Mindy, named by Monica Kulaski: Mindy – My first dog. Who happened to be a glorious puppy. My first Golden. A super sweet girl. Because of her, dogs are the center of my world.
Nettie, named by Linda Zimmermann: I chose the name Nettie in forever loving remembrance of my (Soul Sista’) sister-in-law of 24 years — Annette Chandler Zimmermann, affectionally nicknamed “Nettie.” Following a gallantly fought 3-year battle with cancer, she passed away in October 2022. She is survived by a loving community of family, friends, and former students. She was predeceased by her so very loved and loyal night-sky black Labrador retriever, Pongo, who endured a short battle with cancer prior to his passing a few months earlier. Always in my heart, my soul sista’ Nettie, and envisioning a sparkling tail wagging response when this newly named puppy bonds in the early months with DVGRR staff and volunteers.
Missy, named by Mary Strzelecki: Missy was the most beautiful girl, both inside and out. On the outside, Missy always had a smile on her pretty little face, a twinkle in her big brown eyes, and a wag in her tail. On the inside, she was the sweetest and most gentle soul who showed kindness to every person and animal she met. Although she had some health challenges later in life, she was also a brave, tough little girl who persevered through adversity and always did it with grace and with that signature smile on her face. Although all dogs are special in their own ways, Missy will always be extra special, and in my eyes, she will always be a perfect little angel.
Willy, named by Judy Donlen: Willy was the first pup that DVGRR entrusted to me. It was January 2008 and Willy was about 5-months-old. He had come to DVGRR with a few litter mates. I had been approved for adoption, but I never expected to get a puppy. Although he was 5-months-old, he had absolutely no training nor social skills. But he was, without a doubt, the most loving, sweet boy ever. He thrived at DVGRR before I took him home, and he quickly adjusted to his new home and his new Golden Retriever sister who was about 4-years-old when he came home. She was very well trained and did her best to help him adapt and adjust. Willy loved her to bits and became her shadow. Though he loved me, it was only after she passed that he became my Velcro dog. Willy loved entertaining and making people laugh. He was always joyful and loved sharing his joy with other people. Nothing made him happier than making people smile. I often called him silly Willy, and he would promptly perform one of his silly tricks. I miss him every day. I wanted to name one the latest puppies after my boy because I hope that this boy will be blessed with Willy’s sweet, fun-loving spirit.
Sparky, named by Monica Kulaski: Sparky – Who lived up to his name in every which way. Sparky introduced me to the world of dog obedience training, agility, and canine nutrition. But most important of all, it was because of him that I discovered DVGRR, at that time in its infancy.
Merlin, named by Barbara Xakellis: I agreed to foster 10-month-old Merlin (not from DVGRR), whose mother was a Golden Retriever and whose father was unknown. A couple had surrendered him because they both worked and hadn’t time to train him. Consequently, he developed separation anxiety and destructive behavior when left alone. When I arrived at his cage, he had disemboweled his squeaky toy and was shredding his bed, but he trotted to me and sat upon hearing his name. He was a big black dog with luxurious fur, attentive eyes, and floppy ears that pricked up at the base when he flashed his beautiful Golden smile. I discovered that he was extremely smart, eager to please, athletic, and easily trained. DNA tests showed that he was 50% Golden/50% German Shepherd, and he exhibited all the best traits of both breeds. I adopted him and he was my devoted companion for 14 wonderful years. I sense that “Little Merlin” will become someone’s “once-in-a-lifetime” dog, too.
Chapin, named by David & Carol Hoskinson: No big story, but it’s after one of my favorite singers: Harry Chapin.
Fonzie, named by Annette Bonner: Fonzi, in memory of him, of course, and to keep alive the memory of the wonderful NC20s and DVGRR’s tremendous efforts to save and rehome those 20 dogs.
Luca, named by Betsy Sussman: Like her three DVGRR “brothers” before her, my Riley brings joy and light to my life every day… and she shares her love with every person she meets, offering her signature hug without hesitation. And so, it seems fitting to name one of our new DVGRR pups “Luca” – Italian for “bringer of light,” knowing that the pup will bring that same joyful energy and light to their new family and to all they meet throughout a long and happy life.
Brinkley, named by Darren & Carolyn Stocker: In May 2000, we wanted to adopt our first Golden from DVGRR. We were matched with a 17-month-old we named Brinkley, as we wanted him to have new start with a name that was different from the one he had in his first home. He arrived shy, scared, and walking on only three legs due to be caged for months after hip surgery. But he was pure Golden at heart, and in the coming months, he learned that there was nothing to be afraid of anymore, and he blossomed into the sweetest, gentle, silly boy. It was fun to watch him play with Chatham, his Golden-mix sister (just like Twizzler’s and Skittles’ puppies) and Fenway, his Golden Retriever brother. They constantly had us laughing. Brinkley brought joy to us and everyone he met. He loved to greet guests with a nose nudge and then turn around and sit on their feet. We took him to training classes to help him gain confidence, and within the next year, he earned his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications.
And then he started getting sick. After many tests, it was determined he had some kidney issues and there was nothing anyone could do to save him. He was only two-and-a-half… and we were heartbroken. But we kept on playing and treating every day we had together as the gift it was for as long as we could. His time with us was a far too short 15 months.
His name was Brinkley, but we also called him Brinks, Mr. B, or simply B. Naming a puppy after him is our way to honor the sweetest boy who will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Annabelle, named by Outi & Andy Papamarcos: We’d like to name “our” puppy Annabelle, a name I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. It’s not our daughter’s name because it didn’t go well with our long last name, and when our granddaughters were born, our daughter had her own favorites. And so, to be able to give this beautiful name to a beautiful little puppy is a dream come true. We wish Annabelle a wonderful life with a wonderful forever family!
Dee Dee, named by Mike & Ann Deibert: Dee Dee was our first DVGRR dog that we adopted in 2002. We met her at an open house and were thankful to be selected to become her “forever home.” Dee Dee was given up by her previous owners because they couldn’t afford the treatment they said she needed for her ears. Her life had consisted of being in a crate or in a run. We quickly learned that she loved to ride in the car, particularly if it meant going to visit grandmom or to the park. She would leap into the air with excitement and wouldn’t let me out of her sight until we got into the car. Dee Dee was a great dog that loved all people, especially children. Her ears would perk up if she would hear children’s voices, and she loved being petted by everyone she met. Dee Dee was such a wonderful addition to our family, that we decided to adopt another DVGRR dog a year later. Because of Dee Dee, we started a journey that has included eight more wonderful DVGRR dogs. We are so thankful for Dee Dee and DVGRR for this journey. We hope whoever adopts this puppy has many years filled with fun, laughter, and unconditional love.
Millie, named by Tammy Good: Millie was my nana’s nickname, and I credit her for my love of dogs. So many fond memories of feeding her dog, Rusty, ice cream, snuggling with him on the floor, and cruising around with his head out the car window. She set the example of how to treat dogs as family and why my dogs are so spoiled today.
Berit, named by Edi Young & Dave Lounsbury: We decided to name a female puppy Berit to honor the memory of our good friend, Berit Brewington who passed away earlier this year. Berit was a fun-loving and feisty friend. She loved our DVGRR Goldens, and they adored her! Berit was born and raised in Norway. She had the beautiful Scandinavian blonde hair that blended in perfectly with the Goldens’ fur. We know she would have really enjoyed having a puppy named after her!
Georgia, named by Jeff & Lisa Miller: We adopted Georgia, who was from Florida, on a snowy day in 2006. There was a lot she had to adapt to, like snow and steps, but she fit right in with our family that included Magic, also a DVGRR rescue. Georgia was a special needs dog who had seizures and had to take medication daily to try to control them. Despite the medication, she had occasional seizures, which were scary and heartbreaking. Georgia brought us great joy and still does! Sadly she died in 2008, taken too soon. She was a beautiful, goofy and wonderful dog, best described as a sweet and gentle soul who left her indelible mark on our family!
Roger, named by Carole Chrisman: Five Goldens and counting! I chose the name Roger to honor and in remembrance of my beloved husband Roger, who sadly passed away 11 years ago at the tender age of 51.
He had a Golden when I met him… a breed I had always wanted to own. We adopted two more, and our home was filled with lots of love and Golden dust for many years. Number two and three came from DVGRR! Sadly, our first passed and when we moved to Florida in 2010, we took our other two with us. They loved the pool and the beaches and our boat. Roger was able to enjoy the last few years of his life with his Golden pals on the water, and they were his faithful companions until the end. We love DVGRR and have supported them for many years from afar and I continued to do so. We were blessed that our first three lived healthy lives for 13 years each!
Fast forward to 2018, after my last male passed and I looked to rescue more Goldens, I chose a local rescue for my first and returned to DVGRR for the other! I flew to PA and met my sweet boy with a broken leg. He stole my heart, and he and his new sister became fast friends.
Roger loved the breed, loved DVGRR and the work they do, and best of all, he loved me! His giving spirit remains a big part of my life, and I wish for puppy Roger to live well and have a happy life!
Duffy, named by Bill & Dani Dunne: Meet “Duffy” named in memory of our mother, Jean Metheny, whose high school nickname was Duffy. She loved dogs and always had room in her heart for a dog in need.
Charlie, named by the Leopold Family: We would like to name one of the new puppies Charlie (in the Chocolate Factory). The candy in the theme plays in to his mommy’s name but most importantly is in honor of our first DVGRR rescue, Charlie. Charlie had a sweet, happy, and playful personality. He loved to go to work with our daughter to meet people and see his adoring fans, he loved to play ball, and to take trips to the beach. We’ve had many Goldens, all wonderful and unique, but Charlie’s look could convey such joy and unconditional love. We know that the heart and spirit of DVGRR and the dogs are strong, and we hope that Charlie (in the Chocolate Factory) finds a home to bring the same kind of joy.
Porter, named by Barbara Bennethum: Porter Theodore Bennethum was my first Golden Retriever and my first dog. He was a puppy mill product purchased from a pet store prior to my becoming knowledgeable about this. Porter was my learning dog who I was blessed to have as one of my best friends for 14 1/2 years. Porter’s place in my heart has endeared me with the Golden Retriever breed so much that close to 40 purchased and adopted Goldens have also entered my life. Thank you Porter for preparing the way for all those that followed.
George, named by Heidi & Cliff Torban: When my first DVGRR Golden, Molson, crossed Rainbow Bridge in late 2006, I knew it would soon be time to adopt another DVGRR dog, and preferably a senior. As I spoke with the adoption staff noting this preference, I learned about George, who was nearly 8-years-old. He had recently arrived at Golden Gateway with others from a sad backyard hoarding situation, having not been too well cared for. I was also told that George would sometimes curl his lip, baring his teeth, kind of like a smile but not in a threatening way at all. On January 5, 2007, I met and adopted George. On the way home, I told him that he was going to have a great life, he would like being part of our family (which also included 9-year-old Golden, Sami), and that he would be loved, safe and taken care of forever. That first evening as George, Sami, and I were sitting in the kitchen talking about how grateful we were to have him in our family, to my amazement, George stands, puts his front legs on mine, curls his lips, bares his teeth and smiles. We stay like this for a little while and finish with a hug. You can feel the happiness. Puppy George, in memory of my smiling special boy George, may you be loved, happy and cared for as much as my George, your namesake.
Sebastian, named by Nicole Nilsen: Sebastian came to my husband and me in April 2005 by way of an animal rescue organization in Staten Island, NY. He was just 8-months-old and a little Golden devil from the start. The three of us did everything together and he gave us a wonderful life. Sadly, we lost him in 2017, but he will always be in our hearts. He is the reason we are now loyal to the breed! To me, Sebastian is a name that encompasses every trait that a Golden has.. playful, energetic, loving, sly, sensitive, giving.