I had a 15-year-old Golden, Cassie, and a 13-year-old Lab-Pointer mix, Buddie. Even though I am a huge dog lover I had said that when my dogs were no longer with me, I would not get another. Well, I lost Buddie in January of 2020 to bone cancer. Cassie mourned for months. I debated whether I should get another dog because even though she was in good health, I knew something could happen at any time. I didn’t want a puppy and thought I would rescue an older dog that needed a home, that’s when I found As Good as Gold.
Goldens are my love, we have had five, so I decided to submit an application. I must admit I became a nuisance when the newsletter came out each month and I saw retrievers that were ready for adoption. Finally, I was offered Raquel. She had been a breeder mom and needed a mentor dog. My heart melted when I heard her story. I knew I wanted to take her and give her a good life. Cassie was thrilled, but Raquel was initially apprehensive because of her history, so Cassie gave her some space. It’s funny how dogs know. Eventually Raquel came around ever so slightly. Just as we started making a little progress, Cassie got pneumonia and passed away in December of 2020.
For a while Raquel continued to do well and I continued working with her. I took her to Petco and PetSmart at least three times each week to get her out and used to being around new people and places. We went for walks every day. I would give her love when she was open to it. She was still quite apprehensive but not leery of me. But then she began exhibiting anxious behaviors when I left the house. She returned to hiding in the bedroom. I had started some training with her, as I have had numerous dogs and have gone through other training classes. It was working somewhat, but eventually I started working with a professional trainer. The trainer came to realize that Raquel must have gone through a traumatic period in her life, so we had to start from the very beginning. I actually had to teach her how to smell to forge for food. I bought many training tools, and whenever she accomplished something, I was ecstatic! I began to think having another dog might help. The trainer agreed. I put in another application with As Good as Gold and other rescue groups.
Finally, As Good as Gold called to let me know about Sophie. I took Raquel with me to meet her. Raquel was immediately excited to be with Sophie! There were also other foster dogs in the yard, and they all ran around together! I couldn’t believe it! We brought Sophie home and it has made such a difference in Raquel. She may never be a typical golden, she occasionally will go to her “safe place,” yet Sophie has helped her come out of her shell. Both dogs come with me when I visit my daughter. Raquel actually comes to them when they call her, which is quite an accomplishment for her. She still takes baby steps, but is doing well. Sophie and Raquel are pretty much inseparable now—as you can see!
Written by Adoptive mom Julie, edited by Tricia
Raquel on left, Sophie on right