While I am a serious dog person, and have been since childhood- my mother wouldn't let dogs in the house for years, and finally would, but only a Whippet or Basenji. Not a big, shedding, or playful/active dog ever. So my Golden Retriever obsession was based mostly in books, the GRNews, going to shows, dog training class... not with a pet Golden in my own house, as I didn't have that option. I got used to living quite clean, with a Whippet that never bounced about, never knocked things over, didn't shed, etc.
So although I knew I wanted Goldens in my house, I actually grew up to be quite a neat freak. Now, in my very early adult life, I was none too keen on Goldens all over my house. Whippets were fine- but shedding, jumpy, playing, goofy, panting big dogs?!? However, like many here, although I started out saying "this room is going to be Golden free!" and "The Whippets can get on this sofa, but not the goldens" etc... you can guess how long that lasted
Yeah, about five minutes in 1998... LOL Literally within minutes of coming home our first few Goldens were on the sofa... and this was years ago... we don't make any rules now with one exception. I do have a nice common area of the living room that NO DOGS except Rig are allowed in without direct supervision (and that includes Epic). That's our guest area, and the area I can go sit and read or play on my laptop when I need a "dog free" zone for a little while LOL Its also the cats' dog free play area.
Keira and Zander definitely are a lot more work, mess, and more of a "presence" than Rig and Epic. But they're so beautiful, so loving, so cuddly, so funny... I love all four of my bozos dearly and I still have a pretty nice house. At the end of the day- my dogs are what I consider my most valued treasures. Who really cares about a bit of hair behind the sofa... and hey, I love to vacuum and Goldens give me the perfect excuse to vacuum every day
That sometimes overwhelming presence of my Goldens is also my very favorite thing about them. I absolutely never ever feel alone with them. They're truly my buddies, and Zander is the most huggable dog I have ever known.