Welcome Friends,                                                                                                  A Little about us!

I grew up in a family with 6 kids and having a dog was not really practical, or so I was told, but that did not stop me. I would bring home any stray I could find on the streets and ask to keep it, but dad always said no, but find it a home, which I did. I also volunteered to walk all the neighbors dogs and fell in love with each of them.
At the age of 11 I met the Whippet breeders at the end of my street and they took me under their wings and introduced me to the show world, lure coursing, obedience and breeding. I was fascinated with this breed but my mother did not like the look of a "skinny" dog.
So...for Father's Day one year my mom and the next door neighbor went to the OC shelter and brought home the scrawniest dog I think they could find to give to dad. I was a bit disappointed that she was such a small dog, as my love was for much larger dogs, but all in all I now had a dog, or my dad did! Well, as it turned out that little dog was an apricot poodle and was afraid of men. So I began working with her and taught Susie all kinds of tricks and also learned how to groom her on my own. I completely fell in love with her and she was "MY" dog until the age of 15 when she crossed over.

After graduating high school and getting married 1 year later in 1979, my husband John and I knew we wanted Golden Retrievers, many of them! So once we were in a secure home where we could have dogs we began our search. In 1980 while working for a Dachshund breeder/boarding facility we rescued a golden named Shugs and then bought her a friend named Sawnie. These girls were my introduction to the breed, sweet and so giving of their unconditional love. In 1981 my husband and I ventured into showing (conformation) with Sawnie, not knowing anyone or what we were doing was a bit discouraging but we enjoyed it so much that we continued educating ourselves about golden's and making new friends along the way. We  did some obedience with our dogs as well and joined local clubs. Our love and enjoyment for our dogs was growing so we started to get the clearances required to breed Sawnie and have our first litter. Our first litter of puppies was born in 1982 and from that litter came the first Calico Golden Retrievers.  My first home bred champion was in 1992 when CH. CALICO'S BIG MAC OF McGOLD known as "Mac" finished his title with his novice/co-owner Vicki McGwire on the end of the lead.  In  1993 "Mac's"  litter  sister CH. CALICO'S DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY known as "Lizzy" finished her championship completely owner/ breeder handled and in great style by winning winners bitch at the Western Regional.

I continued to work for the Dachshund breeder for 17 years, gaining what ever knowledge was tossed my way. I showed the Dachshunds from time to time and loved every minute of it. In 1995 I was offered a job at the Community Veterinary Hospital, Inc. where I manage the Animal Friends Pet Hotel which is located in Garden Grove, Ca.  I have continued breeding and showing Golden Retrievers as a small hobby breeder and just simply enjoying this wonderful breed!
In 2009 I asked long time friend Joy Van Wie if she would like to co-own dogs with me and share in the adventure of breeding and showing of our Golden's, she happily said yes and the rest is history!
I take great pleasure in photographing pets my at work for their owners and love photographing  my own dogs and puppies as well.

Mary Thompson

My Love for dogs began long ago, like for many of us, as a child. I was 10 when my parents finally gave into my begging for a dog. They felt that a small short hair breed was best for our first dog so we got a "wiener dog" I named Schultz. That was the start of many more Dachshunds to come into my life, Mr. Dooly, Toby and Ollie.

I'm excited to be able to share my love for Golden Retrievers with my best friend, Mary Thompson. I met Mary over 30 years ago after purchasing my "last" Dachshund, Ollie, at a kennel in Orange where Mary worked. I would come back many times over the years to board and have my boys groomed. Then one day I was dropping off my boys for boarding and Mary was grooming the beautiful gold dog I had ever seen. (This part still makes me laugh) I asked her "what kind of dog it that?" Apparently, I had never seen a real "quality" Golden Retriever before. She told me"a Golden",Joy,this is a REAL DOG! Yikes, where had I been? Her name was Dreamer and she was amazing, sweet,gentle,well mannered and did I mention sweet? Mary explained about her wonderful dogs and about showing them in AKC shows. This was all Greek to me, but I soon realized I had to have one of her puppies.
Dreamer was bred and I was thrilled when Mary called me to announce her new litter born 5/3/1091. Two months later my first "real dog" came into our home, Chloe. A year later we added her littermate Sable. My husband and I were hooked on golden's. They went everywhere we did, our cabin in Big Bear, boating in Havasu, jogging, swimming in our pool or just hanging out on the first step. Their personal favorite was the "park" for Chloe to chase the tennis ball ad Sable the frisbee.

In 1998, being the experienced golden owner, I wanted to make a difference in someone else's life by raising a golden to be a service dog for people with disabilities. I contacted Canine Support Teams in Temecula and applied to be a puppy raiser. I received my first golden, Griffin, that year. I took him everywhere with me, work, stores,restaurants,even Disneyland. He especially like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Griffin didn't make the program as a service dog but I believe he was meant to be with me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2001. Griffin, Chloe and Sable were my faithful companions and helped get me through a very rough year with their pure golden love.
Later that same year I lost Chloe and 6 months later her sister Sable. So....I decided to raise another puppy, Donner, for CST. This enabled me to progress into being an advanced trainer, teaching dogs task work such as, turning on light switches, object retrievals, opening doors, push elevator buttons and much much more.

In 2003, now divorced, it was time to track down my friend Mary again. Though we always stayed in touch through the years, Mary was always my first call for just about any golden issue. We now had more time to grow our friendship and go to shows. Mary mentored me for the conformation ring, something I never thought I would ever do. Believe me, she was tough and I pushed her patience to the limit sometimes. I couldn't have had a better coach and best friend.

Mary bred her beautiful girl, Deli, to CH Sunbeam's Cruise Control and had a wonderful litter. We decided to keep 3 promising show dogs, Celine, Whitney & Davis. So I was off to the show ring and having a blast with my new found hobby!

Joy Van Wie
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Calico Golden Retrievers