Finnegan…our Golden Retriever
When I was about five years old my parents had me with them at a friend’s house for dinner. The friends had a very elderly Golden. I went stomping through the house, even though I had been warned to be careful, and stepped right in the middle of the dog’s belly. I am sure that I hurt the poor dog quite a bit, most dogs would have growled or even snapped at me, but the Golden did not. He jumped up and started licking me instead. That is when my mother fell in love with Golden Retrievers.
My mother has been breeding for about twenty years now. The dogs are her children. She has a healthy beautiful line that she breeds primarily in regards to temperament. She believes that families should be able to seek out these remarkable dogs that they can know will be wonderful with their children. I do believe in adoption, and I also do believe that there are terrible dog breeders out there who do deplorable things. There are also good and diligent ones out there like my mother. Her dogs live in her house and sleep by her bed. They are her family.
When we first moved to Florida, my old dog stayed with my mom. One hundred and twenty five pounds is a little big for Florida. After we were settled in a house here, we decided that we wanted one of my mother’s Goldens. I don’t feel secure without a dog, and we knew that one of mom’s dogs would be perfect for the kids. They were five and five and three when we brought Finnegan home.
Finn is the most completely perfect dog I could possibly imagine for our family. She barely ever barks, would never to try and run off, and doesn’t chew on things. She doesn’t get into the garbage or up on the counters, and if she so much as ever growled at one of my kids I would pass out from the shock. Yes, she sheds a lot, and she needs to be groomed occasionally. She loves people so very much that the only behavior we ever have to deal with is her wanting to love everyone to death. She is probably the worst watchdog on the face of the earth…but that’s not what we were looking for in her.
My youngest daughter lies on top of Finn for a large part of the day. She also teaches her dog tricks and she is actually pretty good at it. Finnegan likes to carry her ball around in her mouth, she doesn’t play fetch, but she totes the ball around. I guess that it is a retriever thing. When I swim laps in the pool she likes to trot from end to end alongside me on the pool deck. I don’t know if she is cheering me on, or if she thinks that she is getting exercise.
Finn is terrified of thunderstorms and of the vacuum cleaner. She has nearly broken my neck a few times by wanting to hide right at my feet. She doesn’t operate in typical Golden fashion when it comes to food. Sometimes she just gives me a look when I offer her leftovers like: “You really expect me to eat this mom?” We are so blessed to have her. She has brought my children and my family endless amounts of comfort and happiness. If you have children and you are looking for a dog; I do strongly recommend a Golden.
If you are looking into purchasing a Golden Retriever or any kind of dog from a private breeder, please be diligent about researching their business. You should never be denied a tour of their facilities. Legitimate kennels are kept clean and the dogs should all look healthy. Good breeders make available documents on both the bitch and the sire, and they should have seven generations of lineage verified, so that you can confirm that inbreeding is not an issue. Breeders like my mother have their females certified for eyes, elbows, heart, and hips, which are the most common places we see medical problems in Goldens. Make sure that you know about your breeder to insure that you bring home a healthy dog.