Big News!

Hey everyone, I have big news!


So no. I’m not having a baby and as I’ve said many times, Loony got the snip snip which means being pregnant right now – at my advanced age – would be nothing short of a disaster on many levels.


Nope, I decided to get a puppy. Not only that, a mini Golden Retriever puppy.


The same, only smaller


My best dog (no offense to Blue but all the offense meant to Scheissehund) was Kip, a Golden Retriever mutt that passed away over 17 years ago. He was loyal, smart, patient, and sweet as the day was long. I realize that getting another Golden doesn’t mean I’ll ever get another Kip, it doesn’t work that way, but the characteristics of his breed are 100% in-line with what I want in a dog.

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Now I loved Blue – you all know how much I loved him – but now that he is gone I’ve had time to think about all the accommodations I gladly made for him and how it profoundly changed how we lived. I’m still getting used to not having to make those accommodations.


For instance, I have a habit of stopping people at the door when they visit unless they’ve been invited over. This usually happens to neighbors when they stop by to borrow something. I usually slip out the door and talk to them on the porch, not because I don’t want to invite them in, but I don’t want to deal with the dogs going crazy.

And kids, the other day two young neighbor girls came over along with a young girl and boy who were our guests. They were running around the house, visiting and just hanging out and I didn’t have to worry about where Blue was.

My kids can have sleepovers and friends can stop by without me worrying about Blue getting out of his confinement, or a game of hide-and-seek going into his space. It’s a big deal and I still dream about getting in scary situations with him.


Blue was the sweetest dog and he was fiercely devoted to his family. He was predisposed to being mistrustful of young girls and for everyone’s safety I could never let my guard down around him. I was always worried about disaster striking because someone forgot to close a door.

It wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t properly socialized to children and other animals and current research shows that the window to socialize a dog is short and between the ages of 3-8 months.

For that reason I’ve decided to get a puppy from a breeder. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’m committed to rescue and adoption and I spent plenty of time perusing the adoption and rescue sites. But I want a Golden Retriever, and one that won’t weigh 75 pounds, I want a smaller dog but with Golden traits.


To the left is a standard AKC Golden (75 lbs) and the right is a Mini Golden at around 25 lbs, all from C & S Ranch

I need to know what I’m getting, or at least what I have to work with.


A mini Golden is, according to this site, “Imagine everything you love about a Golden Retriever – their friendly temperament, absolute loyalty, and loving playfulness – but in a smaller size. Sounds pretty good, right? Enter the Miniature Golden Retriever, a dog who is exactly that. The Miniature is one of the latest ‘designer breeds’ that are taking the canine world by storm as would-be owners seek out their favorite dogs in a package better suited to their lifestyles. This specialist breeding is designed to create a dog matched as close as possible with a standard Golden – usually between a 50 and 75% genetic match. The idea is to create puppies that have the same wonderful character and temperaments of a normal Golden, yet in a smaller size.”

I researched breeders and found one in Billings, Montana (close enough for me to drive to) that has been around for over eight years. I looked up any complaints and found none and followed Cesar Millan’s guide for selecting a reputable breeder. Furthermore, I found that several other breeders around the country use C & S Ranch’s dogs as breeding stock.

Helping Blue throughout the changes in his health showed me how important it is to have a dog I can carry if needed. I figure that 45 pounds is my maximum. I want a small(er) dog but one that isn’t ridiculous like Scheissehund.


I want a dog that does dog stuff like go for long hikes, play with the kids and cuddle on the couch with people that aren’t me, be easy going and friendly to other dogs. My kids want a family dog and so do I.

So come late August/early September, we will be welcoming a puppy to our house. Here are the parents:

Stormy is due July 7th and I get second pick of the males. I’m really excited, I’ve wanted a Golden since Kip died and now is my chance. I hope you can be happy for me and understand why this time around I decided to go with a breeder (NOT a puppy mill), something I’ve never done.

I’m also glad that Mini Goldens aren’t purebreds, I want genetic diversity. Meanwhile I’ve been watching lots of dog training videos and reading Cesar Millan’s book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog.


I’m going to make Itchy read it and get the boys involved in the training of our new dog.

The hardest part of this process was getting Loony on board. Naturally I put the deposit down before consulting him.

I lived with my secret until I found a good time to have a huge fight break the news to him. I did it over coffee this morning.


Super pissed

I was writing letters to the boys at camp and Loony asked me to leave some space for him to write something, so I made reference to it.


Then I listened to him list all the reasons why we don’t need a dog which were, FYI, the exact same reasons he didn’t want Blue or Kitsy but look how in love he was …

Well that’s over with. I’ll ply him with baby pictures and I’m sure that he will come around by September.

It would have been easier if I had been able to shove a puppy into his face but there’s no way I could have kept it a secret that long. And how would I have explained the road trip to Billings?


Go ahead, tell me I can’t keep him. I dare you!

Meanwhile, my neighbors are getting a lab puppy tomorrow and some other friends in the neighborhood are getting one in five weeks. CAN YOU SAY PLAYDATES AND PUPPY SCHOOL?!?!

It’s going to be perfect.




Loony, I’m sorry that I am not a more honest and forthright person when it comes to pets, it’s just not in my DNA to be honest about getting new animals. But at least I didn’t pull a Tabby and buy a racehorse. You’re welcome.

15 thoughts on “Big News!

  1. OMG, I just went to that breeder website and died. Now I want one and I am literally just coming out of the problem phase with my Georgeous George, a full size golden. Damn you Vivienne

    • Um, thanks? That website is too much, oh those babies! I love full sized Goldens, I’m just traumatized by caring for a big dog. Congrats on getting out of the woods with George, I’m not looking forward to the puppy struggles but I’m seeing it as an opportunity to raise a happy dog.

  2. The thing is….When you have an older dog it is a lot like having a puppy. Since you did the “puppy thing”(having to take him out all the time, picking up the accidents)with Blue for so long your adorable new puppy will be a piece of cake.
    I just want to warn you…after the first night with the puppy you think, “What have we done!” and by the second night it becomes so much easier. We always have our dogs sleep in our room, not in the bathroom, or in the kitchen. They want to be with their people. (Luckily our puppies never cried at night when we first got them probably because they were right next to us and not alone) I am very excited for you. Getting a puppy when the weather is warmer(not in the dead of winter like we did once) is much easier for the late night peepee runs. 🙂

    • Good point. Loony and I are very accustomed to cleaning up messes and middle of the night potty runs. Right now I’m trying to figure out the sleeping situation. It seems that kennel training is the way to go but I like sleeping with my dogs and I know that my kids will want to sleep with him, too. Do I wait until the puppy is potty trained before letting him sleep outside the kennel? I intend to have the kennel in my room so he will have me nearby but it will be hard not having him in my bed.

  3. I wouldn’t have the puppy sleep with you until he is potty trained. The first puppy I ever crate trained was Strider. I knew I would be gone in CA a lot. I would wait until he fell asleep on me, then I would put him in the crate, otherwise he would cry like a baby hahah. Once he was trained he would come onto our bed, but also he loved coming and going in his crate. The crate was right next to me so I could put my hand down and he could smell me. Eventually he was total sleep on the bed dog and we got rid of the crate. Basil and I have a double bed. Strider loves to stretch out b/w us. But he isn’t a little dog 100#’s. Athena likes to sleep on the couch

  4. Hi! I was doing research on C&S Ranch online—Googled them—And came across this blog. I am thinking about getting a puppy from them and would love to hear about how your experience turned out. I’m very nervous about “mail order dog”, buying our puppy without seeing him first or visiting the ranch. Also nervous because I’ve never bought from a breeder before. Last dog was a shelter dog but this time would like a puppy for same reasons as you expressed in your blog. Can you tell me how your puppy has turned out for you? What was your experience like with sea and S Ranch? Any concerns I should be aware of as I make the decision whether to buy from them? I really appreciate any feedback you can give. Thanks very much!

    • I would love to talk to you about my experience with C and S. Overall it was very good and I could not be happier with my Chief. He is EXACTLY as promised. Email me at viviennepalmer at gmail.

  5. We just lost our two full size goldens (age 10 to cancer and 12) We have been goldenless for almost 6 months and are missing the amazing golden personality. We came across the miniature goldens and have started exploring the thought. 4 of our last 5 goldens have been rescues. Doesn’t appear to be too many mini goldens out there to be rescued. Question: by now you’ve had your mini for awhile, is he everything you wanted in a golden?

    • I am so sorry for you loss. I told my husband just this morning that if something happened to Chief I would shoot myself. He is a wonderful dog and exceeded all my expectations. I wish you luck in finding a new best friend. I’m happy answer any questions.

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