Our Golden Gang

Welcome to my blog. I have been blogging since 2009 on the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland web site. Now that I’ve left the rescue’s board I realize that I still want to have a place to post and save good information about providing the best care for my pups and yours, so voila! Here we go. 


Post Hemangiosarcoma

Ruby fairy

I ordered only two fairy costumes for my three golden girls. Madeline had been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and, even though my vet thought Maddie had a good chance to live months, maybe even a year, I did not.

(Here’s a good article about hemangiosarcoma I didn’t read until after Maddie crossed the bridge. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/on-the-horizon-hemangiosarcoma-studies/)

I felt bad about buying only two costumes, but I knew Maddie well and knew she had been ill for a while. First she injured her neck, then it was discovered she had fractured two teeth.  Only four days after her teeth extractions (five altogether) she was diagnosed. She had a few good days, but none were 100%.

We have slowly adjusted to life without Madeline, but we miss her. I know she now a beautiful fairy and doesn’t need a costume!

Menia halloween 2019

Good Job Menia!

Menia and me

Menia did her first ever home visit and she was PERFECT.  Since taking a break from rescue a few months ago, we hadn’t done anything other than give supplies and $ to a few local rescues.

MOMA’s, a group from South Carolina that adopts along the east coast, asked us to do a visit for a family in Piney Point who was interested in adopting an 8 week old puppy. (I’ve done visits for them before.)

The puppy they are interested in is a retriever mix, so likely will grow up to be about Menia’s size.

I expected Menia to get into everything as she does at home and the family would think twice about getting a puppy, but instead, she snuggled with the two very nice children and went to sleep!

I can see more home visits in Menia future.


Stella and Chewy’s New Kibble



stellasFinally, a kibble I can feed my pups. Stella and Chewy’s newest kibble has no potatoes or legumes which are currently linked to the heart disease Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  While still not from one of the five companies that does research, the new food comes in beef and lamb and chicken.

The beef does not contain chicken fat. We avoid all chicken products with our girl Ruby Tuesday. And, as it should, meets AAFCO feeding requirements.

This new food even adds Taurine. Here is the ingredients list from the bag I special ordered at Wag N Wash today.

Beef, lamb meal, oatmeal, pearled barley, pork meal, beef liver, beef fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pumpkin, quinoa, natural vegetable flavor, beef kidney, beef tripe, beef bone, sunflower oil, flaxseed, salmon oil, coconut flour, salt, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic beets, organic carrots, organic squash, organic blueberries, inulin (from chicory root), thyme, sage, rosemary extract, tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, choline chloride, potassium chloride, taurine, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product.

Our pups eat Stella’s raw Tantalizing Turkey and sometimes beef for breakfast.

I’ll use this kibble as a base and add some additional lean meat, yogurt or pumpkin and seasonal fruits/veggies – not because I need to, but because I like to.

So we’ll be chugging down our huge bag of Farmina, and on to Chewy’s kibble at least for a while.

Kong Kapers


Kongs stuffed with canned dog food and frozen are the only “chews” I let my dogs have when I’m not home to supervise them.

I make one per day when we are away and have a pet sitter come, so we HAD 15. I noticed my kong stash was dwindling, so we went for a kong search.

Looked under the bed.

Moved the couch.

Searched the woods.

Peered in the toy boxes.

Scanned the azaleas.

Checked out the doggy dugouts.

We only have 12.

So I ordered 4 more to cover our upcoming trip.

Not sure where these things go.



Nice Walk to Tummy Troubles

sick menia

We walked a good portion of the Three Notch Trail on Sunday and then went to Bruester’s for ice cream.

Came home and took a nap. I could immediately tell Menia wasn’t feeling well by the way she looked at me. Took her outside and she threw up.

Came in, got a drink of water and threw up again. Didn’t make it outside this time.  She really didn’t throw up anything but stinky water.

Over and over again.

And then wouldn’t eat dinner.

Tried to give her an oral cerinea (for vomiting) and she threw that up.

Called emergency vet clinic and they were not too concerned since she is a big dog. Told us to take up food and water until morning.

Well, in the middle of the night she begged for water, so I gave her a few sips and she kept it down.

But, she didn’t eat breakfast.

Thanx to our vet, Leslie Meadows, for squeezing her in.

Vet thought my girl who ate chicken heads and rice in China ate something that didn’t agree with her.

I was more worried about an obstruction since Menia has eaten an untold number of squeakers out of toys.

Examined her and found she had formed poop waiting to emerge made me rest a little easier.

A cerenia injection, blood work, with a plan to come back the next day for xrays is Menia didn’t eat.

All day and no interest in food.

better menia

Then dinner and she gingerly comes to the kitchen and EATS!

Bland diet for a few days.

Whew! If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Maddie’s Home

Last Maddie

It was a long two weeks. I know the folks who cremate pick up from VCA St Mary’s on Mondays.  We didn’t help Madeline cross Rainbow Bridge until early evening, so I knew her body would be in the vet’s refrigerator for an entire week, and then another week before she would be returned.

We got the call while we were at my daughter, April’s, birthday breakfast in Williamsburg. When I saw the number I knew.

We asked Maddie to send a message when she was safely across the bridge. Joe drove to work the next morning and this was on his playlist God and Dog

So Madeline is safely across. I tried to pet her a couple of times in the night when I felt she was laying beside me; but she’s not physically there.

Not much has changed with our other pups. No one sits under the dinner table in Madeline’s spot. Occasionally I see Ruby Tuesday try out Maddie’s resting spot under the living room table, but she doesn’t stay.

Pups take turns laying where the console should be in the van which was Maddie’s riding place.

Dinner is quieter. No one lays in Madeline’s dinner spot. Guess they are adjusting too.

Farewell to My Golden Loving Friend Al Huey

BB # 3.jpg

Al (far right) was the 4th person we met in Southern Maryland when we moved here in 2002.
He did our home visit for GRREAT so we could be a foster family for golden retrievers.

Met him again in 2007 when Joe and I put an ad in THE ENTERPRISE for a meeting to start a golden retriever rescue group here in SOMD.

From then on I talked with Al by phone, email or in person almost every single day until early this summer.

Most mornings I woke up to an email forwarded from him mostly about the rescue, but other things too.

We quickly became friends; though from emails, I’m not sure how. Most emails were just a forward with no comments from him.

When we did have an email exchange it went something like these I pulled up from my computer:

Pat – Will you trade out the old guide for this beautiful new one on the web site?

Al – Done

Pat – So x is the url and y is the descriptor of the link?

Al – There are no ” around y.

Al – What emails do you want forwarded?

Pat- Only Petfinder Adoptions Inquiries

Pat – Foot healed?

Al – No

Pat – Need to change lunch day
Are you available Wed/Thurs?

Al – Either one.
Pat – Thursday

Pat – You ready for another pup? 115 lbs good with other dogs 5 years old, red
Al- I’ll talk it over with Jean tonight.

We bonded over our love of dogs.

Unlike most of the Golden Rescue Board who are nice people who mean well, Al understood dog behavior and training. We both also researched and read about keeping our pups healthy. We were both raw feeders. Minimal vaccinators, etc,

I have told this story at rescue meetings, but I’ll share it again as I think it’s indicative of the Al I knew.

Not long after the rescue was formed, TCAS called and were going to euthanize a young adult golden retriever who the shelter said was food aggressive, dog aggressive and cat aggressive if we didn’t take her. I could not take her as I already had 4 goldens. I could not think of anyone else who could take on this challenge

I called Al for a consult. His golden Abby had recently crossed Rainbow Bridge. I told him what the shelter said and without me asking, he said, “I’ll take her.” And he immediately went to the shelter and picked up the dog Jean soon named, “Millie.” Millie is the oldest golden retriever I know.

Al was part of the lunch bunch, a group of golden retriever lovers who went out to lunch a couple of times a month. Sometimes there was as many as 20 for lunch. We morphed into the brunch bunch with board members, Norm and Gail Bleakley, Barb and Bob Davis, Barb and Jeff Saylor, Jean and Al and me and my husband, Joe. We also often had dinners together, celebrated birthdays and holidays.

When I got lazy and didn’t coordinate brunches and dinners, Al and I continued to have lunch together. We always talked about dogs and pretty much everything else. For a man who appeared to be of few words, we talked over lunch for hours.
When I left the rescue board this past May I was angry with Al for being Switzerland over an issue that was important to me. I didn’t speak with him all summer.

Then I learned he was pretty sick in the hospital.

My text message to him: You alive?
Al – Yes

A few days later I messaged again when I learned he was still in the hospital, I messaged again:

Too sick for visitors?
Al – Yes

We did message a bit more, talked briefly on the phone and I could tell by his voice we were saying goodbye when he told me he couldn’t think of anyone else he would rather have take care of his dogs.

I will miss him.