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Spring 2014

Blue on Blue Canine Heartworm Fundraising Sponsor-A-Dog How Dogs Learn

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

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 Blue on Blue 8 World of Pets Expo 9 Golden Days

SEVA GRREAT disclaims all responsibility for omissions or errors.

Submitting Stories and Photos

4 Adoptions



10 Canine Heartworms 11 Our Story 12 Homecoming

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.

14 Services and Products for Fundraising 15 Organic Dog Food


16 Sponsor-A-Dog Program

Email to:


19 A Letter to Roxy 20 Rainbow Bridge 21 How Dogs Learn 22 Contributions 2

ON THE COVER: That’s Blue on the cover. He’ll tell you all about himself on Page 6.



President’s Message

A Season for Renewal


appy Spring SEVA GRREAT supporters! According to the calendar it REALLY is spring, and “March Madness” is behind us. While many of our Goldens loved playing in the snow this winter, I think most of us are ready for warmth. The change of seasons brings renewal, which for us includes a renewed commitment to do everything possible to rescue Goldens. As always, I am so appreciative of the effort of each and every one of our volunteers. Looking ahead to the rest of 2014, we know that our overall “numbers” are down. We rescued 79 Goldens in 2013, considerably fewer than prior years. Yet our veterinary expenses were comparable, given the complex needs of so many of our dogs. So while we may refer to 2013 as “orthopedic surgery year,” we know Huck, Lyla, Gracie (now Daisy), Boomer, Dakota and Willow are particularly grateful for our efforts. We also know that the trends we are experiencing are true for most golden rescues across the country. But we don’t know what 2014 will bring, so we continue to work hard to ensure we are able to help any Golden that needs us.

We plan to reach out to all the shelters in our service area, reminding them of SEVA GRREAT’s mission and availability to help Goldens in need. We also hope to explore and implement some new fundraisers and events. In the meantime, I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind everyone of a few easy and ongoing opportunities to support SEVA GRREAT throughout the year. •

Our Capital One Rewards for GRREAT Goldens Credit Card has raised nearly $2000 in the past 2 years. And we’ve accomplished this with only 10 cardholders so far! So consider becoming a cardholder and support SEVA GRREAT with every swipe. See details in this magazine, and on our website as well. Our GREAT Golden Wines have raised over $1700 since inception in 2011. We are thinking about updating our labels, so if you’d love for your pup to be featured on one of the new labels, please submit a photo. Our wines make great gifts for your friends and family throughout the year, and are available through the link on our website under the Ads and Affiliates tab.

Are you thinking about a vacuum or carpet/floor cleaner that’s particularly good for pet hair and stains? Consider ordering through the Bissell Partners for Pets link, also on our website under the Ads and Affiliates tab. You get a discount on each purchase and free shipping, and a portion of each sale is donated to SEVA GRREAT. Additionally, if we have 5 sales during a quarter we’ll be eligible for a $5000 prize drawing. We already won once in 2012, and it would be great to have the opportunity to win again!

And even though I just mentioned Bissell, please don’t think only of “spring cleaning.” More importantly, enjoy the sunshine and opportunity to be outdoors with your Goldens, because we know they love that! Check out our upcoming events in the “Mark Your Calendar” section. Our spring membership meeting on May 3 at Sandbridge is a great opportunity for you and your Goldens to enjoy the beach, and we hope to see you there. Jane Frye SEVA GRREAT President 2014





2014 Woofstock Festival Richmond – April 26 – 10 am Spring Membership Meeting and Beach Gathering Virginia Beach – May 3 – 9 am

Abbie – The Carroll family Angel – The Swank/Groh Family


Furry Friends Jubilee Richmond – May 4 – 12 pm

Annie – John Butler

California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser for SEVA GRREAT Norfolk – May 21

Ava – The VanShaffer Family

California Pizza Fundraiser for SEVA GRREAT Virginia Beach – May 21

Brandy – The Hyche Family


Colby – The Wathen Family Duke – The Robinson Family Hank – The Beckman Family Jacob – The Nelson Family

Check our website for updates and exact locations and times of events.

Luke – Norma Shepard

Check back a week before the event to confirm.

Luna – Donna Thompson Marley – The Johnson Family

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


Maxx – The Phillips Family Mickie – Lloyd Smith Sera – The Dictor Family

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.


Max – The Spenick Family

Sully – The Dulaney Family Luke


Annie Mickie













Blue on Blue T

his is a story about me ...“Blue.” I think I’m 10-12 years old, but age only matters if you’re a cheese. My life has been a secret prior to the last year. I can only say I was with 5 other dogs and that many cats with a handful of birds. Evidently, the house I was living in got condemned, so I lived in a shelter for a month before the wonderful people of SEVA GRREAT rescued me. I cannot share anymore about that life except that it is behind me and I am now in my forever home. Prior to my forever home, I lived with sweet (and cute) Courtney Rheinhart, my foster Mom. I was living there when she got married and loved every minute of it! I spent about 6 months living with Courtney and her new husband, and of course ‘Allee,” their golden. Somehow, my new Mom saw my bio on the SEVA GRREAT website and became so interested in me. She tells me I’m the cutest thing she’s ever seen . . . and frankly I believe I am. Let me tell you about living with Mom and Dad. I call them that and they love it . . . so gullible. They visited me at my foster home and I was so charming. It was a given that they would take me. Then it happened! I went to check out their house and the cats that already reside there. I was hyper and excited. Aunt Jane Frye was also there . . . what a good time we all had. Those cats never bothered me nor me them. It was a dream come true. I won’t mention I pooped in their living room and Aunt Jane . . . well everyone . . . went into high alert, and my dear Aunt Jane saved the carpet. I think you can read between the lines, but things happen as Mom says and she loves me. What more can a guy ask? Life here couldn’t be better. I run on the beach 2 times a day . . . no one believes I’m 12ish. I run and catch the ball on the beach without any difficulty (of course I take arthritis



I dress up a lot . . . it always gets me attention.

I visit an oncology office and nursing home every week . . . I love it. The people I meet are amazing. When I arrive, their eyes light up and it seems they forget their problems for a moment. The nursing home people are sometimes confused and forgetful, but then I prance in (well, I think I’m prancing). They immediately call my name and welcome me . . . it’s wonderful. They may not remember much, but they remember me! I’m a popular guy at the ‘Pawsitive Reading Program’ at the public library. They have a reading program and young kids come and we sit and we read together. I put my head on their lap and listen as they read. So as you see, I have a life . . . and a good one!

medicine). You should see my x-rays! My spine picture says it’s bad, but I don’t care! Oh yea, Mom and I take glucosamine together for our bones. She laughs about it . . . what does that mean? Dad says I’m a chick magnet and I have meet a lot of pretty girls.. He says he can’t wait for bikini season. Am I going to wear a bikini? When I first moved in, I seemed to go to a building with lots of medical people . . . something about ear infections and hot spots. I always got weighed too, but haven’t seen those people in a long time. I gained weight and my fur is gorgeous . . . if I do say so myself. It didn’t take long before I was going to obedience school . . . learning new things and of course being me. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I was the teacher’s ‘pet’ at school. I learned and passed 2 tests. I am a certified “International Therapy Dog” and an “AKC Canine Good Citizen.”

Christmas was a great time. I got to eat 2 bags of candy and the wrappers and a gingerbread house. When mom got home, I still had foil on my lips as I stared at her with my ‘who me’ look . . . and tried to blame the cats. It didn’t work. While we are on the subject, my eating habits have to be watched. I don’t get fed anything but dog food, but watch out bananas, tomatoes and tissues! When outside, I can strip a tomato plant in record time . . . red or green.

“As you see, I have a life ... and a good one!”

Life around here couldn’t be better. Mom dotes over me. I really have her wrapped around my paw . . . but don’t tell her. When she goes out, she always leaves me in charge and ‘Ike,’ the cat, is my back up. I dress up a lot . . . hats, costumes, scarves. Oh, I even have a raincoat. I do like it . . . it always gets me attention. Mom always tells me I changed her life as she hugs and kisses me. But really, she changed mine. I couldn’t be happier. Thank you SEVA GRREAT for being there for all of us . . . you are loved. SPRING 2014


World of Pets Expo Hampton Feb 15-16

Out & About


Huckleberry went to work Sunday for SEVA GRREAT Pet Expo was GRREAT Fun. Huck was a very busy guy “working” the room for donations. Until late in the afternoon when Emmett Pettinger and his mom Karin showed up, Huck had to schmooze the crowd all by himself on Sunday. He did great and made a lot of new friends. Dakota

Dakota worked hard to represent the rescue On Saturday, Dakota’s charming smile said it all . . . he loves his work for SEVA GRREAT. Dakota is currently part of our Sponsor-A-Dog program.



Everyone worked hard at The World of Pets Expo

Out & About

Golden Days at Ginger’s Eatz & Treatz The Ides of March brought us beautiful weather for our Golden Days event at Ginger's Eatz & Treatz. Thanks to everyone who came out to volunteer and to those who stopped by to check out the rescue.

What a treat this day was.

Are you sure you don't have any more t-r-e-a-t-z-?

Jack tries to impress the ladies, Ginger and Stella.

Stella and Sailor were trying to wait patiently for the treat, but Ginger decided to go for it!



What’s Up Doc?

Canine Heartworms: Is your dog protected?

By Dr. Jane Hiser


anine heartworm disease is present in all 50 states; however the greatest concentration occurs in the southeast and along the Gulf coast. This is a serious and potentially life threatening disease due to the parasites living in the right side of the heart and arteries of the lungs. Dogs are the primary host but they can infect other species as well including cats. Heartworms are transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The infected mosquito bites the dog and spreads larvae into the dog’s blood. Over several months the larvae migrate through the tissues and mature into adult heartworms. The adults are present in the heart and arteries of the lungs. The heartworms will reproduce spreading their offspring called microfilaria into the dog’s bloodstream. The clinical signs can vary depending on the severity of the disease. Many patients will exhibit no symptoms until the end stages. Dogs with moderate to heavy burdens of heartworms can demonstrate coughing, exercise intolerance, and general fatigue. In severe cases difficulty breathing, fainting, an enlarged liver, and heart murmurs can all be present. The presence of canine heartworms can be diagnosed by taking a small blood sample. A heartworm test detects antigens which are present only in female adult heartworms. These tests are available at your veterinarian’s office. This test will only be positive for adult worms that are at least six to seven months old. Your veterinarian is also able to detect 10

the presence of microfilaria through examining a blood smear underneath the microscope. A second way to detect the microfilaria is through a specialized filter test called the modified Knott’s test. X-rays or radiographs of the heart and lungs can also track the progression of the disease. Abnormalities supporting heartworm disease include enlargement of the right side of the heart as well as the arteries. The arteries will become thickened and twisted due to the presence of heartworms. Canine heartworm infection can be successfully treated but does not come without the risk of complications. Patients suffering from more advanced stages of the disease have a higher rate of complications including thromboembolism, fever, and sudden death. One FDA approved drug is available to treat the adult heartworm called Immiticide. It is administered by your veterinarian through a series of intramuscular injections. Immiticide slowly kills the adult heartworm over time. If microfilariae are present, they can be eliminated over a period of several months through monthly heartworm prevention. Many patients are concurrently administered steroids to decrease


the inflammation associated with the slow death of the heartworms. Prevention is key to keeping your pet safe from heartworm disease. Year round prevention is recommended for our area and pets should be tested prior to initiating prevention. There are a variety of products available from your veterinarian that are given by mouth monthly and one six month injectable product. Examples of the more commonly used monthly preventatives include Heartguard, Trifexis, Sentinel, and Revolution. Owner compliance is instrumental is keeping our beloved pets safe from deadly heartworm disease.

Our Story

Harley and us at the Goldens on the Beach day.

by Ken and Windsor Shewbridge


s best we can recall, my wife and I have been associated with SEVA GRREAT for close to 20 years. That's when we adopted Frisco to be a companion for our aging golden, Sandy. Over the following years, we have fostered many goldens from SEVA GRREAT, and adopted 5 more of them. Our latest foster, Duke, found his forever home last Saturday, February 7th. It was a match made in heaven. A little over 3 months ago, we lost our beloved golden, Harley. He was only 9, and it was very unexpected. We adopted him from SEVA GRREAT about 5 years ago. Harley was an old soul. He was quiet and gentle, and loved everyone. He was sure that everyone he met felt the same way about him. His favorite things were taking walks while checking his messages (and replying to all those messages), riding in the car, looking out the front door with all his favorite toys around him, and being adored. And, adored he was. He was my best friend and I miss him dearly. I know he'll be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. If you are reading this, I assume you are a member of the SEVA GRREAT family. The love of a golden retriever is a very special thing. They can bring you more joy than your heart can absorb. They have totally enriched our lives. I would like to make a challenge to all of you. When I finish this letter, I am going on the SEVA GRREAT website and make a donation of $100 in honor of Harley. My challenge to you is to find it in your heart to also make a $100 contribution, or whatever you can do. SEVA GRREAT spends thousands every year to make life better for their goldens. Go to www. and click on the Gracie Fund and watch the video tribute to Gracie. You'll understand. My Harley was being treated for heartworms when we fostered him. That is about $1,000 from any vet. I do not work for SEVA GRREAT, nor did they ask me to do this. I did it because of my love for this magnificent dog.

Our daughter made this for us for Christmas after we lost Harley in November.



Mason, our Golden Mix, adopted from SEVA GRREAT March 30, 2012, is so full of life and enthusiasm! He is always ready to participate in whatever is happening. Just look at that happy face . . . it really shows off his personality!! -Flo and Karl Wolin

Burton, #1 squirrel watcher. Front paws on step for the quick blast-off. -Debra Barry

Huckleberry passed his puppy S.T.A.R. training. We are so proud of our “not so little” guy.   -Robyn Beasley

Kasey says “Bring on Summer” -Jane Frye

Huck and Riley enjoyed a day at Bethel Beach . . . some much needed fun after some wicked winter weather. -Robyn Beasley

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



Cooper aka Monty was adopted in February of 2010 and Ashley aka Bella was adopted in March of 2011. They are named for the two rivers that come together on the Battery in Charleston which is their parent’s favorite vacation spot. Ashley and Cooper love to play with their toys both out in the yard and also indoors. Life is good when a pup has lots of toys.


-Don and Cindy Merrix

Duke with his new family, the Robertsons. He looks so happy!

Holly (Brandy) has obviously settled in and feels perfectly comfortable. This is her favorite spot to sleep once the kids have gone to bed. -The Hyche family



Services and Products for Your Enjoyment that Help SEVA The credit card that gives back This Visa Platinum creditcard makes it easier than ever to support SEVA GRREAT! Add in a low introductory rate, no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and your choice of card designs and you've got a great way to give back. Our organization gets a donation and you get to spread the word about our cause with every swipe. To get your card go to: forgrreatgoldens

Share a bottle of wine and share our story Enjoying a bottle of your favorite wine from BenefitWines or giving it as a gift will help support and promote SEVA GRREAT. Each bottle of wine is labeled with a photo of one of SEVA GRREAT’s goldens.

Order your bottles of wine at: Want to see your golden on the label of a bottle of wine? Contact us at to put your golden in the limelight. 14


GRREAT Partners for Pets

What is Organic Pet Food? by Courtney Temple – from Pet360 What is Organic Pet Food? Is organic pet food the right choice for you and your pet? Can you easily switch your pet to an organic diet if they’ve never had it before? Read on and make an educated decision based on your situation.

A program designed to help raise money for shelters, BISSELL’s Partners for Pets program offers three easy ways for organizations to raise money. 1. Earn proceeds from purchases on all year long. 2. Get a chance to win up to $40,000 a year in giveaways and sweepstakes on the BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Facebook page. Go to their Facebook page and find deals for you and your designated dog rescue. 3. Become eligible to receive a FREE Lift-Off 2-in-1 Cyclonic Stick vacuum from BISSELL to raffle or auction.

What is organic pet food? Organic pet food prohibits the use of most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, sewage sludge fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, growth hormones, irradiation, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients. Organic pet food is closely regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP). Organic Pet Food Labels The key to knowing the percentage of organic ingredients used in a pet food product is by paying close attention to the label. You may have noticed the term “100% organic” on several pet food labels and wondered if this was a guarantee that the product did not contain artificial ingredients or any other unwanted ingredients. The answer is “yes!” Labels that use the phrase “100% organic” ensure that all the ingredients in the product are certified organic and regulated closely by the USDA. If you see the word “organic” this implies that the product contains

at least 95% of organic ingredients, or is made with an organic specific ingredient list. However, there are ingredients that are not organic present. The term “made with organic” simply means that the product contains at least 70% organic ingredients, but a percentage of the ingredients are not organic. Transitioning to an Organic Food Diet The best way to switch your pet’s diet to organic is by slowly introducing them to the new organic food. A pet owner can do this by mixing the new food into the food they are currently being fed. It’s recommended to gradually increase the amount of new pet food each day while you decrease the amount of old food. This process generally takes about 7-10 days until the new diet is fully put in place. Remember to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet. How do I know how much organic food I should feed my pet? Feeding guidelines are printed on the back of the pet food label. Food amounts depend on the specific needs and preferences of your pet. Your pet’s age, lifestyle, and activity level play a large part in the amount of food they should be fed.



Our Sponsor-A-Dog Program SEVA GRREAT, Inc. is a registered 501(c)

We are sad to report Bernard crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a sudden illness. Please direct your sponsorship to another senior dog or make a donation in his memory.

(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 special-needs 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.



EVA GRREAT in-takes an atrophied and extremely overweight elderly golden retriever. Initial intake is difficult as Bernard struggles in his first temporary foster-care home. Atrophy and extreme weight has handicapped his mobility. Bernard struggled with steps, inclines, hard slick surfaces requiring leg strength and endurance. Bernard’s personality had declined to ª Start by choosing the dog that you defensive and reclusive behaviors to the would like to sponsor or ask us to point of aggressive displays against those choose a dog for you (watch our website trying to help him. for updates). Bernard immediately adapted to a new ª Fill out the sponsorship form telling us long term foster-care home that includes how you would like to support us. a single story home with minimum steps, –You can make a 1-time donation or a carpeted floors and other elderly goldens for monthly donation via check or PayPal companionship. His behavioral pattern literally ª Send your form via email to sponsor-achanged overnight from aggressive to passive, or mail to P.O. allowing his foster-family to start remediation. Box 8014, Yorktown, VA 23693. A meal plan was calculated and implemented along with a regimented exercise program. ª We will send you a photo of the dog that you are sponsoring along with that Exercise started with leashed walks once a day consisting of making it the end of the dog’s special story. street and back. This 200 yard round trip takes ª With your permission, we will list your upwards of an hour due to the numerous stops name with your sponsored dog on the that Bernard must make for recuperation from website and publish your name in our exhaustion. Bernard is tough though and never quarterly magazine. complains and he begins to look forward to his ª Once your sponsored dog is adopted, daily outings. His foster-parents were patient we will send you a closing letter. At that with Bernard allowing him to take his frequent point you may end any re-occurring recovery breaks and become more familiar donations or roll it over to a new dog. with their neighbors at the same time. Bernard required neutering as part of his 16


intake process to SEVA. One of the generous veterinarians that support SEVA Great performs the procedure. Shortly thereafter, his foster-parents notice an immediate change in Bernard. He had developed an open sore on his front leg and his constantly licking it. A trip to the veterinarian revealed Bernard had suffered a traumatic injury not just to his leg, but to his abdomen as well that was concealed by his fur. Medications were prescribed and rest and recovery is ordered. For the next few weeks, Bernard took his antibiotics and medicated creams were applied daily to his sores to aid the recovery process. Throughout his setback, Bernard never revealed the source of his injuries. After sufficient healing of his wounds, Bernard resumed his exercise regime. Gradually his daily walk distance is increased as his foster parents meet more and more of their neighbors at the intersection and eventually to the next street over. Almost weekly weigh-ins reveal a gradual decrease in weight accompanying Bernard strength and endurance increases. Rewards included car trips to the beach, SEVA Great events and family vacations to Shenandoah and Smith Mountain Lake. Bernard still has slick floor anxieties and long stair phobias. After months of faithful execution of Bernard’s exercise regime, it’s time for his final weigh-in. His foster-parents share in Bernard’s excitement as the final scale reads 91 pounds!

Check out some of my buddies that you can sponsor



hen Dakota was picked up from Acredale Vet Hospital, he was only 21 lbs and missing hair from midway on his back to the tip of his tail. He smelled wretched, had clumps of hair falling off, and dry skin dusting everywhere he walked. His flea infestation was intolerable. There were fleas literally jumping all over the place. He was so scared and so skinny. It took us over a month to overcome a very stubborn ear infection. Now, a little over 3 months later, his skin looks fantastic. He weighs 55 lbs with the most beautiful, light golden, fluffy coat. In November we found out Dakota has 2 bad knees and a bad hip. Being only 4 years old, we want him to have an active life that he very well deserves. Dr. Murphie at Anderson's Corner Animal Center, performed Dakota's first and second knee surgery. He has been recovering so well and quicker than Dr. Murphie anticipated. He will have a recovery time of about 6 to 8 weeks before Dr. Murphie will consider operating on his left hip. By the time that Dakota has fully recovered and is available for adoption, he will have been in our care for about 7 to 8 months. He also has a terrible underbite and is facing the possibility of losing his bottom 6 teeth (front ones in between the canines). We are monitoring it very closely to see if he may require oral surgery. This poor boy has been through a lot in his short life...from being neglected, to coming into foster care, and now having multiple surgeries to help put him in the best health possible. And if you met Dakota, you would know he's totally worth every penny.


L Blondie


londie is one of SEVA GRREAT's long term fosters. She came to us as a three month old pup in the summer of 2011 upon being diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. It has taken awhile to get her stabilized on her twice a day insulin shots, which is normal for a growing pup. She is checked by an internist periodically to make sure she is stable on her dosage. This requires a 36hr glucose check. During this time she spends 10hrs with her regular vet and the remaining time with her Internist at an Emergency Clinic. These costs run $500-800 each time. Luckily these visits have become rare but they still occur if needed. Her insulin ($26) has to be purchased once a month and needles are purchased in bulk ($25 every other month). Blondie's needs are mainly insulin shots and observation of her behavior. She has a wonderful, loving, calm, laid back behavior that is perfect for anyone including newborns and handicapped people.

ucy endured an unexplained back fracture which led to paralysis in both her hind legs. She regained the use of her right hind leg, but her left leg was permanently damaged. When she was finally given up to SEVA GRREAT, she was very weak and weighed less than 40 pounds. She had no hair on her tail and hind parts because of urine scalding. After six weeks of rehabilitation, it was determined by doctors that her left hind leg would not recover and would need amputation. Her recovery time was quite tumultuous as her stitches would not heal. A normal amputation recovery time is six weeks. Lucy’s incision took four months to heal. As a result of the paralysis, Lucy is urinary and fecal incontinent. She is forced to wear diapers for extended periods of time to avoid accidents in the house. On average, Lucy’s health and wellness bills run over $1500 a year as she requires diapers, wipes, frequent bathing, doctor visits and prescriptions to combat urinary tract infections. Lucy’s spirit and determination are an inspiration to all who meet her. Her love of life, pup toys and tennis balls is mind-blowing and quite humorous to those who witness her antics. (continued on next page) SPRING 2014






ello world! My name is Willow, and I am full of life and energy. Don't let my "3 legs" fool you. I can run, play, and wrestle with the best of 'em. Right now I'm waiting on getting a surgery to remove the rest of my chicken wing, at least that's what my foster mom calls it. It's what's left of my fourth leg, and my doctors say that I would do best if they take the rest of my leg. No biggie though because I've been a three legged dog all my life. I also am waiting to be spayed but can't get that done right now because I'm dealing with "girl issues." My foster mommy and daddy have fun putting my diapers on me. I have a foster sister Dixie who loves playing with me. She has taught me to bring shoes to mom and dad and lick the bath faucet if I'm thirsty when I'm upstairs. I am house trained and only had a few accidents when I got to my foster home. I like to go on walks and have fun going to the park. I will let you know when I need a break because let's face it I'm probably doing double work with my three legs. I am super super soft and love to give lots of golden kisses. I also love to fetch ANYTHING whether it's a tennis ball, a rope, or a sock. I would love for you to sponsor me!! 18

came to SEVA when my owner gave me up at the age of 12 since they could no longer care for me or had simply lost interest. I couldn't walk due to my arthritic 3 legs (yes, I'm "tri-pawed") and had bad skin issues from lack of proper care. I was withdrawn and had become very protective of my food and toys since that's the only thing I could control. My foster family was so patient with me; they could tell the change was very difficult for me but with time and TLC, I learned to trust them. It's been over a year now and I love my new "senior retirement home" because they cater to goldens like me. There's outdoor dining, time for rolling in the grass, soaking up rays,

digging in the dirt, frolicking in the rain, rides in the 6-wheeler, grooming and lots and lots of love. There are soft beds everywhere, no slick floors to navigate and my own sling to help me get around when my one good back leg gets tired of doing all the work! Who knew that life could be so good? Since I've finally settled in and found my place in the pack, I'm not anxious to move again. However, I'm hoping that my story and those of some of my other rescue friends, might inspire you to become a sponsor in order to help defray the costs of our ongoing medical care. My foster mom said she'd be happy to send you regular updates on my antics and you'd be welcome to visit if you don't mind a loud reception. You see, I'm part of the alarm system at the retirement home and I take my duty seriously! Thanks for listening. Whatever you can do to help SEVA GRREAT help Goldens like me will be appreciated more than you can imagine.

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 Letter to Roxy Dear Roxy, Over three years ago you wiggled into my life as a therapy for a broken heart. I had just lost my beloved Sheila, a rescue German shepherd mix, who had lost her battle with cancer despite my strong insistence that a miracle would happen. You were there, meant for me when I most needed you; in turn I was there for you to help you regain your strength in your battle with heartworms, to love you unconditionally as you have come to love me, and to spoil you rotten which I happily succeeded in doing. Paw in hand, we joined forces to help you fight hot spots, two heat cycles, and two false pregnancies complete with milk and stuffed “puppies.� Together we went through the spay, and I lay by your side as you healed. Then as you gained back your strength, we walked together exploring the world over and over again. Each day was a new and wonderful adventure, and we started classes for basic obedience then advanced then agility then nose work then therapy. You helped other goldens to enter our home and become part of our family; you gave your nod of approval to various homes that I have evaluated letting potential adopters know about the wonders of a your breed. Yes, you, dear Roxy, had so much love to give that I wanted the world to heal from your gifted paws just as I had. Your brilliance, your beauty, your quickness to respond, your flashiness, and your genuine love for humans allowed you to pass the AKC Therapy Dog International test given on November 10, 2013. I am so proud of you, and in the time ahead as we visit schools, nursing homes, and those who need the affection that only a dog possesses I will glow with pride knowing that you are a special girl with a heart of gold. I love you, Roxy! Love, Roni Sumner, your human mom



Tag Mary

Annie Johnson Our sweet Annie left us to soon. She was only 4. But the time she had with us was joyful and will never be forgotten.

Rose and Jeff Johnson

Buffi AnBuffi gave us 15 years of fun and comedy relief. She enjoyed fishing and chasing the Skates swimming in the Piankatank river. Never one to back down from a day at the Rivah, she would stay in the water from sun up to sun down. She leaves us broken hearted but happy that there is no more pain. Hopefully she will meet up with her sidekick Maggie who passed a few months ago and old pals Katie and Reddog. Goodbye my friend.

Doug Brobst

Sunny Our Baby girl, Sunny, watching over younger brother Burt.

Debra Barry

There is nothing more rewarding than making the last years of a dog’s life the best they can be



How Dogs Learn the Names of Objects T

hough it may feel like your dog understand (or ignores!) exactly what you’re saying on a regular basis, the way dogs learn what objects are or how to perform a command does differ from the way humans learn.

Incorporating hand signals and keeping your body language in mind can help your dog to understand the behavior you’re asking for, and may be more helpful than using words themselves in the beginning.

How Dogs Learn

“If you want to get a dog to sit, you’re going to lure them into a position,” Hazelwood said. “When I’m 90 percent sure they’re going to do the behavior, then I’m going to add in the word [and] reward the dog when they’re already in the position that I’m looking for.

Research has shown that the primary way dogs learn is by association — whether pairing certain behaviors with a positive association (like sitting for a dog treat) or associating words with categories of objects (such as “toy”). While this has been recognized for some time, a recent study went one step further to determine if the process of learning was the same as that of humans, according to the Public Library of Science. In this study, scientists found that although dogs can understand a command like “fetch the ball,” they may think of an object differently that we would and are more likely to focus on the size and texture of an object rather than its shape, according to the Public Library of Science. The takeaway? Although the average dog can understand about 165 words, according to, the way they comprehend the word is fundamentally different than a human does, making simple and consistent training key for learning. “People can understand complex sentences and context, but dogs need [phrases] to be kept as simple as possible. They’re only looking for one key word rather than a whole sentence,” said Arthur Hazelwood, senior director at the ASPCA Adoption Center. In addition to learning words or phrases, Hazelwood said dogs are quite capable of learning a variety of different cues, including hand signals and body language.

Once they’ve made the association with the word, they’ll be more likely to do it on command.

Tips for Dog Training Now that you know a bit more about how your dog interprets words and understands cues, apply it to the following dog training tips from Hazelwood: • Keep cues to single syllable words where possible. Dogs can learn to listen for single syllable words like “sit,” “down,” or “stay” more easily than a complex sentence. Additionally, their names are generally two-syllable words, so if they hear their name, they’ll know to listen for a shorter command after it.

by Jessica Remitz from Pet360

body language. You want your dog to be able to “stay” or go “down” whether you’re standing or sitting in front of them or if you’re at home versus the dog park. • Dogs should always have a positive association to training. Do this by keeping training positive at all times and providing plenty of rewards. Make sure you reward their good behavior even when you aren’t in training and if you feel frustrated at any point, take a breath and step away for a little bit. • Make sure everyone in your home is being consistent with training and using the same words for every cue (i.e. “down” versus “off” or “lay”). • Try not to repeat cues over and over in training—this will make it harder for you to get them to follow through with behavior the first time you ask for it. “If you’re repeating [a cue] over and over, it’s not so important [to your dog] until you say it when you’re yelling,” he said. “You want to know the behavior is going to happen when you say it the first time.”

• Once your dog has learned the basics, try saying them in different intonations and ways so that it always means the same thing. You want to be able to shout, whisper and speak a command in a different voice so that it always has the same meaning. This technique may also save your dog’s life in a dangerous situation. • Additionally, practice these cues in different places, scenarios and using different SPRING 2014


Contributions Ann and Andor Czompo Sandy Anderson In memory of my beautiful Brandy girl who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2006 Dottie Cleal In memory of Rusty Gisela Nygards Jenny Wilson Marie and John Kilcarr

Donna and Preston Shifler-Jones In memory of Griffin

Judith Sutter In memory of Dave and Mabel Nicosia

David and Mari Bicksler

Terrie Rickan

Jane Frye In honor of Kasey James Krom In memory of Riley Quanzhan Li In honor of my foster dogs Jannet Grennell In memory of Nutmeg Trew, beloved friend Sharlene Ghiloni Alpha Phi Omega Don and Cindy Merrix In honor of Cooper and Ashley Merrix James Wilson In honor of Dr. Jane Hiser and her dog, Otis Marilynn Zauner In memory of Amber Mary Strzelecki Peter and Maryanne Lambert

Combined Federal Campaign #88796


Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3456

Dorothy Hanrahan In memory of Josie Dominick and Barbara Veltri In memory of G.G., Gent, Annie and Maestro Allegra Havens In memory of Jake and Graham Selden Richardson In memory of Max Richardson Dave and Peggy Main In honor of Hattaras and Maddy Jo Vance Rhonda King In memory of my son’s dogs, Apollo and King King

Sponsor-A-Dog Program

Linda and Brian Thomson Kristin Tamse Nancy Tamse In honor of Chewy and Nadi Roggmann David and Tanya Niles Jerry Killen Fred and Kay Ashbrook In honor of Roni Sumner Edith and Eugene Glock In memory of a much beloved golden retriever, Winston Glock Bass and Robyn Beasley In honor of the birth of Cami Lynn Show Cattail’s Gifts Jack and Donna Roggmann In memory of Joe Alford and Rhett Frederick and Karen Whyte In honor of the good work SEVA GRREAT does Diane Mojcieszak Ron Ferguson In memory of Rex Harrison and Mary Owen In honor of Hokie - our beloved SEVA GRREAT dog Jeffrey and Barbara Raliski In memory of Margaretta Binns Lolita Minder In memory of Hunter and Jasmine, and for rescuing my precious Crystal

Gracie’s Fund Pat and John Donaldson Kris’ Hockey Team Jake - Old Dominion Recycling Beth Homa Ray Moore Barbara Connor The Deli Basket The Carisbrooke Community c/o Jean Helms Gwen Holt Jack and Jo Snethen Elton and Peggy Lane Tammy Connolly Anna LaSalle Mary Catherine Foster Jerri Powell Collars for Causes

John and Stacey Klemenc In honor of our golden boy, Link Cean Cawthorn In honor of Sadie and Cooper

Sharon Leeman In memory of Honey and Fluffy, 2 beautiful goldens

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!



Blondie’s Fund Carl and Lizbeth Jackson Charles Gresham Bass and Robyn Beasley

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


Please have the Coordinator in the following area/areas contact me: (Check appropriate boxes)

Name: _____________________________________________

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

Address: ___________________________________________ City, State, Zip: _ ______________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________

HOME EVALUATION –– visits for foster/adoption applicants.

Home Phone: ________________________________________ Work Phone: ________________________________________ This is a new membership Address Change

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

It’s never too late to get a membership

ADDITIONAL VOTING MEMBERS: (E-mail needs to be unique to vote.)

TRANSPORTATION — primarily shuttling dogs and/or equipment as necessary. If you are interested in helping with transportation, can you help on: (circle all that apply) Weekdays


EVENTS — helping to hold/show dogs at “Golden Days,” helping with fund raisers, etc. PUBLICITY — researching and writing stories for media release and newsletters, selling ads for the newsletter, taking photos at events, updating the web site, etc.

Name: _____________________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________

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

Name: _____________________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________

Our rescue is growing! In order to continue to save more dogs every year, we are looking for volunteers who would like to become more involved with the organization. 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.

Name: _____________________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________

REMITTANCE: I am enclosing my annual membership dues


Additional Voting members _____ @ $25 each

$ ___________

Please make checks payable to:


$ ___________

1 Calendar ($10.00 plus $5.60 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: ______________________________________________________________


SEVA GRREAT P.O. Box 8014 Yorktown, Va



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

Like us on facebook!

SE VA GRREAT Contact Information President Jane Frye Vice President Treasurer Jim O’Connell Secretary Nikki Seger Event Coordinators: Southside: Peninsula: Donna Roggmann Richmond: Jennifer Dauzier Microchip Coordinator Robyn Beasley Intake Coordinator Rose Bennett Foster Coordinator Katie Show Adoption Coordinator Robyn Beasley Membership Jacob Kay Volunteer Coordinator Quanzhan Li Board Member Largo Elston Merchandise Jennifer Dauzier

Fundraising GRREAT Times magazine

Sharon Leeman Brad Miller

May 1 is the deadline to submit your photos for the 2015 SEVA GRREAT Calendar

GRREAT Times Spring 2014  

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education And Training

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