Golden Flashbacks

Solo Riding Shotgun: Then and Now


The 5 dogs and I hopped in the van for a quick ride to return some bottles this morning after our usual walk/run workout.

Solo was first to claim the shotgun seat place of honor today.

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Driving home her attentive pose, and doe eyes staring at me, struck a cord. I went back to the email program that I used to send our dog pictures from with prior litters. This was way before our website. All the photos I took would go out as an attachment on the email to whoever was on our puppy photo list. So back I looked, and there, sure enough, was Solo as a puppy riding with me back in August, 2005. Her puppy photos are at the top and bottom of this blog.
As you can see her personality hasn’t changed. These dogs are just so loving and devoted to their owners, that it just has to make you a better person being associated with them.

Hope you enjoyed this flashback. And if you want a chuckle this is what I said back on the email of August, 2, 2005 regarding young Solo’s pose…

“Good morning, Life goes on but with a little less spring in our steps. Believe it or not, with only four dogs now, the house seems empty. Abby’s spirit though is very much alive and well in her offspring. Solo had her first ride the other day visiting my offices. She just loved the shotgun spot in the front seat.

Her expression tells it all. When was the last time anyone looked at you with that much attention and affection? Speaking for myself, about 33 years ago when Barb and I were engaged!! Hah! This is why every simple task shared with a golden retriever can become an adventure unto itself. They just love living in the present. And sharing their happiness with people. I highly recommend living with a golden… for happier will you be. “

In My Daughter’s Eyes

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Tomorrow is our younger daughter’s 24th birthday. She now lives out of state, and so we were celebrating it here this weekend. Not being a shopper, I was trying to think of some way to make this birthday special for her. So, after she left, I pulled out the old photo albums and lost myself for awhile in the memories that resurfaced from years past. I realized how our goldens have intertwined themselves into all our outings, adventures, and big occasions over those same years. They always managed to bring a special element to everyone and everything whenever a crowd gathered. Kristen, being our youngest child, was around the most when we started breeding as a serious hobby. Our older children were already away at schools. So we have lots of photos of her helping with the pups.
I have picked out some of those special moments with our different litters. If you will bear with the sentimentality of a father looking back on those long gone years, I think you will see how special our goldens have been to all of us here. Along with the work that Kristen put in to help.

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I hope Kristen will be pleasantly surprised (and not mortified) to read this blog episode tomorrow morning.

Mom and dad wish her a birthday filled with “golden” moments, and happy reminiscences of the memories these photos have brought to us.

And to our readers, we hope that sharing our photo moments with you will trigger thoughts of your own adventures with your goldens. Whether already cherished memories or dreams of adventures to come, they all start with the love of this amazing breed.

Our Riley Looking Backward

Happy New Year to all our family and friends and clients! I was on call last night in the DR, but did not ring in the first New Year’s baby. In my mind though, there is no better way to start the new year by coming home and spending the day watching our new puppy family. I thought I would showcase our Riley today. She is two years young and in heat. She will be having her hips and elbows XRayed in February to be sure there are no signs of dysplasia. Then eye and heart checks to follow in the Spring. If all is well, then she will be bred with her next heat in early summer. Barb and I share her breeding rights with our mentor Sydney Waller, and Donna Talbot another breeding friend.

In the next eight weeks you will see a lot of pictures of Emma’s pups going forward with their growth and development. So I thought it might be fun to look backward on our Riley’s growth from adult back to puppy. The one shortcoming with this blog is the inability to really show the energy and excitement one of these animals brings to your family life. But I will try and use some photos that hopefully capture Riley’s energetic personality. Riley was around for Emma’s first litter with Solo being the only pup. Now she has an unending curiousity to go downstairs and visit the new litter. We keep her away at this time because of Emma’s protectiveness. Our youngest female, Solo, has never seen a litter of pups, so she is not aware of much difference in our house yet. Like an only child being forced to adjust to another baby brought into the house, however, Riley has been a little over the top with her need for attention and affection. Here she is over the past several days trying to be sure we haven’t forgotten about her. She still thinks she is at times a puppy.
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She is one beautiful dog and can be regal at times, and in the next moment full of mischief.She always looks angelic when sleeping.


All goldens love to cuddle and Riley is no exception. The closer to your face the better, and at times it seems they are almost ready to “purr” with pleasure, especially with the added bonus of a tennis ball in their mouths.

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Goldens are social animals and not with just people. If exposed at a young age, they get along very easily with other creatures like cats.


At eight weeks of life they have that legendary “golden coat”, but their personalities are somewhat hidden until they feel comfortable in their environment. Here Sydney Waller is doing her conformation and temperment testing before we brought her home.
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And here Riley is spending one of her first day’s with us.


Amazing how time does quickly pass. But each day is an adventure and blessing with a golden by your side! I hope this “Riley flashback in time” will raise the level of anticipation for all our friends and clients who are counting down the eight weeks until their own adventures begin.

Stay tuned for more new puppy pictures. All are doing well.

Summer Swimming Flashback

I’m back from the Dominican Republic with a surgical team that spent eight days doing major surgery on the poor people of the Las Matas de Farfan region near Haiti. The many challenges were physical, emotional, and professional. We have so much and they have so little. Life and death visited us that week and showed me just how razor thin the difference is when you have absolutely no resources, education, or support staff. I hope to never complain again.

On a happier note, I was looking through some of the old photos and came across some pictures of my daughter introducing a litter of pups to the water. The pups really had a ball and with the cold weather coming, these photos might be a last attempt to enjoy the memories of summer.


As I continue with this blog, I have more and more a feeling that what I’m doing is like the old Seinfeld show: writing a lot about nothing. However by focusing on the simple things, life slows and you can savor the experiences that come your way.

Our Emma still gives me the same answering thump of her tail when I ask her if there are any pups inside. Her ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks.


Neighborhood Kids and Pups

Recently a friend called us and wanted to know if we had any photos of her sons at our home with our dogs. Back then her children were in high school and now they are in their mid twenties. After rumaging around on two computers and multiple discs I was able to find some. What a treat for that mom.

Taking photos was a hobby that started with the first of our goldens. Back then there were no computer cards, digital cameras, and photo software programs, and it was a laborious task to scan a photo, get it resized properly, and then add it to an email attachment. With each of our litters there has been a daily puppy photo that went out to our family, friends, and clients. I have to thank my interest and skills to the encouragement and mentoring of my Aunt Grace and Uncle Phil. My earliest memories of childhood have both of them with their movie camera recording every family gathering and occasion. They still have all of those tapes in organized fashion of all members of our extended family. They make wonderful momentos at modern events when a flashback of us as kids makes our children laugh and laugh.

Fortunately life in the photo world has become much simpler. When Celeste was designing our website, I handed over to her about 10 zip discs (which are now obsolete) and other photo logs from all our litters. She was able to pore over them and make some great choices about which images would showcase our dogs best. Despite those thousands of images, I still have a number of favorites that bring me back to those almost perfect moments in time years ago. Most of those key photos have to do with children and puppies. A perfect match that highlights the happiness, goodness, and energy of those early years in our lives. Here are a few noteworthy ones that I thought everyone would enjoy…
Just to show how quickly the passage of time has gone, here is a photo from our yard a year ago. Some of those same youngsters are now teenagers. Amazing how quickly pups and kids grow up.
In our neighborhood, we are now into the third generation of children with our own being the first. Of course that makes us the “old ones” on our block.There still is nothing that draws children to our yard as much as having a bunch of goldens in the front, especially if a litter is out playing. What a treat for all.

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