Golden retrievers have been a huge part of our life at Kiko's House.
But as I have written here, many American golden retrievers are also ticking time bombs because an extraordinarily large number of them -- perhaps one in four -- succumb to cancer well before living to the once typical 12- to 16-year life expectancy.
I know this all too well. I have lived with and been acquainted with a dozen or so goldens over the years, most of them pictured in the photo montage above. I have midwifed their births, taken them to the vet, helped breed them and cradled them in my arms as they drew their last breaths.
Prompted by the continuing stream of heartbreaking comments from readers who lost their goldens long before their time, we're researching a story on what work is being done to try to breed cancers out of goldens, as well as put unscrupulous breeders on notice who fail to alert buyers to the high risk of cancers and other fatal diseases in the breed.
To that end, we welcome your personal stories about your goldens -- or those of family members or friends. Photographs in the form of .jpgs also are most welcome.
Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org