Our home and our hearts were empty and broken after the death of our two “Golden Girls”, who had been a part of our lives for 17 years.

Through my tears, I checked out rescue websites,  looked at dogs at the Humane Society and investigated getting a puppy though a breeder, searching for  a Golden girl to mend my heart.  Then, one day, there he was….a picture of a large Golden nose.

After visiting him two times, we finally decided that despite being a boy, having little fur, no eyelashes and not knowing at all how to walk on a leash, he needed us.  Finn, EGRR # 486, became known as Zinfandel, for the red wine my husband adores.

The first months were a challenge, as we battled some difficult health issues and several surgeries.  In addition, Zinny seemed to gravitate toward my husband.  So, of course, when George left the house, the dog sat with his nose to the door all day long.  I never felt more discouraged.

I finally decided I could not handle the sadness of him not playing with toys or chewing a bone.  Luckily, I had a great support system with a wonderful vet and good people at EGRR.  Eventually, after three appointments I found a talented trainer.  The trainer helped me stop feeling sorry for Zinny.   He also told me to relax, that trust takes time.  We all worked really hard on exercise, discipline and commands.  Turns out that Zinny had learned how to be a rather independent dog when he was on his own.

At the end of the summer, we rented a beach house for two weeks.  What a great experience for us all!  Zinny learned how to swim in the ocean and chase seagulls for miles.  My husband even lost weight keeping up with our dog.  Somehow those two weeks turned the tide and we became a family.  Zinny started playing with toys and coming to me for treats and affection.  Even his hair grew and we marveled when his whiskers and eyebrows appeared.  Zinny found his personality during that vacation.

So, the story has a happy ending.  Right?  Well, almost.  In the fall, I was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer and guess who has been my biggest ally.  You guessed it….Zinny.  He has been a huge hit with my revolving door of visitors.  Every neighbor volunteers to help me with these words, “can I walk Zinny for you?”  This is amazing considering he did not even know how to walk on a leash a year ago.

Here we are a year later with a beautiful male Golden who plays with tons of new toys, has many human and dog friends and simply loves life.  But best of all, he knows he is part of a family who needs him.