Remembering My Golden Retriever Docket
It's been exactly four years since Docket passed away and not a day goes by where I do not give thanks for the opportunity to have had him in my life. Docket was an absolute joy to all he encountered and left positive memories with everyone. As with many retrievers, Docket loved his football. He wouldn't leave the house without it! It was his "pacifier" and "security blanket". Even on days when it was brutally hot outside, he'd take his football wherever he went, always giving the neighborhood kids a thrill at seeing "Docket with his football".
Docket and I were best pals since the day he was born on March 23rd, 1997. As a young child, I had always loved dogs, however I could never have one since my parents worked from 8:00-5:00 each day and my mother was severly allergic to them. As luck would have it, when I was about 10 years old new neighbors moved in next door and they happened to breed golden retrievers as show dogs. After the dogs were done with their training and exercise, I would then get to spend time with them. It wasn't until Docket was born where I absolutely fell in love with one of their goldens. From day one he was much larger than the other pups and within a few days he had already developed a personality. All pups would wear a ribbon to distinguish them from eachother, and Docket was called "Big Red" as he wore a red ribbon around his neck. It was the owners job to pick the "best one" to be a potential show dog, and Docket became their choice.
I was thrilled with their decision to keep him, as Docket would be living next door to me and I would get to see him every day after school. It wasn't until 5 months later where our neighbors had informed us that they were moving to Connecticut. I had grown so attached to Docket over the five months and discussed with my parents about asking our neighbors how much they would sell him for. I was well aware that they would routinely get $2,000.00 or more for their pups, and the price tag for Docket would be much higher considering HE was the one that they had chosen to keep as a show dog.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday. My father was discussing with my mother that "every boy" should have a dog in his life and Docket was always extremely well behaved even as a pup, so they agreed that I could ask our neighbors if they would consider selling him. I walked next door and and Ed was out working on his yard as he always did and I asked him. His response, "You know how much I love Docket Kris. He's been incredibly special to us, but if you promise me to show him the love he deserves, you can have him for $1.00."
To say the least, I was the most grateful person in the world that day and continue to be grateful to this day. I enjoyed nearly 11 years with Docket in my life and he provided me with the most true form of happiness. If there were ever a stressful day, I knew just being around him would cheer me up and lift the stress away. When it comes to our health, I am convinced that having a pet and showing and receiving unconditional love, makes everything better.
It's been four long years without him and I have finally allowed myself to open my life up to another puppy. I reached out to my old neighbors and they informed me that Docket's cousin, "Meadow" is expected to have pups in less than a month. One of the males will be able to come into my life sometime in early June. It'll be a long drive bringing him home from Massachusettes to Florida, but it'll be our first of many great memories together. I realize that no dog will ever replace Docket and that he was truly special, but I am excited for a new chapter in my life to begin with the new pup.
Docket: March 23rd 1997 - March 22nd, 2008
With My Sister in 1999
He Absolutely Loved the Snow
Always Needed His Football
Docket in March of 2008