Police Enforcement K-9 / Search & Rescue Dog Robin
Courageous Cancer Journey: Year 2

 All About Robin  |  Courageous Journey: Year 1  |  Courageous Journey: Year 2+

Police Enforcement K-9 / Search & Rescue Dog Robin

ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement [2009], certified as a working Police K-9 specializing in Human Remains Detection, Narcotics and Mantrailing. Eight-year-old Golden Retriever Robin (Am-Can Ch. Nitro's Boy Wonder SDHF BISS TDI CGC, Police K-9/Search and Rescue Dog) and Mary MacQueen work for the Salamanca Police Department, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office, and assist with searches for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in Western New York State. In 2009 alone, Robin has been responsible for getting about half a million dollars worth of dangerous narcotics off the streets.

Robin and Mary were recipients of the 2008 Police Officer of the Year award for the Salamanca Police Department. In addition to his work in law enforcement, Robin is a therapy dog. And, when his busy schedule allows, he also leads local parades, visits hospitals and nursing homes, and makes trips to schools to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse. During community events and fundraisers, he can often be seen carrying a donation basket or lunch box filled with candy for the kids. Despite his intelligence, perseverance and beauty, Mary notes that temperament is by far Robin's strongest attribute, as noted in her comment below.

Any Golden fanciers who have had the pleasure of meeting Robin can attest to his utterly sweet disposition. Always willing to entertain the crowd, Robin has a real sense of humor, is reliable, trustworthy, and truly 'plays well with others!' [He] is especially fond of small dogs. Whenever he befriends a new one, he looks at us as if to say “Mom and Dad, can we keep him, can we, PLEASE??”  date

   Follow the journey . . . . . year two (Nov 2011 - Nov 2012)

 Follow the journey . . . . . year three (Dec 2012 - Dec 2013)

 Follow the journey . . . . . year four (Jan 2014 - Nov 6, 2014)









November 30, 2014













November 7, 2014


From Mary MacQueen: Closing the book on an amazing adventure. I will miss my partner who served so valiantly.
Until we meet again sweet prince, sleep well...


Robin, a decorated area golden retriever and police K-9, dies
By Rich Place, The Salamanca Press Managing Editor, Friday, November 7, 2014

In the United States and around the world, Robin was a well known and award winning golden retriever. In Salamanca and the surrounding communities, he was a hardworking police dog and the face of both compassion and perseverance.

Robin, who worked for both the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office and Salamanca Police Department and overcame a battle with cancer, died Thursday at the age of 12.

He lived a life of double-duty: working as a police dog while still keeping the well-groomed coat and perfect stride that comes with being a show dog.

“He was just a huge ambassador for both golden retrievers and police K-9 everywhere,” said his handler, Mary MacQueen. “He was such a gentleman and he was so great with kids. Everybody that met him, he touched their lives.”

MacQueen said the actual cause of death is unknown, but Robin collapsed about a month ago and his nose started bleeding. He came back around and he was taken to Cornell University shortly after, where a long list of tests couldn’t conclude a diagnosis.

The nosebleeds continued and began taking a Chinese herb to help stop the bleeding. He felt well enough to take second place in the Golden Retriever National Specialty last week in North Carolina, MacQueen said.

He was let outside with two other golden retrievers at MacQueen’s home Thursday night when one of the other dogs came back scratching on her door. Robin was laying on the sidewalk near the front porch.

“I said ‘are you OK, buddy’ and he tried to lift his head up and he couldn’t,” MacQueen said. “I went down and cradled his head in my arms and he let out a sigh and he died. He just collapsed in my arms and he died.”

Well known in the golden retriever world, Robin won the American Kennel Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement in 2009, the 2010 Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Gold Standard Award in 2010, was an American-Canadian Show Champion and was a member of the GRCA Show Dog Hall of Fame.

In this area, Robin and MacQueen worked for the Sheriff’s Office and Salamanca Police Department, where Robin specialized in human remains detection, narcotics and mantrailing.

He was often visible at several community events, made countless appearances at area schools and libraries and performed therapy work. He became a hero of a different kind in 2010, when he overcame a battle with Cutaneous Epitheliotropic Lymphoma, a malignant form of skin cancer in dogs.

The diagnosis of the disease came only days after he and MacQueen were laid off from the Salamanca Police Department during citywide cuts during to the absence of casino revenue sharing payments.

Although MacQueen would go on to return to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, that was an official retirement of sorts from police work for Robin.

“He certainly could have continued working because he wasn’t by any means acting old or showing any signs of his age,” MacQueen said. “But after Salamanca laid him off I didn’t feel any need to put him under the stress of trying to go back and work when he is trying to recover from a serious disease like cancer.”

Instead, Robin continued what MacQueen called “a ton of public relations” activities, including doing demonstrations for area schools and libraries and performing therapy work.

His legacy is already continuing around the world. MacQueen said his grandson is currently one of the top winning golden retrievers in the history of Australia and there is also a large number of his offspring in the United States.

“He was most notable in his fertility aspect for fathering many litters of service dogs to different organizations around the country,” she said. “That was one of his biggest legacies. There are a lot of other service animals for handicapped individuals, law enforcement-type dogs, detection dogs, etc., throughout the country because of him.”

MacQueen said a community memorial service is being coordinated with the Salamanca Police and Fire Departments, but details, including a date, are still being developed.

(This story appears in the Nov. 13, 2014 edition of The Salamanca Press.)







November 6, 2014

From Mary MacQueen: I lost my soul mate tonight. My sweet Robin has gone to the bridge.
You served faithfully my friend, until we meet again know how much I loved you.





October 31, 2014

Having a blast at the GRCA Halloween party! I'm flying!


Having a blast at the GRCA Halloween party!


Having a blast at the GRCA Halloween party!






October 29, 2014


Robin in the veteran's class. He took second place and Yes, he made me cry...



At the National



At the National


What a team at the National.


Having the time of our lives...


Having the time of our lives...






October 26, 2014


We're gettin' closer everybody! NC here we come!






October 24, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
Hi everyone. Since I've had so many inquiries, I have the latest Robin update. He went to my local vet, Dr. Stein, for the day yesterday to have testing done to rule out clotting problems, tick born diseases, and to have blood pressure checks including the following tests: Coagulation panel (PT & PTT),, Von Willebrand's Factor, Low Dose Dex Supression, and the 4DX Tick born disease and heartworm panel. We are still awaiting the results, but we have suspicions he may have a nasal tumor due to the nature of the nosebleeds. Unfortunately when Cornell did his MRI, they did NOT scan the last two inches of his nose, just the head and sinus area...don't get me started...

The good news however is that we have put Robin on Yunnan Baiyao to keep the bleeding in check. My vet is very versed in both eastern and western culture medicine practices, and states he has had amazing results with this Chinese herb in treating tumors in this area. He's got a client's dog with a similar situation who has not had a nosebleed since the spring and she said her house used to look like a crime scene! So the bottom line is this. Robin is feeling perky as ever, his
nosebleeds have stopped, and he's gotten a go-ahead to head to the National, we leave Sunday!





October 18, 2014

Robin enjoying his bone at the ski patrol fall refresher class.






October 13, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
Looking forward to celebrating this national Howliday! Today is Robin's 12th birthday!! I am so thankful God felt him important enough to keep him around all these extra years. My life has been enriched beyond words being allowed to share it with this special dog. He truly has been my Boy Wonder. You are the best partner a cop could ever have. I love you Robin!!!


"Hi everybody, it's Robin here. Can you believe it? I'M TWELVE today! What a great party we had with toys and doughnuts (Ok, it's a cop thing...) and everything! And guess what? I got a special toy for each year of my life! Thank you everyone for the wonderful Birfday wishes, more photos to follow. Hugs to all of you!"


Robin and Babe the party girl


"I thought a dozen years meant doughnuts, so I made mom get me some. Here we are waiting, L-R Kindle, Lily, Babe, and me, Robin. Babe's mad at me now cause I ate her doughnut (and almost my candle) too... Hey, after all it's my party."






October 10, 2014

Modeling Cornell's new fashion trend  'feet on a stick.'
Don't anyone dare say I look like a Corn Dog!








October 8, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
I am so so grateful this morning for Cornell showing me not what it is that Robin has, but better yet what it is not! Cancer you can kiss my butt! Robin is now officially four years cancer free and looking forward to his 12th birthday on October 13.








October 7, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
I am on my way to Cornell this morning, with every intention of singing my dog Robin the "soft kitty" song when I get there, LOL! Cornell called this morning, to say that Robin had a pretty good night, and that the so far all the tests were negative.After speaking with the neurology department, they feel that the next logical place to look for problems is probably going to be in his head. I have already decided that if there is a tumor growing there, I will not seek further intervention. I feel it 12 years of age, Robin has already given me every fight he could ever want to give. However, I at least owe it him to know for sure, so that I can give him the best quality of life he may have left if something does show up. I cannot begin to think everyone for your kind words and monetary donations towards Robin's well-being. Not to mention the hundreds of prayer chains that are going on all over the country for him. I am so humbled by all of this and don't know how I can ever repay you folks for all you have done for him over the years. I love all of you so much!

Well due to all your wonderful prayers, we have the best of the best good news! Robin's MRI came back perfect! That means we have no tumors in the head or the nose, no masses in the abdomen confirmed by ultrasound, and the chest x-ray of the lungs showed no problems there! These are the three most life-threatening areas of concern and he is good to go with them! We are still awaiting the results of a spinal fluid sample to check for suspicious cells. So pending that, we are s
till at somewhat of a loss as to what brought this all on. They have a feeling it is one of two things they have not checked yet: a syncopal episode caused by a possible heart arrhythmia, or possible endocrine related issues due to his increased water consumption. Both of these things can be checked at a later time or at my local vet however, and we can see if anything progresses prior to that. So it looks as though the Boy Wonder and your prayers have done it again. I'm waiting in Ithaca overnight, and Robin and I will be headed home tomorrow. A million thank you's for all your encouragement and support throughout this trying time. God must surely have his hand on this wonderful boy!

"Getting ready to go get my MRI, Keep praying everybody! I love you all."






October 6, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
Robin not feeling well this morning, vomiting. On our way to Cornell. Please pray for us. Robin has to stay at least overnight at Cornell to be evaluated. I feel so violated. They stripped him away and then made me leave a $2000 deposit to cover HALF the amount for basic workup charges. I also had to sign a DNR. Please God, don't let that come to fruition.

I just got a call from Cornell. They said Robin is somewhat better on anti-vomiting meds and IV's. They also did an abdominal ultrasound which showed no obstructions or masses. They all just love him and said tomorrow morning he will be seeing his friends at Oncology for some further testing. My boy is hanging in there!

From Mary: Just completed an important "Robin" thing I have been procrastinating about. This kit, completed today, was a lovely gift sent to me four years ago when Robin was diagnosed with cancer. I think it turned out pretty awesome!






October 5, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
Thank you to everyone for all your kind thoughts and thus far successful prayers. Robin is back to his old self this AM and barking at me to feed him NOW! I guess I'd better get at it. God bless you all, and please continue praying for Robin when you are at church today for that extra 'push' he needs! I love you guys! And for those of you wondering about his age, Robin is entered in the 12+ veterans class at this year's GRCA National Specialty show!







October 4, 2014

From Mary MacQueen:
I had a huge scare with Robin tonight. My friend came running in to tell me something was wrong with Robin. She said he came in the front door, fell over, and was now laying on the floor having some type of seizure. I went to him, and noticed that he was very still and barely breathing. I put my hand on his chest and his heart was racing. When I opened his mouth to check his gums, I noticed that his tongue was purple and obstructing his breathing. I pulled his tongue out of the way and he started to breathe somewhat better. Then I noticed that blood was starting to run out of his nose. I thought for sure I was going to lose him right there. I stayed with him, hugging him, stroking him and telling him how much I loved him. And I prayed really really hard. He finally started to come back around, at which point I called my vet. He and I both agreed that it sounded like a seizure, however the bloody nose did not fit in with that diagnosis. At this point we are hoping it was simply trauma from the fall. I spent the next half hour or so laying on the floor with him applying an ice pack to the top of his nose. I called the vet back to give him the report, and stated that the nosebleed was finally starting to let up, and Robin seem to be acting much more normal. Since then he has eaten his normal supper, gone outside and gone to the bathroom, and is now comfortably resting in the bedroom with me. Thank you God for taking such good care of my boy. Vet visit in my future.




September 20, 2014


Retired Salamanca Police K-9 Robin (Salamanca's very first Police K-9) paid a visit to the Salamanca Historical Society Museum today to donate a special stuffed Golden Retriever sporting Robin's very own bullet-proof vest, which he wore in the line of duty. No doubt Robin's look-alike crime stopper will now help to keep the Museum safe!








August 29, 2014

Robin's demo at the Roberts Memorial Church Vacation Bible School. The old boy has still got it!














August 6, 2014


Can we go for a ride now? Please?





July 19, 2014


I am sad to report that Robin is probably coming down with "Dogheimer's" disease because he never seems to remember that I already fed him!








July 11, 2014



This is Robin being blessed today by Brother Christopher, of the Monks of New Skete. I spent a wonderful day talking and training with my friend and head trainer Brother Christopher.





June 17, 2014


"I don't care if I am supposed to be retired, can I go mom? Can I please?"


Robin got to go for a short ride, then I literally had to drag him back out of the car. He was NOT about to let that car leave without him in it!





June 14, 2014


Best Veteran in Match for Robin today (and YES, there was more than one!), and a Puppy Sporting Group one for granddaughter Kindle!





May 12, 2014


This is Robin doing stress relief therapy for the students at Fredonia State College after their exams today.


Robin at Fredonia College waiting for his friends at the "Paws to relax" event, a
therapy session for students taking their final exams.


The things we therapy dogs have to put up with.






May 8, 2014


"I am so busted! Caught in the pen with chicken poop evidence on my nose and everything.
Mom says I'm a disgrace to the badge."





April 21, 2014


One eating, one producing. Oh Robin, I fear you are hooked.
Great. My drug dog with an addiction.





April 20, 2014


"I swear someday I will feed on the dead carcass of the person responsible for this..."





March 20, 2014


You can't keep a good man down! Robin visited his friends at the Board of Public
Utilities office in the city of Salamanca this morning, no worse for the wear!





March 19, 2014


Sweet Robin is now home resting comfortably. The tumor was about the size of a marble, and is on it's way to Michigan State for pathology. In addition to the neuter, the vet found a newly fractured premolar, and had to go in to remove the root. Poor guy got worked over on both ends.





March 18, 2014



Please send your amazingly effective good thoughts and prayers again. Robin goes in for surgery tomorrow to remove his testicles, as a tumor was discovered there. This is being done in an effort to avert potential problems. I'm praying hard for my Hero! This photo looks like he's saying "they're gonna cut of WHAT?"


The bad stuff is all gone, so long boys...





January 14, 2014


Here's Robin enjoying the day at the spa!





January 8, 2014


Enough of this cold snap already!










October 29, 2013


This mysterious superhero was spotted handing out candy last night to the children at the Hamlin Memorial Library in Smethport, PA. Exactly who IS that masked man!?







October 21, 2013


Robin was busy teaching Lily the finer points of backpacking today. Robin says she's kind of like a bull in a China shop







October 20, 2013


This is Robin in front of Petsmart after picking out his new Hide-a-Squirrel toy...Yippee!








October 13, 2013


"Happy Birthday to me! Eleven years old, I MADE IT! And don't anyone make fun of my Birfday hat! We found the Queens Jewels!"







September 20, 2013


From Mary: "Robin and I went to Valley Forge, Pa For the National Ski Patrol mountaineering, avalanche, and Nordic instructor refresher seminar this weekend. Camping at Valley Forge, I hear they don't have a good history with that. Here is Robin in our tent."






September 5, 2013

From Mary: "Robin and I are in West Dover, Vermont this week to participate in the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge. It's like solving a revolutionary war era murder-mystery, while doing some butt-busting hiking and navigation to do it. Wish us luck! We found something, what is it Robin?"


Wow, we found the Queens Jewels!


From Mary: "We've discovered another treasure in the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge!


From Mary: "Heading up the trail on our adventure, watch for ice!"


From Mary: "Success! Robin and I have reached the lake and solved the next leg of the Green Mountain Adventure Challenge. Wow, that was a much tougher and longer hike than we thought it would be...We did it!"





August 19, 2013

From Robin: "Oh boy, oh boy! Mom went blueberry picking today to stockpile for this ingredient in my cancer starving diet. Yum, yum, yummy!"





July 29, 2013

Robin Helping with the chores




June 8, 2013

From Mary: "Robin presenting Jackie Greene of Mercy Flight the donations he collected for Mercy Flight today at their open house in Olean. Robin thoroughly enjoyed his day there, doing demos and entertaining the kids.d"




June 1, 2013

From Mary: "I am so excited for Robin, who was asked to walk in the Relay for Life in Ellicottville as a cancer survivor. What an honor for him to be asked to walk in the company of so many of his brave human friends!"


From Mary: "Robin manning the "donashunz" basket at the Relay for Life in Ellicottville, NY today. His tail never stopped wagging as he met and greeted new friends all day long. He made me proud today, showing me that he truly is an immutable spokesman for cancer survivors everywhere. I love you Robin, you are my hero, and I am your biggest fan."




May19, 2013

Even after fighting and winning his cancer battle, Robin hasn't forgotten the fine art of wowing the crowd in this news clip of the Salamanca Centennial Parade!








May, 10, 2013

From Mary: "The famous K9 geriatric Ballroom dancing duo of Robin and Babe, high stepping to the Ol Cookie Waltz."




April 26,2013

First aid duty today at Allegany State Park...






April 20, 2013

From Mary: "Robin and his second best BFF Babe (Caitee you're still #1!) visiting the Martin Guitar Factory yesterday. Robin is contemplating guitar playing during retirement..."





April 18, 2013

From Robin: "Thank you to Dr Kang, my oncologist at Cornell who called today to report that all my tests came back saying I am healthy as can be!"




April 16, 2013

From Robin: "The bestest thing ever just happened! I took in a basket of chocolates, and the staff made a mistake and switch them with dog biscuits! What an excellent mistake they made! Shhhh, don't tell anyone."




April 9, 2013

Robin sporting his new "tick" toy


Robin . . . what a guy!





March 26, 2013

From Mary: "Robin having a wonderful treat filled morning, picking out his own toys and grain-free treats at Pet Supplies Plus."




March 19, 2013

From Mary: "I seem to have three beautiful tail waggers who are very interested in the making of Robin's special diet."




December 16, 2012

From Mary: "Still loving his work, Robin demonstrates how well an improvised stretcher works for the National Ski Patrol's Advanced Mountain Travel and Rescue course this weekend."




October 13,2012

From Robin: " I only made it to my 10th birthday because of all my good friends and great support along the way. Time to open my presents, YAY! I love all of you. Love Robin!"




October 4, 2012

From Mary: "Here is Robin getting ready to help my husband and our neighbor locate a bear that the neighbor shot yesterday with a bow. Robin successfully located a large 8 point buck MIA last season. Sorry folks, we live in hunting country, what can I say? At least he gets to use his nose, a job he loves!"




September 21, 2012

From Mary: "Well, looks like the old man has still got it! I finally got this picture of Robin winning Best Veteran and a Judges Award of Merit at ten years of age and two years cancer free, over younger champions at the Golden Retriever Club of WNY Specialty show in August."




July 17, 2012


Robin with his new vet tech friend Laura from Cornell


From Mary: "Two happy campers! Robin is still cancer-free, 21 months after getting a six month death sentence!
Praise to Cornell and all who helped keep him alive!"

Mom Mary is so silly with her Robin :-)







April 20, 2012

Robin & staff/trainers of This Able Veteran, manning the both at the IACP Conference in Orlando. See www.thisableveteran.org





April 18, 2012


Clean bill of health yesterday, off to Orlando today for the international association
of canine professionals conference and training. AIRBORNE!


Touchdown Orlando! Robin with two new willing friends.





April 17, 2012

Robin: "Just waiting at Cornell to see my new Doctor. I have out-survived four different oncologists now! Such a happy problem, la, la, la!"


Robin's new Oncologist Dr. Kelly Hume (on right) and a resident student enjoying a joyful and healthy visit for Robin at CORNELL today.
Now officially 18 months cancer-free, happy dance!


Robin: "Introducing my newest crew member, Dr. Andre at Cornell.
I think I'm really gonna like him!"




April 11, 2012

Robin says "Otis, you better play fair or Mommy will sell you on EBay!"





April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter from the Easter Bunny & his assistant Rockin Robin! Robin helped the Easter
Bunny deliver eggs to the children at the local Rod & Gun club yesterday.





March 24, 2012

Robin visited his favorite vet, Dr. Robert Stein of the Animal Pain Management Center in Amherst, NY. Robin got his teeth cleaned & some excellent recommendations for pain management for older age aches and pains. I am so thankful to Dr. Stein and all of you, for making it possible for Robin to first of all make it to his senior years, and secondly be healthy enough to thoroughly enjoy them!




March 15, 2012

Robin spends quality time at home playing with his bestest buddy Otis. It's been love at first sight.





February 1-27, 2012


feb 1Robin at a Search and Rescue weekend with the National Ski Patrol in Allegany State Park in NY

Robin at a Search and Rescue weekend with the National Ski Patrol in Allegany State Park in NY

Robin collecting donations for the Allegany State Park Ski Patrol at the Art Roscoe Ski Race. Good job buddy!








Nov 16, 2011
On Monday, Mary shared this: "'Robin and I are headed to Ithaca tonight for Robin's one year appointment at Cornell tomorrow. 3 hours of grooming done, now on to 3 hours of driving; visions of a perfect check up...priceless! Can't wait to spend the evening playing with Robin, Stink Pup and the gang in the hotel!"

Then, she shared this funny addition: "Well, while the Guardian Angels were busy with Robin, I think they forgot about me. I had put Robin's bag of fresh cooked Salmon food in the front pocket of my suitcase to take into the hotel room, as it was too heavy for him to carry in his lunch bag. When I got into the hotel, I discovered the Ziplock bag had opened, spilling salmon juice all over my clothes. Needless to say, all the cats in the waiting room at Cornell loved me yesterday!"

Robin says: "Yaay! At the hotel with all my favorite things! I'm gonna rock at my appointment tomorrow. Think if I swallow Stink Pup he'll show up on my ultrasound tomorrow?"

Robin says "MOM! Throw my toys!"

Well, here is the good news from Mary: "It's the best news ever, Robin's ultrasound was clean as a whistle and the blood work normal. Robin is now officially CANCER FREE! Thank you all, we couldn't have done it without you! THANK YOU!"

Robin says: "Hi everybody, this is where the nice doctor from Cornell had to shave my belly so he could see all my stuffing! I told him my squeaker was off limits!"