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Winter 2014

Annual 2013 Membership Picnic Reunion Poochapalooza Canine Blastomycosis Just Smile and Enjoy Life

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.

4 Adoptions 5 A Letter from the Ancestral Home of the Golden Retriever 6 Poochapalooza

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!

7 FETCH a Cure’s Mutt Strutt


8 2013 Membership Picnic 10 Donations 101

10 You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks 11 Walking with the Wolfhounds

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.

12 Home Coming


14 Canine Blastomycosis

Email to:


18 “Light Up the Town” 19 Rainbow Bridge 21 Just Smile and Enjoy Life 22 Contributions 2

ON THE COVER: Willie enjoys play time in the snow, especially in his warm winter knits. Find out more about Willie’s life at Photo contributed by Patty Mcquire.



President’s Message I

hope each of you enjoyed all the special times that the Holidays bring and that you are personally as excited and eager to jump in to 2014 as SEVA GRREAT is as an organization. That said, we are facing many challenges that can’t be tackled by individuals alone; or as a Board at large even with all of its talented members put together. As it always has been it will take more of you to step forward to help us grow so we can continue to fulfill our over arching mission. So, in anticipation of sounding like a broken record, my message for this Newsletter is we need to aggressively recruit new volunteers to fill key areas that I have listed below. You are both welcome and invited to jump directly to the list provided below right now …. because, it is this list that is the gist of my message. Then return to this point to find out all the rest of our news. I know that I would be remiss if I did not share a summary of our 2013 highlights, which describes the hard work and success of all of your efforts combined. In 2013, over 60 Goldens were rescued. The majority of these intakes needed to be spayed or neutered and many were heartworm positive. In addition, a variety of substantial surgeries were required. We had a 161 members join SEVA GRREAT. We increased our participation in new local events which included Tractor Supply Company in Suffolk, joined the Southside FarmersMarket in Richmond, VA, had a hugely successful fundraiser at Virginia Craft Beer Festival in Williamsburg, enjoyed an especially heartwarming annual picnic at Newport News with over 100 members attending, completed an amazing Metro Video Production covering what SEVA GRREAT does, completed a comprehensive internal audit and received a “clean audit report,” enjoyed another major success at the Neptune Festival and at the Light up the Town Parade, and recruited an

energetic fundraiser to help us generate new ideas and revenue. In between all of this, our intake coordinator worked tirelessly, our fosters cared lovingly for our intakes, our HE’s qualified numerous applicants, our transporters responded to virtually every request sent out, we began a grief resources support program, began efforts to reinvigorate our special needs dog sponsorship program (and to let sponsors know the status of the dogs they are sponsoring), and many, many others donated their time, donations and supplies. There is no other way to express the tremendous accomplishments other than to say it has been AWESOME to see what can be accomplished when you set your mind to it. So now it is 2014. This year the Board is

looking to solidify our efforts and establish mechanisms to both continue moving forward and to measure our success. Work has begun on two groups: the SEVA GRREAT 2014 – 2019 Strategic Planning Group and our 2014 Operating Budget Group. These are no small undertakings but will set us in good stead as we take on the many challenges we face and work toward the goals that we have established for ourselves. The top two on our list right now are 1) RECRUITING NEW VOLUNTEERS and 2) INCREASING OUR CURRENT MEMBERSHIP. So my message this month (in addition to sharing the good news of 2013) is that WE NEED YOU! Please review the list of wonderful opportunities provided below; and see if there is a way you can lend your hand and time to help us complete the extensive work ahead of us. As always, please contact me directly at if you are interested in volunteering for any position listed, if you want to discuss something or if you have feedback for us. I sincerely look forward to having my inbox filled with responses in the near future.

Volunteers Needed List (details on each of the positions will be provided upon request) • Board Member At Large Position • Members on Fundraising Committee (Richmond, Peninsula, Williamsburg, Norfolk and Virginia Beach areas) • Adoption Coordinator Assistant • Webmaster • Public Relations/Marketer • Assist our Treasurer • Event Leads to assist our Volunteer Coordinator • Calendar Sales Committee Coordinator Happy New Year and let’s get to work. Dottie Cleal WINTER 2014



Adoptions Austin

Dog Days in the Garden Strange’s Garden Center Richmond – February 1 2014 World of Pets Expo Hampton Roads Convention Center Hampton - February 15-16 Check our website for updates and exact locations and times of events. Check back a week before the event to confirm. YES, 2014 JUST STARTED, BUT DON’T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS FOR THE 2015 CALENDAR. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS WILL BE COMING UP IN MAY. Would you like to be a sponsor for the SEVA GRREAT calendar? Go to this address for sponsorship details. php?option=com_content&view= article&id=120&Itemid=132

Angel Rose – The Boyett Family Austin – The Neupert Family Bella – The Bullock Family Bentley – The Hasselquest Family



Ginger – Quanzhan Li


Huckleberry – The Thompson Family Huggie – The Johnson Family Nyla – The Daly Family Oakley – The Doddy Family



Pogo – The Miller Family Ripkin – The Seger Family Roxie – The Ghiloni 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

Rusty – The Franklin Family Sunny/Bear – The Murray Family Willie – The Dyer 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.





A Letter from the Ancestral Home of the Golden Retriever The Friends of Guisachan is a project of the Rachel Page Elliott Educational Fund within the Golden Retriever Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization.


s you may know, Guisachan in the Scottish Highlands, is the ancestral home of the Golden Retriever, but to date, the Golden community has never done anything concrete to acknowledge that fact. That is about to change! And, I’m delighted to share two exciting pieces of news with you. Just established in 2013, the Friends of Guisachan seek to commission a life-size bronze statue of a Golden Retriever to be placed on land donated by the Fraser family in Tomich, Inverness-shire, part of the historic Guisachan estate. After months of dealing with lawyers, surveyors etc., we now have everything in place to present to the Highland Council. How wonderful it will be to have a tribute to our beloved Goldens near the memorial to the

man who founded the breed in the village where it all began! Did you know that 2018 will be the 150th anniversary of the founding of our breed? Nous, a Wavycoated Retriever. and Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel, were bred together to produce the first litter, born in 1868. We’re hoping to promote celebrations by Golden Clubs and Rescue organizations all around the world. But to make this all happen, we need your help. We invite you to visit our unique website all about Guisachan, past, present and future, at I’ll bet you never heard about Lord Tweedmouth’s pet grouse who road on the

back of a dog! And I’m sure you’ve not read about his $38,000 piano and other fine furniture now in world-famous museums and auction houses. Did you know the kennel floor was made of heated tile? We’re checking old newspapers going back to 1848 and finding all manner of interesting tidbits. You can read them on our website. So, get on the Guisachan Express. Become a Friend of Guisachan and help us celebrate the ancestral home, the 150th anniversary of our beautiful breed and help us raise funds for the Golden Retriever statue and other Guisachan memorial projects. Friends of Guisachan



Photos from Halloween


Here’s some photos worth waiting for from Howl’oween in Hampton on October 26. Big bark out to WJClark Photography for these GRREAT photos.

Bear makes prison garb look good. Hey wait, maybe that’s not prison garb . . . maybe he is a referee!

Missy is pretty in pink.

Another grreat golden smile.

Bear, Missy and Huck.



Tops at FETCH a Cure’s Mutt Strutt Congratulations to Donut – top individual fundraiser in FETCH a Cure’s third annual Mutt Strutt today! Donut and the rest of the SEVA GRREAT team enjoyed a beautiful day at the park and walked in memory and in honor of many of their friends who have battled cancer . . . including Dount’s brother Duncan.

About FETCH a Cure

Team SEVA GRREAT at the FETCH a Cure Mutt Strutt 10-27-13 at Deep Run Park.

Through community outreach by way of events, campaigns and fundraisers, FETCH is working to promote the need to help pets live long, healthy lives. FETCH continually works to raise awareness and further education about pet cancer prevention, detection and treatment, and senior care and aging issues. FETCH provides financial aid to families unable to bear the cost of the life-saving treatments for their pets that have been diagnosed with cancer through the Companions in Crisis program. FETCH continues to work towards providing more accessible treatment options for all within our community. Helping People. Helping Pets. WINTER 2014


SEVA GRREAT Enjoys the 2013 Membership Picnic Reuni C

all it the perfect day! Beautiful weather, perfect gathering place at Newport News Park, and more than 100 SEVA GRREAT members and their Goldens coming together to reconnect, share stories, talk about their rescues and just plain enjoy the environment on every level. It was a day to behold and to celebrate what SEVA GRREAT does. Rescuing these amazing dogs who in their forever homes blossom and shine brighter than ever before. There was the gathering of three of Luna’s puppies and our special needs dog Lucy and Boomer (a foster to adopt buddy). Not to forget, Blondie our Juvenile Diabetes Golden who is getting ready for adoption, and two of our Goldens who have qualified as International Therapy Dogs.

We also have to say a big thanks to Jim O’Connell for coordinating the final taping segment of our video with Metro Productions which we know will turn out to be nothing less than fantastic! Looking forward we hope to see you all again at next year’s event.

There was food galore, good times abound and memories made until next year’s gathering. So many folks travelled from Richmond, the Peninsula, Virginia Beach and further just to participate in this annual event. Thanks goes to everyone for joining in on this very special occasion and for our many volunteers who 1) reserved this location for us (Katie Show), 2) those who help set up (Jane Frye, Rose Bennett, Quan Li, Nicki Seger, and Robyn Beasley), 3) our master grillers (Charlie Bennett and Gary Pastori) and 4) all others who set up the menu and brought the food. Thanks again to everyone for making this event such a huge success. And we would be remiss if we did not comment on how ideally suited the Newport News City Park is for a gathering!



Luna’s puppies

It was hard to tell who was having more fun . . . our members or their dogs. If you missed out on this year’s event we certainly invite you to join us again next year where we hope we can expand the participation and comradery that was enjoyed.

Annual nion Nicki Seger and Robyn Beasley

Jimmy and Mike



Donations 101


erhaps you want to make a Donation to SEVA GRREAT, but have some confusion about how to designate your funds. Here is a brief run down of some of the ways you can support SEVA GRREAT:

Gracie Fund - The Gracie Fund was established in 2009 in honor/memory of Gracie, a young Golden born with rare anatomical abnormalities who was in SEVA GRREATs care for most of her short life. Gracie's incredible spirit touched and moved hundreds of volunteers. Her spirit lived on in all of our special needs dogs. She taught us to love with abandon and to live each day to the fullest. If you choose to donate to the Gracie Fund, your donation will be earmarked for this general special needs fund. If you are interested in reading more about Gracie, go to SEVA GRREATs homepage (http://www.

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 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!


ou ens hank y upport. t d l o T G A E s The A GRR erosity and V E S f n o ur ge for yo and scroll to the bottom left of the page. In the green box you will see "The Gracie Fund".

Sponsor a Dog - 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 a long way toward helping our Goldens that may

spend a prolonged time in foster care due to medical needs. Check out the sponsor a dog form at GRREATs homepage (http://www., click on the "adoption" tab, and see the "sponsor a dog" link in the green box.

General Donation (undesignated) In 2011-2012, approximately 90% of our expenses were for medical costs of dogs in SEVA GRREAT’s care.

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks T

oday our eleven year old golden Ally graduated from her Basic Obedience class. Was she the star of the class? No. Did she master all of the skills? All but “Leave it!” Did she enjoy every second of the six weeks? Unconditionally! Each week she was so excited to get her own special car ride all by herself with my undivided attention just on her rather than sharing the time with her golden siblings Roxy and Max. She pranced around the training area so excited for those extra treats. She would patiently sit while I walked away and hold the position until I returned; she would streak towards me with as much speed as she could muster on the recall and sit directly in front of me totally off lead. She would walk the ramp and ignore all lures except hot dogs; she would find me when I hid behind things and joyously bark when the mission was accomplished. Her


By Roni Sumner

brain, like her dry eyes that are being helped with meds, seemed to flourish, and at night when Roxy practiced for the therapy dog test and Max prepared for the Canine Good Citizen activities, Ally worked the basics and beamed with pride at each praise and each treat. She qualifies for Intermediate now, and I think that I shall proceed with her training because a brain needs constant challenges. The message that I would like to convey is to seek and to continue training no matter what age your fur baby might be. It strengthens the bond between you and your glorious dog, and it makes each day a fun one for all concerned. Life is continuous education for both humans and dogs alike; there is so much to explore and so much to learn to keep the brain young. You certainly CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Ally is proof of that!

First Annual Walking with the Wolfhounds G

RREAT big Golden bark out to the 4th grade student at Saint Patrick Catholic School who coordinated this event to raise awareness for homeless animals in Norfolk. We had a super turnout . . . fosters Dakota, Chunk, Nate, and Lucy were there (along with several siblings and new friends). Such a fun time on a beautiful fall day.

Foster Chunk had a grreat time making new friends.

Foster dogs Dakota & Nate soaking up the fall sunshine.

Nate shows off his grreat ability to snuggle!

The Golden Gang!



I DID IT! - By Max


-Charlie and Linda Mattax

I was scared; you gave me courage. I was unsure; you gave me confidence. I was alone; you gave me love and companionship both canine and human. I have blossomed-my coat once brittle now shines and is luxurious to the touch. I have found strength going from 60 to 70 pounds of pure muscle. I have found wisdom and just passed my AKC Canine Good Citizen test. I engage in fun playing with my siblings Roxy and Ally, my canine friends, and my humans Roni and John Sumner. I still fear the thunder and the planes at Oceana, but I know that I am always protected. I did it! I found my forever home!


Copper and Elliot -Patty Spilker



Bear has come a long way in only 4 months. He really doesn’t enjoy car travel, but is better than he was 4 months ago, when he suddenly grew 8 legs to hold on to the door. Now he gets in as long as he is on his leash. He’s been to Maine to a Coast Guard reunion and charmed everyone. If he has the chance he will go the other way – rather quickly! -The Oberlander Family

As always, I am grateful that Gracie joined the family. She is as active and happy as ever and she is the perfect partner to Faith. Faith has picked up some great traits from Gracie and Gracie has picked up some lab traits. They both LOVE swimming and are so cute as they swim side by side whenever they are out "fetching" in Lake Michigan where I spend a month each summer. -Mary Pat

After fostering 11 beautiful goldens and letting go, we found ourselves failed to put Ginger up for adoption. We could not be happier to have Ginger to join our family and we hope Ginger feels the same. -Quanzhan Li

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



No Longer Rare . . . Canine Blastomycosis is B

lastomycosis is rearing its ugly head in an increasing number of regions in the US. This article should help keep you aware of the options you have should a time come when it is needed. You will find links to several very informative sites. We need to be aware and, when/where necessary, help our veterinarians to be aware, of this disease, its symptoms and possible treatments. For now. it’s another tool in our libraries.

No Longer Rare: Blastomycosis (Blasto) in the dog is a commonly misdiagnosed systemic fungal disease of dogs, humans and other mammals. It is a great pretender and opportunist that can be mistaken for cancer, viral infections, Lyme Disease, or other systemic fungal diseases such as Valley Fever. Many dogs die or are euthanized each year due to delay in treatment as the result of a missed or erroneous diagnosis. Involvement of the eye may cause loss of vision or necessitate the removal of the eye. Relapse is also a concern, more often reported in females. Canine Blastomycosis is caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. This parasitic fungus grows as a mold in moist soil or decaying vegetation and releases spores into the environment that can be inhaled by animals or humans. Young dogs that have access to the outdoors are prime candidates for blastomycosis infection, but infection has been documented in all canine breeds, cats, horses and ferrets. Normally, blastomycosis infection will begin in the lungs after spores are inhaled and transform into large thick-walled budding yeast, which can multiply and disseminate to other areas of the body. Dissemination into organs, lymph nodes, eyes, testicles, joints, 14

skin, as well as the central nervous system, is a grave risk. A diagnosis of Canine Blastomycosis must be made promptly in order to begin treatment with antifungal medications. Unless Blasto is suspected, valuable time is often wasted testing and treating for viral and bacterial infections while the fungus disseminates. Without quick recognition, accurate diagnosis, and access to reasonably priced medications, many animals are unnecessarily lost to Blasto. A high index of suspicion is crucial. Blastomycosis cannot be eradicated from the environment, however, one may attempt to avoid or remove possible sources of contamination, such as mulched areas of flower beds, paths, bedding, areas of wetlands, etc. The idea of a commercial fungicide has been discussed, but there are none currently available that are effective against Blasto. With the advent of compounding pharmacies and generic antifungal medications, treatment is now more effective and affordable, making successful outcome for these animals more attainable than ever. Sadly enough, as the symptoms can be widely varied and nonspecific, there is sometimes a reluctance to diagnose what has previously been considered a “rare” condition.

Risk Factors: Endemic Areas, US - Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio River valleys, Eastern Seaboard, areas adjacent to the Great Lakes. States with highest endemnicity are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Other endemic states include Indiana, Iowa,


Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama. However, cases do occur outside the endemic areas. Endemic Areas, Canada - Blasto is prevalent in Kenora, Ontario. Also found in Manitoba, Ontario (Kenora, Sault Ste. Marie, Chapleau), Quebec, New Brunswick, in particular areas around the Great Lakes and in a small area a small area in New York and Canada along the St. Lawrence River. Has also been increasingly reported along the Georgian Bay coastline (including Midland and Penetang), Dryden, and in Southern Ontario at the Rockwood Conservation area. Environment - Research shows that exposure to wet or decaying organic material, recently disturbed soil, rotting vegetation, bird droppings, and landscaping projects is a strong indicator of disease possibility. Some research has shown a strong link to wood mulch and importation of non-local soil. Patient history will often reveal exposure to mulched areas and disturbed soil in parks, yards, walking paths, etc. By questioning an owner about the animals’ activities, it is often found that exposure may have occurred while vacationing, camping, or visiting an area where Blastomycosis is endemic. Breed/Age – Young, large-breed dogs with the highest rates of infection are normally Coonhounds, Pointers, and Weimaraners. This is normally attributed to higher exposure to endemic areas due to use in hunting. Breed, size, and age, however, are not a reliable indicator of susceptibility, as all are at risk

Symptoms: After initial spore inhalation, incubation can

For Your Medical Reference Library

Something to Learn About range from days to weeks, sometimes months, which makes pinpointing a source of infection extremely difficult. The presentation of Blasto is often non-specific, and can imitate a range of other diseases. Symptoms include: • Lethargy • Persistent fever of 103 degrees or more • Anorexia • Vomiting • Persistent, usually non-productive cough • Exercise intolerance • Respiratory symptoms, fungal pneumonia • Ocular infection, sudden blindness • Depression • CNS symptoms: twitches, stumbling gait, loss of coordination • Skin ulcerations, non-healing lesions • Lumps, nodes, swellings • Weight loss • Hair loss • Lameness, fungal arthritis • Hematuria

Diagnostic Testing: Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, a thorough patient history, and laboratory findings. Not all findings are specific, some tests are faster and more efficient, and some cases may benefit from antifungal treatment even before definitive diagnosis. • Cytology: New Methylene Blue stain used to identify organisms from exudates of skin abcesses/lesions/sputum/fluid aspirated from lungs appears to be the fastest, most reliable and cost-effective method. Not all cases, however, will present with accessible material, necessitating further diagnostics. • MiraVista Diagnostics Antigen Assay: Very high sensitivity with urine (studies show 92.9% sensitivity, specificity 79.3%), slightly less sensitive with serum. 4-5 days for results,

at a cost of approx. $100. Also useful in monitoring the efficacy of antifungal therapy. • Chest X-Ray – signature “snowstorm” pattern • Area Bone Radiograph • Lymph node biopsy / fine needle aspiration • Serum Antibody Titer: regarded as a fairly poor diagnostic tool for Blastomycosis • Tracheal wash • Ultrasound

Be Aggressive: Excerpt: Journal of Clinical Microbiology, October 2004, p. 4873-4875, Vol. 42, No. 10 “Most patients with blastomycosis exhibit progressive illnesses that require antifungal therapy. In one study, diagnosis was delayed for more than 1 month in nearly half of the cases. Blastomycosis was correctly suspected in only 20% of patients, resulting in unnecessary surgeries and treatment delays. In two-thirds of patients who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by blastomycosis, the diagnosis was either not suspected or considered only after the patient became moribund.”

Treatment Options: • Itraconazole (Sporanox) capsules: First line preferred treatment, given with a fatty food to increase bioavailability • Amphoterericin-B: Higher efficacy in patients with CNS involvement • Itraconazole (Sporanox) suspension: Shorter shelf-life, but can be given without food • Ketoconazole (Nizoral): In initial treatment w/Ampho-B, similar results as Itraconazole slightly less expensive • Fluconazole (Diflucan): Somewhat generally less effective than Itraconazole, but may have better effect in cases with CNS and/or

Text by: Jennifer S. Wilcox

eye involvement. • Posaconazole: Higher cost, similar effects to Itraconazole, few studies • Voriconazole: Higher cost, somewhat better efficacy in cases w/CNS involvement, few studies • Prednisone: For treatment of inflammatory issues In the past, Amphotericin-B was the only known medication useful against Blastomycosis and the other systemic fungal organisms. It was given intravenously and with care to keep the dose from harming the kidneys. More recently, research has provided oral azoles that are highly effective in treating fungal infections. Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), and Fluconazole (Diflucan) are available as capsules and oral suspensions that may be administered for 3 to 6 months (depending on the severity of infection, treatment may be even longer). Compounding pharmacies have made these medications much more affordable and available in custom dosages for different sized animals. Generic and brand name medications are equally effective, and given the very high cost of brand names, the generic compounded alternatives are saving lives that may have previously been lost due to the cost and length of treatment.

Treatment – It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better: Once Blasto is diagnosed or is highly suspected, treatment can be started with the appropriate antifungal medication. In the early stages of treatment large numbers (continued on next page)



Canine Blastomycosis (continued)

of fungi begin to die in the lungs and often elicit an inflammatory response. Prednisone is sometimes prescribed to help reduce inflammation issues. Many of these animals are fighting a fungal pneumonia. As a result, respiratory distress is often a significant problem in the first few days following initiation of therapy. Since the severity of the infection will determine the amount of fungi inhabiting the dog’s lungs, early diagnosis and treatment is an efficient means of reducing post-treatment respiratory distress and can significantly influence a dog’s chances of survival. The animal’s prognosis will always be guarded, and antifungal treatment is never a guarantee of recovery. Intense supportive care and a high level of commitment to recovery on the part of the owner are imperative. Round the clock care is often necessary. Removal to a medical facility for IV treatment and hydration may be helpful and sometimes unavoidable, but can be very stressful for a compromised animal. If the owners are able to provide care, the security of home and loved ones may reduce stress. The outcome will also vary with the degree of infection, whether Blasto has disseminated into other organs, CNS, bones, or in the event of secondary bacterial or viral infection. Eye involvement may result in blindness or necessitate removal of eye(s). Recently some experimental treatments have reported some success in the nominal recovery of vision. These treatments can be fairly expensive, and are not a guarantee of sight recovery. During the first few weeks of therapy, the animal may become alarmingly ill, anorexic, and may have to be force-fed. Weight loss may continue; hydration and calories are important. During this time, the idea of eating “healthy” may need to be suspended in favor of getting any nutrition possible into the animal. Owners who have successfully treated their 16

animals recommend the following: • Ensure Plus: added protein with about 300 calories per can; well tolerated, may be bottle-fed • Hill’s A/D canine “prescription” dog food: can be mixed with water and given by syringe • Canned Tripe • Sav-A-Calf Electrolytes Plus: very good reported results, may be bottle-fed • Canned Dog Food • Cooked chicken, chicken broth • Meal Bones-Whole meals • Stewed meats, soups • Burger • Peanut butter: lots of fat and calories, and they pretty much cannot avoid swallowing it • Frozen Gatorade • Frozen Ensure • Frozen Pedialyte: also helpful when used in a squirt or spray bottle • Cheese • Ice Cream • Margarine • Sausage • Eggs • Yogurt

Medication: Sources and Cost: Antifungal prescriptions from retail pharmacies can range from $4 to $9 per dose. As treatment must be continued for as long as 12 months, cost will be an issue that affects the owners’ decision regarding treatment vs. euthanasia. Compounding pharmacies have made generic and custom doses much more affordable. For example, the cost of generic Itraconazole 150 mg. from Pet Health Pharmacy in Arizona is approximately $1 per dose. Overnight shipping is available at a cost of about $8-$10 extra. These medications appear to be equally effective as brand name varieties and make the option of treatment more feasible for the owner. Contact information for a few trusted compounding pharmacies, more available at plx?A=546


• Pet Health Pharmacy, Inc.: Highly recommended. 12012 N 111th Ave. Youngtown, AZ 85363 Toll Free Phone (800) 742-0516 Toll Free Fax (866) 373-0030 • RoadRunner Pharmacy: 711 E. Carefree Highway, Suite 140 Phoenix, AZ 85085 Toll Free Phone (877) 518-4589 • Victoria Compounding Pharmacy: 1089 Fort St., Victoria, BC V8V 3K5, Canada Telephone: (250) 388-5181 • American Health Solutions Pharmacy, Inc.: Toll Free Phone (800) 337-2844 • Wedgewood Pharmacy: (800) 331-8272, (888)-678-1967 Veterinary

To Sum It Up: The information in this newsletter was compiled by a group of people who have first-hand experience with Blastomycosis in their animals and/or loved ones during the last year. On the web, it began at www.Blastomycosis. ca, a website by Lisa Schuyler, dedicated to her beloved Golden Retriever, Surf, who died of Blasto in 2005. The site has become a wealth of information, research, links, tips, and support from people who have had successful outcomes and/or suffered the loss of their animals or loved ones. As discussed, Blasto is often misdiagnosed, or valuable time ticks away while treating for ailments that may be considered more common. By reading the case database at, it quickly becomes apparent that the key to a successful outcome is not the amount of money spent on expensive care, name brand medications or tests. The reality is often quite the opposite: some severe cases were successfully treated at home for less than $1000, while others spent well into the thousands on hospital care and brand name treatments, only to lose their animals. The difference is in timely diagnostics, access to affordable medications, and the dedication to weeks or months of intensive care for a very sick animal.

Blasto is no longer rare, but increasingly prevalent in endemic areas as well as areas that are not considered a risk, such as Texas and Vermont. It is our hope that by circulating this resource, we can raise awareness and save the life of even one animal. Visit and read the wonderful success stories of dogs like Wilson, Will, Gunner, Dirtbike, Marge, and Rocket, as well as the heart-breaking instances of dogs like Missy, Bandit, Roxy, or Chewbakka, who were tragically lost. The website is frequented by

What’s Up Doc? R

eputable pet food companies rely on advice and assistance from veterinarians and other experts in pet nutrition who are valued members of their company’s team. These individuals have a full understanding of the nutritional needs of dogs at all life stages, from puppies to seniors. They also understand how ingredients can be combined to result in the necessary nutrient profiles. The nutrient profile required for your individual dog will vary depending on many factors. Age, reproductive status, lifestyle, and overall health all play a role in determining what levels of nutrients are required by your individual dog. In general, puppies require higher protein levels than adult dogs. Higher levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a specific type of fatty acid, are required for growing puppies, as well as higher levels of calcium and phosphorus. It is also important to keep puppies lean. Obesity can lead to

experienced owners who sometimes check in several times a day to offer their support and knowledge to frightened newcomers to Blasto. Their love and dedication extends to everyone’s animal as if it were their own. Our thanks to everyone for their time and interest.

On the Web - Resources: There is a wealth of information available online. Informed vets and owners make for a better outcome.

• Blastomycosis.Ca: • blstomyc.html • Blastomycosis in the Dog: http://www.pet360. com/search/all/ blastomycosis • Health Articles: • Facebook: 13680105258/.

From Puppy to Senior: Devising the Right Nutrient Profile for Your Dog a variety of problems as your puppy matures. As a result, excess energy in the diet should be avoided. For large and giant breed puppies, excesses of calcium must be avoided as well. Excess calcium levels can lead to orthopedic problems. Feeding a food that is formulated for growth is preferable for puppies as these foods are balanced to take the specific needs of growing puppies into account. Feed your puppy the amount of “puppy food” required to keep his body condition at an ideal point. Senior dogs often have specialized nutritional needs, too. For instance, joint disease is common in older dogs and nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (specifically eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) may be helpful in relieving the associated pain. Additionally, older dogs may suffer from other illnesses, such as kidney disease, in which the levels of phosphorus and other electrolytes must be controlled.

Consult Your Veterinarian Your veterinarian is your best source of information about your pet’s health and that includes your pet’s nutritional needs as well. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s diet. Your veterinarian will be able to help y ou choose the most appropriate diet for your dog based on your dog’s health, age, lifestyle, and breed.



GRREAT Shines a Golden Light During “Light Up the Town” T

he annual holiday lighting parade and event at the Town Center of Virginia Beach on November 23 saw SEVA GRREAT glowing, bringing cheer and smiles to all the festive parade on-lookers. The parade included a visit by Santa, an illumination of Town Center, followed by a laser light show, carolers and more.

Grand Marshal Missy was taking in the sights Grand Marshal Lucy riding in style



Cooper Killeen

Bam Bam Here is a picture of Bam Bam. We miss him very much. Hard to adjust to less caretaking. We started fostering Pebbles and Bam Bam due to a plea for a home for two 12 year olds. We figured we would have them for a year or two. 5 years later when they left us about 6 months apart(?) we feel blessed to have been their family. We learned a lot from them and cannot express to all dog lovers how much joy an elder adoption could be. Pebbles will reign on in our lives forever as we say "he is doing a Pebbles"  whenever someone repeatedly walks or stands on your way no matter which way you try to go.  We will always strive to be as joyful and happy as Bam Bam who, for the last year, every time we would get up in the morning or come home from being out... he would be asleep and look like he had passed. He was deaf and therefore could not hear our calls... we would touch him and he would jolt awake like it was Christmas morning... all wags and wiggles and unbridled joy. This could happen 10 times a day. Every wake up was a joyful gift.  Would that we could all be like him! *

Meg Richardson

Rusty Dearing Darwyn, Vivian, Corey Dearing

Cooper Killeen crossed the Rainbow Bridge on August 3, 2013 after an unfortunately short battle with a paw sarcoma. Cooper joined our family in 2004 at the age of 4. He was our fourth foster dog from SEVA-GRREAT, but he was the first one to work his way into our hearts. Cooper also immediately took to our golden retriever, Shelby. His original family felt like they could not pay enough attention to him due to their busy children, so we tried to make up for that lost time, and then some! He did not appear to have gone on many car rides, but took to them immediately, loving to lay in the back of the SUV with his head between us, tapping the driver’s shoulder with his paw. Cooper had never been to the beach before joining our family, but absolutely loved crashing head first into the waves and barking at the seagulls. He would chase Shelby around until they were both exhausted. He would sit at our feet and push his nose at us to get his head pet, and then when he (or us) was done, he would retire to another room for his own space and personal time. Cooper, you will be missed and you will always be remembered as our first rescue golden.

Sean and Karen Killeen

Molly We had Molly for 8 years. She was close to 15 years old since she was a senior when we got her. Animal control picked her up and she was scared and apprehensive of everyone. She settled in with our other golden and they became great friends. We never had a problem with her that includes chewing, messing in the house and she never barked. Like most golden’s she was not much of a watchdog. She was well loved and will be missed terribly.

Carole & Roger Nelson


We are saddened to report that our dear Riley crossed the Rainbow Bridge on December 13th. Since adopting him in December 2006, we've been through so much together. But for 7 years he never stopped wagging his tail. He was always happy and LOVED swimming in our pool or at LKG, and became the best buddy to his Golden sister Kasey. The house just won't be the same without you sweet boy. We miss you terribly already, but take comfort knowing we'll see you again. Jane Frye and Jim Krom



Pete A 2000 SPCA rescue, he gave us much joy for 13 of his 15 years. He was a surrogate brother and companion to both our SEVA GRREAT rescues, Brodie and Emma. Everyone who met Pete fell in love, including our two cats. He lived a good long Golden life and will be missed but remembered with laughs and smiles. The Sensenig Family

Baxter Since our father’s passing (Bill House), I have had the blessing of caring and loving his Baxter (and Trevor). Sadly due to a sudden illness (we suspect Canine degenerative myelopathy) we made the hardest decision to let him cross the bridge on Monday evening (2 Dec 2013). However, we take hope and solace he is again with his true companion, our Dad. Whether as a Therapy Dog at the various Sentara Hospitals or as celebrity around Atlantic Shores, Baxter brought much joy, love and comfort to so many. He certainly has left a strong place in our hearts. Catharine (House) Rowe

Gracee Yesterday, very suddenly and unexpectently, my Gracee passed away. She came to her forever home from SEVAGRREAT in 2009 and would have been 7 next month. Gracee was a very busy little girl. Her nickname was "Golden Digger" and the holes in my backyard are testament to her ability. She was very good at stalking squirrels and they would make a game of it. My solace right now is that Reilly, who passed away two weeks ago, needed her at the Rainbow Bridge for landscaping. Ironically, I adopted Jack last year because I knew Gracee would need a buddy when Reilly went to heaven. Now Jack and I will be each other's comfort in the days ahead. We don't have them long but we give them the best of our love. Kathleen O'Donnell

Casey Casey was our joy, who brought so much happiness. No matter what our day was like, she would always greet you with love and do anything for our love and attention, which we were always happy to give. I would do anything to have her back. It has only been a week since she has left us and God and time are all that can ease the pain. Kevin & Alice O’Donnell 20


Reilly After 13 & 1/2 years, yesterday I had to make the decision for Reilly to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I adopted him from SEVA GRREAT in January 2004 along with Tucker (RIP 2009). Reilly was Mr. Personality and my buddy through a life changing health event. His SEVA GRREAT sister Gracee and SEVA GRREAT brother Jack both are mourning his loss too. After all these years, I can still remember meeting Reilly for the first time. While it was the right thing to do, I miss him but I know his spirit will be in my heart forever. He truly had the “Life of Reilly.” Kathleen O’Donnell

Murphy Murphy died suddenly on 9/20/13. He was 11.5 yrs. old and the greatest golden! We miss him terribly but were so lucky to have him for 10.5 years. We found him at a shelter when he was 1. After some training and lots of love, he became the perfect family member. It’s impossible to believe someone gave him up but I’m glad they did.

Alison Wheeler

Buddy Welch . . . Just Smile and Enjoy Life


have been wanting to write a story about Buddy, who passed away on May 24th at the age of twelve; however, the past five months have been extremely difficult for my family and me as I also lost my younger sister suddenly just two days before Buddy’s passing. I have just recently begun to process the loss I have felt over the past months, as for a while I have just felt numb. Buddy came to us in November 2009 at the age of eight as our first foster dog. We had the choice at the time between Buddy and a female Golden about the same age. After hearing Buddy’s sad story and seeing his picture, I just knew he was the dog we were supposed to help. So the next day, I went to Quiocassin Road Vet and picked up this poor soul and his bag of numerous medications. Buddy had severe skin infections, a lot of hair loss, and a very bad yeast infection covering a large area of skin. Our house smelled so bad from the yeast when I brought him home, I thought my husband (who it took a long time to convince to foster) would surely tell me to take him back. However, all it took was one look into Buddy’s sad, soulful eyes and your heart just melted. He had him so “hooked” in fact, that my husband insisted he stay with us for the rest of his life, despite the speech he

gave me before Buddy came about how we were NOT going to keep any fosters. “Buddy Bear” as he became known, was our first foster failure. He was truly the best dog and got along very well with our nine year old Golden, Cysco, who had been our only dog for almost six years. Cysco and Buddy were a great pair and became the best of friends. There were so many great things about our Buddy. He was truly a “gentle giant.” He loved EVERYONE he met, to include people, young and old, and a variety of other animals including our daughter’s two guinea pigs! Buddy was a “sock hoarder.” You could often find a missing sock or two or three under his dog bed for “safe keeping.” He always had this big dorky smile on his face . . . we decided he was a “hippie dog” from the 60’s as he always appeared to be “a little too happy.” Buddy was a great foster brother to the variety of dogs that came to live with us over the years, even when some were not too nice to him. Buddy was always a very “low energy” dog. His idea of a “walk” was not much further than the end of our long driveway. He loved attending SEVA GRREAT events, but spent most of the time laying down for belly rubs

and loved going to our place on the Potomac River just to sit on the beach and enjoy the breeze. Last year, Buddy began to slow down even more, to the point it became difficult for him to even walk more than a few steps at a time. I think we were in denial for a while, as he was still always smiling and seemed to be “happy.” Then we realized, it was not in Buddy’s nature not to be happy and he would never truly let on to how much pain he must be in. When he no longer would come to the door when my husband came home from work (the two had become the best of friends over the years), we made that agonizing decision and on May 24, 2013 Buddy went to the Rainbow Bridge to be with Cysco and Riley. There is not a day that goes by that I do not miss that dorky smile of his. No matter how bad a day you had, having Buddy there waiting for you at the door always made it better. Funny how I thought when I picked Buddy to be our foster, that we were helping him, when in fact he was the one that helped us. He helped us realize that no matter how bad your day was, you should just smile and enjoy life and all it has to offer.

Melanie Welch WINTER 2014


Contributions Thomas Laidlaw In memory of Mabel Nicosia William Harper Judy Dyer In memory of my sweet 14 year old Shilo who provided years of love and laughter Judy Smith, George Shurtz, Nancy Cameron, Linda Cooper In memory of Mabel Nicosia Dot Hanrahan In memory of Dave and Mabel Nicosia Jerry Killen and Teresa Honeycutt Dr. Jean Haskell and Fred Schoenfeld In memory of Mabel Nicosia Jack and Donna Roggmann In memory of Mabel Nicosia

Total Footcare, P.C

Fran and DJ DeCicco

Rick and Laura Spink In memory of Dave and Mabel Nicosia

Brad Miller In memory of Bobby and Zach

Rick, Laura and Buster Spink In memory of Haley Spink

Kim Spillane Mary Lou Calhoun In memory of George L. Haggerty

Ann and Andor Czompo Sandra Dearnley In memory of Mabel Nicosia City of Virginia Beach, Public Works In honor of Mable Nicosia Scott and Kimberly Beland Brenda Cutchin Tracy Minnich Carol Paradiso Peter and Maryanne Lambert Roberta Richardson In honor of Pamela Murray’s birthday Bill and Betty Brown In honor of Henley and in memory of Mollie, Cid and Majik Jo A Vance Kristin Tamse Rebecca Routson Terrie Rickan Dr. James and Virginia Hayes In memory of Biscuit - wonderful pet of the McKinnon family for 15 years Joanna Simonsen Wellington and Wendy Kay B. Barnes

Combined Federal Campaign #88796


Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3456

K. F. Emory In memory of Jessie Faulknier Joan Trotti In memory of Bam Bam Richardson Dave and Peggy Main In memory of Rylee, Kathy Speak’s beautiful Golden girl Jim and Pauline O’Connell In memory of Jessie Sherry and Bill Peterson In honor of Teddy and in memory of Leader Quanzhan Li In honor of volunteers Stanton and Julie Darling II Annette Thomas, Tigertail Foods Happy Thanksgiving



Sponsor-A-Dog Program

Frederick and Karen Whyte In honor of the good work SEVA GRREAT does Kathleen O’Donnell In memory of Reilly from his GRREAT companions Gracee and Jack Brenda Penca Diane Trinko In memory of Ginger Debbie and Joe Morris In honor of adopting Copper Mark and Patricia Seelenbinder In honor of Chester

Gracie’s Fund Peggy Lane Johnie and Helen Noles

Robyn Beasley Richard and Janice Phillips Donna and Jack Roggmann In honor of Chewy and Nadi Jim and Pauline O’Connell In memory of Riley Frye Betty and Gary Williford In loving memory of Marlie Skip and Terry Cole In memory of our beloved Samantha and Casey Charles Burroughs, Jr. Lead Trust Pat McLoone In memory of Dr. Georges Dauzier Jill and Rich Hoehlein In memory of Kuitta, a wonder Golden Cynthia Bruno and Mark Miller Jacob Kay In memory of Cassie, Dailey, Ben and Jake Kathleen O’Donnell In memory of Gracee Joanne Even In memory of Riley Frye

Blondie’s Fund Carl and Lizbeth Jackson

Nancy Hawkins In memory of my Dear Rusty Gabrielle Glat In memory of Sugar, my sweet girl Stuart and Jean Morgan In honor of Jane Hiser - Murphy’s wonderful vet. Ellen Ryan In honor of Jacob and to thank SEVA GRREAT for taking care of him L. Clay and Janis Beall, III

Joseph Sabol

Mark and Lisa Spenik

Patricia Lewis In memory of Kathleen O’Donnell’s Goldens, Reilly and Gracee

Ellen Cassanos

Neal Flatt & Malia O’Connell-Flatt On behalf of Jim and Pauline O’Connell

Dr. and Mrs. James Hayes In honor of our precious and amazing 2 year old Angel Deb Hubbard In memory of Magnolia and Dixie

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: ___________________________________________

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

E-mail: ____________________________________________ Home Phone: ________________________________________

HOME EVALUATION –– visits for foster/adoption applicants.

Work Phone: ________________________________________ This is a new membership Address Change ADDITIONAL VOTING MEMBERS: (E-mail needs to be unique to vote.)

Don’t Forget! It’s time to renew your membership

Name: _____________________________________________

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.

E-mail: _____________________________________________ Name: _____________________________________________

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

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

SE VA GRREAT Contact Information President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Golden Day Coordinators: Southside: Peninsula: Richmond: Microchip Coordinator Intake Coordinator Foster Coordinator Adoption Coordinator Membership Volunteer Coordinator Board Member Merchandise

Dottie Cleal Jane Frye Jim O’Connell Nikki Seger

Donna Roggmann Jennifer Dauzier Kathy Speak Rose Bennett Katie Show Robyn Beasley Jacob Kay Quanzhan Li Melissa Pence Hunter Jennifer Dauzier

Fundraising GRREAT Times magazine

Linda Lowman Brad Miller

GRREAT’s 2014 Calendar Is Available Now

Like us on facebook!

On Sale Now at an Event Near You! You will be able to place an order on our webpage also:

GRREAT Times Winter 2014  

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education And Training

GRREAT Times Winter 2014  

Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education And Training