Dakota, our ‘good boy’ died on September 30, 2018. He was an intrepid traveler, ready to hop in the pick-up truck at a moment’s notice no matter where the destination. He would lay on the bench seat happily the entire trip. He moved with us 5 times as far away as California and back to Oregon, and he was happy as long as his people were with him.
He seemed content to be one of the family, although we saw that he could have been an awesome working dog as he was so smart, alert, and willing to follow our lead. He waited each morning to share a bite of our breakfast bagel even when food started to lose its’ appeal.
He fought hard to keep going and hide his cancer pain, but when it became too much we had a vet come to our home to give him as comfortable an end as possible. He laid peacefully by our side when the end came. We miss him greatly and he will be forever in our hearts. We are so fortunate to have found him and Golden Bond Rescue.
Dakota was adopted on February 11, 2009
Everyday one of us is heard to say, “Wow, I can’t believe how lucky we are to have Dakota #1822 with us”.
Our beloved, 13 year old golden died about 2 years ago, and we very much wanted another golden in our home, but needed to wait until we were at home more and not so busy with our daughter’s sports tournaments. With our youngest daughter going off to college this coming fall, it was now the right time, and we are overjoyed to have Dakota with us. He is so sweet, and we loved him at first sight. Golden Bond has a great process for finding the right home for each dog, but what did surprise us was how much soul searching we did when we met the first dogs. We love all goldens, so it was difficult to meet a dog, step back and ask all the hard questions – is our home the best fit for this particular dog? We knew how much each needed a forever home, and when we had doubts about whether it was the right dog for us, we didn’t want to say no! But we were supported and encouraged that if there were any doubts, we should wait until it felt like it was a perfect fit.
We are happy we waited and let the process work, because we knew we were the right home for Dakota right when we met. Dakota is a typical golden, but he has is own distinct, sweet personality. He must have something in his mouth to greet anyone – usually someone’s’ shoe (which he never chews, but handles gently and only gets a bit wet). He loves his new stuffed rabbit and will carry that around proudly. He will play fetch with a ball, but seems to prefer to carry around a stuffed “friend”. He seemed very thin, but his new veterinarian assured us he is the perfect weight and very healthy. He is very lanky and limber, and loves a low back or tummy rub.
We had built a ramp in case a dog we adopted could not jump into our cars. Well, we definitely don’t need it for Dakota. From the very first car ride home, Dakota flew up into the car unassisted and ready to go. He jumps higher than seems possible – he even jumped completely over me when I was sitting on the floor to go take a closer look at the pet rabbit (safely in her cage!). He is a wonderful car rider – calm, curious, and settles reluctantly into the back seat (he would rather be in the front). When he first arrived home, he was very hesitant about going by himself into the back yard, and seemed confused as to where he was supposed to relieve himself. There was an accident the first night, but it was just confusion about how to tell us he needed to go out and which door to go to. Settling into a routine of 2 long walks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, seemed to help him settle into his new home, and make him braver to venture out in the backyard by himself. At first we needed to use the gentle leader to go on walks as he seemed unaccustomed to a leash and would bound after squirrels, children, or other dogs. Being so strong, he could pull us along behind without realizing we were behind him hanging on! Now that he has had more practice, he is now off the gentle leader and walking comfortably with a regular leash. He still gets very excited when meeting anyone, but does not bound after them quite as much.
We quickly discovered that he must be accustomed to being up on furniture, so when we are not home he prefers a high chair or sofa where he can look out the front window and watch for our return. It was obvious from the first that he came from a very loving home and someone had spent the time to teach him commands, like sit, stay, down. We took him to be evaluated by a dog trainer and sign up for obedience classes. It was interesting to see him just “shine” for the trainer – he observed that Dakota is “intermediate”, but we are “beginners”. We signed up and are looking forward to classes. We feel a strong sense of responsibility to continue the training he has already had, so he won’t forget all he has learned. Dakota shows such a sense of pride in being able to follow commands, and he seems to be waiting to learn more. Every day we learn something new about him. Some things puzzle us – he seems to want to join in when two people hug each other – and most things delight us – he is very polite and will wait for his food or to be invited up on the bed to snuggle. We are just so happy to have such a wonderful companion. So the only question now is when we should adopt the second golden?