At the beginning of January I got an email from an animal-lover friend telling me she knew of a lady with a two-year-old male Golden Retriever who needed a home. Supposedly a pure-bred, 'quite active' (what two-year-old Golden isn't?) and in need of training. No more details than that.
Because we have two dogs, she thought we might like to have a third. I told her two is our limit. It's not likely Rosey would put up with another interloper, and Lucy would use every ounce of her 14 pounds to beat him up.
After thinking about him and starting to feel badly, I decided to send an email blast to local people in my contact list I thought might be interested. I sent out a short message to 150 people with the subject: Golden Retriever Needs a Home.
I was so excited when I started getting the responses. Several were from people I hadn't emailed but had received the message forwarded to them. A few mentioned the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue. In total, I received twelve responses.
The response that got to my heart was this:
I would LOVE more info on him. We had to put our Irish Setter down when we moved last winter and we have been talking about getting another Golden. We had a Golden for 17 years when our children were small. We have fabulous references from our long time veterinarian. I have lots of experience working with all kinds of animals - cats, dogs and horses especially. Training is not a problem. I attended puppy training sessions with my Irish Setter. We have a small farm and my horse will be coming home this April so I will be home everyday after work and I have summers off since I am a teacher. I had spoken to a friend who promised me one of her golden puppies this summer but I would prefer a dog that was already house broken and a bit older than a puppy. You can email the info or call my cell at ..........
It was as if she was applying to adopt a child! I was so touched by her email, I thought, this is the family. I immediately got the name and number of the person who had Bear, and left it to them to make the contact.
Four days later they picked him up, took him to the vet for the first time in 18 months and had him groomed to get rid of his flea infestation. He'd had zero training and was afraid of men. An indication to me of abuse or as the lady who had him said "rough handling" by her son-in-law. Apparently her daughter had originally owned him but became overwhelmed and needed to find him another home. Anyone who has ever had a Golden Retriever, especially a male, knows they are an active breed and remain puppies well into their third year. They are also the most lovable, loyal and beautiful dogs.
Bear, who was quickly renamed Ben by his new family, was indeed a 70-pound handful but they reported that he is responding well to training and is very lovable. He loves his new bed, no longer sleeps on the furniture and is a champion frisbee player. I hope to visit them in the next couple months to meet him.
In the meantime, see for yourself. He's a beauty, and it sounds like a match made in doggie heaven!