The Golden Retriever Club of America National Rescue Committee

Book Reviews

Golden Retrievers for DUMMIES by Nona Kilgore Bauer

Golden Retrievers for DUMMIES by Nona Kilgore Bauer

Reviewed by Rue Chagoll, Golden Retriever Rescue of Central NY

It was the author's reputation, not the title, that prompted me to read this book. She didn't disappoint me.

In her first offering nearly a decade (The World of the Golden Retriever: A Dog For All Seasons), Nona Bauer delivered an instant classic, celebrating our breed's heritage and versatility. This time she's given us an incredibly thorough and highly practical "owners manual."

So many basic breed books I've seen are generic to the degree that with just a change of photos and a very few lines of text, a volume could apply as easily to Bichons as Berners. But let there be no doubt: this book is about Goldens, written by a respected and knowledgeable Golden-owner. It's a work that holds value for the experienced as well as the newbie.

Part 1, "Finding Your Soul Mate," helps potential owners qualify themselves and maps the proper procedures and sources for finding a Golden. I suppose this sort of introduction is obligatory, but frankly I've yet to meet the owner who "bought the book before the dog." The real meat, and two thirds of the book's volume, is in the next two sections. Addressed in Part 2 is every imaginable aspect of puppy-rearing: necessary equipment, proofing the house and the kids, feeding, socializing, housebreaking and crating, basic obedience training and more. If every new owner could absorb and apply the contents of chapters entitled "Canine Communication & Growing Pains" and "Home Schooling Your Golden Puppy," a whole lot of grief might be avoided as that pup starts exhibiting behaviors never seen in those "perfect" Hollywood and Madison Avenue dogs. Read more....

The ANGEL by My Side, by Mike Lingenfelter and David Frei

Reviewed by Rue Chagoll, Golden Retriever Rescue of Central NY

The ANGEL by My Side

Prescribed: One Golden Retriever. Companionship morning, noon and night for treatment of acute clinical depression.

Mike Lingenfelter was despondent, angry at the world. Psychologically, he beckoned death. A self-described type-A personality, he'd been forced to abandon a successful professional career by two heart attacks and unstable angina. He couldn't work or travel. He couldn't even leave the house un-chaperoned. The proud provider had become totally dependent, a burden to his family.

"I was helpless, at the mercy of my weakened heart... the doctors had told me that I wasn't going to get better... and now they wanted me to get a dog? Great."

So Dakota - "Cody," a rescued Golden Retriever, entered his life. Initially resenting the intrusion of this "obnoxious" Golden obsessed with a favorite toy frog, Mike grudgingly and gradually accepts him. Thus begins an unimaginable odyssey in which the pair literally save each other's lives.

Cody works his therapeutic finesse, lifting Mike's spirits. Then comes the real magic. Cody pesters him incessantly, for no apparent reason. Moments later Mike contorts and collapses with an angina attack. After repeated similar incidents he begins to suspect Cody is demonstrating powers yet to be understood by medicine or science. Cody seems able to predict his angina attacks. With such warning, Mike is able to take medication and otherwise limit the severity of these debilitating episodes. With this newly found safeguard, he recovers some independence. He and Cody begin making therapy visits. Eventually Mike starts back to work, Cody accompanying him to the office and on trips. As their story becomes known, Cody receives numerous honors, including recognition from the Delta Society. Along the way they meet David Frei, familiar as the expert television commentator for the Westminster Kennel Club show, who co-authors their story. Read more....

TO THE RESCUE, 1993 - 2003, Celebrating 10 Years with Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue

Reviewed by Carol Allen, Golden Retriever Rescue of Central New York

Robin Adams has compiled a wonderful collection of letters, stories, poems, tributes and articles of feature writing and expert advice. The health and Happiness chapter is full of helpful articles on many topics and written in a manner that makes the complicated very understandable. In the first instance, I found this book heartwarming and uplifting. Secondly, I found it useful. Read more....

My Rescued Golden, edited by Marjorie McHann

My Rescued Golden

Reviewed by Rue Chagoll, Golden Retriever Rescue of Central NY

Adopters contributed stories and photographs of forty-eight rescued Goldens for Marjorie McHann to create this living portrait of Golden Retriever rescue.

"48 Reasons to Adopt a Rescued Golden" might have been just as apt a title. Because, if there's a common theme, it has to be that for being "discarded," these Goldens sure had a lot yet to give in their new lives.

You'll read about five-week-old Lucy, abandoned to die in a trash dumpster when it was discovered she was severely handicapped. Several years later, still a paraplegic, she now inspires and encourages human healing through her work as a certified therapy dog. A pair of seniors, Moses and Madison, do therapy also, sprinkling their Golden magic from the nursing home to a state prison. Then there's Sproul, explosives detection canine by day and beloved family pet in the evening. Rescue found the right outlet for her high level of energy, which her caretaker/handler described, "If I were to compare a regular dog's energy level to Sproul's, it would be like comparing the candle on a birthday cake to fireworks on the Fourth of July."

But the "main job" to which each and every of these Goldens has adapted very well, is as that of beloved family companion. Several even made converts out of non-believers -- you know, people who shrink away with "I'm not a dog person." Several helped owners through times of adversity, such as Merry Heart who visited at the convalescent center as her adopter recovered from surgery for a cerebral aneurysm. Others just moved in to become "couch potatoes," such as senior Sydney, who wheedled his way into the heart of this writer more quickly than any Golden before or since. Read more....

My name is Rufus.  I am a Photographer.

My name is Rufus. I am a Photographer.

By Rufus, with help of Reiji Kanemoto

Review by Carol Allen

Rufus, a rescued Golden Retriever, went to live with Reiji Kanemoto. Reiji is a commercial photographer in Los Angeles so Rufus decided that photography would be a good career choice. Rufus put a camera around his neck and began clicking, and used his great social skills to build rapport with his subjects. Of course, photographs are from Rufus' perspectives - and height.

The book is a delightful collection of photographs and narratives from Rufus. It also reflects beautifully on the bond between Rufus and Reiji. The pictures and the bond combine to create a thoroughly enjoyable book.

ISBN 0-9746448-8-9

Published by Studiotanimoto, Inc. (

Available at Barnes and Noble or Borders.

Also at


The US Map of Golden Rescues

Golden Retrievers for DUMMIES by Nona Kilgore Bauer

Part 3, "Keeping Your Pal Healthy and Happy," runs the gamut of nutrition, exercise, preventive care, grooming, problem behaviors, diseases and aging. Throughout the book, each topic is delivered with tips, cautions, charts and so on - making for easy reading and quick future reference. So readable, that you could practically flip to any page, rip it out, and have the makings of a good magazine or newsletter article.

Which brings me to a summary of the book's most endearing virtues: Beyond its expert and thorough coverage of the subject matter, it's easy to navigate, easy to read... and it's cheap. At a list price of $15.99, "Dummies" is arguably the best-valued investment anyone could make in a Golden's health and well-being.

Here's a suggestion to breeders, puppy-referral contacts, and rescue adoption people: Buy and give this book away with every dog placed, or sell it to serious inquirers. The publisher has a program for non-profit groups (such as your local club or rescue) to purchase small bulk quantities at less than $10 per copy!

If a first-time Golden owner could have but one book, this should be it. The price and layout encourage daily use, dog-earing, highlighting, and margin note-writing. Anyone achieving a good grasp of its contents - for sure ain't no dummy. That would be good news for a Golden. -Rue Chagoll

©2000, IDG Books Worldwide - ISBN 0764552678 - 256 Pgs. - List Price $15.99

Golden Retrievers for DUMMIES at

The ANGEL by My Side

Then, suddenly, the bubble of happily-ever-after is burst. Cody is diagnosed with a highly aggressive cancer, accompanied by a prognosis of death within months. But a now re-energized Mike vows not to relent, journeying cross-country to obtain expert care for his beloved friend. With a regimen of state-of-the-art treatment from veterinary oncologists, another miracle befalls them - Cody's cancer is stalled into remission.

Lingenfelter says he was compelled to record the miracle of his experience with Cody to lend hope and inspiration to others. In so doing, their story will have you on an emotional roller coaster. At the conclusion, you'll not know whether to stand up and cheer or sit down and cry, and likely you'll do both. But The ANGEL by My Side is much more than a feel-good, tear-jerking diary. It will endure as a classic testament to the precious and tender spirituality of the canine/human bond. -Rue Chagoll

* The Angel by My Side is the recipient of the Dog Writers Association of America's Maxwell Medallion for the Best General Interest Canine Book of 2003.

© 2002 - Hay House - ISBN 1-4019-0021-6 - 189 Pgs. - $23.95

The ANGEL by My Side at

One of the advertising pieces suggests that "To The Rescue" makes good bedtime stories for children. Recently I tried that with children visiting over the holidays and they thought it was wonderful. A struggle followed by a happy ending. Better than Mother Goose any night.

And struggling every so often to find new and fresh material for the Newsletter I contribute to, I find lots in this book I am now anxious to use. And this is fine with the author as long as credit is given to the book, author and Delaware Valley GRR. There is a great deal that useful and worthy of quoting and using.

Copyright 2003, Published in the United States by Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue ISBN 097450830-6 - almost 200 pages - Price $29.95 (PA residents: $1.79 Tax) + $4 shipping.

Order from Delaware Valley GRR, 80 Vera Cruz Road, Reinholds, PA 17569. Or go to their Web Site: for further information.

My Rescued Golden

The anthology illustrates the many ways Goldens come to be in rescue, describes many of the challenges in readying them for adoption, and introduces us to the diversity of people offering those perfect and "forever" homes. From this perspective, "Chicken Soup for the Rescue Volunteer's Soul" might also have been an appropriate title, with one successful case history after another. When the task seems impossible, a thumb-through will remind you: "Yes, there will be a home for this dog -- if we just look long and hard enough." You'll remember there are those golden souls to be found who will care for the neediest of dogs -- such as Frosty, rescued with a gunshot wound to her head, and Kodiak, adopted despite his terminal cancer.

If you work in rescue, if you've adopted a Golden, if you're thinking of adopting a Golden or know someone who is, or if you just plain love heartwarming Golden Retriever stories -- buy this book. If that isn't reason enough, here's the clincher: ALL of the profits from sale of this book will be shared among the organizations that rescued these dogs. Why would editor Marjorie McHann do that? She's a Golden rescuer herself.

Order from the publisher - iUniverse Customer Service at 1-877-823-9235. Rescue groups can purchase books (from the publisher only) at a 20% discount and not pay sales tax (if your organization has 501[c]3 status). Use them in your training regimen, as sales brochures for adoption and fund raising, and as prizes or awards. Whatever your reason, a good investment.

02002, Writers Club Press, iUniverse, Inc.
ISBN 0-595-24989-2 - 170 Pgs. - List Price $15.95 (Canada $25.95)

My Rescued Golden at