GRREAT Times Winter 2023

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Fall Membership Meeting Why i Foster SeVA GrreAt Board of Directors

Winter 2023

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 SEVA GRREAT disclaims all responsibility for omissions or errors.

They always seem to pass me by, I never knew the reason why. All my friends had found a home, And only I remain alone. But finally some came, And spoke to me with gentle tone. I hardly dared believe it true, Into my human’s arm I flew. Our first embrace - my heart beat fast, A familly of my own at last! And when tonight I rest my head, In my new warm and cosy bed. A prayer I’ll send, high up above, May all the shelter pups find love.

–Sharon Arger

On The COver: Archie Saville . . . all dressed up for the new year.

2 3 .. President’s Message 4 .. Adoptions 6 .. Why I Foster 8 .. Fall Membership Meeting 9 .. Virginia Wesleyan College 9 .. The Blessing of the Animals 10 .. SEVA GRREAT Board of Directors 12 .. Homecoming 14 .. National Hiking Day 15 .. The Garage Brewery 16 .. Yorktown Pet Market 17 .. Ellie’s Story 18 .. Glen Allen Day 19 .. Yorktown Parade 20 .. Rainbow Bridge 22 .. Contributions 22 .. Membership & Volunteering


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

our Message

A new Start is the Way to Go in the new Year!

A New Year, A New Start

Some of the people who have supported the rescue in prior years have changed. our intake coordinator, Michelle Pfeiffer, went to the cats(!) early in the year. We lost our long-time fundraising chair when linda Thomson moved to New York. our president, Debbie Morris, is taking a break to focus on her own pack. our secretary, Sharon leeman, is done writing minutes! And perhaps, saddest of all, our magazine editor, Brad Miller, is stepping away from GRREAT Times. This issue of GRREAT Times will be the last, at least for a while. What you’ll notice though, is we’re going out with a New Year’s bang – a beautiful issue full of the articles and photos we all love.

And a New Way to Go

Julie Mercer took over the job of bringing in our precious pups. Stacy Saville joined us midyear to take on the coordination of the many fundraising activities we undertake. Susan Beckman who has volunteered in just about every area imaginable has finally succumbed to our requests to join the board. Whitney Baker will assume and carry out the duties of the president until we fill that role. We also welcomed two regional events coordinators –Tracy Schmid and Michelle Smith -- lightening the load on the board members who used to do that work.

The one thing those of us leaving agree on is, no matter the changes, the good will go on. It’s already being proved day in, and day out, behind the scenes. Cheers! Here’s to a successful 2023!!

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Mark Your Calendar
Happy New Year! Please check our website for coming events in your area
INC Adoptions Brynleigh Summer hera Bentley Zeyno myrtle Bulma Panda tucker kilo mocha Bentley – Mike & Patti Johnston Brynleigh – Veronica & John Sumner Bulma – Audrey Chapman Jazz – Terri Somerday Keanu – Noah& Allison Mercer Layla – Bethany Moore & James Kenny
5 FAll 2022 keanu JaZZ Stevie raine l ayla’S PuPPieS l ayla PiPer Mocho – Steven Rowe & Brandy lewis Myrtle – lisa Spenik Panda – Alyssa & Brian Hartman Piper – Stephanie Snider Raine – Michelle & Jeff Smith Stevie – Christine Shultis Summer – Quanzhan li Tucker – MaryAnn Naegele Zeyno – Robert & Cindy Ryan Hera – Mary Catherine & Warren Kolbert Kilo – Beth & Mike losego Marshmallow – Mary Chavez Brandy – Ashli & Johnny luse Oreo – Ellyn & Jeffrey Hodgis Pepper – Deborah Van Dover Hershey – Tammi Amick Milky Way – Rose Bennett Cocoa – Beau Bennet Marshmallow Brandy Oreo Pepper Hershey Milky Way Cocoa

Why I forFosterSevA GrreAT

this is the Stevie Story by Donna

My foster was only to her new home about 3 weeks before I received Stevie. Stevie was blind. I received a call from Jane the Foster Coordinator that the Portsmouth Humane Society took in a blind crème golden. She had been wandering the streets of Portsmouth when she was picked up. The shelter was full and needed to have her out. They called SEVA so Jane and I went to pick her up. She was filthy, smelly and missing hair on her back, legs and around her eyes. She looked like she had two black eyes. She walked with an odd gate. Kind of like she was feeling her way with her front and back legs. We had no problem at all getting her in the car. We used steps to guide her into the car. We took her to Two Brothers Dog Wash to give her a bath. The dirt just rolled off her. She was very good getting the bath considering everything she had been thru that day, wandering the street, the shelter, then the car ride and a bath. It was no wonder she was tired and a bit grumpy when

we got her to my house. We tried to get good pictures of her but that is next to impossible with a blind dog because they don’t look at you. Their nose is to the ground. How can you not love a dog that needs your love, attention and care.

She was crated after we got home just to give her a sense of her own space. She was great. Went in and out fine. She was taken out of the crate and guided to the side door to be let out as well as guided on the deck to the grass. She would have her head down and touch things with her body and smell where she was going. I would stomp loudly on the deck for her to follow and that is all that it took. After that first outing, she did it again all by herself without guidance. My Golden Sandy knew right away that this foster was special, and something was wrong with her. Sandy let her do her own thing. Sandy bumped into her accidently and Stevie let her know not to do that anymore.

After the first night in the crate, I started

gating her in the kitchen. She adjusted nicely. I would talk to her when I would go in the kitchen so she would know that someone was around her. All I would have to do is make a noise on her metal bowl and she would come over to eat. once she was shown the route from the kitchen to the door she would go automatically when she heard it open.

After a few days Jane came for a visit, and we let her loose in the house. It was amazing how easy it seemed for her to navigate on her own. And after that there was no putting the gate back to keep her in the kitchen. She had the complete run of the house and she easily adapted to the environment. She would sleep on the rug beside my bed every night.

We took her to Cooke Vet within a few days of arriving and they informed us that she had cataracts, and they could possibly be removed, and she might see. We then took her to Animal Eye Care, and they did a lot of tests on her. We were informed that they could do surgery and she might have her eyesight back. She had

GolDEN RETRIEVER RESCuE, EDuCATIoN Stevie heading to her foster home Stevie recovering from eye surgery Stevie can see

the surgery and can see out of one eye. The other one was too far gone with the cataract.

She has now gone to her forever home with Christine and her husband. They have been great getting her thru the eye surgery and she also had a dental cleaning and growth removed from her gum. Christine and her husband are wonderful with Stevie who they renamed Charlotte.

She is one of my many successful foster stories. I have had forever fosters which is difficult because the end is always rough. You can have them for quite a while or a short period of time. I had to take a break for a while when I lost 3 in a row. But I was back at it after a few months. It is wonderful to give these dogs the love and attention that they should have had all their life. I have loved each and everyone, even the difficult ones that were hard to find a home for. There is a forever home out there for every dog. This is why I foster, to give the assistance, love, and guidance in order to be ready for their new forever home. It is extremely rewarding for me. I cry when each one leaves. It is rough to let them go but knowing you got them off to a good start to their new life is fantastic.

i first met her at her foster’s house. She was a strikingly, old time movie star blond… but she was blind. Do

I want to adopt a blind dog? I wasn’t even sure I knew how to care for a blind dog, but we also had hope that her vision could be restored. I let Jane know of my hesitation which gave me time to think about it. Why not me?

I said I wanted an older dog and I didn’t mind giving medication, but blind? After a short time I decided I would take her in to FTA (foster-toadopt) if she got along with my dachshund and my cat. When she came to my house for a visit and a get to know you, she didn’t seem to mind my dog or cat at all. But then she could not see them although I know she could smell them. So, she stayed.

She was scheduled for surgery on one eye to remove her cataract. Surgery went well and she can now see from her left eye. No reaction when she actually saw my dog and she passed the cat test. Her SEVA GRREAT name is Stevie and you may have seen her pictures on Facebook. I have to say she has fit in even better than I hoped. We are now working on some training. She does not like to sit, but she will after much encouragement and a treat. When walking, she sometimes goes in front and sometimes falls behind or goes to the side, but she is getting better. Stevie (now Charlotte) just needs to get used to my pace.

She eats everything I give her (except strawberries, apples and blueberries, not a fan of fruit but she does like bananas), and I do give her a big variety of foods.

In praise of a foster dog

You give us your paw & Your cinnamon eyes speak

A sadness only you know of, but There is hope here

We watch you run for the first time All awkward —all joy —

Discovering how your legs work in rhythm

Golden honey tumbling in the grass

Celebrating this moment

Finding freedom under the sun & there have been bad days, but We do not give up on you

We don’t know what you’ve been through We only know that you are so afraid & That you tremble sometimes, but Nobody will hurt you here

With steady love Steady love Steady love Soothe the shaking & slowly The walls break down We cup your head in our hands & you are not afraid anymore

She has 2 very small white pills to take once a day, so I hid them in a tablespoon of white yogurt and mixed it in her food. Wouldn’t you know it, but she ate around these two very small pills and left them in the bowl. We have since found other ways to fool her into taking her pills.

She even tolerates getting her eye drops, with a treat afterward.

Charlotte is fitting into our home nicely (she was officially adopted in September) and we are lucky to have her.

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Our Fall Membership Meeting

The Blessing of the Animals

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Murphy and Riley Barbie & her mom, Mary Jackson met a new friend Whooo... Whooo... is beautiful? Me! Smiling Archie We are out here at Virginia Wesleyan College recruiting students to help us volunteer at events

in our last issue we introduced you to the four officers that are part of the Board of Directors of SEVA GRREAT. Now it’s time to meet the rest of the voting board. The SEVA GRREAT Board of Directors has eleven voting positions. In addition to the four officers, there are five coordinators who run the operational areas of the rescue and two who are Board Members at large, who oversee an area that the board has determined to need special attention. Coordinators can serve indefinitely, and new ones are recruited and selected by the remainder of the Board. Although there are no positions open this year, let a current member know for future consideration.

let’s first look at the positions that most often come to mind – Intake, Foster, Medical, and Adoption – the cycle of life that our rescue dogs go through. officially, the board members’ title is Director, but we call them Coordinators, and ‘coordinating’ is what they do best.

our intake coordinator is Julie Mercer She is the first to deal with a dog that is coming in. Whether it is an owner surrender or a shelter or humane society making the call, Julie has the first interaction. She usually talks with whoever is giving up the dog to get a preliminary sense of the dog. Although we take most goldens that are available, there are a few things that cause us to say no, a bite history being the most common. Because we cannot adopt out a dog with a bite history, we cannot take them in. As soon as Julie knows about a dog, she begins to work with our foster coordinator. She asks either the owner or the shelter to complete an intake form to get as much information about the dog as she can so that we can match the dog with the best foster home.

And by ‘we,’ I mean our foster coordinator, Jane Krom. Jane is a matchmaker extraordinaire. She uses the information captured through the foster and adoption

SevA GrreAT Board of Directors

applications and the home evaluations to work her magic. Jane knows who is already fostering a dog, who has paused on fostering and until when, and what type of dog a foster is able and willing to take. our fosters love dogs and often have one (or more) of their own. She often transports the dog so she can see the chemistry between the family dog and the foster dog. often, she needs a home where there are no other dogs (we could use more of these!). She begins the process of calling the families that fit the dog until she arranges a foster home for that dog. once a dog is scheduled for intake, she or Julie will make the appointment with one of our participating vets for the intake exam. Jane works in tandem with our medical director to assure the dog has the veterinary care that he/she needs. once a dog is ready for adoption, she coordinates with the foster family to generate a bio on the dog and produces the ‘available dog list’ and sends it to the home evaluators. Bringing in the Turkey dogs is not specifically a requirement of the foster coordinator, but Jane took it on when she was president and has continued in that role since. The coordination and paperwork that entails needs an article of its own, and to make life more interesting for Jane, it changes repeatedly and rapidly.

The medical coordinator is one of the Board Members at large positions mentioned earlier. our medical coordinator is Beth Rodgers and are we ever glad to have her! Beth is a nurse and professor by trade so she has extensive knowledge in the medical field. To enhance that even further, she has researched and studied goldens for many years.Whatever the dog’s situatio, Beth works closely with Jane and oversees all the medical needs of the foster dogs from standard things like an intake exam, microchipping, and an update on

vaccinations to mid-range issues like spays/ neuters and unfortunately, treatment for heartworm positive dogs. The toughest part of her job are the serious cases. For example, we just had two dogs in one week that required surgery and spent several nights in the ICu as well as several weeks on restricted activity. Beth would say her job can range from uplifting when the results are good to devastating when they are not. She also writes our medical blog.

our adoption coordinator, Chris Walker, is involved from the first time a potential adopter applies until the dog finds his/her forever home. She processes all applications and responds to all applicants, and she also puts out the request to the home evaluators (HEs) to find someone to visit the family and do the home evaluation. The home evaluations are the first step in a family becoming an approved adopter. When a dog is posted for adoption, she collects the names of the interested families and sends all the HE reports to the foster family for consideration. She is the liaison between the foster coordinator, the foster, the HE, and the potential adopter, keeping everyone informed of the status of the dog. once a dog finds her forever home, the HE collects the adoption fee and sends the check and adoption contract to the rescue, but Chris maintains all the adoption records – applications, HE reports, and adoption contracts.

There are other coordinators who oversee key areas. Jacob Kay is our membership coordinator, and he is the longest serving member on the board, so he also often acts as our informal historian. He processes all membership applications and maintains the database for all things that relate to membership, like who is eligible to vote for

by Sharon leeman

board members and who can approve changes to the bylaws. He also maintains databases of all volunteers, adopters, and donors, and it is a large database thanks to the generosity of our donors. Although not a specific requirement of the membership coordinator, Jacob also issues the blast emails you receive as he is the one who best understands how to segregate the various distribution lists so that everyone receives the information they need.

Mimi Wormeley is our volunteer coordinator. No non-profit can run without its volunteers, whether it is foster families, home evaluators, or those who attend and work our events. When you volunteer to work with SEVA GRREAT, the first thing you will receive is a welcome email from Mimi. She will then forward your application to the coordinators in the areas you are interested in – home evaluation, foster, or to work at our fundraisers and events. She maintains a list of all current volunteers and communicates the needs of the rescue to them. Those needs may be the ones already mentioned but can also include meeting a give-up family or transporting a dog or even sending out job descriptions and soliciting names of volunteers who may want to move into board positions.

last but by no means least, is Stacy Saville, our newest board member. She holds the position of Board Member at large too with an emphasis on fundraising. If there was ever an area that required special attention, it is fundraising. We are very fortunate with having the generous support that we receive from our donors. Without them, none of the rest of the areas could function. But it is non-stop! Fundraising is not a one-person job (there are many committee members), but Stacy oversees all the various things that we use to raise money for our dogs’ care, and there is always something going on! During a given year, we have Give local 757, the calendar contest, the beach house raffles, the tennis ball raffle, our online auction, our year-end

card, the GoFundMe solicitations for the Turkey dogs or some other special situation. And those are just the big items, there are all the events that also have a fundraising component.

The individuals listed above, and the four officers highlighted in the last issue, are the voting board of SEVA GRREAT. The voting board makes the decisions on how the rescue moves forward in various areas. However, they are not the only ones with a voice. We also have what we refer to as our extended board. Although they do not have a vote, the extended board includes some key positions as well.

Jennifer Dauzier is our merchandise coordinator. She is responsible for ordering and distributing all the items for sale at our events as well as the logo items and T-shirts on our website. She also serves as the regional events coordinator for the Richmond area. It gives her first-hand knowledge of what merchandise sells.

Pat Ritchie is our webmaster. The title is self-explanatory, but a few of his duties include keeping the various areas (foster, adoption, etc.) up to date, the donation screens working, and the news up to date. He has recently been working in conjunction with liz Hanson who is responsible for the rebuild of the new website.

Brad Miller is our editor. We used to say he was the ‘magazine editor,’ and he is responsible for all the wonderful issues of GRREAT Times. But he is so much more. He also designs the calendar and the year-end card. If an item has great graphics, more than likely Brad created it. Even saying he ‘designs’ these items doesn’t do him justice as he also handles all the logistics of printing and, in coordination with Jacob, the shipping and mailing of these items.

The extended board also includes two more

regional events coordinators –Tracy Schmid on the southside and Michelle Smith on the peninsula. They arrange the public events like festivals, pet markets, and get togethers. All the events coordinators work closely with the fundraising and volunteer coordinators. The foster, volunteer, and adoption coordinators also have assistants that have some delegated duties that help their areas run smoothly. They are Barbara Smith (foster), Peg and Bob Graham (volunteer), and Sharon Leeman (adoption). The list of people who help this rescue in important ways could continue for many more pages, but this ends the article on our board members. We hope it helps you understand how the parts come together to create the SEVA GRREAT that you know. We hope it makes you want to get more involved. We thank all the members of our current board for the hours and hours they put into the rescue.

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Where do I start? Miss Carolina (Pickens 9) came to me by way of her amazing foster mom Donna in May. Donna had made some tremendous strides with our very shy and super skittish little girl. And man, has she come a long way since then as well. From doing everything she could do to avoid being integrated into our family to running with the whole pack like a boss. She plays, chases and antagonizes the other 2 pups Molly and Sawyer (Seva adoption in Oct 2018). She follows me around, up to and including my bathroom breaks. She insists on spooning with me at night and always muscles her way into the mix, at the displeasure of Sawyer who champions himself as my #1 snuggler (former, lol). She has kept her insatiable appetite and no longer seeks the refuge of her crate. She is still afraid of loud sudden noises and new people who visit, but then again that rattles most of us. She is the perfect blend of affection, independence, and perfection.  She is the most beautiful girl in the world, and poses like a true super model when the camera is out. She is VERY outspoken, and will bark at anything only adding an extra layer to the already effective alarm system on the house. I couldn’t be any more excited and content with having her forever. Vet says she is healthy and seems to be well adjusted.


From Izzy’s mom: SEVA GRREAT Turkey dog Izzy Lee celebrated her ninth birthday with a party hat and a pupcake, each of which lasted about 30 seconds. We don’t know her actual birthday, so we celebrate it on her adoption day. We are thankful every day that Izzy chose us to be her forever family three years ago, and grateful to all the wonderful volunteers, donors, and foster families who make these happy endings possible.

This beautiful girl is Coco Miller, and her sweet little sister is Caroline. Coco was adopted from SEVA GRREAT in January of this year, and she is doing wonderfully well. She originally was rescued from Turkey. She had some fears about storms, which she has worked to overcome, loves walks and loves kids!



Chance was adopted September 2020. He turned 4 in November.

He is a good dog that makes us smile everyday –Donita Miles

Mae is her family’s favorite thing under the tree

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Dawn Is Serbet Quinn’s most joyful time of day & she shows it. Macon & Finley give Santa their wish list

national hiking Day!

Hiking . . . what better way to celebrate than to plan an adventure with your pooch!? Serious hiking is no “walk in the park” and preparation is critical in avoiding “missteps” along the trail.

• Make sure your dog is current on vaccines, on flea/tick and heartworm prevention, and is in good physical condition and can enjoy the hike without becoming fatigued, distressed, or injured. If your pet is not already vaccinated against lyme’s disease (transmitted by ticks) and leptospirosis (contracted by exposure to rodent/wildlife waste and/or to freshwater lakes or ponds) meet with your veterinarian at least 6 weeks beforehand to protect your pooch. Ask your veterinarian about using petsafe insect repellent.

• Young dogs’ bones and joints are still developing, so talk with your veterinarian about what is a “reasonable” hike for your puppy based on his/her age, breed, and developmental condition.

• Be sure your pet is welcome where you intend to hike. Some state and national parks have “pet friendly” trails, but many are restricted (especially on wildlife preserves where dogs may disrupt native wildlife or where there is concern that domestic pets could introduce disease in a fragile ecosystem).

• Mind your “trail manners” and do not allow your pet to be disruptive to others. When you encounter fellow hikers with your pet, step off the trail to allow them to pass. Always clean

up after your pet, even “in the wild.” Pets who are reactive to strangers or wildlife, or who bark excessively, should remain at home. Being courteous is important in keeping recreation areas open to sharing with our furry family members.

• Keep your pet on leash so they can’t harass or chase (potentially dangerous) wildlife, stray so far from you that they become a target for predators, or go into terrain that puts them at risk for life-threatening falls or injuries. Be aware of native wildlife, and their breeding/ hibernation patterns (when they may behave more aggressively). Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing an ID collar or tags. Electronic tracking collars (or tags) can be helpful in finding your pet if you become separated.

• use “dog booties” to protect your pet’s feet in rough terrain. Allow your dog to get acclimated to them at home before venturing into the wild. Inspect your dog’s feet and legs periodically during the hike, even if they are wearing boots. Also, check for burrs or briars that may be caught in their fur and cause skin sores, and monitor your pet for cuts and scrapes.

• Be prepared. Bring a first aid kit and tools to remove ticks and burrs tangled in the fur as soon as you find them. Bring a muzzle and materials to make a sling to carry your pet out if he/she becomes injured or lame.

• Pack food and water for your pet. Don’t allow them to eat unfamiliar plants, the feces of wildlife or drink from streams, puddles, or ponds.

• Be mindful of the weather. Bring a dog sweater and rain gear in cooler weather. Monitor for signs of overheating such as panting, abnormally red gums, anxiety or lethargy. Give Fido rest stops and keep him/her hydrated. Some dogs can carry a small pack, but don’t over-due it. The pack can contribute to overheating and overloading can cause back strain or injury.

• When you return from your adventure, give your pet a good nose-to-tail inspection, brushing and a bath. Then settle back on the couch to watch slideshows of your time-wellspent together!

Happy Hiking from the team members of York Veterinary Hospital!

national hiking Day is november 17, but any day of the year is a good day for a hike!


A Lot Was Brewing at The Garage Brewery

Jackson and his RockStar Designs booth Archie and Juneau Rita and Ellie Sabrina getting the scoop from Archie Our Pres!

Yorktown Pet Market

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SouTHEASTERN VIRGINIA GolDEN RETRIEVER RESCuE, EDuCATIoN & TRAINING, Brody donated his money to the goldens

ellie’s Story

i magine your first years frightened and learning how to “live” in a puppy mill. Now, imagine being almost blind in that world as well. Ellie, a Golden Retriever Great Pyrenees mix, knew nothing more until Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training went to South Carolina and saved her and 8 others in February 2022 from the state’s largest puppy mill rescue. Ellie, and her foster sister Summer, were in the care of Quan li for almost 6 months. While with Quan, Ellie learned how to live as an indoor dog, became accustomed to daily walks, began to learn how to accept love, and most importantly regained her sight thanks to SEVA GRREAT funding her eye surgery that restored her vision from 20% to 85%.

After seeing pictures on Facebook and reading

about her progress, in July 2022, Rita (our Turkey rescue), Gregg, and I met Ellie at her foster home in Richmond. We fell in love with her immediately. While very timid and unsure of what her future life would be, she traveled back with us to her furever home in Chesapeake, Virginia. It hasn’t all been easy. Initially, she wouldn’t come out the door for walks and was scared of all the neighborhood sounds when out walking. She would cower when she moved in our home because she didn’t like the ceiling fan running above her and she would get startled as we moved about the house making everyday noises. With time and patience, Ellie has relaxed quite a bit and learned, through her big sister Rita, to accept love and attention. Today, she still has her moments of insecurities (now she doesn’t like the ceiling fan off or gets scared when

the wind blows) but she has learned to enjoy treats, loves getting brushed, and finds comfort laying on the floor at Gregg’s feet.

When scared, she stays extra close to Rita for assurance that she is in a safe place. In october 2022, Ellie was able to make her first official debut at the SEVA GRREAT fall membership meeting at Newport News City Park. Gregg and I were amazed at how well she did, allowing strangers to come up and pet her. We know that she will be able to represent SEVA GRREAT in future events as well. We are thankful for the future that SEVA GRREAT has given Ellie and look forward to many more years of showering her with the love she deserves!

–Sonya, Gregg, and Rita Benshoff

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Glen Allen Day


Yorktown Parade

r ainbow Bridge

A tribute to DinA: A Promise Kept

I promised her that I would love her and be with her even if her time left was only a few days, weeks, or months. I have kept that promise after less than two weeks.

Beautiful Dina bounded into my life straight from a shelter where she had been held on stray hold. No collar or microchipping led to a wait for someone to claim her; SEVA GRREAT was ready to rescue and I to foster when the hold time was up. It was noted that the vet at the shelter recommended euthanasia for this fifteen year old girl because of a huge tumor on her side that another vet later stated probably weighed fifteen or twenty pounds. The thought was cancer, a thought that later proved to be the case.

It was instant love for and by Dina when she arrived. Her manners were impeccable, she loved playing ball, and her energy level was high. It was an adrenaline rush, and what a joyous time we had! She quickly decided that I was her person and would drape her red leg over my arm and rest her head against my chest wanting her ears rubbed and her face stroked continuously. She adapted to her spot to eat and was content to lie anywhere as long as it was close to me. Together we enjoyed walks around the park while she explored what nature had to offer. Fifteen was probably an inaccurate

guess at her age, but the years are just numbers and inconsequential.

The first vet check resulted in a conclusion to let her enjoy life. She had a raspy and continual pant then later a cough, so two days later she spent the day at the vet’s for more testing. Pneumonia was starting, so oral drugs were given. She also had vomited several times the second day with me, so anti-nausea pills were also given. A CT referral was made with the hope that the huge mass could be removed and offer her some relief though again the fear of cancer loomed in the background.

Things declined fast. Dina felt safe and secure, and she let herself slip into peaceful naps always waking with the others for potty breaks. She began to stumble, and soon walks and then even the trip out the door was almost impossible. Play no longer interested her, and food held no appeal nor did water. Her back legs could no longer hold her, and her eyes lost their sparkle. The future was not looking bright. Still there was hope that maybe something could be done, so back to the vet she went. X-rays showed that the pneumonia was worse despite the oral antibiotics, so she had stronger doses sent through her with an i.v. The plan was to see her rally some, be able to walk without assistance, and to eat. Then I would transport her to an ER hospital for overnight observation. Dina did not follow the plan.

When blood work showed that her calcium levels were dangerously high, a jump from the week before when they were normal, the conclusion was cancer which would account for everything that she was enduring. It was a full circle back to the shelter vet’s recommendation but this time with medical proof of her condition. She was ready now, and it was time for me to fulfill my promise.

I held her tightly and once again stroked her face and rubbed her ears and told her the truth — that she was beautiful and wonderful

and soon would be able to breathe without difficulty and to run without pain or fear of collapsing.

It was such a short period of time yet so much was accomplished. Dina had come home and was content at last, and she let me guide her on the final journey.

DiXie MAe

our sweet “Dixie Mae” crossed the rainbow bridge on october 3, 2022 after several deteriorating conditions that made her immobile. She was a “Turkey dog” that we adopted in January 2019. Even though we had a short 3 1/2 years together, she became a therapy dog for TDI. She loved her weekly visits to the nursing home until her arthritis prevented her from continuing. She loved being the center of attention and most of all, rolling in the grass! We loved her dearly and will miss her being with us everyday!




This past Saturday, our beautiful golden boy , Cooper, (aka Dabbie) crossed over the rainbow bridge at home surrounded by those who loved him most and cared for him in his last difficult months. Cooper came to us as a SEVA foster three years ago after he arrived in the united States from Turkey. He had been placed with a previous foster who could no longer care for him. our family had just lost our boy Max, another SEVA boy, a few weeks earlier and we were not certain that we were ready for a foster or a permanent adoption because I would most likely be a foster failure!! Well, the rest is history.

Despite numerous health issues including debilitating arthritis and being dangerously overweight, our Coop began to progress, lose weight, get healthy, and as a result, so much happier. With patience, love, time and hard work on his part he became healthier and part of our family permanently. Cooper loved running and exploring in Bandy Park. He loved his walks, swimming therapy, and most of all he loved eating, eating, and more eating, (which had to be strictly managed and controlled which resulted in many a “stink eye” from our boy). Coop also loved his cold laser treatments and deep massage from Emma, the wonderful therapist who treat him for the last few months. Most of all he loved his brothers Charlie and Eric and his Mama and Daddy. Cooper’s life is a testament to what love can do. Cooper’s message to all is don’t give up on us in the difficult times. Stay with me, love me, care for me and I will return that love tenfold. We will miss my sweet baby but I do take comfort in the fact that his last days were filled with love and dignity as he crossed over at home in the arms of those who loved him most. We will meet again

sweet boy. My last words to him as I looked him in the eyes were, “I love you sweet boy, run free now.”


We extend our deepest sympathy to Debby, Abigail and Seely on the unexpected loss of their beloved Karley. She crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday after a brief illness. Karley

was present at many SEVA GRREAT events but was probably best known for her daredevil swimming at the spring membership meetings and her many trips with her mom. She was a great traveling companion. She welcomed several senior foster dogs into her home as well as her sister, Seely, who is one of the 2018 puppies. From her first birthday to her last, she was one wonderful pup. Here are some thoughts in her mom’s words: “She brought great joy to my life for almost 11 years. She was the bestest ever. My final gift was one of love; the gift of peace. She has all the energy of a pup now, she runs without pain, and there are endless treats. There is no cancer in heaven. Rest my beloved baby girl; we shall meet again.”


Jane wrote: I know that “the worst day of my life” is an overused expression, but today is one of those days. Please send prayers and positive vibes as we send lacey over the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. The kidney disease and arthritis have taken too much of a toll, so it’s time. lacey’s having a good day today, which gives me comfort as she deserves a great last day. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say in the coming days about this special girl, and I am trying to stay positive. So I’ll start with pretty much a classic picture of the girlslooking AWAY from the camera. Boy, could she be stubborn about having her picture taken. Soon she’ll be running free, no longer needing the harness lift, and chasing all the tennis balls she wants. We will miss her so much.

21 FAll 2022


Ann Czompo

Jo Anne Vance

Thanks for all the dogs you help

The Nautical Dog

Peggy and Kevin Ely

Steven Rowe

In honor of our wonderful Wyatt

Maryanne Lambert

Barbara Talley

In support of medical expenses

Carl Jackson

Mark & Patricia Seelenbinder

In memory of Chester

Michael Brooks

Terry & Skip Cole

In memory of lacey Krom

Karen Haynie

Kristen Lacy

Gene Lynch Barbara, keep up the good work!

Isabel Burch

In memory of Art Spooner

Edythe Tucker

Deborah Ramsey

Janine Grayson

Carolyn Morris

Connie Brewer

Tammy Schuler

In loving memory of Arthur Spooner

Sean McPherson Good luck!

Debra Anderson

Sandra Rice

For sweet Remy

Lindsay Betts

Elyse Cardon

In honor of Sofia lotkin’s Bat Mitzvah project!

Tracy Minnich

For sweet Remy and all others in your care

Margaret Webb

For Juno and Remy

Constance Sorrell

Sharon Leeman

To help with Remy’s and Juno’s medical expenses

Sharon Leeman

Forever Missed - Tassie, Sophie, Yogi, Cooper, Karley and lacey

Beth Rodgers

In memory of lacey Krom

Kim Bolster

Susan Burton

Janice Phillips

Kathleen Gierlak

In memory of Kenna Gierlak, our SEVA GRREAT foster failure

RMC Supper Club

In honor of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project. love Bryan, Cara and Cole

Cheryl Trahan

Melissa & Jim Keown

Thanks for all you do!

Sharon O’Donnell

In memory of Kathleen o’Donnell for the Golden oldie Fund

Teresa Thompson In honor of Janet White

Megan Karn


Aid Foundation America

Jack & Donna Roggmann

In honor of Golden Furbabies everywhere & IMo Samantha, Jasper, Penny, Chewie, Nadi and Woody

Lisa Brown In support of Juno’s and Remy’s medical care

Dorothy and Saffron Winn

In support of SEVA GRREAT’s Golden children

Dave & Peggy Main

Caring Canines Therapy Dogs

In memory of Comet, a therapy dog member of Caring Canines Therapy Dogs

Bob & Cammie Hendricks In memory of Brandy, Daisy and Susie

Alice Brown In memory of Blue

Robert & Carol Reed

In honor of Chase and Samantha & In memory of Dusty, Topsy, Brooke, Samantha (our 1st Golden), Allyson, Maggie and Sophie. And in thanks for all that SEVA GRREAT does for Goldens in your care

James Perlmutter

Kathy Jens In honor of Bruno

Steve & Jean Vinson

Lynne Coppoletta

In fond remembrance of my dear friend Joe Downes, Sr.

Juliet Downes Carneal & James Carneal In memory of Joe Downes, Sr.

Hunter Von Bechmann To support fundraising efforts of Turkey dogs

Kristen Lacy

Susan Sanitski

Sondra Phillips In support of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

Brad Embree

For Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project, thanks!

Amy Goodove on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

James St. Clair

Mark Hermelin on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

Carolyn Snyder on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project. Great job Sofia!

Meredith Rutter on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

Jennifer Sabatino on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

Michelle Borrall

APF Enterprises, Inc. on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Bat Mitzvah

Adam Foleck on behalf of Sofia lotkin’s Bat Mitzvah project

Beverly Armbruster

Janet White

Thank you for all of your compassion and perseverance with saving these beautiful animals, providing them with medical assistance when needed and ultimately finding them loving homes. love, Donna & Janet

Connie Brewer

Marie Grindle

Jennifer Kral Tracy Schmid

Deborah Kiser

In honor of Joe Downes, Sr.

Roberta Smith

William Quinn

Lisa Tucker

David & Tanya Niles

Deborah Jordan

Miley Walker

Patricia Winters

Joseph Moore

In memory of Joe Downes, Sr.

James Knight

Marc & Jennifer Dauzier

Diane Trinko

Danette Allen

In memory of Jerry Allen

James Wilson

In honor of Jane W. Hiser, Scott’s Addition Animal Hospital

Pat & John Donaldson

Richard & Carey Byrd

Mary McChesney

Stephen Smith

In memory of Joe Selby Downes

Maryanne Lambert

In memory of Peter lambert

Tanya & David Niles

Cynthia Merrix

In memory of Donald Merrix

Ray & Connie Sorrell

In honor of Damon Sorrell our current rescue Golden

Miley Walker

Jay & Janice Miller

In memory of Teddy

Jim & Sheila Kingsley

In honor of Millie, Goose, Toby and Sundance

Pat Rowan

In memory of Deb Hubbard, a former SEVA GRREAT member

Joe & Melanie Boyd In memory of Diesel and Thunder Boyd

Ruth Ann Rummel

Bob & Peg Graham

In memory of Harry and Rivers

Cathy & Bay Rowe In memory of Dakota and Dutch Rowe (our Goldens)

Lisa Brown In memory of Abby and Ellie

Mike Warren In memory of Maria Warren

Sherry & Bill Peterson In memory of leader and Teddy

Jennifer & Bill Cryan

In honor of Maxwell Edison and In memory of Maggie Mae and Abby

Frank & Janet Meyer

Steve Opilla In honor of Marianne opilla

Nansi Stickland

Kerry Fulcher

John & Christina Price In honor of The Belands

Cathy Heimer

In honor of Benji, Rusty and Gus

Kristin Gingrich & Craig Dahlinger

Baron Miller

Georgia Mamangakis & Barney Barnes

In memory of Tyler and in honor of all SEVA GRREAT volunteers

Brian & Linda Thomson In honor of Nina and in memory of Shea

Christine & Eric House

In memory of Hank House, adopted through SEVA GRREAT. He is missed dearly

Jill & Rich Hoehlein

In honor and in memory of all my past and current Goldens

Denise Wilbern

In honor of Dreama M. Pressly and in memory of Molly

Jonathan & Julie Hindman Merry Christmas!

Harrison & Mary Owens

In honor of Dottie Cleal

Connie Brewer

Ronald & Lynn King

In support of Sofia lotkin’s Mitzvah Project

Timothy Kosarsky

Eugene Lynch

Donna Hicks

David Simmons

In memory of Pamela E. Simmons, GRREAT President 1994-95

Gerard & Kathy Barthelemy

In honor of Charlotte (aka Stevie)

Marc Villamiel

Jean Morgan Medical care for the dogs

Barry Barnes

Robert & Tess O’Neal In memory of Sophie

Judith Hannold

In memory of Tony, my dear husband and fellow Golden lover, and all the lovely Goldens we adopted over the years

Ken & Windsor Shewbridge In honor of Katherine

Mary Connell

Terri Somerday

Nan Polas

Jim & Pauline O’Connell

In memory of Reveille, Jessie & PJ, and in honor of Holly

The Will Family Happy New Year!

Jeanne E. Parsons

In honor of Morgan, and in memory of Cassi, Jake, Princess and Jameson

Lisa Spenik

Vince & Christy Warren

Noah Mercer/CarMax

Kristen Lacy

Teresa Thompson

This is a mathcing donation for Janet White

Ross Knapp

Judith Radt

Marlene Rivera

The Dominion Energy Emerging leader Program-Cohort 10, would like to donate in honor of Joanne Moore. Joanne, you are an amazing human, this is a small token of how grateful we are of you.

William Harper

Jim & Marsha Witcher Thank you for all you do

Submitted in honor/on behalf of Regina Shepler

Eileen McFadden

Merry Christmas! This donation is in honor of all the wonderful Turkey Dogs that are being rescued

Ryan Andrews

Tammi Amick

Mary Reid Barrow

In honor of Sunny

Elizabeth Munford

Chris Clary

Mary Pat Harris

Susan Stanitski

Darin Boyle

Sally G Hall

Lisa M Ziegler

In honor & memory of the GRREAT logo dog “Sadie” and her owners Kim Beegle DVM and laurie Doumaux. Both were instrumental in supporting and educating way back when a samll band of Golden lovers took a blind leap to start GRREAT to save Goldens.

Theresa Harrison J Lynn Thompson

Jay Alexander In honor of Fran and DJ DeCicco and in memory of lizzie

Barbara Fleming

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


MeMebership renewal

to Volunteer:

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

and volunteer here!

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

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

HoME EVAluATIoN –– visits for foster/adoption applicants.

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 Weekends Evenings

EVENTS — helping to hold/show dogs at events, 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.

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

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.

iMPortAnt notiCe

This is a new membership Address Change ADDITIoNAl VoTING MEMBERS: (E-mail needs to be unique to vote.)
I am enclosing my $25 annual membership dues $ ___________ Additional Voting members _____ @ $25 each $ Donation $ 1 Calendar = $12.00 (includes shipping) $ TOTAL REMITTANCE $ MY DonAtion iS For: In Honor of In Memory of other Please make checks payable to: SeVA GrreAt Mail this form with your check to: SEVA GRREAT Po Box 8014 Yorktown, VA 23693 reQUireD For MeMBerSHiP: I affirm that I have never been convicted of an animal abuse crime.
Membership is open
Name: Address: City, State, Zip: E-mail: Home Phone: Work Phone:
Name: E-mail: Name: E-mail: Name: E-mail: reMittAnCe:
& VoLUnteer
to all persons 18 years or older.
If you would like to become a member, please sign below. Otherwise, your remittance for annual membership must be considered a donation.

Press For

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

2 To give up a Golden or get more information about our intake process.

3 To follow up on an adoption or foster application, or for questions about adoption.

4 For all other questions.

Before calling, we recommend exploring our website for information that may answer your question.

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


Foster Dog Medical Care


Yorktown – 757-898-3700

CooKE VET MEDICAl CENTER Chesapeake – 757-547-9421

QuIoCCASIN VET HoSPITAl Richmond – 804-741-3200

ANDERSoN’S CoRNER Toano – 757-566-2224

MIDloTHIAN ANIMAl ClINIC Midlothian – 804-794-2099

BAY BEACH VETERINARY HoSPITAl Virginia Beach – 757-340-3913

GoDSPEED ANIMAl CARE Williamsburg – 757-253-8199

SCoTT’S ADDITIoN ANIMAl HoSPITAl Richmond – 804-551-0519

President Vice President Whitney Baker Treasurer Janie Carstens Secretary Susan Beckman

Event Coordinators: Southside: Tracy Harris Schmid Peninsula: Michelle Smith Richmond: Jennifer Dauzier

Microchip Coordinator Sharon leeman Intake Coordinator Julie Mercer Foster Coordinator Jane Krom Adoption Coordinator Chris Walker Membership Jacob Kay Volunteer Coordinator Mimi Wormeley Medical Coordinator Beth Rodgers

Merchandise Jennifer Dauzier Fundraising Stacy Saville

Want to Reach Dog Lovers with Your Message?

Advertise in GRREAT Times Magazine and Help Our Goldens.

grreat contact information like us on f
acebook! rescue/information hotline 757-827-8561
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