Golden Retrievers Speak: Memories of Josh

Alanis:   I wish I would have known Josh when he was younger – he was still a healthy dog when I got here, but he had already slowed down and his play time was limited to just playing a bit with Jeter.  He mostly ran away when Jeter and I would play.

Jeter:  You have no idea, girl.     We had some fun play sessions together.   The best memories I always will have with Josh were our beach days.   We would go in opposite directions – Mommy would take Josh for a sea shell tour, while I played ball with Daddy.    The funniest thing about Josh is that he HATED the ocean water.  He was like a 2-year old kid feeling the ocean water for the first time – he would hop back and generally just not like the sensation at all.  Meanwhile, I LOVED the ocean water and would often leave the beach soaked.

Alanis:   It has already been stated, but my best memory of Josh was Day 1.  My daddy and my previous owner got a kick out of how Josh sniffed me and walked off.    Daddy told her that it is exactly how he expected it go down, but it was funny.   He would rather prance around the park than be bothered “feeling me out” as a new member of the pack.

Jeter:   Josh hated the rain, which is interesting for a dog who (as I have heard) would run through the sprinklers when he was younger.   There were days when he would go 24 hours without going outside just because of the rain.  Often, it would get to the point where he knew he had no choice, so he rushed outside, ran under the deck, and rushed back in.

Alanis:    I remember our rides as a “threesome” together.   My parents don’t exactly own a car meant for three big Golden Retrievers, but we found a way to make it work.   Josh used to love laying down in the back seat, but he didn’t mind sitting up just so all three of us could be comfortable!

Jeter:  He was the quietest dog ever in the car.   Our parents often commented on whether Josh was actually back there!  He would occasionally do his “happy pant”, but there were times when he would be as far back in the back seat as possible, not making any noise at all.

Alanis:   I never had the opportunity to take walks with Josh.   I don’t think Daddy walked us once together.

Jeter:   He didn’t.  I was getting two walks a day – one with him, and one with you.    Walking with Josh was fun.   Daddy loved it because Josh was a dog who quickly lost interest in squirrels during walks.    If this wasn’t a busy area, Daddy could have walked Josh without a leash.  He would just prance along, forcing people to greet him even if they wanted nothing to do with him.  I like to think that Josh made dog lovers out of people who probably weren’t dog lovers before meeting him.

Alanis:   I missed so much, but Jeter has told me so much about his younger days – the play sessions, the long and short rides, the walks, etc.

Jeter:    I have only scratched the surface with you, girl.   I will continue to tell you stories every time a new memory comes into my head.

Alanis:   How about that damn “turtle” toy?

Jeter:  Oh, yes – the turtle.  See, everyone, Josh wanted nothing to do with tennis balls.  Nothing.  Some humans say that they have never seen a Golden who didn’t like a good game of fetch with a tennis ball.  Well, Josh was one.   He would occasionally catch a ball if daddy tossed him one, but more often than not, he would just let the ball hit him in the nose.   But when it came to that TURTLE, watch out!  He carried and whipped that thing around every day – he broke so many of those toys that I think our parents took out a home loan just to keep up with getting him new ones.

Alanis:  I do remember that on Christmas, they would give Josh the toys first, just so he can carry them around – 99% of the time, he would do a few laps with the new toy, drop it, and never care about it again.  He would go right back to his turtle.

Jeter:  He was also a big fan of bones.  He loved his bones.

Alanis:  Hide and seek with treats!  I haven’t really played that game much, but when I first came here, daddy played that game often.  He would have us “wait” somewhere in the house.  He would hide treats all over the house and have us find them.   Josh likely always found the most (he learned all the hiding places before Jeter and I even got here!), but that game was fun.

Jeter:   I can talk about this all night.  The two of us have shown, in different ways, how much we miss our friend.   I am probably more out of whack than she is, for obvious reasons.   He was our leader – a true alpha – and now, we kind of lack direction within the pack.

Alanis:  Yep.   We will figure it out, buddy – it was just easier letting him call the shots, while we just did our own thing.

Me:   The house dynamic has really changed over the past week.  The dogs are just having some trouble, I think, figuring out what exactly to do next in terms of forming a hierarchy here.  As I stated yesterday, they will figure all of that out.

Our entire household continues to miss Josh, and we always will.    For as long as we all live, we will never forget the first dog that gave this entire household so much joy.  


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