Hello again! So for the update:
Well, it looks like we will not be taking Trails. He was actually great. He calmed down a lot and was super sweet, adorable, and a goofball. He didn't always like to listen, and he didn't walk well, but his temperament was great. He was super crazy skittish, though, and constantly groveled on the floor. He was scared of my husband, who is a total teddy bear, but when I called my husband to me to show the dog that he is okay, poor Trails came running between us and tried to block him from me. Poor guy wanted to protect me! Anyway, he is a total sweetheart. Trails also has a tendency to pee on the floor whenever he gets excited or scared, too, which is a little bothersome. The first time it happened, my husband and I had just gotten home from being out. I figured I must have said, "Hi Trails" too excited or something. So next time I didn't say anything at all and was just going to ignore him, but he peed the moment he saw me. Oh well.
Now for why we are not keeping him. The cat. Sigh. Trails is crazy submissive. I would say he needs to grow a pair, but those have already been taken care of
. Once the cat stopped being scared of him and (sort of) stopped attacking him, he turned into a huge bully. He started cornering Trails, stalking him, and he even became food possessive. He started guarding Trails' food from him! And poor Trails was just miserable. Every time he saw the cat he flinched and tried to run the opposite way, only to have the cat go running after. I swear, my cat thinks he is a dog. But, unfortunately, he is far more pigheaded and difficult to train. The cat and the dog also were very, very jealous of each other for my attention, which proved hard. If the cat saw me with the dog, he came over to attack the dog to make it go away. I tried swatting him away, but he would just go around and attack the dog. Although water bottles help, we know from past experience with our kitty that absolutely nothing will deter him from doing what he sets his mind on. To make matters worse, if I had the cat in my lap, Trails would get jealous and come over and force himself under my arm and the cat would attack. I was able to teach Trails not to do that when I have the kitty, but training the reverse with kitty is no good. And since the cat came running almost every time he saw me with the dog, it was really hindering my ability to interact with him.
So for poor Trails, we decided we just shouldn't keep him. He was tormented by the cat, and it seemed to only be getting worse as the cat became less scared and more self-confident. On the bright side, I think they have another family lined up to give him a try, and I am really, really hoping that works out. Trails is SUCH a sweet dog, he really deserves an awesome home, sans devil cat. In fact, I don't think we will be able to get a dog until our kitty expends the last of his nine lives (he's only 3). He's an awesome cat and we adore him--he just is absolutely violent with dogs. I think he may have had a very bad run-in in the past before we adopted him.
I did send Trails home with a stuffed monkey, though. He very much loved that monkey and would toss it in the air and catch it again. So adorable! He got a good brushing, I cut out some matted fur, and I think that is about all I could do.
I very much appreciate everyone's insight more than I can say. You all were a huge part of helping me make this important decision, and you all were totally right about him calming down into a different dog when the kids and family weren't around. I am so happy that we gave him another chance because now I don't feel like there are any more what ifs. I am also quite sure now that the family is getting rid of him because they can't afford him. He was overdue for his shots and I think they are trying to give him away to have someone else take care of it. :/
Anyway, thank you again!! You all are awesome, but since I haven't got a golden, looks like I probably won't be around anymore. Thank you, all the same