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Six Golden Rules for a Positive Life

We all have Golden Rules we live by. Some of us have them written down. Some of us just know what’s right and wrong. We develop these rules from things we learn from our parents, teachers, and mentors. These are the undeniable truths of our lives.

I invite you to ask yourself the following questions:

· What are the Golden Rules I live by?

· Why are they important to me?

· Who did I learn them from?

· How do these rules provide the guiderails of my life?

· How am I a better person through these Golden Rules?

I would like to share my 6 Golden Rules from a rather unusual source.

By now you know I am a lover of Golden Retrievers. My precious Duffy is the sixth golden in my life. Each of my goldens has gifted me with a golden rule to live by.

The lst golden in my life came as part of a package deal. Tabetha was my soon to be husband Stan’s 1st love. She was his sideick, companion, and best friend until I entered his life.

I had never been a dog owner before. My parents did have a crazy poodle named Puffy though I was never responsible for the care and feeding of him.

Tabetha adopted me immediately. Her ability to see the good and love in people was uncanny.

She loved the water and fearlessly leaped from boats and docks and into pools with a splash to enjoy the cool water on a hot summer day.

She was fearless… Once we were out in East Marion on the north fork of Long Island. We opened the car door and she could see the Long Island Sound. She took off, making a beeline straight for the water.

She never saw the 25ft cliff as she ran right off it, falling into the tangled bramble below.

We were sure we watched her die. As we ran to the edge of the cliff we heard rustling in the bramble below and miraculasly she emerged at the top of hill shaken but not detered.

We walked her down the path to the water where she jumped right in.

Golden Rule #1: Sometimes we make mistakes. When you do pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep going. It will be worth it.

When tabetha crossed the rainbow bridge it left a gaping hole in our hearts. We knew only another Golden Retriver would fill.

Dutchess was a Christmas Puppy. My first puppy. Luckily Stan knew what to do to train her. She adored Stan and she went to work with him every day at the pring shop.

Dutchess also loved the water. When my friends watched her while we went on our first European vacation they took Dutchess and their three male Goldens on their boat for the week. We come home to a photo album of Dutchess on vacation. She looked to be saying Na,Na, Na, Na, Na. I’m having a good time without you.

She had a keen sense of protecting you from danger. When my friend brought their newborn to the house for a visit she stategically stood between the baby and the psychologist as if to say you are not going to screw this one up.

She was our life guard for the annual Pool Party Pig Roast. One time she pulled my friends 3-year old from the pool when her shreaking for joy made Dutches think she was in trouble.

Golden Rule #2: Pay attention and use your intuition.

One day Stan and Duchess were at the print shop and a customer came in. He had a dilemma.

He had given his 82 year-old mom a Golden Retriver puppy for Christmas. The puppy was too much fo her to handle. Would Stan be intersted in a second?

We rescured Bailey from his situation and Dutchess welcomed him into the family and they became best friends. Bailey was off to a rocky start as he was not well trained. We had two names for him. Bailey when he was good and Bin Laden, when he was bad.

Bailey was smart as a whip and taught himself to swim underwater. He would drop his toy in the pool, watch it sink to the bottom then dive in, swim underwater, and retrieve the toy. He started in the shallow end of the pool but ultimatly dove down 8-feet off the diving board in the deep end. He was always pushing his limits.

Golden Rule #3: Always keep learning

When Dutchess crossed the rainbow bridge at 14 years-old Bailey was lost without her. We decided we would rescue our next companion for Bailey.

Max joined our family, a big, fluffy, overweight golden 7 years-old. He had been mistreated but had a sweet disposition in spite of it.

He would steal the dishtowel, sponge, or washcloth and play hide and seek under the dining room table. He had a thing for underware and could chew the crotch out a pair of panties in 2 seconds.

He was a big lumbering clown who made you laugh. You could not stay angry at him because he was so cute.

He was only with us for 10 months when he crossed the rainbow bridge. We were comforted that we had made the last 10 months of his life happy and full of love and he had made us laugh and laugh.

Golden Rule #4: Laughter is the best medicine.

Once again Bailey was all alone. He missed having a playmate. Driving home from work I passed sign on the side of the road “Golden Retriver Puppies”. Come on Stan lets have a look. We’ll just look at them. My mother-in-law was visiting and she said yes lets look…Ha! Of course we fell in love and had to say yes.

We brought Bristol home just before Cristmas. Bristol and Bailey together helped Stan get thought numerous health issues. They were his nurses and helped him heal following back surgeries and heart attacks. They were there to comfort him when his kidneys failed and he had to go on dialysis.

Bailey and Bristol kept him company when I was working and covered him with sloppy kisses when he was down. They were a reason for him to keep living.

Golden Rule #5: Love can give you the courage to go on when you want to give up.

Bailey passed away at 15 leaving Bristol to take care of Daddy for one year all by himself. When Stan passed I was so grateful to have Bristol. He was there for me, curled up next to my in bed at night, greeting me at the door when I came in and reminding me to laugh.

It was nearly 5 years that Bristol was an only dog. Before I knew it he was 10 years-old. I loved having two goldens so I happily added Duffy to my family this past December. I had never raised a puppy by myself before. I was not toatlly prepared for how much work it would be but it didn’t matter as it was totally worth it.

Three weeks after bringing Duffy home Bristol was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He crossed the rainbow bridge six months later in June. He was a wonderful teacher and helped Duffy learn the dos and don’ts.

Duffy is a wonderful loving companion. I can’t imagine my life without a golden in it.

He makes me laugh, he kisses my tears away and he loves me unconditionally.

Golden Rule #6: Unconditional Love is the greatest gift, Open your heart and receive it without hesitation

That is my TAIL of 6 Goldens in my life. New chapters are still being written The Golden Rules they have taught me are with me forever in my heart as a joy filled way of living.

Dogs bring so much into your life. They truly are a gift from God… Angels without wings who’s ony mission is LOVE…

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