A few of you asked about the rescue stories of the Goldens that reside at "Golden Pines." Because my life has returned to boring, I will use today to tell you about one member of our crew named Wendy, who is our "top dog." Get comfy and I will tell you her story...
I had heard somewhere that when you get a dog, you should get your first one from a breeder and your second from a rescue--That's exactly what we did. Our first Golden, named Tod, came from a breeder. Because we thought Tod was perfect, it of course made us want another one just like him. But what came to us in the summer of 1999, was our introduction into rescue and a dog that was so unlike our first one.
She came to us at almost two years old, and her name was Amber. I didn't think the name fit her, so we changed it to Wendy who is my favorite character in Peter Pan. Little did I know at the time, how perfect and appropriate this name would become. Wendy, a border collie and Golden mix had been given up by her owners because of her exuberance and boldness; qualities of a Border Collie. She had so much energy, and ran everywhere she went. She also got into everything, was independent and jumped up on everyone!! She was so unlike our first Golden, who we thought could do no-wrong! I used to say that if we'd gotten her first, we may not have ever gotten another dog. At first Tod, who was so laid back and reserved was a bit overwhelmed by her antics. Wendy did not score any points with him when she chewed up a favorite bear that he'd treasured for a long time. But eventually everything came together, and we were a pretty happy little family. **This is a photo of Tod & Wendy**
Carl and I really wanted to "make a difference" so in the spring of 2000, we became a foster home for the Golden Retriever Rescue. For some reason, many of the Goldens coming into rescue at the time were young male strays that had been in a shelter. Because we have no children, these Goldens were placed with us. Wendy became the companion and mentor to what we would eventually call "the lost boys." These young rambunctious Goldens were the perfect outlet for Wendy who loved to run and play games! Her favorite thing was to chase and be chased. Being in touch with her Border Collie genes, a tennis ball was never interesting to Wendy; she adored the Frisbee, and never tired of catching and running after it.
I don't know where the time has gone, but it has now been almost 11 years since Wendy came to us. She is our only connection to all of the additions and subtractions in our household. She has been my constant companion on road-trips and walks, and sleeps at the foot of the bed. Wendy's loyalty, love, and dedication has had a deep impact on me. Many times I have sat with her and shared my dreams, secrets, fears and disappointments. Wendy always listens and seems to understand because the look that she gives seems to always find a way to reassure me that everything will be okay.
Wendy is no longer able to run and play like she used too; this winter has been a difficult one for her because she has developed arthritis in her hips. I have to admit that I have a hard time thinking of Wendy as anything but that young, crazy-wild-dog we adopted in 1999, especially because that spark, spunk and spirit is still very much there! I never would have thought that "Wendy" whose name came from a character that symbolized mothering, caring, loyalty, and undying friendship, would mean the same to our household as it did to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys!