as told by Brenda
Larry and I met 30 years ago at the elementary school where we taught. I was teaching Mentally Handicapped children and he was the ESE Specialist in charge of my program. We discovered we had many things in common – our love for the outdoors, a desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, a passion to travel, and one other common interest – the love of dogs – especially Golden Retrievers.
We rescued our first Golden, J.D. (Just Dog) from the Broward County Animal Control. He was about 2 years old. J.D. went everywhere with us-to the parks, the beach, on vacations and to visit family and friends. He was a wonderful addition to “our family”. Sadly, we lost him to leukemia when he was 10 years old. We thought he was the best dog ever.
We adopted our next Golden boy, Tyler Beau, as a puppy. We rescued him from a “pen” (a child’s plastic swimming pool) that held Tyler and about 8 Chow puppies. Tyler had been stepped on and pushed away by his fellow puppy mates so much that he had developed many fears. Fear of loud noises, anything moving too quickly, even someone petting him made him fearful. We did our best to make his home life safe and secure and gradually his fears lessened.
When Tyler was about 5 years old, we adopted a second golden retriever, J.D. II. J.D. was the exact opposite of Tyler. He was strong and brave and very confident. He actually helped Tyler get over some of his fears. Sadly, Tyler passed away when he 15 years old. Our vet said simply “his heart gave out”. For a dog that had so many fears as a puppy, he had developed into a secure, happy dog. We thought he was the best dog we had ever owned.
When J.D. II turned 10, we decided a puppy would help to keep him young. That’s when we decided to adopt Cody Beau (Beau in memory of Tyler). Cody did everything a puppy was supposed to do – basically he annoyed J.D. and gave Larry and me unlimited pleasure. J.D. loved Cody as though they were father and son – and he taught him all the “good things” a dog should know. But sadly, in May of 2009, J.D. developed a bloated stomach and had to be put to sleep immediately. The procedure to flip his stomach back would have been too traumatic for a golden that was 13 years old. We thought J.D. II was the best dog we had ever owned.
About 3 weeks after we put J.D to sleep, we decided to rescue a dog that was 3 months younger than Cody. His name is Harley – we call him Harley David. We drove to the west coast of Florida to pick him up. Harley was a perfect match for our family. We fell in love with him the minute we saw him. When he rolled over for a belly rub, it was confirmed – he was our boy! Cody and Harley are like brothers. They completed their Canine Good Citizen class (as a team) and they love getting into mischief together. We lovingly call them Frick and Frack!
And throughout all of the “Goldens” that we’ve adopted, Larry and I moved in together, bought a house, got married, worked as a Principal and an Elementary School Teacher, retired as a Principal and an Elementary School Teacher and now spend as much time as we can with our golden boys – Cody and Harley (and our recently adopted foster dog – Shaq).
You may have seen a pattern in all of this – but I truly believe it’s the golden retriever breed… and we think Cody Beau and Harley David are the best dogs we have ever owned!