An Introduction

Starting a new blog, given the plethora of other such missives online, is a bit intimidating. What will I write about? Will anyone read it? Will anyone like it?? But with new positions come new challenges, and in my current role as DVGRR’s Education and Community Awareness Manager, “blogging” has found its way into my job description, so here goes!

Storm, an adopted Golden from 2008, liked to snuggle with staff during playtime.

The whole concept of a blog is really still quite new, and certainly still evolving. I must admit, when blogs first started appearing online my initial reaction was to scoff and ignore them. Just someone’s egotistical cataloging of their daily life, I thought…who cares and who has time to read about it??  But as time went on, I began taking a second look, then a third and a fourth. Gradually I began to see that blogs (at least those well written and on subjects of interest to me…generally dogs!)  could be thought-provoking, highly informative, interesting, and often very entertaining. I have my definite favorites now and wish I could keep up with even more, given the wealth of knowledge and  wisdom I’ve gleaned from those I follow.

So now it’s my turn to hopefully interest you.  I’ve been given a pretty open-ended list of subjects to pull from, with the focus obviously being on Golden Retrievers, the world of rescue, and the myriad of topics related to responsible, effective, caring dog ownership.  I hope our blog will provide valuable information and stimulating discussion (the “Education” part of my job) while simultaneously getting the word out about who we are and what we do (the “Community Awareness” part).

Coming up with a name was the first order of business to challenge my seriously deficient creative side. I used my travel time to and from work to toss around ideas. DVGRR has been a part of my life for eighteen years now (thirteen as a volunteer and five as a staff member), and I’ve often said that “rescue gets in your blood” – it becomes a part of who you are.  So I debated about calling the blog “My Blood Runs Gold,” but honestly that sounded kind of creepy to me.  Next idea, please!

Trying to pinpoint something unique about Goldens, I thought about the infamous nudging behavior that, while characteristic of many breeds, seems to be a true specialty of Golden Retrievers. You know…the sometimes gentle but more often rather pushy and determined act of sticking a cold canine nose under your elbow, into your lap, or under your chin, often at the most inopportune times!  Every Golden I know seems to come with an innate ability to perform this action, some more flawlessly than others. I used to call my Morgan (01-063) a “champeen nose nudger” – this despite having an unusually short snout for a Golden!

Morgan, my "champeen nose nudger" on vacation in Virginia, 2009.

Golden owners will no doubt agree this behavior can be annoying and frustrating at times, but there is something endearing and lovable about it as well. If nothing else, it gets your attention!  Somehow, “Golden Nose Nudge” as a name for the blog felt right, because when it comes right down to it, that’s what I hope to do – get your attention and hopefully impart some knowledge and opinions in an endearing, not annoying, way!

Despite my  well-earned reputation for being  verbose, I will try to keep my posts on the short side, recognizing how time sensitive all of our lives are these days. Even if their subject matter is of great interest to me, blog posts that go on for pages and pages are likely to cause my own eyes to glaze over and my mouse to click elsewhere out of weariness – I’m sure that’s true for others as well.

The great thing about blogs is that they enhance our ability to remain lifelong students of whatever topic(s) we choose. For me, that is learning about the amazing, fascinating creatures we call dogs and how they relate to each other, to humans, and to the world around them.

No mistaking this for a Golden nose!

A long ago college professor of mine once said that if you are passionate about a subject, reading non-fiction works on that subject becomes akin to reading novels.  So very true. In my home, you’ll always find multiple stacks of books and articles on dog training, canine health care, and animal welfare topics  – some only partly read, I admit. “Dog stuff” of every variety captivates me and I’m always trying to increase my skills and knowledge and keep up with this rapidly expanding world.

I hope you’ll join me on this portion of my journey and contribute your own thoughts and experiences to enhance my own.  Welcome to the Golden Nose Nudge!

Couldn't resist one more nose picture. Please join us and follow our blog!

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13 comments on “An Introduction

  1. Tammy H says:

    Yeah Donna, congrats on the blog and I look forward to seeing more posts! Love, love all goldens!

    Tammy Hair (Xena #2 09-220)

  2. Rachel Williams says:

    Donna,
    The blog is wonderful! YOU are a fantastic writer and your passion shows through in every word. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for all that you do! Hugs from the 2 legged Williams Family and 4 legged Broozer, Baxter and Zoie 🙂

  3. steveja102 says:

    Dog-gone it!, I wanted to be the first to post a comment! Great job on the first post and I’m looking forward to reading more.

    I’m also interested in reading “Dog Stuff”…..maybe in a future post you could share your favorite (or just current) blogs, magazines and books!

    Keep up the great work!

    Steve, Max, Katie and Harley

    • RubyJul says:

      I found after having 4 Goldens- all of whom were expert” nudgers”, that it usually has a specific meaning —either “I need to go out”, I’m thirsty, I’m bored, or just I need some lovin'”

  4. Woodshollow says:

    Looking forward to reading your blog and gaining some knowledge that will help me care for the 3 goldens I am lucky to share my life with. The only exception I have with the first one is that there is never an inopportune time for a nose nudge! Having lost 3 goldens over the last decade and missing them and thinking of them almost daily I always look forward to every “nose nudge” I get and welcome it with a loving hug or pat on the head. If they could talk they would just say “hey, I love you man”!!! A nose nudge is the next best thing!! Sometimes we get caught up in life and take the little things for granted or see them as an annoyance. Embrace the nudge!!

    Perry & Kim and our furry friends Tucker, Riley and Harley

  5. LindaBloom says:

    Sunny does the “head plop,” she drops her head in my lap while I’m sewing. Welcome to the blog world! I’m a follower!

  6. Deb Hall says:

    Great job Donna! Rusty and Sunny whole-nosedly enjoyed the first post and look forward to much more. If you can find anything that would explain what the heck Rusty’s deal is, I will enjoy learning his secret!

  7. Heidi and her crew says:

    Donna, this is great. I’m looking forward to reading every issue. Now for the nose nudge…in our house it’s always the coffee that goes flying on the Sunday newspapers, but I wouldn’t trade it. Congratulations! Heidi, George (06-225), Goldie (10-107) and Casey (11-169).

  8. gadgetsmom says:

    Gotta say first off – I LOVE your blog name! Your 3rd pic is my Holly-girl to a tee, especially when I’m spending too much time on the computer instead of petting her! Can’t wait to read all you have to share, and on that note … this seems to be a very bad year for tics in our backyard – does anyone have any magic solutions besides the chemical topical application products? With all the snuggling we do, I try to avoid the use of those when I can.

    Thanks, Cheryl & Glenn Schwartz, and of course Holly

  9. Monica Kulaski says:

    Donna, just wanted to add my hello and welcome to the world of blogs. I, too, share your initial feelings but am hoping that we can make this blog something special where we can all share valuable information and experiences with our goldens and other canines who are part of our families. I would also be interested in solutions to the tick dilemna. I have been forced to used Frontline as I lost one of my goldens to lyme nephritus. An awful experience. I would also like to hear from others (and, you, Donna) on whether this has been a particularly bad season for dog allergies. My Casey has a horrible case of the “itchies”/”bities” and I am hoping that it is from all of the pollen due to the recent dry conditions. Any solutions – non chemical – to stop some of his scratching and biting??

    Monica and Casey (on this year’s DVGRR calendar cover!)

  10. Bonnie Blair says:

    I have 2 labs but your website, your stories and now this blog are definitely wonderful no matter what breed you have. I am always moved by the loving care you all give and I always come away feeling a little better about my fellow man knowing there are people like you guys in the world.

    There are no more caring and unconditional loving creatures than dogs, in my opinion. They deserve all that love back. Thank you for making this haven for man’s best friend.

  11. I’m nose-nudging you for more, Donna! Great job! We certainly share the same passions – dogs and writing. I will subscribe and anxiously await the next installment. Cheers from Chris and Gizzy!

  12. Kim Minisce says:

    This is great,Donna! I look forward to your blogging to learn more about goldens and dogs in general. I didnt realize that nose nudging is a golden trait,Neo does it all the time!! Now I learned something from your first blog. Thanks!

    Kim,Neo, and Maggie too!

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