It is with great pride that the Golden Retriever Foundation announces The Cotton Fund. Through this fund, we will provide reimbursement of costs for transport of senior and some special circumstances dogs from one area of the country to another.
One of the greatest Golden Retrievers in our breed’s history was NAFC FC AFC Topbrass Cotton OS FDHF. As both a competition field trial dog and as a producer of dogs whose accomplishments in field, obedience, and tracking are legendary, his qualities exemplified the breed. It is in his honor, and as a tribute to his long life and progeny, that this fund is established.
Competitive field trial dogs like Cotton are required to travel coast to coast, and border to border, as a means of showing the talents and training required of the sport. The ability to shine weekend after weekend, mile after mile, is the definition of perseverance. Topbrass Diesel MH MNH WCX ** hearkened back to Cotton multiple times in his pedigree. His owner envisioned a fund that would honor the similar resilience of senior rescue dogs -- a trait that keeps them alive and thriving despite all odds. Tragically, Diesel, who redefined perseverance in his final competitive season, including his last trial at the 2012 Master National on his way to a stellar career, died suddenly at a young age from cancer. Diesel did not have the privilege of spending time as a veteran. The vision of the Cotton Fund, already in progress, did not stop with Diesel’s loss, but became even more important to aid the perseverance of senior rescue dogs to make it to their forever homes. The idea has become reality.
This fund has as its mission the task of providing the means to successfully relocate Goldens in need as they move through the silver years of their lives. In recognition of the contributions that Cotton made to the breed, and especially to honor his almost 17 years of life, the Golden Retriever Foundation establishes The Cotton Fund, created through the unending love and memory of his progeny, Diesel.
The Cotton Fund assists Golden Retriever Rescue programs affiliated with the GRCA National Rescue Committee in the transport of Golden Retrievers between two programs; or from a Golden Retriever Rescue program to a certified facility for the training of service or search and rescue dogs. The primary intent of this fund is to meet the transport needs of the senior Golden (for this purpose 7 years and over). On a case-by-case basis and as fund resources permit, other reasons and younger ages will be considered with the priority remaining seniors.
Finally, special consideration will be made for transport to certified service dog programs for training. Examples would be travel to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Customs Training Centers, and accredited programs for service dogs.
Cotton and Diesel were “road warriors” who travelled coast-to-coast, decades apart. In their memory, The Cotton Fund is an effort to lessen the cost of long-distance relocations and to assist senior Goldens in reaching their forever homes. If you have your own “road warrior” and would like to assist our senior Goldens in honor of the dog you love; or if you believe, as we do, that every Golden, no matter how much silver is mixed with the gold, deserves a loving home in their final years, go to www.GoldenRetrieverFoundation.org and make a donation. You may contact any Board member for more information on this or other funds within the GRF, or to get a copy of the grant details and application.