Tag Archives: Golden Retriever

My Golden Hero

Last week we took Wally to the Vet because he was vomiting and had bloody diarrhea. He has a sensitive digestive system and he gets these tummy troubles every year or so. We were not panicked but at his advanced age (16 year and 10 months) we wanted to get things settled and resolved quickly. As we were waiting for our appointment we were shocked to see that one of his testicles had ballooned in size. It was not like that the previous day. It was 11.5 inches around and the size of a softball. We went from being mildly concern about diarrhea to being panicked about an extremely fast growing tumour.

At his age surgery is extremely risky but leaving the tumour posed its own risks. We made the very tough decision to go ahead with surgery. I’ve been stressing and having nightmares for the last few days but for some unknown reason I felt strangely at peace when I dropped him off this morning. I got a phone call two hours later and he was alive and well. The Vet said that he gave them a bit of a scare when they tried to insert the tube down his throat and encountered an obstruction. They found a dangling tumour (he’s sure it is benign) that they had to remove before they could start the planned procedure. They kept him all day so that they could keep him on IV fluids to flush the anesthesia drugs out of his system as quickly as possible. They sent me this picture to show me how well he was doing all snuggled up in warm blankets.

He is home with us now and we feel so blessed.

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Snuggle Bunnies

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This is a typical morning in our house…although usually Tilly is also snuggling somewhere in the mix.  I have over 150 lbs. of hairy children draped across my body.  Good thing they are comfortable…..who cares if I am.

 

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Fall Walk

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My Scenting Stars

BrodieStartedSPWe drove to Red Deer today to participate in a Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA) trial.  Spirit was entered in the Advanced Working Dog category.   I have been introducing Brodie to scent detection, and since he was coming along for the ride,  I thought I would enter him in the Started category so that he could get some experience being at a trial.  Dogs have to be at least 6 months old to trial so we were lucky that Brodie hit that milestone last week, just in time to participate.  It was a bit of a hectic morning because they decided to run the Started and Advanced at the same time.  Brodie was 10th to run in the Started Division and Spirit was 8th in Advanced.

Brodie had his Container and Interior Searches first.  Just before they called us, Brodie yelped and lunged towards his backend as a wasp bit him.  Poor little guy.  He kept walking in a circle trying to reach the spot, obviously very upset.  The Judges offered to let us take a break and come back later but I decided to just go ahead since this was only a learning experience for him.  To my complete shock and amazement it took him only 8 seconds (3 minute time limit) to find the correct container and we got a score of 29/30 (we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  The Judges were as shocked as I was.  We had a minute to gather our composure and he started the interior component.  Again, he found the hide in only 37 seconds (5 minute time limit) with a score of 39/40 (again we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  I had to run back to the car, drop off Brodie and grab Spirit for her first run so I didn’t have any time to really digest what had just happened.

Spirit did Containers first.  She found the first hide quickly and I got all excited, rewarded her and walked away.  The Judges just stood there staring at me.  After about a minute of awkward silence they said, did you forget that there is a second hide???  Dummy me, having just completed the Started search that has only has one hide, I completely forgot that Advanced has two hides and a distractor.  We got back to searching and Spirit indicated on another container and when I called it the Judge told me she was wrong.  Dang it.  I messed my girl up.  Interesting note, there were 30 dogs in the Advanced category and only 4 found the 2 hides the rest false alerted like Spirit.  Makes you wonder if there was some contamination in the search area.  Spirit immediately moved on to her Interior search.   She found both hides in 1 minute and 7 seconds and we scored a perfect 80/80.

Once again, I ran back to the car, did another quick dog switcharoo and raced backed to do Brodie’s exterior search.  Unfortunately we were late and missed our turn so we had to wait and run last.  The exterior search was comprised of 3 tractors.  The hide was hidden underneath the middle tractor.  It took my amazing little boy only 1 minute to find it (5 minute time limit with another amazing score of 29/30 (I lost 1 point for my handling hindering my dog).  One of the Judges was the founder of the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta (SARDAA).  She was so impressed by him.  She told me I have an amazing, young working dog.  What a wonderful compliment from a very knowledgeable and experienced handler.   I thought Brodie was just going to have a fun play day practicing searching and he ended up get his Started title.  Because we got all 3 components at the same trial, we also get an SP designation (special). And the news only gets better, we actually finished 3rd overall and got a big basket of SWAG.  Last but not least, because we got an overall score of 97/100, our title will be at the gold level.  WOW!!!!!  Big thank you to Judge Jane Book and shadow Judge Mary-Ann Warren.

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Brodie’s haul: Green ribbon for 3rd place overall, 3 qualifying ribbons for containers, interior and exterior, purple Started Level Title ribbon with the SP designation and his basket of goodies.

We had a long wait before Spirit got to do her exterior search.  By then it was very hot and sunny, not good for a big, hairy black dog.  She really struggled.  Dogs can’t scent when they are panting heavily.  We used the whole 5 minutes and she didn’t find the hide.  Even when the Judge told us where it was, it took two passes for her to find it and alert on it.  No worries.  I’m still very proud of my girl. Thank you to Judge Doug Theeft.

Each dog got a ginormous knuckle bone when we got home.

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What a Difference 4 Months Makes

It always shocks me how quickly a puppy grows and matures.  Here is photo proof.  The first picture was taken the day I brought Brodie home (2017APR16).   The second one was taken 4 months later when we celebrated Brodie turning 6 months old.  I wish they could stay small and snuggly a little longer.

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The boys are both 16

Little Brodie is 16 weeks old and of course Wally turned 16 years old in April.  They may look very different, my old man is a rich copper and the other is a silky, soft, creamy white but they are both gentle, sweet souls…..true Goldens !!!

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3 Months Old

Our little golden boy Brodie is 3 months old today. He is growing so fast. He has more than doubled his weight in the month that we’ve had him.  No matter how bad he is, I just take one look at that face and my heart melts.

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Four Legged Cheerleaders

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On Sunday morning we participated in the annual First Responders Half Marathon.  We have McMullin staying with us again so he and Brodie came out to cheer us on. They were a big hit.  Everyone wanted to stop by and say hello to the pair.

As I was approaching the end, Don handed me the “boys” so that they could cross the finish line with me.

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Brodie also helped Laura and Heidi cross the finish line.

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Settling In

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Our little Brodie is settling in nicely.  He is a little afraid of Spirit’s larger than life personality and is very respectful of my beautiful oldie Goldie Wally.  Unfortunately he is like an unruly, annoying little brother with poor little Tilly.  We have to keep rescuing her from his grip.

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I can’t stop taking pictures of his sweet little face.  Each image is cuter than the last.

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Meet Brodie

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Yesterday I got up at 3am to head to the airport for a very special trip to Victoria to meet this cute little boy.  He is the newest member of our family.  He is an English type Golden Retriever and I am in love!!!  There were 11 puppies in the litter but by the time I got to the breeder’s home all of them had already been picked up by their new families.  There were only 3 left in the house, a little boy and girl that she was keeping for her breeding program and our little boy.  We got black boy….also known as “the bruiser”.  She picked him for me because he is a very active little boy and needed an experienced family to manage all that energy.  Yikes!!!

Puppies

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I got to enjoy the day hanging out with the puppies and then flew back last night.  When I got to the Victoria airport all the Westjet ticket agents were swooning over that cute face.  They had seen so many puppies leaving in the last two days that they immediately recognized him as another one from the same litter.  He was so pooped that he fell asleep on a chair in the departure lounge.

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He was wonderful on the flight back to Edmonton….except for one small problem….farting.  It was so bad that I thought he may have pooped in his carrier.  The women beside me got mad at her husband because she thought he was the culprit.  We all had a good giggle when I told her it was Brodie.

I finally got to bed just after midnight.  Our first night wasn’t too bad.  I only had to take him out once but he was wide awake at 6am.   Needless to say, I am wiped today. Here is the whole 4-legged family.

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He has already had a busy morning and is now crashed on the kitchen floor…I wish I could join him for a nap.

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Guess who is 16 years old today?

It may be grey and dreary outside but our lives are filled with sunshine today.  Our beautiful golden boy is 16 years old today.  The average life span for a golden retriever is 12 years…..we are incredibly blessed to have shared our lives with this amazing boy for 16 years.  He had a delicious birthday breakfast of fresh ground turkey with pumpkin and fresh berries.  Then he got to lick the empty pumpkin can.  We have a long standing tradition of using Timbits (Wally’s favourite treat) to celebrate the big moments.  On birthdays he would get one Timbit for every year and when his puppies were born he would get one for each baby.  When he started getting into double digits we had to start cutting the Timbits in half.  Later today he will get his 16 Timbit halves.

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We had an early birthday celebration at Patty’s acreage on Thursday.  We had a lovely lunch and nice walk on a beautiful, sunny spring day.  We even managed to avoid Wally rolling in the horse and cow poop which he loves to do (as you will see below in the picture from his 11th birthday celebration at Patty’s).

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Wally, Boomer, Stark, Hope, Spirit and little Tilly

To commemorate the big day I put together a series of images of Wally from 12 weeks to 16 years old.

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My Golden Valentine

Now and then……..I can’t image a life without this amazing boy.  He is my heart dog!!!  (He looks so serious striking a pose in both pictures.)

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As a thank you to my Golden Valentine we went for a walk (just Mom and her boy) to Tim Hortons to get him his favourite treat.  He usually only gets a Timbit but today we went for the whole donut.

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Sweet Gentle Soul

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McMullin snuggling in the kennel

My beautiful, gentle old man Wally. He is almost 16 years old now.  Over those years he has shared our home with more foster puppies and four-legged family members than I can count. Without exception, each one has gone to him to cuddle and seek comfort. He has always obliged. For an intact male he is truly amazing!!!!

Just a few more pictures to tug at your heart strings:

 

 

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Driving Snuggle Buddies


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Family Moment

I love it when we can start our mornings out on the deck enjoying our morning coffee/tea together.

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Proud Grandma

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On Sunday I attended the graduation of one of Wally’s children.  I have a very special spot in my heart for Garnet.  Of the 51 puppies that Wally’s sired, he is the only one that really looks like his Dad.  He spent the first few years of his working life as a guide dog for a wonderful gentleman.   Sadly he passed away suddenly and Garnet was returned to the school.  They decided that he was too young to retire so they retrained him and placed him with a psychologist to act as a therapy dog for her clients.  Garnet is 7 years old now and watching him and his mannerisms….OMG he is definitely his Daddy’s boy.  He has the same loving and gentle personality.  Here is a picture of the whole graduating class.  Garnet’s beautiful deep golden colour makes him stand out in the group….”one of these is not like the others”.

GarnetGrad6When they arrived, Garnet’s nose went up and he started air scenting and wagging his tail wildly.  He knew we were there and he was excited.

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I was able to get up close and snuggle with my beautiful grand-puppy.  Isn’t he just beautiful.

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A blast from the past…..in 2010 we had this photo taken (courtesy of Laughing Dog) of Wally and Garnet just before Garnet went into final training to be a guide dog.

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Birthday Boy is 15

To say we are blessed to have our beautiful Golden Boy at the ripe old age of 15 is an understatement.  Not only is he still with us but the quality of his life is really good.  He is my “heart” dog.  I love all of my fur kids but he and I have this very special bond that I just can’t put into words.  I can’t imagine life without him….

Wally’s favourite treat are Timbits.  Traditionally he gets one for each year.  Once he got into double digits I started cutting them in half.  Today I cut two ends off of each one and left the slice in the centre for the other dogs.  It didn’t take him long to polish off 15 ends.

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Ready and waiting

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Patience

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Here we go….

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Going…..

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Going….

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Gone!!!

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Nothin’ left but a pile of drool

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Hug Your Hound Day

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Did you know that Sept 13th is National Hug your Hound Day.  To celebrate, Wally and I participated in the Bockman Foundation Wheel, Walk or Run for spinal cord injuries.  My old boy was able to do the whole race with me.  I would have liked to have included Spirit but she is too young to do that kind of pounding and she has had a bout of panosteitis (growing pains) so we just do gentle walks together.  Just as we were about to cross the finish line the generator stopped and the inflatable start/finish line balloon came down on top of us.

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Tribute to Bella

Life has a way of really testing us.  The day I published the post about Wally and Bella’s reunion I got a message from her family saying that she wasn’t doing well.  She had stopped eating and had trouble breathing.  They took her to numerous vets and the prognosis was not good….she had cancer.  I had wanted to get Wally and Bella together because my boy was so old and I wasn’t sure how much longer he would be with us.  I never dreamed that we would be losing Bella first.  Three days later I got the news that my beautiful girl was gone.  We are devastated……I can’t imagine how her family is feeling.

I think Wally has now outlived all of the puppies from his first litter.  I’m so blessed to still have him.  I put together a slideshow of pictures.  I hope that it will help her mourning family.  It starts with a picture of Misty, Bella’s Mom.  It shows the puppies when they were just minutes old and goes up until the day Bella left us when she was 6 months old.  Bella was the darkest puppy in the litter and she wore a baby blue grosgrain ribbon collar.      Goodbye my beautiful Bella….Tango, Ming and Tasha will keep you company over the rainbow bridge.

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Wally & Bella: Family Reunion

Way back in October 2003, when he was only 2-1/2, Wally’s first litter of puppies were born.  There were 12 beautiful, pure bred Golden Retrievers.  I was drawn to one of them immediately because she was a lovely dark red/golden colour like her Dad.  I named her Bella and I was lucky to foster her until she was 6 months old.

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Father and daughter snuggle time

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Play time!!

The last time I saw Bella was when she was 2 years old but Wally has not seen her since she left us in April of 2004.  That was until now.  Wally is 14 years old and Bella is 11-1/2.  They took one sniff of each other and it was like they were long time buddies.  Bella is a little slow moving and has some trouble with stairs but the two of them ran around and played like puppies.  It was so wonderful to watch.

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Beautiful Bella and her handsome Dad Wally

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Wordless Wednesday: Family Pictures

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A few weeks ago I read a very moving post about a dog that passed away unexpectedly. Her owner wanted a do over. Although she had literally hundreds of pictures of her beloved companion, she had none of her with her dog. The story struck a cord with me. I hate having my picture taken and I am always hiding from the camera. I have only a handful of pictures of me and Wally together. My boy is 14 now and he has already lived longer than the normal life expectancy of 12 years. I’m grateful that I saw that blog post. I don’t want to have the same regret when my very special boy goes over the rainbow bridge.

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Wordless Wednesday: Handsome

Handsome

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Happy Birthday Wally

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My handsome, golden boy is 14 years young today. There is nothing he loves more than Timmy Bits so he got 14 Tim bit ends. Here is a cute video of him inhaling them to celebrate the big day.  Spirit offered to help eat them but no deal!

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas from the Dog House to your house.  Linking up to Wordless Wednesday at Blogpaws.

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Winter sucks!

The temperature went from being almost +20 degrees celsius to -17 in just a few days.  It was such an abrupt temperature change that we did not have the chance to gradually adapt to the colder temperatures.  I went for a run and my boy wanted to come with me so badly that I just couldn’t say no to those big, beautiful brown eyes.  He got geared up with fleece booties, a jacket and a makeshift fleece ear protector held together by a hair clip.   The second day I switched to a long neck warmer and pulled it up over his ears and that worked a lot better.

 As you can see by the expression on his face…..he was not amused….but he was warm.

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Wordless Wednesday

BathTime

Bath Time

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Wordless Wednesday

Best Buddies

Best Buddies

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Wordless Wednesday

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Sleeping Beauty

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October 29, 2014 · 19:46

Wordless Wednesday – Ombre Golden

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We spent a beautiful fall day at Patty’s farm/acreage.  The dogs always have a wonderful time running free in her fields and eating as many cow pies as they can find.  Wally does enjoy eating a few of them but his first love is rolling in them.  My boy has never met a pile of poop that he didn’t want to roll in.   We dressed him in a long sleeved t-shirt to try and keep the poop out of his beautiful golden locks.   Unfortunately we had to take it off when it got too loose around his belly and he peed all over it.  Then the dogs found the dug out and went in for a quick swim and drink.  The other 5 dogs got out fairly clean but our Wally got stuck in mud half way up his body and had to be pulled out by Patty.    Talk about a mud bath…..now he has to have a ‘real’ bath…but he was pretty happy with himself.  I’m still amazed at how active and agile he is for a old man of 13 years…..14 in April.

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