Goldstock is a Four-Day Therapy Visit

When the kids get back to school in September, the first question asked is often, how did you spend your summer vacation? David's response to this is, I just got back from Dog Camp. Then, of course, he has to do some explaining.

Invited by the Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue, for whom Ted, David and I volunteer, two years ago, David and I attended our first Goldstock over Labor Day weekend, 2013. Camping is not my thing. I am a city girl through and through. But I was assured that I would not have to sleep on the floor and so I packed up David and Charlie and headed off to Pennsylvania. Last year, Ted and Nikki came, too.

The stated purpose of Goldstock is to raise money for Golden Retriever Rescues. People, rescue groups and dogs (mostly Goldens, but not all) come from as far away as Montana, Ohio and Florida to support rescue efforts via games, raffles, parades, contests and auctions. For some groups, the money they make at Goldstock funds vet care on sick and elderly dogs for weeks to come. That's the stated purpose, but we could all just write checks from our homes to support Rescue financially.

After being at my first Goldstock for just a few hours, I quickly realized the true purpose - to make new friends, to watch our kids and dogs do the same, to extend our families, to rejuvenate our souls. Nothing heals like watching kids and dogs be kids and dogs, especially if they are trying to play baseball together.  It's a four-day therapy visit of humongous proportions.

I'm not the only one who feels this way. Some folks have been coming back for over fifteen years. This year will be our third. I started looking forward to it as we drove out of camp last Labor Day.

This year a documentary is being filmed about Goldstock. Some preliminary work is being done on it, including this trailer. I am thrilled and honored that a photo of David and me (Upper left-hand picture) from 2013 with our new best friends, the Harris family, was included in the trailer. I think the smiles tell a lot.

God bless Rescue.

Written by: Jamileh-Sofia DiGuida