meet brinkley

On June 17, I welcomed a new member to my family – a golden retriever puppy! This was a long-awaited dream of mine, to be a dog mom to a wonderful golden retriever. The first dog I ever met in my life was a golden retriever, and he was the sweetest, smartest, and most playful dog. Ever since then, I have longed to take care of a golden of my own. And finally – 22 years later – I’m thrilled to be able to do so.

Brinkley 2
Meet Brinkley. Here he is at 3 months! Photo courtesy of Samantha Brooke Photography.

Brinkley is one of eight puppies born to a late spring litter. The breeder I found was Ivywest Goldens, based in Charlottesville, VA. They do an amazing job of breeding and raising goldens, and they have a huge farm with other animals like cows, chickens, and pigs. If anyone is looking for a stellar golden retriever breeder, I highly recommend Ivywest Goldens!

When I went to pick Brinkley up, he was one of two available males. He was definitely the more playful and interactive of the two males, and his coloring was much lighter. After playing with the pups, the decision was easy.

Although a puppy, Brinkley is very calm for his age. While he does get excited about new people and dogs, he doesn’t run around too rambunctiously as I thought he would as a puppy. He generally stays by my side, and he is pretty easy to train. At 3 months old, he has learned the following commands: sit, down, roll over, up, high five, turn, shake, stay, leave it, crate, drop it, and back. True to the golden retriever embodiment, he’s smart, eager to please, and adores everyone. He has a wonderful, gentle temperament. It’s difficult to walk him sometimes because 1 out of 3 people will stop and pet him! He loves the attention.

Of course, Brinkley has his naughty and difficult days too. The first couple of days, he wept profusely whenever he was in his crate alone at night. Thankfully, he eventually settled down and learned to sleep in his crate on his own. But then, he would start crying whenever I left the house in fear of abandonment. This was worked on slowly by increasing the increments of time that I would be away until eventually he realized that I’d return to him.

Having a puppy is no easy feat. It’s stressful, and I confess to some puppy blues (if you are undergoing these blues and want to reach out for advice and/or support, I’m happy to share my insights and experiences). However, I can’t imagine a life without Brinkely now. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be his human parent and companion, and I cherish every moment that I get to share with this beautiful pup.

Brinkley does his own Instagram page, @brinkleyfromva. Feel free to follow him on his adventures growing up!

And now, more adorable puppy photos!

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8 weeks
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8 weeks
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9 weeks
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12 weeks

I asked Samantha of Samantha Brooke Photography to take photos of Brinkley last week. It was such a fun photo session and she took some incredible shots of him. He’s quite the model!

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