So how did all of this start?
In 2000, I wanted a mouse. Yes, a mouse.
Karen, the most intelligent and perceptive partner that she is, pointed out that it is difficult to cuddle a mouse.
An amazing PT named Margaret told me that the woman that ran her day care had a litter of Golden Retriever puppies. I had met a golden/irish setter cross as a teen, remembered it fondly, and thought "hmmm, let's go look."
We met Misty, the momma, and her 10 surviving puppies. One had died from an impacted umbilicus, or some such nastiness.
I went about this process in a very determined manner. I temperament and intelligence tested each puppy. I had made it through about 7 of them when the breeder, Seegar I think her name was, thrust one little pup into my hands. I do believe she was getting tired of me handling each puppy and taking way too much time.
I had been saying, for some time, that I would know the dog for me when it grabbed me by the nose and did not let go.
When the breeder placed the golden fluff ball into my hands, I let it lean onto my chest and I felt a warm sensation push through the center of my chest (fourth chakra). The little girl then leaned her head back and grabbed my goatee in her tiny perfect teeth and did not let go. I looked up at Karen and knew this was the one. A picture exists of a minute after this joining up of us two, I will post it when I find it.
That was about thirteen years ago. A little perfect golden puff ball and I started down a trail into things I had never imagined could be. Obedience, therapy Pet Partners, dog trainer, dachshunds and so many more adventures.
That is how this all started. A boy and his amazing dog.
She is tired today, but I can tell she feels better. I was greeted by her age diminished "WOOOO WOOOO" when I came home, and she licked my face and arms. She does not do that too often any more. Maybe she knows more that I give her credit for, but then, I believe that has always been the case.