Yesterday after a much needed nap I drove out to the country to spend time with my young Golden Retriever, Munchkin.
Munchkin’s full name is Gilded Peak Scrumptious Munchkin— a name that came to me after trying to hard to pull fancier names out of her amazing pedigree. Gilded Peak is my kennel prefix, inspired by my brother’s painting of the Collegiate Peaks near Buena Vista, Colorado.
Munch goes back in the fifth generation to my beautiful foundation Golden, Gold-Rush Sevilla. You can see the Gold Rush Goldens here. Sevilla was bred to Gilded Peak The Craft of a Good Kiss, aka Wyatt, a beautiful pup I had for all too short a season. Wyatt himself had great champions in his background. Wyatt and Sevilla produced my beautiful matron Golden who lives with me, Gilded Peak Don’t Rush Amor, aka Tess.
Tess was one of a last litter of three puppies out of Sevilla. She was a huge, flaxen puppy even at birth and grew into a beautiful dog. She is Munch’s grand-dam via her son Cutter: see text below.
Pictured: the beautiful Int’l Champion and Munch’s grandsire, Mediguard Harris….
In 2003 I bred Tess to a friend’s Scandinavian import, Double B’s Blade. The Double B Ranch is owned by friends Hadley and Lee Barrett.
Of note: Hadley is the most renowned living rodeo announcer. He has a voice like Bing Crosby and is a really nice guy. He married my friend Lee when she was Miss Wrangler Rodeo.
Lee bought a few puppies from me in the 90’s to add to her breeding program and began importing Goldens in 2000. Munch’s sire, Double B’s Cutter, is her stud fee puppy out of Tess, by Blade.
Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you….
A few years ago, Lee bought two females from Romania, of all places, from a kennel not far from Dracula’s castle. Who knew that there are Golden Retrievers in Transylvania? I didn’t.
One of those dogs was bred to Cutter last year. My puppy Munch was accidentally dragged out of the whelping box by that over-zealous Mom, so that she has a scar on her lip, rendering her semi-marketable, and Lee gave her to me.
Because of the marrying of these European and American bloodlines, I am blessed with one of the most beautiful young Goldens in Colorado. Munch has a gorgeous “boxy” head, a light sand-colored, nearly white thick coat, dark pigment, and is all about love.
Yesterday Tess and I were able, for the first time in months, to sit out under the trees and let Munch race around in the kennel. There is nothing like dog joy.
I looked up into the quiescent silver poplars and saw new buds. The snow that made the kennel impassable for me, in my walker, has melted and the loam from last year’s leaves has that sweet gardening smell.
When I sit in the kennel in an old red wooden chair, I am surrounded by pens where I used to see the butterball Golden puppies I produced in the spring and the fall.
Most of the pens are empty now, spayed and neutered dogs placed. We have a little cemetary out under the apple tree.
I think of a half sister of Tess named Maggie, a dog I was going to keep. One day a young woman and her mother came to see me, to look at my 8 week old puppies, and fell in love with Maggie.
Her mother took me aside and told me that her daughter had breast cancer, asking me if I would part with Maggie.
Maggie and Lindsay hung out together at a greenhouse not far from my house. For a time Lindsay’s cancer was in remission, and Maggie would greet customers with plant trays in her mouth. She once wrote to me that Maggie got her through chemotherapy.
I have a whole file of such kudos somewhere, with photos of my beautiful dogs. It was all a wonderful season filled with adventures and I absolutely adored each and every puppy.
Munch is my legacy. Right now she needs to learn not to gallop in place at the end of a leash. One day she will replace her beautiful grandmother Tess.
The sky is going grey as I write, to warm up, things that might or might not be of interest. You can read more about my breeding program on my website here.
Depending on how many some days there are, I would like to take Munchkin back to the Double B and breed her to one of those beautiful boy dogs and have one last stellar litter. I keep saying that…. anyway, pictured below, my beautiful friend Lee Brenner Barrett, taking a bow for freedom.