This is an incredible and poignant article that dramatically illustrates the power of the human/animal bond, in this case, between a boy with autism whose parents were desperate for viable treatment options and his beloved golden retriever therapy dog.
One of the most exciting things about having a blog is that I can share anecdotes and photos that I receive from our sizable and ever growing golden retriever family. I am creating “Golden Moments”, a column of sorts will highlight and celebrate the life and antics of beloved goldens present and past.Sadie is a littermate to our Lucy ( the little red agility dog), born 12/23/04. She and her parents, Joel and Dottie Savilonis, visited with us recently.
Below are photos and a bit about Sadie provided by her family. The “bird (bath) dog” photo has been a favorite of mine for years and never fails to reduce me to a puddle of laughter. Enjoy!
Since the first day home, Sadie has been a wonderful companion to both Dottie and I. She kept us entertained then and still does today. I love the shape of her “Goldie Head”
She loves and demands attention no matter where she goes! Sadie has one Black Lab brother and six cats to play with. Sadie has been caught carrying her favorite cat around and wrestling with it more than once. She is definitely a water dog, a bird lover, and a mush to say the least.
She has traveled across the USA with us and loves the wind in her face.
Sadie is our third Golden, and won’t be our last for sure!
In February 2012 we plan to do a repeat breeding of our Moet ( see her page on the website – Ireigold Champagne at Midnight) to Scout ( Crangold the Hunt is On- photos below), with pups ready for their new homes toward the end of June. Last year’s breeding yielded rave reviews and all ten pups are beautiful, healthy, well tempered, and versatile, as goldens should be. Several will go on to agility and/or therapy dog careers including Piper ( look for her page on the website), the promising pup we kept who is in residence with my daughter, Emily, in Washington. Keep an eye out for photos of these pups on the blog, or email me and I can send you several directly.
Scout is a handsome, smart, easy going and proven sire who comes from a long established and well respected kennel in Vermont. His pedigree and that of any of our dogs may be found at K9data.com. He is hip/eye/heart/ elbow clear. In addition to Piper, he also sired our Lila ( Goldensand the Heat is On) who earned her Canadian championship at age 10 months, is well on her way in agility foundations training, and is among the most intelligent and charismatic goldens we’ve had the privilege to own and train. Needless to say, we are especially pleased with our Scout progeny.
We are reserving puppies now and have deposits for three. Contact us for more information and to schedule a visit with us.
Camden and Santa
Five years ago on December 20th, ten precious puppies were born here. Happy Birthday Summit, Annie, Hannah, Olivia, Summit, Lucy, Tia, Riley, O’Riley, Bailey! There were seven girls and three boys. Fiev went to homes with children or grandchildren. One lives in New Hampshire and loves to hike with her family! Hannah writes to me frequently and this is her last letter:
It’s hard to believe that I am now five years old. I know it’s supposed to be a surprise but humans forget that we dogs can understand them, and I know Mommy and Daddy ordered a new bed from LL Bean. I will act surprised to make them happy. Really, I look forward to snuggling up on it and enjoying the comfort of “memory foam!” What dog owners will do for their loving pets!!
It has been a good year, but I had some cysts removed that weren’t fun at all. I had to wear a blow up collar and a tee-shirt! I looked quite funny especially since the back of the shirt said coach! Mommy and Daddy took good care of me and I am fine now.
Today is Wednesday so I know it will be off to the transfer station with Daddy. I love to ride in the truck. In fact I love to ride in cars too. The man at the transfer station always gives me a biscuit, but I let Daddy take it and then he gives it to me. I have never liked taking anything from someone I don’t know.
Christmas is coming and I can’t wait. All the kids will be here and we have lots of fun playing together. Sometimes Dylan, the youngest lays down next to me and rests or even falls asleep. I love those kids!! I hope you and your human family and dog family have a wonderful Christmas. Grandma, thank you for finding me such a nice home. I love Mommy and Daddy and they love me!
Lots of love, Hannah
PS Thanks you for the email card!!
This was quite the agility season for Ireigold dogs and handler! Lucy earned her AKC Novice Agility title and won all her classes along the way. Moet handily finished CPE Level 1 and half of Level 2 in only four trials.
Moet had a stellar experience at her first CPE trial and earned 2 first places, a second place, and move ups to Level 2! She works with energy and solid focus – can’t wait to develop her skills!
Moet is beginning her agility and obedience career this year !
Heidi ( AKC IreigoldPhoebe) has been placed in a terrific new home in Cape Elizabeth with the Strouts and Finnegan, a sister from her litter.
July 12 – Lucy finished her Novice Agility Jumpers (NAJ) Title at the Yankee Golden Retriever trial in Derry, NH. Twice we were the only team to qualify in our class and earned first place for both – way to go Lucy!
Lucy (Ireigold Can’t Touch This) finished off her first Agility competition year in 2008 with 16 CPE qualifying scores and her first leg in AKC Novice Standard! She has begun 2009 with 13 CPE qualifying scores and moved up two levels. We are very excited about the prospect of completing her AKC Standard Novice and Jumpers titles this year as well as competing in CPE Level 4.
June 20 – Lucy earned a qualifying score in Novice Standard as well as a 1st place at
the Collie Club Trials! Emily put a Veteran Group 1 on Tess (Tangleloft Lutece) at the Penobscot Shows under judge Jean Fournier. Tess just celebrated her 8th birthday!
I find myself writing this story about Morgan, not just because it is extraordinary nowadays for Golden Retrievers to live to the age of 14 years, but also because his is a tale with a precarious middle that resolved into a very happy ending with a loving family.
In 2007, I volunteered for a short period at the local humane society. When I left that post, I offered to be contacted as a conduit to golden retriever rescues, thereby preventing Goldens from having to enter the humane society’s system.
The following day I received a call from the humane society concerning a man who was right there surrendering two senior Goldens, Hunter, age 9 and Morgan, age 10. He remembered buying one of them from a local woman but could not recall her name. Following a telephone call with this gentleman, I confirmed that Morgan came from one of my litters, whelped in April of 1997! I was horrified to think that, as a vulnerable elder dog, one of my precious pups had come perilously close to a frightening and undetermined future along with his aged buddy.
Almost immediately I found a home for these two homeless boys with a family who had owned and loved another dog of my breeding, Luna. Dee and Don Miskill, and their sons, Colin and Justin are salt of the earth people with hearts as unlimited asthe sky. Luna had been re-homed with them following her surrender to me in late 1997. She had passed away in November of 2006, so the Miskills were dog-less.
As it happens, Luna was a full sister to Morgan, and the Miskills jumped at the opportunity to take not only Morgan but Hunter as well! What incredible good fortune all the way around! The dogs didn’t have to be separated, and they quickly landed in an exceptionally caring environment where they adjusted perfectly, for the family who once again had the joy of living with a golden ( in this case double the joy) and a Luna brother to boot! As for me, I felt greatly relieved that these senior dogs would be well cared for in a forever home. I would see Dee, Colin, and the dogs around town every once in a while, and all was well.
In early July of this year 14-year old Morgan passed away of old age. He was the last surviving pup of Chelsea Aurora, my very first golden love, and his death marked the end of an era. I was quite fortunate to visit with him just a week before he passed. What a beautiful, sweet, well-tempered boy he was and a stunning look alike for my Uno, his half sister, who passed last April at the age of 16. I wondered how Dee ever got anything done. I would have been perpetually running my fingers through his thick , silky golden coat tipped with silver. Dee and Don were masterful at managing Morgan’s and Hunter’s senior needs— premium food appropriate for the aging Golden, just the right exercise, a purpose (Luna, Morgan and Hunter had spent a lot of time as “literacy” dogs, mascots at their local library), and tons of love. I can’t think of any Golden who wouldn’t leap at the chance to come back as one of their precious family.