I promised to explain why my mummy was on the Golden Retriever Forum, so here goes. It was because of Bridget. Who is Bridget? Sadly Bridget was my mummy’s former Golden Retriever. She died on August 30, 2010 after spending 13 and a half years with my mummy. Mummy was devastated. Still is, actually, although she’s starting to heal. She couldn’t even THINK about another puppy after Bridget died from inoperable osteosarcoma in her pelvis. Two weeks after Bridget was diagnosed, she had to be sent to the Rainbow Bridge and mummy thought her heart would break. That’s why you’re now going to be subjected to LOTS of pics of Bridget (she was adorable, though, wasn’t she?)
Bridget, was mummy’s VERY special Golden. Bridget was born on January 30, 1997 in Israel! Yep! Mummy lived in Israel for 11 years before she moved to Los Angeles. Mummy was a journalist at a big English language paper in Israel – The Jerusalem Post. She did a story on the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind and was so impressed with their work and the brilliant Noach Braun and his wife Orna who ran the place, that she decided to become a “puppy walker” and raise a puppy for 12 months in her home and then return the puppy to the centre so it could be trained to work with a blind person. Mummy didn’t know if she was ready for a lifetime commitment to a dog so thought the one year puppy walker thing would be perfect and she’d also be doing a great mitzva (Hebrew for a wonderful deed), by helping out the blind people in Israel. And that’s how Bridget came to land on her doorstep at 7 weeks old. Bridget already came named (each litter has a name with the same first initial so the centre can keep track of them). Bridget was apparently named after a baby recently born on the TV soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
However, there were two things mummy didn’t know :
1) How hard it would be to give up Bridget after a year. mummy got VERY attached to her but was very stoic when it came to returning her. Actually she bawled her eyes out!
2) Bridget would FLUNK OUT of Guide Dog School and mummy would get to keep her! Bridget was just too timid to be a guide dog so she got to come back to mummy. Mummy felt guilty for a while but soon got over it. Bridget had a great life living in both Israel AND America when she and mummy moved here in 2004. Bridget got to star in a production of “Annie” and played a great Sandy the Dog at the age of 18 months.
When Bridget went to the Rainbow Bridge, mummy went out with her friends sailing to scatter Bridget’s ashes in the ocean, because Bridget loved to swim in the ocean. It was her second favourite thing. (Food being at the top of the list).
You can see mummy’s pictures from her memorial sail to scatter Bridget’s ashes on her Facebook page. It was a bittersweet day.
Mummy also discovered the Golden Retriever forum during her grief and posted Bridget’s passing on the “Rainbow Bridge” section of the forum and was so touched by the outpouring of love from other Golden Retriever owners. Mummy says spending (way too much) time on that forum has truly helped her to deal with her grief. She goes on it every day. She thought that being on that forum would be sad, but it makes her happy to see others talk about their special Goldens.
The other thing mummy did when Bridget went to the Rainbow Bridge was to raise money for the Guide Dog Centre to sponsor another puppy walker. Mummy’s in Israel right now and on Monday she’s going to visit Noach and Orna again and take a tour of the centre. She’s very excited to go back to where Bridget came from and make her donation to the centre in Bridget’s name. I promise you this blog is going to be FULL of pictures of her visit after she comes back from there so don’t be surprised!
After a couple of weeks in a very silent house with no Bridget around, Mummy couldn’t stand it any longer. She realised she was going to have to get a new puppy and a Golden Retriever was the only way to go. She couldn’t imagine any other type of dog. She knew she couldn’t get one right away because she still needed time to grieve over Bridget, but thanks to the forum she realised she better start looking NOW if she wanted a puppy in 2011. Mummy hopes I will be with her by the winter time or early spring.
Check out my next post to find out how mummy began the important search for the right breeder for me and how much she’s learned about what to look for when searching for the perfect Golden Retriever puppy.