Golden Gifts

River Road Retrievers


The Golden Gift

In February of 2013, our first Golden Gift “Bolt”  went home with his Braden.  On November 15, 2014 we delivered our second Golden Gift to David Burgess.  On June 13, 2015, our third Golden Gift goes home to a bundle package of triplets.

I cannot express to you the rewarding part that we experience in doing this program.  My ability to have the privilege of taking care of and living life with these amazing Goldens everyday is simply the most wonderful thing I have been able to experience.   There is no reason to not share the Golden Gifts that I have been given in life with children that can benefit in their growth, both physically and emotionally.  We are all given talents in our lives, we should use them for things that are good and genuine…   we leave some paw prints everywhere we can.  Make a difference, be good, be kind and leave some paw prints behind.

Thank you Hollie Mann for all that you do and being such an intricate part of our breeding program, and most of all being my friend.

To my husband, the heartbeat of River Road, I love you to the moon and back.

To be able to bring joy in the families of children with Special Needs is the most rewarding part of the River Road Retrievers for us. We are looking forward to working with the families and their children.

2013 – Bradens Golden Gift Bolt

Bradens Shower 011

Braden’s Golden is delivered! Click here to read more!


2014 Golden Gift



Our 2014 Golden Gift went home on November 15, 2014 – David named his Gift Henry 


2015 Golden Gift – The Bundle Deal







To be able to bring joy in the families of children with Special Needs is the most rewarding part of the River Road Retrievers for us. We are looking forward to working with the families and their children to provide a companion animal.

These dogs are not service dogs, they are companion animals.  The great thing about companion animals is you get the Golden as a puppy and your family and your child get to “grow” with the puppy.  There are many benefits that a companion Golden can give to a child with Special Needs.


When children have a purpose that engages their heart, it also changes their self image. Children with disabilities live in a world full of constant reminders of the many things they can’t do. Most have poor self-esteem because of this. Companion animals build a child’s self worth by allowing them to see and feel how important they are when providing care to another living creature. Healthy self-esteem is critical to encouraging growth in other areas of a child’s development.

Empathy and Compassion

Companion animals teach kids more than practical responsibilities like providing fresh food and water. Animals teach children, through compassion, why being responsible is important. Special needs children understand that a hungry tummy hurts. They know eating makes them feel better. Kids understand what it feels like to be scared and know that snuggling and soft loving words make you feel better. Children are sensitive and aware of the needs of other creatures They can often assume more duties than one would ever have initially expected.


All children need to feel interested, engaged, and happy in order to thrive in their development. This is especially important for children who spend a lot of time feeling unwell. Even on their worst days a special needs child can be entertained by watching an animal play or comforted by snuggling a loving companion pet close. Enrichment is a fundamental need for children. Friendship and Unconditional Love Many special needs children have problems managing social situations, and almost all have been the target of bullying. The foundation of companion animal ownership is a deeply bonded friendship. Animals don’t discriminate when you have issues like speech delays, seizures, illness, or learning delays. Companion animals believe you are the perfect friend just as you are! This special friendship allows children to set aside their troubles and be in the moment with a buddy who just wants to play, snuggle, and love.

Animals have a very therapeutic effect on special needs children.  The bond with a companion Golden can greatly increase a child’s emotional, psychological, and physical development. Understanding the benefits that a special needs child gains from a Golden companion encompasses the physical to the non-verbal communication development. As these Goldens require routines and exercise; these actions create a constant interaction with the child and the Golden Companion, strengthening the emotional bond. As animals are non-verbal and rely upon body language to communicate, this teaches the child how to “read” body language and also can ease the stress of children with low verbal capabilities.

Braden and his family have participated in classes that have helped the family to train their dog to be a very well behaved dog.  We are still continuing to work with the Teague family.  Bolt has brought Braden much joy, friendship, love, confidence and the list goes on.



We have to take into consideration the best interest of a child with Special Needs and what is best for the child as well as the Golden. We would not consider placing a Golden in a home with a Special Needs Child that has any type of asthma, respiratory problems, or allergies. Obviously, this would not be in the best interest of the child or the Golden. We would not consider any child that would be on any medications that would compromise their immune systems due to the hair and allergens of Golden Retrievers.


We would require that you have a fence. If you do not have a fence, the fencing cost you would be responsible for.   Invisible fencing is acceptable and I can help you get a discount on the fencing if need be.  You are getting a very expensive English Cream Golden Retriever and it needs to be protected.


Having other animals is fine, however, no other aggressive breeds in the home.  It is my job to protect both your child and the Golden.


I will provide you with a English Cream Golden Retriever at a discounted rate.  The English Cream Golden Retrievers that I breed are very high end.  They come from some of the most famous kennels in the UK.  These are English Cream Golden Retrievers.  They are white, beautiful and have the best temperaments and are perfect for Special Needs children.


My husband and I will attend these classes with the family.   It is good if both parents and other siblings can attend these.  While I understand that that cannot always happen due to other activities, I do expect the child and a parent at each class.  It does take some dedication and consistency on the part of the family to train the golden.

We will from time to time bring the Golden back to our kennel for socialization and training.


I expect a family that is dedicated to work with the child, the Golden and us.  We are very involved with our 2013 family and we continue to be.  We actually have become very close with the family.  We do expect you to work with the golden and be consistent with the training.   This only benefits your child and your family.  The cost of the Golden, all the shots, the spay or neuter, the puppy classes adds up to around $5,000.00.  So I do expect dedication on the part of the family, I am giving my dedication, my time, my energy and a lot of money to make this a Golden experience for your family.


We will meet and discuss your child, your child’s special needs, and talk about if the program is right for your family and your child.

Generally, I reserve the first and second pick out of that litter.  That generally happens around four weeks.  I watch the personalities and the temperaments of the Goldens in the litter.  I will pick two puppies that I think will be best for your child.  Those two are not advertised for sale until I make my final decision.  At 8 weeks I pick the best of the two.  The Golden Gift puppies are “picks of the litter”.  You don’t get a runt or a puppy that isn’t 100% perfect.  Your puppy is a “breeders pick”.  You may think, “well I would like to pick out our puppy”.  The reason I do it is to make sure I am providing you the best Golden for your child.  Excellence is the goal.

After the puppies are born, you are welcome and encouraged to bring your child out on Sundays between 10 and 12 to visit their puppy.

We would like for, and encourage that you attend the veterinarian puppy appointments.  My veterinarian is wonderful with the children and it is a good experience for them.

When your puppy goes home you will have strict rules to follow with crate training and other criteria to follow until the puppy is fully vaccinated.   We will then enroll into the puppy classes.

You will enter into a contract with River Road Retrievers, agreeing to the above terms and conditions.

In the event you are unable to keep the golden for any reason, or if it is not working out for any reason, we will take the Golden back.   Sometimes things happen in life, and whatever the reason, we are here for you and the Golden.

I will provide boarding for your Golden if it is possible.  At times we have dogs in heat or other things that make boarding an extra dog on the property impossible.  In that event I can help you get discounted boarding.

River Road Retrievers come from especially high European lines all of which came from some of the best and famous Kennels in the United Kingdom.  All parents are certified for eyes, hips, elbows, and heart.

We entirely support your venture as part of our lives move into yours.  We are available at all times to help make this a great experience for your child.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis

Sarah Short

River Road Retrievers