Archive for the ‘Golden Retriever’ Tag

The House At Shale Ridge   9 comments

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013

Virginia & Outer Banks 2013Images by kenne

Earlier this month we spent a few days with our good friends, Kathy and Bob at their beautiful home, on thirteen acres, outside Winchester, Virginia. In less than a year, they have done much to clear the Shale Ridge property near the house, adding a “four board” fence on one side of the house for their two golden retrievers. Much has also been cleared in the meadow down along the creek that runs through the property.  Shale Ridge is in the beauty Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Our visit was brief, but as always a wonderful time was spent together.


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Life Is So Much More When You Understand The Power of The Dog   Leave a comment

Doc — Image by Kathy McNeily

Yesterday, our friends, Kathy and Bob McNeily lost one of their best friends, Doc. “Hate that we only had 7 years with him as he certainly was one of the best dogs I have ever had with the sweetest temperament,” Kathy wrote in Facebook. 

Anyone who knows dogs knows that Golden Retrievers are known for their temperament, often described with words as “kindly, friendly, sweet and confident”. Shaun Mullen has written on his blog, Kiko’s House:

“It’s not hard to see why Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breeds in the U.S. year in and year out. They’re cuddly cute as puppies and beautiful as adults. They’re great around kids, energetic, intelligent, intensely loyal and easy to train. In fact, they often train their owners.

But American golden retrievers are also are ticking time bombs.”

Mullen ends his blog entry by stating: 

“As with humans, lifestyle can make a difference. Studies show that dogs that are lean and fit have a lower risk of cancer, as well as other health problems, but there is no evidence that exotic diets make a difference.

Not much of a defense in the face of an unrelenting epidemic without end.”

The loss of a best friend is always followed by some difficult moments, which is a necessary part of the friendship process.  When we understand the power of the dog, we understand the process of this very special process.


The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I beg you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescriptin runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns, 
Then you will find–it’s your own affair–
But…you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
When its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe, 
That the longer we’ve kept “em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong. 
A short-term loan is as bad as a long–
So why in–Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Rudyard Kipling

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