Modern medicine is discovering the remarkable
power of animals to detect, treat and cure a host of diseases and conditions. There are
Goldens who can sniff out cancers; others who can sense when their human is about to have
a heart attack, seizure or panic attack; and, many who provide a safe passage in the world
for the physically or emotionally challenged.
In his introduction to the book, Chicken
Soup for the Cat & Dog Lovers Soul, Dr. Becker wrote Our pets lend a touch of grace to our lives. They teach us the real
meaning of unconditional love and bring out the kindest and most generous impulses of
humanity. A leader in changing the way we
interact with and take responsibility for our animal companions, Dr. Becker is the recipient of the prestigious 2002 Bustad
Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, one of veterinary medicine's highest
honors, recognizing the outstanding work of veterinarians in protecting and promoting the
Surely, the Human-Golden
bond is a powerful weapon in fighting disease and treating chronic conditions. This
contest was created to showcase TRUE original stories, that
with a blend of science and soul, demonstrated how such relationships had helped and
healed people physically, emotionally and/or socially. And, it boldly celebrated Marty
Becker's most pivotal book to date,
Power of Pets: Harnessing the Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy.
This book blends scientific discoveries with
moving stories of people who have triumphed over chronic pain, phobias, sedentary
lifestyles, and life threatening conditions through the unconditional love and
companionship of a loyal animal companion. It also provides a step-by-step guide on how to
deepen the relationships with our companion animals for the benefit of everyone.
Marty, a Labrador Retriever lover from way back, recently went Gold as
reflected in this
April 6, 2003 post that I received: "You'd better sit down
Rochelle. We're getting a Golden!" He added that she's the last of a litter of 15, and that
simultaneously, the family was looking for an older brother for her at the local shelter.
The wonderful photo above of puppy Shakira was taken by Drexel Love.
So Many Wonderful Prizes!
Thirty persons provided entries for this contest,
the winners announced on March 28, 2003. Our 1st, 2nd & 3rd place
story writers each received a signed and personalized copy of The Healing
Power of Pets and one of these three original Michael Johnson paintings.
Our 4th through 6th
place story writers received one of these wonderful
Debi DeNardi Limited Edition numbered prints and one of Dr. Becker's
Five Honorable Mentions each received one of Dr. Becker's publications. And,
two special winners also shared some healthy
Simon & Huey treats with their Golden
Each participant was recognized by being presented
with a Golden Healing Power Contest Certificate. This is actually
with his Mom Lori's Award for participating in our contest. Now, is this too cute or
Learn More about the Contest
The Write Stuff
Meet our Prize Winners
Place: Alice Johnson for,
"Alice & Abel (and 4 other CCI
Rochelle, I am in shock! Thank you so very
much! It was very therapeutic and maybe since it will remain on the
website, some other people will be interested in either puppy
raising or volunteering in some way, donating, or maybe even someone
who didn't even realize they needed a wonderful canine companion
will look into one. Thank you again for all you do and for your
beautiful website. ─ Alice & Abel
Alice has chosen to donate her Michael Johnson watercolor
to CCI to be used to raise monies. As she commented to me, "It seems fitting since
they played such a huge part in the change in my life." So, I approached Debi DeNardi
and she of course was more than happy to provide this Peek-a-Boo Signed and Numbered
Limited Edition Print for Alice.
Place:: Teresa Robinson for, "Each Golden has a Silver Lining"
Rochelle, We are honored to be a part of this
very heartfelt project. Bringing people just a little more in touch
with the wonderful healing love of our wonderful gift in Goldens, is
indeed the goal for all of us who entered. In our eyes, anyone who
is loved by a Golden Angel in their life is a winner. Thank you, for
all you do to encourage and share that love with the world. That's
what it's all about.
just really must tell you, how nice this award is. You did such a terrific job with them.
I just received mine, and the darling painting...which, by the way, looks sooooo much like
Emma, and I'm going right down to find frames today. They are going to look terrific on my
'Therapy Dog' wall at work! The students are
going to love this painting! Be sure and tell Michael how much we love it! Everyone always
comes in to check out my wall about Emma. This is a perfect addition for the school. It
looks like Michael painted Emma on the job! Please tell Michael thank you for his
The book arrived as well, which is a terrific book, and it was
so nice of Dr. Marty to write inside. It will be a wonderful memory, always, of my Emma
Girl. You put so much work into the contest, and it was just inspiring to read the
fabulous, and heart touching stories. I shared them with our entire Helping Paws List and
beyond. Thank you again, for all you do, it expands G-d's love far beyond
where we can ever imagine. ─ Teresa and Miss Em
Third Place: Lore Heavilin for,
Rochelle, Thank you so very much. I do not
consider myself a writer. So it must be the relationship that made
the story work. ─ Lore
UPDATE Sadly, we must tell you that the very special relationship between toddler
Trisha and Golden Cody, so detailed in this story entry, has come to an end. Born with
quite serious medical problems that included spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy,
Trisha recently experienced serious complications from a kidney infection that resulted in
her being taken from us on April 29, 2003. The following is a message that Lore provided
to Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue,
the wonderful group that provided Golden Cody to her family.
"We had to pull a lot of strings to
get this to happen. They actually had to take it to the upper board of Children's
Hospital. Fortunately there is a big dog lover on that board. So the visit got passed
as long as all the other parents in the ICU ward were willing to let it happen and as
long as no one had any dog allergies.
Now the ward was quite full. There was a great
chance that someone had allergies to dogs. Praise G-d no one did. He had to come up the
back elevator and only had a 15 minute visit. When we went in to see Trisha he immediately
went to her bed and looked at the chair we had there for him to get on so he could be by
her. He has never thought of getting on any furniture in our house so he was hesitant to
My sister put him up on the chair. He put his paw on Trisha's bed by her foot the
only free spot on her little body. We put her foot on his paw and her blood pressure and
heart rate went up. She knew he was there with her. After awhile Cody took his foot down,
looked at all the IV and med lines that were hooked to Trisha, the pumps they were
attached to, and then went back at Trisha. Then he looked at the respirator and back at
Trisha. Finally he looked at the monitor that had her vital signs on it and then looked at
Trisha. After that he had a very sad look on his face and kissed her foot. Then he kept
trying to inch his way closer to Trisha. Only he could not get any closer. So he decided
fine, I will just curl up her on this chair and wait with her. When his visit time was up
he reluctantly left her side.
He is sad but at peace with it. When he got home yesterday
our house was full of people. He went to Trisha's room and laid on his bed next to her bed
for a little while. Then he came out and greeted all those that were here for us. He is
one very special dog with a huge sensitive heart. Thank you Heartland for helping us with
this precious match."
Place: Rebecca Kragnes for,
"More than a Guide"
Rochelle, I never expected that I would place
so highly, but I reread my entry last night and am pretty proud of
it. I'll look forward to the personalized book and the award
certificate. I'll probably have my reader read some of the book each
week we get together. ─ Rebecca
Place: Mike Chytracek for,
"Messenger From Above"
You know, this really chokes me up. All I
really did was tell folks about my Jordan. He's the true winner
here. All the credit really goes to him. I'm going to read Dr.
Becker's book to him like the kids do on one of the articles that I
read on your site. Jordan is always by my side and really pays
attention, something that has to be seen to be believed. Again, many
heartfelt thanks to you Rochelle, and Dr. Marty Becker. We will
treasure this forever. ─ Mike
& Golden Jordan
Place: Karen Mier for,
"My Little Golden Ambassador"
Rochelle, wow, we are honored to be selected
among the winners. I knew from the start when I adopted that little
blind 8-week-old pup she would be very special. It has been a joy to
share my Kaytee with folks, to let them see how happy and full a
life can still be lead with a disability.
─ Karen Mier & 'Special K'
Suzi Beber for, "There Will Always be Smiling Blue
Rochelle, thanks so much for your note. It
seems very fitting, that I would find this out on the second
anniversary of losing my beloved Blues. It keeps his memory alive,
and I am glad, that I shared the story with my father, who
celebrated his 75th birthday today. I will look forward to receiving
my book! ─ Suzi
Isabelle Cully Bruce for, "You Are The One"
Thank you Rochelle, Yes,
Isabelle will be smiling down on us all. And as of last week, "Bay" too will be
smiling with her. She crossed the bridge and is romping along with her beloved Isabelle. I
was so very blessed to have them both in my life and from now on as guardian angels. Thank
you for letting me share their story, and honoring them in this way.
─ Pat Lawson
Janis R. Musante for, "My Golden Nurses"
Wow, I can't believe it. Rochelle, every time, I get down and wonder what life
is really about for me, you do something like this and rekindle my soul. Again,
G-d didn't just make dogs and then perfect them with Goldens, he made people and
perfected them with folks like you. Thank you. ─ Janis
Neal C. Jennings for, "Sweet Encounters of a Golden Kind"
Ruth Kluetz for, "Joe's Friend, Buddy"
TO ENTER: Each contestant may submit one
composition only. This composition is to :
(1) Be written in English; (2) Be no more than 3,000 words in length;
(3) Include a title; and,
(4) Be written in appropriate mixed case (i.e., not all in upper case letters). Entries MUST
be original, truthful to the best knowledge of the
person submitting it (i.e., the events detailed in the piece actually took place), unpublished or unproduced
(on web or paper media), and not accepted by any other publisher at the time of
GRANT OF RIGHTS: By entering the 'Healing Power of Gold
Storywriting Contest' you hereby grant to
landofpuregold.com a worldwide, royalty free license to reproduce, publish, display, and
distribute your Story/Essay in any manner or means, now or hereinafter invented, including
creating derivative works from your Story/Essay.
PRIZES: Prizes will be mailed to winners via regular U.S. postal
service or priority mail within a week of their posting on this page. No substitute of the offered prize
will be given.
- Ideas and Content: Does the writer demonstrate an intelligent vision of the
topic? Does the writer present convincing information to support the central premise of
the story/essay? Are the supporting ideas & examples appropriate for the topic? Is
there some evidence of research to accompany the personal aspects of the story/essay?
- Originality and Community Contribution: Does the
writer convey a commitment to canine welfare or present an example that is set for others
to emulate, etc.? Has the writer evidenced originality in his/her approach and treatment
of the topic? Is artistic expression (use of visual accompaniment such as photographs,
illustrations, etc.) utilized to enhance the entry?
- Organization: Does the writer use a logical sequence
in presenting ideas & information? Is the piece broken into appropriate paragraphs?
Are transitions (from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph) smooth?
- Use of Language: Is the wording clear and
straightforward? Does the wording clearly and effectively communicate information? Is
there an economical use of words, strong, active verbs, fresh words and phrases?
- Conventions: Does the story/essay show mechanical
polish? Are punctuation, spelling and usage correct? Does the writer use punctuation
to enhance the writing?
- Style: Is the story or essay compelling? Has the
writer held the readers attention, connecting with him due to his/her storytelling
or writing ability?
Do You Have The
ENTERING. Get going and apply! If you don't try, you have absolutely NO chance of
winning. But if you do enter, your chances greatly multiply. Just talking about it or
thinking about it won't do an ounce of good unless you write it down. Lots of contest
winners talk about how they almost didn't enter. Please don't let that happen to you.
FOLLOWING THE RULES. Be sure to follow the stated rules. There is no point in writing a prize
piece if it gets disqualified. And, it will be if the criteria aren't exactly met. So,
check, double check and triple check your entry. You have really got to take the time to
present your entry well. Hey guys, that's one of the reasons spell and grammar checkers
QUALITY OF IDEAS. Is the quality of ideas in your creative work interesting, original, and/or
does it explore a different angle?
DOING RESEARCH. If you are writing about a story involving a service dog relationship, then
research the topic in the literature. And, provide scholarly information to complement
your personal story.
TIME MANAGEMENT. Try to avoid the last minute rush. There are a couple of good reasons for
this. The first is that your submitted work may then not be as polished and powerful as it
might have been. That one last rewrite could make for a winning entry, so make sure you
have the time and proper planning to do so. The other problem with a last-minute entry is
that your prized piece will be partner to all of the other entries that tend to flood in
with only seconds to spare!
ONE DAY AT A TIME. Long journeys are made up of small steps. Dedicating one hour of quality
time every day to your writing can really result in a wonderful piece of work. Write
little, but write OFTEN! Find the most productive time for you, yourself, to work in. And,
then keep at it.
WORKING AND RE-WORKING. Keep polishing. With that one extra draft, your story could go from so-so to
superb (or much better anyway). Revise, Revise, Revise. Rome wasn't built in a day, and
neither are most compositions. Write, then question it, then write it again, then question
it again, then write it again. If you want to write a really great piece, you need to keep
coming back to it. The number of drafts a writer goes through varies, but a minimum of six
rewrites (only a word or line may change) after initial completion is recommended.
CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. Handling criticism is a hard thing for many writers to deal with. The trick
is to find a balance between what you believe about your work and what others have to say.
Obviously less importance should be given to your relative's advice compared with that of
an established writer.
WRITING ENVIRONMENT. Creating the right working space for writing is extremely important. A space
with natural light and plenty of room can help your writing output. In this space, you
could have favorite quotes and poems, books, canine art and collectibles, etc. But, make
sure it is a space that you like being in, feel creative in and can work in.
READER ENGAGEMENT. In your stories or essays, become proficient at using an enigma. Enigmas
(problems/questions) are a powerful device for keeping reader interest as we all
want to know the answers to questions that are posed. Think of some GReat stories you've
read and determine what it was that kept you hooked. The stronger the enigma, the greater
your reading pleasure probably was.