Life has got a lot more color with the right cast of characters.
Just ask Katie, her husband Andy, & their three golden retrievers: Fergus, Grace, & Fletch. As they’re known collectively as the “Hippie Goldens.” And, while there’s much they each have in common, their personalities complement each other like a great, well-rounded ensemble.
“It’s absolutely a sitcom,” Katie says. So, let’s meet the cast:
Fletch is 7, owes his name to the 1985 Chevy Chase film, and has successfully caused 100% of humans he’s met to love him. Instantly. But none more so than Katie. Fletch’s three favorite places in the world? Behind Katie, next to Katie, and in front of Katie.
“I can’t go anywhere without him,” Katie admits.
Fletch loves agility competitions. He’ll cuddle up to just about anyone. And, even when Katie & Andy let Fletch know his behavior isn’t perfect, he’s quick to win back their affection by always taking a scolding to heart. A charismatic, multi-talented, leading man if there ever was one.
Grace is 8. In the McCullough household, she’s as playful, energetic, and charming as her brother Fletch, with one exception:
“She thinks I’m the other woman,” Katie says. “Andy is hers, and I’m just in the way.”
Katie says they might butt heads from time to time, but she’s always known she was destined to be part of the pack. Together, Fletch & Grace can’t function without each other. They both love agility courses. They both could ‘fetch a ball over and over until they drop dead.’
“We call the two of them the puppies, because they don’t always have the greatest manners.”
Which brings us to Fergus.
Fergus is the oldest of the three, and it shows. He’s seasoned. Accomplished. Polite. Very warm, but also the perfect type of been-around-the-block canine ornery. They call him a Golden Deceiver because the closest thing he’ll ever come to actually playing fetch is tricking you to throw something so he can scoop it up and chew it in private.
When Fletch & Grace’s behavior isn’t quite up to snuff, sometimes Katie & Andy don’t actually have to intervene at all.
“Fergus will just glare at them as if to say ‘do not ruin this for me.’”
He helped raise Fletch & Grace since they were just weeks old. So it seems he’s earned the right. And, at 13+, Fergus is happy to help lead the pack as a wise, reserved, and lovable leader. In human form, it seems Fergus is a type of older father figure, who might look up from his newspaper to ask you to quiet down, but it’s only because he wants you to come closer so he can tell you stories about his glory days. Sweet, tunnel-running, hurdle-clearing, glory days. You know, young pup stuff.
“He’s my heart and soul,” Katie says simply.
Like any great cast of characters, it’s all about balance. Everyone plays their role. And, it’s because of their dynamic trio that Katie & Andy have made such irreplaceable additions to their own human pack.
“The dog community in Chicago is amazing,” Katie says. “It’s hard to imagine life without that group of friends.”
Coming up on @hippiegoldens, Fletch is getting impatient with Katie’s lack of attention while she talks on the phone . . . does Grace even notice? Is she just glad she’s leaving Andy alone? Does Fergus have any words of wisdom, or is his bone too delicious for him to care?
Tune in to find out!
Fletch, Grace, & Fergus’ (and Katie & Andy’s) story is part of Mutt Jackson’s THE JUST LOVE PROJECT – our blog series dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary bonds that exist between humans & their dogs. Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing a new piece – be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you don’t miss an installment! And, if you or someone you know think you have a tale to tell, please shoot us an email at ILuvMutts@MuttJackson.com – we’d love to hear from you!