I thought I would share with my readers the stories behind our beloved Golden Retriever rescues. We have opened our homes and shared our lives with four incredible Golden Retriever rescues, through Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue. My husband adopted two Golden’s from the same litter, from a breeder back in 1999, before we knew better, so we have been fortunate to have a total of six Golden Retrievers in our lives.
The Golden Retriever breed originates in Scotland, all Golden Retrievers are descended from the original Scottish stock and were original bread as superior hunting dogs. Goldens were originally bred by a British Aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth, who mixed a yellow-colored Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel, the result was a beautiful Golden Retriever.
I’ll share Elvis’s story first, he is our youngest and most recent rescue. Elvis is an English Creme Golden Retriever. We adopted him when he was 8 months old. He was bred by a breeder from Southern California, but several pups in his litter were born with heart murmurs. On a scale of 1-6, with 6 being the most severe, Elvis’s murmur registers at a 1-2. We knew he would be safe with us, since we didn’t do a lot of running.
Jeremy and I have always had two Golden Retrievers, first it was the sisters Athena and Empora, which you will learn about later, next came Trixie, then Fonzie and most recently Elvis.
We were not planning to adopt a puppy, in fact, we decided specifically not to. We lost our dearest Trixie in December of 2016 and by February we know it was time to find Fonzie a friend. We contacted Homeward Bound to let them know what type of Golden we were looking for. We wanted a female, pure bred, between the ages of 2-8. The didn’t have any available. In fact, it had been an excellent year for Homeward Bound, depending on the side of the fence you were sitting, they had only rescued a few hundred retrievers in 2017. There were literally that few that were being taken to shelters. Rewind back to 2012 when we rescued Trixie, they had rescued 700+ that year; Lots of people were losing their jobs and moving and giving up their Goldens. Great news for Golden Retrievers, not so great news if you were looking to rescue and had a preference. They had two Golden mixes that met our criteria. We decided to go and meet them.
When we were at Homeward Bound meeting the Golden mixes available, there was a pen full of puppies out front when we arrived. I was immediately interested, my husband not so much, as he had raised puppies and knew what a handful they could be. We were told the puppies were off limits, and not available as they were still under doctors care. That was the end of that. We didn’t connect with the Golden mixes available for different reasons, so I continued to check in each week over the phone.
We were really getting disappointed that they didn’t have any dogs available so my husband decided we should drive over again. Sometimes they have dogs that haven’t made the availability list for this or that reason. When we got there, a few of the puppies were still in the pen. The brought out the mixes we had met before and told us again how they didn’t have any Goldens that met our criteria. We went through the list of ALL available Goldens. I asked about the puppies one more time, but this time I was told they were available but I wasn’t on the list for puppies because I requested an older dog. I asked to be put on the list, and plead my case as I had adopted three Goldens prior. They told me I could write a letter requesting a puppy and they would let me know. I wrote my letter and crossed my fingers.
We were approved and could adopt a puppy. They invited us back to meet the two males puppies that were available and to pick one out. That was so much fun and such a hard decision. They were two beautiful white balls of fluff. They were equally energetic and playful. I wanted to take them both home. I let my husband decide, because I liked them both equally and couldn’t chose. Both puppies would make me equally as happy.
My husband is very creative, so I told him he should pick the name of our Golden. He had a name already picked out. Elvis, after Elvis Presley, the King. I loved it as soon as I heard it. Fonzie loved Elvis almost immediately.
Elvis is a handful. Elvis is full of energy and loves to chew on everything and anything. He hasn’t, knock on wood, eaten anything too expensive, and thus far our shoes have been safe, but he does like to chew. My four year old grand daughter has a completely different opinion, as his favorite snacks are her toys. She is very good about keeping her door closed tight these days.
Elvis is almost 18 months and weighs 85 lbs. He is a big boy. He had a family reunion with his litter mates and was almost twice the size of the others. We feed him the puppy food from Costco, in case your wondering.
Putting this blog post together has been a fun way to see his Growth over the past year.
Have you ever meet a Golden Retriever that didn’t like to SWIM? Elvis loves to splash in water in his play pool but wants nothing to do with the ocean. I’ve got him into the water, and he can swim but he quickly got out and didn’t want to come back.
Elvis loves to wiggle his way onto your lap, and will gladly crawl into bed with you.
Elvis loves his family, and when we have parties he works the crowd for pets and treats. He is less secure in big open spaces, Jeremy often says he has agoraphobia, which is fear of public, and large open spaces.
He is also the only guard Golden we have ever had, most Golden’s are 100% off duty indoors. Elvis is the opposite, he is alert and will let you know if something is wrong outside.
Elvis likes to travel with us, the first time we took him in the RV he did get carsick a few times but now he is a seasoned pro, and loves to go on road trips.
He is sweet lovable and kind and I am so glad we opened our home and lives to this adorable white Golden puppy. I can’t wait to build more memories with this charismatic charmer.
Are you thinking about adopting a Golden Retriever? Check to see if there is a Golden Retriever rescue nearby? There is usually a rescue organization for all breeds.
Rescue dogs are not free to adopt but the prices are much less than what you would pay at a breeder and you know the money is going towards an excellent cause of rescuing more dogs.
Rescues usually have a full check up, so you know in advance any health issues the dog may have and they are usually on a regiment to treat any existing health ailments. Most dogs will not be adopted out until they are fully treated but you can usually foster the dog.
Fostering also allows you to get to know the dogs temperament before you adopt. This is another great feature of rescuing a dog; you get to test drive them to see if they would be a good fit in your home. The foster parent always has the first right of refusal in adopting a dog they are fostering.
Contact the rescue, fill out the necessary paperwork, and schedule an in home visit to make sure your house meets safety requirement. This is a good thing, as most rescue organizations want to ensure the dogs are going to safe loving homes. You don’t have to be rich, you just have to provide a loving, safe, secure dog environment. They also do want to know that the dog will be sleeping indoors.
Here is the link for Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue if you are near northern CA and are interested in rescuing a Golden.
This is part one of a 6 post installment on the stories behind our beloved Golden’s.
Post a picture of your pet in the comments. I would love to see your pets.
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