Meet Barkley

This story (written in October 2007) comes from Anne Visser from Dallas, Texas. Anne is a member of Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas.

Barkley is not a typical looking Golden, despite being a rescue from Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas (GRRNT). Over the years we've had him he's displayed some traits untypical of goldens: long snout, curly fur, undercoat that is so thick you can barely run a brush through it, howling songs (sometimes in tune), deep sunken eyes, long ears, etc. He's also had illnesses each year that have been a mystery to his vets (and us).

Many in GRRNT and many of our friends and neighbors speculated that Barkley was part poodle, because of his fur. I think many of you have fondly referred to him as the "Goodle".  John and I suspected, if anything, he might be hound, setter or airedale. Earlier this year we bought a $70 DNA cheek swab test kit (MetaMorphix) that tested for 38 different breeds (including poodle).

Barkley came back as "primary" Golden Retriever, meaning he was at least 50% Golden, but if he had any non-golden dna it wasn't one of the breeds they tested. So, when a new blood DNA test came out that covered over 131 breeds, we were the first in our veterinary clinic to get the test. It's called a Wisdom Panel test, developed by Mars Veterinary. Well, the results are back and our vet is just as surprised as we are.

Barkley is 100% Golden Retriever!  Yes, Barkley is NOT a  "oops" dog, he's a Golden Retriever, not a mix. His veterinary records are now being changed to reflect his new status! We love him no matter what he is because he is such a funny and loving dog. He just has an "exotic" unique golden look!  He won't be offended if you still affectionately refer to him as the Goodle! 

The other part of the story is that we had Barkley in for surgery at the vets last week to remove two cysts and a dental cleaning. One cyst was under his forearm and was suspected fatty lipoma (and it was), the other was more suspicious and on his tail. That one was more solid with a lot of vascular action and was sent off for pathology. The call we got from the vet today was also to tell us it was not a hemangiosarcoma (suspect) but a hemangioadenoma (benign). Of course those results were much more important than the DNA test. We've been a little worried about the biopsy results and that is a huge weight off our minds. We didn't want to have to face that kind of cancer with him. Our vet relayed that she was also very relieved as it was very suspicious to her as well. So we have two reasons to celebrate our little funny-looking golden.

We'll be at the GRRNT picnic on Saturday with our rescued AKC guy Toby (the real ball fanatic) and our affectionately nicknamed Monkeytail Barkley, with purple vet wrap over his surgery incision on his tail.