Page 1

Summer 2020

A Big Red Dog

Give Local 757 Contributors

Avoiding Snake Bites

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 www.sevagrreat.org.

4 .. Adoptions

To contact the newsletter editor with suggestions, comments, or send materials and photos for inclusion, send an e-mail to grreattimes@adoptagolden.com, or write Attn.: Newsletter Editor, PO Box 8014, Yorktown, VA 23693.

6 .. Give Local 757 Contributors

SEVA GRREAT disclaims all responsibility for omissions or errors.


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!

8 .. A Big Red Dog 10 .. Dental Care 11 .. Breach House Raffle Winner 12 .. Homecoming

11 14 .. Life With Dogs

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.

In The Age of The Coronavirus

15 .. COVID-19 Data 16 .. Dogs Love Home Quarantine

Email to: grreattimes@adoptagolden.com


18 .. Avoiding Snake Bites 20 .. Rainbow Bridge 22 .. Contributions 23 .. Membership & Volunteering

fostering@adoptagolden.com 2

ON THE COVER: Spring has sprung and that’s Rudi Reichart from our 2020 calendar ready for summer.



President’s Message

When the Going Gets Tough...

Check our website for updates and exact locations and times of events. adoptagolden.com Check back a week before the event to confirm.

Facebook: Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education, and Training! Website: https://adoptagolden.com

The tough get going.


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 grreattimes@adoptagolden.com. 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.

anticipate that the coronavirus “blues” have crept in for many as we now have practiced “sheltering in” for many months. Our lives have been totally disrupted in virtually every known way. And, despite all this — we march on doing what SEVA GRREAT historically does — persevere. So, my message is one of gratitude. We have successfully fulfilled substantial goals, despite the obstacles in front of us. In a matter of a few short weeks we campaigned in the Peninsula Give Local 757 drive with donations surpassing all previous years. This is of significance in that it is our largest fundraiser of the year. Through the hard work and generosity of so many, in 24 hours we saw what others might call impossible — happen. Out of more than 200+ non-profit organizations participating, SEVA GRREAT came in 6th place with more than $21,000 being donated. Under any circumstance this would be considered AWESOME but given our current environment it is much more than remarkable. Simultaneously we hosted a Beach House raffle. This was made possible through the overwhelming generosity of Mary Ann Naegele and her husband Dave. Once again, our WOOF meter pegged out with the resounding level of participation and ticket sales. I send congratulations to our lucky winner, Craig Chwojdak and share a hearty Bravo Zulu to

all who worked so hard to make these events such enormous successes. What next? We are eager to reopen and get back to business; and are ready now for when the time comes. Once operations begin we will resume home evaluations (HE’s), begin matching approved families with available Goldens, and hopefully resume overseas rescues with our China and Turkey liaisons. I know that many of you are still patiently waiting to do your initial “meet and greets” with your prospective fur babies. I wish there was more definitive news about when our “in care” dogs will become available, when adoption applications will reopen or how long it will take to fill our current backlog. In talking with other Golden rescues we know that we are not alone in this challenge. Statistics provided by the Shelter Dogs Count organization as seen on page 15 in the magazine further demonstrates that the Covid19 pandemic has only exacerbated previous shortages. Finally, our work continues with this year’s 2021 Calendar Contest. Voting takes place 15 July - 23 August 2020 so join us in voting for the cover photo. Full details are on our website. Check it out and join in the fun. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you one and all,

Dottie SUMMER 2020







Margo (Sadie)

Phoebe – Cathie Birdsong

Diego – Ann Czompo

Pearson – Tommy Danner

Margo (Sadie) – Ray & Mary Jo Neubauer

Addison – Kelsie Dailey Trooper


Daisy – Olivia & Andy Tullo

Trooper – Julie & Bryant Lowery

Send Us Your Photos 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 grreattimes@adoptagolden.com. 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!



Sponsor-A-Dog Contributions SUPPORT OUR GOLDENS!

via the links on our Home page www.adoptagolden.com. (At no additional cost to you)

AMAZON SMILE will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases to charitable organizations/ SEVA Grreat: • Visit smile.amazon.com • Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials. • Select your charity/SEVA GRREAT, • Start shopping.

KWOOFTRAX/ WALK-FOR-A-DOG Click on WoofTrax under Ads/Affiliates. Download the app and register to walk for SEVA GRREAT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

SEVA GRREAT, Inc. is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping displaced Golden Retrievers find their new forever homes. We are an all-volunteer organization, operating entirely on donations and a dedicated network of volunteers. Our wonderful foster families will typically house the dogs in our program, care for them, and socialize them while SEVA GRREAT provides the necessary veterinary care. Yet there are often people who want to help our organization but, for one reason or another, may not have the ability to volunteer, foster, or adopt. Our sponsorship program allows donors to make a one-time or recurring gift to offset the costs of our largest line-item (medical expenses), for the senior or specialneeds dog of their choice. Your sponsorship dollars will go such a long way toward helping our Goldens that may spend a prolonged time in foster care due to medical needs.

ª Start by choosing the dog that you would like to sponsor or ask us to choose a dog for you (watch our website for updates). ª Fill out the sponsorship form telling us how you would like to support us. –You can make a 1-time donation or a monthly donation via check or PayPal. ª Send your form via email to sponsor-adog@adoptagolden.com or mail to P.O. Box 8014, Yorktown, VA 23693. ª We will send you a photo of the dog that you are sponsoring along with that dog’s special story. ª With your permission, we will list your name with your sponsored dog on the website and publish your name in our quarterly magazine. ª Once your sponsored dog is adopted, we will send you a closing letter. At that point you may end any reccurring donations or roll it over to a new dog.

Sponsor-A-Dog Your Name: _______________________________________________________ Mailing Address: ___________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Name of the dog that you would like to sponsor: _____________________________ Sponsorship level: (circle one) Monthly donation 1-time donation Bronze ........................................................................ $10 ............................... $50 Silver ........................................................................... $20 ............................. $100 Gold ........................................................................... $50 ............................. $200 Diamond ................................................................... $100 ............................. $300   Please send your check with the information above to: SEVA GRREAT, P.O. Box 8014, Yorktown, VA 23693   If you choose a monthly payment, do you want your sponsorship rolled over to a new dog? Yes___ No___ If yes, do you want to choose the new dog you sponsor (versus us choosing)? Yes___ No___ Do you agree to having your name recognized on our website and in our newsletter or would you prefer to remain anonymous? Listed ____ Anonymous ______ SEVA GRREAT sincerely thanks you for your love and support of our Goldens!!!



A Heartfelt Thanks to Our Once again, your generous donations during the GIVE LOCAL 757 twenty-four hour fundraiser has made it possible for SEVA GRREAT to continue providing the necessary treatments, medications and care for rescued goldens. You helped raise $19,986 in donations and to that add $1,514 in prize money for a total of $21,500 for SEVA GRREAT. Thanks again to all those listed here. Deanna P Melroy Richard J Beland Mary Strzelecki Kevin Epps Nancy rella Margaret Richardson Linda D. Thomson Cheryl Lynch Jane Krom Sharon Leeman Peggy Main Margaret W Jennifer Dauzier Mary Morris Virginia Pakenas Elizabeth Kay-Im Peter Johnson Thomas Kemp Debbie Morris TraciI Spruill Deb Anderson Chris Walker Chuck Anderson Debra Anderson James Krom Daniel Walker William MIller Ann Czompo D Anderson Virginia Roper Elizabeth Watson C Anderson Misty Van Norman Quanzhan Li Chris Walker Susan Beckman


Dan Walker Jane Frye Frederick Dierksmeier Chuck Anderson Bruce Beckman Barbara A Raliski Kula Anderson J Frye Susan Beckman Andor Czompo Christopher ONeill Joe Morris Michael Jon Khandelwal Ge Martin Deborah Jordan Patricia Bouldin Jan Hanks Dorothy Cleal Marilee Glover Ann Thomas Nansi Strickland Joanne Kaplan Bartosik John Linaburg Ellen Jones Margot Patzer Noah Mercer Patricia Donaldson Deborah Van Dover Janemarie Isnor Adelia Thompson Linda Banis Susan Stanitski Angie Schwartz Jennifer Hepler Beth Rodgers

Raymond Neubauer Julie Mercer Pam Litten Annjanette Van Hook Julianna RedLeaf Brett Meyer Cynthia Meyer Lorie Manfre Kelley Gresham Jeannie Kern Sharon Peretti Julie Lowery Jan Montgomery Carolyn Hoffman Donna Roggmann Lorisa Pendleton Karen Dobremsyl Ann Dunham Jacob Kay Cathryn Duncan Kay Ashbrook Scott Beland Donna Martin Amber Stewart


Mike Stewart Lisa Brown Alice Mantifel Karen Schrader Michael Kahn Donna B Harmon Johnnie Noles Tracey Hensley Mary Grimm Margaret Allen Stephanie Snider Julie Blakey Kristine Payson Laura Spink James Giesen William Buklad Audrey Stephenson Susan Burton Carrie Woodside Patricia Owens Larry Grahl Richard D. Cole Amanda DeMaar

Contributors Elizabeth Homa Lynda Smet Malia Meng Michele Lucado Karen Luvaas Trish Bell Kevin Zinski Martha Wormeley Robyn Beasley Frieda Cox Belinda Clemons Carol Raynor Wendy Grigg Sharon Kastner Deborah H Secrist Margaret Ely Katherine Belote Kimberly Valle Susan Kenter Gregg Benshoff Heather Turton Sonya Benshoff Jeanne Parsons John Moseley Barbara Talley

Jan Hathcock Mary Murphree Tracy Minnich Connie Campbell Susan Morris Stephanie Weeks Joanne Even Deborah Hall Robert Miller George Groshong Jennifer Solley Robert Ely Cynthia Beacham Elise Cox James D Knight Elizabeth Stone Margaret Graham Sandra Byrd Kimberly Beland Kim Beland Karen Duggins Debbie Dorris Laura Rowe

Maria Bagley David Simmons Tammy Lockie Todd Froggatt Misty Goldman Sharon Cowan George Talley James Talley Renee Hite Janice Miller John Williams Mary Ann Naegele Rhonda King John Donaldson Tracy Hanger Cathie Birdsong Kayla Matherson Monica Smith Samantha Jarman Charles Kloth Susan Collamore Whitney Baker Laura Dettman Kathleen Jens Linda Lowman Debra Doty Marc Dauzier Patricia Sturgis Amber Stewart Julie Mercer Amber Stewart Bass Beasley Pamela Mondrey Dawn Bostic Robyn Beasley Sharlene Johnson Jill Smith Robert ONeal Tess O’Neal Robert O’Neal Lolita Minder Andrew Smith Theresa O’Neal Faye Messling Diane Austin Sandra Hardison Amanda Dalton

Ida Stavenger Julie Harshaw Noah Mercer Danise Elias James Garman Karalynn Trittler Bass Beasley Jr Vyshali Belagodu Geraldine Aulisa Rachel Joy Pamela Pace Burnette Wilks Vicki Reichart Scott Locklear Debbie Christian Pratyush Waykole Sherry Kara Denise Jenkins Ann Loh Jerome Nichols Dana Lotkin Karen Harris Tracy Fortune Leslie Horton Joyce E Johnson Lauren Gregg Deborah Nevitt Bernard Strzelecki Amber Gusewelle Barbara S Smith Jeff Snider Gina Troy Christine Reed Michael Chapura Angela McCoy Robin Evans Angela Strzelecki Dorothy Kozak Michelle LeBlanc John Whistler Regina Shepler Stephanie Maye Charla Smith-Worley Tim Ortwein Dorothy Oberlander Scott Beland Lisa Masternak

Barbara Oestreich Melissa Blane Lindsay Krodel Largo Faxon James Van Hook Drusilla Powell Jack Howard Dakota Denato Todd Drashner Clay Clemens Scott Beland Angela Pomeranz Karen Dobremsyl Mitchel Ward Anne Will John Johnston Anita Pozin Linda Reust Jacqueline Durkin Alison Mercer Natalee S Franzyshen Kristi Packer Meg Gresham Jennifer Katz Beth Miller Karen McCarthy Pam Wiley Mike Lynch Joyce Chandler Lucy Krom David DeLonga Rebecca Tuzzolo Corinne Wirtes Penny Crampton Diana Schnetzka Leslie Bohon-Atkinson Debra Kelly Marguerite Thomas Donna Thompson Lea Noe Beth Scherr Tanya Mckeithen Amy Savona Ruth C. Damaso Neely Marianne Opilla Emily Schultz William Cryan

(804) 794-2099 Alison Rhoades, DVM Tim Withers, DVM Becky Rose, DVM Andrea Berger, DVM

medical • surgical • dental care • laser therapy in-house lab • digital radiography • ultrasound acupuncture • boarding • bathing • cremation

Your best friend’s best friend Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs - 8:30am-7:30pm Fri - 8:30am-5:30pm Sat - 8:30am-12:00pm


you SE Thank


elpin VA GRREAT for h g me find my fur-ever fa


–Rita Benshoff



This is the Story of a


e came to us as a SEVA GRREAT foster – his name was Danny. The story we heard indicated that Danny’s owner had to deploy with the Army to the Middle East, and he had asked his sister to watch the dog while he was away. Unfortunately, Danny’s size and energy appeared to be too much for the service member’s sister, and she knew she had to give him up. She consulted with her brother by mail, and he asked her to make sure he went somewhere where there was no chance Danny would be put down. We don’t know how the sister found our rescue. He came to our house in the winter of 2007, an Irish whiskey colored, two year old Golden Retriever pup, the latest intake of SEVA GRREAT. He was still very much a puppy in his exuberance and mannerisms, especially his attention span. He loved being with us and our Honorary Golden, Farley, an all-black Flat Coat Retriever who had been a big foster brother to many Goldens by this point. On occasion, Farley got a bit annoyed with the big red dog’s somewhat hyperactive escapades, but both of them frequently engaged in great 8

games of chase, wrestling, and tug-of-war. The new foster dog took every opportunity to get attention and show affection to our whole family. That was the first thirty-six hours of fostering. This energetic, joyful, playful, copper-red Golden Retriever managed, inside of a dayand-a-half, to absolutely charm Karin and I into knowing he was OUR dog now. He was our 27th foster dog with GRREAT, and our #2 foster failure. We immediately told the leadership at GRREAT about our decision. This 95 pound force of nature belonged to us now! There was one problem: my son Daniel, at that time about six years old. Karin and I realized we could not have a Daniel and a Danny in the same house. (By coincidence, about eight months ago my son told us he would rather be called Danny than Daniel.) It took a few days to figure out the new name for the new dog, eventually naming him after a small town in Idaho where my Dad grew up. Emmett. We called the new guy Emmett. With his high speed entry into our lives,


Emmett came to symbolize so much about the Goldens in GRREAT’s care all over the area. Wasn’t shy about walking up to people, leaning on them and asking for (nicely demanding) their attention. Ready to greet you at the door, usually with a toy. Never once put his nose onto the dinner table (though he could have done so without even lifting his chin), while he made SURE to let you know that he could see everything there with the famous expression, “I see you have food. I ALSO like food.” In the early Emmett years, he frequently attended the Golden Days events we held in area Petsmart locations and other dog events. He didn’t seem to mind wearing the “Adopt Me” vests, even though his humans had to tell EVERYONE who stopped by that Emmett was a stand-in for another, adoptable dog who could not make it. Always the charmer, Emmett usually finished Golden Day Events with plenty of donated cash in his vest, a sign of folks who couldn’t say no to his request. Because of his size and his gentle approach to being with new people, he quickly gained

Big Red Dog friends everywhere. After the first few years, we noticed people would come up to him and remark, “I remember you from last year!” Naturally, being a foster family, any dog of ours had to be a pal to any incoming foster dogs. If Emmett ever resented any of the dozens of dogs who came into our house, he hid it pretty well. Even when another canine might get too nosey or too playful, Emmett never snapped or growled in anger at any of them. Not just Golden Retrievers, but also many other fosters through Dogs on Deployment, a sort of matchup service which provides foster homes to the pets of military members being deployed. We found several canine fosters over the last few years to watch for our troops, all of them quickly found a fantastic pal in ol’ Emmett. Of the dozens of “dogsitting” guests Emmet hosted, one of his favorite pals, Max, is a little mixed breed Terrier with a huge buddy-buddy link with Emmett. When Max’s owners go out of town, Emmet would host Max at his place for a few days or a week. Even though Emmett outweighed Max by at least a factor

by Mike Pettinger

of five, Emmett graciously let Max wrestle and beat on him constantly, pretending to let Max win the match (usually). We had to be careful if we were visiting over at our friend’s house, because if you said the name “Emmett,” Max’s ears would perk up, and he’d start jumping and looking around, looking for his buddy. Being a foster brother to other Goldens was his time to shine. Ready to play tug-of-war at any moment, Emmett always played fair and kept the game going for both as long as possible. All of the other Goldens and fosters clamored to do whatever Emmett was doing at that moment. So he taught many to do their business outside without us having to intervene. More than one Golden learned to patrol the back yard at his direction, and many followed his example of howling at sirens as the ambulances go past the house. Emmett is rather infamous for his selection of fruit to eat in the fall. We have several persimmon trees in the back yard, and once Emmett realized that persimmons are really tasty, we’d see him jumping up to pull a bright

orange persimmon from a tree and scarf it right down. Much to our dog’s flag-waving glee, our vet would not say that persimmons were bad for him. In actuality, persimmons have a lot of the same vitamins and minerals as pumpkin, which I know is good for dogs. So Emmett kept eating his daily allotment of persimmons, even though it cut into our persimmon sales profits! With all beautiful relationships comes the day when one is no longer with the other. Our magnificent Emmett left us on January 2nd. The pain of his leaving is hard to bear. But then we remember what amazing fun and love we, and dozens of four-legged critters, shared with this wonderful Golden Retriever. He was never a show dog, but he certainly showed us what being a Golden is all about.

In memory of our buddy Emmett, we are donating six months of dog food budget and part of a persimmon season’s income to SEVA GRREAT.



Dog Myths Debunked: Do Dogs Need Dental Care?

By Anna Burke


as anyone ever told you that dogs don’t need dental care because they keep their teeth clean naturally by chewing? Unfortunately for our canine companions, this is not entirely true. Dental health is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Luckily, keeping your pup’s teeth clean is surprisingly simple.

What You Should Know About Canine Dental Care Your veterinarian’s insistence that your canine companion needs a dental cleaning addresses far more than the issue of a dog’s stinky breath. Poor dental hygiene can result in a host of medical problems. Some of the more common issues are gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth loss, infection, and difficulty eating. Plaque builds up on canine teeth, just like it does on human teeth. Over time, a buildup of plaque can lead to inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis. Dogs with gingivitis may have 10

red, inflamed gums that bleed easily, and you may also notice bad breath. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause destruction to the connective tissues surrounding the tooth and can also damage the bone. Most concerning, however, is the detrimental effects periodontitis can have on your dog’s heart, kidneys, and liver.

Providing Dental Care for Your Dog Don’t wait until you notice a bad odor in your dog’s mouth to pay attention to his teeth. As with people, proper dental hygiene begins with brushing teeth. Most dogs learn to tolerate and even enjoy toothbrushing. Dog toothpaste comes in several canine-friendly flavors, like peanut butter and chicken, and both child-sized toothbrushes with soft bristles or finger brushes are appropriate to use when cleaning your dog’s teeth at home. Human toothpaste, however, contains ingredients like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs and should


be avoided. Daily brushing might seem excessive, but it can save your pup trouble down the road and reduce the risk of more expensive procedures, like a tooth extraction. Dogs can also benefit from dental cleanings at the vet’s office. These in-depth procedures take place under anesthesia and remove plaque below the gum line, where toothbrushes can’t reach. Dental cleanings are especially important for dog breeds with genetic predispositions for dental disease, like many small breeds, or dogs fed wet food. While they are not a substitute for brushing and regular cleanings, dog chew toys can help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ones for your canine companion, and avoid extra hard toys, like bones or antlers, as these can lead to dental fractures. Dogs that do not enjoy chewing on toys may be candidates for special dental diets, chewy dental treats, dental water additives, or additional preventative measures.

Sandbridge Beach House


Chilla Villa

And The Winner Is . . .

Hello SEVA GRREAT Fellow Members, My name is Maggie Mae and I am a 13 year old, female Golden Retriever who resides in Richmond, Virginia. My owners, Craig Chwojdak and Judy Gray, don’t know that I am writing you this letter, but since I use their iPad to order “necessities” from time to time like treats and toys, I figured they wouldn’t mind. In addition to toy and treat orders (for me and my 9 year old brother Gus), I recently signed our family up to become members of SEVA GRREAT. I was so impressed with what SEVA GRREAT stands for and does to help Golden Retrievers in need of help, I couldn’t say no. I also took the liberty to “donate”/purchase a raffle ticket for the 2020 “Sandbridge House – 1 week vacation raffle.” I’ve vacationed at Sandbridge many times in the past and it’s my most favorite place to get tummy rubs and swim with my human companions. To my amazement, I just found out that we won! I was so excited, I needed to “outside” immediately! My owners showed me all the pictures of the house in Sandbridge where we will be going and it’s so beautiful. I can’t wait – my tail won’t stop wagging! We are going to make some great memories. I told my owners that I want to give the SEVA GRREAT members who donated the week-long vacation house for the raffle lots of puppy kisses as a thank you. I’ve attached a picture of me the last time I vacationed in Sandbridge so everybody at SEVA GRREAT can get to know me. Thank you again for all the dedication and love your organization gives to Golden Retrievers that need help. My owners say that Dogs are gifts from God and that we heal their hearts. I’ve always known that but it’s the humans that we need to keep reminding! Tail wags and kisses, Maggie Mae


What’s better than going to the park on a beautiful spring day? Diego says it’s runnig into your friends Stella and Shine.

Check out this delightful duo! Luna and Blaze were both adopted from SEVA GRREAT. Blaze happily welcomed his sister to the family and now the two are pretty much inseparable. Blaze is teaching Luna how to be a dog and to trust her humans. We love happy stories.

This is Woody with his Easter bunny. He was adopted in August 2015 and was 6 years old at the time. Woody lives in Virginia Beach with his forever family. He is always front and center, right where he belongs! We are always so happy to hear about former SEVA GRREAT dogs, and we’re so glad to know that Woody is still doing well.



This is Rudi and he’s celebrating his first gotcha day! He was adopted from SEVA GRREAT one year ago. Rudi is a former Turkey dog. He is so special and has the sweetest personality. His family couldn’t love him more!

We wanted to give an update on our Brinkley! Three months ago today, he came into our lives and it has been amazing!  He loves being outside, playing with his ball and going for walks.  He loves to retrieve our shoes and lay with them on his bed.  His personality is lovable, energetic, and playful.  We think he would make a great soccer goalie as he very seldom lets any ball get past him.  He is the perfect addition to our family and we are so thankful to be a part of his family. –Elaine, Greg, Cameron, and Brinkley (Wells)

What do you need when you’re home and self quarantining? A dog like Ranger!! Actually a dog like Ranger is good any day. He makes every day better for his family. What a happy, wonderful boy.

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

Former TD Barbie came to the U.S. in May 2019. Her new family says - “I can’t imagine life, especially in these times without my Barbie girl. I am so grateful to SEVA GRREAT for finding her for me. I love her with all my heart. She couldn’t be a better companion to Madeleine who stays with me a few times a week.” Barbie was supposed to take her TDI test but it has been postponed for now because of the pandemic. So here she is enjoying being read to by Madeleine.



Life with Dogs in The Age of The Coronavirus by Nancy Kerns from Whole Dog Journal


ife as most of us know it is being severely disrupted by the restrictions and commonsense guidelines being put forth in nearly every community in order to slow the spread of covid-19. Are there any “winners” in this strange new world? Many of our dogs, it turns out, are benefitting from having their owners working from home or caring for kids whose schools and daycare centers have closed. I know of many dogs who are getting more walks and much more family time than ever. On the other hand, many people whose livelihoods are dependent on dog-related businesses are definitely worried. I am seeing a lot of angst in the social-media feeds of dog trainers, walkers, groomers, daycare, and boarding facilities. Many dog owners are canceling services and appointments, either because their travel has been suspended or because they are self-quarantining, or just to protect themselves from possibly being exposed to the virus in public places.

“First Team Toyota supports GRREAT! LOOKING FOR A CAR? COME SEE US AT: 3400 Western Branch Blvd, Chesapeake, VA 23321

Phone: 877-331-5419 • www.firstteamtoyota.com

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 grreattimes@ adoptagolden.com. 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.


(I know that there are MANY people whose livelihoods are taking a big hit right now; I’m speaking only about dog-related businesses because that’s in my wheelhouse!)

What you can do to help I know of many small and micro dog-related business owners and employees who are suffering major hardships at this time. I’d like to promote a suggestion I’ve seen elsewhere: If your income or job is stable and your


income is NOT taking a hit due to the various virus-containment strategies in place, consider sending a check to the dog walker, groomer, or trainer you would have ordinarily seen during this time. Consider it a holiday bonus! The only dog-related businesses that I’m aware of that are doing well at the moment? I know that companies who sell food and other supplies online are getting buried in orders; many are announcing that there will be delays from their usual prompt delivery times. Also: Trainers who teach using video or live-streaming. Many trainers are switching to that format to keep their income (and their clients’ education) on track. If you are stuck at home and bored, and your dog could use some training, consider asking your trainer if she’s set up for a video consultation. Or book a training appointment with a professional on the other side of the country! This is a perfect time to get access to people who ordinarily would be too busy to book online appointments with out-of-the-area clients. At last word, health officials still approve of people getting outdoor exercise, as long as they maintain a distance of six feet away from other humans who are not members of their household. You know what else is six feet long? The best leash for walking your dog! If you are stressed by the news, we’d like to recommend a long walk with your dog outdoors (as long as you are feeling well). Hang in there, wash your hands, order your dog’s food earlier than usual, and take care!

COVID-19 Animal Sheltering Data: April I

n the latest COVID-19 Impact Report, Shelter Animals Count compared data from 1,361 organizations reporting January - April 2019 and January - April 2020 data as of 5/12/20. KEY FINDINGS: • Intake continues to decline dramatically across all categories with a -51% decrease from April 2019 • The number of pets relinquished by their owners was down -54% compared to last year

• While adoptions are down -36% compared to April last year, the adoption rate* increased by 7% • States with coronavirus hotspots on average saw a slightly more significant decrease in intake at -53%

docs/default-source/dataresources/shelteranimals-count-covid-impact-report-april. pdf?sfvrsn=d33ffb76_2 to see the changes happening to shelter intake and outcomes nationally, regionally, in states with COVID-19 hot spots and states without stay-at-home orders.

• States with limited or no stay-at-home orders in April on average saw a less significant decrease in intake at -44%

Share the Shelter Animals Count infographic (below) with your data-interested audiences.

Download the full 20-page COVID-19 Impact Report at https://shelteranimalscount.org/

Adoption Rate = Adoption as a % of all possible outcomes

Shelter Animals Count is a collaborative nonprofit organization that is home to the national database of sheltered animal statistics 250,000

COVID-19 Animal Sheltering Data April 2019 vs. 2020

Intake & Outcome 2019 vs.2020

Pet Adoption i36% 200,000


April Intake i51% 100,000



Shelter & Rescue Intake i51%


i51% 0



2019 Intake 2019 Live Outcomes 2019 Other Outcomes



2020 Intake 2020 Live Outcomes 2020 Other Outcomes

i51% Source: 1,3601 organizations with Jan-Apr 2019 &2020 data in the national database as of 5/12/20 View the full COVID-19 Impact Report and data from over 5,000 organizations at shelteranimalscount.org



Opinion By Alexandra Horowitz

Dogs at Least, Love Home Quarantine


ext to me on the couch, one of my dogs twitches his feet and curls his lower lip in his sleep. His tail thumps on a soft pillow. An “urph” — maybe a stifled bark — escapes his mouth and he wakes himself up, looking at me accusingly. “That was you!” I tell him. As a writer and dog-cognition researcher, I can — and do — spend the greatest part of the day observing dogs, talking to dogs and hanging out beside my dog while working. And now, in this extraordinary time, many more of us find ourselves working at home with our dogs full time. Good for us — and great for the dogs.

There are some 90 million dogs in the United States, and in some ways, we have treated dogs as quasi-people all along. Contemporary dogs in Western households live inside and join us on our walks, in our repose with a book or in front of the TV — they even sleep with us. We talk to our dogs as though they not only understand us, but also care deeply about what we say. Still, our current situation highlights that, as

Quarantine, and even social distancing, is meant to impose an isolation that most of us, as a highly social species, work hard throughout our lives to avoid. Even the most introverted of us need company — some touchstone of a shared existence through time. In reflecting on our changed society, the isolation of the elderly and the sick seems especially cruel. In many places, older residents quarantined in nursing homes cannot have visitors, and are suffering not just from potentially fatal infections but also from the loss of the company of their family members and the comfort of their presence and touch — a biological urge. Our drive to keep animals, dogs in particular, strikes me as similar in nature: Their simple presence, and their willingness to be touched, is viscerally satisfying. Time spent reading on the couch is massively improved by a dog’s head resting on my leg; a warm, snuffling muzzle directed at me is instantly calming. Social media abounds with images of dogs (some bemused, some wagging their tails so hard as to sprain them) alongside their isolated persons: Dogs are now our proxy for other humans. 16


Illustration by Ping Zhu

indulged, attired and birthday-party-feted as the average owned dog is in the United States, many dogs are ordinarily in a daily condition of social isolation. Unless owners are able to work from home, or their home is their work, their sociable canids must stay captive and alone for the majority of their days. Now, the coronavirus quarantine, by imposing similar hardship on us, is actually giving dogs something that they’ve deserved all along: more of our companionship.

Mine and I still walk, and we talk a whole lot more. And so I was alarmed by the news that after a 17-year-old Pomeranian in Hong Kong whose owner had Covid-19 tested “weak positive” for the coronavirus, the dog was quarantined in a state facility and died a few days after returning home (officially virus-free). I worried that we would suddenly feel we should be distanced from our pets.

carrying the virus much like a “doorknob or a piece of tissue” might, as one reporter explained. On the one hand, it is a relief if dogs are only carriers, rather than infected themselves. On the other hand, to relegate them to the status of a subway pole is to knock them over to the side of objects, not family members.

Given the dog’s lack of symptoms, it appeared that the Pomeranian might simply have been

Legally, dogs are considered property, despite their roles in our lives. What happens to

Dr. Alexandrs Horowitz is a cognitive scientist who studies dogs. Alexandra (@DogUmwelt) runs the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and is the author of “Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond.”

property when it is found to be dangerous, or no longer useful? Objects are given up, thrown out, discarded. After a second dog tested positive in Hong Kong (again without symptoms and again the dog of an owner with Covid-19), city authorities admonished people not to abandon their pets. So what should we do with our dogs, now that we find ourselves in their near-constant company, eyeballed by them as we move through our homes? For now, at least, we still ought to walk them outdoors: We can all use the fresh air, and the dogs, at least, can collect the smells of the day. Some countries have reached the point where all movement outside is restricted, but even in those places walking the dog is allowed as an essential exemption. If you’re worried that your dogs — like doorknobs — may be touched by people who are infected, bathe them with soap after the walk. Then, once home, make the most of the chance to fill their days with engagements: bouts of play, treat-finding games or simply being in contact — all of which is health-giving to both dog and person. In the United States, shelters that recently put out calls seeking foster care for homeless animals reported being inundated with applicants: evidence that the value of a pet’s company is well known. When we emerge from this crisis and normalcy is resuscitated, we will have a chance to reappraise how we want to conduct our lives. I hope we will maintain some of our current abnormal condition: giving our dogs the companionship they need. I hope we will come out of this with a fuller appreciation of the privilege that it is to keep the company of animals. SUMMER 2020


How You (And Your Dog) And What To Do

by Patti Neighmond, NPR’s health policy corresponden


t was a warm, wet winter this year across much of the United States. In most states, this means more greenery, more rabbits, more rodents and more snakes — which raises the risk of snake bites for humans and their canine companions. Biologist Gerad Fox is standing next to a loud rattlesnake. “Right now he’s in a classic strike posture, very defensive,” says Fox. “The rattle is a warning, saying, ‘Back off. I’m dangerous. You should leave me alone.’ “ Fox teaches biology classes at Loma Linda University in California and also runs

rattlesnake avoidance training classes for dogs. I took my dog, Baxter, to one of these classes, where he learned how to recognize the sight and scent of snakes as a danger to avoid.

about five of those people die. The CDC says the number of deaths would be much higher if people didn’t seek medical care as soon as possible.

“Snakes are part of our ecosystem and deserve to be there,” says Fox. They don’t want to hurt us, he explains, but if you or your dog stumble on one by mistake, they will bite.

There are four types of venomous snakes that roam the United States. Coral snakes are found in wooded, sandy or marshy areas in the South. Water moccasins live in the southeastern states. Copperheads, which vary in color from reddish to golden tan, are found in eastern states. And rattlesnakes live in mountains, prairies, deserts and beaches – basically everywhere across the country, including Fryman Canyon Park,

“Rattlesnakes can bite multiple times. They have a large reservoir of venom,” says Fox. Every year, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people get bitten in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only

Copperhead snakes are one of the four kinds of venomous snakes in the United States.



Can Avoid Snake Bites If You Get Bitten where Baxter and I like to hike. It’s the closest thing to wilderness I have in my Los Angeles neighborhood. Now that Baxter has received some training on how to avoid rattlesnakes, I wanted to know what humans can do to reduce our own risk of getting bitten. So I invited emergency room physician Mark Morocco to join me on an early morning hike. “The canyons and passes in Southern California are places where the animals can be relatively undisturbed,” says Morocco, who works at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Coral snakes, like this one, are sometimes mistaken for nonvenomous kingsnakes, which have a similar band of colors. If a snake has red bands that are touching yellow bands, then it is venomous, according to the CDC.

“The snakes aren›t going to hunt you. They›re not coming after you,” he says. But if you accidentally step on a snake, then it will reflexively bite. “That’s the majority of snake bites for people who are hiking,” Morocco says. So what is the best way to avoid getting bitten? Stay on the trail The No. 1 rule when hiking in snake territory is to stay on the trail. “You want to be able to see your feet, see where you’re stepping,” Morocco says. “Don’t get into the high brush

on the side of the trail, because that’s where the snakes are going to be and they’re going to be harder to see.” And if you’re rock climbing, watch where you put your hands. You don’t want to grab a snake by mistake and surprise it. Keep the dog on a leash Like humans, dogs are more likely to get bitten when they go off the trail, so it’s best to keep your pup on a leash. And in addition to signing your dog up for a snake avoidance class, there are snake vaccines available for dogs, so check with your vet. (continued)

Rattlesnakes are venomous and are found throughout the United States.



Don’t wear flip-flops The next important consideration is what you have on your feet. “Most people would argue that you should be wearing boots with high sides if you’re in a place with lots of snakes,” Morocco says. “I would just prefer that you at least wear shoes.” He has seen patients in his emergency department who have been bitten while barefoot. “We say: ‘You were barefoot where?’ “ Wear long pants This is a hard one in warm climates, but wearing long pants can help since most people get bitten in the lower leg. Keep an eye on the kids Like dogs, kids are curious. They interact eagerly with their environment, looking closely at things and often reaching out to touch.

And if your dog gets bitten, the best thing to do is carry the pup to the vet as quickly as possible. There is antivenin treatment for dogs too.

Mark Morocco, an emergency room doctor at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, says that wearing long pants and closed shoes can help protect against snake bites. Staying on the walking trail can also help.

“I’ve seen a number of patients in my career — little kids who’ve been bitten in the face or the dominant hand,” Morocco says. “Because that’s what kids do. They see this thing, they reach out to touch it and bang! — they get a snake bite.” Snake bites can be more dangerous for children than for adults, because they are smaller and are often bitten on the face, which is more serious than a bite on the leg or hand. “Children get sick very quickly,” Morocco says. So what do you do if you or a loved one gets bitten? You need to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Call 911 immediately Antivenin drugs are highly effective, so if you do get bitten, get to a hospital as quickly as possible. (And hope you don›t get a nasty surprise from your insurance company.) 20

The antivenin (also called antivenom) snaps itself like a magnet to the molecules of snake venom and then allows the body to excrete it when urinating. So patients receive lots of fluids along with the antivenin.

Stay calm Getting bitten by a snake is like getting a shot, Morocco says. The snake injects you with venom, and the harder your heart beats, the faster the venom circulates in the body. So try to stay calm or even motionless if possible to keep the venom as localized to the snake bite area as possible.

If you are bitten on the hand or arm, don›t raise it above your head. Hold it across your chest, close to your heart, says Morocco. And if you have something to make into a sling to keep the arm still, do it. If the bite is on your leg, it›s best to lie down so your leg is level with, or lower than, your heart. If it›s not possible for an ambulance to reach you, you do need to get to medical treatment as quickly as possible. «If you have to walk or hop out, do it,» Morocco says. And here›s some bottom-line advice for what to do if you are waiting for the ambulance or emergency medical technician: «Don›t do anything you see in the movies or on TV,» Morocco says. «No tourniquets, no cutting an X on the wound and trying to suck out the venom.» He says those methods don›t have any effect on the outcome of snake bites and can even make them worse.


ROSIE I wanted to pass on to you that our beloved Rosie Mae passed away on Friday May 29th, 2020. Rosie came into the rescue as a give up on August of 2015. We were without a foster dog at that time and we were happy to be of assistance to Seva Grreat. Within 48 hours of Rosie coming into our home, she came into our hearts and we knew she would be with us for the rest of her life.   She was an exceptionally gentle and sweet dog with bright eyes and a non-stop tail. Her demeanor and character made her an ideal therapy dog and, through Therapy Dogs International, she passed a six week program in three weeks.   Rosie Mae loved to go to “work”, visiting with people of all ages, all abilities and disabilities. It was always a special day when Rosie would walk the halls of local elementary schools and be greeted with delight by the staff and students. It was equally as  touching to see Rosie sit quietly to be petted by an elderly friend, who’s memory of the past is blurred and distant. Truly, Rosie was well-loved by so many. Rosie was diagnosed with cancer in late February, 2020.  She underwent surgery to remove her spleen and two tumors in early March.  She was with us for nearly three more months where she continued to enjoy her life with walks, car rides and belly rubs.  I’d like to think that Rosie continues her therapy work over the Rainbow Bridge, bringing joy to all who meet her. –Allegra Havens

Rainbow Bridge




Our sweet boy Chance has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is now in a place where he doesn’t have to fight cancer anymore. He was diagnosed with very aggressive hermangiosarcoma in January.

On Friday, 15 May 2020 Scarlet joined Max, Lexie Rusty, Prissy, and Andie —- and crossed the rainbow bridge after a brave fight with cancer. Scarlet was the “I Love Lucy” of our family. Full of energy and possessing a big personality she was the one to get a good doggey party started. As much as she loved being part of her pact,  Scarlet also liked to be the Queen Bee and  have her mommy time all to herself.  Her eye ball coordination were second to none and she would be ecstatic if she could play this sport all day long. Her walks around the neighborhood and her regal naps under her favorite tree off the patio we’re favorite past times for her. While being extremely agile, Scarlet did not enjoy her days at agility training so we gave that up. This was a little girl who danced to her own music and was loved by all. Our little red headed devil is free now to play and live without further pain. Our hearts are broken at this loss but we know her memories are so BIG and she was so LOVED that she will always remain intricately entwined with our lives. I am privileged to have loved you for 10 years dear girl. Rest In Peace. We love you over the moon and back.

Teddy T was one of our forever fosters who lived with Donna Harmon. His memorial in her words:

We rescued Chance from SEVA in 2016 when he was 7 years old. He was a special dog, a wonderful pet, a loyal and loving member of the family. He was sweet, playful and gentle. Chance was a people dog — he loved everyone he met. We were so lucky to have him for 3-1/2 years — he had just turned 11 in March. Chance deserved more years but it wasn’t meant to be. A little part of us left with Chance today but now he lives in our hearts instead of our house. March 8, 2009 - April 8, 2020

–Dottie, Bongo and Dakota


“He helped me more than words can ever express. He helped make a really large hole in my heart a little smaller due to the death of my Golden Kobay 1 1/2 years prior. The hole in my heart then expanded to accept the unconditional love he gave me from the time I received him. He was such a sweet boy. Everyone loved him no matter where he went and we had to stop so people could give him love. We were kind of meant to be with each other. He to assist me with my loss and I was there to assist him to overcome a life in a hoarder’s house and let him know what it is like to be a best furry friend. He wouldn’t leave my side no matter where we were. He is missed by his BFF Gus from across the street. They would be at the front storm doors and look at each other across the court before we would walk them everyday. He is greatly missed by his Mom. I am thankful and grateful to SEVA for the opportunity to be Teddy T’s Mom. I want to thank you for the support through the entire experience. A top notch group. “

We wanted you to know our beloved Spencer crossed the rainbow bridge on 3/25. We adopted him at 8 and he gave us an additional 8 1/2 years of pure joy. We miss him dearly we thank you for bringing him to us.

Love, the Healy family SUMMER 2020


Contributions James Wilsom In honor of Dr. Jane W. Hiser

Heidi Spencer In memory of Buddy & Max

Jacob & Jenny Kay In honor of Donna Roggmann for making masks

Lanny & Stephanie Caston, Jr. In honor of Murphy

David Simmons In memory of Pamela Simmons

Donna & Jack Roggmann In honor of Finn

Donna Roos

Raymond & Mary Jo Neubauer

Ann Czompo

G. Pettinger In memory of Emmett, the Big Red

George Mamangakis In honor of Ann Czompo & Joanne Even Gail Hekman

Dorothy & W. Carter Winn

Dan Nieman In memory of Justice and Anna Bella

William Buklad

Donna Harman

Dottie Cleal In memory of Chanxe (Allen family) In memory of Spencer (Healy family) In memory of Teddy T


Lynn Klewin Mary Garrette

Peter Johnson

Connie Brewer

Martha Cole Glenn In memory of Ollie and in honor of Judy & Tony Hannold who resued him

Kelly Rucker In honor of Forever Fosters Annabelle, Yogi, Chewy and Maxwell Strong Susan Stanitski


Virginia Roper In honor of Forever Foster Maxwell Strong

John Whistler Michael Brooks

Deborah Lupp In memory of Carla Even

Jane Krom

William Tortolano

Karen Whyte

Dottie Cleal In memory of Scarlet & Franklin

Jay & Janice Miller Jim & Marsh Witcher In memory of Cynthia Kennett Jo A. Vance

Ray & Catherine Kallman In memory of Ellie & Tyler

Remi’s Fund Carl Jackson









Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3456


Combined Federal Campaign #003456




Golden Oldie Love Dog Fund (GOLD Fund) is used for medical expenses, food, equipment, or adoption costs of rescued Golden Retrievers estimated to be ten years or older.




Lola’s Fund Carl Jackson

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


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

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


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



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

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SEVA GRREAT Contact Information President Dottie Cleal Vice President Susan Stanitski 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 Jane Krom Adoption Coordinator Chris Walker Membership Jacob Kay Volunteer Coordinator Sherry Kara Medical Coordinator Beth Rodgers Merchandise Jennifer Dauzier Fundraising GRREAT Times magazine

Linda Thomson Brad Miller

president@adoptagolden.com vice_president@adoptagolden.com treasurer@adoptagolden.com secretary@adoptagolden.com events@adoptagolden.com southside_events@adoptagolden.com peninsula_events@adoptagolden.com richmond_events@adoptagolden.com sevagrreatadoptions@yahoo.com intake@adoptagolden.com fostering@adoptagolden.com sevagrreatadoptions@yahoo.com membership@adoptagolden.com volunteersevagrreat@gmail.com medical@adoptagolden.com merchandise@adoptagolden.com fundraising@adoptagolden.com grreattimes@adoptagolden.com

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GRREAT Times Summer 2020  


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