What can I say about a dog who was the love of my life?  Riley Joe was everything you could ask for in a companion.  He was the dog I always dreamed of having and more.  A wonderful, intelligent soul who touched the heart of everyone he met -- he was an extraordinary companion, my best friend and the sweetest boy you could ever hope to meet.

Riley Joe came to me at 4 months of age from Dale Lundstrom in Spirit Lake, Iowa a very well-know field trial enthusiast who was instrumental in trialing Goldens since the 1940s.  He was a NAFC FC Topbrass Cotton, OS, FDHF grandkid that Dale had hoped to develop into his next field dog.  But after losing my first Golden who had also come from Dale, he must have seen our special connection, because Dale called the night after I met Riley and told me that he felt we should be together.

This Golden boy loved to swim, and when I couldn't join him, he would often go for a dip on his own.  Regardless of the weather, he started every day he could with a morning dip -- breaking through the ice until the lake froze solid was just fine with him!  Living in a resort area, he knew more people than I did.  Folks from all over the country would come back to visit friends and family every summer, and they always stopped to visit with their pal, Riley Joe.  He was a true Golden ambassador -- and people would often tell us that if all dogs were like Riley Joe they would happily own a dog!

Riley Joe especially loved to swim with me.  He trusted me so much that when I called "come swim with me" he would dive off the dock and come put his paws on my shoulders and float with me for as long as I asked.

Riley Joe went everywhere with me.  Regardless of the task, he was always available to join me with a huge smile.

Riley Joe raised the bar on my expectations for a dog.  Never sick a day in his life, he remained extremely active until he was over 12 1/2 years of age swimming and walking daily.  Although his body was ultimately slowed by severe osteoarthritis in his spine, he never lost his loving, sunny disposition. and retained his joyful outlook until the day I lost him.

Today, Riley Joe has become the foundation and inspiration for Shor'Line Golden Retrievers.  I know what true Golden temperament should be and how much a Golden can bring to your life.  And that is the spirit we try to live up to today...

Hugs and Kisses sweet boy -- I miss you with all my heart every day!

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