Dog Days of Summer

Minnesota has taken a turn for the miserably hot. The last week has been toasty for us – 80’s, 90’s, humid, full sun, the kind of day you stay inside to stay cool. The Romans associated this sultry time of year with Sirius, the dog star, leading to the term “dog days of summer.” But for us these have been dog days in another way.

We have been thinking about getting dogs since before we got married. Chris is a natural with dogs, and I like… certain dogs. When we were growing up, we had the sweetest fluffiest collie named Buck. Of course, he got old and died and I was very sad. We also had a short-haired collie named Mariah who liked to jump the fence and run away. A lot. I think she gave me “doggie abandonment issues” and made me nervous to entrust my heart to another canine.

But everyone loves my parents’ golden retriever, Shadrack. He’s sweet, affectionate, and gentle… only barks when he falls in an empty swimming pool and can’t get out (so he’s not the smartest)… and he’s pretty!

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Chris knew some wonderful golden retrievers when he was growing up as well, Declan, Delaney and many others.

So when we found out we could get a house we began to look at dogs on the Minnesota rescue, Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota or RAGOM. They don’t just have goldens; in fact, we had our hearts fixed on one that was basically a black lab when, lo and behold, his foster family adopted him.

As soon as we moved in, we started the process, which involved a very thorough application and a home visit. We passed and then went on vacation for a week. On our way back Chris saw the posting for two golden retrievers that the foster wanted to adopt together. Of course, we couldn’t meet them right away. We had our friends’ dogs for a week… and then went to Black River Falls… and the foster family was out of town…

Finally last week we went to meet the doggies and see if they would be a good fit. And this is what happened:

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We brought home Duke and Earl on Saturday and are really enjoying them. They make us get up early, take us on lots of walks, and give us lots of doggie love. They are two big, fluffy, beautiful golden retrievers, sweet and eager to please. Duke looks like he’s part poodle because he’s ultra curly and has a pom-pom end on his tail; he’s more chill and submissive and will go lie in his crate when he gets tired. Earl looks like a teddy bear or an Ewok, follows us everywhere, pants a lot, and is the last to lie down and first to get up. I think he’s also a little smarter. They are both really fun to have around and give my cleaning a lot more purpose. I like to see progress in my cleaning and there is always progress to be made when you are chasing down gobs of fluffy golden retriever hair.

Earl has already eaten a few things that we consider inedible, but – sigh – dogs will be dogs!

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