THE  GRACEFUL  GOLDEN  RETRIEVERS 
OF  NORTH  FLORIDA

OUR HOME & KENNEL ARE LOCATED ON THE GULF AT INDIAN PASS, FL

HOW TO GET THE "PICK OF THE LITTER"


I'M NOT SURE, WE NEED TO ASK MY LOVELY BRIDE, DIANNE.


WHO WAS/IS "MY PICK OF HER LITTER"


ISN'T SHE A KNOCKOUT?

AND SHE MAKES A GREAT QUICHE!

HOW LUCKY CAN A GUY GET


AFTER  62 YEARS OF MARITAL BLISS I'M NOW WONDERING, "WHO PICKED WHO" ?

HOW MUCH DOES LUCK PLAY IN THE MATTER? (ck. "One More Thing" story below)

NONETHELESS, THE RESULTS ARE USUALLY WONDERFUL WITH LOVE ALL AROUND.



BUT, AFTER MANY YEARS OF WATCHING FOLKS SIT OR SQUAT DOWN IN THE MIDDLE 

OF A LITTER OF 8,10,12, or more YOUNG GOLDEN or LABRA-GOLD PUPPIES, 

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE PUPPY USUALLY ENDS UP BEING THE PICKER.

WHETHER IT WAS THAT SPECIAL LOOK IN HIS/HER EYES OR 

THE WAY ONE KEPT COMING BACK FOR ANOTHER EAR RUB

SOMTHING WILL "CLICK" AND YOU'RE HOOKED.


I HAVE SEEN THIS HAPPEN AMAZINGLY TIME AFTER TIME.



SO, COME ON DOWN, UP or OVER AND SIT WITH THE PUPPIES, 

YOU'LL SOON FIND YOUR 

"PICK OF THE LITTER".

**********

"ONE MORE THING"

A HALF DOZEN + YEARS AGO THREE OF MY DOGS AND I WERE HEADING FOR THE BEACH TO GET 

OUR AFTER DINNER "TWO MILER" WALK IN BEFORE DARK.

OF COURSE THE DOGS WERE RUNNING A FEW YARDS AHEAD OF ME, STOPPING & SNIFFING OCCASIONALLY

TO "SEE" WHO HAD BEEN THERE AHEAD OF US.

I NOTICED "PEACHES" & HER DAUGHTER "BLONDIE" STOPPING NEXT TO A NEIGHBOR'S BIG GREEN GARBAGE CAN

AND START EATING SOMETHING.  I FIGURED IT WAS PROBABLY SOME LEFT OVER TABLE MORSEL THE NEIGHBOR HAD THROWN OUT BUT I DECIDED TO GO OVER AND CHECK.

WHAT I FOUND WERE THE REMAINS OF SOME WILD MUSHROOMS (PEACHES LOVED MUSHROOMS).

THERE WASN'T ENOUGH LEFT TO IDENTIFY WHICH MUSHROOM VARIETY IT WAS, BUT SINCE SHE HAD BEEN EATING MUSHROOMS IN THAT SAME AREA FOR SEVERAL PREVIOUS YEARS I WASN'T TOO CONCERNED. 

ONE OF MY MALE DOGS, "MIKE" WAS WITH US BUT HE NEVER AQUIRED A TASTE FOR FUNGI.

HE TOOK A FEW SNIFFS AROUND THE TRASH CAN BUT SINCE THERE WERE NO TABLE SCRAPS SPILLED, CONTINUED ON HIS WAY OVER THE DUNE TO THE BEACH.  THE REST OF US FOLLOWED ALONG , SPENT THE NEXT HOUR OR SO TAKING IN THE BEAUTIFUL SIGHTS AND CHASING BIRDS. THE DOGS CHASED, I WATCHED.  

FINALLY WE REACHED OUR TURN AROUND SPOT, "TURTLE BEACH INN", A GREAT LOCAL BED & BREAKFAST,

WHICH IS A GOOD MILE FROM HOME AND OUR 2 MILE EVENING WALK 1/2 WAY MARK.

THE WALK BACK HOME WAS NORMAL AND WE ALL FOUR ARRIVED AT THE HOUSE, GOT A BIG DRINK OF WATER AND RETIRED TO OUR FAVORITE RESTING SPOT, UNAWARE OF THE DISASTER WE WOULD DISCOVER THE NEXT MORNING.

PEACHES HAD NO APPETITE AND POOR BLONDIE COULD HARDLY WALK, STAGGERING AS IF SHE WAS INTOXICATED.

IT WAS THEN THE THOUGHT "POISONING"  STREAKED THROUGH MY MIND.  I LOADED THEM INTO THE SUBURBAN AND HEADED TO THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL IN APALACHICOLA.  THE BLOOD TEST SHOW SEVERE LIVER DAMAGE AND VERIFIED MY WORSE SUSPICION "MUSHROOM POISONING" .  WE STARTED THEM ON IV FLUIDS, ANTIBIOTICS AND OTHER ANTI TOXIC DRUGS AVAILABLE....TO SHORTEN THIS TRAGEDY ....WE TOOK THEM TO AUBURN'S SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, KNOWING IN WAS 99% HOPELESS, BUT PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE.

BLONDIE DIED THAT EVENING AND PEACHES WAS PUT TO SLEEP 24 HOURS LATER AFTER  STARTING CONVULSIONS.

THE NEXT MORNING I RE VISITED THE MUSHROOM SITE WHERE A FEW LITTLE ONES HAD SPROUTED  AND I COULD IDENTIFY IT AS "Amanita phalloides" ONE OF THE MOST TOXIC OF ALL MUSHROOMS.


WHY HAVE I TOLD YOU OF THIS HEART BREAKING TRAGEDY IN MY LIFE?

TWO REASONS:

1)   WATCH-OUT FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL/PURE WHITE, PARASOL MUSHROOM, and

2)  I CRIED LIKE A BABY FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS, DROVE UP TO OUR KENTUCKY HOME IN LOUISVILLE,

LOOKED IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER CLASSIFY ADS FOR "GOLDEN RETRIEVERS", FOUND THREE, 

DROVE TO THE NEXT COUNTY, THE BREEDER ONLY HAD 2 LEFT, BOTH HEALTHY FEMALES.  

I was desperate, I needed a puppy to help fill the void that losing "Peaches & Blondie" created.  SO I TOOK

 THE ONE WITH THE BLOCKY'EST  (sp?) HEAD, [MY LOVE-BUG "MILLIE"]. 

THE CALMEST, MOST LOVING DOG I HAVE EVER SHARED MY LIFE WITH.

AND THE MATRIARCH OF MY CURRENT "PACK".

WAS IT LUCK or DESTINY ?

SO DON'T WORRY IF YOU DON'T GET THE FIRST PICK...YOU MAY GET ...????? SOME ONE BETTER.

********** 


Note: "Sweet Sue"

See the little "guy" ,front row center, in the left picture below looking at the camera & me?

Every time I go into their play yard I sit down on a concrete bench and make it a point to pick up each puppy, one at a time.

I place them on my lap, pet, talk, rub their ears & belly to get them use to one on one human attention,(It's more fun than Golf)

Last year, every time I visited with Millie's babies, I noticed one, very light colored puppy, would always be the first one to try 

to climb on my lap.

"EVERY TIME"

She wasn't the prettiest one nor physically the most perfect but she was always first, every time! 

Want to guess which one I kept to join my "Special Family Members"???

YEP !!!

I call her Sue (Sweet Sue)

and she still (at 18 months old) trys to push the other adult dogs, out of the way, to get her One oOne 'special loven'.

                                                                                                                

                                                                                                              "HOME                                                                                                                     

                                     "Sue" at 6 weeks old                                              "MILLIE"                                 Grandson "ADAM"