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Advice for seniors considering another golden

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Hello, I have just recently joined the forum and I need some advice for seniors who may wish to share their lives with a golden retriever again.

Here's our story: We have just lost the most wonderful dog we have ever known. Her name was Champagne, she was a purebred American and she died at 14 1/2 years old. We are experiencing the grief that only golden retriever owners can know. I am 69 and my wife Annette is 68.
In 2006 Annette, who had already been dealing with serious pain management issues was in a serious car accident after which she required several surgeries on both shoulders. In October of 2007 our lovely yellow lab cross died unexpectedly at the age of 7 from cancer. Jack was an incredibly powerful dog but was as gentle as he was strong and we were totally shocked when we found that he didn't have long to live. Some time early in the new year of 2008 Annette told me that she wanted another dog. I was very hesitant at first because I just wasn't sure if she would be able to handle the responsibilities considering her physical condition. She told me that caring for a new dog would distract her adequately and improve her mental health. It didn't take me too long to agree, with the understanding that I would handle the leash training and walking, and basically take care of its outside activities while Annette took care of it inside the home, grooming etc., and as much as anything they would keep each other company while I was running our home business. I insisted that rather than taking in a rescue as we have done every time in the past we should look for a dog with a temperament similar to Jack's and that a golden retriever would be a logical choice.
Annette agreed and we brought Champagne home in August of 2008. It was the best pet decision we ever made. We had known a bit about goldens but looking back with 20/20 hind sight I now realize that we had no idea just how incredibly beautiful inside and out, loyal, trusting, joyful and intelligent they can be. The affect on Annette's mental health was immediate and long lasing and the past 14 years have been some of the best years of our lives.

Now we are older, Annette has continuing health issues while I am in pretty darn good shape physically. I am often mistaken for a guy in his early fifties rather than his late sixties. I don't have quite the energy I had 14 years ago but not too far off, but what I have now compared to before is a lot of time. I am retired and occasionally agree to fill appropriate woodworking orders when they come in from old and trusted customers.

So here's the question: assuming that we arrive at a stable place in the near future where we have come to peace with Champagne's passing, should we get another golden at our ages? Right now we both realize that it's early days and we won't make a rash decision when emotions are running high, but I find that the thought of doing this again alleviates some of the immediate pain. I have visited the websites of the main breeders close to us in Ontario in anticipation of possibly getting another golden and just doing that makes me feel better. We have a 4 acre property bordered by vacant lands which are accessible to us, we have huge spaces for tearabouts and obedience training and our home and property are better suited than ever before to have a another dog. If we did get another puppy, and it would be a puppy, I would have a plan in place for someone to care for it if for some reason we were both incapacitated (or worse) with financial provisions for the dog's care.

Neither of us is seeking to replace Champagne, that just wouldn't be right, and an injustice to her, but we would be looking for another unique relationship with a dog whose temperament we can be reasonably sure of from the beginning. We have read a lot on the internet about seniors with dogs, a lot of it positive, but there is very little in the way of first hand experience.
Can anyone out there offer us some advice? Has anyone been in similar circumstances? How did it go or how is it going? What should we be aware of if there is something we haven't considered? We want to make as informed a decision as we can some time in the near future because if we do go ahead we will both be all in, just as Champagne was every day of her life with us, and we would want to do the very best for the dog. We would really appreciate what ever feedback we can get.
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Thanks, getting an older puppy is something we had not considered. I have assumed that since most of the reputable breeders have waiting lists that we would have to take a puppy somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks not 6 months. I will be contacting our closest local breeder soon and discuss that with them.
My DIL is a hairdresser and one of her clients is a reputable breeder. DIL mentioned that we were looking for a pup, and the breeder had just decided to sell one of her pups, as some of his premolars are missing, so she would not be breeding or showing him.

So I suppose that it must happen occasionally. Best wishes in your search!
 

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(...) I am 69 and my wife Annette is 68.

(...)So here's the question: assuming that we arrive at a stable place in the near future where we have come to peace with Champagne's passing, should we get another golden at our ages? (...)

Can anyone out there offer us some advice? Has anyone been in similar circumstances? How did it go or how is it going? What should we be aware of if there is something we haven't considered? We want to make as informed a decision as we can some time in the near future because if we do go ahead we will both be all in, just as Champagne was every day of her life with us, and we would want to do the very best for the dog. We would really appreciate what ever feedback we can get.
My sympathies for your loss. It's awful to lose a dog, and the grieving process is just as intense as for any other loss in life. Kind thoughts to you.

Now, to answer your questions. First, I'm in my 60s as well, a bit younger than you, but not by much.

We live in a society that often treats seniors as "less than", because we don't have the same energy or physical capacity or whatever else as we used to. Well, we're not "less than". Quite the reverse. We're "more than", because of everything we've experienced. As I told my 21-year-old kid the other day, in life lesson number 10,423: the grey hair, the failing eyesight, the artificial joints and all the rest: they don't mean I'm old and irrelevant, they mean I've grabbed life by the b***s and wrestled it to the ground and come out of it in one piece, a bit worse for wear but victorious nevertheless, and still looking for the next challenge ...

I have a 6-year-old golden retriever from performance lines. He's my agility partner. Four years ago I had a total knee replacement. The doctor told me I'd probably have to give up agility. I told him that I hadn't put myself through the pain of the operation and the long, horrendous rehab just to stay home and knit. The following year my dog and I won the Canadian national championship in our class.This year I ruptured my Achilles tendon in May. I was told by many people that it was a sign I should give up agility and find something more "suitable" (read: calm and sedentary) to do. So I went out and bought a large plastic therapeutic boot to stabilize the tendon, and in June my dog and I won the provincial agility championship.

You know, you only get one shot at life. When it's gone, it's gone. Do what makes you happy; there's always a way. If another golden would make you happy, get one. Make a plan B for the dog just in case, but get one anyway.

Photo for encouragement. It was taken in September of this year. The therapeutic boot is still there. And I'm still running.

Carnivore Dog agility Plant Fawn Felidae
 

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You're not in the US, so I'm not familiar with the organizations available to you, but you might consider being a volunteer puppy raiser with a non-profit service dog organization. I volunteer with one such organization in the US. We have lots of older folks (and I use that phrasing because it applies to me, too) who are volunteer puppy raisers.

Also, I can't tell from your description of the situation, but maybe your wife's health issues might qualify her for a service dog. A reputable non-profit won't charge you for a service dog and it will properly assess whether your wife qualifies for one of its service dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
My sympathies for your loss. It's awful to lose a dog, and the grieving process is just as intense as for any other loss in life. Kind thoughts to you.

Now, to answer your questions. First, I'm in my 60s as well, a bit younger than you, but not by much.

We live in a society that often treats seniors as "less than", because we don't have the same energy or physical capacity or whatever else as we used to. Well, we're not "less than". Quite the reverse. We're "more than", because of everything we've experienced. As I told my 21-year-old kid the other day, in life lesson number 10,423: the grey hair, the failing eyesight, the artificial joints and all the rest: they don't mean I'm old and irrelevant, they mean I've grabbed life by the b***s and wrestled it to the ground and come out of it in one piece, a bit worse for wear but victorious nevertheless, and still looking for the next challenge ...

I have a 6-year-old golden retriever from performance lines. He's my agility partner. Four years ago I had a total knee replacement. The doctor told me I'd probably have to give up agility. I told him that I hadn't put myself through the pain of the operation and the long, horrendous rehab just to stay home and knit. The following year my dog and I won the Canadian national championship in our class.This year I ruptured my Achilles tendon in May. I was told by many people that it was a sign I should give up agility and find something more "suitable" (read: calm and sedentary) to do. So I went out and bought large plastic therapeutic boot to stabilize the tendon, and in June my dog and I won the provincial agility championship.

You know, you only get one shot at life. When it's gone, it's gone. Do what makes you happy; there's always a way. If another golden would make you happy, get one. Make a plan B for the dog just in case, but get one anyway.

Photo for encouragement. It was taken in September of this year. The therapeutic boot is still there. And I'm still running.

View attachment 898004
Thank you so much for your reply, you have no idea how timely it was. This grieving process has been physically just incredibly exhausting, I've never experienced anything like it in my life, and it has had me second guessing my physical ability to care for a dog properly - but I want to soooo badly. Every response to my initial post has been so considerate, kind and encouraging. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
You're not in the US, so I'm not familiar with the organizations available to you, but you might consider being a volunteer puppy raiser with a non-profit service dog organization. I volunteer with one such organization in the US. We have lots of older folks (and I use that phrasing because it applies to me, too) who are volunteer puppy raisers.

Also, I can't tell from your description of the situation, but maybe your wife's health issues might qualify her for a service dog. A reputable non-profit won't charge you for a service dog and it will properly assess whether your wife qualifies for one of its service dogs.
Thanks for the advice, that is not something we had thought of but we will certainly keep it in mind. We are aware that we still have some healing to do before we make a decision on a new puppy.
 

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Thank you so much for your reply, you have no idea how timely it was. This grieving process has been physically just incredibly exhausting, I've never experienced anything like it in my life, and it has had me second guessing my physical ability to care for a dog properly - but I want to soooo badly. Every response to my initial post has been so considerate, kind and encouraging. Thanks again.
I think most of the people on this forum, regardless of age, have stood in your shoes after losing a much-loved dog. I certainly have, and I really, truly understand where you're coming from. If you think it may help, I wrote about my grieving experience after losing my last golden retriever, Ruby. You can find our story here:


Grief is debilitating. It's exhausting. It sucks the colour out of your world. But it's not static, it's a process and you just have to trust it and let it do its thing. The exhaustion will go away and the universe will eventually tilt back onto its axis. Don't second-guess yourself in the meantime.

Kind thoughts to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I think most of the people on this forum, regardless of age, have stood in your shoes after losing a much-loved dog. I certainly have, and I really, truly understand where you're coming from. If you think it may help, I wrote about my grieving experience after losing my last golden retriever, Ruby. You can find our story here:


Grief is debilitating. It's exhausting. It sucks the colour out of your world. But it's not static, it's a process and you just have to trust it and let it do its thing. The exhaustion will go away and the universe will eventually tilt back onto its axis. Don't second-guess yourself in the meantime.

Kind thoughts to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I think most of the people on this forum, regardless of age, have stood in your shoes after losing a much-loved dog. I certainly have, and I really, truly understand where you're coming from. If you think it may help, I wrote about my grieving experience after losing my last golden retriever, Ruby. You can find our story here:


Grief is debilitating. It's exhausting. It sucks the colour out of your world. But it's not static, it's a process and you just have to trust it and let it do its thing. The exhaustion will go away and the universe will eventually tilt back onto its axis. Don't second-guess yourself in the meantime.

Kind thoughts to you.
I read your blog. OMG. Great grief clearly the price to pay for great love. Thanks, we will be back on our feet one day soon I'm sure. So kind of a total stranger to offer support when we need it, I feel we know you a bit now.
 

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First and foremost I send my condolences to you both for sweet Champagne. Yes we understand all too well.. I just want to share my feelings. 'IF" you both realize you "need" ( I say that with a loving wink and a smile) Need, desire, want, hope, to share your lives with another golden then DO SO> Be honest with yourselves that you know what you are "in" for especially the first two years. I am 68 and my husband is 61. Our Last puppy go round was 12 years ago so our math works out to be about the same as you. We are quite active and work at staying healthy and fit. Fortunate that in south Florida I will not be carrying a pup on icy stairs. We are on a list to become Parents again sometime this spring 🥰 and I will say it took a VERY long time to find a breeder we trust as our previous Goldens came from a now retired breeder. It may take you awhile to get on a list and be blessed with a pup. So maybe it will be spring or summer for your potty training time. Maybe you could enlist in a walker to help train and tire out the little one. Or consider a re-homed adult. What ever you decide I hope the best for you. I know that hole in your heart is deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
First and foremost I send my condolences to you both for sweet Champagne. Yes we understand all too well.. I just want to share my feelings. 'IF" you both realize you "need" ( I say that with a loving wink and a smile) Need, desire, want, hope, to share your lives with another golden then DO SO> Be honest with yourselves that you know what you are "in" for especially the first two years. I am 68 and my husband is 61. Our Last puppy go round was 12 years ago so our math works out to be about the same as you. We are quite active and work at staying healthy and fit. Fortunate that in south Florida I will not be carrying a pup on icy stairs. We are on a list to become Parents again sometime this spring 🥰 and I will say it took a VERY long time to find a breeder we trust as our previous Goldens came from a now retired breeder. It may take you awhile to get on a list and be blessed with a pup. So maybe it will be spring or summer for your potty training time. Maybe you could enlist in a walker to help train and tire out the little one. Or consider a re-homed adult. What ever you decide I hope the best for you. I know that hole in your heart is deep.
Thanks, the idea of enlisting some help at our age sounds like a good one. The more good people around for a golden the better for the dog and us all if you ask me.
 

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We're in our early/mid 60's and honestly weren't planning on getting another dog after our last golden passed a year and a half ago. The reason was that we're busy travelling between 3 places and spend summers cruising on a sailboat. Here we are, now 10 months in, with a new golden who has learned to adapt well to our lifestyle, and has had a crash course this summer on being a boat dog. We found we just missed having a dog.

Things to consider... I didn't remember all the craziness involved with raising a puppy, even though we've had 3 before. Our particular dog is even more high energy than our previous field goldens, so she was puppy craziness on steroids. The skin on my hands is thinner than it used to be when I worked hard for a living, and it took a beating before the adult teeth came in (but it finally healed). I don't remember being shredded that badly by any of our previous dogs. Life might be easier without a dog as all of our daily routine and travel revolves around her, but then we're retired, so what.

That said, any negatives are completely outweighed by the positives of having a dog. We're pretty active anyway, but she gives us a reason to be active on crappy weather days that we would prefer to vegetate (think kayak trips into shore in the rain, and hikes in blowing snow). She gives us more reasons to visit parks and open areas as we do it for the dog, in an effort to find new training and exercise places for her when we're travelling. She (and usually I) went swimming every day this summer cause that's what we do from the boat. I've had a lot of fun doing field training work with her, especially this fall. It's been a challenge, but a worthwhile one at that. The list goes on. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
We're in our early/mid 60's and honestly weren't planning on getting another dog after our last golden passed a year and a half ago. The reason was that we're busy travelling between 3 places and spend summers cruising on a sailboat. Here we are, now 10 months in, with a new golden who has learned to adapt well to our lifestyle, and has had a crash course this summer on being a boat dog. We found we just missed having a dog.

Things to consider... I didn't remember all the craziness involved with raising a puppy, even though we've had 3 before. Our particular dog is even more high energy than our previous field goldens, so she was puppy craziness on steroids. The skin on my hands is thinner than it used to be when I worked hard for a living, and it took a beating before the adult teeth came in (but it finally healed). I don't remember being shredded that badly by any of our previous dogs. Life might be easier without a dog as all of our daily routine and travel revolves around her, but then we're retired, so what.

That said, any negatives are completely outweighed by the positives of having a dog. We're pretty active anyway, but she gives us a reason to be active on crappy weather days that we would prefer to vegetate (think kayak trips into shore in the rain, and hikes in blowing snow). She gives us more reasons to visit parks and open areas as we do it for the dog, in an effort to find new training and exercise places for her when we're travelling. She (and usually I) went swimming every day this summer cause that's what we do from the boat. I've had a lot of fun doing field training work with her, especially this fall. It's been a challenge, but a worthwhile one at that. The list goes on. Good luck with your decision.
Thanks, we have been advised of the high energy puppy phase by a lot of folks our age. Looking back at the time we raised our lovely Champagne when she was a puppy we realize that we really didn't have a very hard time in that phase with her. Her sister Cider, who we brought in a couple of years later to keep her company was another story though. She ate EVERYTHING! And had to be watched constantly. Neither dog was ridiculously overactive so I guess we got lucky with that even though several items including our son's brand new boots and my favorite easy chair were essentially destroyed. Our main concern at the moment is our energy levels and ability to be there for the dog when she needs us. We certainly won't be bringing in a new dog for quite a while, not until we are past grieving Champagne properly, but whichever way we decide when it's time to decide we will post our situation. So many people who have owned goldens in a similar phase of their lives have been extremely kind and encouraging in their posts. I thank you all. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

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Hello, I have just recently joined the forum and I need some advice for seniors who may wish to share their lives with a golden retriever again.

Here's our story: We have just lost the most wonderful dog we have ever known. Her name was Champagne, she was a purebred American and she died at 14 1/2 years old. We are experiencing the grief that only golden retriever owners can know. I am 69 and my wife Annette is 68.
In 2006 Annette, who had already been dealing with serious pain management issues was in a serious car accident after which she required several surgeries on both shoulders. In October of 2007 our lovely yellow lab cross died unexpectedly at the age of 7 from cancer. Jack was an incredibly powerful dog but was as gentle as he was strong and we were totally shocked when we found that he didn't have long to live. Some time early in the new year of 2008 Annette told me that she wanted another dog. I was very hesitant at first because I just wasn't sure if she would be able to handle the responsibilities considering her physical condition. She told me that caring for a new dog would distract her adequately and improve her mental health. It didn't take me too long to agree, with the understanding that I would handle the leash training and walking, and basically take care of its outside activities while Annette took care of it inside the home, grooming etc., and as much as anything they would keep each other company while I was running our home business. I insisted that rather than taking in a rescue as we have done every time in the past we should look for a dog with a temperament similar to Jack's and that a golden retriever would be a logical choice.
Annette agreed and we brought Champagne home in August of 2008. It was the best pet decision we ever made. We had known a bit about goldens but looking back with 20/20 hind sight I now realize that we had no idea just how incredibly beautiful inside and out, loyal, trusting, joyful and intelligent they can be. The affect on Annette's mental health was immediate and long lasing and the past 14 years have been some of the best years of our lives.

Now we are older, Annette has continuing health issues while I am in pretty darn good shape physically. I am often mistaken for a guy in his early fifties rather than his late sixties. I don't have quite the energy I had 14 years ago but not too far off, but what I have now compared to before is a lot of time. I am retired and occasionally agree to fill appropriate woodworking orders when they come in from old and trusted customers.

So here's the question: assuming that we arrive at a stable place in the near future where we have come to peace with Champagne's passing, should we get another golden at our ages? Right now we both realize that it's early days and we won't make a rash decision when emotions are running high, but I find that the thought of doing this again alleviates some of the immediate pain. I have visited the websites of the main breeders close to us in Ontario in anticipation of possibly getting another golden and just doing that makes me feel better. We have a 4 acre property bordered by vacant lands which are accessible to us, we have huge spaces for tearabouts and obedience training and our home and property are better suited than ever before to have a another dog. If we did get another puppy, and it would be a puppy, I would have a plan in place for someone to care for it if for some reason we were both incapacitated (or worse) with financial provisions for the dog's care.

Neither of us is seeking to replace Champagne, that just wouldn't be right, and an injustice to her, but we would be looking for another unique relationship with a dog whose temperament we can be reasonably sure of from the beginning. We have read a lot on the internet about seniors with dogs, a lot of it positive, but there is very little in the way of first hand experience.
Can anyone out there offer us some advice? Has anyone been in similar circumstances? How did it go or how is it going? What should we be aware of if there is something we haven't considered? We want to make as informed a decision as we can some time in the near future because if we do go ahead we will both be all in, just as Champagne was every day of her life with us, and we would want to do the very best for the dog. We would really appreciate what ever feedback we can get.
Thank you, you clearly know the territory - it's very encouraging.
After losing my dog age 9.5 years to cancer I also felt sharing my life with a Golden would be good for me at age 71. I forgot how hard it is raising a puppy but we survived. He is a wonderful 3 year old now and he’s my constant shadow. What I didn’t think about was me walking him at age 74 at his present weight of 83 lbs. I lost a dear friend recently who never was the same after a fall. Not wanting to have a negative impact on my health. I stopped walking him. I feel bad but I have to be smart about this. My veterinarian said she advises her senior clients to only get a dog you can pick up. She never told me this. So, now he goes to playtime at s local kennel for a few hours a day. I usually send him 2 days a week. I was feeling that I let him down but he loves going there snd it does tire him out. I also noticed the other seniors picking up their big dogs. I’m doing the best I can and we still play ball and bubbles in the fenced back yard. I’ll do anything I can for him just not jeopardize my health.
 

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My wife (age 79) and I (age 82) are currently on our 5th golden (age almost 2). We got Brodie in March 2020, after his predecessor, Laddie, died at age 8 of hemangiosarcoma shortly after we moved from our home in Washington State to a senior retirement community in western Pennsylvania. We were simply unwilling to be without a golden in the house, the community and our neighbors were and are supportive of dog ownership, and our decision to bring home another pup has been more than rewarded by the pleasure he gives us, the relationships he's developed with many of our neighbors and friends in the community, and the love exchanged between him and our two nearby grandchildren. That's not to say we didn't think about it for a while. We knew that there is work involved in raising and training a pup (we'd been there 4x before), there is expense, and there is responsibility but the balance still tipped heavily toward getting the pup, and we're glad we did. When we moved here the management allowed us to install a dog door leading to an outside fenced enclosure, and when we brought our 9-week-old home it only took one trip through the dog door to achieve "instant" house training. It hasn't all been that easy, but Brodie is a firm part of our family and much loved. So think about your situation carefully, but if you really want to get another golden and the whole picture looks even a little bit favorable for that, do it!
 

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Following this thread with great interest! My wife (63) and I (66) have had three goldens over the years -- all rescues, all adults. My wife volunteers for the local GR rescue, but rescue goldens have been scarce for years, even since before COVID, when they were being imported from places like Turkey and China.

Our last golden, Katie, pulled from an Amish puppy mill, passed away five years ago. The hole in our hearts has grown no smaller, since then.

Last year, I joined this forum, and we signed on to a waiting list with a reputable local breeder. Meanwhile, we have three dachshunds who keep us busy. The oldest (Oscar, a rescue) is about 15, and was diagnosed with a splenic mass about six months ago, so he's in his bonus round now.

We have decided not to apply for another rescue golden until Oscar passes (may he live forever) while, also, the breeder's waiting list clears and hopefully our number comes up. Lately, however, I've begun to wonder about the pros and cons of taking on a puppy at this stage of our lives. This thread has been encouraging, but it also sets a high bar for what can be achieved.

Thanks, everybody, for your contributions to this thread.

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Collar Companion dog
 

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We lost our almost 15 year old golden girl in Feb 21. Our situation is almost identical to yours. We are 76 and 74, my husband is healthy, slower than he used to be with less energy and I have been plagued with chronic pain since 1986 and have had multiple orthopedic problems, I am on crutches right now due to major ankle surgery last month. We got a puppy in April of 21 and it has been the best decision for us. It hasn't always been easy, the first 9 months were the hardest due to her puppy energy and not being fully trained yet. She seemed to snap into the training during her 2nd set of obedience classes about one year ago now and she has turned into a great companion. She has been very gentle with me since my recent surgery, she just seems to know. Misty is our 4th golden and is doing a great job as a therapy dog for me as have the other 3 goldens we had in the past. Goldens are just special, very loving, smart and easily trainable. I understand your pain at having lost Champagne so recently, it is so hard to lose them. A new puppy never replaces the one you lost but they find their own place in your heart. I still miss our Quinn a lot, but Misty keeps me busy and makes me laugh. We asked our breeder for her smallest, calmest puppy and she is all of that and more. I know you will find your way to the right decision for you and your wife and I wish you all the best. I hope you find it in your hearts to love another puppy that will enrich your lives for many more years to come.
 

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Rescues don’t always have behavior problems. Occasionally they get a dog that must be given up for reasons beyond their owner’s control. I have a rescue now who was relatively easy from the early days that I got as a puppy. Even if you don’t adopt, opening your home and life to a foster can fill the void until you decide what to do.
 

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I’ve been following this thread with great interest. We got our puppy in Feb. 2020 (yes, just 5 weeks before Covid lockdown) at ages 67 and 72. We purposely got a small field bred golden, being more worried about size (as in, don’t get a dog you can’t carry) than energy. Three months later I ended up with a cancer diagnosis that required serious longterm chemo, surgery, radiation, and more chemo. I wasn’t in any shape to attend puppy kindergarten even if anyone had been offering it (other than online, which we did) during early Covid, and our dog was EXTREMELY energetic. Obviously, no one could have predicted my cancer, but most cases of cancer are in older folks. And lots of other illnesses are more common with age, too. Do think about what will happen if one of you gets sick and all the responsibility for your puppy falls on your spouse, who will also be caring for you. Exercising her properly required sending her to half day playgroup, and we have kept that up even though I’m now in remission and doing agility with her three times a week. But if she makes it to 12 years old, we will be 79 and 84. How could we have a new golden in the house then? How will we live in a house without a dog? There’s young old, and old old. So think about that, too.
 

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Hello, I have just recently joined the forum and I need some advice for seniors who may wish to share their lives with a golden retriever again.

Here's our story: We have just lost the most wonderful dog we have ever known. Her name was Champagne, she was a purebred American and she died at 14 1/2 years old. We are experiencing the grief that only golden retriever owners can know. I am 69 and my wife Annette is 68.

So here's the question: assuming that we arrive at a stable place in the near future where we have come to peace with Champagne's passing, should we get another golden at our ages?
We experienced something similar to you and your wife. Although a few years younger, we were still in our 60's when Biscuit died. We missed having a Golden. But, we felt it might be difficult dealing with a big dog like a Golden, 10-14 years from now, when they develop health issues. Not to mention all that puppy and young dog energy that a Golden has those first 3 years or so. But, we really did want the special companionship of a Golden while we still did have the energy for the walks, trips, vet visits, etc. So, we adopted a rescue Golden that was 5-6 years old. We've had her for a year now. And, she has been wonderful. Calm, affectionate, and gentle.

You may want to look into adopting a middle-aged Golden. They are much easier to take care of for seniors. And, as sad as their short lives are, they will no longer be a burden to you when you are too old to take care of them. Besides Golden rescue groups, sometime breeders will rehome their dams at around 5 years old, as they tend to have smaller and less healthier litters when they approach middle-age. (Not unlike humans.)
 
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