Congratulations to the 2016 Winner Gabriela Gonzales from the University of Florida
Golden Meadows Kennel Donated a Trained Puppy in Honor of Autism Awareness Month
Excerpts from Rebecca’s story about Brad and Costner:
We met Tim and Barbie, Costner’s parents up until now, and then there he was! What a striking face he has. Brad and Costner hit it off from the start. Their personalities seem to go hand in paw together. Both a little passive, and very quiet, both very loving. The match was definitely meant to be.
Jeramy and Troy were waiting at the door to see Costner when we arrived home. Their faces said it all… we were all awestruck daily at how well mannered Costner is and watched him closely to see if he will ever slip up. So far he has passed with flying colors! Sophie the neighbor’s cat doesn’t know what to think about a dog who just sits there. of course Pilot the Winegar’s dog is thrilled to have a best buddy.
We could not be more pleased to have Costner as part of our family!
April is Autism Awareness Month, we have been fortunate enough to be able to work with several families who’s children have been affected by Autism. We have placed several trained Golden Retrievers with these families to help their children cope with the day to day stresses & fears that accompany Autism. Brad is a boy with autism, since having gotten Cosnter, Brad has made great strides in his social interaction & general well being. We ask Brad to write us a letter for Autism Awareness Month & his experience with Costner.
Hi, my name is Bradley and I have Autism. My life has been changed by one of these miraculous dogs. Costner, my dog, helps me feel comfortable to talk with others. Kids actually come up to me now and want me and Costner to play with them. He also helps me feel better in large groups. I get very overwhelmed where lots of people and loud noises are. He is an amazing friend to have. He makes my discouraging life feel better than having one million dollars. With Costner by my side, I feel more confident. We have joined a 4-H club for Dogs and I was able to win Grand Champion in Obedience at last years fair. I had a hard time focusing but with Costner by my side, he helped me relax. Before Costner came into my life there were so many things I wanted to do, but was too afraid to even try. Now, I know that I can do whatever I want.
Bradley, 10 yrs old.
I have not even downloaded the pictures from the fair. Life is so full and busy. The boys are amazing. (Boys = Jeramy, Brad, Costner and Titan!) They are all my children and take all my time. But a mother would not have it any other way. 😉
I look at Brad and I can see how far he has come, what Costner has given him. Others look at him and don’t see any struggles and think I’m over reacting. True friends who have been with me long enough to know or educated enough to see his struggles are amazed and how capable he is at adapting to life skills on his own. I would not change the road I choose to put Brad on, I’m grateful for the leap of faith in getting Costner. Did I mention Brad went to Scout camp for 1 week? That is overnight camping away from us and Costner! He earned 6 merit badges while he was gone. Next week his summer program group is going on an overnighter to Salt Lake. He is very excited about it too. One might argue that as kids mature they work through their own struggles and I do agree. Brad has done a tremendous job of working through his and growing into others. I am very proud of where he is and what he now chooses to do. It’s eye opening.
A dog for us was amazing, but as you know it’s taken daily work to have them. I don’t know how I have managed through it all and still taken the time needed to be a mom. I love and appreciate both my dogs and the love and kindness they show. Honestly, you get out of it what you put into it. New owners need to understand that. If they do that, they will have the same chilling story as we do. These dogs are my furry children and I wish I could do so much more for them. Costner is my Hero – I dread the day that he is no longer with us. Until then – he makes me smile every day and he gives Brad the confidence to face the world and reach for the stars!
I’ll send pictures soon.
oh PS – I do watch your site. All the time. Love the puppy pictures.
Friday the boys competed at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. They did great! The Showmanship Judge was from Atlanta. He was great! (and not because both my boys earned 1st place ribbons from him either!) He does alot of confirmation judging and somehow was in the area for a race he was going to run the next day and got asked to help out! It was fun for the kids to be really tested. Brad earned a 1st place in Showmanship and a 3rd place in Obedience. I love his smile in this picture. Rarely do I get a genuine smile out of him. He was thrilled with his accomplishment.
Jeramy and Titan earned 1st in Show and 2nd in Obedience and they came very close to earning Reserve Champion in Show as well.
It was a great day!
I thought you would love to hear how County fair went. Brad and Costner are a hoot together. Still struggling on who will take the lead and be alpha, Costner is a bit put off because Brad doesn’t take the command lead so he tries to fill in. It’s funny to watch. It was a horrid rainy day for fair. We had to move from our typical location and were put rings up under the pavilion in the 6 inches of wood shavings where the bulls/pigs/goats show. None of the dogs liked it much. I spent 5 hours grooming the dogs to perfection over the weekend. They looked beautiful. Of course no one could even tell I’d done anything considering they both looked like drowned rats by the time they got into the ring. Combined with wood shavings stuck all over them and it was a true sight. But in the end it all turned out just fine. Brad and Costner came in 2nd in Show, 2nd in Rally Excellent and 2nd in Obedience in their respective groups. It turned out nice because Brad’s favorite color is red and all the ribbons were red too. He is still hoping to earn a 5th place ribbon to complete his collection of ribbons. (he wants one in every color-go figure)
Titan is doing better and if he is not worked to much in a day he will walk without a limp. The showmanship judge grilled the kids in Jeramys group or 35 mins. They did 18 different patterns and many questions. It was long and difficult. By the end Titan could hardly stand. Titan has a nice stretch but it really wears on his back end. By the end he gimped out of the ring with a 2nd place ribbon! Jeramy and Titan earned a 1st in Rally Advance and a 1st in Obedience. Jeramy and Titan also won Grand Champion in Obedience as well.
It was a good day for everyone!