Official home of Joan Merriam:
author, college instructor, speaker, inveterate gardener,
sword-wielding advocate for justice, lover of frogs and roses, and adoring aficionado of Golden Retrievers
Whether you're a student, a friend, a reader (thank you!), or someone who just stumbled onto these pages on your way tooh, say, a web site on ancient Sanskrit riddlesthanks so much for stopping by.
Feel free to get comfortable...have a cup of coffee...and stay as long as you like. Hopefully there'll be a few things here that will interest, intrigue, excite, or otherwise entertain youbut if there's something special you'd like to see, be sure to let me know.
As time goes along I'll be adding a few more things here and there...but for now, read on and enjoy your visit!
Goldens in My Life
I'm a huge fan of Golden Retrievers. Period. End of sentence. Drop voice.
My first Golden came to me in June of 1995 in the person of a beautiful boy I named Shiloh, and who was with me for 14 years. A year after I adopted Shiloh, I adopted a sweet little girl named Sammi, who stayed with me on this earth until she was 14½.
After Sammi, I brought another Golden into my life and heart.
Casey came to me in the late spring of 2010 through the great people at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue (www.homewardboundgoldens.org)and even though I wasn't planning to adopt an older dog, you know what they say about those best-laid plans. I firmly believe that the spirits of my Shiloh and Sammi played a part in the whole thing...and when this gorgeous, 85-pound 9-plus-year-old boy walked over and looked into my eyes, it was all over.
Casey soon became a Certified Therapy Dog through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs , and we visited convalescent facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and schools together. (In the picture at left, he's wearing his Therapy Dog jacket—in purple, of course!)
Beginning in May of 2012, I began writing about life with dogs in a monthly column called "Casey's Corner" for our local newspaper, The Union. I've posted the columns here for those of you who don't subscribe, or who prefer a digital version.
I lost my sweet boy suddenly and without warning in late January of 2015, when he was near the age of 14. While my heart and spirit remain broken at his loss, I remember with joy the wonderful years of companionship, love, and adventures I had with my best friend.
But hearts by their very nature are resilient...and in late May of 2015 I brought a new Golden boy into my life.
His name is Joey, he's about 4 years old, and as you can see, he's a Golden Retriever mixed with....well, who knows? As before, I adopted him through Homeward Bound, and he's become a terrific addition to my little family...all smiles and love to spare!
So you can share them, too, here are a couple of shots of my first two Goldens, Shiloh and Sammi, who now with my beloved Casey are patiently waiting for me just this side of heaven, at the Rainbow Bridge.
(And don't hesitate to write to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org .)