Chase died in February 2012, at the age of 12 while undergoing an operation to remove a large tumor that proved to be cancerous. Chase originally came to Goldheart when he was found roaming the streets and research through normal channels showed no one claiming him as a lost dog even though he was obviously well cared for.
Chase was the first Golden to enter our home after we were approved in 2002 as a Goldheart foster home, but upon seeing him Linda decided instantly that he had found his forever home. Upon getting out of the car and being let loose in our fenced yard he ran full speed “chasing the wind” as Linda put it thus earning his name. He was with us for about 10 years and earned every part of his nickname—The Angel Dog.
Chase was an extremely affectionate and beautiful big, tall, very blonde guy who was often seen at GoldHeart fund raising activities due to his ability to entice donations from folks who wanted to pet him. Linda likes to relate the story of Chase at a fund raiser in Timonium where he, according to 2 people who came to pet him, “stared us down” and they placed a $100 bill in his donation vest.
Chase was very tolerant of the many Goldens we have had come through as fosters but had a particular affinity for Sam. Chase and Sam would have their friendly “tussle” after every dinner during which one would lie on the floor while the other “attacked.” There was much friendly growling, barking, and clashing of teeth.
A favorite pastime of Chase’s was visiting the Belair Bakery on Saturday mornings for a bagel along with his Golden brothers. He would stick his nose in the bag with the bagels to try to assist with the distribution of the goodies.
Sam came to us as a foster in July, 2006, at the age of 8. His previous owners had taken him to the vet to be euthanized since he was afraid of thunderstorms and had evidently developed cancer. The vet, who had cared for Sam since he was a pup, requested that Sam be signed over to him after which he contacted Goldheart.
We agreed to be foster parents for Sam, and, after several unsuccessful attempts to find a permanent home for him, agreed to become his permanent foster home.
Sam had several operations to remove cancerous tissues and bounced back after every one.
Sammy was a beautiful deep red color with a very silky coat hence his name “Silky Sam.” We believe that somewhere in his ancestry was some St. Bernard due to Sam’s big (but not fat) size, huge paws, and large snout that looked just like a St Bernard’s.
Our other Goldens learned to use the dog door in our sliding screen door quite well. So did Sam except when he was in a hurry during which times he would blast through the dog door knocking the entire screen door out of its tracks and flattening it on to the deck.
Due to his operations and removal of some muscle tissue, Sam could not run but trotted along with his distinctive limp quite well. In addition to “Silky Sam” he was also known as “Sam the Bam the barking man” in recognition of his distinctive barking cadence. Whereas most dogs will let loose with a number of barks in quick succession Sam would bark one time – pause – bark one time – pause – bark one time – pause in a very distinctive manner similar to a telephone ringing on a cyclical basis.
Sam remained in rather good health for 6 years after we took him in but finally let us know he was worn out when he stopped eating and could not stand any longer.
Although we miss Chase and Sam greatly we have brought in other Goldens needing homes; so the cycle of life continues.
Bob and Linda Heil
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