Am CH Striker x Can CH Rebel
I first became aware of Goldiva Goldens when I was on a clinical rotation as a graduate physical therapy student at the University of New England. I was living on Tuttle Rd in Cumberland at the time and upon moving, I noticed a house with a massive flag of Golden Retrievers. I was intrigued and decided to investigate if this could be a golden retriever breeder. I was pleased to find out that it was indeed Goldiva Goldens! I decided to contact Mary and asked if she would be willing to allow me to help in the daily care of her goldens. I was away from family and friends at the time and knew that interacting with any golden retriever would bring me joy and put a smile on my face.
Mary’s daughter, Katie, was responsible the dogs’ daily walks and Mary allowed me to assist with this task. Once interacting with Mary, her children, and her dogs I realized what a loving home it was. I was amazed at the attention and care each of her dogs received. I was impressed with Mary’s knowledge and experience. All of her dogs were so loving and gentle, but my favorite was Striker, with his warm brown golden eyes and tendency to lean his whole body weight into my legs.
I desperately wanted a golden just like Mary’s. However, I knew that there was a high demand for Mary’s dogs and didn’t think I would be lucky enough to get one. I raved about Mary and her dogs to my family and my mother agreed to buy me a puppy as a graduation gift from PT school. I immediately let Mary know that I was interested in a puppy.
On February 25, I received a phone call that Rebel was in labor and that I could see the litter once they were born. After several weeks I visited Mary to decide on which puppy I wanted to take home. They were all so playful and curious; I didn’t know how I was going to decide! One puppy caught my eye in particular. He wasn’t afraid to tug on my shoelaces and had an irresistibly cute play bow. I couldn’t believe that I would have my very own Goldiva Golden in a few weeks!
Once I had Graham at home in Massachusetts I had several questions about basic dog care and some suggestions from the veterinarian. Mary was always available to answers those questions for me.
One of Mary’s requirements is for her puppies to receive obedience classes starting at age 9-11 weeks. I enrolled Graham in a few basic puppy classes, but the owner of the facility and the trainer of the class saw something special in Graham. She had many years of experience in competition obedience, including earning an OTCH with one of her own dogs, and encouraged us to start taking classes for competition obedience. It was a world I never knew existed, but Graham and I enjoyed working and learning new things together. The bond between human and dog grew as we progressed through many different types of obedience classes. In addition to strengthening my relationship with Graham and giving him a purpose, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful “dog people” who I now consider my closest friends. We continue to attend classes at least once a week and he always makes me smile when he is working.
Currently Graham has earned his CD Title and has 2 legs towards his CDX. More important than any obedience competition title is that he enjoys having a “job” and has an innate drive to please. I feel much more connect to Graham than any other dog my family owned when I was a child. I have received many compliments from strangers on how happy Graham looks when he is working and on the positive energy he exudes. While I would like to be able to take all the credit for his loving personality and work ethic, I know that genetics plays a role in his temperament, his excellent health, and his body structure that allows him to prance happily! When he is at home relaxing he is loving, mellow dog that loves to cuddle and be pet. He often rests his chin my laptop computer when he believes he isn’t receiving enough attention. He is slowly perfecting the “lean” that made me fall in love with Striker.
Mary takes great pride in what she does and truly cares about the integrity of the Golden Retriever breed. I am so honored to own a dog from her kennel. Graham has changed my and my family’s life and we hope to spend many more happy, healthy, and fun times together.