain hill.

Imagine that moment when your dog pulls you down in a pile of rocks in a campground in Illinois. I don’t have to imagine it. I was there. I could go on and on. Did my dogs injure me because they hated me, or because they just wanted to cause trouble? No. They were being DOGS. Newsflash. They are dogs. They are put into our world, but no matter how hard you try, you will not turn them into a person. Yelling, screaming, or hurting your dog will not cause your dog not to chase that squirrel. And I have realized, that in my life, sometimes, this is just going to happen. And when this happens, sometimes, my temper and hurt get the best of me. A deep breath and stopping usually helps to make me remember that they are my family. But they are dogs. When we expect our dogs to live up to our standards, most will try. They will try to obey and to walk “correctly” and do all of this stuff we have invented to make them fit into our world’s conveniences. So many of our rules are for their safety. And I am all for that. But talking to my dogs, explaining why we have to do these things, is paramount to a good relationship in our house on wheels. And hopefully, in your house, when you see how great it can be to actually talk to your dog and try and communicate, you will see your relationship change too. All relationships can be worked on and improved upon. But it starts with talking. It starts with saying how we feel. Listen to what your dog says too. It’s a two way street! When we value the relationship we have with our dogs, others will notice how we interact with them. And all of our relationships, even with people, will be made better for it. Our dogs have much to teach us. Are you listening?

Fall 2019


Rainbow Bridge



Baily passed away this morning at 14 years old. Baily is the first foster dog we fostered after we adopted Ginger. At time he was 9. He was such a gentle giant. Baily followed Ginger every steps away during the very short few weeks we had him. He was adopted to a wonderful family and was showered with love every day in the last few years of his life. I know Ginger and him are together again at rainbow bridge. We miss you big boy.

We lost our sweet Maggie far too soon in mid October 2018 at the age of 9 ½ . We had adopted our beautiful tri paw girl from SEVA GRREAT back in the fall of 2011. Over the years, she endeared herself to all of our family members near and far. Friends and Family would all call out—“ Where is Maggie girl ? “ and she would come running!!

–Quanzhan Li

She enjoyed trips to the mountains and beaches all over Virginia and North Carolina and especially enjoyed picking up her boy from sleep away camp each and every summer! Her favorite activities were chasing the squirrels and going for car rides anywhere and any time. Her gentle and sweet soul will be greatly missed. She will always have a special place in our hearts. May she find comfort and peace at Rainbow Bridge.

–The Joy Family

Gracie Our perfect sweet girl Gracie left us in August. Grace made us “foster failures” after many wonderful fosters had come and gone before her.  She was the one we couldn’t let go.   Grace was only with us for 3 years but such a huge part of our family that her passing has left us devastated.  There really are no words adequate enough to say how much we miss her on a daily basis.  Our hearts are broken.

–Michelle and Charlie Pfeiffer

Max We adopted our beautiful golden boy four years ago. He was a senior at the time, almost 9 years old with years of wisdom in his eyes, but the spirit of a pup.  He will be missed beyond what we could possibly express.  Our greatest comfort is that he is now running in green fields and once again, his spirit and body are both vibrant.  Run free dearest boy, we will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.

–Cathy G. Hoyt 20

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.



She came to SEVA GRREAT a thin and frightened girl of an undetermined age. Deep scars covered her body; she obviously had to fight for food and basic survival, but her life was about to change.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Tess and Robert O’Neal and Sophie on the loss of their beloved family member, Bella. Tess said, “Life can be so unpredictable and so unfair sometimes.” Bella had not yet reached her first anniversary with them at Puppy Run Farm.

Named Peaches when taken in by SEVA, she spent time with her foster learning to trust humans as well as other dogs. Eventually she was ready to find her forever home.  Although not a golden, her heart was as pure as that precious metal, and so she became an honorary golden retriever.

Advancing age brings health issues, and the O’Neals give of themselves to the seniors, but Bella’s passing was totally unexpected and heartbreaking. She went from playing and giving lovies early in the day to, despite a rush to the ER, very shortly crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

Her perfect family found her, and a love affair quickly developed between her and another former SEVA alumni Riley who was now her adopted brother. The two wrestled, ran, and snuggled from dusk to dawn. Never again would this formerly frightened girl have to fear life without food, shelter, or love. Her name was changed to Molly, and she became the symbol of hope.

Rest peacefully sweet Bella and run free with the rest of the Pack.

Molly had many fears to overcome; there were tense moments during her adjustment phase as there are with all timid rescues. Her family, however, helped her to decompress by giving her the rules and expectations that would make her feel secure.  Her brother Riley also added to her security, and bit by bit the baggage that Molly had brought began to melt away. She began to eat a little slower, love her tummy rubs, and eventually even swam in the pool on K-9 swim days.

We are thankful to SEVA for sending Buddy to us and loved him for 6 1/2 years.

Molly left the world on July 18th, a victim of cancer. She leaves behind the legacy of hope--neither she nor her family ever gave up; they all knew time really can help a scared individual who is being given a chance at happiness. Molly will be missed by all who knew her.

–John Sumner

Buddy –Jim and Debbie Lamb

RoxiE Roxie and I found each other at the perfect time. Two months after I lost my beautiful Kallie, Roxie came into my life. She needed a forever home and I am lucky that I was able to give her one for five years. As all dogs are special, so was my Roxie. She was such a happy girl until she got sick. She was sweet and loved people and other dogs. She passed on July 15th, since then my heart and home have been empty. Run free sweet girl. I love you.

–Sharlene Johnson

Fall 2019


Rainbow Bridge

Contributions Elizabeth Hickey Windhound Photography In honor of Webber


Jane Krom In memory of Domino

We are very sorry to tell you that Domino has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When his mom got up early in the morning, he was not able to walk and she was unable to get him up. She rushed him to the emergency vet, but he was non-responsive and the decision was made to let him go peacefully. No one believed that he could recover.

Carolyn Manning In memory of Richard J. Beland

Domino’s story is multi-faceted and it is hard to know where to start and what to say. He came to us from Turkey in October 2017. He won last year’s calendar contest and is on the cover of our 2019 calendar. Someone asked once why we had a lab on the cover of a golden calendar. Before he came, we knew he was a lab/golden mix, but some of the “lab” look was due to the medical issues he fought that took a toll on his coat. Before he came, we knew he had some medical issues too, but we believed they were curable. What we also knew was that we looked in that big, beautiful face and couldn’t say no to bringing him to the US. He deserved a chance.

Ann and Andor Czompo

Domino was estimated to be around 8 when he made his way here. That’s a really old dog in Turkey. We don’t know much about his early life but he withstood plenty. He was a fighter and a survivor. Somewhere along the line, he was shot twice. He survived, but he carried those remnants in his body. He was found in front of a Domino’s pizza, nearly starved to death trying to get some food. He was saved that time by a loving, caring family in Turkey who nursed him back to health and got him into rescue. Most of you know about the cancer that he fought, surviving chemo and radiation, to get a “cancer free” report. Still we waited for the “all clear” so he could finally be adopted. In the meantime, there was kidney disease, and then the most recent injury to his leg and a tough surgery. We’ll never know for sure what caused his death, whether it was just one too many battles to fight or totally unrelated to the things that went before.

Linda Smith In memory of Juno and Tyro

Here’s what we will know. Through it all, he was a loving, caring pup who spread happiness wherever he went. Truly his angel was his mom, Karen. With her, he took walks on the beach every day and made friends wherever he went. Everyone who met Domino fell in love with him, and he could be found “representing” at the Neptune Festival and enjoying his doggie and human friends as recently as the Sandbridge membership meeting. In addition to the times he spent with us, they had many adventures together driving back and forth across the country. And she was with him at the end, holding him to her heart when he passed and telling him how much everyone loved him. We will remember him the way he is pictured here. He loved to lay in the sun, watch the sea, and think about life. Finally, after all those sad years, he had quite the life with Karen, and we know he appreciated all the love she gave him. We thank her for all she did and mourn with her over this tremendous loss.

Jack and Donna Roggmann


Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training, Inc.

Karen Perlstein Bart McGraw

Jo A. Vance Nancy Sezginalp and Family In memory of Domino and honor of SEVA GRREAT for their hunanitarian work saving Goldens

Penny and Michael Crampton Barry Barnes Susan Kenter In honor of Harley

Martha Glenn In memory of Elizabeth Mayes Beale of Goochland 1941-2019 Laurie Shinn Support China dogs Lynn Klewin In memory of all my Goldens Christine and W. Eric House In honor of Bill House and Baxter Peggy and Dave Main On memory of Maddy Beskins-Divers Insurance Group, Inc. In honor of Cindy Kennett Michael Brooks In honor of Charlie Brooks

In memory of Gracie Aluminum Recycling Program Pat and John Donaldson Old Dominion Metals and Recycling Carisbrooke Neighborhood

From the Estate of Bettye G. Jones Carl Jackson

Joe and Kathleen Dictor In memory of Gracie Tracy Minnich For all the Goldens and all that SEVA GRREAT does to help them Dominique Bogatz Support China dogs

Golden Oldie Love Dog Fund

(GOLD Fund) Sharon O’Donnell

For the Gold Fund, in memory of Toni Donato Scotti and Kathleen O’Donnell


Combined Federal Campaign #003456

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3456

MEMBERSHIP, DONATION & VOLUNTEER FORM Note: Membership is open to all persons 18 years or older.


To Volunteer:

Please have the Coordinator in the following area/areas contact me:

Name: _____________________________________________

(Check appropriate boxes)

Address: ___________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _ ______________________________________

These are listed in the order of urgent need by GRREAT.

E-mail: _____________________________________________

FOSTERING — A temporary home for SEVA GRREAT dogs before they are adopted.

Home Phone: ________________________________________

HOME EVALUATION –– visits for foster/adoption applicants.

Work Phone: ________________________________________

Your membership is Address Change running out. ADDITIONAL VOTING MEMBERS: It’s Time to (E-mail needs to be unique to vote.) Renew! Name: _____________________________________________

TRANSPORTATION — primarily shuttling dogs and/or equipment as necessary. If you are interested in helping with transportation, can you help on:

E-mail: _____________________________________________

PUBLICITY — researching and writing stories for media release and newsletters, selling ads for the newsletter, taking photos at events, updating the web site, etc.

This is a new membership

Name: _____________________________________________

(circle all that apply) Weekdays



EVENTS — helping to hold/show dogs at “Golden Days,” helping with fund raisers, etc.

MERCHANDISE — to man booths selling SEVA GRREAT stuff at local dog shows / fairs / festivals / etc.

E-mail: _____________________________________________ Name: _____________________________________________

If you are interested in assisting with intake, foster coordination, Golden Days or other areas on a regular basis, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at, for more information.

E-mail: _____________________________________________

REMITTANCE: I am enclosing my $25 annual membership dues $ ___________


Additional Voting members _____ @ $25 each

$ ___________

Please make checks payable to:


$ ___________

1 Calendar = $12.00 (includes shipping)

$ ___________


$ ___________

Mail this form with your check to: SEVA GRREAT PO Box 8014 Yorktown, VA 23693


In Memory of



Important Notice If you would like to become a member, please sign below. Otherwise, your remittance for annual membership must be considered a donation.

Date: __________________________________________________________________

I affirm that I have never been convicted of an animal abuse crime. Signature: ______________________________________________________________

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

SEVA GRREAT P.O. Box 8014 Yorktown, Va 23693


Williamsburg, Va 23185 Permit No. 220

Rescue Hotline 757-827-8561 Press For 1

If you think you have found one of our Goldens based on the SEVA GRREAT tag or microchip.

2 To leave a message for the President 3 To give up a Golden Retriever or get more info on our intake process 4

For Information on Golden Days and other events.


To check on the status of an adoption or foster application.


For all other questions.

National Dog Registry 1-800-NDR-DOGS Foster Dog Medical Care YORK VETERINARY CLINIC Yorktown – 757-898-3700 COOKE VET MEDICAL CENTER Chesapeake – 757-547-9421 QUIOCCASIN VET HOSPITAL Richmond – 804-741-3200 ACREDALE ANIMAL HOSPITAL Virginia Beach – 757-523-6100 ANDERSON’S CORNER Toano – 757-566-2224 Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian – 804-794-2099 Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach – 757-340-3913

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SEVA GRREAT Contact Information President Jane Krom Vice President Debbie Morris Treasurer Pat Donaldson Secretary Sharon Leeman Event Coordinators: Southside: Jane Krom Peninsula: Linda Thomson Richmond: Jennifer Dauzier Microchip Coordinator Sharon Leeman Intake Coordinator Michelle Pfeiffer Foster Coordinator Debbie Morris Adoption Coordinator Sharon Leeman Membership Jacob Kay Volunteer Coordinator Sherry Kara Medical Coordinator Beth Rodgers Merchandise Jennifer Dauzier Fundraising Linda Thomson GRREAT Times magazine Brad Miller

Want to Reach Dog Lovers with Your Message? Advertise in GRREAT Times Magazine and Help Our Goldens.

GRREAT Times Fall 2019  

Golden Retriever Rescue Education And Training

GRREAT Times Fall 2019  

Golden Retriever Rescue Education And Training