May 19 2013 – Mulligan Has Crossed the Rainbow Bridge
Mulligan My Golden Retriever:
Mulligan is a Golden Retriever that was born in November of 2001. I know that Golden Retrievers are the most popular dogs in America and after knowing Mulligan for 10 years it is clear to me why that is. There is only one downside to owning a Golden. That is the shedding. Without a doubt there is a learning curve for new Golden owners in getting accustomed to the amount of hair that will be in your home. Once you get used to the hair being everywhere the real fun starts.
As a special note, I am sure the personality that I describe when talking about Mulligan is not going to match 100% of all Golden Retrievers. These are my experiences and are only meant to inform how great of a pet Mulligan is and has been.
After I decided that I was interested in getting a Golden Retriever I started looking for a breeder. I knew that I did not want to use a puppy mill, or any other shady operation. I also knew that larger dogs could have hip issues and if I found a breeder who was good that the chances of my dog having hip problems would be reduced. I got lucky. A breeder had a 6 month old dog that the original owner had returned due to a change in her job situation. I was able to purchase Mulligan for a much more reasonable price than if I had found him at 8 weeks old. At 8 weeks the breeder I found charged $1,200. Because I was getting a dog 6 months old I was only charge $500 and that has been on of the best deals I have ever gotten. Mulligan’s original name was Bear. A name given to him by the breeder when the original paper work was filled out.
I changed his name to Mulligan because of the golf term. In golf when a player plays a bad shot and they want to take a second shot they call it “taking a mulligan”. Since my new dog was now going to be taking a second shot at having a new owner I thought the name Mulligan made sense for him.
General Mulligan Personality
Mulligan never whines. Mulligan only barks when he is communicating to dogs on the other side of the wooden fence in our back yard. To communicate he uses heavy breathing. If he wants attention, food, snacks, or just about anything he starts his heavy breathing routine. This is the first fog I have ever had the never whines, and if I ever get another dog I imagine a dog that whines will be very difficult to get used to.
Mulligan’s favorite things in order are:
Here is story that proves how much he likes women. He has done this trick I am going to describe at least 4-5 times.
Say some sort of weird occurrence happens and I have a date or even more dramatic an actual girlfriend. When I have female company over and we are spending time on the couch Mulligan very often decides that it is his turn to get attention. His move? To lure me away from the couch.
Mulligan gets me off the couch by going to the back door and pretending that he wants outside. As I get up, go to the door he circles around and goes back to the couch that my lady friend is sitting at. He now gets to have 100% of her attention and has effectively gotten me out of the way.
After having a dog in your life for over 10 years it is hard to measure the impact felt when they pass on. For weeks leading up to Mulligan’s passing I knew the time was coming. Even knowing that the end was coming did not lessen the pain I felt when he actually died in our house on the Sunday morning.
In fact I had one of the terrible encounters with slipshod veterinary care that you have maybe heard stories about before. I would like to publicly say that if you live anywhere near Tampa or St. Pete, or Clearwater Florida that you should avoid taking your pet to VCA Gulf to Bay Animal Hospital (I would link to their website but I do not want to help their site’s SEO). Between badly and wrongly diagnosing Mulligan’s issues they also over 10 days charged me over $1,500 to be wrong. I would be happy to provide more detail if asked, but this page is meant to honor one of the best dogs that ever lived, not to rant about the shitty care he got from his vet his last weeks alive.
Mulligan was a velcro Golden Retriever. He liked people as much or more than dogs. He behaved almost all the time as if what made him the most content was making me happy. From his never stealing food from TV trays, to his strong insistence to be let out to do his business he was alway trying to please.
Particularly in the last few years he became incredible easy to have as a pet. I could leave doors open at the house and he would behave and stay inside. If he did go out the front of the house he stayed within view and would come back as soon as he was called for. He never lost his love to go on adventures with me. Never was he maudlin about getting to leave the house. Going to the dog park, car wash, beer bars, or anyplace was one of his favorite things. Getting to meet new people and be a part of things seemed to make Mulligan shine.
If you ever visited our house you knew that Mulligan was happy you came for a visit. In fact the first few years his excitement for visitors at times was a bit too much. He never thought he was sitting close enough to you. Always re-adjusting as if just a smidge more closeness could be achieved.
Dogs in general, Mulligan in particular teach people how to live. They are loyal to those that are good to them. They really enjoy a good stretch. They seem to live in moments of fun and excitement like children do, but they do it their whole lives. They do not judge based on how good looking you are, how thin or fat you are, or how much money you have. They let you determine how you will be treated by them. Treat a dog with kindness and they will treat you the same.
Mulligan taught me so much. There is little doubt that he will be remembered by everyone who got to spend time with him.
Rest in peace big yellow dog.