The way the sun is hitting the ferns here make it look like a scene from a story book.
Posts Tagged ‘golden retriever’
She has that golden retriever Zen-like expression on her face.
You know she’s content.
Looks like someone just ended it:
Miley’s back in action now. She almost pulled a fleeing squirrel off a tree yesterday.
Most golden retriever people are of an agreeable sort.
Do not assume that I am.
I’m really a contrarian. It’s my default position.
I often called it my “Prussian personality.”
But there are many things that bother me.
One of these is the problem with the golden retriever.
Miley is currently grounded due to lameness. I think it’s in her hip, and although she’s a very athletic sort of dog, she has some issues with her conformation.
One is that is she is a larger dog than a golden retriever bitch should be. She weighs anywhere from 73 to 77 pounds, which is actually on the upper end of what a golden retriever dog should be.
She has quite a bit of bone, though not as much as other golden retrievers, and although her legs are relatively short compared to her body size, she normally can move really efficiently and quickly.
But this lameness in the hip really has me bothered. I wonder if she had a lighter frame and a smaller body, if she’d be having these problems.
My old dog never had any lameness. She was built like a red rocket of a retriever. Soaking wet, she was 6o pounds of hard muscle,
She was of the old red retriever type that used to comprise the bulk of the golden retriever breed in the Midwest and much of the rest of the Flyover Country. She lived to the ripe old age 13, broke ice to swim in ice covered pond, and was the most annoying obsessive retriever that ever lived.
She was a good dog.
She is one of the muses of this blog.
I’d really like to have a dog like her again.
This old red dog haunts me, as do the photos and paintings of all the old red and dark golden retrievers of yore.
I still get nostalgic when I see the old Bush’s Baked Beans ad from 1996.
I get nostalgic when I see this photo of the first dual champion golden retriever in the United States, Dual Ch. Stilrovin Rip’s Pride:
These dogs are not cute.
The are comparatively harder to live with that the laid-baid, “sooky” type of golden retriever.
They are also annoyingly intelligent dogs, the kind that can open doors and train people to do their bidding.
The golden retriever has become domesticated, suburban animal.
The old type of dog doesn’t fit in that world very well.
But it’s still a good dog.
There is a sadness in me that so few people will ever know that there are golden retrievers like these dogs
There is also a sadness in me that is nothing more than I miss the old dog.
I never get over the loss of dogs or people. Over time, I just sort of get accustomed to their absence.
But I never let it go.
Painting by Richard Ansdell:
Before retrievers began to be categorized into breeds, there were dogs like this one.
This dog shows characteristics of St. John’s water dogs and water spaniels.
It’s a sort of rougher version of the curly-coated retriever, though this dog may have been bred into strains that gave rise to either the standardized wavy-coated retriever or curly-coated retriever.
It’s rougher sort of dog because in those days there were no purebred retrievers. Retriever was just a job description, and lots of different dogs did the job.
It was just that shooting sportsman of the middle part of the nineteenth century began to desire dogs of Newfoundland (St. John’s water dog) extraction.
My reading of what the “Tweed water spaniel” that is mentioned in the golden retriever pedigrees is that this dog was very much like the dog in this painting.
The only difference was that it was yellow or liver in color.
Tweeds were often mistaken for curly-coated retrievers, and perhaps the best way to understand what they were was that were a sort of rough form of curly-coated retriever that just happened to occasionally come in yellow.
For this reason, I’m some what leery of calling this dog a water spaniel.
It was more of what we’d think of as a retriever than a water spaniel.