I got my first Golden, Hayley in 1983 about a year later, Bonnie joined our family and I have been totally hooked ever since.

I served on the GRC (Golden Retriever Club) committee as Secretary for 11 years and held monthly grooming/show handling classes.

I was involved in ‘pets as therapy’ PAT dogs many years ago in the 90’s, long before P.A.W.S. was formed, when I was approached by two old age homes to take dogs to their frail care centres. I did this for about 15 years and we had some amazing success stories. I have shown and done basic obedience with all my dogs and bred a few litters of puppies, one of whom Robbie was my most successful obedience dog taking me up to ‘C’ test.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the colon, basically being given a 20% chance of surviving. I went through 6 months of chemotherapy with one week of chemo daily and then a three week break. I lost all my hair and was very sick but my husband, family and my many friends helped me through with their support. But it was my dogs that were always at my side, getting me out of bed making me take them for their walks at three every afternoon, without fail they said “Come on Mum time for your walk, let’s go” I am positive they played a big part in my healing process.

If you have the time and you are prepared to let a Golden share your home and life, then you can’t find a better breed.

Margaret McAra

Margaret with Murray and Clyde