We have a golden retriever/chow mix too and she is the sweetest dog i have ever known. Got her at the humane society when she was 6 mos old, she's 3 now and her name is Betsy Ross.
We also have a black lab mix we got as a puppy from a local rescue organization. She was the only one of the litter who survived~the rest died of parvo the week after we too Mei Mei home. Mei Mei is a total spazz. She'll be 2 in January and I'm hoping she'll settle down some by then. She's a love ball though.
And we have a very sassy medium hair tortoiseshell cat named Wanda. I was present for her birth
Got her from my mil who had taken in a pregnant stray.