These Golden Years

Many of our friends may have heard about our successful book signing at Edgartown Books on Martha’s Vineyard. What you may not know is that I was a complete nervous wreck. It was my first book signing and I could barely write my name. In contrast, Morgan lay on the ground next to me, totally relaxed, with a big goofy smile. People walking down the street couldn’t resist him. I was afraid that no one would show up to buy the book, despite the fact that it was featured in two newspapers and the local radio station.  But as it turned out the best advertising was a smiling Golden Retriever, named Morgan. The line that formed to pet him, turned into the line to buy the book.

Whenever my nerves got the better of me, I would lean down and rub his head and the jitters in my fingers dissipated. For those who have read the excerpt from the book, you know that Morgan has not always been a source of tranquility. He was a swirling dervish of energy when we first rescued him. He was aggressive with other dogs and around his food. One of the things that calmed him to help him sleep was to rub his head gently. In those days I never imagined that he would ever be a source of calm for me. Or that he would become my assistance hearing dog.

But after a two-year, rigorous training course with a police-canine officer/instructor he’d come get me if someone was at the door. On our walks he alerted me to cars and people approaching from behind me. One night he stopped in the middle of the street for no apparent reason.  Then suddenly I saw two coyotes jump over a wall up ahead of us. Even though he is unable to walk now, in his senior years, he continues to assist me.

Just last week, from my bedroom, I heard him barking loudly and incessantly. Suddenly I smelled smoke in the air and rushed out into the kitchen, where he was lying, to find bellows of smoke pouring out of the microwave. I threw open the door to find a charred sweet potato. Thanks to our houseguest! Gratefully, I patted Morgan on his head and rewarded him with his favorite treat – a banana.

It’s impossible for me to believe that we just celebrated Morgan’s 14th Gotcha Day and that we’re back swimming together again. This has given us renewed quality time with Morgan which I pray will continue for as long as possible. Our boy may be 14 but in our hearts he’s still that year old, crazy boy, who jumped into my truck when we rescued him all those many years ago.

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13 replies
  1. Carole
    Carole says:

    Beautifully written, Dan! Morgan truly is a Golden Retriever Assistance dog is every cell of his body. He will live forever in everyone’s heart who meet him during his years with you. Morgan, I hope Dan teaches you to do paw signings…Hugs and love to all!

    Reply
  2. June Kaufman
    June Kaufman says:

    Lovely story Dan. I’m sorry I haven’t seen any posts of Morgan for some time. Some unknown individual scammed my account here on FB. I set another account & in doing so I lost all my FB Friends, Memories, Contacts. Will you please add me back to this account as well as your personal account.

    Reply
  3. Gay Kuhn
    Gay Kuhn says:

    Enjoyed your narrative so much, as always! Morgan is a treasure n I’m so grateful.he is still with you! Bless you all abundantly!

    Reply
    • Dan Perdios
      Dan Perdios says:

      Thank you so much Gay, for those kind thoughts and words. We are Blessed. No doubt about that. We’re having a summer for the history books.

      Fondly,
      Dan

      Reply
  4. Casey Criste
    Casey Criste says:

    Sweet Dan and Morgan! I always look forward to your posts. We shared many years together from SF to PS. Ours is a grand life for all of us and that story is yet to be told. All my love to you, Morgan and James.

    Reply
    • Dan Perdios
      Dan Perdios says:

      My dear friend, it’s been told, just not published yet. I’ve written about our meeting at the End-up and how lucky I was to have met you, and Tom. In some ways, you really saved my life. Included in the story is the night we watched the Wizard of Oz.

      It’s been a good summer in Buzzards Bay!!!!

      Love ad hugs,
      Dan

      Reply
  5. Marj Johnson
    Marj Johnson says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your wonderful boy. We are so lucky to have these wonderful goldens in our life. I can’t imagine going through life without them by my side. Keep swimming with Morgan everyday. Thanks foe sharing your stories with us. Take care and give Morgen hugs from your friends from up north ❤️

    Reply
    • Dan Perdios
      Dan Perdios says:

      Thanks Marj, for those warm and caring thoughts and words. I agree. U can’t imagine life without a Golden. I love watching your kids growing and training. I’ve already hugged Morgan for you. Please do the same.

      Fondly,
      Dan Perdios

      Reply

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