Posts Tagged ‘golden retriever’

Is she her daughter?

January 26, 2013 2 comments

Galileo has come home and after a very thorough and joyful tour of every nook and cranny in the house and near part of the garden, has settled down.

He’s on his blanket under my desk at the moment.

He’s been avidly remaking the acquaintance of Joules as these photos show.

They really do look very alike.

Like father like son!

Two generations!

A tolerant Joules

A tolerant Joules

When Joules was small, he had the same sort of resemblance to the older and darker of our two neutered male golden retrievers, with whom he was great friends.

We had a lot of fun out of the innocent but (to us) silly questions inspired by that resemblance.

“Is she her daughter?” was one of them.

Dark prince

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Portrait of Kepler

This photo is of a far too rare sight.

We feed Kepler, give him a warm place to sleep and companionship both human and canine, take him to the vet when necessary, and love him dearly in my case.

However he spends almost all the daylight hours attending his great big blonde Maremmano girlfriend. (If you don’t know the breed, imagine a large, very heavily-built, near-white golden retriever.)

She’s about 3 times his size. She calls to him across the 300 metres between our house and the neighbour’s every morning, and she’s still calling to him after dark when he’s wondering which is more important – her or his evening meal.

I think of him as a lithe, dark prince racing over difficult terrain to satisfy every whim of his spoilt lady.

I’m sure she’d wear this photo in a locket round her neck if she was able.

An elderly Golden Retriever

August 20, 2011 Leave a comment

We sometimes say, tongue-in-cheek, about some particular behaviour on the part of our dogs: “Cesar Milan wouldn’t approve of that”. But I doubt even he could help with our oldest dog, Newton, a thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Golden Retriever. 


He was never an obedient dog. He was zany, often acting against his own interests, like when he strenuously dodged the lead despite longing to go for a walk. He had Retriever instincts all right – I can still see in my mind’s eye the diminutive fuzzy puppy struggling down the stairs with the bathmat – but he only ever took things away; he never delivered them to any particular destination other than the bottom of the garden or some out-of-the-way part of the house where no-one could find them. 

Lack of training, I’m sure, although I did my best at the time.

It’s a quite different scenario now, though. For starters, Newton is deaf. How deaf I’m not sure. An “Oy!” shouted close to his head elicits a reaction, but call him from a few feet away and he doesn’t even stir. The only sound he can hear from any distance is the clatter of food going into his metal bowl.

I wonder if he can hear the sound of his own barking. Actually it’s more like yelping. We call it ‘yipping’- a high-pitched, bitten-off sound repeated endlessly for no apparent reason. If he’s telling us he wants to come in, why is he doing it beside a wide open door?

He also has cataracts. I can see their ghostly shine in his eyes at certain angles. They obviously affect his vision so that when a morsel of food is held out to him, he sometimes lunges for it in quite the wrong direction.

His worst health problem is arthritis in his spine, the back part of which is welded together in a solid mass, and his back leg, which sticks out rigidly, almost totally paralysed.

The unfortunate consequence of the arthritis is firstly that he has difficulty in getting up onto his feet – quite painful to watch. We are giving him homeopathic medicines which seem to help. They are certainly more efficacious than the standard remedies.

The other problem is that he is incontinent, by which I mean defecation; (urination is not affected). He goes to the toilet, or rather thinks he goes to the toilet, then comes back in the house and out it falls. It also happens in his sleep – “like a train coming out of a tunnel” as I described it to our cleaning lady. He gets up and there it is.

This would be less of a problem if he were not so darn prolific. When he was a puppy, I asked an experienced friend how many times, roughly, he should be passing stools in a day.

“Oh, four or five times,” she replied.

I counted over the course of a day for Newton. He didn’t have diarrhoea; there was nothing unusual about the state of his bowels. Fifteen. Yeah. Scale it down a bit for the fact that he’s an adult but you’ve still got a serious increase on the normal.

Ah well. He’s asleep behind me now and I know that if I go and have a nap in my favourite chair he will move over to be close to me. Things would definitely not be the same without him.