Welcome . . .
to the world's largest Golden-inspired website! Since 1997 we have strived to help others strengthen and proactively lengthen the bond. Our 501(c)(3) nonprofit additionally provides cancer treatment grants for working dogs and funds research in comparative oncology.
GOTTA DANCE: A Life Changing Tail Carolyn Scott & Golden Retriever Rookie
exemplify the bond that can be achieved through a positive working relationship between
dog and handler. They are truly the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire of the Canine Freestyle
worldone in which training, teamwork, music, and movement combine in a
unified celebration of joy.
One of the
founders of the
Musical Dog Sport Association
and involved in this sport since 1996, Carolyn has been featured in Parade Magazine,
Dog Training Weekly, and the books,
Living With A Golden
Retriever and Working Dogs. Carolyn and Rookie are the only U.S. team to
have earned the MCSI title of Musical Freestyle Dog Excellent.
This team has appeared on
Good Morning America, The Jane Pauley Show,
Kathie Lee, Pet Star, and Petsburg.
And, when articles appear on their accomplishments,
they turn into
must-read events. That is what
happened with the Seattle Times article,
He's a good dog, fantastic dancer,
which made it to
Number 3 for Most-Read Stories in May 2005. The summary article also
provided this comment: "People
who see the Internet clip of Texas-born Carolyn Scott performing a
song from "Grease" with her golden retriever Rookie are riveted to
the screen. Thousands have sent her e-mails, many saying they cried
We came to know Carolyn after discovering an article in
2001 that referenced her and Rookie. After
posting it to our site, Carolyn
contacted us, later sending a video of her Grease performance. We had it
rendered digitally, posted it to Youtube, and
the rest is history as this clip continues to circulate
the world, bringing joy to so many.
There is a powerful message in the life-affirming joy
and inner radiance that Carolyn and Rookie exude, as our film demonstrates the
restorative miracles that can abound through the embodiment of the human-canine bond.
However, it is important to understand that our documentary is NOT a story about
canine freestyle. Rather, it is a courageous story of inner strength and survival, as
Carolyn continues in a sense to dance for her life. Enduring her fears without
relinquishing that important capacity to rejoice, she is buoyed by Rabbi Hillel's words,
get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
Paralyzed due to childhood polio at the age of four
years, and additionally diagnosed with a significant heart disorder, Carolyn has suffered
much physical and psychological pain. And, today, she suffers from the after effects of
her initial polio and treatments, evidencing Post Polio Sequelae. This has resulted in
Carolyn's no longer competing in the ring or providing freestyle workshops
Candidly told in Carolyn's own words, Gotta Dance is a frank, yet
amazingly, inspiring tale. Poignant commentary is
shared by esteemed veterinarians and authors, Dr. Allen Schoen, Dr. Marty Becker
& Dr. Jaime Modiano,
as they further detail the healing benefits of the human-canine Bond and what especially
moves them about Carolyn & Rookie's relationship. Dr. Margaret Backman, a clinical
psychologist who specializes in working with Post Polio Sequelae/Syndrome sufferers,
further provides insight about Carolyn's amazing ability to overcome her acutely painful
beginning and formative years. The film truly captures
the journey of Carolyn Scott and her Golden Retriever Rookie, hand and paw
together, moving from fear to freedom, and so inspiring the lives of all whom they have touched.
Emotional Feedback about Carolyn & Rookie's Bond
"Your video clip actually brought TEARS to my
eyes that your pal Rookie could dance with you so VERY well! It was an example
of G-d's creation sharing love and companionship. I saw you on Good Morning
America and, again, was brought to moist eyes at the incredible demonstration of
love and dedication to each other. It all makes me love our animals even more!
wonderful feeling I get every time I watch both of you dancing together, loving
each other. Rookie looks so happy. Watching the two of you just brings joyful
tears to my eyes."
"Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful display
of the human-animal bond thru the clip of you and Rookie. Every time I watch it,
I get tears in my eyes because I completely understand the bond that does exist
between humans and their beloved animals."
"In 1992, I was critically
injured in a motorcycle accident. At that time, I was exposed to rehab, therapy,
pet therapy, etc. Prior to the accident, I too used to love to dance. Due to the
leg injury I sustained, I can't really dance any more. Perhaps this is why I
find your routine SO moving!"
"I saw you and Rookie on Good Morning
America. I found myself crying, but they were tears of pure joy! I grew up with
a golden retriever and have very fond memories. The two of you warmed my heart.
It's definitely pure gold."
"Carolyn and Rookie certainly made
the most of the time and space that they had [on The Jane Pauley
Show]. They produced a BIG effect that was way out of proportion to
the cramped quarters. I even saw a couple of people in the audience
wiping their eyes. That was nice; it made me feel less the idiot for
sitting here sobbing over a tiny TV segment. The Westminster dogs
were nice to look at and listen to, but Carolyn and Rookie were the
highlight of the hour. I do wish it could have lasted a lot longer
and gone into much more detail and demonstration. I guess I'm greedy
when it comes to watching this team." —
Judy and Jacob
THE GREASE Routine, which was originally digitized and
posted online by Rochelle Lesser
GOTTA DANCE & DR. MODIANO: HELPING BOTH MAN AND DOG Films
Phillips Media has completed our two
films, both to benefit comparative oncology research.
With the assistance of
Lauren Genkinger, CEO of
TG Madison, a $42 million ad agency in Atlanta and founder of the nation’s
sixth-largest Golden Rescue,
Adopt a Golden Atlanta,
we created the logo you see here. GOTTA DANCE is
both literal and figurative in meaning. While clearly applicable for canine freestylers, the intent is far more encompassing.
of The Bond, where the dance of human and canine is possible, is all about
listening for the music, as we attempt to communicate and relate better
together. That ability to truly dance with dogs is one we all strive for, and
hopefully is aptly represented in this unique image.
Film Screening and Reception
On November 3,2012, at the Land
of PureGold Foundation home of the founders, Rochelle and Gary Lesser, we had a
small film screening and reception. We presented Dr. Modiano with a check for
$15,000, paying him forward on hoped for donations to his cause.
As of December 31, 2012, we have provided the
film to 61 folks who have each made a $50 donation to Dr. Modiano's comparative
oncology research. Please help us get to our initial goal of $15,000.
Get GOTTA DANCE
& Dr. MODIANO DVDs as a gift with
Research Donation . . . Helping both Man and Dog
100% of this
donation will be provided to
Dr. Modiano, Director of the Animal Cancer Care and Research Program,
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.
Comparative oncology is the study of those cancers that occur
similarly in people and companion animals in order to identify treatments and
cures that benefits them both. A distinction to comparative oncology
research is the fact that disease is never induced in the animals being treated.
That is, the cancer has only occurred spontaneously.
Humans and dogs have been linked in a mutually beneficial relationship
since the Stone Age, when man and dog first joined in the hunt. Dogs
share our homes, food, and affection. As it turns out, they also share
much of our genetic code and suffer from many of the same kinds of
cancer. That's why the clinicians and scientists of the Animal Cancer
Care and Research (ACCR) program at the University of Minnesota are
joining with dogs in another type of hunt—the search for a cure for
cancer in both dogs and humans.
"Veterinarians have known for years that humans and their dogs have many
types of cancer in common—non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate, lung, breast,
and bone cancer, and melanoma, to name a few," Dr. Jaime Modiano
explains. "Yet, it wasn't until the dog genome was decoded in 2005 that
scientists could begin to reap the rewards of studying cancer in both
dogs and humans to their mutual benefit, bolstering the emerging field
of comparative oncology."
Dr. Modiano directs the College of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Cancer
Care and Research program and holds the Alvin S. and June Perlman
Endowed Chair in Animal Oncology. He also is a member of the Masonic
Cancer Center, Univ. of Minnesota, a National Cancer
Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center recognized for its
research, treatment, and education.
Breakthrough research (published in Chromosome Research in February
2008) arising from a highly productive and long-standing collaboration
between Dr. Modiano and Dr. Matthew Breen, professor of genomics at
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, proved
that cancers in the two species aren't just similar; they are virtually
the same. At the University of Minnesota, research in comparative
oncology bridges the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic
Cancer Center. The research will help advance the understanding of the
biology of cancer and create new therapies to treat cancer in both
humans and dogs. When the feline genome is decoded, cats will aid in the
Bringing dogs into the cancer research mix offers huge benefits, chief
among them speed. Dogs live into old age, but their life spans are
compressed, which allows researchers to see the progress of cancer and
the effects of different types of treatments 7 to 10 times faster than
in humans. That allows rapid completion of clinical trials.
A February 2008 Rookie Update From
Carolyn Scott I have received so many emails of support and prayers I feel
blessed. Thank you all for taking the time to write and keeping us in
your thoughts. Rookie is doing GREAT! He greets me with a smile every
morning as he leads me to kitchen for his breakfast. : )
As many of you know, Rookie was diagnosed with a spindle cell tumor on
his right leg near his elbow a few months ago. Since Rookie was about to
turn 15 I decided to have my vet remove the tumor but I didn’t want to
put him through any further treatment. My vet removed the tumor and I
happy to report there is no sign of it returning. At this time I decided
to cancel my seminars and not schedule any others for awhile. I just
couldn’t be away from home at this time.
Then about a month afterwards, when I woke up, I found Rookie completely
paralyzed in both rear legs. I was devastated and thought this was the
end BUT Rookie had other ideas. I took him to the vet where she x-rayed
and explained to me he had arthritis and some other problems that were
probably causing the paralysis. Our floors are tile with very little
carpet and he could not walk without falling. I decide to follow the
vets recommendation and put Rookie on bed rest for awhile with meds to
see if he improved. Well, by golly he perked up and was a happy camper
every day during this. After a couple of weeks he was able to master the
tile and even throw in a few spins.
I have to admit I have been depressed a time or two but I have realized
that Rookie is happy every day. So I decided to live in the moment as he
does and do the same. I feel I have been so blessed to have this extra
time with my sweet boy. His attitude is amazing everyday. The other day
I let him out to roll in the grass by the pool and the next thing I knew
he got this wild look in his eye and headed straight for the pool.
Rookie loves to swim but even in Houston the water in a pool can be very
cold at this time of year. I almost wasn’t able to stop him from jumping
in. : ) Like I said, Rookie loves life and doesn’t realize he is
15 years old now. I am hoping it will warm up soon here and he can take
a swim and once again enjoy one of his favorite activities.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. I cannot begin to
express how much they have meant to me. Rookie will always be a eternal
puppy with thoughts of freestyle, rolling in the grass, eating and
swimming in our pool. He thinks everyday is his best day and I am trying
hard to do the same.