One thought I had revisiting this thread - a while back I contacted the golden rescue here in Michigan after we just lost our older golden (Sammy). I initially just wanted to adopt our next golden vs going the puppy route again - especially as my Danny was pushing 12.
I got a fairly rude email back from the woman over there, basically they will not talk to you unless you have a fence (6 foot). She suggested I adopt seniors and was ready to recommend a couple in their program. I was aghast and reminded her that we just lost a 13 year old and had an 11 year old who we were already dreading losing. To get yet another senior would have been too much pain for us.
The woman was unfeeling and repeated that they do not adopt to homes without a fence.
That's probably why they have certain dogs living with fosters for years, because unless you adopt to houses in more urban areas....
Anyway, then I inquired with another rescue not too far from my home - and ironically not too far from where I found Jacks' breeder. There they didn't care about the fence, but they basically labeled me as a bad owner and treated me like one because my 11 year old, never-been-bred, senior was intact.
I was upset and... furious. And I think people on here know that I was searching after I lost Danny, again looking to adopt a golden retriever or a similar breed from a rescue and still had to deal with the same reactions. Either it was the fence, or it was the fact that Jacks was intact. Didn't matter I had a LOT of references (vet, well-known trainers in this area, friends in rescue, etc). I was treated like some kind of BYB in training.
Fast forward a couple years and I'm somewhat able to look back with a little less emotion, and I do see a lot of providence in there.
Had I adopted that golden right off after Sammy, we would not have brought home Arthur or Jacks.
And then if I'd gotten that muttsky that I was eyeballing a couple years ago, I would not have even considered bringing Bertie home.
I was meant to have Jacks and Bertie... and Arthur. And those are three dogs that would not be in our hearts and homes had those rescues been willing to go case by case with me.
I hope that those dogs found homes and aren't still stuck in foster-limbo. But the fact is, the ones I was looking at were probably not meant to come to us.
So my advice to the OP - keep looking. Sometimes you have adoptions fall right into your lap, as Arthur's adoption did. I saw him on Petfinder and couldn't take my eyes off his picture. We called his foster that same night - it was like almost 10 PM? She answered and liked us enough to invite us to come visit. When my sister walked in through the door, Arthur ran up to her and jumped in her arms. Keep in mind that collies are a bit more standoffish and reserved around strangers. The foster saw that and felt as we did that it was meant to be. Arthur was not the golden I wanted, but he did belong to us and was exactly the dog that my sister needed.
I'm somebody that does love the golden retriever breed - as in the standard. I love the look and temperament of a well-bred dog. So I will always support GOOD breeders and probably will always have at least 1 golden who came home as a puppy from a breeder, from a litter that I specifically chose. And fwiw, the price of Bertie was $1200. The price had I adopted a puppy from your average rescue in this area would have been between $400 and $600.
But I also support rescue - and definitely I feel now that instead of getting upset about those rescues that won't adopt to you. Keep looking. You will find the dog you want elsewhere. There are shelters. The humane society (I've heard) is a bit easier to adopt from as well. And there are also rescues where they will work with you and you will find a dog that you were meant to have.