The Gate of Heaven
 
I got to the gate of Heaven yesterday,
After we said good bye.
I began to miss you terribly,
Because I heard you cry.

Suddenly there was an Angel,
And she asked me to enter Heavens gate.
I asked her if I could stay outside and wait,
For someone who'd be late.

I wouldn't make much noise you see,
I wouldn't bark or howl.
I'd only wait here patiently,
And play with my tennis ball.

The Angel said I could stay right here,
And wait for you to come.
Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven,
If I went in alone.

So I'll wait here, you take your time,
But keep me in your heart.
Because Heaven just wouldn't be Heaven,
Without you to warm my heart.                                      

-Author Unknown

Visitors since
October 12, 2008
In Memory
This page is dedicated in memory to all the dogs that have left us over the years. Each dog will be missed greatly in their own unique way. Some were fortunate to live out their lives until their souls outlived their bodies, while others died from tragic accidents. Losing a dog is never easy, if anything I think it gets harder each time you get a new dog. All of these dogs have left their own paw print on my heart.

Lady, 8 weeks
Lady, 12 years
Lady Jade  
Aug 5, 1987-Sept 21, 2001
What can I say about Lady that won't require her own separate website? Lady was my first dog ever. I was almost three years old when our family went to pick her out and I can REMEMBER fighting with my sister in the backseat of the car over who would hold her on the way home. Lady may look like all Golden, but she's actually the product of a Golden Retriever mom and a yellow Labrador Retriever dad. She took after her mother mostly and no one ever knew she was a mixed breed.

Even after we had taken Lady to the vet for her first round of puppy shots, Lady was diagnosed with Parvo a few days later. She had to fight for her life at such a young age. Although I can't remember all of it, I do remember how she slept all of the time and how my mom played vet. Lady slowly pulled through and beat the Parvo! We later learned from our vet that all of Lady's littermates also had Parvo. Sadly, out of a litter of about 10 puppies, only Lady and one brother survived. As a result of her illness at a young age, Lady's growth was stunted and she never was as tall as what she should have been.

When Lady was around six months old, she ran away. We searched the neighborhood for weeks before we finally gave up. A few months later we were looking for a new puppy in the newspaper classified ads. My mom called about a Golden pup that almost a year old. After discussing the pup with the lady, we learned that this puppy had been found a few months prior. She had a tight red collar on, just like our puppy, and she even had the same mole on in her left ear like our puppy. This puppy named Butterscotch that only lived a mile from our home, was our Lady! We couldn't believe it! She was all grown up! There's no doubt in my mind that this was the same dog.

Growing up with Lady was the best ever. She was like a modern day Lassie. We spent the summers outside running around the neighborhood, riding bikes, and walking to the local gas station. Lady was always right by our side. She was great with kids of all ages, could care less about a baby jumping on her or someone pulling on her tail. I fell in love with my dog, and I fell in love with the Golden breed.

Lady's intelligence also played a key role in my new found hobby of dog training at the age of eight. I taught myself how to train my dog, using treats and commands, I taught Lady how to sit, down, stay, shake, and roll over, while many other dogs could barely sit on command in our neighborhood. She was a quick learner and if it wasn't for my almost instant success, I probably wouldn't have the ability or knowledge to train my dogs like I do today. Lady truly was an inspiration.

Lady was spayed at a young age, and never had puppies of her own. However, she was responsible for the Golden puppy boom in our neighborhood. Each morning Lady would make her rounds about the neighborhood. She would take walks with the local speed-walkers, nap on the lady across the street's couch, and beg for milk bones several streets down. Everyone knew Lady and Lady knew everyone. No one else had a Golden...but that was about to change. When we noticed a new Golden puppy, the phrase, "We wanted one like Lady" would often come up. When one of my best friends begged for a dog, and wanted a Collie, her dad refused, but said they COULD get a Golden. A few houses down the road, a young couple's house was destroyed by their American Eskimo Dog, costing thousands of dollars of home repair. The dog found a new home, and a Golden puppy now accompanied the couple on their daily walks with Lady. This male Golden was later bred to my friend's female Golden and DAYTONA was born (literally). If it wasn't for the sweet temperament of my Lady, Daytona would have never been born.

In the summer of 1999, Lady became very ill. She was vomiting so much she couldn't even keep water down. We rushed her to the vet where she was hooked up to IV's, had blood tests done, and was diagnosed with liver failure. Her body was responding as though she had been poisoned with antifreeze, but she had a negative test for it in her bloodstream. After two days in the hospital, we had all but given up hope and were preparing to have her put down. We went to visit her, and she amazingly got up and wagged her tail for the first time in days. After our visit, her spirits lifted and she started eating and drinking on her own. A few days later, she came home. Still ill and on an IV, we were optimistic. After about a week, our Lady was back. The vet never did figure out what had happened to Lady, but she made a full recovery! We were all amazed!

In August of 2001, Lady's complete downfall began. She had suffered from arthritis for years, and it had gotten to the point that she couldn't get up without help. For a month, she slowly got worse. Lady was drinking very little, refusing to eat at all, had to be moved frequently to prevent bedsores, and became incontent. We had began to talk about having her put to sleep, something that I wasn't against, but also something I didn't want to jump into until I was sure it was time. The day that I walked into her room and she wouldn't even wag her tail when I talked to her and petted her, I knew it was time. A vet visit was scheduled, where I carried my best friend's frail body into an examination room. Lady was suffering from a heart murmur and organ failure, as well as being extremely thin. The decision was made. My mom and I said our good bye's and left the room, not wanting to experience Lady's final moment. My only regret was just that. That she had to die alone, in a room with a stranger she didn't know. I'm sure we'll have to put other dogs to sleep in the future, but I will never again leave them alone. I will be with them until the end, as I know they would do the same if the roles were reversed.

I will always miss and love you, Lady. The 14 years of your life were some of the best of mine. You taught me so much, but most of all thank you for showing me my passion in life, Golden Retrievers.
Hershey, 3 months
Hershey, 4 years
Hershey  
Oct 15, 1992-April 6, 1998
Hershey in a nutshell was a BRAT. We found Hershey in an abandoned trailer. She was a pitiful site. She was very thin, had lice, fleas, a skin disorder, and had a cherry eye. We took her home and shortly thereafter to the vet and got her all fixed up after much time, money, and surgery to correct her eye problem. We believe Hershey was a Cocker Spaniel mix, most likely crossed with a Poodle. She only weighed about 25 pounds. As our second dog ever, we weren't prepared for another temperment other than that of Lady. Boy were we in for a surprise! Hershey was hyperactive, a barker, a chewer, and only listened when she felt like it, about 15% of the time. Nonetheless, we loved her. She was Lady's first buddy and they went everywhere together. I think the best thing Hershey brought into my life was how to groom dogs properly. Hershey had typical cocker hair; long, thick, and difficult to manage. In the summer we took her the groomer to be shaved down, and it was her first and last time there. The groomer did a horrible job, and cut Hershey's paw pad while in the process. Hershey ended up spending the whole summer in an E-collar and on antibotics and other medications to fight the infection in her paw. Hershey needed to have her hair cut, so I started doing it myself at home. It wasn't pretty at first, but I got a lot of practice and became pretty darn good at it by the time we acquired our second cocker, Jack. Clipping also came in handy for preparing wounds for care and on those rare occasions that I shaved my Goldens!

Sadly, in April of 1998, Hershey was struck by a truck and killed instantly. It was hard on me the most, because it was so sudden and unexpected. We used to always let our dogs roam free, but after that incident, we only allowed our dogs out to run when they could be supervised. I learned my lesson, and it's hard to tell how many other dogs I could have lost if I hadn't experienced this first hand.

The day Hershey died, I put her collar around my bedpost. It still hangs there to this day, and I've never taken it off. I'll miss you, Hershey, you little brat!
Jack, 7 weeks
Jack, 2 years
Jumpin' Jack Flash  
April 15, 1999- April 2005
We got Jack in early June of 1999. My little sister was so fond of Hershey, that she wanted another Cocker Spaniel to play with. So, we found a local breeder and got our first male dog, ever, Jack. Jack was so cute as a puppy....but grew up to be very similar to Hershey. Although not quite as bad, Jack was a handful. His specialty was escaping...he would dig under, go through, or jump over fencing. When I got married and moved out of my home, I left Jack for my sister. However, he became very lonely, and several months or so later, I brought him out to our country home. The first night he was here he dug under the fence and ran away. I went running down the road with a flashlight in the middle of the night and heard him barking. He was quite a ways down the road, but actually came when I called him. A month or so went by and Jack started the bad habit of digging under the fence and killing our chickens! He killed five of them and wouldn't stop, so we sent him back home to my sister and dad, where he continued to find someway to escape his confines. Unfortunately, Jack died in a tragic way. He had been tied up inside his kennel, so that when he dug out, he couldn't go anywhere. My sister came home from school to find Jack strangled to death from his own chain.

Poor little Jack didn't know that his bad habits would lead to his death. Learn from our lesson, NEVER TIE UP A DOG. I'm sorry you had to die this way, Jack. I hope you enjoyed your life as a trouble maker.
Daytona's Victory
February 27, 1997- July 30, 2009
Daytona was a one in a million kind of dog.  I bought Daytona when my first Golden, Lady, was 10 years old. I wanted another Golden before I lost my first one. She was just about as close as perfect as you can get when it comes to the temperment of a Golden. This girl would do anything to please you. She was super smart, and knew lots of tricks. She could sit, lay down, roll over, bow, wave, speak, give high five, give low five, retrieve a ball, retrieve the newspaper, carry buckets, bags, or anything not too heavy....she used to sometimes help me carry bags of groceries in the house. Even at the ripe age of 12, she still played and ran with us and our children, and even wrestled with the other dogs. I truely believe this is what keeps an older dog living life to its fullest. In the fall of 2008 she retired to a full-time house dog. Daytona was our "surrogant" mother for many years. Each time we aquired a new puppy, no matter how old it is or what breed, she would tend to it. She would lick the puppy, sleep with it, and even let it eat her food after a few days. She did get jealous, but you would see her walking around proudly with a puppy on her heals. Daytona said that there is no such thing as a bad person, as she loved everyone. She was extremely gentle with everyone. She could care less about kids giving her a bunch of hugs or even a toddler pulling her tail. She loved the water and loved to swim. She was obsessed with going for car rides, whether it was across several states or just around the block. She loved food! She was easily excited about anything. She was a TRUE Golden Retriever.
Oddly enough, the weekend before Daytona passed away, I decided out of the blue to take her for a car ride. The day before she died, she was actively playing with one of our older pups. She lived her life to the fullest. We believe Daytona died of a stroke. In July of 2009, we arrived home and the first thing I did was to let the dogs out of the house to go to the bathroom. She was so happy as always to see us, and went running with the other dogs across the yard to find a good spot to pee. She wasn't just running, she was bounding, throwing her front paws high in the air, like a puppy does when they run. She was in an exceptionally good mood. When she got half way across the yard, she collapsed. Although she still had a heartbeat and was still breathing, she was unresponsive to us. We called the vet, and said our goodbyes. But she died in the back of our car, before we were ever even able to leave to get to the vet's. She wasn't alone. The world lost a great dog when she left us.

Color: Dark Golden

Weight: 90 lbs

Height: 24.5"

See more pictures of Daytona!
Daytona, 12 years
This page was last updated: July 7, 2017
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