Police Enforcement K-9 / Search &
Rescue Dog Robin ROBIN IS THE FIRST GOLDEN RETRIEVER IN HISTORY to win the
Club Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in Law Enforcement
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??”
the journey . . . . . year two
(Nov 2011 -
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
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,
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.)
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
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."
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.
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!
UPDATE: 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 still
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."
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?"
"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."
"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!
"We've discovered another treasure in the Green
Mountain Adventure Challenge!
"Heading up the trail on our adventure, watch for ice!"
"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!"
"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"
"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
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."
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."
"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
"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."
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!
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
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!"
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!"