It was 4 years ago today when I first laid eyes on my sweet Dexie girl. We drove 2 hours to the Inland Empire to meet with her foster parents and determine if we were going to be a good fit for Dexie’s forever home. I had no expectations of life with a rescue dog, just the willingness to provide unconditional love. Never could I imagine the bond that has formed 4 years later.
As many of you know, I’ve grown up with golden retrievers my entire life. It started off with one, worked its way to 2 and eventually my family ended up 3 or 4 dogs at any given time. What can we say, we are suckers for the golden smile. I have always felt a deep connection to dogs and dream of one day owning a large piece of land where I can be surrounded with 8, 9, 10 golden retrievers that have a revolving door of freedom in & out of the comforts of my home. I understand dogs & dogs understand me. We really are the best of friends.
Flashback 4 years ago and I had been living in California for 6 or so years and was desperately longing for a golden of my own. I missed our family dogs back in Wisconsin and felt an obligation deep in my soul that the thing missing in my life was a dog. I had been donating to SCGRR (Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue) for a few years at that point & knew that when the time was right, I would turn to rescuing a dog rather than getting a puppy from a breeder. I had little to no experience with rescue dogs, but had a hard time believing that a “bad” golden existed in this world (let alone who would give a golden retriever away?!?!).
I remember being in Texas on a work trip and was browsing the available dogs late at night on my computer and came across Dexie. I sat up in bed, woke my friend up and told her that I had found my dog. It was the most vivid, positive affirmation that I have ever experienced laying eyes on her picture that night. I instantly knew that we were destined to be together. I drafted my email pitch to the foster family, included pictures of me with my familiy’s goldens and anxiously waited for a reply.
I didn’t have to wait long, the foster mom called me the next day while I was still in Texas and told me that she was so moved by my email and felt strongly that I could be a good fit for her beautiful Dexie (she was known as Lexie then) girl. Can you imagine the elation I felt? We booked a date for that following Saturday and the countdown was on.
As you can tell where this story leads, there was no doubt when I met Dexie that we were going home together. If there is such a thing as love at first sight, it happened between the two of us. I couldn’t get over how sweet, shy and beautiful she was and the fact that someone else didn’t want her. I was determined to show her what a healthy, happy life could be.
They had warned me that she was a “velcro golden” and would I be ok with that? Umm…. yeah. Yep, I am totally ok that my dog wants to be around me all the time because lets be honest, I want to be next her all the time too. Our bond is stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced before. They weren’t kidding with her tendencies to be velcro’d to my side. She follows me to the bathroom, from room to room and even cries if I take a shower in the guest bathroom that actually has a shower curtain where she can no longer see me. She will rarely go for a walk with anyone else in fear of missing out on my return or that I might leave by the time she gets back. She can often be found under my desk as my foot rest throughout the work day. Oddly enough, I find myself seeking her out as well. There are times when she wanders upstairs to nap on our bathroom tile & I worry when I can’t find her. If I have to board her, I found a place that has web cams so I can check in on her. See what I mean, I’m equally to blame for the attachment issues.
Dexie went from being a shy, cautious golden when we first got her to a boisterous lady who roams the block like she owns it. I couldn’t be more proud of the dog that she has become but firmly believe it was always inside of her, she just needed to be shown the unconditional love to know it. With every ounce of my heart I cannot tell you enough the importance of rescuing a dog rather than purchasing from a breeder. There are thousands upon thousands of perfectly amazing dogs who are looking for their forever family. Forget the notion that they are damaged goods, they are beautiful animals who want to turn their heart over to you for the same in return.
To my sweet Dexie girl, I love you more than words could ever convey. Thank you for being my constant companion & the most loyal of friends.