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Original photo by Macy Miskiewicz
Experiences

Meet Our Golden Family: A Piper and Ralph Story

On November 7, 2018, my beautiful golden retriever, Piper was born in Beaver Falls, Pa. My mom decided to surprise me with her as a Christmas gift. Needless to say, my mother is the best gift-giver of all time.

Those first few months of Piper’s life were well spent, yet pretty uneventful. We enjoyed walks through the woods in our backyard, she antagonized Chief (our beautiful collie/mutt-mix) and she met the farm animals at a local park. Having a dog is like having a newborn. My camera roll quickly turned golden, nearly every picture or video featured her in some way.

At the time, my mom had just created an Instagram account. She started following golden retriever accounts and she urged me to create one for Piper. I posted on there for a good bit and also gave my mom access to the account. While on one of her following sprees, she found another Pittsburgh golden named Ralph. His birthday was listed in his bio and as fate would have it, it was the same day as Piper’s.

I reached out to the account via DM, asking if Ralph had perhaps been born in Beaver Falls. Jess, Ralph’s mom, also received Ralph as a Christmas gift, so she asked her boyfriend for more information. Sure enough, they were siblings! We waited for the weather to warm up, then finally got them together again at Frick Park Dog Park (try saying that ten times fast) where they were able to play and enjoy each other’s company once again.

We continued to set up playdates for Piper and Ralph. They visited the animal farm together, played at other dog parks, celebrated their birthday together and they even attended my graduation party! I really love seeing the two of them together. You can tell they share a special sibling bond.

I followed Piper and Ralph’s breeder on Facebook, just to keep tabs on their mom, Jenna, and to see if she was going to have puppies again. She had another litter about a year and a half after Piper’s and it was too soon for another dog. Our Chief had just crossed over the rainbow bridge and we were adjusting without him. I forgot about the possibility of siblings until Kim, our breeder, posted that Jenna was pregnant again. Jess and I were so excited! I talked to my mom and our name was on the list! Jess’s too.

My mom and I visited the puppies over winter break. This puppy was going to be hers. She picked a chunky little boy in the black collar and named him Wilson. Jess picked out an adorable little boy with white spots on his forehead and paws and named him Charlie. So now, we each have a sibling from litters two and four. Can it get any crazier?

Yes, it absolutely can. When Jess was picking out Charlie, she brought her dad along for the trip. He couldn’t go home empty-handed, so he picked out a girl named Izzy. Now, here we are, five golden retrievers later.

Wilson, Izzy and Charlie just turned 13 weeks old, so they still have a bit of growing to do. We haven’t brought the whole gang together yet, as the little ones still need to see the vet for their first rounds of vaccinations. As soon as the summer rolls along and we’re sure everyone is healthy, we will definitely be getting them together!

Piper is one of the most loving, athletic and energetic dog I’ve ever met. The fact that I am able to know and love her has been one of life’s greatest privileges. Who know a little golden retriever pup was capable of bringing so many people (and dogs) together. In addition to our little family, we have the Pittsburgh Goldens. A couple times a month, we get to meet up with our golden friends in Pittsburgh. Needless to say, life is golden and I’m loving every minute of it.

Jess and I love sharing our fur babies’ day to day lives on Instagram. You can check out Piper and Wilson on Instagram @pipthegoldengurl and Ralph and Charlie @kingralph_thegoldenretriever.

Macy is a Pittsburgh, PA native with a passion for reading, writing, tree-hugging and music. She is pursuing a major in Biobehavioral Health, while double minoring in English and Sustainability Leadership on the Humanities Track. Outside of Her Campus, Macy spends her time with her golden retrievers and her camera.