Having been a part of Allday Golden Retrievers for almost 20 years has enabled me to meet a lot of very nice people over the years and help them find a puppy just for their family. I want to share some photographs and a few stories that I have collected over the years. I hope you enjoy.
Pat Simpson - HGTV
When Pat Simpson first called me looking for a Golden Retriever puppy I thought the name sounded familiar. It didn't take long to realized who he is. Pat Simpson is a well know TV personality on the HGTV network but he is as nice and humble a guy as they come. He's originally from Demo polis, Alabama which is only an hour West of Selma. You may remember Pat from his television series "Room to Improve", "Fix it Up" and "Before and After". He started out hosting the series "Backyard America" on TNN. In person, he's even more personable and taller (and he already looks tall on TV) than he appears on television!! Not only did he swing through Selma to pick up his new Golden Retriever, but he also stopped by my kids local school at Meadowview Elementary and did a photoshoot there in the school's library to encourage the kids to read more. That photo stayed hanging on the walls for years. Yes, that book in his hands is pertaining to building construction is one of my own books. He named Mac after his father.
Bo Callaway - Callaway Gardens
If you've heard of "Callaway Gardens", then you've heard of Bo Callaway, but you may not realize how influential he was in Georgia politics. He was the 11th Secretary of the Army under President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford. He was a member of the US House of Representatives. Although he unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Georgia at one time, he still gained the majority popular vote in the election. I was fortunate to meet both him and his wife Laura "Beth" Callaway prior to her death when he came to my house and picked out his Golden Retriever. Bo recently passed away himself. I feel very blessed to have been able to meet them both.
Lucille Ball - American actress, comedienne, model, film-studio executive, and producer
You might remember Lucille Ball from the popular old black and white show named "I Love Lucy". She was a very popular lady, but she also loved golden retrievers. Here's a picture of her on the set with a Golden. Obviously I never met Lucille Ball because I wasn't even born around the time this picture was taken, but it does go to show how popular the breed has been over the years.
If you want to see more pictures of famous people with their golden retrievers including several more pictures of "Liberty" and President Gerald Ford, follow the link:
Randy Owens - Alabama
Randy & Kelly Owen didn't stop with just the one golden from us; they managed to acquire quite a few more over the years from various means. Truly Golden lovers they are. Almost everyone knows Randy is the lead singer for the country music group Alabama and I have been fortunate enough to see him live at a benefit concert for a fallen police officer in Birmingham, Alabama. The song "Sweet Home Alabama" has special significance since Randy and Kelly live in north Alabama with their Golden Retrievers. Kelly has kept in touch some over the years and has even had puppies of her own off of Hamlet who they got from us. It's very hard to beat Goldens!! Kelly is in the process of sending me a family picture of her, Randy, Hamlet and the rest of their Goldens and I'll post it as soon as I can. Randy's a great musician plus he loves Golden Retrievers. It just doesn't get much better than that!! Maybe he'll write a country song about them.
Gerald Ford - President of the United States of America
You might be interested in knowing that President Gerald Ford owned a Golden Retriever even though it didn't come from me. I was only three years old when President Ford and his Golden Retriever "Liberty" was in the White House at his side. Not only do I love Golden Retrievers, but like so many Americans, I absolutely adore the name "Liberty". "Liberty was frequently photographed with Ford in the Oval Office, in the swimming pool at Camp David and on the South Lawn of the White House. She also had a litter of pups in the White House on September 14, 1975, one of which – Misty – was kept by Ford. At one point Ford was locked in a White House stairwell after returning from walking the dog on the South Lawn early one morning. Photographs of the dog were autographed with a rubber stamp of her paw print. Stories indicated that if Ford wanted to end a conversation in the Oval Office he would signal Liberty and she would go to the guest wagging her tail creating a natural break." It's funny how small the world really is. I was not involved when President Gerald Ford was given his golden retriever "Liberty" by a family. I was involved in the process when Bo Callaway got his golden retriever from me 30 years later. Since it's public knowledge that Bo Callaway was the 11th Secretary of the Navy under President Gerald Ford Jr. and the President's golden "Liberty" was such a popular Presidential dog when they knew each other, I have to wonder if that is one reason Mr. Callaway was influenced to get his own Golden Retriever in his senior years. Had I known the connection between him and President Ford at the time he picked up his Golden Retriever, I would have asked him if the President Ford's golden had influenced him or not. I didn't know and didn't ask - so I may never know.