Aurum's Mt Shasta Gold Dust

December 9, 1989 - October 9, 1992


Shasta started it all for us. Throughout the first years of our marriage, we both wanted a dog. When we finally bought our first house, we set aside enough money to buy a dog. We then had the incredibly good fortune to find Judith Haithcoat (Aurum Kennels) who entrusted Shasta into our care. At the time, we swore in complete honesty that we had NO intention of ever showing our dog. We would train him (ALL dogs need training) and care for him and love him, but we only wanted a house pet.

Shasta had other ideas. As soon as we started his formal training, it became clear that he absolutely loved working with us. After all, he had the perfect Golden Retriever temperament, so naturally he wanted to be with us as much as possible. All we had to do was let him know when he did something that made us happy, and he would add that action to his repertoire.

Shasta always made it unmistakably clear that he loved the close contact of working with us. His enthusiasm was infectious, and so we delved ever deeper into the world of the Golden Retriever. By the time he turned two, we knew we were going to have to get another dog. And the rest, as they say, is history. Shasta started us down the path to where we are today – living with a household full of dogs and planning our lives around training, shows, and trials. We sold our cars and bought vans and trucks. We moved out of the subdivision and onto 6 acres in the country, complete with kennel and technical ponds to teach water retrieving concepts. We have, literally,  gone to the dogs, and we have nothing but gratitude to Shasta for getting it all started for us.

Shasta was our “learner dog.” He invariably forgave us when we made stupid mistakes in his training, and he never ever showed frustration or resentment. With only one exception, he took First placements every time we showed him in obedience. He was a stellar tracking dog, fast and confident and exceptionally accurate. He was showing real promise in field training, and we have every reason to believe he would have done very well in that venue had we not lost him so abruptly. 

We lost Shasta exactly two months short of his third birthday. We suspect he died from complications of Neorickettsia (Ehrlichia) risticii infection. It took us a long time to get used to living without Shasta, but we’re sure he would be pleased to know where he ultimately led us.

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