The Second Chance Times

LABMED Quarterly News :   Volume 1, Issue 2: July, 2001

LABMED Board Members:

Jim Groenke, President

Margie Dykstra, Vice-President

Dranda Whaley, Secretary

Deb Hamele, Treasurer

Beth Bodenstein

Heather Bowden

Audrey Bowman

Edith Bryan

Sue Erickson

Pat Kolb

Lori Lewis

Karen Reardon

Saralyn Sharp

Karlene Turkington

Dianne Walsh

Board Member Interns:

Linda Bagby

Jude Fine

Donna Harrison

San Mitchum

Andrew Sherriff

Dogs Funded:

1st Quarter, 2001:

Max2 and Molly6
Sarah Jane

2nd Quarter, 2001:

Dezi, Lucy3 and Little



By Pat Kolb

LABMED has now funded over 250 dogs!

In the three months since our last newsletter was published we funded 24 dogs, spending a little over $8,000.00. One quarter - 6 - of these applications were for heartworm treatment. Most of the heartworm positive dogs have been picked up as strays though some came into rescue directly from their previous owners. In many parts of the country it is almost guaranteed that a dog not on heartworm preventive, such as a stray, will get the parasite. The treatment can be hard on the dogs and we are happy to report that Murphy2, Hershey4, Bailey5 and the trio of chocolates, Dezi, Lucy3 and Little Ricky - AKA the Ricardos - are well on their way to restored health.

The other big danger for strays is car accidents. LABMED gets quite a few applications where a dog has been hit by a car and sustains broken bones and severe lacerations. Zoey, a black Lab from the Pacific North West had an ugly wound on her chest that needed careful tending and lots of TLC from her vet and rescuers. Lucky3 was rescued by a vet tech after he sustained a broken leg and broken teeth in an accident. The black male needed oral surgery and his leg was put in a cast. Justin was found in a drainage ditch next to a highway in Texas. He was already in shock and close to death when his rescuer came along and took him to a vet for medical care. Candy2 crawled into a yard after her accident and was taken into custody by animal control quite roughly, even though her back legs were hurt and she couldn't walk. Luckily a rescuer saw her in the shelter and took the gentle black Lab to a vet for treatment. Osa's rescuer observed this young dog getting run over by a SUV and decided to adopt her after the mandatory waiting time. Tucker3 came to the shelter injured; the shelter staff had him treated right away, but they needed somebody to foster or adopt this lovely black Lab since they could not keep him during his recovery. We were worried that Tucker might be euthanized and very relieved when he was adopted.


Some dogs are given up by their owners when it becomes apparent that they have injuries that need expensive medical treatment. Some are left at a vet's office, others are abandoned. Shadow7 is one of the latter. He has TVD, a congenital heart condition, and his rescuer happened to be a vet tech who was able to get him treated and even managed to raise most of the cost for the expensive surgery he will need. Wickliffe - now Emma - was left at the vet's office with a broken leg; Molly7 needed bilateral FHOs due to hip dysplasia; Jack2 was deaf and his first owners did not realize that he also needed surgery to correct a liver shunt; Magnum had a cruciate injury that was left untreated, and Shadow6 was being kept in a barn. When the barn caught on fire, the young black Lab sustained large burn wounds on his back that were serious enough for the first vet who saw him to suggest Shadow should be euthanized. But a rescuer stepped in and had him treated and Shadow - after months of treatment and therapy - is "good as new" and enjoying life with his new adoptive mom. Zack2, a lovely chocolate boy from Alaska was brought to the shelter by his owner for boarding but the owner never returned to claim seven year old Zack. When Zack developed complications after surgery, his caretakers came to LABMED for help with the ever increasing bills.


Other dogs funded this past quarter include Kodi, a young chocolate Lab who needed surgery to correct entropion; Luke2 who came to a shelter in Arkansas with an infected wound on his leg, and Jake2 who was losing his hair: his rescuer needed help funding the diagnostic work. Conner, a 7 year old yellow boy needed a broken tooth extracted and had a tumor on his rear that needed to be removed. And Jumper, AKA Jumping Jack Flash, injured his carpal joint when he jumped off an overpass in Tulsa, Oklahoma trying to get away from his rescuers. Jumper was scared and may have been mistreated by other people; apparently the jump was less frightening than the humans trying to catch him. But Jumper's foster dad helped this black Lab's spirit to heal while his body was healing, and Jumper went to his adoptive home a happy, healthy and loving Lab.

If you'd like to read more about these and other dogs LABMED has funded, go to our Success Story page. And if you are interested in adopting one of them - for example, Candy2 is looking for a forever home - please check our Adoption Page (


By Saralyn Sharp

Summer is a wonderful season for you and your Labrador Retriever. Lots of sunny days to spend hiking, retrieving, swimming and just plain lazing around. Summer brings with it, however, an attendant of health concerns.

Due to the large numbers of rescued Labs found to have heartworms, heartworm disease is a major concern to LABMED. Heartworms are a parasite that is spread by a mosquito. Larvae are sucked up into the mosquito with a blood meal from an infected animal (such as a dog, coyote, or fox), where they undergo a maturation process and then are transmitted to another animal as it hosts a later blood meal. The larvae then travel through the dog to take up residence in the pulmonary artery. If the worm burden is great enough, it will block blood flow, and cause heart failure. If you live anywhere that has mosquitoes, your dog is vulnerable to heartworms. Because of the mobility of today's population, heartworms have spread north through the movement of heartworm positive dogs. Check with your veterinarian to see if heartworms are a problem in your area.

The good news is that there are many forms of heartworm preventive on the market - your vet can recommend the best one for your Lab. Each dose your dog takes works backward by killing the larvae that have been transmitted to your dog in the previous month: therefore it is important to continue the preventive one month past the last possible mosquito exposure! Several heartworm preventives help prevent intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms from sinking their teeth into your dog, and it is a good idea to continue these preventives year-round, even if you don't have mosquitoes year-round!

Another common summer malady is swimmer's ear. It is important to realize that ear infections in adult dogs are not normal (just as humans outgrow the ear infections we had as children, so do dogs). If your dog has the signs of an ear infection, such as reddened ear canal, discharge from the ear, or intense itchiness of the ear, then he or she should see a veterinarian. The occasional ear infection after swimming, however, can be prevented by cleaning your Lab's ears after each swim with a homemade concoction of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in a 50:50 solution. The alcohol helps dry the ear and the vinegar helps the ear maintain a slightly acidic environment that is inhospitable to bacteria and fungus.

Bug bites are also a part of summer. Bee stings can be soothed with a baking soda and water paste; however, if your dog develops facial swelling and hives, it should see a veterinarian. Another fairly common summer bug is the tick.

Ticks should be removed immediately if found attached to your dog. Ticks should be removed with tweezers or other apparatus and not with your bare fingers. Simply grasp the tick's body as close to the head as possible and lift to an approximately 45 degree angle from the dog. Pull slowly, but steadily, back on the tick until it lets go of the dog. Since ticks can hold their breath for a long time, it will not help to coat the tick in Vaseline ahead of time, nor do you need to touch it with a spent match. You do need to kill it, however: flushing it down the sink or toilet is not enough. One way to dispose of the tick is to put it in a tightly closed jar with a couple of ounces of rubbing alcohol. If you do feel the need to squish the little blood suckers, be sure to wash where the tick was squished with an antiseptic and once again, DO NOT use your bare fingers. If you use your bare fingers and some discharge from the tick should enter a cut or small wound, then you can pick up some of the diseases carried by the tick.

There are some preventives that are useful in stopping the tick from attaching to your dog; however, these products are not 100% effective and cannot take the place of routinely examining your Lab after each walk in the woods/tall grass.

LABMED hopes that your summer is full of fun holidays with your Labs and that you can avoid any illnesses or injuries.


Our 6th Annual Bullet's Benefit Bash will be held in November. The On-Line Auction is our biggest fund-raiser of the year, last year bringing in over $12,000! We are currently in search of Lab-related items for the 2001 Bash. What kinds of items bring the fiercest bidding? Hand-crafted items (quilts, pillows, drawings or perhaps pottery), Labrador Collectibles (china, crystal or plates), and items for your Lab (collars, cookies, toys and treats). Lab-themed jewelry and wearables are always popular, too! Of course, any and all donations are accepted and appreciated. If you'd like to donate to the 2001 Bash, please use our On-line Auction form ( This year we are asking that we receive items by September 15th so they can be photographed and ready to go when the auction opens. If you have any questions, please contact one of our Auction Coordinators: Heather Bowden or Karen Reardon at: The LABMED Auction ([email protected]).

Tales of a Puppyraiser!

By Eric Watanabe

Almost a year ago, a wriggly black ball of fur arrived at my house, and with great pleasure I became an official puppyraiser for a future guide dog. Named Doshi, the little black Lab puppy quickly settled into my home for the important first part of his preparation for life as a working service dog.

Doshi a Puppy

For the past couple of years, I've had the opportunity to invite puppyraisers from Guide Dogs of America and Canine Companions for Independence to the school where I teach. The demonstrations are great, and the kids experience a mini-lesson on responsibility and compassion. My kids always ask about the duties and responsibilities of puppyraisers...what do they really do and how could they give up the puppy? Now I am learning all the answers at first hand!

Guide Dogs of America and Canine Companions for Independence train service dogs. Guide Dogs of America trains dogs who will guide the blind, while Canine Companions for Independence trains assistance and hearing dogs. Both groups put their dogs through intensive formal training, but they need people to raise and socialize the puppies for the first 12-18 months of their lives. This is the job of puppyraisers.

Doshi in his Bib

Puppyraisers are encouraged to take their puppies EVERYWHERE. A quick trip to the market, shopping at the mall, catching a new movie, getting a bite to eat, a dentist or doctor appointment, and going to a ballgame are all typical outings. In addition, Doshi has attended school board meetings and a city council meeting, a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific, a boat trip to Catalina, and a carnival.

Doshi will probably leave for his formal training around Christmas time. Yes, it will be difficult to part with my constant companion. The worthwhile things in life are often described as difficult. Raising Doshi has not been easy, but he will be able to leave knowing he is loved...and hopefully he will be able to share this love with all he meets.

LABMED Calendar: July - September, 2001

For more updates on LABMED events, please visit the continuously updated
Calendar of Events.

July 4 - Independence Day
July 28 - Denver LRC Specialty

August 3-4 - Puget Sound LRC Specialty
August 15 - LABMED 5th Anniversary and Buddy's 6th Birthday!

Buddy's Birthday Picture

Buddy celebrates his first birthday in his forever home - August, 1997

August 16-17 - Ducks Unlimited Festival

September 3 - Labor Day
September 14 - Twin Cities LRC Specialty
September 15 - Closing Date for Sending in 2001 LABMED Auction Donations
September 18 - Rosh Hashanah
September 21 - LRC of South Florida Specialty / First Day of Fall
September 22-23 - Shawnee Mission LRC Specialty
September 27 - Yom Kippur
September 28 - Huron River LRC Specialty


Books on Tape

With the many dog shows and specialties in the coming summer months, many of you may be looking for something fun to listen to while on the road. By clicking on the LABMED webpage link for this affiliate, you can search through over 30,000 unabridged books on tape and CD. Books on Tape lists diverse offerings from the Classics to new releases, from kids books to adult non-fiction, from history to Sci Fi -- in other words something for everyone. Rental terms are generous -- a full 30 days, postage is prepaid, and the service is excellent. You may also choose to purchase books for a friend or a gift for your local library.

By clicking on our Books on Tape webpage link, LABMED earns 15% of the first book you rent or purchase: Payments can be made by check or if you prefer to use a major credit card, on-line using their secure server. Their friendly Customer Service representatives are on duty 24 hours a day to help you with any questions or problems you may encounter. Take a book with you on your next trip this summer -- you'll be glad you did.


LABMED did not fund this yellow girl but we helped by just being there. Here is Angel's story:

One night, a couple was driving home. They saw the car in front of them swerve, but it couldn't escape hitting a yellow Lab as she dashed across the street. The car stopped and the couple stopped. Together they helped the young dog struggle out of the ditch. In spite of obvious pain, the little Lab didn't growl - in fact she licked the hands of her rescuers. They placed her in the car and rushed her to the nearest veterinarian.

The rescuers decided to call her Angel and she certainly has the face of an angel! X-rays revealed several fractures in her pelvis. The largest was in the weight-bearing portion of the pelvis. Many times pelvic fractures are allowed to heal on their own, but this was not the kind that would heal. Surgery was needed to plate the fracture, a very expensive procedure. The vet offered a generous discount since Angel was a rescued dog, but the cost was still way above the rescuer's budget.

For surgery to be successful, it needed to be done within a few days. The rescuer quickly went to work. She applied to LABMED. Although LABMED could only contribute a small part of the cost, that was enough to allow the rescuer to OK the surgery.

Just a few days after her accident, Angel had one surgery and another was scheduled to be done shortly. Here the story takes an amazing twist. Angel was re-united with her owners! The "lost dog" ad that Angel's family placed in a local newspaper was finally spotted. Although the young family is not well off financially, they have been able to set up a payment plan with the veterinarian. The kind-hearted veterinarian has agreed to honor the "rescue" discount to help the family out.

Even more amazing is the rest of the story. The rescuer had started a fund-raising plan of her own. She had told Angel's story to a local school. The students decided to make Angel their special project and began collecting money. In one class, each student brought in a dollar, and one boy felt so moved, he brought in two dollars! The school has decided, even though Angel is no longer a lost dog, that they are going to continue to make her their special project, donating any money raised to help the young family defray the cost of the expensive surgery.

So, even though no money will be sent from LABMED's treasury, Angel is still one of our success stories. Because we were there to help with funding if needed, Angel is well on her way to recovery. LABMED wishes Angel and her people a long and happy life together.

Let's go Shopping!

Need a special treat for your Lab - or for yourself? Here are some of LABMED's latest finds for your summertime enjoyment!

Tennis Ball Fetch Stick: A super fun toy for any Lab! The fetch stick is made of tennis ball material and is extra bouncy and durable. Great for the park!

Tennis Bone Square Ball: Not just an ordinary tennis ball, this one is a 3" cube! Rugged and brightly colored, this toy floats and has a very wacky bounce. Your water dog will love this one!

Chilly Bone for teething puppies: Soak the 7" Chilly Bone with water and freeze it. An absorbent inner sponge holds the water and makes this toy non toxic fun for your pet. Reusable, too! Soothes gums and promotes healthy teeth. (The Chilly Bone is intended for teething puppies and may not be suitable for older dogs.)

Cookie cutter pins and earrings: Just the thing to enhance your summer wardrobe! Handcrafted in Vermont, these pewter pins and earrings are patterned after cookie cutters, and come in both Labrador Retriever and doggie bone shapes.

Cookie Cutters: These bone-shaped tin and copper cutters are perfect for making those special home-made treats for your Lab. Or even for yourself! Need a recipe? Try the LABMED Cookbook for a selection of recipes for both dog and people treats.

Labs Afield: Hunting with America's Favorite Retriever: Here is a lavishly produced photographic tribute to the hunting Labrador Retriever, perfect for summertime reading at the beach or in the back yard! The photographs in this book can only be described as georgeous! Photographs by Denver Bryan, Text by E. Donnall.

You can find all of these special gifts - and lots more - on our shopping pages: