My question - after all that waffle!! - is what is it really like to live with a golden?
It is great! It is a lot of work but it is worth it! My colleagues are saying that Lilly is the love of my life and well I have to admit, that they are right!
Are they as affectionate as people say?
Lilly is a real cuddler and is also a little aloof, which is great, since I am working quite a bit: So it is cuddle time when we are at home, but she doesn't mind to be alone. Well I have to admit - I always make sure that she is tired
Do they really moult that much? Lilly is shedding, but since she is on day hikes twice a week and day care one or twice a week it is manageable. I brush her also every day and every other week she will see the furminator, which helps really to reduce shedding.
(and then it is funny, I always thought that might be a problem for me, because I like it neat and clean - it was very easy for me to adjust...I do love Lilly so much that those little hairs on the wood floor don't really bother me...)
Are they big chewers? Yes, but if you keep them busy (and tired...) they are okay. I had almost NO problems with Lilly with chewing when she was a puppy. My 10 yo shoes were done one day, when I did not expected her chewing, but that's it. When she was really little, we always had her in a crate when we could not supervise her - that's helps, I guess...
Good points they are amazing, loving, intelligent, curious, active, beautiful dogs. They can be stubborn, determined and focused. They often love water and swimming and can be incredibly gentle and caring. Sometimes goofy and often very entertaining.
Bad points see above. They can be highly energetic, mouthy, chewers, diggers, stubborn
If you've haven't experienced it, no words, advice or instructions will truly prepare you. Its exhausting, fun, stressful, scary, full of laughter and sometime tears.
Some advice on how to handle puppies would be good too!! Stay on the forum, there's a ton of very experienced dog owners that are very willing to provide detailed advice on just about anything you can think to ask.
totally agree with that one, too.
I LOVE Lilly and yes, it did change my life and limited my flexibility somehow but I DO NOT regret that. I can not imagine to be without her, but that is a different 'problem'