The first six years of our life as owners of a pair of Goldens (1991 to 1997) .... Sunny and his (our) baby girl Cosmo. They were a terrific team, Sunny as the protector and guiding light, Cosmo as the child prodigy and ying to his yang. Sadie#2 was now living with Grambo (Andi's Mom) and Ellie had been adopted by Chad and Kathleen, so Ken, Andi and the two Goldies found their way to perfect pack harmony over the next six years. We lived in Bellevue, had a nice backyard, the best dog sitter in the world (our neighbor Walta) and took the dogs EVERYWHERE.
So many stories, far too many to tell them all, but here are a few of my favorites:
> The off-leash park at Luther Burbank on Mercer Island was one of our favorite spots. It had a large lakefront access for the dogs to swim. Cosmo was a retrieving machine, swimming out as far as I could throw the dummy and bringing it back no matter what was in the way. Sunny would swim in circles about 20 yards out, biting the waves and sharking anything thrown by other owners for their dogs. After awhile he would decide he wanted to chase the long ones, so I'd have to hold Cosmo so he could retrieve. If I didn't, she would leave him in the dust. I never saw another dog of any breed out swim her.
> They loved to hang out in the back of the pick-up no matter where we would go. We'd NEVER have to worry about them jumping out and running off. If we were in sight, the whole back would be open, close by, the top window would be open and if we were gone inside for something, we'd lock them in. We used to test them once in awhile by having a friendly stranger try to coax them out. They never succeeded in prying them loose. Sunny was so friendly, he would lean forward and his momentum would take him out, but he always turned around and jumped back in. They just knew where they belonged.
> As the day got longer our walks would take us down to a large grade school/middle school complex. As the two Goldies went sniffing and exploring, I would steal off and hide. Andi would alert the dogs I was missing and send them to look for me. Oh they loved this game. We called it "ditch-em" and it really taught them that when they were off-leash they were always to keep an eye on Dad. It would eventually save their lives.