Introducing Golgi, the Labrador Retriever


Golgi waiting for a tennis ball throw. For now, we are forced to keep her in “the Golgi Compartment” (a bedroom) when we leave the home, so she will not destroy it!

I as reported not long ago, we recently had to say a difficult goodbye to our 12-year old rescue dog, Ginger, who was (even by the standard of those outside our family) an exceptional dog in her friendliness and great nature. While the grieving process will go on for the rest of my life, it did not take me long to realize that I was in need of new canine companionship.

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Our grieving process include putting together a book to commemorate Ginger’s life with us. It’s a great reminder of what a wonderful time we had with her.

Coming home from work without being excitedly greeted (no matter how many grants or papers were rejected), not having a partner for hide-and-seek and throwing a tennis ball, I knew that at some point I would look to adopt another rescue dog, to rescue me. What I didn’t realize was how quickly this would happen. Or how much energy a younger dog has!

I spent time looking online at nearby humane societies and rescue shelters, in Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska, nearby Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, seeking a relatively young Labrador Retriever-like dog (preferably female, because akin to the human species, females are generally less aggressive and better natured…), but not a puppy. About 3 weeks ago, a cute ~1-year old female Labrador Retriever showed up on the website for the Sioux City, Iowa Humane Society, about 90 miles away. It was a Saturday evening, and knowing that many dogs are quickly adopted (especially nice-looking ones), my son and I drove out to be first to see her at opening on 12 pm Sunday the next day. I didn’t even wait for my wife to return from out-of-town (but did have her approval if we liked the dog). Within an hour we were driving back to Omaha with our new family member, renamed “Golgi” (what do you expect from a cell biologist?! Endoplasmic Reticulum just doesn’t have the same ring!).

Golgi is a sweet and affectionate dog, with boundless energy. I perhaps underestimated the  lack of maturity of a 1-year old dog, thinking that she would be less puppy-like, and a little calmer. But hopefully with consistent training and lots of exercise, she will calm down and we will get back into a routine (one that doesn’t necessarily include 5 am wake-up on weekends!). On the positive side, I am certainly not lonely, with a shadow by my side everywhere I go, from the shower to the kitchen to the garden. In addition, while there are many reports detailing how dogs increase the quality and length of human lives, anecdotally I can easily see how they induce one to walk and exercise more. Indeed, this graph of my “steps” from before and after adoption on Aug. 2 clearly demonstrates a trend. Untitled

Any guess as to when we adopted Golgi?! Almost like the graphs in papers with pre- and post-treatments…

But leaving aside such health considerations, despite the huge effort and amount of work in training Golgi, I feel happier with a new canine companion in my life again.


About Steve Caplan

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where I mentor a group of students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers working on endocytic protein trafficking. My first lablit novel, "Matter Over Mind," is about a biomedical researcher seeking tenure and struggling to overcome the consequences of growing up with a parent suffering from bipolar disorder. Lablit novel #2, "Welcome Home, Sir," published by Anaphora Literary Press, deals with a hypochondriac principal investigator whose service in the army and post-traumatic stress disorder actually prepare him well for academic, but not personal success. Novel #3, "A Degree of Betrayal," is an academic murder mystery. "Saving One" is my most recent novel set at the National Institutes of Health. Now IN PRESS: Today's Curiosity is Tomorrow's Cure: The Case for Basic Biomedical Research (CRC PRESS, 2021). All views expressed are my own, of course--after all, I hate advertising.
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3 Responses to Introducing Golgi, the Labrador Retriever

  1. Henry says:

    I hope she won’t get a Complex.

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