Freebo with his gal Garbo

Meet FREEBO and Golden Garbo, inspiration for this very special contest. Freebo, gifted singer, songwriter and musician, has been greatly inspired by his Golden girl, Garbo. At 13 years of age [as of June 2004Just click here to get your copy!], she doesn't get to tour with her dad too often. But, when Freebo performs in his home area, Garbo joins right in (as she is doing in fact with the song playing right now!).

Freebo has always loved dogs and been in awe of the joy they seemed to have when he didn't and the constant love they were always so free to give. Inspired by his beloved Garbo, he created this “Dog People” CD, dedicating it to every dog, past and present, who has helped to make a better life for its people.

Although an accomplished musician, Freebo only just began performing his own music. He has been sharing this creative awakening by providing seminars and learning camps, believing we all have some measure of creative spirit. Just click on this album cover to order!


Land of PureGold BookmarkBeing creative and capturing that Freedom and Spirit of Gold, folks were asked to submit a photo that represented the theme in their verses. And, Freebo shared his own advice that the words in the verses “flow from one's own experience and perspective.” It was easy in this contest and every entrant was a winner—each receiving a Land of PureGold Tasseled Bookmark and Spirit of Gold Award to celebrate their participation. Our Top Creative Artist received Freebo's “The End of the Beginning” & “Dog People” CDs. She also was invited to a Freebo concert to be honored. Our Next Five Leading Entrants each received a “Dog People” CD.




Freebo Contest Winners

Pure Gold Guidance         
By Leslie Schwarz
Williams Lake, B.C. Canada     

I feel that I need a bit of a prelude to this verse I am sending. My Golden, Kora, 15 years old, left me January 10, 2002. Last Friday, was one year for me. I have had a very difficult time with this, as it was my decision to say goodbye to her and hold her until her heart stopped at 11:20 AM that morning.

I came to you this morning, in memory of, our first year apart
I asked you for your blessings, if I should make a new start
As the house is feeling empty still, without you by my side
Though I could not replace you, Kora: your beauty or your pride
Your eyes looked down upon me, as if in fact to say;

"Mom; I'll always be beside you, I'm never far away
Just look into your heart and find, the answers that are there
because you get a puppy, doesn't mean you no longer care
I know you miss me so much, and your tears do always flow
But today, you must move forward, and try to let me go
For your heart is plenty big enough, to add another love
A puppy wouldn't take my place, for I am up above
And so that is why, that on this day, I'm sending angels down
To guide and watch a mother dog, give birth; safe and sound
Today will hold your memories, the Sweet and the Bitter
It will be the day I left you, & the birth of a new litter
So take this pup and love her Mom, the way that you love me
Then maybe you, can be at peace, your heart again set free."

Then as, our conversation, began to fade away
The phone did ring, the Breeder said, "Guess what came today?"
Although the puppies were not due, for yet another week,
They came that day, all healthy: So Golden and so sweet
Yes; this is a story, but it is only wrought of truth
Can't wait for little Kasha: for the loss of her first tooth
And so begins a journey, the training and the strife
But I am glad, to be a part, of the beginning, of new life.

I have recently been in contact with a close by breeder who had a couple of litters due in January, however I was feeling unready, until January 10, 2003, when I went to Koras' photo and ashes which sit on our mantle, and I asked her how she would feel about a new puppy and to please give me a sign of any kind. I know this sounds crazy, but puppies arrived that very day, a week ahead of schedule. I don't know if that was her sign or fate or what, however, I am getting a new Golden puppy on February 28th.



Reilly and his dad
This Old Friend of Mine           
By Keith Maynard
Hamilton, New Zealand    

    Verse 1

    At first bird chirp he breaks my sleep
    I don my gear and I hit the street
    I hate to run at this lousy time
    But I love him so
    This old friend of mine


Verse 2
He never says a word to me
But in his eyes I always see
Just what it is he's trying to say
He'll always win my heart that way
Verse 3
Holes in my shoes and holes in the hose
He'll chew anything that's under his nose
Dig up a bone and cabbages too
Run over wet concrete
Yeah, you can guess who
My Dog, My Mutt, My canine friend
He'll never cheat me or try to pretend
A four legged hustler, a floppy eared fool
He's never abrasive, rude or cruel
And I love him so
This old friend of mine

Verse 4

A scoundrel, a rogue, a menace, a knave
A loveable mate, so loyal and brave
Sit at my feet with his head on my knee
And beg for the goodies I've got for tea

Verse 5

They say a dog's a man's best friend
He'll stick right by you till the end
No matter if you're rich or poor
He'll be your mate for evermore

Verse 6
The lessons we could learn from them
And show our love for our fellow men
Regardless of their age or race
It would make this world a better place

Final Chorus
My Dog, My Mutt, My canine friend
He'll never cheat me or try to pretend
A four legged hustler, a floppy eared fool
He's never abrasive, rude or cruel
And He'll never forsake me
This old friend of mine





Puppy Thoughts            
By Lori Cacciatore
Vancouver, B.C. Canada   


“I’m going somewhere, where could it be,
I just know that it’s someplace new,
My heart’s beating fast; I’m panting a lot, and I’m taking in the view,
My first car ride, my very own toys, food and drink,
and something that comes in two!

Two people love me; yes they do and how funny they can be!
Don’t they know that the paper on the ground was beckoning to me?
Why all the fuss? This tastes good! Hey don’t take it away from me!

How I love the pats, kisses and hugs, I even get to play and tug; here comes a yummy treat!
Now what’s that thing Mom calls a brush; it feels good and makes me look rather spiffy and neat,
Mom and Dad shake my paw and they tell me I’m smart and sweet!

I’m discovering this great world of ours; Mom and Dad sure look out for my safety,
I don’t know how I came to live in this place; I just know that I’m very happy!
This home filled with love, I can’t get enough; this is where I always want to be!

I don’t understand a whole lot yet, but know the meaning of ‘Puppy, oh how we love you!’
I’m off to nuzzle and cuddle them close, because you know I just love them too!
Gosh – Mom and Dad sure get all misty-eyed when they say those words ‘Golden Rescue’.”




My Funny Brother        
By Jon Tobin
Woodstock, Illinois

(photos by Laura Tobin)        


Jon and Golden Tristan

Mom (Laura) submitted this entry for her 12-year-old son Jonathan. Currently about three to four-years-old, Tristan came from rescue to the Tobin family in September 2001. He arrived at a very sad time, though, as the family had lost their two elderly Goldens as well as Laura's dad between March 2000 and June 2001. A tough time for all, Tristan has been a true Golden blessing for the entire family.

I have a brother
Who is like no other,
‘cause he’s got four legs and a tail

He really loves me,
And it’s because he’s
got a heart as big as a whale

He is really funny,
He jumps like a bunny
When you hold his food bowl up high

The mailman will meet him
And he likes to greet him,
‘cause he is never shy

He likes to have his tummy rubbed
And doesn’t mind baths in the tub
He loves to hear “go for a ride?”

He doesn’t care how far we go,
Sniffing breezes as they blow
He’s happy just to be alive

By day he snoozes in the chair,
Flat on his back, feet in the air
we laugh at him, but he doesn’t mind

At night he sneaks into my bed
And snuggles up right by my head,
He talks to me with eyes so kind

Tristan made us so happy
We used to cry so sadly
‘cause we missed our golden pals

I could never love another
‘til I met my golden brother
the one with four legs and a tail!




Pure Gold         
By Marti Brown
Virginia Beach, Virginia     

Two feet two, eyes of brown
Always happy never frowns.
Loves everyone around,
That's my little Carly Brown. 

Hair of gold, teeth of white,
Makes everyone feel alright,
She never wants you out of her sight.

Golden heart, Golden soul,
Ageless spirit that never grows old.
Loves to run loves to play
Wears a little grin all day.

She's so sweet oh so fine,
I will love her till the end of time.

Hold her in my heart so dear
She lets me know there is nothing to fear.
That's my little Carly Brown.




My Golden Angel         
By Amy Lively
Dublin, Ohio       

Kisses from an angel
Will surely make your day.
I have a golden angel
Who loves to run and play!

She's always glad to see me,
No matter how long I'm away.
She licks my tears and comforts me
When things don't go my way.

My golden angel brings such joy,
She always makes me laugh.
She loves treats & bones & children,
Though she hates to take a bath!

She is the kindest, gentlest soul
I think I've ever seen.
At night, I kiss her on the nose
And wish her the sweetest dreams.

I pray she lives a long, long life
And keeps me company.
And when it's time for her to go,
A real angel is what she'll be.



Enjoy these Additional Entries

My Golden Sunshine
By Catherine Morales of Miami, Florida

My sunshine Rustie, what can I say
You came to me when I was sad one day.
My sadness left when I saw your sweet golden face,
Now in my heart you have made a place.

You make me laugh, you're always by my side
we have such fun together when you seek and I hide.

I watch you sleep upon my bed,
I scratch your tummy and rub your head.

You are the most loving dog I've ever known
unconditional love to me you have always shown.

I hope we have many years left together,
For the memories you giving to me I
will hold in my heart forever!



Heaven Sent
By Jill Brickman of Tucson, Arizona

Cassiopea, my little star that shines on all who see
His vision for your future as
a messenger of therapy.

To all less fortunate, sick, alone and longing for a touch
of Golden love through angel eyes
touching souls that yearn for much.

The unconditional gifts you’ll give with open wings of love,
like the constellation of your stars
reach throughout the Heavens above.

Cassiopea, my little star
His mission you'll complete
as you sprinkle your light of Golden dust
into hearts of those you meet.


My Golden Boy
By Trish Biro of Brantford, Ontario Canada

My Golden Boy is a gift from up above,
Who taught me the true meaning of love.
Unconditional, unselfish and true,
He cheers me up when I am blue.

Ever so patient, ever so kind,
He brings to me a piece of mind.
With eyes so sparkling and sincere,
He eases me of all my fears.

When times are tough,
And things get rough
He is there by my side,
Strong and faithful each stride.

At night he sleeps at my feet.
So trusting and caring each time we greet.
So warm and so gentle with his special love.
My Golden Boy from up above.


My Letters about Golden Guides
By Rebecca Kragnes of Minneapolis, MN

Rebecca and her Golden Guide Dog Wynell

G is for gentleness which is one of their Canine arts,
O is for the openness residing in their hearts.
L of course is for the love distributed with ease.
D is for desire they have for touch, for praise, to please.
E stands for the efforts which they make for us each day.
N is for the naughty times when mischief is their way.
R is for their readiness to follow our command.
E is for their energy while they do the task at hand.
T is for their tresses from pale blond to deep, deep red.
R is for their ravenousness since most love being fed!
I represents innate ability to dry many tears.
E is for their empathy and silky, floppy ears.
V is velvet softness which describes inside and out.
E is effervescence when they play and romp about.
R is recurring forgiveness, through loyalty they're bound.
S is sensitivity to action, mood and sound.

I feel so privileged to have Wynell, my Golden by my side, She and two previous Goldens have been both my friend and guide. I get quite emotional each time I realize, The magnitude of their gift to me — their service as my eyes. But I'm more than a dog guide user.  I know there are many others, Who along with Golden guide handlers like me are known as "Golden Lovers." I've written letters about Golden Guides, and I can hardly wait, To share them as I do predict Golden Lovers will relate.

Just wanted to tell you that I went to see Freebo last night, and he is of course every bit as good live as he is on the CD's. I got Phil two CD's, so he could have them at the office without depriving me of them. But that's not the best part. I actually got to play with Freebo on a couple of songs. When we first met, my husband told Freebo that if he needed a keyboardist, there was one in the house. Freebo gently but graciously said he didn't know if it would work because of the different styles. I told him I was pretty adaptable. He went over and tested the piano, and the lower notes of it just stunk! Still, I reassured him that I could work around them as I had worked around many an out-of-tune key. He was a little nervous when he called me up for D.O.G. (my favorite on the Dog People CD) saying we hadn't rehearsed and kind of indirectly apologizing for anything that came out of the piano. He was brave enough to give me the solos. It wasn't the easiest piano to play, but I made it work for me.

I think he was a bit surprised. He had a couple of other musical guests, and at the break I suggested that we all come back for a jam session at the end. He brought us up for "Trouble" (my favorite song from the first CD). He was going to try to tell me what to play and I just sort of took off, and he said "Yah!!". People told me that the saxophonist was looking over my shoulder trying to figure out what he was supposed to play. The Sax guy is probably really good when he knows the music, but he couldn't improvise very well. Anyway, I just had a blast. I hope Freebo will remember playing with me, because I certainly will remember having the opportunity to play with him. I also gave him a copy of both of my CD's.

Freebo came up to me soon after my husband, our dogs, our friends and I arrived. He gave me this big hug and really made over Wynell. I normally gently admonish people about doing that without asking, but Wynell was handling it so placidly and professionally that I couldn't bring myself to say anything. Ginko Coffee House is intimate, and that meant crowded. My friends and I found a place for Wynell to lie out of the aisle on the floor to listen to the performance. At one point she was sleeping and so tangled in the leash from rolling over that I simply had to drop the leash and trust her to lie still as a stone which she did. My husband Phil took his German Shepherd guide Wanetta out of harness, because he didn't plan to go anywhere with her until it was over. I knew that I might be called upon to perform, so I wanted Wynell to be ready. She laid on that hard wood floor in harness for about five hours (including the performance and a meal before hand) bless her big Golden heart!

Working up to the piano was difficult both times because of how close together the chairs were. She stopped several times until people moved a chair out of the way. Wynell is often in performance situations with me, so she was very familiar with the routine once we got to the piano. She sat and laid down when I commanded her to, and that was that until I told her to get up after each song. Freebo asked me how old she was (4) and how long we had been together (7 months), during the show right before I played D.O.G. He also asked if she still had a way to go in her work or if she was just about there. It could have looked as if we were struggling, but that was an odd situation for her. She did very well given the circumstances. In answering his question, I said she was pretty much there. He hugged me after both songs.

There was a line during the break between the two sets, and I went up to get Phil's CD's. Wynell is used to lines and is usually so good about them, but last night she was sniffing my friend's shoes. I was puzzled, because she's usually not a sniffer in line and while working. That's when I knew. Wynell drinks the majority of her water late in the day. I think she knew we were right by the door and was trying to tell me she needed a break of her own. It's a good thing I followed my intuition, because man did she have to go! The people in line were nice enough to save my place as I went out to relieve her. Wynell's reaction each time we left the coffee house was interesting. It was so crowded in there that sometimes she had a hard time knowing who to follow. I could almost hear her saying, "Beck, I am really doing my best, but this is not easy!" But when we left and had wide open spaces outdoors, her pull increased, and I felt her confidence go back to normal.