#tbt: Assisa, the first golden retriever I met

For ever since I can remember, I loved dogs and wanted to have one. I begged and pleaded but my parents didn’t give in. However I grew up with dogs because for the first 12 years of my life we inevitably had neighbours and friends that had dogs. So that helped ease the pain of not having my own dog. But I promised myself that when I “grew up and had my own home”, the first thing that I would get was a dog. I wasn’t quite sure about the breed – I just wanted a dog.

I came to Germany in 1992 for further studies but ended up staying here for longer than I had originally planned (and I’m still here!). In 1993 I moved to Munich and met my first golden retriever. Her name was Assisa and Dieter, one of Bernd’s colleagues (who became a good friend later), introduced me to her. Assisa was a very special dog who had a mind of her own and obeyed commands when she wanted to. To the surprise of everyone, she passed all obedience tests at puppy school but didn’t quite believe in being obedient otherwise. She managed to drop a couple of cyclists when she was out running with Dieter because she would spontaneously decide to turn around and hence ran into the cyclists behind her on the path. Dieter often went for a walk along the river Isar and Assisa was known to charge off into the water when she was off leash. She didn’t always come out of the water when she was called and once Dieter got so fed up that he jumped into the river (it was winter, very cold but Dieter was equally crazy), swam out to her, packed her by the collar and hauled her out of the water. That impressed her so much that she never did it again!

But she was also very lovable and I adored her, probably because she had an untamed and wild side to her 🙂 And that’s when I decided that when I finally got my dog it would have to be a golden retriever.

It took another 20 years till I could finally fulfil this dream of mine and I never gave up on it although in between I thought it would never happen (some day I will write about the reasons why I couldn’t get a dog earlier). The only concession I “made” was that Jaden is not a “golden” golden retriever, but the breeder we liked and chose had only “white” goldies.  Interestingly, Jaden often reminds me of Assisa. Like her, he is very strong willed, a high energy dog and his being obedient is “work-in-progress” as I call it. Since he is a male dog, he is of course at least 10-15kg heavier than she was and a bit taller too- Needless to say, I adore him:)

So here’s to Assisa – the first goldie I met and who showed me that when I finally got my “dream” dog, he would have to be a golden retriever.

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