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Winter 2018

Catching Up with Turkey Dogs • Member Spotlight • 6 Natural Skin Remedies

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

3 .. Getting Involved

For more information, call our Hotline at 757-827-8561 or visit our web site at

4 .. Adoptions

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.


7 .. Volenteer Member Spotlight

SEVA GRREAT disclaims all responsibility for omissions or errors.


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

8 .. Helping Dogs Live Longer 12 .. Homecoming 14 .. Catching Up with the Turkey Dogs

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


17 .. 6 Natural Skin Remedies 18 .. Clicker Training for the New Year

Email to:


21 .. Rainbow Bridge 22 .. Contributions 23 .. Membership Application


This month’s cover captures Raife enjoying life. He is doing well after his complex surgery.



Getting Involved Becoming a Volunteer

Becoming a Member

Please continue to follow our Facebook page and check our website “Events Calendar” tab for upcoming events

Without a doubt, SEVA GRREAT would not exist without our dedicated volunteers. We are always looking for volunteers to help with many aspects of the rescue operation.There are many opportunities to help including:

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

Transportation Services Home Evaluators Attending Adoption Events Fund Raising Fostering and Dog Sitting Educational Events

Annual membership fees are $25.00. Members receive our quarterly newsletter, GRREAT Times, and are invited to attend membership meetings and activities and participate in the annual election of the officers. The membership fees along with any donations go directly to support the operation of SEVA GRREAT. If you would like to become a SEVA GRREAT member, please fill out the Membership Form above.


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

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

Please fill out the Volunteer Form on page 23 to become a general volunteer involved in activities such as events, transport services, fund raising and home evalulation. Becoming a Home Evaluator: Home evaluations are required of each adoption applicant and Foster Home applicant prior to dog placement. As an new home evaluator, you will be paired with an experienced home evaluator in your local area. Becoming a Foster Home: Fosters homes are always a critical need. Please consider being a real hero and sharing your home with one of our rescued Goldens. Read more about how to become a Foster Home by clicking on "What can I expect when fostering?" above.

Become a SEVA GRREAT Member The easiest way to support our mission is to become a member. Membership eligibility is limited to any person or family who is over eighteen (18) years of age, residing within the territory of SEVA GRREAT, is current with their annual membership dues, is in good standing with local and federal laws pertaining to animals, and subscribes to the purpose of this organization. Dues Annual membership fee is $25, which is renewable on a calendar-year basis. Membership Perks Your annual membership will entitle you to the following perks: • Our quarterly newsletter GRREAT Times delivered to your mailing address • Invitation to our Annual fall picnic Invitation to our Annual Meeting & Holiday Party • Voting privilege at our annual election. Additional voting privileges for other members of household may be obtained with additional fees.

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.













Candy – Chris Walker

Charlie – Paige Keiper

Destiny – Janice & Dick Phillips

Dublin – Paul & Barbara Micou

Finn – Natalie Motley

Jasmine – Paticia Haver

Journey – Jerry & Cindy Caravas

Luna – Karen McCarthy

Madison – Dorothy Kaull










Tin Tin


Mike – David Argabright

Millie – Largo & Lew Faxon

River – Mike & Cindy Barbeau

Finn – Sharon & John Mark Johnson

Rufus – Jo & Renee Champagne

Sadie – Alice & Greg Brown

Skye – Tracey Alexander

Sunshine – Anna & Ed Shore

Tin Tin - Larry Ehmer & Kristen Goldbach



Skip, Callie and Terry




Terry Cole Where do you live? Poquoson, VA  What do you do for a living?   I am a retired Army civilian that worked in Resource Management at Ft Monroe, VA. Tell us about your family.   My husband and I live with our 3rd Golden Retriever, Callie. We have a lot of family in the Hampton Roads area. How are you involved as a volunteer for SEVA GRREAT? My husband and I have performed various volunteer services over the years to include fostering and transportation. I served on the board as the Secretary and a Member at Large, and worked at several of our fundraising events and information booths.

My current involvement in the rescue includes: • Picking up the official SEVA GRREAT Mail at our PO Box in York County once a week and distributing it to the appropriate board members. Mail can include membership/ volunteer forms, donations, adoption contracts, bank statements, tax information, state/city/ county letters requesting specific information from our rescue, veterinary care reminders for our foster dogs, fundraising event and merchandise sale checks, etc. At times there is a little detective work involved in identifying the appropriate person to notify about a one-of-a-kind check, document or note; but with the help of the board, we always find the intended recipient.

• Recording donations received through the PO Box. I use a spreadsheet for recording and sending thank you notes to those that have sent their donations to the PO Box. I also send the spreadsheet to the SEVA GRREAT treasurer and database manager so they can use it as an additional tool for backup to their books/databases; and I forward a copy to the magazine editor so that he can include the list of donors in the quarterly magazine. • Sending thank you notes for donations received through the PO Box and PayPal/Online. Thanks to our generous donors, I sent out about 400 thank you notes and letters last year. If I get a notification, I also send sympathy cards to SEVA GRREAT supporters that have suffered a loss. My husband and I both enjoy helping the rescue with these services (my husband helps me with mail pick up and supply shopping), and are happy to donate our time and resources to support SEVA GRREAT’s mission. Tell us about your current Golden(s) and/or other “furry family members.” Our current Golden is 5 year old Callie. We call her the wild child. We are hoping that Callie can become a certified therapy dog one day, although it may be far into the future. She is very sweet, but is still a little too enthusiastic when she meets people and dogs to pass her Canine Good Citizen test.

and steal napkins from people’s lap if they are sitting at the dining room table. She is well known and loved by many of the dogs and children in our neighborhood. Since we have one of the few fenced yards, many of her doggie friends come over to our house to play. What other Goldens/pets have you loved in the past? We have had two other Goldens that we loved very much. Our first Golden was Samantha, whom we got from Lisa Mason Ziegler. Lisa was one of the SEVA GRREAT founders (or just GRREAT at that time). Our second Golden was Casey. Both of them were very special in their own way and had that sweet and loving Golden temperament. SEVA GRREAT Member since? I’ve been a member since approximately 1991 when the organization was GRREAT. How do you celebrate your dog’s birthday or other holidays? We always try to take Callie somewhere special for her birthday. We usually go to Newport News Park or the Noland Trail where she can enjoy a long walk and see new squirrels. What keeps you involved with SEVA GRREAT? The sweet Golden Retrievers and wonderful people associated with the organization. It is very satisfying to be involved in an organization that cares for and finds loving homes for rescued Goldens. I love doing my part to help.

Callie also behaves like a mischievous puppy at times. She loves to take hats off of heads



How 3,000 very good golden

Here’s Charley. He and the other pooches pictured are part of a special study on golden retrievers. Photo byMarvin Joseph/The Washington Post


ost dogs get poked and prodded at the veterinarian’s office. Piper, a 4-year-old golden retriever in Chicago, gets far more scrutiny than that.

that researchers hope will yield insights into the causes of cancers and other diseases common to goldens, other breeds and maybe even humans.

Her annual checkup this month took three hours. Her flaxen hair was trimmed and bagged, her toenails clipped and kept, her bodily fluids collected. Everything was destined for a biorepository in the Washington suburbs that holds similar samples from more than 3,000 other purebred golden retrievers from across the country. The dogs, though they do not know it, are participating in an ambitious, $32 million research project

All the dogs were enrolled in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study before they turned 2, and all will be closely tracked for their entire lives. The researchers, from Colorado State University and the Morris Animal Foundation, are not just analyzing biological matter. They’re also compiling exhaustive data, recorded and reported each year by the dogs’ owners, on every aspect of the pooches’ lives: what they eat, where they sleep, whether their lawns are



treated with pesticides, whether their teeth get brushed and more. Longitudinal studies like this — with information gathered in real time — help researchers detect causes and effects that might be missed in other kinds of studies. Some focused on humans who have tracked thousands of babies born in the United Kingdom during one week in 1970 and monitored the cardiovascular health of residents of Framingham, Mass. But this is the first and largest lifetime longitudinal study of pets, and the hope is that it will shed light on links between golden retrievers’ health and

By Karin Brulliard

retrievers could help all dogs live longer their genetics, diets, environments and lifestyles. Some of “these dogs will get cancer as they age . . . but in the meantime, they are doing everything that dogs do,” said principal investigator Rodney Page, a veterinary oncologist who directs Colorado State’s Flint Animal Cancer Center. As for tracking the minutiae of participants’ lives, “some of these things seem kind of silly, but you never know what you’re going to identify as a significant risk factor with an outcome that you could easily change.” That information, by extension, could be useful for other breeds, as well as people, who develop cancer and respond to treatments in similar ways to dogs. At its core, the study is about cancer — what Page calls “the No. 1 concern among dog owners.” The disease is the leading cause of death in dogs over age 2 and something diagnosed in half of dogs older than 10. The prevalence is believed to be slightly higher in golden retrievers, which most often succumb to mast cell tumors, bone cancer, lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma (originating in the lining of blood vessels).

when we’re out traveling. They basically reflect a lot of the same exposures and activities that we have,” Page said.

“We have a really passionate cohort, is the best way to describe it,” study veterinarian Sharon Albright said.

The study began in 2012. It has produced no major revelations yet; its oldest participants are 7 and not widely afflicted with cancer or other ills. But annual surveys have yielded interesting tidbits about the dogs’ lives. One in five sleeps with its owner. Forty percent swim at least once a week. Twenty-two percent drink or eat from a plastic bowl, and about one in four eats grass.

Joe and Kristin Brennan of Chicago decided to enroll Piper in the study “to give back,” he said. (Joe Brennan)

And the researchers’ prediction — that the breed’s owners would be an enthusiastic study group — has been validated. They have an incredibly active private Facebook group, plus local meetups with their “hero” pets.

Brennan and his wife had enrolled Piper in the study shortly after they purchased her from a breeder. Brennan’s mother had two golden retrievers that died of cancer, and he said he wanted “to give back and maybe play

When a Chicago golden named Piper briefly fell ill last year, her owner, Joe Brennan, posted a photo of her wrapped in blankets to the Facebook group. More than 100 wellwishers quickly responded, he said.

Joe and Kristin Brennan of Chicago decided to enroll Piper in the study to give back

But that is not the only reason the bouncy, amiable breed is the study’s focus. Goldens are the third-most popular dogs in the United States, which made it easier for researchers to find 3,000 subjects; they also tend to have besotted owners who pay close attention to their health — an important criteria for a project that demands years of owner commitment. Golden retrievers “are right beside us when we’re running, when we’re having dinner,

FALL 2017






Photos by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

some tiny part” in reducing the breed’s risk for the disease. And one of the conditions as Kelly Hinkle adopted Maizie in 2016 was that she keep the 2½-year-old dog in the study. “I’m like, ‘Of course I’d continue!’ ” said Hinkle, a Silver Spring, Md., veterinarian who was especially excited by the project’s emphasis on exposure to both inside and outside environmental factors. “A lot of common things, like hip dysplasia, that’s the way they’re bred,” she said. “But getting tumors or cancer — is that a genetic thing or something we’ve done throughout their lifetimes to cause that?” Although cancer rates may be higher among golden retrievers, they’re not necessarily increasing. Cancer is a disease of older age, and today’s dogs, which mostly stay indoors and see vets more often than their ancestors, are living longer. Experts say the prevalence in goldens may be partly explained by their sheer abundance. “Do you see a lot of goldens that have skin diseases? Do you see a lot of goldens that 10

have flea allergies? Yes,” said Jaime Modiano, a canine cancer researcher at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine who is not involved in the study. “Golden owners as a group tend to be very attentive and attached to their dogs,” and so they seek out care when they suspect a problem.

Gathering all this data depends on owners, whose vet visits are subsidized. One is Matt Morley, a lawyer in Chevy Chase, Md., whose retriever, Hayley, had lymphoma and died in 2013. He enrolled her successor, Nellie, in hopes of helping other dogs as well as people.

The project’s focus on golden retrievers might be an inherent limitation, said Modiano, whose lab has done multi-breed studies that found certain genetic markers create a higher level of risk in some kinds of dogs. “If you look at a single breed, you’re going to lose part of the picture,” Modiano said. Still, the study’s large sample size and systematic, controlled approach will yield data that could fuel research on questions that go well beyond cancer, he said — such as whether goldens in some geographic regions or with certain traits, like size or coat color, are more or less likely to have particular conditions.

“Whatever they learn in this study could have real human applications,” Morley said. “All the drugs my original dog was taking, they’re all drugs that people who have cancer take.”

“Being able to discriminate random chance becomes a lot easier when you have large numbers,” he explained. “It really is ambitious, and the treasure trove of material that they are going to get will be remarkable.”


Owners commit to spending a few hours for the study every year. They say goldens are well worth it. “They’re the smartest dogs ever,” Brennan gushed. “They’re the most loyal things you’ll ever meet in your life.” Piper was found to have a bit of hip dysplasia but no other issues at her recent exam, where Brennan snapped a photo of her. It shows her sitting proudly, wearing a green bandanna printed with a yellow silhouette of a golden retriever and the words “Study Enrolled Dog.”

Our 2018 Calendars Have Arrived

2018 Calendar SEVA GRREAT

Dedicated to finding homes for homeless Golden Retrievers

Rescued Golden Retrievers

on the Cover: GinGer Quanzhan li and Xiaoming Wu are the proud parents Ginger (757)827-8561 Ginger is a very well behaved and fun loving girl. Once a foster dog herself, she pays it forward by helping our foster dogs. She calms their nerves, teaches their house leads the way in the park, tells them how to pose to the camera and ensures them that life is good from this point forward. She is indeed a foster sister extraordin


SeVa GrreaT, inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are an all-volunteer organization operating entirely on donations and grants. Please send donations to SEVA GRREAT, PO Box 8014, yorktown, VA 23693. Thank you for your support. 757-827-8561 Heating & Air Conditioning

T&M Mechanical

© Copyright 2017, Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue Education And Training, Inc. Installation and Repair Service All rights reserved. Contents of this calendar may not be reproduced without written Permission.

“First Team Toyota supports GRREAT! LOOKING FOR A CAR? COME SEE US AT: 3400 Western Branch Blvd, Chesapeake, VA 23321 Phone: 877-331-5419 •

For Light Commercial and Residential FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 30 YEARS! CALL US AT 757-434-7723 Serving all of Hampton Roads

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



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

Max Sumner is decked out for Christmas! -Roni Sumner

Murphy Sumner is so happy to be sharing his Chiristams with his wonderful family. –Roni Sumner

Tassie Sumner is ready to party during the Christmas season! –Roni Sumner



Tassie is proud to announce that she was adopted by Roni, John, Roxy, and Max Sumner two years ago in June and has gone from a shy little girl to the ruler of the house! Here, Murphy gives Tassie a kiss to help celebrate her 10th birthday on November 14. –Roni Sumner

Jim Powell demonstrates the way to do the agility tunnel.

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. Sweet Buddy loves snow days. –April McLeod Knowles

We love pictures of newly adopted dogs with their new families, too!



Catching Up with our International Travelers Turkey Dog Madison has been adopted! This from her mom: Madison is now Sheba! She is doing marvelous. She loves having a big brother. At first she would only respond to hand signals. She is super smart and learning more and more everyday. Sheba has transformed her brother Ted. He was shy and skittish - would rather cuddle then play with anything or anyone. She has taught him what fun is, they play all the time whether inside or out.

William – a male about 3 years old. 14



Mary – a female 1.5 to 2 years old.

Meet 5 year old Bowie, our youngest foster ever. You see, we typically foster the old dogs as our household is a Senior Golden Retirement home which fits OUR activity level well. Bowie's arrival turned our household exercise routine on its ear! She is an athletic, adventurous, inquisitive, resourceful, vocal, heart-stealing 60 lb. ball of energy. There are many more descriptors, but these capture the essence of her personality. Bowie came to us the weekend before Thanksgiving and has quickly established herself as the alpha female in the household. Fortunately, foster brother 13.5yo Rufus was perfectly fine with her taking the leading lady role. Because wildlife was nearly non-existent in Turkey due to so much competition, she is enthralled, or perhaps obsessed, with observing and chasing the birds and squirrels in the backyard. If you've got a mouse problem, you don't need a cat, as Bowie can solve that problem for you-she's proven it to us by catching a mouse in the backyard. Did I mention she has a great nose? She has taken herself on more than one self-directed, overthe fence adventure when the smells of nature were overwhelming. However, since we've moved the firewood pile, I'm happy to report those escapades have ceased! Now she stands on her hind legs with paws atop the 4+ foot fence to peer over and see what lies beyond. When she gets really excited and needs to give chase to some perceived invader on the outside of the fence, she will bounce down the fence line on her hind legs. We fondly refer to this as her dancing bear routine. Did I mention she has great hips?!

great agility dog or a running partner once she masters the basics and can control her unbridled exuberance for chasing smells. In order to keep up with her high energy and our lack of running ability, we take her to the local park and let her run in the secure baseball field. She can fly like the wind and it's a thing of beauty but makes us tired just watching her! Once she's had her dinner, her batteries wind down and you can see her eyelids start to droop. Sleep isn't far behind and This is her most angelic moment.

She loves to be outdoors and on the go as much as possible. She would make a

She is has mastered several commands (sit, down, wait, shake paw etc.) but come, stay

and heel are still a work in progress. She is getting better at walking on a leash but will still perform her dancing bear routine if a squirrel dares to cross her path. Bowie is the only dog we've ever had who has claimed a sleeping spot in her human's bed. She is a little heatilator, a wonderful snuggler and a sound sleeper who awakes in the morning with a big stretch, a joyous speech and unbridled enthusiasm for a new day. She will surely steal your heart; we know because she's done it to us. –Tess O'Neal




Everything is going great with She's settling in well and checked out as healthy at the vet. Here is a photo of her with her buddy Nina.


(formerly Destiny) is on squirrel patrol. She has brought so much joy to our home. Since she joined us in early October we have watched her personality emerge. She is great with people, small children and other dogs. We think she is just about perfect. –Dick and Janice Phillips



by Erica Presleyon

6 Natural Remedies for Your Dog’s Itchy Skin S

kin allergies are a common problem among dogs and owners and veterinarians alike are constantly fighting to make dogs more comfortable. Dogs, like people, can be allergic to just about anything, from their food to the environment. While there are many different medications to help deal with allergy symptoms, many of us prefer to go a more natural route first to make sure we’ve tried all of the safest options. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any treatments or supplements, but if you’re looking to try some natural allergy remedies, consider these.


Proper Bathing & Grooming This might not seem like a “natural” remedy, but if your dog suffers from environmental allergies, frequent bathing and grooming is going to offer much needed comfort. Using soothing ingredients such as oatmeal in the shampoos will help your dog’s skin feel softer and will relieve the itching they feel. Depending on the severity your dog’s allergies, bathing once a week will greatly improve your dog’s condition. Brushing and combing will also help remove dead skin and coat, promoting new growth and removing allergens on top of the skin and fur.


Feed a Wholesome Diet Your dog’s diet might be completely overlooked if your dog only suffers environmental allergens. But the more natural your dog’s diet, the better their

bodies are able to fight off and heal from allergies and external stressors. If your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, you’ll want to avoid those ingredients and replace them with something else. Grain-free diets are highly recommended for dogs with any type of allergy (or no allergy at all!) but if this isn’t possible, consider feeding organic, whole grains.

avoid using a high heat blow dryer, which might be faster but wreaks havoc on your dog’s sensitive skin.

The better your dog’s nutrition, the better their overall health and their ability to fight off allergens.

Consider Applying Calendula Calendula is a member of the sunflower family and offers several benefits to dogs with allergies. Either made into a tea or gel, applying calendula to your dog’s skin will help relieve inflammation from allergies. It also has natural anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties. It also helps improve your dog’s immune system when taken internally, so consider this as an allergy treatment as well.


Try Apple Cider Vinegar Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider offers many benefits to dogs suffering from allergies. If your dog has hot spots or itchy skin, you can apply a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water to your dog. Put the solution in a spray bottle for easy use. This same spray will help repel fleas and ticks – a common allergen for many dogs. You can also use it to clean out your dog’s ears. The acidity of the mixture makes for an environment that yeast can’t live in – and yeast infections are typically caused by allergies. Make sure that the acidity isn’t too strong for your dog – some prefer a different mixture than the 50/50 suggested.


Manage Heat & Moisture Your dog’s environment plays a large role in the health of their skin. Be sure to keep your home appropriately cooled and use a humidifier in dry conditions. When grooming,

Make sure your dog always has access to fresh, filtered water. Dogs on a dry kibble diet are in need of more moisture in their diets than dogs that eat a home-cooked, raw, or wet food diet.



Add Omega Fatty Acids Supplementation Omega fatty acids are extremely beneficial to dogs with allergies. These oils help improve your dog’s skin and coat by keeping the natural oils present in healthy amounts. Omegas also work as anti-inflammatories and greatly reduce the intensity of allergens. There are many Omega fatty acid supplements on the market, and you’ll want to look for something that works quickly to support a soft, silky coat, minimize normal shedding, and maintain the skin’s normal moisture content, such as Project Paws® Omega-3-6-9 Select soft chews.



Start the New Year on the Right with Clicker Training By Jane Fallander

Here we go again There's nothing like a new year to inspire a fresh start with goals and resolutions. Need to lose 30 pounds to make it easier to get around the agility course? This is the year for it. (True, the last five years have also been the year for it, but this year is different—really!) I'm someone who enjoys making New Year's resolutions. Whether I keep them past January is a closely-guarded secret, but, nevertheless, every December I enjoy looking back on the previous year, taking note of my accomplishments, and planning the next year's resolutions. As I review my past accomplishments, I'm particularly proud of graduating from Karen Pryor Academy, earning my TagTeach™ primary certification, and starting my own business. I'm not sure what all of my new year resolutions will be, but I do know that one of my resolutions will be to address some behaviors that I've let slide with my dogs. Resolutions with, and for, the animals Yes, it's true—my three Aussies aren't perfectly trained. Finn's excitement is out of control when guests arrive, and Ryder will chew through shirts, jeans, or coats to get at any treat I've inadvertently left in a pocket. (The old guy, Linc, is quite well-behaved, and, at 14½, spends a lot of time sleeping.) There's a simple cure to Ryder's pocket shredding: don't leave treat-filled or even treat-scented clothes where he can reach them. Finn, however, needs training to learn a calmer greeting routine. For the most part, his wildness has been easy to ignore, since I don't have many visitors. But when I do have guests, talk about losing credibility as a trainer! 18

This year, I have resolved to teach Finn to go to his mat and stay there when visitors arrive. He's pretty good with the "go-to-yourmat" part of the behavior, but not so good about staying there when he is faced with distractions. I've started a training plan to very gradually work up to distractions like a knock on the door, the door opening, and visitors entering. Thinking about my training plan for this project, I realized that it's probably easier to achieve success with New Year's resolutions using clicker training principles: start with a plan, use positive reinforcement, raise the criteria in small, achievable steps, track progress, and work on one aspect of a behavior at a time. Make a plan Trainers have better success with training goals when they create a plan to guide them to the desired behavior. Whether you're training a behavior as complex as going to the refrigerator and bringing back a bottle of water, or something more simple like a high five, it helps to have a plan. Without one, training can become haphazard, and trainers are more likely to skip steps or go off on a tangent that might make it harder to achieve the final training goal.You're more likely to be successful with a plan. So while cleaning out 20 years of junk from the attic is an admirable resolution, you're more likely to be successful with a plan. Write down when you're going to have the garage sale, how you're going to sort through five boxes of stored CDs and cassette tapes, and who will help you bring the green plaid sofa down the stairs. Use positive reinforcement Clicker trainers understand the importance


of providing frequent rewards to training subjects. These rewards—properly marked and timed—drive success. Without the rewards, our animals lose interest and wander away. Similarly, if you neglect to reward yourself while working toward your New Year's goals, you also risk losing interest. Giving yourself a reward for achieving small steps increases your likelihood of continuing. You would never punish a dog, and you should not punish yourself for a hiccup in your resolutions either. Instead, remember these clicker training principles: ignore errors and focus on reinforcing the behaviors you want to increase. Not working out as often as you'd planned to? Figure out a way to reward yourself after each workout instead of plotting a punishment system for the days you missed. Thankfully, just as the rewards for animals don't always require food, neither do rewards for people!Just as the rewards for animals don't always require food, neither do rewards for people! Raise criteria in small, achievable steps Shaping a behavior in a dog, cat, horse, or fish, you raise criteria in small, achievable steps. I know that Finn will go to his mat readily and stay there without distractions, but I'm not convinced he'll stay on the mat when he hears a knock at the door. So that's where I'll start—with a single, soft, knock on the door. I'll gradually increase the criteria until he can stay on his mat when visitors enter. Gradually raise criteria with your New Year's resolutions, too. Eight years ago, I decided to take up knitting, and my first project was a complicated long-sleeved sweater design.

Paw Today, I still have many skeins of beautiful Irish wool, but no hand-knit sweater. This year, I think I'll take that yarn and knit a simple scarf. When that's complete, I'll build on my skills (raise my criteria) to knit a pair of mittens, or another easy project, before making another attempt at a sweater. Train one aspect of a behavior at a time Shaping a behavior, you know to train one facet at a time. For example, to train a dog to lie down on cue quickly, you first train the down behavior and then add speed. If you want to add duration, you work on that separately as well. One of my resolutions this year is to improve my agility handling skills, and I'm going to use that same principle. I have particular trouble with some (actually, most) of the footwork needed to navigate the course. Because I know to train one aspect of a behavior at a time, I will practice the steps and motions slowly and carefully, and work on speed later.


resolutions to see whether you are on track with your goals. Looking at the data you record can help you make necessary modifications and ensure success.

I've also decided on one more resolution to solve the pocket-eating issue—this year I resolve to pick up my clothes. Happy New Year to you!

For example, if you've resolved to arrive at work on time each day—an especially important resolution right now—try keeping data that includes the time you left home, the time you arrived at work, and any other factors that might have influenced your commute. With that knowledge, you can start to make adjustments in your routine that allow you to arrive earlier.

About the author Jane Fallander is a writer and dog trainer in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Jane is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPACTP ) and has been training dogs for 30 years. She currently shares her home with three Australian shepherds, each one sillier than the next.

"...and a Happy New Year" Now that I'm going relying on clicker training rules with my New Year's resolutions, I think I'll have greater success. I'm confident that Finn will soon have a visitor routine to impress all of my skeptical guests.

Track your progress At Karen Pryor Academy, we learned to track our rate of reinforcement for each training session. That data tells us exactly how the training plan is progressing. One of our first KPA assignments was to teach our dogs to lick their lips on cue. I struggled with this behavior, but when I evaluated my data, I could see patterns that helped me figure out what might be the problem. Looking at the data also encouraged me, because it showed progress when I was sure I was not making any. The result? Finn licked his lips on cue at our first assessment. Success!Log your own progress with New Year's resolutions to see whether you are on track with your goals. Log your own progress with New Year's




via the links on our Home page Your support/purchases through these links provide ongoing donations to SEVA GRREAT and help homeless Goldens find a home! (At no additional cost to you) Every purchase through the AMAZON link on our Home page ensures a donation to SEVA GRREAT (generally 4-6% of purchase, based on monthly volume of sales)

KROGER REWARDS Click the link on our Home page, register your Kroger card. Each time you swipe your card at a Kroger store, SEVA GRREAT will get a small donation

BENEFIT WINES/CHARITY WICKS Click on the links under Ads/Affiliates on our Home page

WOOFTRAX/WALK-FOR-A-DOG Click on WoofTrax under Ads/Affiliates. Download the app and register to walk for SEVA GRREAT. 747 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185 747 Scotland Street Williamsburg, VA 23185 757.229.8610 757.229.8610

SEVA GRREAT is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to finding homes for homeless Golden Retrievers. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!



Rainbow Bridge ELLIE My heart aches at the loss of my loyal love. The love of a golden is faith, true, and deep. I will miss her with all of my soul.

–Lolly Nazario




I lost this lovely boy in 2016 to cancer. He was 14 years old and had been my best friend. It’s been 1 year since I said good bye to him and my search for a new friend has begun. I know someday that we will meet at that bridge, but for now . . . I can look at the memories that I had with him.

In honor of Macie, she was a sweet soul, and gentle. The Beland family gave her the experience of being loved unconditionally, and being safe. God Bless Macie . . . she’s at Rainbow Bridge now.

–Nikki Haber


Our sweet Holly, a foster failure who came to us right before Christmas in 2014, died on June 1 following surgery to remove masses on her spleen and adrenal gland. We love her deeply and will hold her in our hearts forever. Oh, how we miss you, sweet angel girl! Even with your allergies and dry eyes, special food, several medications, and EARLY morning wake-up nudges, you were perfect for us, and a patient and loving foster sister as well!

–Susan Reynolds

We were truly blessed to adopt Duke three years ago from SEVA GRREAT. Coming to us as a feisty six year old, he blended well into our family, including our two cats. Our time together went too quickly, but Duke will always have a place in our hearts.

–Chris and Dan Walker

–Kevin & Sonya Wilson



Contributions Gregory and Alice Brown

Jill Hoehlein

Dr. Gingrich, Total Footcare, P.C.

Diane Trinko

Sally Hall Ann and Andor Czompo Dr. Eileen O’Donnell Winokur For the Golden Oldies Fund, In memory of my sister, Kathleen O’Donnell Sharon O’Donnell For the Golden Oldies Fund, In memory of my sister, Kathleen O’Donnell Billy and Beth Pirtle In memory of our beloved Golden Retriever, Ginny Brad Miller In memory of Bobby and Zach Jennifer and Marc Dauzier Jo Vance Mary anne Lambert In memory of Christy and SEVA GRREAT dog, Gracie Cynthia and Don Merrix In honor of Cooper and Ashley Merrix, two wonderful Goldens from SEVA GRREAT

John Collamore III To the wonderful memories of Shea, for medical needs Allen and Martha Brantley Anthony and Judith Hannold In honor of Becky and memory of Midas Mark and Patricia Seelenbinder In honor of Chester Joanne Even In memory of Brinkley Katz Ruth Ann Wilson In memory of Samantha, Rusty and Casey, three wonderful Goldens Christine and Eric House In honor of Hank and in memory of Bruin Marian Kunz In memory of Murphy

Rhonda King In honor of Kate and Jason Matthews

Dorothy Winn To help Goldens find their forever home

Marilynn Zauner In memory of Amber I and Amber II

The Spenick Family In memory of Scout, Jack and Madison

Karen Whyte Sam and Cathie Birdsong In honor of Brandy Bear Joseph Sabol Jim and Pauline O’Connell In honor of PJ and in memory of Jesse Barbara Talley In memory of Fozzie Bear, Cash and Max


Jane and Jim Krom In memory of Kasey and Riley

Jacob and Jenny Kay

Ewing Fears Best In memory of “Bells” - Dayspring Hill’s Morning Bells

Beth Rodgers

Mike and Patti Johnson K. Emory In memory of Winston

Maryanne Lambert Harrison and Mary Owens In memory of Hokie Owens (formerly Lonnie, a rescue fron SEVA GRREAT Alan Rudnick and Marc Villamiel

Sponsor-A-Dog Contributors

Jeff and Sandy Kuntzelman Sharon and Journey Johnson In honor of our forever dog, Finn Becky Schnizler In memory of Champ Schnizler B. Barnes

Domino’s Fund

L. Clay and Janis Beall, III In memory of Scamp Animal Welfare League, Inc. For the GOLD Fund in support of Mattie, a SEVA GRREAT Forever Foster, and other senior Goldens

Carl and Lizbeth Jackson Gold Fund

Wellington and Wendy Kay

Linda and Brian Thomson In honor of Nina and in memory of Shea, our SEVA GRREAT pups

Jack and Donna Roggemann In honor of and in memory of Woody, Nadi, Chewie, Penny, Jasper and Samantha

Jerri Powell Collars for Causes

D.M. & S. Enterprises In honor of Roger, Dakota and Staniley and in memory of Sam

Charles Gresham Susan Collamore Combined Federal Campaign #003456

Jennifer & Marc Dauzier

Sponsor-A-Dog Contributors

Joanne Parsons In honor of Morgan and Jamison Rhonda King In honor of Bob and Banner Shirley Dimmick Allegra Havens Jacob Kay


Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3456

Elizabeth Donoghue and John Rellick Jean Morgan In Memory of SEVA GRREAT dog, Murphy

Raife’s Fund

Shirley and Bill Peterson In memory of Teddy (Fred the head) now waiting at the Rainbow Bridge

Carl and Lizbeth Jackson


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 ADDITIONAL VOTING MEMBERS:

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

Don’t forget to


(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 $25 annual membership dues $ ___________


Additional Voting members _____ @ $25 each

$ ___________

Please make checks payable to:


$ ___________

1 Calendar = $12.00 (includes shipping)

$ ___________


$ ___________

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


In Memory of



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

Date: __________________________________________________________________

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


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



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

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SEVA GRREAT Contact Information President Jane Krom Vice President Debbie Morris Treasurer Pat Donaldson Secretary Sharon Leeman Event Coordinators: Southside: Jane Krom Peninsula: Linda Thomson Richmond: Jennifer Dauzier Microchip Coordinator Robyn Beasley Intake Coordinator Rose Bennett Foster Coordinator Katie Show Adoption Coordinator Robyn Beasley Membership Jacob Kay Volunteer Coordinator Sherry Kara Board Member Largo Elston Merchandise Jennifer Dauzier Fundraising GRREAT Times magazine

Linda Thomson Brad Miller

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

GRREAT Times Winter 2018  
GRREAT Times Winter 2018  

Southeastern Golden Retriever Rescue Education And Training