Forman and Fergus: Two Amazing Golden Retrievers


Forman and Fergus are two amazing golden retrievers, but for two very different reasons. Forman won a prestigious award at a huge competition. Unfortunately, Fergus’s triumph is a sad one. Poor Fergus suffered third degree burns from acid, however, he is making a grand recovery. This is their stories.


Todd Otterness of Thunderstruck Retrievers and his golden retriever, Forman, took top honors for Golden Retriever AKC field competition by winning the 2016 Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty Open in Corning, California, Oct. 3-5.

This is the second consecutive year that Thunderstruck Retrievers took home the top honors. Benita Otterness and Otter won it in 2015, making it the first time in the history of the Golden Retriever Club of America that a husband and wife have both won.

The Golden Retriever Club of America National Specialty started in 1940 for golden retrievers from around the U.S and is a marking and handling competition.



Fergus is the resilient golden retriever who captured the hearts of many after he suffered third-degree burns from an acid attack in Southern California last year.

Fergus is currently making a tremendous comeback. The lovable pup is now training to become a therapy dog for burn victims. Fergus will also be making an appearance on famed “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan’s new show. The dog behaviorist taped an episode of “Dog Nation” Tuesday at Fergus’ family home in Calabasas to help the pooch with obedience training.

“The more you went through, the more you can empathize,” Millan said. “So for Fergus to go through burns, then go and help (other people) move on from that experience, I think he is the right ambassador for it.”

Fergus was surrendered at a Lancaster animal shelter in August 2015 with a third-degree burn along his back, from his neck all the way to his tail. The injured dog’s story received an overwhelming response from loving strangers, whom donated a truckload of treats, toys, and more to the shelter where he was recovering.


Congratulations to Forman for his victory at the AKC field competition. I’m sure his owners are very proud of him. We hope there will be more wins and/or victories in their future.

We are all especially glad that Fergus is recovering well and wish him well on his training to be a therapy dog. With his experience, he will be a welcome comfort for other burn victims. Be sure to check out his television debut on the Dog Whisperer show.

Even though I am very glad that Fergus will be a therapy dog, I am very sad that the poor pup suffered those burns in order to get there. Most people can’t stand when animals get hurt and I’m one of them. But the important thing is that a tragedy turned into a positive.

What do you think of Forman and Fergus’s stories? Has your dog ever been in a competition? Has your dog ever been seriously injured? Share your stories and opinions in the comments below.