My Life With Goldens
Goldens Are My Life!
My love affair with goldens began back in the 70's when I watched a gorgeous Golden Retriever win a dog show. I remember thinking that it was the most beautiful, friendly dog I had ever seen.
A few years later I got my first golden puppy and now over 30 years have gone by and I am still sharing my life and home with these beautiful, sweet natured animals.
I love everything about goldens; as a whole they are gentle, lovable, good natured, smart, fun-loving, loyal and usually just want to please. To me hugging and petting a golden is very therapeutic!
I love the feel of their long soft fur, the way they comfort me when I am sad, how they make me laugh with their playful antics, watching their ears flap in the breeze as they hang their head out the car window, and how they are the happiest just being by my side.
I can't imagine life without my best friends, nor do I want to!*The beautiful puppy in the above picture is Durango...Claircrest Authentic Gold Mine*
My Goldens were Blessed by Squid Angels
Big slobbery dog kisses for lensmasters imolak and ajgodinho!
So You Think You Want a Golden Retriever
If you are thinking about getting a golden you should know that in addition to all the good qualities they are also high energy, high spirited dogs that shed A LOT and are prone to many serious health problems. They are strong, large dogs, weighing anywhere between 65 and 85 lbs and they love to jump on people and pull hard on the leash.
They need lots of exercise and attention; no one should get a golden to be an outside dog! Retrievers make great companions as they want to be with their people 24/7, but if left alone too much they can become bored and destructive. They love people too much to make good watch dogs and are much more likely to invite a burglar in to play than chase one away!
Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, Let's go! and lead them on a great adventure.
Tails From the Dogside
Dean Koontz the mystery writer, has written these beautiful books as a tribute to his deceased Golden Retriever Trixie. Actually Trixie is the one who writes most of these books that I find to be utterly delightful! They are warm, humorous, and often bring a tear to my eye as one can easily tell that they are written with love.
Edit this to tell the story.
Here is Jasmine, My First Golden Retreiver
Jasmine was very smart, high spirited and sometimes just plain ornery. She would often "punish" us for leaving her alone by chewing up a favorite object and then giving you a look that said it's your own fault for deserting me...I actually consider that to be very "catlike" behavior.
She loved stuffed animals and always had a slobbery one in her mouth, she also loved rolling in smelly dead things and did so quite often. Once on a trip to Yellowstone Park she took great delight in rolling in bear crap. Ironically as there was no way to clean her up at the campground, we had to let her sleep in the camper with us anyway so that she didn't attract bears with her scent!
Jasmin playing mother to our new puppy Rocky
Rocky, My Second Golden
Named for the Colorado Mountains
Rocky was the first of five dogs named for Colorado, a place I love but have never lived in. At four months old he had a bone splinter in his throat causing him to have tonsillitis, at the same time I was recovering from an illness. For an entire week we laid in bed together recuperating and forging an extraordinarily strong bond.
He was an unusually large retriever weighing close to 100 lbs, and was basically just a big goofy gentle giant! He could however appear to be quite ferocious and was a great watchdog...a very rare trait in a golden. He appointed himself to be my daughters personal bodyguard and nobody messed with her when he was around!
All of my dogs have loved retrieving but with Rocky it was a passion. He retrieved balls, Frisbees, sticks, toys, even small animals, he almost drowned in a lake once trying to retrieve a log that was weighing him down. At the age of 11 he suffered a heart attack after chasing his last Frisbee and died in my arms.
Puppy Frisco "pinning" elderly Rocky
I Love This Book!
Love of Goldens is wonderful book for anyone who loves goldens or is thinking of sharing their life with one. The photographs are beautiful and the stories are heartwarming.
You'll laugh a lot and shed some tears before you put this book down. But be forewarned...people who have read this book have been known to suffer an irrepressible urge to run out and find the nearest Golden Retriever breeder!
Frisco, My Frisky Boy
And the Orneriest Dog That Ever Lived!
I have had dogs all my life, worked with the local Humane Society for 10 years, and fostered dozens of dogs, and I have yet to meet another dog that is as Alpha as Frisco! Dogs twice his size would back down in his presence, dog trainers admitted defeat when working with him, he however bowed down to no one, he made Marley from the movie Marley and Me look like an angel!
As long as no one challenged him he was sweet as pie, but he absolutely would not tolerate being left alone, insisting on being right in the thick of things at all times. During the seven short years we had with Frisco, we learned to be extremely neat, anything that was left out on a table, counter top or dresser was quickly demolished! I fully believe that ornery spirit extended his short life. At the age of six Frisco was diagnosed with an aggressive fibrosarcoma of the face and given at most a month to live. I researched alternative cancer treatments and started him on a regimen that did extend his life by a whole year. During that time his allergies went away, his coat got thicker, his appetite increased, and I fully believe he led a mostly pain free existence.
Frisco and Me
If You Need a Retriever That Doesn't Shed - You might like this one...
Goldens Aren't For Everybody
Would You Like to Share Your Life With a Golden Retriever?
Along Came Aspen
Frisco's Best Friend
We lost Rocky when Frisco was just 5 months old and he was so desolate that after a few months we decided to get him a new friend...that friend was Aspen. Aspen and Frisco bonded immediately and became great pals, doing everything together. Whereas Frisco was the most dominant dog I have ever known, Aspen may have been the least dominant.
After Frisco died I fostered many dogs and Aspen was always happy to have the company AND to let the other dog be the top dog even though it was her house. She was always good natured yet timid and perfectly happy just to have someone to play with. When we brought a new puppy into the house (Durango and later Aurora) she took them under her wing and acted as a surrogate mother.
Unfortunately she developed most of the ailments that goldens are prone too. She had hip displaysia, arthritis, heart problems, digestive problems, and seizures. Ironically even with all of these health problems she so far to date has been my longest living dog, dying just a few weeks short of being 14!
Learn About Golden Retrievers
The Love of my Life!
Durango was the "gold cadillac" of dogs, he was so special and practically perfect in every way! He was the most gentle, sweetest tempered, loving, smartest dog I have ever known, with the most beautiful face God has ever given to a dog.
As a puppy he practically trained himself and we went through the highest levels of obedience training together. He loved learning new things so we also trained in Agility, Rally-O, and Pet Therapy.
There was definitely something magical about Durango. He could jump on a water bed so softly that it wouldn't move, he could go out in the rain and mud and come back clean and dry. He could sense someone that was afraid of dogs and would flatten himself out on the ground and lay perfectly still to show how safe it was to be around him, and he had a wonderful way of gently comforting people that were sick. Our bond was so close that he always seemed to know what I was thinking and feeling.
Durango's illness came on swiftly right after his 8th birthday and in just 3 short weeks my beautiful boy was gone. I always thought that he was just to gentle of a soul for the harshness of this world.
Durango at 8 weeks
This is How People Find My House - They Look for the Retriever on the Porch
This wonderfully detailed Golden Retriever outdoor garden or porch statue has a solar powered lantern light hanging from his mouth. The lantern turns on automatically in dark conditions, and lasts up to 10 hours under a full charge. The light is a super bright White LED, and casts a nice soft glow under dark conditions. Made of cold cast resin, the dog measures 17 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. He's hand-painted, and shows great detail.This statue makes a wonderful gift for any Golden Retriever lover.
My Happy Girl!
Aurora was an unplanned puppy. A friend had a huge liter of almost all girl puppies and I made a spur of the moment decision to add a third dog to my pack and that turned out to be a wonderful decision!
She has always been a happy-go-lucky, high energy, high spirited girl, if she had a theme song it would be, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." For Aurora life is all about play so her puppyhood was a real challenge, especially coming after Durango who was the easiest puppy in the world.
Aurora is always smiling and throws herself whole-heartedly into playtime, whether she is rolling on the ground kicking her feet in the air or rolling in the mud, chasing and jumping high for frisbees, or playing with her pals, she lives each day with joy.
Auroras full name is Claircrest Queen of Hearts, and it suits her well as she loves everyone and everyone loves her. She also loves car rides, long walks and jogs, and chasing squirrels and bunnies.
At the time I am writing this, Aurora is 9 1/2 years old and was just diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye. Despite this she is still my happy, smiling, spunky girl!
My Magic Boy - The Newest Addition to the Pack
Magic entered my life when he was 1 year old, he is the only one of my dogs that did not start his life with me as a puppy. As much as I love puppies I thought it would be so much simpler to get a dog that already had some house training...and it was!
Originally Magic just came for a visit to give Aurora someone to play with after her two pals (Aspen and Durango) were gone. After just a week Aurora and I both agreed that we needed to keep him.
Magic (Claircrest Travel Back in Time) spent the first 18 months of his life as a show dog. Since then he has been on hiatus from the show ring since he is a very picky eater and until recently was just too skinny to show.
He is a very large handsome "mamas boy" who likes to be by my side no matter where I might be. He is constantly dragging his toys all over the house so that he can play in whatever room I am in. He is a champion at giving bear hugs and does so often. He is a very smart boy and learns quickly...if only he would just learn to eat better he could go back to showing which he loved doing.
As I said he is a big overly excitable boy, who thinks nothing of leaping on people and stomping all over toes...he even broke one of mine the first year I had him. Despite this minor flaw he is a big sweetheart who means well and he is a great watch dog, which is very uncommon for a retriever!
In truth he is so much like Rocky that I truly believe he IS Rocky come back to me, which is why I call him "My Magic Boy."
My Golden GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
A house is not a home
without a dog!