I am in awe of the effect dogs have on people. You see the joy, the smiles, and the stress just melt away when a dog is around. Whenever I am at the ballpark with our dog, Sammy, people will often approach to say hello. He is very sociable, loves everyone, and enjoys the attention. He’s like a “people magnet”. 🙂
The road to finding our Sammy wasn’t easy. Over the past couple of years, our son had been experiencing some anxiety and was having a hard time with friends in school. He had also fallen in love the with the Disney ‘Air Bud’ movies, starring Buddy, the Golden Retriever, ultimately falling in love with breed. My son has watched the ‘Air Bud’ movies so much, that he started to want a dog. Not just any dog, but a Male Golden Retriever.
We also had a friend with a white English Buttercream Retriever that was so calm and wonderful. That dog would put his head in my son’s lap. He loved it! It was priceless and further drove the point home that my son wanted this type of dog.
It became clear to us that a Golden Retriever would be perfect for our son since we knew that these were great companion dogs, can ease stress and anxiety, and could possibly one day end up serving as a therapy dog, something I had always been interested in. We knew that Goldens can sense distress in people and care about you with a heart of GOLD. But seriously, having this kind of dog might help ease my son’s anxiety.
So, we began searching. We searched high and low, specifically for a male Golden Retriever. We searched every rescue place in town. We paid application fees, we had home visits, we tried everything. I think we tried 5 or 6 rescue organizations, as well as the Humane Society. We found nothing. Even the rescue volunteers we telling us that with the dogs they had, who had a lot of problems, they didn’t have a dog with the right fit for us.
This went on for 9 months…
It was heart wrenching…
We were SO ready for this dog. And not just ANY DOG, but the RIGHT DOG. We had started to give up hope.
Out of desperation, one night I posted on Facebook that we were looking for a male Golden Retriever and if anyone knew of anyone that knew of anyone that had one, I would be forever grateful.
Within hours, My friend replied that she had a friend with a male Golden puppy that was available…. WHAT??? Seriously???
That friend owned a Male and Female Golden, and they had delivered 9 puppies, 4 months ago. We were so thrilled!
We were able to visit and take home our 4 month old puppy, Sammy, like the same day!!! It was awesome because we also got to meet Sammy’s mom and dad. I was reminded that timing is everything. If we, or the dog’s owner had been in a different place in our lives, then we would have missed this wonderful opportunity. It was truly meant to be.
We have had Sammy now for 3 months and he has been so much fun! My son, who is now 11 years old, has been wonderful with him. Our boy is more responsible than I have ever seen him. He takes Sammy outside to go to the bathroom, he feeds him, makes sure he has his water. He will take him outside to play ball and run around. At the same time, this dog will put his head in my son’s lap and rest. Just what he’s always wanted. We have taught Sammy to fetch, catch a ball in his mouth, shake hands, walk on the leash, etc. When my son comes home from school, he will say with excitement, “SAMMY!” and then say, “Oh… Hi Mom!” 🙂
I see so much more happiness, and less anxiety, in my kid because of this sweet, insightful, dog. There is a bond there, a love for each other. I will bring Sammy to my son’s baseball games and Sammy totally knows which one he is on the field. Sammy is so loyal and wants to be with his people. I see the excitement in my son now and I think about all the months that we searched, tried, cried, and wanted to love on this wonderful creature.
And…I am touched at what sweet, intuitive, dogs they are. Just today, I brought Sammy with me to see my son’s game. There were several kids that came up to Sammy to say hello, which of course I encourage. But, there was a special needs child in a stroller that showed interest in Sammy. I told them it was okay to say hello and brought Sammy over. This child started squealing and flailing his arms out of pure excitement of seeing this dog. Sammy was so wonderful and gentle with him, letting this child touch his face and rub him. Then Sammy, sensing how much joy this child had, layed down, rolled over, and wanted this child to rub his belly. He had not done that with any of the other children that came up to say hello. It was positively precious.
I will say that with Goldens, training is absolutely essential. I heard an awful story of a Golden that was turned over to a rescue organization because he was too wild for the kids. This dog had been banished to the basement and was never allowed to join the family. Basically, all he needed was some training.
They can be strong and they are big. If they are not taught correctly, they can be difficult.
I know having a dog with babies and small kids can be challenging, but if proper dog training is done and practiced each day, you can have a DREAM DOG. We have been through puppy training with Sammy and will continue on as he gets older. These dogs are so smart and pick it up super quick. It is so important to teach them the appropriate way to act. Just like we do with our children…
So, was all the waiting and searching worth it??
You bet. 🙂