Breeding Certifications

Medical Clinic Results


Today we had an early appointment at the Suffield Veterinary Hospital. The Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club was having its Spring: Eye, Heart, and Microchip Clinic. Our two breeding females Emma and Riley needed to have their eye exams updated, while Lucy was getting her eye and heart exams done for the first time.


Thankfully everyone passed their tests. The clinic was controlled chaos as usual with multiple breeders bringing multiple goldens to be examined. I was only able to get a few photos of our Lucy getting her eyes and heart checked. We saw some beautiful animals, but taking photos of other breeder’s animals is not proper etiquette when you don’t know them.


Anyway, we all came back happy as everyone passed. Now we are just awaiting the arrival of Spring and the next heats.

PS: Don’t worry about Lucy with her goofy eyes in this last photo. It’s all because of the eye drops they use to dilate the pupils for an accurate exam.

More Mulder, and His Daughters Maggie and Rosie

We just received the winter issue of Golden Retriever News.


Just inside the front cover were a few more photos of Mulder and Berna with their amazing double win at the Nationals this past fall. I thought I would share these new photos with our readers.


Also listed and photographed were all the winners in the many other competition categories. Magnificent animals all. I would again encourage true enthusiasts of our breed to get a membership to the Golden Retriever Club of America which automatically qualifies you for a subscription to this National magazine.

There was one more photo included which spoke eloquently of Mulder’s wholesome and humble spirit. Despite the severe demands of travel and the show ring, he remains just one happy fun loving dog.


We are very proud of our own Emma’s last litter when she was bred to Mulder. Dynamite personalities and Hollywood looks one and all. My cousin Ron and our neighbor Ken last week sent us updated photos of two of Mulder’s daughters from this last litter. The third female in this litter was our own Lucy. They are approaching 15 months old now.

So here we present:

Ron and Barb’s “Maggie”..


And Ken and Mary Ann’s “Rosie”..


As we expect to use Mulder for both Riley’s and Emma’s upcoming heats this Spring, we have high hopes for more puppies blessed in looks and spirit.

Mulder, Berna, and A Daughter’s Pride


Regular readers of our stories here will be familiar with the name “Mulder”. He is the amazing male Golden owned by Berna Welch of Pebwin Goldens. He is the father of our Emma’s last litter and our own one year old, Lucy.

Mulder and Berna were recently honored with a two page spread in the Golden Retriever Club of America’s national magazine, “Golden Retriever News”. Mulder placed first in Best of Breed and Stud Dog of 2007 this fall at the Nationals.

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I would highly recommend that all our dog owners consider joining the Golden Retriever Club of America. While the yearly fees are modest, you quickly realize from reading their magazine just how varied are the talents of our animals. I am humbled when I realize that what I know is a thimble full of information on just one small aspect of Golden Retrievers. When you look at the dedicated club members all over the country who run and participate in Field Trials, Obedience, and Agility Competitions, being a pet owner seems a very small accomplishment.


The “Nationals” are coming to Rhode Island this fall for a ten day extravaganza of judging, meetings, and lectures on our breed. This is like having the superbowl in your backyard with tickets that will be available to all. If you would like to see the best of the best across the country, then you should make an effort to attend. I, myself, will be going for the first time.

So what Mulder accomplished this fall is like being named the MVP of the superbowl. While he looks very distinguished and regal in his formal poses, I will remember him best as an affectionate big boy that I had the privilege to bring to Emma’s insemination a year ago.

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Our Lucy is losing her puppy looks and developing her father’s distinguished bearing.


She also has her mother’s quiet, calm personality, and we are hoping that she will be a proud mother in another year or so.

I showed her the magazine photos of her dad and she seemed suitably impressed. When she tried to brag about him to her half sister , Solo, Solo was more interested in tasting the magazine print. Just sister’s jealousy I guess.

And finally, it is official. Emma is not pregnant. A formal ultrasound at our vet’s office confirmed our suspicions. Our next breeding efforts will be this Spring with Riley’s upcoming heat.

Bitter Pill

We just received some very disappointing news from the Orthopedic Foundation of America this week. Our Solo has evidence of mild hip dysplasia. This report immediately disqualifies her from being a breeding mom. So we have sheduled her to be spayed in two weeks time.


She will now join Lily as a best Aunt in watching our future litters arrive and grow. Despite our best efforts to maintain the genetics of our line using only top of the line breeding material, some characteristics occur due to random events and the polyfactorial nature of things. Solo’s father was “Magic”. Unfortunately he passed away soon after siring Solo, so further information is not available about any of his other offspring.

I feel disappointed for all those folks who have recently joined our waiting list. Our well thought out plans and two years of work for Solo to achieve her breeding pedigree have gone astray. And then we have the fact that Riley is overdue for her heat by about four weeks now. So mother nature has not been kind to us of late.

We still expect to breed Riley and then Emma with their heats, but I no longer feel as confident in our timetable. Of course if this breeding business was so easy, everyone would be doing it. It just makes our mission of getting these wonderful dogs into loving families a bit tougher.

Years ago when Barb and I weren’t as knowledgable about the importance of genetics and family lines, we answered a local newspaper add for AKC golden puppies. We fell in love with a puppy that we named Molly. Great personality and looks, we were blessed with eleven years of fun and companionship. The last two or three years were tough on her though because of severe hip dysplasia that had become manifest at about one year of age. Having to help her walk everywhere for the last few years of life reinforces to me the importance from day one of knowing as much as you can about the breeding history of the parents. And not settling for an unknown puppy while hoping that the future will be sun filled and long lasting. It will not be.

If there is a silver lining to Solo’s news, it is that her dysplasia is so mild that it will probably not be clinically apparent. That is the opinion of our vet who reviewed the films again himself and at first was wondering what disqualified her. I wonder also if the digital Xrays she had done are similar to high definition TV. Every blemish there shows due to the amazing resolution of the technology.

I feel a strong committment for all those people who have been waiting for a puppy. While my timetable may not be accurate, we still plan on having two litters when mother nature starts the heats of Riley and Emma. Both have passed all their clearances. Effective immediately, we have stopped accepting names of people wanting puppies. We have also removed ourselves from the search engines of the internet world. For those folks that recently joined our list, I would encourage you to visit the link on our website to Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club. Barbara Biewer, the president, is the person to email about available litters coming due. She is like the ultimate dog person and is involved in breeding, field trials, obedience, and running a very special golden retriever club.

Medical Clearance Testing


Today was a fun but hectic morning while we spent a few hours at the Suffield Veterinary Hospital. The Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club was having their Spring Conformation Testing Clinic. So breeders from all over the northeast brought their dogs, goldens all, for testing their eyes and hearts for any congenital problems.

We brought all five dogs for the ride. Lucy the pup is not used to the car yet, and she howled most of the way in her crate. She got her microchip placed by Dr. Anne Huntington, the vet that was responsible for helping our Emma conceive her. Solo and Riley had their hearts checked by the cardiology vet, Dr. Mark Stamoulis. Then Solo, Riley, and Emma got their eye clearances by the ophthalmology vet, Dr. Charles Stuhr. The eye exam took place in a darkened room so that couldn’t be captured. Here are a few photos of Riley’s heart check.

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Everyone passed all their clearances so we all left very happy.


Barb also got to meet several golden breeders who are way more taken with this breed than I am. We were both enthralled if not disbelieving to listen to a couple from Torrington who have eleven goldens of both sexes. All these dogs live in their house. Like the Old Women in the Shoe story, there are many of us who can’t seem to have just one golden.

Today we admired goldens of all colors and sizes, show dogs to hunting and field dogs. All beautiful in their own way. Of course their owners were just as varied in their ages, shapes, and sizes too. A most interesting morning.

Emma, Riley, Solo, and Lucy had a quiet moment in the kitchen after getting home and calming down after being exposed to so many of their own kind in a setting they haven’t seen before.


Next up will be the hip clearances for Riley and Solo. This will be done by a specialist vet in Rhode Island in April for Riley. Solo has to have her two year birthday in June and then she will follow with her hip testing. Riley and Solo will then be cleared for becoming moms later this year.

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