I Was the Chosen One

We had family pets growing up, both dogs and cats.  My first dog as an adult was a chow chow named Keshia.  I got her in the summer of 1986 and had her until January 1998.  At that time, I said I didn’t want to get another dog.

I changed my mind in the summer of 2000.  I wanted a dog and it was going to be a golden retriever.  After Keshia’s death, when I had no intention of getting another pet, I said if I ever got another dog, it was going to be called “ABBA”.

As I was leaving Mansfield, Ohio, to take a new television job in Youngstown, Ohio, in May 2000, I decided it was time.  I searched the papers for golden retriever breeders in northeastern Ohio.  I found one in Strasburg, Ohio, about 75 minutes away, in Tuscarawas County.

When I arrived in the small town of about 2,600 people, I called the breeder and she gave us directions to her house.  It was something like you cross over the bridge and turn right past the second tree and it’ll be the first driveway past three wooden fenced farms.  O.K., that sounds simple enough.

I found the place and pulled up to the first house at the end of the driveway and no answer.  Walking back to the car, I was encountered by three llamas.  Luckily, they didn’t spit on me.

I approached the big house on the other side of the driveway and knocked on the door.  I heard the sounds of little barkers and a much louder bark.  Inside the kitchen amongst strewn and shredded newspapers was a large golden retriever, Dolly, and about eight little fur balls following after her.

Tamera, the breeder, said we could take the dogs outside to get a better look at them and we could find Fletcher, the puppies’ father.

On the drive, I was so excited to be getting my golden that would be ABBA.  I didn’t want to have to choose which little golden would be leaving her mother and her brothers and sisters that day to head to her new home in Canfield, Ohio, which is a suburb of Youngstown.

My goal was to let the golden choose me.  The first female to walk up to me would be ABBA.

When Dolly and the puppies came outside, all of the little creatures were frantically chasing after Dolly trying to nurse and she was desperately trying to get away from them, except one.

One of the puppies, the runt, wandered around just sniffing the air.  It walked over to where I was kneeling watching all of the doggie play.  The puppy curiously walked up to me, sniffed my finger, licked it, and then bit me.

I rubbed the little furry, beautiful golden, and picked it up.  I held it for a few minutes and put it back on the ground and rolled it around in the grass.  It was a girl and she became ABBA.

She didn’t follow the rest of her siblings.  She was aloof and did what she wanted that day.  She did it every day after that, too.

That was on July 11, 2000.  It was the beginning of a wonderful 11-and-a-half years of beautiful memories that will turn my sadness and darkness that I feel now into golden days when I think of all of the sweet and goofy things that Miss ABBA did in her incredible life.

I didn’t choose ABBA, she chose me.  I was the chosen one.


I had this collage made yesterday for our dining room wall.  What an incredible life for all of us.

24 responses to this post.

  1. What a beautiful memory, my oldest son has begged us for years to get him a Golden Retriever but me not liking big dogs have always bought him smaller dogs. As he was reading some of your tributes he said see mom a “golden” is what I need to grow up with (he’s 15) they are dedicated and loveable. I am restarting to think about getting him one after all the wonderful things I have heard about ABBA. Thank you for sharing all the memories.


  2. Posted by KIMBERLY on February 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm



    • Kimberly,

      How in the world could there be a golden in the shelter????? I hope someone takes it home soon.

      However, it is too soon and forever may be too soon.

      Thanks for sharing. Someone adopt the golden, please!



  3. Posted by Jay Hobson on February 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    love the keep Sake Peace u have Done for ABBA. she was the Love of everyone she was around .. Peace to u Anthony .


  4. Posted by Cindy Carney on February 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Beautiful memories I enjoy every one you have shared with me.


  5. Posted by the tolans on February 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    That is so sweet anthony if you need anything give us a call 🙂


  6. Posted by Janet on February 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    hi Anthony! What a wonderful trbibute to Miss ABBA! It still makes me remember the day I had to put my Susie down broke my heart. Thinking of you and your family today. take care!


  7. Posted by dora manary on February 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    anthony thats such a touching story i know she will be sadly missed


  8. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on February 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to Miss ABBA. I chuckled as I read how she wasn’t after the food from mama, she headed towards you. So it sounds as if one of the few times in her life she didn’t go after something to eat was when she was choosing you for her daddy…she had her priorities straight. 🙂 Ah, a true lady who saw what she wanted & went for it!


    • Kathy,

      Miss ABBA was definitely a foodie. I think that day back in 2000, she was a very curious golden to turn down milk. She made up for it in life. 🙂

      Thank you, my friend!



  9. Posted by Kathy Hyson on February 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Anthony, what a sweet memory of ABBA…it just seems you and ABBA were kindred souls…meant to find each other! You have a wonderful gift of storytelling Anthony…I can picture in my mind so clearly the images you put in words!! 🙂 Love the collage….I can hear Barbra Streisand singing…”The Way We Were.” 🙂


    • Kathy,

      You’re too sweet. I believe that Miss ABBA and I were meant to be together and it was a beautiful union.

      I love writing and especially when it’s something I’m passionate about. I’m glad you enjoy my stories.



  10. Posted by Margie Goodman on February 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Love it Love it Love it. I have said it many times before, thank you for sharing your beautiful Miss Abba with all of us. I loved all of your pictures, and the story on how you got her. You two were meant for each other, and I am so glad you had her, and she had you. You are certainly an amazing person. Hope everyday gets a little easier for you, I know she will never leave your heart. Take Care Anthony, and God Bless. Hugs to you again…..<3


    • Margie,

      Thank you for the kind words. I was telling Ray the other day that Miss ABBA was not just the Peoples’ pet, she was the people’s pet. 🙂

      She and her memories will always be with me.

      Take care,


  11. You were the chosen one, she knew that when she walked up to you. Awww such Beautiful memories Anthony… I know it’s too soon but never say never… Ms Abba would want you to find another companion and give it memories just like you did her<3<3 Thank You Anthony and family for sharing


    • Wanda,

      That was a very special day when I picked her up and even, in tears, it was a special day to hold her when she left me.

      You are too kind. I’m happy to share my life and hers with you.



  12. Posted by Kathy on May 13, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    hello:) is there ANY chance that you still have this breeder’s contact information??? We just had to have our golden put to sleep and I believe we also got a puppy from this same breeder and would LOVE to get another one from them!! PLEASE let me know if you do!!!


Leave a Reply to anthonypeoples Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: