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We are a small hobby breeder located on 5 private acres in Richland, MI (just north of Kalamazoo, MI). I got my start iin Goldens with my first golden “Riley” in 1985. He came from Topbrass kennels. I could not have asked for a better dog, friend or loyal partner, Riley was truly the best. Although new to the“dog show world” at the time, we dabbled in conformation but it was my real goal to show Riley in obedience. He was never pointed in the breed ring but he did go on to get his CD and was trained for his CDX. He lived to be 2 months shy of his 16th birthday. He was truly the Champion of my heart.

It was not until 1999 though that we became serious about showing in the breed ring and the goal of developing our own kennel. It was at this point that Kokopelli Goldens was established. I have had a love for the desert southwest for most of my life and I knew in my heart that “Kokopelli” had to be our kennel name. Kokopelli has been a sacred figure to Native Americans in the Southwestern United States for thousands of years. He has long been a symbol of fertility that brought good fortune and well-being to the people, assuring success in hunting, planting and growing crops, and human conception. His “hump” was often considered a bag of gifts, a sack for carrying seeds of plants and flowers that he would scatter every spring. It is believed that he would warm the earth by playing his flute and singing songs, in turn melting the winter snow and creating rain to ensure a good harvest for the coming season. Kokopelli is characterized by his dancing pose, a hunchback and flute. His whimsical nature, charitable deeds, and vital spirit give him a prominent position in Native American mysticism. We feel he has brought (and will continue to bring), good fortune to us here at Kokopelli Goldens.

In 2002, I made a trip to Snowshoe Kennels in Minnesota to pick up our then 8 week old puppy. This little girl became known as “Secret” aka CH Snowshoe’s Best Kept Secret. I will never be able to thank Sue & Steve Schnarr (Snowshoe) or Brian & Mary Clegg (Goldsmith) enough for the opportunity that they gave me with this girl. Secret went on to become my first Champion and was owner handled to all of her points by myself. I can’t begin to tell you what a thrill that was. I knew in my heart that this was my passion and I was hooked. Since Secret I have finished several other Goldens to their championships and have pointed many others.

The girl behind our breeding program was Gangway's Low Rider aka "Chassis. She came to me from my friend Rebecca Gang Jordan of Gangway Goldens in Ohio. Chassis's dad (Am. CH Gangway's Sweeter Than Whine OS WC CGC TDI) was one of my all time favorite dogs and he was also the grandfather to our Secret. We are thrilled that we are expecting Chassis's great-grandchildren in October 2016. I will be forever grateful to Beckie for this special girl.

As hobby breeders, we breed no more than two - three litters per year. We breed for sound health and temperament first and foremost. We spend countless hours researching pedigrees and strive for the best in each and every breeding that we do. The future of our Golden Retriever breed, along with our future puppy owners are depending on the decisions that we make today.
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