Our family is overjoyed with Heidi! We brought her home in March 2018, and she is already an integral part of our lives. Connecting with Rhonda and Stephanie at Snitker Goldens was exactly the right move for finding a young adult Golden that has met all of our needs. Heidi came to us so beautifully trained and so perfectly loving that we have already started working with her in local assisted living facilities and memory care centers. She spreads joy wherever she goes -- oohs and ahhs about how pretty she is and then more compliments about her sweet nature. Heidi moves from resident to resident looking to be pet, and the memory care residents reminisce about their own dogs from years past.
We are so in love with this sweet girl that my husband said the other day, "I think Heidi needs a sibling!"
Thank you Snitker Goldens for placing Heidi in our care.
Kari Nelson and family
To learn more about our trained Golden Retrievers, please visit the Gold Select page.
Hi Rhonda and Stephanie,
I wanted to send you an update about our dynamic duo, Luke and Lucy!!! We couldn't have asked for a better match for our daughters! Luke is laid back and really easy going. A perfect fit for our older daughter, Hayden. On the flip side, Lucy has tons of personality and is really spunky. She is the perfect match for our daughter, Callie. They have really settled in nicely and are the perfect fit for our family!!
We rang in the New Year at a cabin in the mountains of Georgia. It was a solid 8 hour drive each way. We didn't have one potty accident! We spent a lot of time playing in the huge, open fields behind the cabin. It was fantastic. The family we were traveling with couldn't get over how well behaved they were! You gave us such an amazing start. We couldn't be more thankful!
We spent a great deal of time researching options when we decided we wanted to add a puppy to our family. (Which over time ended up turning into two!) It has been such a pleasure working with both of you. Luke and Lucy have exceeded our expectations on every level. To say we love these two is a total understatement. We cannot wait to see how they grow and mature. We will keep you posted with updates and pictures!!
Thanks for everything!
Just wanted to get you an update on Fergus and his transition into his forever home. Fergus already has a heart of gold. He is close to mastering the house training and listens most of the time. He started puppy school last week and was best in class when the other puppies didn’t know their names or sit on command!
The cats are adjusting and Fergus understands that the cats have different rules! Probably one of his favorite ways to start the day is to go to my teenager son’s room and help me wake him up. He so eager to please and today was his first day with the “puppy nanny.”
We are looking forward to warmer weather and watching him continue to grow in his forever home. Thank you for giving that little guy such an awesome start.
Jean, Claire and Jimmy
And he loves the crate...
Hi Rhonda & Stephanie,
Nick and I wanted to share with you an update on Remy’s first few weeks at home. He has completely melted our hearts and has impressed each of us and both of our families with his temperament and eagerness to learn and please. His first night home he slept comfortably in his crate downstairs and we’ve had no issues since with nighttime whining or crying. Remy has also done an outstanding job learning the rules of house training. He knows to sit at the door when he needs to potty and had only a couple of "accidents" his first week at home.
At 10 weeks old Remy has begun to master: sit, come (here), shake (paw), up, down, off, back, leave it (eh-eh), and potty. We start puppy preschool next week and we anticipate Remy being a star student 😊 Beyond basic obedience training, Remy has bonded very well with our other family pets, especially Russell (a two-year-old Silas/Ina pup). Remy is growing like a weed and soon enough he’ll be catching up with the big dogs running around in the valley.
We simply could not have asked for a better puppy and we love him more than ever. Remy is everything we hoped for in a little pup and we thank you and Rhonda so much for all of the time and effort you put into his first eight weeks of life. He is the perfect fit and addition to our little family. We'll be sure to stay in touch and keep you updated on his progress!
Megan & Nick
Hello! I wanted to give you an update on Service Dog in Training (SDiT) Albie. It’s hard to believe that little white fur ball has grown up so quickly and is now this handsome boy.
Hi Stephanie - Greetings from Minnesota! Charlie is doing well and feeling very at home with his family and big brother Jack. He continues his training and I agree that like Hollie, he is very smart and easy to train. He loves the outdoors and is a good walker. He is also extremely gentle with the mouth. He has never even attempted to nip at anyone. He is gentle on things in the house and has never tried to chew on the leg of a chair or the fringe of a rug.
He loves his big brother Jack and they play very well together. However, he is not afraid to be independent of Jack and will be outside without Jack as well. As far as growth, he is 62lbs and almost the height of Jack. He is extremely agile and has long legs. He is a very handsome man!
I will say though Charlie is a creature of habit. I have never successfully gotten him to sleep past 6 am since we got him. It doesn't matter if he has had a very active day or a more low key day, whether he goes to sleep at 9:00pm or 11:00pm, he is always up at 6:00am or 5:00am or sometimes lately 4:30am. I would be curious to see if any of the other puppies in this litter are the same way? Also, if there are any techniques to try to get him to sleep longer if the house is quiet and he his kennel in familiar surroundings? Any tips would be appreciated. (Charlie's sister, Hollie, tried this very same thing with us...we shared some helpful tips that have worked for us in the past and Charlie quickly agreed that 4:30am was too early! Good choice, Charlie ;)
Well - that is about all from here. We love Charlie very much and are grateful we have such a wonderful dog. Thanks! Molly
A quick update from Albie's handler, Leann. Thanks, Leann, for taking such good care of this sweet boy!
Here are a few pictures of Albie, I will send more in the near future. This weekend we are volunteering at the USO at Bethesda.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. Albie passed his CGC test on February 4th, he turned 6 months old on January 20, 2017
I am working on some good current photos of Cooper. Problem is, he moves so fast I can never get more than a blur.
Cooper is also smart as a whip. He enjoys -- loves!! -- daycare, and already has several besties there, lol. The handlers love him as well and also comment how sweet and how smart he is. I planted some pansies and snapdragons yesterday and, well, you know how dogs love to help their owners in the garden. It only required one "uh-uh" and he never tried to dig up the flowers again. Unfortunately, it poured for approximately 3 minutes later in the afternoon and he found his own mud puddle to play in while I was putting away groceries. He was a filthy dog.
I wanted to let you know how he is working out with Kaya and Duke, as you took that into strong consideration when choosing him for us. From almost day one, Cooper has managed Kaya quite well. By managed, I mean managed. He's a little general and she's his soldier. Mostly, I think she just doesn't want to deal with this interloper--she is truly a gentle soul with somewhat sloth like movements, so she mostly stays out of his path. We have heaped attention on Kaya and she is so appreciative, so we have tried to be aware of her hurt feelings. Over the weeks, her dismay is turning over to acceptance, and now at daycare (since he has graduated to the big dog room) they say Kaya goes and checks on him every so often just to make sure he's ok. They play more often now, but Kaya has clearly assumed her rightful guardian duties and Cooper acknowledges that. Every now and then he alerts her to something with a bark, but overall he leaves that to her.
Duke, our son's lab mix, is Cooper's fave dog pal. They are now nearly the same height and play like crazy. Inevitably, they do play tug with each other. Usually, it is that Duke just lays there and holds the thing, and Cooper tries to get some purchase on him. The other night, though, despite Duke's best efforts, Cooper pulled him a couple of inches. They get along famously, and Cooper is the boss of Duke, too.
As for having a writing companion, I couldn't be more pleased. I was a bit worried that with his energy level, this would be an issue. Not so. He settles down quite nicely--at my feet, too, which is precious. I really didn't expect such calm behavior until at least a year, so I love that he is such a good boy and I can get some work done. The other night I went to work in my office and he came in to sleep by me. After about five minutes, though, he left. A few minutes later he returned, with a horn to chew on, and laid down beside me again. He'd given it some thought and come up with a plan. It was so sweet.
My parents are in town, so I have delayed classes with him just a bit. He starts obedience in a couple of weeks, though we have learned quite a few basics at home. He learns very quickly. Scott and I also walk the dogs about a mile each night, so he is learning good leash manners. I look forward to involvement in a local therapy group called Divine Canines. We love the earnest, attentive look on his face when he is waiting for release on a "stay". It is priceless.
All in all (and I am sure you hear this all the time but maybe it never gets old) we are so thrilled with every aspect of him. He has really been such an easy pup and I know this is down to good breeding and the work you do with them at the very earliest stages. BTW, when I need to find him and get him to me fast, or he is having a bad dream, I call him the way I've heard Rhonda call him on the videos. It is amazing how immediate and impactful that recall is to him.
Thank you for everything!
*From Assistant Dog in Training (ADIT) Albie's temporary handler, Randi. Veterans Moving Forward (VMF) and their volunteer handlers work with their ADIT pups for up to two years before placing the pup they have cared for in the hands of a veteran. Many thanks to Donna (Prince and Vincent's handler) and Randi (Albie's temporary handler) for the work, care, and love you put into these precious Snitker Goldens.
I sent my father-in-law a picture of Albie a month or two ago and his response was that the puppy looks ‘wise.’ I think that’s a great way to describe Albie if you could only use one word. He is quite intelligent – picks up commands super quickly and remembers them well. He likes to work every morning, practicing what he’s learned. When I taught him to ‘get dressed’ (put on his jacket) we started with an old scarf of mine. I held it in a loop in front of him and lured him to put his head through it. I had that scarf loosely looped around my neck yesterday and it fell forward when I bent over. Albie ran up to me, quickly put his head through the loop with mine and looked up for some praise. I think he has a wonderful sense of humor hiding behind those dark eyes.
This month Albie has started going more places with me, beginning with a trip to the polls on Election Day. Each week we go to Sunday school together or work in the church library. (Yes, he’s got a fan club! Veterans Moving Forward is a mission partner of Vienna Presbyterian Church and a lot of the members now look for him each week.) We attend meetings together and this afternoon we’ll visit the Orvis store, which welcomes all dogs. Albie really likes to ride in the car.
When not working…..well, do you know the expression, “if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”? Albie will never be on the porch. He LOVES playing with the older, much bigger ADITs and joyfully did so in the break room at Cocktails with Canines this month. They were twice his size and that was in no way intimidating for him. Other loves? Playing tug of war with Steve’s and my Schneagle, Fritzl, and playing hide & seek in the house with me. The tail never wags faster than when he hears me laugh and say, “You found me!”
Albie is loving and fun and smart. It will be tough to turn him over to his permanent raiser next month, but I’m so grateful I’ll still get to see him on occasion and will hopefully have an opportunity to sit for him when Leann needs help.