Last night, the dog suddenly died, for reasons we are not sure of yet, but I very strongly suspect it was something she ingested, the question being what it was and when she ate it and how she got a hold of it. She started vomiting, eventually emptying her entire stomach, went outside laid down in the garden and died early in the morning.
Now she was old, 12 years + and was showing a lot of gray around her muzzle, but she still had many years left in her. I got her in 1999, partly as a pet for son and partly, as I spent a bit of time away from home on business, as a guard dog (though I learned later a Golden retriever, while big, is one of the last breeds to think about as a guard dog); and she in her way filling that. She'd let out a full deep 'who goes there' bark that let anyone outside know that at least this house had a large dog inside.
She was very smart too; wife unit trained her without too much difficultly, to fetch the paper in the morning, while we still subscribed to one. She was also a bit partial to wife unit, insisting even as an adult, to jump up onto the sofa or chair she was sitting, which given her adult size 70 lbs and wife unit's smallness, was comical in a way.
But now she's suddenly gone, there'll be nothing at the foot of the stairs to greet me with a few thumps of the tail in the morning, pester us for food while we are eating, or put her paw on our feet as we sit to watch TV or a movie.
She was a good dog.