Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few recent pictures

Always ready to go.

Lady and her Uncle Chip on "Devo's rock", Oak Creek, AZ

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lady invades Phoenix!

It's been awhile since a posting. I must apologize to all my readers who tune in occasionally to see what's new with Lady. Dad and Lady drove down to Phoenix in mid-October. She rode in her crate for 3 straight days and 1600 miles. It was quite an adventure for both of us. Lady was as good as gold and proved she is a very special Golden. The weather was perfect all the way down and in the 90s for 3 weeks after we arrived. MeMe and PaPa (my parents) were thrilled to meet her and she has taken over the house and their hearts ever since.

Lady is happy, healthy and enjoying the winter weather in Phoenix just like her Dad (Andi was down for two weeks and loved it too). Two walks a day, dog park visit 2 or 3 times a week and lot's of loves and Duck treats.

Rather than go through a long narrative about Lady's adventures, I'll just list the highlights from a few happenings over the last few month.
- Lady loves the dog park. She is learning how to greet and socialize like the balanced K9 I just know she can be. She pretty much takes command of the park. She is curious and confident.
- She now walks off-leash better than when she is tethered!! Never thought I'd see the day.
- Everyone loves Lady. She has many fans at the local dog park, grocery store (she waits outside on her leash and seduces every dog lover that walks by), Starbucks and all our neighbors coo over her at every opportunity.
- She has decided that it's OK to take over my bed if I'm not in it!
- She is the most gregarious, confident dog we've had since Sunny. Nothing phases her (except the chirping of a smoke detector when it's telling you to change the battery). This happened a couple of months ago and she paced, cried and was visibly distressed.
- She has met two family dogs we were concerned about: Buddy, the Green's maniacal 2 year old, black Lab (they got on like old friends) and Rocky, my sister's 2 year old Welsh Terrier (he actually belongs to Jim). Rocky is generally a naughty, rowdy boy who runs roughshod over 2 legged and 4 legged visitors. Lady took no crap from him, protected my 3 year old niece from his terror and took command of their house until she left! Lady and Rocky are now the best of friends.

I have since spent time with Rocky when Lady is not around. On a recent visit he jumped and mouthed me when I arrived, but a firm hand and consistent resistance to his bratty ways quickly turned him into a very well behaved dog during our visit. I LIKE that Rocky!

Lady visits Sky-Y camp, 7 miles south of Prescott, AZ.
She loved the smells, sounds and Chipmunks.
Always the happy, confident girl.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Feeling the love

Lady is bonding very nicely to Andi and I. It is quite obvious....she belongs with us. It's the little things:
- Trying so hard to walk on leash like a good dog should
- Always coming upstairs and sleeping right next to our bed
- Making that sincere eye contact where you just know she means it (Good sit, Good watch)
- Having a sense of property, knowing where she lives
- She is a good watch dog (big, alarm bark), never over-plays it

We were so surprised by her behavior at the picnic. She was totally under control and socialized with everybody (K9 & humans). We could tell that she really likes "her own" (especially the big Golden boys).
We are proud of you Lady.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Golden Bond Picnic

August 24th, 2008
Willamette Mission State Park, just north of Salem, OR

We have only been involved with Golden Bond for a short time. Our application for adopting Lady was sent in the first of May 2008 and we took her home May 26th. The annual picnic was our chance to meet many of the people involved and revel in the presence of 50+ Golden Retrievers. Andi, Lady and I met my brother Chip (he lives in Salem) at this terrific state park and enjoyed an afternoon of fun.

Everyone was incredibly nice and made us all feel welcome. Chip was especially engaged with many of the dogs at the picnic. He loves Goldens as much as I do and I know how much he misses his Toby.
Lady and her Uncle Chip

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another fun swim day

Saturday afternoon at the dog park on Mercer Island. Much less crowded this week and a little easier to get Lady focused on retrieving the tennis ball thrown in the lake. She still gets overly excited when other dogs are retrieving, barking and having a good time. She wants to charge at them; whether they are on land or swimming in the lake. She is not mean about it, just overbearing to the point the other dogs feel they must defend themselves. We moved away from the crowd and found a deserted spot where she could swim and retrieve without encountering other excitable dogs. We just have to find her balanced, socialized dogs to spend time with so she does not feel the need to throw herself rudely into the middle of every "dog situation" she encounters.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A dog's prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in the world is more grateful for kindness that the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for your are my god, and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may feel well to romp and play and do your bidding to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protest you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest….and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

Look everybody, I really do love to swim

Another warm and sunny summer weekend in Seattle. A perfect time to introduce Lady to our favorite dog park on Mercer Island. There were about a dozen dogs there, most retrieving on the large grass lawn or in Lake Washington. This is our first adventure with Lady where she is exposed to many other dogs. She handled it as well as can be expected. We've seen that she is awkward with her dog greetings, but warms up quickly if offense is not taken. She immediately hooked up with two very balanced dogs belonging to one of the regulars, Chris. One of his dogs is a rescued Pit/Lab mix and the other is a Golden. They were fetching up tennis balls in the lake. There was an extra ball that we used for Lady. Her first dive in was quite funny. She splashed around with only her front paws as if she had forgotten how to swim. A minute later she righted the ship and swam off slowly but steady to retrieve her ball. After about 20 or so tosses into the lake, it was time to call it a day. I hated to stop, but I did not want to over-do it. I know what it's like being a weekend warrior! Lady was delighted to be swimming, playing and in the company of other dogs. I can't say enough about how socially at ease Chris' two dogs were. They really helped Lady make a smooth transition from "barky-face pain in the butt" to a "dog park diva". Can't wait for the next swimming and/or dog park adventure. Lady really loved this and badly needs the socialization practice. What a joy to be able to give her what she needs to be a complete, balanced girl.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day at the beach

There have been signs that as a Golden Retriever, Lady may not be an enthusiastic water dog. Now that the weather has turned, it's time to go to the beach and see her in action. Richmond Beach park was our destination on a sunny but cool Saturday. The tide was out and we had to walk awhile to find a suitable spot for Lady to be off-leash. As usual, the minute she is off-leash and given the OK, she is off and running, sniffing and marking. After 15 minutes of exploring, she never even gave the water a second look. I walked down to the waterline and Lady followed. She was quite willing to walk through the lapping waves, but that's about it. She was much more interested in other dogs way off in the distance. A good time was had by all and Lady only got her paws wet the whole time. The following weekend would prove she was just waiting for the right moment to swim.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Finding Lady

Here is where I first saw Lady. This is a copy of her "available Goldens" profile on the Golden Bond web page. Her foster family did a wonderful job of describing Lady and her personality.

- Click on the image below to view -
- Hit the back button to return to this blog -

There were many wonderful Goldens available. I can't explain how I knew she was the one. In the past, I picked Sunny & Cosmo as puppies. Andi picked out Devo when he was a puppy. They were ALL outstanding dogs that we loved as much as children. Some things should just be enjoyed without any explanation. This is one of those times.

Monday, June 23, 2008


by Evelyn Colbath

Now that I am home, bathed, settled and fed
all nicely tucked in my warm bed,
Id like to open my baggage lest I forget
there is so much to carry - so much to regret.

Hmm, yes, there it is, right on the top
let's unpack loneliness, heartache and loss.
And there by my leash hides fear and shame
as I look on these I tried so hard to leave,
I still have to unpack my baggage called pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough, for they don't want me.
Will you add to my baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things
and take me right back?

Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage, to never re-pack?
I pray that you do, I'm so tired you see,
But, I do come with baggage, will you still want me?

YES my Lady, welcome to your Forever Home.....

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lady 2008

It's been seven months since Devo's passing. We have been talking about getting another Golden or two for several months now. We decided to adopt a rescued dog rather that get a couple of puppies and raise them. After a few false starts with well meaning, but disorganized west coast Golden Retriever rescue groups, we found via a rescue group in Oregon.

Here is where we found Lady. A seven year old sweet bundle of Golden love. She was an owner surrender and I'm sure it broke their hearts as much as it did Lady's. Kim and Wally Coon of Boring, OR fostered Lady for 5 weeks on behalf of Golden Bond. Lady was part of a pack of two other balanced dogs and was happy to be in such a nice home. When Lady jumped into the back of our SUV for the ride home to Seattle, she fell right into step with Andi and I...never looking back.

Today is her fourth day in her forever home and I can honestly say, it's like we have all been together for our whole lives. She is a sweet, well behaved girl with no bad habits to speak of. I look forward to writing about her in the years to come.

Welcome our family. We love and adore you already.


A short note about my Pal Devo. We decided to bring a male Golden puppy into the family in 1997 so Sunny could help raise him and impart his free spirit and macho strut onto our new boy. Unfortunately, Sunny died just before we brought Devo home. With no papa dog around, Cosmo was the one who helped raise him.

I wanted to include mention of Devo for chronological purposes. Devo has his own blog at:

The blog tells Devo's life story, plus a great deal about Cosmo and her role as Devo's companion and rock of Gibraltar. They were a great pair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cosmo enters Sunny's life

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.

Ellie and Cosmo

Cosmo, Sunny and Ellie - Ellie spent about 4 months with us before she went with Chad and Kathleen.

In April of 1991, Sunny and Solo produced another litter of 12 Golden pups. As owner of the stud, we took two females. I wanted to keep one and my sister wanted the other one. During the selection process, we went to visit the puppies many time. One particular female would always come over and crawl on my lap. It was Cosmo and she went home with us to be our third dog and first Sunny puppy. Andi picked out Ellie as the chosen one to be sent to my sister.

Ellie and Cosmo 6 weeks old
They were also know as Spike and Snowball before they had their real names

The only photo of both girls with their Papa dog when they were puppies

We kept the girls together until they were 16 weeks old. It was very emotional for Andi to send Ellie away, even though we always knew that was her fate. Cosmo settled in with us and became Sadie #2's worst nightmare and Sunny's lifetime companion. Even though all puppies are bratty (Cosmo was no exception), she was amazingly easy to train and break of any undesirable behavior. She loved all humans and went out of her way to greet everyone with a kiss and those big brown eyes. (More about Cosmo on the "Remembering Devo" blog.

Ellie and Cosmo 10 years old

We eventually got Ellie back after a year. Since Sadie#2 was now with Andi's Mom, Ellie became our third Golden. As much as we adored Ellie, I’m here to tell you that 3 dogs in the city are many magnitudes more work than 2 (especially since they were related to Sunny!). We were thrilled to death when our friends Chad and Kathleen asked about adopting Ellie. We quickly agreed and Ellie lived out the rest of her wonderful life with Chad and Kathleen and received just as much unconditional love as she gave.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Mr. Toby was my brother Chip's sweet boy from Sunny and Solo's first litter (1989). I took one male puppy because some well meaning friends thought they needed a dog. Three months after he arrived, these friends got a divorce and I took Toby back (happily). We already had two dogs (Sunny and Sadie#2) and my brother had always wanted a Golden, so Toby went to Phoenix. Chip now had a Golden of his own (after growing up with Sadie#1). He did a wonderful job raising Toby and I can't thank him enough for giving Toby a perfect forever home.

Everybody adored Toby. He was very sweet like Solo and gregarious like Sunny. Loved to retrieve, please his pack and snuggle whenever the opportunity presented itself. He got along with every dog he ever met, no matter how socially retarded they were. The picture taken by the fire at the Oregon beach house in the summer of 2002 was the last time I saw him. He had a big dog-day and I'll never forget how much he loved it there.

Sadie #2

1988-2002 > Sadie came to us from our good friend Don Luxmore. His Golden Retriever “Lady” had a litter of pups, but the neighborhood black Lab was the first to jump the fence. Sadie was a sporting dog mix, but didn’t swim or retrieve! Sunny needed a companion and Sadie filled the bill, he didn’t care whether she retrieved or not. Sunny just adored her, but 3 years later, after bringing Cosmo into the pack, it was obvious Sadie would do much better as an only dog. Andi’s Mom jumped at the chance to adopt her, so Sadie stayed in the family. It was a match made in heaven. She was a great companion and alarm dog for Grambo who lived alone in Everett. It was really special because we could see her all the time and she was always part of the pack whenever we’d get together.

Kimmy brought Sadie home on her lap when she was a pup. From then on they had a special bond. Even when Kimmy was far away, she always asked about her Sadie. Oh yea, Sadie was named after Sadie #1 who had just died a month before we brought the little white bundle home.


1986-1997 > My first Golden Retriever was Sunny, also known as Papa dog after he fathered his first litter of pups. If Sunny was a human, he would have been a combination of Rhett Butler (of Gone with the wind fame) and Mister Rogers. This guy was balls-to-walls his whole life. Sunny loved living the Golden life. We got him as a pup when he was 16 weeks old, so he had developed a pretty dominate personality with only him and his injured brother left from the litter (poor brother dog broke his leg in a freak accident). Sunny was one of a kind for sure. Another very handsome male Golden.

About the time one normally considers doing the responsible thing and neutering a male dog, I met Chris Larson and his female Golden "Solo". She was an incredible girl; personable, playful and smart as a whip. Chris was taken with Sunny and it was agreed that we would breed them. It was a match made in heaven. Their pedigrees where very compatible and eventually they produced two beautiful litters. Toby, Cosmo and Ellie were from those litters. Sunny puppies as I describe them, but Toby and Cosmo were very much their mama dog, with Ellie being more like Sunny.

Being a stud dog, he was quite the trouble maker, but was kind and gentle to humans of all ages. Not being neutered until he was 6 years old instilled a dominant streak that would stay with him his whole life. It took me almost 2 years to convince him I was alpha. After that, he gladly accepted the #2 role (no matter who joined or left the pack). He was very protective of his pack and always kept a special eye on Kimmy. At 90 pounds, he made a good tackling dummy for Jake and other neighborhood kids.

Sunny and Cosmo (female from his second litter) lived together as companions for 6 years. Sunny was Cosmo’s rock, even though I wouldn’t go as far as to say Sunny was responsible for Cosmo being a gentle balanced dog. She pretty much came from the factory that way!

Sunny had a unique instinct to seek out, nuzzle and display affection to children with palsy, MS or autism. They always responded to him as he awakened something from deep inside each child. He was an incredible dog with amazing powers. Those who knew him still refer to him as “The King”. After 11 years, his picture is still on Jake, JoAnn, and Rich's refrigerator. He was the magic man and still holds that special place in my heart as the first Golden I raised from a pup. I learned a lot from that experience; developing my own dog whispering skills that would result in the perfect pair of Goldens ever - Cosmo and Devo. Thank you Sunny, couldn't of done it without you.

Sunny was the only dog I've ever had that would let you dress him up in anything.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sadie the first

This is Sadie, the Golden Retriever that started our love for the breed. She was a big, goofy, happy-go-lucky girl. Completely uninhibited and undisciplined! She belonged to my parents who still lived in Phoenix and was my little brother Chip's first REAL dog. There are three stories that come to mind whenever I think of Sadie.

One Thanksgiving after dinner the remaining turkey sat up on the stove overnight to be used for soup stock the next day. During the night, Sadie somehow climbed up, pulled the turkey down and gobbled the remaining meat and left only the bones. Here's the best part; the 4'x4' grease spot that remained in the middle of the carpet where she dragged it to be devoured. She figured she might as well be comfortable during her Thanksgiving meal!

Sadie would go up to the playground with the kids, climb up the steps on the slide and slide down, just like the rest of the kids. One time she landed on her tail and broke it. That was the last time she was allowed to copy all the kids.

During a day trip to Prescott, Sadie was off exploring while my Dad and I worked on a project on the acre of land he owned. Next thing you know, here she comes with a whole face full of Porky pine quills!! Poor baby, we sat with pliers and pulled every one of them out of her face and muzzle. She never made a peep or squirmed in protest.

Like all Goldens I have know, Sadie was a gentle soul and loved kids most of all. She is the reason that Chip and I never want to be without a Golden in our life.

Old Sadie#1 with Kim and Valerie
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...