Nora Hayes MSW has owned and trained Golden Retrievers for 27 years. Her dogs are titled in : obedience, agility, field, tracking and all are working therapy dogs.
After spending most of her working career as a health care executive, Nora moved to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in 2004 and decided to pursue her life long hobby of caring for and training dogs as a full time career.
Nora's dogs-some highlights:
"FINN" Highview Finn MacCool, JH WC TD OA OAJ TDI was one of the dogs honored for his work with familes who lost loved ones when the WTC was struck by terrorists. Nora and Finn were so effective in their work they were chosen by the NYC community police to accompany the families on the ferries daily to visit the site of the tragedy Finn was a founding therapy dog at Rockland Psychiatric Childrens Center and also won a national award for tracking a lost Golden in Great Barrington in 2008. (please see Finn's page)
"CONOR" Goldtrak Steelecreek Classic WC OA AXJ NF was a wonderful and talented dog sadly lost to cancer in 2009.
BESS TDI, just Bess, a mixed breed girl, adopted after a difficult start in life (she lost an eye and a tail and was near death when she was discovered as a stray), came back all the way and visited children for years at Rockland Childrens' Psychiatric Center. The hospitalized children, often themselves the victims of trauma and abuse, identified with Bess's story and saw how she had a tough start too but was very happy and safe now. Bess was sadly lost to bloat (stomach torsion) on January 1st 2012.
CARA, Comstock Honora's Anam Cara RE JH AX AXJ XF WC CCA TDI was a beautiful and talented working girl and the foundation for Honora Goldens. Cara's name means "dear heart" and she certainly was. A funny, smart, athletic girl who did it all! I lost her at almost 14
BLUE, Honora's Divine Blue Boy JH NA NAJ WC WCX CCA is wonderful--he is all that I could have asked for in my first home bred pup. He is a happy, handsome, energetic and smart boy with a terrific temperament. We are having a lot of fun together!!
PINK, Honora's Fabulous Miss Pink was very much her mother's daughter-beautiful, spirited, and very talented. She placed in puppy stakes and won BISS at Yankee Golden Retriever Club's Spring match. Got her WC with ease and was competing in agility. She had a bright future ahead of her. I lost her in August of 2019 after a year long battle with Lymphoma.
Gwen, Honora's Guinevere, Pink's daughter; beautiful quirky and full of personality like her mother. We took some time off to have her first litter and then COVID. In 2021 we plan to have another litter and get going in agility
Babe-the "baby" Cara's great grand daughter, Pink's grand daughter and Gwen's daughter. She is full of it-very sassy and opinionated and lots of fun. A mini me of Cara-it has helped me to deal with my grief over Cara's loss to have this wonderful pup in my home.
A Breeder's code-I have been a breeder for 11 years and it is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Yet I am committed to this journey and I am continually in awe of how much time effort and dedication is required. There is a code of ethics which I take seriously and I not only breed carefully but ask my puppy owners to support my breeding by doing clearances on their pups. So far Cara my foundation bitch had three healthy litters (15 pups in all) and her daughter Pinky carried on with her three litters but struggled more than her mother. So the highs and lows of a breeder's life-worried sick about Pinky yet excited and hopeful to see new life arrive and cheer up my sad household. I know I have made mistakes along the way but never out of carelessness or selfishness. If God is good and the winds blow in my favor I will continue to breed litters of healthy long lived puppies with wonderful temperaments who will bring joy and good things to many people. One final comment that applies ot all of us-if and when you find something that makes you happy and you dedicate yourself to it beware of the joy stealers-the folks who seem to always rain on your parade. You have a right to be successful and happy so do not let anyome steal your joy. A bit of a thick skin can be a very good thing!