When I graduated from Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry in 1956 with a diploma in one hand and a new wife on my arm, I could never have envisioned what was to going to happen to us over the next 50 years, once we were free from the pressures of living in the city of Philadelphia, PA. and the rigors of Doctoral education, it was time to live a little.
The U.S. Air Force assigned us to a small Air Base in the state of Vt. where neither of us had ever set foot. It was a real environmental switch that we both grew to love. It was here that I treated my first real patients, had my first house, had my first child John, and had my first Golden retriever. What a fantastic year it was, as well as being the first year of my 50 yearlong love affair with those gorgeous creatures of the four footed variety.
We left the Air Base with some great dental experiences as well as a new baby daughter Deborah and set up a new life in the beautiful small Vt. town of Woodstock. It was a wonderful area to raise children and a dog since the community was just the right size to offer almost all of the amenities that we needed as well as being a very quiet and safe location for family living.
As the children continued to develop along with their Golden buddy, it was not long before we had 2 more young boys to share the love of their siblings and to learn what happiness can be experienced with a canine family member. We would then go on to have a new Golden or more every 8-10 years much to everyone’s pleasure.
Each new Golden addition was different and entertaining and was a very important element in the development of all of the children. As the years went by and the youngsters grew up and went away to school, new dogs entered the picture and each one affected our family in a unique manner.
I tried to recount as many of the highlights of each dog’s life and how they related to our own experiences as I could. There were truly wonderful happy times as well as some tragic moments that every family has to live through.
When we finally attended our fourth college graduation and everyone was now on their own we looked at each other and thanked God for all of the good fortune and health that he had bestowed on us. All four of the children were happily married and now have 11 grandchildren for us to spoil.
As the house population thinned out, whichever dog was present surely must have wondered where they were going to? The good news for us however, was that we could retire and spend more time with each other as well as with our understanding, affectionate Golden pals.
We moved to Florida with our Golden shadows and have been living here 9 months of the year with them. In 2005,we reached our Golden
Wedding Anniversary and in 2006 we celebrated our 50th Golden –Golden Retriever Anniversary. These were both magnificent achievements. 2006 also ended our 50 Golden Years as our last love, Princee too died.
We really do expect to start another life with a new Golden or two, but for now, I will just write about them.