A dozen golden retrievers, pure maple syrup, and farm-grown honey certainly sounds like the ideal Vermont afternoon, and people from all over the country are traveling to experience this explosion of “happy.”
Becca and Doug Worple run Golden Dog Farm, a Jeffersonville, Vermont farm that began offering a “Golden Retriever Experience” in September. For $75 a person, the Worples invite you to their picturesque farm to spend an hour or so with a dozen friendly goldens.
The response was immediate and overwhelming, Becca said, with thousands of inquiries overnight. The golden playdate was picked up by travel TikTokers, but the farm’s own account garnered up to 2 million views.
“Every interaction we have with people I want it to feel like a warm hug,” Becca said. “I literally want people to feel embraced by Golden Dog Farm and by this experience.”
The dozen or so dogs come from Dana and Susan Menne of Butternut Hill Golden Retrievers, a local breeder in the area that the Worples met serendipitously before they moved to Vermont. After they bought the farm, the relationship between the two couples blossomed.
Dana will bring a truckload of his dogs for the day, giving guests an Instagram-worthy photo opportunity when the goldens burst out of the truck. After a quick poop break, the dogs are ready to play and cuddle.
“They’re so beautiful, and they’re so well behaved,” Becca said of the Butternut goldens. “It’s just unbelievable how well trained they are and well socialized they are because he has exposed them to lots of people and places.”
Becca is also a professional photographer who takes photos to share as the dogs play and cuddle with the guests.
Doug began calling a group of goldens a “happy,” which is apt for the couple who has always owned one of the outgoing dogs. Their pups Dewey and Lenny, both British white cream goldens, typically stick around for the experience.
Becca and Doug are originally from Cincinnati, but with two kids out of the house, they decided to sell their house to travel around the country when the pandemic hit in 2020. Soon after, Becca fell in love with Vermont.
“We were like, well, maybe we can grow our ‘happy’ here,” Becca said. She’s been extremely involved with the bee-keeping side of the business, which they also offer as an experience. The couple also taps 4,500 trees on their property for maple syrup.
Becca said their guests vary in age, and the dog meet and greet appeals to people who love dogs, can’t own one for whatever reason, recently lost a dog, or struggle with health problems.
Twenty-eight-year-old Beatriz Rosario, of Fall River, said she saw the golden experience on TikTok and knew she had to make the trip. She and her husband drove six hours to Vermont just to see the goldens.
Rosario, who struggles with health problems, said the dogs were playful and funny.
“It was the best experience that we have ever had,” Rosario said. “That was the best day because I forgot all my problems.”
Archit Aryasri, 30, heard about the experience through Instagram and drove up from New Jersey with his wife just for the dogs.
“It has been a childhood dream of mine to own a pet dog, so this experience makes me want to own a golden retriever someday,” he wrote in an email to Boston.com. “It was the perfect Happy Hour! My wife and I were so blissed out and couldn’t stop smiling ear to ear.”
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