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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! It's my first time posting here.

In short:
Q1) Is my puppy, Sadie, a full GR? Could she look strange just because of worms and malnourishment? (Pictures attached).
Q2) What are people's opinions on having two puppies at once (from different litters)?

The Long Story
We lost our golden boy Reese in June. He was only 8years and 9 months old. It was a very sudden death (undiagnosed Hemangiosarcoma). We had been out for our walks the day before and he was 100% healthy and then the next day he was gone before 9am. He was only minutes in the vets when his heart stopped (as did ours in many ways). We lost our other dog Molly (cavalier) in December. It's been a bad year.

We've been suffering a great deal with PTSD and grief and foolishly - in the madness of grief - ran out six days later and got a GR puppy from a not-so-great breeder. He said she was fully GR and had Irish Kennel Club certificate for her. We didn't get to see the Mam and Dad (I know this is a red flag but we were not thinking. We were operating on some stupid autopilot).

I know the breeder wasn't great because it turned out the poor little puppy (Sadie) was riddled with worms and was only 2kg (4½ lbs) even thought he said she was nearly 9 weeks old. I'm not so sure she was 8-9 weeks as she was so tiny. She did have hundreds of worms though. The vet got her all sorted with some worming treatments and finished off her course of vaccinations and she appears to be doing well now and gaining weight thankfully. She's now 7.6kg (16¾ lbs) at about 14/15 weeks. The vet wasn't sure what breed she was but said she could be a GR or a Lab or some sort of mix.

Anyway, Sadie has been with us now for nearly two months but she's still not looking like a retriever. I understand that she's probably having some difficultly because of the malnourishment suffered when she had the worms. But even still, I think her ears are a little odd for a GR and her coat hasn't gotten fluffy yet. (See pictures). I was wondering if anyone here would give their two cents on what breed/mix they think she might be? Or if they think she could be a full GR but just with a few quirks due to the malnourishment. Thanks so much!

I'm sending off a cheek swab for DNA analysis soon and should get that back in a couple of weeks. That should give me a good picture of her parentage. I really hope she is a GR. I know it's terrible to say, but I'd just be so heartbroken if she wasn't. They're the very best dogs with the sweetest hearts. I've had five different breeds of dog in my lifetime and nothing compares to a golden. I specifically wanted a GR because Reese was the dog I loved more than any other and I know I NEED another GR in my life. I'm struggling with the thoughts of the work involved in raising a puppy that might not be a GR and I'm terrified I won't love her or that I'll resent her.

What makes matters worse is that I just found out this weekend that a very reputable breeder has three males looking for a home. I know a male from one of the breeder's previous litters and he is JUST LIKE OUR REESE. So now I'm sort of wishing we waited and got one of those. Also toying with the idea of getting the second puppy anyway but am worried about littermate syndrome between him and Sadie (even though they would be from different litters) and not to mention all the extra work. Would anyone here strongly recommend getting a second puppy or strongly recommend not?

I'm sorry about the length of this post. I'm just all over the place since we lost our Big Man and am dying to get some advice from someone who has their head screwed on a bit better than I do currently.

I've attached pictures of Sadie for everyone to check out, and also included one of Reese :)

I hope you all are having a great day with your goldies!
Thanks in advance,
Greg
(Reese, Molly & Sadie's Dad)
Dog Dog breed Canidae Puppy Companion dog Dog Canidae Dog breed Golden retriever Carnivore Interaction Arm Shoulder Joint Leg Dog Mammal Vertebrate Dog breed Canidae Cage Animal shelter Cat Pet supply Room Dog Canidae Mammal Dog breed Puppy
 

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I think you are right, she is not a Golden Retriever. Maybe a Lab, but even then a mix. I'm sure you do love her, you've fought to get her heatlhy, you are invested in her. Do you resent her now?

How old are the male puppies? If they are a few months apart, you wouldn't have to worry about "littermate syndrome", but you would have two very active dogs. I think your consideration would really be can you keep up with the demands of living with and training two puppies under 1 year old and give them both the time they deserve? You would need to have separate time with each of them, separate training sessions, etc. If you can do that, then I see no reason to not consider another puppy.

Or, spend the time and bond with the puppy you have. Think about adding another dog in the future. You really are the only one who can decide if you are able to give two puppies the time and love they need.
 

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Don't forget that getting a male when you have a female is going to require lots of special attention when this girl goes into season. She will need to be completely away from this boy for almost a month twice a year. Some start this heat cycle as early as 6 months. Little boys can be pretty persistent and inclined to mark ... it's a guy thing. Having 2 means you have to spend lots of time training and bonding each one separately to avoid them bonding more to each other than to you.
Just an out of the box thought to consider. Clearly this adorable pup is not what you expected, have you considered working with a good golden or lab rescue that does home checks and follow ups to place her in a loving family? I've had several rescues that people gave me and of course I can't keep them all. The GR rescue was great and I fostered the dog with me until the right home was found so they are not out any expense. This will allow you to get your boy and have lots of time to give this new baby... and the pup gets a family to love and enjoy?? Just a thought.
 

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I would say golden mix, maybe. But whatever, she is adorable. As for two pups at a time---I have done it twice. Once years agoewith English Setters and then 20 years ago with goldens. A brother & sister each time. The English setters--we traind for quail hunting and actually worked with together and they were great together in the field. Was almost if they read each other's minds. I named them Rascal and Duchess. The goldens, KayCee and Hunter and Hunter's picture is my Avatar. I lost him to ProHeart6 when he was 4 yrs 2 months old. I had no problem with at all. They both wanted to be with me--on the sofa watching TV, in th bed at night when my hubby was on the road (he as a cross country trucker for 42 years.)I do know most say never have puppies together, but I had no trouble either tim.
I am so sorry about your loss of Reese. We lost our last golden, Sophie at almost 13 to hemangiosarcoma. and our first Pyrenees at 7 to it. In both cases they wre fine one day, eating, being their usual selves and the next morning couldn't get up. It is known as the Silent Killer bcaue of this, most times no warning until it is to late. These are p ictures of my litter mates. Duchess sitting in the back, Rascal lyaing in front. this is their sire, Mack. And then Huntr and Kaycee.
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Agree she's not 100% Golden. The ears are very wrong!
But she's cute and I hope you can get some of your money back from the broker who clearly lied to you.... and I dk if the Irish KC is like AKC but if so, they can order DNA on parents and retract the whole litter's registration if not of the claimed sire and dam (and if you get the DNA back and it says she has some terrier in her I'd threaten the breeder with reporting to the KC and get the $'s back... that'd be cheaper and better on him than having 8 people sue him)
 

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I agree Sadie looks more Lab than Golden.

I've raised two puppies at once, before. And I'm probably about to do it again. Two puppies have magical math, in that they are more than twice the work of one. And twice the cost in classes, dog food, toys, collars, leashes, etc.

Also, with two I think it's important that they spend a lot of time apart, so they bond primarily with you and not with each other. With me, it's easy, because I have so many dogs I mix them up in different spaces. For you, I'd keep them in separate pens, separate crates, and I'd alternate giving them time with Sadie. In fact, I'd give each one more time with Sadie than with each other until they are at least a year old. Also, make sure to separate them with food and cherished toys. Siblings (or two puppies the same age from different litters) can end up competing with each other so fiercely that it can become a permanent problem in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Guys! Thank you all for your responses, it's really appreciated.

Thanks mylissyk, I am happy that we have looked after her and that she's doing well now. And at times I do really feel a bond with her. But there's also times where I honestly resent her for not being like Reese. By which I mean, she is a lot of work and I am feeling overwhelmed by it all and a little trapped, and if she turns out to not really look like a GR I know I'll be very disappointed. I'm obsessing over this at the moment. I'm having a hard time dealing with the loss of Reese and I know that what I really want is another GR. But at the same time, I don't think I want to give her away or anything like that. I'm just crushed that she's not a full GR.

And I’m fairly daunted by both the idea of (a) two puppies now or (b) waiting and getting a puppy GR in a few months/ a year and having to start from scratch again. But I know I won’t be happy until I’ve got a Goldie, and even then I’ll be waiting for him to mature. I understand now that I’m really just trying to fill the void left by Reese. I miss my big guy so much it’s just tearing me apart.

I'm a trainee lawyer and my partner is a doctor. We both work long hours sometimes. I'm working from home until April, so that's why we felt now was a good time to get a puppy and hopefully have them set up before I go back. This is why I feel the pressure to get the GR puppy now too.

In all honesty though, I had forgotten how hard it is having a puppy. I'm feeling anxious all day and dreading when Sadie will need her next feed/walk/play session etc. I often manage to snap out of it and have a good time in the moment but it's like there's a weight around my neck a lot of the time and it just suffocates me every now and then.

I know a lot of people struggle with having a puppy at first and that’s probably made a lot worse because of the grief I’m experiencing. But I don’t remember being so on edge when we had Reese as a puppy and he was a little devil for the first year.

Anyway, I’m rambling on, I can’t get any coherent thoughts together since Reese left.

Thanks for listening and replying, it’s been a great help! I don’t have much family or friends and the Covid lockdown has really got in the way of any social interaction. My partner works crazy hours in the hospital and she’s so exhausted from that and all of this stuff going on. We’re having a really hard time so I do really appreciate the support here from you all!

Slán go fóill
Greg
(Reese’s Dad)
 

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I think were it me, I would start the hunt now... maybe you will get lucky and maybe the new pup's work will make this pup's work seem less since this pup will be 'better' than the new baby... and if you start now, perhaps you can find a nice pup well before April when you have to go back to work.
I get it with the desire for a Golden. I know of lots of mutts I find somewhat attractive but I'm a purebred person. I wouldn't purchase a puppy that didn't look like I expected it to. I would rescue one, but I know me- I'd be looking for a forever home for the rescue and cut out as soon as possible the part that makes me feel small which is the 'I don't like physical appearance' which I intellectually know is snobbish...
 

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I agree with what every else has said. Probably a Golden mix but certainly not 100% Golden. The ear will tell you every time. These ears are definitely not of a pure bred golden and the coat even for a very young pup is way to short/neat, leads me to think mixed with a lab or a heavily lab influenced mix.

Very cute though and I am sure makes no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
... the part that makes me feel small which is the 'I don't like physical appearance' which I intellectually know is snobbish...
I completely understand this. I love all dogs, but I love Goldies the most. Yeah sure it may be snobbish but you've gotta be honest about how you feel. We've had a rescue before (Molly, King Charles Cavalier cross) and I loved her and it was very special but we had Reese at the same time. I don't know how I'd have felt if we'd lost Reese before Molly. When Molly passed I was so grateful that the big man was still around. She was 14 and he was 8.

Maybe I should just get another puppy asap.

Sadie is 14 or 15 weeks old this weekend. She is doing very well with all aspects of her training. When would people think is the best time to add a second? I am working from home until April, so obviously there is a deadline.

But which of the following scenarios would be best?
(a) get an 8-9 week old GR puppy right now and try raise them together;
(b) get an 8-9 week old GR puppy around October/November when Sadie is 6 months old, and I still have 4-5 months working from home; or
(c) get an 8-9 week GR puppy in 1-2 Years when Sadie is 1 or 2

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am so sorry about your loss of Reese. We lost our last golden, Sophie at almost 13 to hemangiosarcoma. and our first Pyrenees at 7 to it. In both cases they wre fine one day, eating, being their usual selves and the next morning couldn't get up. It is known as the Silent Killer bcaue of this, most times no warning until it is to late.
Thanks so much for your kind words, I'm truly sorry you had to go through the pain of losing a best friend so suddenly too. Hemangiosarcoma is just dreadful. You lose so much of yourself when it happens so suddenly. Never really got to say thank you or goodbye. He was just the best. I'm worried that no dog will ever compare. I've never been so heartbroken in my life. In many ways he was my soulmate, and I'm lost without him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree with what every else has said. Probably a Golden mix but certainly not 100% Golden. The ear will tell you every time. These ears are definitely not of a pure bred golden and the coat even for a very young pup is way to short/neat, leads me to think mixed with a lab or a heavily lab influenced mix.

Very cute though and I am sure makes no difference.
Thanks for the reply! You're completely right about the ears and that the coat is strange too.

I know it shouldn't make a difference but it does a little. I wanted a GR specifically. It's a big commitment and I need to be able to give all of my heart to this little thing and I just feel like she'll never be enough because she won't look like a GR. I know that's a little cruel but I need to be honest about it.

Like I don't think I'd be considering getting a second puppy if she was a GR. I'm fixated on the GR thing and it just gets in the way of enjoying her and even when I'm trying to work I'm constantly thinking about it. I'm wondering what sort of mix is she, is there even any GR in there!? And really worried that she won't look even similar to a GR.

I know this is REALLY HARSH, but I was so proud to be Reese's dad because of his personality and the way his face filled you with joy, that signature goofy GR smile! He was an absolutely classic GR and it was perfect! I'm not sure I'll feel that same level of pride with Sadie and that's killing me. I didn't mind not feeling as proud of Molly when we had Reese, but the thing was that we had Reese. Like Molly was a fantastic dog and I loved her dearly but Reese was such a deeper bond. He got right into my core. I'm apprehensive that Sadie will always be at arms length a little because she's "not enough" - I would have been so much happier with her if she was a GR.

So yeah, I fell like an ******* for saying it, but the breed does make a difference even though it really shouldn't :(
It makes a difference to me...

Thank you for your reply, everything you said was 100% correct, I'm just having a hard time with it all.
 

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But which of the following scenarios would be best?
(a) get an 8-9 week old GR puppy right now and try raise them together;
(b) get an 8-9 week old GR puppy around October/November when Sadie is 6 months old, and I still have 4-5 months working from home; or
(c) get an 8-9 week GR puppy in 1-2 Years when Sadie is 1 or 2

Thanks again everyone!
"best" is hard.. because so many things will likely influence. It's not like GR puppies are on a shelf and you can magically get one on the date you want one, and if things there are anything like things in the US, starting now would be a smart move to even get one by April. I would imagine if you cannot get a puppy in your home by January/February, best to wait a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"best" is hard.. because so many things will likely influence. It's not like GR puppies are on a shelf and you can magically get one on the date you want one, and if things there are anything like things in the US, starting now would be a smart move to even get one by April. I would imagine if you cannot get a puppy in your home by January/February, best to wait a year.
Thanks so much PrismGoldens, I really appreciate the wisdom!

I think we will look into securing a puppy for sometime between October-December so that there's enough time for them both to be well settled by the time I go back to the office. I think that might be easier than having two right now and also be better than waiting until the following year (which would be the next available time in our schedules).

If anyone else has any other advice I'd love to hear it! Finding it hard to trust my own judgment at the moment and would value all input!

Thanks again PrismGoldens, and everyone!
 

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Don't underestimate how your emotional state is influencing how you feel about the puppy. I know lately I wake up every morning feeling so crushed by current events (American politics, the pandemic, a recent cancer diagnosis for my father) and I find that any other life challenge that comes around, even things that I'd normally shrug off or roll with, just feels monumental. I remember when my last dog was dying of cancer, and then losing him, I felt like someone was sitting on my chest for months and every minor challenge would bring me to tears. You have a LOT on your plate right now... not only the grief, but everything else going on in the world and in your lives... and now you have this new little creature, who is NOT your beloved dog and who is NOT yet able to provide you with the love and comfort you need and who may not be the dog you'd hoped for, but who needs your constant care and attention... in a time when you just don't have much to give. Cut yourself some slack.... your situation is NOT normal and it's TOUGH. But do recognize that you may be experiencing the challenges you are having now in a much more amplified way because of all that is going on.

To be honest, I'm not sure what to advise you. My gut says you have too much going on right now to add yet another puppy to the mix. And I'm afraid that buying the dog you really want (or think you want) will turn Sadie into a second class citizen in your family and cause you to (unintentionally I'm sure) neglect her needs (emotional and training if not physical) at a time when she will most need you. She is coming into an age that is historically particularly challenging; she may need MORE time and attention in the next year or so than she has in the last couple of months. Do you really want to layer that on top of the demands of a new puppy?

I considered suggesting you look for an adult golden (from a rescue or maybe a breeder "rehome"). The advantage is that you would have a pretty good idea of temperament and appearance and, at least after the initial settling in period, would have an adult dog and skip all the puppy stuff. However, recognize that THAT dog still won't be Reese, and having another adult dog still doesn't solve the need to make sure you still give Sadie all she needs... and it may just add one more thing to stress over in your life.

For what it's worth, I firmly believe that every dog that comes into our lives is there to teach us something. Like you, my first dog was "perfect"... the ones that followed... were not that dog. But at least two of them, even the one I almost returned to the breeder due to behavioral challenges... turned out to be "heart" dogs. I will also tell you that even the two heart dogs took me a year or two to really feel bonded with. It takes time sometimes (and maybe that's part of the lesson).

I think Sadie is adorable. I think that, given love, training and time, she will be an awesome dog for you. Maybe she was "sent" to you for a reason. But, if you feel strongly that you MUST have a "real" Golden Retriever, and if there is any question in your mind whether you have the ability (financially, emotionally, time-wise) to give Sadie all she needs and deserves once you have the new dog/puppy, then please be kind to Sadie and consider giving her now to someone who can give her those things.

Be kind to yourself... deep breaths...
 
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I am so sorry for your loss of Reese. Most of us understand how painful it is to lose a piece of your heart. I am also one who will blatantly say I only want a Golden Retriever. I don't know, but I wonder if you just haven't had enough time to grieve yet. Sometimes even when someone gets a pure bred Golden Retriever puppy after losing a much loved older one, they struggle because the puppy is not what they want. They want the old dog back. It takes time for a strong bond to build and you have to try not to compare the puppy to your "heart dog." Several years ago I asked if people ever loved another dog as much after having one very special dog and I loved reading the replies.
Is there someone else in your home who is growing to love Sadie? I "inherited" a Bichon from my daughter that I never really wanted but I did love her. She didn't fulfill my desire for a Golden Retriever when we no longer had one but she had a happy life with us. A new dog, even a pure Golden, will not replace Reese but they do help heal the pain in your heart. Only you can decide when you are really ready.
 
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I lost the best dog I ever had last December. He turned 4 in August. At 4 PM he was running in the yard playing with or other dog. At 5 PM he walked into the kitchen and fell over. At 7 he died at the vet's office of unknown causes. Suspected brain tumor or stroke. I know the pain you're having. We got a pup in March - not to replace him but because we were lonely with only one dog in the house. The new guy is great but he'll never replace the one we lost. No new dog will fix the hole in your heart and life the death of a good dog leaves behind. All dogs have a personality of their own and you have to accept that they won't be the same as the one you lost. Enjoy the new guy for who he is - not who you want him to be.
Take care of the issue with the breeder and remember a lot of really good dogs are mixed breeds. The new guy might not have all of the genetic issues some of our Goldens have. He might live a good long life and make a great companion. Good dogs are created by good people.
 
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