"The first family dog I remember was our Golden, Maggie (1987). She had an absolutely wonderful temperament for a family pet. She died at only the age of 8 of cancer. This is her in the photo above. She was a treasure of a dog and changed my life forever.

There is nothing like the special bond that can be had between a person and a dog. To me, if you were going to take that love to another level then you have been in the presence of a Golden Retriever. This breed is programed to love people. They have the most gentle and sweet dispositions, all the while being fun, outdoorsy, and smart. As beautiful as they are on the outside, their soul is the real treasure of this true friend.

I have been fortunate enough to have been thoughtfully mentored and taught the importance of preserving the breed and it's purpose, and how to properly test for health in our breed. This guidance has sparked a fire within my soul to try to do the best I can with the time and resources I have to do something to allow future generations to enjoy these incredible dogs. Being a breeder isn't actually simple at all. It requires thoughtful decisions in crosses, time spent interviewing and meeting potential puppy homes, countless hours of raising these little lives around the clock, and then being there forever for that puppy should it ever need you again. These dogs give us so much free therapy and pure love every moment they are around us. It is our duty to always give back to them everything we can in return. 

I should be stuck in a lab somewhere doing Science and instead I get to focus on these amazing dogs. I have trained for a very good chunk of my life for it in honors Chemistry for undergrad and Cell and Molecular Biology as a Fellow in Graduate school. I enjoy Science, but love the outdoors and of course my dogs more than anything. I am very lucky to every day get to do what I love, even though my days are long to make sure the needs of my dogs and families are met. This breeding project is my way of being able to use genetics to work towards specific goals within this breed I am completely obsessed with. As a breeder we have more resources than ever to use to make our breeding decisions. I want a line of versatile Goldens who are healthy and beautiful that golden-loving people can enjoy. With genetics, nothing is certain... but we can stack the deck in our favor with the tools that we have. Within this breeding program, we are using tests like OFA for hips, elbows and heart, and eyes, then DNA gene marker tests, family history of cancer, thyroid, and allergies to screen against genetic issues in this breed. This information is just part of the puzzle. We also want stellar personalities, high intellect for training and natural retrieval instincts, and good looks just to wrap it all up. The underlying need (for any of these jobs: retrieving ducks, service or therapy work, search and rescue police work, competition or family companion), is a Golden that will be healthy. The health is what I fundamentally am working towards, while secondly my competitive nature has goals with exhibiting my hard work in club events. 

Thank you for supporting and appreciating the goals that we have for our Goldens. We truly are grateful to the families we have and will meet who are as crazy about this special line of dogs as we are. It makes the hard work more than enjoyable."

~Marissa

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© 2018 by Marissa Hendrix    Arkgoldens@gmail.com