We heard about doodles (both golden- and lab-) around November of last year, and even for a short time had our names on a wating list at Glen Eden. (We decided that, much as we wanted one, the price was just too much for us at this point.) Then I learned about petfinder.com and through it found Buddy! Buddy now lives with Jerry and Gina.
Buddy is a 2.5 year old goldendoodle who was in rescue due to the family who adopted him (from a shelter that had him, his golden dad, and his standard mom) as a puppy. He was "too much" for them, and ended up on a chain (!!) in the yard. He would slip it and roam -- probably looking for greener pastures -- and one night was found, filthy and matted, by the teen son of a woman who fosters goldens. They cleaned him up and found his owners, who did not seem thrilled to get him back. They were asked to please call if they did not want him, and praise God they did, three days later.
Two months of fun and rehab and play with other dogs and sleeping inside later, and he is home with us. I now understand at a more fundamental level why people pay $1000 for these dogs. After a week of Buddy in our lives, I would not take 10 times that for him.
He is everything I have read about, and more (and housetrained, to boot!) He is in perfect health, gentle with the children (ages 3, 5, 6) and asks only to be near his people. A big thank you to all of you for the information about these wonderful dogs!
I also want to acknowledge Debbie and Donna (his drivers, rescuers and foster mom) and Maria, whose segment of his drive to his new home was over 200 miles, and Maria's sister, who kept him overnight.