Golden Idea? Life with a Golden Retriever


It was her idea. My wife Suzanne wanted a puppy. Not just any puppy, a Golden Retriever puppy. A puppy that she would care for and walk every day. Yeah right!  With full knowledge that I would eventually wind up walking  and training I agreed.

On March 26, 2009 Kalm Seas Chanel’s Joy was born. Joy to us and Joy to the world. Our lives would not remain the same. To say life with a Golden, let alone a golden puppy,  is exhilarating would be an understatement.

Sue Robbins, Joy’s breeder loves her puppies and is selectively careful about who gets them. She even follows up on their adoptive parents afterwards offering to take back the puppy should things not work out. Not work out? Oh, like the tear filled nights, when the new Golden puppy, has stolen your sandwich and made dessert out of the kitchen table legs. You ask yourself what did we get ourselves into.

Enter the Golden Retriever Forum and My Smart Puppy. Two resources that would enable us to get through the rough spots and understand that our puppy was not crazy, it was having a zoomie, a moment of frenetic energy that manifests itself through multi-directional sprinting, rolling and occasional jumping. We would learn that the mature Golden Retriever you see walking down the street takes 2-3 years of patience, persistence and love.

We have arrived, today Joy is four. Through social media we have remained in touch with Joy’s siblings Strider, Beau and Vie. Although we have not seen the other pups since 6 weeks, we are bound together knowing what we have all been through and what we have now. At one year I wrote the following post on GRF, not sure its 100% original but I’m glad I listened to Joy:


1. You need lots of patience and persistence to deal with us.
2. We may put you through one year of hell for a life time of love.
3. We are not the perfect dog you see others walking down the street. Those people had that dog for years. Please don’t compare me to them.
4. If we steal something, it’s not our fault, YOU left something where I could get it.
5. Give me simple commands and I will obey them because I want to.  My vocabulary will increase.
6. Give me lots of time outside WITH you, otherwise I might get bored and eat something of yours you like.
7. Develop a back-up plan when you need a rest. Somebody in the area would love to have me for the day even if you have to pay them a little…I’m worth it.
8. Please take me to school while I am young. It’s as much for you as it is for me.
9. Let me meet all your friends. They will love me, and I will learn not to jump on them eventually.

10. Don’t feel guilty telling me to get in my crate. I actually sleep better and feel safe there. Isn’t it where I run when I steal something from you anyway?

3/26/2010 Joy’s First Birthday

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  1. March 26, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Joy!! Your family is doing a beautiful job with patience, persistence & love and I can tell you thank them by being one terrific Golden bundle of JOY. Enjoy the beach 🙂

  2. March 22, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    Oh my gosh, super cute puppy! Here I am four years later just reading JOY’S TEN TIPS FOR PUPPYHOOD PARENTS. Even though I’ve had six previous dogs, I can relate to every one of those tips with new 7 1/2 month old Puppy Daisy!! It’s ALL TRUE!!!

    Happy 8th Birthday, Sweet Joy! We love you!! XOXO