It was upon the tragic death of my beloved dog, True, that I realized the need for someone to breed for longevity as well as super qualities. True died suddenly of cancer at only 8 years old. True had saved my life on three occasions, she never left my side. She was an angel in a dog's frame!
Her death was unexpected and heartbreaking. No one should have to experience the premature death of a beloved friend.
I went in search of puppies from a breeder who could tell me about the grandparent's good, long health. It was surprisingly difficult. Most breeders had no idea about the ancestors of their dogs or how long they lived.
Finally I found a breeder who actually had my key word "longevity" in her vocabulary! They had bred for health - not just color or temperament. Most Golden Retrievers already have a fantastic, cheerful temperament so breeding for health and longevity makes so much sense.
I was impressed with the older ages of the family members within the blood lines, so that I became confident that this was the excellent start we needed. The grandfather was a champion hunter and the mother was an incredibly sweet companion dog. We chose a female puppy as our first breeding bitch, Treasure.
Quite soon after, we found another breeder with the same qualified pups. True was the biggest yet most calm puppy in the litter. He was a cuddler from the start.