...our new family member! She is 18 months old, 3/4 golden retriever, 1/4 golden lab (yes, I know she looks more like a lab ).
Our family recently got involved as as-needed dog sitters with a group that raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind organization (socialization, very comfortable with many people/situations, and basic universal dog training). At 15-18 months, the dogs are tested to see if they are suitable for going on for the intensive guide dog training. Those who don't make that high hurdle are "career changed", either to other helper dog programs, or are they are adopted out to families. And that is how our sweetie came to us.
Our new puppy will never replace our last puppy (my avatar), the sweetest dog ever, but she is already filling the big dog-sized hole we've had in our home for over a year now, and we just brought her home today!
And speaking of which, I just want to do a big shout-out to these puppy raising groups for Guide Dogs for the Blind. It's such a privilege, terrific volunteer work to be a part of, and we've met some wonderful families in just the few short months we've started attending. Our group is a based around a 4-H group, so many of the puppy raisers are middle/high school aged students, as well as a few college students, and a few adults. It's definitely a family friendly activity!
That means we know the people who raised her, and we're able to treat it as a sort of "open adoption", as the two families who co-raised/trained her will still get to see her whenever we're able to take her to the group meetings.