About Us

Finnegan with late fall colors, Dec 2008

Finnegan with late fall colors, Dec 2008

Faraway Goldens consists of our golden retrievers — “Gemma” born 4/17/97, our pet girl and a true princess (who left us in 2010 but is still here with us in spirit); “Finnegan” aka Foo born 11/5/02, our resident anti-depressant and “multi-purpose” golden boy; and… introducing “Haiku” aka “Ku” — our rascal puppy born 8/24/10!

[The photo above was taken by professional photographer Pam Biasotti — click on the photo to go to her website.]

Beautiful Gemma

Our Beautiful Gemma… still with us every day in our hearts

You have HUGE paws to fill, Haiku!

FooKu posing for me at Faraway, 2011

I am retired from U.C. Berkeley where I taught English literature and counseled students and am now a part-time faculty member at Bergin University of Canine Studies/Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, CA where I have taught a course entitled The Dog in Modern Literature as well as seminars on golden retriever breed structure and canine tracking. In 2013 we moved to 8 acres just outside the lovely town of Sebastopol, California, and we now divide our time between there and the family cabin and land (aka Doggy Heaven) overlooking the Mattole River on the “Lost Coast” of Northern California — a place we call “Faraway.”

Click below for larger images.

Faraway, the cabin

Faraway, the cabin

The meadow

The meadow

The Mattole River in high summer

The Mattole River in high summer


Finnegan & Gemma on the trail, October 2008

I am a member in good standing of the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) and NORCAL Golden Retriever Club— for which I have served as both membership and corresponding secretaries on the Board of Directors and have chaired many CCA events.

At Faraway Goldens we embrace and adhere strictly to the GRCA Code of Ethics.

We invite you to meet our beloved goldens and perhaps consider if our Finnegan might have something to contribute to your own breeding program as a stud dog. You can find out more about him here and also see his puppies.

Scattered about this website you’ll find underlined links embedded in the text– just click to go directly to the pages!  Here’s an example: Click on Gemma to go to her webpage. You can also click on some of the photos for larger versions.

For more information about Faraway Goldens, please contact Suzanne Bria at: farawaygold@gmail.com (click to send e-mail) -or- 510-919-6284.

Thanks for visiting!

Ted, Foo, Gem, & Suz on the front porch

Ted, Foo, Gem, & Suz on the front porch

My sister(-in-law) Karen and her two Norwich terriers share this wonderful place with us!

Finn, Gemma, Karen, Candy, & Barley at Faraway

We dedicate this website to the memory of her husband David Mitchell who loved all creatures great and small– and for whom Faraway was a refuge.

Here are several more photos by Dog Photographer Pam Biasotti (click her name or the pictures to go to her website)!

Finn loves to jump over stuff! Foo loves to jump over stuff

...and he's always on the ball! … and he’s always on the ball!


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ron and Patty Simmons
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 00:24:56

    Wonderful new website! Faraway certainly is Doggie Heaven and pretty darn nice for people, too!!


  2. Brenda Kenchington
    Dec 09, 2008 @ 02:05:12

    What a joy it is to find you again. Finn is just too much for words and Gemma – what a sweety she is! We will meet again at one show or another .. until then I shall enjoy you all on the internet! Brenda


  3. dana spak
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 06:15:58

    Hope this gets to you- it was so neat to see Finn at the cow palace- he is a beautiful dog- nice nice heeling- i LOVE a nice heeling dog, and he is definitely IT!!! Just beautiful. Fionna had nuts for brains, just too messy to dink around with her. Joys of having a girl. nice nice dog!!


  4. JuneBug
    Feb 23, 2009 @ 02:44:50

    Hi! Such a beautiful life and family you have. I would so love to experience what you show us! Hugs and big squirt guns! JuneBug


  5. Marie & Pat
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 06:13:58

    Suz, this is such a wonderful website. I could stay here and look at it all day and night. I will re-visit it from time to time because it is very relaxing and soothing to the soul.

    I also enjoy seeing Gemma looking beautiful and Finn in his prime!

    Thanks for sharing this with us.


  6. Ronnie Harmon
    May 19, 2011 @ 14:09:06

    Hi Suzanne,
    I just discovered your wonderful web site, and plan to do a little exploring here. I can live vicariously through your pictures and descriptions!


  7. Ellen DeRamus Frasheski
    Jul 26, 2011 @ 15:14:17

    What a beautiful site you have! I am enjoying the lovely photos very much.


  8. Xena and Jada's mom
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 15:02:22

    So sorry to read about the loss of Gemma!
    I highly recommend a book by D. Koontz about his beloved golden, Trixie, called “A Big Little Life.”


  9. Lauren Calhoon
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 11:48:23

    Hi. What a wonderful website. We are a family of five looking to find a golden, female puppy. We lost our beloved Sunshine, 7 year old, girl, last winter. The kids are ready for another dog.

    Please let us know if you have a puppy liter now (our hope for another female) or in the future or a referral to another breeder like yourselves.

    Thank you,


  10. Lauren Calhoon
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 11:09:52

    Hi there,

    Is there a phone number to call and ask about future litters? As mentioned above, we are excited to find a female pup. Please let us know if it is possible.

    Much appreciated, Lauren


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