A few highlights
Our first golden, Buddy (Rubrecht’s Buddy), had a strong field pedigree, however we did not know what we had at the time. Buddy was the grandson of FC AFC Chief Sands OS FDHF. Buddy and our son Ray grew up together and our daughter Cara was just a baby. Buddy would accompany me when I fished each morning on the lake we lived on in Minnesota. I would take him bundled on a sled during winter and in the johnboat as the weather warmed. During points of his mischief Buddy would get out of our yard and visit the neighborhood female dogs as well as chase the community Muscovy ducks. Buddy was a small golden weighing in at fifty-seven (57) pounds, however he was always in great shape.
We moved to Florida in 1985 and shortly thereafter received a female golden, Cozy (Golden Cozy Bear) from a friend who was unable to handle her. She was our first girl, coming to us when she was about one year old. Cozy was thick and weighed in at a solid eighty (80) pounds. She had a short trim light coat and came from lines of hunting dogs for the most part. In hind sight, Cozy may have been our best field golden however we were unknowing with what we had. Cozy was all business and less affectionate than all our other girls since, who have been and continue to be quite demanding about obtaining our attention. She always wanted to retrieve and was a ball girl, having not graduated to bumpers. She would set a course and not deviate from it. Cozy was a powerful dog as well as a swimmer.
Buddy and Cozy had an unplanned litter resulting in 2 puppies. One of those pups became our boy Bouncer (Bouncer Rajah of Sands CD). Bouncer was a great dog, never getting into trouble and worked hard to please. Buddy grew up with our children when they were young, and Bouncer arrived to grow up with our children as teenagers. Bouncer would play ball until your arm fell off. We did our own training at this time without any formal training lessons. We were not competing in any type of dog competition. We were strictly a family breeding program with the intention to carry on the lines and memories of our previous goldens.
With Bouncer aging and our working status changing in the 1998 timeframe we began looking for a female golden to add to our family. Our intention was to continue the Bouncer family line. We added a puppy from Topbrass, Buffy (Topbrass Smoke’n Escapade CDX JH WC) in 1999. This is when our interest in training for AKC obedience and field events started!
Bouncer went to novice obedience class following which we were told Bouncer was ready, however Ron needed to be trained. Six weeks later, we had a CD on Bouncer. Buffy went on to compete in obedience trials and hunt tests, while we continue to learn as we went. Buffy and Bouncer were bred once resulting in a litter. Into our life came Josie (Turbo Smoke’n Wildfire CDX JH CCA CGC) and Diesel (Turbo Van Diesel CDX JH WC) and our family grew. The remaining puppies were presented to friends and family as we knew the value our dogs could bring to the lives of others and we wanted to keep them a part of our lives as well!
We campaigned Buffy, Josie, and Diesel with all reaching the titled level of CDX and JH. All this without any formal training. It seemed these dogs were more capable than I. Was it me who was limiting their success? Josie was our female hopeful until an injury occurred during a hunt test. Following a long recovery and a litter of puppies, she became a mommy’s girl (Pat’s) along with Buffy. This fared well for us as my (Ron) time was being consumed with the training of several of Josie’s puppies and our new pup, HayLee.
As we continued breeding the point in time came when we understood the strong field background of our previous dogs. Our focus began to transition to breeding with the best field golden studs available. During our transition we moved to purchasing frozen semen samples from top studs and conducting surgical insemination of our girls. It resulted in great success! Credit our regional fertility specialist, Dr. Brimacomb, at the Highland Pet Hospital in Highland City, Florida, an area south of Lakeland. I learned a lot from my limited participation where they allowed me to observe. They graciously answered my questions of the process which stems from my curious engineering background, always looking to evaluate and refine or enhance outcomes.