Homeward Bound adopter and guest author Corie Turner shares a touching story of Goldens who need Goldens.


Guest post by Corie Turner

There are Goldens whose entire world is shaped by the humans that they love. Try to leave the room without your dedicated Golden and you will find him trailing behind. Even if you are inactive you will find him pressed to your side gazing up at you lovingly. All is well in your Golden’s world as long as he is by your side. No other resident dog is needed.

Then there are Goldens that need Goldens. In addition to the love for their human family, these Goldens thrive on the love of another Golden. This bond can be forged over many years of companionship or form suddenly due to life changing circumstances. They seem to have no territory or boundaries. Toys, food and beds are generously shared. Short separations cause them to run to each other as if they have been apart for days. Daily mutual face cleanings are a ritual. Play sessions are wild.

Our Goldens, Bear and Max were adopted at different times. Both are Homeward Bound Golden Retriever rescues; both are seniors. They met when each needed something special to help keep their world together.

Bear came along first with his brother Brinkley; two beautiful nine-year olds. Having spent all their lives together, Bear and Brinkley were deeply bonded. It was heaven to watch them together. They would fly through the house crashing into each other in play. They were emotionally “joined at the hip”.

Then cancer took Brinkley and Bear lost half his world. Our own painful sorrow was magnified by Bear’s longing for his brother. It seemed Bear would never know such a bond again; never know the comfort of a brother again. All seemed lost. Then, further hardship struck Bear. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in his back limb rendering him almost immobile.

Our family agonized over how we could emotionally support Bear during his upcoming chemotherapy treatments as he no longer had his brother to help support him, lay by him, be there for him. For Bear, a simple walk was difficult to impossible. He became very quiet. Bear needed a canine friend. Then we got a call from Jody at Homeward Bound. A senior Golden needed a home; his name was Max.

The note on Max’s profile said “runs to greet other dogs” and we soon learned that the Golden heart is generous beyond measure. Max bounced into our lives just as Bear began his treatments. This was a challenging time for Bear. We carried him up and down the stairs. Walking to the yard was an effort. He slept a lot. Perhaps sensing Bear’s melancholy, Max made it his mission to clean Bear’s face multiple times every day. Wherever Bear slept, Max was by him, touching him, watching him. It was as if Max needed Bear as much as Bear needed Max. Within a month Bear was gaining strength in his leg and was becoming much more mobile.

As Bear became stronger, walks became longer. Soon we were walking distances that we thought would never be possible again. When Max and Bear would run together we would hold our breaths. Treatments continued and Bear made great progress. Now play sessions are out of control. Bear often has the upper hand and sometimes Max allows Bear to win. All play ends up with a mutual face cleaning. We have the cleanest ears in the neighborhood.


Such is the “heaven on earth” in our house. Bear is now on his sixth month of treatments and our vet is amazed at Bear’s progress. Max and Bear are deeply bonded and even swim shoulder to shoulder. Yes, they follow our every move. Yes, they will sit patiently by our feet waiting for the next event. Yes, they gaze at us lovingly (may we always deserve that love).

And so our home is double-blessed. Our Goldens take care of each other. And as we walk the soft mountain trails and enjoy the scents of the forest with these two wonderful Goldens leading the way, our hearts sing. Life, it seems, can go on forever.

Thank you Jody and all at Homeward Bound for Bear and Max – the loves of our lives.