MGRC 2013 Honorary Member Dies in Texas


MGRC members were saddened to learn of the death Friday, December 2nd of Luis Carlos Montalvan, a decorated Iraq war veteran, who was MGRC's 2013 honorary member.  He was 43.  Montalvan served 17 years in the Army, doing tow tours in Iraq.  He received two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.  His Golden Retriever service dog, Tuesday was the subject of Montalvan's book, "Until Tuesday", which became a New York Times best seller.


MGRC member Suzan Morris spoke for all of the members:  "The world has lost a great man and passsionate advocate for veterans, service dogs and those with disabilities.  I am in shock to learn the Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan has passed away.  Many of you may know him from his first book, "Until Tuesday".  Suzan, who has a Golden Retriever service dog, Friday, said that "we formed a friendship that started with service dogs with days of the week names.   It developed with us visiting him and Tuesday in New York City and then hosting them in Portland for grand rounds at the Maine Medical Center and a book signing at Planet Dog."


His second book, "Tuesday's Promise:  One Veteran, One Dog, and Their Bold Quest to Change Lives" will be published soon.  Tuesday is now being cared for by a loving family in the Northeast, according to a statement from Montalvan's family.



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MGRC Names Claire Caro 2016 Honorary Member

Claire Caro with Mia

MGRC Names Joy Viola 2015 Honorary Member


The Maine Golden Retriever Club has announced its selection of Joy Viola of Wayland, Massachusetts as the club’s 2015 Honorary Member.  Ms. Viola is President of Friends of Guisachan, designed to share information about Guisachan, Scotland, the ancestral home of the Golden Retriever. 


“Joy has been a mainstay of Goldens throughout her life and MGRC is pleased to add her to our list of distinguished honorees”, said Charles L. Cragin, MGRC President.


Ms. Viola has been associated with Golden Retrievers since childhood.  In 1986 the former Dean of International Affairs at Northeastern University became associated with Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue and, in 1991, headed up the organizations capital campaign, raising $1.6 million.  The funds were used to purchase over 20 acres of land and construct an adoption and training center, the first permanent Golden Retriever rescue facility in the United States.


She later expanded her fund raising efforts through her association with the Golden Retriever Club of America and its Golden Retriever Foundation, for which she raised more than $1.5 million over the six years she served as Director of Development for the Foundation.

Joy Viola with Ginger and Bobby

Ms. Viola, in her acceptance letter, told the MGRC that it had been her “privilege to serve our breed in whatever manner I could do best.  I am happy to accept the honor you have bestowed upon me, but in the long run it must be recognized that, it is “all about the dogs”, the wonderful Goldens who enrich our lives.  Through their unconditional love, whether serving as a therapy dog, a search and rescue dog, a service dog, a hunting dog, a happy partner in the show ring, or just a loyal companion, thery are alys there for us.”


Ms. Viola and the Friends of Guisachan are currently involved in planning the 2018 world-wide celebration of the 150th anniversary of the fouonding of the breed by Lord Tweedmoount in 1868 on the historic lands of the Guisachan Estate.


Previous MGRC Honorary Members include Leon Panetta, Luis Carlos Montalvan and Susannah Charleson.

Golden Retriever Lifetime Study Update

We are excited to announce that our Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study has reached its enrollment goal! Thanks to you, Chloe (dog #3,000), and all of the other study participants, we are on our way to understanding why our beloved Golden Retrievers develop cancer.


Although the enrollment is complete, our work is just beginning. Every dog matters. Every dog is a hero. Information gathered from each questionnaire and study visit will bring our community closer to identifying risk factors for cancer and other major diseases.


Thank you for helping us reach our milestone goal of 3,000 Golden Retrievers enrolled. The Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is now off and running!




David Haworth, DVM, PhD

President, CEO and Pet Parent


P.S. Make sure to like us on Facebook and feel free to share this news with your friends!


MGRC goes to the

2014 GRCA National Specialty Show


MGRC' President, Charlie Cragin, was present to see the club's banner unfurled for the first time at the GRCA's National Specialty in Ashville, North Carolina.

Cragin was the guest of Claire Caro of Colorado who, as new club liaison, has been assisting in the development of MGRC.  At the National, Claire returned to the GRCA Board of Directors as Secretary.

Claire Caro and Mia following Mia's win!

“Everyone was very welcoming and hospitable”, said Cragin.  “Jon Chase, GRCA President, and John Cotter, immediate past President of GRCA and the initial President of the Golden Retriever Foundation, both went out of their way to introduce me to many of the folks in attendance.”

Charlie with Colonel Jon Chase, USMC (Ret.), President of GRCA and an Associate Member of MGRC.
Charlie with John Cotter, immediate past President of GRCA, at the Golden Retriever Foundation’s Gala Masquerade Ball.

AKC Cites MGRC for Using "Tools and Tactics" to Promote Club


Tools and Tactics for Promoting Clubs

If you’re a breed club, consider highlighting a prominent owner of your breed and inviting them to become an Honorary Member of your club. The Maine Golden Retriever Club regularly recognizes Golden Retriever owners that have made a difference in the world. Previous recipients include former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta, owner of Bravo, and Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan, owner of service dog and ACE recipient, Tuesday.

Read more about the club’s 2014 Honorary Member. Need advice about doing something similar in your area? Contact MGRC.

MGRC Names Susannah Charleson Honorary Member


(Raymond, Maine-May 12, 2014) The Maine Golden Retriever Club today announced the selection of Susannah Charleson of McKinney, Texas as the club’s 2014 Honorary Member. Ms. Charleson is a New York Times bestseller author and worked as a search specialist with her canine partner, a Golden Retriever named Puzzle, for the Metro Area Rescue K9 unit, Mark-9, in Dallas, Texas. She currently is part of the foundation team for Waypoint SAR-US, which specializes in searches for the special needs missing. She is also the Executive Director of Possibility Dogs, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to rescuing and training homeless dogs for service and therapy work. Ms. Charleson visits Maine on a regular basis.

“Your fellow companions of Golden Retrievers honor you for the bond you have developed with Puzzle, your Golden Retriever search and rescue dog,” wrote Charles L. Cragin, MGRC’s President. “Many of our members have read your eloquent book, “Scent of the Missing” and enjoyed following Puzzle’s transformative process from swaggering, manic pup to professional SAR dog. You and Puzzle and your colleagues in Mark-9 provide a valuable public service. We also honor you for your service as Executive Director of Possibility Dogs, Inc. Upon learning that your new book, “The Possibility Dogs” was dedicated to two MGRC members and their service dog, it immediately became a “Must Read” on the MGRC reading list”, Cragin said.


Ms. Charleson expressed her thanks to MGRC saying that “it’s terrific to think of myself as part of your fine group. If search dog Puzzle weren’t in the back yard digging for treasure (she is up to her dog elbows in mud) – I’m sure she’d add a wroo-woo-wroo. Like so many of our beloved Goldens, she can sense happiness at twenty paces, and this good news is a happy thing, indeed. Thanks again for the honor. We find ourselves in amazing company, indeed,” she concluded.

(Santa Fe, New Mexico - February 16, 2014)  Claire Caro of Colorado, GRCA Board member and New Club liaison, and two of her Golden boys visit MGRC President Charlie Cragin.

MGRC Unveils Its New “Golden Head & Tail” Coin


(October 19, 2013)  The Maine Golden Retriever Club at its Annual Meeting in October unveiled its new “Golden Head & Tail” Coin.  Charles L. Cragin, President of MGRC, expressed pleasure with the coin designed by noted Maine artist, Roger Williams, of Lovell, Maine.  “This is a memento that the club will use to express its appreciation to individuals who make contributions to the club and the breed.  It is also a souvenir that MGRC members can own and utilize to express personal appreciation to folks who help them in the nurturing of the Golden Retriever breed”, Cragin said.

“The head of the coin proudly displays the club’s affiliation with the American Kennel Club and the Golden Retriever Club of America while the tail expresses the club’s recognition of those who support Golden Retrievers”, Cragin added.

The Maine Golden Retriever Club will hold a Specialty AKC B Sanctioned Obedience Match in conjunction with the York County Kennel Club on November 24th.  “Every registrant will receive the coin as a commemorative souvenir of participation in the match,” Cragin said.  For more information on the match, contact Lauren Booth, Match Chair, at

Have a Golden day!



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Claire Caro with Mia

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