Celebrating 22 Years of Dogs

Tomorrow my humans will celebrate 22 years of wedded bliss. They’ll take some time this weekend to reminisce about all of the adventures they’ve shared. And, naturally, they’ll remember the dogs who have been with them along the way.

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Sheffield

When my humans met, Mommy already had Sheffield. In fact, you might credit Sheffield with bringing my humans together. Sheffield and a little Beagle named Abby were friends, which made my human mommy and Abby’s mom friends. Abby’s mom was dating my human daddy’s friend, and Abby’s mom and my human daddy’s friend decided to fix my humans up on a blind date. (It got a little confusing there. I hope you’re still with me.) Abby’s mom gave my future daddy some very good advice before that first date: You have to win over Sheffield. Without Sheffield, you don’t stand a chance. Daddy took that advice, showed up with a big bone for Sheffield, and the rest is history.

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Talbot

One thing led to another, and my humans marched down the aisle September 16, 1995, in Houston, Texas. A guest at their wedding just happened to own two Golden Retrievers, brothers Bow and Arrow. At the reception, he and my humans talked about his plans to breed Bow. My humans said that they would be interested in adding one of Bow’s puppies to their new family, and the guest promised to keep them posted. My human mommy still remembers the day that the phone rang (back when people actually had home phones). It was Bow’s daddy sharing the big news that he thought Bow’s girlfriend, Sandy, would be having puppies and if she did my humans would get first pick. Shortly after that, Talbot joined Sheffield and the little family started to grow.

My Sister, Lexi

Lexi

Several years into their marriage, my humans moved to a place called Galveston, Texas, a small island off the coast of the Lone Star state. Sheffield and Talbot made the move with them, and everyone settled into island life. Eventually my human mommy joined the board of the Galveston Island Humane Society. One day my humans volunteered at a pet adoption event. They were in charge of finding a new family for Alexis, an older terrier mix. Alexis didn’t have the shiniest coat and her teeth showed some signs of obvious dental neglect, so she was a hard sell. At the end of the day, no one wanted Alexis . . . except my human daddy. He had fallen head over heals in love. So Alexis came home with my humans as a foster dog. Less than twenty-four hours later, she joined Sheffield and Talbot as a permanent member of the family. In addition to her new home, she also had a new name–Lexi–because she had decided that she wanted a new name to start her new life.

Harper Lee

While my humans still lived in Galveston, their little family dwindled. First they said goodbye to Sheffield, and then they had to let Talbot go. It was heartbreaking, but Lexi soldiered on. She made the move with them to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and that’s when Yours Truly entered the picture. One weekend morning, my humans were looking through the newspaper. For some odd reason, my human daddy turned to the classified section (which he normally never ever did) and noticed an ad for Golden Retriever puppies in a little town outside of Baton Rouge. My humans looked at each other and said, “Let’s just go look” . . . as if anyone ever just goes to look at puppies. Before the end of that day, I had waddled my little puppy butt right into my future human daddy’s lap, planted a huge kiss on his cheek, and I was all set to become the newest member of the family.

Tallulah Bee

Lexi and I shared our humans for several years before she too had to leave the family. I was an only dog for a while. That’s when my humans got serious about researching responsible Golden Retriever breeders. They discovered Rhythm Golden Retrievers in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and got at the end of a very long waiting list. Meanwhile, the humans decided to make a move from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. The day they closed on their new house in the Crescent City, Mommy received a text: Rhythm Golden Retrievers had a new litter of puppies and one of the girls was going to be our newest family member. It wasn’t the best timing, but it was the best news. Tallulah Bee would be joining our family.

So my humans have seen 22 years come and go. They’ve had the heartbreak of saying goodbye to Sheffield, Talbot, and Lexi. But they’ve also had the joy of filling their lives with the unconditional love of man’s (and woman’s) best friend every single day of their married life. Tallulah and I are so happy to celebrate this anniversary with our human mommy and our human daddy, and we hope to be right there by their sides to celebrate many, many more.

Cheers, and happy 22nd Anniversary!

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Our Little Champion

My little sister, Tallulah Bee, attended her first dog show this past weekend. Now before you get too excited, I said she attended her first dog show; she did not compete in her first dog show.

Tallulah and my humans went to the Lagniappe Classic Dog Show to see Tallulah’s littermate Sobe, who was competing for her final championship points, and their breeder Kelli from Rhythm Golden Retrievers.

Tallulah may not have been in the ring, but Kelli made her feel like a show dog. Tallulah got to go back to the holding area, visit with the competitors and their handlers, and hop onto the grooming table while Kelli gave her a Golden champion trim.

And then Tallulah (left) and Sobe joined Kelli outside for a little love fest . . .

. . . before posing for their “official” Lagniappe Classic Dog Show photo.

My sweet sister may not be a real show dog, but she’s our little Tallulah Bee CCG (Champion Companion Golden).

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Do you love Golden Retrievers? Are you a Golden Retriever owner? Are you a Golden Retriever?  😉 Join Golden Woofs Koru and the gang from Golden Daily Scoop for #GoldensChat, a Golden Retriever Twitter chat this Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern. Click here for more info from Golden Woofs. Chat with you Thursday!


Quarantine

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It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about the arrival of my little sister, Tallulah Bee. And then I blinked my eyes, and we were celebrating her first birthday. Well, my friends, last week my baby sister . . . how can I put this delicately . . . became a woman. Yep, Tallulah Bee is in heat, and the quarantine has begun.

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We’re all new to this. My humans have always had a fabulous six-month birthday gift for their dogs: We either get spayed or neutered. Light the birthday cake candles; cue the confetti machine; and release the balloons. But Tallulah’s breeder requested that we allow her to go through one heat cycle. There are arguments for and against. We’re honoring the breeder’s wishes; after all, she knows more than a thing or two about Golden Retrievers. So here we go. The quarantine is on. I promise to be right by my sister’s side all the way . . . at least in spirit. A girl needs her sleep.

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We’ve loaded up on supplies to get us through the quarantine.

TOP PAW DISPOSABLE DIAPERS: My human mommy and I immediately went to the store to make this purchase. Tallulah is a big girl, but we never really saw her as an extra-large girl. Surprise! She weighs 63 pounds, so we had to go with the extra-large diapers that should fit 55 to 90 pounds. I say should because we tried putting these on once. Total disaster. They were beyond a tight fit. Turns out Miss Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only  pretty girl with some extra junk in her trunk. Fortunately, we haven’t needed the diapers . . . yet . . . but if we do, Mommy’s trying to think of a way to combine two for maximum Golden coverage. Stay tuned for that.

EARTHBATH GROOMING WIPES: When Tallulah was just a tiny puppy still living with her breeder, her name was Pink. They called her Stinky Pinky because she was always getting into trouble. Let’s just say that my little sister has morphed back into Stinky Pinky. She is not a rose-scented pink powder puff at the moment. That’s why my human mommy was overjoyed to discover the Earthbath Grooming Wipes in a blog post from our friends at Barking from the Bayou. Talk about perfect timing. She quickly made this purchase. (And then she too quickly cut the top off of the package to get to the wipes. Desperation makes humans do crazy things. If you purchase the grooming wipes, follow the handy “Open Here” instructions.) The Earthbath Grooming Wipes have made life with Tallulah Bee far more tolerable, although we look forward to saying goodbye to Stinky Pinky once and for all when the quarantine ends.

PEDIGREE DENTASTIX FRESH BITES: My sister–bless her heart, as we say in the South–has been very conscientious about trying to keep herself clean. Unfortunately, this has left her with less-than-minty-fresh breath. (I know. This is too much information. But honestly, what part of this blog post isn’t?) So we’re trying the Fresh Bites. She still has some pretty foul-smelling breath, but we’re afraid it would be even worse without the doggy breath mints . . .and that’s a chance we’re not willing to take.

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Oh, and my humans have stocked up on their quarantine supplies, too, which they are appropriately enough enjoying from their Golden Retriever wine glasses.

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We’re taking the quarantine one day at a time. We honestly have no idea what to expect. We’ve been reading back through the posts our friends at Marking Our Territory shared when Penny was under house arrest. Sharing is caring, as they say, and we cannot thank Mr. Will enough for his insights into surviving “the event.” Mostly, Tallulah Bee is pitiful. She sleeps more than usual, and she is super cuddly (which makes my humans extra thankful for those grooming wipes and doggy breath mints). I’m thankful that she isn’t as interested as usual in bothering playing with me. But I do kind of miss my rambunctious little sister, and I know she misses her long morning walks with Mommy. This too shall pass. The quarantine will be lifted and, when the vet says the time is right, Tallulah will get her belated six-month birthday gift from my humans. Until then, wish us luck. We’re on a pretty steep learning curve.


Introducing Tallulah Bee

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I dropped a bombshell on you last time, didn’t I? Yep, I have a new little sister. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Rhythm’s Tallulah Bee for Harper Lee. That’s her big fancy registered name, but we just call her Tallulah. She came from a place called Rhythm Golden Retrievers in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and she’s named after the actress Tallulah Bankhead. My new little sister, who is 11 weeks old, has been with us for a little more than two weeks. I think I’m in love.

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Tallulah and I have done quite a bit of playing in our first two weeks. My humans say that she has really brought out the puppy in me. They don’t always sound particular happy when they say that, but I think it’s a good thing. If this play, play, play routine continues, my human mommy/blogging assistant/official photographer will seriously need to work on her action photography skills.

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Just between us, friends, playtime can be a bit exhausting. But I’m the big sister, so I feel a real responsibility to watch over my little sister as she sleeps.

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To celebrate Tallulah’s first weekend with us, we had a little pool party. Now you might recall from a previous post that pool parties are not my favorite. That all changed when I saw my new little sister in our pretty pink pool. I couldn’t stay out. Tallulah and I even blew bubbles together. So much fun.

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And speaking of fun, on a recent evening walk I convinced my humans to make a quick stop at a place called Coquette so that I could introduce little Tallulah to the art of the nightcap. As you can see from the water all over the sidewalk, we had a very grand time.

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My little sister has a lot of growing up to do. I will admit that she can be a bit of a pest at times (my humans say that I am often the instigator; don’t believe that), but she’s super smart and super sweet . . .

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. . . and I think we’re going to make a perfect pair.