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Discussion Starter #1
We lost our Sam at a month shy of ten years old on January 14th. It was sudden and unexpected. He had a growth invading his intestines and stomach and it was inoperable. Our 13 year old, Luke, had been fighting anal gland cancer since last September and was really doing very well, but it metastasized to his jaw and we had to let him go April 21st. To say we were gutted is putting it mildly. I’m trying to find a reputable breeder with a reasonable time frame and it’s impossible! I know with COVID-19 everyone is experiencing this too, but honestly, we NEED a dog! I’ve filled out applications, but everyone is either limiting their puppies to people they know, ( because we all think/know that dogs will get dumped after COVID settles down) or they have months long waiting lists. I don’t mind waiting a bit, but some of these places say to send a $500 non refundable deposit with the chances of getting dog no where in sight! We’re responsible, loving pet parents and I confess...a little desperate. We’re just outside Philadelphia and willing to drive. Any insights anyone?
 

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I'm in the exact same situation. I lost my baby boy to hemangiosarcoma a month ago. He is irreplaceable. I do NEED a dog, though. And every one of the half dozen reputable breeders whom I've contacted has a waiting list of over a year. I'm in Massachusetts, but would be willing to drive across the country, if need be. If you have any luck finding available pups, would you please share that info with me? I don't even like being in my home anymore, which is cold and still without my boy.
 

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I'm in the exact same situation. I lost my baby boy to hemangiosarcoma a month ago. He is irreplaceable. I do NEED a dog, though. And every one of the half dozen reputable breeders whom I've contacted has a waiting list of over a year. I'm in Massachusetts, but would be willing to drive across the country, if need be. If you have any luck finding available pups, would you please share that info with me? I don't even like being in my home anymore, which is cold and still without my boy.
Of course I will! I know how much you hurt right now.
 

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Thanks so much. I'm single, with no kids, and live alone now in my quiet, still house. My golden boy, Finley, was my baby, and my life centered around making him entirely happy. I would MUCH rather have had hemangiosarcoma myself -- or given my boy years off of my own life. I run a business from a home office, so Finn and I were together 24/7, with frequent breaks to run or swim on the beach, take rides in the car, or meet up with his doggy friends for playdates. We went on camping trips to Maine, boat rides to Nantucket . . . we went everywhere together. I researched his food, treats, tick treatments, and supplements meticulously; I truly don't know what else I could have done to prevent this cancer. His loss is devastating, and has fundamentally changed my day-to-day life.

The one thought that has given me some relief is the prospect of being a golden mom again. Yet, every breeder I've contacted is sold out into infinity, it seems, due to COVID and people being home from work, and deciding that they suddenly want a golden. I don't blame these new golden parents -- who WOULDN'T want one?! But it just compounds my grief to know that I won't be a golden mom again anytime soon. And my standards are starting to slide; at first, I had incredibly stringent notions about health check parameters, parentage, and breeder reputation. At this point? Pondering if I should order one online from a puppy mill.

How very cruel to lose these precious babies at the one point in history when golden retrievers become unavailable to those who know them and love them best.
 

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I understand how you feel and I'm so sorry for your loss. They sure do steal our hearts yet leave enough room for another fur baby. I'm aftraid that if you go to a puppy mill your heart will break too soon.
Have you looked into local rescues or retriever clubs? Maybe adopt from a shelter or (dare I say this) consider getting a kitten to love while waiting for your golden puppy. They would do fine together when the time comes.
 

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I share your pain, we lost two of our Golden's in 2019. One in January, she was 12 and one in October, he was 10. Both went quickly to cancer. After some recovery time we decided to get another Golden. All of our Golden's have come from a field line breeder. I made some calls to trainers I knew and other field dog people I know in the area. We quickly found an upcoming litter from a top field line, they were about 6 hours from our house. We visited twice to check out the parents, both on site, and once to see the pups at 6 weeks. Then in January of this year, we picked up our new boy who was 8 wks old. He has been a pleasure and seems really smart. We took him through a puppy obedience class and he did well. Looking forward to running him in field events this fall, regardless he will get lots of hunting with us this season....Check on entryexpress.net...they usually have dogs available...

I don't know anyone with a litter in the 'furnace' or any planning a new litter...but if I here about one I will let you know...
 

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My heart goes out to both of you. Thankfully when I've lost dogs I've always had at least one other at home to buffer the emptiness... 😢

Two suggestions to consider...
1) Identify some reputable breeders you like and get on their wait list (esp if you can do that without putting down a nonrefundable deposit, AND also let them know you'd be interested in buying/adopting an adult dog. I and several of my friends have gotten awesome dogs this way... their dogs were breeder returns (victims of divorce, etc.); mine was a show prospect that didn't pan out. These dogs are rarely advertised and most are placed by word of mouth. Even if "your" breeder doesn't have a dog for placement, they may know who does. In my case, I don't even think the breeder had actively decided to place my dog until I asked about it.
2) Consider fostering for a local shelter or rescue group while you wait for that perfect puppy (not necessarily restricting yourself to a Golden). At least that would put a warm body and wagging tail into your house, without it being a long term commitment if you don't bond with the dog (and if you DO bond with it, then you can become a "foster failure" and at least have a dog to love until you can get your next Golden puppy.

While I sympathize with the temptation to go the puppy mill route, ask yourself if it's worth getting a dog who might have serious health or behavioral issues. You don't want to exchange one heartbreak for another... A "backyard breeder" might be marginally safer than a puppydmill, but I'd do the same diligence/research as you would with a reputable breeder and decide case by case if the risks are too great (e.g., out of date eyes vs failed elbows, inadequate cardiac vs a history of cancer, etc.). Two of my dogs came from such a breeder... I wouldn't recommend her to anyone else necessarily, since she doesn't adhere to the COE in terms of doing and registering clearances, BUT I've known her and her dogs for a long time, she'd been breeding for 30 years with many very happy owners, and her dogs were healthy and long lived... So breeders like that ARE out there... but, it IS a risk to go this route - only you can decide if the risk is worth it to get a puppy into your home sooner rather than later.

I wish you both the best on your search!
 

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I understand all too well the emptiness of a home that has lost it's special and only dog. It's a unique situation when you're a dog person and there was only one dog in your life. You know before your eyes even open in the morning that there is no one there who needs to be fed, demanding attention and wanting to just be with you. It's difficult to break out of this kind of sadness and depression and I am the kind of person who finds it almost impossible to break out of the grief without at least some kind of a plan for a new puppy to focus on.

Please know that I get it. I also know first hand that one of the worst things you can do is settle on a less than ideal breeder because you can't face the thought of 6 months without a dog to love in your life. Do not rush into a deal with a crappy breeder because you are so sad. The odds of things going wrong are not in your favor. For me, I ended up with a puppy who had a less than Golden temperament. It was one of the greatest heartaches of my life to deal with a puppy who wasn't safe around children. It would have been avoided had I not disregarded the advice about waiting for a breeder who puts temperament as much as a priority as physical health clearances when breeding a litter.

Sometimes it works out ok to rush into a puppy from a breeder you don't know much about, but sometimes it goes horribly wrong and piling heartbreak on top of heartbreak is not how you want to move past this point in your life. Please take the advice here, get involved with a rescue and offer to foster a dog for a short time, help save a life. That will help you make it through the short term while you look for a Golden. Take time and make sure you have done the research, use the resources offered here and make a good decision on where to get your next Golden so that hopefully the next 12 years or so hold nothing but good things for you and your next dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
. And my standards are starting to slide; at first, I had incredibly stringent notions about health check parameters, parentage, and breeder reputation. At this point? Pondering if I should order one online from a puppy mill.

ohhh god no! No. Don’t do that to yourself. Adding to the misery of dogs you love will bring you no real peace. You know better. I understand what you’re feeling, I honestly do and the thought crossed my mind too. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I’d contributed to that hell though.

no..we have to stay strong and believe our baby is out there...coming to us one day.
 

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I understand how you feel and I'm so sorry for your loss. They sure do steal our hearts yet leave enough room for another fur baby. I'm aftraid that if you go to a puppy mill your heart will break too soon.
Have you looked into local rescues or retriever clubs? Maybe adopt from a shelter or (dare I say this) consider getting a kitten to love while waiting for your golden puppy. They would do fine together when the time comes.
Ohhh no! No cats thank you!
i can’t deal with the whole litter box situation. That grosses me out. I was raised in a home with a cat and dog and while I liked the cat, I did not tolerate that litter box gracefully.

Recues aren’t an option for me because I want a dog that I KNOW something about. Where it came from, who are it’s parents, what is the family history of illnesses....you know...all the reasons to find a reputable breeder! I give my heart and soul to my dogs, I know how battered and broken I get when one of them suffers, I have to protect myself and get the best possible outcome. For all of us!
 

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I know nothing about this site but it raises a crazy number of red flags, but any place that usually has dogs available should be a hard pass.

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Entry Express is a major website for all who run their retrievers in hunt tests and Field Trials! No website is 100%, but anyone who runs retrievers with AKC or HRC Trials and/ or Tests knows this website and trust it! At least take time to look at it and go to the area called Classified, then click on Golden Retrievers...
 

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Entry Express is a major website for all who run their retrievers in hunt tests and Field Trials! No website is 100%, but anyone who runs retrievers with AKC or HRC Trials and/ or Tests knows this website and trust it! At least take time to look at it and go to the area called Classified, then click on Golden Retrievers...
I went and registered and had a look. They do have quite a few listing, however they are field Golden. Not what I’m looking for. Thank you anyway!
 

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We lost our Sam at a month shy of ten years old on January 14th. It was sudden and unexpected. He had a growth invading his intestines and stomach and it was inoperable. Our 13 year old, Luke, had been fighting anal gland cancer since last September and was really doing very well, but it metastasized to his jaw and we had to let him go April 21st. To say we were gutted is putting it mildly. I’m trying to find a reputable breeder with a reasonable time frame and it’s impossible! I know with COVID-19 everyone is experiencing this too, but honestly, we NEED a dog! I’ve filled out applications, but everyone is either limiting their puppies to people they know, ( because we all think/know that dogs will get dumped after COVID settles down) or they have months long waiting lists. I don’t mind waiting a bit, but some of these places say to send a $500 non refundable deposit with the chances of getting dog no where in sight! We’re responsible, loving pet parents and I confess...a little desperate. We’re just outside Philadelphia and willing to drive. Any insights anyone?
I've been in contact with someone here in Tacoma WA who has puppies born this week - they're not AKC so if that bothers you it may not make sense but I've been looking for the right dog for months and happened to run into a neighbor who was looking and had found this guy. Sounds like he's a BYB but my previous dogs were as well and I'm not overly concerned there. He said they would be ready to see in 2 weeks and go home is early Sept. let me know if you want his # privately.

I am in no way connected with this guy and I do not personally know him FYI.
 

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I've been in contact with someone here in Tacoma WA who has puppies born this week - they're not AKC so if that bothers you it may not make sense but I've been looking for the right dog for months and happened to run into a neighbor who was looking and had found this guy. Sounds like he's a BYB but my previous dogs were as well and I'm not overly concerned there. He said they would be ready to see in 2 weeks and go home is early Sept. let me know if you want his # privately.

I am in no way connected with this guy and I do not personally know him FYI.
So absolutely no clearances are done. Do you like to gamble?

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We lost our Sam at a month shy of ten years old on January 14th. It was sudden and unexpected. He had a growth invading his intestines and stomach and it was inoperable. Our 13 year old, Luke, had been fighting anal gland cancer since last September and was really doing very well, but it metastasized to his jaw and we had to let him go April 21st. To say we were gutted is putting it mildly. I’m trying to find a reputable breeder with a reasonable time frame and it’s impossible! I know with COVID-19 everyone is experiencing this too, but honestly, we NEED a dog! I’ve filled out applications, but everyone is either limiting their puppies to people they know, ( because we all think/know that dogs will get dumped after COVID settles down) or they have months long waiting lists. I don’t mind waiting a bit, but some of these places say to send a $500 non refundable deposit with the chances of getting dog no where in sight! We’re responsible, loving pet parents and I confess...a little desperate. We’re just outside Philadelphia and willing to drive. Any insights anyone?
So sorry about your Sammy and Luke. We lost two of our 3 Golden's last year. One was 10 and the other was 13, both had cancers. In fact over the last 30 years we have had 8-9 Golden's and all that are gone, died of some form of cancer.

Our boy died last October, luckily we were able to find a field bred litter that allowed us to get a new boy fairly quickly. he is now 35wks. As you say it is devastating to lose two Golden's in such a short span.

Best wishes in finding a dog of your dreams, be patient and persistent and you will be rewarded!
 

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I've been in contact with someone here in Tacoma WA who has puppies born this week - they're not AKC so if that bothers you it may not make sense but I've been looking for the right dog for months and happened to run into a neighbor who was looking and had found this guy. Sounds like he's a BYB but my previous dogs were as well and I'm not overly concerned there. He said they would be ready to see in 2 weeks and go home is early Sept. let me know if you want his # privately.

I am in no way connected with this guy and I do not personally know him FYI.
That’s very kind of you to step up like that, my first Golden was from a woman who bred her bitch and raised them in her kitchen. No clearances, no testings...and she lived the longest of all my dogs. Lost her at a month shy of 15 with absolutely no health issues. It truly can be a roll of the dice.
 

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Foster a senior. There are never enough homes for an elderly dog. If you foster, all vet expenses are paid by the rescue group. Then you can look for a breeder in a calm, relaxed way and take time to find the right dog.
 

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So sorry about your Sammy and Luke. We lost two of our 3 Golden's last year. One was 10 and the other was 13, both had cancers. In fact over the last 30 years we have had 8-9 Golden's and all that are gone, died of some form of cancer.

Our boy died last October, luckily we were able to find a field bred litter that allowed us to get a new boy fairly quickly. he is now 35wks. As you say it is devastating to lose two Golden's in such a short span.

Best wishes in finding a dog of your dreams, be patient and persistent and you will be rewarded!
Thank you. I’ve never been without one or two dogs, sometimes three, so this is absolutely devastating to us, I’m sad about Lucas, but I’m mad about Samson! He deserved more time! I was dealing with breast cancer treatments when he first threw up and I was distracted... I blame myself for not recognizing faster that something was really wrong. I thought...ok..he’s been into something in the garden again...ate grass or something and didn’t worry too much over it. He was fine a week or so...threw up again. Then I was gripped with an absolute panic. Off to various vets, two ultrasounds ...and there it was on the second one. I blame myself...and can’t stop grieving. I’m a mess some nights. The days are better..but every night Sammy and I played a bedtime game and now when I mount the stairs..alone..I am crying by the time I make the bedroom door. It’s a horrible way to end my day and begin yet another long night.
 
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