Archive for September, 2007

Abby’s Spirit Lives On

I still miss our original breeding golden, Abby, and wanted to do something in a positive way to keep her mischievous and loving spirit alive. The poem I wrote for this website allowed me to get past the grieving process of losing a special companion after those very special years together. See “Abby’s Message“. But it didn’t seem enough of a legacy to reward her for her labors that have blossomed into our growing Farmington Valley Golden family.

For the past three years I have been making wine and learning the secrets behind all the hype. With a cellar full of wine behind me from grapes harvested from all over the world, many of you have been gifted with a few bottles of my latest concoction for one occasion or another. And all our wines are covered with our dog labels to reflect our true passion here. This weekend we will be unveiling our latest golden endeavor. I will be bottling a beer I have been fermenting in a vat in our basement. I became enamored of the taste of the most popular beer in the Domincan Republic during my mission trip last fall. Called “El Presidente” it is a light ale, with a mild taste and low alcohol content. Thanks to the investigative skills of my wine making expert and now good friend, Adrian, he was able to find a beer maker in Colorado who came up with the right combination of malt and hops. It is still amazing to me that with the internet and networking, you can find out the recipe for something from a third world country that is not widely known. We will shortly see how successful we are.

I hope to share this beer with family, friends, and visitors (of age) to our home over this upcoming holiday season. And what better way to honor our Abby than to grace this effort with her never forgotten smile. Celeste, my tireless graphic artist extraordinaire, has come through again and brought my humble ideas to life.

So I give you our label for Abby’s Golden Ale.. (Click on the image to enlarge)

And the neck label we designed for the beer bottles also has special meaning. Although my cousin Ron’s golden, Emma, has joined her mom on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, the photo he took of her as a pup still is one of my favorites. See “Sad News“. So I hope Ron and his Barb and family will be pleased to see her memory live on as well: a golden puppy with friendship and adventure on her mind.

So I am looking forward to sharing with all our golden family and friends, Abby and Emma’s “spirits”. Hopefully we will raise a glass to them around the whelping box come mid December with a new litter of pups to brighter everyone’s holiday mood. I can only hope that my brewing skills live up to the labels!!

A Nice Afternoon of Puppy Squeaks


Yesterday Barb and I went to visit our friend and co-breeder, Donna’s litter of pups. The twelve pups are a week old and doing great. Ebby the mom is Riley’s sister, and Riley will be bred to the same sire, Rudder, as soon as she is ready to ovulate.

It was great fun to sit around the whelping box and listen to the puppies squeaking. Nothing more relaxing than that to help forget about your worldly problems for an hour or so.


We are hoping that the Golden Retriever God will look favorably on our upcoming breeding and bless us with pups of our own about mid December.

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As for our very patient clients, sorry, but Donna’s pups are all spoken for. The higher your breeding standards are, the more popular you become, and the longer the wait becomes to get that special pup.

And speaking of standards, Mulder, the sire of our Emma’s last litter, just won the 2007 Golden Retriever Club Nationals this past weekend.


So in addition to his Westminster Best of Breed title of 2004, his stock continues to rise. And to think his owner Berna let me take him for an afternoon about a year ago at this time to work with our infertility vet to help Emma conceive. That will always be a special memory for me. And that is one special dog! And thank you again Barb for relenting and letting us keep Lucy, one of his offspring from our last litter!!

Latest News

Today was a happy day here in dogville. Riley showed her first signs of heat finally!! Will keep everyone informed with her upcoming mating and followup.


Riley is in the foreground in this recent photo, while Emma is sitting behind her.

Rudder, the chosen male, just fathered a litter of 12 pups with one of our Abby’s granddaughter’s named Ebby. Rudder’s photo is below.

Ebby belongs to Donna Talbot, one of Riley’s co-owners. Our Riley is Ebby’s sister. I know the lineage gets confusing to folks who are not breeders, but it really is a small world.

On a more bittersweet note, it has been a week now since Solo was spayed. She has recovered just fine and is back to her primadonna self.


Anniversary Tidings


Hi everyone. It is hard to believe our website just celebrated its first year anniversary. While we have had only one litter in all that time, we have made many new friends and have had exciting adventures that were only a daydream at this time last year. With well over 100 blogs and hundreds more photos uploaded, I have been blessed to be able to share our sunny times here in dogville side by side with the darker ones.

It is good to stop and take stock once in a while of where you’ve been and where you hope to be. While our present breeding plans have been somewhat thwarted by mother nature at the moment, I am very proud of the many golden friends we have made this past year in our little community here. And at the end of the day isn’t that only what matters anyway.

So as a tribute to all my family, neighbors, and clients, and especially my Barbara, who puts up mightily with my never sated love of these goldens, I have been working on something special to memorialize this occasion.

For the past several months I have searched all our photos on different computers, albums, and saved CD’s, looking for the folks who have taken home a puppy or just came to visit a litter. I then handed them over to Celeste and Dana Rockel and their associate Karen, my amazing website team, to create something fun and memorable. We took a photo of two of our pups from the last litter and made a composite poster with all the folks I would like to acknowledge. Young, old, experienced golden owners or not, each photo represents a snapshot in time where smiles were wide, laughter was loud, and a communion of golden goodness and love was enjoyed. If I missed anyone, I apologize. I am still looking for a missing album or two.

So click on the link below when you have some quiet time and share with me the memories that many of you readers are responsible for creating. I look forward to another fulfilling year living alongside our golden family, with hopefully many more puppies to convert families into golden lovers.

Thank you for your continued interest in our goldens here. And thank you again Barb for all you put up with!

Click on this link to view “Golden Friends“.

PS: It has come to my attention that many readers are not aware that all the photos in this blog are “clickable”. To appreciate the beauty, grace, and loving attitudes of all our goldens, you really have to see them in the larger size photo. So be sure to “click” and enjoy. Try the photo above and you will clearly see what I mean.

Happy News From the West Coast

Our website, and more specifically the poem, “Abby’s Message”, that I wrote after our beloved Abby’s passing, has attracted the attention of folks from all over the country. The universal themes of love and loss that we share with other owners of this wonderful breed, allow us to bond with people over long distances and forge a kinship of empathy with one another.

Two months ago, I received an e-mail from Milly in Los Angeles County, California. She had just lost her 14 year old Golden named Rusty.


She and her husband were devastated, and were unsure if they could withstand another loss of that nature. I said what I could, and just encouraged patience and and the passage of time for their future choices to become clearer.

I was happily surprised to receive a note this week from her, along with pictures of their new golden puppy. Dusty is his name and everyone is doing great.

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So like the night follows dawn, the sun will rise again after the dark runs its course. And new beginnings help chase away the sadness of the endings that we face on a daily basis.

Congratulations, Milly, on your new family member! We wish you all many years of good health and golden adventures.

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