G is for Golden

Wel­come to Round 8 of ABC Wednesday. The meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nes­bitt, and people from all over the world come together to play and share their entries. Each week word(s) begin­ning with the des­ig­nated letter are selected and woven into a post.

For this round, I’ll be taking each letter and pairing it with a per­sonal expe­ri­ence or life lesson. On C-Day I introduced you to Bandit, our first dog…a Collie. Since then, we’ve shared our home with various 4-legged lodgers. We tend to go for the large dog breeds, specifically Golden Retrievers. Best. Breed. EVER.

Our first experience with a Golden was a few years after Bandit left us. The girls were kids and I didn’t work outside the home (not to be confused with I didn’t work). Born on Mother’s Day, we took him home on Father’s day and named him Sundance. He went everywhere with the kids and me. Gymnastics, dance, vacation bible school. Everywhere. Because of that, he was extremely socialized and fairly well mannered…for a puppy. He did fail puppy kindergarten though…twice. I attribute that to his gender. But eventually I could leave a plate of food on the coffee table and he wouldn’t touch it. Drool all over the floor, yes, but he never took anything off the plate.

When he was about 10 years old, his face turned completely white, and when he was 11 years old, a form of cancer called lymphoma started taking over his body. Oddly, this is not uncommon in Goldens. Large tumors around his throat and neck causing labored breathing and other problems. Finally, in July 2005, we faced the heartbreaking decision to let him go to doggy heaven.

The funny thing about a Golden…even when they’re in pain, their tail wags when you’re by their side. So we said goodbye to our second companion. Where Bandit taught us about unconditional love and how to “parent” before having kids, Sundance solidified those lessons and showed us loyalty beyond measure.

While the kids loved Bandit, Sundance was their dog, and the one, I think, they will remember most.

photo courtesy of David Bickley

In October of 2008, another ball of fluff entered our lives, who we named, Tanner. At three years old, Tanner is definitely still a work in progress. His socialization and training began when he accompanied me to my ad agency job for 6 months. It’s amazing how much deadline stress can be reduced by bringing the right kind of dog to the office.

Like his predecessor, Sundance, he has a true “Golden personality.” Peanut wallowed all over him from the time she could crawl. Last December, she sat on him like a horse while he laid in the floor.

There is something about a Golden’s personality that just can’t be beat. They look like they have a permanent smile on their faces. And neither of ours has ever bared a tooth in anger at any person. In fact, we joke that if anyone tried to rob our house, the Golden would probably help them load up in hopes of having them throw a ball or scratch their belly when they finished the job.

Who? Moi?? Surely not.
Oh yes. You know you would.

For more Gs from around the world, click the logo in my sidebar.


13 thoughts on “G is for Golden

  1. not really a dog person. the best dog I ever knew, though, was a golden retriever, friend Mark’s dog named Random. Great temperment, unlike his then-wife’s German shepherd.


  2. Thank you, thank you for the great story of your love affair with your Goldens and Bandit, too. I posted just one photo of our Golden for today but wanted to do more!
    HelenMac, ABC Wednesday team


  3. I had a rescue cocker who developed lymphoma of the skin.. just the skin. He responded completely to chemo for a year and a half… just oral methotrexate I think. Then he developed a second cancer.. malignant mast cell tumor, also in the skin but it spread fast and within two months he simply quit eating and it was time. That is the hardest decision. Now, another rescue cocker… so different from Max.. she is older as well but quiet… hasn’t barked in over a year… loves to sleep.. almost as much as the cat who she adores. Loves older people… sits quietly by the wheelchairs at the nursing home so they can pat her head.

    Your bundle is precious!


  4. What a wonderful and heartwarming story of your pets. Sad when that day comes. We’ve had to face that decision twice. With a Shih Tzu “Hildy” who was 9 and became blind, and had tumors. Such a sad day… and then later, our Rotwieler/Shepherd mix “Sam” that was so hard…our grandchilden loved him and he loved them. Now we have another Shih Tzu “Molly” who is 6 and healthy.


  5. I’m a big fan of goldens – and labs. And missing our wonderful mutt a lot lately. She was a mix. But soooooooooo close to a measure of freedom, though a few people have suggested another dog, it’s hard to imagine taking that on again. It’s so much like having a child. (One that doesn’t require laundry or talk back!)


  6. I can’t begin to tell you how sweet this entire post was for me to read and enjoy the photos. We had a small dog: Sheltie/Golden/Spitz mash-up. She was a golden at heart and a sheltie in motion.


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