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This story begins in 1998. Our childeren informed us that the neighbors
were selling Golden Retriever puppies. Nancy was aware of this but wasn't sure if she
was ready for a puppy. By the time the kids finally wore her down... the only puppy left was
'the pick of the litter'. The couple that owned the stud were no longer able to take him.
Of course, all it took was a visit to see the pup, and Nancy was coming home with him tucked into her jacket.
The litter was not AKC papered, but we didn't think that would matter. Perhaps, we
were wrong on this, as described later.
Coty developed a very rich personality. He was curious, loved to chase the ball,
and had a good sense for when one of us needed a little affection.
The feature Jay liked the most was that Coty was what is referred to as a
"Dark Golden", meaning Coty had very little blond hair. It seems the blond
hair sheds the easiest, so with Coty being a Dark Golden, there was rarely
any trace of dog hair in the house. Jay is happy, Nancy has a dog, life is good!
Coty lived up extremely well to his pedigree, and would endlessly retrieve
a tennis ball or frisbee. There were a couple times when he was retrieving
objects from out in the water, that we had to stop throwing for fear of losing
Coty to exhaustion!
If Coty wasn't retrieving, then he'd start picking it apart. It took a couple
weeks for a tennis ball to lose all of it's felt, and Coty would have a frisbee
picked apart in a couple days. We discovered that ice cream pail covers sail
fairly good like a frisbee, and they were not as expensive!
We had to be careful when working around the house or yard. If we were outside,
we would be guaranteed to have a ball under our feet, and Coty sitting off to
the side patiently waiting for us to throw it. More than once I stepped on the
ball while shoveling or raking in the yard, we quickly learned to keep an eye
out for where Coty had put his ball.
One time Jay had setup the 8-foot step ladder, to do some repairs on the roof.
As he was climbing down the ladder, he just happened to notice that Coty had
managed to get his tennis ball to balance on one of the rungs of the ladder!
That could have turned out bad!
Coty's greatest talent had to be his ability to jump high from a dead stop.
When we were remodeling our family room, Jay hooked his tug-toy to the ceiling
joists so that the bottom of the tug-toy was at least 7.5 feet from the floor.
Coty would stand under the toy, then jump up and grab the toy! With a running
start, he could get a stick from Jay's hand as high as he could hold it, about
8 feet off the ground.
Unfortunately, Coty started to have seizures in February of 2003, when he was
about 4 1/2 years old. Our Vetrinarian highly suspected that Coty had
developed dog epilepsy. (We elected not to pursue the expensive test that
would confirm this). We were able to administer medicines to help mitigate
the convulsions, but on January 2nd of 2004 we had to have him put down during
a very lengthy epileptic episode.
For what it's worth, we regret not getting an AKC registered dog. We found
out afterward that the mother of Coty had experienced some seizures before
the owners decided to breed her. In fact, we know of two other litter-mates to
Coty that didn't live past six years old.
AKC registration helps prevent breeding if such undesirable traits are present.
Of course, we recognize that AKC registration is not a guarantee of longevity.
But AKC registration requires responsible breeding including proven good health
and certification. Needless to say, our next dog would be AKC registered with
a clean lineage free from health problems.
Within a week of putting Coty down, Nancy found a good AKC registered litter,
but it was located in northern Wisconsin. The drive, and the extra cost for
an AKC registered pup, have proved to be well worth it!
On January 8th, 2004, Nancy came home with Keeta!