The following golden retrievers have called our home, “Home” for a while in their lives. Some were as short as a week, others were as long as 5 months. Most were puppies, some were adults. I’ll work to fill in the details of each as time goes by.
- Calvin would be the first golden retriever to come and stay with us while he waited for his forever home. In our exuberance to find a playmate for Cody, even a temporary one in the form of a foster dog, we created a situation where Cody felt he had to fight for dominance in his own home. Instant dog fight.Calvin was obese, tipping the scales at more than 120lbs. We had to start a new diet regime that his adoptive family would need to continue.
Calvin went to a family with little kids. The day he left to go to his new home, he sat up in the back of their minivan with the kids. He went with them willingly, and never even looked back at us.Sadly, 3 days later, the kids’ father was tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The family did everything to keep Calvin, but in the end were forced to give him up. He was returned to Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue (GGRR) at a time when we were already fostering another dog. Calvin was then adopted by another member of GGRR.
- Buddy was a terror. He was mean and dominant. If we let him out of his kennel for more than a few minutes and Cody was anywhere nearby, we had a dog fight on our hands. This wasn’t going to work. We called the foster home mentor and asked that Buddy be removed from our house.I admire the folks within rescue that will take any dog into their homes, but I refuse to allow a foster dog to be a negative influence on my own dog(s). Cody was 7 years old when Calvin arrived and he shouldn’t have to fight for dominance in his own home. After Buddy, we found that we could still fulfill the need within GGRR for foster homes without dealing with a disruptive animal. We decided to specialize in fostering puppies. We don’t mind the potty training; We don’t mind the midnight or 2am trips to the yard; We don’t mind training manners; We don’t mind the patience required to overcome the learned behaviors from abusive situations. Starting with Titus, we began fostering puppies.
- Titus arrived in rescue as a very sick puppy. At nine weeks old, Titus was running out both ends, was underweight, and had worms. He came from a home where his human Mom had adopted two puppies from two different breeders at the same time. One puppy was sick and one puppy was not. The Mom worked long hours and wasn’t home enough to care for the sick puppy so she did the right thing and surrendered him to GGRR.Titus had us worried. He weighed significantly less than he should have at nine weeks old, and nothing we had been able to do, with the help of a vet, could stem his diarrhea and vomiting. Then we started over. Following a late evening trip to PetsMart for puppy formula, we switched him to bottle feeding, then to rice and broth mixed with dewormer. Within 24 hours his illness began to subside, and within a week, he began to gain weight.And he didn’t stop gaining weight until he was tipping the scales at over 100lbs. I know, because Titus found a new home with us. He got along great with Cody and Cody, like us, adored him. But I refused to have a “Tight Ass” living with us, so the name Titus had to go. A friend suggested the name Jasper because Cody and Jasper were both towns in Wyoming. We liked the name, and it suited him. Today, he’s either known as Jasper or affectionately as Big J, or just J for short.Of course, it was much later when we learned that the town in Wyoming is Casper, not Jasper.The investigation into finding Cody a playmate had led us to Gateway Golden Retriever Rescue, and we found him a playmate with Jasper. But, we were hooked. Our contribution to the organization in the form of fostering puppies, working fundraising events, maintaining the website, and more was greatly appreciated by the membership and there were still more dogs that needed our help. Our volunteer efforts with GGRR would continue.
- Ginger, a West Highland Terrier, or simply Westie, was purchased by us as a gift for my mother-in-law. She stayed here with us for a week or so as we worked on her potty training. She adored Cody and Jasper and proved she was fearless as this little 8-week-old, three-pound puppy romped with Cody (7 yr) and Jasper (3 month). Ginger is the center of my mother-in-law’s universe, even today (March, 2017).
- Rex was clearly named for the dinosaur, because he was a terror.
- Trevor was younger than 3 months old when we went to pick him up. He was purchased for the kids of a family to take care of, but when the duty fell on the parents and the puppy was ignored by the kids, he lost his home. In my home, my dogs are a significant part of my family. Dog hair on your clothes is an accessory that you should never leave home without. Beds are made for sleeping, and you can usually find one or more goldens on the bed doing exactly that, because it sure beats the floor. Yet every week, since I’ve been in rescue, we meet people who feel dogs are just property: to be bought on a whim and discarded when they are no longer useful. Trevor found a home with a family that was too consumed with their own lives to share it with him, and so he became homeless.
But that’s where we come in. The mother opened their front door and that puppy came running to us at full speed. He jumped into my wife’s arms and never looked back. He lost control of his bladder, having held it too long — in the car, in my wife’s arms, on his way to a better life. We cleaned it up; we cleaned him up; we found him a great home where he is loved and cherished every day of his life. He stayed with us for nearly 6 months, but right after he was neutered, he went to his new home.Unfortunately, we haven’t had any contact with him in several years now and hope that he continues to be happy in his home.
- Casey (adopted, went to the bridge, 1/2011)
- Amos (got to stay with us forever)
- Clark Kent
- Buddy (transport only)
- Trooper (2011, got to stay with us forever)
- Molly (2011)
- Lilly (2011)
- Bacchus (2011)
- Bogie (2012)
- Louie (2012)
- Marley (2015) was a young puppy who was found in Hayti, Missouri with an embedded chain around his neck. The chain was embedded about 1 inch into his neck and upon removal, it left a 1 inch deep, fire-engine-red gash from ear to ear around the front of his neck. I traveled to Hayti to pick him up — a 4+ hour round trip.
- Bailey (2016) arrived into rescue with his mother from another rescue group that was overcrowded. He stayed a scant 2 months before moving on to a wonderful home! We miss Bailey!
There is 1 foster dog missing. That brings us to 34 fosters plus our original, Cody, who came to us direct from the breeder at 8 weeks old.