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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Dogs of My High Pack: Sally

I nearly didn't do a post about Sally, because I knew it would make me cry, even though it's been more than twelve years. She wasn't yet two when she became separated from us on a bush walk and was hit by a car while we were still out looking for her, expecting her to turn up any second.  It was without a doubt one of the worst days of our lives and I'll probably never be totally over her loss. 

But then I thought, No, hang on, it's not fair to Sally to ignore her life, or to write a sad post about her either.  We called her our Sunshine Girl, and that's exactly what she was.  In her short life, she gave us so much joy, and we gave her so much joy too.  So, here is our lovely Sally, Sunshine Girl.

The first time we saw Sally, she was about six months old.  She needed a new home, and someone had brought her along to an Easter camping weekend for retrieving people to see if anyone might like to take her in.  We loved her.  How could you not love this face?

 However, we had our two GWPs, who were only one and two at the time, and we really didn't need another dog, did we?  Anyway, someone else would fall in love with her and take her.  Except they didn't, and we heard she was still needing a new home.  Not that she was a rescue:  Her breeder had kept her but was now downsizing.  She had her papers and all and was in no danger.  Still, we couldn't quite put her sweet, cheery character out of our minds.

So, next thing we knew, we had a third dog!  We took the GWPs and Sally to the beach so they could get to know each other in a neutral place and tire themselves out a bit, and then we brought her home, still damp from the sea.

From the very first day, she had a way of getting the two Wires to play with her in a way they never did with each other alone, not before Sally or after her.

Chasey games, 

 and tuggy games.

She loved to swim like most Goldies, and in those days we were well and full of energy, so she got to go to all sorts of fun places every week.

She even went in a couple of novice retrieving trials, and we were training her ready for obedience. She had that lovely way positively-trained Goldies have of heeling while lifting their front feet up in a dancing step every stride. It's an adorable sight!

She came visiting with us and everyone loved her.

She was so funny and full of joy.

And she was a snuggler. Oh yes she loved to cuddle.

We called her Long Short Sally because she was indeed long and short!


She grew into such a beauty.

And she completed our family.

You know, I love the infinite variety of purebred dogs, but sometimes I wonder why we dog people don't all have Golden Retrievers, at least one!  They just radiate such sweetness and happiness, it makes you happier to be around them.  :) 

 I wonder if there might be another Goldie in our future?



  1. Oh my gosh! I'm so very glad that you honored your beautiful Sally's life in this way!! What a profound loss...I'm so very sorry that her precious life was so very short. And I understand your pain in the most personal way possible. I too, lost a beloved dog at just over a year old. Also hit by a car, but unfortunately I was the driver. Nearly killed me. So dear friend, I know the pain and the loss that you live with. I agree, a pain like this never really leaves us. I carry Nellie's memory with me always. And yes, it hurts deeply to re-live that loss, but her life was of so much value. Like you said, she brought you so much joy and happiness. That is something of infinite value! What a blessing she was to you. And being part of a loving family was a blessing to her! Like that old saying goes - "do not resent growing old, for many do not get that chance". That is the truth. If only we could keep that in the forefront of our minds and live each day as if it could be our last. But we tend to take so much for granted. I'm so very sorry that Sally did not live a very long life, but I'm so thankful that you found each other. :) She really was a most beautiful dog! Those lovely chocolate brown eyes that smile and twinkle...what a lovely spirit. I think you and your husband love your dogs deeply, like we do ours. They are every bit as loved and important (sometimes more) than our human family members. I really cannot imagine not having dogs, even though that means grieving their loss when they go. They just don't live long enough! I don't know if you read my earlier post, but we are actively looking for another dog now, a companion for Ruby. We have registered with Golden Bond Rescue, which takes in only Goldens. :) I am so excited and anxious, it's so hard waiting once we make our minds up! I wholeheartedly agree with you - everybody should have a goldie at least once in their lives!! They are joyous and we could all use a little more joy in our lives! I found some chocolate male lab pups that will be ready Aug. 7 - but I'm trying really hard to hold out for a goldie this time.
    Thank you so much for sharing Sally's story. It was a wonderful tribute to a beautiful, beautiful girl. Take care and enjoy your beach holiday! That sounds like heaven to me!!! And yes, Eags is home...squeeee!! I've ridden him each evening except the first night and our rides have been overall good. Much shorter than when Rachel rode him, but ours are short and sweet! I'm beginning to feel more relaxed on him, and that is the key. So good to hear from you!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lorie. There are so many 'what ifs' when these things happen, but we can't predict everything and we can't stand still forever for fear that something bad will happen, though at times I wish we could.

      I'm very excited to hear that you are waiting for a Goldie, and will follow your blog with great interest (as usual!) Of course another Lab would be lovely as well. :) Maybe if no Goldie has shown up by then that will be your sign!

      Very glad to hear you are aboard Eagle at home and enjoying yourself!


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